If you are reading this, I imagine you desire a healthy lifestyle. You know, every effort you make toward attaining optimal wellness will pay you back in spades!

On this site Food First Wellness, I have brought up numerous concepts concerning improving your well-being by simply improving your lifestyle. Today, we will review a number of these daily changes that can slow the aging process and move you toward optimal health!

Healthy Lifestyle Concept #1: PROPER NUTRITION

When taking on the challenge of improving your health and fitness levels, there are three major components that must be monitored: Nutrition, Resistance Training, and Cardiovascular Respiratory Training. Now this may surprise you, but the most important component is simple and clear, you must begin with NUTRITION.

Here is the reason why.

If you eat properly for your genetic and environmental make-up, you not only can keep disease at bay but you can also begin the process of disease reversal. Before I work with anyone on any Lifestyle and Wellness Program, I require an initial session that goes over proper nutrition. Following a proper nutritional program is by far the most difficult of the three components to follow because it is 24-7-365, but the benefits can be remarkable.

To follow the basics of a properly created nutritional program you must focus on these three variables first: 1) Quality, 2) Frequency, and 3) Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrate Combinations. Then and only then, when you have mastered these three variables do you begin to really focus on portion size. If you begin to eat foods with an increased nutritional value (quality), more often (frequency), and combine them properly (macronutrient combinations), not only will your health improve, but a byproduct of proper nutrition will be an improved physique or fitness level.

Healthy Lifestyle Concept #2: PROPER SLEEP

A good night of quality sleep of seven to nine hours will help the body rest, but also, recover, repair, and recuperate. There are many systems in the body and they are all interconnected, so if one system does not recover from the stresses of the day, all of the others will be affected. If you are having physical, emotional or hormonal issues, it could be related in some way to your lack of proper sleep.

The immune system can be compromised up to sixty percent with just one poor night of sleep. We need to make a conscious effort to improve our sleep patterns or our organs and glands will feel the effects and will succumb to accelerated aging and disease. It is no wonder that sleep deprivation has been linked to vitamin deficiencies, diabetes and hypoglycemia, among other health challenges.

Here are some things to remember when prioritizing sleep in your life. Just as we have moved away from real food, we have moved away from getting up at the crack of dawn and going to bed as the sun sets. Synthetic light, just like modern convenience foods, is a new phenomenon and it clearly has an adverse effect on our health. The body has a circadian rhythm that normally follows the cycle of the sun. But man-made light, made to imitate the sun, can throw the body’s natural rhythm off. If you followed a healthy circadian rhythm you would see hormonal patterns develop. This is important, as the balance of hormones in your body is a major indicator of your health.

Healthy Lifestyle Concept #3: PROPER RESISTANCE TRAINING

Proper nutrition should be, and is, the most integral component when creating a lifestyle of improved health and well-being. Though proper nutrition is considered first in my mind, I consider a proper resistance training program to be a close second; here is why? The benefits of a proper resistance training program are numerous:

Adds muscle increasing your basal metabolic rate

Challenging your muscles safely improves bone density

Develops functional strength

Burns body-fat

Changes the shape of your physique

Strengthens the cardiovascular system

Stimulates the release of Human Growth Hormone and Testosterone

Improves insulin sensitivity

The truth is, if your goal is to be healthy and fit, and you have time restraints, you should be spending your precious time on a resistance training program, not an aerobic program.

Aerobic exercise not only does not add muscle, but can actually slow one’s metabolism by catabolizing muscle mass and by causing chronic stress issues for your muscles and joints. Aerobic activity should only be added to a proper nutritional and resistance training program, not replace them. The results from a properly executed resistance training regimen far outweigh that of an aerobic program. It is important to understand that after the age of thirty, because of hormonal changes, a sedentary person begins to lose five pounds of muscle mass a decade. This lost muscle mass decreases our metabolism noticeably, and causes a decline in our physical shape and contour. Resistance training can be a safe and quick answer to a slowing metabolism and bone density issues.


“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”-Hippocrates (377-460 BC), the “Father of Medicine” was on to something, unfortunately 2400 years later, we in America have not followed through. We view drugs as our medicine and that premise has left our country the richest, but the sickest in the world. Much of Hippocrates wisdom transcends all time as even now the Hippocratic Oath governs the ethical conduct of physicians today.

Interested in a healthy lifestyle, how much better would your health be today if you just followed that one simple quote, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”?

Hippocrates also said, “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health”.

Optimal health is obtainable; it just takes a little effort and a real understanding of the importance of a healthy lifestyle.