Our Greatest Wealth is Health

Posted by Nutritionist's Choice on February 14, 2016 in News

 

It is health that is our real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver” Mahatma Gandhi

Creating an abundance of money is a wonderful experience!  Surrounding ourselves with things that please us, having the ability to travel to exotic places, being able to give generously to others or decide on a whim to make an extravagant purchase are all exhilarating indeed! Yet, would we trade any one of these experiences for a life threatening diagnosis?  I doubt many would answer yes to that question.

Thankfully, we are living in a time when much is known about ways to obtain and maintain good health.   We are also blessed with access to information regarding the importance of creating balance in our lives.  As a result, when we take the time to protect our health and practice balance (which basically means: listening to the messages from our bodies and tuning into that inner voice of wisdom), we can enjoy good health while we create prosperity – never having to trade one for another! 

I wish I had the credentials and experience to map out the perfect path to prosperity for you but in reality, I’m still working on that one myself!   What I can offer, given my 30 plus years of helping people improve their health, is a few simple guidelines (in the midst of myriad of options) for getting and staying healthy as you create a life of balance and abundance!

Good health begins in your mind:

Although most seekers of a formula for good health would expect to see specific dietary practices or supplements heading this list of recommendations, I believe the most important ingredient in the recipe for good health has more to do with our mind than our bodies.   “Minding our Mind” to me is the key to living a balanced and healthy life.

When self- defeating or destructive thoughts run rampant in our minds for instance, our bodies feel the impact.  The long and short-term stress caused by our negative thought patterns contribute to dis-ease and various illnesses.  Excess cortisol, a hormone released from the adrenal glands in response to mental or physical stress causes elevated blood sugar, deposits of fat in our lower abdomen, raises cholesterol, elevates blood pressure and can contribute to hormone imbalance.

Choosing to have a positive outlook on life, on our financial situation, the aging process etc. is a habit that requires some practice.  Overriding and or replacing the negative stories we tell ourselves or getting rid of outmoded thought patterns is well worth the time and effort however as doing so allows for deeper levels of happiness, health and believe it or not – opens the doors to prosperity.

Diet: Consuming a high quality, non GMO, mostly organic diet that contains 4-5 cups of organic vegetables, low glycemic fruit, healthy fats, lean sources of organic protein and plenty of filtered water (6-8 glasses) provides our bodies with the nutrients necessary for optimal health.

Additionally, getting off the health destroying sugar-insulin roller coaster ride (induced by consuming processed, sugar- laden foods)  leads to weight gain and inflammation- (an underlying cause of many chronic illnesses). Reversing this ingrained and addictive dietary practice improves our mood, energy levels and decrease our chances for developing prosperity-blocking illnesses.

Exercise:  Pumping up those endorphins makes us feel good, but in addition, a growing body of research shows that regular exercise improves our immune function by increasing the number of natural killer cells that fight off viruses and bacteria as well as reducing our risk of developing cancer. Regular exercise also slows the aging process and combats inflammation the underlying cause of many chronic illnesses including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and dementia. Having a balanced routine that includes some cardio (interval is now the rage), stretching (such as yoga) and some resistance work with weights will provide enormous benefits to your health.

 

Supplements are intended to be just that, a supplement to a healthy diet, not a replacement.  With that being said, here is a list of what I call The Fabulous Four:

  1. A comprehensive multi-vitamin & mineral supplement: In today’s world with the extra demands stress and exposure to toxins place on our bodies, it has become quite difficult to obtain all the nutrients we need to function optimally just from our diets.  Taking a high quality, comprehensive multi vitamin & mineral supplement provides the extra insurance that we will receive the various nutrients necessary for great health.

 

  1. Probitics: Probiotics may be the single most important supplement to take in supporting the health of the GI tract. They not only crowd out bad organisms such as yeast and bad bacteria, they also increase immune function in the intestines, can help protect against food poisoning, help eliminate toxins (including heavy metals) synthesize B vitamins, regulate bowel movements and limit bacteria that produce cancer causing nitrates.  Protecting the gut (which is where 80% of the mood stabilizing neurotransmitter Serotonin is manufactured and where 80% of the immune system is headquartered) is key to our neurological, immunological and gastrointestinal health.

 

  1. Vitamin D: The majority of Americans (according to the neurologist and author of Grain Brain: Dr. David Perlmutter) are deficient in this critical nutrient. He, along with many integrative MDs recommend getting your blood level checked.  If the level is below 50 they typically suggest taking a daily supplement ranging from 2000IUs to 5000IUs and then having it rechecked after a few months.   Adequate levels of Vit D are essential for maintaining a healthy heart, brain, immune function and bones.  Since many of us aren’t outside enough (and when we do go out we lather up with sunscreen), it’s common to test low in Vitamin D.  Recent studies have shown that those of us with Vit D levels above 50 have decreased incidence of dementia, heart disease and cancer.

 

  1. Omega 3’s from Fish Oil: In this country we usually take in too much Omega 6 and too little omega 3 (typically a ratio of 20:1) which can lead to inflammation, hypertension, and irritation of the GI tract, decreased immunity, weight gain and cancer. For optimal health, a ratio of 1:1 (between Omega 6’s to Omega 3) is considered optimal. Omega 6’s are found in vegetable oils and Omega 3’s are found in fish oil. Look for a brand that is of high quality and one that is screened for mercury.

 

Sleep : Sleep helps repair the body from damage that may have been caused during the day from exposure to toxins, infection, sun exposure etc.  A good night’s sleep reduces blood pressure, damage caused by stress, it helps reduce inflammation and improves memory. Sleep also helps regulate the hormone balance that affects and controls your appetite.

 

Laughter: We all know the health benefits of humor and laughter. Well, sometimes in the midst of trying to create prosperity, stay balanced and apply all the latest and greatest recommendations to stay in tip top health, I just have to step back and have a good laugh at myself for attempting to craft the perfect formula for the perfect life!  It’s funny, because it’s a moving target and basically down right impossible!

All I can say is: enjoy this great journey of life: be happy, create prosperity (if that’s what you desire), be healthy in the process and make sure to have a few good laughs each day!

 

Bio: Maureen McDonnell is the Health Editor of WNC Woman Magazine and has been a holistic, nutritionally-oriented Registered Nurse for more than 30 years.  She currently coaches individuals on methods for improving their health & losing weight using the 30 days to Healthy Living Plan.  She also trains individuals on ways to make a significant income working from home.  Maureen is the cofounder of Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet (sokhop.com) and an Executive Area Manager with Arbonne International.    For additional information and or support, contact her at MauraHealth@aol.com