Why Chronic Disease Is Killing You And What You Can Do About It
Everyone, including “health enthusiasts,” is loving the big buzz words like anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and of course, detoxing.
I mean, who do you know that is not talking up the latest recipes and ingredients that promote anti-inflammation? How about “get-your-glow-on?” Dieting? Good grief, what campaign sells more?
But, while we pursue anti-inflammatory foods and recipes, at-home juice-deliveries and healing superfood ingredients as the next best diet-fix, 47.7% of Americans are suffering from a chronic disease.
Yes, according to the private research of the Rand Corporation, “The Growing Crisis of Chronic Disease,” nearly half of all Americans are suffering with a chronic condition.
And, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease are causing 7 out of 10 deaths. Chronic disease is the No. 1 cause of disability and death in the country.
With statistics like these, don’t you think it is high time we start asking the question, “why is everyone so sick?”
For example, when overrun with many symptoms associated with all the chronic conditions I experienced earlier in life, I never even had a vision for life beyond my immediate circumstances. I was busy. Care-taking. Me. As I moved from illness to wellness over the course of the past 25 years, I’ve learned a few solid things about transforming the quality of my life that I hope will resonate for you on a basic, common sense level.
I distill everything I do down to the “lowest common denominator,” to create a baseline context to both heal the body and train the mind, so “we” transform the health of our body and our ideas about health and healing simultaneously, to move beyond the conversation of illness to the wide-open spaces of new possibilities. When we shift our thoughts and when we shift our health and wellbeing simultaneously, the horizon rises in ways we never even imagined, never mind even thought possible.
I offer you a few simple, but not necessarily easy foundational rules to implement:
Breathe. Oxygen is literally the breath of life! Do you know that your breath provides 99 percent of your energy? Do you know that science has proven that cancer will not survive in a highly oxygenated environment? Do you know that cardiovascular disease is directly linked to shortness of breath—your heart literally spasms without oxygen? Do you know that proper breathing directly impacts your nervous system, and correlative problems like anxiety and depression? Proper breathing balances and calms the nervous system. Oxygen even burns fat and calories, so directly impacts chronic weight issues. Through exercise, proper nutrition and stress management we bring oxygen into our body to oxygenate our cells. Each component is essential to maintain optimal health and ward off chronic disease. The oxygen you bring into your body with exercise, clean, whole foods and breath work produces ATP and without ATP, your body would immediately shut down. Think of ATP as a battery in your cells that gets charged by oxygen, which then produces the vital energy your body needs to thrive and run optimally.
Hydrate. As you likely know, but may not think about often, you can live for quite a long time without food, but you won’t last but minutes without oxygen and only days without water. Your body is roughly 60 percent water, with percentages as high as 83 percent in your lungs, and 73 percent in your heart and brain. With your body at such a high water content, it’s easy to understand how dehydration can cause serious problems. Many experts agree that many of us are chronically dehydrated today. Water literally is the vital nutrient you need for every function in your body. Every life-giving and healing process that happens inside our body happens with water. Most experts insist that the majority of Americans are chronically under-hydrated and should drink more water, and the reasons behind their insistence are solid.
Begin your day by drinking water when you first wake up. Think of your cells as droopy flowers in a vase without water. When you refill the vase with water, the flowers come back to life. You are most dehydrated upon arising, because you haven’t had water for about eight hours. I recommend 2, 8 ounce glasses of water firs thing in the morning.
Drink 8 ounces of water 30 minutes before a meal, and 8 ounces 1 hour after a meal. Drinking water with your meals dilutes the gastric juice (enzymes) and slows down the process of digestion in the stomach and intestines. Even if you need to drink water just sip water kept at room temperature. Cold water during a meal can greatly inhibit digestive enzyme power.
To optimize the digestive process, I recommend drinking your daily recommended amount of water 30 minutes before a meal, 60 minutes after a meal, throughout the day and 1 hour before bedtime. The last glass of the day will aid in the cell renewal process while you sleep,
Eating clean, whole foods is paramount to healing your body. Paramount. Consider this model like a math equation; you add in clean, whole foods and you eliminate nutrient-devoid, processed foods.
Nutrient devoid foods do not offer building blocks of nutrition to fuel your body, including oxygen. Do you know that oxygen quells inflammation? Do you know that yeasts, mold and fungus cannot live in a highly oxygenated body? Live, nutrient-dense, enzyme-rich, oxygen-rich foods are vital to maintain a healthy body, a healthy weight, to look and feel your best, to quell inflammation and to reduce the risk of developing yeasts, mold and fungus that promote disease. Live foods are the premium gas for your premium tank and the key to creating optimal health. Key parameters and reasons for why I set a very clean eating, healing diet for my clients are:
- Add diet high in live, raw vegetables and low-sugared fruits. You need the essential component of water in live vegetables and fruits for proper digestion, circulation, elimination, healing and rejuvenation.
- You don’t need the high sugar present in many fruits when you set out to heal your body. Limit your fruits to grapefruits, lemons, limes, and berries. This suggestion alone will help quell your sugar and carb addiction.
- Your diet should consist of 70-80 percent vitamin/mineral-rich water foods. You support your body in performing every vital function when you eat a diet high in raw vegetables and fruits.
- Raw fruits and vegetables offer you a rich source of live-enzymes, which naturally decrease as we get older. Enzymes are the spark of life and responsible for every biochemical reaction that occurs in your body. Sadly, many today take digestive enzymes in supplement form to support digestion, but supplement can never stand in for wide-spectrum benefits we get from vegetables and fruits in their natural state. Digestive-enzyme supplements do offer benefit, but do not replace the benefits of live food.
Know your purpose. Know your why, and don’t let “I don’t know my purpose” reasons stop you. Your first purpose statement does not need to be revolutionary or lofty, yet. Just create a purpose. Just create a why. Just create a compelling “thing” that excites you, that pulls you out of bed in the morning — you can always change it as you grow clearer about what you most want, but ‘we’ all need something to pull us forward. A few ideas:
- What is something that you love?
- What is something that you really want, or want to do?
- What does your family and friends always compliment you on = think you are an expert of?
- Conversely, what is something that makes you really mad that you’d love to fix, to solve? For example, let’s say you’ve experienced illness, and the most marked moment on your journey to wellness was the impact of the many kindnesses others showed you – your purpose could be simply a commitment to extending kindness to every single person you meet throughout your days, or as grand as becoming a spokesperson to enlighten others of all that you learned. If from your experience you feel convicted to be kind to everyone you meet from what you learned, or you feel convicted to share with everyone you meet preventive measures against the illness you experienced, you found your purpose. You found a compelling reason to inspire you to new actions.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
~ Oprah Winfrey
As a self-professed, juice enthusiast committed to supporting clients in healing their bodies and training their mind to look and feel their very best, those deeper questions get lost in the marketing campaigns and “fun business pursuits” of smoothie this and juicing that. I continue to guide my clients to getting off the proverbial gerbil weight-loss wheel, and to dive deeper into the questions that will support them in creating greater health and energy with results that last.
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