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Home > 4 Steps to Building a healthy you
4 Steps to Building a healthy youby Dave Foreman
In my next four newsletters, I will be covering the techniques I have researched, used and taught to people who want to get themselves on the path to being the healthiest they can be. My reasoning for not writing about them all in this one newsletter is because it will take you time to break old habits and form new–healthier habits. Regardless of your current state of health – "healthy as a horse" or "one foot in the grave" – my four part program will have a significant impact on how you feel. Most of you who have been a loyal reader of this newsletter, attendee of my seminars, or listener of my radio programs know I will only preach what I practice (nothing is worse than a hypocrite). These steps are sound and easy to incorporate into your new lifestyle–if I can do it, anyone can. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, or you are looking to take it to the next level, put these four simple steps into action and you WILL succeed.
STEP 1- USING THE RIGHT COMBINATION OF DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS
The big question is "What is the right combination of supplements?" Most people I speak with take supplements based on what they hear from friends, commercials or read about. When we hear about something new for XYZ health challenge we immediately add that to the pile of things we are already taking–this isn't necessarily a good idea. You may be wasting your money and be no better off than you were to begin with. To help you simplify setting up your own supplement program, I have created this NEW system to get you on the right path to designing your own supplement program (of course there are always exceptions). (I realize that some of you may have budget restrictions that may hinder your ability to fill in this chart. For this reason, I have placed things in order of importance based on your budget. As you can afford more, fill in the blanks.)
LEVEL ONE-SPECIAL NEED(S)
Your special needs are the most important area to address when building your supplement program. I define "special need" as why you shop at The Vitamin Shoppe. I know the store is named The Vitamin Shoppe, but I am guessing that most people don't just go there for vitamins. We go there to either "treat" or "prevent" a certain health issue. I have two special needs: Immune health and adrenal support. I am not sick, but I don't want to get sick so I take a supplement (Host Defense) to support a healthy immune system. If I don't support my adrenal system, I become fatigued and not as sharp as I want to be. Some people have one special need and others have several. Here are some examples:
You name a health challenge or issue and I consider it your special need. Whether you have one or many, your special needs should be addressed first. How? Do what I do; look for combination products designed to address your special needs. Many of you try to address your special need with one ingredient (like garlic for cholesterol or hawthorn for high blood pressure). Granted they might work for you, but the likelihood of it truly helping everyone is slim. I don't like this technique one bit. It is not cost effective and you probably won't get the results you are looking for. I associate it with this analogy; If there were a small target (your special need) on the other side of the room and you had a small stone (single ingredient) to throw at it, it would be unlikely that you'd hit it. But, if you had a handful of small stones (combination formula) you probably would hit the target.
Above, I used the example of hawthorn for blood pressure. Yes, there is research showing hawthorn berry can effectively lower blood pressure, but what if you are in the group of people where it doesn't work? Modern medicine even understands the use of combination products to address health issues (like blood pressure) because they don't really know the root of your problem. Sticking with blood pressure as my example, yours might be high for a number of reasons: stiff vascular wall, stress, overweight or fluid retention, to name a few. There are a multitude of medications that may help, such as ACE inhibitors, diuretics, Beta blockers and calcium channel blockers. In modern medicine they are now combining some of these classes of medications to have a better chance of mitigating blood pressure problems.
It's the same with natural medicine–GOD gave us many natural ways to address the same issue. Do you want to take a small stone to hit your target or use a handful? On top of this logic you also get something called "synergy" when you use a combination product. Synergy is when the sum of the parts is greater than the components used (1+1+1 doesn't equal 3, it equals 5). Bottom line, you are more likely to get the results you are seeking. Just look around the various areas of the store and you will see combination formulas for just about all of the major health issues. In many cases the name of the product will give you some indication as to what it is good for: BP Manager, LegVein, Advanced Immune Support, Intestinal Bowel Soother; the list is endless.
If you have more than one special need then you will most likely have to purchase multiple products, one for each special need. Occasionally I run into someone who likes to play "mixologist". A mixologist is a person not formally trained in putting together their own combination of supplements to address their special need. If you fall into this category and can afford it, go for it. Or try a combination formula as I suggested.
Antioxidants are of major importance at reducing our body's risk for disease caused by free radical (not a hippie from the 60's) damage. Free radicals come from many sources. Some are produced by the body as byproducts of natural processes; some come with toxins in our food, air and water. Free radical damage is now linked to most of the major health challenges we face. Free radicals can have a negative impact on any cell in your body: Heart, lung, eye, skin, liver, eye, bone, etc.We use "antioxidants" to help the body neutralize free radicals and hopefully keep us from having to face these health challenges.
With regards to picking your antioxidant, I like to use the same technique as above, find an antioxidant combination. NOT single ingredient. Choosing the right combination may require a little homework. For example, it's widely known that bone & joint health are supported by these antioxidants: turmeric, ginger, cayenne, E, and zinc. If joint flexibility was my special need, I would look for a combination antioxidant formula which contained as many of these ingredients as possible. In most cases you won't find a formula that contains each ingredient on your list, but if you can find one that comes close, you are more likely to get the results you want.
If you have multiple special needs, I suggest you make a grid like the one below to find the best combination product for your multiple needs. You can easily draw this on a piece of lined paper.
The idea with the grid is to write down the known antioxidants for your special need(s). This grid is for a person with both high blood sugar and macular degeneration. I highlighted in blue the antioxidants that are beneficial to both of this person's special needs. Your objective, if you were this person, is to find an antioxidant combination that contains the majority (don't drive yourself crazy) of the antioxidants with both health issues in common (in blue). The homework part of this is to first research your health challenge and make the grid. Then, you need to play "spin the bottle" (not the game from when you were a child). In other words, you need to read the supplement facts panel on the side or back of the bottles and see which product meets or exceeds your needs. Example: The Vitamin Shoppe's Occu-Plus.
LEVEL 3–OMEGA–3S(FROM FISH)
Omega-3s are also referred to as EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids). They are called essential because your body cannot make them and therefore they need to come from the diet. I believe that the fish source is the best (read my past newsletter article "The Real Deal Behind Fats" on vitaminshoppe.com) to find out why. Fish oil is high in both EPA and DHA, which science has shown have therapeutic benefits in areas including: rheumatoid arthritis, high blood triglycerides, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, infant brain development, and cancer the list is endless! It is because of benefits with these health challenges that I rank it 3rd most important and essential for all of us regardless of our health (good or bad).
Probiotics are friendly, life–promoting bacteria naturally found in the digestive system. They are there for two reasons, to aid digestion and support your immune system. Without an abundance of these good bacteria, you may expose yourself to diseases caused by parasites, yeast, fungus, pathogenic bacteria. Even worse, you may become nutrient–deficient which over time can lead to very serious health challenges. By taking a good, broad spectrum probiotic like Reuteri Pearls (Nature's Way) or FloraSmart (Renew Life) you are putting back friendly bacteria needed to maintain great overall health not just digestive health. Even if you are eating a great diet and taking the best supplements, if you arent digesting them fully (aided by probiotics), you are wasting your money.
The reasons are endless as to why we need a multivitamin and mineral to supplement our diets: Foods are often low in nutrients for many reason; they may be picked before ripening, ravaged by pesticides, a victim of over–farming, etc. I asked a guest on my radio program what nutrient he thought was the most important to take. His answer was "the one you are missing". This is an awesome example of why we need to take a good multivitamin and mineral. Multivitamins are not designed to rid your body of any health issue, but it can help prevent issues from ever forming. Your multivitamin should contain a little bit of everything to help make up for what might be "missing" in your daily diet.
Hopefully you are taking one that contains more than just B-complex and a few minerals. I prefer cultured/whole food vitamins like The Vitamin Shoppe's Organic whole food vitamins or New Chapter's whole food vitamins. For more information on vitamins, please refer to my past newsletters.
Looking back on my 5–Levels of building your supplement regimen, I hope you realize that it is designed to make your efforts more effective. By designing a program specifically for your special needs is far more efficient than just throwing individual rocks at a target. Using my targeted program, this is what your supplement program would look like if you were me: Host Defense (Special Need–Immune support): Adrenal Stress End (Special Need #2- Adrenal support); Antioxidant Cocktail II (Antioxidant); Coromega (Fish oil); Reuteri Pearls (Probiotic); Every Man II ( Multivitamin)
Notice, my supplement program contains just 6 products not 26. You too can achieve your health goals like I have using my simple 5 level program. Let me know how well you do at firstname.lastname@example.org.