Updated: Feb 7
Never before has our health been so uppermost in our minds. In these Covid times and for evermore, we need to start being our own doctor and learn how to look after our health naturally, to optimise our immunity, so that we don’t get sick with Covid 19 or any other acute infection that may be looking for opportune victims. Chronic health conditions will also be kept at bay.
What Can We Do?
We can choose to live correctly and enjoy health or live incorrectly and possibly get sick. The choice is ours. Here's how!
Eat a natural nutrient dense organic diet, rich in plant -based foods. Eliminate or minimise animal products and processed food. That is it. There is no other diet that will keep you healthy for life and is the correct way to eat and how our ancestors ate. This way of eating will also ensure that your body achieves a healthy weight (be that losing or gaining weight).
Minimise or eliminate alcohol
Alcohol should be used just for occasional celebrations, at the most, not as an ‘emotional hug’, or as an end to the day, or a past time. Alcohol is addictive, is carcinogenic and disrupts sleep and hormones, amongst other health implications.
Minimise or eliminate other drugs.
These could be recreational drugs like marijuana, or harder drugs like cocaine or heroin, or even ‘day to day’ drugs like tobacco or caffeine. Pharmaceutical drugs should be used rarely and for acute life-threatening conditions only. Using ’chronic disease control’ drugs like statins for high cholesterol or metformin for diabetes type 2, is like putting a sticky plaster over a festering wound; you are not addressing the underlying problem. This initial health issue can then progress onto the next stage of disease is left unaddressed. If your car showed warning lights on the dash, you’d take it to a garage to sort out the problem, you wouldn’t just pop a piece of tape over the light so you couldn’t see it. Drugs are the tape. In addition, all drugs have side effects and the body uses nutrients to detoxify you from the drug, or the drug settles into your tissues, causing further health issues. If you are currently taking pharmaceutical drugs, look at the ways in this blog to improve your health. Once your health improves, your usage of drugs may be able to be decrease (only do this with the support of your doctor). They can often be replaced with natural herbs and practices.
Exercise to get your heart rate up, exercise to increase strength, stability and mobility, exercise outdoors in nature for mental health and move as much as possible during the day. Everybody’s minimum should be walking and most people can do more. Exercise invokes positive change behaviour and encourages you to eat better and make better lifestyle choices.
Sleep More and Better
Go to bed earlier, ideally be asleep before 11pm to benefit from the release of human growth hormone which will help to repair your body. Keep similar bedtimes each day. Get enough sleep - 8 hours is an average but let how you feel when you wake up be the judge of how restful your sleep was. You can track your deep and REM sleep on a number of apps now; all manner of things- food, stress, exercise can affect the quality of your sleep.
Don’t eat within 2 hrs of going to bed. Don’t use screens in the evening; use nightshift mode on your phone and devices to limit blue light. Maybe try using Iris on your computer if you have to work in the evening. Leave phones out of the bedroom or at least put onto airplane mode while asleep.
Do relaxing things before bedtime; bath or shower, read, prepare for the next morning, journal in the evening, preparing notes for the next day or to empty your head of thoughts or to write a gratefulness list
Stress in modern society is endemic and poisonous. Working hours are lengthening and rest times are reducing. Try to draw the line in the sand when it comes to working times, have discussions with your company about wellness, encourage a protocol of leaving work on time and not working in the evening unless absolutely necessary. Working longer rarely means more productivity. Stress keeps us in a constant sympathetic nervous system mode state (fight or flight) instead of the rest and digest (parasympathetic state) which increases cortisol, increases acidity and just basically messes up our whole system, which can ultimately end up in disease.
Learn to manage your stress; work less, worry less, meditate more, get to the root cause of your stress and take steps to fix it.
Protect Your Mental Health
Get out into nature, get together with friends and family, in person or online. Develop community events however you can or plan for the future. Compartmentalise what is happening today. Practice acceptance. Try not to struggle against things you cannot change; focus on the things you can. If you feel that you are more anxious or depressed or your personality is changing, seek professional help.
Reduce the chemicals that you use on your body and in your home. Fit a water filter on your tap and shower. Use natural products in your home and on your body. Install an air filter at home. Reduce your use of plastics- ie don’t use plastic water bottles or food containers for hot food. Avoid tinned food where possible.
Build Resilience and Discipline
By working on all of the above you are building resilience and discipline. These skills and this mindset will keep you healthy and keep you on the right path. Delight in these achievements.
It’s up to you whether you choose the correct path or the incorrect path. Your body can heal given the right conditions and presuming that you haven’t left it too late. Your health is all you have; look after it.
Ally van de Pol is a Certified Healing Diets Coach, Naturopath-in-Training and is currently studying Iridology.