Keeping up on the current state of alternative health research is part of my work, and my life as a mother of an autistic child. I wanted to share some important information with you that has been critical for me in caring for my own health.
I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my adult life, but until recently, it seemed more like a nuisance than a pressing health issue to me. In the last few years, I have learned to see this as the critical health issue that it is. Thanks to diligent learning and effort, for the first time in over 18 years, I am now at a normal weight, and my health risk factors have improved tremendously.
From this personal quest I’ve been on for so long, I wanted to share with you some thoughts about adult health. One of my main long-term personal goals is to avoid spending time in the hospital and minimize my risks of the major chronic diseases – heart disease, cancer and diabetes. I’m sharing this information in the spirit of you, too, staying healthy well into old age, as so many are counting on us.
TO MINIMIZE YOUR RISKS OF CHRONIC DISEASES
(HEART DISEASE, CANCER, DIABETES)
1 – Get your weight to optimum levels. A few years ago, I saw master herbalist Christopher Hobbs speak about chronic disease. He said that getting the extra fat off of your body is the most important thing you can do to avoid the epidemics of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. This is huge, for all of us. Getting your BMI to normal levels and keeping it there is the single most important thing you can do to improve your long-term health risk, including all these diseases. The image at right is one that I used as a visual to help me while I was starting to lose my extra weight, showing all the health conditions that improve when you lose weight.
Get your BMI Below 22. Find your bmi by looking up your weight and height on a BMI calculator like the site below, and make the dietary and exercise changes needed to get it below 22 and keep it there. This may take awhile, and you may have to change many habits. You may find that your new healthy habits rub off on your children, which is just one more reason it’s so worthwhile. If you have been struggling to lose weight using other methods, look into the HCG Diet at Happily Thinner After, below. For me, this method was a life-changer!
2 – Get your Vitamin D above 70. The best recent study says we ought to be taking 4000-8000 iu/day. Whole foods has inexpensive 4000 iu softgels, very small and easy to take. When you get your annual physical, ask for your vitamin D levels to be tested. Keep them above 70. You do need to take supplemental vitamin D in the summer, as well as winter.
3 – Take fish oil daily. Essential Fatty Acids help with so many important areas of health! They help with heart risk factors, cholesterol, inflammation and brain function, among others. Take just the dose recommended, not more. Cod liver oil is a great choice, because it helps with vitamin A and D as well. To be safe, buy a good quality brand which has been purified of heavy metals, such as Nordic Naturals, not a drugstore or discount brand.
4 – Phase out white flour and sugar from your diet. I am absolutely convinced that this is a major change we will need to make in our eating as a culture. Most persistent weight gain is due to insulin resistance due to sugar and simple carbs, not due to too much food or too much fat. Lowering your carb intake and breaking your addiction to white flour and sugar is critical for maintaining healthy body weight and low risk factors. If this sounds controversial or wrong to you, please take the time to listen to Gary Taubes’ series of lectures on Youtube and educate yourself. What you hear will surprise you, but I absolutely believe it is the truth.
There is really good news here: with proper guidance, those who have been brainwashed into starving themselves eating lowfat and diet foods can “splurge” daily on delicious healthy high-fat food, and improve their health and their weight!
What To Eat: Eat vegetables and fruits of all colors, particularly berries and crucifers (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.). Eat plenty of healthy fats, like coconut oil, avocado and yogurt, and clean organic meats like wild salmon and grassfed beef. Find a sweetener other than sugar (not aspartame) that you like, and use it instead of sugar. Eat whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice in moderation, or less if you gain weight easily or need to lose.
I believe that as medical science catches up with what nutritionists know, the obesity epidemic will be found to be due to addiction to simple carbs like white flour and sugar, not fat. Obviously, you will also want to avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup, as well as artificial colors, flavors, aspartame, and MSG. Try to cook your own foods, rather than eating pre-made ones or eating out – this is the best way to make sure you’re eating real food.
5 – Buy your Meat and Dairy Organic. Here are the most important things to buy organic:
a. Meats (toxins concentrate in animal fat, so organic is important in meat and dairy)
b. Dairy products (if you don’t buy organic, buy low fat, and get healthy fats from other sources)
c. Strawberries (because of the particular pesticides used on them)
d. Other fruits and veggies (importance varies by type).
This is according to a recent article in Time Magazine. The higher priority placed on buying organic dairy above fruits and veggies is new, and surprised a lot of people. Please do find a way to include organic strawberries and blueberries in your family’s diet frequently! They are an incredible health investment.
6 – Stop smoking. If you need a reason why, look at your kids’ faces.
7 – Address your individual health risk factors. Use your annual physical exam to know and understand your blood pressure, cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, bone density, and anything your doctor says is a particular risk or issue for you, based on your health and family history.
- Take a notebook to your doctor appointments, ask questions, write things down and follow through. Nobody cares about your health as much as you do.
- Get a copy of your test results and understand them – your insurance dollars paid for them – make sure you get your money’s worth!
- In my opinion, one of the best uses for western medicine is to use it to find out and understand your risk factors. Then educate yourself, and use practical, inexpensive, healthy non-western methods, such as food, supplements, meditation and exercise, to help improve them.
Please note that most of these recommendations go beyond the level of health that most doctors are used to. If you implement them, you will be healthier than 99% of the patients that most doctors will ever see. Your doctor may look at you like you’re a little excessive, or slightly crazy (as mine now does!) if you tell him that these are your goals. But I do not think they will tell you these are bad ideas for your health. And they may ask you how you did it, when they see how healthy you become!
- Food Rules by Michael Pollan – a quick, inexpensive & sensible guide!
- In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (longer and more detailed)
- Gary Taubes’ Lectures – Why We Get Fat – Youtube
- Vitamin D Council – The experts on Vitamin D
- Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon
- Natural Cancer Strategies, Mercola.com
- Life Extension Foundation
- Pounds and Inches – Dr. Simeon’s book on HCG, based on his 20 years’ experience running a very effective weight loss clinic in Rome, back in the 50’s and 60’s
- Fruits and Veggies to buy organic – One of many articles on this subject
- Even Harvard says Stop Thinking Low-Fat – Seek out healthy fats instead
Filed under: Health |