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The Greatest Gift

Michael Dorfman

By Michael Dorfman

I have always felt that our greatest gift is the gift of life. Yes, we have the gifts of sight and hearing, the ability to think and imagine and to feel joy and love, among other things. But none of this would be possible if we hadn´t first received the gift of life. However, I´d like to call your attention to another gift, one which unfortunately we don’t often perceive as a gift and therefore take for granted. It is this container or vessel… called the body.

It is only through our body that we can experience the gift of life. Without it, life for you and me could not happen. So, if we can truly accept and understand that our body is a gift and is our life´s only home, shouldn´t we do our utmost to respect it and take care of it, so that our experience of this “once in a lifetime” life becomes a wonderful and enjoyable journey? On the contrary, if we do not take proper care of this vessel and instead abuse it because we have not really understood its preciousness, we´ll probably become a victim to the pain and suffering from illness and chronic diseases that can make the journey of life a nightmare.

At birth, with few exceptions, the body comes into this world as a pristine and unblemished “white slate.” What is written on that slate is each person´s responsibility. I believe that if our body could express its deepest want, it would be to stay in that pristine state so that we, the inhabitant of our body, could live free of pain and suffering. What would be our own body´s message to ourselves: “Take care of me so that I can take care of you, so that you can enjoy your life to the fullest.”

Four keys to achieving and maintaining a healthy body

1) Eating well needs to be our number-one priority: This means choosing foods that best promote optimal health and well-being while providing us with the capabilities of preventing and even reversing certain chronic diseases.

2) Exercising moderately and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle can help us achieve healthy body weight, boost the immune system, prevent and treat high blood pressure, and improve mood and quality of sleep.

3) Stay active and avoid sitting for long periods. Sitting for more than six hours can cause circulatory problems, including blood clots.

4) Stress reduction: Stress hormones such as adrenaline can wreak havoc on the body when we´re constantly stressed out. Practices such as meditation, yoga, and stretching exercises help us stay centered and calm and help us reduce the often debilitating effects that sustained emotional stress can have.

After 32 years as a vegetarian and 10 following a whole plant-based foods regimen, Michael J. Dorfman, psychologist and author, has become an accomplished speaker and coach on the topic of plant-strong nutrition.


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