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Can we really control our destiny?

We are living with a global epidemic of chronic disease.

Aging baby boomers are living longer but have higher rates of chronic disease, more disability, and lower health compared with the previous generation.

The sad truth is it’s not just baby boomers getting sicker; our children are getting sicker as well. According to a 2013 report by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine (NAC/IOM), this shocking statistic is very real. “Americans have been dying at younger ages than people in almost all other high-income countries.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States spends significantly more money on health care than any other country in the world. Seventy-five percent of those dollars are going toward aiding people with chronic conditions.

Should we be calling it “disease care instead of health care?”

We‘re treating the symptoms with medication and surgery and not looking at the root cause. We’re sicker for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is we are eating highly processed junk food. The food industry knows how to make a food product addicting, which makes you crave more of a bad thing. We’re eating fast food on the run, with our busy lifestyles, and we’re living with chronic stress.

Can lifestyle choices affect our gene expression?

The answer is yes. This is the study of Epigenetics. Epigenetics literally means "above" or "on top of" genetics. It refers to external modifications to DNA that turn genes "on" or "off." These modifications do not change the DNA sequence, but instead, they affect how cells "read" genes.* Certain circumstances in life can cause genes to be silenced or expressed over time. In other words, they can be turned off (becoming dormant) or turned on (becoming active).*

The foods you eat, your home environment, people who you interact with, sleep quality, exercise and movement or lack therof, living with chronic stress, toxicity in products like home cleaning agents, skincare, etc., outside environmental toxins, drinking water quality- all of these can eventually cause chemical modifications around the genes that will turn those genes on or off over time.

But the truth is we don’t address our negative lifestyle choices until we get hit with a major illness, such as cancer, heart disease, or an auto-immune disorder.

This means we can control our destiny and not become a victim of our genes.

Epigenetics is all about that. Making better choices in your diet, find out what foods are making you ill - food intolerance, assessing your happiness level in work, home environment, relationships, etc., and taking more quality time to rest and self-nurture. Become aware of your thoughts, and ask yourself if those negative thoughts and feelings are causing you stress? Our perception of life can cause a tremendous amount of internal conflict. A great book I would recommend on this subject is Dr. Bruce Lipton's Biology of Belief. Through the research of Dr. Lipton and other leading-edge scientists, stunning new discoveries have been made about the interaction between your mind and body and the processes by which cells receive information. It shows that genes and DNA do not control our biology, that instead DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our thoughts.

If you are at all interested in this process, I would highly recommend reading this book. Dr. Lipton breaks it down in simple terms. And when you start to bring that awareness to the forefront, the next time your body gives you a symptom, you'll arm yourself with this knowledge and understand you don't have to play the victim to your illness. It doesn't control you; you have control over your genes.

Most chronically ill people follow the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) which is full of processed foods, chemical additives and excess sugar, causing chronic inflammation in the body, which leads to disease. In addition, being in a chronic high-stress environment, which most people live with, is another ingredient in the inflammation stew. Seventy-five to ninety percent of doctor visits are stress related.

Now that we know our negative lifestyle choices, our thoughts and beliefs, and the importance of whole foods nutrition, and self-care, affects our cells, we can armor ourselves with that knowledge to shift our mindset away from being a victim to disease towards taking back control of our health.

Make a conscious state change away from eating processed foods loaded with refined ingredients, toxic dyes, excess sugar, and zero nutrient value to a more whole foods approach (fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, hormone and antibiotic-free poultry.) Eat bright colorful fruits and vegetables, instead of Skittles and other damaging fake foods. You'll save money on prescribed medications and the natural side effects will be - more energy, weight loss, and feel youthful again. Your cells will thank you and your life will dramatically improve.

In Michael Gregor, MD's book How Not To Die, he writes: "Whatever genes we may have inherited from our parents, what we eat can affect how those genes affect our health. The power is mainly in our hands and on our plate."

Below is my favorite Green Power Smoothie recipe. I hope you enjoy! It’s so easy going green, and you’ll enjoy this delicious, nutrient dense breakfast.

Fill Vitamix (or your blender) with:

¼ cup cilantro 2 celery stalks 3 large kale leaves 1 green apple 1 lemon – zest lemon and use juice ½ Tsp fresh or ground ginger ½ Tsp fresh or ground turmeric ½ ground Cinnamon ¼ Tsp organic vanilla 3 Cups of Almond milk 3 scoops of Sun Warrior Protein Powder 3 Tbsp Organic Flax or Chia Seeds Water with Ice

To listen to my recent Facebook Live session on this subject click on the following link:

Join me at the ​Natural Living Expo - New England’s Largest Holistic Expo

Saturday, November 11

9 am - 6 pm Sunday, November 12

10 am - 5 pm

Best Western Royal Plaza Trade Center 181 Boston Post Rd West

Marlborough, MA 01752

Finding My Way Notes of Inspiration, a compilation of quotes and notes of inspiration taken from my first memoir

Contact me for a free Discovery Session to explore how I can support you on your journey towards losing weight, while gaining a healthy lifestyle, and how to become your own health advocate.

To your health and happiness,

Donna Markussen 781-354-4075

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