Tuesday, 3 April 2012

How to be Young, Healthy and Filled with Vitality

That may sound like a pretty big promise.  And for many people, seeing themselves as young, fit and healthy seems a long way off.  But good health is a choice and in my practice as a Digestive Health Specialist I meet people every day who are sleep walking their way into premature ageing, deteriorating health and seem both unwilling and unable to step up to the plate and take full responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. 

Willingness comes as you start to feel the benefits of the small changes you make initially (under par nutrition robs you of the will to make changes) and the process is enabled by having accurate information.  Unless you are particularly interested in health and nutrition you are unlikely to have the time to sift through the huge amounts of conflicting information nor are you likely to be be able to make an informed decision about what is useful and what is not.

My aim is to support you to make the choices that will support you to improve your health.  Be wiling to make changes gradually, trying to do everything at once is more likely to make you give up and return to the habits that do not serve you well.

An Epidemic of Malnutrition

We live in a country where we have access to every kind of food available and nobody needs to die of starvation in the UK.  There is however a hidden epidemic of micro malnutrition bubbling beneath the surface.  People have enough to eat, in many cases way too much, but they are starving their bodies of vital nutrients and in most cases its simply because they don't have the right information.  A poorly nourished body leads to getting old, biologically, much earlier.  I want to stay as youthful, fit and healthy for as long as possible and I want to help you do the same.


For the last thirty years or so we have been fed vast swathes of misinformation by people who seek to make huge amounts of money by providing for our need for "convenience".  But that "convenience" has a terrible cost: our health and wellbeing. 

Advertising continually perpetuates the idea that cooking is difficult, time consuming and expensive.  I saw an advert on TV recently that suggested cooking a meal with fresh fish and a sauce would take around three hours which is totally preposterous.  I can cook such a meal in twenty minutes and I am no Masterchef.

It is implied that we are simply too busy and don't have the time to cook for ourselves and that the "food" on offer gives us what we need in no time at all but it is simply not true.

Government Collusion

And our government aid the process by claiming that five portions of fruit and vegetables per day is sufficient which again is totally untrue.  Its not even a figure that bears any relation to anything at all.  The number was picked arbitrarily.  We actually need 9 - 14 portions per day: and that's what the inhabitants of all other European countries are told but our nanny state government believed it was too much to ask of us so instead perpetuated the misinformation that five portions was enough.  But don't be put off by thinking you could never eat that much: my intention is to show you that its not difficult and the benefits are definitely worth it.

What Does it Mean to be Healthy?

When people come to my practice I get them to complete a health questionnaire.  There are two questions which are very important.

1.  How would you describe your current state of health?
2.  Do you have any current symptoms?

Almost without exception people describe their current state of health as good.  But further questioning almost always reveals a whole host of symptoms that they consider to be almost normal: they didnt include them as symptoms.

My Version of Healthy

A truly healthy person has great digestion (so they never or very rarely have indigestion, reflux or heartburn), they don't get bloated, their bowels work perfectly (i.e. if they eat three meals a day they evacuate their bowels at least twice and ideally three times and the eliminations happen easily and quickly but are formed i.e. not sloppy, watery or bitty).  They don't suffer from abdominal pain unless they picked up a bug.  They are emotionally stable, don't suffer from anxiety or depression (except when that would be normal such as when faced with major hurdles in life or bereavement for example), sleep well, don't struggle to get out of bed in the  morning, are generally happy (although this is not a constant state and being unhappy or sad sometimes is perfectly normal) and they have sufficient energy to sail through their working day and enjoy leisure activities without being exhausted.  They generally look younger than their years and have good skin and clear eyes and are neither too thin nor overweight. They don't need to use stimulants (such as caffeine or sugary snacks) to get them going in the morning or ward off a mid-afternoon slump.  

Myth Busting

My aim in this blog is to dispell some of the myths, to help you make the choice to be youthful and healthy and avoid the choices that will have you joining the sleepwalkers.  And I am not suggesting you adopt the life of a monk to achieve this aim: balance is the secret.

Taking It Back to Basics

And we will be starting at the beginning.  It's a process.  Do as much as you can.  As you start to make changes you will find further changes easier to make.  Its better to take small steps and get to the destination rather than setting off at full tilt and falling at the first hurdle.  I hope you enjoy the journey.  Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step.

We'll start with getting hydrated.  Why it's so important.  What are the consequences of being dehydrated and so on.

Hope to see you tomorrow.

Be willing to step into the light.


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