Medium 9781591201335

Stop & Think

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Explains what readers need to know to get real each and every day about what is going to help their bodies and what is going to hurt them.

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11 Chapters

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1 - Stop and Think

ePub

CHAPTER 1

Stop and Think

THIS BOOK IS ABOUT PUTTING YOUR BODY IN A POSITION TO WIN. How? Stop and Think. First, I want you to take time every day to stop what you’re doing, stop rushing around, stop making the same old choices you always do like you’re some kind of robot. Then, think about your lifestyle and your health—ask yourself, “How’s my life going? How do I feel today? What am I doing right now to prevent myself from getting sick? How am I making sure I give myself the best chance for a long, healthy life?”

You need to start living your life in health care, start thinking about what you’re putting into your body on a daily basis. I know you want to have a life that’s long and healthy. Are you even asking yourself what it’s going to take? If you’re looking for the magic pill, well, there is no magic pill.

There are studies coming out every day telling you what’s going to help you be healthy and what can make you sick. But you may not be getting the message. That’s what drove me to write this book—I can tell you what you need to know, what you’re doing wrong and what you’re doing right, encourage you, and cheer you on.

 

2 - The Ferrari: A Wake-Up Call

ePub

CHAPTER 2

The Ferrari: A Wake-Up Call

LET’S TAKE A FERRARI AND A VOLKSWAGENWE’RE GOING TO HAVE A RACE, five miles straight. You’re going to bet everything you own—your dog, your fish, your house, your money—on which car you think would win. Would it be the 2005 cherry-red Ferrari Testarossa or the 1967 lemon-yellow VW Bug? You’d put it all on the Ferrari, right? However, what if we put soda pop in the Ferrari’s gasoline tank and we give the VW Bug a super-grade gasoline? Which would you put your money on now? The Volkswagen, of course!

Well, we’re all living in the Ferrari right now. You have the most awesome machine known on Earth—the human body. If you learn one thing from this book, let it be this: if you feed your body better, it runs better; if you feed it crap, it runs worse. That’s as complicated as it gets. What illusion are you living under? If you give a Ferrari poor fuel, you expect it to run poorly. However, if you feed your body poorly, you somehow expect it to run well. Why do you think that? Don’t!

 

3 - Digestion Made Simple

ePub

CHAPTER 3

Digestion Made Simple

BEFORE GETTING INTO THE SEVEN Habits of Healthy Living, it’s important to look at digestion and how it affects the major systems of the body and your overall health. Adopting a healthier lifestyle can have a major impact on how well the body functions, thus preventing many of the most common illnesses.

THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

When was the last time you studied the digestive system? High-school biology class? Unfortunately, too many people just don’t know how foods, liquids, and drugs get processed and flow through the system. It’s not a matter of something going in one hole, through some dark hidden passageways, and then out another hole. There’s a whole lot more going on in there!

I’m going to tell you about digestion and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in just a few pages. I’ll go fast, but I’ll go over it so you really understand what you need to know. I’m going to share with you what I tell my patients. I’m going to ask you to Stop and Think about the key steps of digesting and eliminating whatever you put into your body. It is part of understanding why you need to follow the Seven Habits of Healthy Living.

 

4 - Habit Number One: Don’t Smoke

ePub

CHAPTER 4

Habit Number One: Don’t Smoke

I HAD AN INTERESTING CONVERSATION WITH A PATIENT THE OTHER DAY. She told me that she loves to smoke and that she’s been smoking for thirty-nine years. How does she justify that? She said she smokes “good quality” cigarettes and that somehow they’re clean, they don’t have the carcinogenic chemicals associated with smoking. That’s how she came to the conclusion that she was smoking “a healthy cigarette.” So, I said to her, “You want me to tell you that’s okay? I’m not going to do that. In fact, I’m going to tell you definitely, categorically, it’s not okay.” I gave her a lot of reasons why there’s no such thing as a “healthy” cigarette, and I’m going to give you those reasons too.

The number-one cause of preventable death in the United States is tobacco related. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, 440,000 people die each year from conditions that are due to tobacco use. Not only that, smoking-related health problems cost approximately $157 billion per year in economic losses. It is estimated that, since the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking was published in 1964, cigarette smoking has caused 12 million deaths.1 In spite of all the public awareness of the problems associated with smoking and recent declines in smoking rates, more than 46 million Americans still light up. And each day more than 4,000 young people smoke their first cigarette.2

 

5 - Habit Number Two: Don’t Drink Alcohol

ePub

CHAPTER 5

Habit Number Two: Don’t Drink Alcohol

DON’T DRINK! WHY SHOULDN’T YOU DRINK ALCOHOL? Like smoking, alcohol affects just about every organ and system in the body. It affects the liver, pancreas, brain and nervous system, stomach (it erodes the inner wall of the stomach), and the cardiovascular system, where it causes vascular fragility. That is, the capillary beds in the body begin to break down. In fact, chronic alcoholics often have a reddish nose. What’s happening is that the capillary beds in the nose are weakening, allowing blood to leak out of the capillaries. Take that image and think about what else is going on inside your body with chronic alcohol use.

The risk of getting cancer increases with higher levels of alcohol use, particularly cancers of the esophagus, liver, breast, and prostate. Hepatitis C and other chronic liver diseases are made worse by drink&ing alcohol.1

Because it is so prevalent and considered socially acceptable, drinking alcohol is thought by many to be a harmless vice. Unfortunately, this is simply not true by any stretch of the imagination. Alcohol consumption has both an enormous health cost and a significant social cost.

 

6 - Habit Number Three: Don’t Take Drugs

ePub

CHAPTER 6

Habit Number Three: Don’t Take Drugs

BY DEFINITION, ALL DRUGS ARE CONSIDERED A POISON. Why? Because they alter normal human physiology.

Conventional medicine, including the use of pharmaceuticals, often does more harm than good. A recent report from the Nutrition Institute of America, called “Death by Medicine,” provided some startling statistics:

 Over 2 million people per year have adverse reactions to properly prescribed drugs while in the hospital.

 Over 7 million medical and surgical procedures are performed annually.

 Almost 9 million people are unnecessarily hospitalized every year.

 Conventional medical treatment causes over 750,000 deaths per year.1

In spite of this, more people are taking drugs today than ever before. This is why it is so important to Stop and Think, to do everything you can to stay healthy and avoid the conventional medical system as much as possible.

DRUG SAFETY AND EFFECTIVENESS

The truth is we don’t know if the drugs we take are safe, even if they’re out in the marketplace. Here’s what the New York Times said on its front page on December 6, 2004: “Drug companies test their products in people before they are approved, but sometimes potentially serious problems arise only when they are being used by millions of people…. [A]lmost everyone, including critics, outside drug safety experts, medical journal editors, some industry executives and even top agency officials, now agrees that [the FDA’s] mechanisms for uncovering the dangers of drugs after they have been approved is woefully inadequate….”2

 

7 - Habit Number Four: Exercise

ePub

CHAPTER 7

Habit Number Four: Exercise

I DON’T KNOW HOW ELSE TO EMPHASIZE THIS POINT TO YOU, other than to tell you straight out: you have to get on an exercise regimen. Before you sit down and turn on that TV, I want you to Stop and Think. Ask yourself, “Have I exercised enough today? Have I walked enough? Have I gotten on my stationary bike? Have I taken the dog for a walk?” Bottom line—you have no business sitting down and watching TV until you take care of yourself first. And that means you better get off your rump and go exercise.

Why? Obesity is going through the roof. More than 60 percent of the population in the United States is obese or overweight, according to the National Institutes of Health. It’s even affecting our kids: 15 percent of our children from ages six to nineteen are now overweight. Worldwide, one billion people are considered overweight, and 22 million children under the age of five are overweight. It’s an epidemic!

Every year, new studies show the health benefits of exercise for preventing numerous health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. You better get up, Stop and Think about what you’re doing, and get a routine going. You need to get out of the habits that are making you become the “blimp.”

 

8 - Habit Number Five: Eat Right

ePub

CHAPTER 8

Habit Number Five: Eat Right

WHY DO YOU NEED TO EAT RIGHT? TO LIVE! The San Diego Union-Tribune reported the findings of a recent study: “One in every five cancer deaths in women and one in every seven in men are due to excess pounds. The study by the American Cancer Society is by far the largest … more than 900,000 people were followed for sixteen years.”1 There it is in black and white, based on science and research. If you eat too much and end up with too many pounds on your body, you are at a higher risk of dying from cancer. You shouldn’t need to read another word to convince you to go from eating whatever you want, whenever you want, to eating right.

We Americans are supersizing ourselves to death. It’s gotten to be a big deal (pun intended). Obesity is literally killing us. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, poor diet, physical inactivity, and obesity killed 400,000 people in 2000 and will become the number-one killers of Americans by the end of 2005. Based on this trend, overeating will be more dangerous than smoking because it will kill more people. That’s how far out of whack we are!

 

9 - Habit Number Six: Clean Your Mind

ePub

CHAPTER 9

Habit Number Six: Clean Your Mind

WHY SHOULD YOU CLEAN YOUR MIND? Because the nervous system goes all through the body, coordinating and controlling every single cell. If you put your subconscious mind in a poor state, what do you think is going to happen to your body functions? Poor attitude leads to a dysfunctional body. Your conscious mind may be in a poor state too, if you make bad decisions, let yourself eat unhealthy food, or do something that hurts your body. What happens if you sabotage your brain? It’s all over.

To put it in plain words: no stinky thinking! Let me give you an example:

Patient: Doc, I eat right. I’m calm when I eat my meal.

Doc Andy: You are?

Patient: I go home. I put on my pajamas. I make a nice a dinner, sit down, and turn on the TV.

Doc Andy: And what’s on the TV?

Patient: The six o’clock news, of course.

Negative! Bombs, fires, car crashes—they’re all over the news. And how does the nervous system react? It’s toasted. That’s how you sabotage a good meal and yourself.

 

10 - Habit Number Seven: Cleanse Your Body

ePub

CHAPTER 10

Habit Number Seven: Cleanse Your Body

WHY DO YOU NEED TO CLEANSE YOUR BODY? To clean the crap right out of you. And I’m not talking about undigested food. I’m talking about the real crap—pesticides, artificial flavors and colors, synthetics, chemicals in drugs, and toxins of all kinds that are not natural to the body. Here’s one example we hear a lot about these days: mercury in fish. If you eat certain kinds of fish, trace amounts of mercury get into your body. The liver can’t process it and there it sits, stored in your fat cells, building up until it causes real havoc. Get rid of it!

What does cleansing the body mean? Taking a shower? Washing your hands? No, it means actually cleaning and resting the inside of the body. There are many cleanses available. It might still be a strange idea to you, but you will become more familiar with the different types of cleanses as they become more popular in the United States. And they are becoming more popular every day as people realize they’ve got to get the toxins out of their bodies.

 

11 - Bring the Whole Family Along

ePub

CHAPTER 11

Bring the Whole Family Along

THIS IS A QUESTION I HEAR A LOT: “CAN YOU HELP ME WITH MY CHILDREN? How do I get them to eat more fruits and vegetables?” The problem is that lunchtime and snacking are gold mines for food manufacturers. Just check the shelves at the supermarket or watch the endless array of TV commercials aimed at kids—most products offer little more than a sweet taste and a lot of packaging. As a parent, you should be aware of the fruity, gummy concoctions marketed to youngsters. Check the nutrition facts and ingredients on the label. You will usually find little more than a sugar formula that only hints at real fruit. Pass it all by!

For snacking, fresh fruits are best. Dried fruits are the next best: they are sweet and have real nutrition in them. Dried blueberries have 10 grams of fiber in a half cup; figs and dates have 9 grams, apricots 8 grams, and prunes and raisins 7 grams. Figs are one of the richest sources of calcium outside of dairy products (144 milligrams of calcium in one serving). They’re also a good source of iron, vitamin B6, magnesium, and copper. One serving of dried apricots gives you one-fourth of the daily value of iron and enough beta-carotene for nearly three-quarters of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin A. So, why are you still buying those pricey chemical-filled, sugar-rich packaged items that have hardly any nutritional value and contain a lot of bad stuff?

 

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