9 Steps to Perfect Health: Introduction | Chris Kresser
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9 Steps to Perfect Health: Introduction

by Chris Kresser

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In April, The Healthy Skeptic blog will turn three years old. During that time I’ve written 157 blog posts and eight special reports on topics ranging from heart disease to depression to essential fatty acids and fish oil.

Those of you who’ve been following the blog for most of that time, or who’ve had the chance to go back and read a lot of those articles and special reports, probably have a pretty good idea of what my philosophy on health and nutrition is. But a lot of newer subscribers and visitors might benefit from a condensed summary of the ingredients I believe are essential to optimal health.

I often find myself wanting to refer to something like this – a quick primer that gives readers an overview of my approach – when I’m responding to comments or emails. Because let’s face it, not everyone has the time to go back and read 157 blog posts and 8 special reports to get a sense of what this blog is about.

I also want to create something that you all can easily share with friends and family who may be completely new to this stuff. In those cases I think it’s better to start with a broad, not-too-technical overview of the approach we discuss in more detail here.

With this in mind, I’m going to write a series called 9 Steps To Perfect Health. After I’m finished, I’m going to repurpose that series into an eBook and make it available for free. This way you and I will have something concise and easy to read to send to those loved ones who still think eating saturated fat causes heart disease, or that soy products are healthy alternatives to animal protein.

The conventional approach to healthcare has failed

There’s no better or more important time to get this information out there. Our health continues to deteriorate at an alarming pace, and the incidence of chronic, degenerative disease is skyrocketing each year.

Consider the following:

  • Diabesity (obesity + diabetes) affects more than one billion people worldwide, including 100 million Americans and 50% of Americans over 65.
  • More than half of Americans are overweight, and a full one-third are clinically obese.
  • Recent reports suggest that one-third of people born in 2010 will develop diabetes at some point in their lives.
  • 9 out of 10 Americans will develop high blood pressure before they die.
  • 4 out of 10 people who die each year in the U.S. die of heart disease, and rates of heart disease are projected to double in the next 50 years.
  • Rates of infertility are expected to double in the next decade.
  • According to the World Health Organization, depression is now the leading cause of disability, affecting more than 120 million people worldwide.

I could go on but I think you get the point. Our health is getting worse, not better.

Over the last 50 years the medical establishment has vigorously promoted a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet, claiming that it would protect us from heart disease and diabetes and make us healthier and happier. How has that worked out for us?

The statistics above make it clear that the conventional approach has been a dismal failure that has not only failed to protect our health, but has directly contributed to the epidemic of modern disease.

All modern diseases share a similar cause

One of the most glaring mistakes conventional medicine makes is to assume that all of these modern diseases – diabetes, heart disease, depression, autoimmune disease, etc. – are unrelated conditions that don’t share a common cause. This is a convenient fiction created by the pharmaceutical industry (and perpetuated by the medical establishment) to sell more drugs.

The truth is that while these conditions do have unique features, they all share a common origin: the modern lifestyle. Poor diet, nutrient deficiencies, stress, lack of sleep, lack of or the wrong type of exercise, toxins and medications all directly contribute to the problems that are ruining our health.

The conventional approach is to treat each of these various problems with different drug, and ignore the fundamental factors that are at the root of all of them. That has been a stupendously unsuccessful approach. It’s time to replace it with a more holistic view of health, and to empower people to prevent and treat disease without unnecessary drugs or surgery.

Introducing the 9 steps

Here are the 9 steps we’ll be covering in the articles to follow:

  1. Don’t eat toxins.
  2. Nourish your body.
  3. Eat real food.
  4. Supplement wisely.
  5. Heal your gut.
  6. Manage stress.
  7. Move like your ancestors.
  8. Sleep more deeply.
  9. Practice pleasure.

I’ll try to cover one each week, so we should be finished with the series by the end of March. If you know anyone you’d like to introduce to this material, please send them over to the blog and have them sign up for email updates.

And for those that were looking forward to the series on treating male and female hormones naturally, don’t worry! It’s coming up.

  1. Hi Chris. I really like your site; I’ve been doing a lot of research lately and you manage to pull together some of the best information into one place. I wondered if you are familiar with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet? It looks very much like what you propose for sensible eating and reducing toxins. I started out following the SCD around Christmas 2010, and have been doing FANTASTIC ever since.The SCD is specific and detailed about restricting products that contain hidden or trace irritants/toxins. Some people need to be that restrictive in order to get true relief. Fortunately I have more liberty in my diet and find your approach very do-able. Thanks so much for getting it out there!
    Here are some sites about SCD that are very informative and helpful:
    http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/index.htm
    http://www.scdrecipe.com/recipes/
    http://pecanbread.com/
    http://www.scdiet.net/healingcrow/HealingCrow/www.healingcrow.com/index-2.html

    • Hi Michelle,

      Yes, I’m aware of the SCD but I prefer the GAPS diet, which is based on it but emphasizes healthy traditional fats and bone broths to a greater degree.

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