I want to share with you four things you can do to drastically improve your health. Even if you don’t want to see a physician for a health screen (but I think you should) doing these things will work wonders to help you feel your best.
1. Avoid sugar and things that turn into sugar in your body. That means bread, pasta, potatoes and other high-carbohydrate foods. Carbohydrates turn into sugar in your body and sugar causes inflammation. Inflammation is the cause of almost every chronic disease that plagues developed countries. That’s a simplistic explanation of more complex biochemistry, but the idea is accurate–sugar causes inflammation which promotes disease.
2. Eat whole foods. Processed foods contain chemicals, preservatives, likely trans-fats and other unhealthy fats. A good rule of thumb is if it comes in a box or a package don’t eat it! With rare exception of course; sometimes I recommend a protein shake to my patients, but I carefully select one that isn’t loaded with chemicals. If my patient is using a shake of her own, I have her bring in the container to evaluate the ingredients. Nine times out of ten I reject the brand due to potentially harmful ingredients.
3. Drink water. Yep, good old-fashioned pure water is the best thing to drink. Don’t like the taste of water you tell me? Pure water doesn’t HAVE flavor. What you don’t like is the ABSENCE of flavor. Your brain is so programmed to have flavor that it rejects the lack of flavor in water. The good news is this can be overcome. Just drink your water. Without flavor packets.
4. Sleep. It is during sleep that your cells repair–sort of your body’s maintenance crew emptying the trash. It is absolutely crucial to good health. The stages of sleep are important too. Unfortunately sedatives disrupt the stages of sleep, so that even though you are sleeping, you don’t get the same benefit as natural sleep. I’m not telling you to not take a sedative if it was prescribed to you by your physician…but maybe there’s an underlying cause of your insomnia that hasn’t been addressed. (Hmmm…that’s an idea for another post!)
The sleep issue was a hard one for me, as I was an obstetrician for years. Those babies have a way of keeping you up at night! In fact, it was personal health problems that led me to research nutrition, appropriate exercise and hormone balance. My goal at the time was to improve my health so that my body could withstand the rigors of my profession. However, in the process of learning these very important things I kept reading over and over about the importance of sleep. I finally came to the realization that I had to quit delivering babies and sleep regularly in order to achieve the health that I promoted to my patients.
I think the above four things are a very good start. In fact, if you can’t do anything else, you will likely notice significant improvements in your health if you follow these recommendations. Of course, there are many more we could discuss. Like the fact that all whole foods are not created equal; some are vastly superior in nutrients. And some people have a hard time sleeping even if they don’t have the hospital calling them at zero-dark-thirty. If this describes you, it likely means something more significant is going on and you should see your physician. And then there’s toxins and how they wreck our biochemistry… But I promised to keep it simple, so I’m going to stop at the above four for now.