Have you heard of the newest amino acid supplement that promises to increase the benefits of fasting? What about the latest book on a specific fasting protocol that promises to provide all of the benefits of extended fasts, but in smaller chunks you do ALL year instead of quarterly 5 day fasts? Surely you know about the European apples that contain far higher amounts of EGCG, a polyphenol that protects your cells. Why aren’t you ordering those apples?
If you have spent any time on Instagram, listen to health podcasts, or follow health trends, you know that every day brings with it a new supplement, protocol, or exercise you should be eating or doing that will make you live to 100 and make you far superior to the silly people that are not aware of such practices. Take a look at any company that is hawking a supplement and making it seem like that is the only thing you need to do to reach your maximum human potential. There is so many. Shakeology, Pruvit, the list goes on and on. All of these products at their most basic premise are latching on to a new trend in the health and wellness space, completely isolating is and marketing it as the new miracle supplement, and taking advantage of those that are looking for an answer to their health problems.
While all of these products may have a slight grounding in science and may help some in the short term, there is a massive problem in simply loading up your medicine cabinet with supplements and your library with fad diet books. Here is is: you aren’t actually learning how to be healthy, effortlessly healthy for the rest of your life. Health is not about the supplements you take or the crash diets you follow. Health is not religiously following a low-carb or vegan diet. Health is a mindset, not a goal that we have to chase.
I would argue that as soon as you make the mental shift from viewing yourself as an unhealthy person to a healthy person you have changed your life more drastically than any supplement could. We need to look at ourselves as the animals that we truly are. We are human beings with so much potential, physically and mentally. Lets look at how the physical and mental tie in together.
Many people are raised in families with parents that are overweight or relatives that are often sick with chronic illness. These people are told by their family that they have the “fat” gene or are destined for breast cancer because of a family history. This is taking on the identity of a victim. Why bother to try and be healthy if you are destined for ill health? This is the mental side of health. Our mindset controls not only our mood but triggers hormone release how well we respond to healing and different food inputs. If you claim the identity of a victim that will always be sick, you will always be sick. Claim the identity of a human animal with unlimited potential. I find that this is the biggest road block to health in clients. They see themselves as someone that has the fat gene or just can’t lose weight. Look at yourself as what you are: an animal that responds to the same stimuli that have encouraged health for all of our millions of years of existence.
You see, you really can reprogram your genes. Simply by getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, moving your body everyday, and eating foods that we are built to digest. By that I mean animals and plants. The beautiful thing is that doing those practices everyday works, for the entirety of your life. Your health will correct itself with the introduction of the simple stimuli of ancestral living. Here is a simple list of the sort of practices that lead to lifelong health, not short term gains.
- Get 8 hours of sleep a night. You will eat less and not crave as much addicting salty, fatty food. Your glucose metabolism and insulin response will also improve.
- Get outside in the sun. Not only is vitamin D crucial for our immune system and hormone pathways, but sunlight is one of the most potent stimuli to our circadian rhythm. It will wake you up more than that second cup of coffee.
- Limit blue light exposure after sunset. This is one of the biggest game-changers I’ve encountered to improving my sleep quality and energy the next day. Turn your Iphone on to Night Mode, download one of the many apps for Android that turn off blue light from your phone, and get the f.lux blue light blocker program for the computer.
- Ditch the grains and sugar out of your diet. They are some of the most highly inflammatory foods around. Along with that inflammation comes a whole lot of anti-nutrients phytates and lectins that inhibit the absorption of nutrients in the rest of the meal. This will naturally lower your carbohydrate intake and retrain your body how to burn the cleanest fuel around: your body fat.
- Find a way to get some quiet. This could be through a meditation practice, a walk in nature, or structured breathing exercises. Meditation is proven to reduce stress, and at the same time will give you time to really dig into the cause and effect of your emotions. I dive into that here.
I dive into a lot of these practices in a podcast recorded with my wife on starting a day with purpose. I cannot stress enough how important it is to clean up the practices in your life that are dragging you down. Replace them with habits that fill you up[ with energy, not drain you of it. We are human beings with unlimited potential, not ill fated people with the “fat gene”.
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Elliot Steele is a Primal Health Coach based in Chelan WA. He strives to empower those looking to regain their health after a lifetime of misinformed practices. This is the essence of Steele Back Your Health, to truly learn how to be healthy with sustainable habits. Check out the coaching and blog page for more info!