Diet, Cannabis, & Health
Read Time: 4:00 Mins.
I always look forward to the beginning of the new year. It’s a time to reflect on the past and also look forward to the year ahead. What brought me joy, and, what can I do to continue my journey on the path of better health and wellness? During the holidays a couple of years ago I made a lifestyle decision to eat better, exercise more, and use medicinal cannabis to help improve my overall quality of life. Resolutions can be fleeting, and I wanted real change that stuck. A psychiatrist friend of mine once told me a great joke that still rings true. “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one, but the lightbulb must really want to change.” So far, the underlying truth in that joke is working out pretty well for me.
The first question you must answer is, what type of change are you seeking? Next, what steps are needed to get there? Then, how do you put it all into action? While this may sound overly simplistic, it’s the process that worked for me. After talking with my doctor and putting a plan in place I lost over 40 pounds, I’ve kept it off, and I feel so much better about myself. As part of my plan, I also obtained a medical cannabis card to legally use cannabis for better sleep and easing stress.
It’s really easy to eat poorly in this country. Fast food chains are literally everywhere, and the vast majority do not promote healthier options as their standard menu items. Don’t get me wrong, I love hamburgers, fries, and pizza as much as anyone, but I’ve learned to control and moderate those urges. I admit, it takes a bit of effort and willpower to choose healthier food, and I needed help to learn a better and more consistent approach. Every person has different dietary needs and goals, and you should always talk to your doctor before undergoing a major change to your diet and exercise regimen. According to many well-known institutions (e.g., Harvard University, the National Institutes of Health, WebMD, etc.), there are some common recommendations for a healthy diet and exercise routine. Note the word “routine,” defined as “a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.” Again, thinking about change is one thing, putting it into practice is the hard, but ultimately rewarding part.
A Healthy Eating Plan
As it turns out, our mothers were right in telling us to eat our vegetables. Heck, during dinner as a kid, I used to put the broccoli in my napkin and discreetly feed it to my dog under the table. Why he ate it I’ll never know, but he lived a long life, even in dog years. Suffice it to say experts generally agree that a healthy diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Skip processed white bread and eat bread made from whole wheat or multigrain flour. I switched from whole to non-fat milk in my morning coffee, then gradually eliminated milk altogether. Protein is important, and it should include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. If you’re considering a vegan lifestyle, do your homework and learn the options available to you in your area. According to the American Heart Association, the last piece of this basic expert advice is to limit saturated fats (cheese/butter/dairy, animal fat, and certain oils) and trans fats (fried foods, french fries, and potato chips), sodium, and added sugars. If you need help or advice, don’t be afraid to talk with a professional dietician.
Work It Out
According to the National Institutes of Health, only about 30 percent of Americans ages 45 to 64 say they engage in regular physical activity. The number falls to 25 percent for adults between ages 65 and 74, and to a lowly 11 percent for people 85 and older. To change these numbers the National Institute of Aging implemented its Go4Life® program. It provides “free, evidence-based resources for older adults in one convenient place.” Again, it’s really important to talk to a doctor before making a major change to your exercise routine. If you already belong to a gym but you’re not seeing benefits or you plateaued, think about hiring a personal trainer for a while. Most fitness experts agree on one thing; some movement is better than no movement, even simple walks around the block. And no, going from the couch to the fridge doesn’t count. The Go4Life program recommends the four pillars — endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility training on a regular basis. No matter what type of exercise works best for the new you, find a way to incorporate it into your daily life.
Cannabis for Health
Cannabis can help a variety of medical conditions. Using cannabis is a personal choice, and it’s a personal experience. If you’re new to it, do some research before getting started. Even then, remain open to finding the right strain or consumption method that works best for you. In connection to exercise, cannabis can act as an anti-inflammatory agent and ease muscle spasms. Some people are even adding cannabis to their yoga practice. It’s worth noting that mainstream magazines such as Time, Men’s Health, Healthline, and Esquire have recently published articles on this topic. For 2019, expect to see more and more professional athletes advocating for cannabis use.
Beyond exercise, what is your personal goal for cannabis in your life? How does it now, or how would it play a role in The New You? I can honestly say it’s taken about a year of experimentation to find the strains I enjoy most and my preferred consumption method, which is vaping. Along with changes in my eating and exercise habits, cannabis is the third element that’s made a distinct difference in my overall happiness and health. I simply feel better, I’m more relaxed, and the changes I made are now my normal routine. Your personal reasons for cannabis use are exactly that, personal. It’s highly recommended that you do your own research on Three Wells and other websites, talk with friends and family, talk to your doctors, or find one.
You are the only person who can ultimately decide to welcome changes in your life. It can be as simple as switching from soda to water, or it can be a complete lifestyle overhaul. For a new year and a healthy new you, consider the role that diet, exercise, and cannabis may play. Put a realistic plan together, stick to it, and see where you are after a few months. It’s your life, so live it on your terms. At Three Wells, our view is to Be Well. Live Well. Do Well. Feel free to take it to heart.
What changes do you have in store for 2019? Please share them with us on our social media platforms. We’d love to hear from you.
Karl Phillips is a writer who covers the cannabis industry.