By Frank Caruso
Yes, it’s true: Australians are living longer today than ever before.
The average life expectancy for males is 81 whilst the average life expectancy for females is 84. However, with 70% of Australian adults living with at least one chronic disease I think it would be fair to say that their quality of life could be a lot better! I don’t believe anyone wants to live a long life in pain and misery.
One ingredient that can be credited to many of our health problems is sugar. As a nation, we consume too much sugar. White sugar does not contain a single nutrient capable of supporting life.2 Australians, on average, consume 27 teaspoons of total sugars a day (that’s 50 kilos per year, including natural sugars), according to the 2012 report Sugar Consumption in Australia: A Statistical Update. That adds up to an incredible 157,000 calories a year!
As a result, Australia’s obesity levels are increasing. A 2005 World Health Organisation (WHO) study found that just over 20% of Australian adults are obese, and predicted that this was to rise to 29% in 2010.3 In 2007, WHO found that 67.4% of Australian adults were overweight. That ranked Australia as the 21st in the world, and third out of the major countries in the English-speaking world, behind the United States (ranked 9th) and New Zealand (ranked 17th). In the latest issue of the Australian Government’s Profiles of Health Survey coordinated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which was published in 2013, stated the average Australian has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 27.6. A healthy BMI range is between 20-25.
I didn’t want to become a statistic so I made a decision to start taking responsibility for my own health!
It all started back in 1979 when I joined a gym to lose weight and get t. At the time I weighed over 101 kilos. I’m only 164cm (5’3”) tall so I was obese and as a result very self-conscious so I decided to do something about it.
One day I arrived at the gym with a burger in one hand and a can of soft drink in the other. George, (the gym owner) pulled me aside and said, “Frank, it’s really great that you’re training here, but if you don’t change your diet you won’t live a long and healthy life… What you eat today, is what you are tomorrow!”
I asked George; “So in your opinion, what is a good diet?” George turned around and picked up a book from behind the counter, handed it to me and said, “Frank, do yourself a favour, buy this book and read it, I promise you it will change your life.” I thought to myself, “Do I really need to read a book to know what to eat?” George was very persistent. Reluctantly, I purchased the book just to get him off my back. I really didn’t have any intention of reading it.
After a couple of days, I thought I should read a few pages because George would surely ask me questions next time I popped into the gym. I eventually picked up the book and started reading the first chapter and I couldn’t put it down. I read the whole book in 3 days and just as George had promised, it changed my life forever. The book was called ‘The Miracle of Fasting’ by best selling author Paul Bragg. Before reading the book I knew absolutely nothing about a balanced diet or that food and regular exercise played an essential role in maintaining good health and preventing disease.
People ask me how did one book have so much impact on my life so quickly. It’s a good question! The reason Paul’s book had such a profound impact on me instantly was because it was the first time in my life someone ever said to me: “Eat to live, where most of us live to eat”. It was the first time I heard the saying “Prevention is Better than Cure” and “if I take responsibility for my own health I could live a long, healthy and vibrant life!”
It was as though I had been struck by lightning. You see, before I read the book I thought I had no influence or control over my health. Now, for the first time in my life I realised that I had an option. I had a choice to maintain my health or I could throw caution to the wind and hope that I wouldn’t end up with a chronic disease. It was a no brainer – I decided to maintain my health by choice! As soon as I discovered that I had some control over the outcome of my health I instantly changed my lifestyle habits. I didn’t want to waste another second eating foods that would undermine my health.
I started reading every book I could get my hands on about natural living, bowel health, internal cleansing, herbal medicine and vitamin therapy. The more I read, the more I wanted to know! All my time was totally consumed with learning more about this new health approach that I now believed was the secret to regaining and maintaining vibrant health.
In 2 years I went from weighing 101 kilos, with a body fat percentage of 38% down to 64 kilos and 11% body fat. At 26 years of age, I was in the best shape of my life. I felt amazing. Not just physically but I was mentally strong. My head was so clear, I was less stressed, sleeping better, better mood. I was a much happier person.
I was so inspired by my learnings that I couldn’t wait to tell the world. I started with telling my family, friends, works mates and anyone who would listen. I would talk all day if people were willing to listen. I felt it was my duty to spread the word of natural living so others could experience the health benefits, just like I did.
Then, one day I said to my wife Grace, I would really like to do this full time. I would love to open a health food store so I could talk about my passion with the world. We had just put a deposit on a block of land and were planning on building our new home. Grace had her heart set on it. I said; “Grace, do we build a new home or do we open a health food store? ”We discussed it and she said; “It’s your passion, let’s open a health food store and we can build the house another day!” After 36 years it still brings tears to my eyes when I think about that moment. I’ve always had Grace’s support. She is my rock!
So on the 1st of November 1982, on my 28th birthday, I opened my health food store. It was one of the happiest days of my life
Every day I couldn’t wait for the sun to come up so I could get to the store and start talking to my customers. I absolutely loved what I was doing!
After 13 years of working in my store, it became obvious to me that many health companies weren’t as passionate as I was about natural living. So in June 1995, I decided to start my own herbal and nutritional range of health products. I wanted to develop a small range of unique, high quality herbal and nutritional products and lifestyle programs that would have a positive affect on people’s health and make a difference to their lives.
I’m now in my sixties, I train 5 to 6 days a week. I’m in good health and take no medication. It’s not that I’m against them I simply don’t need them. I can say with my hand on my heart that I feel just as alert, have just as much energy, and feel just as enthusiastic about life today as I did in my twenties. I would like to think I can live well into my nineties and beyond in good health. If I continue to eat to live and exercise regularly, I can’t see why not!
What you eat today is what you are tomorrow!
For over 39 years I’ve believed that if you follow the principles of natural living you can not only maintain good health and reduce your chances of developing chronic disease dramatically but I believe you can also regain your health. You just need to give your body a chance. The human body is magnificent – it’s perfect – but just like anything that has moving parts, you need to take care of it otherwise it eventually breaks down. If you give your body the opportunity it will heal itself! If I didn’t experience this myself all those years ago, I would never have believed it. Over the years, I’ve seen many friends; family members and customers transform their health and their lives by simply adopting a lifestyle that comprises of eating mostly real food, exercising regularly, avoiding processed foods and drinks that contain added sugar.
People always ask me what do I eat? It’s difficult to cover my complete menu in this article but basically I eat mostly real food, fresh food, lots of vegetables (mostly green), raw nuts and seeds, sprouted seeds, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, lots of fresh herbs, grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and eggs, oily fish, and selected fresh fruit. These foods contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, amino acids, healthy fats (essential fatty acids) and much, much more.
I don’t eat foods containing refined added sugar, ice cream, cakes, biscuits, sweetened fruit juices, candy, canned fruit juice, canned fruit, soft drinks and I don’t chew gum. I avoid processed food, refined foods, foods made with white flour, foods that contain artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, most canned foods, potato chips, corn chips, prepackaged foods, and white rice. I also don’t eat processed breakfast cereals because many contain added sugar, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.
I have so much more information I would love to share about natural living but it would need several hundred pages to include all my learning’s over the last 39 years. Over the next 12 months, I will be writing articles that will reveal all of my principles for a long, healthy and vibrant life.
For a limited time, only you can download my free e-health pack here
To this day I remain just as committed about educating and helping people to achieve better health through good nutrition and regular exercise, as I was when I started way back in 1979.
I considered myself somewhat lucky to have discovered the benefits of natural living at a young age. So I have made it my life mission to inspire other Australian’s to join with me in building an army of health crusaders, to educate others on the benefits of natural living and the essential role it plays in preventing disease.
I hope you will join me on my crusade to encourage our fellow Australians to embrace the principles of natural health so that they too can live a long, healthy and vibrant life. Make time for good health and you will always have enough health for a good time!
Yours in vibrant health,