I imagine that the majority of Healthy by Nature Show listeners and our readers already have a pretty good idea how to head in the direction of optimum health. However, we all have folks in our circle that we’d like to help but who don’t even know where to start. Since most people are familiar with traveling and probably know more about their cars than their bodies, maybe this analogy will help them.
- Know where you are going. Realize that health is a lot more than the absence of disease. Aim for being energetic, cheery, optimistic, calm, pain-free, well-rested, clear-headed, happy with your weight, and resistant to colds and flu. If you are not those things and are being propped up by medications, you have not yet arrived at optimum health.
- Have realistic expectations. If it took you 20 years to get in the shape that you are in, don’t expect to get back to perfect in 20 minutes. An aspirin might work in 20 minutes for a mild headache, but it hasn’t fixed the cause…it just dulled the pain.
- Do preventive maintenance. For example, your vehicle (your body) might need an oil change. If your cell membranes aren’t composed of the right materials, they can’t do their job of letting the good things in and keeping the bad things out. Trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils, damaged fats and an excess of the omega-6 fats (from vegetable oils) are bad. Omega-3 (e.g. from fish) and omega-9 (e.g. from olive oil) are good.
- Use the fuel your vehicle was designed for. You wouldn’t think of putting kerosene in even a beat up old Ford. Your body, at its best, is like a brand new Lamborghini that requires premium gasoline. The “what to eat for health” rules can be confusing, but the basics are pretty simple. Your body craves real food that is as close to nature as possible. The more it is processed and laden with chemicals, sugar and while flour, the more it is like kerosene. The good bacteria in your gut need fiber and vegetables. For more details, read my article, “ABC’s of Healthy Eating”.
- Pay attention to the warning signs. Red lights on the car dashboard and funny sounds get our attention and send us to the shop. Body symptoms might send us to the doctor, but what if they are our red lights asking for preventive maintenance? Read more. We should also heed little changes too. For example, bleeding gums, broken capillaries and tiny red spots on the skin might be telling us that we need more vitamin C. Likewise, little white spots on fingernails might be calling out for zinc.
- Don’t let it sit unused too long. You don’t want to end up with a dead battery or flat-spotted tires or worse. It appears that sitting too much is really hard on our bodies.
- Don’t sabotage that fine machine. You wouldn’t ask a regular car to climb rocky hillsides like off-road vehicles do in commercials. It is clear that smoking, excess alcohol, extended stress, recreational drugs and even pharmaceuticals can be our rocky hillside.
- Get factory-authorized repairs. Functional medicine doctors and naturopathic physicians are among those better trained in our body’s “factory settings”. They know what is out of balance and how to fix that. For example, they would try to fix what is wrong with your knee rather than give you a new metal one. Click here for more information about finding a “factory-authorized” doctor.