The spectrum of change

Perhaps you’ve been advised that you need to change. Your doctor might have told you to eliminate animal products to lower your cholesterol, or decrease salt to lower your blood pressure, or eliminate sugar to combat the development of diabetes. Perhaps your doctor advised you to get active, or stop smoking, or lose weight, to improve your health.

In all these instances there’s a spectrum of change that is possible. With weight loss we can lose ten pounds or 110 pounds. With physical activity, we can go for a daily walk or start training for a marathon. With smoking, we can decrease the number of cigarettes we smoke over time or stop smoking all at once. With drinking alcohol, we can give up having wine at dinner or stop drinking altogether. The spectrum of changes we can make in our eating is even broader. We can start with small ones such as cutting down on salt, sugar, and fat. We can decide to eat a salad every day, choose fruit instead of cookies, skip the French fries, and avoid fast-food restaurants, or we can make a bigger leap, deciding not to eat beef, pork, chicken, or fish. We might decide to eliminate eggs and dairy products too, and become a complete vegetarian.