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Happy New Year!
As a New Year gets under way and we set our minds towards our goals and plans, most often those plans involve eating right, exercise, and a myriad of health related goals.
In this first part of our three part article (or book – ha ha) named the “Three Facets of Fitness” we will discuss the first facet I will call intake, i.e., anything you take into your body as fuel for living.
Your intake may include your food, supplements, water and air. I know this sounds superbly lame, but hang with me a moment. Any serious discussion about health will ALWAYS go back to basics (we’re not afraid to train the basics) because without a good solid foundation to start from, the rest of the building WILL crumble!
As Martial Artists, we have a the exercise part of the equation figured out to some extent, but why does the nutrition side tend to be such a struggle?
Comfort is the thing that keeps us lazy and not exploring other food intake options. If I MUST have my comfort foods, or comfort portions, or comfort whatever; I will never get out of my comfort zone. I will be stuck doing the same thing only hoping for a different result.
The other reason nutrition tends to be such a struggle for so many people is the over-abundance of food “experts” telling you (often conflicting information) about what is good and bad. Who do you listen to or trust with your food intake? Organic, Natural, GMO, Non-GMO, Sugar Free, Fat Free, Gluten Free, Carb Free, Diets, Fads, Bla, Bla, bla. Sometimes there is too much information out there, and knowing who to listen to can make or break you on your road to health and fitness.
I am of course highly opinionated through much research and 30 years of successful maintaining of good health through proper eating while training in the Martial Arts. I will make it simple and break down food into two groups; foods to keep, and foods to avoid. I am likely to ruffle feathers out there for my recommendations, so if you have questions as to specifics on my list, please contact me! Here we go;
Foods to keep;
Non-GMO and organic whenever possible or available (even if it costs more)
Meats – yes all meats (God gave us sharp teeth for a reason!)
Raw anything –vegetables, fruits
Raw unpasteurized milk and milk products
Pro-Biotic foods like Kefir, Sauerkraut, pickles, fermented anything
The greener the better – any and all vegetables!
Any restaurant featuring raw, organic, and made fresh (if you see it die before your eyes it doesn’t get any more fresh than that!)
Foods to avoid;
Corn Syrup/ High Fructose Corn Syrup
Refined white sugar
MSG (also known as sodium glutamate)
Anything with high sodium levels (watch those canned foods/frozen dinner products)
Hydrogenated or Partially Hydrogenated oils (any of them!)
“Fat free” foods
“Sugar Free” foods
Substitutes of real food such as margarine or egg substitutes
Sucrolose, Splenda, Aspartame, any chemical that ACTS like a sugar, but is not sugar
Soy (mostly anything soy)
If you can not pronounce the ingredients, leave it alone
Processed foods (If it comes in a box or a can “ready to eat”)
Empty carbohydrates (95% of all cereal, 95% of all chips, 100% of anything you would find at the “Quick Mart”)
In other words – NO GAS STATION FOODS!
Preservative-ridden foods (if it has an un-natural shelf life or refrigerator life of longer than a week after opening)
Fast food restaurants (make it a TREAT once per month!)
If the food label has more than 5 ingredients, leave it on the shelf
Is it an “energy drink” or have the word “power” or “muscle” in it, leave it alone!
Any bad foods in small amounts or infrequently eaten won’t make a big difference if you already have good eating habits and have good health overall, but if you are dealing with extreme inflammation in your body, even the smallest amount can cause issues!
There is a very good reason for EVERYTHING on these lists – this is not a haphazard willy-nilly opinion list, although it is MY opinion, do not take it as medical advice – or any of this article for that matter!
If you have good foods coming in, your body will function more efficiently and you will enjoy a healthier, happier mode of living. Your workouts will be more rewarding because you have the nutrients to sustain you properly, and rest will be better since your body will naturally fall into it’s proper cycles.
I would be amiss to not mention portions. It comes back to self control. Decide when you are at that perfect spot of not being hungry any longer, but not full. Then STOP. Pretty simple, but a rule that is too easy to break – especially around good food, friends and holidays – watch out! One last trick about food…if you have to fill up, fill up on the things that you will NOT have adverse effects on you. In other words, you can not over-dose on salad or fruits. Tell me when anyone at the dinner table has ever said, “I just can’t stuff any more salad into my face…I am so full!” So if your salad portions are greater, and the pasta portions are smaller, you will automatically shift your intake to a healthier apportionment that helps rather than impedes your system.
Next on the list of intake are supplements. Unfortunately in our society, even with eating all organic, non GMO, healthy food, there are vital nutrients missing that are extremely difficult to get from our diet alone. After over a year of research in the product and company, we finally decided to try the Plexus line of supplements. Our family has been taking some of the supplements since August 2014. In over 20 years of seeing health supplements come and go this is the FIRST product I can stand behind. I’ll tell you what made me a believer personally.
I was on Plexus for three weeks when I noticed something astounding to me that had baffled the medical industry. I noticed my minor skin wounds and scratches actually healing “normally”!
This sounds trivial, so before I lose you, let me tell my story; for years I had been suffering with an abundance of suspected yeast (fungus) in my system (doctors confirmed it was systemic). It was so bad, I could not put band aids over ANY wound without breaking out in small, itchy red bumpy rash anywhere the band aid touched my skin. No doctor could help heal the root problem – they just prescribed topical steroid cream to mask the symptom. Anyone who knows me understands that I live every day of my life with a collection of scratches, bumps, bruises, or abrasions somewhere on my hands or arms. Minor scratches and abrasions are just the daily reality of living my existence. Before plexus, this is how my day looked; wake up, tend to wounds with rubbing alcohol to keep clean, soak wound in scalding hot water to kill infection, repeat 3 or more times per day. Triple antibiotic? Rash. Natural salves? Rash. Herbal wound sprays? Rash. Just scald it and keep it clean with alcohol over and over and over, while the scratch took a month or more to heal.
It took three weeks on Plexus supplements for me to notice that my wounds needed no tending. They were healing like they would years ago when I was younger. This got my attention big time! Now I was actually healing from the inside! What a concept! I am now rash free and enjoy the GAIN of more hours during my week since I am not tending to my wounds! My time is precious to me. That is a couple more hours with my family, or working on a project – I am free to concentrate on other things like how to not hit myself with the drill gun in the first place!
I could go on about three other exciting things that I have noticed Plexus products have helped me with, but for sake of brevity, I would rather mention how I like the fact that a company has put such quality all-natural herbal supplements together for a good value. If I went to purchase the individual ingredients to consume on my own, I would be paying far more. Knowing the company has already done all the scientific research to determine correct dosage and frequency gives me peace of mind. They make it simple and easy.
These Plexus supplements are a Godsend for so many people I know who are taking them to help with issues of inflammation, pain, blood sugar regulating, anxiety, energy, auto-immune issues, weight loss, blood pressure, migraines, skin issues (like me), digestive health, brain fog, better sleep, hormones, and a myriad of other things.
The core focus of Plexus supplements is three fold;
- to help balance the body overall through blood sugar. Aids the endocrine system (affecting hormones, pain, weight)
- to heal and balance the digestive system, where 80% of our immune system comes from (affecting digestive issues, overall ph balance, killing fungus overgrowth, healing leaky gut)
- to reduce inflammation and stress overall, and put powerful and highly absorb-able vitamins and minerals back in, which allows the body to function well.
When the body is not stressed, these symptoms listed above and many other issues are allowed to resolve on their own. You can see more about the Plexus supercharged multivitamin here, as well as the combination pack which includes the Pro-bio 5, the powerful pro-biotic in the line.
The third thing on the list of Intake is water.
Obvious, I know, but how many of you actually DRINK enough water for your body to efficiently flush toxins from your system? To lubricate all cells, joints, organs, and functional moving parts of your body? You may be dehydrated on a regular basis and don’t know it because your body has regretfully adapted to this stressful environment! To sustain a healthy level of fluid intake, take your body weight, say you are 200 pounds, and divide that number in half. That is 100 if I have my math correct. As a 200 pound person, you will need to drink 100oz. of water per day just function properly. That equates to about 6 – sixteen ounce water bottles per day to sustain life (or 8 twelve-ounce bottles). If you exercise heavily, or live in a hot environment, you will need more water than that.
Consider a good Berkey charcoal water filter if you are on city water – or any filter that will remove chlorine and other additives. You can view an example of the product here.
Most bottled water on the market comes to us directly from pure mountain streams ebbing up from the ground in the middle of Eden right? Nope. Think tap water from a large city’s municipal water plant. This should not be our primary water source. Rather opt for home brewed and carry a personal bottle made from stainless steel or leach-free plastic – it is safer, cheaper, and healthier.
An easy way to get out of your current comfort zone and in the habit of drinking more water is by carrying a large bottle with you that only needs to be filled two or three times per day. That way, it is easier to keep track of how much water you have taken in.
Lastly, the fourth aspect of your Intake is the air you breathe, and the things we absorb through our skin.
No one can argue against clean air, but what about other toxins that can come with the air. Avoid any smoke whenever possible – especially tobacco smoke or any type of second hand smoke. Some people are so sensitive to smoke that one whiff can trigger violet asthmatic type of reactions. If you repeatedly inhale toxins that your body must filter out, you have just now taxed several other organs and systems with an unnecessary workload. When your body should be nourished by the air it breathes, it is a shame to put a strain on the system feeding you. Some toxins take up to seven years to dispel from your system, and some toxins NEVER go away and are there silently poisoning you for years. No one in their right mind would drink muddy water; but we seem to not mind breathing in cloudy air. Try as you may to avoid it as much as possible!
We seldom think of our skin being a source of Intake for the human body, but nothing could be further from the truth. The skin is the largest organ you have in your body. As a high functioning organ, it needs to work efficiently like any other organ. Many damaging toxins need to be avoided and are linked to cancers, organ problems, and health issues too long to list here.
Generally speaking, if you would not eat it, do not put it on your skin. Your skin absorbs a tremendous amount of external items all day long – good and bad. Since your skin is a filter, it goes to say keeping the filter clean in the first place avoids a lot of trouble down the road.
Items you do not want on your skin would include many products made for the skin and even approved by the FDA, but are known to be dangerous at best. Deodorants that contain chemicals and aluminum oxides that inhibit sweating (anti-perspirants), most sun screens that are made from chemicals, chemical based cosmetics, petroleum products for the skin, and oral products (especially ones that warn against swallowing the product) all carry the full okay by the FDA, but wouldn’t pass a basic high school health class for acceptable food compounds.
As you can see, I am highly opinionated on this whole subject of what we intake for our bodily health. I believe God has given us everything we need to live healthy and successful here. In California, we have the most abundant and broad spectrum of food sources known NOWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD! We are blessed to have so many healthy choices of what we intake. We are without excuse. There is even a company that will deliver farm fresh locally grown goods to your door including recipes for some of the more obscure veggies and fruits that show up from time to time! You can even get $10 off your first order by ordering from this web site and use our referral code; LAUR9731
Is it hard to find good wholesome resources? Yes, sometimes very hard. Is it more expensive to intake all the good stuff? Sometimes yes! But what about the cost in the long run – will we ever regret being healthy? No. Will we regret being lazy, undisciplined, unresolved, wimpy, and full of excuses? Definitely. Fight to make little changes everyday. When you run out of the garbage products, replace it with the good stuff. Eating good is a habit, and one you will be glad you have!
When you are ready to step up and commit to health, we are here to help you every step of the way. Just ask. We don’t claim to have it all down, and perhaps you could teach us a bit yourself. We are however, excited for the journey and the good things that are ahead as we press on towards our goals. Next time, we will be discussing the second of the “Three Facets of Fitness”, which is EXERCISE!
May God richly bless you in this New Year with good health and the time to enjoy it!