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.

you are what you eat

“You are What you Eat.”

Image from eslforeveryone.com

Image from eslforeveryone.com

Most health and fitness experts would agree with the truth of today’s quote. Who would want to live their life as a baloney sandwich? Or a deep-fried Twinkie?

Based on my research, here are the foods that should be on everyone’s shopping list:

Spinach Beets Watermelon
Berries Sweet Potatoes Grapefruit
Salmon Tomatoes Asparagus
Avacado Kale Kelp
Quinoa Beans & Lentils Cabbage
Broccoli Cantalope Eggs
Almonds Artichokes Chia Seeds
Bananas Lemons Dark Chocolate
Nuts & Seeds Garlic Cauliflower
Mushrooms Coconut Watercress
Wild Rice Honey Maple Syrup

EXERCISE:

Consider going on a food safari to bring more of these life-enhancing foods into your kitchen. Even small adjustments to this part of your lifestyle can make a big difference.

 

Health and Heal

“It’s no coincidence that four of the six letters in health are ’heal’.”

-attributed to Ed Northstrum

Image from Flickr by Elvis Koll

Image from Flickr by Elvis Koll

The human body and how it functions is literally a miracle, with the wondrous ability to coordinate over 100 trillion cells into a highly functional being.

Among the body’s amazing characteristics is its ability to self-regulate, and heal itself. You only have to look at the bumps, bruises, and broken bones you may have experienced to see this miracle happen right before your eyes.

Of course, years of neglect or abuse of our wondrous bodies dramatically impacts our health and ability to augment its healing powers.

EXERCISE:

What actions can you take today to more fully optimize your health and support your body’s miraculous ability to heal itself, so that you live a more full and satisfying life?

“Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat.”

“Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat.”

—Ann Landers, Chicago Sun-Times Advice Columnist

Photo from Flickr by Venture Minimalists

Photo from Flickr by Venture Minimalists

The “Fountain of Youth” is a spring that supposedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. The legend became particularly prominent in the 16th century, attached to the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon’s travels in what is now Florida.

In an April 2014 Time Magazine article titled, “9 Secrets to Living Longer,” author Alexandra Sifferlin points out that good, old-fashioned work plays a critical role in not only the quantity but also the quality of life.

EXERCISE:

Consider working up a bit of a sweat and adding to the length of your life by…

  • Working out and doing some form of exercise daily
  • Working on your diet – you are what you eat
  • Working on your relationships
  • Engaging fully in vocation and avocational activities that you enjoy and that will make a difference in the world
  • Working on your mind by participating in life-long learning

Please reply to this post with some of your own sweat-inducing activities that make your life more rewarding.

“If you don’t take care of your body…”

“If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?”

—Author Unknown

Photo from Flickr by Doug

Photo from Flickr by Doug

Virtually every person I work with as a coach has been dealing at some level, over the last few months, with issues such as health, fitness, and death.

Health and wellness has always been a top priority for me. Because experts say 70% of our health is within our control, I have spent considerable time applying what I learn to my own life.

EXERCISE:

As 2014 winds down and we prepare for a new year, consider taking the “Real Age Test” to get a baseline on your current biological age versus your chronological age.

Once you have taken the test, you can develop a plan of action to optimize your health and create a stronger, healthier place to live.

“To strengthen the muscle of your heart the best exercise is lifting someone else’s spirit when you can.”

“To strengthen the muscle of your heart the best exercise is lifting someone else’s spirit when you can.”

– Author unknown

Photo from Flickr by tiff_ku1

Photo from Flickr by tiff_ku1

Did you know that your heart beats over 100,000 times in one day, and over 35 million times in a year? If you live an average lifetime, your heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times.

Each beat of your heart has about the same force as giving a tennis ball a hard squeeze. This force circulates approximately 5.9 quarts of blood through your body, three times every minute.

Through this constant effort the heart pumps the equivalent of about one million barrels of blood during an average lifetime, which is enough to fill more than three super tankers.

EXERCISE:

How can you exercise your heart today by being a coach, mentor, or friend to others, and lift their spirits higher?

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

– Mahatma Gandhi, pacifist leader of Indian independence movement

494Image from Flickr by digitalmoneyworld.

How long do you expect to live? These days, life expectancy is going up a good bit due to new advances in medicine.

Another, perhaps more important, question to consider is how long do you expect to live in excellent, good or even modestly good health?

Exercise:

About 70% of our current health status is within our control, and about 30% is genetic. Consider the following exercises as sources of gold for a longer and healthier life:

1. Get an initial health check-up or physical from a well-regarded medical professional.

2. Evaluate your exercise, nutrition and lifestyle optimization strategies as a few first steps toward a more vibrant and healthier life.

3. Explore any of the following books and resources as you embark on this journey:

Younger Next Year: Turn Back Your Biological Clock, by Dr. Henry S. Lodge and Christopher Crowley

Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength, by Bill Phillips and Michael D’Orso

The RealAge Test (www.doctoroz.com/realage)

Dr. Andrew Weil, the former surgeon general of the United States, has amassed a wealth of information on health at www.drweil.com.

I am a big fan of the website half.com to find gently used books at a hefty discount.