The three cornerstones of optimal health are: diet, physical activity, and sleep. Yes, sleep. Although Americans are very good at minimizing the importance of sleep, it is critical to vitality. Because we pretend we’re superhuman, needing far less rest than we actually do, and we try to minimize non-productive time — sleep, a time when we are resting and not producing something of tangible value, is dramatically undervalued. But viewing sleep as a time of unnecessary rest and of non-productivity is faulty logic.
We are built to move. The human form is beautifully and perfectly suited for endurance, power, and flexibility. For optimal health we must respect, celebrate, and nurture our physical abilities with purposeful and enjoyable activity.
The modern food system, and therefore modern eaters, have a dysfunctional and unhealthy relationship with sugar. It’s one of the most addictive substances (up to 8 times more addicting than cocaine) that humans regularly consume and added sugar is in nearly every processed food product made.
For decades, we have been told that when it comes to weight gain, loss, and maintenance, a calorie is a calorie. Meaning, that a calorie — which is a specific amount of chemical energy — coming from an energy-yielding macronutrient (carbohydrates, proteins, fats or alcohol) will all function the same in the body. It also implied that a caloric intake of 2,000 calories will have the same impact on weight status, regardless of it’s composition (the respective ratios of carbs, proteins, fats and alcohol).
This is the third and final post in a series addressing the fundamental Minimal Wellness dietary principles. We are using the framework of Michael Pollan’s iconic dietary advice “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” to help guide the discussion. Make sure you check out Parts 1 and 2 of this series for proper context.
This is the second post in a series addressing the fundamental Minimal Wellness dietary principles. We are using the framework of Michael Pollan’s iconic dietary advice “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” to help guide the discussion. Make sure you check out Part 1 of this series for proper context.
Diet is a fascinating topic — there’s an endless amount of nutritional nuance, refinement, and data available, with all that information it is possible to create a prescriptive personalized diet. Yet, what is appropriate for one person’s diet may not necessarily be ideal or work for another — we all have different taste preferences, come from different families and cultures, have different health profiles and resources, and have unique life circumstances.
The health, fitness, and wellness world is anything but straightforward — wildly shifting from one hot trend to the next, companies and businesses benefit from endlessly complicating messages about health. The cacophony of information on how to be healthier, fitter, leaner, makes even the most grounded person’s head spin and ears ring.
The other morning while trying to get my toddler dressed, I pointed out that we were both wearing black pants, of course, she asked “why are we wearing black pants, Mommy?” My answer was, “because it’s one less decision I have to make.”
Throughout the second half of my twenties, I poured myself into professional and academic challenges as a distraction, as a way to try and control my way out of an untenable reality — that my life was not as I wanted and needed it to be. I thought if I am professionally successful, if I can earn enough money, I will be able to create a happy life. Unsurprisingly, the result of those choices was dissatisfaction and discontent. Thankfully I realized I couldn’t continue on the path I was on and I began a course correction.