No Price To Pay

February 12, 2011 by  
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Perhaps the biggest obstacle to becoming healthy, for most people, is a medical belief system.

Most people are thoroughly propagandized and programmed by the medical and drug industry.  What this means is that they have a symptom-cure mentality.  Another way to say this is that people are looking for a “magic bullet” that will cure their ailments or will accomplish their goal (more energy, less fat, whatever…).

This kind of thinking leads people to jump on the latest fad supplement or food in hopes of achieving health.   They hear about Acai… and start drinking Acai juice every day.  Then they hear that dairy is bad, and switch to soy milk… but drop the Acai juice.   Then they hear that blueberries have a lot of anti-oxidants, and they start throwing blueberries into their morning cereal.

The problem with this mentality is that it’s haphazard and insufficient.  The problem is that while these individual changes might be good… most people continue to eat huge amounts of processed, sugar-laden, salted, chemicalized frankenfood for most of their meals.

Believe me, I know.  I used to do the same thing.  I used to think I was healthy simply because I was a vegetarian… though I could feel that something was still wrong.

A few supplements or superfoods WILL NOT change your life.

What is required is a complete lifestyle and philosophical change.  To be healthy, you must eat only healthy food!  It’s simple and elegant, but requires a huge change.  Eating this way also means becoming a total non-conformist… because the entire economy, culture, and society are focused on eating poisonous processed “food”.

Rather than looking for magic bullets and “cures”,… you must shift your thinking.  You must see health as a threshold–  you keep adding in more and more and more and more healthy foods….  each one giving you a small improvement.. perhaps barely noticeable.  You keep improving.. keep adding in even more healthy foods.. until you reach a threshold.. a tipping point.  That’s when all of those changes and all of those healthy foods begin to multiply their effects.   Suddenly, your health, energy and vitality explode!  You feel fantastic!  You have more energy than you’ve ever had in your life.  Petty ailments disappear.   Fat begins to “melt” off of your body.  Sugar cravings disappear.

The challenge is that it takes faith to reach that point.  You have to keep making improvements even though, initially, you don’t feel much of a change. Just keep improving.  Keep adding in healthier and healthier foods in larger and larger quantities.  Keep cutting out processed (even cooked) foods more and more. Do that with relentless persistence and you will reach the tipping point!

This is the process I followed.  I finally reached the tipping point last December.  I switched to a “mostly raw” foods diet.  I added in superfoods.  I cut out coffee, sugar,…

And suddenly I felt amazingly better.  Not just a little better– but 1000% better!

There’s an old quote from Zig Ziglar that goes something like, “You don’t pay the price to achieve good health, you THOROUGHLY ENJOY the price of good health”.

In other words, when we first look at all the changes we need to make, we believe that it’s a big “price to pay”.   We focus on losing all those foods we think we need and love so much.  We think we’ll have to use tremendous will-power all of our life to stay healthy.

But once you cross the threshold (gradually or all at once), something amazing happens– you feel so damn great that you NEVER, ever, want to go back to being unhealthy.   No will-power is required because you no longer crave unhealthy foods.   I couldn’t believe it when it happened to me.

After a lifetime of struggling with sugar cravings, suddenly I had absolutely no desire for processed sugar.  None.  No will-power is necessary for me to avoid it.  It’s the same with coffee.

In fact, I am enjoying food now more than at any previous time in my life.  I used to eat at restaurants all of the time, because I didnt really care about food and found cooking to be inconvenient.

Now I’m excited about healthy food–  I love learning about new “superfoods”… I love experimenting with juices and shakes and salads and herbs.

And most of all..   I love feeling energetic and alive.

I thoroughly enjoy being healthy.

And you will too….  just keep your faith… continue making relentless improvements… continue eating more raw healthy foods & juices… continue cutting the junk….

… and you will reach that incredible threshold too.

And at that point-  you’ll never want to go back!

Longevity Tea

February 12, 2011 by  
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I finally broke a decade long coffee habit and have replaced it with drinking tea.

I drink two kinds of tea:  Japanese green tea (Sencha, Matcha, and Genmaicha) and an herbal concoction I call “Longevity Tea”.

The herbal concoction consists of a mix of super-herbs known to have broad and powerful health benefits.

I vary the exact ingredients of the tea, but the “base” almost always includes:

Cat’s Claw:  Great for brain health

Pau d’Arco:  anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, immune boosting

Goji Berries:  immune boosting, boosts growth hormone, anti-aging,…..

Reishi Mushrooms:  immune boosting, anti-aging,…

One secret I’ve learned is to use LARGE AMOUNTS of each herb.  I typically use a small handful of each in a big pot… heat the water (hot but not boiling) and then drink the tea all day.  I can get several brews from the same pot.

I’ve found this a great way to energize my body without the acid of coffee.

Super-Strength

February 10, 2011 by  
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Phase two of my Super-Health program is exercise.   Now that I’m eating very well, I have added a fitness component to my daily routine.

Of course, I continue to walk and/or jog a lot.  I don’t even consider that “exercise”– that’s just a normal part of healthy maintenance- like brushing my teeth.  So my baseline “fitness routine” is centered on lots of very moderate aerobic activity.

I have decided that I want to build a great deal of strength on top of that… and so I’m now lifting weights.

A bit about weights–  I have tried many weight lifting approaches at various times in my life.. and each has met with failure.   I have a “runner’s body” and always assumed that genetically I just wasn’t meant to be strong.

However, I was wrong.  The problem was not my genetics, but the type of weight lifting I was doing.

After doing a lot more research on this topic, I realized that I had always used lifting routines that were influenced by the “sport” of body-building.  Bodybuilding, of course, is solely focused on the external– on building big muscles that “look good”.   Quite honestly, it’s a vain and shallow pursuit.

In bodybuilding, the goal is to tear down muscle… then flood the body with tons of protein (and all kinds of supplements) so that it will re-build the muscle bigger.   Now that I understand health more, I realize that this approach creates a TREMENDOUS amount of acid in the body.  Working muscles to fatigue is a sugar-burning activity that produces a lot of acid.  And flooding the body with protein (usually animal protein) also creates a TON of acid.

Bodybuilding exhausts the body… which is why I always felt so fatigued when working out in that way.   I typically need 4, 5, 6, 7 or more days to recover from each workout.  During those recovery days, I felt tired and certainly didn’t want to do any other kinds of exercise.

I found the eating approach to be horrid too– trying to choke down a horrific amount of protein.  Sometimes I gained a bit of muscle… but never increased my strength significantly.   And then I quit because I intuitively knew that what I was doing was extremely detrimental to my long-term health.

A New Approach

Recently, I began lifting weights with a totally different approach– a power-lifting approach with one and only one focus:  Strength (not big muscles).

First, that’s what I want– real functional strength that enhances health and quality of life.

Power-lifters, it turns out, lift weights in a VERY different way.   They almost NEVER work a muscle to fatigue.  Rather, they use heavier weights but do only a few repetitions per set.   And while the advanced guys might do a lot of sets…  most lifters do only a few sets… and only a few exercises.

Bodybuilders focus on lots of exercises in order to isolate muscles.  Powerlifters do a few exercises that use LOTS of muscles at once.

What does this mean practically…..

Well, here’s my current routine:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Deadlift  (2 sets of 5 reps),  Side (Overhead) Press (2 sets of 5 reps),  “Janda” Sit-ups (3 sets of 5 reps).

That’s it!  I use as much weight as I can to do 5 reps WITHOUT exhausting my muscles (in other words, I always feel I could do an additional 1-2 reps).

Results after 4 weeks:  My strength is improving steadily– for the first time in my life.  This week I lifted a personal best in the side press!  After just 4 weeks.  I never achieved those kinds of results in the past.  Another great result:  I feel FANTASTIC after every workout.  The workouts energize me– rather than fatiguing me.  As a result, I still have tons of energy to do other activities– some martial arts practice, walking/jogging,.. whatever.

I should note that there are, of course, many approaches to power-lifting.

My approach is one that’s often used with martial artists, sprinters, and other athletes.  It’s designed to create tremendous FUNCTIONAL strength while leaving plenty of energy for sports-specific training.

I’ve been most influenced by the approaches of Pavel Tsouline– a crazy Russian who used to train the Soviet special forces and now trains athletes in the United States.

For a more detailed description of his program, get his book “Power to the People“.

I highly recommend it–  unless your goal is to add lots of bulky muscle and stare in the mirror all day.   If you want to look like a mutant and pump up your vanity- go with bodybuilding.  If you want wiry functional strength- go with Pavel!

Detoxing

February 10, 2011 by  
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One thing you should know about adopting a radically healthy, mostly raw diet is that you will go through bouts of powerful detoxification.

I’ve been abusing my body with toxins and junk food for 40 years… so there’s a lot that needs to be purged!   In addition, we are all now constantly exposed to toxins in the air we breath- both outdoors and in our homes.   And if you eat any non-organic food… or any processed food.. you are taking in poisons.

When you become radically healthy, your body will attempt to eliminate many of the toxins stored inside… especially in the fat cells.  When this happens, you’ll suddenly feel very tired.  Some people even feel flu-like symptoms as they detox.   It’s nothing to be worried about.. in fact, this is a process to celebrate!

The key challenge during detoxification is not to let it overwhelm your body.  In other words, while detoxing is great…  you must be careful that it does not happen too quickly.  Your body may release more toxins (acids, heavy metals, etc.) into your bloodstream than can be quickly eliminated.  That’s when you start feeling tired, bad, sick, etc.

So what can you do when this happens?

What you need to do is help your body eliminate the toxins faster.. give it some help.

The two most powerful channels of elimination in your body are the colon and the skin.

Therefore, colonics (or colonic irrigation) are the most powerful aid to detoxification that I know.   Colonics help your body quickly empty the colon of all accumulated waste and toxins.  It’s not a subject most people want to talk about– but colonics (or even enemas) are a powerful detox tool.   Whenever I experience severe detox symptoms, I get a colonic and IMMEDIATELY feel 100% better.

The skin is the next best detox channel… and Far Infrared Saunas are the best way to help the skin flush out toxins.   Saunas, obviously, induce lots of sweating.   Sweating is good!  Your body will flush a tremendous amount of waste from your body… via sweat.  Try to sweat every day by doing exercise and/or a sauna.  I typically combine infrared saunas and colonics for a powerful detox.  During the first 6-12 months of eating a mostly raw diet,  I plan to do this colonic/sauna combination 3-4 times a month.

After that, I expect to drop that down to just once a month.

In this way I help my body detox and assure that I remain full of vibrant health and energy!  I highly recommend this approach when you decide to adopt a very healthy way of eating.

Super-Health Update

February 10, 2011 by  
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My newest life experiment, Super-Health, is progressing nicely.

I’m now eating about a 95% raw food diet, and feeling great most of the time.  I have more energy, and a steadier energy level throughout the day.   Mentally, I’m also steadier… with none of the cloudiness or loss of concentration that I used to experience (due to eating sugary foods).

I’ve now settled into a nice daily routine…  veggie juice in the morning, followed by a superfoods shake.  Another juice in the late afternoon.  A healthy meal in the evening.  And sometimes another superfood shake at night.

I’ve been “upgrading” each of these meals… adding in more nutrition-packed foods.   With the veggie juices I now routinely include beets, sprouts, wheatgrass, and cabbage (in addition to the staples:  kale, spinach, celery, parsley, carrot, apple, lemon).

The shakes have been upgraded by adding in the super-mushrooms–  reishi, chaga, shiitake, and maitake.   I sometimes also add in a super-herb tea which includes:  astralagus root,  horsetail, nettle, pau d’arco, and cat’s claw.   The normal base for the shake includes a rotating mix of:   sprouted rice protein (from sunwarrior), bee pollen, udo’s oil, coconut oil, goji berries, maqui berries, acai, hempseeds, spirulina, marine phytoplankton, afa algae, green powder (alfalfa, wheatgrass, etc.),  maca, aloe, cacao, astralagus, and yacon.

Dinner is my main solid food meal (in addition to snacks).   Typical things I eat for dinner (and lunch sometimes):   salad with mixed greens, natto, tofu, miso soup with wakame, almond butter, tahini, avocados, coconut, steamed broccoli,…..

So that’s the update on what I’m eating!