Traditional medicine tends to see aging as inevitable, bringing with it a collection of symptoms to be treated. And while medication and therapeutic treatments have proven to be effective in dealing with certain age-related conditions, philosophies that take into account issues such as diet, sleep patterns, exercise and mental states, are beginning to be embraced by the healthcare community.
It is all part of an alternative approach to medicine known as “Lifestyle Medicine.” Author Dr. Leonard Smith explains. “Lifestyle medicine today would incorporate several features, certainly diet is one of them, exercise, psycho-emotional and spiritual aspects. Right life-work-balance, and now I would even add things like detoxification and targeted supplementation with the right nutritional supplements”.
Florence Vellan de Robinson suffered from chronic pulmonary disease. She recently went through a 3-week life-changing program at on such lifestyle institute in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The medically supervised program included extensive lifestyle modification, and a diet made up entirely of fruits, vegetables, juices and other “raw” foods. Says Florence, “I started doing so much better; even after 4 days here I could see the difference… I am beginning to be totally alive again and it’s not just the quality of my life and how I feel but now I can perform and get back to being useful to humanity and to my society.”
Raw Foods and Excellent Lifestyle Choice
While in well-documented studies, thousands of individuals like Florence have recovered from devastating illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, even cancer – anyone can benefit from the rejuvenating effects of living the “raw lifestyle.” According to Dr. Smith, “this lifestyle certainly adds life to your years and probably years to your life. The only anti-aging technology that has been proven is to cut back the amount of food we eat by 30%. That study wasn’t looking at the quality of food, but I think the quality, as well as the quantity, are critical.”
Any diet, but especially a raw food diet that decreases the level of free radicals in the body has been proven to be beneficial. “In the process of taking in oxygen in our food, we actually make what are called free radicals, it’s kind of scientific term, but everyone’s heard of it now, and free radicals are basically fired at the body. Medical science has certainly supported the fact that as we eat more vegetables, fruits seeds and nuts we increase the anti-oxidants in our body which are basically a way to put out the fire,” says Smith.
Olympic medalist and world-class athlete, Michael Gebhardt agrees. “Athletes interestingly enough are looking for the same thing that anyone with a health crisis is looking for, they want to recover. And so if you are trying to do extraordinary feats which is recover from cancer or recover from 7 days of running marathons every day, or whatever it is you are doing in training if you can recover quicker you are going to have better results.
So eating clean obviously, and cutting down the meat, or finding a cleaner higher performance, less toxic fuel will definitely improve your performance.” According to some experts, seeds, fruits, nuts and other raw foods are the cleanest and most efficient “fuel” the human body can process. It is the process of cooking foods, even vegetables, that can reduce or eliminate their natural curative properties.
According to Dr. Smith and those that share his philosophy, we don’t catch diseases; we allow them to develop within our body by the choices we make – such as, choices involving stress and the ways we deal with it, hydration, diets, and our ability to detoxify our bodies. While there certainly is a genetic predisposition towards certain conditions, and even lifespan itself is largely due to genetic factors, according to Smith while we can’t change our genes we can “…change the environment that’s washing over those genes and causing them to either express as an illness, or express as average health, or better yet express as excellent health.”
So, does “an apple a day actually keep the doctor away?” Maybe, maybe not, but, more and more researchers and medical professions from many fields seem to be proving the adage that “we are what we eat.”