High cholesterol diagnosis put 26-year-old in tailspin

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Adam Hart dramatically altered diet and lifestyle after medical visit

By Linda Watts, Vancouver Courier, December 17, 2010 7:02 AM

Like many young guys, Adam Hart never gave his health much consideration. He had what was important to him: a good paying job, a nice car, a steady diet of fast food and the latest tech gadgets. He lived fast and free.

But at 26, Hart’s world came apart at the seams. Forty pounds overweight, asthmatic, pre-diabetic, and suffering from depression and anxiety attacks, Hart hit rock bottom after his physician handed him a prescription for high cholesterol medication.

The high cholesterol diagnosis plunged Hart into a bout of self-reflection. For the first time he acknowledged that his lifestyle choices and negative thinking style had led him to this medical crisis. It was time to take action.

Hart soon left his soul-destroying job in Toronto to pursue his dream of becoming a mountain guide in B.C. While training for rock climbing and ski mountaineering, he spent the next 10 years researching nutrition and teaching himself how to cook meals with plant-based foods.

“I really had no idea that there was another world when it came to food; one that actually supported the body and mind in very powerful ways. Beyond my usual bowl of cereal and grilled cheese there wasn’t much I knew in the culinary world,” Hart said in a recent interview.

“It didn’t take long before my body and mind began to support me in very healthy ways—more energy, losing weight, faster recovery and higher endurance. The more I ate plant-based whole foods like nuts, seeds, grains, legumes and fruits and vegetables, the more I excelled in the mountains. I knew I had discovered something.”

Hart slowly progressed to an eating pattern where 80 per cent of his diet was composed of raw, vegan or vegetarian food and 20 per cent was devoted to his old regime of processed foods. Allowing for the occasional nutritionally inferior goodies made the mental process of his dietary changes easier to handle.

Ironically, Hart’s new-found love of the power of food trumped his desire to be a mountaineer and he began sharing his nutrition expertise with friends and family, and later the corporate world.

It was the demand for more knowledge from audience members of more than 200 speaking engagements that led Hart to write and self-publish, e3 for Life: Three Elements for Attaining Abundant Health and Happiness with Ease—Food, Thoughts and Habits (2010).

The publication, which is written in an exuberant new age style, advocates gradually changing our diet, negative thoughts and destructive habits to attain better health and well-being. Hart’s formula for success is not restricting our diet or lifestyle in any way as we proceed with change. We don’t have to make sacrifices to achieve our desired health goals.

I commend Hart for encouraging an approach to food and nutrition that doesn’t expect us to evolve into perfect eaters. Instead, it promotes moderation and mindfulness while rejecting the usual diet ploys of calorie counting, cleanses and unnecessary supplements.

But I’m skeptical that Hart’s recipe for a better life will work for everyone. If we want to be slim and trim, many of us have to eventually surrender our cigarettes, curb our hankerings for sweets and fatty foods, and get off our duffs more often—that’s called making sacrifices in the name of health.

I also can’t agree with all of Hart’s dietary beliefs based on my own nutrition education and training. However, e3 for Life is a holiday gift idea for the health-conscious people in our lives. It’s available at Gorilla Foods and Organic Lives in Vancouver, and Buddah-Full, in North Vancouver. It can be found online at Amazon.ca, chapters.indigo.ca and Poweroffood.com. The cost is $25.

Visit Hart’s website, Poweroffood.com, for recipes, videos, or participating in the latest blog conversation. You’ll also discover Hart’s upcoming workshop dates and locations as well as other special events.

Linda Watts is a registered dietitian. Send her questions at wattslin@gmail.com
© Copyright (c) Vancouver Courier

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About Adam Hart

Adam Hart is the bestselling author of The Power of Food. When not on stage speaking, Adam can be found helping one of his many corporate clients in awakening an abundance of energy through his highly engaging stress management solutions.Contact Adam to book a demo for an enhanced corporate wellness experience.

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