Who Wants Optimal Health?
Seems like a no-brainer question, doesn’t it? But you would be surprised how many people settle for a life of “not being incapacitated”, which is why optimal health is more about mindset and values than anything else.
Despite all that has been written in recent decades about how to improve health through lifestyle changes and food choices, there is an ever increasing percentage of people taking subscription medications (usually several) and they will be on these for the remainder of their sub optimally healthy lives – think medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, raised cholesterol, acid reflux, irritable bowel, constipation, thyroid issues, anti-depressants, pain killers etc. etc.
What Went Wrong?
It didn’t used to be this way. Back in the post WW2 era of the 1950s and 1960s, it would have been rare to find people on medications for life. This was because people were generally healthier due to their lifestyle choices and because much more real food was still readily available to consumers.
Gradually and stealthily, consumers have been seduced by “convenience” foods, which seems to imply that somehow real food is an “inconvenience” that takes up too much of our precious time and, therefore, should be eliminated from our lifestyle in favour of “convenience foods”.
In countries where you find the “western” diet predominating, ie food industry monopolies are present, sugar addiction is at epidemic proportions. Sugar hits the dopamine receptors in the brain and gives us that moment of pleasure, which we seek several times a day. Additionally, the food industry knows all the clever ways of getting us to eat their products, and ensures that processed foods contain just the right amount of sugar, fat and salt to hit our bliss points, so that we keep coming back for more – effectively addicted to their products.
Expectations, Mindset and Values affect Our Goals
If we could collectively stand back and take an objective view of what is going on with the general health of society, it would be obvious to see that general health is failing and that, as people age, optimal health is seldom achieved, or even sought after. There is something in our collective mindset that is preventing us from valuing optimal health and setting it as a goal.
Because the western medical profession is not taught, and does not believe in, the life giving power of good nutrition, and the vital, energising, life giving effect of the sun and its light on us, we accept the following as being perfectly normal as we get older:-
- Weight gain,
- Increased fatigue,
- Decreased energy and stamina,
- Decreased strength and physical ability,
- Sleep disorders,
- Gut issues,
- Aches and pains in joints and muscles,
- Deteriorating memory and mental acuity,
- High blood pressure,
- Cardiovascular disease,
- Autoimmune diseases,
- Decreased mobility.
What is Optimal Health?
In our view, it is living
- Without any of the above including weight gain,
- Enjoying massive amounts of energy,
- Being as strong and physically active as when you were younger,
- Sleeping soundly and waking refreshed, and
- Remaining mentally sharp and on your game.
Who would not want to be living like that? Well, sadly it seems the vast majority of western populations, which have bought into the lie that all the ills listed above are inevitable. At CoolWellbeing Foundation we do not believe that, and are living proof that in your sixties you can be fitter and stronger than in your twenties provided you have the right mindset and aim for optimal health rather than just good enough.
Our Tips for Optimal Health
- Hydrate your body on waking with 750ml pure water and include 5ml of Sole salt water in the first glass;
- Get outside with bare feet and let the early morning sun into your eyes;
- Meditate for at least 15 minutes to set yourself up for the day;
- Do a stretching and strengthening yoga/Pilates routine (we do the 5 Tibetan Rites every morning after meditation and these exercises take only 10 mins);
- Have a cooked savoury breakfast (no sugary cereals or toast with jams etc) such as fried eggs and silver beet with some Bulgarian sheep or goats’ feta cheese crumbled on top and a piece of gluten free and grain free focaccia bread;
- Drink plenty of pure water during the day instead of being tempted to have snacks between meals;
- Get out in the sun as much as you can and use a free app called D Minder to calculate the correct exposure for you depending on where you live;
- When working on computers or under artificial light, wear blue blocker glasses to diminish the negative effect that exposure to these light frequencies can have on our hormonal balance;
- Do not eat any wheat, rye, barley or oats products;
- Try to minimise the consumption of all other grains (the idea here for healthy ageing without inflammatory processes in the body is to reduce the consumption of sugar from all sources to the absolute minimum – sugar, in excess of the very small amount of glucose that we need for energy production, is inflammatory to our cells and is implicated in Alzheimer’s, dementia, diabetes, gut issues, cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis and autoimmune diseases);
- Eat lots of organic or spray free vegetables and a modest amount of organic or spray free fruits (the same issue of minimising fructose, which is a sugar, applies with fruit – less is best);
- Eat organic or at least grass fed meats, but have more vegetables on your plate than meat;
- Eat wild caught oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, whiting (not larger fish like tuna due to the bio-accumulation of mercury – larger fish eat smaller ones and build up higher levels of mercury);
- Drink herbal teas throughout the day and if you like coffee try to limit yourself to one organic cup preferably at lunchtime (if your hormones are balanced and you have desirable high cortisol in the morning, you should not need a cup of coffee to get you going in the morning, especially after doing the 5 Tibetans Rites!);
- Make and eat plenty of fermented foods (all vegetables can be fermented with mixtures of spices and herbs to create your own custom flavoured super foods). Watch this YouTube video instruction;
- Try to avoid conventional cows’ milk and try goats’ milk instead. This has a completely different casein profile to cows’ milk and can cause less upset;
- Fermented cheeses are ok in moderation. The fermentation process changes the enzymes and produces beneficial bacteria. Similarly kefir made from fermented raw milk has lots of good bacteria, but not everyone can digest dairy well;
- Consume only good oils such as organic virgin coconut oil and olive oil, and ghee made from organic butter. Do not use vegetable oils as these go rancid and oxidise quickly and are usually high in omega 6 fatty acids. We need to increase the amount of omega 3 in our diets from oily fish and certain nuts;
- Minimise use of mobile phones and your exposure to micro wave radio frequencies from phones and wifi, and from electromagnetic fields in your home and at work;
- At night wear blue blocker glasses at home to counter the negative effects of the blue light (from all electronic devices, TVs, and lights) on our hormone production. We want our melatonin production to kick in naturally which it will do when exposed to red light, ie a sunset or a camp fire, but not when our systems are revved up by exposure to blue light;
- Practise good sleep hygiene ie no mobile phone or electric devices (alarm/radios etc) within 3 metres of any part of your bed. No watching TV in bed or using computers or other devices. Beds are for sleeping and other pleasures only, they are not an extension of your home office! And try to get to bed before 10pm so that you can wake up in time for the sunrise!
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, but it gives you a good idea of the areas to concentrate on in a quest for optimal health. We shall be examining all of this in greater detail in future blogs.
Aiming for optimal health, Edith and Tim at CoolWellbeing Foundation.
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