Don’t Give Up On What You Want Most

“Don’t give up on what you want most for what you want now.”

—Author Unknown

About eight months ago, I had my annual physical. For the most part, both the doctor and I were pleased with the exam and lab results, with the exception of my blood pressure. It was getting to the point where medication was on the horizon.

Given my past experience in the pharmacological industry and my strong desire to live as healthy a life as possible, I decided to dramatically alter my eating habits and make food my medicine.

What made this particularly difficult was that I started this primarily plant-based diet while on a family vacation. Restaurant food and countless temptations surrounded me! The good news is that I have remained medication free with normal blood pressure, and have shed a few pounds to boot.

EXERCISE:

Where are you currently wrestling with yourself regarding what you want in the short term versus what you want most in the long run?

Should you wish to take on a similar health/medication related issue, consider reading Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s book, Whole.

Dieting a System of starving yourself

“Dieting: A system of starving yourself to death so you can live a little longer.”

—Jan Murray, late American stand-up comedian

Image of fancy small plates

Image from Unsplash by Brenda Godinez

Have you every been on a diet? If you have like many these days, you count your carbs, have gone gluten-free, stopped eating red meat, limited white foods, and perhaps added supplements or super-foods to your daily routine.

My guess is that you may sometimes step on the scale, look in the mirror, and choose your most comfortable clothes with just a bit of angst.

My wife Wendy and I, after visiting our physicians and viewing a number of documentaries with titles such as “What the Health” and “Cowspiracy,” decided to let food be our medicine, with an emphasis on naturally-sourced, plant-based foods.

To our great delight, it is working!

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can and will you take on the gift of optimal health in the new year?
Do the necessary and important research, and choose an approach you can stick with for a long and vital life.

I like the work by Chris Johnson and his team at ontargetliving.com, and encourage you to visit his site.

The More you Eat the less flavor

“The more you eat, the less flavor. The less you eat, the more flavor.”

—Chinese Proverb

Image of a small plate meal

Image from Unsplash by Kawin Harasai

The next time you sit down to enjoy one of your favorite meals, try this:

For the first ten minutes, eat only three to five mouthfuls, paying particular note to the texture and flavor of each bite you mindfully chew.

Next, take a “Thanksgiving Size” portion of the same meal, and chow away. Make sure you go beyond your level of satiety to the point of moderate discomfort. Pay particular attention to your awareness of texture and flavor.

EXERCISE:

Where and how would the practice of eating less in a more mindful manner bring you greater pleasure and perhaps a bit smaller waistline as a bonus?

Every Cell is a Citizen

“BODY: A cell state in which every cell is a citizen.”

—Rudolf Virchow, 19th Century German Biologist

Image of Human Brain Dendrites

Human Brain Dendrites. Image from The Gallery of Neuroscience.

According to Rose Eveleth’s 2013 article at smithsonian.com, there are 37.2 trillion cells in your body. Other studies give a range between 15 and 70 trillion. Whatever the actual number, it’s a bunch!

Given my interest in health, I ask you to consider the idea of cellular health as a way of enhancing your overall health. It’s similar to each individual doing their part as global citizens to make the entire world a healthier and happier place.

EXERCISE:

Consider purchasing a copy of On Target Living by Chris Johnson, in which you will find new and optimal actions to make your 37 trillion cells healthier and happier citizens of your body.

Wear Out or Rust Out

“Let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.”

—Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

Image of Barry's odometer at 200,014 miles

My car just reached a milestone, passing the 200,000 mile mark!

In some ways I feel pretty happy, given I have never owned a car that lasted so long and was so dependable.

Beyond the great value this car has given me, I fondly recall all the wonderful outings, adventures, vacations, and new places it took me, my family, and others.

I also take pleasure in the fact that it keeps on going, remaining safe and highly useful, as long as I keep it well maintained.

EXERCISE:

How can you maintain yourself in good working condition, to continue your life journey beyond what you might expect?  It sure beats rusting out, parked in a garage, and going nowhere!

If it came from a plant, eat it

“If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.”

-Michael Pollan, Professor, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Image of today's quote

Image from Harmless Harvest

A few weeks ago, at the turn of the new year, millions of people committed for the umpteenth time to live healthier lives. Among the keys to success is the focus on optimal, high-quality nutrition.

In general, the fewer ingredients on the label, the better the choice. Or, choose only those made by Mother Nature herself. A simple way to decrease poor choices is to do the majority of your shopping around the periphery of your market, and avoid the aisles full of items produced in a plant.

EXERCISE:

Consider turning your next shopping trip into a food safari. Bring more tasty, naturally grown foods into your home and body. Reducing or purging many of the packaged items already in your cupboards and fridge will reduce the chances of making poor choices.

 

The secret to living well

“The secret to living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure.”

-Tibetan Proverb

Image from The Queen of Small Things

Over the six year life of The Quotable Coach, we’ve shared hundreds of posts exploring the concept of living longer and happier lives.

This Tibetan proverb could replace all of them with its simple wisdom.

EXERCISE:

Put forth an extra effort to practice the following ideas:

  1. Pay particular attention to the portion sizes and the quality of the foods you eat. Consider reducing your servings to 2/3 or 1/2 what you normally take, just to see what happens over a period of time.
  2. Our sedentary lifestyle is killing us! Where and in what ways can you expand your level of physical activity in this new year?
  3. Milton Berle used to say that laughter was a mini-vacation. How can and will you bring more chuckles and belly laughs into your life?
  4. Where and with whom would an abundance of love and affection brighten your world?

when the universe celebrates success

“When the universe celebrates success, are you a joint partner or a spectator?”

—Laurent Carrel, Author

Photo of Marvin P.

Marvin P.

I recently had an inspiring conversation with Marvin P, a friend at my health club. Marvin is now 80 years young. He’s been a softball fanatic for as long as I’ve known him.

Each season, he mentions that he is slowing down a bit more as we discuss his running, fielding, and course, batting abilities. On this particular occasion, he shared that his travel team had just won the 2016 national championship in his age division!

EXERCISE:

In what areas of life is it time to get out of the stands and onto the field, to pursue and celebrate your personal and professional championships?

Healthy Wealthy Wise

“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

—Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father

Image of Dean Norris portraying Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin portrayed by Dean Norris, www.history.com

Ben Franklin was one of the wealthiest men of his time. He lived 84 years, which was unheard of in those days, and credited part of his longevity and success to his adherence to today’s quote.

The need for rest and recovery is an often overlooked aspect of health and well-being. It is a time in which our bodies magically heal and repair themselves. Lack of sleep and the associated stress it places on our bodies has been proven toxic.

Early risers clearly get a head start on their days. How many races would you likely win if you were able to determine the amount of “lead time” you needed? What could you learn through study, and what masterful, valuable skills could you develop and contribute to the world?

EXERCISE:

Consider going to bed and rising 30-60 minutes earlier for at least a week, and see what you discover about following Ben Franklin’s coaching.