It turns out that we really are ‘the sum total of our experiences.’ Had I known then the impact of many of my decisions, I may have made changes earlier, but it turns out that we must live life to truly understand it.
I was definitely living life. Perceived invincibility provided me with the tunnel vision which enabled me to dash from one task to another, ticking off one more achievement, adventure and accolade.
Of course you can’t sustain this symphonic level of intensity without topping up the tank with quick access fuel, mine came in the form of sugar- packets of delicious sweets and finely baked biscuits.
I also gradually began to neglect my regular exercise regimen in exchange for a membership in the weekend warrior club. Gut irritation and a little extra weight accumulated, but, as far as I was concerned, I felt normal for a 40-something professional.
‘That’ evening, the one that irreversibly shook up my life, Thursday 3 December, I found myself staring eternity squarely in the face. I had returned home from work with my two girls. It had been a stressful day capped by a suitably heated, hard-hitting quarrel that left me trembling.
I did not generally consider my life stressful, and yet I knew that I ran at a pretty high-octane pace. But that was OK, because, despite warnings from others, I was, or believed I was, bulletproof.
I wore my intensity like a shiny badge of honour. On that evening, however, the engine said ‘no more’; you can’t drive even the most brilliantly engineered sports cars at 5000 RPM indefinitely.
It took my mum, who spotted me bent over, clutching my chest, rubbing my arms on FaceTime and my daughter's subsequent fear-filled plea to get help for me to make the medical call. Reluctantly, in a haze of pain, I did make the call. In minutes an ambulance was there.
Pride masking the danger, I couldn’t help, but feel that all this commotion was quite unnecessary. The seasoned paramedics quickly assessed my traumatised frame, blood pressure surging through my veins like a blocked firehose. They looked me straight in the eyes, piercing my vanity, and said, “We are taking you to hospital. Now.”
‘That’ evening marked the beginning of a myriad of changes. Naturally, and most significantly was that of my health, but also, running neatly alongside, compelling me, almost without choice, was my desire to capture the goodness in life around me.
Being in hospital forced me to slow down and rest, my senses sharpened and my eyes opened to the subtleties in the world around me, to things I had not previously noticed before.
I became acutely aware of nuances in conversation, of the sacrifices of those around me and of the delicacy of relationships. I was also painfully cognizant, in increasing measure, of the compounding effects of the bad choices I had made for my body- sugar addiction, stress, exercise withdrawal and sleep deprivation.
Buckminster Fuller once said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” So, that is what I did (and am doing), engineering a new, more tantalising model for life.
My diet, for instance, has been transformed. The once glutinous intake has been replaced with cleaner foods, nutrition straight from the earth and, perhaps more importantly, I expunged sweets.
Implored by the immediacy of the situation, I also instilled radical changes to my work routine and introduced regular, gentler exercises in the great outdoors. The list goes on, but I feel that, if indeed we are ‘the sum total of our experiences,’ I have been gifted a lifeline with which to significantly alter the outcome of my time here on earth. And, I must say, my heart feels good, very good indeed.
NOTE FROM THE NAKED PHARMACY
Jeff Schmidt is the Author/illustrator of the bestselling book:
HEART ATTACK- Finding hope, joy and inspiration through adversity.
We recommend focusing your daily diet and supplements on the 3P's - Polyphenols, Prebiotics and Probiotics.
- Polyphenols - natural chemical bioactives from edible plants. At the correct strength, they are effective for a wide range of health problems.
- Prebiotics - inedible plant fibres that specifically feed healthy gut bacteria.
- Probiotics - healthy gut bacteria. We play host to trillions of bacteria and yeasts, many of which live in our gut. Some examples of species are lactobacillus, bifidobacteria and saccharomyces.
This week we're talking about two polyphenols in particular, S-allyl cysteine (SAC) and Elenolic Acid (ELA), which are derived from Black Garlic and Olive Leaf.
A daily intake of Black Garlic and Olive Leaf is a popular recipe of sorts, but not for the kitchen! In fact, it is one for optimum immune health whether taken short or long term, to support our natural defences and much more.
Garlic - Black or White?
Black garlic is white garlic that has been aged and fermented for a period of up to 6 months under controlled temperatures and humidity. The physiological changes to garlic as a result of this process are the reasons for its enhanced bioactivity.
So, what happens:
The most obvious change is that it turns from white to black and loses its potent odour. Fermentation reduces the sulphur content of white garlic, which eliminates that tell-tale garlic odour. Its taste is also changed from pungent to sweet with a new sticky, chewy texture. Allicin, the main biochemical in a white garlic bulb, is converted to the polyphenol S-allyl cysteine (SAC). This increases the potency of this phytochemical by up to 10-fold. It is this plant powerhouse that really provides the many health benefits.
Did you know that Black Garlic can:
- Reduce oxidative stress on the heart.
- Help to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
- Improve gut health.
- Contribute to improved immune health.
Black Garlic supplement from The Naked Pharmacy is:
- Free from synthetics with a tapioca capsule shell.
- Batch tested for the effective strength of SAC.
- Fortified with an organic prebiotic, Moringa, for additional gut support.
- Odourless and safe.
We recommend a daily dose of ONE capsule, with or after food for this all-round, hardworking supplement.
Elenolic Acid (ELA) from Olive Leaf.
Olive leaves have been used in medicine dating back to Ancient Egypt, where they were considered a divine symbol as well as a popular remedy for fever.
Recent reports have shown that ELA acts to effectively put the brakes on a viral life cycle. It has been shown to be a natural neuraminidase inhibitor, recommended by WHO for viral infection management. We know that neuraminidase is an enzyme present in the flu virus that facilitates entry of the virus into a healthy host cell. ELA prevents this.
Olive Leaf from The Naked Pharmacy is:
- 100% plant based. The Olive leaves are carefully harvested in Spain and an innovative process is used to isolate the ELA extract to create the most effective supplement.
- Fortified with the natural prebiotic, Moringa Leaf, for a prebiotic to support your microbiome and gut health.
- Side effect free and safe to take alongside prescribed medicines such as antibiotics.
Easy to remember dose of ONE capsule daily, with or after food.