The Quest for the Perfect Bod

Perhaps, like me, you're interested in hearing what other people have found helpful in their quest for the perfect bod or perfect health? Forget about it, it doesn't exist! The rules are there are no rulesjust ideas, guidelines, tips and general understanding. Every body is different. Agreed? Read on. Can we all just get on with achieving world peace now?;)

Disclaimer!! (I can't believe I feel the need for this.) Humans are not solitary creatures. Get help, advice and confirmation from professionals. If you find yourself disappointed in your medical care, continue to search for a doctor who can help you. If you have been 'diagnosed' step away from the Internet and get help from professionals. (Plural collect opinions, you don't have to follow everyone's advice.) The Internet will inundate you with information from the terrifying to the celestial. Save it for when you feel less vulnerable. Five minutes after diagnosis is probably not that time. Trust me, I'm still haunted by a statistic I read two years ago about something a loved one was diagnosed with. I can't remember what pyjamas I wore last night, but that *one* now-defunct stat? Flying around my bell tower like a rabid bat. Don't do it! Bad, Internet, bad!!

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So, now that we can all stop arguing over diets and who's right and wrong, let's ask our bodies shall we?

(Please note: by 'right diet' what I really mean is appropriate diet for you, but I'm trying to use the language we're all familiar withBRB LOL IMHO LMAO. Ugh.)

In brief: No one can tell you what's right for you, apart from you. There are clues coming from your very booty (yes, I mean your asssee point #5.) There are so many variables to consider so none or all of these may apply for you. Hey, I never said it was simple! But we live in a world where caterpillars turn into butterflies and that isn't simple eithercue: heavenly choir

This is the best example I know to demonstrate the complexity and beauty that is our natural world. Check it out and be amazed at the kind of magic happening right now somewhere on this gorgeous planet Then, we'll talk about poop. Again, see point #5. )

1. Lab Tests These are great for someone who really knows what they're doing. Don't go crazy on the Internet with these results either, it'll only end in tears. (Like the time I mis-read my thyroid test results and spend 6 hours convinced I had thyroid cancer.) Think of them as a great way to track your evolution. Vitamin levels, genetic markers, viruses, parasites, mold and heavy metals can all show up in lab tests.

Fair warning: blood tests aren't what you may think! Lab tests can differ by country and by lab. The results can be interpreted different ways by different practitioners. As an example, this is especially true for thyroid tests. Do you know who decides on the 'range of normal' and how? Just because you fall into the normal range does not mean it's optimal and that you don't have a symptoms. I've found this book very helpful in understanding my own blood test results. Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? by Datis Kharrazian. Did you also know that if you've been staying away from gluten and get a gluten intolerance blood test, you are likely to get a false negative? You'll think you can happily munch away on that baguette, which could be very dangerous for your thyroid condition and for anyone who tries to take said baguette away from you, but that's for a different reason.

2. Weight balance This applies if you're under or overweight, the right diet may make your weight fluctuate at first but it should, along with the other clues in this list, stabilize within a healthy range (don't ask a runway model what that is!) and give you a hint as to whether it's the optimal diet for you.

(Image courtesy of artist Chris Rywalt. Find his website by clicking on the image or right here.)

3. Energy levels (Especially in the morning!) Things like sugar regulation and adrenal fatigue or thyroid issues can take months to years to heal fully. Your energy levels should improve at least slightly right away. This one of course is affected deeply by how much exercise and rest you get, how much sugar and alcohol you consume (it's a major sleep disruption), and how much anxiety you have. Anxiety is not the same as energy. A sick parent, financial issues and or depression can really affect this, so being consistent enough to track this one over a longer time period is key. A quick journal every morning, even if it's just writing down out of ten how energetic you feel upon waking. Cortisol imbalances can make it so that you feel like he'll in the morning and don't really feel 'normal' or 'awake' until late afternoon. Again, see a professional for help with this! This one is obvious, and harder than it seems but make sure you are getting to bed at a reasonable hour, even if it is just to read or get away from chores or people. The appropriate diet for you should be a great contributor to energy levels.

4. Mood balancing . I have seen it too many times not to think that diet a HUGE factor in depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mood and behavioral challenges. Some other examples: the GAPS diet is recommended to help with behavior in autistic children, gluten intolerance is linked to depression and anxiety, and I know you've all met someone *AHEM* who becomes a cranky, petulant child when their blood sugar crashes. Hi, nice to meet you;)

Remember mood rings?!

5. Poop! Frequency, colour, consistency regularity, and yes,smell. The general guidelines for frequency are 3-5 times a day and it should take no longer than about 40 seconds (yup, you read that right.) Poop like a SUPER HERO!! No straining, no need for a trip to Costco for matches or 'room spray' (that stuff will eventually just remind you of the smell of poo anyway) A healthy bowel movement shouldn't be too hard, too oily, too soft or smell TOO bad. A healthy functioning gut doesn't even have that much gas. Just because it's average doesn't mean it's optimal, Oprah. If you do have lots of gas, remember what you ate, it is not being processed well by your digestive system. Too much gas is the by-product of rot and fermentation. Bad bacteria thrive in those conditions, it's a sign from your body that something is just not working properly. Just increasing your fiber isn't the right answer either, nor is taking laxatives. It's something you're eating and the big culprits are bread (flour + water= GLUE ), too many grains, not enough water, too much meat and sugar, or out-of-whack gut flora. Try upping your vegetables, drinking more clean water, using probiotics and/or fermented foods and consider getting a colonic. Or ten. No one has to know if you're shy.

Poop like a SUPERHERO!!! My fave:

6. Pain reduction. You read that rightPeople on the right diets, especially for conditions such as MS, fibromyalgia, Lymes and anxiety often report a dramatic decrease in pain. People with pain in their stomach, joints, nerves, skin, and gut etc. also usually notice a marked decrease if not elimination of pain when they come across the 'diet' that best suits their body. This point is what got me into the career I have now. I had three slipped discs, radiating pinched nerve pain, ankylosing spondylitis, arthritis and tendonitis for years when I went on an alkalinizing, raw and living foods cleanse for three weeks (partly by accident, read more about it here.) Ten days later I was pain free. I've yet to see a raw food diet work for the general public long-term, but I truly believe short term, therapeutic and guided raw food cleanses can have phenomenal results. You can't expect to heal inflammation while still consuming inflammatory foods. Check out one of the leaders in the field of diet and inflammation, Dr. Barry Sears and his site for more on this topic.There are LOADS of other resources on anti-inflammation diets. Please feel free to share them in the comments section. It's to huge a topic to get into on this post.

7. Hunger and thirst regulation . When you're on the optimal diet for you, you shouldn't feel ravenous three seconds after you wake, or 20 minutes after you ate, nor terribly thirsty all the time, or never thirsty! You should feel satisfied. No extremes is the idea I'm putting across here. A quick increase in hunger could be a sign of a hormonal imbalance, a sugar and/or metabolism problem. If you find yourself drinking tons and tons of water, going to the bathroom every half hour and still experiencing the signs of dehydration, then it's likely you're not absorbing the water you're drinking. This could be a whole huge post on it's own, but consider changing the kind of water you drink. I believe natural spring water stored in glass is best, but reverse osmosis, ionized and other waters all have their place too. Extreme thirst is a symptom of diabetes too, so again, anything unreasonable should be checked out by a medical professional. If you feel 'hungry' but are aware it's not because you need to refuel, but you need comfort, pleasure, entertainment or stress relief, then that's a different story. Even some of those tendencies can be regulated with a diet that's right for you. Geneen Roth and Marc David are my two favorite authors on eating for non-fuel reasons.

8. Clarity of thought, creativity . It's bit bizarre to make this connection right? Remember Garfield? He gets nightmares if he eats garbage food too late at night. It's a common occurrence, and one I think relates here. Ever written your best work, painted your best painting, or had your best idea while hungover or super tired? Not eating optimally is like giving your digestive system a hangover *every day*. When you've found the right balance, you may be surprised what kind of effects it can have on areas of your life you didn't expect.

9. Reduction or elimination of cravings We're talking major cravings. Like the kind that make you feel distracted, and borderline homicidal. The kind that'll get you tearing open the ultra-secret, hidden chocolate cupboard or booze cabinet. I'm also, in part talking about major addictions as diet can have a remarkable affect on those too. The 'right diet' for you, should, over time balance out all the systems in your body. A reduction in cravings at the very least can be expected as the things that cause them can be greatly balanced. Cravings can be caused by issues like candida, parasites, blood sugar and metabolism disorders, fungal infection, probiotic imbalance, depression, heavy metal toxicity and stress to name a few. There is amazing work going on right now using amino acids (found in protein) balancing for major addiction recovery (click here for more on that!)It also works on a smaller scale every day in your diet. Again, it's just about trying to balance out extremes.

10. Tongue, nails, skin, eyes and hair !All these are fed by your diet. Doctors of yore and Chinese Medical Practitioners use these signs as as jumping off points for diagnosis. This one is a no brainer, but one we (and our Doctors!) often forget. Skin, nails, hair, tongue and eyes are an easy way to tell if your 'diet' is appropriate for you as an indication of overall health.

  • Skin should look consistent, feel soft, and have no bumps, zits, rashes, dark circles, or red bits (within reason, and of course discounting injuries or pigment differences.) Your skin is your largest elimination organ! Your body uses it to get rid of waste all the time. It's permeable. Just because something appears on it, doesn't mean it's 'bad'. Your body could be ridding itself of toxins! Know anyone with acne? Along with hormonal imbalances, did you know that wheat and dairy are the two most allergenic foods that cause acne and skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema?
  • Healthy nails grow quite quickly, don't break or separate too easily, have white tips (not grey or yellow) or have ridges and bumps. One of the side-effects of some chemo treatments cause enormous damage to nails, and if you do a quick search for chemo nails online you can see that symptoms include falling off, darkening, curling, lifting, breaking, and ridges. When patients come off of chemo and become healthier, their nails grow back 'normally'. That's an extreme example, but one that shows how your overall health can show up in your nails.
  • Eyes that are fed the right diet are bright, have white whites and are moisturized and clear, no matter what your eyesight may be. Sugar can crystallize in the small capillaries of your eyes causing sight degeneration. This is part of the reason common side-effects of unmanaged diabetes include circulation and eyesight problems. Get off sugar and watch your eyesight improve. Ask your ophthalmologist or optometrist about this one, it's awesome. Cleanse your liver and expect similar results! When rare eye cancer metastasizes it's most often to the liver Modern doctors are completely puzzled by this tendency, but Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners expect it. They've been making the connection between the liver and eyes for millennia.
  • Speaking of TCM, there's a slew of information on your tongue. Ever noticed the difference in it's texture after eating something sugary? How about after wine or beer? Check out tongue diagnosis for more info. Why *wouldn't* imbalances show up on your tongue? White tongue? Eeeeeeewwwwwww. Ever heard of black tongue??? Don't click if you're like me and easily made queasy. (One of my nicknames is Gagatha Christie. Thanks Val.)
  • Healthy hair doesn't fall out in clumps, nor is it brittle, or too oily. You don't have to have a lot of it to start out with, but you know what looks healthy and what doesn't. Ok, maybe you don't

Phew! Long post, you made it! Or maybe you skipped over most of it intending to save it, print it, and laminate it to peruse over later while bathing in transdermal magnesium and lavender oil? I thought so. In either case, I hope it's helped. Weigh in below in the comments section or on Facebook or both. Please share it, discuss it, add to it, debate it, but the rules for the comments section (God willing there won't be just crickets and tumbleweeds.) are BE NICE. You don't have to believe anything anyone says, don't take it personally, just use the information that is interesting to you and skip the rest.

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Posted in Dentistry Post Date 07/02/2018


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