I began reading 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, by Dr. Andrew Weil, months ago. I reached about Week Four and couldn’t move forward. I kept getting distracted by life but I really liked his approach. So what I’ve done is skipped to all the good parts in the book and compiled a list of the objectives for each of the weeks. So here is a brief review of what his program looks like. The book is laid out in a format under which each week tackles something new. So that by the end of the 8 weeks, you end up with new habits that have you accumulated little by little over the 8 weeks. Each week addresses these categories:51bennj8xyl_ss500_.jpg

  1. Projects
  2. Diet
  3. Supplements
  4. Exercise
  5. Mental/Spiritual

This program does include new meal ideas, breathing exercises, tonics, etc. For more in depth information on these exercises and recipes you’ll need to purchase the book. But here is a quick program review:

Week One

PROJECT

  • Clean out the fridge. Eliminate any items that contain partially hydrogenated oils, throw out margarine, shortenings, cottonseed oil, all oils except olive
  • Throw out artificial sweeteners with saccharin or aspartame
  • Throw out products with artificial coloring, or dyes (i.e. red #3)
  • Throwout any items that list more chemicals than recognizable ingredients

DIET

  • Add broccoli twice this week to your meals
  • Eat salmon, sardines or kippers at least once this week (alternative option is flax-seeds)

SUPPLEMENTS

  • Start taking Vitamin C (4,000-5,000mg) daily

EXERCISE

  • Walk 10 mins a day, 5 days a week

MENTAL/SPIRITUAL

  • Begin to practice Breath Observation for 5 mins every day
  • Keep some flowers in your home

Week Two

PROJECTS

  • Find out where your drinking water comes from, what impurities it contains, get info on water-purifying system.

DIET

  • Continue to eat fish at least once and broccoli twice this week
  • Increase consumption of whole-grains: bread, cereals
  • Familiarize yourself with soybean products
  • Try Japanese or Chinese green tea. Try substituting coffee and black tea for green.

SUPPLEMENTS

  • Start taking mixed carotenes (25,000 IU) Must contain lycopene for full benefits of all carotenes (alpha, lutein, etc)

EXERCISE

  • Increase you daily walk to 15 minutes

MENTAL/SPIRITUAL

  • Visit a park or your favorite place in nature
  • Try avoiding the news for one-day (no paper, radio or tv news reports)
  • Continue with Breath Observation and begin Exhalation Observation

Week Three

PROJECTS

  • Buy organically produced fruits and vegetables
  • Stop using electric blankets, remove electric clock radios from vicinity of your bed, use UV-sunglasses

DIETS

  • Eat an extra serving of fruits and vegetables with at least one meal this week
  • Eat fish at least twice this week
  • Replace one serving of meat with a soy protein

SUPPLEMENTS

  • Take Vitamin E (400-800IU)
  • Take Selenium (200-300 mg)

EXERCISE

  • Increase daily walk to 20 mins
  • Do some simple stretches to improve flexibility

MENTAL/SPIRITUAL

  • Ask friends and store clerks about inspirational books, self-help, poetry, or biography.
  • Spend more time with friends who are optimistic, make you feel alive and happier.
  • Abstain from the news for one day this week
  • Found out how to grow some of your own food: herbs, vegetables

Week Four

PROJECTS

  • Identify impediments to a good nights rest. Your bed, mattress, sheets, are they comfortable?
  • Find out about air filters for your home if you live in a metropolitan city or suffer from asthma and/or allergies

DIET

  • Eat more garlic this week
  • Replace at least two meals of animal protein with soy

EXERCISE

  • Increase your aerobic walk to 25 mins, 5 days a week

MENTAL/SPIRITUAL

  • News-fast for two days this week
  • Continue with the breathing exercises. Add a powerful Relaxing Breath
  • Observe a moment of gratitude before meals in any way you feel comfortable

Week Five

PROJECTS

  • Locate a steam bath or sauna and use if for 20 mins, one day this week. Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids

DIET

  • Buy a piece of fresh ginger root, try ginger tea or try crystallized ginger

EXERCISE

  • Increase your aerobic walk to 30 mins, 5 days a week

MENTAL/SPIRITUAL

  • Extend the news fast to 3 days this week
  • Practice daily breathing exercises and add Stimulation Breath procedure
  • Listen to a piece of music you find inspirational and uplifting
  • Bring more flowers in the home

Week Six

PROJECTS

  • Take a steam bath or sauna twice this week

DIET

  • Continue to eat fish twice a week
  • Continue to eat soy protein twice a week
  • Continue to eat broccoli at least twice a week
  • Add some cooked greens to your diet: collards, kale, chard, beet or mustard greens

EXERCISE

  • Continue walking 30 mins a day, 5 days a week

MENTAL/SPIRITUAL

  • Extend news fast to 4 days
  • Visit an art museum, view sculptures or architecture you find beautiful and inspiring
  • Practice all breathing exercises every day

Week Seven

PROJECTS

  • Do some service work this week, volunteering, aiding a charitable organization, help someone you know that is disabled
  • Continue steam baths or saunas twice this week

DIET

  • Continue eating as before: two fish meals, two soy protein meals, generous servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, ginger, garlic and cooked greens twice this week

EXERCISE

  • Increase aerobic walk to 40 mins, 5 days a week

MENTAL/SPIRITUAL

  • Rekindle an old friendship
  • Make time for nature, music and art
  • Do breathing exercises twice a day

Week Eight

PROJECTS

  • Reviews the changes you’ve made in your lifestyle thus far in the program and think about how many you wish to make permanents habits

DIET

  • Think about how you can continue the dietary changes of this program in the coming weeks

SUPPLEMENTS

  • Continue with supplements and start taking a tonic to increase energy level, resistance and outlook

EXERCISE

  • Reach your goal of 45 mins walk, 5 days a week

MENTAL/SPIRITUAL

  • Continue breathing exercises, use them when you feel upset or anxious
  • Maintain news fast for the whole week. At the end think about how much news you want to let back into your life
  • Mend/forgive any estranged relationships
  • Buy flowers for someone else

Week Nine and Beyond

  1. Stick with the program
  2. In your diet include: broccoli, fish or flax, organic fruits and vegetables, soy foods, whole grains, cooked greens, garlic and ginger
  3. Continue taking antioxidant supplements
  4. Walk and stretch daily
  5. Breathe
  6. Enjoy flowers, nature, music and art
  7. Choose your news carefully
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