3 essential things you need to know about optimal health
To those of you that are new to this newsletter my insistent focus on the foundations of optimal health will not be yet be apparent and for those of you poor souls who have been subjected to months if not years of me obsessing over the ‘foundations of health’ I apologise because I am about to do it again!
Joking aside there are of course many valid reasons for the focus on foundational health. It is very easy to get lost in the world of all the possible things that can be done in order to be healthy, or to get lost in all the potential symptoms of illness and disease and all the possible solutions to those symptoms!
If one understands that there are initially only 6 things that need to be looked at to provide foundational health then anything else can be added as a supportive addition to an already excellent foundation. These foundations are diet, sleep, meditative practice, breathing, movement or training and hydration. If however one does not have a great foundation and for example you are permanently dehydrated then any other actions taken to resolve either a specific health complaint of a general feeling of being under the weather or lacking energy may be wasted and confusing.
For example it is common for me to see people who have started something like a detox for parasites who has not changed their diet, i.e. they have not addressed the foundation. They will then most likely get a negative result from the detox and assume that parasites were not the cause of the problem and move on to try something else. Parasites could however have been the problem but because they were still eating lots of sugar, along with their parasitic detox products, the environment of the gut would still be favourable for the parasites.
In these articles I do my best to make it clear that although I truly know that supplements are incredibly powerful and beneficial to our lives it is the foundation principles of health that are the real power house life changing concepts that can bring us not only high levels of energy and vibrancy but to a clearer happier perception of the world we live in.
So today I want to return to three key foundations of optimal health so that we are continuing to look at the broader perspective of health and not narrowing our perception to the commercially driven belief and commonly advertised ideal that a pill or potion (even if it is a high quality organic super food!) is going to revolutionise your life forever.
- Learn to move your body, to become strong and stable.
Exercise has been written about extensively as a key to health, a key to get killer abs and sexy legs, a way to lose weight and achieve the ‘body beautiful’. Indeed, exercising is a vital contributing factor to achieve the things we may want and expect from being healthy.
Most people that I have seen as clients over the years needed to learn to move correctly and in so doing learn to balance their bodies, correct their posture and become free of pain before or at the same time as addressing the things they want to achieve longer term.
For example many people want a better bottom. Very good, why not? The problem is that going to the gym and going crazy on lunges and squats when you have, as most people do, an instable pelvis and butt muscles that don’t work properly will lead not to incredible gluts but to incredible pain! At best you might get what I call ‘short term gain for long term pain’ and at worst a serious injury.
If you really want to train hard enough to make a difference then work with someone that can rebalance your body, strengthen your core muscles and teach you to move correctly. It is after all the movement that matters as this is the foundation of stability which in turn is the foundation of strength and power, and it’s these things that lead to the killer abs and perfect butts!
- Eat well, enjoy your food and connect to the environment it came from
We are, as it is said, what we eat. This is largely true; I would also add to this that ‘we are what we can absorb’. So if your intestinal tract is not healthy enough to process the nutrients then they will pass through the body and be excreted.
Still the old adage works well and it is true to say that a diet rich in high quality vegetables, proteins, fats and fruits will serve us well. It is critical to make sure that we have addressed and understand the balance of food that it right for us or our ‘metabolic type’ if we are going to find optimal health.
Metabolic typing is not another crazy fad diet it is a principle of looking at biochemical individuality and then making sure we are eating correctly for who we are not what the latest diet guru has come up with for everyone. I would advise either reading the book ‘Metabolic Typing’ by William Wolcott or finding a practitioner nearby who can help advise you on what may be best for you.
Correct nutrition is not just about physical health and making sure all our complex systems are working to full effect, it will also ensure a better hormonal balance which will in turn affect how we feel emotionally. When we have the right nutritional balance we can feel very different, with more energy, more confidence, and more consistency of mind to achieve whatever we may want to achieve in the world.
- From serenity and calm find certainty and power
Space, calm, quiet, the gaps between words not the words… the gaps between thoughts not the thoughts… the stillness that allows sounds to be heard and the quiet that gives form to your thoughts. The world we live in seems to get faster and faster and life seems to get more compressed into the moments when we are not working.
Has relaxation become TV, Xbox, wine, beer or other distractions?!
It’s not that I think any of these things in moderation are bad, I like the occasional cold beer on a hot day or a fine wine on holiday and I love movies. I do however think that the greatest single action for improved health is to give some time for quiet reflection, for true relaxation, for meditation if that’s your way to quiet. It could be a walk in the forest or some quiet time in the garden.
From quiet reflection, in time, one finds greater stillness of mind, from stillness of mind comes greater certainty of action as more consideration has been given to what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. With greater certainty we come to have increased confidence and so action can be taken from greater power.
Conceive, believe, achieve… from stillness comes clarity of thought and stillness and quiet are the origins of greatness. Does it not make sense to gain greater clarity of mind from stillness?
In health and happiness