5 Common Roadblocks to True Health

September 11, 2014 Updated: June 24, 2015

By Derek Henry, Holistic Health Coach for Healing the Body

When we begin our journey back to health, typically due to a health condition that has forced us to reevaluate our lifestyle, it usually starts with a blend of transitions and quick fixes as we attempt to slowly rebalance our bodies back to health. Unfortunately, old habit that no longer serve us die hard and we often end up keeping some that are creating roadblocks to true health.

Flour and Sugar Consumed Regularly

One of the first transitions people make when getting healthy is to clean up their grain intake by going organic and avoiding gluten. That is often followed by avoiding white sugar and replacing it with more desirable sweeteners like coconut sugar or cane sugar. Although these are good practices and a step in the right direction, they often serve as permanent roadblocks to true health.

Consuming flour products and sugar on a regular basis is a big mistake when trying to overcome health issues, regardless of the upgrade. The upgrades may eliminate some of your immediate symptoms, but it will never lead you back to true health as long as you continue to consume them on a daily, and even weekly, basis.

Flour, in any format, is devoid of enzymes, probiotics, and other nutrients that facilitate proper digestion. Sugar is no different. Both encourage and feed intestinal problems that have not been fully cleaned up, and the resulting compromised gut function will always leave your old health problems to fester, rather than be truly healed.

Consuming Fruit at the Expense of Vegetables

One of the best transitions you can make when getting healthy and one that nearly everyone would acknowledge is eating more fresh, clean, and local produce. It is rich in enzymes, probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that help feed the body and hydrate it at the same time.

Typically, fruits are the primary selection at the expense of going deep into a variety of vegetables. I get it…fruit has that sweet taste that satisfies our sugar addiction, and it is good for us, right?

Yes, and no. Fruit is certainly a good way to start incorporating more whole foods into the diet, but going at it unscrupulously at the expense of vegetables is not a recipe for good health. Most fruit contains a high sugar content, which has shown to be problematic for those dealing with systemic infections, like Candida. Feeding this condition with ANY higher levels of sugar, natural or not, will continue to feed it and facilitate its further presence in the body.

Vegetables on the other hand, are much lower in sugar across the board, and contain valuable nutrients that are not in abundance in fruit. This ensures you do not feed an underlying infection (it is estimated that up to 80% have Candida overgrowth to some degree, and up to 90% of people have had a parasite), and you obtain a quality source of nutrients that strengthen your body, rather than potentially weakening it.

Produce is a great way to start getting healthy, but you need to focus more on vegetables so you can steer clear of feeding any existing bacterial imbalances, which will always prevent you from obtaining true health.

Focusing Too Much on Supplements, and Not Quality Food

The natural supplement industry is booming, and for good reason. People have grown tired, mentally and physically, of the side effects from various prescription medications and are actively seeking more natural methods to control their symptoms and illnesses.

Unfortunately, people fall into the supplement trap and begin chasing symptoms and end up buying dozens of supplements with often little to no consideration of the fundamental aspect that is required in order to really get healthy – appropriate food consumption.

Even though overhauling ones diet can be both confusing and overwhelming at the same time, it is an absolute requirement. All too often, people skip over this hoping a natural supplement will provide them with the health they desire, but it is most often a sure path to popping pills for the rest of ones life, rather than just eating food.

When becoming healthy, one must focus on the proper food for their body first, and supplements (therapeutic nutrition) second. This does not mean that supplementation is not effective or not important for many people dealing with acute or chronic health issues, but it needs to drop down the hierarchy under diet and other important lifestyle factors that create the foundation to good health.

Obsession With Protein

Thanks to the protein powder industry, there is a sinister obsession with focussing on protein in our diet. Albeit it is an important factor for obtaining good health, people often make the mistake of obsessing over it at the expense of focussing on real food that not only provides protein, but the hundred of other nutrients required for a properly functioning body.

What I’d like to see is an obsession with probiotics, enzymes, and other nutrients that clean up the overwhelming intestinal problems plaguing North America, and other parts of the world. It would deliver FAR more benefits than any protein powder could every deliver.

The reality is protein is in many different foods, and unless you are training excessively, your protein requirements are likely to be met through a healthy diet that contains plenty of vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and animal sources.

Exercising Excessively

Exercising is a wonderful activity to promote blood and lymph flow, oxygen exchange, and detoxification. It also burns calories that can help trim excessive fat and sculpt the body you truly desire.

Exercise seems to be one of the first things people tackle to get healthy, and largely because people equate weight with health. That, and people just want to plain look good! However, there is some details you need to consider before you start your routine of 6 days a week cardio and weight training workouts.

First of all, if your adrenals are in bad shape, excessive exercise will further deplete their stores and can lead to adrenal exhaustion, which ironically, can lead to weight gain and other major health problems.

Secondly, if you are exercising excessively you need to ensure your diet is strong, and that doesn’t start and end at a protein shake at breakfast, luck, and dinner. Fundamentally, you need to be eating a nutrient rich diet as your excessive exercise burns off nutrients that need to be replaced. Exercising for the sole purpose of “calorie exchange” (500 calories burned, means 500 calories in junk food allowed) is not a wise decision for your health and will eventually lead to a dead end road in terms of any significant health benefits.

If you choose to exercise, start in moderation, especially if you are new to it and to the whole “healthy lifestyle”. Walking, yoga, light jogging, weight lifting, and rebounding are great starts. Make movement a part of your everyday routine, and crank it up a bit a few times a week (but not excessively). Once you feel strong and more energetic, you can increase your activity and intensity, provided you stay true to a well balanced diet full of nutrients.

Getting healthy is not always an easy task. Eliminating toxins and focusing on nourishment are the two most important steps, along with appropriate exercise and mindset. Having a strong mentor who has traveled the path successfully to true health will accelerate your results, and help you avoid frustrating set backs.

It’s up to you how high a quality of life you want to live. If you do want to remove lingering issues that compromise your quality of life, you need to avoid these common roadblocks to be sure you can obtain the true health you desire.

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*Image of “male athlete” via Shutterstock