Despite Mother Nature’s continuing gift of opportunities for fun in the sun, Fall is only weeks away from rearing its ugly head around the corner. But until then, we will soak up every last drop of warmth on our patios, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and gazing nostalgically at the BBQ, which relentlessly serves up delicious, juicy steaks, burgers and hot dogs throughout the summer season. Ah….is this “the good life”?

Living “the good life” means many different things to different people. There is no clear-cut Webster definition. However, for many today, living “the good life” has taken the back burner to establishing a healthy living style.

Do the bicycles you pulled out of the garage in May with good intentions to oil and use but never got around to haunt you? Maybe you’ve become accustomed to supressing those thoughts to develop and maintain healthy habits at the back of your conscience. You could be due for your own oil change!

Soft Heart By Irwin-Scott

Redefining the “Good Life”

At some point, we’ve all blamed the presence of few extra pounds or skipping the gym on indulgence of the summer weather and food as part of enjoying “the good life.”

But instead of enjoying the season while it lasts, perhaps our focus should be on seasoning ourselves to form lasting healthy eating and exercise habits. Ones, that will help increase our chances of living long and fit lives.

As Fall approaches, it is time to turn over a new leaf by redefining what it means to live “the good life,” while maintaining the ability to enjoy all its pleasures. As Mae West once said, “Too much of a good thing can be taxing.”

Studies have increasingly shown that diets high in red meat consumption and low in whole grains, fruits and vegetables can lead to the development of cancer cells. Similarly, smoking and excessive alcohol intake have also been linked as contributors. Why knowingly enhance your risk? Even a few simple changes to your routine can reduce your chance of developing colorectal cancer and simultaneously keep you on track to better, healthier living.

Reduce your red meat intake

Don’t worry carnivores, we are not going to ask you to become vegetarians. Loving the occasional roast beef, brisket, steak and hamburgers is not going to give you cancer. However, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) does recommend limiting red meat consumption to 1lbs (500g) a week to reduce your risks of colorectal cancer.

Sacrificing fat not flavour

Reducing your red meat and fat intake may seem like a punishment to the gourmands of Canada. However, the important thing to remember is that cutting the fat does not mean losing the flavour and enjoyment of food. The key to moderation is finding substitutions.

Why not try chicken marinated in yogurt, honey and lemon or a piece of grilled fish lightly brushed with garlic and olive oil or even a red kidney bean and lentil curry casserole, seasoned with fresh coriander. There are numerous healthy living recipes to be found online.

On special occasions, indulge yourself with a spicy beef tartar appetizer followed by whole wheat penne with a pesto sauce, a piece of fresh whole grain bread and a small glass of red wine!

Eating less red meat is an easy way to integrate colorectal cancer prevention into your lifestyle. Many have already made steps in the right direction by following the Meatless Monday movement and proving that it is not necessary to completely abolish red meat from your diet to make a difference.

Think baby steps:

  1. Lunches: Rather than put processed meat in your sandwich, switch it up with canned tuna or some whole wheat pita with hummus and veggies.
  2. During the week plan dinners with chicken or fish and fresh vegetables.
  3. Grill up steaks and hot dogs only on special occasions, such as a weekend at the cottage with friends.
  4. Reduce your alcohol intake to weekends and practice moderation. Water can be just as thirst quenching as a cold beer when sitting outside.
  5. Consider and look into ways to quit smoking. Ie. Patches or chewing gums.

Continue to read our blog for more helpful tips on healthy eating and lifestyle habits that will reduce your risk of colorectal cancer development and push you in the right direction to truly living “the good life!”