Life-changing Health Lessons from Hippocrates

Christmas and Hannukah have passed but the holiday season is still not over. We are about to festively salute 2011 and welcome 2012. The beginning of a new year for many signifies the beginning of a new phase full of enthusiasm, goals, and resolutions. Before you settle on the list of your resolutions, I want to share a few more lessons (and some pictures) from the Hippocrates Institute program. Most of these you might be familiar with but some might be new. All of them are powerful health boosters and help to restore innate health and energy. It might be good to review these simple health bits before the New Year resolutions are to be made (if you make them). Maybe you can add a couple of things from this list to yours. Let me know which one you pick and why. I would love to know.

Don’t drink during meals. Chef Ken from Hippocrates Institute encouraged everyone not to drink during the meals and 2 hours after. Drinking dilutes digestive juices and hinders digestion. Instead chew well to liquify your food. Honestly, drinking during mealtime is a matter of habit. I don’t get thirty when I eat anymore and if I do, I just take a few small sips of warm water.

Fruit is not 100% innocent. Whether we like it or not, fruit has sugar. Of course, it is not the same as the white sugar but sugar nonetheless. Cancer cells and candida thrive in sugar. You can actually see crystallized balls of sugar in blood if you ever do a Live Blood Cell analysis. An occasional fruit meal in my opinion is still fine but Hippocrates Institute cautions against more than 1 piece of fruit a day. What do you think about this one?

Refined sugar and salt are off limits in the kitchen. White death, health foes, toxins, whatever you call them, we all know that they are bad for health. There are other ways to make your food taste good. Kelp and dulse flakes provide a salty taste along with minerals and carrots and bell peppers start tasting sweet after a few days of no sugar. A drop of stevia can go a long way, too! It is a matter of perspective.

Load up on chlorophyll. Juice, salads, seaweed – everything and anything green. It will help to alkalize your body and reduce inflammation, if present.

90/5/5 carbs/fats/proteins. That is the ratio that chef Ken recommended to follow when loading up lunch and dinner plates. All carbs should come from vegetables, soaked beans and grains, proteins from nuts and beans, and fats from oils, nuts, and avocados. There are different recommended ratios. I am not a fan of following one specifically but definitely feel better when I have mostly complex carbs on my plate. Quinoa and veggies are hard to beat in terms of an efficient energy source. Do you follow any specific ratios when putting together your meals?

Exercise is a must – resistance training and cardio combos are promoted at the Hippocrates. One of the highly desired benefits is improved circulation, lymph drainage, and better digestion. As always, choose the type of exercise that makes you happy. I am not just saying this, I actually mean it. When you like something it should make you smile and laugh. When I dance, I laugh at myself. When I play beach paddles with my boyfriend, we laugh. When I run outside, I am attuned to every breath and feel limitless. What activities make you happy?

Digestion is a cornerstone of health. The state of your digestion determines the quality of the building materials for the body. If digestion is inefficient and produces toxic byproducts, new cells will be compromised from the very beginning. Proper food combining is one of the easiest ways to improve digestion and assimilation.

Health is 70% determined by the emotional state. Yes, food, exercise, massage – all are important but attitude and beliefs play a huge role. Our thoughts tend to materialize themselves into reality. Positive affirmations help to keep the attitude positive and, as a result, make us healthier. Do not let your diagnosis become your identity, dissociate from it. Create your own vision of health and repeat if every day. Your brain will create the body that corresponds to your vision.

Chew your food. This is critical for good digestion. Enzymes that break down carbs are produced in saliva. To assimilate nutrients well, you need to chew everything well. It is also a great mindfulness meditation. Be fully present and experience taste, smell, and effects of the food.

Get the lymph moving. Try rebounding (very popular at HHI), jumping, saunas, swimming and dry brushing. Toxins will leave your system faster, skin will be brighter, and elimination better. Plus it is a lot of fun!

Shed the dead skin. Dry brushing is a great way to maintain a young looking healthy skin. Use loofah or medium brushes and massage in circular motions towards major lymph nodes.

Stay hydrated. Hippocrates recommendation is to drink your weight in lbs divided in 2 in oz. So if you are 130lbs/2 than you should drink about 65oz of liquids.

Take advantage of ancient and modern therapies to balance your body. Massage, acupuncture, meditation, aromatherapy have been known for ages. H-wave, laser therapies, light therapies are new cool instruments that help us to stay balanced in a modern high-stress world. I tried H-wave while at the Hippocrates and loved it. My lower back felt amazing after 30min of small electrodes massaging my muscles.

Fast or eat monomeals once a week. Give your belly a well-deserve rest. You may choose to drink juices, or veggie broths, or herbal teas. Kicheri or congee might be milder options, if you are new to fasting. It is not as scary as it seems. Our ancestors did it, animals do it, and you can do it! Give it a try.

Ban the stress (at least try to). Find what works for you and stick with it. Consequences of not dealing with stress is, to say the least, can be very dire. Stress creates acidity, acidity creates inflammation, inflammation is a step towards a weak sick body. For me being rushed is one of the worst stressors. To avoid it, I prioritize and choose to do the important things while letting go of others.

Be open to synchronicity in your life. Ever noticed lucky coincidences such as opening a book on the right page, meeting an old friend in a new city, or having a cancellation at the restaurant right at the time that you wanted? The more attuned we are, the more likely these lucky coincidences to happen. It is so strange sometimes that it’s almost scary! If you ignore synchronicity they stop happening.

Learn about yourself, your body, and your health issues. No one has as much vested interested in you as you do yourself. If you have a condition, take action – learn about it, talk to those in a similar situation, explore your options. Quite often there are alternative methods to treating disease or correcting an imbalance. Keep an open mind, try things, and choose something that calls out your name and works for your body.

Are you setting resolutions for 2012? Which ones? How are you planning on making them successful?

Looking forward to hearing from you before 2012 strikes!

Learning From Hippocrates to Slow Down The Best Of Spinach and Yoga 2011