I can say with great confidence, that one of the main reasons western society is so sick and obese, is because we don’t take the time to master the basics. The basics are:
- Sound sleep
I also believe that western society has not even begun to tap into its true potential for what we are capable of doing in the area of longevity. I know exactly what you are thinking, “look at how far advanced we are in technology”, right?
Well, sometimes to make the greatest progress we need to look back and see what previous generations have done. Taking that information and applying it to modern technology can become a ‘recipe for success’.
As a Master Herbalist I have traveled to and experienced diverse cultures of 12 countries, such as Peru, Greece, Italy, Africa and Tahiti. When traveling, I make a point to observe and respect local traditions, eat local foods and visit local markets.
I truly love observing tradition and eating the foods and spices of different cultures. I also love talking to locals about how these traditional foods are used for both nourishment and medicine. Most of all, I get excited to hear the traditional ways of how they grow and prepare foods per the culture passed down from generation to generation.
The most important observation I have made is that the healthiest and most long-lived people from these different areas keep it simple and master the basics.
Anytime I have asked about traditional solutions to health issues in a specific area, the answers are always simple and easy. The foods eaten and the medicines used are from the local surrounding area and the lifestyle is very traditional. From generation to generation, there is very little change in these principles. Remember, most of these cultures don’t have the medicine or technology that we have in western society. These different cultures believe there is no reason to make something simple into something complex.
What I learned from local vendors in Peru
One of my favorite experiences is when I was in Peru. My guide brought me to a local market to see all of the amazing foods and herbs. I walked around I spoke to the vendors about the foods they were selling. Almost all of the vendors’ families were the actual growers of these different foods.
I found 5 different types of coffee and they all had different growing and processing methods. Some were grown at much higher altitudes than others and I could taste the difference. I was blown away that something as small as a 5000 foot altitude change actually made a profound difference in the taste and texture of the coffee.
The Lesson: how our food is produced really does make a difference.
My visit with African Tribal Leaders
Additionally, when I was in Africa I had the privilege of visiting different tribes to learn about their way of life. All 3 tribe leaders that I spoke with had several basics in common.
First, considering their ability to survive on little to nothing, they lived very long lives. Second, their food choices were very simple and basic, mostly goat meat and goat milk were their main staples. Third, the final factor that played a big role in all three tribe’s lives was using local plant medicines on the rare occasions that illness struck them. There was never a question in their mind’s that this is the only way to live, and I assume this will continue for many generations to come.
The Importance of Mastering the Basics
Basics are also the foundation of any quality program seeking consistent results. As mentioned above, the basics of any good program which may support health are nourishment, hydration, sleep, and movement.
This is the reason why we developed the Total Nourishment Foundation Pack, including the recipes and the guidelines -- to help you master the basics.
In fact, we use these principles in all our products to stay on the correct path and most importantly, to keep things simple. The most important concept to understand is that by mastering the basics, if you do get off track, you will always have a place to go back to.
Here is a great example...
If you want to find the most optimal way of losing weight, the basics are sleep, movement and eating high-quality nourishing foods. Your only goal is to put something nourishing (rich in nutrients, polyphenols, and quality fats) into your body, find a form of movement that excites you on a daily basis, combined with consistent quality sleep. Everything else is noise.
Based on my observations of the places I have traveled, we are the only country that tries to replace the basics with shortcuts and magic bullets. I think the results speak for themselves, obesity and disease are crippling this country.
So many people ask about when should they begin to use ‘this substance or that supplement’ to help them perform better or get faster results. Yes, the addition of herbs and superfoods can be of great help, but they are most effective if you apply them after you establish a strong foundation. Use them once you have mastered the basics is the proper way to consume them . Using them as a replacement for the basics is a recipe for disaster.
Bottom line, you can’t replace the basics with a magic pill or shortcut.
Keep Your Eye on the Goal
In pursuit of success we most often hyperfocus on areas that we believe are most important. Truth be told, in that process we fail to look at the big picture and this will always put us in the perfect situation to hit roadblocks and prevent progress.
This way of thinking is very common as we want to believe that one area of success is more important than another. For example, an athlete that only looks at their training, eats like crap and does not get quality sleep or proper hydration, or, someone who is trying to lose weight and only focuses on what supplements to take while ignoring the food program, movement and sleep will fail.
This disrespects the process of creating a strong constitutional foundation.
Ask the healthiest and most successful people what they do and usually the answer is …
They Get Back to the Basics
Yours in Health,
About Michael Stuchiner
Michael Stuchiner is an experienced Master Herbalist, the Head of Education for Z Natural Foods, a teacher and an accomplished author. With a 16-year specialization in medicinal herbs, Mike also has a vast knowledge in tonic and adaptogenic herbalism. Mike has enjoyed a 25-year career as an elite-level competitive powerlifter where he learned to heal his ‘mind and body’ as an avid user of herbal remedies.
As an “in-the-trenches” herbalist, Mike has done more than 85 speaking engagements, consulted with clients ranging from young to elderly, worked with athletes in virtually all sports and with clients who have “dis-ease” states of a wide variety. Mike also mentors student Master Herbalists and will continue to teach the next generation to grow a deeper wisdom of the human body through appropriate herbal remedies.
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