Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What's the best way to eat? (Caught somewhere "in between")

Health is the #1 value in my life.  Because it's so important to me, I spend a good deal of my time reading about, thinking about, and helping others find their health.  In some ways, I'm a "health nazi".  I try my hardest to maintain my best health, while still making sure I'm enjoying my life and having fun.

Want to know what your highest values are?  Dr. Demartini has a great value determination process (that's also free).  Here's the link to it:

I don't fully subscribe to any one way of eating.  I've realized that personally, I'm somewhere between the "paleo diet" and the yoga diet.  (While there's no true yoga diet yogis focus on mindful, whole foods, mostly vegetarian eating.)   If I trail off too much to one of these ways of eating, I'll often flip to the other for a given time.  It's apparently my balance.

I'm grateful that I've spent the time researching why these, and many other "diets", are health creating ways of eating.  They just work for me.

I highly recommend trying on some idealistic ways of eating.  Doing a detox program while following the elimation diet is always a good way to get started.  By cleaning out your body and removing many of the common allergens/sensitivities, you'll learn to feel your body again.  I find a yearly 3 week detox/cleanse program resets my system.  Many people report that following an elimation diet gets their body "back on track".  It's so easy to overdo coffee, sugar, and the easiet to obtain processed foods in our culture.  When you take a break from this processed culture, you'll probably refind a joy of cooking, shopping for whole foods, and properly nourishing your body.  I tend to get even more excited about a plate of colorful vegetables, talking to a local farmer while picking my food, and realizing how greatful I am to be eating well (as many people in this world are malnourished..  including many North Americans).

“By cleansing your body on a regular basis and eliminating as many toxins as possible from your environment, your body can begin to heal itself, prevent disease, and become stronger and more resilient than you ever dreamed possible!” ~Dr. Edward Group III

I'm a big health nerd.  In fact, many wellness chiropractors and naturopathic doctors are.  So, if you need a little help with your diet, see one of us.  If you work on your health now, you won't have to worry about sickness later.  I personally couldn't imagine ever possessing the idea that "somebody else will take care of me, so why take care of myself now".  In truth, we are reponsible for our health and the health of our children.  No one else is.

I don't believe there's any one diet that works for all of us.  While there are some basic premises that seem to apply quite well (eat your green leafy vegetables!), everybody needs something slightly different.

Commit to taking the time to figure out what your body needs, and what make you feel good.  It's a process- a very rewarding process.

If you're going to commit to this endeavour, here are some simple steps:
1) Try the elimanation diet for 3 weeks (or if that's too long, try it for 3 days and see how you feel).   (BTW: Canada and the US offer a TAX CREDIT if you follow the elimination diet apparently..  now that's smart!)

Here's the specifics for the elimination diet:

2) Give your body a break from eating every day for 12 hours.  (Ex: Stop eating after your dinner at 7pm, eat your breakfast the next day at 7am) This helps your body process every day.  This step alone will help you get a little more concious on what you're eating.

3)  Need more guidance?  See a wellness chiropractor or naturopath.  Or, join a yoga studio or Crossfit gym.  Either of these will offer more guidance on eating for a yoga lifestyle (yes, it's actually a full lifestyle not just a way to exercise) or the Paleo diet.  Crossfit gyms suggest you try the paleo diet for 30 days and offer you education on why and how to do it.

Good luck on your quest!


“The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” ~Plato

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fat loss/Health: Diet is 90% of the battle.

Truth: Diet is the MOST important part of losing weight (fat loss).

Truth: There are many diets that work.

Truth: A calorie decreased diet is a necessity to dropping body fat.

I've taken a major hiatus from blogging..  but I'm back and ready to rock it!

In the time that I've been away (actually just in the past 3 months), I've "beaten" a dairy allergy, dropped 20 pounds of body fat, and shrunk quite a bit.  AND...  I've done this without any major exercise.

Now, don't get me wrong: I LOVE exercise.  I saw a quote for a local gym that wrote:

"Anything that age makes worse, exercise makes better." 

I completely believe this!  Exercise increases brain function, makes you happier (endorphin release), and hopefully gets us out into nature/sunshine which is always a healthy habit.

If your goal is weight loss (and it really should be FAT LOSS), however, you'll have a hell of a time reaching it with exercise alone.

Diet is incredibly important.  I've heard many people say that it's 80% of the issue with the way your body looks, but I believe it's closer to 90%.  Diet is not only the key to fat loss, but it's the key to health.

Example:  My father-in-law just beat colon cancer with a clean diet.  He ate mostly green leafy vegetables, lean clean protein, and organic fruit.  He cut out nearly all grain, sugar, and processed food.  (He also had Vitamin C injections and mistletoe from a great Naturopathic Doctor, started walking everyday, and de-stressed).  You can't tell me that a clean diet won't completely change your life..  IT WILL!

"The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison."  -Ann Wigmore

You can slowly kill your body with a dirty processed food, sugar & chemical laden diet; or you can help your body rebuild itself to be stronger and better looking with clean, healthy foods.  The choice is yours.  We either make choices that make us healthier everyday, or we make choices that make us sicker.  This is no "staying the same".  You only get one choice everytime you put something into your mouth.

Make a good choice today.  Make 2 good choices tomorrow.  Watch your body get better in every way.  It's simple.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What is your definition of health?

The word "health" means many different things to many different people.  Let's look at some commonly accepted definitions of health:

1. The state of being free from illness or injury: "he was restored to health"; "a health risk".
2. A person's mental or physical condition.

"a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
World Health Organization, 1946

"Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities."
World Health Organization, 1986

Which one of these definitions do you like best?  I like a mix of the last two, with a few extras added in.  :)

One of my favorite authors, Tim Ferriss, has this great chapter in The 4 Hour Body that gets in deep about these vague definitions we use to describe our physical and mental state.  A few terms that necessarily get ripped apart are health, wellness, cellulite** and toning**.  The terms health and wellness are very subjective.  They mean completely different things to each individual. 
Ex: an elite athlete vs. a 90 year old man with heart disease.  The athlete is concerned about keeping their body at the utmost peak health (ex: high VO2 max, high level testosterone, elite cardiovascular conditioning, low body fat level), whereas the 90 year old is concerned with much lower level health outcomes (being able to walk around the grocery store, maintaining adequate hormone levels, pickup his grandkids, decreasing the progression of heart disease).  While these cases are extremes, it's important to realize that even your seemingly similar neighbor has very different health goals than you.

"Everything popular is wrong."  Oscar Wilde

Why are popular things wrong?  Because they're probably not right for you.

Health is a very subjective term.  In order to reach your best health, you'll need to look inside and determine what it is you want out of your life.  Wanna live the longest, highest quality of life possible?  How about climbing Mount Everest?  Maybe you just want to be able to keep your options open in the game of life by maintaining a fit figure?

If you're not sure what it is you want for your health and fitness, here are some questions that may help you determine your goals:

What do I want to accomplish in my life?  

What are my values, and how do I need to maintain my body to continue living my life according to these values?

What does my ideal body look like?  (Do I need to decrease fat/increase muscle mass to reach it?)

How long do I want to live without illness?

Why do I want to be healthy?  (Or, who do I need to stay healthy for?)

Determine your purpose, vision, and strategy for reaching and maintaining your health goals.  Find out what it is you want out of your body, and you can hit any goal!

For better or for worse, don't feel bad about yourself because you're not 15% body fat (or a size 4) and your neighbor is.  Is that really even your goal? 

When you live your life based on your values and your goals, you'll be happy.  But first, you need to figure out what it is you are.  Second, you'll do the actions needed to be who you are.  Third, you'll have the things/body you want.

Be. Do. Have.

Start everything by looking inside.  :)

**  Side note for the gals:
Ladies: As far as the words cellulite and toning go, they should be thrown out of any health seeking woman's vocabularly.  Cellulite is really a different type of fat deposition, commonly occuring in women's thighs.  In fact, if you have cellulite on your thighs and transplant thigh skin onto your hand, you'll have cellulite on your hand.  It's true- and it happens!  The only thing that actually decreases cellulite?  Increasing muscle and decreasing fat.  Your body can do two things when it comes to composition: Increase/decrease fat or increase/decrease muscle.  If you decrease fat, cellulite decreases.  Yes, it may be stubborn- but adding increased muscle mass on those saddlebags will certainly make your thighs look differently.  No store bought "skin firming" lotion will ever decrease the fat deposition in your thighs.  You have to do the work.
Same thing with the word toning.  You'll appear more "toned" when you lose fat.  Is there a better type of exercise to tone your muslces?  NO!  The best type of exercise to build your muscles is strength training with heavy weights.  Using light weights and higher reps for toning isn't going to build your muscle mass nearly as fast as heavy weight training.  Want results faster?  Lift heavy weights.
Worried about bulking up and looking like Governor Arnold?  Unless you're supplementing with steroids or taking extra testosterone, you're never gonna look like the Governator.  We have a mere fraction of the testosterone our male counterparts have.  Forget about it, and pick up those 15 pounders!  You will looked tight and toned when your muscle mass increases (and you're not going to do it with those 2 lb weights....)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Did Kim Kardashian make you feel bad when you looked in the mirror today?

There are billion dollar industries out there that sell products (and make TONS of money) by making you feel bad about yourself.  Sure, sex sells...  but self loathing sells much better.

Ladies, why do you think cosmetic companies spend so much money on worldwide campaign ads, paying celebrities big bucks to promote products?  We listen to them and buy their product, and they make billions off our dislike for ourselves!  We all don't have Jessica Biel's (false) eyelashes, Hayden Panettierre's clear (makeup drenched) skin, or Kim Kardasian's tiny waist (that she most certainly didn't get using balance shoes)..  we are all unique and beautiful.  If thinking of any of these celebrities makes you feel bad about your body, realize that it's because you have been programmed in the values a soul-lacking corporation has created.

While I strongly believe that most successful businesses are built on the creation of value, there are many corporations that spend hundreds of thousands (if not millions) on hiring marketing firms to procure an image for a product.  These marketing firms are amazing that creating some niche market, and identifying with values.  Sometimes they even create societal values.  They're brilliant at our demise...

Two of these corporately created societal values make me sad for every man, woman, and child that buys them:
1) Your body isn't beautiful the way it is.
2) Your body is flawed.

The two indutries that seem to profit most off these tenants?  Cosmetic corporations and the pharmacuetical industry.  Have imperfect skin?  There are 8,000 creams and lotions for that- surely one will fix your lack of beauty...  Have to pee a lot when you drink caffiene?  There's a condition (overactive bladder), it's "well researched", and there's an expensive drug for you...  but don't worry- your insurance probably covers it. How about your kids- too much energy?  Well they probably have a common condition (ADHD).  But don't try feeding them clean food or giving them more exercise, as those strategies are not "proven"- make them take this pill!  And in your child's school, they will educate them about the dangers of drugs..  (and sometimes force you to medicate them to keep attending their school).  All these lies continue...

Why am I talking about targeted advertising on a health blog?  It very negatively effects the health of many people in North America.  Whenever you buy a product because you believe you're flawed, you're supporting an industry that devalues YOU.  So many people focus on appearance more than their health, sometimes thinking that looking good means you're healthy.  It's doesn't!

If you focus on getting healthier, you will look good.

Health isn't a certain body weight, skinny arms, or a "toned" body.  Health is a state you should constantly be working towards.  It's physical, biochemical, and mental.

Many celebrities aren't healthy..  2 hours of hair and makeup, an expensive personal trainer, and a strict (but not always healthy) diet can make anyone look good for a decade or so....  Heck, I always used to think Gwyneth Paltrow was gorgeous.  When I was in high school, I would've given anything for a tall, thin look like hers.  A strict macrobiotic diet, 2 hours of exercise per day, colonics..  and what did it get her?  Osteopenia.  Her bones are weak.  Her risk of fracture is high, and it's a legitimate threat throughout her life.  I'm so glad I didn't have the mental strength to starve myself througout high school.  And that's just the thing:  wanting to look like a celebrity isn't a good reason to do anything.  As soon as I decided to get healthy, I lost weight and kept it off.  Health and living a better quality of life is a great reason to make a change!

There's a big difference between buying a product because you love yourself- wanting to be your best, and buying it because you feel inferior to some airbrushed celebrity.  You may think you're doing it for yourself (and I hope you are), but next time you're at the store to buy some product, think of this:
Am I buying this product because it makes me feel good about myself, or am I buying this product because I don't feel as good as someone else?  If you're attached to name brands with celebrity endorsements, this could be a sign that you're not thinking focusing on yourself.  (Side note: every large celebrity-endorsed cosmetics company has products full of nasty chemicals-  all known with an increased cancer risk.  Check your products on and see just how safe and clean they are.)

Believe in your body, mind, and spirit.  Don't let anyone (or society) tell you that you're flawed.  What's this standard everyone gets compared to anyway?  I've never met anyone without unique talents, unique beauty, and the ability to make a high quality of life.  But, it sure is hard when people don't follow their own values, swapping them out for whatever someone else/society told them...

Focus on being your best self.  Each of us is a gift to the world.  The world deserves us just as we are.

"Learn what you are, and be such."  Pindar

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Changing Your Genetics. (Yes, it CAN be done.)

Can you change your genes?  Can you adapt to your environment?  Can a mother change her babies' genes before the child is even conceived?

This weekend I was reminded of a common theme I heard about a lot growing up- creationism vs. evolution.  (No, I'm not going to talk about religion- don't worry.  And either way, my opinion doesn't matter.  This blog is about health and has nothing to do with religion or politics.)  The major premise of evolution is adaptation.  Regardless of what beliefs you hold, adaptation is a reality.  Ever since the human genome project started (and before), many brilliant scientists started talking about and researching epigenetics.

  • Epigentics: In biology, epigenetics is the study of changes in phenotype (appearance) or gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence, hence the name epi- (Greek: επί- over, above) -genetics.   (reference: wikipedia)
What the heck does this mean?  You can turn genes on or off, and this changes your body.  That "fat gene" your neighbor has?  They can switch it off.  That "heart disease gene" or "cancer gene" that runs in your family?  You can switch it off.  That "thin/fit, super healthy looking, high energy, fill in this blank with something you desire for your health gene"?  You can turn it on!

You are NOT stuck with the genes you were given or currently have.

Claiming responsibility for your own body is very powerful.  To often, we hear, "Well, cancer runs in my family- there's nothing I can do about it."  Believing you'll get cancer, heart disease, an autoimmune disorder, etc..  is a horrible way to go through life.  And it's just not the truth.  Every decision you make alters your body's ability to adapt, or turn on and off genes.

I've often wondered how "health philosophies" different than my own view adaptation.  Giving this plenty of thought, I feel confident to say that medicine gives very little credit to the body's ability to adapt on it's own.  (Ex: "You've got a bacterial infection, you'll need this antibiotic" on the small end, as opposed to "You've got cancer, you'll need to have surgery and severe radiation/chemotherapy to survive" on the other side of the spectrum).  My health philosophy is that the body can adapt to nearly anything, provided the genes are kept as natural as possible and the organ systems are all still connected.  If you don't have a pulse or brain function, your body just cannot adapt.

My favorite lifestyle choices to increase the adaptability of my body are (in the correct order):
  1. Regular chiropractic adjustments and checkups
    • 1x/week to keep my nervous system working at it's peak, and keep my brain and body communicating their best
  2. Clean and health eating
    • Focus on eating as many organic non-starchy vegetables as possible, lots of healthy protein, fruit, water, and take supplements for things I have a hard time getting in my diet 
  3. Exercise everyday
    • Move my body for at least 30 minutes everyday, strength train at least 2x/week, and get plenty of time outdoors
  4. Stay happy and enjoy life
    • This changes, but common themes are spending time with my husband, family, friends, and dog; enjoying nature; travelling; focus on my purpose in life

Most chiropractors believe in the body's ability to heal itself (or learn to adapt).  It's actually the primary tenet of chiropractic philosophy, and it's guided by the nervous system.  Medicine also believes in the body's ability to heal itself- it just doesn't give the body nearly as much credit as it deserves.  Sometimes I can completely understand this though; many MDs see horrible life threatening diseases everyday, it's probably easier to believe that body needs a lot of help in its survival.  While I'm thankful that there is medicine and amazing medical doctors in the world, I simply don't choose to trust my health to a paradigm that believes the body needs a lot of help.  I choose chiropractic as my primary form of health care because the chiropractic philosophy states, "The body doesn't need a lot of help, it just doesn't need any hindrance."  Hindrance in this case is Subluxation (the inability of the body to communicate through neural pathways, in which pain is actually an adaptation), and poor lifestyle choices.

Allow proper nervous system communication and add good lifestyle choices, and you've got a healthy/adaptable body.

Here's the truth and your call to lifestyle action:
Everyday we make lifestyle choices that change our genetic makeup and the genetic makeup of our future generations.  Make good lifestyle choices and you and your family will be healthier tomorrow.  Make bad lifestyle choices and you will be sicker tomorrow.

Health is simple, and it truly doesn't take much to be healthy.  Health (like many of the best things we can experience in our world) is a more of a shedding process than anything else.  Add in good lifestyle choices, make them into habits by repeating them, and you'll automatically shed all those things that make you less adaptable/healthy.

What genes can you change today?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Eating for Health Made Simple (Seriously!)

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease."  George Dennison Prentice

I believe health is simple, therefore eating for health is simple. 

I mentioned this to a patient the other day, and got a "yeah right" and a "you've got to be joking" look.  This is a completely understandable reaction.  There are hundreds of diets out there that recommend completely different things:  low fat vs. low carb, vegetarian vs. Paleo, diabetic friendly vs. the cookie diet (I thought this had to be a joke for years.. it's not)...  then you've got your "free" diets..  gluten-free, dairy-free, fat-free...  and so on.
And to top it all off, we've got a medical establishment full of experts that tell you all of these diets are horrible fad diets.  What's recommended?  The FDA's food pyramid- a base of grains, 5 servings of fruit/vegetables, some protein, and low in fats/sugars.  On top of this- you need to count every calorie you take in everyday to maintain your current weight or to lose weight.  It's all your fault if you're fat, right?

This is what I thought for years.  I calorie counted (which is a horrible curse), ate according to the food pyramid, and obsessed over eating everything because it might make me fat.  Unfortunately- the majority of North Americans only watch their diet to lose weight.  Most people don't eat primarily for health or energy.

Newsflash:  We should be eating to keep our bodies sharp and healthy.  That is the purpose of eating.

We should enjoy eating because it keeps us alive.

You should be eating in accordance with how you want to live.  If you want to live well (and for a long time), you need to eat for wellness.

I have 4 simple rules for eating:

Rule #1: Eat real food.  (and drink real water).
If you can't pronounce it, or have never heard of it growing from the Earth- it's not food.
Drink lots of water- we are over 75% water and are constantly losing it.  You need to rehydrate your body on a consistent basis.

Rule #2:  Eat mostly non-starchy vegetables.
Every popular diet supports this.  Mostly means over half of everything you eat.  Non-starchy vegetables exclude corn and potatoes.  (So many people consider these vegetables- we should have a new food group called Starches because they spike blood sugar more like grains than their non-starchy friends do).  A diet over 50% of things like leafy greens is a diet very high in plenty of nutrients and antioxidants.  Salad and steamed vegetables are your best friends, even if you don't know it yet.

Rule #3:  Eat clean protein.
I won't tell you that you have to eat meat if morally you're against it.  Doing something against your beliefs is incredibly damaging to your body.  You do need protein- a fair bit of it.
Clean protein examples are: organic free range chicken and eggs, sustainable fish (like wild Pacific salmon), free range beef, beans (black and kidney are amazing), clean nuts and seeds, humanely raised turkey...  those are my favorites.  Organic and local are always best if possible. 

(Side note on organics:  everything is organic- it's just what we do to the food when it's growing or after we harvest it that's nasty..  and it is nasty.)

Rule #4: Don't fear fat.
Dietary fat is incredibly important.  Your cells are surrounded by fat- if you don't get enough high quality fat, your cells will not be healthy.  If your cells aren't healthy, you aren't healthy.  Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, clean fish oil, avocado, nuts/seeds..  they're all lovable.  Eat them and be happy (fat makes you satiated or full and releases a lot of happy neurotransmitters).

These 4 Rules are simple and easy to follow.  Unfortunately, I think they might be a bit incomplete for our society for a couple reasons.  1) A lot of us have unknowingly really screwed up our bodies, and 2) Our society doesn't make it easy to eat this way all the time.

My last two suggestions:
Extra Tip #1)  Find out your deficiencies and take supplements.  Three very important supplements that most of us are deficient in are Vitamin D, probiotics, and an omega 3 supplement.  These things are difficult to get in the right quantities, and very important. 
Extra Tip #2)  Eating perfectly all the time is insane, and might drive you crazy.  5-10% of your diet can be things that don't fit into the 4 Rules.  It's best if they're real food, but sometimes they won't be.  In our society of processed foods, you've probably got an addiction to something not-that-great for you.  Eat it once in a while, but here's the biggest take away:  Make sure you savour and enjoy it. 

I'll be completely honest:  I ate 4 cookies and had a coffee when I sat down to write this- and they were so good.  But I don't do it all the time. 

The biggest takeaway message I can share is this:

Food is meant to nourish and sustain you.  Let it do that.  We're lucky enough to live in a society that makes is very easy to live well, healthy, and prosperously.

Enjoy your food and you will enjoy your life.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Respect Your Body

Are people sick because of a lack of drugs or excess of organs?

Really think about this one.  Your answer is probably a "NO!".

Let's look at the reverse question:
Are people healthy because they take enough drugs and have had the improper organs removed?

It's a weird question, right?  Who the heck would say yes?  In my experience, healthy people take no drugs and have never had any surgeries.  The healthiest people I know stay far away from both.

Why is it then, that the traditional way to treat patients in the medical model is drugs (most commonly) and surgery.  Organ removal is very common- we all know at least one person that's had a gall bladder, appendix, or spleen removed.  Why do these organs get "sick" or function poorly so often?

Answer:  We are not taking care of our health properly.

Medicine is the best crisis care option.  In fact, nothing beats it.  But preventive medicine for anything but acute diseases?  There are so many contradictions in a medicine treating a chronic, preventable disease..  I won't even start.

We are in a society that dies from preventable diseases.  There are very few acute/crisis type illnesses anymore- medicine did a phenomenal job with these.  However, it's incredibly clear to me that medicine does not do well at treating the top chronic and preventable diseases (ex: heart disease, cancer, auto-immune disorders).

How does one take good care of their body, not just to prevent disease, but to truly maintain great health?

For your best health, you need to honor your body.  You need to treat it like the gift and temple it is.  When your temple starts to break down, it's near impossible to fix it.  Our body is a brilliant mix of physical work, chemical signals, and emotional energy that is constantly changing.  Anything introduced into the body will either assist it in working better, or throw everything off.  In the case of introducing medicine:  even if it "fixes" one measurable chemical system, it will throw off something that we can't understand or measure. 

When you look for a medical doctor, naturopath, chiropractor, etc...  make sure they respect the deep intelligence your body possesses.  Make sure they realize the only way they can help you is to assist your body in healing better.  And lastly, any doctor that believes he is the reason his patients get better is a complete and utter fool.  Doctors are merely teachers that practice the art and science of helping the body heal.  No doctor can heal your body.  Only you can heal your body.

You are the "master" or "God" of your body.  If you want the 100 trillion cells you have to live happily, give them good nutritious food and hydration, calming/building exercise, and be happy that you're alive.  If you want them to be miserable and eventually revolt against their "master", eat processed food and sugar, sit all day in a job you hate, and feel constant stress.  If you've listened to your body's messages (sent from the cells), you'll feel horrible when you make poor choices.  What is your body telling you when you don't feel good?  "Stop it, stupid!"     You just have to figure out what you need to change. 

Pain, fatigue, and feeling generally ill are not normal or healthy.  If you decide to mask these feelings with a drug, or accept them as normal because you've been "diagnosed with a condition"- you are majorly harming your entire body.  They are signs that there is a serious problem.  Your doctor should be finding what is causing the problem.  Your symptoms are not causing the problem- so why would you want to cover them up with a drug?  And- an organ never causes a problem.  You did something to cause that organ to revolt or just give up.  It's difficult to accept responsibility for your own health- but amazingly freeing when you actually do.

Take care of your body.  It's the only place you have to live.

Treat your body with respect.  Honor it, and claim responsibility for how it works.  Learn why it gives you good feelings and bad feelings. 
Love it unconditionally, and it will love you back.  That's a promise.