You don't need to do everything at once.
Pick one thing.
Once you've upgraded your life that area, pick another.
The elements of a healing protocol lifestyle are all connected and they all support each other.
So, if you're feeling overwhelmed about addressing all the components at once, don’t.
Starting is the thing.
Here are eight areas to focus on that will each improve your health.
- Stress Management;
- Connectedness (to people);
- Connectedness (to nature);
- Habits & Patterns;
- Self-knowledge; &
A great place to begin.
But if changing your eating makes you cringe, pick something else! And come back here later.
Whether or not you are ready to embrace nutritional healing now, it's helpful to know that new scientific understandings have revolutionized our ideas about the ideal human diet.
We now know that food does much more than just provide the units of energy we need to run our bodies. It provides information, tells our genes how to express themselves, and alters the microbial communities that determine whether or not we get sick, and how much fat our bodies store.
Based on this new science, mid-21st century dietary recommendations will be radically different than the nutritional advice of the 20th century. But it's dated 20th-century thinking which is still endorsed by slow-to-respond medical and health systems.
You don't need to wait for those systems to catch up!
The new science supports the notion of bioindividuality. What matters more than the rise and fall of nutritional fads, is how your system responds to particular foods.
It’s about finding the nutritional pattern that helps you thrive.
- Read more at 12 Healing Protocols and Personalize Your Diet for Weight Loss.
- Need help with launching a nutritional protocol? SAD to AIP in 6 starts on March 7th.
Getting enough sleep is challenging. Because one of the truly scarce resource of modern life is time.
We all steal time from sleep to do things we need and want to do.
Sleep is fundamental to any healing protocol. Even one night of sub-optimal sleep results in insulin resistance in healthy people and lack of adequate sleep acts like a chronic stressor, dysregulating our entire biological and psychological systems.
But it’s not always as simple as carving out time. Even when we prioritize sleep, sometimes stress, pain or other health issues interfere.
A focus on improving sleep is an excellent place to start your healing journey.
- Get some help with improving your sleep with Sarah Ballantyne's Go to Bed program.
- Read more at The Paleobiology of Sleep.
3. Stress Management
Stress is a really big deal.
And stress management may be your #1 strategy for preventing and reversing chronic health problems.
Unfortunately, chronic stress is our new normal.
People now fuel their lives with stress hormones that were previously reserved for real emergencies. And the result is an epidemic of chronic disease.
Chronic stress leads to weight gain and neurological degeneration. It literally makes us fat and stupid.
Ongoing stress also contributes to gut dysbiosis, a disruption in the healthy functioning of the gut microbiome, which leads to intestinal permeability and systemic inflammation.
And intestinal permeability and gut dybiosis are now known to be the origin of most illness.
Gut dysbiosis itself also causes stress, which creates a vicious cycle (a real stress fest!) that can only be broken by effective stress management strategies.
You can turn the stress cycle around. Start small. And learn as you go.
- Read more at Stress Management.
4. Connectedness (to people)
We are designed to live in community.
When we feel socially connected, all of our health outcomes improve. Depression and anxiety decreases, physical health increases, and even our gene expression changes for the better.
Connectedness lengthens our lives and increases our happiness.
But we can no longer take connectedness for granted. We no longer live in small groups where we work together on a daily basis to attend to community well-being, like our ancestors did.
Of course, it’s silly to idealize the past.
People were still people, back in the day. They had the same flaws.
Conflict, war and oppression happened. But our daily lives were embedded in a matrix of relational contact with each other.
The Paleobiology of Connectedness.
In modern contexts, we can take steps to reconnect.
And doing so may be one of the most overlooked health strategies of all.
- Read more at How Relationships Literally Make Us Healthy or watch What makes a Good Life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness.
Find the next four areas here:
- Connectedness (to nature);
- Habits & Patterns;
- Self-knowledge & Finding Resolve; &
I'll also explain why Exercise didn't make it on this list!
Pick nutrition. Get the foods you want into your body with Real Plans (the meal planner with superpowers).
Real Plans offers Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, GAPS, Paleo, Primal, Keto, Autoimmune Protocol and Vegetarian options. Easy to use and entirely customizable.
Improve your nutrition. Reduce your stress.