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The Other Equally Important Requisites of Robust Health

There is no doubt that eating a healthy diet is a requirement for having fantastic health, being your correct weight, and for creating the best odds of never getting a diagnosis of something serious. But if you focus on just diet alone, it is physiologically impossible to be as healthy as you are capable of being. And this is because there are other factors that affect your health.

Healthy eating is just one spoke in the wheel of health

Just as a chain can only be as strong as its weakest link, you can only be as healthy as the weakest link in your “chain of health”. But to know how your “chain” is doing, you need to know some specifics regarding those lifestyle practices that have just as much influence on your health as does your diet.

Many non-medical health practitioners focus on diet, and indeed I have a class devoted entirely to it, and in my first book, the chapter on diet is the biggest chapter, but this is simply because of all the aspects of healthy living, diet is the one fraught with the most conflicting information, misinformation, and disinformation, and therefore the one with the most confusion. So the subject of diet may need more study than the other “basics of health”, but not more attention.

So seekers of robust health need to go beyond diet. And although no one argues about the need for enough sleep and enough exercise, the “how to’s” and “importance of’s” are missing in many of today’s health creation curriculums where the other aspects of health get honorable mention (maybe) and then take a back seat to diet.

To put this another way, you could be eating the most perfect, the healthiest, the one diet that humans are designed to eat, but if you’re not paying equal attention to the other equally important aspects of health, you cannot have the best chance of achieving the best quality-of-life your genetics will allow.

Let’s now look at both the basics of health and the factors in disease:

Basics of Health: diet, physical activity, water, sunshine, sleep, stress management, toxin avoidance, information.

Factors in Disease: diet, physical activity, water, sunshine, sleep, stress management, toxin avoidance, misinformation.

As you can see from the two lists above, the same things are involved in both health and disease. For example: in health, enough and appropriate exercise; in disease, not enough and/or worthless exercise (or worse, harmful exercise). In health, enough sunshine; in disease, not enough sunshine.

When you think about it, in both health and ill-health, you need the exact same things: enough sleep, enough relaxation, enough water, enough stress management, enough sunshine, enough toxin avoidance, and enough food (which may be none when you’re ill). Vibrant health and ill-health are a continuum; they are two sides of the same coin. Just as you can cause ill-health, you can also cause vibrant health. The difference is, in today’s modern world, causing ill-health is as easy as falling off a log, but causing vibrant health requires some conscious effort. (A sad state of affairs indeed.)

Below is a chart that illustrates the relationship between disease and one’s lifestyle habits. As you can see, diet does not occupy a more prominent place on the chart than the other items listed. So if your goal is to be slim, and you focus only on what you eat and on counting and burning calories, you may look great on the outside, but disease develops on the inside, and if your insides aren’t in as good a shape as your outside, you’re sending degenerative disease an invitation to have its way with you.

You’ll notice “genetics” doesn’t appear on the above chart. That’s because you can’t do much about your genetics (although now with genetic testing used in diagnostics, there are some things you can do). The role your genetics play is merely which disease you’re predisposed to and how much you’re predisposed to it, (and not whether or not you’re destined to get a disease). It’s those other causative factors – the ones you have a lot of control over – that are the real “deciders” as to whether you do or don’t develop something life-threatening. And consider that if you don’t abide by Nature’s Laws, and give your body what it wants and don’t give it what it doesn’t want, it doesn’t matter what kind of genetics you have, suffering with a disease is suffering with a disease, whether at 50 or 70.

So if any health practitioner tries to place more importance on one aspect of health over the others, my advice would be to look elsewhere for guidance. Sure, there can be people who specialize in diet, and people who specialize in exercise, but a health practitioner who specializes in health creation and therefore in all of the requirements of robust health is someone who can, not just tie everything together, but can give equal weight to all of the factors that govern health, and thereby help you draft a health creation plan that will give you the best odds for success, which can be defined as the highest quality of life during the highest quantity of life.

Don Bennett

Don Bennett

Disease Avoidance Specialist, 20+ years all-raw, fruit-based, 99.9% vegan, 100% sincere, 40+ years researching the realities of health. Not an optimist, not a pessimist, a realist. It's been very heartening helping people regain their health by helping them understand the realities of health.

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Do Whatever Works for You – A Perspective

By Don Bennett, DAS

A common piece of advice when experimenting with different healthy lifestyle practices is to “do whatever works for you”, but there is a definite risk when following this advice, and it revolves around the definition of the word “works”. If you’re not knowledgeable with respect to what you’re experiencing when making significant changes in one of your lifestyle practices, you may draw the wrong conclusions. For example: How you feel is not always a good indicator of what is really working for you. If, overnight, you switch from a typical Western diet to a healthy diet, you may feel worse before you feel better (I’ll explain why in a moment). If you don’t realize that this is normal, you may go back to what you were previously eating to see what happens, and when you feel better – which you most certainly will – you can misinterpret this and mistakenly conclude that an uncooked low fat plant-based diet doesn’t “work” for you, and that, for example, eating a lot of protein or fat or eating some cooked food does.

To realize why the above scenario occurs, it’s necessary to understand the concept of detoxification. If you’re in a less than optimal state of health (and you can be without knowing it), it’s unlikely you got into this condition overnight; it probably took decades. So when you decide to improve your health, it isn’t going to happen overnight; it’ll take time (so obviously the time to start improving your health is now). For every four years of unhealthy living habits it can take approximately one year to reverse the negative effects, and as I said, you may feel worse before feeling better. So to avoid drawing the wrong conclusions it’s a good idea to have a working knowledge of what’s happening as you improve your health.

A long time ago there were very few toxic substances you could take into your body. And those that were toxic would be immediately evident; if a plant tasted bitter, odds were that it was probably poisonous, and the bitterness was a signal to not eat it… so you wouldn’t. In this way, you were protected from consuming toxic things. But today, that taste protective mechanism doesn’t do us much good; processed foods that taste delicious can contain toxins. And even if something tastes “yuk”, many people still consume it because it’s socially acceptable, and their peers do it, and there’s something to like about it. To me, beer and hot spicy food do not taste yummy, so I don’t consume them, but I did at one time… my peers did, and I liked the effect, so I did too. But that was very disrespectful of my body, and not respecting your body is a huge mistake if robust health is important to you.

When toxic and irritating substances enter the body, the body tries to keep these things from harming its cells. If the body doesn’t have enough vitality to expel these substances as they come in, it has only two choices: leave them in the system where they can go around damaging things, or put them someplace where they’ll do the least amount of harm. Naturally it tries to store them, and the place where they can do the least damage is in the fat cells. When someone who is losing weight experiences symptoms, it is often because those toxins that were stored in their fat cells are now becoming systemic (their storage containers are shrinking) and the body now has to deal with them.

If you’ve been exposing your body to toxic substances every day for decades, and then you stop doing this, your body is finally able to rid itself of the stored toxins, and begin the task of repairing any damage caused by them. The process of expelling stored toxins is called detoxification (detox), and is never pleasant. And since you feel terrible, some people mistake detoxification as a sign that their body did better when it was given non-human food because when they go back to eating those things, they feel better. Why? Because the detox process stops! (Some people call the detox process “withdrawal”, but that’s an inaccurate term.)

fruit scientist - healthierAnother scenario is when, in our efforts to improve our health, we transition from an unhealthy diet and lifestyle to a healthier one, and we experience improvement so we assume that this new way of living is what “works” for us and is now the way we should live, when in actuality the short-term improvements were mainly due to what we stopped doing. The wheat grass, cayenne pepper, and high fat raw food recipes and the other new things that we started doing were simply healthier than what we had been doing, and although we’re seeing improvement in the short term, these things will not serve us and allow us to thrive in the long term. Indeed, this healthier way of living may still allow serious disease to occur, even though it may happen farther down the road than it would have if we had not made any changes at all.

So be very careful when deciding what works for you, because you are not going to know what “works” until you know if it “worked”… and that can take decades. This makes it critically important to make correct decisions now as to what lifestyle practices to follow. And since very few health educators have 100% correct information, it’s a good idea to not follow any one health educator’s advice, and instead to take a multi-educational approach to your information gathering (as a researcher and not as a student). Yes, this is unfortunate because it’s so much easier to just pick someone and do whatever they advise, but if your goal is optimal health, you need lots of correct information, and not just some. And you won’t have access to a time machine to go back in time and try something else if what you thought was “working” for you turned out not to work (because you got a diagnosis of something serious). The knowledge of what is likely to still be working for you in the “winter” of your life, and not merely in the short term, is crucial if maximum health creation, illness avoidance, and a robust quality of life for your whole life is your goal.

Featured image courtesy of lifeinspirationtoday.com

Don Bennett

Don Bennett

Disease Avoidance Specialist, 20+ years all-raw, fruit-based, 99.9% vegan, 100% sincere, 40+ years researching the realities of health. Not an optimist, not a pessimist, a realist. It's been very heartening helping people regain their health by helping them understand the realities of health.

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