Measuring for health success
What is one of the secret to health success? Knowing what to measure and why. Because when you know what's off, you know where attention is needed. And when you know what's on, you know what to keep doing.
The trick is learning what to measure and understanding what those measurements mean. It's also key to learn what measurements really deserve your attention and what measurements aren't as valuable.
Let's take the standard indicators for health. Here are the two things the most people look for when determining whether or not they are "healthy":
- Absence of an alignments or disease
- Absence of obesity/excess weight
There is a challenge with the above indicators though. They are indicators that show up way too late in the game. It's like being on a basketball team and having to wait for the final score to see how your game is going. Or selling a product via a business but having no way to account for money in and out until the end of the year.
That sounds ridiculous, but it happens all the time. How many people do you know that think they are healthy because there is an absence of cancer or heart disease or diabetes or obesity.
The raw food life style at its best will present you with an entire new set of indicators to measure. It will help you keep score earlier in the game so you understand where attention is needed. It will also help you become more sensitive to indicators that you previously didn't even know existed.
When you start eating live foods, foods that are less taxing on your system and provide you with levels of nutrients that your body hasn't experienced, you'll be able to measure indicators that previously didn't register. When your system starts to cleanse your internal sensitivity to the daily subtleties that take or add to your health becomes much stronger.
As an example, when you move towards a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables all of a
sudden the word "energy" has an entirely new meaning. The side effects of drinking that occasional cup of coffee or glass of wine
register much earlier. Foods and habits that never seemed like they
were contributing to your internal turmoil start to show their true
colors much earlier in the game.
A cleaner system = a greater sensitivity to what works and what doesn't.
If health success is about measuring then the key to transformation is knowing what's deserving of your attention. And just because you've "gone raw" doesn't mean that you automatically know what to pay attention to.
An example of an indicator that many people new to raw foods tend to overlook is gas.
When you eat a standard processed diet gas is quite normal, expected even. So
even though many folks new to raw foods notice that they regularly have gas,
they don't do much about it because they are quite use to it. They also
tend to feel so much better on raw foods, compared to what they were
previously eating, that they just accept gas as part of the digestion
process. I've seen many people who eat a high amount of raw food live
with gas as status quo for years.
The gas comes from eating complex-gourmet-raw-foods daily. The foods that make up the meal are technically "raw" and very nutritious individually, but they are so complex that the body has a hard time digesting them properly. Now, as the digestive fire and stomach acids strengthen over time, you maybe able to combine foods with more complexity, but eating complex meals daily is not a sustainable practice. Gas will continue to be a by-product of that lifestyle.
So if gas is one indication worth measuring, what does it mean? And what should you do if you notice you have gas regularly?
First, before you take action on any indicator, it's important to understand why it matters. Why is this indicator worth your attention?
Most gas is the by-product of fermentation. When complex foods that remain undigested enter the intestine they attract undesirable bacteria and fungus. The bacteria thrive on these foods, especially carbohydrates, and create gas as a by-product. The longer the bacteria sit with the un-digested food in the intestine, the more the gas builds up. Along with the gas, acid is also created as a by-product. The way the body deals with this accumulation of bacteria and waste is through the vehicle known as mucus. As Natalia Rose puts it, the mucus and the fermented foods, "build up in the intestines and push their way into the body through the tissues of the intestinal walls."
The side effects of all this bacteria, fermentation, gas are:
- Excess mucus, even for seasoned raw foodies
- A heavy burden on the intestinal tract: the harder your organs are forced to work the sooner they'll burn out
- Energy deficits: even if you've been eating raw for some time you could notice a similar feeling to old days of "food comas" after heavy gourmet meals
You may want to look at your current food regimen and ask your self if you are experiencing any of these issues. If you are, gas might be one indicator that you start measuring. How often do you get gas? What meals or food combining cause it to take place? Natalia Rose has some great pointers on how to reduce gas.
Mucus is obviously a good indicator too look for as well, but it's often a tertiary indicator because it takes significant time to build up and release.
The point of this post isn't to have you all worked up about gas. It's to bring the idea of measuring to the fore front. Because after all, raw food isn't about "believing" in a particular way of eating. It's about getting real results. And since everybody reacts different to different foods, measuring is the only way to get a true understanding for how foods effect you.
A few other common examples of indicators that a lot of raw foodies never measure are:
- B12 levels
- and Teeth sensitivity / teeth health
- PH levels
I'm sure there are a bunch more and we'll certainly expand on this topic in future posts.
- What are some examples of indicators you measure for?
- Why do you measure for these indicators and what do you do with the information?