Health protocols can help you to feel better, look better, improve your health, lengthen your lifespan, and experience a higher quality of daily living.
Fortunately, life continues to provide you with ample opportunities to experiment with health protocols.
What becomes challenging for many of us is that we get so busy with the minutia of day-to-day existence – and overwhelmed with healthy-living information – that we rarely get around to changing our lifestyle habits in any significant or lasting way.
The solution is to begin with the end in mind. Decide who you want to be, how you want to feel, and what you want your body to look like.
Then, work backwards from there, as you experiment with tiny self-care habits – keeping the ones that have the most positive impact and offer the least amount of disruption to your daily life.
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Simple Protocols that Have Maximum Impact to Physical Appearance and Overall Health
I’ve compiled a concise list of health protocols that can hopefully help you in this new leg of your journey toward improved self-care.
The result of implementing these tactics is that your physical energy will increase as your body composition improves, until – finally – you will begin to notice that your physique is looking better, even without clothes.
1. Engage the Principles of Manifestation
- Core Concept: use visualization more often.
- Action Step: sit down for 5 minutes and picture in your mind a healthier version of yourself. Imagine not only what that will look like, but what it will feel like.
The question is not whether you will continue to age. You will, hopefully. The question is: will you age successfully?
You can give yourself the tools you need to position yourself to feel better as you get older, enhancing the quality and length of your own life.
2. Eat Less Grains
- Core Concept: make your body work less hard on low-priority tasks so that it can channel more of its energy into healing and restoration; decrease dietary irritants and use pre-soaking to make fun-foods less inflammatory.
- Action Step: instead of toast or cold cereal for breakfast, try unsweetened cultured coconut milk yogurt (dairy-free) topped with sprouted seeds and cinnamon.
Eating too many grains can devastate your youthful appearance.
I do eat grains (rice) once in a great while (especially when I’ve been exercising frequently and at high intensity), but I choose those grains carefully.
Eating grains in a healthy way often means having the right grains (gluten-free) and pre-soaking overnight, rinsing in the morning, and adding new, fresh water before cooking.
This pre-soaking process can reduce toxic proteins in the form of enzyme-blockers and lectins, deactivate phytic acid (which blocks the absorption of minerals including copper, magnesium and zinc), neutralize tannins (which are gut irritants), initiate the breakdown of cellulose which otherwise is non-digestible, and overall decrease the likelihood of an autoimmune response.
Autoimmune disease impacts one out of five people in the US and is no joke. It’s wise for people over the age of 50, especially, to decrease their daily intake of dietary irritants that can – over time – begin to create autoimmune flare-ups.
Make certain that your carb-meals also have healthy fats and protein included. This will help to make the carbohydrates more energy-sustaining and slow down the sugar-conversion process inside the body. Blood-sugar spikes cause that “crash-and-burn feeling” and are to be avoided (check with your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet).
3. Walk Yourself to Improved Wellness
- Core Concept: walking reorganizes the body.
- Action Step: go for a long walk, then return home, and ask yourself whether is was a beneficial use of your time.
4. Eat More Vegetables
- Core Concept: vegetables are even better for you than fruit.
- Action Steps: experiment with consuming more veggies, especially kale; try making your green smoothies in an entirely different way.
One of the key action steps that most people must take in order to lose belly fat and improve health, is to consume more servings of vegetables each week. Kale is among the most effective vegetables for this purpose.
I invite you to try different ways of including more kale into your recipes until you’re consuming it an average of three times a week or possibly more.
Kale is a nutritious, fiber-filled leafy green vegetable that is ranked highest in antioxidants in a Human Nutrition Research Center study.
VegParadise.com reports that medical researchers believe the whole family of cruciferous vegetables helps to prevent cancer. The cruciferous family includes kale. Studies have shown that eating foods in this vegetable family also speeds the liver’s ability to process ingested toxins, providing the body with antioxidants – such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta carotene and vitamin C – that can significantly reduce risk of age-related macular degeneration and lymphoma.
Kale is listed at webMD as one of five foods that can boost your health, asking viewers “what if you could make a conscious effort to add five healthy foods to your plate and make an improvement in your longevity?” The key, according to researchers, is to outsmart your body, which as you age is busy half-forming or damaging your cells, rather than creating healthy new cells resistant to cancer, rapid aging, and other ills: “cells are damaged by free radicals [which can lead] to bad cell behavior such as cancer.”
If you think you don’t like kale, I encourage you to experiment with preparing it in different ways until you a find way that you can enjoy it, because kale can contribute to your vitality. I assure you, there are ways to eat kale that actually taste fantastic.
- do you like kale, or hate it?
- when was the last time you had kale?
- do you eat kale at least three times each week?
Sauté Kale with Free Range Ground Turkey
After you wash and dry your kale leaves, toss them into your food processor and give it a couple of spins. Then add those kale pieces into your sauté pan with some nearly cooked organic free-range dark ground turkey meat.
Add Italian spices, white pepper and sea salt and more chopped vegetables – such as yellow bell pepper, carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms – and a bit of marinara sauce and finish cooking.
Before you start, you might want to add a half-teaspoon of avocado oil to your sauté pan to add a bit of healthy fat and flavor to the meat (and so it doesn’t stick to the pan). This is all done on low-to-medium heat (ground turkey and vegetables cook easily, so it’s important not to overcook).
Make Homemade Kale Chips
I know, I know – kale chips don’t sound like a snack you would enjoy. But here’s the thing: you probably would enjoy it. Even kids can eat this snack:
- clean the dark, green leafy vegetable – kale – and then bake it in the oven on a pizza stone or cookie sheet.
- at some point during the baking process, spray the kale with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (which is kind of like a healthier version of soy sauce).
- after the kale has been baked in the oven, it breaks into small pieces about the size of potato chips and can be stored into baggies or containers and enjoyed as a healthier, energizing snack.
Add Kale to Your Smoothies
One of the easiest ways to eat kale more is by including it as an ingredient in your blended smoothies.
A freshly prepared green smoothie can infuse your body with nutrients. All you need is a high-quality blender and a sense of adventure.
It’s hugely satisfying to know that you’re the creator of your own health-boosting smoothie. The right ingredients will help your green smoothie to taste great while giving your body strength and infusing your day with energy.
The Smartest Smoothies Have the Best Ingredients
It’s tempting to toss as many sugary fruits as possible into your blender, but leafy greens are the key to improved nutrition and often the quickest way toward improved health.
2 principles of green smoothies that are important to understand:
- each of us is on a different path in our nutritional journey
- each of us needs different superfoods at different times, and in different amounts.
You might have to make a few so-so smoothies in the beginning while you get the hang of it, but the advantage to experimenting with your own recipe is that you really learn – it teaches you to think about smoothies in terms of protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates, because you want to find ingredients you like for each of those three nutritional categories (“macros”).
First, you start with a liquid base. Here are some possible options:
- green tea
- almond milk (buy it or make it yourself, a great cholesterol-free alternative to milk and one of the few alkalizing nuts)
- hemp milk
- rice milk
- freshly squeezed lime juice
Next, you need to add some healthy fat. Here are examples of fat choices:
- chia seeds
- flax oil
- coconut butter
- raw pecans
- sprouted pumpkin seeds
Then, you want to add some extra protein. Here are some options:
- whey protein powder (for athletes)
- plant protein powder (made from fermented rice, sprouted grains and peas)
And now, the fun part: fruits and vegetables. Here are just some examples:
- organic cucumber and celery
- organic blueberries – (frozen is fine)
- mango – this fruit contains age-reversing properties and also adds texture, available in bags of frozen chunks so you don’t have to worry about it spoiling; only add a very little bit
- spinach and other leafy greens – parsley, cilantro, kale, chard. Organic spinach can be bought in frozen bags relatively cheaply and isn’t noticeable in the final taste (so a good choice for people who struggle to enjoy their vegetables).
Include Superfoods in Your Smoothie Recipe
Next, you want to add extra flavors or superfoods. This is the “polish” to your smoothie (a superfood is a food that is so nutritious and beneficial for the human body that it stands out from most other foods). Some favorite flavors of mine include:
- bee pollen
- freshly squeezed lemon or lime
- fresh mint leaves
- blue-green algae
- brazil nut
- chia seed
- raw sprouted pumpkin seed
- medicinal mushrooms
- …and, of course, my favorite superfood: chocolate (raw cacao)
Most superfoods are unusually high in antioxidants, and many also have nutrients that are not as easily found in other plant foods, such as Fulvic Acid (shilajit), B-12 (maca), selenium (Brazil nuts), and free amino acids and enzymes (bee pollen).
Some superfoods are so potent, in fact, that it’s a good idea to cycle them. One of my favorite cycles is “8-weeks on, 4-weeks off.”
For example, maca is a superfood that some people believe can kickstart a sluggish endocrine system. I like maca, but I don’t want my body to become dependent on it, so I usually have it daily for about 8 weeks, and then I take a month off (a little bit of maca root powder in a smoothie also enhances the flavor).
Only you can know for certain what foods your body responds to positively.Why it's a brilliant idea to eat kale 3 times a week (and how to do it deliciously).Click To Tweet
Each superfood has a different impact on each body. Listen closely to how your body feels after you try a superfood for the first time, and ask your medical doctor and nutritionist for their guidance.
For example, there have been periods of time when my body likes bee pollen, but there have been other periods of time when it hasn’t responded well to it – so I try to pay close attention and listen to what your body says.
You don’t need to buy every superfood available on the planet – just begin with a few and see if your body responds positively.
Finally, the last ingredient is good, old-fashioned ice to ensure a chilled beverage and smooth texture.
Whatever ingredients you choose, make sure to keep it nutrient-rich with as many dark leafy greens as you can handle (though in the beginning, that might be a very small amount), and add that extra plant protein powder to rejuvenate your body on workout days.
In the beginning, you’ll want to emphasize fruits. Later, as your become more skilled in your smoothie-making, your taste buds will evolve, and then you’ll want to try adding more vegetables than fruits (in other words, you’ll be ready for a smoothie that is less sweet).
My smoothies these days are mostly vegetables and almost no fruit – usually just a bit of fresh lime juice.
Remember, improved health is a journey (not an on/off switch), and the best way to learn about green smoothies is by actually experimenting. Yes, you will make a few mistakes along the way, but that’s part of the adventure.
5. Rate Your Passion
- Core Concept: a prevention mindset makes all the difference.
- Action Steps: decide how important your health is to you, on a scale of 1-to-10. Next, decide how important a role good health would play in what you’d like to achieve over the next 10 years.
6. Check Your Own Eyes for Clues
- Core Concept: there are fast ways to determine which foods your body likes best.
- Action Steps: be more curious about your body’s subtle responses – ascertain your energy levels after you eat; upon waking in the morning, evaluate your tongue and your eyes. Are they clean, bright and crisp-looking – or dull, yeasty or puffy?
7. Think Holistically
- Core Concept: lasting success is achieved in incremental stages.
- Action Step: begin to witness yourself more objectively throughout the day, noticing more clearly how and when you move, sit, breathe, eat – and, especially, witness your thoughts and feelings as they occur.
8. See Sugar as an Addiction
- Core Concept: understand the sugar is a craving, and that those cravings can lessen over time as you decrease sugar intake (don’t shame yourself, but do acknowledge that simple carbs are unnecessary for thriving health).
- Action Step: replacing refined sugars and refined grains with fresh fruit (then, later down the road, you can start to decrease your fruit intake, too).
9. Develop Symmetry in Your Physique
- Core Concept: for most people, the back side of their body is overstretched and weak, and the front side of their body is overly developed and tight.
- Action Steps: when you exercise, starting thinking in terms of making your body more even. Strengthen your posterior muscle chain (lats, rhomboids, rear deltoids) while improving mobility in your anterior chain (open up those shoulder and chest muscles).
The typical person in a first-world country spends more time driving, computing, texting, and sitting than they realize (if I asked you to estimate the amount of time you spend sedentary, you would dramatically underestimate the number of hours).
This eventually creates asymmetry in the body which – over time – creates a bleak situation of accelerated aging. I recommend pilates or yoga to become more symmetrical and physically fit. If you go to the gym, de-emphasize “nightclub muscles” (those muscles you see first when looking at yourself in a mirror – such as chest and arms) and emphasize instead those other muscles that you don’t see as readily when facing the mirror.
10. Build Your Wellness Team
- Core Concept: people either enhance your energy or they drain it.
- Action Steps: express gratitude to a person who enhances your energy; reflect on who in your life supports and encourages your increased desire for wellness.
Do you want to take your health to the next level?
What positive lifestyle habits from the above list of health protocols have you already implemented consistently into your lifestyle?
I hope you feel excited by the possibilities of what your own life can become.
My wish for you is that ten years from now you wake up in the morning feeling even better than you do today. In fact, imagine yourself waking up in the morning 10 years from now:
- how will your body and mind feel in that moment?
- will your future self be robust, joyful and passionate?
- does the 10-years-from-now version of you bound out of bed each morning with enthusiasm and abundant energy?
There is nothing wrong with wanting to look better naked. Most of us want to look as good on the outside as we feel on the inside. It makes us feel congruent, strong, and hopeful.
My weekly updates reveal methods to cut through the noise of the modern, complex landscape. The updates help you to better manage your time, energy and nutrition so that you live more purposefully and with outrageously good health.
You can then utilize your new awareness into creating a life map – a map that will help you to navigate this next phase of your life, so that your journey is passionate, joyful and rich with meaning and purpose. This next phase of your life can be your most fascinating yet.
How Many Americans Have Autoimmune Disease? – https://www.aarda.org/autoimmune-information/questions-and-answers/
Lifestyle Choices Impact Body Shape Changes Previously Associated with Aging – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003998.htm
The Observer Effect: Why It Matters to You that the Universe is a Gigantic Field of Energy – http://www.vision.net.au/~apaterson/science/physics_quantum.htm
You Can Find Your Own Creative Solutions to Life’s Problems – http://www.productiveflourishing.com/demystifying-the-creative-process/
Calculating Nutrient Intake – http://www.freedieting.com/tools/nutrient_calculator.htm
Make Your Own Almond Milk – http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Almond-Milk