In a time of absurd fad diets, TV infomercial weight-loss plans, extreme workout regimens and drugstore cure-alls, it’s easy to get wrapped up in a constant search for the next best thing on the weight-loss journey.
However, when it comes to obtaining optimum health, looking back — not ahead — may be the key.
According to Lee Coe, a health consultant with 17 years of experience in health and wellness, today’s health-conscious crowd must follow the lead of their Paleolithic ancestors, who ate a hunter-and-gatherer diet consisting of mostly wild poultry, meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, roots and nuts. Their everyday diet was free of preservatives, chemicals, refined sugars and salt — the very things that cause disease today, he said.
Coe, who recently was invited to speak at Farmer’s Natural Foods by shop co-owners Jerry and Roberta Poppell, focused his presentation on cleansing and detoxing the body.
Since the human genetic makeup has not changed, it is that simple — a natural diet that human bodies innately are programmed to run on, Coe said.
Additionally, Paleolithic bodies were not inundated with toxins all day, every day like people are today, he said, adding that there are toxins in almost everything people eat and put in their bodies these days.
“It’s what you can’t see that’s the problem. We can’t see it, so we don’t think about it,” he said. “These days, you are not only what you eat, but also what you smell, breathe and put on you.”
In order to achieve optimal health, Coe maintains it’s necessary to make lifestyle changes that free the body of many toxins. The body does have a natural ability to rid itself of toxins, but it is unable to do so on an unhealthy diet of mostly processed food that is high in fat and low in nutrients.
Toxins live and build up in fat; therefore, consuming more fat makes it harder for the body to eliminate toxins, Coe said.
“It’s a lifestyle. … It’s not a 30-day cleanse or a 30-day diet. It’s about making better judgments about what you put into your body every day, all day long,” he said.
It’s difficult to makeover a diet entirely overnight, and those who try often fail. Coe suggests gradually making smarter choices about what goes in and on the body. Here are some of his tips:
• Educate yourself and research what is going into and on your body. Work toward cutting heavily processed foods from your diet. Purchase organic or grass-fed meats, or work toward a vegetarian or vegan diet. Read the labels on all lotions, cosmetics or topical creams, and seek out chemical-free organic options.
• Give your body what it needs to function optimally. A body that is not thoroughly hydrated cannot properly process food. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Rest also is important. No one can function properly on too little sleep. There is no pill or drink that exists that can provide the same benefits as a good night’s rest.
• Eat enough fiber. Years of eating heavily processed, fatty foods and not taking in enough fiber to digest the unhealthy fare and clear it from the body allows deposits to build up on the intestinal wall, causing the intestines to expand and hold quite a bit of waste. The excess waste causes weight gain and impedes the natural bowel-movement process. Ingesting more fiber will help with digestion and regular bowel movements. Also, doing a “cleanse” every three months will help the body shed any deposits trapped in the intestines and promote better digestive health.
• Exercise is the beginning of detoxification. The body needs to sweat to release toxins; therefore, exercise is important. Those with health problems who cannot perform cardiovascular exercise should sit in a steam room or sauna to sweat away toxins.
• Natural vitamins can help heal and strengthen the body. Talk to your doctor about what your body may be deficient in; he or she may perform a blood analysis. Seek out all-natural options to restore those vitamins and minerals to the body. Be sure to read labels because much of what is in drugstore supplements is synthetic and contains additives that should be avoided.