Life changes: A good diet is the key to health


How diet impacts your health

A few years ago I was having some health problems and various doctors were unable to pinpoint the cause. After some months I went to see a naturopath who took a blood sample and told me to stay away from dairy. Two days later these problems cleared up.

Over time I gradually lost 20 pounds and various other symptoms like bloating and mini-fevers also disappeared. I had probably been experiencing a growing problem with dairy for years and had been getting dragged down but didn’t know it.

Now when I see people who have that puffy, bloated look I wonder how many have undiagnosed food intolerances to some degree (dairy, wheat, gluten and many others are quite common). Or just plain poor diets with too much fat, processed food, sugar, and salt – the North American staples.

In similar fashion I discovered I had high levels of mercury and lead (and a pernicious Candida problem after taking antibiotics): not surprising as I had many amalgam fillings from a period when I was young and didn’t bother to brush my teeth much. And apparently lead is quite common in my generation. I have taken some chelation treatments for the metals and plan to take more.

All this is a preamble to say that I have changed my diet and been researching supplements for years. I eat very little sugar and “white” food (that turns quickly to sugar), and very little processed food.

I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and try to buy organic when I can, including meat. Like the Dalai Lama, I need to eat some meat. I have always loved fish, but eat a lot less tuna because of the mercury issue.

Keep your eyes open. What the agricultural industry pumps into a chicken is terrible: growth hormones, antibiotics; and they can’t move so they are plump (fatty). A lot of fresh produce in the grocery store looks great but has far less nutritional value than a generation ago as modern agricultural processes deplete the nutrients in soil. Local and organic food movements are a step in the right direction.

I start most mornings with a huge bowl of Red River cereal with blueberries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds (good for the prostate), sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and a taste of maple syrup. This never gets boring. (Maybe I’m boring.) And usually some greens with water. I have switched from coffee to decaf but mostly green tea.

Re supplements, I take fish oil, a good multivitamin, a type of garlic that helps regulate blood pressure, a certain product recommended when I discovered the mercury problem, and calcium with vitamin D. I take a juice concentrate that is high in antioxidants. Sometimes a food/protein supplement when I am working out. There are some great products out there, and a lot of crap, so do your research.

What you consume and what you do not consume are equally important. Every now and then I binge on something unhealthy, but not too otften because I just don’t feel as good. Beer and wine sometimes.

Our bodies evolved to eat certain foods and not others. A lot of the “normal” diet today is not healthy. You wouldn’t treat your car this way and expect it run well for the long term.
The obesity epidemic is real. It is terrible when kids get hooked on these diets. Look at the kids’ menus in most restaurants: hot dogs and fried foods. High fructose corn syrup is in so many products; it is apparently really bad for kids, expanding their fat cells. Read the labels. Anything with more than a few words or phrases you probably don’t want to eat.

Choose the right foods and you feel a lot better and have that energy you had as a kid. Most athletes have great diets because they have to. You don’t have to be an athlete to look after yourself and keep your health and energy up. It’s the key to our simple mission: live better.

More Inspiration: Red wine, in moderation, can actually be quite healthy, check out this article!

Author: David Holt is associate publisher of Optimyz and is considered a thought leader on natural health and self-development. David has been editor of one of Canada’s leading business magazines and is also a featured writer for SaltWire Network.


  • David Holt is the Chief Strategy Officer and Editor-in Chief of HUM@Nmedia Inc., publishers of OptiMYz and SILVER digital magazines. As principal of, he writes and consults on Stratovation, a blend of strategy and innovation.

David Holt

David Holt is the Chief Strategy Officer and Editor-in Chief of HUM@Nmedia Inc., publishers of OptiMYz and SILVER digital magazines. As principal of, he writes and consults on Stratovation, a blend of strategy and innovation.

3 thoughts on “Life changes: A good diet is the key to health

  • February 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    In 2006, at the age of 50, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I underwent a lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation. Then I was put on tamoxifan and developed a terrible side effect of endometrial cancer, and had to have a hystorectomy.

    All of my life, I could eat whatever I wanted without causing me any problem that I was aware of. My natural weight was always healthy, but never fashionable. Consequently, I suffered from bulimia in my early twenties, but recovered a couple of years before I was 30.

    Luckily both cancers were caught early and hadn’t spread to the lymph nodes. The experience made me become more aware of what I put in my mouth. Instead of coffee, I drink green tea, rooibos and other herbal teas. Before breast cancer I was a cappucino addict. Now it is chai tea lattes for me. Instead of burgers, I opt for sushi. All of my mammograms and checkups have been clear, so I hope these small changes that I have made will help me stay cancer free. Through experience, I have learned that even though some people do not feel the effects that food additives and hormones are having on their bodies immediately, it does catch up with them sooner or later. Make the changes in your diet before you learn your lesson the hard way. I was lucky, it wasn’t too late. Not everybody is as lucky.

  • October 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Love the article. Very insightful.

  • September 11, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I grew up on a farm with plentiful garden vegetables and home grown meat. But as a child I wanted Foot Loops and KFC as much as any other kid. My parents held their ground and very rarely allowed us to indulge.

    Not until I moved away from home did I really indulge in the things I felt I missed out on as a child. But now here I am with my own children trying to make the same stand my own parents did.

    It’s a challenge and takes tenacity, and also requires leading by example and keeping my diet as healthy as possible. But in the end it’s worth the effort.

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