Fundamentally, activating health and switching off disease is simple. I’ll go into all the details in individual posts but basically there are 3 keys that open the door to a long and vital life. We need to
- Transform the Metabolism from Sugar Burner to Fat Burner
- Eliminate Chronic Systemic Inflammation and
- Reduce Stress.
We achieve these through healing and strengthening the Digestive System, the Immune System and the Nervous System.
And we get those processes happening by activating positive gene expression in the 5 areas of human life which determine our health and wellness.
These 5 factors are what I describe as the Elements of Good Health: Eat, Move, Sleep, Connect and Be Smart.
What we eat determines at least 80% of our body composition. Other factors include sleep, stress and movement, but essentially what we see when we look in the mirror and how we feel when we get out of bed in the morning, is a reflection of what we put into our mouths.
Foods regulate our hormones, influence our inflammation levels and determine whether we’re able to burn fat… or just store it.
It’s Easy to Eat Well. A diet based on healthy fats, quality protein, and plants provide all the nutrition your body needs for long term health and strength.
The way we move affects our appetite, our stress levels and our fat storage patterns… but not necessarily in a positive way.
It’s Easy to Move Well. “No Pain, No Gain” is a bad attitude. Rather, we can achieve maximum results with a minimum of effort. Regardless of whether you’re a professional athlete or a ‘normal’ person, the body responds incredibly well to easily paced physical movement and brief-but-intense strength exercises.
The way we sleep influences our ability to heal and regenerate – but not only. Sleep is vitally important for every organ and every system of the body, as well as for enhancing our intellectual abilities and for processing our emotions.
It’s Easy to Sleep Well. The body and brain become sleepy as a result of an interplay between certain hormones. By cultivating sleep rituals, we switch the wake hormones “off”, and turn the sleep hormones “on”.
Our survival from the beginning of evolution to today wouldn’t have been possible without our ability to form strong bonds with others and with the world. We are complex social creatures. Positive emotions and low stress levels are essential if we want to live a meaningful and happy life.
It’s Easy to Be Stress Free. Well, not exactly free – because a little stress is good for us. But it’s easy to minimize our stress levels. Practices such as yoga and meditation are excellent. Prioritising the quality time that we spend with our family and friends is a must. Also, a little time in solitude and a lot of time in nature are lovely ways to calm the mind.
5. Be Smart
How we use our brain determines whether we survive or not. But it also influences whether or not we’re able to reach our full potential as human beings.
It’s Easy to Be Smart. “Knowledge is Power”, and education is essential if we want to avoid mistakes and make good choices. But often times we’re led by deeply ingrained habits rather than reason. Fortuately, the mind is elastic and we can overcome inflexible attitudes and limiting beliefs through creativity and motivational exercises.
At the beginning it takes a bit of effort to get all of the healthy practices up and running, especially when the new behaviours and eating patterns are vastly different from the way you’re living now. But it can be done! There’s loads of support that you can tap into through blogs, online groups, and health based communties.
Health Coaching programs are particularly powerful when it comes behavioural change, precisely because of the support.
In my own programs, I encourage clients to follow certain Diet and Lifestyle recommendations, simply because having “rules” to follow makes life easier. Moreover, understanding the reasons behind the recommendations helps to establish commitment, so I always back up the suggestions with educational material.
The knowledge helps to fuel a clients motivation to positively change their life.
In some cases, it may save their life.
What’s Happened to Human Health? – Explains the global health crisis.
DNA and Our Genetic Destiny – It’s why Paleo works.