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I have broken my nutrition plan down into small classes. Success comes in steps, and this program has been designed to allow you to make your journey to optimal health in a step-by-step manner. If some changes present more challenge than others, just keep working at them. Remember, health is the greatest commodity you can ever have, so every step you succeed at, whether it feels large or small, is a great leap forward in this most important journey. If you get discouraged at any point, keep this in mind: It is your one and only body and mind, and, more than anything else, it is worth it.
While making every change within each class the idea is to help you reach your optimal health, to determine which areas you may want to put the most initial focus on, you should assess your "Four Factors" -- insulin, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol.
Most people will benefit from taking it class by class, if you are just beginning but there are classes in the middle or at the end that you are eager (or have been advised) to implement now, by all means do so. Likewise, if you have unfinished classes by all mean continuing to work on the unfinished ones just keep going.
The First Step to Health: Assess Your "Four Factors." There are four time-tested, clinically proven gauges of health that you can use to determine your own level of health. They are:
These four factors are your signs on the highway to optimal wellness. You can use these proven health indicators to monitor what you need to work on. Additionally, you can use these indicators to figure out when you have had success. You'll feel comfortable, confident and psychologically ready to move on to the next level, and your indicators of health will be in their optimal ranges.
Factor #1: Your Insulin Level
So what's the deal with insulin levels? Well, you need insulin to live, but you probably have far too much insulin floating around in your body. Most adults have about one gallon of blood in their bodies and are quite surprised to learn that in that gallon, there is only one teaspoon of sugar! You only need one teaspoon of sugar at all times -- if that. If your blood sugar level were to rise to one tablespoon of sugar you would quickly go into a hyperglycemic coma and die.
You body works very hard to prevent this by producing insulin to keep your blood sugar at the appropriate level. This reaction keeps you from dying when you eat sugar. Unfortunately, it turns out that high levels of insulin are quite toxic for your body. Anytime you eat grains and sugars, you are increasing your insulin levels. If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or are overweight, it is highly likely that you are eating far too many grains. When I reference diabetes I am referring to the most common type, type 2 diabetes, which typically occurs in adulthood and is associated with increased weight and age. Type 1 diabetes is actually a problem with not enough insulin, as the pancreas loses the ability to manufacture it.
FBS: The Fasting Blood Sugar Test
To find out your insulin levels, you need to get tested by your doctor. The test you need to ask for is a fasting blood sugar test, which can also be called an FBS, glucose test or blood sugar levels test. It consists of a small withdrawal of blood after a fasting period of six hours.
Facts about FBS:
This test is profoundly useful. It's one of the least expensive tests in traditional medicine, yet it is one of the most powerful ones. A normal fasting blood sugar should be around 87 mg/dL.
Watch out for abnormal levels. When the blood sugar rises above 100 mg/dL I become very concerned with respect to the possibility of diabetes. This suggests insulin resistance and inability to control blood sugar levels. Diabetes is not usually diagnosed until the blood sugar rises above 126 mg/dL. However, it is my contention that this is far too late in the process. A blood sugar over 100 can usually predict future diabetes that is even 10 or more years down the road.
FBS can tell you about your insulin levels. A high fasting blood sugar is a strong indication that your insulin levels are too high. High blood sugar levels can attach to the proteins in your body and rapidly accelerate the aging process.
Look for levels below 90. I think it is safe to say your fasting blood sugar should be below 90. Once you achieve this, you can consider advancing to the intermediate level nutrition plan. Fortunately, a fasting blood sugar is a very inexpensive test!
Another helpful test would be to actually measure your fasting insulin level. You can safely ignore the reference ranges from the lab as they are based on "normals" of a population that has highly-disturbed insulin levels.
Factor #2: Your Ideal Weight
This second factor is something we struggle with more and more; millions and millions of people are overweight in the U.S. and the percentage just keeps going up. To read about the epidemic of obesity in America and around the world, please type any relevant keyword into my search engine and click "search." You'll find lots of information to help you understand this truly troubling problem.
One effective and simple method to figure out if you have a weight problem is as follows: With a tape measure, comfortably measure the distance around the smallest area below the rib cage and above the umbilicus (belly button). Waist circumference, perhaps surprisingly, is the best simple anthropometric measure of total body fat, is better than BMI (body mass index), and is also the best simple indicator of intra-abdominal fat mass. So if you measure your waist, men would be classified as obese if their waste size was above 40 and women if it were above 37.
BMI is a good tool, however, to find out what your ideal weight should be. The National Institutes of Health has a good BMI calculator.
Your ideal weight is important for this nutrition plan. This is not only because I am committed to helping your body heal and become healthier, but also because extra body weight and obesity can have major negative psychological effects that impair your ability to be optimally healthy. If you are not at your ideal weight -- overweight or underweight --
Factor #3: Your Ideal Blood Pressure -- 120/80
Your blood pressure ideally should be about 120/80 without medication. If you are on medication you will be delighted to know that this nutrition plan tends to normalize elevated blood pressures in the vast majority of people.
Although elevated insulin levels are one of the most potent contributors to elevated blood pressure, it's also common for stress, tension or anxiety to contribute to this problem. After you begin my nutrition plan and follow it for several months, if you don't see an improvement in your blood pressure you need to seek out a health care professional who is well-versed in using stress-relief methods, such as my personal favorite: EFT.
In my clinical experience, over 95 percent of patients with elevated cholesterol or triglyceride levels respond to a reduced carbohydrate and insulin level correction approach. This is especially true for triglycerides. In over 20 years of practicing medicine I have never seen an elevated triglyceride level fail to drop in response to a low carbohydrate program.
Factor #4: Your Ideal Cholesterol Level
Most people are seriously confused about their cholesterol levels. This is because too much emphasis is placed on the importance of the total cholesterol. A far more important predictor of cardiovascular risk is actually the ratio of good cholesterol (HDL) to total cholesterol.
I use the percentage of HDL and obtain this number by simply dividing the HDL by the total cholesterol (HDL/Total Cholesterol). Ideally this number should be above 24%. Levels below 10 are very dangerous and usually indicate an imminent cardiovascular problem. Ideally this level should be 30 or higher. It rarely gets above 50, but to the best of my knowledge, the higher the number the better.
The classes that are to follow are to help you in any of the areas above. Most of you all knew that you wanted to make changes before you read the above information. Now is as good as any time to start. Welcome let's get going I would love to hear about your successes or your questions. my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. No questing is too small or wrong. It is just a place to start. I'm big into questains myself and would enjoy hearing from you !