Advanced Plan: Lifestyle Changes
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Dr. Mercola's Nutrition Plan
Lesson 1: Practice techniques, such as EFT, to control anxiety and stress, eliminate self-doubt and negativity, and instill self-control and peace of mind.
To truly succeed at this nutrition plan, I highly recommend you work on overcoming your emotional barriers, whether they're based on life's anxiety-factors or emotional traumas.
The use of the "Emotional Freedom Technique," (EFT) was covered in the beginner’s section. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend incorporating it now. You can learn how to start using EFT on yourself and those close to you right now with my free online EFT Manual.
Lesson 2: Find a Certified and Competent biological dentist.
For those of you who have mercury fillings, I recommend that you have them removed … but avoid making the mistake I did nearly 20 years ago by having it done by a non-biological dentist. When you have these fillings removed you can be exposed to significant amounts of mercury vapors if the dentist doesn't know what he or she is doing. It's also for this reason that I strongly suggest you get healthy BEFORE having your fillings removed, as you want your detoxification mechanisms optimized prior to removal.
Please identify a biological dentist who understands that mercury is a potent poison, and should never be placed in your mouth in the form of amalgam fillings. A biological dentist will likely be able to SAFELY remove any amalgams you have and replace them with safer materials. Some things that need to be done to keep you (and your dentist) safe during amalgam removal include:
- Providing you with an alternative air source and instructing you not to breathe through your mouth
- Using a cold-water spray to minimize mercury vapors
- Putting a rubber dam in your mouth so you don't swallow or inhale any toxins
- Using a high-volume evacuator near the tooth at all times to evacuate the mercury vapor
- Washing your mouth out immediately after the fillings have been removed (the dentist should also change gloves after the removal)
- Immediately cleaning your protective wear and face once the fillings are removed
- Using room air purifiers
Knowledgeable biological dentists can be hard to come by, so start your search by asking a friend, relative, neighbor, or inquire at your local health food store. The following links can also help you to find a mercury-free, biological dentist:
Additionally, you will want to integrate these principles into your dental health program:
- Root canals: Be cautious of root canals as they can have many adverse consequences for your health. For more information, please review the following video, and/or my previous article on the hazards of root canals.
- Crowns: Avoid ceramic and porcelain crowns as they have metal in them. Request composites.
- Sealants: Avoid dental sealants for children, as they contain potent cancer-causing xenoestrogens. Many also contain high levels of fluoride.
- Avoid fluoride. It should not be used in your toothpaste, water, as a supplement, or in your dental office. Fluoride is a metabolic poison and will actually damage your teeth. There is enough fluoride in a tube of toothpaste to kill a small child. That is why there is a warning label on the back of your tube of toothpaste!
Lesson 3: Eat the right salt (and the right amount!)
In reality, most people are harmed by low-salt diets. Salt is actually essential for life -- you cannot live without it. However, you don't want to use your current table salt. Instead, obtain real natural unprocessed salt.
The difference between conventional and natural salt is that conventional salt is dried at over 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. This amount of heat changes the chemical structure of the salt. Also, conventional processing adds harmful additives and chemicals.
When your body attempts to eliminate this excessively processed salt, water is taken from your cells, which tends to compromise the fluid balance in your cells. You may be surprised to learn that for every gram of sodium chloride (table salt) that your body cannot get rid of, your body uses 23 times the amount of water to neutralize the salt.
You can use natural salt liberally on your greens, such as kale, to decrease any bitter taste. I would strongly advise using Himalayan salt, which has tested better than any sea salts we have measured.
Lesson 4: It's finally time to stop smoking.
You aren’t consuming sugar, and your diet is very healthy overall. Now is the time to quit smoking. I highly recommend you read my free online EFT manual to discover how this remarkable psychological acupressure technique is ideal for eliminating addictions -- particularly cigarette addiction, which has been shown to be associated with depression.
In severe cases you might not be able to perform EFT satisfactorily on yourself, in which case I would highly recommend you seek out a trained professional.
There are, of course, myriad other methods to help you quit smoking, and if EFT does not appeal to you toward this end, I recommend you do your research and try what you believe will work for you. Fact is, at this stage in the nutrition program, not only will your body be craving this final and very important "fix," but the great increase in your energy and focus will make the battle to quit smoking much less of a battle!
However, please do not make the mistake of resorting to pharmaceutical “quit-smoking drugs” like Chantix, Zyban, Wellbutrin and others. Like all drugs, they come with a wide variety of side effect that are harmful to your health, but these types of drugs in particular also carry much higher risks of depression, violence and suicide.
Lesson 5: Get rid of your microwave.
Microwaves seriously deplete the nutrients in your food. This is no surprise as all heating methods have a similar effect. However, microwave heating appears to produce the greatest losses.
Microwaves are high frequency electromagnetic waves that alternate in positive and negative directions, causing vibration of molecules up to 2.5 billion times per second. This creates friction and heat that can destroy the fragile structure of vitamins and enzymes.
Consuming microwaved foods may also cause pathological changes in your body. Once a food's structure is altered, it cannot perform the desired function in your body. Clinical studies show that microwave heating of milk or cooking of vegetables is associated with a decline in hemoglobin levels. These reductions may contribute to anemia, rheumatism, fever, and thyroid deficiency. To learn more, read The Hidden Hazards of Microwave Cooking.
Lesson 6: Avoid using antiperspirants.
If you currently use antiperspirants, notice if you have stains in your armpit area of your shirts. This is not due to your sweat but from the aluminum in the antiperspirant. I don't recommend using conventional antiperspirants as they are full of aluminum, which is a toxic substance. You can wash your armpits daily with soap and a washcloth as an alternative.
Normally, washing is sufficient to remove all traces of odor. If you still find odor to be a problem, store a small box of baking soda in your bathroom medicine box. Before each shower, pour a teaspoon of powder in your hand, close your hand with the baking soda and step into the shower. After you step into the shower, briefly let the shower water seep into your closed hand then apply the moistened baking soda to each armpit. You can then rinse the armpits and begin your regular shower routine.
Usually, when you shift your diet the types of bacteria growing in your armpits will change and the odor will naturally decrease. The UVB rays in sunlight are also highly effective germicidal agents, so you can in effect “sterilize” your armpits by exposing them regularly to sunlight for 30 minutes—essentially tanning your armpits.
Lesson 7: Get the best night’s sleep possible.
Getting a good night's sleep was covered in the Basic level of the nutrition plan, but, because it is so important to sleep in complete darkness, here are some further suggestions to implement now, if you haven’t already done so:
- Put up window coverings that block all light.
- Do not turn on any lights during the night, even if you have to go to the bathroom. The smallest amount of light exposure during the night will impair your melatonin production. If you cannot get to the bathroom in pitch darkness, use a red spectrum light, which is minimally disruptive to melatonin levels.
- Avoid grains because they raise your blood sugar and inhibit sleep. Later during the night, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you might wake up and not be able to fall back asleep. Go to bed before 10 p.m. in order to normalize your adrenal cortisol levels.
- Sublingual melatonin can also be a very effective approach.
For more information on a sleeping well, see my Guide to a Good Night's Sleep.
Lesson 8: Limit your exposure to harmful electromagnetic fields.
The body of all organisms has a Direct Current (DC) field, and electric currents produced in and all over your body are involved in controlling growth and regeneration. The evidence is overwhelming that electro-dynamical fields and currents are involved in intercommunication within your body. (These fields and currents are connected to and correlated with the EEG and ECG that are a routine part of conventional biomedicine.) Hence, externally applied electromagnetic fields and radio waves can affect and influence your biological processes.
There are basically five primary sources of dangerous EMF that surround you on a daily basis that you’ll want to limit your exposure to as much as possible.
- Electric fields: These are the fields that emanate from anything that has voltage; basically anything electric, such as lamps, electrical wiring, outlets, extension cords, electrical appliances, and power outlets.
Electric fields can affect the electrical communication in your body, such as your brainwaves, or the ability of your neurons to fire and communicate. It can also impede inter-cell communication anywhere in your body. Health problems that can manifest as a result to this type of exposure include neurological- and behavioral changes, altered cell growth, cell mutations, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and even cancer.
- Magnetic fields: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has labeled magnetic fields a class 3 carcinogen. These fields can occur when there is an imbalance in the electrical wiring, and around electrical motors such as the motor in your refrigerator.
A MAJOR source of magnetic fields is next to the main power meter for your house. You definitely want to avoid sleeping up against a wall that has a power meter on the outside. Electric clock radios can also generate magnetic fields.
Fortunately, the effect drops off dramatically with distance, so simply putting some distance—typically about five or six feet—between yourself and the source is usually sufficient to drastically reduce or eliminate the danger.
- Power lines, whether above- or underground.
- Metal plumbing: Yes, older metal plumbing can frequently carry a current.
- Wireless communications: This includes wireless power meters (so-called SmartMeters), cell phones, cell towers, wireless routers, and cordless phones. Most of these types of technologies expose you to both electric- and magnetic fields.
In the intermediate level you began limiting your exposure to information-carrying radio waves from cell phones, wireless internet and other wireless devices. At this advanced level, please also pay attention to and avoid low frequency (60 hertz) pulsating electromagnetic fields such as those emitted by electric blankets and waterbed heaters. Also, avoid electric razors and close exposure to any AC/DC transformer for appliances you plug into a wall, and do not carry car door openers in your pocket as they too emit radio waves.
Additionally, wearing metal on your body is something you generally want to avoid. If you are a woman who is wearing underwire bras, please consider switching to a wireless style bra, which are available in most brands, and for various levels of support. The wire can form an antenna attracting EMF fields and can actually increase your risk of breast cancer.
Anything else that you use on your body, such as hair rollers, pins and clips, should also be switched to plastic.
For more information, please listen to the following interview with Vickie Warren, former Executive Director of the Bau-Biologie Group for the United States. In it, she discusses the detrimental health effects of electromagnetic fields, and what you can do to protect yourself and your family from excessive EMF exposure.
How to Decrease EMF Exposure while Sleeping
First, begin with a visual inspection of your bedroom to identify sources of electric- and/or magnetic fields. Vickie recommends sleeping with your head away from the wall, facing the center of the room—even if it means lying with your head facing the headboard end of your bed.
Because unless you live in a community that requires buildings to have shielded conduits, you will be exposed to electrical fields from the wiring in your walls. There are not many communities that require this however. Outside of Chicago, where I live, the building code does require electrical wires to be run through a shielded pipe, which reduces both fire hazard and electric field radiation. However, single family homes in most areas of the US have bare wires running through the walls.
If you're not sure whether your wiring is shielded or not, you can purchase a volt sensor from your local hardware store. Just run it up and down across your wall, and if the meter detects an electric field, you know you're being exposed.
Remediating open wiring in a home that's already built can be an expensive venture. The least expensive fix, should your bedroom walls emit electric fields, is to simply turn off the particular circuit breaker for your bedroom at night.
Be aware that just turning your lights off does NOT eliminate electric fields, because the electrical outlets always carry voltage, whether the light is on or off. Next, make sure everything around your bed is battery powered.
How to Determine Your Level of Magnetic Field Exposure
While you can safely assume that you're being exposed to electric fields from lamps, appliances and wiring in your walls, magnetic fields is another matter. There is no way to know whether or not you have a magnetic field problem in your home, unless you test for it.
Magnetic fields can be generated from power lines nearby, whether overhead or beneath the ground, motors such as your refrigerator and power meters, as well as older types of metal plumbing. I recommend getting a gauss meter to measure the levels around your living space. There is a plethora of them available on the market that are fairly inexpensive. Get together with your friends and family and buy one, because you only have to measure once.
Another source of magnetic fields that most people are clueless about is your hair dryer. A hair dryer can actually emit greater magnetic fields than your refrigerator! So if you can avoid using one, you'll be better off for it.
Unfortunately, whereas you can shield against electric fields, you cannot shield against magnetic fields—they go straight through metal, including lead. The only way you could protect yourself against it is to completely encase the source and ground it, using a so-called Faraday cage.
Lesson 9: Ditch your shoes whenever possible
When walking on the earth barefoot, free electrons from the earth transfer into your body via the soles of your feet. These free electrons are some of the most potent antioxidants known to man. Experiments have shown that free electrons from the earth cause beneficial changes in heart rate, decreases inflammation, reduces pain, promotes healthy sleep, and thins your blood, making it thinner,, which has beneficial impact on reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Lack of grounding, due to widespread use of rubber or plastic-soled shoes, may have contributed to the rise of modern diseases by allowing chronic inflammation to proliferate unchecked.
Clearly, the simplest way to ground is to walk barefoot outside when safe to do so. The ideal location for walking barefoot is the beach, close to or in the water, as sea water is a great conductor. Your body also contains mostly water, so it creates a good connection. A close second would be a grassy area, especially if it's covered with dew, which is what you'd find if you walk early in the morning. Concrete is also a good conductor as long as it hasn't been sealed. Painted concrete does not allow electrons to pass through very well.
Materials like asphalt, wood, and typical insulators like plastic or the soles of your shoes, will not allow electrons to pass through and are not suitable for barefoot grounding. Exercising barefoot outdoors is one of the most wonderful, inexpensive and powerful ways of incorporating earthing into your daily life and will also help speed up tissue repair and ease muscle pain due to strenuous exercise.
To learn more, listen to the following interview with Dr. James Oschman, who is widely recognized as an authority in the biophysics of energy medicine.
Download Interview Transcript