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Sometimes in the morning, while I'm eating my muesli, I get quite philosophical.

I think about all those modern concepts like choice, self determination, empowerment, individuality and personal control. Then I ask myself, why, if we are in the happy position of possessing all these things, should we ever consider forfeiting them?

Take food, lifestyle and health, I ponder, as I munch.

I’ve heard there are research studies around now that are based on the idea that everyone over 40 should be on blood pressure lowering and blood cholesterol lowering drugs.

The rationale behind it seems to be that modern lifestyle factors, such as bad diet and exercise habits, are so prone to making us sick that by the age of 40 the whole population can be considered high risk for cardiovascular disease.

I'm thinking, maybe because of the curative and preventative tools around us these days, we, as a population, could be allowing our bodies to become diseased through sheer complacency.

A hundred years ago when modern medicine was busy making many of its marvelous discoveries and breakthroughs, there were some very cranky people who said nothing good would come of it all.

Once you start tackling health problems with strange drugs, germ-killers and surgical procedures, they said, you are moving away from the natural propensity of the human body to preserve itself.

Good clean living, life-giving natural food, clean (not sterilized or chemically treated) water and healthy exercise should be the approach, they said, and illness, if it comes, can be welcomed as a warning and countered by assisting the body's own natural defenses.

Fast forward to the early twenty-first century and it has to be admitted the last century has seen some outstanding medical breakthroughs in both understanding and treatment.

But here's the irony. Now that we can counter the effects of lifestyle indiscretions, those lifestyle indiscretions can end up being considered the norm.

When it comes to those self determining choices, we now have more options than ever before.

We can choose to live as positive a lifestyle as possible and try to stay healthy and productive.

We can choose to ignore healthy lifestyle advice and take the risks.

Or we can hand over the management of our health to the people with the statistics at their fingertips and the preventative drugs in their hands.

Here's a thought - maybe muesli is what turns on the philosophical thoughts - and maybe it can also help keep our bodies fit by being part of a responsible, self determined healthy lifestyle.


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