A lady approached me on the subway today.

She leaned uncomfortably across a few people just to ask me about what I was reading. I’ve never had that happen before. The book I was holding was for school, and it’s called The Nutritional Bypass: Reverse Atherosclerosis Without Surgery by David Rowland.

She basically wanted me to tell her how to reverse atherosclerosis without surgery. But I didn’t actually know yet, I was literally on the 3rd page. She seemed extremely disappointed.

I was really surprised by her forwardness and apparent desperation. She spoke to me like I was the keeper of a great secret and she looked like she would have taken anything I said at face value without ever questioning my credentials. She asked me a few more questions and when she realized I had nothing credible to tell her, she kind of sulked back into her seat and looked really upset. I felt so bad for her.

The whole experience really drove home the purpose for which I’m studying these things. It breaks my heart to see so many people in such a desperate pursuit of health. We truly don’t know what we have until it’s gone.

In Canada, more people die of cardiovascular disease (heart attack or stroke) than any other cause of death. And the worst part is that it’s preventable through nutrition.

Since this morning I’ve covered half of David Rowland’s book. Here are some early warning signs of cardiovascular danger:

  • fingers and/or toes often go cold
  • arms and/or legs often “go to sleep”
  • numbness or heaviness in arms or legs
  • cramps in hand when writing
  • sharp, diagonal crease in the earlobe
  • tingling sensations in lips or fingers
  • short walk causes cramping or pain in the legs
  • memory not as good as it used to be
  • ankles swell late in the day
  • persistent, nagging cough
  • breathlessness on slight exertion or lying down
  • urinating more than twice during the night
  • whitish ring under the outer part of the cornea in the eye
  • high blood pressure
  • chest pain after physical exertion or emotional stress

And here are some dietary and lifestyle risk factors:

  • smoking
  • consumption of polyunsaturated oils (especially rancid ones)
  • nitrates and nitrites (used as food preservatives)
  • inhalation of carbon monoxide (from exhaust fumes)
  • air pollution, in halation of toxic chemicals
  • chronic constipation
  • drinking or bathing in chlorinated water
  • radiation (eg. X-rays, gamma rays, ultra violet)
  • stress in job or home life
  • lack of regular exercise
  • excessive intake of sugars, alcohol, and/or caffeine

I haven’t finished the book yet, but it’s mind-blowing how much disease can be prevented or even reversed by eating well.

PURPOSE

Purpose is something I’ve been thinking a lot about. I remembered it on the subway as it relates to my studies, but I’ve also been thinking about it in relation to my running.

In Biblical times, when people ran it was always with a sense of purpose. Often because there was an important message to deliver. And I wonder as I see all these people logging in mile after mile, is there a purpose behind it? And what’s mine?

Basically, what’s my message?

I don’t want to run just for the sake of running. I want to have something important to say. A message to pass on like a baton.

There’s a Bible verse that I think I’ve mentioned before. It’s one of my favourites:

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)

I think I have such a purpose. I’ll blog about it tomorrow.