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This microbook is a summary/original review based on the book: SuperLife: The 5 Forces That Will Make You Healthy, Fit, and Eternally Awesome
Available for: Read online, read in our mobile apps for iPhone/Android and send in PDF/EPUB/MOBI to Amazon Kindle.
Publisher: Harper Wave
Have you ever thought about how your body is an incredible machine? Do you have issues with your body, such as weight problems, that don’t seem to improve no matter what you try? “SuperLife” by Darin Olien shows us how to take proper care of our bodies by giving them what they really need, and avoiding anything they don’t. So, get ready to find out what to do to help your body not only survive, but thrive!
Olien begins by pointing out the fact that most of us don’t really appreciate our bodies and all that they can do. He first experienced this as a child when, just by making some adjustments to his diet, many of the issues he had been having improved: he felt better, lost weight, and his hyperactivity was under control--all by just giving his body what it truly needed to thrive. Even seemingly harmless “aches and pains” can actually lead to more serious problems if the most elemental parts of the body are not given proper care.
Olien suggests that we think of our bodies as a new Ferrari, a machine that needs to be cared for meticulously. The “operating manual” for our bodies consists of five factors that affect our health, what he calls the 5 Life Forces: Nutrition, Hydration, Oxygenation, Alkalization, and Detoxification. Some of these may be more obvious or self-explanatory than others, but they are all related, even though we are often taught to think of them as separate entities. In order to be at our healthiest, we must understand these forces and how to properly take care of them. Once we learn how to think of food, water, and oxygen as medicine, we will rely less on the huge medical and pharmaceutical industries which actually prefer that the majority of the population is sick and unhealthy.
Nutrition is likely the first thing we think of when talking about our health, with all the diets that exist today. The food we put into our bodies literally makes up who we are and how all our systems run. But with all the food options in the world, it’s often hard to know exactly what we should be eating. Olien sums it up simply: “Eat a wide variety of whole, fresh, clean foods – mostly vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts, seeds, grains, sprouts, and healthy fats. Eat a lot of it raw.” This means that meat should be consumed rarely and from “organically grown and humanely raised” sources. The same goes for fish as well: wild-caught fish should be preferred as it doesn’t contain toxic substances.
The point of food is to “feed our cells,” so most of our vitamins and minerals should come from whole food sources, rather than pills. We should aim to eat a meal of raw vegetables and/or fruit at least once a day, such as a salad or a smoothie. The idea of fresh food means that we should aim to eat food that is grown organically and as locally as possible. This will ensure that our food is as nutritious as it can be. Another key element of a healthy whole foods diet is giving it variety – open yourself up to all kinds of fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, and more. Foods that look and smell great tend to be the ones that are best for you. Always remember – ”food is medicine”!
You’ve probably heard that it’s important to drink water throughout the day, but did you ever wonder why? Water is one of the most essential components of good health, since it makes up two-thirds of our bodies! This “ocean inside us” is as important to maintain as a healthy diet.
It all starts when we wake up in the morning. After we’ve slept, our bodies wake up dehydrated after losing water during the night without being replaced. It’s important to drink a big glass of water upon waking to start rehydrating. This goes for adults, as well as kids. Research shows that drinking water before leaving for school in the morning affects how children do in school and on test scores.
The quality of the water you drink is also important. Avoid bottled waters and those that have anything added, because they usually have sugars we don’t need, and a few additives that are not usually helpful. Try to drink water that is filtered and distilled, with added unrefined salts to help with alkalization (more on that later). You can do this with a variety of distillers and filters, or by adding salts such as Himalayan crystal salt.
In general, drinking water is beneficial for almost every part of our bodies. Once we are hydrated, any feelings of being “tired, fuzzy-brained or emotionally drained” will often go away.
As important as food and water are to our survival, the next element is literally the difference between life and death if we lose it for even a short time: oxygen. It’s easy to forget about since we’re breathing throughout the day, but oxygen plays a big part in many of our body’s essential functions, from helping to create water through powering our cells to absorbing the nutrients from our food. Oxygen “provides the spark of life” and “ignites our cells.” Having enough of it is crucial; having less than that is detrimental.
There are many ways to make sure you stay oxygenated throughout the day. In addition to breathing, of course, eating fresh fruit and veggies also provides oxygen for the body. When you breathe, do it “consciously”: inhale deeply to fill the lungs and then empty them completely. Deep breathing through the nose also helps calm your body and relieve stress. Breathing through the nose helps you avoid breathing dirt and pollution into your lungs. Spending time outside is also important, as the air quality is better thanks to the trees and grass, not to mention there is more of it.
Exercise, as you’ve probably heard, is also key. Besides being healthy for your body, exercising helps you cultivate better breathing habits. The way you breathe dictates how you will feel. Deep, full breaths help keep the body relaxed while shallow breathing keeps you stressed. Finally, oxygen is not only important to your day-to-day living, but having too little of it reduces our immunity and makes us prone to diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. So, like food, oxygen really is medicine!
Alkalization might be something you aren’t as familiar with as the other Forces so far, but it’s still important. Alkalization is the opposite of acidity, and it’s important to keep these two elements balanced in our bodies – a coefficient otherwise known as pH balance. In general, it’s best to be slightly more alkaline than acidic. As Olien explains, “every aspect of our health depends on us maintaining the proper internal alkaline-acid environment.” Too much acid affects our metabolism and inflames our tissues and membranes, which can lead to more serious problems such as cancer if not properly addressed. A good pH balance is also directly related to oxygenation as cells with more oxygen perform all our cellular functions better. Alkalinity fixes this by providing a “soothing influence on our bodies.”
The way to maintain this balance is by eating plant foods rich in minerals, while avoiding junky foods. This should help the body maintain the balance it is born with. Eating raw food is also important, as cooking it makes it more acidic. This is also why it’s important to drink filtered, distilled water with “a pinch of unrefined crystal salt” such as Himalayan salt. This will help you avoid too much acidity, while giving you the alkalinity you need in your body.
Another important element of maintaining a good pH balance is lowering stress, as stress makes our tissues more acidic because of the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Also keep an eye on what’s in the food you eat and the products you use, such as shampoo, body wash, and toothpaste, as the chemicals and preservatives/additives used in these can make acidity worse. Putting this effort into creating a more alkaline environment for your body will provide huge benefits over time.
The final Force, Detoxification, ties the rest of the Forces together. Just as important as what goes into our bodies is how our bodies get rid of wastes (natural and not) that would harm us if they couldn’t leave our bodies. By properly addressing the other four Forces, your detox system will be in the best position to clean out what’s harmful or what you no longer need, and avoid disease.
Keeping up the other Forces helps keep your liver and kidneys healthy – and those are the organs tasked with processing toxins in your body. Minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, folic acid, and vitamins A, B, C, and E help keep your immune system working well – these can all be found in the fruits and veggies you should always be eating. It goes without saying that you must avoid drugs and stay away from alcohol as much as possible. Be almost as much aware of the many chemicals and additives in our food.
If you properly tend to as many of the Life Forces as you possibly can, you will be setting yourself up for a healthy life, as they are all connected. Supporting one supports them all, just as neglecting one negatively affects all the others. As Olien sums up, “the five life forces are in reality just five parts of a single life force.”
Taking care of all five of these Life Forces may seem like a lot of work and, at the beginning, depending on your starting point, it can be. Some of the specific recommendations may not be right for everyone, but once you incorporate these strategies and make them part of your daily routine, you will find that you feel better than you ever have and you’ll be setting yourself up for a much healthier life long-term.
The most important thing, however, is having a positive attitude, so that you can and want to make these lifestyle changes. As Olien sums up, being healthy is great and important, but the ultimate goal of achieving and maintaining great health is to have happy, full, productive lives. If you go in with that mindset, you are destined to succeed!
If you want to improve your health and feel better overall, learn about and remember the five Life Forces that make your body the amazing machine that it is: Nutrition, Hydration, Oxygenation, Alkalization, and Detoxification. Changing your routines and habits to properly tend to these will improve your health more than most medicines, because you will be nourishing the systems to do what they do best to help your body thrive.
Darin Olien has been described as an “exotic superfoods hunter” noted for his expertise on nutrition and natural health. He is also a supplement formulator and environmental activist. He has worked... (Read more)
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