Nutritional Balancing For Dummies: Lifestyle
Welcome to the fourth and final installment of the Nutritional Balancing for Dummies series! If you’re just joining me for this series, you can check out the first three in the series: DIET, DETOX, and SUPPLEMENTATION.
I wrote a comprehensive post at Traditional Cooking School last year entitled What Is Nutritional Balancing? In that post, I cite many scientific references for the four aspects of the Nutritional Balancing (NB) protocol: diet, detoxification, supplementation, and lifestyle. If you’re new to NB, I highly, highly recommend you click on that link and read that post first. Then come back here, and things will make a lot more sense!
Today’s post is an in-depth explanation of the lifestyle aspect of the NB protocol.
I started my NB protocol a little over 18 months ago, and it has been such a godsend. What Paleo, WAPF, GAPS, and other regimens didn’t do for me, NB did! I have been able to see symptoms and issues I’ve had for years disappear, namely depression, anxiety, digestive issues, constipation, and fatigue.
When you try to explain NB to people, most of what you’ll say typically goes right over their heads … because it’s A LOT of information. I lose people somewhere between “I take 24 pills a day” and “I love coffee enemas”.
(Actually neither of those statements is a joke.) 😉
Think about a wooden chair with four legs. What happens if you saw one of the legs off? The chair tips over, right?
That’s how important each aspect of NB is.
You can change your diet, de-stress your lifestyle, and sit in a sauna daily, but if you’re NOT taking your supplements, you won’t see the full benefits a NB program can give your body. You can take supplements, do coffee enemas, and eat veggies all day long, but if you don’t learn how to relax and de-stress your lifestyle, your program will be lacking.
Each aspect of NB works with the other three aspects to give you a completely holistic and balanced healing approach that truly addresses the mind, body, and soul.
If you’re skipping out on just one aspect of the program, you’re not going to have a completely successful program. Period.
If you read my post at Traditional Cooking School, but still find yourself scratching your head, trying to figure out exactly what you’re supposed to do on your NB program, this post will help you. And let’s be honest, Dr. Wilson (one of NB’s pioneering practitioners) is a freaking genius when it comes to this stuff, but seriously, who has time to sift through, process, and absorb all the information he offers??
Well, uh, actually I do; but even I have to keep going back and sifting through the articles to find what I’m looking for.
Today, I’m going to focus on another leg of the chair: LIFESTYLE.
A Healing Lifestyle
Whether you’re embarking on a Nutritional Balancing program or not, maintaining a lifestyle which is healing you, and not hurting you, is crucial to good health. Yet, most of our lifestyles are hectic, busy, stressed, and leave us exhausted before the day is over.
Changing one’s lifestyle seems like such an intangible concept, compared to taking supplements, eating certain foods, and doing detoxification protocols. Those are things you do. Oftentimes, a healing lifestyle is less concrete. There is no “x, y, z healthy lifestyle” that works for everyone.
I have found that my mind is my greatest enemy, and much of my stress (or perceived stress) originates in my thoughts. Others may struggle with finding joy in mundane things, a hectic job, troubled finances, family drama, or a combination of any or all of these. Learning to deal with these stressors in a healthy way is vital to the overall success of NB.
The Tangible Things
Drink only filtered or spring water.
Dr. Wilson recommends mineral-rich spring water as much as possible for drinking and cooking. If you do not have access or cannot afford spring water, carbon-filtered water, such as with a Berkey filter system, is the next best choice. I have written extensively about water filtration options here. We currently have well water from a deep well, which we have had tested for purity and quality. Tap water is dangerous for drinking. It contains heavy metals, pesticide and herbicide residues, prescription medication residues, chlorine, and toxic fluoride. Drinking tap water not only causes health problems, it will hinder your progress and healing on NB.
Reduce exposure to toxins as much as possible.
Find the sources of toxins around you and try to eliminate them, if possible. Sources of toxic chemicals on your body are especially important, so stop using perfume, scented deodorant, anti-perspirant, and lotions, shampoos, and conditioners filled with things like parabens, sulfites, and artificial surfactants and scents. Switch to natural or homemade cleaning products, deodorants, and soaps. These are better for your body and your wallet.
Stop taking over-the-counter medicines, and if possible, work with your practitioner to go off of any prescription medicines. After a few months on NB, most people find that they no longer need their prescriptions because their bodies are healing from deep within. Buying organic and sustainably raised food will significantly reduce the toxins you expose yourself to.
Other than what you put on and in your body, reduce or eliminate toxic exposures from other places. Avoid parks or yards where insecticides or pesticides are used and don’t use them on your own yard. Make sure the air in your home and office is sufficiently filtered. Keeping some living plants around your home will help purify your air.
Have amalgam fillings removed, if possible.
Because NB is effective at detoxing the body from heavy metals, you will seriously impede or stop your healing if you have amalgam fillings. It is expensive to have these fillings removed, but it is impossible to have these fillings and not have some negative side effects.
No more fluoride.
In addition to drinking non-fluoridated water, you should stop using fluoridated toothpaste and receiving fluoride treatments at the dentist’s office. It is outside the scope of this post to discuss the many dangers of exposing the body to even small amounts of fluoride. If you would like more information about this, here is an excellent resource.
Minimize electromagnetic pollution.
Possibly one of the more difficult lifestyle changes to make, this one may be the most necessary. It seems everyone carries a cell phone on them at all times nowadays, including me. This exposes us to unnecessary electromagnetic frequencies at all times, which weaken our bodies over time. It’s probably impossible to get away from using cell phones, but you can turn them off when you sleep. Also, unplug or remove from your bedroom other devices, such as iPads, TVs, and laptops, which produce electromagnetic frequencies.
Get 15-30 minutes of direct sunlight daily.
We can get Vitamin D from foods and by supplementation, but there is no substitute for the natural Vitamin D our bodies produce from being in the sunshine. In addition, just being outside and soaking up the sun’s rays puts a sympathetic-dominant (“fight or flight”) nervous system to rest, and this is when our bodies are able to do their best healing.
The Intangible Things
Get still, be quiet, and rest.
It just doesn’t get any simpler than that, yet true rest is hard to come by these days. We walk around with our phones attached like appendages, constantly checking Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, stocks, e-mail, the weather, and more. We run kids to and from a hundred different activities, we work long hours, and we have so many pressures on us daily that it feels like we could explode sometimes. We’re never truly at rest. This doesn’t just mean taking a nap, although that’s not a bad idea! This also means disconnecting from the Internet and electronics to enjoy a sunset (without feeling like you have to Instagram it!), go for a quiet walk around your block, or lie down and read a book purely for pleasure. Do something quiet and creative like adult coloring pages, watercolor painting, or photography/photo editing. Maybe you’re not artsy, but you enjoy writing or journaling, meditation or quiet prayer. These are simple things in life that are healing for our minds, souls, and bodies — all because they’re restful. Whatever you enjoy doing, what you find meaning and joy in, and what makes you feel rejuvenated, rather than exhausted, afterward is what I consider rest.
Change your thoughts.
I struggle with this one the most! It is so easy to focus on the negative things in your life (and in others) when your body just doesn’t feel right. Shift your thinking to focus on what you’re grateful for instead. It wastes energy and health to spend time focusing on the past or on situations or traits in others that you can’t change. Acknowledge your feelings toward a person or situation, but move on quickly. Don’t dwell on the negative. Also, believe in what you’re doing. Believe that you found Nutritional Balancing for a reason, and that it is bringing your body back into a healthy, balanced state with every good choice you make. Feel good about preparing nutritious meats and vegetables for yourself. Give yourself credit for taking charge of your health and making positive changes in your life.
Make crazy changes, if necessary.
This can mean different things for different people, but most of us who find ourselves needing a healing program like NB didn’t just get to this state of health overnight. It crept up on, likely over years of time and traumatic and stressful experiences. Very likely, these health challenges began even in childhood because of abusive or neglectful parents, a poor diet during crucial developmental years, or other long- and short-term emotional or physical traumas or illnesses. So many of the traits that we have as adults come from deep within our physical and mental experiences from childhood that we may not realize that a mineral or vitamin deficiency, toxic burden, or slow metabolism is the result of these experiences.
Make crazy changes if that’s what it takes to reduce the stress in your life. This may mean a job change to alleviate mental stress or a move to reduce the financial stress of a big mortgage or the cost of living in an expensive area. This may mean editing some toxic relationships from your life if they cause consistent stress and anxiety. This may look like saying no to events and commitments, even for worthy causes. It may mean rearranging your schedule so you can go to bed earlier or sleep longer. Only you know what the stress triggers are in your life, and only you have the power to change these circumstances.
Pray and/or meditate.
Roy Masters meditation is recommended by Dr. Wilson as part of NB, but that may not be something you’re into; and that’s ok. Going into the spirituality of meditation and whether or not it’s an acceptable practice for you is beyond the scope of this article. If the Roy Masters meditation exercises are something you can’t get on board with, at least make some efforts to include quiet prayer or simply sitting in silence in your life.
I have personally done the Roy Masters meditation exercises a few times, yet it is extremely hard for me to follow this piece of the lifestyle puzzle, as quiet sitting and doing nothing is an exercise that does not come naturally to me at all.
The lifestyle aspect of Nutritional Balancing is, in my opinion, the hardest part of the program to consistently follow because it’s not something you can check off a list — like the foods you eat or the supplements you take or the time you spend in an infrared sauna. After a month on the program, those things can be done almost without thinking.
Adjusting or totally changing one’s lifestyle to reduce stress and gain more rest and joy is one of those things you must do consciously, on a daily basis, and in a million different little ways.