The media today can make you think that living a long, healthy (and happy!) life is quite complicated. There are diet wars, exercise wars, and competing tips on how to have a successful date, sex life, marriage or family. The boring (but fabulous) truth, is that it is actually fairly simple. And at the same time, completely particular to YOU. As human animals, our physiology is 10,000 years old, but life in the industrialized, digital modern world is quite new. The key to making choices that extend your health and your life is to get in touch with what your body was made for—the evolutionary health that your physiology thrives in.
And this is the other key, that you are unique! Genetically unique and socially and environmentally unique. You need to be bodywise, to listen to YOUR body’s needs and responses when considering competing health advice or making decisions about what to have for dinner or when to go to bed. With body intelligence (your BQ) as your navigational guide and your body’s earth-adapted physiology as your map, it is simple to make choices that help your body (and your life) hum with vibrancy and wellness.
Here are the Five Secrets to Lifelong Evolutionary Health that every major health advocate can agree upon, and that you can decide upon according to your own body intelligence.
Here are the principles of a healthy diet according to the world’s longest lived peoples.
- Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables
- Eat protein from vegetable sources (nuts and legumes)
- Eat the whole grains your body likes
- Eat high quality, preferably organic and toxin-free, animal products in limited quantities, including eggs, dairy, fowl, and fish, and limiting red meat
- Avoid sugar, hydrogenated oils and fried foods
- Avoid simple carbohydrates (white rice, white flour, white potatoes)
- Avoid heavily processed foods and fast foods
Let your body guide you as to which grains and how many carbohydrates make you feel energetic and happy, or whether meat or dairy products agree with your digestion. Listen to your body and let it guide you to YOUR healthy diet, within these evolutionary guidelines.
The average person in modern societies sleeps 6.5 hours and we need, on average, 8! How much sleep does your body intelligence say you need to wake up rested and refreshed? Adequate sleep reduces pain, anxiety, depression, infections and weight gain. Sleep is your most important anti-aging activity.
We are made to move. How can you be more active in your everyday life and what kind of activities does your body wisdom lead you to? Dancing? Biking? Yoga? Exercise is the best treatment for depression, high blood pressure and the best prevention for heart disease and stroke.
Loneliness will kill you faster than cigarettes. What kinds of love and affection does your body crave? Cuddling with friends (or your dog!)? Hot sex with your lover? Sweet, affectionate family time with kids, siblings, parents or grandparents? How can you get a regular dose of love and affection in your life? Love truly is our greatest healer, halving the risk of heart attack and reducing your risk of cancer, stroke and all chronic disease.
A sense of pupose can extend your life by 50%—what are you committed to? What kinds of creativity, service or work make create peace, satisfaction or excitement inside you?
If you use your body intelligence to guide you in these five evolutionary fundamentals of health, you will live long and prosper, and benefit the world as well. Blessings on your bodywise path!
BodyWise: Discovering Your Body's Intelligence for Lifelong Health and Healing by Dr Rachel Carlton Abrams is published by Bluebird and priced £12.99