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Which of the following in NOT a direct benefit of a regular walking regimen?
Reduce Stress
Improved immune function
Achieving ideal weight.
Improved sugar metabolism

 Detoxification Programs: Immortality and Beyond 

In terms of our diet, why not the Ideal Diet for optimum health and vitality? Let me reemphasize its basic nutritional components that will apply to our immortality and longevity. First, we must eat simply and not excessively, avoiding too many foods at one meal. For optimum vitality, we would eat a high amount of raw foods and, possibly, an almost exclusively raw diet at certain periods and at warmer times of the years. If we want to support life, we eat more live or close-to-living foods. If we eat more overcooked or dead, low-vibration foods, we will potentiate our death sooner. At colder times, however, more heated foods and richer foods, even some of the animal proteins, may be desired and useful, much like a log in the "fireplace" to warm our home, our body. So the immortalist diet is seasonally based. No refined foods are used. It is primarily a vegetarian diet, with lots of complex carbohydrates and vegetables. Grains are used whole or fresh ground for the baking of breads, biscuits, or other goods.

As we garden outside, the kitchen becomes our indoor garden to nourish us within. Sprouting seeds and legumes will provide optimum foods—high-vibrational, vital, and high-quality foods from a nutritional standpoint. Sprouts are also helpful to the gastrointestinal tract in that they provide fiber, chlorophyll, and many vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Foods that may be sprouted include hard wheat, alfalfa seeds, sunflower seeds, radish seeds, chia seeds, buckwheat, mung beans, lentils, garbanzos, and aduki beans.

In the areas of the world where people commonly live to an age of over 100 years, the environment is much cleaner. People work the land and have clean air, water, and food. They exercise as they work and live, have less stress and take care of the elders who need a positive self-image and purpose (to feel connected and needed, not isolated) to want to continue living. The diet of these "peoples of longevity" tends to be lower in calories, fats, and protein than that of the Western world. They eat unprocessed fresh foods or, in the colder seasons, well-stored foods. And their activity levels are more connected to the natural daily and seasonal cycles. When we live attuned to Nature, we perpetuate and manifest in ourselves Her strength, vitality, endurance, and reverence for life.

Our diet should also support our spiritual practice. The first level of the golden rule applies to Mother Earth. If we nurture her soil and create beauty with growing foods, she will nourish us and our family. Light eating is important for our times of spiritual seeking. Periodic fasting, especially in the midst of good nutrition, also supports the spiritual connection and reverence for all life.

In our Immortality program, we are not supported by extra vitamin pills unless they can be helpful for specific medical conditions. We have cleared out many of the stresses and abuses for which we needed these extra insurance pills and are now supported by nutritionally vital foods and healthy digestion. We need to eat a variety of foods that will supply us with our specific nutrients. Instead of supplements, we can use more concentrated, high-nutrient foods, such as vegetable juices, nutritional yeast, bee pollen, ground nuts and seeds, various herbs, and sprouts. These can support us to stay healthy, so that we will not require more concentrated supplements or medicines.

Our day-to-day life is our basic exercise level. This immortalist-longevity plan does not find us working the world of business with the hustle and bustle of meetings and constant time pressure stress, but in the world of smaller communities and nature. Our gardening, building, and caretaking will help us in our physical conditioning. Other exercises and even aerobic activities will keep us even more fit. Dancing, hill walking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, and swimming are all good. Some community sports, such as soccer and volleyball, may inspire others. Exercise, however, should not be extreme or overdone, and heavy competition and intense contact sports are not necessary. If we can do these activities purely in the spirit of developing our personal performance or coordinating team or group functions rather than for winning, they may fit in with our immortalist-spiritual values—less competition, more cooperation.

A key to immortal vitality is the subtle Eastern exercises that promote flexibility and mind-body integration. These include yoga and tai chi. They unite stretching, coordination, balance, strength, mental discipline, and harmonious breathing. They can also be more replenishing and stimulating to the energy than many other activities, yet they are helpful in general stress reduction and tend to relax and loosen our muscles rather than tighten them. Both yoga and tai chi also help open up the internal energy circulation in our body, which is essential to good health.

Other aspects of lifestyle philosophy focus on inner attunement and evolution of our being. Learning to listen to our body and nature is essential here. Adapting to the changes around us and within us, with awareness of our inner life needs and food needs, is important. Our personal cycles fit within nature’s, and although we eat a healthy, vital diet, we do have special fast times to uplift us and feast times to help us to slow down, nourish us, and rest more deeply. Our basic sleep cycle should be attuned to nature. We go early to bed so that we can arise with the light of day or just before to meditate and open to the light and spirit coming into our daily life. Writing and being creative, which are so important to life also, come out of this inner silence and depth.

Of course, the "antsy" personality may go through levels of resistance and readjustment in order to achieve this grace of quiet knowingness. In truth, the ego and will of the human being must submit to the powers of nature and the universe for the benefit of all. We learn from these larger forces. Our meditation or "receptive quietude" is the greatest power we have in attuning to the wisdom of the universe.

If we wish to understand our relationship to people or events around us or if we have questions about other areas of our life, "we need no books to teach us the answers, because if we are quiet, in our hearts we will know," as Manly Hall states in The Medicine of the Sun and the Moon. He continues,

Only when we disobey the quiet reaction of our own inner lives do we get into trouble. If we merely follow the gratification of our emotions, we may be wrong; if we follow the inclinations of our intellects, we may be in error. But if we are very quiet in the presence of need, a light in us suddenly moves us to the solution of this need.
Some basic concepts for the natural laws of our life and body are described by Thurman Fleet in Rays of the Dawn; the following four laws are my adaptations.

The first law is proper nourishment, including eating a living-food diet, more alkaline than acid. Fleet categorizes our foods as cleansers, builders, and congestors. We want mostly the cleansing fruits and vegetables, some building proteins, and very few congestors—that is, refined or sweetened foods, excess starches, or too much of the building foods, such as cheese, meats, or even nuts, seeds, and beans. A vital, more raw-food diet is our suggestion.

The second law is proper movement. Exercise is the distribution process of our nourishment. It aids the assimilation, utilization, and elimination of foods. Moving every joint every day will maintain flexibility and function. We also want to be active enough to keep toned muscles and a toned heart.

The third law is proper rest and recuperation to balance out our activity. This includes sleep, rest, relaxation, and recreation, particularly important to help us de-stress. Having playful, enjoyable hobbies and laughing a lot are important to feeling good about ourselves and life; conversely, if we feel this way, it is easier to laugh and play.

The fourth law is proper cleanliness. This is both outer and inner. Cleaning our skin through regular bathing is important. Sweating helps cleanse our blood of impurities. And a wholesome, high-fiber diet will allow our bowels to keep our elimination current. Order and cleanliness in our surroundings both prevent disease and support creativity. Being clean and organized allows us to be current in our life and awareness.

We must view our actions in regard to both their immediate and their long-term effects. This is part of the immortalist philosophy. I believe that contrary or pollution of our beautiful planet. Economy has taken precedence over nature’s dance. We may think only of what we can get to fulfill our immediate needs without being concerned about the polluting effects on the environment. We accept that what we need now is most important and, since we are not going to be here, let those who come later deal with the consequences of our actions and how they affect future generations. With the number of toxic chemicals and radiation in use today, one little mistake can be the only one we are ever allowed.

Many companies are oriented to acquiring profits by producing products such as chemicals and plastics and releasing their wastes, many of them toxic, into the environment—the local air, rivers, or lakes—or storing them underground, where they can leak and pollute soil and groundwater. Many of the products that are being made these days that use toxic materials in their creation are not really needed or are toxic themselves. Even though all of these new plastics in particular have become the mainstay of the technological age, we wonder whether this is indeed evolution. Many new and old products could be manufactured more efficiently and with less pollution with greater forethought and concern for continued environmental balance.

In a thousand years, people will look back on this last century as one of the most disastrous, from an immortalist viewpoint, in its long-range effects on the planet. Although some technological progress has been made, more conscious people are beginning to realize that the cost to the Earth and its inhabitants is greater than the short-term profits generated by the productivity, or the extra convenience of the products themselves. Unless we now use our technological skills to clean up our planet, we may be in even bigger trouble in the near future.
Pollution has affected the ozone layer in our stratosphere and the level of radiation in the air. This might give a new image of immortality from the deathist viewpoint—such as surviving while wearing special suits and eyeglasses to protect us from the sun and wearing masks to filter the air. Or, worse yet, we may need to live in underground cities. In a civilization where economy and greed take precedence over the dance of peaceful, evolutionary existence, death takes over. But we will not accept this. I believe solutions to these pollution problems are yet to be revealed; however, healing must begin in our time! (See Chapters 1 and 11 for discussions on cleaning our waters and life.) We want to care for our planet. We want to live with the sunshine, breathing clean air, having good water to drink, and being able to walk in nature, to talk to the trees and animals. So let’s wake up now! Our health has to do with building the future and keeping the planet healthy. We want to keep alive and extend life by better health practices, medicine, and technology. We need to focus more on our appreciation of life, nature, and those other beings around us.

Releasing the past is essential to healthy living. Sickness lives in our memories, especially the painful or negatively charged ones we carry around. We need to live now in preparation for our future, creating with enthusiasm, vitality, and purpose. Utilizing and vitalizing our mind (especially our untapped areas) through meditation and all the aspects of a healthy lifestyle that I have mentioned here are ways to keep our hands on the pulse of life around us and to understand the universal laws. This helps us to become more conscious in our thoughts and words, allowing us to be more creative with our lives. Sensitivity and heartfelt experience give understanding and guide us to correct the aspects of civilization and humanity that may need renewal.

(Excerpted from Staying Healthy with Nutrition ISBN: 1587611791)
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 About The Author
Elson Haas MDElson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...more
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