Dr. Andrew Weil might change that to “Smile, move, eat, breathe and go slowly.”
I was lucky enough to see Dr. Weil speak last weekend!
Maybe you don’t know who Dr. Weil is. He is a doctor who has dedicated his life to the study of mind, body and spirit. He is a doctor who describe health is a wholeness and balance that allows you to move through the world. The kind that gives you an inner springiness. He wants to refocus medicine by focusing in on lifestyle. He spoke of exercise, nutrition and unprecedented depression here in the US.
Dr. Weil prescribes that you:
• Have Social Connections – He believes we are increasingly heading towards social isolation. Strong social connections are known to make you have better health.
• Move – The human body is meant to move! Many diseases we have in the modern world are related to our sedentary life style. I couldn’t agree more. While I don’t do organized exercising, I go out for a walk, practice yoga or bike ride. I always feel better, more creative and more inspired after some kind of exercise. Moving creates energy. Get your kids out exercising too!
• Have Good Nutrition – Get back to the roots of your food as much as possible. He wants to get us “back in the kitchen” cooking simple foods. He prescribes an anit-inflammatory Mediterranean diet with a little Asian flair thrown in. Here’s his own food pyramid.
He believes in this so much that he has co-created a restaurant called True Food, which is coming to Denver later this month. He has also written a cookbook of the same name. Here’s his take on this anit-inflammatory diet.
“There is strong evidence that chronic inflammation is a major driver of many chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, digestive disorders and certain cancers. Taking advantage of all the current data on nutrition and its impact on inflammation, the anti-inflammatory diet is based upon dietary patterns found in traditional Mediterranean and Asian eating habits. The diet is designed to replace inflammation-triggering foods with nutrient-rich micro and macronutrients that fight inflammation.”
It’s all about taste and variety, too. Try to bring good nutrition into your household. If you have a picky eater, at least set an example of healthy eating. In the long run they will probably eat as you do, not necessary as you say.
P.S. He really recommends adding the spice turmeric to your diet! It is the miracle spice. Studies show that turmeric has been known to help cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s patients.
• And lastly, Breathe: He said if we make one change after seeing him that night it’s BREATHE! Breathing is something we do unconsciously and shallowly. We should be more conscious. He taught a Pranayama Yoga breathing technique called 4-7-8 breathing. (Prāṇāyāma is a Sanskrit word meaning “extension of the prāṇa or breath” or more accurately, “extension of the life force”). Dr. Weil recommends practicing it every day, twice a day. It will be a tool that you will always have with you. If something upsetting happens, use this breathing. Use it to help you fall asleep. Use it for anxiety. He cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it. I’ll be teaching it to my kids.
1. Put your tongue touching the roof of your mouth just behind your two front teeth.
2. Breathe in for 4 seconds. Hold for 7. Breathe out for 8 seconds.
3. As you breathe out make a noise with the air. He recommends doing this 4 reps, twice a day.
I’ve been trying it for the last week and it is calming and has helped me to sleep. He said that if you follow his breathing recommendations, your life won’t be the same in 6 months. He demonstrates the breathing technique in the following video.
“Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.”
~ Andrew Weil, M.D.
For addtional information on the anti inflammatory diet, I enjoyed this Epicurious article: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/healthy/news/diet_antiinflammatory
and about Tumeric: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03001/Three-Reasons-to-Eat-Turmeric.html
Please check out http://drweil.com for more information, too. Images came from this site.
Some of his books I recommend:
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