I have done lots of research on how to achieve good health. I’ve come to some conclusions. There are three basics, think of it as a three legged stool. There is absolutely no way around the basics. If you want to have lasting good health, you’ve got to do the basics.
What are they?
1. Diet. You’ve got to eat a good diet. Personally I believe the vegan diet is best. Fine with me if you disagree, but pretty much everyone would say that a good diet does NOT include lots of sugar, processed foods, fast foods, high fat meats. So nix the pop, 12 cups of coffee daily, and quick stop at McD’s for supper because you’re running late. My thinking is that if you are healthy, really healthy (and I don’t think most people are), you can get by with maybe 80-90% good eating. If you’re sick or ill, that has to be upped to 98-99%. I’m not saying no one can ever have anything unhealthy, it just has to be infrequent, and more infrequent if you’re sick. (By sick I don’t mean that the MD has diagnosed you with some disease. It could be that, but I mean general not feeling well, not having energy and enthusiasm, getting lots of colds, that kind of thing.)
2. Exercise. Ain’t no way around this folks. For your body to be healthy it has to move. I’m not a distributor for this or that program. Do what works for you. But my “prescription” for exercise is anything that makes you sweat (lightly or more) for an hour a day, 5-6 days/ week. (I don’t get hung up on doing it all at once. I usually do treadmill walking, and often do some in the morning and some later on.) You just have to move. Chasing toddlers may count, but you have to build up a sweat and do it an hour a day. Same with things like housework.
3. Mental state. You’ve got to have a positive attitude, find the good in things, let negatives roll off your back. I have come to realize it is not how much stress you have in your life as how well you deal with it. I don’t fight cancer (fighting is very negative and consumes much energy)- my focus is on building good health. If I have good/ near perfect health, the cancer will take care of itself. Mental state includes “being right with God”. If your spiritual life is not in order, nothing else will be. Far and away I think this leg of the stool is the most important. More and more science is discovering how much our thoughts directly affect our physical bodies (brain chemistry and more). Amazing things.
So, focus on those 3 things. AND they are all basically free. You’ve got to eat anyway, and my opinion is healthy food is not expensive, compared to junk food or eating out. I am one day going to do a one week experiment and demonstrate how one can eat healthy (vegan) on $1/day. (I think I can make it on $1/day, we’ll see.) But a bag of apples cost less than a bag of Doritos and will fill you up better and has loads more nutrition in it. You can buy lots of organic, freshly made foods, or high priced natural foods, but you don’t “have to” to eat well. Exercise can be free. Walking costs nothing (except shoes and most of us have shoes). You can join a gym or buy fancy equipment, but not necessary. Mental state? No cost there. A good Bible and easy chair is fine for your daily prayer and meditation.
So, what about fish oil, this/that supplement, barley greens, herbs, mangosteen juice, etc. etc. etc.? I think there are products out there that can be useful in helping to achieve good health. But you are absolutely wasting your money if you aren’t doing the basics. All those are “extras”. There’s no “magic pill” that will solve your problem/ build good health if you aren’t covering the basics. No way around it.
And honestly, doing the basics is NOT generally very easy. McD’s sure looks good as I drive by and am hungry because I didn’t plan ahead. I have been exercising regularly for almost a decade and still can’t say I “like” to do it. Many other ways I’d rather spend my time. Mental state/ prayer life? Sometimes hard to choose to make time to pray/ meditate (and it is a choice). Sometimes we’re around negative people and need to get away from that to stay upbeat.
So, maybe time to take a look at your life. Are you building good health? If not, believe me, it will catch up to you sooner or later. Sure, genes and environment play a part, not as much as you might think. I once heard it explained very well this way: it’s like we all start out life as an airplane. Some of us are sleek Concordes, some of us are vintage WWII bi-planes. The Concorde will be able to go farther and faster and longer, than the bi-plane. But all the health building things you do change the headwinds or keep your machine running smoothly. Eating at McD’s gives you a nasty headwind. Eating a healthy meal will give you a tailwind boost. So, you’re stuck with your plane, can’t change that, but you can change how well it operates, how well you take care of it, and what kinds of headwinds and tailwinds you encounter.
To your health!