Bringing Sanoviv Home: Part 2

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I'm a Certified Health Coach, longtime blogger, and host of Elizabeth Eats on YouTube. In addition to writing recipes (I love to eat!), I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life.


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Continued on from my post last week, today I want to share five more things you can do at home to bring the Sanoviv principles into your daily life.

As I’ve mentioned before, Sanoviv is by far the most healing medical environment I’ve ever experienced. It’s both a hospital and a place of holistic healing. Patients range from those with Stage IV cancer to those with mystery symptoms that cannot be explained, plus many more attend Sanoviv to seek diagnosis, treatment, and healing.

All of the food is fresh, organic, gluten-free and dairy-free. There isn’t any caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar, dairy or gluten-containing grains on the premises, but they keep you full with incredible fresh meals three times per day, green juice, wheatgrass shots, herbal teas, and fresh coconut water. I already eat really clean, but this is a whole other level.

I’ve been to Sanoviv eight times now—twice as a patient and six times as an educational retreat leader—and have incorporated many of the Sanoviv practices into my home and daily health routine.

Whether you’ve visited Sanoviv or not, the ideas in this series will continue to serve you for life

Bringing Sanoviv Home: Part 2

1. Eat your largest meal of the day at lunch.

Eat your largest meal of the day at lunch, and consider sticking to a vegetarian dinner.

Sanoviv Lunch Elizabeth Rider

The incredible all-natural food at Sanoviv is one of the best parts!

At Sanoviv, organic fish and poultry are served a few times per week for lunch to give patients energy and protein to fuel the day. (Modifications to individual diets are made to accommodate specific dietary restrictions as needed.) When fish or poultry are served for lunch, dinner is always vegetarian. The lighter, but still satiating, dinner can allow for a more restful sleep at night since the body’s energy isn’t being over tasked with digestion. I find this to be a great practice and try to implement it often in my weekly eating plans.

For example, I’ll have a berry protein smoothie for breakfast, an apple with almond butter for a snack, fish or chicken with veggies and perhaps a whole grain for lunch, then a big veggie & black bean bowl for dinner. Even if you don’t do this every night, try to incorporate it a few times per week and see how you do.

Example Sanoviv Daily Meal Plan:

  • Breakfast: berry protein smoothie or eggs with veggies
  • Snack: apple with almond butter or grain-free bread
  • Lunch: fish or chicken with tons of delicious veggies
  • Snack: no-fruit-added green juice
  • Dinner: legumes (e.g. beans or lentils) with tons of greens, 1/4 of an avocado & veggies, and perhaps a whole grain 1-2x per week
Sanoviv Dinner Elizabeth Rider

Sanoviv’s Director of Nutrition, Sue Ward, recently incorporated a whole grain such as wild rice or oats into the Sanoviv eating plan 1-2 times per week as new evidence suggests that a small amount of whole grains provide the best environment for your healthy gut bacteria to thrive.

And, speaking of green juice as a snack…

2. Drink 1 green veggie juice each day.

Drink one green juice per day made with just vegetables and green leafy things like herbs. Do not add fruit to your green juices as when taken away from the fiber in whole fruit, the fruit juice can cause a spike in your blood sugar. Fruit is absolutely ok in its whole form.

Drink your green juice on an empty stomach or 2-3 hours after a meal for prime absorption. Juice any greens, leafy herbs and green veggies you like. I’ve been liking half celery and half cucumber juice lately.

3. Walk barefoot in grass or other natural terrains as much as possible.

Earthing (also known as grounding) is a practice in which you allow your bare feet (or any bare part of your body) to touch the earth’s natural surface. In short, free electrons are taken up into the body when your bare feet (or skin) comes in contact with the earth. Sounds a little sci-fi but it’s actually sound science. Taking up electrons from the earth’s surface promotes healing and well-being for all of the cells in your body.

The grass at Sanoviv is grown with natural practices and is free of chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides. Patients are encouraged to walk (or stand or sit) barefoot in the grass for at least 15 minutes per day to receive the benefits of earthing. You can receive the benefits of earthing from any natural earth surface, including the beach, dirt, river beds, grass, rocks on the earth’s surface or other natural terrains.

When earthing in grass, choose grass free of pesticides if possible to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals. There are also earthing products like earthing mats and shoes available on the market, but I prefer to use the free method of just connecting my bare feet to the earth as much as possible.

4. Rise and sleep with the sun and moon.

There aren’t any drapes or shades on the huge windows in each guest room at Sanoviv. Instead, we go to sleep when the sun goes down and wake up when the sun rises. This is how your body and circadian rhythm is meant to work. Your pineal gland (located in your brain) can sense light, even when your eyes are closed, which is why it’s also been known as “the third eye.” It produces and secretes melatonin as the light fades (or rises) to help you sleep and wake on natural cycles. This is just one more reason to stay off your electronic blue-light-emitting devices at night.

Sanoviv is close to the equator so the sunrise and sunset remain fairly constant year-round. This is more difficult for those of us who live up north or down south as we experience dramatic swings in the amount of daylight we get depending on the season, but this is a great practice to implement when you have roughly the same amount of daylight and darkness (which is spring and fall for those of us not close to the equator.)

5. Stop watching Network News ASAP.

If you just thought, what?! Then you need this one the most.

In line with keeping your mental health in tip-top shape, forgo network news. It’s all negative—and really, just repeats the same story over and over. Network News (e.g. Fox, MSNBC) keeps your mind in a constant state of stress that hugely affects your overall health. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be informed! I believe it’s each of our responsibilities as citizens of the plant to stay informed about what’s happening in the world. Instead of network news, read the news from a source you trust. I like TheSkimm, The BBC, and The New York Times.

The only TV channels available at Sanoviv are the History Channel, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. If you choose to watch TV at night, watch something that brings joy to your life, not stress.

At the very least, limit TV news consumption to no more than 30 minutes per day.

More about Sanoviv

If you missed it, you can read Bringing Sanoviv Home Part 1 here.

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  1. Mariah says:

    Thank you for backing me up! I’m grounding a parent with a Bad News obsession. That TV is on to news four or more hours a day. Endless arguments and yelling.

  2. Sharon says:

    I LOVE your posts. These on Sanoviv make me miss the place so much . I have been there – for a program and twice as a companion. Your posts are a great reminder to follow the lifestyle upon return to daily activities. It’s hard but it can be done.

  3. Vlad says:

    Your Number 5. “Stop watching Network News ASAP.” is amazing! We can confirm, and expand: My wife and I’ve stopped watching TV news for couple of years, but, we as well stopped reading all newspaper (news-paper) for the same reason: negative, one-sided, divisive, opinionated, etc. And what is more amazing with your statement is that we also decided at that time to watch science, national geographic, and a few more of similar TV channels! To add to your Number 5. is, that we are very careful in our movie selection — no guns, violence, blood, etc. Classic movies, Australian comedy movies, etc. are very beneficial to your well being 🙂
    Thanks, Vlad

  4. Mercy Wangu says:

    I am adding this place to my bucket list.

  5. Walt says:

    I’ve enjoyed your articles and comments for years. However, I take strong exception to the New York Times as a “trusted” news source. Being in federal law enforcement for just under 40 years, I know firsthand that the New York Times is about as biased and uninformative as they get. I find the One America News Network informative without being caustic. Sometimes, it’s a necessity to endure negative news in order to stay informed as a means to take necessary action, but I wholeheartedly agree that a constant diet of such news is detrimental. Please keep up your good work.

Hi, I'm Elizabeth

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