As an entrepreneur in the health and wellness arena I am so overwhelmed at the amount of information (good and bad), fads, science (good and bad), diets, detoxes, workout systems (good and bad), – where would someone possibly begin? So I sat down and decided to reflect on what I believe are the top five basic principles for living a healthy and happy life. Sure, there are definitely much more, but I want to break it down to the five essential. I always say the best way to make progress is to have a simple formula with consistent execution. So here are my top five – not in any particular order since they are all equally essential.
1. Simple Exercise
Nature takes away anything we do not use, so let’s use it all. Full spectrum movement and comprehensive bodyweight exercise is one of the ways to maintain a strong and balanced physique while being tuned up for many sports activities. Breathing is another very important component of fitness. Deep breathing through your nose during exercise oxygenates your blood in an amazing way. Many say that disease cannot exist in an oxygenated environment because studies are finding that disease manifests in places of the body that are not well oxygenated. My wife and I developed Aeroga Movement as the perfect formula to harness all of the essential aspects of fitness, breathing and full spectrum movement.
2. Connection With Nature
The idea that spending time in nature can make you feel better is intuitive. I would like to consider it an innate wisdom that we all carry. Researchers are amassing a body of evidence, proving that wisdom we all know to be true: nature is good for us and has both long and short term mental and physical health benefits. Today many may be a little more removed from that wisdom than a few hundred years ago. Exposure to nature is such an important part of our life harmony for the spiritual experience, breathing, mental clarity, sunlight, immune system and more. Hiking in nature for instance, is often very scenic and very rewarding. You experience deep breathing at a sustained heart rate with all of the benefits of fresh air like negative ions. Negative ions have been shown to help lift mood, alleviate depression and seasonal affective disorder (winter depression or SAD).
3. Traditional Diets
Recently traditional diets have been embraced by elite athletes (such as LA Lakers), Olympic Athletes, Paleo Movement (at some degree) and are getting finally the popularity they deserve. Traditional diets are built on the concepts of choosing foods preparation and foods quality that we were consuming over 100 years ago.
Foods that are part of the traditional diets have disappeared from our tables, especially in the USA, but thanks to the popularity there are more and more of these foods are available. The missing foods in our modern diet is the reason why many people eat healthy, everything organic and spend tons of dollars in supplements but seem not to feel or perform at their very best.
The benefits of the traditional diets include:
- More anti inflammatory
- Probiotic rich which support intestinal flora and the immune system
- Stronger gut health, bones, joints and ligaments
- More energy and vitality
- More nutrient dense
- Better skin and mood
Traditional diets foods that are missing in our modern diets includes
Naturally Fermented beverages (kvass, orangina, lemonade, sauerkraut juice, ecc.): particularly rich in beneficial probiotics, prebiotics and vitamins needed to sustain our gut flora and immune system.
Naturally fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchee, and asparagus) : do not confuse them with those found in the stores because they are not fermented and pasteurized). Particularly rich in beneficial probiotics, prebiotics and vitamins needed to sustain our gut flora and immune system. Especially sauerkraut is the only vegetables to contains the available source of vitamin K2 (plants contains vitamin K1 which as humans we absorb poorly)
Sprouted/germinated grains (corn, brown rice, quinoa,ecc), flours, legumes (beans, lentils, etc.), nuts (almons, walnuts, ecc.) and seeds. These foods even Organic naturally contains inhibitors such as phytic acid which bond to minerals and enzymes causing digestive difficulties and low mineral intake. Sprouting and germination brake down these inhibitors (including gluten and lectins), make them more digestible and open up their nutrition. Sprouting and germination is another form of fermentation.
4. Spiritual connection
Generally, spirituality is the opposite of materialism and implies a sense of connection – connection to a reality greater than perceived physical world which may include an emotional experience of religion, respect and reverence.
Dr. Steven Southwick’s book, Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges, describes how some people overcome trauma—such as abduction, war, and imprisonment—by seeking comfort in spirituality or religion. He gives examples where spiritual people find ways to “meet the challenge and continue with purposeful lives…they bounce back and carry on.”
Spiritual connection with food
If you are on a spiritual path, I recommend exploring benefits of truly exploring your relationship with food. Food is an pathway to spiritual growth, because how you experience food is how you experience life. A recently discovered quality of food that has a powerful impact upon cells in our bodies, is the electromagnetic energy emitted by fresh living foods. We’re all made of energy, and we therefore require the consumption of energy in the form of food, air and water for sustenance and good health. We also require thoughts made up of positive vibrational energy.
Spiritual people make healthier choices.
Adhering to a particular spiritual tradition may bring an indirect health benefit because many traditions have rules about treating the body with kindness and avoiding unhealthy behaviors. Research has show that people who engage in spiritual practice are less likely to over indulge on alcohol, drugs and other self destructive habits. People who engage in a spiritual practice are less likely to commit violent crimes or theft.
Forgiveness is medicine.
Letting go of blame and negative feelings after a hurtful incident is a practice that is reflected by a number of spiritual traditions, including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism. Modern science shows the health benefits of forgiveness are numerous: better immune function, longer lifespan, lowered blood pressure, improved cardiovascular health, and fewer feelings of anger or hurt.
5. Digital Detox
Our world is speeding up at an overwhelming place. We are now in an age where there is a sea of information at your fingertips. Many people are spending as much as 11 hours per day staring at a screen. I don’t think we were originally wired for that. Now just think about what’s happening to your body from a physical level if you are sitting staring into this space of digital reality day after day. How is it possible to have a sense of calm, ability to focus, and let me get started on your vibrational energy.
As quoted By digitaldetox.org : “WE LIVE IN AN EXTRAORDINARY TIME IN HUMAN HISTORY We are more globally connected than ever before, but life in the digital age is far from ideal. The average American spends more than half of their waking life staring at a screen. The negative psychological, social and cultural impact is real. Things need to change.”
- 33% of people admit to hiding from family and friends to check social media
High Social media use can trigger an increase in loneliness, jealousy and fear
- 95% of people use some type of electronics in the hour leading up to bed.
** Artificial light from screens increase alertness and suppress the hormone melatonin by up to 22%
– negatively affecting sleep, performance and mood.
- Unplugging for just one day can give some users mental and physical withdraw symptoms
Disconnect to Connect.
As we disconnect from our devices, we reconnect with ourself, our community, nature and the world around us. Without initially disconnecting it is difficult to find the clarity and awareness to pick up on the beauty and nature around us. Disconnecting from devices and technology allows us to begin to cultivate mindfulness and awareness practice techniques that help us stay grounded. As you create the time to digital detox, you will find more time to decompress and reflect. Along with the time and reflexion you will find more clarity and enhanced creativity.
The good news is that people are beginning to catch on and there are some great retreats and workshops that cater to activities “device free”
© Christopher Vlaun 2016: V Art of Wellness – Founder