Metabolic Typing

Mixed salad leaves with candied bacon, crouton...

What is “Metabolic Typing”?

Honestly, this is just a fancy way of categorizing the way we eat.  Ever wonder why there seems to be so many different diets out there that people SWEAR by.  There are vegans.  There are paleo people.  There are starch eaters.  There are low-carbers.  They all think that their way is best.  Are they all right?  Are they all wrong?  What is going on here?  Enter Metabolic Typing.

METABOLIC TYPING:  In my own words, metabolic typing is a dietary theory that leaves room for differences in genetics, ancestry, climate, age, and location.  We come from different areas of the planet.  Our ancestors ate different things.  Humans have traveled the world and filled the globe.  We are all human, yes?  Yes, but we all come from different places.  We are in different phases of life and do different activities.  Trying to fit EVERYBODY into the same box just seems a little arrogant and crazy right?  Ultimately, there are infinite numbers of metabolic types because we are ALL different and unique.  For the sake of sanity, most people break down the types into three main categories.  Let’s take a quick peak and give a few tips on how to succeed as each one.  Keep in mind that your metabolic type can and often does change with the seasons, age, activity levels, and so forth.  Listening to your body and eating real food is always a good guide.

PROTEIN TYPE:  This is the realm of the “modern paleo” diet trend.  Lot’s of meat and fat.  Regardless of what vegetarians or “vegans” tell you, some of our genes require meat and fat to do well.  How much?  It depends on the person.  Protein types are usually people who feel best having some sort of animal protein a few times a day.  They usually crave dark meat, rich meats, eggs, butter, fat, full fat cheese, etc.  Nuts are often sought after as a snack.  This person is usually inclined towards strength-training and doesn’t do quite as well with cardio exercise.  They need a bit more sleep than most to feel good.  What gets this type into trouble?  Overeating.  Especially on crappy food.  These include all pasteurized dairy products, grilled or heavy cooked protein foods, fried eggs, too much bacon or preserved meats, roasted nuts, etc.  How to balance this type?  Focus on QUALITY over QUANTITY first.  Get yourself good quality, grass-fed meats, fish, fats, and eggs.  If you kilter towards animal foods, go with raw cod liver oil, raw butter, raw or lightly cooked eggs, rare fish and other meats, bone marrow, etc.  If you kilter towards plant foods (most don’t), go for the avocados, olives, coconuts, raw nuts, etc.  Another pitfall for this type is eating too many carbs or sugar.  They will usually crash if eating a lot of sugar by itself.  An example would be drinking a LARGE glass of orange juice first thing in the morning without anything else in your stomach.  People naturally slide more towards the protein type on the scale in the winter months.

MIXED TYPE:  Ah, the mixed type.  These are the “middle-of-the-road” people.  They are usually the least picky of eaters.  They can get by on pretty much everything as long as it is fresh, real food.  Cravings will shift often.  Sometimes we want some juicy rare lamb.  Sometimes we want a big bowl of vegetables or some fresh juice.  Maybe I didn’t want any fat for lunch, but boy does it sound good at dinnertime.  Mixed types are exactly how we sound.  Everything in moderation right?  The best foods for you?  Fresh fruits and vegetables as they feel right.  Some fresh juice in the morning maybe.  Moderate amounts of animal foods.  You may find a super heavy breakfast will weigh you down.  For example, a mixed type usually will do better with a lighter breakfast, as opposed to a big plate of eggs and sausage links.  The mix between preferences for animal and plant foods usually is mixed as well.  Sometimes animal fat does the trick.  Sometimes plant fat hits the spot.  Keep a wide variety of foods around and choose what feels best at the time.  This type usually likes some bodyweight exercise as well as cardio.  Problems?  It is easy to go off-balance.  Sometimes we eat too much protein and fat and get bogged down.  Sometimes we eat like the carb type and get jittery or anxious.  This all has to do with learning your own bodies preferences.  As usual, things change with the seasons and activity levels.

CARB TYPE:  The carb type eh?  This is usually where vegetarians lie on the scale.  Personally, I believe that most people need SOME high-quality animal products to be healthy long-term.  There are few people who do well in a cold climate on a carb diet.  My guess?  Most CARBS and heavy sugar fruits grow in tropical climates.  Some of us evolved in those regions.  Others evolved in colder regions.  So what are the characteristics of the carb-type?  A little hyper.  Quick to move.  Quick to think.  Usually favors cardio exercise.  These people often get cold easily in the winter, but LOVE the summer months.  Sometimes they are mixed types in disguise.  (If I eat a ton of sugar I will be very FAST for a while also.)  The difference?  This type of thing sustains the carb-type during the day.  What are the best foods for carb types?  Primarily fruits and vegetables.  Relatively little meat and fat here.  These types usually prefer plant sources for the bulk of their protein and fat.  Maybe a few eggs or some white fish or chicken here and there.  An example of a BAD meal for the carb-type would be a giant breakfast with a lot of rich meat, butter, bacon, or fatty fish.  Being a carb-type is NOT an excuse to go eat a bunch of “junk-food.”  Just as the protein type has to be wary of bad fats and overcooked proteins, the carb-type needs to watch it with the processed starches and sugars.  Things like potato and corn chips.  Granola.  Cereals.  Sweets.  “Healthy junk.”  Gluten, processed foods, and sugar are best avoided by everyone.

So those are the types guys and girls.  As a general guideline, you will slide more towards a protein type in the winter and when you are doing strength training, or are under stress.  You will usually slide towards the carb type in the summer months, doing a lot of mental-activity, and doing more cardio exercise.  Don’t “LOCK” yourself into any one category.  We change just as the seasons change.  Let your body be your guide.  Metabolic typing can be a good system to help you figure out where you are on the scale and adjust accordingly.  Happy hunting =)


-JOE

STEP by STEP

Step Pyramid

 

The principle of going step by step is so important in health.  We often forget how important it is.  Health and well-being are journeys, not destinations.  If we truly want successful and positive changes to occur, it is a good idea to remember this principle.  Changing over to a healthy program or routine may not be the best idea.  Our bodies fall into their routines and habits just as we do.  This is true even when the habits aren’t so great.  Look at smoking.  Chain smoking for 10 years and then quitting cold turkey may be dangerous.  Going from a terrible diet to a fasted juice cleanse may be dangerous as well.  We need to give our bodies a little bit of time to adjust to our improved lifestyles.  So how do we do this?  The hardest step if probably the first step.

1. INVENTORY:  Take inventory of where you are at currently.  This is usually hard to do, especially if we don’t like what we see.  To make true forward progress though, we need to be honest with ourselves and our abilities.  This may include listing your perceived current level of health, fitness, weight, emotional stability, diet, and lifestyle.

2. GOALS:  Create some REALISTIC goals.  A lot of us create goals that are unrealistic for the time we want to achieve them.  This often leads to abandoned goals.  Small changes do add up.  Maybe you just cut pasteurized dairy products out of your diet.  Maybe you cut out gluten.  Maybe you add juicing into your routine.  Maybe you commit to walking every day.  Think about things you can stick to.  Don’t try to do too much and then fall off the wagon

3. ADAPT:  Give your body and mind time to adapt to the changes.  Try adding in a thing or two at a time and see what happens.  You may feel better immediately.  With other things, it may take more time.  Let your body reach a new state of homeostasis before jumping in the deep end again.

4. LISTEN:  Listen to the signs your body gives you.  Maybe these signs are increased energy.  Maybe they are cravings for a new food.  Maybe they are signs to slow down.  All of these are important to listen to.

Health is a lifestyle guys.  There are no “crash-diets,” “6 week training courses,” or whatever else that promises good results in a short period of time.  The ultimate problem is that our LIFESTYLE is the problem.  That is the root cause.  Let’s fix it step by step.

-JOE

 

Can Health be FUN?

Horn of plenty (4239161486)

Can health be fun?  Does it conjure up images of boring meals, strict exercise routines, and an overall rigid schedule?  Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way.

I like to think of our ancestors a lot.  Ancestors and wild animals.  These beings were not necessarily trying to BE HEALTHY.  It was more called staying alive.  It just so happened that the very things that seemed to keep them alive were the same things that made them healthy.  What were these things?  A lot of fresh air and movement, a natural diet, no EMF in the environment, etc.  Did they have stress?  I would say most definitely.  But the ENVIRONMENT was a lot better for the most part.  I am more and more convinced that in times of old, humans lived a lot more off of fresh clean air and movement than today.  There seems to be a correlation between our health and our ability to sustain off of simple fare.  So can health be fun?  Do we have to follow boring routines?  Not at all.  The basics are the most important to have in place.  Some of the basics happen to be a lot of fun as well.

FOOD:  Does food have to be boring?  Boring plates of rice.  Tofu.  Canned seaweeds.  BLEUACK.  Are these even healthy things to eat?  A dog ravenously devours a plate of raw meat when you place it in front of him.  Is there any question if he enjoys it?  The food we eat is supposed to be enjoyed.  I believe evolution did a pretty good job of letting us know what we should be eating.  The problem?  When humans took over engineering our food supply.  We have learned to bypass our own natural tendencies and eating habits through the use of sugars, fried fats and oils, pasteurized dairy products, breads, chemicals and flavorings, etc.  Part of the problem is emotional eating.  Part of the problem is bad food in general.  How do we have fun with our food again?  It is relatively simple.  Get rid of the JUNK.  Replace your cabinets and refrigerators with whole foods.  It isn’t so important as to what these foods are.  What appeals to you and makes you feel good?  Perhaps in the summer this means a lot of fresh raw produce.  Maybe the winter calls for more high quality fats and proteins.  Focus on quality and proper cooking methods.  The rest will take care of itself.

EXERCISE:  Please do not spend countless hours on a treadmill staring at a wall or lifting weights on a machine mounted to the inside of a boring building.  In my opinion, the outdoors is the best place for this stuff.  Think of things you can do with friends and family members.  Hiking.  Kayaking.  Swimming.  Building or doing work outdoors.  Exercise does not have to be repetitive, expensive, or boring.  Mixing it up keeps things fresh.

EMOTIONS:  Is drinking a natural beer or a glass of wine bad for us?  That one is still up in the air for most.  However, if one drink gets you out and about with friends it is probably worth it.  We have such rigid “rules” within the health community.  I have come to believe that almost nothing is true for everybody in all circumstances.  Is it worth it to stay up late watching a movie with an old friend if it means blowing off steam and reminiscing over old times?  Probably.  Use your intuition with this one.  The whole key here is fun, love, and laughter.  Church groups, funny movies, practical jokes, pranks, love, kindness, etc.  We focus too much on food in general and less on emotions.

SPIRITUALITY:  This is a huge topic in itself.  The understandings that spirituality brings on an energetic level are enormous.  It is so interesting to start understanding our small role in this thing called life.  We are but one small person on the planet, yet we all have enormous power and potential.  Gaining knowledge in the workings of love, God, and the universe are often awe-inspiring and help us to view our own lives with more clarity and peace.

LEARNING:  Learning new things is fun.  Using our brains is fun.  Funny stuff on tv is great sometimes.  But what about new things?  What about getting off the beaten path?  Learning about art, music, science, math, the universe?  A foreign language is a great thing to learn.  Let’s keep learning and growing.  You usually can’t separate the two.

Key here is variety.  Variety is the spice of life right?  Don’t let yourself fall into a rut in the name of health.  Health is about so much more.  It is about being FULLY ALIVE.  It is about trying new things, meeting new people, traveling, and expressing yourself from the deepest core of who you are.  Let’s take back that right and start reclaiming the fun in healthy living.

-Joe

 

BALANCE Series: FIGHTING Vs. ALLOWING

yin yang futurist style

You need to get out there and work out more.  You need to get off of your ass!  Wait.  You need to relax.  You need to SLOW DOWN!  This is a tough one guys.  Life is about maintaining a balance between these two forces.  You could call them Yin and Yang.  You could call them fast and slow.  Recovery and work.  There is no wrong answer here.  The fact is that we need them both.  They are the two basic primal forces in the world.  All we can do is learn about them and figure out the best way to implement them in our own lives.  Some of us need to bring more YIN energy inside and calm down (guilty).  Some people need to cultivate more YANG energy and get moving more.  We are all born with a certain default mode.  It is then skewed by our lifestyles, mental attitudes, beliefs, and the people we spend time with.  Food affects it a lot as well but this topic is about the attitude.  Let’s look at people who could use more FIGHT.

NEED FIGHTING?  These are the people who have a hard time exercising.  It is easy to get distracted and stay on the couch.  Eating a bunch of junk does not help the problem.  Problems will include lethargy, sluggish mental functioning, lack of motivation, and a general lack of enthusiasm for life.  Changing requires a few simple steps.  We need to cultivate it like everything else.  Eat to boost your metabolism.  Cut out the fried foods, breads, pasteurized dairies, etc.  These will slug you down.  Fruits and vegetables may help you a lot to “speed up.”  Exercise will also help dramatically.  Exercise that will help this type usually include cardiovascular and calisthenics training.  The system is sluggish and needs a “jump-start.”  Choosing hobbies that get the energy moving are great here.  Sports, musical instruments, traveling, etc.  Cultivating willpower is also important.  This type tends to yield to confrontation, move around problems, and take the “passive route.”  Willpower and mental toughness can be practiced.  Let’s get some FIGHT folks!

NEED ALLOWING?  A topic close to my own heart =)  This does not have to be a literal “fighting.”  It can be a fight in the mind as well.  These people have trouble relaxing.  They have trouble slowing their processes down.  Maybe there is never enough time to get the things done that we want.  Maybe we jump into projects too fast and have a tendency of burning ourselves out and crashing.  Part of this problem can come from a genetic predisposition to FIRE energy.  It can also come from bad mental patterns dealing with perfectionism and an attitude that says “it is never enough,” or “it can’t get done quick enough.”  Usually there is plenty of willpower.  We are always taught that willpower is great, and it is; but there are limitations.  Sometimes we need to allow.  We need to allow the project to wait until tomorrow and unwind with some friends.  Sometimes we need to take a break and some personal time if we are exhausted.  We need fuel and activities that help calm the mind and body.  Art or slow music can help this type.  Fruits and veggies are always good.  This type however, will probably benefit with some high-quality proteins and fats as well.  These help balance.  Exercise can include qigong, light cardio, strength training, etc.  Figure out if your “YANG” is coming from the body or the mind.  These will require different interventions.

This is about balance guys.  There is no better way of going through life.  They both have their advantages and disadvantages.  Nature always strives for BALANCE.  Both types will benefit from clean food, water, and air.  They will also benefit from mild exercise and plenty of sleep.  We will always have our natural tendencies but we have the choice to bring those into balance with the world around us =)

-Joe

BALANCE Series: FITNESS

A US Marine Doing Pull-ups.

Everybody’s favorite right.  FITNESS.  We are referring to physical fitness this time.  This is not quite the same as weight.  I am talking about athleticism.  I am talking about physical preparedness.  I am talking about feeling strong and able in your body.  When accomplished, this is one of the greatest feelings in the world.  To FEEL GOOD and capable physically.  Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t always pay attention to balance in our fitness.  You see it everyday in gyms across the country.  There are giant “meatheads” lifting enormous amounts of weight without being able to touch their toes.  There are the “chronic cardio girls”that STILL have the mindset in place that doing endless hours of cardio is the answer to that weight problem.  There are the people who are always STARTING the fitness program soon.  “It IS soon I promise.”  Most of us fall somewhere in between some of these extremes examples.  As humans, it is easy to fall into our ruts.  Our routines.  We forget to mix it up.  We forget to be creative and balanced.  So let’s look at a few areas of fitness.  Crossfit defines 10 different areas of fitness to work on and I think they have an excellent model.  For our purposes, we will not be going into 10 areas.  We will briefly discuss a few that I feel are important to focus on for good balance in the body.  Let’s get started.

CARDIO:  Cardio is important.  I am not talking about chronic cardio.  It seems that with the new “paleo” movement, people have turned against cardio.  Why?  People have been doing cardio for as long as people have been on the planet.  Sure, we weren’t jogging endlessly on treadmills or ellipticals.  However, we have been hiking, swimming, walking, and doing outdoor work for a very long time.  Cardio is great for pumping the heart, lymph, and general circulation.  Switching it up is always recommended.  Jogging, brisk walking, hiking, bicycling, kayaking, SPORTS, WORKING OUTSIDE, etc.  The goal is to get the heart-rate up but not to strain too much.

STRENGTH:  I am lumping a few categories together here.  What do I mean by strength?  The fitness of my muscles?  I believe that the most important type of strength for a healthy body is muscular endurance.  The type of strength that you build by doing functional movements with a light to moderate weight.  Things like bodyweight exercises, chopping firewood, hiking in hilly terrain, kayaking hard, etc.  Bodyweight exercises are perfect for anyone wanting to develop some overall strength and endurance.  There are hundreds of exercises to choose from.  Then you have “brute strength.”  This is what comes from “pumping iron.”  Lifting weights.  Heavy weights.  The heavier the weight; the more power you will build.  While I think this has its place; I feel that it can easily be overdone.  Are our bodies really designed to do this sort of thing all the time?  A few targeted exercises are all you need for this one.  Think compound movements.  Deadlifts, squats, bench presses, shoulder presses, etc.  The biggest thing is to keep your WHOLE BODY in mind.  Don’t just focus on building a big chest and arms while maintaining chicken legs. A good idea is to focus on your WEAKNESSES instead of your strengths.

SHORT-EFFORT:  This is pretty simplistic.  Max effort for short duration.  Sprinting and lifting heavy weights go into this category.  Easy to overdo here.  Make sure that you are recovering from this type of exercise properly.  In modern life, this is probably the least important aspect of fitness.  I will note that doing this type of thing once a week or so has been shown to boost hormone levels, repair processes, and strength rapidly in the body.

FLEXIBILITY:  This one is overlooked.  Especially in us guys.  We spend most of our time developing a good LOOKING physique.  Well does it do us any good if we are just a model?  Don’t we care about being able to do anything with that physique?  Lifting weights and building muscle requires stretching and connecting to be functional.  I am not talking about doing endless hours of yoga here.  Focus on major muscle groups.  Chest, hamstrings, quads, arms, and back.  A brief 10 minute stretching routine can do wonders for your fitness levels.  

AGILITY/BALANCE:  Another overlooked area.  With treadmills, guided weight machines, and static postures we are used to having things made easy.  Straight lines are NOT always your friend.  Free weights, unbalanced terrain, and unpredictable conditions are great for challenging the body.  You may need to get creative with this one.  SPORTS are great for this one.  Forget about the competitive nature of sports for a day or two.  Things like basketball, touch-football, ultimate frisbee, swimming, etc are all great for improving agility, coordination, and balance.  Think rapid changing of movement, hand-eye coordination, and unpredictability.

RECOVERY/RELAXATION:  While this is not directly a fitness category, I believe it is worth mentioning here.  We often forget to recover from exercise.  We forget to relax.  This often halts or slows our progress dramatically.  SLEEP is the biggest factor here.  Doing “work-in”  exercises is also great.  Things like qi-gong or slow yoga.  Deep breathing is great also.

That’s it for the most part folks.  Let’s look at where we are out of balance.  Do I have huge biceps but the inability to run a mile?  Do I have great cardiovascular fitness without the ability to turn around or quickly shift my weight?  Whatever it is, it can be fixed.  Fitness is just one aspect of a healthy life.  Let’s bring it into balance.

-Joe  

TRUSTING Your BODY

Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x.

This is something I have had on my mind for quite a while guys.  Who are we and how did we get here?  Did our ancestors constantly wonder how their organs were working?  Did they stress out about the diet they were eating?  I would guess that they other pressing issues to work on.  Enter modern civilization.  Educated.  “High-technology.”  Junk food, traffic, blogs =), INFORMATION OVERLOAD.  What is the end result?  We have been taken from nature.  We are not living in natural environments.  We have EMF, garbage in our food supply, chemicals in our air and water, a bad mindset, and more.  We eat junk food.  We don’t sleep enough or get enough sun exposure.  We don’t eat a lot of the foods that we desperately need.  We exercise too much or not enough.  We have become so OUT OF TOUCH with how things work. I think this lands a lot of us with health challenges and we start doubting ourselves.  We start doubting our bodies ability to keep us well.  After-all, it isn’t much fun to have things going wrong inside.  So what do we do?  We educate.  We analyze.  We use our western brains to “think” our way out of our problem.  This is part of the solution.  It is however, far from a COMPLETE solution.  Education is always important and there is a lot of good information out there.  But a lot of it is conflicting.  Is it wise to eat whole grains or not?  Should we eat animal fat or not?  Maybe eating fruit or cutting out fruit.  What about cleansing?  Let me tell you something.  There are two modes that our body can be in.  Fear/FIGHTING or Love/GROWTH.  Those are the extremes.  The more you can achieve a love and growth mode the better off you will be with your health.  Stress over how you are living 24/7 lands you in the fear category.  Sometimes fear is good.  It drives us to find the answers we need.  But what happens when there is no definite answer?  We always want that answer so we keep searching.  Well I’m here to tell you that there is no “definite” answer.  What works for me may not work for you.  What works for some person in a hot and humid climate may not work for you living in the cold north.  So this lands us to where we are now.  Let’s look at some remedies to these issues.

EDUCATION:  Educate yourself.  This does not mean spend thousands of hours researching ways to improve yourself.  Learn about nature as much as you can.  Imitate it.  Focus on the basics here.  Eat whole, fresh, local food when possible.  Cut out the junk.  Junk food screws up our own natural instincts. The basics also include getting enough sunlight, sleep, exercise, grounding, and pleasure in life.  Understanding that emotions and mental/spiritual states affect our health as well is critical to well-being.

LISTEN:  Take time every day to listen to your body.  TRUST IT.  How do you feel right now?  Do you feel hungry?  Stuffed?  Does your body want a piece of fruit or a piece of meat?  How about your emotions?  Do you feel empty inside?  Do you hold a deep conflict that hasn’t had the chance to surface?  What is going on inside?

TRUST:  Trust is such a huge factor in health.  It is rarely discussed, but it should be more.  A lot of health challenges ultimately stem from a lack of trust.  This could be a lack of trust in God, relationships, how we were raised, etc.  It can also be a lack of trust in our bodies or that they are failing us or faulting in some way.  The body is not to blame guys.  Life is intelligent.  It understands what is going on even when we don’t.

My favorite definition of healing?  “Healing is the application of LOVE to places inside that are HURTING.”  The body knows what it is doing.  What inside is hurting?  That is our ultimate job.  What is the message that your body is sending to you?  What does it want from you in order to better come into balance and serve you better?  We are spirits in bodies guys.  The body is a vehicle.  We are all our own mechanics.  Would we blame the car?  Let’s ALLOW the car to run how it runs and become “body mechanics” to help tune up our vehicles.  Trust that Love and Life are made to be here.  We just need to figure out where we went wrong.  Life is always right =)

-Joe

Principle of STEP-by-STEP

Step Pyramid

Step Pyramid (Photo credit: Ed Yourdon)

 

Step by Step.  This applies to a lot of things in life.  Today, we are talking about health.  We live in a society that generally wants quick-fixes.  We want six-minute abs.  We want on-demand movies.  We want a lot of things.  It sometimes seems like we are not worth working for certain things any more.  These things may include our health, family relationships, mental/emotional health, spiritual health, etc.  These things are THE FOUNDATION of our lives.  If we do not have our health then we cannot build an efficient, happy life.  Health can always be rebuilt.  However, it often takes some serious dedication to achieve.  This does not mean hopping on a diet plan for a few weeks hoping to shed a few pounds.  It does not mean swallowing pills and drugs to “fix” the problem.  It often means a steady uphill climb.  It means changing the way we live our lives.  It also means changing our mindset.  The mindset of accomplishing certain things without effort.  It often means changing the way our family and friends perceive us.  Often it means changing the way WE see OURSELVES!  It also means undoing this “get everything done this minute” attitude.  Which brings us to the principle of “step-by-step.”  How do we work on our health step by step?  I have a few basic tips to help you put this principle into action.

1.  INVENTORY:  Take a good hard look at where you are currently.  We are usually so busy that we don’t always take the time to really BE with our bodies, minds, and souls.  Take a personal day and really take inventory of where you FEEL that you are right now.  This is often a very hard step.  It is especially hard if we have health challenges, have been ignoring our bodies for a long time, or have bad mental habits to break.  This is an inventory on all levels.  Where is your physical health?  How is your family life?  How is your spiritual life?  Do you have any traumas or repressed emotional conflicts that need resolution?  These questions will give you a good idea of what you could work on.

2.  BASICS:  I think I will repeat this stuff all the time, but it’s because it’s the most important stuff.  Implement the basics into your life.  Fresh air, clean spring water, whole-foods, sunshine, grounding, mild exercise, good sleep, rest, laughter, love, play, etc.  These things should be a part of your daily routine.  The most challenging of these is the food.  Sometimes it is important to figure out WHO you are and what food is right for you.  We are all different and require different stuff at different times.  Keys are focusing on real food and cutting out fried foods, pasteurized dairies, gluten, sugar, packaged stuff, etc.

3.  DEDICATION:  Do what it takes to improve in these areas.  Often times the biggest areas include family issues, spiritual issues, relationships, mental thought patterns and belief systems, etc.  It is hard to believe that that birthday cake is bad for us when our inner child was SO HAPPY eating it!  Fixing the lifestyle is of foremost importance.  However, sticking with the lifestyle choices may be a matter of fixing relationships with God, ourselves, our families and friends.

4.  ALLOW:  Here is the kicker.  Allow room for error.  Allow room to mess up.  Allow a cheat day on your diet.  The point is not to “ARRIVE” at health as quick as you can.  The point is to create a lifestyle that facilitates health.  There is no way to fake this stuff.  TRUE healing and health only come from one source.  That is God and nature.  When we live in accordance with these doctrines health and healing tend to occur on all levels.  The farther we separate ourselves from these principles; the worse off we tend to be.  My chiropractor has a sign up in his office that says “Healing is on God’s Time.”  I always loved this sign as it reminds us to allow the body to do what it was designed to do.  We don’t need to tell a cut on our arm to heal up.  We need to fuel ourselves properly and allow it to heal itself.  The same is true when we remove blockages to our own healing.

So in summary, health is a step-by-step game.  Don’t expect to achieve it overnight.  But know that there are people out there enjoying amazing health and vitality.  They are the people who work for it.  Or play for it; depending on how you look at it =)  The ironic thing is that the more we live in accordance to natural law, the more beautiful and elegant our lives seem to become.

-Joe