Featured

by admin

We make it easier to reach your goals.
Get started with us today!

Most people would say they should be healthier. The sad truth is that we’ve never been sicker – despite more doctors, more hospitals, more drugs, greater technological advances in diagnosis and ‘treatment’ (after the fact = sick care), man has never been sicker than we are today. The deterioration of modern man’s health has gotten to the point where recently the CDC announced that for the first time in the history of man on earth, children are not expected to live as long as their parents – did you get that? That’s never happened before. Ever. And it’s the result of toxic and deficient lifestyles in the form of processed packaged nutrient-poor foods filled with health-robbing chemicals and devoid of life-giving nutrients, combined with sedentary and stressful lifestyles.

The good news is science has shown beyond a shadow of doubt what is required to be healthy – the doctors who founded and created Bonfire have not only vetted this research on your behalf to outline in great detail how to successfully adopt healthier lifestyle habits, but they’ve been teaching it to literally tens of thousands of patient for over 58 years of combined clinical practice. It’s now available to you as the Bonfire Program and it’s FREE. The Bonfire Program is a 90 Day Health Transformation Program that will gently and effectively guide you through adopting healthier habits into your lifestyle within the domains of eating (fuel), moving (air) and thinking (spark).  [click here]

Get the Body You Want … Without Fad Diets or Gimmicks. 

Perhaps the single most identifiable characteristic of our unhealthy modern culture is the fact that the vast majority of people today, both young and old, are overweight or outright obese. Being overweight is the hallmark feature of nearly all chronic diseases – heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune/inflammatory disease, and the like. Being overweight isn’t about ‘being overweight’ (or out of shape, or ‘fat’, or whatever), it’s about being unhealthy. There is no other way to put it – when someone is overweight, they’re unhealthy. Period. Do you want to ‘gain health’ (i.e. lose weight)? Then sign up for the Bonfire Program today and start losing weight and getting healthier tomorrow.

Are you facing a health challenge?

Allergies? Skin Problems? Autoimmune Condition?

You know, it wasn’t that long ago that when someone died of cancer, it was unusual – it was a ‘big deal’. Today, it’s commonplace – everyone knows someone who’s has or has died from cancer (every other weekend is a Breast Cancer Walk). Similarly, between 1940 to 1980, an overweight kid was somewhat of a rarity; or, for those of you old fossils like Dr. Paul, remember when there was that one kid at school who ‘had asthma’? Today, registering a child for school always involves a list of current medications, allergies, health conditions, etc. (not to mention the 15% of boys today taking Ritalin or some other ADD/ADHD medication). How peanut butter and jelly used to be an American tradition; now, it’s an act of bio-terrorism at ‘NUT FREE’ schools. What’s most fascinating is that no one is asking … WHY?

Learn the keys to getting the body, health and life you’ve always wanted and deserved – for FREE.

Why are so many people, children and adults alike, off the rails with their health? It’s quite simple really – it’s our lifestyles; as modern humans, we’re so off base from what and how we’re supposed to eat, move and think that the current health epidemics (obesity, allergies, diabetes, autoimmune, dementia/neuro-degenerative diseases, etc.) are to be expected. Think about it – if you fed your dog a steady diet of donuts, pizza, soda pop, and Twizzlers, and never took him for walks, what do think his health would be like? Think he or she would have skin problems, digestive issues, develop cancer?  Of course our dogs do suffer because we feed them processed packaged crappy food made from corn, soy and junk vegetable oils in the form of ‘kibble’ … and so do we suffer – because we’re living unhealthy lifestyles as well. But there is an answer, a better way – a correct path to take in our lifestyle choices. The Bonfire Program is built upon evidence-based research proven to promote health and reduce, and in many cases actually reverse, many health conditions affecting modern man today. [click here]


Get FREE Recipes, Workouts, Thought-Life resources that make it easier to get results. 

Three successful doctors created Bonfire to make it easier for you to get healthy – the FREE 90 Day Program will take you step-by-step down the path to improved health! START TODAY – CLICK HERE

 Change Your Lifestyle
Change Your Health

Do you know your lifestyle is probably creating widespread CHRONIC INFLAMMATION throughout your body? Inflammation is the root cause of many, if not ALL health challenges facing people today.

What causes INFLAMMATION? The scientific research is very clear on this: modern life is killing us through pro-inflammatory lifestyle choices – the way we eat, the way we [don't] move, and our mangled thought life (stress, lack of sleep, lack of gratitude and patience).

Here are two things YOU MUST DO right away to stop deadly chronic inflammation:

1. Change your lifestyle CLICK HERE TO START TODAY

2. Start taking ENOUGH high quality natural triglyceride omega-3 fish oil to mitigate the effects of your PRO-INFLAMMATORY LIFESTYLE CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Are you STRESSED? Who isn’t, right? Being stressed ALL THE TIME, and NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP are major threats to your health. Change your lifestyle starting TODAY - Change Your Lifestyle and Change Your Health – Today … for FREE! CLICK HERE TO START TODAY

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? There is a way out, a better way … through healthier lifestyle choices. Let us come beside you and guide you, teach you, show you … how to adopt healthier habits in your life. The Bonfire Program has worked for thousands and thousands of people … just like you! Our motto is ‘We make it easier to get healthier’. Notice we don’t say ‘easy’, but easier; it’s simple, but not necessarily easy to add healthy habits to your life, to make change, even positive change. But we’ve figured out how to help you do it … in a confidence-building step-by-step process. The Program is FREE – just sign up and start doing (yes, reading won’t cut it – you have to DO).

What have you got to lose? It won’t cost you anything and you’re friends already think you’re weird, so … why not?

 

 

SIZE DOES MATTER

by drpaul

THE BRAIN – PART I

The Shrinking Brain: Avoiding Alzheimer’s

As the Alzheimer’s disease epidemic continues to expand – some describe it as a ‘health meteor’ that’s going to strike the elderly populations from modern countries around 2025, great information is surfacing about how to avoid Alzheimer’s disease.

THE TAKE AWAYS: 

  • Small Brain Syndrome: People who have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have ‘shrunken’ brains – i.e. smaller brain volumes; meaning their brains atrophy (and for you physiology nerds, their ventricles enlarge).[1]
  • Large Brain People: There are people, despite having the characteristic pathologic brain lesions commonly associated with AD, show no cognitive decline. Why? (i.e. what’s their secret?), what’s theneuroprotective mechanism in those people who don’t suffer even though they have the plaques? Larger brain volume.[2]
  • Fish Oil and Larger Brains: Blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids (that’s fish oil) lead to larger brain volumes (i.e. decreased brain atrophy).[3]
  • Exercise Helps Your Brain (… duh): What fires, wires. Regular exercise helps brain neurons to continually develop and stay healthy and is associated with preventing brain tissue loss and decreased incidence of Alzheimer’s.[4]

References
[1] Apostolova, Liana G, et al. Hippocampal Atrophy and Ventricular Enlargement in Normal Aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer Disease Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders: Jan–Mar 2012; 26(1):17–27.
[1] Silbert, LC, et al Changes in premorbid brain volume predict Alzheimer’s disease pathology Neurology Aug 26, 2003 61(4): 487-492.
[2] Erten-Lyons, Deniz, et al. Factors associated with resistance to dementia despite high Alzheimer disease pathology Neurology January 27, 2009 vol. 72(4) 354-360.
[3] Pottala, James V. PhD Higher RBC EPA + DHA corresponds with larger total brain and hippocampal volumes Neurology (2014) First published online before print January 22, 2014 doi: 10.1212.
[3] Tan, ZS, et al. Red blood cell omega-3 fatty acid levels and markers of accelerated brain aging. Neurology Feb 28, 2012 vol. 78(9):658-664
[4] Erickson, Kirk I, et al. Beyond vascularization: aerobic fitness is associated with N-acetylaspartate and working memory Brain and Behavior 2012 January; 2(1): 32–41.
[4]Larson, Eric B, et al. Exercise Is Associated with Reduced Risk for Incident Dementia among Persons 65 Years of Age and Older. Ann Intern Med. 2006;144(2):73-81.

[4]Tian, Q, et al. Physical Activity Predicts Microstructural Integrity in Memory-Related Networks in Very Old Adults J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci (2014) First published online: January 28, 2014 doi: 10.1093.
[4]Colcombe, SJ, et al. Aerobic fitness reduces brain tissue loss in aging humans. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2003 Feb; 58(2):176-80.

The Holiday Red Zone – Watch Out for Fumbles

by drpaul

In football jargon, the area within twenty yards of the goal line is called the Red Zone. There is nothing more disheartening to a football fan (and team) than when their team makes it inside the 20 yard line but fumbles the ball away to the other side. Both fans and coaches will go ballistic if their team loses possession from a fumble or an interception inside the 20 – turnovers are never good in football, but when they occur inside the Red Zone, at best it’s a momentum shift; at worst, it can be a game changer.

For our health, the ‘Red Zone’ is the holiday season – the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. As it is, the seasonal change from Fall to Winter is hard on our immune system, and it’s the beginning of cold and flu season. Without a doubt, this time of year is made worse by the abundance of unhealthy food choices that overwhelm us during the holidays. From people bringing baked goods and candies into offices to the numerous parties and family celebrations that seem to be anchored around Christmas cookies, pies, and cakes, temptations are all around.

The double … no, triple … no, quadruple whammy This is not an idle threat – not only is sugar bad for our health, but pies, cakes, cookies, and crackers are made with refined flour, which acts just like sugar when digested, and flour comes with inflammation-promoting gluten. So pies and other holiday “treats” create a triple whammy of sugar and refined flour, both of which cause rapid increases in blood glucose levels, resulting in decreased immune function, and finally, some disease-promoting inflammation. And finally, as a quadruple whammy, eating nutrient-poor sweets causes us to not eat (or displaces) the nutrient-dense foods we should be eating for our health in general and the immune system in particular.

Sugar Decreases Immune Function It’s long been known that sugar intake causes decreased immune system function. Studies have shown that the immune system is weakened substantially within minutes of eating refined sugar; the more you eat, the more your body’s insulin response system is compromised. The body’s cell-mediated immunity uses specialized white blood cells called neutrophils to attack tumors, viruses, and bacteria,  and is decreased when there is elevated blood glucose, which is caused by eating refined carbohydrate foods such as sugar and white flour. [Sanchez A, et al. Roles of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. Amer J Clin Nutr 1973; 26:1180-1184. (view article)].  What’s more, not only are we more susceptible to getting colds and flu, even our body’s ability to fight cancer is compromised when we eat sugar. [Ely JTA, Krone CA Controlling Hyperglycemia as an Adjunct to Cancer Therapy. Integrative Cancer Therapies 2005; 4(1): 25-31. (view article)]

Don’t Fumble – Hold Onto the Ball So, how does one avoid the temptation of all those seemingly “yummy” foods that we’ve grown up with? First, we must own up to the fact that “a little won’t hurt” is a lie – sugary foods will hurt your body, and the more you indulge, the more it hurts your body – yes, it’s cumulative (in case you were wondering, that’s how people end up overweight, with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer). Second, if the temptation is at the office where holiday cookies, cakes, candy canes, etc. are everywhere, pack nutritious snacks and lunches to take to work – if you have strong fall back foods, you’ll be less likely to indulge. Third, if you’re headed to an office Christmas party or some other holiday celebration where you know there are going to be ample opportunities to indulge in an array of ‘disease foods,’ here are some good strategies: (a) eat healthy foods before you leave for the party; (b) bring some healthy munchies yourself – look at it as an opportunity to share how great a Paleo diet style can be; (c) when eating at a party, focus on eating the veggies and other healthy, nutrient-dense foods first; that way, your appetite will be satiated before hitting the desserts or other non-food health ‘derailleurs’.

You can do it!

Yours in health, Dr. Paul

Paleo Almond Buck Eyes

by drpaul

Dr. Paul’s Paleo Almond Buck Eyes

I love treats as much as the next person, but I’ve now disciplined myself to eating only healthy treats. This is my new favorite – satisfying, rich, and high in protein, fat and calories. It’s worth the effort to make them, for sure.    -  Dr. Paul

1 jar raw almond butter (available at Trader Joe’s)
2 cups almond flour (approx. 1/2 bag of TJ’s almond meal)
1 cup organic shredded coconut
1 cup organic virgin coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey(optional)
1 tablespoon vanilla
7-8 oz. dark chocolate [I used two packages of TJ's 'Dark Chocolate Lovers Chocolate' (2 bars/package) - 85% cacao]

    • Melt coconut oil; then add maple syrup or honey, and vanilla
    • In large mixing ball, combine raw almond butter, almond meal, coconut and liquid coconut oil with sweetener and vanilla (all ingredients except chocolate)
    • After mixing, place bowl in freezer or refrigerator for 1+ hours to allow mixture to harden
    • Using a spoon or melon baller and hand ‘shaping’, scoop to make small (1″) balls and place on wax paper on a cookie sheet
    • Place cookie sheet with balls back into freezer/fridge (can be made ahead and stored)
    • Melt chocolate over double boiler (keep flame on low – be careful to not let the water boil)
    • Using tongs, dip each almond ball into melted chocolate and put back on waxed cookie sheet
    • When finished, put cookie sheet with balls back into fridge/freezer to harden.
    • Transfer to large Tupperware and keep refrigerated

Eating good fat makes you healthy (in case you forgot)

by admin

Fat is one of the healthiest things you can eat.

Period.

Although the concept that eating healthy fats, including saturated animal fat and butter (from organic sources), is now known by well-informed doctors, health educators, researchers, and scientists to be an essential part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, it still has a very negative stigma within our culture.

The belief that fat is bad for our health is FALSE.

Don’t believe everything you read or hear about fat … or cholesterol. Without good fat, you’ll end up sick, fat and … very unhealthy. In recent years fat in general, and saturated animal fat in particular has gotten an undeserved association with causing health problems.

To whet your appetite on this subject, how about this …

BUTTER IS GOOD FOR YOU This definitely flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but the truth is that butter is a great fat and a great food BUT, it must be ‘good butter’ – from pastured cows, NOT from feedlot, hormone / antibiotic dosed, grain-fed cows. Here are two articles that explain why butter is good for you:
10 Healthy Reasons To Enjoy Real Butter
Why Butter Is Better

For more info, please read FAT IS GOOD  More

It’s that time of year again …

by drpaul

FLU SHOT SEASON – HERE WE GO AGAIN. I can’t believe the … mistruths that crop up every year at this time. You hear it on the radio, and everywhere you drive you see the signs at the ubiquitous drug stores: FLU SHOT – NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY … it makes me want to scream.

KNOW THIS:

1)  Flu shots don’t work.1

2)  You’re more likely to get the flu this winter from GETTING a flu shot than if you choose not to get one.2

3)  You can more easily and more effectively avoid the flu with health-promoting lifestyle choices.

Not only do flu shots NOT provide increased immune function/protection (“…inactivated influenza virus vaccines have not been correlated with protection from influenza virus infection.” 1), but flu shots have been shown to INCREASE YOUR CHANCES of getting the flu.2   I know, those statements seem to fly in the face of conventional wisdom (similar to the uncommon but true concept that eating fat is healthy and cholesterol is good for you), but the truth is that our bodies are genetically programmed to resist ‘bugs’ such as cold and flu viruses and as history continues to demonstrate and the scientific research supports, when man tries to manipulate the body’s sophisticated, intelligent, refined-over-eons-of-time, immune response through chemical drug intervention, it rarely produces a successful outcome.  And flu shots have been consistently shown to not work as they’re advertised3 – and boy are they advertised. The latest and greatest flu shot is the Fluzone High-Dose Vaccine. It’s now in your medical doctor’s office and on the shelves of your local pharmacy.  This “new and improved” toxic injection is being marketed to adults 65 and older (toxic meaning, like all vaccines, the flu shot is formulated with toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and octylphenol ethoxylate, which should never enter the human body, along with adjuvant ingredients such as gelatin and egg protein which, when introduced directly into the bloodstream versus the normal pathway of digestion, pose a serious risk of allergic to anaphylactic reactions4).  By the way, neither regular Fluzone or Fluzone High-Dose have NOT been evaluated for their ability to cause cancer.5 This new pharmaceutical creation has four times the concentration of a “regular” flu shot (hence the High-Dose name).  So that’s four times the potential for depressed total immune function. However, there’s “… no data demonstrating clinically relevant prevention … using a higher dose”.6

DO THIS: Here’s the best way to avoid getting the flu. The following strategies will bolster your body’s immune system and realistically decrease your chances of getting the flu (or a cold for that manner):

  • Take 3,000 – 5,000 units of Vitamin D every day. Vitamin D deficiency, common in our modern culture, especially in winter and more so in northern climes, is one of the most agreed upon “weak links” we can reconcile with supplementation (the others being omega-3 and probiotics).7-9
  • Exercise five to six days every week. Exercise simply makes you healthier, which includes your immune system and improving your body’s ability to fight off everything from colds, flu viruses, even cancer.10, 11
  • Eat five servings of vegetables every day (broccoli, purple cabbage, carrots, red leaf lettuce, spinach, celery, squash … you get the idea).  From cancer to colds, veggies are THE KEY – the phytonutrients and antioxidants contained in vegetables are the building blocks for a healthy immune system.12
  • Avoid Eating Sugar – when we eat sugar, the body’s immune function drops 50% almost instantly (and eating sugar will undermine your health like very few other foods).
  • Reduce your stress - studies show that stress plays a major role in decreased immune function AND get at least seven hours of sleep every night (more if you’re feeling run down or if you feel like you’re ‘coming down’ with something).13-15

UPDATE – November 2012: Pharma company Roche comes under fire for biased data regarding the efficacy and safety of Tamiflu, its blockbuster flu treatment drug. In an open letter from Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of the prestigious British Medical Journal, Roche gets called on the carpet because “…eight of the 10 randomised controlled trials on which effectiveness claims were based were never published and because the only two that had been published were funded by Roche and authored by Roche employees and external experts paid by Roche, the evidence could not be relied on”.16 Then, to emphasize the deep concern over this break in integrity, the BMJ announced that  “…as part of its ongoing open data campaign, has launched a dedicated website aimed at persuading Roche to give doctors and patients access to the full data on oseltamivir (Tamiflu).” (Did you catch that, “a dedicated website”)

“The new site, www.bmj.com/tamiflu, displays emails and letters dating back to September 2009, when researcher Tom Jefferson first asked the company for the unpublished dataset used in a Roche supported analysis, published in 2003.17

Remember, if you happen to get the flu, it’s not the end of the world; yes, it’s uncomfortable and inconvenient, but contrary to medical propaganda, it’s extraordinarily rare for a person to suffer serious consequences from having the flu. Getting colds and the flu are part of life. Yes, we should fight like hell to strengthen our immune system and certainly not resign ourselves to ‘getting the flu’, but flu shots come with enormous risk and absolutely no benefit to you (only to the drug companies who manufacture them and the drug stores who promote them). Don’ succumb to the propaganda – your life hangs in the balance!

Yours in health, Dr. Paul

REFERENCES:
1Fluzone Vaccine literature, page 16 [FDA documentation];
2Association between the 2008–09 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine and Pandemic H1N1 Illness during Spring–Summer 2009: Four Observational Studies from Canada – Read “What Do These Findings Mean” in the Editor’s Summary [PLoS Medicine journal article]
3Effectiveness of 2008–09 Trivalent Influenza Vaccine Against 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) — United States, May–June 2009 [CDC analysis]
4Fluzone Vaccine literature, pages 7-12
5Fluzone Vaccine literature, page 17
6Fluzone Vaccine literature, page 2
7Epidemic influenza and vitamin D [Epidemiology and Infection journal article];
8On the epidemiology of influenza [Virology Journal article]
9Triple that vitamin D intake, panel prescribes [Wall Street Journal article] 10Moderate exercise protects mice from death due to influenza virus. [Brain, Behavior, and Immunity journal article];
11Exercise increases inflammatory macrophage antitumor cytotoxicity [Journal of Applied Physiology article]
12Suppression of microtubule dynamic instability and turnover in MCF7 breast cancer cells by sulforaphane. [Carcinogenesis journal article]
13Sleeping to fuel the immune system: mammalian sleep and resistance to parasites. [BMC Evolutionary Biology journal article]
14Brain-immune interactions in sleep [International Review of Neurobiology journal article]
15How (and why) the immune system makes us sleep. [Nature Reviews. Neuroscience]
16Open Letter to Roche about osetamivir trial data. [British Medical Journal 2012;345:e7305]
17Tamiflu: the battle for secret drug data. [British Medical Journal2012;345:e7303]

Circadian Sleep – Maximize Your Body’s Rest, Repair, and Recovery

by admin

The way that your body cycles levels of activity throughout the day is called your circadian rhythm.  Various brain centers have internal rhythms that affect your body, and in turn are affected by personal habits such as your sleep patterns, activity level, and light exposure.  Since these lifestyle choices play such a large role in how your body functions, it is important to maximize your personal lifestyle habits to reflect how circadian rhythms are innately programmed.

Many activities inside your body vary based upon the time of day.  Body temperature, wakefulness, digestion, even cell division are all affected by circadian rhythms.  Nearly all of your bone growth as a child occurs at night!

Lack of a Healthy Rhythm
It is well known that those who don’t sleep on a healthy cycle suffer from health problems due to their schedule.  For example, those who work the night shift have a greater percentage of most of the major chronic diseases relative to those with a daytime work schedule.  Also, not sleeping enough is a powerful negative influence on your body.  For example, sleep deprivation is a strong promoter of obesity and weight gain.

Circadian Rhythms Also Effect Your Hormonal State
The hormone cortisol is emitted in a cycle throughout the day.  Cortisol is a hormone that your body releases primarily in times of energy usage.  In terms of your body’s circadian rhythm, cortisol reaches a peak output first thing in the morning.  On the other hand, the output of cortisol is lowest in the late evening.  The greatest output is around 5 a.m., while it is at its lowest point in a 24-hour period around midnight.  This is one reason why getting to bed before 11 p.m. helps your body sync up with your natural circadian rhythm.  And this helps to maximize repair during sleep. More

Chronic Disease Crisis

by admin

Growing up, current generations heard that the greatest health threats worldwide were things like starvation, epidemics, and drought.  While these things continue to plague mankind, there is now a newer problem that has surpassed these old disasters.  The number one threat to human life on the planet today is the crisis of chronic disease.

Just how bad has the crisis of chronic disease become?

The World Health Organization has declared chronic diseases the number one killer on the planet.  Chronic disease is now the cause of over fifty percent of deaths worldwide.  Furthermore, the death toll currently caused by chronic disease continues to increase steadily.

Facts about chronic disease from the World Health Organization:

  • Chronic diseases are now the major cause of death and disability worldwide. Noncommunicable conditions, including cardiovascular diseases (CVD), diabetes, obesity, cancer and respiratory diseases, now account for 59% of the 57 million deaths annually and 46% of the global burden of disease.
  • A relatively few risk factors – high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and alcohol – cause the majority of the chronic disease burden.
  • A change in dietary habits, physical activity and tobacco control, have a major impact in reducing the rates of these chronic diseases, often in a relatively short time.
  • Heart attacks and strokes kill about 12 million people every year; another 3.9 million die from hypertensive and other heart conditions.
  • More than one billion adults worldwide are overweight; at least 300 million of them are clinically obese.
  • About 75% of CVD can be attributed to the majority risks: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, low fruit and vegetable intake, inactive lifestyle and tobacco.
  • Sustained behavioural interventions have been shown to be effective in reducing population risk factors.

Chronic diseases include things like heart disease and strokes, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and dementia, and many others.  These diseases are widely understood to be the result of our modern lifestyle choices.  Over the past several decades, research has shown that these chronic illnesses are preventable in large part if we learn to make different choices.  In other words, if we live differently.

Predictions for the future are that this chronic illness crisis, as bad as it is today, will get much worse.  Cancer rates have been predicted to go up by 50% by the year 2020.  One in three children born in the USA today will develop diabetes.  And research continues to show our toxic modern lifestyle is the cause.

Sadly, many diseases we are suffering from today were largely preventable if we knew what to do differently ahead of time.  The same applies to our health in the future.  If we act now, many of these chronic diseases are avoidable if we change how we live our lives. More

Negative Influences – Comparisons, Social Cues and the Herd

by admin

We hear it often from the Bonfire experts, “If the herd was happier and healthier, we would follow them,” but as Dr. Jesse Davis put it, “Unfortunately, doing things that fit in has become increasingly dangerous.

The herd moves in fear. Movement with the herd often results in irrational decisions by way of the absence of comprehensive understanding and reasoning, also known as: groupthink. The herd’s movements, though keeping individuals from being singled out, seldom provide optimum benefit for any within, as is certainly the case in modern culture. Running with the crowd today may help us survive society, but will not help us thrive as individuals.

Many of society’s accepted norms dress the harmful up as helpful, present disease as desirable, proclaim the hurtful as healthful, and promote sickness as status. We are exposed repeatedly to messages that detract from our attention to our wellness. The vast majority of the inputs we are surrounded by emphasize momentary enjoyment, instant gratification, or both without regard to long-term effects of those indulgences on our own or others’ lives.

Along our Bonfire journey, we must continually ask ourselves what around us is influencing us “negatively.” We can define “negative” (since it is quite subject to individual interpretation) as:

Anything that detracts from the long-term quality of, or equilibrium among, the Seven Lifetime Value Accounts depletes their current balance, or hinders our ability to sustain our investment in them.

When we discover influences (people, information, environments, etc.) that subtract from or divide more than they add to or multiply, we should:

• Remove them from our lives altogether – this will work better on magazines, television shows, radio programs, and the like than on family members.

• Reduce their share of or input into our lives – let those who do not acknowledge the power of their choices in determining their own wellness watch us from a distance as we proactively shape ours…hopefully they’ll learn something.

• Remove ourselves from the reach of their energy – Let’s stay away from that corner store with the “Delicious Healthy Snacks” sign that peddles artificially flavored, food-like substances with corn syrup-sweetened carbonated beverages with which to wash them down. If we walk in, it is by our own choice that we come “under the influence.”

The next time we feel like just rolling with the herd because it’s “easier” than standing out and living healthy, well and awesome lives, let’s remember a tiny concept expressed in a well-known historical letter and ask ourselves if we really want what we’ll get if we do follow the crowd:

Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”

Oh, and as far as keeping up with the Joneses, when we think about comparing what we have to what they have (food “freedoms,” bottled “youth” or “beauty,” “enhanced” athletic performance, etc.), let’s not forget to also compare what we have to what they have (chronic diseases, adverse reactions, that extra-spacey look, etc.). Then we can ask ourselves “Do we really want to clamor with everyone else around us to ‘win’ a lifetime achievement award for the number of chronic diseases and corresponding ‘treatments’ we can go through before we close our eyes for the last time?” We’d probably be a whole lot better off just staying near the basics of the Bonfire…

Sustained exposure to negative influence over time reduces the balance in our Seven Lifetime Value Accounts. It’s up to us to determine not to be part of the downward spiraling health trend that surrounds us. As Dr. Paul writes:

Let’s rally together to go against the accepted norms, against society’s common traits of living a sedentary existence, eating non-nutritious processed foods, and engaging in busy but unproductive, chronically stressful lives. All of these common contemporary lifestyle behaviors are literally destroying our bodies, our health, and our lives.

Stress Management – Quick Strategies for Coping with Stress

by admin

The Quick Take Away:

  • Eat less sugar: sugar is an extraordinary stress-inducing food that undermines our health in countless ways.
  • Sleep more: go to bed earlier because you still have to get up at your usual time, so to get more rest – one the most effective stress relief behavior you can engage in, and it’s free and feels great.
  • Exercise more: the body’s response to exertion is categorically a must for health in general but a key strategy for melting stress
  • Say no … more often: reduce the demands on your schedule by simply not committing to so many … things (for you, for your kids, at work).

We all do what we need to do to survive, “get by,” and in hopefully most cases, succeed.  In all of these, good, bad, or ugly, stress accumulates and adds to the load we’re already carrying through life.  Thankfully, we are surrounded with abundant information on how to productively quarantine, reduce, or ideally, dissipate the stress – the question is, have we looked into it yet?

There are none more powerful in managing stress levels than ourselves, and so we are charged with the responsibility of keeping tabs on how we are allowing stressors to affect us psychologically and ultimately, physically.  After reading Week 1′s SPARK Insight, we understand a few of the physiological effects of chronic stress, and are tasked with finding practical methods to incorporate daily to prevent stress-induced deficiency.

Here are some great “weapons” in our arsenal that everyone can use to combat chronic stress:

  • Bonfire’s FUEL section provides a wonderful way to eliminate some of the stress of having to “cook up” healthy meals to fuel a hungry household, and provides grocery shopping lists and recipes with instructions each week.  Not only does this help with the planning and shopping aspects, but the real, live, and whole ingredients in the meal plan help our bodies be properly set up to physically deal with our daily stresses.

We need to practice removing ourselves from our everyday stressors, even if for a few seconds at a time while right in the middle of them, and we need to be on-purpose about it.

One particularly inconspicuous strategy that is fun and costs nothing is a “three second vacation.”  For three seconds, close your eyes and let your mind transport you to the most relaxing place on earth – sights, sounds, scents, everything.  Breathe it all in deeply for three seconds, and then resume your activity (extend duration and/or repeat as many times throughout the day as necessary).

Also, to the extent that schedule and location make it practical, giving your body a chance to “reboot” comes highly recommended.

On a larger scale, we challenge you to use some of the most gratifying activities you’ve come to enjoy to assist in the battle against stress.  They don’t necessarily need to cost anything (it doesn’t cost much to take a sketch pad out to draw a landscape or to get out and climb a tree…preferably your own tree), but a reasonable expense is also acceptable (a ride along the coast on a sunny day, top-down in a rented convertible, a round of golf, or a session out on the community airfield with a radio controlled airplane…however, if the expense or challenge of the mechanism adds stress, please find another coping mechanism to use).  If we ask our Bonfire experts, we’re sure to find intense exercise and surfing among their top choices for coping mechanisms – not specifically for the coping aspect, but because they’re a main course of fun with a generous helping of stress-relief on the side.

We’re all different and there’s no sense in stressing about choosing coping mechanisms, so find your fun and you’ll discover a mechanism that works for you!