The Greatest Gift of All

By Donna Gates, as seen on:

Positive change starts with small steps, and it often starts at home. We are entering one of the busiest and most socially active times of the year. Our children and grandchildren have headed back to school. There will be bake sales and classroom parties. There will be Halloween candy and holiday celebrations. The months between September and the New Year are often a happy time filled with wonderful memories.

But this period can also be stressful. It demands a great deal of our time; it can be taxing on our emotions and put pressure on our pocketbooks. It can also be a time when we add to the stress by over-indulging and abandoning healthy eating and lifestyle habits. Best laid plans and resolutions fall to the wayside as we get caught up in the excitement and our desire to make everybody happy.

I am a part of the Baby Boomer generation. There are quite a lot of us out there—80 million or so. Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964, during the optimistic, prosperous years after the Second World War had ended. The eldest of us are nearing retirement now, and the youngest of us are facing midlife challenges like empty nest syndrome and career change.

We are a generation that has been characterized by creativity, idealism, and an eagerness to challenge the conventional. Boomers have helped to bring about a lot of positive change. But we’ve also been a narcissistic generation. In our desire to achieve all of our dreams, we have not always shown good judgment or foresight. Today, we are witnessing the results of our selfishness and bad choices, with many of us and our children and grandchildren ill, toxic and obese.

But this doesn’t have to be the end of our story. We have the opportunity to turn things around and leave a legacy we can be proud of and that will resonate positively for years and generations to come.

Now is a good time to ask yourself how you can start making a real impact in your own health and in the health of those you love. What small changes will you make that might have lasting consequences on your family’s lives? Maybe it will be to eliminate a couple of those starchy Thanksgiving dishes and replace them with vegetables or a healthy grain like quinoa instead? Maybe you will decide to find tasty, but sugar-free snacks to toss in the Halloween bags this year? Perhaps you will add fermented foods and probiotics to your children’s lunch bags so that their immune system is stronger and better able to fight off the inevitable flues and colds of the winter season?

As the weather grows cooler and the days shorten, we have an opportunity to gather and to store—to reflect, embrace new ideas, and make changes for the year ahead. It is a time of giving from our own abundance, and this includes what we learn and what we know. Whether you are a “Boomer” or not, take this opportunity to give your family the greatest gift of all—a happy, healthy, and long life.

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