Getting healthy, says Dr. Pedram Shojai, starts with our attitude. Most people come to the world of health when something goes wrong, a doctor sounds a warning, a spouse complains, or a friend beats us in sport.
Many people end up caring about health when it is very late in the game. Instead of making course corrections and staying fit, we all too often charge ahead and end up getting sick, injured, or psychologically worn down before we realise we have a problem.
The key is to realize that health isn’t a destination; it is the journey itself. The whole point of getting healthy is to enhance our vitality so we always have a reserve of energy we can work with. When stress hits, it hits the force field of our vitality. When others are sick, we’ve got a cushion that protects us. When we need to work through the night to meet an important deadline, we don’t crash because we’ve got enough in the bank to get through it.
Over the years, I’ve worked with thousands of patients who come in complaining of one thing or another. For most of them, it is a simple matter of their system’s energy producing capacity being down. This often happens when our guts are unhealthy, which means the immune system is fighting off invaders all the time. We then have trouble digesting and absorbing nutrients from our food, and the cycle continues. We spend energy trying to get energy, and eventually, the math doesn’t pencil out anymore. Our immune system is most active in the gut. When we are not absorbing foods well, we end up having trouble distinguishing friend from foe in the gut lining, and our systems start to attack food particles and, eventually, our own cells when things get bad. This is where a lot of autoimmune problems originate.
So how do we get out of this mess?
The first step is cutting out the highly inflammatory foods:
If you can cut these out for three weeks and then slowly add them back one at a time over a few days, you’ll see which ones your body isn’t happy with and which ones are the foods you’ll want to avoid for a few months. From there, start taking smaller more nutritious meals that don’t aggravate your system. You’ll quickly start to feel more energy after meals and less drowsiness.
The next big step to building your vitality then becomes to get out of deficit spending – the taking of caffeine or other stimulants to get through the day. If we continually borrow energy from tomorrow to get through today’s struggles, we’ll never catch up and recover. This leads to sleep debt and all kinds of nasty hormonal imbalances that come when we burn the candle at both ends. Once you start to pull back on the caffeine, you’ll see how much better you can feel without it. You’ll be less jittery, and probably less moody as well.
Again, waiting until you can’t make love with your partner means that you’re too late in the game. Try paying closer attention to any significant dips in your libido. Look for the warning signs, and start to address any problems early in the game when the corrections are easy. Remember, our vitality is a product of the net energy surplus in our bodies. More energy to the brain means more clarity, focus, and enthusiasm. Wherever you are in life, look to maximise your body’s ability to get energy from good, clean, nutritious food. Keep moving, and maintain your muscle mass to keep your energy levels up. From there, keep learning and growing so your brain keeps demanding energy and vitality.
When we fire on all cylinders, the body becomes more efficient and asks for more energy. The better we get at extracting it from food and maximizing our output, the better we will feel and the more clarity we will have throughout the day.
Get more vitality in your life
1- Eat only organic food
2- Cut all GMO foods
3- Walk at least 5000 steps daily
4- Strengthen your core every morning
5- Get some sunshine
6- No caffeine after 2pm
7- No TV in bed
8- Eat at least 30g of protein at breakfast
9- Learn to meditate