I don’t want to die of a broken heart.
Cassandra broke up with me five days before we got engaged.
She likes to tell people I chased after the car as she pulled away from the event we were both attending in Birmingham, England.
I personally don’t remember any chasing, but I do remember heading back to Bristol that night with a heavy heart.
I’ve heard of people dying of a broken heart, I guess the pain of losing a loved one causes them to give up and shut down.
We’ve all probably experienced a faux broken-hearted feeling at some point in our lives. I experienced this faux feeling a lot growing up.
Emotionally hearts can break on occasion and it’s not pleasant or easy when they do.
But would it surprise you like it did me if I told you that hundreds of thousands of Americans die of a broken heart every year.
Not emotionally, but literally.
Cardiovascular disease is the single biggest cause of death in the United States and it has been for many years. The CDC reports that about 1 in 4 deaths in America every year are due to a broken heart.
What surprised me more than discovering this fact was learning that the vast majority of heart disease is preventable without medical intervention or prescription medication.
That’s because a broken heart is almost always induced by our lifestyle.
Poor diet, inactivity, and obesity are key contributors to heart disease.
So if I don’t want to die of a broken heart, what am I to do?
For starters I’ve made the decision to cut animal based products from my diet almost entirely. I am no longer knowingly eating meat, fish, dairy or eggs. I say knowingly because I don’t currently read every last ingredient on the package, although I’m starting to do so more often and I’m blown away by how many unexpected products have milk or egg as an ingredient.
It’s not been easy changing how I eat. I stopped eating meat in late 2018, but dairy has been very hard to exclude. I love a good cheese, ice cream, or pastry as much as anyone. But logic alone has persuaded me that animal based products aren’t good for my body. Milk is the perfect food for baby cows to help them grow, not me.
There is also a growing body of evidence that demonstrates how a whole food plant based diet can not only prevent things like heart disease, but can also do much to reverse damage already caused.
So I have concluded that eating a more whole food plant based diet is the one my body was made to eat and that’s what I’m determined to do. I’m not fanatical or militant about it, but that’s the direction in which I am choosing to go.
It also means doing more to exclude processed foods that are devoid of nutrients or calorie dense. Again, this isn’t always easy.
I know diet is only one part of taking care of my body, but it is perhaps the more important element. Over time I’ll share other ways and things I’m doing to course correct and take better care of my body.
Change is hard and it’s going to take time before I start to see some of the lasting results of the changes I am making, but I am determined to stay the course because I know that if I don’t dramatically change my trajectory, there’s a good chance that I’ll die of a broken heart, and prematurely leave behind many others with emotionally broken hearts.
All the best,
P.S. Just so you know
What I’m sharing are my own opinions, thoughts and experiences. What has worked or is true for me may not be so for you. All advice or opinion, even from ‘experts’, should be taken with a pinch of salt because there really is no substitute for the difficult challenge of thinking and discovering truth and our own answers. So take what resonates and works for you and disregard the rest. But please join me in continued reading, listening, discovering, and above all, thinking for ourselves.