The Seven Pillars of Health

This week I'll review a comprehensive book on health..."The Seven Pillars of Health" by Don Colbert, MD.  It does not have any "false-advertising" or outlandish claims.  Even its marketing tag, "50 Days to a Healthier You," is reasonable. 

Dr. Colbert covers the essentials of water, sleep/rest, nutrition, exercise, detoxification, supplements and coping with stress.  And while experts may disagree on the specifics within each category, these remain 7 essentials - or Pillars - to health.

A few things I like (there are many more)...

  • The highlighted sections, such as "Are You Getting Enough Sleep?," teach you how to listen to your body vs just a prescribed formula.
  • Science and research is throughout the book, but in an easy to understand presentation.
  • The information is divided into 50 days of reading.
  • Action steps are included at the end of each day.  And tools/worksheets are included for those action steps.  So there are no excuses to at least try the action to see if it works for you.
  • "Extremes" are discouraged.  For example, while supplements are discussed and encouraged where needed, mega-dosing is discouraged.  Another example is the nutrition and exercise recommendations are very doable, not demanding you go hungry or eliminate whole categories of food or only do high-intensity or long-duration exercise. 
  • Consistent, step-by-step lifestyle upgrades are encouraged, with clear explanations as to "the why."

A few things perhaps to question (there are very few)...

  • Water, specifically alkaline water.  There is research on both sides of whether alkaline water is good, bad, indifferent.  It is worth reading Dr. Colbert's information, researching for yourself various studies both for and against it, and perhaps experimenting with it yourself to see if it helps you.  (Of course, the need for drinking plenty of purified and de-chlorinated water is not in question.)
  • Fasting.  While he discussed the benefits of fasting, be warned that it can be misused.  And for those with a bulimic or anorexic background fasting may re-trigger dangerous behavior.  I wish precautions for physical and emotional safety had been discussed more.

This is a health book that should be read by everyone, regardless of your health goals.  Way to go, Dr. Colbert!


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