7 Steps to a Healthy Life
Dr. Lori's 7 Steps to a Healthy Life -
The items below are the foundation of vibrant health. There is never one thing (one pill, one food, one exercise, one thought, one action), that heals the body or produces a change in weight, it's a combination of these that allow our body to continually rebuild itself and perform optimally.
Any time you are struggling with your health goals, we recommend you re-visit this list to help get you focused again!
Following these 7 basics steps
Gives you your own specific plan to good health
- Fits to your unique wellness and lifestyle goals
Is a step-by-step plan that makes your life better for today – and for the future
Is easy to follow and understand
- Nutrition - Simply put, you are what you eat – what you put into your body affects not only how your body functions, but how you feel every day. Nutrition goes beyond weight maintenance — a healthy diet focused on natural foods improves the ability of the body and mind to function properly, helping you achieve better health overall to last a lifetime.
- Eat live food: The basis of your diet should be real live fresh (and preferably organic) food that has 1 ingredient - like berries, a piece of fruit, beans, green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meat, and good fats like coconut or olive oil. Focus on fueling your body with more plants and less WHEAT/flour products. The standard American diet (S.A.D. diet) is characterized by an abundance of meat, dairy and flour and a lack of PLANT foods. Plant foods (fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, etc.) boost our metabolism because they're packed with fiber and phyto-nutrients and help with overall health and vitality as well as weight management.
- Quality over Quantity: The metabolism is like a bon-fire - the more wood you feed a fire, the hotter and bigger it burns, right? The body is the same, but it’s SUPER important to feed it the RIGHT FUEL. Weight management is NOT just about calories in vs. calories out. It's very important to focus on the QUALITY of calories you get (not just QUANTITY or how many calories you take in)...and I encourage you to work on switching your mindset to this way of thinking. Some foods actually BOOST our metabolism (berries, beans, leafy greens, etc.), which is why it's important to not only focus on the amount of calories you're consuming. Make sure those calories are coming from whole, unprocessed sources and that you're including lots of healthy, metabolism-boosting foods. Also, make sure to check processed sugar and sodium consumption - and keep these LOW!
- Eat Clean: It’s also of utmost importance that you choose foods that are organic as often as possible, organic is important in order to avoid glyphosate toxicity (pesticide) - which wreaks HAVOC on your internal organs and hormones, and makes it possible for heavy metals to cross the cell membrane and enter your organs. (BAD NEWS!) If you are confused about which foods to choose organic follow this rule - meat & dairy should always be organic. Fruits & veggies with a soft skin should be organic but those with a tough skin or hard outer shell do not need to be organic. Avoid foods with preservatives and dyes.
- CHEW your food: Chewing BEGINS the digestive process by not only breaking food down into digestible pieces, but with enzymes necessary to aid proper digestion. Half chewed food that lacks proper enzymes is one of the MAIN causes of digestive disturbances including leaky gut, sibo, candida, heartburn, & constipation. Chew, chew, CHEW!
- Stay hydrated: Water could very well be its own step but I’ve included it in nutrition. Staying properly hydrated is ESSENTIAL to vibrant health! The body can only go about 4-5 days without water before life saving procedures are needed. As a general rule you should drink about 1/2 your body weight in oz. of water daily. It's helpful to drink 12 oz. of water BEFORE each meal to not only help you stay hydrated but to feel more full as well. Avoid drinking water (or other beverages) WITH food as this dilutes stomach acid and causes digestive disturbances. Always drink before or after a meal, and avoid PH water - especially during meal times. Purified, Steam Distilled or Reverse Osmosis water is preferred. Avoid water with flouride, which is not healthful and wreaks havoc on your thyroid gland.
- Minimize Toxins - Your body's ability to process toxins found in your food & environment, is a pervasive factor in your ability to reach a healthy goal or lose weight. The good news is the body is designed to detoxify or cleanse itself, and in a perfect world this happens without us even thinking about it. However - there are things that hinder this process, and one of the most important ones is getting the right nutrients in your body to tell this process to work correctly. When your body can’t kick out toxins correctly, often this leads to inflammation, organ dysfunction, emotional or behavioral changes/stress, and recurring or chronic illness. It can also be the cause for weight gain when your body's defense mechanism to dealing with toxic overload includes storing the toxins inside your fat cells, and expanding the number of fat cells in order to store more toxins. This is likely done to get the toxic trash out of your circulation and away from key organs. It causes easy weight gain and complicates weight loss because your body does not easily give up the toxic fat it has stored as a way to protect you - because when you start to lose weight these toxins will be released back into your body. This is part of the reason WHY it's so important to take in enough water to help rid the toxins, and eat the right kinds of foods! Ultimately, it's a vicious cycle that is difficult to break out of.
- A few basic ways to minimize toxins are: Choose organic foods as often as possible, store foods in glass instead of plastic, don’t heat food in plastic containers, use natural body products like soap, deodorant and toothpaste. Use natural cleaners in the home like vinegar and always wear gloves. Avoid flouride in water. Avoid preservatives and dyes in foods. Avoid drugs & alcohol.
- Bowel movements: On the note of toxin elimination, you also want to make sure that you are having at least 2 bowel movements per day to help get toxins out! Toxins around the home, wireless and phones.
- Mindset & Emotions - A healthy body starts with the right mindset. For many people the physical side isn’t the only issue. They get it – and they do it. It’s our emotional baggage that acts as the obstacle at some point (or points) along the way toward a healthier life. Maybe it’s a background of abuse, neglect, bullying, or depression. For some, food dulled some pretty harsh emotions in their histories, and the associations are hard to break. For others, there was something to the image of themselves itself that was protective: being overweight or sick was part of how they had defined their lives. For many, it could even be negative self-talk related to current stresses and circumstances. If you feel emotional issues significantly affect your daily functioning or progress toward reasonable health goals, the expertise of a professional counselor is advisable. Try to identify the roots of emotional issues at play and the current triggers that send you down the road of negative self-talk. Use your developing awareness to continually “catch” yourself earlier in the self-talk cycle and redirect your thoughts and activities before it even starts. Use whatever works for you: inspirational books, affirmations, close and supportive relationships, online forums, formal support groups, life coaching, and/or personal counseling. Social support is key to any life change, and it can be incredibly motivating whether or not you feel emotional issues figure into your health journey.
- Use daily affirmations, meditate, pray, and tell yourself good things. Try to avoid negative thinking and negative self-talk.
- Follow along in the group for support with setting positive intentions and avoiding negative self talk!
- Sleep - Sleep must be a priority and is just as important as the food we eat or activity we get. We all live busy lives that often keep us up late at night, but it's essential to focus on getting good quality sleep, consistently (at least 7 hours nightly). Turn off your phone, computer and TV an hour before bed to ensure you sleep well too! Avoid stimulants, sleep in a dark room, adjust the temp of the room to around 68 degrees, do calming yoga or meditate before bed, make your to-do list to get things off your mind. Getting proper sleep keeps your body & mind healthy, hormones optimal, and weight in check.
- Sunlight & Nature! - Every single thing on earth needs sunlight to persist, including humans! Sunlight is essential for vital body processes like conversion of Vitamin D, hormone levels, and sleep. Scientists have also discovered that getting a good dose of early morning sunshine really does improve health by lowering body fat. Even just 20-30 minutes of morning sunlight is enough to keep off the pounds.
- Movement & Oxygen - The body is designed to move and if you don’t use it you lose it. Regular exercise helps your body take in higher levels of oxygen, creates lean muscle and reduces fat. It not only helps keep your physical body healthy but also your mind by increasing your body’s ability to fight stress, anxiety, and illnesses. It’s important to incorporate both interval training and resistance type exercise. Use weights, bands, ropes, or even body weight type exercises like yoga. Resistance is what stimulates our internal calorie-burners (muscles). Not only does it boost your metabolism, and help break through a plateau, but it's going to help RESHAPE your body too. Make sure when you're doing this, that you're reaching muscle failure and that you have soreness the day after completion (2 signs needed to know you're doing ENOUGH).
- Nervous System health - The spine connects all of the cells, organs, and systems in the body. Improper spinal alignment is common and is caused by physical, chemical, and emotional stress that affects your body every day. Optimizing spinal abnormalities and structural misalignments maximizes your nerve supply and enhances your body’s natural ability for performance and faster healing.