Table of Contents
- Laughter really is one of the best medicines…
- Release The Psoas Muscle.
- Positive Thinking Is Important For Great Health
- Help A Cause
- Curiosity Keeps You Healthy And Smart
- Being Present Is A Key Element In Happiness
- An Attitude Of Gratitude Is More Than A Catchy Saying
- Work To Live, Don’t Live To Work
- Work To Live, Don’t Live To Work
- Make 1 New Friend Per Month
- Read 1 At Least 1 Book Per Month
- Stand Up And Go For A Walk
- Kiss To De-stress
- Don’t Be Afraid To Cry
- Get A Weekly Massage
- Find A Hobby & Enjoy It – Often
- Are GMOs Really Bad For Us?
- The Dangers Of MEGA Doses Of Vitamins
- Reverse Your Nutrient Deficiencies Naturally
- Eat A Variety Of Colors To Get A Variety of Nutrients
- Get Your Fiber Naturally And Get It Daily
- Sweet Potatoes Are A Blank Canvas!
- Local, Vegetables Have More Nutrients.
- Don’t Cook The Nutrients Out Of Your Food
- My Food Never Has Added Processed Sugar
- My Food NEVER Has Preservatives
- Eat Real Unprocessed Whole Foods
- My Food Is Slow-Aged And Happy
- Store Your Food Properly
- Don’t Prepare Food Too Soon Or It Loses Nutrients.
- Eat within an hour of waking each day.
- I Eat At 8am, 12pm, 3pm & 7pm
- Not Drinking With Meals Helps The Breakdown And Absorption Of Nutrients.
- Chew Your Food Thoroughly
Unnecessarily struggling with health was my reality for years.
It became blatantly obvious, even at a young age, that my ability to heal and thrive at an optimum level depended upon the efficient operation of all components of my body.
If any components of our body are injured or distracted, our ability to heal and thrive is impaired. The greatest threat to great health is the multitude and abundance of harmful substances in our environment.
The foods we eat must suit our mind body and spirit in order to be the best version of ourselves. If your feeling down or constantly unwell, laughter is great for rejuvenating and healing us physically and emotionally. For me, it leads to greater motivation to make healthier and more productive choices.
I always feel exceptional after a good laugh and ever since discovering the healing properties of cacao I’ve been seeking out other alternative methods to heal myself and thrive.
It was incredibly obvious, that in order to become the healthiest and strongest version of myself, it was ideal to eat only nutritionally balanced meals with all natural unprocessed ingredients.
For me this consists of local, organic whole foods, herbs and spices. But you’d be surprised at how difficult it may be to get your hands on uncontaminated food. Unfortunately, for many people, it’s more difficult to get clean food than it is to get clean water.
I’ve come to realize there are some very interesting chemical properties associated with many foods, acting like triggers in the body – affect us in a very big way.
Here’s what you can expect to learn:
- Why enhance your happiness improves your health and vice versa.
- 9 Nutrition rules I live by & that’s why I’m healthy.
- 11 Satisfying foods to indulge in without feeling guilty.
- Find out how much more vitamins & minerals are in organic, wild, slow aged, local, in season foods.
- Find out what foods I ate to cure: IBS, Adrenal Fatigue, CFS, Acne, Depression.
- Discover the secret remedy I use to immediately reverses any bug.
“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.” ~Thomas Jefferson
Physically expressing an emotion sends a signal from the facial muscles back to the brain. This is huge for those of us aiming to improve emotional well-being, because it suggests we can consciously control our emotional lives much more than we may have realized in the recent past.
Regular laughter has been shown to improve long-term emotional and physical health in a number of ways, including significantly lowering the stress hormone, cortisol.
Laughter really is one of the best medicines…
You know how people say “laughter is the best medicine?” Turns out those are some wise words.
I’m about to show you why you don’t laugh enough. For a long time I didn’t laugh or even smile too much either. And it took me two hard years to figure out – losing friends, money and my health In the process.
I had to go homeless and live out of my car and nearly die before it finally hit me…
What I found out was so blatantly obvious and simple. I turned my emotions and outlook on life around that same day! It lead to so many incredible relationships, business opportunities and levels of mental awareness, only those who have struggled in life can fully comprehend.
After losing about 70 pounds and getting back on my feet I tried to articulate what I had realized about laughter and gratitude to coworkers and friends. But most of my insights were brushed aside and met with basic modes of facetious agreement.
However, there was one other person willing to heed my advice and realize the power of what was truly going on… My friend Nick aka Fellas went from being seriously overweight, living on somebody’s couch and completely broke, to driving a new mustang that he parks in the driveway of his house in the country, about 50 pounds lighter… All in a matter of 9 months…
I’ll show you exactly how it happened and why it will happen for you in just a minute…
But I have to show you what led up to it… It wasn’t until I went on a drive down to San Luis Obispo with my buddy Aaron that the reality of, “the grumpier you are the more assholes you meet” slapped me in the face.
Not only had this affected my social affairs, but ultimately my health. I was upset because I was out of shape and had bad asthma. But I was out of shape and ultimately had asthma because I was upset and not thinking clearly.
Being so negative allowed me very little passion and gratitude for what I already had available to me which blinded me to the habits that lead to my poor physical shape and life situation in the first place.
On that trip I made it a point to be very active and healthy, with Aaron’s help because he was already extremely health conscious and wanting a change in his life.
That week I felt better than I had in ages, we exchanged jokes and stories and met a ton of awesome people that ended up having an incredibly positive and healthy affect on our lives. I couldn’t believe the amount of laughter and goods times that were being shared. It seemed like every little event was positive and I made it a point to acknowledge them as such.
Even when our tire blew out on the way there, we just used it as fuel for jokes. The ordeal, which lasted 5 hours because we didn’t have a spare, was ultimately one big joke and an overall good time.
Laughter brings us together and increases happiness and intimacy. But that’s not all, laughter can actually strengthen your immune system, boost energy, relieve pain, and protect you from stress!
Before that trip to SLO I had been suffering from headaches and frequent fatigue. By the time we got the flat tire and from then on out, I’ve been headache free with an abundance of energy. Granted that’s not solely from laughter, but it was a major catalyst.
For me, laughter is the best answer to stress, pain, and conflict. It reminds you that your problems aren’t so bad, inspiring hope and connecting you to others.
Release The Psoas Muscle.
Laughter also releases the psoas muscle… The psoas is the only muscle connecting the upper and lower body and this is what yoga is incredibly useful for as well.
Ever find yourself so irritated and stressed out, it seem you can actually feel in your body?
You actually are feeling the stress because it’s being stored in the psoas.
For instance there’s something called the “trauma release exercise,” that actually helps you get the psoas to release all your stored stress & tension…it’s phenomenal, I attended a seminar on it once… Trauma Release Exercise (TRE) by David Berceli.
So laughter releases the psoas muscle, and so does crying btw… When your jaw or your belly shakes when you’re crying, it’s actually the psoas. This is incredibly healthy because it completely wipes stress out of the body…even stress that’s been stored for years…
Laughter has an ability to relax the whole body, decrease stress hormones and increase immune cells.
The refreshed and blissful feeling following laughter is triggered by a release of endorphins. This promotes positive thinking, and has a HUGE affect on everything from my business to physique.
Positive Thinking Is Important For Great Health
This is important, because positive people are much more likely to accomplish their goals and be “winners.”
Winners have a great ability to see and give his or her optimum performance in all situations, challenging or not. While losers behave and respond to difficult situations with the “poor me” mindset.
Help A Cause
A great way to promote happiness and positivity is by helping a cause. Not only does this promote good vibes for others, it gives you a sense of well being.
Researchers tracked older adults who do various volunteer-work and found they lived longer and had better health than their peers who didn’t volunteer.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ~Dalai Lama
That’s one of my favorite quotes. And it helped enhance my creative expression, which helped me see the world in a different light. Getting lost in the flow of creativity leads to greater appreciation of the beauty around us – known as life.
Creativity is an exploration of our inner selves. More important than products we produce are insights we receive. Creative expression keeps us in touch with our intuition. The sharper our intuition, the easier it is to make correct decisions and move with the flow of this experience known as life.
This is one of my favorite points in this entire post.
A recent study published in Perspectives in Psychological Science found that curiosity and conscientiousness are predicative of long-term academic and professional performance.
If you’re intellectually curious, you’ll go home and you’ll probably read books. If you’re perceptually curious, you might hike through forests or travel to foreign countries trying all sorts of different foods along the way. Both of these curiosities can help people do better in school and jobs markets.
I’m a strong believer in the importance of a hungry mind for achievement. Getting lost in our own flow of creativity inspires curiosity and conscientiousness in others.
Conscientiousness is a personality trait directly linked to success but has many interpretations and the two most basic are: “Thorough and diligent in performing a task” and “Governed by or done according to somebody’s internal sense of right and wrong.”
People who resonate strongly with this particular trait tend to excel in school, professionally and life in general.
You’re probably wondering how we shake things up and kick-start curiosity and conscientiousness?
I suggest utilizing regular physical activity as a valuable tool to invigorate both of these personality traits because it’s been working quite well for me up to this point in life.
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned exercising for sports and training my own clients is through daily workouts you have the power to strengthen character traits that ultimately help you succeed in life.
Pushing the body is the best way I know to keep our minds and spirits open to a sense of wonder and curiosity. Maintaining a commitment to a regular exercise regimen and completing a planned workout program rewires your mind to be more aware of everything you do.
The ‘good habits’ you become accustomed to and reinforce consistently through yoga, strength training, pilates, cardiovascular work et cetera, create a certain type of mindset.
This is the mindset of success and it becomes the way that you approach everything in life.
Speaking of life, what do you want most out of it? For the vast majority of us, the answer is “to be happy.” Matter of fact, In 2007 more than 10,000 people from 48 countries were surveyed and asked that very question.
The results were published in Perspectives on Psychological Sciences; Happiness was viewed as more important than success, relationships, maturity, intelligence, knowledge, wisdom, wealth and meaning of life.
You’re probably thinking “duh!”
Curiosity Keeps You Healthy And Smart
But I’ve noticed that when I focus solely on what I think will make me happy, I lose sight of what actually does. Curiosity is about acknowledging and being drawn to things we find interesting and recognizing and taking pleasure in even the most simple of experiences.
When we actively express our curiosity, we tend see things in a different light, which enhances our observations and makes us open to receiving new information.
For me curiosity is a sense of what’s happening in this moment, regardless of what it looked like before or what I might have expected it to be. I feel tuned in and alive, more capable of embracing opportunities, making connections and experiencing moments of insight and meaning. All of which provides a strong foundation for a rich, aware and satisfying life experience.
In 1996 researchers observed a link between declining curiosity and the initial signs of neurological illness and declining health. There are promising signs that a strong sense of curiosity reduces the risk for these diseases and may even reverse some of the natural degeneration that occurs later in life.
Curiosity is the entry point to many of life’s greatest sources of meaning and satisfaction such as our interests, hobbies and passions. Being passionate about something naturally renders us curious to know as much about it as possible and the more we learn about this passion more interesting and important it tends to be.
This also goes for people, books, sports, skills and conversations alike. The more curiosity and energy we invest in exploring and understanding, the more compelling they become. The greater the range and depth of our curious expression, the more inspiring and exciting opportunities we’ll be exposed to.
Being Present Is A Key Element In Happiness
“I HAVE REALIZED THAT THE PAST AND FUTURE ARE REAL ILLUSIONS, THAT THEY EXIST IN THE PRESENT, WHICH IS WHAT THERE IS AND ALL THERE IS.” ~Alan Watts
Something that I see from people I know each and everyday is they’re always worrying about things to come or talking about how they’d have done something different…
Being present is something we take for granted every single minute, hour and day. We’re definitely not a present species – most of us are hoping and dreaming for things to come or worrying about things in the past.
Are we ever present? I know that for a long time, I wasn’t. I’d think ahead, always wondering about my future. But what I do now is acknowledge and appreciate great moments as they happen.
I don’t want to take for granted any moment I’ll someday reflect on as significant or particularly life changing. I’d rather grasp them by the horns and give my undivided attention so they’re cemented in my memory.
The ability to appreciate moments as they happen is huge in maintaining mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. We don’t always know which moments are going to be life changing and this brings me to my next point.
When we’re fully present, our levels of awareness and appreciation increase – eventually leading to the realization that each moment regardless of situation is significant and life changing.
Sometimes things can come out of nowhere, big and small, but once they’re there you can easily recognize them as significant and put them away in your memory. Being present is imperative in both the personal and professional areas of our lives. In order to achieve and maintain a truly healthy state, we need to focus on the HERE & NOW. Remember, ultimately, the present is all that exists.
The past has happened and the future hasn’t happened yet. In order to truly live, we need to focus our attention on the only moment we’ll ever have – this one. Once you do this, you’ll start to live a life you only dreamed of because each individual moment will seem to magically align with your goals.
An Attitude Of Gratitude Is More Than A Catchy Saying
The easiest way to remain present is to realize that an “attitude of gratitude” is more than a catchy saying. It’s a thankful appreciation for what you receive, whether tangible or intangible.
With gratitude, we’re able to acknowledge and see more of the goodness in our lives.
Positive psychology research reveals gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. It helps us acknowledge more positive emotions, savor positive experiences, improve health and deal with adversity.
In the process, we tend to recognize the source of that “goodness” lies at least partially outside ourselves. Gratitude helps us connect with something larger than ourselves as individuals – whether it’s with other people, nature, or a higher power if that’s your thing.
Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~John F. Kennedy
One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative).
10 weeks later, individuals who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about life. They also exercised more and visited the doctor less than people that focused on sources of aggravation.
Work To Live, Don’t Live To Work
One of the major sources of daily aggravation for MILLIONS is work. Now, it’s definitely important to remain present and to be grateful, but make it work for you. What I mean is make sure you’re working to live, not living to work.
That person you can’t stand at work is actually shortening your lifespan. Researchers found your colleagues have significant effect on your wellbeing, with friendly co-workers leading to lower stress and reduced blood pressure and cholesterol.
Work can be extraordinary if you will it to be. But if you work full time there’s a good chance you spend at least forty-five hours a week at work, more than ten hours prepping and traveling to it and countless hours recovering.
That’s a significant portion of your life. Surely, in order to live life to the fullest we must love work too? We have to make an impact, be ourselves and live up to our true potential.
If you persist with what you’re doing now – whether in what you do for a living or how you go about your work – can you see where you’re headed? How does it feel – is it somewhere less significant than it should?
If you know you’re here for a greater purpose, and that purpose is big, resonant and intriguing then make sure you take in all this life has to offer and not let anything get in your way.
Work To Live, Don’t Live To Work
I’ve found that a good work-life balance is one in which you work to live, not live to work. We all need to work to pay the bills, but when we’re working so much that we don’t have time to spend doing the things we love, what good is all that money anyway?
How present can you be if you’re always worried about clocking in on time and ultimately focusing on the external. Believe it or not this greatly affects our health.
Make 1 New Friend Per Month
One of the best ways to balance and a hectic work life is to make new friends. You already know the importance of remaining positive, and when you do this you’ll start meeting other positive people. This can help you to unwind and motivate you to be at our best in order to go out and be social.
The company we keep is a great reflection of our character. I remember a two year period after high school where I got totally burned out and lazy. I started hanging out with other lazy people who were ok with not doing anything physically stimulating. This made it much harder to get out of my funk because these
people tended to be quite negative with their remarks and humor, which rubbed off on me.
Thankfully I ran into some old friends that were extremely positive and very health oriented. This inevitably resulted in an invite and myself losing about 70 pounds in less than a year.
The point is, you make positive friends by being upbeat. The more upbeat people you’re around the more upbeat you’ll be yourself – it’s a pleasant cycle.
Studies show optimistic people tend to deal with stress and illness better than those who aren’t positive. This has several positive outcomes for everybody involved; such as positive thinking, longer life, greater resistance to colds, and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
Read 1 At Least 1 Book Per Month
A great way to stay optimistic and positive, one that has worked for me since I was a young boy, is reading at least one book a week. It’s because reading keeps our minds sharp and brain healthy.
Reading books forces us to grow as people because we’re forced to embrace new thoughts, evaluating our life against them.
We get taken to new places and enjoy conversations with new people – Feeling inspired, entertained, and invested into.
One of my favorite aspects of reading a book is the self-discipline that’s inevitably enhanced during the process… Think about it, how hard is it to sit down and read a book with all the distraction in our lives? We’re constantly working, running errands or taking the kids to soccer practice.
At the least, most want nothing more than to sit down and watch a bit of television in peace… Unfortunately researchers found every hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces life expectancy by nearly 22 minutes.
Dr. J. Lennert Veerman, a senior research fellow at the University of Queensland, and colleagues used 2008 data from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study, a survey of the health habits of some 12,000 Australian adults.
Participants were asked questions about general health, disease status, exercise habits, smoking and diet. They were also asked how much television they watched the previous week. The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found those spending an average of 6 hours a day watching TV could expect to live 4.8 years less than those who didn’t.
Not only does watching television reduce lifespan but I’ve found that extensive sitting can also have a deadly effect…
I’ve been without TV for 5 years and consistently get more done; unfortunately for me, getting more done often means sitting in front of the computer for hours. I had now stand while working and go for several walks per day.
Stand Up And Go For A Walk
It’s incredibly important to stand and walk. Sitting for extended periods is linked to obesity, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat and abnormal cholesterol levels.
When I meet people for work, I’ll often suggest a local park so we can walk and talk. Aside from a much more comfortable setting, the usually results in great first impressions and lasting relationships.
That euphoria I get from exercise is something that has me looking forward to several walks and the gym each day. Perhaps it will be a motivator for you as well.
Although I go for several short daily walks, I’m still an entrepreneur, which means I spend much time sitting in front of computers. Going for a quick walk in between tasks or when I just need a boost, increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical moderating the brain’s response to stress.
Kiss To De-stress
Speaking or reducing stress, did you know that kissing is perfect for doing just that.
According to Laura Berman, a professor of obstetrics-gynecology and psychiatry at Northwestern University, women in particular respond to locking lips by releasing endorphins. She suggests at least one deep and emotional ten-second kiss a day. The kiss doesn’t necessarily need to be sexually arousing as it’s about enjoying and appreciating the physical connection.
But if you do get sexually aroused while kissing for stress relied, by all means take it to the next level as sex is VERY healthy as well!
Sex flushes out the bad toxins that you get from stress and men who are having sex don’t have prostate issues.
The British Medical Journal conducted a sex survey that found men who didn’t have sex at least once a month experienced twice the mortality rate of those who got lucky once a week.
It’s really not hard to believe. Sex burns stored energy, lowers blood pressure, and boosts immunity.
A Duke University study backed this up, finding women who had enjoyable sex lives typically lived eight years longer than those who didn’t.
Aside from the obvious intense feeling of pleasure, sex is good for you because of the endorphins released in the body simultaneously resulting in the flushing of stress toxins…
Don’t Be Afraid To Cry
While sex and kissing are both awesome and have healing properties, but did you know crying does too? Sure the reason you’re actually crying can be quite painful but the act of crying can be therapeutic.
According to a study by Dr William H. Frey II, a biochemist at the St Paul- Ramsey Medical Center in Minnesota, crying helps wash chemicals linked to stress out of our body, one of the reasons we feel so relieved after.
I resist tears like most men but not like I used to. I’ve to learned to embrace and utilize tears for
the development of inner strength when they occur.
Thanks in large part to a professional strongman and inspiring thought provoker by the name of Elliott Hulse.
That’s him…scary lookin dude ->
Anyway, sometimes they’re tears of joy, which is always awesome and refreshing. Other times they’re from energy clearing techniques (bioenergetics) that I practice or simply from being sad.
I’m not talking about out of control hysterical crying I’m simply referring to shared tears from time to time.
By the way, here’s an interview I did with Elliot… (Just so happens that he said it was his best ;) )
Get A Weekly Massage
It’s always nice to get rid of stressful chemicals and relax, but nothing says relax quite like getting a massage. By having a deep tissue massage at least once per week, I keep my muscles healthy, improve flexibility, maintain a relaxed state and sleep better.
Massage therapy has been used for hundreds of years as alternative medicine and a way to promote health and well-being.
I play very rough and sustain minor injuries on a regular basis. Getting a weekly massage has done loads for my overall health and is something I plan to do for the remainder of my days. I invite you pick it up as well, perhaps it can be your new hobby.
Find A Hobby & Enjoy It – Often
Since we’re on the topic, I’ve found that it’s incredibly important to take time to enjoy your hobby. Your hobby should be something unique to your tastes and talents.
Having a hobby has enhanced my well-being and given more meaning to my life. I constantly go for hikes and bike rides. One will often lead to the other in the course of a single trip.
I love the sense of freedom, accomplishment and release from the plugged in hustle of life.
Mental bliss is just as important as exercise to the physical body.
Any time I’m feeling overworked or stressed, I take some time for my hobby and immediately feel the difference in my energy levels and general outlook on life.
Something that helps me make time for my hobbies and keeps me healthy is my social interaction. Somebody very close to me who suffered a very tragic and traumatizing loss has overcome and ultimately become a stronger healthier person because of it.
His exact words were, “if it weren’t for the people around me I’d be fat, depressed and possibly dead.”
The thing is, he’s one of the strongest people I know, one I wouldn’t even think needed anybody around him… That brief social interaction helped me realize how vital social interaction is to health, both mentally and physically.
It’s important for all of us to be seen and heard even though we often find it hard to open our hearts and share our feelings. The thing is, talking out our problems and feeling appreciated and accepted is very beneficial to mental health.
Social interaction is healthy because challenges distortions we build up through our belief systems and experiences. A strong sense of community starts with each and every interaction we have. This is critical to establish peace and harmony among our society.
The division of work, feeling of association, togetherness, and cooperation – all help in establishing a healthy atmosphere filled with unity, harmony and friendship.
Are GMOs Really Bad For Us?
A major question in the media today is whether or not GMOs are safe for our consumption.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility.
Studies show genetically modified food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems. Genes inserted into GM soy, for example, can transfer into DNA of bacteria living inside us. Even toxic insecticide produced by GM corn was found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn babies.
So what happens is people are essentially eating poison and are in turn feeling ill and lethargic. Even for those that regularly exercise. What often happens with these fairly health oriented people who are unwittingly falling victim to GMOs is they take vitamins to make up for their poor choices in diet.
The Dangers Of MEGA Doses Of Vitamins
This in itself, can be VERY dangerous and cause for intense “wow moments.” In a way, It’s kind of funny that most people bragging about taking their vitamins are actually taking mega does and doing much more harm than good.
It’s important to understand that if we take large doses of antioxidants in the form of supplemental vitamins, the balance between free radical production and destruction might tip too much in one direction, causing an unnatural and inefficient state where the immune system is less able to do it’s job.
Researchers have deemed this the antioxidant paradox.
Reverse Your Nutrient Deficiencies Naturally
Personally I never take synthetic vitamins as I prefer to get nutrients from my food. This is far and beyond the healthiest way to live. You can easily reverse your nutrient deficiencies naturally.
Here’s exactly how to do it…
Eat A Variety Of Colors To Get A Variety of Nutrients
Every single meal I eat has the 3 Macronutrients (nutrients needed in greater amounts); carbohydrate, protein & fat. On top of this, I will make sure to eat a variety of colors since the color of the plant is an indication of the nutrients it’s dense with.
For instance, Red/Purple/Blue- plants get there color from pigments called anthocyanins, which serve as powerful antioxidants in your body. The different red, purple, and blue foods are high in essential nutrients. For instance, strawberries, beets, and kidney beans are good sources of folate. Red bell peppers, raspberries, guava, kiwi, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, kale, red or pink grapefruit, papaya, blueberries, all are loaded with vitamin C.
As youngsters we were always told to eat our carrots for good eyesight. Turns out, foods that are an orange color tend contain beta-carotene. The antioxidant is converted to vitamin A in the body and does in fact help maintain eye health (preventing macular degeneration and improving night vision).
It’s best for us to eat things that are dark as possible, and greens are very dark. Aside from being high in vitamin A, leafy greens are also loaded with calcium. If you don’t eat dairy, be sure to load up on deeply colored greens to get enough of the essential mineral.
Leafy greens (kale, romaine lettuce, broccoli, mustard greens, spinach, and collard greens etc) are a regular part of my diet. I’ve noticed that I feel significantly worse if I skip my greens.
These days, it’s fairly common to hear “white foods” get bashed. Yes, definitely avoid a diet filled with white foods. But this rule refers to processed foods like white bread and potato crisps – not fruits, veggies, or beans.
I’m just as guilty of automatically associating “white foods” with processed options. Don’t forget that onions are white, along with bananas, mushrooms, even cauliflower. Studies suggest mushrooms (one of my favorite foods), which are a good source of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and niacin, help you feel full and satisfied.
Aside from cauliflower, white beans, and fish, I like turnips, which are high in vitamin C, and parsnips, a good source of vitamin C, folate, and fiber.
In order to truly know how much of any given nutrient you’re ingesting, it’s ideal to use a food scale. This is a pain in the ass, so reading the label and making an educated guess will more than likely suffice (assuming you’re not and elite athlete or physique competitor).
Another point I should quickly mention – I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m not.
My body knows when it’s time to eat and I listen to it. This isn’t an excuse to be undisciplined. If I happen to get hunger pangs in between one of my main meals, l eat a balanced, nutrient dense snack to hold me over until my next feast.
This approach has kept my metabolism sharp, digestion raging and my mind and muscles saturated with what they need to keep me productive throughout the day. And I can’t even tell you the last time I was sick.
Once you make the conscious decision to start living healthy and eating clean, it becomes painfully obvious our body needs NUTRITION not “crap” every 3 to 4 hours to prevent fatigue, metabolism slowdowns, cravings and grumpiness from affecting life.
Protein, fat and carbohydrates are the main component of our diet or at least they should be.
I’d say protein is my favorite macronutrient since it plays crucial roles in the body including; building, maintaining and repairing tissue. It’s especially important for highly active people whose muscles are constantly in need of repair.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Amino Acids as they’re the building blocks of protein. They link up in complex formations within every cell of your body. There are 20 different amino acids and 9 of them are considered essential because our bodies don’t naturally produce them. We need to get these essential aminos through our food.
There’s 1 more reason why protein is my “favorite” Macro… All the enzymes and hormones that perform oh-so crucial functions for us are proteins on top of the fact that they’re heavily utilized in our immune system.
My favorite sources of lean protein are Egg whites, Chicken Breast, Black Beans, Bison/Buffalo and wild salmon. I’ve had people say they thought that salmon was a fat source… Salmon contains protein along with fat but it is very healthy fat.
For whatever reason, there’s a misconception floating around about fat and it has most people convinced fat is always bad. The fact of the matter is, fat is absolutely essential for maintaining a healthy and lean body.
My diet consists of about 20 percent fat, give or take a few percent depending on my activity levels of course. I’m very lean with 9% body fat and I eat a good deal of fat, the trick is to eat more of the good fats and less of the bad fats.
Saturated and trans fats should be avoided like the plague but increasing levels of unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids, like omega 3 can be great for you.
Replacing sweets and high fat meats with nuts, avocados, fatty cold water fish (salmon, mackerel et cetera) walnut and olive oil will help shift the balance away from unhealthy, since fat plays important roles in the body.
Fat provides insulation so we can maintain body temperature and protect our organs. It also promotes growth, development and maintains cell membranes. Fat also plays a vital role in the digestion of vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they won’t be absorbed without fat.
“I need fat in order to digest vital life sustaining nutrients?” “But the skinny, healthy looking gal on TV said…”
Trust me, the right fat is good for you. If you want to bulletproof your health fat, needs to be incorporated into your regular eating habits. The easiest way to do this is to make sure you’re eating a variety of food. Some of my favorite sources of good fats are Guacamole, Salmon, Nut Butter.
Omega 3s have been show to be very beneficial to the brain and heart. And speaking of the brain and heart, the preferred energy source for the brain, heart and central nervous system is carbohydrates. They’re broken down into blood sugar (glucose) and used as energy.
Simple carbs burn fast and provide quick spikes in energy while complex carbs provide slow and sustained energy. Ideally, your diet should consist of about 40 to 60 percent carbohydrate (I’m right around 40 percent).
Carbohydrates are found in all sorts of foods, but there are a few you should stay away from… like sweet foods with added sugar.
These “sweet foods” contain refined sugars aka simple sugars, which provide calories, but lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These are considered empty calorie and can lead to weight gain and several other health issues.
You know the type; candy, regular (non diet) carbonated drinks, like soda (stay away from diet soda as well. We’ll talk about this later) syrups and table sugar.
Stay away from most refined foods for that matter; white flour, sugar, and white rice, lack B vitamins and other important nutrients.
Getting in the habit of choosing fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts, is far and beyond the best way to live. These carbohydrate dense foods also contain fiber and can help lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.
It’s suggested by the Institute of Medicine that both children and adults consume 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories of food they eat.
Get Your Fiber Naturally And Get It Daily
It’s important to get your fiber naturally and daily. Increasing fiber intake lowered my blood pressure and the overall amount of cholesterol in my blood (serum cholesterol levels).
I’m very sensitive to blood sugar and insulin levels so one of things I did a few years back and 50+ pounds ago was emphasize fiber intake. The reason for this decision is dietary fiber helps regulate blood sugar and makes you feel full. Therefore I wasn’t eating as large of portions and wasn’t storing excess blood glucose as fat.
An increased intake of soluble fiber can improve glycemia and insulin sensitivity in both non-diabetic and diabetics according to the Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Sciences, University of Kentucky.
Each meal I eat has a varied micronutrient content as well, which consists of my vitamins and minerals. We need less of these nutrients on a daily basis, but we DO need them. I use www.cronometer.com, which is a free resource that tracks what I’m eating and helps prevent deficiencies.
Although vitamins are only present and required in very small quantities, compared to macronutrients, they’re just as important to health and need to be considered when becoming superhuman. I’ve come across an easy and delicious way to make sure I get all of my vitamins…
Sweet potatoes have got to be one of my all time favorite super foods. And for good reason, they’re tasty and highly nutritious. Sweet potatoes are one of nature’s best sources of skin protecting beta-carotene and immune boosting vitamin A.
There are several studies showing sweet potatoes are great for raising our levels of vitamin A (thanks to the beta-carotene content). Beta- carotene is fat soluble, so as little as 3-5 grams of fat per meal significantly increases your uptake.
Sweet potatoes are also a great source of complex carbohydrates, meaning they’ll be broken down and utilized as energy for a greater amount of time than regular potatoes.
Sweet Potatoes Are A Blank Canvas!
You can do all sorts of stuff to sweet potatoes to make them more interesting and filling. You can mix just about anything with sweet potatoes and have yourself a meal.
Here are a couple of my go-to herbs and spices to couple with sweet potatoes. The cool thing is, these dishes help reduce the risk of diabetes, help boost your immune system, stabilize blood sugar, and keep cravings at bay.
It’s always a great time for sweet potatoes, and here are a few of my favorite recipes and when I eat them:
If you’re feeling under the weather and nothing sounds very appetizing, then this is recipe will do the trick. You supply your body with the energy it needs as well as fresh herbs and spices to boost your immune system and kick up your energy.
|*1 large sweet potato or 2 medium sliced, *1 lemon squeezed 1tsp turmeric, *1-2 minced garlic cloves||1. Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion and cook until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add stock plus 2 cups water and then add sweet potato carrot and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.|
|*1/8 tsp sea salt, *1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, *1 tbsp olive oil, *1 medium onion- chopped||2. Strain out vegetables and put them in a food processor or blender with your spices (turmeric, garlic, salt and cayenne). Puree until smooth, adding a bit of broth if needed.|
|*1 C low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock, *5 large carrots - peeled and sliced, *1 tbsp jarred ginger- chopped(optional), *Plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt, *1/8-teaspoon black pepper||3. Pour vegetable puree back into the saucepan and stir until well blended and smooth. I like to serve with a scoop of plain Greek yogurt on top.|
I’ve been eating sweet potato and chicken before exercising for over 10 years now. This is loaded with vitamins, minerals, slow-burning carbs and lean protein. Ideal for a pre-workout. One pre-workout potato has about 267 calories, 24g carbs, 4g fiber, 29g protein and 1g fat.
|1 Large sweet potato or 2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breast (roughly 6 oz)||1. Wash and thinly slice your sweet potato. In a medium sized pot, cover the potato with water and boil for 15 minutes. At the same time, cover your chicken breast with enough water in either the same pot or another and boil for 15 minutes.|
|2 clove of garlic- minced||2. Remove potatoes and chicken from heat. Mash potato and chop chicken into bit size pieces.|
|Plain Greek yogurt, Cayenne powder, sea salt (or Himalayan) and Pepper||3. Add the chicken, garlic and seasonings to the mash (season to your own taste). Mix well and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt|
This is my post-workout potato. It has the protein, fat and carbs you need plus soothing spices that help aid in digestion.
|1-2 Large sweet potato or 2-4 medium 2 eggs, either poached or hardboiled||1. Wash and thinly slice your sweet potato. In a medium sized pot, cover the potato with water and boil for 15 minutes. At the same time, cover your chicken breast with enough water in either the same pot or another and boil for 15 minutes.|
|4-6 tips of crispy bacon.... mmm...bacon...||2. In a small pan crisp your bacon. Remove potatoes and chicken from heat. Mash potato and chop chicken into bit size pieces.|
|1 chive chopped and 2 cloves minced garlic||3. Crumble bacon into the mash with garlic and seasonings. Mix well and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt.|
This isn’t a sweet potato but it’s a common post workout for me.
Guacamole serves as a great source of several essential nutrients beneficial to our health. Aside from tasting amazing, it’s loaded with healthy fat, vitamin E and vitamin C. I make guacamole with fresh avocados, garlic, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, black pepper, sea salt and lime juice.
HERE’S MY FAMOUS GUACAMOLE RECIPE
|2 avocado, 2 cloves of garlic||1. Remove pit and skin from the avocados and mash in a bowl.|
|1u20444 purple onion finely chopped, 1 large handful of fresh cilantro, 4 limes||2. Add tomato, onion, cilantro and garlic- mix well.|
|1/8 tsp sea salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper, 1 tomato seeds removed and finely chopped||3. Add spices and Squeeze fresh limejuice over the top - mix well. Serve fresh.|
The interesting thing about the guacamole I make, is that people go crazy for it, yet I’m not using anything special aside from local organic ingredients.
Local, Vegetables Have More Nutrients.
Assuming your food is organic and grown with and emphasis on quality rather than yield, local food should contain a higher density of nutrients.
I think people are picking up on this in the form of enhanced flavor whenever they eat my cooking, especially when
it’s local grown food I’m using.
When our food is grown out of state or worse, internationally, the food is exposed to the elements for days sometimes weeks before it reaches your plate. The second your produce has been picked it starts to lose nutritional value if bruising is involved during transport, that just makes it worse.
I seek out farmers who follow organic, sustainable growing practices and energy-use to minimize the impact my food has on the environment
This means my food comes from sources that do their part to better our planet by working with nature as much as possible, avoiding synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
Sustainable agriculture emphasizes superior quality, both in terms of taste and nutrition. One of the most common ways to affect the taste and nutrition of food is by cooking it.
When I was growing up and visiting my grandparents, my grandfather would always joke and say we knew dinner was ready when the smoke alarm was going off. He’d then tease her saying all the nutrients were gone and he was basically eating imaginary food.
Little did he know…
Vitamin A, Thiamine, Pantothenic Acid, Folate, and Vitamin C – are particularly affected by heat.
Don’t Cook The Nutrients Out Of Your Food
Minerals are stable under heat, but cooking can still influence losses.
As a guy that loves a good steak, it’s important to let you know that cooking your meats to “well done”, not only cooks out some of the vitamins, but produces carcinogenic substances.
Unfortunately, grilling carries a much higher potential for toxic byproducts. Hold yourself to a high standard of living and maintain a reasonable level of awareness and you should be fine.
My Food Never Has Added Processed Sugar
For me, that higher standard of living means my food never has added sugar.
If my food contains sugar, it’s occurring naturally. I’m very strict with this. Our bodies need sugar to survive, but not in excess or from synthetic empty calorie sources.
One of the major perks of a healthy diet is that it causes your beneficial gut bacteria to thrive, and they perform the real magic of restoring and bulletproofing your health.
I need to quickly touch on Insulin while we’re on the topic of sugar. Insulin is an essential hormone with many actions, most of which are directed at the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
It’s critical for the body’s use of glucose as energy and helps regulate cell function, including their growth. Insulin resistance is when the body starts to resist the efforts of the insulin and puts you at risk of becoming hyperglycemic – meaning too much sugar in your blood.
These days, most foods are loaded with added sugars and empty carbs so this is becoming common.
Certain health conditions like metabolic syndrome, obesity, pregnancy, infection, stress, inactivity and during steroid cycles put people at a greater risk.
To go along with excess sugar, many foods are loaded with thousands of additives and preservatives to control color, flavor, aroma, nutrition, texture, and shelf life.
My Food NEVER Has Preservatives
For me, many of the preservatives in food triggers an allergic response that often ends up as an asthma attack.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything with a list of chemicals on the label you cannot pronounce. These things have been proven time and time again to be traumatic to our health.
Here’s List of known harmful preservatives:
BHA & BHT
Sulfites (Sulfur Dioxide, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium And Potassium Bisulfite, Sodium and Potassium Metabisulfite)
Sodium Nitrite & Nitrate
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
Eat Real Unprocessed Whole Foods
You’ll never have to worry about preservatives if you eat real unprocessed whole foods.
It goes without saying that I avoid anything blatantly synthetic. But I’ve also learned to stay away from anything precut in open containers… Cutting, slicing, chopping, peeling, etc causes injuries to the plant tissues and initiates enzymatic changes.
This increases the risk of spoilage…Not only does it compromise food safety, but promotes nutrient loss. Your best in the long run is to stick with whole unprocessed foods when you can.
My Food Is Slow-Aged And Happy
Slow aged unprocessed animals and plants have higher nutrient densities.
After spending extensive time on organic farms I learned that when your cattle mature naturally on a healthy grass fed diet with plenty of room to roam they’ll eventually grow to be big, strong and nutrient dense.
Store Your Food Properly
While, buying unprocessed whole foods is incredibly healthy, it can also get to be incredibly expensive if you don’t store your food properly…
I learned this the hard way.
It’s important to understand that food should be eaten fresh. I used to put a paper towel over a plate of leftovers and call it good.
It’s a wonder why I ever got sick…I know.
If you cannot eat all of it fresh or that’s simply not a feasible option for you, store your food in glass, airtight containers.
Fresh-cut produce needs to be maintained at lower temperatures than whole fruits and vegetables. This is because they tend to have higher respiration rates, which increase as temperature rises.
Don’t Prepare Food Too Soon Or It Loses Nutrients.
Root vegetables can be left at room temperature. Just as you don’t want to precut your food it’s important that you don’t prepare your food too soon or it loses nutrients.
Cut produce loses its nutritional value when the flesh is exposed to oxygen. Produce that’s cut and stored in the refrigerator loses from 10 to 25 percent of vitamin C and carotenoids in about five or six days.
You don’t need to know how you digestive system works to enjoy a good meal… However, you do need to know these thing…
Eat within an hour of waking each day.
Most times I eat within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning. Ever stop and think of what breakfast actually means?
Your body responds to not eating overnight by slowing down it’s metabolic rate. By eating breakfast, you wake up your metabolism and get your engine fired up.
This does many things for our health including aiding in metabolism, digestive enzyme production and hormone balance – helping with weight loss and maintenance.
Personally, skipping breakfast typically results in irritability, binging at lunch and a bloated feeling after my next meal(s) for the day.
I Eat At 8am, 12pm, 3pm & 7pm
I eat at 8am, 12pm, 3pm & 7pm because I’ve found meal timing is important because it teaches your body to expect food and primes your metabolism and digestion for their respective roles in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients.
Not Drinking With Meals Helps The Breakdown And Absorption Of Nutrients.
A few years ago I was suffering from nasty acid reflux as well as excessive belching that lasted several months. Nothing I did seemed to help.
It got the point that I could hardly eat and by default I was eating slower, and not drinking with my meals. I eventually noticed that my reflux was getting better without medication.
For whatever reason I immediately thought about how much slower I was eating compared to before and not drinking. After doing some research I found thorough chewing and not drinking with meals does in fact aid in digestion and the lack of fluid with the meal allow my digestive enzymes to do their job without being diluted.
Chew Your Food Thoroughly
When you chew your food thoroughly, lets say for examples sake 36 times per bite (one chew per tooth), you’ve pre broken down your food and aided your digestion with it’s task.
We secrete a lot of digestive juices (enzymes) while chewing, which help our stomach do its thing. When our food is thoroughly chewed we’ve fought half the battle before the food even enters our stomach.
This allows us to become full quicker, and gives the body a chance to absorb more nutrients and actually recover, as eating in itself is stressful to our bodies.
Now that you know some basic lifestyle hacks designed to help us thrive and excel, it’s time to learn about the one area millions take for granted each day, even though it’s one of the most important habits we have…
Health by choice, not by chance.
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