Essential Elements

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Intrinsic to The Bonfire Health Program is the premise that human beings experience their greatest health potential when exposed to the optimal environment.  Our genes have been shaped over thousands of generations to require specific elements or nutrients in order to function optimally.  These essential elements have been identified and documented by the best researchers in the fields of physiology, nutrition, psychology and genetics, among others.  When these essential elements are provided consistently by our lifestyle choices and behavior patterns, cells function optimally.

Although our gene expression determines our physiology, our environment determines the expression of our genes.  The science of Epigenetics teaches us that our genes are subordinate to their internal and external environment.  Your internal environment is determined by your behavior patterns in three domains of lifestyle choice:  how you eat, how you move, and how you think.  When lifestyles are genetically congruent, man expresses better health.  In other words, when we eat, move and think in ways that compliment, rather than contradict, our genetic requirements for optimal cell function, we experience optimal health.  Therefore, health is the natural consequence of a genetically congruent lifestyle.

Conversely, when we eat, move and/or think in ways that are contrary to our innate design, we interfere with the natural expression of cell function.  In other words, when we make choices that are at odds with our genetic design, we express sickness.

When we choose behavior patterns that are inherently toxic to our bodies, such as poor food choices, or we neglect to include elements that are innately required for health, such as exercise or adequate sleep, we interfere with the natural expression of health and get sick.

Your life is a path.  Imagine that path is lined with cobblestones.  When complete, a cobblestone path provides sure footing and a stable journey.  When stones are missing, you can expect an uneasy, bumpy ride.  If the path is free and clear of debris, your walk is sure to be smooth and straight.  If the road is littered with rubble, you will likely trip and fall.  The essential elements that you choose to provide in your deliberate approach to your way of life are the cobblestones.  Any toxic choices or behaviors that you choose to practice will clutter your path and cause you to stub your toe – or worse.

The Bonfire Health Program represents the definitive summary of the outcomes determined by the most current research on the essential elements that your cells require to express health.  The best practices and vital behaviors recommended to ensure the provision of these elements are simple, but profound.  And most importantly, the leverage of the science of social change infused throughout the program will guarantee you the greatest opportunity to get these behaviors into your life and sustain these changes.  We help you do it – AND KEEP TO IT!

Critical Concepts: Food Shopping

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Food Shopping For Health:

  • A well-stocked kitchen and pantry is a vital behavior for a healthy lifestyle.
  • Shopping at big chain grocery stores is for basics like aluminum foil, diapers, etc. – it’s not where you buy fresh, organic, quality, nutritious foods.  For that, you must find your nearest “whole food” markets (it might be closer to work versus home – take an ice chest and shop at lunch or after work).
  • Whenever possible, buy and eat ONLY organic meats, fruits, and vegetables.  Organic meat has little to no hormones and antibiotics, AND, organic meat is grass or pasture fed – this means the saturated fats are beneficial, whereas grain-fed animals contain unhealthy fats.  Not only does organically-grown produce have little to no pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, etc., but organically-grown crops are also grown in soils that contain vitamins, minerals and trace elements which are vital to healthy physiological function.  Commercially-grown produce is grown on depleted soil using pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and petrochemical fertilizers.  And now commercially-grown produce is often genetically modified (GM) which has been proven to be a health concern.

The Master Shopping List was designed to make it simple and easy for you to save time and make your Bonfire Health Diet Style not only one of great pleasure but of great health.  Your first week’s shopping list will be more extensive in order to stock up on staples for your kitchen.  Please cross check your Menu Plan shopping lists with your pantry items.

We ask that you print out your Master Shopping List each week and review with menus and recipes before going to do your shopping.  You will probably have to shop at more than one store (i.e. Trader Joe’s, Costco and your nearest whole food or health food store).  Some healthy foods can be found at Costco and Trader Joe’s (but be careful – both stores have many, many “disease foods” on their shelves as well – don’t shop hungry).  Your best option is to go to your local farmers’ market (make sure to ask which items are organic if they aren’t labeled).

IMPORTANT:  As mentioned above, whenever possible, always buy organic fruit, vegetables and meats.  However, if this is not possible due to inconvenience or lack of availability, please do not get discouraged.  Any fruit or vegetable, even if it is non-organic, is a much healthier option than processed or packaged foods.  Do the best you can!

If you choose to consume dairy, the best choice is raw dairy products; if not available, be sure to only buy organic dairy products that do not contain rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone).

NOTE:  Many of these items are only available at a “whole foods market” or comprehensive health food store.  Some things are available at Trader Joe’s or Costco (i.e. frozen organic berries); if neither of those are conveniently available to you, do your best at your local market, farmers’ market, or – as a last resort – a supermarket.