Only one in 10,000 people in developed countries live to 100 years of age. However, it is possible to live much longer. Jeanne Louise Calment, a French supercentenarian, had the longest confirmed human life span in history, living to the age of 122 years and 164 days. If one of us made it, any of us could make it. So why do so many of us die earlier? The answer is simple: We a­­­re killing ourselves with toxicity, stress, and inactivity.

Out of these three threats to longer life, toxicity is the most significant. Toxicity is a major contributing cause for cardiovascular disease, cancer, cerebrovascular diseases, and diabetes—illnesses that together account for more than 1,500,000 deaths in the United States every year. Toxins in our surrounding environment amount to only 7% of what damages our bodies. The rest comes from the foods we eat and the drugs we choose to put into our bodies.

We develop unhealthy eating habits very early in life. In fact, we develop our first two lifelong addictions—to sugar and milk fat—immediately after birth. While the consumption of milk is healthy for developing infants and toddlers, humans are the only living animals that consume the milk of other species and the only ones that consume milk products beyond weaning. All humans become lactose intolerant to some extent between the ages of 4 and 7; this is nature’s way of encouraging the shift to other types of foods. Culture and personal habits lead us to continue consuming milk products long after they are no longer healthy for us.

The craving for sweet and creamy foods leads many adults to a diet rich in unhealthy foods. This includes:

  • ­­Sweets like ice cream, chocolate, doughnuts, cookies, cake, and candy
  • Starches like white bread, rolls, pasta, and white rice
  • Salty snacks like chips, pretzels, and crackers
  • Fatty foods like steak, bacon, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, pizza, and French fries
  • Sugary drinks like soda pop and
  • all other highly refined or highly processed “junk” foods

These unhealthy eating habits are often made worse by the consumption caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs (whether legal, illegal, over-the-counter, or by prescription).

Although unhealthy habits may not feel unhealthy at the time (in fact, they can often give us short-term pleasure), they can—and do—lead to illness and early death.

By continuously increasing our consumption of foods rich in sugars, salt, and unhealthy fats, and experimenting with “better living through chemistry”, we dramatically increase the risk of developing obesity, heart disease, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, macular degeneration, and other ailments that severely diminish quality of life and cause premature death.

The WELL Program at the Kolp Institute is based on the knowledge that each individual already has the ingredients for a long, healthy, happy life.

Most of us live lifestyles that we already know are not healthy. Poor diet, high stress, and the lack of exercise necessary to keep our hearts, lungs, and brains healthy all contribute to making Americans among the unhealthiest people in the world.

The Wellness and Prevention model of health care used at the Kolp Institute emphasizes that simple lifestyle changes can have a powerful impact on long-term health and dramatically decrease the risk of developing a serious illness. Rather than managing symptoms as they arise, we aim to keep people from getting sick in the first place.

When interviewed, most Americans can recite the ingredients to healthy living: eat plant-based foods, stay hydrated, refrain from smoking and excessive alcohol intake, get regular exercise, and find ways to manage stress. But simple knowledge is clearly not enough.

Our WELL Program is designed to create a transformational experience that drives home these simple principles for healthy leaving in a profound and lasting way. We combine ancient wisdom from yogic and other spiritual traditions with modern science from the fields of psychology, nutrition, addiction, and brain research, to create a six-day experience with the power and the potential to change your life’s trajectory in a way that will lead to a longer, healthier, and happier life.

Learn More