Leaner and Healthier: Part One
One of the most important things to remember is that you are surrounded by people who care about you: your coaches, trainers, nutritional advisors, mentors, and companies building and representing healthy, life-changing products and services. You have access to all of these. We live in an immensely privileged country where these things are but a click away at any given moment. Be humble, grateful, and always generous to them. This is how a better world is created for all of us.
I reached out to several respected friends and asked for their advice on approaching this year-end blog. Should I "sugar-coat" this message or "tell it like it is." Every one of them advised, "tell it." Disclaimer: My advisors are male and female jocks!
My list of suggestions is not intended as medical advice. Certainly, my best recommendation is for you to ponder these and seek out the highest qualified professionals to customize programs specifically for you. Consider seeking someone in the functional medicine or naturopathic disciplines. These suggestions come not from just me but from all the professionals I have accessed for decades. I compiled several ideas and opinions highlighting my favorite, impactful nuggets. I am sharing my learnings with you.
Not all readers will agree with parts of this, and some may even take offense. It is the most honest approach I can take towards helping you. I am not seeking popularity. I care about you, and therefore I am simply "putting it out there."
So, let's get started...
Part One: This week will focus primarily on the nutritional side of this equation.
Part Two: Next week focuses on making resolutions that you can keep and some training tips.
I will try to keep this simple and to the point. Here is a list of things that I believe to be "destructive in nature." Followed by a list of habits that will lead you to a very healthy mind and body place if embraced.
Short List of Destructive Health Tendencies:
- If you do, you must figure out why and Hard Stop!
- Most TV, including news shows (any channel), most other TV shows (mindless programs -- this list is almost endless).
- Facebook and related media are some of the worst wastes of lifeforce energies on the planet. This includes squirrels being launched from porches, dogs farting, and people taking selfies holding up drinks. Our choices are only one click away from making a positive/negative decision about how we either waste or invest our time. Choose wisely!
- I will recommend podcasts and videos to expand your knowledge base.
- Packaged Foods with a long list of ingredients
- Sugar: Soda, Orange Juice, Apple Juice, Candy, etc.
- Starches: Bread, Rice, Pasta, Potatoes, Most Health Bars, Cereals
- Foods with preservatives (too many to list)
- I know this isn't popular, but Ethanol is a neurotoxin, hard stop! Ever heard someone say, "I need to get rid of this beer belly, but they are not willing to give up what gave it to them. This person should NEVER SET GOALS because, well, just because : )
I personally consider each of these eating habits equally destructive, and therefore they all fall into the same bucket -- a bucket that needs to be tossed out!
Short List of Constructive Health Tendencies:
- Fresh Air: Do something outside and have air filtration indoors ALWAYS.
- Filtered Water: ALWAYS!
- Sleep: One of the most underrated key health factors
- Brain Health: Audiobooks, books, and podcasts are all resources that expand your knowledge base and improve your life path journey. See the end of this blog for a few recommendations.
- Facebook and Related Media are some of the best investments of lifeforce energies on the planet. Health, Fitness, Mindfulness, and more. The list is an endless resource of inspiring brilliant minds that bring us new research and developments to cultivate a very positive lifestyle. Our choices are only one click away from making a positive/negative decision about how we either waste or invest our time. Choose wisely!
Eating Real Foods:
- Food that doesn't have a long ingredient list
- Certified as Organic, Grass-fed, Free Range
- Whole foods without processing
- Examples: Avocados, greens, blueberries, blackberries, fish, grass-fed beef, free-range eggs, goat cheese/yogurt, raw nuts. These don't come with a list of ingredients.
Let's dive into some valuable nutritional tips that can lay a foundation for becoming healthier and lean.
This is the single most powerful person that choreographs the entire family or individual's health, whichever your case may be. This is the most important role!
- You will eat what's brought into your home. And remarkably, you will not eat what is not there! You may be thinking, "Coach, Really?" Let's dive into this a little further. Take a quick trip to your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets. If you honestly see only healthy nutritional foods, then you have no eating issues at home. Now, you may be eating out more often than not, and that is another issue. Unless you are eating at a certified organic restaurant, you are probably consuming less than optimal foods. I think it's safe to say if you actually have quality foods, then the chances you are over-eating are slim. Nutritious foods satiate. Simple carbs (starches) keep you in a frantic state of hunger. This is the condition supermarkets want you to be in all the time.
- Here is a snapshot of something I recommend. It's a simple but very effective routine. This is my shopping list. I always go food shopping with a list — critical. Equally important is that I only buy what's on my list. Hard Stop!
You'll notice at the top it says, "My Smart Food Choices." This set's the tone. I normally look in the fridge and food cabinets to see exactly what I need the day before I go shopping. I build out my list, and when I add something, I see the phrase "Smart Food Choices" each time I review the list. "Smart Food Choices." "Smart Food Choices." "Smart Food Choices." Okay, I got it!
What are the chances that I will put Twinkies, Soda, Donuts on my list while looking at "Smart Food Choices?" You get the idea! Even though no one sees this list, but for me, I couldn't stand the irony of even looking at it with all those junk items listed. Remember, you only buy what's on the list. This list is another powerful tool you have, and it works. Your calm inner voice that makes the Smart Food Choices list is sane, intelligent, savvy, and dedicated to your health, unlike the maniac that screams at you when you are hungry and at the grocery store.
- This takes us right into the next Power Tip. NEVER go to the grocery store when you are hungry. You do know this is right, don't you?
- When you are at the grocery store, only walk around the perimeter. Stay out of the internal aisles. That's where all the JUNK FOOD resides. If you go around the perimeter, you will actually see vegetables, fruit, and lots of REAL FOOD. This is the constructive habit we are building. - eating healthy, remember? Smart Food Choices on your list are found around the perimeter of the grocery store. Only eat what is on the list. Only healthy, smart foods are on the list. Thus, the perimeter is where we will shop. Packaged foods with a long list of ingredients are found in the inner aisles. DO NOT GO THERE! Don't even look at them.
- If you have shopped smart, then your willpower cannot be challenged. When you need a snack, healthy choices are right there for you—no temptations of chips, candy, beer, or soda. Keeping the crap out of your house keeps the crap out of your body. Period. Increase the probability that you will eat foods that will enhance your health, not harm it. At some point, your body will acclimate to good, healthy foods. Your crazy cravings will cease, and food that is ultimately bad for you will not be appetizing. In fact, you may be surprised that you used to eat crap. Your new eating habits will win out, and that endgame means a healthier body.
- Now, for the last huge power tip on eating. Eat all your food within a 10-hour (or less) window. Eat your dinner as early as you possibly can. Evening meal time of 4:00 to 5:00 pm is ideal. Keeping your 'eating window' tight is called intermittent fasting. We were taught to eat 3 meals a day, plus snacks. Dead Wrong.
- Hydrate. Drink filtered water and plenty of it.
- Try to go to sleep earlier than most Americans (do not stay up late watching TV). Go to sleep at the same time every night and let this become a routine. Yes, sleep is a big factor in nutrition. It increases the efficiency of how your body handles and processes what you eat. Proper recuperative sleep affects many metabolic pathways. And, inversely, lack of sleep negatively affects those pathways.
Remember the GATEKEEPER! This role, when handled properly, can transform any family's health. It's a huge responsibility.
Next week tips on why it's silly to set goals. And how to make and actually keep resolutions!
Be healthy and know that Team Body Helix cares about you and is here to help you, "Move Through It."
Here are some books and podcasts that are a great start for anyone wanting to go down this path and is willing to do the work.
Mark Hyman - Food, what the heck should I eat! https://store.drhyman.com/products/food-what-the-heck-should-i-eat
Another great nutritional book recommendation: Max Lugavere - Genius Foods https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07959MZ3W?plink=PK16IP0oyi6niGAm&ref=adblp13nvvxx_0_0_im
Found on Audible or Amazon: Dr. Rhonda Patrick https://www.foundmyfitness.com/
This is a treasure trove of nutritional information. She is a leader in this field.
Stay tuned next week for another installment of this series!