Using all of the above expertise, and inspired by his own journey to the upper levels of the health spectrum, Tim focusses on aspects of your living (including nutrition, breathing dynamics, rest and rejuvenation) and health to deliver you to superior levels of living that few ever get to experience. In fact, in creating such a program, Tim and a few outstanding health practitioners in other modalities have created a retreat space aimed at optimal living that is targetted at groups, organisations and companies. See www.naturalflowretreats,com.au
Optimal Performance Nutrition
Too often the perception of a persons’ health is dictated by the presence or absence of disease. Unfortunately this only gives us a very small part of the picture and is really only the middle section of a spectrum of health ranging from extreme malnourishment or pathology (or death!!) to an optimal state of health and functionality rarely experienced by most people.
A person may be perceived, and perceive themselves as healthy yet they experience a range of conditions or symptoms from being overweight, or experiencing regular colds and flu’s, occasional headaches, poor concentration, moodiness, stomach upsets, bloating or constipation, hay fever or sinusitis, PMS, menstrual cycle irregularities or difficulties, and fatigue (especially mid-morning and mid-afternoon) . Whilst these states are periodic and not signs of obvious pathology or disease for most of the time, they are some of the symptoms experienced by most of us very often. And they are indicators that our state of health is far from the optimal wellness or health available to all of us.
Just because an individual may be fit, or lean or free from major pathology, it does not mean they are healthy, or even operating anywhere near their optimal .
Having never experienced anything near our optimal state of well-being or health, most of us would have no perception of the abundant energy levels, mental clarity and heightened performance (free from the subclinical niggles mentioned above) that is available to all of us.
This optimal state of health does not require one to go and live on an organic farm, or at a vegetarian commune, or meditate in a cave in the Himalayas for years. It is available to all of us, right here and now. It is simply about the choices we make.
We live in a society where we are spoiled by choice. We can access pretty much any food or supplement on the planet without having to travel outside of our city. Unfortunately most of the choices we make are governed by convenience, immediacy, our emotional state at the time, and a combination of a lack of education as to what are the right choices and misrepresentation or disinformation from food companies interested more in the bottom line of profits than our health. Let’s face it. Most companies now are under more pressure to satisfy the owners and financial controllers, or share-holders, than to look out for the well-being of their consumers.
What compounds this is that, from a genetic perspective, our bodies are still built to function as if we are still wandering the bush or living off the land. As a species we have evolved over a million years or so, yet our dietary habits have only started to change over the last 5-10,000 years when we started settling in villages and developed agricultural practices, which introduced grains to the food chain. Whilst this sounds like a long time, it represents at best 1% of our evolutionary history, and evolutionary changes to our genetic blueprint (brought about by environmental influences) occur very slowly.
In fact, genetic and anthropological research has found that it takes at least 40,000 to 100,000 years for a change in our environment to be assimilated by our bodies (genetically).
For most of this 5-10,000 years the grains we consumed were whole grains. It is only with the advent of the industrial revolution over the last 300 years, and especially the technological revolution of the last 100 or so years, that things started to really change dramatically. The foods we now eat have become increasingly refined, processed and manipulated.
The two major deviations from how our bodies have evolved to function optimally (from a nutritional perspective) to how we largely nourish them in the western world nowadays are:
1. The presence of foreign or ‘new to nature’ chemicals in the food chain – directly via pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, preservatives, additives, flavours, colouring agents, trans fats, additives to water and indirectly via pharmaceuticals, wastes leaking into soil and water supplies, cleaning products, personal care products, atmospheric pollution etc. etc. etc. In fact, over 60,000 different ‘new to nature’chemicals have been added to the food chain since WWII. As these chemicals are foreign, the body has not yet had time to adapt to them and, in most cases, it is forced to metabolise and eliminate them, placing serious load on organs such as the liver, digestive system and kidneys. And in many cases, such as heavy metals, these toxic chemicals cannot be removed and accumulate in our bodies in fat cells, bones, muscles, nervous tissue, our brain etc.
2. The presence of sugar in the food chain – for most of our evolutionary history, the only sugar we had access to was via some fruit (mostly tropical or warm climate fruits) and honey if we could procure it. Yet nowadays sugar is everywhere – via raw sugar, syrups, sugar enhanced foods and drinks (soft drinks, sauces, juices, cereals, cakes, pastries, muesli bars, confectionary – the list goes on) and refined grains (including bread, pasta, cereal, cakes, pastries, alcohol, muesli & muesli bars etc).
In addition, extensive scientific research has indicated that chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes which are the most common causes of death in the western world (9 out of 10 deaths occur from heart disease, cancer, stroke, obesity related illnesses, diabetes and chronic respiratory illnesses), are potentially all clearly preventable by correct and healthy nutritional choices. Unfortunately, these diseases are by nature insidious in their onset, meaning that they build and progress slowly over time. By the time ‘obvious’ symptoms become apparent it is often extremely hard or even impossible to reverse the damage done.
Dr Daniel Lieberman, in his book, “The Story of The Human Body” suggests that chronic illnesses result from a mismatch between the bodies we have inherited from our hunter-gatherer ancestors and the culture or world we have created.
Dr Lieberman states, “We get sick from chronic diseases by doing what we evolved to do but under conditions for which our bodies are poorly adapted, and we then pass on those same conditions to our children, who also then get sick. If we wish to halt this vicious circle then we need to figure out how to respectfully and sensibly nudge, push and sometimes oblige ourselves to eat foods that promote health and to be more physically active. That too, is what we evolved to do.”
So prevention of the big ‘killers’ starts right now, when we are ‘apparently’ perfectly fine and healthy. It is at this time that we can get the greatest results in reversing or preventing the beginning of any chronic pathologies that could destroy our quality of life, and even kill us, later on.
Rather than focusing on the negatives, the upside is that we can live longer with a heightened quality of life from the minute that we start making the right choices.
The important thing in making the right choices to achieve optimal performance is to understand the processes that occur in relation to how of body uses the food we eat.
In the Optimal Performance Nutrition program I help you to understand why your body is not functioning optimally, and guide you to make the choices that will allow it to do so.
And via individual consultations online or in person in my clinics, I evaluate your average daily diet and make specific suggestions unique to you that will allow you to eat and live optimally.