Four Steps to Overcoming Illness
Tom Goode, ND, DD

By definition, illness is a deviation from health. Imagine your wellbeing as a straight line. The midpoint of that line is your health. At this point you have no symptoms of illness but neither have you reached optimum health or wellness. Wellness is to the far right and includes fitness, vitality, and a strong immune system. By contrast, illness is to the far left and is characterized by symptoms that signify the presence of illness. By practicing the following steps, you can overcome illness and move up the line to regain your health and wellbeing.

Step up and Overcome Illness

Avoid Toxins

Toxins are present in everything from the air we breathe to the food we eat. Out of necessity, our bodies have learned to process and deal with the presence of toxins. In cases of extreme or constant exposure, however, the body is often unable to keep up. This results in a toxic build up within the body, which is the underlying cause of all disease.

In order to fight disease and achieve wellbeing, it is important to eliminate certain toxin-rich foods, or as I like to call them unfoods, from your diet. This includes packaged foods, refined sugar and sugar products, and most grains. Avoid foods containing transfat--hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable or soybean oil. These harmful fats can be found in fast food, breaded or fried foods, and commercially baked crackers and cookies.

In addition to toxic foods, you must restrict your exposure to environmental toxins. This includes the fluoride and chlorine found in drinking water, airborne pollutants such as smoke and particulate matter, and harsh household cleaners.

Add Antioxidants

Eat a quality diet that includes a variety of antioxidant rich foods. Antioxidants are our strongest weapon in the fight against illness. Many illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and macular degeneration are thought to be caused by the presence of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are produced when unstable oxygen molecules react with certain other molecules within the body. Once formed, these free radicals move freely through our systems causing damage to healthy cells. Antioxidants are our first line of defense when it comes to fighting the damaging effect of free radicals and illness.

Sources of Antioxidants

• Fruits and Vegetables are rich in antioxidants. Some foods with higher levels of antioxidants include oranges, berries, kiwi, plums, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, beets, tomatoes, and carrots. If at all possible, choose to eat organic fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown organically grown produce has 10-50% more antioxidants than its commercially grown counterparts.
• Nuts and Seeds, such as Brazil nuts, also contain significant levels of antioxidants. When choosing nuts, be sure to avoid cooked and salted nuts like peanuts and cashews because they contain unhealthy amounts of salt and fat.
• Eggs also contain free radical fighting antioxidants. In addition, they have all the essential amino acids, which make them a complete source of protein. Like fruits and vegetables, organic eggs are superior to commercially produced ones. The best source for quality eggs is from free-range, organically fed chickens.
• Supplements including vitamins and minerals are important to our overall health and doubly important when you are trying to overcome an illness. In 2002, scientists at Harvard Medical School advised all adults to take a daily multi-vitamin. Following this advice ensures that the body has an optimal level of nutrients to stave off illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Supplement your diet with a high potency B complex multivitamin/mineral combination daily. Increasing your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids is also an important step to fighting illness and returning to optimum health. Food sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include avocados, olives, and raw nuts. Fish oil supplements are an excellent way to boost your Omega-3 fatty acid intake.

Manage Stress

Stress is an everyday occurrence that results in psychological and biological changes that can put you at risk for or exacerbate existing illness. In order to overcome illness, you must also overcome stress. Begin by including this simple program for stress management in your daily routine.

Stress Management Simplified

• Breathing. Breathing may be second nature, but the majority of us do not breathe deeply enough to reap all the benefits. Spend fifteen minutes a day practicing deep breathing. Begin by exhaling fully, drawing your lower abdomen back toward your spine. Then inhale fully, distending your abdomen. Repeat without pausing between inhaling and exhaling.
• Exercise. Moderate exercise is a necessary component to stress management. Exercise in intervals that involve exertion and relaxation. This can be achieved by running in place for one minute and walking for one minute. Start by doing this exercise for ten minutes six days a week. Then progressively increase the intensity of your exercise as your body adapts.
• Meditate. Meditation is an excellent way to release stress and calm the body, mind, and spirit. Sit quietly for twenty minutes a day. Silently repeat a word or phrase to yourself during this time, and return to it should you become distracted. Alternatively, you can count your breaths, returning to your count as thoughts arise and pass.

Following the steps outlined to regenerate your system, feeding it food that nurtures you mind and body and avoiding pollutants will boost your level of health regardless of its current level. These steps to overcoming illness lead to wellness when practiced over an extended period. In fact, the very things which are done to recover confer so many benefits that even if you are disease free, you owe it to yourself to incorporate them into your daily lifestyle. Doing so provides you with the best chances for a longer, livelier life and the best insurance against unwanted doctor and hospital visits and expenses.

Author's Bio: 

Tom Goode, ND DD
Co-Founder of the International Breath Institute and the Academy for Parent Coaching International

Tom received a Bachelors degree in Commerce and Finance from the University of Virginia in 1961 and a Doctorate of Naturopathy degree from The Clayton College in 1993. He received a Doctor of Divinity Degree from the Compassionate Service Theological Seminary in 2007.

He learned a great deal about health in recovering from polio at age 8 and a near fatal auto accident at age 16. Working in corporate America, his life changed radically at the age 38, when he was diagnosed as having a terminal degenerative disease. Healing the condition naturally, Tom began a new phase of life, dedicating his life to helping others. His story was published nationally in Prevention magazine.

Tom is the founder of the International Breath Institute and the Academy for Coaching Parents International. He is a dynamic workshop facilitator and inspirational speaker who has led fire walks, appeared on television and radio, taught college courses in intuitional development and presented workshops and seminars in the US and abroad for the last 30 years.

Tom is the author of seven books on holistic living, the creator of The Cosmic Waltz, music for personal transformation, and the Inner Harmony home-study musical program for personal transformation. His latest books are The Holistic Guide to Weight Loss, Anti-aging and Fat Prevention; Help Kids Cope with Stress and Trauma; and Fully Alive!

Tom is a member of The Life Extension Foundation, The American Holistic Health Association, The National Health Federation, The Institute of Noetic Sciences, The Health Keepers Alliance and the International Society For The Study Of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine.

His websites are;, and .