Week 1: Day 6

__Read Genesis 36 – 41_____

__Walk 3 miles: actual miles walked _____

__Eat 5 fruits or vegetables_____

__Virtue: Temperance: eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

If I had to name one thing that keeps most people from superior health, I might name this: not realizing the necessity of a fight and preparing for that fight.

Physical laws state that things go toward a state of more disorder. It’s the reason that rocks don’t roll up hills. It’s the reason your home becomes more disordered with use rather than becoming more neat after a party. It’s the reason we become less healthy without efforts toward better health. You work to stay in place and you work harder if you want to improve.

Part of the effort involved in breaking the inertia and moving toward better health requires breaking through conflict with other people. Usually unknowingly, the people who love you most will do the most to distract you from healthy activities you wish to accomplish and will lead you toward the things you wish not to do. If someone not close to you interrupts, you may have little difficulty saying, “no.” But, most people when faced with choosing between something that’s very important to them and something less important but urgent to someone they love will choose to care for the other person.

The children need you to help with homework and it’s time for a walk. Guests are coming and you must prepare food they will enjoy (but which may not be your best choice). You’ve been away at work and your family wants to see you; so you skip the walk to sit and visit a little longer.

The people we love may not even realize that they’re keeping us from something important to our health. But, they do.

Here’s the analogy to remember: if you’re in an airplane, the steward(ess) briefs you on safety measures. If you’re sitting next to a small child and the cabin loses pressure, whose oxygen mask should you put on first–yours or the child’s?

The answer: you put on yours first! I’ve heard that advice every time I fly. Of course the reason is that if you’re passed out then you can’t take care of the child. You cannot care for those you love if you’re not alive and functioning well.

Most of us love family and friends enough to die for them. But to die or become less healthy and be unable to care for others because of homework that can’t wait or because dinner must be served at 5:30 instead of 6:30 after walking, to do these less important things to care for others while you forego practices that keep you healthy seems less wise than putting the child’s mask on before yours when in the airplane that’s lost pressure.

3-Day Fat Burn<–

Usually, those who love you will encourage your efforts after you say something like the following: “I must go for this walk (or not eat this cake or drink this drink, etc.) because I cannot be there for you the way I want to be unless I’m healthy and happy. I need to do this to take care of myself so that I can then be a good father (or mother, friend, spouse).” Even children can understand this concept.

Usually, there’s no unpleasant fight. But there is inertia and there will be conflict and occasional difficulties satisfying others if you stick to your resolutions. Prepare for conflict and stand firm with love.

So, prepare for a fight. The internal fight will be to stand resolved in your health practices to care for the goose (you) who lays the golden egg (service and love) for your family and friends. The external fight will be the occasional resistance by those you love when they forget that they must occasionally wait for the egg while you care for the goose.

Peace & health,

Charles Runels, MD


Week 1. Day 3. Baby Steps

Baby Steps

After choosing a new healthful habit to replace a harmful one, people sometimes make another mistake in the quest for better health–attempting too much too quickly. For example, trying to go from hardly ever exercising to walking several miles a day can be too much of a shock emotionally and physically. It’s analogous to trying to start a car moving by starting out in fifth gear. There’s too much strain on the engine if you start in fifth gear; so the engine sputters, the car moves a few inches. Then the engine dies. If you start the car in first gear, the car starts slowly but there’s no strain on the engine. Then after the car begins to move, you shift into second gear, and then third until finally the car’s moving at 65 miles per hour and the engine never strained. The same inertia, which kills the car engine in the physical world, kills the emotional stamina of most people in the emotional world.

By keeping the goal much smaller than that which you’re capable, it becomes easy to start. After starting, then the momentum makes it easy to shift into second gear and then third–doing a little more than planned.

Here’s the goal I’ve had since I was 19 years old: to walk one mile per day and to do 50 push ups. Even though since I was 19 I’ve done marathons, triathlons, and generally lead a very active life, the underlying goal that got me started many days was to go 1 mile per day and do 50 push ups. Most days, after starting, I would feel like doing more. But, when things seemed impossibly busy, or if I felt fatigue, or emotional upheaval, or whatever might stop me from exercise, the goal was always to walk 1 mile per day and do 50 push ups (about 20 minutes of walking at the usual pace of someone walking through a shopping mall).

The 10-Minute Rule

Another first-gear goal that keeps me going is to just go to the YMCA 6 days per week, and do anything for 10 minutes. Occasionally (maybe once every two months), I’ll go to the YMCA and start exercising; then, after 10 minutes, I still don’t want to be there. When that happens, I give myself permission to shower and leave. Most of the time, if I arrive not really wanting to be there, after 10 minutes, I feel refreshed and in tune with the spirit of the place and start a vigorous workout. But the goal, when I go to the YMCA, is always to just exercise for 10 minutes.

While I was walking recently, two women approached from behind. Both were about 40 pounds over weight and about a foot shorter than I but were walking faster. I said hello and thought as they passed that they may not continue to walk every day because their goal was to go too fast and too hard and would result in discomfort. Most people won’t keep doing activities that cause discomfort. Their goal, in my opinion involved walking at a speed that was driving in 5th gear when their obese body wanted to be in 1st gear.

Forget, “No pain, no gain.”
Remember,Pain will cause you to refrain.”
Consistency wins the prize of good health. The proverbial “baby steps” are easy so you come back the next day and the next.

I hope to offer you one baby step per day with these daily lessons.

Week 1: Day 3

_____Read Genesis: Chapters 15-21

_____Walk 3 miles: Actual miles walked

_____Eat 5 fruits or vegetables

_____Virtue: Temperance-eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

Peace & health,

Charles Runels, MD
About these 365 Health Strategies<–

3-Day Fat Burn<–

Jan 2. Crowd Out Harmful with Health-full

Crowd Out Harmful With Health-full

Around January 1, I see people try to begin or end a habit as part of a New Year’s resolution. Correctly thinking that habits greatly change their health, they use the first of the year as starting point for beginning new habits. I’ve noticed six things that successful habit changers do that the stuck do not do. You might consider these six things as you go about constructing resolutions for the year.

Neither the physical world nor the emotional and spiritual world tolerates a vacuum. Abruptly ending a habit forms a vacuum. Then the person eventually refills the vacuum–usually either by returning to the old habit or by adopting a new habit as destructive as the one abruptly ended.

For example: someone may abruptly stop smoking and then adopt more food to replace the cigarettes. Sometimes this leads to unwanted weight gain. Or the person may tolerate the vacuum left by the absence of smoking for a time, but eventually the vacuum becomes unbearable and they return to smoking.

Rather than resolving to abruptly end a bad habit, some will carefully plan and implement a good habit that they think might crowd the bad habit out of their life.

For example: Some will start chewing gum and think that this habit might replace smoking. Usually, chewing gum is not powerful enough to replace smoking, but the replacement tool can operate powerfully. A better choice might be walking. I’ve had no patient that developed the habit of walking three or more miles a day (six or seven days a week) who continued to smoke; it’s simply difficult to do both (you either quit walking or quit smoking).

When doctors prescribe Welbutrin, they use the replacement tool. The patient usually takes the medication for one or two weeks before they even attempt to quit the cigarettes. Usually, the medication will make the cigarettes less desirable and the patient will just quit smoking (as long as she continues the new Welbutrin habit).

Using this strategy (pushing out the harmful with the helpful) to change your life demands that you carefully chose the new habit. The new habit should be less harmful than the old one and it must be powerful enough in its effect to push away the old habit. The new habit should also be something that you can actually do for the rest of your life (else when you stop the new habit, the old one comes home again).

Tomorrow, we can think about mistake #two. Today we consider what habits do we really want to give up. What habits do you think you could begin that might crowd out the bad habits? It’s a good time to carefully consider such strategies. Consider making a list of harmful and helpful behaviors that you would like to begin or start.

Hopefully, scanning through this daily reminder will be a small habit that could keep you moving in a healthy direction and help crowd out harmful behaviors by redirecting focus

_Read Genesis: Chapters 8-14

_Walk 3 miles: actual miles walked

_Eat 5 fruits or vegetables

_Virtue: Temperance–eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation

Peace & Health,

Charles Runels, MD
Cellular Medicine Association

More about these “365 Health Strategies”

1-3-5 Plan for Optimal Health

Most of my patients have heard me discuss my 1,3,5 plan for superior physical, mental, and spiritual health.   Here it is…

1)  Fast (or very low calorie day) for ONE day per week.  

3)  Walk THREE miles a day (every day of the week) and 

5)  Read FIVE chapters of scripture (click here for daily Bible reading plan) and eat FIVE fruits or vegetables every day.


Have 1 Plumb


As a child, 50 years ago, I remember watching my grandfather use a plumb line to measure (he worked as a carpenter at a steel mill in Birmingham but would spend weekends at home building gorgeous furniture that he mostly gave away to friends and family).  Used since Egyptian times, the plumb line gives the true vertical–there is no arguing with a plumb line.

When a carpenter wants to know how to make a wall straight up and down, he/she always trusts the plumb line to show the true vertical (this was used by the Egyptians all the way to the present time)…

Amos 7:7
…behold the LORD stood on a wall made with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand.

Here’s the strategy for the day…

Decide on 1 thing–just 1 thing–that will become a plumb line for  you and your health.

What’s the thing that you will do that you decided will always be true about how to have excellent health?

Do you agree that you do need a plumb line to be sure the wall is vertical?
Can you see why having a rule or philosophy that becomes the plumb line is part of what keeps the healthy healthy?

People debate about various forms of exercise and diet, so much so that many wind up with nothing they know to be true about how to have excellent health. People who are not healthy change what they think to be true–what the plumb line will be–or they have no plumb line at all.

Possible plumb lines…

Walking 3 miles a day is something that will help and that I will always do.

Spending 1 hour per day at the YMCA always motivates me to exercise and stay healthy and I will go there 5 days a week.

Eating high sugar foods makes me feel badly and gain weight so I just won’t eat them ever.

These statements are only suggestions, but the Health Strategy that I’m saying is critical is that you do have at least 1 statement of habit or philosophy that you’ve found is doable for you and that leads to good health that you’ve decided will be your plumb line.

Don’t build walls without using plumb lines. Don’t try to build health without having rules to live by that keep you healthy.

365 Health Strategies: December 7
Walk 3 Miles_______________
Eat 5 Fruits/Vegetables______
Read Amos Chapter 7-9_____

Peace & health,


Charles Runels, MD

3-Day Fat Burn
About these 365 Health Strategies








10-Day Experiment

The book of Daniel ends with visions, dreams and stories that inspired and baffled scholars and believers for a few thousand years.

But, how does the book start?

With the prophet deciding what he will eat
and what he will not eat.

1.  Decided to NEVER eat or drink a few things that he thought would not be best for body and spirit.

Is there anything you’re willing to NEVER eat or drink because you’ve found them to be that destructive?


No need for a long complicated list…
just decide to not eat or drink those few things.  We’re not going for perfect diet…
we’re going for perfectly avoiding a few things that you know rip you apart.


2.  Second thing that Daniel decided to do?  To, drink water and eat vegetables!

Fascinating to me that a book that tells of great acts of prophecy and feats of faith…
begins with the decision to drink water and to eat vegetables.

Do you think that when you are thrown into the fiery furnace of your work,
or the lion’s den of disaster and diappointment of loss,
that eating vegetables and drinking water could be a beginning point for surviving?

Daniel thought so, too.

Here’s the strategy for the day…

Do the same 10-day test that Daniel suggested in Chapter 1.

1.  Completely avoid whatever’s on your “never” list.

2.   Do consume the following every day…
a.  5 fruits or vegetables per day.  One serving is 1 cup of vegetables or 1 medium sized piece of fruit
b.  8 glasses of water per day.  I prefer water at room temperature (seems to be easier to drink more of it).

These two keystone habits will automatically change many other habits.
And, of course they fit perfectly with the 1,3,5-Plan for physical, mental, and spiritual health.

365 Health Strategies:  November 25
Walk 3 Miles_______________
Eat 5 Fruits/Vegetables______
Read Daniel Chapter  12_____

Peace & health,


Charles Runels, MD

3-Day Fat Burn
About these 365 Health Strategies