• Dana West, R.D.

Essentials of Health



How often do you give your car a tune up; getting the oil and filter changed, tires rotated, etc.? In order for our cars to run efficiently they need to be properly maintained and tuned up to be kept in the best running condition!

My Dad allowed me to take our family Suburban back to college, with the warning, “keep an eye on the oil level” because “it is burning oil.” As instructed, I checked the oil about a month later and found that it was low as my Dad had predicted. I bought the necessary oil and poured it in.

A few days later, I was coming home from work, when I suddenly heard a terrible sound. I pulled off to the side of the road and look all around but saw nothing. I called my dad; he told me who to call. The gentleman came out and in less than two minutes had a diagnosis. He said, “When is the last time you but oil in?” “A few days ago,” I proudly replied. He look at me incredulously and said, “And where did you put that oil?” I showed him. “Well that is where you would normally put your transmission fluid.” The poor engine had “thrown a rod” and was ruined.

Every part of the car is unique and has an important function to keeping it running smoothly. And so it is with the human body. The body needs proper attention to be kept in the best running condition. It needs the right fuel at the right time in the right way.

There are Ten Essential Health Tools that will help keep our bodies tuned up! We need look no further than out our back door to find some of them. As we investigate each tool, take a personal inventory of how well you are doing and where you might need to tune up to put your body back in a state of health and running with ease (instead of in dis-ease)!

Start A New YOU!™ is an great acronym that contains all ten tools:

Sunlight (direct): We need at least 20 minutes of sunlight every day. Direct sunlight helps kill germs, is important for the production of vitamin D, and helps us regulate blood glucose and blood pressure levels. Get plenty of direct sunlight every day, but use the next tool, temperance, so you do not get too much!

Temperance (abstaining from what is harmful and using in moderation what is good): Just like we want to fuel our vehicles properly, we also want to fuel our body with only things that will build it up and not tear it down. Therefore, avoiding alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and other drugs will keep the body’s defenses strong. Also eating a proper amount and avoiding over- eating will keep our digestive system healthy. The saying is true; we are only as healthy as our gut is healthy. Also, we should use temperance in all our activities of life, excessiveness of “good” and “healthy” things can still be harmful.

Atmosphere: Having a fresh current of air is an important tool for our health. Keeping a window open (even if it is only a small amount) in your home will help keep a circulation of fresh air. Deep-breathing exercises have a healing restorative effect on the body. Try to avoid

polluted-air areas and areas of second-hand smoke. Research is now showing there is a significant increase in diabetes and hypertension risk among those who live in areas with high air-pollution, such big cities. Living in or visiting the country, especially with lots of trees and water flowing is some of the best air. For our best health, the atmosphere around us needs to be peaceful, cheerful, uplifting, as well as neat, clean, and tidy. Those who live with less clutter and in fairly clean homes are healthier.

Rest (7-9 hours for adults): Proper sleep helps keep our immune system healthy. When we are well rested inflammation is decreased and we are more equipped to handle the stresses of daily life. The hours before midnight are twice as beneficial as those after midnight. So going to bed no later than 10 pm can improve your quality of sleep and restfulness. But we also need to use the temperance tool with sleeping; sleeping longer than 9 hours a night (for adults) has been shown to be detrimental to our health. It is best to aim for around 8 hours, give or take an hour.

Trust, Thoughts and Thinking (building relationships): God is the One who has given us our health; our countenance and constitution (Psalm 43). He wants to give us His “Saving Health” (Psalm 67). He knows what is best to keep our body in good running order that is why He has given us these ten tools. God has also given us fellow human beings to help us along the way. By helping others, we will be improving our health. Reaching beyond self has powerful remedies for the healing of both soul and body. Healthy relationships are an important tool for health. Learning to deal with tough emotions, situations, conversations, dilemmas, crises, without destroying our health is an art that can be learned. As a man thinks, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). May your heart be merry, may your thoughts be praise, and may your words be pleasant!

Attitude and Accountability (Avoiding negativity, being thankful): Our outlook and attitude toward life largely impacts the quality and quantity of life that we will enjoy. Is the world against you or is it rooting for you? Are people a pain or a joy? Learning to control our thoughts, avoiding negative attitudes, and learning the art of thankfulness will powerfully improve health. A word of encouragement is as powerful as a bridge joining two peaks; it can change someone’s entire day! Why not speak a word today that will help and cheer someone?

Understanding we belong to God helps us take better care of the body He has given us. Being accountable to someone on earth also helps us reach our goals with a higher rate of success.

Nutrition (proper): In reality, we are what we eat. Our diet provides the building materials for every function of the body. Knowing how to fuel our body to have it work its best and then putting that knowledge into practice will do more for our health than just about anything else. Remember, we all know better than we do. But may we never settle for the good, or even the better, but only our individual best health!

Exercise: Exercise is a powerful tool for disease reversal. It is recommended that we get 60 minutes of activity a day, with a movement break from sitting every 30-60 minutes. Exercise is “Nature’s Prozac”! Move to think and think well and positive! Lack energy? One of the best

ways to move your body is in a useful and productive way, such as trimming bushes, gardening, etc. We were created to move! Moving gives us energy!

Water (plenty inside and outside): Water is necessary both internally and externally. We wash our bodies every day to remove the germs excreted and reduce the germs absorbed. Staying hydrated keeps our skin elastic and body more efficient, and brain clearer. Drink at least 5-10 glasses of water a day. Water is also very therapeutic: listening to a creek or stream soothes the nerves and has a calming effect on our whole system. We can use simple water treatments to treat illnesses such as the common cold or flu, headaches, pain, high blood pressure, cancer, etc. Water treatments are called hydrotherapy (make that a link, please).

YOU! The buck stops with YOU! Only you can acquire your best health! And your best health will be accomplished through acquiring your best circulation. Circulation is how free your blood is able to flow and carry out its various functions. How we think, eat, dress, sleep, and move all impact our circulation. It takes time to form new habits, and you might lapse back into old habits, but keep trying and focusing on the good habits and soon the old habits will be a thing of the past! You can do it! You can Start A New YOU™!

Give us a call today to help you put all the puzzle pieces together!


"He that speaks truth shows forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. There is that speaks like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health." - Proverbs 12:17-18