Ever wonder where your vitality went? Why does it seem that so many people routinely complain about feeling tired and achy? Why are we all so run down and walking around like a nation of zombies?
The answer all boils downs to basics, the fundamentals of good health, the building blocks of feeling good and taking proper care of our bodies. Once aware of the fundamentals of vibrant and great health, it is simply a matter of practice and creating new (and enjoyable) habits that will result in your reaping many benefits.
There are 3 main physical things your body needs to have vitality:
1. Feed it properly
2. Use it
3. Rest it
1. Feed your body properly. We are now eating what is called the Standard American Diet or SAD -- an appropriate acronym. The average American now eats an extra 150 pounds of sugar per year. Another 18 percent of our calories come from white flour. These two factors alone result in a loss of approximately one-third of our vitamins and minerals. How would you function with a 33% pay cut? When you add the effects of food processing and soil depletion, you have the recipe for dietary disaster. An excellent way to supplement is with powdered formulas that replace dozens of vitamin tablets daily with one good -tasting drink . An excellent one is "Daily Energy Enfusion Powder" (by Enzymatic Therapy. At Health food stores or www.vitality101.com).
To add insult to injury, the food enzymes that are needed for digestion are also being destroyed during processing (to allow for long shelf life). This is one of the major reasons for the epidemic of indigestion and malnutrition in the U.S. .The chronic use of medications that turnoff stomach acid (e.g. – Nexium) further worsens our ability to digest food. Using digestive enzymes (e.g.-CompleteGest or Similase) and natural remedies for indigestion such as mastic gum and DGL licorice can eliminate indigestion while improving nutrition.
Besides needing vitamins, minerals, and adequate protein, we also need a large amount of good quality water. Most of what Americans drink is loaded with sugar and caffeine and often acts as a diuretic. As a society, we walk around chronically dehydrated – so much so that we don’t even notice it. I do not recommend that you annoy yourself by counting the number of glasses of water you drink. Simply occasionally pay attention to your mouth and lips. If they are dry, you’re thirsty and need more water. Anyway, luscious lips look better!
2. Use your body. With cars and television, we’re now living in the land of the couch potato. I am not recommending that you eliminate either of these two. Do, however, find activities that are fun and give you a good workout at least three times a week. Besides protecting your bones and decreasing your risk of heart disease, studies show that exercise is as effective as Prozac in preventing depression. Fortunately, exercise does not cause Prozac’s sexual dysfunction.
On that note, another important part of using your body is to have great sex. This is a natural function and is healthy for you. In fact, researchers found that people who have sex three times a week look ten years younger. Don’t you just love science?
3. Rest your body. This means getting at least 8 to 9 hours of good sleep nightly. A hundred years ago, the average American was sleeping nine hours a night. We’re now down to 6 ½ hours, which is not adequate for tissue repair or to recharge our batteries. This lack of sleep contributes to chronic pain and fatigue. There are many natural things that you can do to improve sleep if you have insomnia. My favorite is “Revitalizing Sleep Formula”, a powerfully effective mix of 6 herbals. Start, however, by making the time!
In addition to these 3 steps for maintaining vitality, there are a number of tips that can be very helpful for people trying to lose weight:
1) People need to remember that it takes 20 minutes for the stomach to tell your brain that you are full. This is why we often feel bloated a half-hour after we're done eating. It is much easier for people to eat small portions if they give themselves permission to take more 20 minutes later. That makes it easy to stop eating, and people almost never want a second portion 20 minutes later.
2) Research has shown that people who are not able to lose weight have several metabolic problems. One major one is fungal overgrowth in the gut. Taking capsules with healthy bacteria (I recommend Acidophillus Pearls by Enzymatic Therapy) and avoiding sugar can dramatically improve this problem. People with spastic colon or chronic sinusitis usually have overgrowth of yeast in the gut.
3) In addition, taking the supplement acetyl l-carnitine 1000 milligrams/day for three months can also help. Low thyroid (despite normal blood tests) is a common problem as well,but not one that people can readily address without the help of their health-care practitioner. Low growth hormone can also result in weight gain. Exercise can of course help this. What people don't know is that having sex three times a week also raises growth hormone (and is why it makes people look younger)
As important as feeding your body is to feed your psyche and soul. My new book, "Three Steps to Happiness! Healing through Joy” can teach you how to do this! Having spent the last 23 years researching effective treatments for crippling illnesses, it amazed me how developing a positive attitude to life contributed not just to joy, but also to health. Sadly, not having truly lived at all is a bigger problem in our society than dying young! My goal is to have my patients die very young-- very late in their life.
For psychological health, the three steps to happiness can be summarized as:
1) Be authentic with your feelings
2) Let go of blame and fault
3) Keep your attention on what feels good! Health and vitality flow naturally from doing what feels good. Follow your bliss!
Jacob Teitelbaum M.D.
Dr. Teitelbaum is a board certified internist and director of the Annapolis Research Center for Effective CFS/Fibromyalgia Therapies, where he sees CFS/Fibromyalgia/Chronic pain patients from all over the world (410-266-6958). Having suffered with and overcome these illnesses in 1975, he spent the next 28 years creating, researching, and teaching about effective therapies. He is the author of the best-selling From Fatigued to Fantastic!" and the newly released "Three Steps to Happiness! Healing through Joy". His web site can be found at: www.vitality101.com