Total Health: Dr. Len Lopez On How We Can Optimize Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing

I think positive thoughts and personal pep-talks are like fruits and veggies to your mind. Whereas negative thoughts are like junk food — they are not as constructive as we would like them to be, and again it’s your choice!

As a part of our series about “How We Can Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Len Lopez.

Dr. Len is a health and fitness expert, as well as, author and inventor. His teachings are simple Eat Right — Train Smart to Look Better, Feel Better and Sleep Better. He teaches a more natural, holistic approach to health and fitness. And after many years of studying personal growth and development he created a cleaver program that combines body, mind and spirit and has taken To-do lists and journaling to the next level.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I’m the middle of three boys, that are all about 2 years apart, which means there was a lot of picking on each other. We all played sports growing up. Dad was tough and strict, when he whistled — we’d all come running, kind of like the Von Trapp family from the Sound of Music. Mom always made sure her boys were well fed and they both did all they could to give us what they didn’t have growing up.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

I think my mom probably had something to do with it. I was in junior high when she was laid up in the hospital for weeks with a back injury. During that time someone gave her a book about vitamins. Long story short, after she got out of the hospital, every morning she had various vitamins stuffed in a little cup for us to take with our breakfast. We really didn’t know what we were taking. She would tell us it was good for athletics, so we took them. But boys are boys and it soon became a competition to see who could swallow the most pills in one shot.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

Years ago, when I first started my practice, a patient suggested I should listen to this gentleman named Doug Kaufmann. I heard him on the radio and thought we have a lot of the same thinking, so I reached out and we developed a friendship. Anyway, he got me to not just believe that what I knew was important. He also got me to believe that others needed to hear and learn what I knew.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

Years ago, a nutrition company wanted me to do some videos for them and invited me out to Florida. They sweetened their offer and said, bring your wife and make it a short vacation. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the hotel was not as cracked up and plush as the website described, keep in mind this was years ago, when the internet was in its infancy and we were all using dial-up. Anyway, my lovely wife was not happy, but she was a sport about it. The next day when the VP of the company arrived, he quickly found us another hotel on the beach and couldn’t stop apologizing. The one thing I learned, was be very careful when you invite your wife to go on a business trip with you.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I can think of two books. The Power of Positive Thinking and Dress for Success. They taught me the things that weren’t being taught in school, the things that can give you an edge, which can make a difference in both your professional and personal pursuits.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much

It was Thomas Jefferson who said, “I’m a great believer in luck. Seems like the harder I work, the luckier I become!” The takeaway for me is that I can dream and pray about various wants and needs, but it still comes back to me putting in the work to make it happen.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

One of the things I am working on will bring delight to any coffee or tea drinker. Simply add a few drops of BrewMins to your coffee or tea to bring out that smooth, rich taste. It’s not a sweetener, it’s all natural and has zero calories. It simply improves the taste of your coffee and tea — Naturally. Who wouldn’t like that!

The second thing I am working on, is a nutritional product to help all those who forget that exercise is a form of stress. Adrenal HIT as both a Pre and Post workout formula to help your body deal with all the physical stress of exercise, but to also help support your body from everyday stresses. People don’t realize that stress depletes the body and they could easily be over-stressing their body and could use an Adrenal HIT.

The third thing is basically what we are talking about, which is My 5 STEPS a Day Program which helps you track how well you feed — Your Body, Your Mind and Your Spirit.

It’s taking To-do list and accountability journals to the next level. All you do is shade-in the corresponding footstep for your action, so you can track how well you are truly feeding your body, mind and spirit. By the end of the day, week you can quickly see how many STEPS forward you took in your pursuit of better health, wealth and happiness. We’re tapping into your visual and kinesthetic learning centers, like never before, to anchor those all-important habits and attitudes that set the foundation for your personal development. It’s immediate feedback and accountability, that all starts by knowing your numbers!

Here’s how it works….

Let’s start with health and fitness, which is fairly simple to comprehend. Did you EAT healthy today? If you did eat healthy, shade-in the ‘E’ and give yourself a pat on the back. If you didn’t eat leave it blank.

Did you get some Physical exercise today? If you did, shade in the P, if not leave it blank.

Those two steps are relatively easy to understand, and a couple of steps here and there will get you where you are going, but now let’s talk about how good or bad of a job you do at feeding your mind and spirit.

What thoughts did you feed your mind with today? Did you Think positive, happy thoughts? Thoughts of Yes, I Can…I Can do it! Or did you rehash negative thoughts of fear, worry and anxiety? If you remembered to Think positive throughout the day, shade-in the T. If you didn’t leave it blank.

Did you Sleep with a Smile? Did you know that while you slept your subconscious mind was still working? Did you fall asleep thinking how good tomorrow is going to be? Did you focus on some positive thoughts or outcome? Or did you fall asleep with the remote stuck in your hand with nothing positive for your subconscious mind to chew on while you slept? If you Slept with a Smile from all the positive things you are focused on, shade in that first S….if you didn’t leave it blank. Can you Visually see your progress?

Lastly, we need to talk about our Spiritual connection, and whether or not you worked on your spiritual muscles. If you did carve out some time in your day to work on your spiritual muscles, shade in the last S, if you didn’t leave it blank.

How hard is that to-do? Simple and Quick — Feedback and Accountability! It’s a personal development program that encompasses body, mind and spirit. Some weeks will look like this.

Can you see the visual image of all the progress you are making?

If corporations can track sales, revenue and profits. Why can’t individuals track what’s important for them, which are their physical health, their mental outlook and their spiritual connection.

We’re taking To-do lists to the next level, and unlike journaling, you can quickly look back and see how well you were doing weeks and months before. Habits and attitudes will either help or hinder you. What STEPS, what habits and attitudes are you taking to help you grow mentally, physically, and spiritually. Do you even know? It starts by knowing your numbers.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

To begin with, whatever area you are trying to improve in — physical, mental or spiritual, you have to carve-out and invest your time in it. You don’t simply wake-up one morning and have this beautiful body! That only happens if you have a magic Genie, otherwise you have to invest some time, energy and effort. That simple rule also applies to your mental well-being and your spiritual connection.

Our daily habits are what drive us — it’s our bodies auto-pilot. Whether you know it or not, you spend a good part of your day on auto-pilot. The name of the game is to have your auto-pilot, your habits working to your advantage and not hinder you.

Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.

Almost every night before I go to bed I lay on the floor, watch a little television and do some light stretching and deep breathing. This helps me relax and unwind both my body and mind. The only problem is that every once and a while, I get too relaxed and end up asleep on the floor for a few hours.

FYI….the simple practice of deep breathing before bed definitely helps increase melatonin while you sleep.

Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

One of the first things I do every morning is squeeze a lemon or lime in about 8–12 ounces of water. This does 3 things for me. 1) It rehydrates me. 2) it gets some glucose in me. 3) it helps alkalizes my body. I don’t have time to go into the benefits of all three but believe me, with so many people dealing with stress and health issues — this is a great simple habit to start your day, especially if your day goes from zero to sixty at the sound of your alarm clock.

The second thing is you have to get in the habit or learn to Sit, Eat and Relax. Eating on the go, in a hurry, in the car, doesn’t allow your digestive system to turn on and do its job, which is to help you digest your food. Just because you ate it doesn’t mean you absorbed it. So many digestive problems begin because we don’t allow our digestive system to do its job, which unfortunately allows lots of undigested food to pass through our digestive system rotting and putrefying as it goes. Can you say bacterial-yeast over-growth?

My third suggestion is important and this applies to both men and women, if you are trying to keep your testosterone levels normal. Stay Away from late night snacking, especially snacks that are loaded with refined white flour and sugars. A big carb-hit before bedtime, triggers your body to convert your testosterone into estrogen and a lot of the Low-T problems are related to a conversion problem.

FYI…Cutting out late-night snacks will also help those who struggle with waking-up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep…it’s a blood sugar issue that needs addressing.

Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

If your goal is to Look Better, Feel Better and Sleep Better, you have to find Your WHY! Why do you want to eat better and start getting some exercise? What’s the pay-off? I’ve had patients drag a family member or better-half into my office with hopes we can do something for them. But if they are not ready or motivated to change some of their dietary habits and or lifestyle habits…they won’t get very far.

It’s been said, motivation will get you started, but habits will keep you going. What’s your Why? It could be I’m going on vacation and want to look good in a bathing suit, I’m getting married and want to fit into my wedding dress, I want to be able to go play with my kids, etcetera. Once you know your Why, you become more focused, you have a purpose, a goal — you have a destination! A sailor who sets sail, without knowing where they’re headed can’t blame anyone for landing on ‘heartache and headaches’ when they were hoping to find the land of ‘milk and honey.’

This goes back to My 5 STEPS a Day Program…not all journeys are simple. If they were, everyone would be on that easy road to health, wealth and happiness.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

If you are what you eat is true? Isn’t, you are what you think also true?

I always say, you are the adult in the room and you control what you put in the grocery cart, so you also control what you put in your mental shopping cart too. Feeding your mind is a lot like feeding your body. You can choose fruits and veggies or cookies and ice cream? Healthier foods tend to give you better health outcomes. It’s your choice!

I think positive thoughts and personal pep-talks are like fruits and veggies to your mind. Whereas negative thoughts are like junk food — they are not as constructive as we would like them to be, and again it’s your choice!

Since biblical times, we’ve heard, “a man is who a man thinketh.” So, look at what kind of thoughts you are feeding your mind, are they thoughts that will strengthen and help you for whatever task is ahead or not?

The second habit I call Sleeping with a Smile! What thoughts do you feed your subconscious mind for the 6–7 hours you spend sleeping? Your subconscious mind doesn’t turn off when you sleep and you spend about a third of your life asleep. Wouldn’t it be nice, knowing that for those hours you are sleeping — you are using that time to your advantage?

So, before going to bed — focus, visualize or imagine some outcome in your life you would like to achieve. If you are looking to lose weight or get in better shape, give a good presentation at work, get a promotion, pay-off your mortgage, sink a putt…whatever. Take a moment before you fall asleep and either give yourself some words of affirmation or visualize yourself achieving that outcome, that goal, that dream.

What’s fascinating about visualization is if you do a good job of visually seeing that dream — you will notice a smile slowly developing on your face. As you focus longer and with more clarity…that smile becomes even bigger. Now imagine going to sleep with those emotions feeding your subconscious versus sleeping with the remote clinched in your hand or allowing yourself to fall asleep thinking about how tough tomorrow is going to be.

The third suggestion is to make sure you spend time doing things for YOU! I think too often people, possibly women more so than men, spend more time taking care of the needs and wants of others, that they don’t do enough to emotionally nourish themselves.

If it’s better health and fitness — carve-out the time to make that happens. If you want to learn how to sing, play an instrument, dance, read or learn about a particular subject — again it comes to carving out time for YOU. And doing the things that make you more fulfilled.

Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.

I love this question, because research has been done showing by simply putting your facial muscles in such a way, that mimics a smile — without being told to smile. The person will actually put themselves in a better mood. And as I said earlier, imagine feeding your subconscious mind those types of thoughts for the 7–8 hours you spend sleeping?

Let me also add that the reverse has also been shown as well. If you put your facial muscles in such a position that mimics a frown or sadness — it pushes you more towards a negative outlook.

Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Like the other areas of our life, you have to carve out time to develop those spiritual muscles. I know there may be several different ways to define spiritual wellness, so here’s my take.

First, it’s the attitude of gratitude. Count your blessings. Be thankful for what you have — don’t focus on what you don’t have. There is power in gratitude, more so than in feelings of, I’ve been short changed. You can always find someone doing worse off than you. Sew Gratitude!

The second is giving. Giving of your time, skills, wisdom and yes money. There is something to be said about paying it forward and helping someone out who really is in need. So, the more giving you can do, in whatever form, can pay dividends for you.

Lastly, but not least, it’s prayer, and the power of prayer. Are you working your spiritual muscles? There is something to be said about having a spiritual connection. Whatever your beliefs are, like muscles to your body — if you don’t use them, you lose them. You have to carve out time. Maybe that time is simply reading and studying where your beliefs came from.

As I say that, I think about what my dad used to say as we were growing up. He would tell my brothers and I, what are all those muscles for, pick it up and carry it to the truck!

Translation, it’s great to have enough physical strength when you physically need it. Wouldn’t it be nice to have those spiritual muscles developed when you need them?

Read, study, ask questions, investigate your spiritual beliefs and work your spiritual muscles. Research shows that having some type of spiritual connection can benefit you in so many different ways.

Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?

What I love about nature, is that if gives your brain a rest. It’s Not being constantly bombarded, stimulated or distracted. The quietness of the outdoors and nature gives your brain a chance to actually think provided you left your cell phone at home and unplugged. For some, it may be hard to unplug, but once you do — you allow your body, mind and spirit to come together, without all the other distractions in life. It’s those distractions in our life that keep a lot of us from focusing on the important things in life.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

It has to be My 5 STEPS a Day Program….only because so much of our day is run on auto-pilot. And so many people don’t realize their auto-pilot needs a tune-up. They don’t realize that their habits and attitudes can either help orhinder you? This is why you need to track your STEPS and know your numbers.

Yes, it’s a self-help book, it’s taking To-do list and accountability journals to the next level. It’s helping you track some of the most essential habits you need to be developing or changing for yourself. Change is not a 4-letter word. It’s about Creating Habits and Attitudes Now for Growth and Excellence. Try it for 30 days and truly see how good of a job you are or aren’t doing. Get some concrete numbers on your daily habits and attitudes and hold yourself accountable. See if you need a pat on the back or the proverbial kick in the rear.

Everyone always reflects on the journey more so than the destination, and how the journey helps you appreciate the destination. I believe everyone who reads your publications are in pursuit of better health, wealth and happiness. What I’m saying, is that the foundation of your journey is rooted in — your body, your mind and your spirit. Develop those foundational pillars and see where it takes you?

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

My first thought are any of the Shark Tank sharks, as well as, Marcus Lemonis. They have been very inspirational in what they have done for the entrepreneurial spirit in all of use. I wish I had met Napoleon Hill, Zig Zigler or Jim Rohn for all they did in teaching what so often isn’t taught in school or for that matter possibly in the home. There are so many great leaders and teachers to learn from.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can find me at www.EatRightTrainSmart.com or www.FiveStepsaDay.com

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

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Entrepreneur, angel investor and syndicated columnist, as well as a yoga, holistic health, breathwork and meditation enthusiast. Unlock the deepest powers

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.