“N atter how your body
looks, how physically limited it may be, or how it differs from the “norm”, it is entitled to your full understanding, patience, care and love. A disability is NEVER a valid excuse to not be in good shape and the very best version of yourself.”
Do YOU have The Sitting Disease? Let food be your medicine.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” I grew up with these wise words from Hippocrates. The inﬂuence of our diet on our health is enormous. Moreover, eating healthy and pure foods also creates more of a balance in the emotional and spiritual aspects of our lives. I was raised with a huge awareness about food and nutrition. When I suffered a spinal cord injury at the age of eleven and ended up in a wheelchair, my mother delved into every aspect of how a life spent seated in a wheel chair would affect my health and my overall well-being. She took courses and followed classes about macrobiotics and before we knew it she had completely changed our entire eating pattern. She did this to avoid any future physical problems for me and to ensure that I would grow up in the healthiest, most vital and best way possible.
Meanwhile, 35 years later, I am living proof of what healthy, clean food can do for you. I am a ‘Sitting Pa-
radox’. I may lead a sedentary life but I am healthy, I have an incredible amount of energy and still weigh the same 110 pounds that suit my body naturally. I still use some of my mother’s old recipes, but over the years, with all the new insights that I have gained and through trial and error, I have developed my own and very unique ‘health-style’. During the many years of extensive physiotherapy and various rehabilitation projects that I had to go through, I noticed that the practitioners in the ﬁeld had very little to no speciﬁc information available regarding nutrition for those of us living a sedentary lifestyle – which I always thought was unbelievable and it was something that I still see as a missed opportunity. I remember clearly how my rehabilitation doctor at the time, when I was suffering from a “pressure ulcer” smiled at me and said that I should just “eat some more French fries,” because in her opinion I was simply too thin. A glaring example of the danger that lies in the lack of knowledge and proper information; because carbohydrates like French fries are, in fact, the last thing you should eat when you’re in a wheelchair.
“‘Sitting is the new smoking!’ In the same way that sugar, toxic fats, foods that irritate our intestines are making us sick, obese and unhappy, excessive sitting belongs in the same category”. the sitting chef | 13
Sitting is the new smoking!
“Sitting is the new smoking!” In the same way that sugar, toxic fats, foods that irritate our intestines are making us sick, obese and unhappy, excessive sitting belongs in the same category, slowly and painfully destroying us. Extensive sitting is just as harmful (if not worse!) as smoking cigarettes is for our overall health and wellbeing! Sitting is devastating to our
“Extensive sitting is just as harmful (if not worse!) as smoking cigarettes is for our overall health and wellbeing”. health. Sitting literally gets our bodies stuck in positions they were never designed for. We are meant to be upright and moving creatures who align ourselves to gravity, not surrender to it. Not surprising that sedentary lifestyles increase all causes of mortality, double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and increase the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression and anxiety. According to WHO, 60 to 85% of people in the world—from both developed and developing countries—lead sedentary lifestyles, making it one of the more serious yet insufﬁciently addressed public health problems of our time. It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of children are also insufﬁciently active, with serious implications for their future health, says WHO.
Do YOU have the Sitting Disease?
Just think about how often we sit in our modern daily lives… We wake up and eat breakfast (sitting), drive to work (sitting), work 8-12 (sitting), eat lunch (sitting), work the afternoon shift (sitting), drive home (sitting), eat dinner (sitting), watch TV (sitting) and 14 | the sitting chef
ﬁnally its bedtime. Just think about much YOU sit in your daily live... Don’t we all have the sitting disease? The reality is we can’t avoid sitting all together but we can create better eating habits and more awareness around this problem and take personal responsibility when it comes to our lifestyle choices.
The harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle 1. Double risk of cardiovascular diseases 2. Diabetes 3. Obesity 4. Increased risk of colon cancer 5. Bladder and kidney problems 6. High blood pressure 7. Osteoporosis 8. Lipid disorders 9. Depression and anxiety 10. Skin allergies
Love yourself, no excuses
To treat our bodies with respect and love is one of the only basic tasks that we have to fulﬁll in this life. And no matter how your body looks, how physically limited it may be, how it differs from the “norm”, physical inactive you may be, it is entitled to your full understanding, patience, care and love. A disability, or a sedentary lifestyle, is NEVER a valid excuse to not be in good shape and the very best version of yourself – obviously within your capabilities. But that is not always an easy task. It requires knowledge of the serious implications of physical inactivity for your health, real dedication and commitment, and you will
â€œI hav learned
that a healthy lifestyle is mainly found in saying YES! to life.â€?
the sitting chef | 15
â€œA healthy lifestyle is not just about what you eat but ultimately it is about everything you think and do and your overall attitude in life.â€?
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continually have to ask yourself the question: Do I consciously choose to love myself or am I using food as a weapon against myself?
This book is a personal plea to take personal responsibility. There is so much we can do to prevent and avoid illness and physical problems or to reduce them and to become a more pleasant human being altogether. But during the past few decades it seems that our health has basically become a matter for others to ﬁx for us: the doctor or specialist, physiotherapist or psychologist. When we get physical or psychological symptoms, instead of taking the time to look at our lifestyle, eating and thinking habits, we run to the doctor the moment we feel even the slightest discomfort in our body or mind. Many of us pass the responsibility on to others and think it’s up to them to ﬁgure out how they are going to make us better. For example, each year billions of tax payers money is used so that we don’t have to take a hard look at ourselves on the inside, so we don’t need to ﬁx or change our destructive habits, so that we can keep believing in the illusion that our health is something we are entitled to and that our body is a machine that can always be repaired again from the outside.
What is a ‘healthy lifestyle’??
A healthy lifestyle is not just about what you eat but ultimately it is about everything you think and do and your overall attitude in life. It’s not just about what you eat but how you eat. It’s about the way you deal with the challenges you face in your life. It’s about accepting life as it is and daring to move and follow along with the natural ﬂow of life. It is about the amount of compassion you have for yourself, how connected you feel and how your relationships with others are and how you handle them. It is about feeling comfortable with yourself and in your life. It’s
your connection with nature and with animals. It’s about giving real meaning to things and about spirituality. It’s about choosing to stay away from victimization and living a grateful and fulﬁlling life. It is a way of life that goes far beyond eating organic apples or trendy superfoods.
“Just think about much YOU sit in your daily live... Don’t we all have the sitting disease?” Say YES to life!
I have learned that a healthy lifestyle is mainly found in saying YES! to life - despite what happens, with all of its ups and downs. No matter how complicated my life gets, for me it always comes down to making a conscious choice to create space for what my life actually is - without constantly splitting my reality into deﬁnitions of “fun” or “not nice” and “good” or “bad”. Easy? No. But it is a challenge that is worth taking on for the greater good of your own health and happiness as well as that of others. In addition, my disability forced me to face the facts at a very early age; my physical limitations made eating consciously an absolute necessity. This caused me to develop a new way of eating that could also be very interesting for you!
the sitting chef | 17
Improve your sedentary life!
Let me inspire you, and help save you from the effects of excessive sitting by practicing my steps and secrets. Share this book so you can help save your family members, friends and co-workers today but preventatively in the future problems as well! Please follow The Sitting Chef on Instagram and You tube for weekly videos too. Every Monday and Friday I will upload a free new healthy, delicious and easy to make recipe, and share my thoughts insights and tricks with you on how to greatly improve your sedentary life. Eat smart, think good thoughts and sit safely! XOXO Annemarie, AKA The Sitting Chef
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â€œTher s uch
we can do to prevent and avoid illness and physical problems or to reduce them and to become a more pleasant human being altogether.â€?
the sitting chef | 19