By Darin Olien
Founders and visionary of SuperLife, Author of SuperLife: The 5 Forces That Will Make You Healthy, Fit and Externally Awesome, and SuperFood Hunter
There is so much advice out there on being healthy — what to eat, how to supplement, how to exercise — and much of that advice is conflicting. Many people get lost in trying to navigate dietary and fitness fads that they wind up more confused than educated. However, there are a few simple foundational practices that will enhance the benefit to the body of any dietary or fitness regimen, regardless of whether you are an athlete, veteran or immune-compromised.
“Many people get lost in trying to navigate dietary and fitness fads that they wind up more confused than educated.”
Whole Plant-based Nutrition.
Regardless of whether you choose to eat meat or dairy, the majority of calories should come from fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains. A plant-based diet promotes body alkalinity, digestion and detoxification. Whole foods contain the necessary enzymes and amino acids that the body can readily access for all activities. On the other hand, an overabundance of animal protein requires much more effort and energy in order to create useable nutrients.
“A plant-based diet promotes body alkalinity, digestion and detoxification.”
The Right Water
Everyone agrees that sufficient water intake (about half of a person’s body weight and then that number in ounces) is crucial to health. However, tap water contains fluoride, pharmaceutical runoff, reactive species and other elements that work against the goal of reducing inflammation and acidity in the body. The ideal drinking water contains no dissolved solids. Bottled brands such as Smartwater and Essential are fairly pure, as is distilled water with a pinch of Himalayan crystal salt per glass for electrolyte balance. A reverse osmosis water filtration system is another affordable option for creating pure water at home.
“However, tap water contains fluoride, pharmaceutical runoff, reactive species and other elements that work against the goal of reducing inflammation and acidity in the body.”
Air is free, plentiful, and a necessity. However, the key to preparing the body to utilize the full benefit of food and water lies in how we breathe. Inhaling and exhaling through the nose only, rather than the mouth, produces nitrous oxide, which has a natural calming effect on the body. Nose-breathing maximizes oxygen absorption; this in turn helps the body to neutralize the effects of stress hormones such as cortisol that exhaust the adrenal system. An easy way to maximize oxygen absorption is to nose-breathe while using the “5-5-5-5” method: Inhale a full breath over five seconds, originating your breath from the stomach, hold the inhale for five seconds, exhale a full breath over five seconds, and then hold the exhale for five seconds. This type of methodical, mindful breathing naturally promotes relaxation and is an organic form of meditation. It can be done anywhere.
“Inhaling and exhaling through the nose only, rather than the mouth, produces nitrous oxide, which has a natural calming effect on the body.”
These three simple practices are easy to implement and will promote health and balance no matter what other diet, supplement or fitness path you choose.