“Never assume the obvious is true.”
~William Safire

It seems logical that most humans would desire to live long, healthy and productive lives.
Clearly this is not the case.

image001 Sit virtually anywhere and view for one hour the overwhelming evidence with your own eyes. If you still wonder why the healthcare system in North America is in the toilet take another look about you.

Perhaps even you bitch about the prohibitive cost of medical care, the lack of bedside manner, being treated like an object on a conveyor belt in a production facility, paying higher premiums for less coverage and the rest of it.

Now ask yourself why you chose to pay through the nose for medical care that treats symptoms rather than the causation.image The beauty of being a human being is our ability to make choices.

Couple that with the fact that your remarkable body has the innate ability to heal itself – only if you allow it – and the road to wellness seems a simple one.

The principles of naturopathic medicine utilize the fundamental components of health [biochemistry, biomechanics, and mental predisposition] to assist you in restoring the balance requisite to meet the definition of health.

It is a distinctive approach to health and healing that empowers you to become responsible for your health.
Its philosophy recognizes the integrity of the whole person. Its treatment emphasizes prevention and the inherent healing capacity of the patient’s body through self-care.

The goal of naturopathic medicine is optimal wellness. The naturopathic physician bridges the natural and conventional medicine perspectives to promote the patient’s vital force. Disease is viewed as a manifestation of the natural cause by which the body heals itself.

Take a long look at yourself naked in a full-length mirror.
Do you like what you see?
How do you feel about it?
Do you desire a different image of yourself?
Would you like to feel better?
Do you exercise?
Are you truly happy?
What do you want from your life?

What are you going to do about it?

“Genes may load the gun, but your lifestyle pulls the trigger.”
~Julieanna Hever MS, RD, CPT

If you truly desire optimum wellness you must be committed to achieving each dimension of wellness. This mandates awareness, discipline and sacrifice. In order to achieve something of a higher level you must be willing to sacrifice something of a lower nature.

What are you willing to sacrifice in the spirit of optimum wellness? How much value do you place on creating your long, healthy and productive life?

If you want different results you must implement action appropriate to your desired outcome. If you are looking for a quick fix or the miracle pill to swallow – forget it. Your circumstances will not go away simply by closing your eyes. You need to invest at least the same effort to reverse the results you have created.

Obesity is a major issue but trust me when I tell you that there are plenty of thin people with issues eroding their wellness beyond food and a sedentary lifestyle.Our society is addicted, overfed yet undernourished – and it shows!

This concept was once the exception but it is now the rule.We have redefined ”lazy” beyond comprehension. What the hell happened to our self-respect? The chronic and degenerative diseases afflicting our society in alarming numbers did not happen overnight.

What is the problem?
The bottom line:: Excuses.

“We make all sorts of assumptions because we do not have the courage to ask questions.”
~Don Miguel Ruiz

There are probably as many excuses unique to your situation.as there are snowflakes – and each rationalization you concoct regarding your wellness is BS.

You create both your schedule and your reality. Your choices reflect your commitment to achieving optimum wellness versus just talking about it. Take another look in the mirror and level with yourself. You must ask yourself what you truly desire and know why you desire it.

When the bypass patient’s hospital recovery meal includes a plate with roast beef sandwiches smothered with cheese and condiments, cottage cheese, potato chips with a sugar-based acidic drink plus cake and ice cream for dessert do you still deny that disease is big business for the western-based medical practitioners and the pharmaceutical companies [Big Pharma]?

When the American Heart Association serves meat-based menus, cheese platters, white bread with butter and milk to quench your thirst at its luncheons to discuss heart disease epidemic solutions. 

Vitamin Pills2 TV commercials pitch fast food, junk food, milk and a host of other useless items sandwiched between ads for the medications you can waste your money buying to alleviate your symptoms from eating the garbage in the first place.

It does not matter if cheese manufactured in California is more addicting than the cheese from The Dairy State [Wisconsin] because both versions are detrimental to your health.

Adherence to the Standard American Diet is merely killing yourself to live.

Do you give a damn that the government subsidizes foods directly linked to accelerating disease and hastening ecological damage? Do you care that the multibillion dollar food industry makes its wealth at the expense of human health and the environment?

Does it matter to you that the healthcare system is a disaster? If you are like the 72 percent of overweight/obese people in the United States you will will likely just buy another fast food meal and bitch about how your life sucks and have a cigarette for dessert.

What will it finally take for you to make the decision to change your life? How much pain or expense will it take to get it in your head to cut the crap and take action? 

Ask yourself at what point does the message become clear that you ought to implement lifestyle changes instead of just thinking about them – the next bypass surgery, stroke, heart attack,  the next hangover?

Maybe your death will convince you?

Only you know the answer.
Nobody can make you do anything.

Just as there is nothing pious about a poverty-conscious mindset, there is nothing gratifying about lying to yourself, your family, and the rest of it. You are responsible for your happiness and you are responsible for your wellness. Even if you do not care about your own wellness would you be willing to make changes on behalf of your partner, your children, your pets and the like?  

Motivation is an external force. Inspiration is an internal force. Just like a million dollars will not fall from the sky into your lap while you sit on the recliner It is not anyone else’s job to motivate you to take action respective to your wellness. You either choose to be healthy or you choose to be unhealthy.

It is your responsibility. You are accountable for your decisions and the consequences will reflect your commitment. What will it take for you to get off your ass? 

If you give a damn about your health you will turn off the TV [Time Vacuum] and make the decision today to take action that will propel you to your vibrant, authentic,‘True Nature’ and live the life you so desire versus existing each day until Friday sets you free.

Rather than moping about from week to week – like you have seemingly done forever – take charge of your life and thrive. The workload to change may seem daunting but you will discover and experience the liberating difference between effort and struggle.

Stop making excuses – today!

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”
~Napoleon Hill

Wellness is about possibilities not pathology. Wellness is about accountability. In order to move forward it will be necessary for you to take responsibility for every thought, feeling, action and result in your life.

It is no secret that nutrition and exercise play profound roles respective to the quality and longevity of your life. There is something to be said for taking care of yourself. Prudent choices are inherent to achieving optimum wellness.

There are variations to the wellness dimension models and I have added environmental wellness below due to its inherent connection to the dimensions proposed by the National Wellness Institute model below.


~Social Wellness

The social dimension of wellness encourages contributing to one’s human and physical environment to the common welfare of one’s community. It emphasizes the interdependence with others and nature. It includes the pursuit of harmony in one’s family.

You will become more aware of your importance in society and the impact you have on nature and your community. You will take an active part in improving our world by encouraging a healthy living environment and initiating better communication with those about you. You will actively seek ways to preserve the beauty and balance of nature along the pathway.

Social wellness is having positive interactions with and enjoying being with others. It is having comfort and ease during work and leisure situations and communicating feelings and needs to others. It involves developing and building close friendships and intimacy, practicing empathy and effective listening, caring for others and for the common good, and allowing others to care for you.

It is recognizing the need for leisure and recreation and budgeting time to improve the quality of life for others.

~Spiritual Wellness

The spiritual dimension of wellness involves seeking meaning and purpose in human existence. It includes the development of a deep appreciation for the depth and expanse of life and natural forces that exist in the universe.

As you begin to develop the spiritual wellness dimension of your life, you will start asking the question, “who am I and what is meaningful in my life.” You will observe the scenery along the path and appreciate with greater understanding the world within and about you.

You will ask many questions about the scenery, the world, and your daily experiences, and learn to value that which cannot be completely understood. Growth will help you try to find peaceful harmony between internal personal feelings and emotions on the rough and rugged stretches of your path.

While traveling the path, you may experience many feelings of doubt, despair, fear, disappointment and dislocation as well as feelings of pleasure, joy, happiness and discovery-these are all important experiences and components of the terrain, your value system. You will become aware that your actions become more consistent with your beliefs and values.

You will ponder and integrate your experiences and beliefs with the experiences of others and engage in the formulation of your world view, and your system of values and goals.

“The part can never be well unless the whole is well.”

~Emotional Wellness

The emotional dimension of wellness emphasizes an awareness and acceptance of one’s feelings. Emotional wellness includes the degree to which one feels positive and enthusiastic about oneself and life. It includes the capacity to manage one’s feelings and related behaviors including the realistic assessment of one’s limitations, development of autonomy, and ability to cope effectively with stress.

It allows you to become aware of and accept a wide range of feelings respective to yourself and others. You will be able to express feelings freely and manage feelings effectively. You will make decisions based upon the synthesis of feelings, thoughts, philosophies, and behavior. On the wellness path, you’ll live and work independently while realizing the importance of seeking and appreciating the support and assistance of others.

You’ll be able to form interdependent relationships with others based upon a foundation of mutual commitment, trust and respect. You will take on challenges and risks while recognizing conflict as a healthy component to personal growth. Managing your life in personally rewarding ways and taking responsibility for your actions will help you see life as an exciting adventure.

~Physical Wellnessimage

The physical dimension of wellness encourages cardiovascular health, flexibility, nutrition, and strength strength training as part of a regular lifestyle program.

It encourages consumption of activities which contribute to high level wellness, including medical self-care and appropriate use of the medical system. It teaches you to understand the healing capability of your body.

By traveling the wellness path, physically, you’ll be able to monitor your own vital signs and understand your body’s warning signs. You will understand and appreciate the relationship between sound nutrition and how your body performs.

The physical dimension of wellness provides almost immediate beneficial results-both physical and psychological. The physical benefits of looking good and feeling terrific most often lead to the psychological benefits of enhanced self-esteem, self control determination and a sense of direction.

~Occupational Wellness

The occupational dimension of wellness is involved in preparing for work in which one will gain personal satisfaction and find enrichment in one’s life through work.

Occupational development is related to one’s attitude about one’s work. This is about living your purpose through your work. It is about your avocation being your vocation for the benefit of expanding the quality of life for others through your success.

On your Occupational Wellness journey you will begin to value the importance of not only your own personal gratification and your contribution to the well-being of the community.

The choice of profession, job satisfaction, career ambitions, and personal performance are all important components of your path’s terrain.

~Intellectual Wellness

The intellectual dimension of wellness encourages creative, stimulating mental activities. An intellectually well person uses the resources available to expand one’s knowledge in improved skills along with expanding potential for sharing with others.

An intellectually well person uses the intellectual and cultural activities in and beyond the classroom combined with the resources available within the university community and the larger community.

You will explore issues related to problem solving, creativity, and learning. You will discover a natural interest in keeping abreast of current issues and ideas.

You develop your intellectual wellness curiosity to expand and challenge your mind with creative endeavors. You begin to see problems and challenges not as stumbling blocks but stepping stones.

IMGP0177~Environmental Wellness

It is important to lead a lifestyle that is respectful of our environment. This includes respecting nature and those species living in it.

Respect for others living in our environment is just as necessary as respect for the physical environment itself.

Even with the pervasive environmental awareness attitude many people still seem unconcerned or simply uninformed about what he or she can do to help the environment.

Spread the word about environmental wellness. You can help by simply leading an environmentally conscious life.

Get involved with your community’s recycling programs. Implement a recycling program and find ways to conserve in your home and at work.

Make sure the recycling bins in your home / office are readily available and are being utilized. Not only will your efforts be rewarding, but they will put you on the right path to environmental wellness.

Get outside and enjoy nature!

”What keeps people from doing what they know they need to do for themselves”?
Michael Arloski, PhD, PCC

Nutrition represents the cornerstone to all dimensions of wellness. Physicians represent the first line of defense providing care and guidance yet provide isolated, microscopic and reductionist health care by treating symptoms. Medical school teaches them to treat nutritional deficiencies with prescriptions.

The vast power of nutritional fundamentals are kept locked in the morgue. It is imperative more than ever to re-think medical strategy and apply a [w]holistic approach to health care. The source of the problem needs to be standard protocol. 

The subsequent parts to this rant will summarize the evolution of current trends and the need to rectify the deplorable situation. They will identify the obvious and simple solution to disease management – which has been right in front of us – and cultivating environmental stewardship

They will identify only a handful of reasons why you ought to take a close look at where your food choices have taken you on your wellness journey. Your food choices have profound and far-reaching impact on the rest of the dimensions of your wellness wheel.

It is hoped that you will be inspired to become the change agent in making whole your wellness desires – and pay it forward.

“Expect nothing.  Be prepared for anything.”
~Samurai saying


Cascade Pass


Jeff Kildahl

View posts by Jeff Kildahl

Jeff Kildahl is a writer, author, wellness consultant and philanthropist 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. He is a US-based ultra-endurance athlete and philanthropist for the 100 FOR 100 Movement ~ https://100for100.me.

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.