“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 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.
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 and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure.”
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.
Put forth an extra effort to practice the following ideas:
- 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.
- Our sedentary lifestyle is killing us! Where and in what ways can you expand your level of physical activity in this new year?
- 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?
- Where and with whom would an abundance of love and affection brighten your world?
“When the universe celebrates success, are you a joint partner or a spectator?”
—Laurent Carrel, Author
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!
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?
“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
—Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father
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?
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.”
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:
||Beans & Lentils
|Nuts & Seeds
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.
“It’s no coincidence that four of the six letters in health are ’heal’.”
-attributed to Ed Northstrum
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.
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.”
—Ann Landers, Chicago Sun-Times Advice Columnist
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.
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, where will you live?”
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.
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.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Photo by Michał Grosicki on Unsplash
The other day while I was at my health club, I noticed one of the personal trainers eating an apple. Perhaps because I have quotes on my mind all the time, I found myself saying this familiar phrase.
When I got to my office that day—after eating my daily apple—I decided to do a bit of research on this and found that apples:
- Contain about five grams of soluble fiber, shown to reduce intestinal disorders such as diverticulitis and possibly some forms of cancer.
- Contain pectin which can help to reduce cholesterol levels by lowering insulin secretions.
- Can lower the risk of respiratory diseases such as asthma, if eaten regularly.
- Are low in calories and packed with vitamins A, C, flavonoids, and as many as 12,000 other phytonutrients to support good health.
- Apple cider vinegar has been shown to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Consider going to your local market or specialty grocer, and go on an apple safari. Select at least five and perhaps up to a dozen different varieties – and do a taste test to see which you prefer.
Some of my favorites are:
- Pink Lady
- Granny Smith
- Northern Spy