Despite the wonders of modern medicine, the plethora of emerging science regarding health, and the billions of dollars spent on medical research, simple lifestyle measures remain the most powerful tool we have to prevent and treat chronic illness. It is not the expensive therapies that are making the biggest difference, but the daily routines we follow that have the greatest impact on whether or not we develop a chronic illness or experience a rapid decline in health with aging.
The power is largely in your hands to prevent illness, remain optimally healthy and to restore health if it becomes unbalanced. There is no worthier cause in your life than caring for the wondrous creation that you are. Keeping your mind and body sharply tuned and in optimal health allows you to follow your dreams, manifest your true purpose in life, and provide valuable services to others.
Some of the most evidence-based information about which lifestyle habits best support our physical and mental well being is summarized here:
- Diet and nutrition: What and when we eat has a major influence on health. Overwhelmingly, evidence points to the need for more consumption of fresh dark green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, garlic, onions, herbs, spices, dark berries, fresh nut and seeds, healthy fats and oils, as well as wild caught or grass-fed animal products and seafood. Lowering sugar and refined grain products, processed fats and oils, and food additives and preservatives is also enormously impactful. Certain nutrients must be supplemented because they are no longer available in most diets. The two most notable of these are Vitamin D3 (the sunshine vitamin) and omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources. Research also finds most people to be deficient in magnesium and vitamin C. These can all be tested to be sure you are consuming adequate doses.
- Stress management: Evidence clearly indicates that excess stress is harmful to health. Knowing what we can and cannot control in our environment and managing our reactions to various events around us in an aim to lower stress, can decrease our risk of developing disease and improve our health immensely. Look after yourself for you are worthy of great self care. Avoid negative inputs into your life and focus on the present moment with gratitude – these are all worthy goals that have proven to lower adrenaline and cortisol levels in the body. Essentially, these stress hormones cause wear-and-tear on the body and brain when chronically elevated from stress. You have more control than you may realize about how to cope effectively with stress.
- Sleep: Quality sleep truly makes a difference. Healthy regular sleep routines such as sleeping in a cool, dark room, keeping regular sleep times, relaxing in the hours leading up to sleep, and keeping the mind relaxed with meditation, deep breathing, and/or thoughts of appreciation will help you to drift off into a long peaceful, restorative sleep.
- Exercise: Essentially humans are designed to move and stay active during the day. Sitting excessively is harmful to health and regular motion keeps our metabolism, energy, and blood flow working optimally. Moving naturally in nature is especially beneficial.
- Hydration: Water is essential to the healthy flow of energy, biochemical balance, and waste removal from our bodies. Without plenty of water to hydrate and bathe our cells and organs, tissues become more prone to a process of shrinking, hardening, and under-performing. Chemical processes require water to drive them forward and keep our body in balance. Ensure your water source is pure, clean, and free from chemicals and toxic metals.
- Microbiome health: This is a big area of new research and what we are uncovering is truly amazing. The microbiome is the sum total of all of the bacteria and other microbes that live in our large intestine. They outnumber our own cells by a 10-to-one margin and sustain us in so many ways. We are dependent on them to balance our immune system, regulate our brain chemistry, detoxify, repair and maintain tissue health, and overall keep us healthy and happy. Maintain and improve your microbiome by consuming naturally fermented foods and a diet high in fiber, adding in a probiotic supplement, and avoiding excessive antibiotic use. Many chemicals such as chlorine in water and antibiotics kill the good bacteria, so reducing chemical exposure from manufactured health and beauty products, cleaning products, processed foods, and the unnecessary use of antibiotics will serve to improve microbiome health.
- Regular Detoxification: This is a must in today’s paradigm of “profit over health” which has allowed our food, water, and air to become contaminated with a host of toxins. Most chronic disease is now worsened by toxins ranging from heavy metals such as lead and mercury to organophosphate pesticides, flame retardants, and solvents used in many consumer products. Supporting the body’s detoxification and elimination pathways on a daily basis by eating raw or lightly cooked dark leafy greens, dark berries, a variety of veggies, fermented foods, garlic, onions, clean water, turmeric, and a variety of herbs that upregulate detoxification pathways, is a must if we are to remain healthy. Sweating via exercise and/or saunas is another fantastic method of clearing toxins. And now we know that the benefits of intermittent water fasting from 14 hours daily to 3 days or longer as a supervised fast every 1-3 months, helps to detoxify as well as improve our health in many ways. Chelation is an intravenous therapy that removes toxic metals from the brain and body and can be considered as part of a regular detoxification protocol.
The power is largely in your hands to prevent illness, remain optimally healthy and to restore health if it becomes unbalanced. There is not worthier cause in your life than caring for the wonderous creation that you are. Keeping your mind and body sharply tuned and in optimal health allows you to follow your dreams, manifest your true purpose in life, and provide valuable services to others.