Step 2 of the R’vive Health philosophy is all about providing your body with the building blocks (all nutrients in optimal quantities) it needs to build good, healthy tissue. Here are some of the basic building blocks to your optimal health.
R’VIVE health basics
NATURAL, WHOLE AND PURE
This is probably the most important health basic and we cannot stress this enough. Only whole, natural foods build the body and promote optimal health. Whenever humans alter food they nearly always decrease its nutritional value. Altered and depleted foods cannot sustain long term health. Natural, whole and pure foods are organic and have not been refined, chemically altered, irradiated, hydrogenated, heat treated, sprayed, homogenised, pasteurised, canned, salted, sweetened or altered in any way. This includes the water we drink.
The percentage is growing of people in the wealthiest countries of the world that now have nutritional deficiencies due to eating unwholesome foods. Common deficiencies include the B vitamins (especially B6 and B12), Folic acid, vitamin E, Vitamin D, Omega 3 and the minerals. This results in a number of health concerns ranging from fatigue, poor mental performance and depression to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries leading), osteoporosis and infertility. All this misery could be avoided if people ate natural whole food! And by followed the other health basics on this website ….
VARIETY AND BALANCE
Different body biochemistries, metabolisms and genetics mean that the same diet is not necessarily the best diet for everyone. However there are some basics that we can all stick to.
Our diets should have proper variety to ensure that we are getting a good intake the full range of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, amino acids and other nutrients required for optimal health. If we only eat one type of food we run the risk of developing deficiencies. For example, carrots give us much beta-carotene but they lack B12, avocado is great but not for every lunch. Now consider that the average modern diet predominately consists of white flour, sugar, milk, meat, fat – no wonder we have a problem!
The bulk of our food should be alkaline. This includes a variety of vegetables, some fruit, green leaves, legumes, spice and almonds. For the rest of your diet include a good quality protein source, a small amount of low GI carbohydrate and some healthy fat predominantly from nuts, seeds or cold pressed vegetables oils. Aim not to eat fruit (especially soft summer fruits such as melon) with complex proteins or carbohydrates as these foods do not digest well together.
Food should be enjoyed in moderation. Excessive over-eating or under- eating taxes the system and i s self abuse. Luckily for R’vivers on a natural diet low in sugars and carbohydrate your appetite should be regulated naturally.
EAT MORE RAW
What’s the fuss about raw food? Raw food generally provides the highest nutritional density, fibre and enzymes content. As we primarily eat to nourish our bodies it makes sense to eat food in their most nutrient dense form. Cooking destroys nutrients, destroys all enzymes and breaks down fibre. No wonder health statistics are so bad! Raw foods are tasty, easy to digest, cleansing, alkalizing, healing and full of enzymes. Green raw foods are high in chlorophyll, terrific for cleansing and very alkalising. Some great tasting raw recipes are available to R’vivers on our recipes page.
A great and easy way to get in a concentrated dose nutrition is a glass is to include freshly squeezed vegetable juice in your daily or weekly routine. When juicing aim to have the bulk of your juice made from vegetables and green leaves with some fruit. Fruit is high in sugar and therefore should not be the focus of the juice.
For even more alkaline, cleansing nutrition and add some green superfoods such as wheatgrass, barley grass, spirulina, chlorella and the sea weeds into your diet.
Break carbohydrate dependencies and sugar addictions that may be slowly pulling you down into bad health. In today’s society most people have some form of carbohydrate dependency. It works like this: you eat an unnatural processed carbohydrate that is high in calories (aka – sugar or white flour) and low in nutrition. You body gets a rush of sugar and starts pumping insulin. Insulin will transport sugar into your cells where it is stored as glycogen. It will also cause your to body to store fat. Soon afterwards you receive a dip in blood sugar making you want to eat some more.
What is the result of all this? 1. You end up eating more that you body truly needs, putting additional strain on your body. 2. You start craving carbohydrate foods when your body actually wants good nutrition 3. Your body starts to become insulin resistant, meaning that you need more insulin to do the same work, starting a viscous cycle. 4. Yeasts such as Candida thrive in a high sugar environment and may start to proliferate in your gut, causing you to crave more carbohydrate. 5. You may start to put on excess weight, especially the dangerous weight around your middle.
Above are just some of the negative consequences of excess carbohydrate in the diet. If you think that you do not have a carbohydrate dependency try giving it up for 2 weeks and see how hard it is!
To master this health basic eat low GI foods. Avoid all refined carbohydrates, avoid medium to high GI carbohydrates including white potatoes. Limit your fruit intake. Avoid fruit juice (unless freshly squeezed and diluted). The more ‘dependant’ you are on carbohydrates the stricter your low GI routine must be until you have broken the dependency.
Most people are living with some degree of toxicity. You body has a waste management systems designed to get rid of toxins and keep you healthy – but often these systems are not operating properly due to years of neglect or simply cannot keep up with the toxic load! They could use a little extra help.
Where do all these toxins come from? A combination of chemicals used in food, medicines, household products, personal care products, garden products, building materials, mercury fillings, cigarette smoke, plastic containers, hormones in foods, chemicals in our water, air pollution etc. Some people write detoxification off to fanaticism but there is ample scientific data showing the quantity and effects of toxification. One study tested the umbilical cord of babies for toxins. The test showed an average or 287 contaminants, 180 of which are carcinogenic to humans, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests!
When your body cannot eliminate toxins at the same rate that they are coming in you start to get toxic build up. This can results in lack of energy, greater tendency to allergies, excessive mucous production, degenerative disease, forgetfulness, foggy thinking, accelerated aging, skin disorders, hormonal imbalances, chronic fatigue, joint aches and poor immune function amongst others.
To conquer this health basic a two-step approach in required. First, limit your toxic exposure by eating natural organic foods, drinking pure water, using natural/eco-friendly products in your home and on your skin. Second is to actively help your body detox. You can do this through fasting (on vegetable juice and/or green superfoods), cleansing on raw vegan foods, sweating, taking R’vive cleansing supplements and drinking lots of pure water.
The R’vive cleansing range is aimed at cleansing your detoxification organs and improving their function. Better organ function means your body will continue to feel the rewards of a R’vive cleanse long into the future.
Your body was made to move! If it not moving enough then, guaranteed, it is not functioning optimally! The documented benefits of exercise are too many to list. Below are some of the benefits to get you motivated.
- Strengthens the body and all body systems
- It stimulates lymph flow which is needed for detoxification
- Lowers stress
- Aids weight loss
- Slows the aging process
- Builds stronger bones
- Rests the heart
- Decreases depression
- Boosts immune functions
- Improves digestion and frequency of bowel movements.
- Promotes better sleep.
- Improves sexual performance
- Improves mental alertness
- Improves energy levels
Aim for a minimum of 3-4 hours of exercise spread throughout your week. Include a variation of strength and aerobic exercise. The best way keep this up is to build it into your weekly routine and make exercise a habit. Soon you will start missing it if it is not there.
You may have heard the biblical proverb ‘a chearfull heart is good medicine ’, well science has proven this to be true.
It is natural to experience stress and negative emotions, however if these experiences are pro-longed and your dominating frame of mind then it can negatively impact your health. Negative emotions include anger, stress, anxiety, agitation, depression, fear and unforgiveness. These emotions cause chemical reactions in your body that have been shown to slow down the immune system, elevate blood pressure, elevate heart rate, cause headaches, cause hormonal imbalances and cause digestive complaints.
Positive emotions, such as gratitude, love, happiness, appreciation, compassion have the opposite effect. Recent studies have shown that happy people have actually have fewer health problems and can more easily handle life’s challenges than their unhappy counterparts. A good old laugh has also been shown to have numerous benefits including lowering stress, boosting the immune system and lowering blood pressure.
If feel trapped in a cycle of negative emotions it may be beneficial to seek help from a trusted friend or counsellor. Forgive those who have angered you, learn techniques for managing stress before it becomes chronic, do something for someone else and take time out to laugh.
Heard this one before? This is something we hear so often but still tend to neglect. Most people think this sounds too simple to actually work. Water is probably the most essential nutrient in your body. And it continually gets used up through normal body processes such as digestion, sweating, breathing, cleansing, urination and even chemical reactions in your cells. It therefore constantly needs to be replaced.
When your body is short of water it goes into rationing mode, sending its precious water supplies to your vital organs. The rest of your body such as your joints, muscles, skin and digestion suffers the consequences. Water is needed to carry and distribute nutrients to your cells, remove toxins, as a solvent for all biochemical reactions, as a basis for digestive secretions, maintain blood pressure, cushion joints, maintain strength end energy.
It’s best to drink pure water (to which you can add a squeeze of lemon or lime for its alkalizing and cleansing properties or some mint for its soothing properties if you can’t handle the thought of water only). Herbal teas and diluted fruit/ vegetable juices are also beneficial. We recommend that you drink 2 – 2.5 litres of water daily. You can drink more during heavy exercise and perspiration. The easiest way to achieve this is to drink 500ml – 1l of water from the time you wake in the morning up to half an hour before breakfast. When waking up your body is at its most dehydrated and in need of some pure h1O. Here’s a tip for you, leave a pitcher of water on your bedside table to remind you to drink some water when you wake up.
We all know how great we feel after a good night’s sleep. That is because sleep has a number of benefits in the body. Sleep deprivation results in a lowered immune system, susceptibility to depression, a decrease in your ability to cope with stress, increased appetite leading to weight gain, impair memory, impact performance on daily tasks and even increased risk of heart disease for diabetes. Less sleep means that you body produces less of the hormone melatonin and interferes with your growth hormone production. Melatonin is a powerfull anti-oxidant and fights tumors. Growth hormone also helps you look and feel younger.
On the contrary a good night sleep has the power to rejuvenate the body and give you the mental, physical and emotional energy you need to meet every day challenges. If you are one of those who would love to sleep more but have difficulty falling or staying asleep you can try some of these tips:
- Go to bed at the same time each night.
- Rather go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, your body does much of its recharging between 11pm and 1am so you want to be asleep then.
- Keep the room dark as melatonin is made in the dark. Cover any alarm clock or plug lights.
- Do not warm the room to much, you body temperature naturally drops when you fall asleep.
- Do not work or watch TV in bed, you want to associate your bed with sleeping and relaxation.
- Go to the toilet before bed and do not drink fluids just before bed.
- Stop eating 2 hours before bed. Do not drink caffeine in the evening if it affects you.
Your age and activity will affect the amount of sleep you need. Children and teenagers need more sleep than adults. For adults aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night but listen to your body, it will tell you if you need to be sleeping more or less!
Sun is a controversial subject these days – but yes we do need the sun! Without adequate sun exposure you will not get to optimal health. This is because exposure of your skin to sun offers a number of benefits in the body. One of the most important and probably most well known benefits of sunlight is the formation of vitamin D.
Vitamin D seems to be one of the star nutrients in Science today as it does so much good in the body. Sadly most modern people are deficient to some extent. The most well-known affect is the stimulation of calcium absorption in the bones. Some other equally important benefits of vitamin D includes: important in the prevents cancer as confirmed by over epidemiological 200 studies, lowers risk of heart disease, boosts general health, improved immune function, helps against depression and serves many gene-related functions in the body with vitamin D receptors on most body cells.
Sunlight also has a positive influence on your mental health. A lack of sunlight leads to feelings of depression. This is because sunlight increases the levels of serotonin, a neurochemical which elevates mood, in your brain. Other benefits of sunlight include the regulation of your circadian rhythm which benefits sleep, builds the immune system and has beneficial effect on skin disorders and fungal infections of the skin.
Boost your vitamin D details naturally by daily sun exposure. Below are some tips to do so in a way that prevents any harm from excessive UV rays. During winter you can get extra vitamin D by eating cod liver oil, cold water fish, organic butter, egg yolks or take a vitamin D3 supplement.
- If you are not used to the sun gradually increase your time spent in the sun to allow your body to produce the melanin, the protective pigment in your skin. Avoid burning.
- Keep skin moisturised.
- Rather expose the skin on your body than your face.
- Get your sun exposure before 10am or after 3pm.
- Eat anti-oxidants, astaxanthin is particularly good at protecting your skin from sun damage.
Aim for 15-20 minutes daily sun exposure on major body parts such as arms, legs and back.