How do healthy habits create a healthy body and mind? Everything we do, eat, think, say and feel reflects in our genetic code by rewriting how our genes are expressed by way of epigenetic markers, which are passed on to our children and grandchildren, influencing their health for better or worse. So optimal health and functioning is a consequence of every choice we make throughout the day and night.
You Better Believe It
Of primary importance is to believe you will regain optimal health and intend this with each healthy choice you make throughout the day.
Health and disease are linked to religious/spiritual belief. This has been proven in the modern age with studies showing that those who are more religious are healthier. So if you have a religious tradition or even spiritual practice, make sure it is a part of your daily life.
Count Those Blessings
Be grateful every day. Make a list if you have to, but with practice you can incorporate it into daily life. Every time you see someone with an illness or problem that has not hit you, take a moment to experience a profound sense of gratitude.
Real World Connection
Social connection is as important as a healthy diet and exercise. Get together daily with family and friends without using a smartphone or computer. Eat meals with others and share the events of your day.
The Sun: It’s Not Just for Plants
Get 20-30 minutes of sunlight direct on skin without sunscreen daily on as much of your skin as possible. (if very light skinned then apply sunscreen or get back indoors before your skin starts to get pinkish).
Sunlight is important not just for Vitamin D production, but also for the production of happy hormones and immune boosting substances. Studies show that those with more sun exposure are generally healthier and live longer.
Manage Your Stress
Stress is unavoidable, but healthy societies and people have daily routines that help manage it. Deep abdominal breathing exercises are especially powerful and should be done once a day at minimum and up to 5 times a day if needed to allay anxiety, stress, fear and worries.
Also consider incorporating tai chi, yoga, chi kung, stretching, massage or other relaxing activities into your daily life if you need them.
Get up, Stand Up
Sitting is the new smoking. Sitting 8 hours a day increases your mortality risk as much as smoking and obesity. Stand instead. If you work at a desk, get a standing conversion. Within a few weeks you will build up the stamina and strength to stand most of the day. If you must sit, then indian style or with your legs underneath you is better.
“Walking is man’s best medicine” – Hippocrates.
Walk at least 30 minutes twice a day or 15 minutes 4 times a day. This will help you achieve around 10,000 steps a day which is a common cutoff below which people are significantly sicker. However many traditional cultures walked 25,000+ steps a day and up to a point more is better.
Most people walk about 6000 steps an hour and your smartphone keeps count in the health app. You can increase the intensity and add more upper body work by swinging hand weights while you walk.
Clean up the Clutter
Avoid surfing the net aimlessly. Avoid social media, except for work. Check email no more than once a day. Print out any online reading that is longer than a page. Avoid reading useless “news”, meaning anything that does not personally benefit you. Run an experiment for 2 weeks in which you write down anything from any news source that has led to changing a behavior or doing something new and thus has provided a lasting benefit for you. Eliminate “news” sources that do not benefit you personally, especially micro-news snippets, which are addictive and destroy attention span. instead read long-form articles and books.
Personal technology and the internet are extremely dangerous for our health, so they have to be used with extreme care. Limit tech use to the bare minimum as it directly causes anxiety, steals from interpersonal relationships that are required for health and happiness and encourages sedentary living, which kills more people than smoking.
This includes limiting the use of screens on smartphones, computers and televisions as much as possible and no screens 3 hours before bed when they interfere with production of melatonin required for healthy deep sleep.
Limit social media to the absolute minimum or eliminate it completely as it causes anxiety and depression.
Rest With the Best
Sleep as much as needed to feel well rested and not tired. This is at least 7-9 hours a day for almost everyone and will be longer if you are acutely sick, chronically unwell or have been sleeping less for years, at least until you recover fully. Take a nap in the afternoon, even if just for 15 minutes and even if you just close your eyes briefly.
Eat Like Your Life Depends on It
Some foods which were once healthy have been corrupted by extreme genetic changes or unnatural genetic modification through the insertion of foreign genes. Unbridled capitalism fueled by easy money has led to widespread pollution and special interest groups lobbying government officials have allowed harmful products into our air, water and food supply, including, but not limited to, smog, chemical and industrial waste, food additives, pesticides and herbicides.
What to Avoid
Stop overeating. This is much easier when you follow the rest of the recommendations as they remove addictive nutrients, chemicals and flavors.
Avoid all grains for 6 weeks, but stop wheat (pasta, bread, cakes, crackers, cookies) and rice for good. After 6 weeks if health is fully restored you can use grains like sorghum, oats, quinoa, and barley, but only if they agree with you.
Wheat has been altered genetically so it no longer even looks like our traditional wheat.
The modern wheat plant is a dwarf that can no longer survive in the wild without artificial fertilizer, It is so heavy it needs to be propped up on crutches so it doesn’t fall over and break its stalk.
The grains are much smaller than older wheat and inside the components are completely different. It is highly antigenic, meaning it often triggers an immune response in people and is very inflammatory.
Also the proportion of carbs is higher than older wheat; there is less protein but more gluten. The starches in modern wheat spike blood sugar much faster than both soda and even regular table sugar.
Much modern rice is also genetically modified and even if not it is also too high in starches that convert to sugar and is overeaten nowadays preventing the consumption of an adequate amount of vegetables.
Avoid all added sugar, sweeteners and sweets. After 6 weeks you can add small amounts of natural sweeteners like honey, but not table sugar.
Milk is highly beneficial for most, but avoid pasteurized dairy products, as the high heat damages sensitive proteins – instead use raw milk and boil it. Some people have developed a sensitivity to milk due to its cross reactivity with wheat allergens. This is more common in the modern age due to the changes to wheat which have made it more immune reactive.
Avoid Industrial seed oils (like canola, safflower, sunflower, etc. Olive oil is OK). These were originally repurposed waste, marketed by deception and widely used as they are so cheap. When heated in cooking, extremely unhealthy oxidized fats and trans fats form which in the body cause damage to the fats they come in contact with in cell walls. They were never eaten before the modern age as they are universally repugnant before they have been industrially processed and highly deodorized.
Avoid caffeine in the form of tea and coffee, especially if you have frequent fatigue, anxiety, depression, mood swings and insomnia.
Caffeine works by disconnecting the body’s ability to communicate with the brain that it is tired and needs to rest, relax and sleep. In the modern world which is much more stressful than traditional settings, this leads to gradual and progressive burnout by stealing from adequate rest and sleep. When you stop using caffeine you will relax and rest more and get better sleep, which is extremely important for staying optimally healthy.
Avoid all grain-fed conventional meats. Eat very limited amounts of grass-fed red meat from cattle, which is unhealthy in large quantities, especially for people whose ancestors did not consume it. Also avoid pasture-raised chicken, which is high in inflammatory omega 6 fats. Goat and lamb are healthy alternatives.
Avoid all food and personal care products (like toothpaste, shampoo, and soap) that contain chemicals, additives, natural (a misnomer) and artificial flavors and scents, etc which have never been tested for safety and many have actually been proven extremely harmful.
Avoid using plastic in contact with food especially if hot. Endocrine disruptors present even in BPA free plastic wreak havoc on the physiology of both men and women.
What to Eat
70% of your daily food should be non starchy cooked and/or raw vegetables. Plants contain phytonutrients that communicate with your DNA, turning on good genes and turning off bad ones. They also support your liver’s detoxification systems and increase beneficial gut bacteria.
If you can buy organic, pesticide free vegetables it is better, especially for those that are on the “dirty dozen” a list of the most pesticide laden vegetables. On the other hand the “clean fifteen” are less important to buy organic as they do not have much pesticide residue on them.
Drink freshly made green vegetable juice at least once a day (careful if on coumadin) with a thumb-sized piece of juiced ginger and same size piece of fresh turmeric root every morning.
If you need an extra boost for healing, like when sick with a cold or flu or having acute allergies, you can add 3 – 7 cloves of peeled garlic to the juice, which is a fantastic immune booster, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial – it’s easier to stomach the garlic in fresh carrot/beet juice.
If trying to lose weight you can keep more fiber in the juice which will make you feel full enough to skip a meal and even juice 2-3 times a day – increased frequency is useful to help get better faster when very ill.
Have 1-4 cups of homemade gelatinous bone broth daily made by boiling the large joints of cows, sheep or goats for at least 24 hours. Also use this broth in cooking anywhere you need to add water, for example when making lentils, beans, quinoa and wild rice.
Eat a can of small sardines daily – they are the best high-omega-3 fish, as they are lower on the food chain and hence lower in toxins like mercury and also you get other nutrients since you are eating the entire fish including bones and organs. Best if in olive oil. However if you must get them in vegetable oil, drain it out and rinse them off before consuming.
Eat 2-3 cups a week of a wide variety of lentils and beans which promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut that produce compounds important for healthy joints.
Cook with traditional oils and fats including olive oil, coconut oil, and rendered animal fats.
A spoon of cod liver oil daily.
At least 1-2 times a week have organ meats especially liver and heart. If you have any fatigue or anemia then daily 1-2 tablespoons of raw or cooked liver until hemoglobin levels normalize and then as much as needed to maintain healthy levels and prevent fatigue (“normal” may not be normal for you, so if values or in range, but you are still fatigued, increase intake of liver until fatigue is gone or you have reached the high end of the normal range).
Many traditional cultures value eating raw liver and the nutrient levels are higher in raw compared to cooked liver. If cooked it is best lightly braised on the outside and still pink inside.
Fermented foods like vegetables and dairy support gut health. These include sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, and others. Yogurt and kefir are excellent for most people if made from un pasteurized milk.
A heaping tablespoon of turmeric powder with a bit of black pepper and teaspoon of olive oil to aid absorption.
A tablespoon of triphala powder in the morning if available is a great immune booster and overall health tonic with a long history of successful use in India.
A teaspoon of high quality raw honey mixed with a teaspoon of black seed oil daily – another popular ancient general health tonic.
Modifying the Template
Women who are not in optimal health should have a tablespoon of shatavari powder daily which balances female hormones.
If constipated: add triphala 1-3 teaspoons at night. Make sure you drink enough and eat more lentils which have much more fiber than grains. Increase probiotics and exercise and focus on relaxing more. Once a day: rub your hands together rapidly until they are hot and then with one hand rub your belly in circles starting at the belly button and slowly expanding the size of the circle until you are tracing the outside of your belly. Repeat and continue for at least 2 minutes.
If you have: joint pains or arthritis, autoimmune disease or gut problems:
also stop eggs, dairy and nightshade vegetables for the first 6 weeks.
For type 2 diabetes: Eat 50 grams or less of carbs per day until your blood sugars are normal. 50 grams is equal to about 1-2 servings of sweet potato. Normal healthy blood sugars fasting are 75-95 mg/dl and 2 hours after the main meal less than 140 mg/dl.
For gout: Avoid fructose containing foods (except a half teaspoon per day of high quality raw honey) and fruits completely for 6 weeks after which you can try small amounts of fruit. Be careful with high purine foods initially, then after 6 weeks you can consider experimenting with slowly increasing them in your diet as there is data suggesting the real problem with gout is not purines but fructose.
Trial and Error
Reintroduction and testing of any eliminated items: After 6 weeks consider testing items one at a time for any reactions or symptoms, by eating the food twice a day for 3 days and then waiting for days for a reaction. If a reaction occurs at any time during that week, eliminate again and retest after a longer period of abstinence. If no reaction then reintroduce into your diet and test the next food.
Spread the Wealth
After you’ve seen the benefit of this program, then spread it to others as certainty travels from heart to heart. The blessing of doing that will greatly strengthen you in continuing with the program and never leaving it. The best way is to invite people to a healthy meal at home, tell them how you benefited and explain it to them, give them a printout of the plan and some small gifts like a can of sardines or some turmeric. Even more effective is to have at least 2 other people who benefitted present to tell their stories as well.