The road to optimal health is straight, but still confusing. It makes sense and yet we are tempted from all different angles.
Most lifestyle changes, especially ones dealing with health and nutrition, can be quite overwhelming. This is because they are usually counter-cultural—they go “against the grain” of society.
Even more so than generations before us, it has become so important to look at our nutrition and health. Society has it backwards. So much so, that those of us who try and stay healthy are scolded as being health-nuts.
However, if we as a society don’t do something to improve our health and nutritional habits, we—and our future generations—aren’t going to have much to look forward to.
The following are some guidelines and suggestions to incorporate into your life. It should increase your knowledge, and give you a starting point on the road to optimal health.
- Eat more vegetables. Yes, you’ve heard it many times. And it’s still true. It’s a must—unless you have an allergic reaction to them. ALL vegetables promote health, so don’t hold back.
The best way is to eat them raw. But please note that not all vegetables are created equal when it comes to vitamins. For example, iceberg lettuce really doesn’t have much nutritional value. Replace it with spinach, chard, or even beet leaves. A great rule of thumb: the greener the vegetable, the better it is for you!
Search for organic vegetables that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides. However, if you can’t find any, make sure you wash your veggies (and fruit) with a simple mixture of one-part vinegar and nine-parts water. Then rinse the mixture under cold water. This will clean off the pesticides.
If you’re sick of chewing up all those veggies, juice or blend them, and make a veggie smoothie. That makes it easy to get all your servings in one drink.
- Beverages. This is very simple, stay away from them. No soda. No fruit drinks. No sports drinks. Just drink water. However, do not drink the water out of the tap unless you filter it. The many toxic chemicals are now in the water to kill off viruses and bacteria has become so potent that it has started to hurt us.
If you want fruit juice, use fresh fruits and vegetables in a juicer. And drink immediately. Don’t let it sit more than a day. It loses vitamins quickly.
- Eat healthy fats. Contrary to what “conventional” nutritionists say, healthy fats are good for you. Flaxseed, fish oil, and avocados are a couple of really good ones. Coconut oil is one of the best cooking oils you can buy.
- Cut out carbs. The more you cut carbs out of your diet, the more you’ll see a difference in your health and weight. One of the biggest carbohydrates is wheat. Most people’s health will dramatically improve by simply eliminating this one thing. No bread. No pasta. No rolls. You might be thinking, “No way can I do that.” Honestly, it’s not as difficult as you might think.
- Avoid Margarine. No fake butter. If you have it in your fridge, throw it away now. Eat butter. Again, make sure it’s organic and doesn’t have all the hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides in them.
- No Milk. You’ve heard it before, “Milk. It does a body good.” Well, it doesn’t. Get your calcium and vitamin D from other sources—like vegetables.
- Organic, free-range meats. Spend some extra time and money looking for organic meats, and try and stay away from pigs. They are scavenger animals and are frequently contaminated with parasites.
- Avoid soy. Yes, soy is everywhere and in almost everything. It’s not a health food as some might claim. It does have beneficial qualities, but the negative effects are far greater than the positive ones.
- Don’t nuke the food. Stay away from the microwave, it seriously depletes the nutrients from food. All heating of food causes a loss in nutrients. Raw is just better. However, microwaving, by far, produces the greatest loss. Either eat leftovers cold, or heat it up by putting in the oven or on the stove.
- Exercise. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just want to stay healthy, a big part of it is getting enough exercise. It can be as simple as talking a walk for 30 to 60 minutes. Just do something.
- Get some sleep. Getting the right amount of sleep is important. Too much sleep can be just as bad as too little. Shoot for 6.5 to 7.5 hours every night.
- Catch some rays. Strive to have one hour of sunshine per pay—preferably between 11:00am and 1:00pm. Take off the sunglasses and let sunlight into your retina.
Now you’re probably having concerns about skin cancer. While having direct sunlight every day won’t give you skin cancer, you do need to be careful about not getting burned.
- No immunizations. Don’t do it! There has been evidence to support that childhood vaccines may cause serious disturbances in their immune systems.
- Lower stress. Keep away from things that stress you out. Introduce meditation into your daily routine.
- Supplements. Since the food we eat doesn’t have all the necessary vitamins and minerals we need, supplementation can help. Avoid iron in your supplements, unless your serum ferritin is decreased, because it can be toxic.
By doing some of these simple things, you can be on the road to optimal health. It’s amazing how good you feel when you even do one or two of them.