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Highway to Health
October letter (sent by Dr. runels to only those who requested it. If you wish to be removed, hit reply and type remove. Feel free to copy or to forward to those whom you know personally and think might benefit.)
How would you like to reduce all of the health advice you would ever need into just two numbers?
When I trained in medicine, an older neurologist gave a group of younger doctors one of the best lectures I ever heard on how to take care of seizures. He said, "All you really need to know to take care of seizures in the emergency room is just two numbers 20 and 50."
At the time, the two best drugs available for treating severe seizures in the emergency room were Phenobarbital and Dilantin. Both of these drugs can be given up to a maximum dose of 20mg/kg IV at a rate of up to 50 mg/min. I never forgot that lesson.
I want to tell you just two numbers that will summarize all you need to know about mental and spiritual and physical health 3 and 5.
Oh, there are some more details that you could use very effectively. Just like there are some very useful things to know about taking care of someone about to die from seizures. But, at one time, if you knew the numbers 20 and 50, you could do the most important things that needed to be done until you figured out something else to do. And, you must learn the 2 numbers 3 and 5 if you want the most necessary nugget to having good health.
The Number 3
The 3 youve probably already figured out. It stands for 3 miles, 3 times a week. In the August letter, we went over the latest research from the New England Journal that actually called this formula the "magic bullet." By just remembering this number you will decrease your risk of heart attack by 40%, decrease depression, lower appetite, normalize weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, increase libido, and more. But this number 3 will lead you to learn more and do more of your own volition if you will remember it and practice it. Remember, I dont care how you do 3 miles 3 times a week as long as you do it on your feet (if you use a bike, roller blades, etc, then you must increase the mileage.)
The Number 5
So what about the other number 5?
1. 5 fruits or vegetables per day (or more) to kill appetite and prevent cancer and lower cholesterol and improve digestion.
2. 5 chapters per day...
Its no debate anymore that whether you call it your spirit or your emotions or your psyche, what happens in your head affects your body in profound ways. So, the number 5 will remind you of the central nugget of truth that will nourish and vitalize your thoughts. The number 5 refers to the number of chapters that you should read daily from a certain book. But before you know the name of the book hear what a few people have said about it:
George Washington: "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the _____."
Napoleon: "The _____ is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it."
Abraham Lincoln: "I believe the _____ is the best gift God has ever given to man."
Charles Dickens: "The _____ is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world."
Sir Isaac Newton: "There are more sure marks of authenticity in the _____ than in any profane history."
Horace Greeley: "It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a _____-reading people. The principles of the _____ are the ground-work of human freedom."
William Osler: "fifteen or twenty minutes day by day [with the _____] will give you fellowship with the great minds of the race, and little by little as the years pass you extend your friendship with the immortal dead."
So what is this wonderful book? The Holy Bible. And, for most people, the fifteen or twenty minutes suggested by Osler are just enough time to read 5 chapters. So, what do you do if youve read the bible and not found what Dickens found?
First realize that spiritual hunger is the opposite of hunger for food. Most people find that the less they eat the hungrier they become. But, with spiritual food, the less you eat the less you want, and the more you eat the more you want.
The number 5 reminds you to force feed yourself 5 chapters of the bible every day with the same determination that you force yourself to cover 3 miles 3 times a week. Just as you will learn to love your 3 miles you will learn to crave your 5 chapters.
But be careful. Dont read to know the Bible. Read to know God.
If you average 5 chapters a day, you will read the New Testament twice and the Old Testament once every year.
Heres the best plan Ive found (for more details, see the Halleys Bible Handbook).
In the plan you read 5 chapters a day and you will cover the book or books listed for each of the 52 weeks of the year.:
Books of the Bible Reading Plan:
11. Joshua, Judges
13. Ruth, I Samuel
15. II Samuel
16. I & II Corinthians
17. I Kings
18. Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians
19. II Kings
20. I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon
21. I Chronicles
22. Hebrew, James
23. II Chronicles
24. I & II Peter, I & II & III John, Jude
25. Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther
30. Matthew or John
35. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
37. Isaiah (1-33)
39. Isaiah (33-66)
41. Jeremiah (1-28)
42. I & II Corinthians
43. Jeremiah, Lamentations
44. Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians
46. I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon
48. Hebrews, James
49. Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah
50. I & II Peter, I & II & III John, Jude
51. Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
.....A 52 week plan that requires only about 5 chapters or 20 minutes per day.
My favorite version is the New King James Version. But, the Contemporary English Version also reads well.
So there it is. What do you think your life would be like if you never forgot the numbers 3 and 5?
Feel free to forward this message to those on your personal list who you think might benefit. Or copy and distribute freely its O.K. with me.
Charles E. runels Jr., MD