Holistic does not imply religion. It simply means treating your body as a whole physical, spiritual, psychological entity and approaching your health from all these aspects with equal attention and nurturing. It means welcoming all healthy living philosophies & strategies, as to learn from all of them, take what works best, and blend them into your own lifestyle. It also means taking care of yourself and being your own and greatest healthcare advocate! I certainly did not invent the holistic ideology, but my family & I have been making an effort to incorporate holistic concepts into our lifestyle and we have noticed a positive difference, from less illness to how we manage stress! And it turns out that a holistic-health lifestyle will also promote longevity & ideal body composition – optimal leanness and therefore an aesthetically appealing physique!
In no particular order:
- Brush your teeth, gums & tongue and floss daily. Mouth bacteria enters directly into the bloodstream when you have gum disease. Flossing disrupts bacteria colonies.
- Supplement with probiotic bacteria (healthy bacteria) to support colon health and help fight against yeast-overrun & colon-based pathogens. Natural yogurts & cottage-cheeses & Kombucha tea will also contain live cultures of beneficial bacteria. Pathogens & disease can also enter through an unhealthy ‘leaky’ colon if ‘good’ bacteria are not thriving & regular bowel movements aren’t occurring. As crude as this may sound, examine your poop! You don't need to actually touch it, but if it is hard or nugget-like, than you are, or were, dehydrated and/or did not consume enough fiber! Some say "all disease starts in the colon..." so don't let this be your normal BM - fix it by staying hydrated, consuming plenty of greens & fiber, & plenty of probiotic bacteria!
- Alkalanize/Alkalize daily with GREEN & RAW veggies & nuts and chlorophyll-containing drinks throughout the day. The goal here is to consume foods with base-pH or greater than 7.0 pH to offset all the acid-forming, refined foods & animal-based foods we eat. As a general rule of thumb, if it is GREEN or plant-based then it is alkaline and raw is usually best. There are many fantastic supplement greens’ powders out there for those on the go! I also drink a morning alkalizing drink first thing on an empty stomach!
- Eat multiple Super-Foods daily. By ‘super’ I mean foods that possess powerful healing, energizing or cancer-fighting power. Foods such as olive oil, garlic, honey, lemon, Green-Tea, coconut, eggs, apples, raw nuts, wild cold-water fish and many more. See my complete list of 20 Super-Foods! Feel free to supplement with extracts from these super-foods or other vitamins & supplements as needed! We’re not perfect eaters and never will be!
- Cleanse & detox daily. This is very simple: Eat clean, whole-foods, organic when possible, plenty of raw fruits & green veggies and drink pure water! Our bodies do a thorough job of detoxing on their own via our liver, lymphatic, sweat glands, lungs, mucus, kidneys & colon, etc. All we have to do is provide toxin-free foods and water, perhaps along with some teas & herbs. Our bodies will do the rest! Here is a list of 12 easy ways to help daily detox!
- Exercise or be ACTIVE every day! At least 20 minutes of moderate-to-high intensity exercise daily to focus mainly on cardio fitness but also to include strength training at least 2 days per week to prevent natural atrophy, protect bone-density and boost resting-metabolism. The benefits of consistent exercise are literally equivalent to the fountain-of-youth and are too many to list. Plus, it is proven that exercise is the only anti-thesis to combat a sedentary lifestyle. Sedentary lifestyle contributes to early-death, insulin-resistance and slow-metabolism. Plus exercise triggers dopamine & Growth Hormone! When possible try and exercise OUTDOORS for cleaner air and exposure to sunlight which boosts serotonin (the pleasure-neurotransmitter), vitamin-D and helps us sleep better at night by establishing better Circadian Rhythm.
- Be productive & creative every day. It makes us feel good to be productive, contribute and be creative. It gives us a chance to express our selves and totally engage mentally in the precious present moment. Creating gets the reward-neurotransmitter dopamine firing and anytime we can do that naturally, THAT is health & happiness at its most organic!
- Build & nurture social relationships within your life. Facebook & Twitter don’t really count! Skype might! Spending quality time with family & friends does. Whether it’s a club or a team or just hanging out, it is human nature to nurture relationships with others – the forum doesn’t matter. Try to work in some hugs too – hugs heal! Love is all-powerful & healing. Nurturing your libido is good too. Do not under estimate the healing effects of bonding with a pet. Having an animal companion can add years to your life! Karma cannot be ignored either: Part of the holistic ideology is cause and effect. We reap what we sow.
- There is a ‘higher-power’. ‘Holistic’ does not evoke religion but it does require spirituality and belief in an infinite-power or higher-intelligence, or whatever you desire to call it. At least acknowledging that the universe is much greater than us and that we are accountable to & humbled by it and all there is an infinite amount available to learn and incredible energy that surrounds us. When one brings children into this world there is incredible love experienced and a spiritual awakening occurs. Again karma exists in holistic ideology.
- Quality sleep is absolutely essential. Sleep is the basis for holistic health. I don’t believe there is an exact quantity that is requisite for everyone, but what sleep you do get needs to be uninterrupted & quality. Deep-Sleep Phase is when we humans get our greatest Growth Hormone secretion, which heals, restores and makes us LEAN. Obviously in the real world, our sleep window is compressed and interrupted, but that’s why we all can benefit from learning the art of the power-nap and being able to sneak one in whenever possible! Seriously, if you’re chronically sleep-deprived EVERYTHING else in your life & health is suffering too. Trust me on this one.
- Manage STRESS effectively. In the real world there will always be stress. Some stress actually improves our performance and is beneficial. But chronic stress will lead to premature death. There are many ‘tools’ out there to help us deal & vent, so find what works for you: Exercise, relaxation breathing, massage, a friend who is a good listener, a glass of wine & a hot-shower, making priority lists, delegating, whatever works for you. Or how about simply 'unplugging'? It’s okay to ask for help!
- We’re responsible for our own happiness. Lower your expectations of others and raise them for your self. You’ll be less disappointed. We all have our problems and we can blame all we want, but at the end of the day, nobody is responsible for making you happy but you. If you don’t want to be victimized than choose not to be a victim. I realize it is not always this simple or easy, but examine the relationships you’re in and be prepared to make significant changes if somebody is holding you back, has nothing positive to offer or is unwilling to compromise.
**Note: Some folks are naive enough to believe that if they eat 'perfectly' (as if that is even possible) and live ideally, then disease will never enter or thrive in their body...so they think they never need to visit a doctor for an actual check-up. We are all carry genetic traits and a long family-history that may or may not cause us to be at high-risk for developing some diseases. How well do you know your family history? Don't be naive and don't be ignorant: Go get a general physical examination to include a blood-panel once per year, and visit a Dermatologist once per year if you're over age 35. If you're over age 50, get a colonoscopy once per year. YES, these check ups with actual M.D.s are an important part of holistic-health! Do the basic age-marker tests and check-ups!