Holistic Health 101: Ideology and Lifestyle Tips

by Max Wettstein

Holistic does not imply religion. It simply means treating your body as a whole physical, spiritual, psychological entity and approaching your health from all these aspects with equal attention and nurturing. It means welcoming all healthy living philosophies and strategies, as to learn from all of them, take what works best, and blend them into your own lifestyle. 

I certainly did not invent the holistic ideology, but my family and I have been making an effort to incorporate holistic concepts into our lifestyle and we have noticed a positive difference, from less illness to how we manage stress. It turns out that a holistic-health lifestyle will also promote longevity and ideal body composition – optimal leanness and therefore an aesthetically appealing physique!

Below is a short list of 12 things you can do daily to incorporate a holistic method into your life.  Some will seem simple and even common sense.  In fact, you may already be doing many of these little acts but all combined they are powerful!  This list is by no means all inclusive and this is not an exact science, but rather an ideology. Feel free to add to this list and tailor it to your needs – it’s a process of constant evolution and awareness for all of us. 

In no particular order:

  1. Brush your teeth, gums and tongue and floss daily. Mouth bacteria enter directly into the bloodstream when you have gum disease. Flossing disrupts bacteria colonies.
  2. Supplement with probiotic bacteria (healthy bacteria) to support colon health and help fight against yeast-overrun and colon-based pathogens. Natural yogurts and cottage-cheeses and Kombucha tea also contain live cultures of beneficial bacteria. Pathogens and disease can also enter through an unhealthy ‘leaky’ colon if ‘good’ bacteria are not thriving and regular bowel movements aren’t occurring.
  3. Alkalanize/Alkalize daily with GREEN and RAW veggies and nuts and chlorophyll-containing drinks throughout the day. The goal here is to consume foods with base-pH or greater than 7.0 pH to offset all the acid-forming, refined foods and animal-based foods we eat. As a general rule of thumb, if it is GREEN or plant-based then it is alkaline and raw, which is usually best.  There are many fantastic supplement greens’ powders out there for those on the go!  I also drink a morning alkalizing drink first thing on an empty stomach!
  4. Eat multiple Superfoods daily. By ‘super’ I mean foods that possess powerful healing, energizing or cancer-fighting power. Foods such as olive oil, garlic, honey, lemon, Green Tea, coconut, eggs, apples, raw nuts, wild cold-water fish and many more. Feel free to supplement with extracts from these super-foods or other vitamins and supplements as needed!
  5. Cleanse and detox daily. This is very simple: Eat clean, whole-foods, organic when possible, plenty of raw fruits and green veggies and drink pure water!  Our bodies do a thorough job of detoxing on their own via our liver, lymphatic system, sweat glands, lungs, mucus, kidneys and colon, etc. All we have to do is provide toxin-free foods and water, perhaps along with some teas and herbs.
  6. Exercise or be ACTIVE every day! At least 20 minutes of moderate-to-high intensity exercise daily, focusing mainly on cardio fitness but also to include strength training at least two days per week will prevent natural atrophy, protect bone-density and boost resting-metabolism. The benefits of consistent exercise are literally equivalent to the fountain-of-youth and are too many to list. Plus, it is proven that exercise is the only anti-thesis to combat a sedentary lifestyle.  Sedentary lifestyle contributes to insulin-resistance, slow-metabolism and early-death. Exercise also triggers dopamine and Growth Hormone! When possible try and exercise OUTDOORS for cleaner air and exposure to sunlight which boosts serotonin (the pleasure-neurotransmitter), vitamin-D and helps us sleep better at night by establishing better Circadian Rhythm.
  7. Be productive and creative every day. It makes us feel good to be productive, contribute and be creative. It gives us a chance to express ourselves and totally engage mentally in the present moment. Creating gets the reward-neurotransmitter dopamine firing and anytime we can do that naturally, THAT is health and happiness at its most organic!
  8. Build and nurture social relationships within your life. Facebook and Twitter don’t really count. Skype might! Spending quality time with family and friends does. Whether it’s a club or a team or just hanging out, it’s human nature to nurture relationships with others – the forum doesn’t matter. Try to work in some hugs too – hugs heal! Love is all-powerful and healing. Nurturing your libido is good too.
    Also, do not underestimate the healing effects of bonding with a pet. Having an animal companion can add years to your life! Karma cannot be ignored either: Part of the holistic ideology is cause and effect.
  9. ‘Holistic’ does not evoke religion but it does require acknowledging that the universe is much greater than us and that we are accountable for ourselves. There is an infinite amount available to learn and incredible energy that surrounds us. When one brings children into this world, there’s incredible love experienced and a spiritual awakening occurs. Again karma exists in holistic ideology.
  10. Quality sleep is absolutely essential. Sleep is the basis for holistic health. I don’t believe there is an exact quantity that is requisite for everyone, but what sleep you do get needs to be uninterrupted and quality. Deep-Sleep Phase is when we humans get our greatest Growth Hormone secretion, which heals, restores and makes us LEAN. Obviously in the real world, our sleep window is compressed and interrupted, but that’s why we all can benefit from learning the art of the power-nap and being able to sneak one in whenever possible! Seriously, if you’re chronically sleep-deprived EVERYTHING else in your life and health is suffering too.
  11. Manage STRESS effectively. In the real world there will always be stress. Some stress actually improves our performance and is beneficial but chronic stress will lead to premature death. There are many ‘tools’ out there to help us deal and vent, so find what works for you: Exercise, relaxation breathing, massage, a friend who is a good listener, a glass of wine and a hot-shower, making priority lists, delegating, whatever works for you. Or how about simply ‘unplugging’?  It’s okay to ask for help!
  12. We’re responsible for our own happiness. Lower your expectations of others and raise them for yourself. You’ll be less disappointed. We all have our problems and we can blame all we want, but at the end of the day, nobody is responsible for making you happy but you. If you don’t want to be victimized than choose not to be a victim. I realize it’s not always this simple or easy, but examine the relationships you’re in and be prepared to make significant changes if somebody is holding you back, has nothing positive to offer or is unwilling to compromise.

**Note: Some folks are naive enough to believe that if they eat ‘perfectly’ (as if that is even possible) and live ideally, then disease will never enter or thrive in their body… so they think they never need to visit a doctor for an actual check-up.  We all carry genetic traits and a long family-history that may or may not cause us to be at high-risk for developing some diseases.

How well do you know your family history?  Don’t be ignorant: Go get a general physical examination to include a blood-panel once per year, and visit a dermatologist once per year if you’re over age 35.  If you’re over age 50, get a colonoscopy once per year. YES, these checkups with actual M.D.s are an important part of holistic-health!

**This article is informational in nature, and is not to be acknowledged as medical advice**