Here are some take-away tips (or not) from what I learned at the Hippocrates Health Institute
Being a certified Hippocrates Health Educator I strive to follow these principals laid out by Brian Clement, and I know how hard is to follow them at times. Take what you can use, leave the rest. Try to implement one or two and once these are habit, add some more! Enjoy.
Amazing what 8 hrs of uninterrupted sleep can do for your body. Your body goes into a cleaning/renewal cycle every night around 9-10 p.m. and continues to clean every organ & body system through about 10-11 a.m. the next morning. If we are up late, or eat late at night we interrupt this cycle. To get the maximum restorative effect of the body’s natural cycle, get that shut-eye!
2. AVOID ALL MEATS
Yes, mankind may have been eating meat (hence the omnivore) throughout time, however, today’s meat is just not what your ancestors used to eat. With the invention of synthetic growth hormones, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and many other chemicals that end up in our ground water, they can also end up in your beef. I recommend avoiding all meats and meat products such as milk, yogurt, kefir, butter, ice cream, eggs etc. to give your body the best chance to flourish into old age and avoid disease.
3. EAT ORGANIC FOODS
Is this going to guarantee that your foods are completely clean and healthy? No, of course not, however your chances of eating a food laden with chemicals are much less likely. Did you know that red peppers have are sprayed on average with over 100 different chemicals? That is absolutely incredible. Make sure you purchase organic especially all fruits and veggies that have thin skin like peppers, tomatoes, peaches, grapes, apples, etc. Bananas and avocados in comparison have thick skins and would be the better choice to buy conventional if you have to chose between the two. Just think of this: the more we buy organic, the more we send a message to producers what our choices are. The market will follow. It only takes 5% of consumers to make a change for producers to pay attention.
4. EAT GREENS
Especially the dark leafy ones. My favorite A’s are: Arugula, Avocado and Asparagus. Eat them in abundance, as they are good for your body. Arugula is actually considered a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli and brussel sprouts containing sulforaphane which has anti-cancer properties. Avocados are full of glutathione, a very powerful antioxidant made up of three amino acids glycine, glutamine and cysteine. Asparagus, can you say superfood? Asparagus has many benefits including reducing inflammation caused by rheumatism, reducing the risk of neurodegenerative disease and helps increase cell production to name a few. I should mention that it is best to consume all of the foods raw in order to get the most benefit!
5. AVOID SUGARS
Having one piece of fruit a day is ok if you are not having a disease. Even though fruit has many health benefits, if you are sick, especially the fruit sugar (fructose) does not do your body good. Fruit this day has been so hybridized that the sugar content is between 30-50 times higher than what it was before being manipulated. Add the mono culture, depleting our soil means depleted vitamins and minerals. Biomedical engineers at Duke University found that Metastatic cancer gorges on fructose in the liver. Just note, the medical establishment agrees that ALL sugars feed cancer, so be your own judge.
6. GERMINATE YOUR NUTS AND SEEDS
Nuts and seeds are nutritional powerhouses for the body. However, they are protected by enzyme inhibitors which can create havoc in your digestive system. Just think beans! Sprouting your nuts and seeds releases the enzyme inhibitors and will activate nutrients and make them more bio-available to your body and digestible with much less discomfort!
7. EAT FOODS WITH MEDICINAL PROPERTIES
That is going back to #4 above, eating green foods like Avocado, Asparagus and Arugula. But also Sweet Red Peppers, Red Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Onions, Scallions, Garlic, Ginger, Swiss Chard and spices like Cayenne, Cinnamon, herbs like Oregano, Basil and Peppermint. The list goes on, there are many foods that have medicinal properties to support our bodies. Chose your foods wisely.
8. CHEW YOUR FOOD
Before you sit down to eat your meal, take five deep breaths to oxygenate and settle down. Chew every bite about 20 times (yes I know, its a challenge!) to break open the cell walls of the food and allowing our saliva (enzymes like lipase and amylase) to “pre-digest” food already in your mouth. The chewing sends messages to the stomach and intestines and gets the whole peristaltic movement going. The more you chew, the more you break down the food, the easier it will be for our digestive juices to break down the food into smaller particles. If you swallow a glob, your stomach acid will only be able to access the outside of the glob, it will not break it down and the food will sit like a rock in your stomach. Let’s not talk about what happens after that, you already know. Did I say constipation? Chew, chew, chew, it doesn’t matter how much you eat if you can’t absorb anything. Plus here are some additional recommendations:
- Don’t eat when you are upset
- Don’t eat in a business meeting
- Don’t eat and drive
9. DON’T DRINK WITH YOUR MEALS
When I grew up we never had water with our meals, drinking with meals was not introduced to me until I moved to America. When you drink with your meals you are diluting your digestive juices. Matter of fact, it is a good practice to stop drinking at least 15 minutes before a meal (ok to have sips of water if you need to take pills, supplements) and try not to drink for at least 1 hour after having a meal. Now hang on for this – avoid liquids for at least 3 hours after you have eaten protein and 2 hours if you were eating beans or seeds so your stomach can fully digest and absorb the nutrients.
10. WALK AT LEAST 15 MINUTES BEFORE GOING TO BED
The latest studies from Harvard and the National Sleep Foundation show that walking/exercising before going to bed will help you get a better night sleep. Walking helps reduce stress and anxiety and aids digestion by oxygenating the body. Especially if you have chronic insomia, go for a walk before going to bed. Within a couple of weeks of this ritual you should be able to fall asleep faster, sleep longer and improve your sleep quality. Give it a try, my husband and I often go for walks at night and Gidget our dog loves it too!
11. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE
With the exception of not drinking around meals, you want to try drink at least half your body weight in ounces. Example, if you weigh 160 lbs your body needs approximately 80 ounces of water a day. We perspire two cups (16oz) just being here on a daily basis. If you exercise (and live in Florida) it is recommended to increase another 25%. Now, if you slam your water, most of it will pass right through you. It is best to sip water at a rate of 1 cup per 30 minutes in order to let the tissues absorb the water. Any excess gets ignored. As we age we have a tendency to drink less and less so it is imperative to pay attention to your water intake. Being dehydrated only 3% witll already affect your body system and 5% will affect your brain function negatively. Consider mineralizing your water using liquid mineral supplements to get the most benefit. Reconstituted water does not have minerals in it as it would be occuring in nature, just some food for thought. This is where green juices made with a base of cucumber and celery help out tremendously by adding natural sodium, vitamins and minerals. Green juices count as hydration, whereas coffee and sports drinks do not. Herbal teas are neutral, they do not devoid your body of hydration but do not add either. Best is to go with mineralized water, green juices or the occasional coconut water straight from a coconut.
12. MAKE YOUR FOOD TASTE GOOD
That’s a no brainer but easier said then done! The best advice I can give here is that when you find a recipe you like, safe it to a file/folder where you keep all your favorites. For kids its ok to add fruit to sweeten juices, for adults I like to add dressings, sauces, herbs and spices to mix it up. It’s hard to resist the temptation of ready-made-foods that are created by food scientists that understand how our brains work. Chain restaurants do not have cooks in the kitchen, they have chemists figuring out what makes our brains tick. Sugar, fat and salt is a lethal combination that tricks our brain into overeating because you will never find these three items all in one place in nature. So be aware and now that you know, create your own yummy & healthy versions of home made foods that work for you. Your body will thank you by staying vibrant and slow down aging with all the support you are giving it.