“Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does.”

“Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Mehluli Hikwa

Far too many of us are living in overdrive, trying to squeeze in one or more “to-do’s” in our days. Of course, our vehicles as well as our bodies need periodic refueling, so that we have the energy to get where we are going.

Over the last few decades, smart marketers took advantage of these overdrive trends and created the mini-mart that sells fuel along with all sorts of junk food with the shelf life of radioactive carbon.

Who hasn’t found themselves sometimes using their car as a dinner table, producing an occasional stained shirt, or at least crumbs on the seat?

EXERCISE:

What would be the benefit to your waistline and your overall health if you developed the habit of packing your own foods for most if not all of your road trips?

What tasty and healthier choices will go into your portable cooler, to enjoy a break in your day?

“You cannot outrun your fork.”

“You cannot outrun your fork.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Google

Over the first two weeks of September, Wendy and I had a bucket list adventure with friends. This included visiting Greece, and a 10-day cruise titled “Extreme Israel.”

On most days we walked, hiked, and even climbed around ancient sites and got in plenty of steps.

Upon arriving back on the ship, we were treated to top-notch cuisine provided by the Azamara Cruise Line staff. As you might guess, our forks more than made up for our extreme daily effort, resulting in a few extra pounds and some tighter-fitting clothing!

EXERCISE:

How can you more fully optimize the balance of your nutritional and exercising efforts to improve your health and remain active for many adventurous years to come?

“Enjoy life to the fullest – it has an expiration date.”

“Enjoy life to the fullest — it has an expiration date.”

—Author Unknown

Image from SupermarketNews

When was the last time you went grocery shopping?

What strategies do you use to select the freshest and healthiest foods for yourself and your loved ones? If you are like me, you check the expiration dates or “best if used by” dates on items such as meats, dairy products, and other packaged goods.

Master shoppers, of course, always dig a bit further back or down on the shelves, knowing all stores rotate their newest shipments toward the rear and place foods that are sooner to expire up front.

EXERCISE:

Given your current life expiration date extending strategies, and the wonders of modern medicine, how can you improve your efforts to add many more years to your life, and of course, far more life to your years?

It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society

“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

—Jiddu Krisnamurti, 20th Century Indian philosopher, speaker and writer

Image of a woman wearing a surgical mask

Image from Unsplash by Ani Kolleshi

How healthy are you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? What daily habits, rituals, and practices do you engage in to optimize your well-being?

What factors do you consider when you evaluate the health of your local, state, national, and global communities? To what degree do they require a rigorous annual physical, and a health optimization plan for the years ahead?

Unfortunately and to a certain degree, we all can be a bit selfish in that we tend to prioritize our inner worlds and our local environments to protect, insulate, and secure ourselves from the considerable negative and sick elements of society.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you more fully optimize the health of both your inner and outer worlds? What would be possible if all people on our beautiful planet did this as well?

 

So removing vitamin E from its context within plant foods

“So removing vitamin E from its context within plant foods is like sending a general into battle without any troops.”

—T. Collin Campbell, American Biochemist

Image of a plate full of fresh veggies

Image from Unsplash by Anna Pelzer

One of the most interesting and valuable books I have read this year is “Whole” by T. Collin Campbell. His notoriety in the field of whole food nutrition was advanced significantly through the famous China Study. In this research, he demonstrate dramatically lower incidences of significant disease states such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

A key from his more recent studies is that selecting individual or small groups of food components such as individual vitamins as a magic bullet to health is inappropriate and can even be dangerous. Optimal health, he strongly suggests, depends on a symphony of food elements interacting with our own symphony of bodily processes.

Unfortunately, telling someone to eat fruits and veggies doesn’t feed the economic engines of our medical, pharmaceutical, and food manufacturing industries.

EXERCISE:

Beyond my suggestion to read this important book how can you incorporate far more whole foods as an army to fight disease and support a longer and healthier life?

When things aren’t adding up in your life start subtracting

“When things aren’t adding up in your life, start subtracting.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a paper with math problems

Image from Unsplash by Antoine Dautry

A few nights ago I was watching a Netflix documentary series titled “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death,” with Tim Caulfield.

This particular episode was on sleep, and its importance to our overall health and well being.

Through various experiments and interviews with lay people and members of the scientific community, it appears that many, if not most people, have unfortunately subtracted various amounts of sleep from their lives, with considerable consequences in their physical, mental, and emotional well being.

EXERCISE:

Where might subtracting other aspects of your busy life and adding considerably more time with your pillow help things add up far better in your life?

Consider checking out the series on Netfix or at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7532396/ to see what else you may wish to subtract for some other “cheating death” strategies.

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?