A NEW START IN LIFE
The best six doctors anywhere,
And no one can deny it,
Are sunshine, water, rest and air,
And exercise and diet.
These six doctors will gladly attend
If only you are willing:
Your ills they’ll mend
Your cares they’ll tend
And charge you not a shilling.
So goes a very old proverb which is just as true today as when it was first written. As the newly diagnosed diabetic is forced to begin a totally new and different lifestyle, he can rely on these “doctors” to give him the very best health possible.
Instead of doing too much doctor-hopping, the diabetic should first find one good doctor or specialist (diabetologist or endocrinologist) that he trusts. Your local diabetes association may be able to help.
Then, I would like to introduce some excellent doctors in whom I have tremendous confidence. They are the six mentioned in the proverb plus two more. Actually, they are highly recommended by lifestyle programs worldwide. My favorite of these programs—known as NEWSTART*--is becoming increasingly popular in Singapore, Thailand, the USA, and the Philippines as well as in various other countries.
The name NEWSTART tells exactly what the program is about—offering participants a new start in life. Let’s take a closer look at what the name actually stands for. Maybe that will help you to remember the truly important aspects of good health.
T rust in Divine power
*NEWSTART is conducted by the Manila Adventist Medical Center in Pasay City, Bacolod Medical Center in Bacolod, Adventist Hospital in Cebu city, and Adventist Medical Center in Iligan City.
As we have already seen in various chapters of this book, diet is extremely important to a diabetic. Just briefly, however, good nutrition includes eating plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains. These provide good sources of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber. Good nutrition also means—for a diabetic or anyone else—less sugar and sweetened foods or drinks, less fried or salty foods, and less meat, butter, or other high-cholesterol foods.
Regular, moderate exercise every day can be one of the best ways of keeping diabetes under control. It is also a good way of keeping a healthy heart and preventing other illnesses.
Although drinking plenty of water may not seem to be related to preventing diabetes, it actually may be very helpful in avoiding diabetic complications. Drinking enough water helps to prevent kidney disease, and kidney problems are a real danger for diabetics. Besides that, drinking plenty of water (six-10 glasses a day) helps to prevent constipation, piles, and various other health problems.
Besides the vitamin D which sunlight provides to strengthen the bones, it also helps to destroy germs. Because infections are a constant threat to a diabetic, spending some time in the sunlight may help to prevent them. More than that, the sunshine may also be relaxing when you take time to go to the swimming pool, the beach, or just to the park to walk or read a book.
The word “temperance” actually has two meanings. The first is to do all things in moderation, avoiding the extremes. The old saying “If a little is good, a lot is better” is just not always true! Too much of anything—even good things like food, exercise, sleep and sunshine—may be harmful rather than beneficial. Overwork—being a workaholic—is another form of intemperance. The diabetic especially needs to be moderate, or temperate, in all aspects of life.
The second meaning of temperance is to avoid those things which are harmful to the body. Tobacco, drugs, alcohol are some of the more evident ones. But even tea, coffee, the cola drinks, or sweetened drinks may be used like a whip to stimulate the tired body to work harder when what the body really needs may just be a good rest.
Fresh air, free from pollution or tobacco smoke, is also very important to good health. In this respect, there is a real advantage to living away from the cities and out in the countryside.
Do you remember the days when people took a nap at midday when it was too hot to work? Or they “went to bed with the chickens”, going to sleep when it got dark outside? A few still enjoy those luxuries, but in modern high-pressure societies, adequate res is becoming more and more difficult to get.
People are working longer and longer hours, trying to keep up with the work load and trying to get ahead financially. Nowadays most people don’t take time for a real rest until their tired bodies get sick and force them to take a much-needed rest.
Be kind to your body and your mind. Take short breaks during the day for some moments of peace, rest, exercise and fresh air. Sleep earlier, so that you get seven or eight hours of sleep each night. And take short holidays away from the pressures of work.
TRUST IN DIVINE POWER
As divorce, child abuse, murder, crime, and other breakdowns in human relationships increase, people are wondering whom they can trust. While some countries are busy holding peace talks, others are fighting and killing each other. Even family members are killing each other or suing each other in the courts. Where can you find peace and freedom from fear, stress and distress? Where can you find someone you can trust?
In the United States, all of the coins and paper money bear the words “In God we trust”. Sadly, new generations of Americans and people elsewhere around the world have grown up never knowing or understanding that there really is a God in whom they can trust. But when you know that there is someone all-powerful in control, someone who loves and cares about you, someone you can really trust, then you can live in peace, no matter what.
Maybe it is time for a NEW START in your life. Why wait another day? Let today be the first day of a new life for you! It’s a sweetness that even a diabetic can enjoy!