Five Steps to Perfect Health
By LoriGregory on February 23, 2010
Time is a limited commodity. Doesn't matter how rich or how famous you are, everybody gets 24/7.
That's why when we get sick, and time seems to come to a grinding halt, all we want is a magic bullet to 'get on with it.' Of course, there are no magic bullets and soon we learn prevention is the only way to stop from getting taken out of the game in the first place.
As Americans, we are quick to have an excuse for why things are out of balance, often blaming our ailments on a this flu thing or some stomach bug. We focus on what's going on outside of the body instead of inside, which is where imbalance starts in the first place. Truth is, if your immunity is strong, bugs and flus never have a chance.
When I started studying Ayurveda 15 years ago, I was a hot mess due to a combination of factors including not being breast fed as a child which led to excessive strep and tonsillitis from the age of 1 followed by an over use of antibiotics. It took hitting bottom to realize enough was enough: I wanted to learn how to cultivate good health.
And I did.
Which is how at 45-years-old, I gave birth to the most beautiful, perfectly healthy little boy. It's also how I stay healthy year after year with no need for medication or doctor visits.
The good news is you can learn how to do this for yourself, no matter who you are or what your situation. Five Steps to Perfect Health can start you on the road to taking control of your life.
Word of warning: they are simple, not easy. Also, depending on your current state of affairs, including toxic load and your personal history, implementing these five steps may cause things to get worse before they get better. But this is a really great way to start, by becoming aware of how you can truly nurture your body and cultivate a state of divine health.
These steps work well together. If done separately you will not see a huge change. But the combination of the cumulative effects is what is significant.
No matter what you’re doing or who you are, when you feel great, life ROCKS. We say as Americans that health is one of our top three priorities, but when it comes down to it we want somebody to do it for us. We often have a hard time taking responsibility for it ourselves. So take this advice: Be proactive now to care for yourself. You'll thank yourself later.
Step 1. Don't eat after 10 p.m.
You've heard this before, but do you know why it's important?
Twice a day, between 10-2, (am & pm), the gut floods with gastric juices. When it happens during the day (the peak is at noon) you are supposed to eat your largest meal. When it happens at night (the peak is midnight) we're supposed to be asleep.
Do you notice if you're awake at midnight you get hungry? Instead of digesting nutrients, the midnight gastric flood (what I call The Night Time Janitor), is supposed to burn up the mess from all the day's activities: undigested food bits, toxins, bacteria, viruses, parasites. They are all swept out when he is left alone to do his job. However, if there is food in your small intestines, you lose the benefit.
It sounds simple, but modern life often includes late night meetings and extensive travel. Best bet is when you know you are going to eat late, eat a very hearty lunch. That way if you do have a late dinner, you can keep on the lighter side and not go to bed hungry.
Step 2. Drink Hot water with lemon first thing in the a.m.
Drinking hot water and lemon first thing in the morning is the best way to 'break' your 'fast.' It's a gentle pipe cleaner for the body, and also helps balance the digestive system first thing in the morning.
The lemon is key because it has an alkaline affect on the body. The more alkaline you are the healthier your immune system. Remember: bacteria and viruses cannot live in an alkaline state, but they thrive in acid (sugar, coffee, meat, balsamic and red wine vinegars, alcohol and other fermented foods, processed foods). So having the lemon water first thing means you get a nice soft flush in the a.m. after the janitor has done most of the heavy cleaning.
You don't have to give up your mocha chino frappa cappa coffee drink, but you do have to...
Step 3. Switch to decaf.
The number one condition I treat in my Ayurvedic consulting practice is caffeine addiction (number two is constipation, number three is candida infestation).
Hate to break it to you, but caffeine is a dangerous narcotic. That means it interferes with the body's natural functions. "But I only drink a cup a day," clients tell me.
Remember: what you do everyday affects you the most. One cup a day means 30 cups a month! That's 365 cups of coffee a year. Imagine!
The caffeine monkey will need you to feed it more and more and more and more and more....
One cup today will be three cups in five years, and five cups in 7 years and so on and so on. I watched my aunt suffer brutal headaches in the morning until she had her coffee. And by the time I was in my teens she required five cups every morning just to get rid of it.
This is the inevitable path of caffeine addiction. If you know you need it and can't live without it, that's a sure sign you better give it up.
Here's the best way:
1. Start by blending 1/2 caffeinated, 1/2 decaffeinated. Do this for one week. On the second week, make it 3/4 decaf and 1/4 caffinated for 3 days, then taper to 100% decaf as soon as you can.
2. At the beginning of the second week start taking an herbal detox product for caffeine addiction. The best one I know of is nature's sunshine. I have been using their products for almost 15 years and they are exceptional. If you order, spend $40 and you will qualify for wholesale. Use my name and account number to get the discount: Lori Gregory, #24405689.
3. Take the tincture for ten days after you stop caffeine altogether, or until the tincture runs out. If you are a heavy user you may experience headaches and constipation. Take triphala for the constipation, drink lots of water and take psyllium at night for the headaches. Acupuncture is also an awesome addition.
Headaches usually last 10 days, constipation can last longer. Stick with it; once you detox from caffeine it is like a cloud lifting. You will feel, look and sleep better than you have in years!
Step 4. Go upside down.
Inversions are the most powerful form of yoga. The Sanskrit term, Niralamba Sarvangasana literally translated is "all whole," which means it is good for your whole body.
That means your thyroid, pineal and pituitary glands, thymus, parathyroid -- all your master computers of your body -- get fresh oxygenated blood when you are inverted. Reverse gravity causes all the fluids in your body to replenish tissue in the opposite direction -- tissue that as we age often gets ignored. You are literally massaging your body with fresh oxygen from the inside out -- Kidneys, adrenals (that sit like little hats on top of the kidneys), gallbladder, liver, pancreas, spleen -- all refreshed.
And those little diverticuli? They get emptied out like a pocket in a heist.
Here are the deets on the best way to do an inversion, which is a unique approach developed by my amazing teacher, Loretta Pharo, RN.
Step 5. Healthy Green Drink is the new breakfast.
Get your green drink on, people! If you're not doing this yet, it's t-i-m-e. What's the fastest way to build your immune system? Put good stuff in your body!
You don’t have to do it every day, but remember what you do everyday affects you the most. Have it at least three times a week. First thing in the morning after your hot water and lemon maximizes its effectiveness.
Probiotics are important because they keep good bacteria at bay by a ratio of 200:1. Read that again. That means for every one good bacteria in your gut, 200 bad ones are out of commission.
Problem is, you only get probiotics in nature from your mother's breast milk. Which means if you've ever taken an antibiotic, (or were never breast fed in the first place) your probiotic population is l-o-n-g g-o-n-e.
Unless you replace, they stay erased. Most of you think yogurt is the best source of probiotic, but beware: dairy yogurt makes mucous which is part of the problem you are trying to eliminate. Plus you'd have to eat SO MANY yogurts to get the quantity of good bacteria population you need... It's best instead to take a healthy supplement.
In addition to the Greens First, I recommend Metagenics Probiotics, which I also add to my green drink.
Greens First also contains Turmeric. Few supplements get me jazzed as much as turmeric (yes, the spice). Why?
Turmeric, (also called curcumin), has the same anti-inflammatory property as Motrin, but with zero liver toxicity. That’s right, nature made its own NSAIDS and it’s better than what man cooked up in the lab. This is especially important news for those of you suffering from autoimmune dysfunctions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, cystic fibrosis or any other inflammatory dis-ease.
If you are healthy, turmeric will help support the immune system in maintaining healthy gut function so even if you don’t need it for a specific ailment it will still benefit you systemically.
BONUS: Go Organic! But if you are low on $dough$...
If you can't afford to go organic on everything, at least go organic on these twelve. They are apples, celery, cherries, grapes (imported), nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach, strawberries, sweet bell peppers. They are the fruits and vegetables that absorb the most pesticide when growing.
Good health to you all -- thanks for taking the time to read my first post. I appreciate any feedback you are inclined to share.
Peace and Blessings!
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