A Recipe for Health: 7 Steps to Get Started
Last night I put a little piece of paper on a kitchen cupboard next to the fridge. It says 'no coffee, no chocolate, no eggs, no corn, no dairy.' And then I wrote a heart next to those words to give myself a little support in this endeavor. So yes, it's many years after first embarking on a healthy lifestyle and I am still experimenting with foods and other choices. I, like many of you, strive consistently to do the optimal things for my body. I don't think any of us reach perfect health and then rest. It's the daily choices that we make in our lives that make or break the healthy thing. (As to why so many of us are now so sensitive to food that used to be completely innocuous, that's a post for another day!)
The difference for me now in how I look on all of this is the plentiful experience I've had trying to be well over the years. And now, gratefully, I am calm now about the whole thing. 13 years ago when I had major digestive distress and couldn't for the life of me figure out how to improve - well, back then I was a wreck. Not being able to get to the bottom of my health problems literally took me to my knees. And I did what I could do - experiment in a million things to feel better. This is how I learned about, for example, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, biofeedback, colonics, liver flushes, homeopathy, EMDR, the Body Ecology Diet, meditation, heavy metal chelation, acupuncture, Bikram yoga, EFT, apple cider vinegar, the Egoscue Method, oil pulling, iodine supplementation, vegetable juice fasting, distilled water, castor oil packs, coconut oil, Primal Defense, fermented foods and kombucha, Chinese herbs, the GAPS diet, hydrogen peroxide therapy, the Special Foods Diet, infrared saunas, inversion board therapy, among countless others. And I am so glad to know about all of these things, because they allow me to help others! And then I started this website so we could all just have a talk amongst ourselves about what we've found to be helpful.
I received a comment from a reader about this very subject. He is having a tough time and needs our support. I thought I'd include his words here because I think he speaks for a lot of us in that he is frustrated and tired of trying to get well.
I am just very overwhelmed and stressed and trying to do it all on my own. My environment isn’t the best and I have been in a constant state of stress since birth and it has finally had a major impact on me. I am very tired, my liver is struggling, I am extremely sensitive physically and emotionally and I was already like that prior to becoming rather unwell.
I have tried so many things and believe that true healing comes from people uniting and coming together to support one another because we are imperfect beings who can not and are not meant to do it alone, if we were we would have been meant to have been abandoned at birth or we would have grown on and fallen from trees.
It’s just that when you are so confused or not so much confused but overwhelmed, knowing where to start and how to start is very difficult. I need help with organising and writing out a plan and having some support along the way. People just spew information at you and tell you that it’s right or that it’s help and yet you don’t feel that way or you can’t implement this information so nothing occurs. Please let me know what has worked for you on more of a physical level as that is what I am struggling the most. Step by step what needs to be addressed and looked at?
An organized plan, and the support to accomplish it, are what we'll discuss now. Readers, we would appreciate your reflections and thoughts on these topics. What in life has worked the most for you? After so many years as a 'health nut', here are my thoughts.
Of course, you are what you eat, but you are also what you assimilate well. I love raw dairy, but whether it's because I'm a blood type O, or whatever other reason, dairy does not love me. If I drink a little raw milk, I sometimes feel a little twinge in my knuckle, and can't really pretend that it's some sort of healing crisis! Thus, the note I taped onto the cupboard: no dairy (for now). I do know that I'm gluten intolerant from two EnteroLab tests, and I do know that foods like coffee and chocolate have similar proteins that can induce the same sort of damage that gluten does. I just didn't want to believe that that was true for me. But now I'm knocking out some of the cross reactors to see if I note a difference. I've been gluten-free for years, and totally fine with that. I have Grain Brain by Dr. Perlmutter, who sees great improvement in his Alzheimer's patients when they remove all grains from their diets, and I think the whole topic is rather fascinating.
But back to the general idea of how to eat. I do think that everyone is different, and some foods will work for some but not others. Whole foods, organically grown, are the way to go. I use the GAPS diet or the Autoimmune Gut Repair Diet as good guidelines, although many will not want to be so strict. Here's how we eat in my house. Everything is pastured and homemade. Chicken, burgers, salmon, sardines, turkey. Most all vegetables. Low-sugar fruits. Coconut milk that I make from coconut shreds and spring water mixed in the blender. This is great because I can make fruit smoothies. Teas with a little honey. A little organic white jasmine rice. Lots of chicken broth or beef bone broth. Lots of sauerkraut and kimchi for beneficial bacteria (you can save your money on probiotics this way).
So cutting out grains and everything processed is pretty major I believe, at least initially to see how you feel.
Getting up from your chair or out of your car and walking is quite necessary to be healthy. Walk every day, purchase a rebounder and gently bounce to move lymph, engage in blood-moving activities like yoga and tennis and basketball and anything that gets you huffing. Get up from your desk every 20 minutes and do squats or jumping jacks. Consistency is key.
The body needs to rest to heal. Go to bed by 10pm, wake up at 6 or 7am. Every night. No cordless or cell phones in the room with you (or in the house, sometimes! Cordless/DECT phones emit radio frequencies that disrupt biological processes). If you have insomnia and are laying there at 2am, accept! Accept and breathe, and know everything is okay. It's all just part of the process. Breathe slowly and deeply and visualize your cells self-repairing!
4. Daily breathing/meditation time
I write 'breathing' so as not to scare people away from a practice that is so very healing and necessary in our fast-paced world. And it's as simple as lying down (or sitting up tall if you think you might fall asleep) and bringing awareness to your breath and your inner energy field. I could talk for hours about this topic because I think it so powerful. But if you can just do 20 minutes a day every day, you will see what I mean.
Make your own infrared sauna for under $200. See Dr. Larry Wilson's site about this. Build up slowly to a half hour or so in the sauna every evening before bed. It is so relaxing, and you readily sweat out heavy metals and other toxins that are getting in the way of healing. I recommend Sauna Therapy by Dr. Wilson to learn more. My copy has been in the sauna with me so many times it’s falling apart!
6. Keeping the bowels moving
I drink detoxifying Dr. Miller's tea for this. It removes parasites over time as well. Moving your body a lot is also vital.
7. Emotions: attracting what you want, not what you have (that you don’t like)
A few years ago I remember telling a friend that I was reading The Law of Attraction and was quite smitten with it. She looked at me with an open mouth: "You don't really believe that stuff do you?!" Well yes, I surely do!
We make our own reality in that what we are feeling we are creating. It takes practice. When you find yourself thinking 'Great, I'm starting to feel pain again in my liver area and it was probably that Starbucks coffee I just had and now how bad is it going to get and when is this going to end and am I always going to feel like crap and...', take a moment, take a breath, and shift to a positive take on the situation. Think about the awareness that your symptom is bringing you as to how to best treat your body, and see yourself opting for a seltzer water next time instead. See yourself well. Feel it. Take time each day to do this. The emotional sensation that you really feel into is what shifts you into attaining what you want, not what you have. If you keep thinking of what is, you will get more of it. If you think of what you want and how beautiful that makes you feel, you will be bringing more of that into your life. I know, because I do it, and it works.
For support beyond this, I do recommend Dr. Larry Wilson's protocol. I used to regularly get hair tests done with one of his practitioners and I learned so much along the way. Sweating, detox, diet...these are covered in depth in his program.
I'll say a few words here about how sensitive some of us are. I used to think of it as a curse. My mother would give me all sorts of funny looks when I told her about how I wasn't crazy about being in the laundry room with the strong scent of Tide wafting around. Or how I want to turn right around and walk out of a room that has freshly installed carpet. Or how a cell phone hurts my head. But I'm okay with it now, because I see it now as a skill, or a help, rather than a hindrance. My body is just trying to find balance, and let me know what doesn't feel good. So I now listen. And breathe. I'm not perfect, nor will I ever be, but I know to breathe. And accept.
So dear reader who wrote the letter above, I do hope this helps. I look forward to your connection and continued health journey, and all of the beautiful things that it will bring into your life. You can and will feel better. One breath and one day at a time.