My cousin and I can get into some great conversations. Once he told me he was working out in the gym and getting really stiff afterwards. So I shared my insight after experimenting with exactly that... I found that drinking an alkaline drink after the workout reduces the stiffness. Which lead to his question "What is alkaline?" Which lead to "What do you mean good oils?" then, "What is GI?" "What are probiotics?" Finally he then asked me "OK so, what would be your top 10 health tips?" So I sat down to write these:
Firstly before any of this, a foreword... please use any health suggestions you hear as an experiment for yourself. Try it on for size, give it a good chance, and see how you feel with it, notice what changes and how you feel different, emotionally, physically, energetically etc,. At the end of the day, YOU ARE THE BEST GUIDE FOR YOUR OWN BODY, but you need to observe and notice the changes. After that, what I or any other source says, is a new opportunity to learn more about how you work and how you can feel better. Every one of our systems and demands on life are different and also largely similar, but we are talking specifics, so there are huge differences in what you will experience vs what I will. Regarding where I have gathered this understanding, I studied at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and have nursed myself back from eating disorders and strong imbalances in my systems. Over time I have worked with powerful guidance from some star naturopaths, iridologists, nutritionalists, energy workers and allopathic doctors. I took 10 years to feel in top form, like my self again.
HERE we go :) I wish I was taught this in school.
1. Water. Drink quality water, more than you think, and on an empty stomach. The stomach digests food and creates a nutrient rich liquid to dump into the intestines, where it is absorbed through the massive surface area of the walls made by villi. The stomach has an automatic response to open the valve into the first part of the intestines (duodenum) when there is a certain quality of liquid present. SO if you drink a glass of water/juice while you are eating your stomach will fill with liquid, it will think it has digested the food, and open the valve into the intestines, letting the undigested food pass through... not a good situation. Short term this causes bad absorption of nutrients, gas, candida, eventually after years, IBS, Crones and possibly cancer to name a few. Intestines are for absorption, not for digestion. SO, drink water 30 min before eating and 3 hours after a meal with meat, less time with fish and veg. Think to drink water, when you feel a hunger urge. Notice the difference in feeling when you drink a large glass of juice/milk/water on a full tummy vs an empty stomach.
GO FORTH AND DRINK MORE WATER.
Further, there are alarming studies on the effects of chronic dehydration linked to systemic disease. Also, inform your self of the source and check the pH of the water. You want pH neutral or even alkaline, so over 7 pH. There is a lot of technology out there for water, you can get really geeky about it. It is worth it. It does make a huge difference to the functioning of the body. Find the nearest spring water if you can!
Dehydration Article (this guy is serious!)
2. Eat vegetables as a priority, before any other foods. Gently steamed veg is best for you, then raw, then baked, then boiled, then fried. Focus on greens.
3. Check the source of your meats/fish/poultry. If they are great sources, then the rawer the better. Same goes with eggs, as our body recognises the raw protein form. But bad sources can be dangerous raw.
4. Eat a protein before or with a carb, so nuts before raisins, lentils before rice, cheese before grapes - chicken before bread. You could also think of this as priority, so prioritise protein over carbs... but your veg/fruit intake must stay high to maintain the fiber you need. This helps regulate the Glycemic Index of the body, ie. not throwing the body into a high processing of sugars (For example: sweets or raisins/dates/pineapple/alcohol on an empty stomach) Maintaining a moderate GI means less stress on the hormonal system, liver, digestive system and indirectly the rest of the body.
5. Reduce all refined foods, especially any flours, fried food and refined sugar. The most tampered with foods in our food system are, Wheat, Soya, Corn, Peanuts, Dairy, Meat and Sugar. Generally, check sources, and reduced the intake of the refined versions.
6. Good oils vs Bad Oils, basics: olive oil should not be heated, use it for salads and dressings, butter and coconut oils are the best cooking oils as they don't denature with heat. This is a fairly good chat on oils.
7. Check for pasteurisation: you want unpasteurised (not if you are pregnant) juice, honey, sauerkraut, milk, and yoghurt (on the jar look for LIVE cultures). The enzymes and cultures in the food help our digestion and give us essential vitamins. The best parts of these products are all killed from boiling them. *of course you need to be certain of the source, pasteurisation was a brilliant invention for mass production of food
8. Alkalizing your body (interesting overview). Adding a green supplement is a great tonic, and fast way to help a lot of the body systems at once. My absolute favorite is Kiki. Again, what you are looking for are the algaes (chlorella, Spirulina, E3 Live) green grasses (wheat grass, barley grass) and pro-biotic cultures (bacteria for the gut). An easy step to integrate alkalizing is to begin every day with an alkalizing drink - Lemon Water, good plain water or freshly made green veg juice.
9. The little villi in your large and small intestines get congested, like a dirty carpet, with all kinds of things that you haven't digested properly, or are unable to digest. With all this STUFF sitting between the villi, you loose precious surface area to uptake the important vitamins and minerals you need. In many cases, your body will go as far as creating a mucosal layer over the villi to protect your own body from the toxins stuck there. SO... I would suggest a good course of colonics to get your system efficient again. Then after a course of them, every year doing a few as a way of maintenance. There are of course some good stuff that is lost in this procedure. The bacteria that help you digest are often washed out with the bad yeasts etc. the green supplement can help with that, or you can get a great pro-biotic. to stock up the system again. Otherwise, with a good diet and low stress, it is very normal for the right bacteria to grow back.
10. Inflammation is a very popular topic right now. See if you can notice what causes your body to react with inflammation (bigger tummy at the end of the day, runny nose, swollen fingers, puffy eyes). Inflammation generally occurs from your body activating its histamines and mucous response in order to protect and eject toxins. You want to avoid throwing the body into a histamine response, it causes a lot of stress on the body. Most people live with it every day, until they get a disease.
11. ENZYMES - We have two functions of enzymes in our bodies - metabolic and digestive. The digestive ones look after our food and the metabolic ones go through our body, generally at night or when we are fasting, breaking down stuff that shouldn't be there. There are live enzymes in fresh foods, and preserved ones in dehydrated foods. These enzymes are killed when we cook foods over a certain temperature (the raw food industry is largely based on this). When we constantly eat dead food, we draw a lot on our bodies' resources to digest it. This can leave it exhausted and not able to breakdown the material that leads to disease over the years.
12. CHEW YOUR CARBOHYDRATES. The body produces the digestive enzymes needed to digest carbohydrates in our mouth. If we swallow our sugars and carbs before they have been properly mixed with amalyse, then we are leaving them to go into our intestine undigested. Over the years, that leads to fermentation of food products in our intestines... this leads to auto-immune disorders, IBS, Crones Disease, colon cancer.
13. and lastly... DISCOVER FASTING - that is all I will say. If you want to chat, let me know.
I watch dis-ease come from either toxicity or deficiency - so we want to empty out stores of toxins (including stress and negative emotions) and allow our body to absorb the nutrition that we provide it. This is a passion of mine, so feel free to shot me any questions if they come up for you. Oh, and if your body starts cleaning itself up, you can get a 'healing crisis' where your body gets worse before you get better, very common, don't panic :)