Christian Healthy Lifestyle 

Age gracefully | Live abundantly | Thoroughly equipped for every good work

by David Sandstrom 

September 6, 2023

This episode is part 2 of the Natural Health Matters mission statement explained. In this solo episode, talk about the 3 components of a human being and the 3 focus areas to each part that give us 9 pillars of health. Spirit: Love for God, love for others, and love for ourselves; Mind: Mindset, limiting beliefs, and emotional intelligence; Body: nutrition, movement, and sleep.

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Show Notes


Today's Guests...

  • I'm flying solo on this episode

Topics Discussed...w / Time Stamps

  • 2:00 God desires for us to be healthy, as seen in Scripture and our physical design. 
  • 3:30 We must cooperate with God to achieve health through lifestyle choices. 
  • 7:00 There are 3 parts of our being: spirit, mind, and body. 
  • 10:30 For the spirit, focus on love for God, others, and self.
  • 14:10 Cultivate supportive relationships and community.
  • 21:20 For the mind, focus on mindset, beliefs, and emotional intelligence.
  • 40:00 For the body, focus on nutrition, movement, and sleep.
  • 41:45 Eat whole, unprocessed foods close to their natural state. 
  • 55:25 Prioritize sleep and create an optimal sleep environment. 
  • 36:05 God's design laws for health

Scroll through the text below to read the full transcript.

David Sandstrom 0:00
The spirit is all about love relationships, love for God, love for others, and love for ourselves, the mind, we want to be our own MVP. M stands for mindset. Fi is victory over limiting beliefs. And P stands for practice emotional intelligence. And then the body. I call it food move and snooze. Nutrition, movement and sleep. So those are the nine focus areas. So we're going to unpack each of those one at a time now. Welcome to the Natural Health Matters podcast where it's all about maximizing your health potential, so that you could look and feel your best at any age. I'm your host, David Sandstrom, Naturopathic Doctor and Biblical Health Coach. And this is episode number 121.

David Sandstrom 0:55
This episode is part two, in a two part series on the natural health matters mission statement explained, the last episode, we talked about the fact that God wants us healthy. And there's quite a bit of biblical evidence for that, but also evidence in our physical design, that points to the idea that God wants us to be healthy. And we also see that there's a lot of glowing promises in Scripture regarding our health. But many of those promises have if then statements attached, they're conditional. So we have a role to play. We can't just claim these promises and live our lives any way we want. We have a role to play we want we need to cooperate with God in that goal of achieving vibrant health and vitality.

David Sandstrom 1:39
And I also talked about allopathic medicine versus nature, apathy, and how the naturopathic approach to health is closely aligned with biblical teaching. And I also talked about the love of God. And if we really understood we can really wrap our minds around the love of God, we wouldn't hesitate to run to Him and to do things his way. And when we do things his way, we can expect better outcomes, no guarantees. But that's just the way things work. So if you haven't listened to Episode 120, I encourage you to go back and listen to that episode. Now, I think you'll get a lot more out of this one if you do that. So I've really been looking forward to doing both of these episodes for quite some time. I've last year, so I've had a lot of guests on and I really appreciate them sharing their wisdom with us with the natural nation. But a lot of times, even though those guests are very, very knowledgeable, very smart people, great practitioners helping people. Sometimes their message is a little convoluted and not really concise. They haven't really taken the time to distill their message down and really refine it and be able to communicate it really well. In 30 or so minutes. It's a very difficult thing to do. And few people actually do that. Well. I'm going to do my best to do that for you here today. You know what I wrote my book, The Christians guide to Holistic Health, I met with an author very successful authors Her name is Shaun T Feld on and she sold over a couple million copies of marriage and relationship books. And she told me, you know, Dave, writing a book is great, but don't underestimate how difficult it's going to be to really refine your message and be able to get that message across in a very short period of time. And I listened, but I really didn't realize how spot on she was until I tried to do it, it really is a difficult thing to do. So here I am 120 episodes into the podcast, and are just now and feeling like I'm starting to really get the message together in an understandable way that people can understand. So I want to take this opportunity to be really unambiguous about my approach to health, and why I recommend the things that I do and when we when it comes to improving our health. But also, I want you to understand what the mission of this podcast is what what I'm trying to accomplish here. And it can't be done in five minutes. That's why I decided to do it in two episodes. And we've got a lot of ground to cover here. So fasten your seat belts, seat backs and tray tables in their upright and locked position. Electronic devices turned on episode 121. Part two of the natural health matters mission statement is ready for takeoff. So I want to help you maximize your health potential so that you can look and feel your best at any age. And we do that by aligning our lives more fully with God's natural design for spirit, mind and body. And when I say that I'm well aware that most people don't really understand the depth of what's in that statement. I know that's true because I was a practitioner with a brick and mortar office being paid to do health coaching. And I didn't know what Holistic Health was. So how's laypersons Sanchez? So that's why I want to really kind of clear the air and really define and unpack these words and what that really means. Human beings are spirit

David Sandstrom 5:00
We have a mind it we live in a body, and a spirit connected to God will animate our minds in healthy ways. And a mind animated by a healthy spirit will animate our brains in healthy ways. And the brain runs the body. So each part of who we are is interconnected, and interdependent, which means what affects one part of our being will, by necessity alter the others for good or bad. So that's actually very good thing once we understand it, we start to embrace our makeup. Many years ago, when I was first learning how to fly, my flight instructor taught me to pay attention to three important focus areas in aviation are three pillars to safety. And he told me that if you do those three things, well, you go a long way toward maintaining your safety margin. And those three pillars were aviate, navigate and communicate. aviate means fly the plane. In aeronautical terms, we used to call it, keeping the shiny side up and the greasy side down, keep the wings level, fly the airplane first, that's first and foremost. Second, navigate, know where you are, and know where you're going. And it's very important to pay attention to that. And three, communicate, talk to your support people, first and foremost, aircraft control. And also other members of your crew, of course, is more to flying an airplane and those three things. But if you do those three things, well, you'll go a long way towards maintaining your safety margin and staying alive and having a long, healthy career. So we can apply that same concept to Holistic Health. There's three parts to a human being. And those three parts are complex, but we break each one of those down into three focus areas, or three pillars of health. And we kind of simplify things. And by doing that, we'll be building in health margin, and we'll go it'll go a long way towards improving our health and well being. So there's three parts to human being total of nine focus areas. So I've got I've come up with some mnemonics to help us memorize those. But just as the 35,000 foot view, here's what they are.

David Sandstrom 7:06
The spirit is all about love, relationships, love for God, love for others, and love for ourselves, the mind, we want to be our own MVP. M stands for mindset. Fi is victory over limiting beliefs. And P stands for practice, emotional intelligence. And then the body. I call it food move and snooze. Nutrition, movement and sleep. So those are the nine focus areas. So we're going to unpack each of those one at a time now. So let's start with the spirit because that's the most important. What's God's designed for our spirit? Well, when Jesus was asked, What's the greatest commandment? His reply was, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul. And with all your mind, this is the greatest and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. That's Matthew 22, verses 37 to 39. So the spirit is all about love relationships. Now I did a 18 part series on the spiritual component of health on this podcast. It starts in episode number 53. And it goes through episode 72. I think I had one or two guest interviews in between there. But it's a two part series. It's really good stuff. It's based around the spiritual section in my book, The Christians guide to holistic health. So if you want to take a deeper dive, I suggest going back listen to those episodes, we're going to hit the highlights here. So the first is love for God. So we need to learn how to surrender to God's loving kindness and his goodness. Matthew 6:33 says, Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. And then Jesus Himself said, and John 14:15 If you love me, you'll keep my commandments. Now, I've mentioned this last episode, but it's worth repeating here. God loves us enough that when he gives us an admonition, it's for our benefit. And if it gives us a prohibition, it's for our protection. We've got to hold on to those two truths because God has our well being in mind. Jeremiah 29:11, and many of you know this, For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope. So we don't follow God out of fear, obligation or guilt. We follow them out of a grateful heart that leads to a loving relationship. God has our well being in mind, and we should respond appropriately. I shared these verses in the last episode as well, but they're worth repeating this so good. Proverbs chapter four, verses 20 and 22. My son, give attention to my words, incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight. Keep them in the midst of your heart, for their life to those To find them, and health to all their body. So the word of God is designed to bring us health and well being. Then there's Proverbs chapter three, verses seven and eight. Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones. So there's a spirit mind body connection right there. And again, it's God's desire and its preference that we enjoy vibrant health and vitality.

David Sandstrom 10:31
So we have a role to play here. And obedience to the Word of God produces better health outcomes. I talked about that in the last episode. Again, if you haven't listened Episode 120, go back and listen to that one down, because I break that down a little bit more. I'm not a follower of Jesus Christ for the perks. I don't treat God like a genie in a bottle. I follow him because he's worthy, and vibrant health vitality, are just nice fringe benefits or side effects to following it is just just the way things are. So the second love in the spiritual component of Health Is Love for others. So what's God's designed in loving others? Well, Matthew 22 were admonished to love our neighbors. And John 13:34. Jesus says this, A new commandment I give you that you love one another. Even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this, all men will know that you my disciples, if you have love for one another, so really is all about love, right? So relational connectedness is really good for our health. The longest study ever conducted on health and wellness is the Harvard study of adult development. And it started in 1938. And it's still ongoing. And the current director of the study, Robert waldinger, has a TED talk with 13 million views. In that talk, he says, loneliness kills. It's as powerful as smoking, or alcoholism. And that's from, you know, close to 100 years worth of research. That was the conclusion. And I referenced this study in my book is a 2011 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. It's called the rising relative risk of mortality for singles. Now, this was a meta analysis, which means it was a study of studies, it covered 60 years and 500 million people. That's no small study. And they found that under the worst conditions, lifetime, single men died up to 17 years younger than married men. And women didn't do much better. Lifetime, single women died 15 years younger. And that includes all marriages, not just good ones. So there's something very, very health promoting about strong, connected relationships. And then here's another one, a 2010 study published in Harvard Women's Health Watch. It's called the health benefits of strong relationships. These researchers in their summary said this, a lack of strong relationships, increased risk of premature death by 50%. That's roughly equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, and greater than sedentary lifestyle, and obesity. Let me say that, again, a lack of strong relationships increased risk of premature death by 50%. That's roughly equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, and greater than sedentary lifestyle and obesity. That's pretty staggering. And all of those studies were conducted pre COVID. Out here in the post COVID world, we have all kinds of studies coming out on the detrimental effects of social isolation and loneliness. It's a big deal. And you know, it's really heartwarming and encouraging to see science catching up with what the Bible has been teaching for 1000s of years. Bible says in Genesis 2:18, simply put, it is not good that the man be alone. Boy, God really meant that didn't he? He sure did.

David Sandstrom 14:11
The third love is love for ourselves. Now in Matthew 22, when Jesus is talking about the greatest commandment, he says this, you You shall love your neighbor as yourself. So I think this part about loving ourselves, and that that phrase there that Jesus used, often gets overlooked. Self love, is not selfish. It's actually the most selfless thing we can do. It you might be saying right now, Well, Dave, doesn't the Bible teach selflessness? Aren't we supposed to be serving others? Well, yes, it absolutely does. And we should. Philippians chapter two verses three and four says this. Do nothing from selfish your empty conceit. But with humility of mind regard one another as more important than your cells. Do not merely look out for your own personal interest. but also for the interests of others. So again, we mustn't pass over a gloss over this, this statement in here that says, we are to look out for our own personal interest. This passage is simply teaching that while you're doing that, you should be serving others as well. You see, we can only give out of our abundance, we can't give what we don't have, that many of you know, I was an airline pilot for 35 years. And I've heard this pa thousands of times, but it's worth repeating here. In the event of a change in cabin pressure, oxygen mess above your seat will drop. If this happens, grab the basket and pull it to the full extent of the tubing, wrap the elastic band around your head, Place the mask over your nose and mouth and breathe normally, do not worry if the mask doesn't fully inflate, oxygen is flowing. And here's the important part. If you're traveling with a child or someone who needs assistance, put on your mask first, and then assist the child. You see You can't help the child if you're unconscious. If there's a rapid decompression at 35,000 feet, your time of useful consciousness is about 20 seconds. So you've got to get your mask off, or you're not going to be of any use to the child in the same fashion. If we're spent spiritually, physically and emotionally, we're of little use to others.Now, we gotta remember this, the best time to build health is when we're feeling good. Most people don't look at it that way because they don't think about the health when they're feeling good. But what we want to do is build health margin. We want to have more vitality and more metabolic energy than we actually need to get through our days. Because life is going to throw some curveballs, we're going to have illness we're going to have accidents. And we want to have some health margin in there to soak up the bumps in the road like a shock absorber. You know the best way to be cancer is to not get it in the first place. It works every time. I heard John Lee Dumas the the host of the entrepreneurs on fire podcast. He said this the other day when he was interviewing a health expert. He said, a healthy person wants to 1000 things. They want to go paddleboarding, they want to do epic hikes, they want to go snow skiing, play with the grandkids, you name it, healthy person wants to 1,000 things and unhealthy person, they want one thing, they want to get their health back. And I think that's really, to the point that's really profound. Because that is absolutely true. Because I've I've had my health taken from me, and that is all you want. You just want to feel good again. And I'll bet many of you can relate to them. So it's easier to keep up than it is to catch up. So the best time to pursue health is when we're feeling good build health margin, then

David Sandstrom 17:48
Another aspect of self care is self talk. Each of us has an inner narrator. And it's that that voice inside our heads that we talked to ourselves with, and what does the Bible say about that? What's God's preference for our, our self talk? Well, it's pretty clear in Philippians, four, eight, Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence, if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. So that's God's preference for our thought life, that we dwell on pure, noble, excellent things.

David Sandstrom 18:30
Another thing we have to do with our thought life is we have to purge ourselves of any self loathing. Now, that sounds like a strong statement. But many of us use statements or talk to ourselves in a way that we would never do to a friend will say things to ourselves, like, I'm so stupid or ugly, or I'm such a loser. I'm always screwing things up. I'll never amount to anything. We would never say those kinds of things to a friend. But we don't think twice about saying it to ourselves. There's something wrong with that. We've got to stop doing that. Every human being has great value. I'm convinced that if there was only one person on planet Earth, that Jesus still would have been willing to come and die for that person. Jesus didn't die a gruesome bloody death on a cross for pond scum. All human beings have great worth. Every person on this planet has intrinsic value. Genesis 1:27 says God created man in His own image in the image of God, He created him male and female, He created them. So that's what gives us great value is were created in the image of God. So God thinks we have great worth. Why don't we so I'm 139:14 is more evidence of this, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made Wonderful are Your works in my soul knows it very well. So that's the spiritual component to help this more but that's the highlights

David Sandstrom 20:01
So moving on the mind, or the soul, when the Bible uses the term soul or mind, they're synonymous means the same thing. It's, it's who you are. It's, it's you, it's me. And that's what we are inside, right? What's God's designed for our mind or our soul? While we have a pretty clear statement here in Romans 12:2 be no longer conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. So I have a mnemonic here that I like to use it's MVP, M stands for mindset. So the first thing you want to do with the proper mindset is to find your why. Because when you find your why you'll find your way, when you have a reason for pursuing health, you're going to be far more motivated to make positive changes. So ask yourself a couple questions to help out with this. Why have I stopped doing that I used to enjoy because of my health challenges. Who would I like to serve? Is there a cause you're passionate about? Do you have a heart for the homeless or single moms or fatherless kids? What are you passionate about? Who would you like to serve? That can help motivate you and go a long way? When you find your why you'll find your way.

David Sandstrom 21:23
Another thing about mindset is there's three really crucial questions that we should all ask ourselves, especially if we're dealing with a major health challenge. The first one is, do I want to be well, in John, chapter five, Jesus meets the invalid at the thirst pool. And he asked him a strange question. He says to him, after talking with him for a while, he says, Do you want to be well? And I think that's kind of a strange question. But Jesus asked it. So there must be something about this. You know, there actually are reasons why someone may not want to be well, it would happen at a subconscious level. They'd never tell you this, but they might believe it inside. Maybe they're receiving a disability check because of their illness. Or maybe they're finally getting the sympathy that they craved as a child. And it actually that sympathy feels good. So we've got to make sure that there's no blocking factors going on here with my desire, our desire to be well. The second question is, do I believe I can be well, now this goes a long way as well. If you believe you, there's no way you can recover from this illness, that's going to be a blocking factor. We all know about the placebo effect. When someone takes a sugar pill or a saline solution, they actually experience the desired outcome that that that drug is purported to elicit. But there's also a no SIBO effect. When someone gets a placebo, they sometimes experience the side effects that that drug is purported to elicit. So there's a real powerful mind body connection here, we shouldn't we can't afford to, to ignore it. So you got to ask yourself a question. If you're dealing with a major health challenge, do I believe I can be well, and again, God has built wellness into our design, our default setting is health. If you woke up breathing this morning, there's hope. Okay, so this is something that's worth spending some time on. And another question is, Do I deserve to be well, no, someone might be overwhelmed with guilt from something they've they did a long time ago. And they might feel unworthy. Or they might feel like God is punishing them with with an illness. So none of that is true, we are worthy. And God is not punishing us. Now he does permit trials. Sometimes he allows a trial in our lives, because that's the only way to get our attention. You know, the there's an old saying that says there's no atheists in a foxhole. So sometimes God needs to get our attention. And he will allow a physical trial, to do just that. Sometimes a trial is what the great physician will use to help us grow and mature. But Romans 828 is true. All things do work together for good for those that love God. And God is our Heavenly Father, we got to hold on to this. And like any loving parent, fathers and mothers would prefer that their kids learn their lessons without the trial. And God would prefer that we learn our lessons without the trial either. So let's not let our poor lifestyle choices bring on a physical trial that God would prefer to spirit from Reverend Jeremiah 29:11. God wants good things for us.

David Sandstrom 24:33
So the V in MVP is victory over limiting beliefs. Now, when I was putting together this mnemonic, I actually struggled with using the term victory. It sounds a little radical, but there actually is a battle going on for our hearts and minds. Ephesians 6:12 says, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers against the powers against the world's forces. of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places. I wish this weren't the case. But spiritual warfare is real. And Satan has come to steal, kill and destroy John 10:10. He wants to steal our peace. He wants to kill our joy, and he wants to destroy our health. Why does he want to take our health away? Because he knows that without our health, we become ineffective for the kingdom. That's what he wants to do. He wants to deactivate us. That's his mission. John 8:44 forces, Satan is a liar, and the father of lies. So what kind of lies might he be tried to convince us about our health? Well, one of the big ones that I found is genetic determinism. You know, since the since research is mapped out the human genome, we have a tendency to blame everything on our genetic makeup. You know, there's a really cool video, I'm gonna show a clip here, if you're on the if you're watching the video on YouTube, you can see this, it's a clip from the 1930s. And it's a busy street corner in New York City. And this has been color enhanced, and it's really it's kind of like, time traveling and watching people, you know, people watching here on a street corner. But the interesting thing about this video is, these people are all fit. They move gracefully, they have great posture. I didn't see one obese person in this video, and this literally hundreds people here. And it's amazing how healthy they are. And I thought to myself, when I watched this, were all the people with the fat genes? They sure didn't come up that day. And if you haven't, if you if you listen to the audio only, you might want to check out the video version, watch this video, it's pretty cool. So we've been told things like, if you're an alcoholic, you probably have an alcoholism gene. If you have cancer running in your family, you probably have a cancer gene. And then we think we have this time bomb inside of us just ready to go off. Not not a good place to be.

David Sandstrom 27:05
Here's an important point. Genes are not destiny. I believe the significance of our genetic makeup has been overstated when it comes to our health outcomes. Human beings have about 24,000 genes, her fruit fly has not far behind with 14,000 genes. So it's not how many genes we have. It's not how complex they are. What matters to our health outcomes is our genetic expression. So the DNA is a complex set of instructions. And not all of the DNA is turned on at the same time. DNA is found in the nucleus of a cell. And it's the extracellular environment, the environment that the cells live in, that will expose or uncover or cover certain segments of the DNA code. That's called genetic expression. And that's what determines how that gene is expressed at any given moment. So what determines the environment, the extracellular fluid around a cell lifestyle factors, what we're talking about here, which we have a lot of control over. genes do have impact, you know, they do matter. But they matter far less than we've been led to believe. It's lifestyle habits that have far more impact on our health outcomes. If you want to read a great book on this topic, pick up the Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton are really good read. It's not it's not a light read. But man, is it good. He makes a slam dunk argument for the fact that genes are not destiny.

David Sandstrom 28:41
So what are some more limiting beliefs that we need to address? How about this one? Things will never change. I'll never get out of debt, those types of predictions about the future? Who's the one that knows the future? God's the only one that knows the future, not us. So we've got to stop playing God with those kinds of beliefs. How about this one? I'm just unlucky. Well, I believe there's no such thing as luck. Luck doesn't just float through the universe didn't land on some people and not on others. That's not true. If you want to use the term luck, I would define it this way. Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity. That's luck. Other than that, there's no such thing as luck. All right, how about this about this lie? The universe is just conspiring against me. or something similar. The devil made me do it. Phrases like, oh, the bins just happened? Or the chocolate cake got me? Or how about this one and this is a big one. Alcoholism is a disease or drug addiction is a disease. When there's not a shred of evidence that says that either one of those addictions is a disease. I think it's an attractive message that people like to hear be because it absolves them of the personal responsibility. So they put blinders on and believe a lie. So how do we proceed? What are we supposed to do? We balance those untrue thoughts with truth. We replace lies and unproductive thoughts with truthful, productive ones. Jesus himself said in John 14, six, I am the way and the truth, and the life. So when we do things God's way, and we replace lies with truth, we replace unproductive thinking with productive thinking. That's part of aligning our lives more fully with God's natural design. So when we do things God's way, you won't regret it. Second Corinthians 10:5 talks about the spiritual battle, it says, We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God. And we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. And then there's First Corinthians 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man. But God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the wave escape, that you may be able to bear it. So we are sentient beings, we have agency. So as a result, we have some choices to make. And God says we can be victorious. Isn't that a wonderful promise? Yeah, I believe it is.

David Sandstrom 31:31
So how do we identify and correct unhealthy thinking patterns? Well, one of the things I included in my book is a method I came up with it, I call it the ABCDE method. And again, it's another mnemonic to help us remember these things. So A stands for activating event. B stands for beliefs, or self talk. C stands for consequences of thinking that way. D stands for disputing those beliefs. And E stands for enjoying the energy shift. So A activating event, that's when we make a mountain out of a molehill when something happens, or somebody says something, and it pushes our buttons. So if you're having trouble identifying what an activating event is, my advice is ask your spouse, they will probably be able to tell you very easily, they'll be able to spot those things easier than we can, if you're not married, s ask a close friend, they can usually see things that we can't. So a activating event, when you're something that just sets you off. So be the beliefs or self talk that go along with that event. So we've got to have a little look under the hood here, we got to do a little self reflection and say, Why am I reacting that way? What is it about my makeup, the causes me to just, you know, have a hair trigger? Right? So a little self reflection will go a long way. Again, talking this through with your spouse or a close friend will help? And then C? What are the consequences of thinking and believing that way? When I react that way, what happens? Where does it lead me? Where does it? Where does that take me? And how does it affect others. So it's important to explore the consequences. And you'll see when the consequences are undesirable, probably means you're believing some lies. D is disputing those beliefs. So we replace thoughts with more productive ones. Second Corinthians 10:5, we're taking every thought captive. And when we do that, we take the unproductive thought throw it away, replace it with a productive one, or throw away the lie, replace it with truth, then we enjoy the energy shift. So we enjoy more of the third with the Spirit, which is peace. So I've created a PDF that'll help you walk through this process in writing, it really helps to write this down, not just keep it in your head. So I'm going to make that available as a content upgrade a free upgrade, go to /121. And you can pick up a copy of that upgrade. So the P and MVP stands for practice emotional intelligence. Now the first thing we have to do to increase our emotional intelligence is to expand our emotional vocabulary. So I recommend you use an emotion wheel. There's a lot of emotion wheels online, but the one I like to use is put together by all the feelz and that spelled F E E L Z. And you start at the center of the wheel and you work your way out. So you take something like surprised and surprise could be startled or confused and lost you get up level of surprise could be shocked or dismayed and not shaken up even further. It could be frightened or panicked. So there's varying degrees of these emotions so it's good that we can put it's good if we can put words to them. Anger could be mad or frustrated, or could be infuriated or hostile. So there's different levels. And it really helps when you're sorting these things out, to have a name to what you're feeling what you're experiencing. And another thing we want to do is avoid emotional constipation. And I know that sounds a little crude, but it's a pretty good analogy. It's pretty good metaphor. When we eat, we put food in our mouths, we chew on it, we swallow it and take it in, then our body goes to work, digesting it and extracting the useful nutrients from it. And then when it's through doing that, we eliminate the waste. And if we don't eliminate the waste, well, things can get a little smelly. Right? So we want to do the same thing with our emotions, we want to take them in, we want to chew on them, we want to digest them, we want to say to ourselves, what can I get out of this emotion? What is this? What is this emotion telling me about the situation or about myself, extract the usefulness from them, and then let them go. Because if we don't let them go, they're gonna rot. They're gonna they're gonna fester inside. And you know, disappointment can turn into bitterness, and resentment. And those emotions, not good. We don't call those emotions, toxic emotions for nothing.

David Sandstrom 36:21
Another thing we have to do to increase our emotional intelligence is avoid emotional reasoning. Emotional reasoning says, If I feel it, it must be true. Or on the other side of that coin, is, if I don't feel it, it can't be true. So emotions are good to help us explain and make sense of the events in our lives. But they're not good, objective measures of truth. So we've got to be careful of that.

David Sandstrom 36:51
Another important part of emotional intelligence is emotional responding. So this has a little bit of a overlap with loving others. But that's just the nature of who we are. This there's a interconnectedness and interdependence to all three parts of who we are. So this one, this one overlaps with love for others. But Romans : says this rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. So in other words, we want to respond appropriately. If someone is emoting toward us, we want to respond appropriately. So if someone is expressing frustration or disappointment or hurt, the last thing they need is a pep talk or advice. That hurting person needs compassion, empathy support. If their child just got a failing grade on a big test, you wouldn't say something like, well, at least his older sister is a straight A student, it wouldn't be appropriate. If a friend of yours just had a miscarriage. The last thing you want to say is something like, well, at least you can still have children. Or at least you still have two healthy kids. That would just add to the hurt, you want to respond. You want to hurt with those who hurt, okay? You want to weep with those who weep when someone is expressing our hurtful event in their lives, if you're tempted to respond with well, at least keep it to yourself. Don't Don't go there, it's only going to add to their hurt. A better phrase to use in those situations that I just mentioned would be something like this. Man, that's gotta hurt real bad. I can't imagine the pain you're going through. But I want you to know I'm here for you. Sometimes you don't even need words, just a hug, or a mutual shed tear is all this necessary. That's what that person needs that moment. That's the emotional responding. So remember, relational connectedness is extraordinarily good for our health and well being. So emotional responding, can go a long way towards bringing peace for yourself, but also peace and support and connectedness with another human being that needs it.

David Sandstrom 39:05
So you know, there's a lot of research been done on these blue zones around the world, where people have these pockets of people that have a lot of sanitarians people that have lived to 100 years older, more places like Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Italy, the Nicoya Peninsula and Costa Rica. And Loma Linda, California is one of them as well. So the researchers are studying their diet and what they like to eat and thinking we're gonna we're gonna find out what it is that keeps these people living so long. But what they found is their diets are all over the place. They're the all kinds of different things. But these people end up enjoying vibrant health well as their later years. But what they do so they don't have much in common with their diets. But what they do have in common is a strong sense of community. And they enjoyed a positive relational connectedness with their neighbors, friends and family. Oh, Ah, that's very, very good for our health. We talked about the studies or studies earlier in this podcast for the body.

David Sandstrom 40:06
What's God's designed for our body? Well, we have nutrition movement in sleep. And the mnemonic for that is food. Move, and snooze. Okay, nutrition. This is a big one, right? We could obviously do a whole podcast on this alone for sure. Right? But if we go to the Bible, and we're looking for nutritional advice, it's a little bit on the vague side, what we have the Levitical dietary laws, but they're not really useful. One of the one of the dietary restrictions in there is don't eat bats. Well, I can tell you this. I'm walking in complete victory on that particular command. I have absolutely no compulsion to eat a bat. Praise, praise God, hallelujah. For that one. Do I have a witness? But anyway, so another thing that that's included in the political law for the dietary restrictions is we're not supposed to eat birds of prey, like eagles are vultures, because they're basically nature's garbage cleaners, and they could have a lot of toxins inside of them. So God says the nation of Israel avoid those kinds of birds. So there are there's some usefulness there, but it's, it's kind of limited. And over in the New Testament, First Corinthians 10:23 says this, everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. First Timothy 4:4 says this one is specifically talking about food sacrifice to idols, it says this, For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude. So don't miss that phrase created by God in nature, not by man in a laboratory.

David Sandstrom 41:48
So that leads us to the number one rule for healthy eating, and that is this eat food as close to its God given natural form as possible. So we want to avoid processed foods. The more man gets his hands on our food supply, the worse it is for us. So food companies are more concerned with their profits than they are with our health. So in the name of profits, they add things like chemical flavoring, MSG, chemical coloring, like red dye number 40. chemical preservatives, texturing agents, anticaking, agents, sugar, usually in the form of cheap, inexpensive, high fructose corn syrup, which is a highly processed food, processed iodized salt, they put harmful fats in there. Processed foods are full of bad oils, hydrogenated oils, excessive amounts of seed oils with lots of alpha linoleic acid. And ALA has been shown to produce some systemic inflammation in the body is responsible for for a lot of illnesses. They put a lot of canola oil, which, by the way, there's no such thing as a canola seed, it's actually a rapeseed, and canola oil is another form of processed oil that used to be used for machinery lubricant, but now they put it in our food cottonseed oil, corn oil, soybean oil, all of those oils are highly processed full of harmful ALA, this, you know, in consumed in high quantities, and we also over consume Omega six fatty acids when we consume too many of those, those oils and processed foods. So also are BPA from packaging. So there's a lot of thought or reasons to get away from packaged foods, packaged processed foods. So we should tend towards single ingredient foods, and when we do will dramatically reduce our sugar intake and dramatically reduce the amount of chemicals that we're ingesting with our food. So here's a good rule of thumb. If it comes in a box, a package or a container or through a window, it's probably not good for us. Right? It's suspect. If you can't pronounce an ingredient on the label, put it back on the shelf, it's probably not good for you. If you can't buy that ingredient, yourself at a local grocery store, probably are well serve, putting that product back on the shelf. Alright, there's one other thing I want to say about about diet right now. And I know there's a lot of disagreement as to what's the world's healthiest diet? You know, is it is it keto? Is it vegetarianism? Is it raw veganism? Is it Mediterranean? You know, is it paleo? What What is it what's best? Well, I believe that God designed human beings to be omnivores, which is to eat both meat and vegetables, and fruits, of course.

David Sandstrom 44:37
So I'd like to talk about the vegetarian carnivore debate for a minute. There are a lot of Bible believing Christians that believe that the Bible teaches vegetarianism. And they would refer you to Genesis 1:29 Where it says this. Then God said, Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, in every tree which has fruit yielding seed. It shall be food for you. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the sky. And to everything that moves, I have given every green plant for food. And it was so. So that was Genesis chapter one, when God first created Adam and Eve, and put them in the garden, and it's pretty clear, it sounds like wow, that pretty much does teach vegetarianism, doesn't it? Well, if we move a few pages to the right in Genesis chapter nine, we see this starting in verse one. And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth, the fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth, and on every bird of the sky, with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea into your hand they are given, every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you. I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. So after the flood, when Noah and his family emerged from the ark, there was a shift, something happened, it appears as though God's original design was for humans to be vegetarians. But a great shift took place after the flood. And we now see that there's a clear instruction here, that human beings are to eat animal based products. Right, so that I hope that clears the air. There's more to say on this. But I think we can see that the Bible clearly teaches that human beings are designed to be omnivores, were to consume both fruits and vegetables, and meats.

David Sandstrom 46:38
So we have to understand though that there is a metabolic individuality. The exact amount of protein and fat and carbohydrates that we consume is really an individual thing. It varies with the amount of stress level order. It varies with our activity level, our age. And it also varies with how metabolically healthy we are and how many health challenges we're experiencing. The gut microbiome has a great deal to do with this, the level of insulin resistance we're experiencing. Do we have hypothyroidism, the HPA axis, the hypothalamus, pituitary adrenal axis, all of those things play into each person have any metabolic individuality. So anybody that tells you and it's dogmatic about they found the perfect human diet, and this is it, and you need to implement it to be careful of that. Just just be be leery of those types of dogmatic statements, because it's a very individual thing.

David Sandstrom 47:35
But again, I think we can use the Bible as a baseline. And we can also use observable science to back up what we learned from the Bible. So the next part of how we're to treat our bodies is movement or move. So, yes, we need to exercise I think it's pretty clear, I don't have to spend too much time convincing you that our bodies are designed for movement was supposed to exercise was supposed to be experiencing some type of exercise on a daily basis. There's a lot said on that. And I don't think we'd really dive too deep into that on this episode. So another important thing that we have to get moving is our lymph fluid. You know, the blood is pumped through the body with the heart. And it's important to get our heart rate up so that we get blood flow moving, that's pretty simple task. But getting your lymph fluid moving is little more difficult because the lift fluid does not have a pump like the heart, it moves through muscle contraction. Now it's important to make sure our lift is moving because we we carry toxins out of the body with the lymph fluid. And we also carry immune cell components like white blood cells from the bone marrow to the infection site. So it's very important to keep our lymph moving, if we don't, we're going to get very toxic real fast. So the lymph system has one way check valves. So when our muscles contract in, put, apply pressure to those lit veins, it pushes the lymph fluid through this one way check valve and it opens and then closes. So when the muscle has to contract multiple times to get that, that lift, fluid flowing, that's the weight lift fluid moves. So it's important to use body movement to get your lymph fluid going. That's an important discussion. One of the great ways to get your lymph fluid moving is jump on a trampoline that weightlessness moment up in the air and a trampoline helps get that one way check valve exercise. So another thing we have to think about moving is are the food through the alimentary canal. So we want to process our food we want to digest it well. And then we want to eliminate so you want to make sure you're having at least one bulky stool movement per day. If we don't do that, we're going to be happy with toxins are going to be backing up in our system. If you're not eliminating these, there's things you can do. You can drink more water exercise helps with that. There's also some herbal supplements you can take like cascara sagrada bark on A few different things to get get your digestion moving. But if you haven't a little real problem with constipation, you probably have some work to do on the microbiome, you probably have some undesirable microscopic organisms living in there that really don't belong. It might be time to get with a practitioner, and figure out how you can restore the balance to your microbiome in the gut. Very important. So food, move, and snooze.

David Sandstrom 50:26
The last one is sleep here. How do we treat our bodies? What's God's design for sleep? Well, first thing I would say is think of sleep as a nutrient because it is. In episodes of early on of the podcast, I did a deep dive into what happens during sleep, and what we could do for a better night's sleep. And it's episode six and seven. I called the podcasts Holistic Health Matters back then. But it's a sixth and seventh of the natural health matters podcast, you can take a deep dive with me into what happens during sleep, and how to get a better night's sleep. But here's the highlights. So when we sleep, we do all kinds of bodily processes, we process our emotions, we balance hormones, we Detox our major organs and systems. For instance, the large intestine is designed to eliminate somewhere around five and 7am. One of the more important detoxification that goes on is we Detox our brains. There's a system called the glymphatic system that's very active during sleep. And what happens is our brain cells actually shrink. And it allows cerebral spinal fluid to flush through our brains and flush toxins out. This is a very important part of what goes on during sleep. So we really ought to treasure our sleep. And we ought to think of it like a nutrient because it is. So again, Episode Seven, I go into a lot of details on how to get a better night's sleep. One of the suggestions I have for that is try to get to bed by 10, or at the latest 11 Because our adrenal glands will do their recharging before midnight. Also, we experience longer periods of deep sleep before midnight, and deep sleep is where a lot of our rejuvenation takes place. So it's not accurate to say, Well, I'm just going to go to bed at two and get up at 10. And I still get my eight hours asleep, you will not be getting a full night's rest. If you do that. You want to get to bed before midnight, preferably before 11 Even better before 10 Or by 10. Another thing you could do to help with sleep is don't eat within three hours of bedtime. digestion takes a lot of energy. And especially if you have some difficulty just foods like wheat, dairy and those types of things that give a lot of people trouble that can interfere with your nighttime rest as well. And another suggestion I have is to create a spa like atmosphere or sanctuary in your bedroom. You want to remove any clutter. If you have an exercise machine or a desk in your in your bedroom, if you can do it, I suggest taking it out of there. Don't let your bedroom double as a gym or a home office. You want to get in a state of mind of restfulness and relaxation in your bedroom. Another thing you could do to create a spa like atmosphere is get put some houseplants in your bedroom peace lilies philodendron ferns, they make they all make good health plates. Another thing you may want to do is lower the temperature down to about 70 degrees, then a lot of research shown that cooler room provides provides better sleep because our bodies have to lower their core body temperature by about two degrees in order to sleep well. So if you're if you're too hot, that's going to interfere your sleep as well. Also, it's God's designed that we sleep in complete darkness. Ideally, you want to not be able to see your hand when it's directly in front of your face. You want it that darkened room if you can. So to do that, you're going to need some blackout curtains, I recommend a company called nice town. They have some really good quality inexpensive blackout curtains. You put them up with a curved curtain rod that helps fold the curtain around towards the wall. And they really do a pretty good job of making things darkened room even if you have light bright streetlights outside, they do a really good job. I'll put a link to those in the show notes as well. Another thing you could do, if you haven't trouble sleeping, is use progressive muscle relaxation. Now, there's a lot of YouTube videos on this. And basically real quick is you. We all experience we hold on to tension in various parts of our body. Sometimes it's our back, sometimes it's the neck could be legs. So what you do with progressive muscle relaxation is you tense up a portion of your muscles. So I like to start with my calves. And then when you tense up for a few seconds you inhale, maybe maybe 567 seconds, inhale, and then when you exhale, you're inhaling through your nose, exhale through pursed lips through your mouth. And you make sure that your exhale is longer than you're inhale, and you simultaneously relax those muscles. And you'll be telling your body that it's safe. It's okay to relax. And then after you go through it, the cast, move up to the thighs, and then move to the back, and so on and so forth. So you get your whole body done. And it's a really good way. There's been a lot of research done on this. And it's very effective at reducing stress, and reducing sleep latency, how long it takes to fall asleep, and the quality of sleep you get.

David Sandstrom 55:27
Another thing you could do to help with a better night's sleep is to schedule a time to talk with your spouse, ask them about their day. Again, relational connected this right? You can journal, I find find journaling useful, especially at times when I'm really worried about something or I have a big day ahead or a big week ahead. By journaling and writing it down. You put your thoughts on paper, and you give yourself permission to let it go until tomorrow, you putting it down on paper, and you're going to read it later. So you can let it go now. So it's journaling is very useful. Also, of course, you've probably guessed it prayer, you know, meditate on the Word of God. That's an excellent thing to do before sleep, as well as just when you wake up in the morning as well. But especially when you go into sleep. So again, if you want more on this, go to episode seven, and I have a lot of tips for getting a better night's sleep.

David Sandstrom 56:22
All right. So that was a mouthful. So let me summarize a little bit. We maximize our health potential by aligning our lives more fully with God's natural design for spirit, mind and body. God's desire for a spirit. It's all about love, relationships, love for God, love for others, and love for ourselves, our mind, we want to be our own MVP. We want to focus on having the proper mindset. We want to experience victory over limiting beliefs, and practice emotional intelligence for the body. We want to address our food move in snooze, nutrition, eat food as close to its God given natural form as possible. Embrace movement, not only exercise, but lift, fluid movement, and digestive movement as well and elimination, as well as good quality sleep. So there you have it. Those are my recommendations. Those are my nine pillars of health, for how we align our lives more fully with God's natural design for spirit, mind and body. There's more to it than that. But those are the highlights.

David Sandstrom 57:33
Thanks for hanging in there with me. I know this was a long episode, we covered a lot here. But, you know, I really think that I really needed to do this, I really need to unpack these words, so that you the natural nation will know what I'm talking about what I state the mission statement for the podcast. So thanks for hanging in there. Hey, by the way, if you enjoyed these two episodes, would you share them with your friends? share them on social media spread the word. It's not easy to find a practitioner. That approach is health and wellness with a biblical worldview and his frame of mind of trusting our health outcomes to God. And if you if you're enjoying the podcast, I really appreciate you sharing it with a friend. That's it for now. Thank you for listening. I'll talk to you next time be blessed.

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About the author 

David Sandstrom

I want to help you maximize your health potential so you can look and feel your best at any age. We do this by aligning our lives more fully with God's natural design for our spirit, mind, and body. I've been helping people maximize their health potential since 2005.

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