Choose Health · 18 July 2013

The more I read and the more I reflect on my own journey, the more I realize that health is a choice. Certainly, there are aspects like genetics that we cannot control, but when it comes right down to it, we really can choose to be healthy.

This aspect of choice really hit me as I reflected on our recent cruise experience.

As I mentioned previously, there is food everywhere on a cruise ship. We could choose to eat until we burst every day. Or we could choose to eat moderately. There were also plenty of choices of what to eat. We could choose healthy food or junk food.

In reality, there was not much junk food on the cruise. (Probably because fine dining is more wholesome than fast foods simply because the chefs prepare the foods from more wholesome ingredients.) But it was difficult to know what the ingredients were in many of the food choices. After all, many rich foods were made rich by the amount of cream or butter (or both) in them. I found out the hard way (due to lactose intolerance) that many soups had cream in them. But by working with the wait staff and questioning what ingredients were in many foods, I was able to eat my whole food, plant-based diet.

Besides eating for health, we can also choose to be fit. We can choose to exercise.

Before our cruise, I did not know whether there would be any way to run on the ship. I knew there was a fitness center and basketball court, but I did know whether there would be a way to run or not. Still, I had a plan. I figured I would play basketball every morning while my family was asleep and I would run if there was a track. As it turned out, I only shot baskets on two of the three mornings I ran. Still, even though I did not do lots to stay fit, I did make the choice to run those few days. Plus, we walked a lot on our shore excursions and on the ship. (We even chose to take the stairs most of the time.)

Besides being a great vacation, the microcosm of a cruise ship helped me reaffirm that there are at least two aspects of health we can control – eating and exercising. Our short shipboard journey helped me reflect on our overall journey of life and remember that health is a choice.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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