Time for a Tune Up
Recently while waiting for the oil in our car to be changed, I came to the conclusion that I needed to write an article on scheduling regular Body Tune Ups. If you follow your automobile’s owner’s manual, you will see scheduled times or miles to have certain areas checked or maintained. The same holds true with our body. Just like taking your car in for it’s 3000 mile/6 month oil and filter change, you need to consider doing the same for the different areas of your body. Each car is different on what and when you get things serviced and so are we. For example; if I am a smoker, live in a polluted area or work in a polluted environment, then you may need to service your respiratory system more frequently than someone without negative respiratory influences. In addition to your tune up, we also need to make sure we are treating the specific areas of the body well in-between “service calls”. Check out some basics on the different areas we need to focus on and who might be a candidate for extra care:
Feel like nothing is wrong? So do I, but I still make every attempt to keep my body “Tuned Up”. I believe that cleansing is a great start to this process. For those of us with no real health issues, I suggest cleansing 2 times a year with a deep cleanse (Cleanse Smart, Perfect Cleanse, etc.) Aside from these deeper cleanses, I also use greens periodically, detoxification tea (Flor Essence) and eat a diet high in fiber and multicolored fruits and veggies. The greens, tea and dietary choices help maintain a clean running body between “service calls”. Even though I have no real health issues, I also use other targeted cleanses like liver and kidney a few times a year. These are the two main organs that remove the toxins from my body and I choose to support their health as much as possible.
Supplements for your tune up can include my foundational suggestions. For over a decade now I have preached that we ALL need to take supplements in these 4 areas: Multivitamin (Gender and Age specific), Blends of Antioxidants (targeting any special needs), Omega 3s from both plant (we use chia seeds) and fish source and lastly a blended probiotic. These are my foundational nutritional supplements. These are used as part of my Total Body Tune Up on a daily basis. If I have any particular health issue that I am either trying to “treat” or “prevent” then the list will grow.
What does my supplement program look like then?
- Every Man II (3 tablets daily)
- MenaQ7 180mcg per day
- Krill Oil and Fish Oil
- Turmeric (dose depends on brand)
- Standardized Milk Thistle 300mg/day
- Ubiquinol (100-400mg per day)
- Green Tea (Drink 2-4 cups per day)
- AstaReal 6mg per day
- Swedish Pollen extract
- Flora Smart (1 tablet daily)
- D3 (5000iu in the winter)- total body health
- Reishi- (dose varies)- total body support
- ORAC Energy Greens- total body support
In addition to using these supplements, I make every attempt to eat as many fruits/veggies as possible. I also eat beans (lentils, black beans) regularly. While cooking, I make sure to use herbs in everything I prepare. Curry, cayenne, sage, cumin, garlic, onion, cilantro, ginger, fennel, tarragon, etc. are part of our weekly diet. These herbs not only enhance the taste of our food, but also impart added health benefits that help keep our whole body tuned up.
What to do if you have a special need
Tuning up your body may be even more important if you are already challenged with a special need. Remember that special needs are health issues that you are either trying to treat or prevent. Yes, cleansing like I mentioned above (total body) is not only important to do at least two times per year (deep cleansing), but may be required ongoing with detox teas and the use of greens. Below is a short suggestion list of other types of cleanses you may wish to consider based on lifestyle and health needs;
- Parasites: Eat raw or undercooked food, eat organic foods or international travel
- Yeast: Chronic yeast infections, digestive problems, skin issues
- Heavy Metals: grew up around lead paints, oil refinery nearby, smoker, arrhythmias, Parkinson’s Disease, Nervous system disorders
- Respiratory: Work or lived in area with heavy air quality problems, past smoker, Asthma, Allergies, Bronchitis
- Urinary: Past urinary tract issues such as prostatitis, bladder problems, kidney stones
- Bowel: Chronic constipation, digestive issues such as acid reflux, heartburn, GERD
- Liver: Toxic lifestyle, stress, past drug use, Alcohol abuse, Job environment (painter, house cleaning etc.), depression and other nervous system issues
These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg and should be looked into more deeply if you have a serious health issue. Many people don’t realize the potential long-term impact of toxins in the body. I personally have seen people with conditions like depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, anxiety, eczema, psoriasis, heartburn, cancer, IBS, ADD, sleep issues, etc all go away through regular cleansing, supplement use and lifestyle changes.
In order to complete your total body tune up you may need to focus in on particular areas (systems of your body). Here is a list of the more popular areas and what I would do if I walked in your shoes:
If you are concerned with cardiovascular disease as you age, consider using some of the following supplements:
- Co Q10 or Ubiquinol (35 and over should consider using Ubiquinol-I do) is a heart healthy antioxidant and beyond. Don’t just rely on this supplement as your only antioxidant, but include it as a blend of several.
- Fish Oil/Krill Oil- I use 2-4 grams of Omega-3s from fish per day and take 2-4 Krill oil capsules at the same time. Read your labels to make sure you are adding up the amount of Omega-3s per day and not focusing on the amount of fish oil per capsule.
- MenaQ7 180mcg per day- Help reduce hardening of the arteries
- Green Tea-Perhaps one of the best all-round supplements for overall health. Consider using it as a beverage throughout the day as opposed to a capsule or tablet. (You have to drink something-may as well make it a healthy beverage)
- Carnipure- provides added energy support for a healthy cardiovascular system. I am becoming a huge fan of Carnipure and its many health benefits.
- AstaReal- Only astaxanthin product I am aware of with cardiovascular health studies.
This list could possibly be endless. For our purposes, these are my favorites. (Yes, you can use all of these together if you feel the need for added support. Nothing worse than being paranoid about your health (been there myself in the past).
Besides cardiovascular health, immune health could possibly be the most important area we should focus on as we deal with aging gracefully. Many of the “death” causing diseases and debilitating conditions we face have a direct connect to how well our immune system is functioning. Poor lifestyle choices such as; diet (too many processed foods, sugar, starches, and artificial ingredients), exercise (being sedentary leads to a weakened immune system) and other bad habits like alcohol consumption, tobacco use (not just smoking) all contribute to lower immune function. You may not be aware, but the incidence of diseases like cancer and auto-immune issues increase with age. Why? Poor lifestyle choices and our lack of using the right supplements to start. Here are some of my top supplements to look for to support (not stimulate-stimulate is for cold and flu –like issues) a healthy immune system.
- TruBroc- Powerful antioxidant and immune support ingredient from Broccoli
- Maitake D-fraction- medicinal mushrooms are great for supporting a healthy immune system. Maitake is one of GOD’s super mushrooms in my book and should be part of everyone’s immune concern program.
- Chaga- this is another immune mushroom that works differently than Maitake and would be a definite part of my supplement regimen if I had immune health challenges.
- Green Tea-where do I begin-drink a several cups per day or use the supplement form. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and has a ton of research showing its positive effects on supporting your immune system.
- IP-6 with Inositol-great antioxidant and promotes production of Natural Killer Cells (NK)-awesome ingredient to help protect your cells from damage and mutation.
- Greens: Maybe not a supplement, but greens are a powerful addition to your everyday diet in the support of your whole body, especially your immune system.
- Wellmune- Supports the activity of a healthy immune system.
- Turmeric and other Antioxidants-this list is endless- Antioxidants are critical with regards to supporting our immune health. I feel with regards to immune health, you can’t get enough. Try to stick with herbs as your antioxidants to get a blend of antioxidants all in one plant.
Joint Health Concerns
Popping, cracking, aching joints are another big concern as we age. Too often, people wait until they have so much discomfort there is little I can do to help. Keeping pain-free mobile joints is not a difficult thing to achieve. Here are a few quick tips to decreasing the chances of developing problems as we age:
- Lose Weight (if you are overweight)-Just carrying around an extra 20 pounds can be a significant burden on your lower joints. Don’t believe me? Carry around 2-10 pound bags of sugar this weekend. That’s what your body is doing when you are “ just” 20 pounds overweight.
- Eat more greens or buy a Greens supplement (this will help prevent osteoarthritis). Helps your body maintain a balanced systemic pH too.
- Keep animal protein consumption to small portions. Consuming too much animal protein will negatively affect your bones and mineral deposits in the joints.
- Consume more Omega-3s. Flax Seeds, Flax Seed Oil, Chia Seeds, Chia Oil or Fish Oil will help with joint lubrication and support your body’s fight against inflammation.
- Celadrin- helps lubricate the joint and reduce stiffness. Allowing for healing and regeneration. Protection of your cells is critical in SLOWING the aging process of your joints-would be part of my everyday supplement regimen if mobility was a concern.
- Ginger- has great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body
- Turmeric- Similar to ginger above
- Boswellia-Used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine for pain and inflammation
- Glucosamine Sulfate-Key nutrient in building and maintaining healthy connective tissue (the padding between the joints)
There are many reasons for our memory or thinking to decline, and regretfully aging can be part of it. There are very sophisticated tests that can be done to see how sever a persons decline might be. There are a few risk factors that need to be taken into account too. These include age, prior heart attack or failure and being female. Obviously these are just risk factors and don’t necessarily mean you will have issues with ARCD if you have one of these factors.
Luckily for us, natural medicine offers us several approaches to this dreadful condition. Let’s take a look at a few dietary changes that can be made to help delay the onset or maybe even prevent it from happening altogether. Make sure your diet is high in antioxidants. Berries, greens, red, yellow and orange fruits and veggies are naturally high in antioxidants. Believe it or not, consuming a bit of caffeine can improve your cognitive abilities. I would rather have you use tea to get this caffeine, but I am also a realist and coffee does offer caffeine and other health benefits in moderation.
Lifestyle adjustments like stopping smoking, increasing activity (exercise) and getting enough rest (all part of my Four Pillars of Great Health) will also aid in the fight against this slowly developing condition. Remember, following my 4-Pillars (Supplements, Diet, Activity and Spirituality) will carry you a long way in every health challenge you face.
Here are the key supplements to look for:
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine- provides multiple benefits for the nervous system. Using 1500mg per day can be beneficial in a short amount of time.
- Phosphatidylserine- Provides Serine which is an important component for the manufacturing of your own neurotransmitters. I firmly believe this is a critical nutrient for helping balance neurotransmitters.
- Lion’s Mane- This is fast becoming one of my favorite “memory” supplements. This needs to be part of your supplement program if you are already beginning to notice memory/cognitive decline.
- Bacopa – an Ayurvedic herb that shows some promise for memory problems
- Fish Oil (Focus on DHA)- Grandma knew what she was saying when I was a little boy about eating my fish will make me smarter. (LOL)
- AstaReal- Studies show its support of cognitive function
The two biggest concerns when it comes to vision and aging are cataracts and Macular degeneration. Luckily for us, there are several things we can do to decrease our chances of developing these dreadful (especially macular degeneration) conditions. Let’s focus (yes-pun intended) on antioxidants. These two conditions have a major connection back to free radical damage. Look for supplements that are high in colored antioxidants like lutein, astaxanthin (AstaReal), bilberry, blue berry, cherry, etc. These possess the most potent effect on visual support. Also, don’t forget that wearing a good pair of sunglasses is critical. Protecting the eyes from UVA/UVB is one of the simplest things we can do to help slow down visual damage. Regretfully, many of the stylish sunglasses do little to protect your eyes-they just make you look good.
- Drink plenty of water-at least half your body weight in ounces per day and make sure it is purified or distilled. You will have fewer wrinkles. Don’t believe me? Place a prune or raisin in a warm glass of water overnight.
- Use a shower filter- this may sound crazy, but your skin is a sponge and will soak up all of the toxins in your water. Vitamin Shoppe has a great selection to choose from. (Ladies-your hair will be smoother, shiner and easier to brush/comb/style)
- Use a skin friendly (check out the body care section for more info and specific products) sun-screen (on your face, ears and neck at least).
- Eat organic healthy foods- focus in on multicolored fruits and veggies (eat a rainbow each day). Don’t forget that toxins leave your body 3 different ways: Urine, Stool and Sweat (skin). Eating non-organic just opens you up to more toxins that will pollute your skin.
- Use Omega-3s- both plant (flax or chia) and fish sources of Omega-3s are phenomenal at helping with skin health
- AstaReal- Orally a fantastic skin health antioxidant that has shown to help with skin elasticity, decrease aging spots, decrease fine wrinkles and topically acts like a sunscreen.
- Use Antioxidants internally- I love using a wide array of colors for my antioxidants. We consume cayenne, turmeric, greens, berries etc. either as part of our daily diet or in supplement form. LOAD up before you have elephant skin.
- Apply antioxidants topically. Many of the same antioxidants that you put in your body can also be applied topically for protection and repair of your skin cells. There are many face and body care products that can be used.
- SMILE- I would much rather have smile wrinkles than a pucker-puss.
Where do I begin here? Being overweight will increase your risk of early death. How is that for an eye-opener? Why bother with aging gracefully and my other suggestions above If you are overweight or get that way overtime. Other than the obvious lifestyle changes (yes I am mentioning them again for the umpteenth time): Eat fewer calories than you burn-meaning you need to get up and get active and eat fewer calories. Vitaminshoppe.com can help you figure out your daily calorie expenditure, ideal weight and even with some food suggestions.
Supplements help! In some cases, you may need help getting or staying at your ideal weight (I can guarantee you it is lower than you think). Here are my favorites:
- Phase 2® also known as a “carb-controller”. When used just prior to a starchy meal, Phase 2® can delay the digestion and absorption of starch calories in your diet. Even though most of you know that I preach to avoid starchy foods, many still do regularly. You may as well get some added support. (non-stimulant)
- Green Tea- Either the tea or in supplement form, green tea will help boost your metabolism and have an impact on fat metabolism and curbing your appetite.
- Tonalin CLA®- another great supplement for weight loss and can be combined with the above. (non-stimulant)
Digestion will often get overlooked when it comes to slowing the aging process, but I think it is critical. If you have poor digestion, the foods and supplements you consume will be rendered less effective than they should be. To assure yourself of healthy digestion;
- Make sure you consume plenty of purified water or herbal teas throughout the day. Make sure to consume at least half of your body weight in ounces of water per day i.e. 170lb person needs a minimum of 85 ounces per day.
- Use a good broad spectrum digestive enzyme with all meals and snacks.
- Consume enough fiber (35 plus grams per day) in your diet or with a supplement (I like ground flax seeds, chia seeds or VSB Miracle Fiber)
- Take a broad spectrum probiotic daily
All-yes all of these are important and should not be overlooked. This system of supplements will not only prevent issues from happening in your digestive system, but will also address many of the concerns you may already have.
Lastly, make sure you follow my 4-Pillars of Health which. Taking supplements will be just part of ensuring healthy aging. Getting enough activity, eating right and being connected spiritually/mentally will take care of the rest. If you understand how your body works (physiologically and biochemically) and incorporate my suggestions you should age “gracefully” and healthfully. Too many times people wait until it is too late to begin making the changes. You can either pay now or pay later, but sooner or later you will have to pay! I chose to pay now and live a happier and healthier life-as I age.