“How you do one thing is how you do anything.”
~Zen saying
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You are what you eat.
Are you killing yourself to live?

To thrive on the wellness continuum requires authenticity. Consuming foods which you are biologically adapted to eat is paramount to vibrant health and effervescent living.

Our connectedness or isolation is a major determinant of overall health and whether or not adopting new lifestyle behaviors will be successful. Wellness is an interpersonal issue.

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Optimal wellness is not the absence of disease but a persistence to live a full, zestful,
purpose-oriented, productive, and meaningful life.

It is a conscious, self-directed, multidimensional and [w]holistic process of self-actualization. Mindful living delineates effort from struggle throughout the daily grind.

Self-actualization is more than a cognitive sphere. It is synthesizing the mind-body interface to impart a balanced and integrative lifestyle through awareness and discipline. It is honoring the integrity of the whole person.

Nutrition is the cornerstone of all dimensions of wellness. Primary source nutrition has the profound and vastly underestimated ability to maintain health, prevent and reverse chronic and degenerative diseases, and enhance endurance sports performance.

What did you eat today?

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Your choice of lifestyle determines your level of health.

Millions of people desire improvement to their well-being but never make the decision to implement effective ways to change their habits.

The connection between cognitive and behavioral changes to improve one’s lifestyle is inescapable.

Your behavioral choices impact not only your health but environmental health.

The interconnectedness of seemingly disparate elements is unequivocal. Each bite of food merges us with the environment. If you routinely implement mindless nutritive decisions you likely do not give a damn about planetary health.

Standard agricultural practices use more energy than it returns. More fossil fuel is wasted in the production, processing, and distribution of food than any other industry. This is a losing proposition. Micronutrients are the keys to mindful nutrition ~ and it begins with soil quality.

The demand to produce more nutrient-deficient food for profit has produced irreversible environmental damage and crippled our healthcare system. Primary source nutrition is less demanding on the environment and better for your health.

Nutritional stress is caused by the consumption of unhealthy food. It is rampant in our society. Consumption of nutrient-dense whole foods rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, and essential fatty acids will promote health and vitality through regeneration.

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The connection between what, when, and how we fill our pie holes and optimal health is analogous to whether or not your chosen livelihood provides happiness and fulfillment or drudgery and discontentment.

Nutritional stress breeds a state of fatigue termed biological debt. It is the precarious state the body enters once energy from stimulation has dissipated. Energy must be obtained through nourishment versus stimulation. Prolonged biological debt results in chronic and degenerative disease proliferation.

Strive to make high net-gain foods the cornerstone of your nutritional plan. High net-gain foods represent the energy and usable sustenance after digestion. Assimilation of micronutrients is the key to this process.

Digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food requires a lot of energy. Mindful nutritive decisions will promote efficient digestion and maximized nutrient assimilation due to energy conservation ~ leaving more energy for your body to function. Nutritional stress will no longer be an issue.

The desired outcome is consuming food in which nutrients are in a form usable by your body. The less energy your body has to expend to convert foods to usable fuel means more energy in your tank.

The following principles represent a viable plan to integrate nutrient-dense, primary source, whole foods into your lifestyle. They were conceived by best-selling author, former Ironman triathlete, and Vega formulator, Brendan Brazier.

Eliminate biological debt

Acquire energy from nourishment versus stimulation. Food ought to supply energy to your body not zap it from your body. Stimulation is a poor substitute for nourishment.

Stimulation is short-term energy to combat the symptoms of our energy deficit. This culminates in fatigue and sets the stage for elevated cortisol levels, inflammation, tissue degeneration, and the onset of chronic and degenerative diseases.

Nourishment will wipe out biological debt by providing natural, cost-free energy absent any stress on your adrenal glands, tissue, and cellular health.

Consume high net-gain foods

Natural, unrefined, whole, primary source foods digest with considerably less eneergy than its nutrient-deficient counterparts. Your body will possess more usable energy by consuming said foods even if your caloric intake is less.

Focus on foods that require minimal digestive energy yet yield high net-gain doses of energy due to micronutrient density levels. Micronutrient investment will maximize your energy output.

Consume raw and low-temperature cooked foods

Foods cooked no higher than 118 degrees Fahrenheit are considered raw. This is important because enzymes necessary to assist with digestion and contribute to your overall health will not be destroyed.

Your body must produce enzymes in order to convert cooked food to usable fuel. Enzyme quality in food deteriorates with increased cooking temperatures. Essential fatty acids are converted to trans fatty acids when the temperature reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Your body requires enzymes to complete the process of digestion. The consumption of cooked foods above 118 degrees Fahrenheit requires enzyme production by your body. This prolonged stress will likely induce nutritional bankruptcy.

Alkaline-forming foods

Maintaining a balanced pH is vital to achieving and sustaining optimal health. Diet has a profound impact on the pH level of the body. A pH balance of at least 7.35 will ensure an alkaline state. Regular consumption of nutrient-deficient foods typical in the North American diet will quickly lead to an acidic condition.

A nutrient-dense, primary source, whole foods diet with lots of chlorophyll will cleanse toxins from our blood, proliferate cellular regeneration, synthesize energy, and enhance oxygen transport.

Minimizing stress while incorporating pranayamic exercises, yoga, kinesthetic training, meditation, and other alkaline-forming activities will maintain proper pH balance.

Allergens

Corn, dairy, wheat, gluten, and soy represent common allergens. Nasal congestion, headache, mental fog, lethargy are some of the symptoms associated with said allergens.

A sensitivity is an unpleasant reaction caused by consuming foods in which the body lacks enzymes to properly digest it. A sensitivity does not impact the immune system like a food allergy.

Eliminate common allergens one by one from your diet each for a two week stint if you suspect a sensitivity. These common allergens are ubiquitous, cheap, blend well as fillers, and have a long shelf life.

Sticking to whole, unrefined, primary source foods will likely mitigate or eliminate any sensitivity to allergens prevalent in our food supply.

Nutritional stress will be minimized only when micronutrient digestion, absorption and assimilation are maximized.

Benefits include:

~Reduced nutritional stress;
~Reduced biological age;
~Increased life expectancy;
~Body fat reduction;
~Nourishment versus stimulation;
~Alkaline pH balanced;
~Improved sleep quality;
~Reduced sleep requirements;
~Improved productivity;
~Salt/sugar cravings eliminated;
~Improved desire to excel;
~Increased energy;
~Better moods;
~Increased muscle tone;
~Reduced cholesterol;
~Improved bone strength;
~Less joint inflammation;
~Hormonal support;
~And more…

You could fuel your body with addictive, toxic foods that promote nutritional stress, accelerate chronic and degenerative diseases and hasten ecological destruction ~ and take your chances.

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A natural and intuitive approach is to consume high-energy, nutrient-dense, whole, plant foods to support cellular regeneration, vibrant, optimal health and environmental restoration.

Keep it simple ~ pay now for healthy food or pay later to treat the symptoms of chronic and degenerative diseases from poor dietary decisions.

May your Sadhana be strong….

Namaste!

Jeff Kildahl

View posts by Jeff Kildahl

Jeff Kildahl is a writer, author, educator, researcher, and wellness consultant advancing preventive health care by synthesizing primary source nutrition and fitness as the principal components of the practice of medicine.

Kildahl is a sponsored vegan ultra-endurance athlete credentialed in bioenergetics, biomechanics, metabolic efficiency™ testing, sport nutrition, and natural medicine. He is a dynamic member of CUBE™ ~ a professional speakers group ~ empowering others to harmonize the "Keys to Living in the Song of Life."

He is the wellness editor at Snowshoe Magazine, United States Snowshoe Association columnist, and contributor to health, fitness and wellness sites, blogs and publications.

Kildahl is the creator and president of The Wholistic Edge® ~ a visionary firm providing synergistic solutions to transcend health, performance, and potential in life and sport from the inside out via the principles of Performance Medicine™ ~ http://thewholisticedge.com.