The simple truth is that we can live vibrantly healthy from birth to death. The simple truth is that we can do this perfectly naturally and incredibly easily. And the simple truth is that this is true for practically everyone.
This blog explores what optimal, vibrant health means, how to quantify measures of this, and how to achieve it in practice, independently of our age. This blog explores human physiology, biochemistry and metabolic function at the macroscopic and microscopic levels to acquire and establish a clear and thorough understanding of how things work, and what we must do to achieve and maintain optimal health.
And this blog aims to guide its readers through this exploration in a way that is thought provoking, inspiring, motivating, yet that remains accessible, practical and useful. To achieve this goal in light of the amount of material that may seem overwhelming at first sight, this page is intended as an entry point where the most essential conclusions in achieving and maintain vibrant health are presented, pointing to the relevant articles for additional details. This page is therefore meant as a guide to the contents of this blog, and as a roadmap to optimal health.
Water and unrefined salt: the essence of life
The first and most important element in optimal health is excellent hydration, mineral status and kidney function. Chronic dehydration is a root cause of such a wide spectrum of health problems that it is next to impossible to identify those that are not either caused or aggravated by dehydration.
If you don’t drink enough water, you get dehydrated. If you drink a lot of water without salt, you also get dehydrated. Optimal hydration can only be achieved by drinking lots of water and eating lots of unrefined salt. This point is not only the first and most important, but it is universal: no one can heal, recover or rebuild their health, or achieve and maintain optimal health without water and salt as a primary, continual and fundamental focus each and every day.
Unrefined salt—with all the minerals needed for optimal physiological and cellular function—is as healthful and essential as table salt—with zero minerals other than sodium chloride and with a bunch of chemical additives—is detrimental and toxic to our health. You must always consume unrefined salt, and never consume plain table salt manufactured chemically in industrial laboratories or refined sea salt (from which the minerals have been removed and chemicals added).
Readings on water, salt and kidney function include Water, ageing and disease; Why we should drink water before meals; Minerals and bones, calcium and heart attacks; How much salt, how much water, and our amazing kidneys; and The kidney: evolutionary marvel
Alkalise for vibrant health
The second element is as important as the first. This is optimal pH balance through alkalisation. However, alkalisation and optimal pH balance cannot be achieved without excellent hydration, and therefore our second element is built upon the first and depends on it entirely. No matter from which angle we look at it, and no matter how many of us do or do not know of this, chronic acidosis is at the root of all diseases, both degenerative and acute, inflammatory and infectious.
When the blood, tissues and cells are acidic, everything suffers and everything breaks down, sometimes quickly, sometimes more moderately, but definitely and unidirectionally, until pH balance is re-established, and pH balance means the fluids and tissues of the body are on the alkaline side such that metabolic acids can be eliminated instead of being stored in our cells, tissues and organs and accumulate.
One of the most effective means to put in practice what we could call pH medicine, is to take therapeutic baths in which there is 1-2 cups of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and 1 cup of nigari (magnesium chloride). Soaking for at least 30 (but better 60) minutes in this hot bath allows the alkalising and muscle relaxing bicarbonate and magnesium to penetrate into the tissues of the body without having to be absorbed through the digestive system, which is quite inefficient. It is something that I think everyone should do at least once a week as part of any curative or preventative natural healing programme. Both sodium bicarbonate and magnesium chloride dissolved in water can be useful as oral supplements but they are always much better absorbed through the skin.
Readings related to this include Detoxification; Understanding digestion, and Treating arthritis I. Additional advice and inspiration can be found in Such a simple and yet powerful natural anti-inflammatory; and Your daily green juice: the true breakfast of champions.
No carbs, just enough protein, and lots of fat and veggies
1) No carbs
The third most important element is to eliminate insulin-stimulating carbohydrates. And this means eliminating all simple sugars, grains and other starches. They are metabolically, physiologically and neurologically damaging, and severely so when consumed in large quantities over long periods of time, as is typical of most modern diets.
Readings about carbohydrates include We were never meant to eat simple or starchy carbohydrates; The worse mistake in the history of the human race; When you eliminate insulin-stimulating carbohydrates; and A diabetic’s meal on Air France.
More information relating to degenerative diseases and more specific issues that related to insulin-stimulating carbohydrates include: Cure diabetes in a matter of weeks; Reversing diabetes: understanding the process; At the heart of heart disease; What about concentration; Everything is in the biochemistry; Why do diabetics have high blood pressure?; On the origin of cancer cells; and Is it really a fault in our stars?
2) Just enough protein
All forms of plant protein such as those found in seeds and nuts, as well as in leafy greens, are healthful and important to consume. These foods are also the richest in bio-available minerals, vitamins, enzymes (when raw) and various phytonutrients; it is important to soak nuts and seeds in order to neutralise the anti-nutrients and potentiate the enzymes and nutrients. Animal protein, however, is fundamentally different from plant protein, and most importantly, comes with a number of vital micronutrients that are only found in the form needed by the human metabolism.
These vital micronutrients are completely absent from plant-based foods. They include probably the most important of all the vitamins—protein-bound vitamin B12 and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2—as well as the vital minerals iron and zinc. The fact that these few micronutrients are so crucial to life and thus obviously also for optimal health, in conjunction with the fact that they are completely absent from plant-based foods in the form most needed by the body, is enough to show, without the shadow of a doubt, that humans must consume animal foods and cannot thrive on an exclusively plant-based diet in the long term. It is important to test for food allergies and intolerances in order to make the best informed choices of foods and especially protein-rich foods to eat. I, for example, am intolerant to grain, dairy and egg proteins, and exclude them from my diet.
3) Lots of fat and veggies
The digestion and breakdown of protein, especially from animal food, is highly acidifying, and the body can only use and therefore needs small amounts of protein at any one time. This has been known from the most ancient times. This natural wisdom has always been and is still practiced by traditional peoples like the inuits and other native american tribes that knew they could eat as much fat as they wished, but could not exceed a relatively restricted amount of lean meat, most of which they gave to their dogs. Their diets typically consisted of approximately 70-80% animal fat, 10-20% animal protein, and 0-20% plant-based, almost exclusively fibrous leafy carbohydrates. Animal-based omega-3 fats are important but only needed in very small quantities (just grams per day).
There are important differences between different gene pools, but nevertheless, humans cannot thrive on a diet that is too rich in protein, and especially animal protein. Hence, we should consume only small amounts of the cleanest, most natural and least adulterated animal foods. Also, many people are allergic to dairy and egg protein, and some sea foods, but very few are allergic to meat and fish. Make sure to get tested for food allergies and intolerances, but, clearly, no matter what, it cannot cause any harm to avoid or eliminate the most common allergens which are wheat (and most grains) and dairy.
Throughout our evolutionary history, fat has always been the most important and therefore primary source of calories and energy. This changed to varying degrees in different parts of the world with the onset of agriculture. Nonetheless, highlighting again that there are important differences between different gene pools, natural and unadulterated fats should be the essence of we consume to provide the body with the energy supply and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K2 and E) it needs for optimal metabolic function, mineral and antioxidant absorption, and glandular support for healthy and hormone production and regulation.
Finally, the bulk of what we eat in volume should be salads and veggies. The greener the better, and the more the better. That’s pretty straight forward.
Additional readings include But what about cholesterol?; Six eggs per day for six days: cholesterol?; and The crux of intermittent fasting. Practical tips can be found in What to eat: four basic rules; A simple meal plan for my friend Cristian; A meal plan for an ageing parent; Four excellent ways to use coconut milk; and Sweet little coconut balls. Nutritional healing protocols include Reversing diabetes: a four-week programme, A green healing protocol, Intensive natural healing, and Treating Arthritis II.
Supplements for optimal health
If we could breathe, drink and eat pristinely clean air, water and food in accord with our physiological and biochemical constitution to promote optimal health from the moment of our birth until we pass away, then we might not need to supplement with anything in order to address, correct or prevent deficiencies. But this is not going to happen, and is unlikely to ever have been the case.
The fact of the matter is that our air is polluted, our water supply is polluted and our food is polluted. All are, in fact, highly polluted. To make matters worse, the soils are depleted and highly deficient in most minerals. This means that any food that grows in them inevitably inherits these mineral deficiencies. The unavoidable conclusion is that we need to include supplements to our diet.
Some are far more important than others, and also known to have more pronounced deficiencies in the population. These include most of the naturally occurring minerals all of which are found in unrefined sea salt (this is why we must consume plenty of it every day), and the vital magnesium, iodine, vitamins B12, D3 and K2. Readings include Why you should start taking magnesium today; Updated recommendations for magnesium supplementation; B12: your life depends on it; Probiotics, chlorella and psyllium husks; and Which supplements exactly?.