The following is a list of lifestyle and dietary changes to upgrade your health and body that I’ve made over the years. These changes have made a huge impact on my personal journey back to health as well as the health of the patients I serve. Once we know better we can choose to do better and share the knowledge with others. Making even just a few of these changes will ignite healing in your body, decrease any underlying inflammation, and put you on the path to your healthiest life.
Here are the 12 Changes to Upgrade Your Health and Body:
Have you noticed the more whole “healthy” grains we eat, the fatter we become? Daily consumption of grains and grain products sends our blood sugar soaring, accelerating the aging process and promoting inflammation which contributes to diabetes, weight-gain, lowered immunity, hormone imbalance and other serious health concerns. Do you know that eating two slices of whole grain bread raises your blood sugar as much as drinking a can of soda? Grains quickly turn into sugar in your body and do nearly as much harm as the toxic white stuff (a.k.a. sugar). Grains like gluten also hamper your digestion and contribute to leaky gut syndrome which occurs when the junctions that make-up the gut wall become inflamed and cause undigested food proteins to leak across, resulting in inflammation. What about the valuable minerals in grains? Grains contain phytic acid which prevents absorption of the important minerals they do contain like calcium, magnesium, and iron. The only safe way to eat grains is to soak and sprout them, since this traditional method of preparation decreases phytic acid content. But if grains accelerate aging by spiking blood sugar, inhibit mineral absorption and digestion, and contribute to diseases like obesity and diabetes…why are you still eating them on a daily basis? Try cutting out grains, or at least reducing your consumption, and see how you feel.
Animal products themselves are not causing our modern health woes: it’s the type of animal products we’re eating that are contributing to disease. Meat and dairy products from grain-fed, factory farmed animals are chock full of hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, herbicides and pesticides, which contribute to heart disease and cancer. On the other hand, meat and dairy from healthy, grass-fed and naturally raised animals is actually health-promoting, and contains high-quality saturated fat and cholesterol necessary for proper cellular function and regeneration. Grass-fed animal products also contain loads of vitamin K2, which remains a massive deficiency in this country because most Americans eat exclusively grain-fed animal foods which do not contain enough K2 to impact health. Switching from grain-fed to grass-fed meat and dairy products is one of the most important things you can do to immediately begin improving your health.
The change that made the most dramatic impact on my life was detoxing the heavy metal mercury out of my body. I had silver (amalgam) tooth fillings, two of which were drilled out incorrectly. After the fillings had been removed and replaced with gold, I became very ill. I couldn’t sleep, concentrate, adapt to stress, was chronically fatigued, and fell into a deep depression. It took nearly four years of suffering to understand the cause of my illness. After extensive research, I learned silver fillings contain 50% mercury, which vaporizes and crosses into the brain where it bio-accumulates over time. The addition of gold caused a galvanic reaction leaching mercury out of the fillings 10 times faster than normal. Only once I learned how to properly remove the remaining fillings and mercury from my brain did I get my life back.
As far as detox goes, heavy metal detox can be the most dangerous of all and should only be done under the guidance of a health practitioner trained in the proper protocol. However, when done correctly, it can be the safest and most rewarding. I’ve observed more people get their lives back from “unexplainable” illness with proper heavy metal detoxification than any other single alternative solution. I am so passionate about this topic because I unknowingly lived with heavy metal toxicity for years before finally getting to the root cause of my suffering. Remember, you will never fully recover your health if a major stressor such as heavy metals remains in your body, despite following a perfect diet and health regime.
Man-made toxic fats like hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine, and trans fats are a cheap way to extend the shelf life of the foods you buy at the store. These bad fats are a huge concern because they are found in many commonly eaten foods and promote chronic inflammation contributing to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and chronic fatigue. Did you know it takes 102 days for your body to process all the negative effects of trans fat, the fat found in fast food french fries? That’s a long time. But all you have to do is remove the bad fats and replace them with good fats. Good fat is the number one lacking nutrient in our modern diet, and is vital for optimal health. Quality fat sources include coconut oil, flax oil, MCT oil, hemp oil, raw nuts and seeds, and grass-fed meat and dairy products. Good fats are essential to hormone production, decreasing inflammation and weight-loss. Yes, weight-loss! Don’t fear good fat, and go ahead and add a spoonful of grass-fed butter to your morning coffee.
Want to exercise less and see more results? It is possible, and the type of exercise that achieves this is called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), or burst-training. Burst Training is performed in short, intense “bursts” and works by pushing your hormones for weight loss and anti-aging in the right direction by raising growth hormone and testosterone. Burst training also promotes fat burning for 24-36 hours after the session. This method of exercise is far more effective than the old routine of pounding the pavement or punishing yourself in aerobics class or on cardio equipment for hours. Studies show excessive cardio is actually useless for weight loss; moreover, it can accelerate aging. Acute oxidative stress from exercise can be beneficial, but when chronic can cause premature aging and even disease. Burst Training done every other day avoids the negative effects that excessive cardio has on the body. When burst training is combined with weight-lifting the results are remarkable. With our busy schedules today, why not choose to work out in the most efficient and effective way? And the anti-aging benefits are a nice plus!
You’re probably already consuming some fermented foods such as coffee, chocolate, tea, beer and cheese. But to truly appreciate the healing power of fermented foods, eat those which are unpasteurized and therefore “alive.” Unpasteurized, living foods like homemade sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, miso and boast trillions of bacteria, compared to billions in the best probiotics on the market, and contain bacteria we have yet to discover. Ingesting these bacteria impacts our gut health and digestion in a huge way: bacteria can change how our cells communicate with our hormones, and can even change our gene expression for good or for bad.
Before refrigeration, our ancestors ingested trillions of good bacteria daily because they fermented foods to extend the time they could be consumed. Fermentation is a lost art, and holds the key to healing many chronic conditions, especially those of the gut. Start eating more unpasteurized, fermented foods today to replace gut bacteria diminished by a toxic diet and environment. Better yet, culture your own fermented foods at home: your gut will thank you!
Coffee can either help you or hurt you depending upon how it’s consumed. Prepared in the right way, coffee super-charges your brain to take on a new day and is one of the most anti-oxidant rich foods on earth. To upgrade your morning cup of joe, start by grinding organic beans that are free of mold and pesticides. Coffee beans are often grown in countries that do not regulate the use of these chemicals. Moreover, most coffee sold in stores is stale, which greatly decreases the beneficial anti-oxidants. Coffee beans may also be covered in toxic mold, called mycotoxins, linked to serious issues like kidney disease, brain damage and hypertension. Freshly ground, organic and mold-free beans are a must for a healthy cup.
To really upgrade your coffee, add in good fat to protect the antioxidants and help control your blood sugar. Stir in a few spoonfuls of any of the following fats to make your coffee a super health food: grass-fed, organic heavy cream; grass-fed, organic butter; butter oil; coconut oil or full-fat coconut milk; or MCT oil. If you must use a sweetener, use a pinch of high quality stevia. Remember, you can have too much of a good thing and moderation with coffee is key.
In an ideal world, the air would be clean, oceans free of pollution, and everyone would get essential vitamins and minerals from the sun and by eating an organic, whole foods-based diet. Considering the wide-spread vitamin deficiencies, however, this is clearly not the case. Most Americans are deficient in vitamins and minerals essential for basic function, such as Vitamin D, K2 and Iodine. High-quality vitamin supplements provide nutrients missing from the diet which activate and support the body’s ability to heal itself. Though ideally obtained from food, the massive epidemic of vitamin deficiencies shows that supplementation is now often needed to fill the gap.
When shopping, buy the best supplements you can afford and choose physician grade when possible. High quality supplements make all the difference in getting the cell well. Synthetic vitamins often contain cheap ingredients and fillers, and are not absorbed into the cell, rendering useless. Low-quality vitamins can even stress the body and make health problems worse. Avoid “discount shopping” when it comes to your health: choose quality supplements to address deficiencies that support your body’s inherent healing capacity.
Our bodies are composed mostly of water and without it we die in a matter of days. Water is crucial to not only survive, but to detoxify our bodies from the daily onslaught of toxins. However, most people are drinking water from a public water supply polluted with major contaminants such as chlorine, fluoride, and mercury that disrupt our hormones and neurological functioning. Public water also contains a wide array of pharmaceutical drugs to boot. To safely hydrate and detoxify your body, look into getting a high-quality water filtration system that can be installed beneath your sink. To take it to the next level, ensure the safety of water used throughout your home by investing in a whole-house water filtration system. Did you know that taking one 10 minute shower in public water is equivalent to drinking 11 glasses of that very same water? Our skin absorbs much of which is applied to it, including our bathing water. Whole house water filtration, or a quality filtration unit beneath your sink at the least, will help to clean up your home and add health to your life.
Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, are plants or animals genetically engineered using DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals, and do not occur in nature. If God created it, why are we changing it? GMOs were created to survive the application of herbicides such as glyphosate, the number one sprayed herbicide in the world. Glyphosate can disrupt hormone balance, kill beneficial gut bacteria, cause psychological problems, inhibit natural detoxification, and promote obesity. Genetically engineered foods are destroying the health of our world by causing numerous diseases, and we need to immediately reject GMO ingredients from our diet. Common GMO foods include corn, soybeans, canola oil, sugar beets and wheat. The best and most cost-effective way to avoid GMOs is to eat foods grown in your own organic garden. Otherwise, when grocery shopping, look for the Non-GMO Project’s label on food items and always ask questions.
A recent study at the University of Southern California suggested that fasting for three consecutive days can completely reboot the immune system. This is possible because when your system is starved, your body begins producing new white blood cells via stem cells, and white blood cells help our bodies to fight infection. In essence, the study showed that three days of fasting “flips a switch” to ignite regeneration of the immune system, and is especially helpful for those with already damaged immune systems. Dr. Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California, stated “There is no evidence at all that fasting would be dangerous while there is strong evidence that it is beneficial.”
I’ve observed dramatic healing occur in patients thanks to the powers of fasting, many of whom had gut issues that were impeding the healing of other coexisting conditions. One gut issue I note frequently is leaky gut, and a diet of GMOs, grains, sugars and other toxins lies at the root of the condition. Fasting is an ancient healing tool and it works. When you ingest only liquid, ideally in the form of healing whey water or bone broth, the gut is given time to “heal and seal.” Fasting starves down all bacteria, good and bad, and post-fast the gut is re-inoculated with good bacteria to reset. Fasting also helps to bring nutrition to a depleted body and remains the fastest way to stimulate the healing of a variety of health conditions.
Good health means more than being free of physical illness: it’s a balance of mental, physical and spiritual wellness. You can make the previous changes in this list and remain sick if you don’t change a limiting, negative mindset. Our mind has more of an impact on our physical health than most of us like to acknowledge, and is often more powerful than the physical things we do to get ourselves well. We can fast, drink the purest water, take the highest-quality supplements, eat a perfect GMO-free diet and still not fully heal from a condition due to a poor mental state. If you make only one of the changes I’ve suggested make it this one: change your mindset. Then begin to take stock of the things in your life you need to change to impact your health, such as removing major physical and emotional stressors. This may mean making a lot of uncomfortable changes, but you must commit to changing your life if you’re sick and truly want your life back. Ultimately, trust that God will work everything out for your good.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”