We always enjoy reading CNM’s articles for our magazine. They’re packed full of insightful tips on how we can enhance our health and wellbeing. In our Summer 2020 issue, Elle Fox shared how we can maintain our condition by using the ‘car principle’ of resetting and rebooting. Check it out below!
Reboot and Reset Blueprint
The Car Principle
by Elle FoxNaturopath, CNM Graduate, author and speaker
Our body has amazing regenerative abilities. The liver takes roughly half a year to replace all its cells, while our intestines take a mere two to three days. We have a whole ‘new’ skeleton every seven to ten years, while our lungs only take two to three weeks. As you’ve been reading this sentence, 50K+ cells in your body have died and been replaced by new ones.
Where does the body find the energy and materials to perform these miraculous feats?
In traditional medicine, the body is viewed as a whole. The practitioner evaluates the individual’s history, diet, lifestyle and environment to offer recommendations for health and wellbeing. But we can each do a lot to address our body’s healthy renewal. In the current climate, a “Reset and Reboot” blueprint is a good place to start.
The Car Principle
We can go a long way if we treat our body like a car. Any car model only needs five things to function well (road and traffic conditions and other drivers notwithstanding):
• Appropriate fuel
• Regular service
• A conscious driver
How can we apply our Car Principle for best results?
Oil: the Body needs Fats
Essential Fats (EFAs) can support anti-inflammatory action, brain and cell membrane health.
Good sources: cold pressed oils, seaweed and algae, chia, hemp and flax seeds, walnuts, edamame, kidney beans, wild-caught fish and their oils, grass fed meats, poultry, free-range eggs.
Water: Hydration is Key
The average person uses 8-10 cups of water per day for metabolic processes in a temperate climate. More water is required in warmer weather, or during periods of increased activity. Dehydration symptoms include dry or inflamed skin, headaches, fatigue, a dry mouth and dizziness.
How to Rehydrate:
• Boost water intake by 500-750ml/week to reach an optimum of 1.5-2 litres daily
• Use filtered water to avoid impurities in the tap water supply.
• Increase fruit, vegetables and herbal teas.
• Reduce/eliminate caffeine, alcohol, fizzy and low calorie drinks
Signs of good hydration: urine is clear/straw colour and odourless; you empty your bladder every three hours or so; dehydration symptoms ameliorate.
Appropriate Fuel – would you put petrol in a diesel engine?
Essential fats and water aside, appropriate nutrition is hugely important: the body needs the best raw materials to help build new tissue. Protein, made of amino acids, offers the building blocks for body growth and maintenance. The good news? Most of the good fat sources are also crammed full of great protein. A rich range of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients can also be sourced from a varied and balanced diet.
We expect to service our cars for better, longer performance. Why not extend the same courtesy to our bodies? External threats to our health include smoking, pollution, cleaning products, pesticides, over-exposure to sunlight, infections and trauma. Internal factors include genetics, lowered immunity, an unsuitable diet, food sensitivities/allergies, or impaired digestion and elimination. Identifying the above factors, and then reducing or removing them, will go a long way towards improving your health.
Here are a few strategies to help with digestion, assimilation and elimination:
- Broad strokes: avoid eating on the hoof or when stressed; chew well, sip a little water with meals but do not drink large amounts; have a cup of hot water with fresh lemon in the morning; avoid eating fruit after a meal.
- Banish sugar! It damages collagen, promotes ageing and inflammation, and strips invaluable, muscle-relaxing magnesium.
- Move: even a twenty-minute walk three times a week in nature is a bonus for all body functions, especially digestion and circulation.
- CHEW! There is a reason our teeth are at the beginning of our digestive tract. Chewing mixes food with saliva (which starts the digestion of starches in the mouth), and signals the arrival of food, encouraging the production of gastric juices. Chewing ‘primes’ our intestinal tract to digest incoming food more efficiently.
A Conscious Driver
Stress management is very important. After all, you don’t run your car 24/7. It ‘rests’ on your drive overnight. You avoid revving the engine, too: otherwise, your car’s longevity will reduce. Anger, envy, anxiety and worry all rev our emotional engine. Take a little time to identify stressors and work towards reducing them. Breathing exercises, mindfulness, grounding (walking barefoot on grass or natural surfaces), time to relax, love, cuddle (releases that wonderful love hormone oxytocin), a good belly laugh: they all help smooth our wrinkles, relax our muscles and ease digestion. Health literature is full of “miraculous recoveries” from all kinds of ailments, mild to severe, using relaxation techniques and loving kindness.
Some external environmental factors can cause or increase stress: noise, light and road pollution, exposure to toxins (garden, household cleaning, cosmetics and skincare chemicals, mould, fire retardants), electromagnetic radiation (WiFi, LED and fluorescent lighting, mobile phones), heavy metals (water supply, jewellery, cooking utensils and medications). Identification of these can help you understand what’s “getting under your skin” or “up your nose” – as well as all those things you “can’t stomach”. A qualified naturopath is trained to help you navigate these issues, creating your best reset and reboot health strategy.
A note about the importance of resilient communities: Where possible, source food that is minimally processed, seasonal, local and, hopefully, organic. Support your local community farmer, artisan baker, or farm shop. Building (or re-building) resilient bodies can’t be done in a vacuum. We need our local community around us to be resilient, too. Knowing where our food comes from is vital to our survival and supporting local growers is key. This is the most significant reboot and reset: our relationship with the land, and those who respectfully and sympathetically work it for the benefit of all.
Elle Fox, Naturopath, is a CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine) Graduate, author and speaker.