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Synopsis

Superlife is a health and lifestyle guide based on Darin Olien’s experience as a ‘superfood hunter.’ The book introduces five life forces that determine whether or no you will be healthy, fit, and free of illness. The life forces are Quality Nutrition, Hydration, Detoxification, Oxygenation, and Alkalization. Guiding our diet by using these life forces will allow our body to do the rest. Darin rejects fad diets and instead introduces a ‘balanced diet plan.’

About Darin Olien

Darin Olien is frequently described as the ‘Superfood Hunter’ or the Indiana Jones of Superfoods. Darin has previously worked alongside fitness-company Beachbody to formulate one of the most popular superfood shakes in America: Shakeology. Additionally, he has recently starred as a co-host on the Netflix docu-series Down to Earth with Zac Efron. Finally, earlier this year, he developed a health app called 121 Tribe. This app helps people to learn about whole food plant-based eating. 

“With our eager cooperation, food manufacturers and restaurant chains and fast-food giants get rich by making us sick. Then the pharmaceutical giants and the insurance companies and hospitals and other health care providers get rich by making us better. Not healthy, mind you, but well enough to work and pay the bills we’ve just run up. If we ate our broccoli and quinoa and salads and berries and almonds and drank our water and green tea and took long, vigorous hikes and got enough sleep, we might feel great, but who would profit? Nobody. What kind of system is that?” – Darin Olien

The Five Life Forces

Darin introduces five life forces to help your body thrive. He suggests that being able to understand and implement each of them pushes you away from faddism. You will have a long-term approach to life that stands the test of time. Instead of focusing on specialist treatment for each system, Darin believes in a holistic view of health. He states that health is promoted at a cellular level. Darin claims that life forces in his book can optimize our cellular health and help us feel awesome.

Force #1 – Quality Nutrition

“If the things we eat have been processed—manipulated, broken apart, adulterated, with most of the fiber (and nutrients) thrown away—then we end up consuming something that’s food, technically speaking, but lacks many of the health benefits that eating is supposed to bring us. We get calories—which we need to survive, of course—but little else. None of the nutrition. As Dr. Fuhrman puts it, we end up mechanically full but nutritionally starved. If we do that often enough, we will absolutely harm ourselves at the cellular level. Over time, that may bring about some chronic condition.” – Darin Olien

Darin recommends a whole food plant-based diet. Therefore, we should always aim to fit as many foods in our diets that are fresh and whole. Darin suggests that our diet should predominantly be based around vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, sprouts, and healthy fats. Additionally, incorporating fermented food, Omega 3 fats, and unrefined salt are advised.

On top of this, we should be aiming to incorporate as much food in its raw state as possible. Eating food in its raw or most natural state is often when its nutrients will be most abundant. 

Whole means whole. Therefore, Darin does no recommend juices. Plus, Darin does not recommend supplements that are based around one compound. Fresh, whole foods will be filled with essential nutrients. The only supplements that Darin does recommend are Vitamin D and B12, digestive enzymes, and probiotics. These are needed as your meat consumption should be near-zero. 

You want your food to be as local as possible. However, this may sometimes mean that frozen food is the better option. For your food to be clean, you will want it to be both organic and non-GMO. 

Darin also believes that fad diets are not helpful. Those diets often focus on what you cannot eat as opposed to what you should eat. If you are focusing on almost all your food being fresh and whole, you won’t have room for bad foods. The foods that Darin suggests are not suitable in large quantities are meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and sugar. 

Finally, we should try and eat a wide variety of fresh, whole goods. If you are not providing your body with variety, you give your body the same limited nutrients. Eat at least one raw salad with different colored vegetables in it daily. Don’t put processed salad dressing on it. Work up to eating something raw at every meal. 

Force #2 – Hydration

“Water deficit is the primary cause of many other disease symptoms too. Chronic pain, digestive distress, migraines, depression—all may be attributed at least partly to a lack of cellular hydration.” – Darin Olien

The second force outlined by Darin is hydration. Our bodies are incredibly efficient at adapting to their environment. If we only drink small amounts of water, our bodies will adapt and survive. However, without enough water, our bodies will not be able to produce optimal performance. In this book, Darin outlines the many illnesses that water alone can help treat:

  • Allergies – Dehydration over long periods prompts the body to start producing histamines to hold onto the water available. Higher histamine levels are associated with more significant allergic reactions. Hence, antihistamines are used for treatment of allergies
  • Headaches – The most common cause of headaches is dehydration. Making sure you are drinking plenty of water will minimize your risk of getting headaches
  • Arthritis – Arthritis can be associated with existing injuries. However, it can also be a sign that your body is attempting to hold onto the sparing amounts of water left. Therefore, your body is restricting processes that contribute to water loss. One of these is joint movement

Darin recommends drinking a big glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning. However, there are many pollutants in tap water. Therefore, Darin suggests that you drink distilled water with half a teaspoon of unprocessed crystal salt per gallon. 

Force #3 – Detoxification

When we eat food, it is broken down into useful parts and waste. The useful parts are taken to our cells to help us thrive. The waste is left behind and subsequently has to be filtered and excreted. On top of this, your body is continually producing cells. Old cells die and have to be excreted, also. 

Water is a fantastic detox agent. So, as just mentioned, keeping yourself hydrated is a great way to flush your system of waste. Water is safer and more effective than long periods of fasting that are sometimes recommended by diets.

Force #4 – Oxygenation

Throughout this book, Darin provides evidence for his claims. With oxygenation, Darin provides this quote from Dr. Arthur C. Guyton, “All chronic pain, suffering and diseases are caused from a lack of oxygen at the cell level.” Additionally, Dr. Otto Warburg won the Novel Prize for finding a link between oxygen deprivation and cancer. 

Based on these findings, Darin suggests that oxygen therapy can be used to treat many illnesses. This does not mean that deep breathing will stop you from getting cancer, but it does have its benefits.

We can help increase the amount of oxygen at the cellular level by eating fresh vegetables, fruits, and fatty acids. Then, drinking water allows oxygen exchange to occur. Additionally, we must focus on our breathing. We should be breathing consciously. Inhale deeply through our noses, fill our lungs, and then empty our lungs. Fill our chests and let our chests move. Finally, we should be exercising every day so we can encourage deep breathing. Outdoor exercise is preferable.

To reap the benefits of these practices, we need to limit the stress in our lives. Stress reduces the amount of oxygen that muscles can absorb. Therefore, stress is limiting the availability of oxygen in our bodies.

Finally, our cells will be naturally oxygen-rich if our body is in a slightly alkaline state. This is what the next life force is all about.

Force #5 – Alkalization

Our bodies need a slightly alkaline environment to maintain cell health. Acidity inflames the body. Alkalization is produced by ensuring we have all the required minerals in our diet. 

One of the best ways to improve the alkalization of your body is to eat raw foods. Darin recommends eating raw foods at least once every day.

As with oxygenation, stress will only limit the benefits of engaging with these practices. Stress acidifies your body. Similarly, not getting enough sleep has an acidifying effect on the body. Cancerous cells thrive in acidic environments. Darin also provides a list of foods that are acidifying and, therefore, should be avoided:

  • Aspartame
  • Green Bananas
  • Barley
  • Bran
  • Carbonated Beverages
  • Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Cows’ Milk
  • Cranberries
  • Decaf Coffee
  • Duck
  • Eggs
  • Ketchup
  • Lard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Oat Bran
  • Olives
  • Palm Kernel Oil
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pistachios
  • Pomegranates
  • Rye
  • Scallops
  • Sugar
  • Tapioca
  • Turkey

In addition to these foods, Darin recommends avoiding nicotine, caffeine, preservatives, additives, industrial chemicals, and alcohol. Each of these is also acidifying.

The Secret Force – Exercise

As well as the five forces, Darin introduces a secret force associated with the other five forces. This secret force is exercise. 

Darin recommends exercise that is high intensity and over short periods. Always try and incorporate weights into your exercises. Add movement into your day, whether that is just going for a walk somewhere rather than driving. Darin emphasizes that exercise does not have to be done in a gym. Outside exercise is better as it improves your body’s oxygenation. 

Finally, the most important tip is to make exercise fun. Pretend that the exercise is a game. Doing this will make you more likely to engage with exercise.

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