The three key elements to great health are:
Why do you eat?
The common response to this is “To overcome hunger”.
I would suggest this is not a good response and you are eating for the wrong reason. If you are eating to overcome hunger, any food will suffice. And this is precisely what most people eat. The best reason for eating is for nutritional purposes. Food contains vital nutrients that are essential for us to live and live in a healthy way.
So the best foods to eat are those filled with nutrients.
Let us keep things simple. I divide food into two groups: Alive and Dead.
The Alive foods come from the earth and are alive. They include vegetables, salads, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes. They contain essential nutrients, water and fibre – all essential for good health.
The Dead foods are processed foods and contain processed sugar, flour, preservatives, additives and colouring. Foods in this group include biscuits, cakes, lollies, canned food, ice cream, pies, packet desserts and treats. They are generally devoid of nutrients and fibre, are low in water and high in fat and energy.Surprisingly, the live foods keep you alive and the dead foods affect your health in a negative way.
Does this mean you should eat all Live foods?
However, it is not always possible to do this so it is important for common sense to prevail. I suggest you eat at least 80% live foods as this will help you feel healthy and energetic. If you can eat 95%, excellent. Most people eat 80% dead food which clogs them up an creates all sorts of health issues.
If you are attracted to junk food and dislike the live food, it may be because you are either stressed or have a nutrient deficiency. For example, people who crave sugar can be deficient in a mineral called chromium which is responsible for sugar metabolism. People who are stressed often consume sugar products as sugar releases a good feel chemical in the brain.
In the western world, the predominant diet is filled with fat and sugar and is dead food. With people becoming busier, take-away food is being eaten more often. This is one of the reasons why there are problems with diabetes, obesity, heart problems and other diseases.
If you value your health, and you should, ensure you eat those foods that are going to produce great health. An important part of food is water. Water is important as over 70% of our body and 90% of our blood is water. Water by itself is best. If you like fruit juice, drink juice you squeeze (or is freshly squeezed) and mix it half and half with water.
Many of the soft drinks are high in sugar and some contain caffeine. I’m amazed at how many parents will not allow their young children to drink coffee yet are happy for them to drink copious amounts of cola drinks!
While many people like their caffeine, be aware of it’s negative side. It is a stimulant (which also means it stimulates the heart and respiratory system), increases secretions from the stomach, takes up to 24 hours to pass through the kidneys and urinary tract and can affect the baby in the womb.
Another commonly consumed liquid is alcohol. While alcohol can taste good and produce good feelings (except for the next morning!), it is high in sugar (and thus energy) and has a dehydrating effect on your body. While it has been known to make problems disappear, this is only until the person wakes up! It has also been known to give people confidence – although a quick look at the news or a video clip may make the person think otherwise!
To be healthy, exercise (which produces fitness) plays an important role.
Exercise has many health benefits. It:
✓ Improves circulation
✓ Reduces stress
✓ Improves fitness
✓ Improves your immune system and helps fight disease
✓ Slows the ageing process
✓ Increases energy levels
✓ Helps maintain a good body weight and shape
✓ Reduces the chance of osteoporosis
Exercise can be divided into a number of areas:
Anaerobic training is high intensity exercise where you are working so hard you have trouble breathing. You are only burning the oxygen that is already in your body. An example of this is when you are sprinting as fast as you can. You are only able to sustain this for a short distance before you have to slow down or stop. When you train anaerobically, you have trouble whistling or speaking.
Aerobic exercise is where you are constantly using oxygen and you can sustain this type of exercise for hours. It includes walking, jogging, cycling, swimming and rowing. When being active, ensure you put effort into it to get your heart rate up. If you have been inactive for some time and/or are over 40 years of age, consult with your doctor before embarking on any exercise program.
Ideally, you should exercise about five times a week for around an hour each time.
It is important to keep active. You can also use up energy throughout the day by:
✓ Walking or cycling instead of driving
✓ Mowing the lawns
✓ Doing chores around your home
✓ Taking up dancing
✓ Doing yoga, tai chi or one of the martial arts
If you are unable to walk because you have something wrong with your legs, look at swimming or something that is low impact that doesn’t place pressure on your legs. There is an old saying “If you don’t use it, you will lose it”.
(b) Resistance training
Resistance training is using weights to build and tone muscles. This has a twofold effect: you burn energy while doing it plus you increase your muscle mass.
If you wish to do resistance training properly, join a fitness centre or get a fitness professional to not only write you a program but also take you through it to show you the correct way to work each muscle group.
An alternative to using weights is to purchase a fit ball and do the relevant exercises which relies on your body weight and the use of the ball.
Stretching after an aerobic workout or resistance training is very important. Through exercising your muscles tighten up and are less able to extend to their full range of movement. Stretching allows a greater range of movement and helps in the prevention of injuries.
Stretching leads to flexibility which means the muscles can perform in an extreme movement.
3. Your Thoughts
What may surprise you is the greatest cause of good health, by far, is your thinking.
Let me explain. An analysis of tear drops shows the chemicals in your tear drops when you cry tears of sadness is completely different to when you cry tears of happiness. This means, with every thought you have, chemicals are released into your body. Sad thoughts produces sad chemicals; angry thoughts, angry chemicals; happy thoughts, happy chemicals.
We know this because when you are angry you get adrenalin released which shuts down your digestion, increases circulation, increases blood sugar and increases muscle tension as it readies you for “fight or flight”. On the other hand, happy thoughts release endorphins which have a calming effect on your mind and body.
The only chemicals that produce peace, harmony and good health are happy chemicals.
Everything you do, everyone you meet, everything you think has an emotion attached to it. Emotion determines how you feel. People, things and events will either make you feel good or bad. The good emotions include happiness, calmness, joy, peace, thankfulness, acceptance, love and kindness. The negative ones include anger, resentment, frustration, guilt, revenge, hate and worry.
You store these emotions in your body. For example, what sort of person gets stomach ulcers? Generally, a worrier. When they worry about something, their stomach becomes churned up. Where do we store love? The heart. When you send a card to someone you love there is a good chance it will have a heart on it.
In consultation, I have had great success overcoming problems like sore backs, hamstring and knee injuries, PMT, morning sickness, allergies and hayfever. To overcome the latter, one lady had been to doctors, chemists and naturopaths searching for a cure. No matter what she took, she still had the hayfever. When I asked her “Who is getting up your nose or annoying you?” she replied “That’s easy. My boyfriend” and she proceeded to tell me how. As soon as I gave her skills on how to handle her boyfriend, the sneezing and the snuffed nose ceased. Try it out for yourself. Next time you start sneezing, ask yourself “Who or what is getting up my nose and irritating me?”
Two good books that explain how this works are Louise Hay – “You Can Heal Your Life” and Dr Bernie Siegel – “Love, Medicine and Miracles”.
When you are stressed, you have negative thinking and your immune system is lowered. This is the time it is easy to pick up a “bug” or get sick.One of the main things that can lead to ill-health is depression. To find out more about this debilitating state, click here.
Monitor your thinking and ensure you only have positive thoughts. Get into the habit of only producing those thoughts that are going to make you feel better, and thus healthier.
Like to Know More?
If your health is not as good as you would like it to be; if you are having negative thoughts and you would like to think positive or get rid of the negative memories that can be holding you back, either click on the Consultation page or give Clive a call on 02 6921 6373.
If you have a weight problem, or would generally like to improve your health, “Why Is My Bum So Big?” (also an e-book called “Motivation To Lose Weight)” has some information that can help you achieve your goals. While this is a weight loss book, a huge part of weight loss is gaining great health. So this book is more on gaining great health than losing weight.
Phone: 02 6921 6373 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: P.O. Box 2421, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650 Australia