No grazing allowed. None. Eat only at mealtime. Fast between. We have more than enough vittles at meals to provide the energy we need, regardless of how active we are or what work we do. Snacking spikes the production of insulin, leading to insulin resistance, the precursor to chronic disease. Insulin is a storage hormone. When we stay fed by snacking, what we eat gets stored as fat – in particular visceral fat, which is fat in and around our organs and intestines. It is a condition we cannot always detect by our waist circumference or BMI. We may be what is called skinny fat. The amount of visceral fat we have is the best predictor of our mortality.
Insulin is produced by our pancreas. All foods create a pancreatic response. It is academic that we do not eat anything for at least two hours before we go to bed, allowing our pancreas to rest and insulin levels to drop for an extended period of time. Fat stores are then used for survival.
Intermittent fasting has hit the scene, ignited by Dr. Jason Fung, author of The Obesity Code. He has the most practical advice on becoming free and staying free of chronic disease.
Prepare all our own food.
It is well known that what we eat and drink can cause mutations in us and our offspring.
Trust has been violated by food processors. Chemists have employed the reward part of our brain by combining what they prepare with refined sugar, refined salt and refined fat. Their goal is not quality but quantity, and not reaching satiety. We become hooked and easily addicted. We have all been there. I love Sandies cookies.
Processors take corn and soybeans and use chemistry to make stuff with any color, any consistency, smell and taste. They are the biggest and most profitable companies in the world, with a reported net profit of 41%.
Avoid all of it. Prepared stuff is not food. I had to learn the hard way and got fat and unhealthy.
Here's my recommendation. If it didn't come directly out of the ground or directly off a tree or bush, don't eat it. Expect what we eat to spoil. This recommendation includes not eating any meat, fish, fowl or dairy products.
Learn to ferment and sprout.
Processed foods these days have altered our guts. They have altered our brains. Fermented foods, sprouted beans and seeds are our antidote.
We look for digestive efficiency and bioavailability in what we eat. Not only nourishing foods but foods that reverse damage. Foods that are alive produce action through the metabolism of friendly bacteria adding to our digestion, not subtracting from it. Our gut rules our health, both mentally and physically.
Letting the beans and the seeds soak for 24 hours breaks down the natural protective coating which prevented germination while being stored. Sprouted beans are more agreeable to our gut digestion. Fermenting is an anaerobic process. Oxygen is a spoiler. No air should enter while carbon dioxide is being given off. Keep the product refrigerated.
Let's work out.
Don't be fooled by us just doing hard work all day, thinking we have already worked out. Thinking that work alone is enough to become healthy and stay healthy. It's not.
Workouts themselves don't need to take more than 20 minutes, but they have to be done daily.
No matter what level of fitness we are at, the workouts have to be demanding enough for us to become temporarily fatigued, breathing hard and breaking a sweat. In addition to the workout, we stretch every way we can.
The bigger the movements and the more joints involved, the better.
When we move the heaviest load we can, as far as we can, as fast as we can, we will have a great workout.
We need to keep our body guessing by changing our workout every day. Force ourselves to constantly adapt and adjust. Repeating the same workout day after day is our enemy. Rather, bike, power walk, run, swim, lift weights, jump rope, perform body weight movements of all kinds, go up and down stairs, row, do yoga and pilates. The variety is endless.
Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass, is not a result of age, but of not staying strong and keeping our cardiovascular system fit.
There are no timeouts.
The regimen to never be sick takes on a daily routine. Not losing our focus is so beneficial. Our commitment becomes imbedded in our nervous system, where micro-improvements compound like interest, making us exponentially stronger and more resilient.
With continual commitment, our immune system stays charged up, making no room for a breakdown. We are always on our feet, staying in the fight. Our physical and mental muscle memory stays sharp. Training daily, we don't lose it.
Staying healthy means we have the ability to adapt and adjust to stress and change. We can do what we want to do when we want to do it.
Worrying doesn't occupy our mind. Because we face our demons without a break, we earn confidence. When we sleep, we rest much better and allow our brain and body to heal.
At our age, if we stop pushing, we reverse the progress we made using our body and brain. It is far more difficult to start over than to start anew.
Mike Suhadolnik of Springfield is the Longevity coach at CrossFit Instinct, where he is focused on sustainable health with those in their second half of life. At 77 years old, he has been in the shoes of all of those he coaches and claims to have the cure for chronic disease. In June he will release his third book, titled: I disagree: We never have to be sick. – 10 chapters on acting and living a practical uninterrupted healthy second half of life. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.