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Our diet is more depleted than ever before.

We are eating so little nutrient-dense food. We continue to make poor food choices. We are dying from slow cellular death because there are little to no micronutrients available for physiologic function. The problem is that most of us are unaware.

Our calorie intakes have increased and our nutrient intakes have fallen by over half since 1890 and by a fifth since 1980 due to our over processed diet regimens and our sedentary lifestyles. We are not in the fields plowing and harvesting anymore indulging in rigorous physical work.

We burn minimal calories with our new-fangled lifestyles. We sit behind desks and pacify time eating sweets, drinking calorie loaded and or caffeinated drinks.

Nutrient poor foods are at the source of today’s obesity epidemic.

The universality of cheap, high calorie and nutrient poor foods fill pile on unnecessary and toxic weight.

The average 20 year old man weighs 70kg (154 pounds) more today than a man in his twenties did three decades ago, while the average 50 year old has gained 14kg (30.8pounds). This has created a nutritional paradox.

We are increasingly overweight and obese, and on the surface look over nourished, yet on the inside we are suffering from chronic inflammation and malnutrition. These two things are the root cause behind the chronic diseases we are suffering from in today’s society. For example, metabolic syndrome is completely driven by poor nutrition and lack of exercise.

If you wish for better health, you must take matters into your own hands. “DIE”t has to change. WE must turn the word diet into lifestyle for the long haul.

This requires discipline, awareness and understanding of how to maintain health from the ground up. You cannot go on a 12 week challenge and then go back to the ways of old. The old ways have to change forever in order to maintain your longevity and the body composition you desire to have.

The crisis is the urban environment that we have created for ourselves. Less than 4% of the population is able or willing to eat healthily and participate in a regular exercise routine. The way to maintain the motor (heart) of your personal motor vehicle (body) is an ongoing discipline.

The following are a few simple suggestions for getting your motor vehicle running like a race car.

5 Tips to Becoming to a Healthier, More Energetic You

1. Change DIE-t into Lifestyle.

The first three letters of the word diet are DIE. No wonder diets don’t work! When you are on a diet you will feel like you are going to die. Move away from thinking you can diet to lose weight and then return to poor nutritional habits.

You have to stay on the plan for the long haul and that means the rest of your life. There is overwhelming evidence to show that if you eat a diet rich in vegetables, oily fish, antioxidant rich fruits, raw nuts and seeds, indulge in a good exercise plan, maintain a healthy body composition and don’t smoke, you can dramatically reduce your risk of chronic disease and early death.

2. Avoid unhealthy behavior.

Get rid of smoking, drinking, gambling, overeating, and excessive electronic indulgence. Instead of filling your time with life-destroying habits, fill it up with things that build your sense of wellbeing.

Engage in spending time with individuals who have healthy behaviors in their lives such as hiking, biking, bible or book study groups. Feel how refreshing it feels to say “no” to what will potentially destroy your health.

3. Take the right nutritional support.

You can’t out-pill a bad diet. Clean your nutritional plan up first before you load up on a bunch of expensive vitamins.

There are some nutraceuticals that provide good cellular support and are key anti-inflammatory nutrients. These nutrients are the polyphenols, Vitamin D, the omega 3 essential fatty acids, antioxidant support and a good multivitamin and mineral. Talk to your doctor about what might be right for you.

4. Engage in healthy exercise.

Taking on more exercise improves muscle tone, body shape, general fitness and self-confidence, and it is extremely positive in terms of improving blood sugar control. Exercise also kicks in gear your body’s own pharmacy. Yes, your body makes its own pain killers, anti-inflammatories and antidepressants.

Without regular physical activity the car (body) you drive will decline rapidly. It takes strength training to keep muscles bones, tendons, and ligaments strong. Strength training with functional techniques aid balance and proprioception.

Cardiovascular training keeps the motor (heart) in fine condition. Think of how many times your heart contracts in a day. If the pump is weak, it is not able to get blood to the toes and fingers, much less the brain. The heart is a muscle and unless it receives a challenge, its fitness level will decline.

5. Maintain proper sleeping habits.

Following are some tips to help you get the sleep you need: maintain regular bedtime and wake-up hours, avoid caffeine consumption 4-8 hours before bedtime, exercise regularly, avoid intense physical activity 3 hours before bedtime, avoid daytime naps, avoid eating a full meal 2 hours before bedtime, eat a light snack to avoid hunger pangs during sleep, avoid stressful or noisy distractions (noisy clocks, bright lights, etc), avoid alcohol consumption 2 hours before bedtime, use the bed for sex and sleep only (no TV, laptop, computer, reading, etc.). And remember, getting too much sleep (over 8 hours) can be just as unhealthy.

Don’t wait any longer to make necessary changes to your lifestyle.

We will get burned by poor lifestyle choices. Over time, our health will decline, our inflammation and pain will increase, toxicity will reign, fatigue will increase, weight gain and general malaise will occur, and we will oftentimes feel rotten.

We find ourselves running to the doctor to solve the problem and the doctor tells us everything is fine. What we fail to address is our lifestyle. 365 days a year over 40-50-60 years adds up.

The reality is this…the doctor cannot take away the consequence.

We made the choice to eat those foods without “consequences” being a thought. Many times we blame this on “family history” without ever addressing the root cause. It may be painful to hear, but the root cause began with the regular over-ingestion of sugar, grains, and processed foods and a sedentary lifestyle. Our sedentary lifestyle, or better put “laziness”, has complicated our physical stature, state of health and vitality.

Listen, we must stop this madness and begin to own our mistakes. We must take ownership of the consequences. Food does have consequences – both good and bad. Lack of physical activity does have consequences. Let’s make better choices.

Together, let’s stop ignoring the powerful consequences of lifestyle. Remember, it may take a while, but the consequences will materialize good or bad. Which road will you choose?  Hopefully you choose the path of wellness and aim for consequences of better health.

Let’s aim high, stay on the train of wellness and reap the harvest of longevity for a lifetime.