Tuesday, 01 December 2009

Lust for Life

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Health is the wellness of the whole body and the environment around it, where all factors are working together in harmony.
Lust for Life recommends five key ingredients for healthy living:

Eat healthily
Eating healthily is absolutely crucial to good health. An ideal diet should contain all of the body's essential nutrients:
Vitamins and minerals
Natural enzymes found in living foods (fruit and vegetables)
And the amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates should be in the following proportions:
20% fat
15% protein
65% carbohydrate (includes fruit and vegetables)
(Note that there are no sugars in the body's essential nutrients)

Lust for Life's guidelines for a healthy diet:
Low GL (Glycemic Load) foods
A varied diet (particularly different fruit, vegetables and pulses)
Whole foods (unprocessed foods, cooked from their natural state)
Combine protein and carbohydrate at each meal
Five portions of fruit and vegetables a day
A tablespoon of 'Omega Seed mix' every day
Fats, proteins and carbohydrates in the 20%, 15%, 65% ratio
If diet is restricted then supplement with a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement and / or Omega 3 and 6 oils

Foods with high levels of refined sugar
Saturated fats
Damaged fats (from cooking oil in high temperatures and burning foods)
High amounts of protein (particularly lots of red meat)
Cooking with salt or eating foods that contain high levels of salt
Refined and processed foods
Foods with artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives
Artificial sweetener, particularly Aspartame (use Xylitol instead of sugar)
Foods that you are allergic or sensitive to
Eating wheat at every meal
Eating dairy produce at every meal

Eating foods that contain high levels of sugar

When you eat foods that contain sugar or refined carbohydrate your body will release of insulin to balance blood sugar levels. Shortly after you will feel a dip in energy and a craving for more sweet foods or refined carbohydrates. Also, any sugar or refined carbohydrate that cannot be immediately used will turn to fat. The pancreas is the principle organ for blood sugar regulation and if it becomes overburdened from eating lots of sugary foods it can lead to hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and eventually type 2 diabetes when the insulin becomes ineffective.

Eating excessive amounts of protein
An excessive amount of protein creates acidic conditions which is the primary cause of many degenerative diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis, (another cause is the overuse or the incorrect use of antacids).

Drink plenty of water
The best type of water to drink is filtered and you should drink a minimum of six glasses a day. If you find it difficult to drink this much water then try adding some fruit juice and build up gradually. Unfortunately caffeinated and alcoholic drinks don't count, in fact for every cup you should drink an extra glass of water.

Water is important for cleansing the body, (drawing out toxins, minerals, salts and other impurities and flushing them out), and very importantly for digestion, absorption and keeping the body hydrated and functioning properly. If the kidneys are not supplied with plenty of clean water they will not be able to remove all of the poisons and wastes from the blood. Here are some of the first symptoms of dehydration:
Flushed face
Extreme thirst, more than normal or unable to drink
Dry, warm skin
Cannot pass urine or reduced amounts, dark, yellow
Dizziness made worse when you are standing
Cramping in the arms and legs
Crying with few or no tears
Sleepy or irritable
Dry mouth, dry tongue; with thick saliva

Exercise regularly
Regular exercise leads to:
Increased energy
Increased metabolism
Improved muscle tone
Better digestion
A strengthened immune system
Stress reduction
Improved self-esteem
Ideally you should do 10,000 steps per day or 40 minutes of exercise where your heart rate is increased. If you don't do this much don't worry, just build up gradually at your own pace.

Toxins are anti-nutrients, substances that stop the beneficial nutrients being absorbed and used by the body. They are not only found in our diets but also in the products we use and our environment. Although some are difficult to control there are many that we can reduce significantly for the benefit of health. Here are some examples (don't stress yourself about doing them all, just do as much as you can manage):

Use a water filter
Identify any food sensitivities or allergies you have and minimise or eliminate them from your diet
Switch to de-caffeinated drinks
Drink alcohol in moderation
Don't smoke
Buy organic foods
Use fresh ingredients
Avoid highly processed foods
Avoid foods with artificial colourings, flavourings, sweeteners and preservatives
Wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly
Try to avoid buying foods wrapped in plastic
Avoid using foil to wrap foods
Avoid buying prepared food from anywhere that appears unhygienic
Take your own drinks to work rather than using the machine (you don't know how often it has been cleaned or if the water is fresh)
Wash your hands before eating

Take note of how you feel when using specific products and change any that have adverse affects (e.g. does your skin tingle with your shampoo or your eyes get sore with your face cream? etc.)
Take pain killers only when absolutely necessary (try to find out and treat the cause instead)
Use an alternative method of contraception to the pill
Avoid using highly perfumed or coloured products on your skin (except for natural essential oils)
Use natural and / or hypo-allergenic products on your skin
Use natural and / or environmentally friendly cleaning products (vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda are very effective)
Use a steam cleaner to clean and kill germs (more effective than a sponge)
Use non-biological washing powder
Use drying balls to soften your washing in the tumble dryer and use less fabric softener
Use a mask and gloves if you can't avoid using toxic chemicals
Avoid mercury fillings and get white ones instead
Don't use chemical based air fresheners

Keep your house clean and well aired
Remember to clean light switches, phones, keyboards, computer console handsets, door handles etc
Remove any mould or fungal growth
Use an air filter in your bedroom
Close your car windows if you are sitting in heavy traffic
Wear a mask if you ride a bike in heavy traffic
Check that the air conditioning unit at work is being cleaned regularly
Clean your desk and phone at work with anti-bacterial wipes
Try to reduce the amount of electromagnetic radiation in your home (i.e. radiation from electrical products), especially in your bedroom

Reduce stress

Stress is part of every day life and some stress keeps us motivated and gets things done. However once it reaches a certain level (which varies from person to person) it can start to affect our health. Here are some examples of what effects stress can have on our bodies:
Aggravate or cause problems such as migraines, ulcers, high blood pressure, skin problems, colitis, fatigue, addiction to drugs and stimulants.
Cause insomnia or make it difficult to get a good night's sleep
Raise the level of adrenalin which will inhibit the immune system
Cause digestive problems and leave the body malnourished
Divert energy to the 'flight or fight response' away from critical processes in the body and leave us feeling tired
In stressful conditions the body readies itself for 'fight or flight'; obviously this isn't usually necessary in every day living but the body does this anyway as a natural survival instinct. Because this response uses up a lot of energy it can leave us feeling tired the body may crave a stimulant, e.g. sugar. Unfortunately eating refined sugar also causes a similar reaction which in its self is stressful for the body. Hence eating sugary foods and taking stimulates can lead to circular problem of stress, low energy and cravings.

All stress can be helped by:

Getting a healthy balance of 'work, rest and play'
A healthy diet
Cutting down on stimulants
Breathing correctly
Taking regular exercise
Drinking chamomile or valerian tea
Using aromatherapy, massage or reflexology
Homoeopathy or acupuncture

Consulting therapists
In addition-
a) for emotional stress:
Take gentle exercise (e.g. swimming, walking, yoga, tai chi or meditation etc)
Use flower remedies
Join a social group or chat with friends
See a psychotherapist or a counsellor; join a self esteem group (if appropriate)

b) for physical stress:
Don't do excessive sports (e.g. high impact aerobics, marathon running, sky diving etc)
See an osteopath, chiropractor or physiotherapist (if appropriate)