In the beginning of this 3-part series on lifestyle changes I related that, in my opinion, lifestyle changes are the most important of the Four Pillars of Optimal Health. Over the next few blogs we will be discussing the next three Pillars:
Diet and Nutrition
We stopped last time with eliminating refined sugar, but we’re not quite done with “sweeteners.”
Eliminate the use of Aspartame and Splenda. These artificial sweeteners are toxic to the liver and should be removed from our foods. (In spite of what the soft drink companies say, these artificial sweeteners are toxic!!) They also are problematical as to weight control because when they enter the body the body thinks it is being given nutrients for energy. When the mind realizes that there are no nutrients it creates more hunger and thus a vicious cycle starts. As we said last time, use Stevia, Xylitol, fresh fruit, coconut palm sugar, raw local honey, or organic maple syrup in small amounts.
Eliminate High Fructose Corn Syrup. This toxic substance should also be removed from our foods. This substance alone is responsible for much of our obesity problem in the USA. This kind of fructose is the only substance which bypasses the liver to be converted directly into fat.
Do breathing exercises. This discipline is great for the mind and soul. It will lower blood pressure and tension. How do you do it? There are many ways, but just try this one: when stressed, sit in a quiet comfortable place and take in a deep breath which raises your belly and your chest. You must make sure the belly comes up showing that your diaphragm is engaged. Hold the breath for a count of 4, and then let the breath out audibly (“whoosh”) for a count of 8. Hold for the next breath for a count of 4 and then start all over again. Repeat this breathing ten times. You will love doing this!
Select an exercise program and stick with it on a regular scheduled basis. The very best exercise for many reasons is walking. Buy a pedometer and wear it all day. At the end of the day look at it and see how many steps you have done. Your goal is 10,000 steps. If your count is less than 10,000, simply go out your door and walk enough to make 10,000. Do this 4 times a week. Add in a light weight lifting program, and you are successful!
Spend at least 30 minutes eating a meal. Chew your food until it is “pulped” before swallowing and sending the food to your stomach. Sit down while eating and use small plates. Your stomach has no teeth, and so cannot chew food which is in bulk. Also, digestion begins with the enzymes in the mouth and they need a little time to work. This not only allows the stomach some relief, but it releases nutrients. Enjoy eating—that’s one of the most spiritual things we can do in so many ways.
Don’t be afraid to drink caffeinated coffee. But drink only organic coffee. Coffee is a heavily sprayed crop and therefore organic becomes important to prevent toxicity. Also, coffee has a large amount of antioxidants, and so can be very good for you. If you have a problem with a racing heart after drinking caffeinated beverages, then for you caffeine is not good. Recent reports in the media have stated that drinking coffee heavily may lead to a shorter life span. As with so many “media health reports” this one is bunk based on poor science. Don’t worry about it!!
Start each day with a 12 ounce glass of warm water with the juice of one lemon and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. This is great for alkalizing your body and also for digestion throughout the day.
Stop drinking with your meals. Even with just water this act is responsible for diluting your digestive juices and enzymes and therefore you will not break down your food adequately leading to digestive problems and lack of getting all the nutrients out of the food you are eating.
Get baseline hormones measured with a blood test. If possible, do this in your early thirties. If not, do it now. (This is true for women and men.) It is also important to use realistic standard hormone values (which are set by testing healthy people) when interpreting your tests. Most often, the “average standard results” are made on an “average” population, many of whom are already sick!
Following many of these Lifestyle Changes means that we must learn to read labels! Label reading is one of the healthiest arts you can learn.
That’s it for the third “Lifestyle Changes” Blog. How do you start? You just pick 3 or 4 of the steps and get started. The goal is doing all of the changes, but it is a goal that is worth pursuing because the end result is that you will gain energy, lose weight, and age in the way we were meant to age. That’s how our Creator made us.
Please pass this blog along to your friends, family, and co-workers. We work with people by utilizing the modern technique known as “telemedicine,” and we would love to help you. You do not have to come to Delaware! We also can help you as a “Medical Advocate.” What this means is that, if you have questions about health matters, including the interpretation of laboratory testing, you can contact us and we will discuss what your test results mean and help you get good answers to your questions. It seems that today everyone, including doctors, is in a rush and you end up getting the short end of the stick. We can help with that problem. Just give us a call at 410-326-6690.