The Healthy Life

healthThe push for a healthier life through diet and exercise couldn’t be more prevalent than it is right now. So many people are looking to live a more “natural” lifestyle free from chemicals, dyes, and processed foods. I for one am a big supporter of this way of living. Speaking from personal experience, I have seen the difference a healthy diet makes in my children’s attitudes and ability to concentrate in our daily lives. Having a husband who suffered a heart attack at a very young age and knowing that my kids are at risk of having the same thing happen, what we put into our bodies is very important to me. Don’t get me wrong, we still indulge every once in a while (I can’t imagine a life without the occasional slice of cheese cake!) but for the most part we do our best to keep it healthy!

That being said, I know there are a lot of people who can’t imagine how a life filled with all natural foods could possibly coexist with vaccines. How could you possibly think injecting something made in a lab into your body goes along with a “natural” way of life? For me it’s not hard to understand. My family eats the way we do because we want our bodies to be healthy…my family is vaccinated against a list of potentially life threatening diseases for the very same reason.

If you still have trouble with this concept I’ve got the perfect story for you. Earlier this week a friend sent me an email with a link to an article titled “Growing Up Unvaccinated.” This is probably the best story I have seen that explains why living a healthy lifestyle is simply not enough. This woman, who grew up with, as she calls them, “health-nut parents,” did not have a healthy childhood because she was never vaccinated against preventable childhood illnesses. But her story doesn’t just start and stop with her upbringing. She goes on and explains that while she still believes in and eats a healthy diet, she now receives vaccines AND makes sure that her children receive theirs. The difference in her childhood health history and that of her children is remarkable. As a child, this woman contracted what seems to be virtually every vaccine-preventable disease imaginable, was constantly sick, and treated more times than she could remember with antibiotics. Her vaccinated children on the other hand have “rarely been ill” and have been treated with antibiotics maybe twice in their lives.

One of my favorite parts of this article focuses on what many anti-vaccine advocates use as an excuse to skip vaccination: complications from vaccines. She says:

“I struggle to understand why I know far more people who have experienced complications from preventable childhood illnesses than I have ever met with complications from vaccines.”

Through her life as an unvaccinated child she has seen first-hand the devastating effects that preventable childhood illnesses can cause (deafness from measles, blindness from rubella and even death from meningitis). As a result, this woman made the choice to vaccinate herself and her children.

So if you think you can’t live a healthy and “natural” life with vaccines…think again. You can eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, but without vaccines you are just tempting fate. The only way to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases is through immunization. Do your part and start living a healthy life today!

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