My Top 8 Tips For Vibrant Health
Vibrant health is a union of wellbeing between the body, and the mind. These 8 tips (in no particular order) are rooted in my own personal experience and transformation, and are all absolutely invaluable pieces of the puzzle when it comes to radiating health. The list is not exhaustive, but I do believe that if you can commit to all 8 you will have the foundation (and intuition) required to figure out the rest.
My Top 8 Tips For Vibrant Health
1. Stop Drinking Tap Water
This is something many people have great resistance to, for two reasons I can see. Firstly, because all water looks the same; and secondly, because we have been raised to think tap water is safe for drinking.
Everything in life is relative, so when we in the West think of water safety, we are more often than not comparing it to parasite/ bacteria filled waters of the third world. The “unsafe” drinking water that many developing countries have access to will make you sick straight away (diarrhea, parasites, etc) in the way that food poisoning would… no bueno. To “fix” this problem, modern societies add chemicals to the water to “clean” it; things like chlorine kill the bacteria before it comes back out of our taps. What most people don’t realise is that the same chemicals used to kill bad bacteria also kills good bacteria. We as humans are living organisms, with multiple microbiomes of living bacteria that ensures our health and survival. Our skin and gut microbiomes are two examples of defense lines that protect our inner body from the outside world. When we doust it in chlorine daily (by showering in tap water and drinking tap water) we are committing daily genocide on our good bacteria, which destroys our immune system, and opens up the door to illness, disease, autoimmunity, etc.
The antibacterial properties of water are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to harmful chemicals in tap water. You see, tap water is recycled, and although our water processing plants do a great job at filtering out the physical waste (yes, water coming out of the tap is the same water flushed out of your toilet), it doesn’t filter out the invisible pollutants like neurotoxic heavy metals and pharmaceutical drugs. Another concerning ingredient that has crept into our water supply is the nefarious herbicide Glyphosate (more on that later).
As for the fact that water looks like water: all that glitters ain’t gold, and just because water looks like water, doesn’t mean it’s all the same thing. In the same breath, not all filters are created equal. Just because water has been “filtered” doesn’t mean it was done so properly. A great example is the all-so-popular Brita water filters, which are the greatest scam of the century. Brita (and all similar filters) do not filter out the harmful contaminants from the water!
You want a filter that removes all the junk, including BPAs, chloramines, pharmaceutical medications, petroleum contaminants, pesticides, heavy metals, lead, arsenic, iron, mercury, fluoride, and chlorine. The two I recommend are either the Berkey (with the added fluoride filter attachments), which is a great detached filter that sits on your counter-top, it removes most of these contaminants (to the 99th percentile). Or an installed reverse osmosis machine, that will remove 100% of everything from the water (including minerals, so you need to make sure to eat a mineral rich diet, and consider a mineral supplement).
Beyond water filters, the ultimate water will always be fresh spring water. Wild spring water is actually alive, it is structured in such a way that your body can actually commune with on a level no other water can (known as the 4th phase of water). Spring water in general is the ultimate (even if it isn’t “fresh”) because it never contained any of the harmful chemicals in the first place. There are many companies that deliver large 18L bottles (sometimes even in glass bottles!), right to your door. You can also harvest your own, check out websites like findaspring.com to locate a spring near you.
2. Get Off Hormonal Birth Control
As a young person, I was on the pill for years. It’s only in retrospect, after I stopped taking it (around age 19 or 20) that I can see how being on hormonal birth control (HBC) was harming my mind, and body. This is a deeply controversial topic, because (much to my horror) HBC (especially the pill) has been inextricably to feminism and female empowerment since its inception. I believe deeply that every woman should be entitled to make her own decision regarding her body and her reproductive/ sexual health, but the problem is many women are not being given the whole story regarding the long and short term impacts that HBC has on the body and the mind.
If you are currently taking or are considering hormonal birth control, I urge you: inform yourself. This generally requires going beyond your MD’s very surface-level explanation that the pill is 99% effective against pregnancy. As you explore the subject, you will learn that your “period” on the pill is actually not a period at all, but a “fake” bleed (without ovulation), which was included as a marketing scheme to make women feel like this method is still natural. You will put two and two together and also learn that therefore the pill doesn’t “regulate” an irregular period (because the menstruation is fake). The pill suppresses your hormones, and doesn’t actually fix anything, so if you’re taking it for anything other than preventing pregnancy: you’ve been lied to. When women come off of the pill (often around a time they want to conceive a child), they are greeted with a flooding of all their old problems (often worse), as well as a high likelihood of infertility (which can last years), and/ or a state of health that is not supportive of a healthy pregnancy.
If your period is irregular, if you have terrible PMS, if you’re having hormonal breakouts, or any other symptom that a doctor suggest the pill can “fix”- understand that nothing is getting fixed, you’re just shoving symptoms under a rug. The menstrual cycle is often referred to as the “5th vital sign” (along side body temp, pulse, respiratory rate, and blood pressure), because it gives you invaluable insight into the inner workings of your overall health. Your period is very much like a monthly hormonal report card, in which you can better understand how your body is going. When you take HBC, you lose this channel of communication.
The impacts of the pill aren’t only physical, and indeed your ability to communicate with the physical body is met with the ability to communicate with your ethereal body. Our menstrual cycle can be divided into 4 quadrants, and each is marked with a distinct and varying degree of energy, mood, likes and dislikes, and superpower. This is the magical workings of your hormones, that you can only take advantage of without introducing artificial hormones into your body.
How To Prevent Pregnancy Naturally? It all starts by charting your menstrual cycle, and getting to know your fertile window. This is a very huge subject that shouldn’t be glazed over in a post like this, but I’ll link to resources so you can dive deeper. If you choose to stay on HBC, that is totally your prerogative and I support any empowered decision that was made with informed consent (taking into account the whole picture).
Coming Off the Pill, the Patch, the Shot and other Hormonal Contraceptives: Learning How to Restore Menstrual Cycle Health and Endocrine Balance after Stopping Use of Hormonal Contraceptives by PhD, Geraldine Matus HRHPE
The Fifth Vital Sign: Master Your Cycles & Optimize Your Fertility by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack and Lara Briden ND
WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility… by Alisa Vitti
3. Heal From Your Traumas (Forgiveness)
Much of the way we navigate the world is based on the relationships we developed with the world at a very young age. From the time we were in the womb, our psyche started painting a story about what is safe, what isn’t, who/ what can be trusted, and essentially all the standard operating procedures we use today. Call is your subconscious, or your way of reacting to stuff- this was all determined when you were too young to know if the influences were going to serve you today.
Often, we develop our young habits as coping mechanisms (seeing parents fight or be upset, dealing with bullying, etc), and although it did help us get through childhood, it can lead to detrimental outcomes as an adult.
No matter how great your childhood was: you’ve been traumatised. Trauma can be “conventional” physical or sexual abuse, but it also comes from many different sources. Trauma doesn’t even have happened to you directly, and can be second hand trauma if you witnessed something traumatic. Trauma can be being in or witnessing a car crash, but it can also be getting bullied or witnessing someone being bullied and doing nothing about it. Trauma is also passed down intergenerationally as demonstrated not only in multiple animal studies but also witnessed in humans.
I’ll cut to the chase: until you address your subconscious patterning, you will continue to project your undelt with shit onto the people around you. Your spouse, your friends, your parents, your children, your neighbours, your coworkers, that guy that cut you off in traffic, or that cashier at the store. This is the epitome of living an unconscious life, just being driven around by the throws of our own programing.
How to heal your traumas is (for better or worse) a deeply personal journey. There is no linear roadmap to healing the unseen, but there are many great resources out there to get the ball rolling. Working with a not only qualified but reputable and conscious psychotherapist is one way to fast-track your progress. I have also heard incredible things about Hakomi, which is a mindfulness-centered somatic psychotherapy that deals only with your immediate feelings (as opposed to going back into childhood etc).
Breaking free from our subconscious patternings is deeply related to point #4 (acknowledging your shadow) #8 (taking back your power) in that to me, vibrant health is rooted in a self-empowered being, that has shed all victim mentality. If you want to thrive you have to take charge of how you navigate the world, and no longer rely on other people to explain why you feel the way you feel. Shed your programing, and start to take responsibility for everything you think, say, and do.
One more aspect of healing from your traumas includes cultivating a practice of forgiveness. Forgiving others (no matter how deeply they may have wronged you or another), and forgiving yourself for any role you played in generating chaos. One of the most amazing videos regarding forgiveness and how it heals is the story of Eva Kor, who survived the twin experiments during the holocaust. Watch THIS video to see the power of forgiveness.
A few resources to dive deeper:
4. Acknowledge Your Own Shadow
I truly believe that if we are able to acknowledge our own shadow, all our problems rooted in divide (racism, sexism, political and ideological warfare) would disappear. Acknowledging your own shadow is the foundation for any practice of compassion, because it is when we can see our own darkness that we are able to truly understand the plight of all humans.
Your shadow is your “dark side,” it’s the part of you that is greedy, unkind, mean. It’s the part of yourself you’re not proud of, it’s the jealous you that picks up a trashy magazine to read the story about how that rich beautiful celebrity is going through a horrible divorce. It’s the side of you that does things your moral self is ashamed of. We all have a shadow, even the most ultra spiritual people: it’s an inextricable part of the human existence. Pretending we don’t have a shadow is actually a well known concept called spiritual bypassing, and is possibly the most dangerous shadows of them all… an unconscious one.
When we can see that we too have a dark side, we can start to see how much more similar we are to one another than we are raised to believe. From childhood we’re often primed to be a “good little girl” or a “good little boy” and we start to develop a sense that we are either “good” or “bad” based on the actions we take. It’s time to get real and shed that lie, and really come to understand that what we do doesn’t define who we are. No matter how bad the thing we think, say, or do is: there is always road to redemption. And this is a subject in which our Western society needs a serious wake-up call. The same alt-left people who are condemning their far-right opponents seem to forget that liberalism is rooted in accepting all opinions, and that free speech doesn’t discriminate. The solution to racism, sexism, bigotry or hate of any kind isn’t no speech, it’s better speech. We need to unite in the name of education of the collective as opposed to simply shaming and hating the “other”. This starts by acknowledging that we ourselves, are flawed.
A mind-boggling (and ego-destroying) book on the subject, which is a must read for anyone in the helping profession, is Power in the Helping Professions by Adolf Guggenbuhl-Craig. It’s not an easy read, but he goes over concepts like how a therapist’s shadow thrives on the power exerted over their patients, how this is human nature. Instead of pretending a therapist is only in it for pure motivation of helping, the author examines a really real account of how to navigate the world acknowledging one’s own shadow. I suspect this book will be very triggering to those unwilling to admit that they have a darkside (aka the ego clinging to it’s self-deluded image of pure light).
5. Spend More Time In Nature
This one’s easy, I’ll keep it short and sweet.
We are nature. Spending time in nature is the act of coming home. The physical and spiritual benefits of spending regular time in nature (away from the bustle of the city, pollution, EMFs, wires, and modern technology) does wonders for everything from our hormones, blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension. Studies have shown even looking at an image of nature has mild benefits to all of the above, but nothing beats the real thing, because exposure to actual dirt benefits your microbiome; exposure to fresh air feeds your blood with prana; and exposure to real sunlight totally reprograms your DNA.
One of the major pieces of why nature heals, is the exposure to natural sunlight. Sun light (even on cloudy days) informs our circadian rhythm and programs our mitochondria. Exposing your eyes to morning light wakes up the cells, and getting enough UV sunshine on bare skin does so much more than just give your body bioavailable vitamin D.
Nature also has a profound impact on the psyche, and the more time you spend on it, the more you being to unite with the divinity of life. You start to notice that life itself is true magic: how blades of grass, flowers, plants and trees grow from seeds, with the power of rain and the sunshine. You see the value of rain in the cycle of life, and this translates over to eventually realising that rainy days (bad moments) serve a purpose. All of life’s lessons are found in nature, as is the powerful reminder that the rat race isn’t all there is. That life happens outside of the concrete jungle, and that indeed it is absolutely divine.
So go hug a tree, go lay in the grass (just make sure it’s not sprayed with herbicides), spend the weekend camping, go hiking, plant a vegetable garden in your backyard. Befriend nature, and make sure you give this relationship the time and energy it deserves to blossom into life’s most rewarding exchange.
Sunshine + fresh air + bare skin on the earth
is a recipe for a happy, healthy, mind + body.
6. Go 100% Organic
This (like the tap water thing) is hard for many people to justify, because an apple looks like an apple, whether it is certified biodynamic or a shit-can of pesticides and herbicides. Before I “went organic” I remember thinking how dumb the whole thing was, and thought it was just a marketing scheme. Unfortunately, it can be; I know of many unethical uses of the word organic, in companies that indeed use it as a marketing tool with no integrity. Also “organic” doesn’t mean healthy, as many organic packaged foods are full of junk (like sugary breakfast cereals)… white sugar is bad for you whether it’s organic or not.
But buying organic produce (paired with point #7: cooking for yourself) gives you the best odds of nourishing your body with real, chemical-free food. You see, foods are not only being sprayed with pesticides and herbicides (which build up as neurotoxins in your brain, like those from tap water do), but modern crops are also being hybridised and genetically modified to be unrecognizable by the human body. Things like heirloom wheat have been messed with to create weather-resistant and easier-to-harvest crops, that have over a dozen different types of glutens than their ancestors… which causes health problems for us today.
Our food looks prettier and is easier to harvest, but it’s tearing holes in our guts, causing an antibody response, chronic inflammation, allergies, and leading to autoimmunity. An example would be BT Corn, a genetically modified corn that creates its own endogenous pesticide. Studies show that when consumed, this GMO corn continues to produce pesticides in the gut moving forward: turning the gut into a pesticide factory. The 1, 2, punch is when we introduce glyphosate into the growing and harvesting process, a herbicide created by Monsanto. This herbicide is (pardon my french) fucking us up. It’s been shown not only to break down the tight junctions of the gut (aka the barrier that protects your bloodstream from pathogens, bacteria, etc), but also increase the bioavailability of toxins.
To learn more about glyphosate, watch THIS interview between Dr. Mercola, and Stephanie Seneff of MIT.
The non-negotiables when it comes to organic are wheat, corn, and soy- because if they aren’t 100% certified organic, they will be GMO and glyphosate (when you have GMO, you have dangerous levels of glyphosate). But honestly, we live in an age where the “dirty dozen” isn’t good enough. Real food and real water should be at the top of your priority list, and if they’re out of your price range I suggest reevaluating your budget to make room for the very things informing your health at the cellular level.
7. Cook For Yourself
The more you cook for yourself, the healthier you will become. There’s no doubt about it. You not only become aware of exactly what goes in your food, but you also begin to influence the alchemical nature of food: infusing your meals with your own energy.
I believe cooking for yourself is more important than the type of diet that you follow. Your own understanding of nutrition and what your body needs to thrive will shift with time if you start cooking for yourself and reconnecting with your food in the kitchen. We’ve become so disconnected from nature that we can literally press a button and someone will show up at our door with food. Not everyone has the time or energy to grow their own food (although, that’s the dream), but at the very least you should be touching your foods raw ingredients and partaking in the process of nourishing yourself from there onwards.
It’s time to break the belief that cooking is a chore; the more you learn how to navigate the kitchen, the more the entire process becomes a living meditation. You needn’t fear the kitchen space, and in fact I embrace it as (one of my) temple(s). To see all my recipes, click the links below.
8. Take Back Your Power: Be Your Own Healer/ Guru
The foundation of “taking back your power” is acknowledging that only you are responsible for your Self (your happiness, your health, your emotions, your reactions), and requires a complete shedding of victim mentality. The way our society is structured in the West breeds the “blame game,” whereby we are as a collective cultivating the art of accusing other people for how we feel, what we get, and the state of our health. We seek out doctors to “fix” us, we get angry when someone gets the job that “should have been ours”.
This victim mentality puts you at the mercy of life, it is disempowering, and it leaves you no room to step into your divine human power.
#8 is possibly the most important point of all, it’s a mentality that honours your role in absolutely everything that happens- good or bad. It’s the kind of mentality that breeds self-reflection in every situation, as a platform for growth. When you are standing in your power, you find the lesson built into the situation, no matter how seemingly terrible he situation might be at the time. This mentality is rooted in the belief that every single thing happens is happening for you (not to you). One tip that helps you reframe outcomes is asking “HOW DID I GET HERE?” instead of “HOW CAN I HEAL?” …the answer is almost always in the rearview mirror; figuring out how you got to where you did addressed the root cause of the situation.
Another aspect of this concept is realising that only your body can heal itself. Every piece of advice from specialists (whether they be conventional Western medical doctors, Ayurvedic practitioners, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners, your herbalist, naturopath, a friend, a parent, or Dr. Google), every piece of advice is something you then have to filter, process, understand, and ultimately decide on a course of action. You always remain in the driver’s seat, when it comes to all aspects of your decision making. People giving you advice may ride in your vehicle, they may be tools in your tool belt, but you always are the driver, or the actual person making the decisions regarding the outcomes of your life.
From this place of power you find the strength to ask questions, to doubt the status quo, and seek second opinions. As you cultivate your personal power you also begin to hone your intuitive nature, and start to trust your gut when it comes to making decisions in your life. Your power and intuition are inextricably linked, and eventually you will reach a point when you can no longer be bullied into making decisions regarding your wellbeing.