Most health professionals will agree that the way to real healing is taking responsibility for your own health, and understanding that your lifestyle choices are the greatest factor on how your body is feeling. Easy changes can be made even before you come and see me, getting enough sleep, getting to bed on time, getting out into the sunlight, eating a balanced natural, whole foods fresh food diet, not eating late at night, removing sugar, reducing your stress levels, hydrating yourself, not drinking caffeine all day, and exercising. It’s not rocket science in many respects, and if health is still an issue after dealing with them, then it’s time to see a practitioner.
I’m asked all the time what are the main things to do that can help weight loss and gain good health again, everyone expects me to say exercise and diet, but actually, I believe sleep is one of the most important aspects of health widely ignored. The right amount of sleep helps the body balance its hormones, and when you wake up refreshed in the morning it’s a great buzz and start to the day. For me it’s one of the most important things I do, I get to bed on time and sleep enough.
Sleep can be tracked now via Fitbit’s and Oura rings, I don’t like batteries to be worn on the body all the time, but for tracking it can be helpful for understanding whether your sleep is good or not. If you live with a snorer, then one of the things I’ve found helps is to diffuse doTerra Breathe Essential Oil blend in the bedroom before bed, and I put it on for 30 minutes in the night if the snoring gets out of hand, I find it works a treat.
Eating a balanced diet is clearly important, and it’s easier than ever to track nutrient levels with the apps such as Chronometer available. If you need to bridge a gap with a supplement, start to track your diet in regards to nutrients rather than macros and calories and make sure you are actually eating foods with those nutrients in. The focus tends to be on calories in and calories out, but if those calories are sugar based and processed then they are not going to be nutrient-rich, and you are more likely in the long term to put on weight with them. Then it becomes a battle and your willpower will be tested to keep to the right calories all the time, and in reality what are the right calories because it ignores completely how food is used in the body. In fact, I’ve had a really interesting experience with a friend who I see lately who is going to a well known slimming and weight management weekly class. They are struggling to lose weight, one week it’s on the next it’s off, on, off, on on, off, etc… When I started to ask what exactly they are allowed to eat in a day, they said well they had eaten a packet of crisps, 2 slices of white toast with low fat spread for breakfast, and spaghetti bolognese for dinner, which they ate at 8 pm at night. With such an imbalance in nutrients, it’s really no wonder that the willpower that was needed was waining, it was a starchy carbohydrate heaven with little nutrients and very little fresh vegetables. I was also shocked to find that a group giving out nutrition advice was still in this day and age saying that low fat was the way forward. All that and I haven’t even started on about eating late at night and not giving the digestion enough time to digest before going to bed!
Shift your focus to nutrients and you will shift your health when we focus on calories we are missing the biggest factors in our foods, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Eat with the light ideally, and leave 3 hours after your last meal before going to bed, that doesn’t mean to go to bed later but move your mealtime forward.
Are you chewing your food, digestion starts in the mouth, if you are not chewing, then you are giving the rest of your digestion more work to do and you will be gaining less nutritionally from your foods. All you can do is chew!! We eat on the run so much now, and in a rush, and pay little attention to not only what we are eating but how we are eating it. If your diet isn’t optimal then chewing is even more important, if you have malabsorption of any kind then you need to make sure you are chewing!
Reduce your stress levels, I know it’s often easier said than done, but learning to meditate and use a brain entrainment programmes such as Holosync can help how you perceive and deal with your stress. Stress is one of the key contributors to chronic disease states in our modern world, for your body to heal it needs to be in a relaxed state, it can’t heal if it’s constantly in a state of survival due to being in fight or flight. Acute stress as we should experience it is actually good for the body, it helps it to adapt, but longer term and chronic stress is really not good for your health.
I’ve been told many times that when you don’t have time to meditate that’s the most important time to be doing it. You don’t have to sit crossed legged on a mountain, and taking photo’s for Instagram, just take a moment. My naturopath Jean for years told me I needed to meditate, I used to tell her I didn’t have time to breathe never mind meditate, she was right, I needed to meditate and now do and using Holosync for me was a game changer for me. There are lot’s of apps now though that can help you move into a meditative state, find one that works for you, Head Space is one, the Silva Method some of my clients like I find their free introductory product very good to use.
Meditation is just the first stage, you can take it to a whole new level for yourselves using Heart Math, I suggest using this a lot because it helps to track Heart Rate Variability and that is a great indicator of health. Learning to calm the body via breathing and meditation is probably one of the best ways you will spend your time on if stress and emotions are affecting your health.
Exercising I believe has to be fun, if it’s something you loathe doing then you are unlikely to fit it naturally into your lifestyle. I believe far more in getting out into the light, experiencing all sorts of weather, and going for a walk, or dancing, and of course doing the small stuff in the day to keep up a natural level of fitness. These could be walking instead of driving, carrying your shopping in a basket, taking the stairs, gardening and growing your own, standing rather than sitting when reading or watching TV!
The more we incorporate natural health into our lifestyle, the less we will need supplements, then medications.