Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Staying Healthy for the Journey

A recent study warned that older Americans who eat large amounts of red meat and processed meats face a greater risk of death from heart disease and cancer. The federal study of more than half a million men and women bolsters prior evidence of the health risks of diets laden with red meat like hamburger and processed meats like hot dogs, bacon and cold cuts. Lead author of the study Rashmi Sinha of the National Cancer Institute said the findings support the advice of several health groups to limit red meat intake to decrease cancer risk.
For health reasons and spiritual reasons I haven't eaten red meat in years. I only eat fish and chicken. From readings I've learned that in many religious orders, in monasteries and convents, (at certain times in history and for others at times in the liturgical year),  eating meat was limited or not permitted. As we are doing now in Lent. I felt better physically and spiritually when I stopped eating red meat. 
It's important to eat well and exercise. There are so many studies which state that eating well and exercising each day prevents disease. We need strength and good health to do God's work, to evangelize and to stay healthy, not only for ourselves but for those who loves us and need us. I've experienced firsthand the devastating affects of cancer and the toll it takes on an entire family and network of friends. My mother died of lung cancer at the young age of 48. I had a very young mother. 
This past weekend I did some volunteer work for the Breast Cancer Coalition in my neighborhood. I wrote about a fitness expo they held and the article will be printed in a local newspaper. A quote hanging in the gym where the fitness expo was held summed it up, Those who think they have no time for exercise, will eventually have to make time for illness (Edward Stanley.