Pillar 6 to Optimum Health: Wholeheartedness (from The Guidebook to Optimum Health)

wholeheartednessThe trump card

As I was writing my book on optimum health, I thought I had it all sorted out with my 5 Pillars: exercise, nutrition, detoxing, rest and how we used our minds. But something was niggling at the back of my mind. Sort of saying, ‘Are you missing something?’

Well it turns out I was. I had the body covered; the mind covered; but I didn’t have the heart taken care of. And the reality is, you cannot separate these three parts. It is like trying to create a complete picture, but only using two-thirds of the jigsaw pieces. There will be gaps and in this case those gaps can be major illness, recurring aches & pains, and even that regular ‘cold’ or ‘flu’. Continue reading

Pillar 5 to Optimum Health: Mindfulness (from The Guidebook to Optimum Health)

mindfullnessNice word. What does it mean?

I use the term ‘mindfulness’ which is based on the concept of mindfulness in Buddhist meditation, but take it broader, into how it shows up each and every day. As numerous ‘smart people’ have told us over past millennium, we only have ‘this moment’. The past is gone, and the future is yet to be shaped. So it is the sum of our moments, and how we use them, that ultimately determines what quality of life we have and the level of results we achieve.

The other word that pops up when we talk about mindfulness is ‘consciousness’. Being conscious of the big picture, the small picture, our place in the picture, other peoples place in the picture, the possibilities, the reality of where you are right now, the place you want to arrive at, and your inner dialogue. So for me, mindfulness is a heightened level of consciousness of our thinking, feeling and behaving.
Continue reading

Pillar 4 for Optimum Health: Rest Up (from The Guidebook to Optimum Health)

restRest up of fall downThis was actually the name of a chapter I included in The Guidebook to Happiness.The basics are this, when it comes to ‘SLEEP’:
  • The majority of the population need 7.5 – 9 hrs sleep (which means a big % of the population are sleep deprived).
  • Deep sleep, as opposed to interrupted or restless sleep, is essential for the mind to process short term to long term information (miss this and your brain will feel full, muddled and be less effective).
  • The body needs deep sleep to carry out the billions of repair and rejuvenation functions for optimum health.
  • Your body LOVES to rise with the sun and wind down when it gets dark. Go to bed earlier, so you can rise earlier. I recently interviewed Octavio Salvado (a yogi with a good Aussie name) who said rising with the sun is one of his Top 3 Happiness Tips and was a key teaching in yoga for 1000’s of years.
  • Stimulants like caffeine obviously affect most peoples depth and quality of sleep. Ease up on the caffeine later in the day.
  • To sleep better, keep to a regular routine, so the body gets used to the cycle.
I also love to wake up before the sun, without an alarm. This takes practice, but the body is amazingly effective at waking up at the time you mentally set.

Pillar 3 for Optimum Health: The Importance of Detoxification (from The Guidebook to Optimum Health)

detoxCars

Put your hand up if you own a car? I have my hand down, since I haven’t owned a car since 2001 (but I do own a very fast 110cc scooter ;-)). Does your car run better after you have it serviced? And do you get a MAJOR service after your car has run for X number of km’s (or miles)? But it’s only a car. A hunk of metal and stuff. Bloody handy, but still not great for conversation, love & intimacy (although some may disagree on this one), and making a difference in the world.

You on the other hand are a work of art. Infinitely creative and with the ability to make an amazing difference in the lives of others. Something that special deserves a lot more attention, support and maintenance so it can shine most brightly. This is about taking deeper care of yourself.

The number 1 detox method

This is for those with a short concentration span. I will share the biggest tip now, but for those that want to make a huge difference in their life you might want to read on to the next section.

I have talked about this before and will mention it again. It is the famous Green Drink. Click here for a great recipe. This cleanses the body by adding healing micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and enzymes), and fibre for elimination (pooping) plus aids in insulin management. Continue reading

Pillar 2 for Optimum Health: Nutrition (from The Guidebook to Optimum Health)

nutritionMurky waterIt was that Hippocrates dude that said it right when he made the eternal comment ‘let thy food be thy medicine’. So of course nutrition had to be one of the key pillars to optimum health. The thing is we all know it, but with the proliferation of the diet industry, media, an industry worth well over a trillion dollars (the US industry alone is about 1 trillion dollars), it is pretty hard to work out what the ‘real’ message is. So I am going to share with you some of my basic philosophies and the biggest tips I have taken away from following nutrition and researching it for the last 15 years. My views have definitely changed over the years too. Continue reading

Pillar 1 for Optimum Health: Physical Activity (from The Guidebook to Optimum Health)

activityNo surprises

The first Pillar (or key) to Optimum Health is – no surprises – physical activity. I can just imagine you reading this thinking, yeah, yeah, yeah. Tell me something I don’t know. Did you know that physical activity actually helps with your memory, your cognitive functioning and neurogenesis (development of new neurons)? Physical activity is just as important for the brain as it for the body and internal systems. Sometimes we forget that. You are also likely to score better on tests or be more creative after you exercise. Now have I got your attention? 😉   Tal Ben-Sharar, a leader in the positive psychology field, said ‘Not exercising is like taking a depressant’. Oops. It turns out that exercise is one of the best stress management and stress resilience strategies we have. In many research situations exercise performs just as well as anti-depressants (without the side-effects).      Continue reading