A Journey of Health and Happiness

Let’s face it. Eating healthy is hard. Despite how many good intentions we have, somehow that bad food makes its way into our lives. There’s that word, that word we all hear, and it makes us cringe. “Bad”, we have this connotation that food that is high in fat/carbs/sugar is “bad” for us. The truth is…it’s not necessarily bad for us in moderation. The point in which food becomes a systematic problem for our bodies, is when consumption out ways any sort of physical output. It is quite possible to maintain a slender frame and only eat McDonald’s foods. Calorie counting is an fantastic tool in losing weight. However, counting calories places a tole on our minds. We become obsessed with counting calories. We see it everyday and we say it to ourselves as well. How many times have you picked up a snack, turned it over, and gasped because this particular food item was loaded with calories. This sort of mentality is harmful not only to our eating habits but to our body image as well. This is where Paleos strong point shines through. Paleo allows us not only to eat foods that our whole and unprocessed, but it allows us to stop counting calories. We can eat until we are satisfied, without the guilt of consuming to many calories. Personally, I find counting calories to become a detriment to my overall health. I will decide that 1000 calories is fine for the day, and make a point of not eating past that amount. When looking at what promotes health, underrating based on calorie counting can weaken your immune system as well as place your body into starvation mode. Once your body has entered this starvation mode, it begins to literally feel “starved”. As soon as any food is eaten, the body begins to store it. In my experience with Paleo or Whole 30, hunger is not a concern. Cravings in the beginning of the process are strong, but after a week diminish.  Why is this? The reason is simple, food becomes a means of feeding your healthy body. The longer you give your body organic vegetables, farm raised meats, and protein rich nuts and seeds…the less the body craves nourishment as a means of replenishing energy, because it has all the energy it needs.

The reasoning of a paleo based diet is the theory that our paleolithical ancestors(or cavemen) consumed only foods they could physical gather or hunt. Their lives revolved around surviving, and to survive they had to thrive. They only way in which they could thrive, was to fee their bodies foods that not only gave them energy but promoted a strong and healthy body. A diet with plentiful nutrients of varying degrees allows the body to enter a state of harmony. With my own personal experience here is a list of common problems that seem to not only get better but disappear all together:

-Digestive Problems: Stomach bloating and cramps become non-existent.

-Skin Health: I’ve suffered from mild nodular acne since high school and on paleo, my skin clears up, and to a point is almost blemish free. To the point where people comment on the health of your skin. There is an interesting chapter in a book called “It Stars with Food” by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig  . I not only suggest this book to new comers to paleo, but almost insist you read it. This particular chapter speaks about skin being the indicator of your overall inner health. Those with glowing and radiant skin, typically have far less inner health issues than those with overly blemished or problematic skin.

-Mentality and Mode: This one is a big one for me in particular. Clean eating promotes an increase of chemicals in our brains that effect mode. How many times have you eaten a meal that satisfied your cravings, but afterwards made you feel low and defeated? Do you feel this way after eating something you consider healthy? The brain plays a big part of your overall health. A healthy brain promotes a healthy body, and consequently a healthy body promotes a healthy brain. When you eat clean, it’s a win-win.

I have experienced all these benefits, and I have also lost them as old habits have come back. My intention with this blog is to document another phase of my journey into a balance of health and happiness.

Time to head out on this Journey! Life is great.

The Whole Food Effect: The gathering of spiritualists, hipsters, and granolas.

Something I have found to positively influence my journey of living a more healthy lifestyle is to visit Whole Foods on a daily basis. There is a feeling or vibe that gives you a little punch to think along the lines of, “What am I putting in my body?” and “How does it influence my life?” There is a certain truth to the phrase, “You are what you eat.” I am fully aware of this concept. As an individual with an unhealthy relationship with food, I know the after effects of a fast food diet. Along those same lines, I have seen the remarkable effects of living an organic and clean-food diet. I am a yo-yo dieter. There is no question about it. I have seen my weight fluctuate in my teens and my 20’s to points of extremes on either end. Having lived at 250lbs as well as 155lbs its hard to find a perfect balance. Because of that search for a balance, I have placed my body in a series of extremes that have most likely put my body in shock. Eating fast food and gaining weight is common for me. I can pack away the weight in a short amount of time. I just as easily can lose the weight at a rapid pace. There however is a balance that I am slowly finding. I’m no longer afraid to eat fast food occasionally, as long as the majority of my food intake is “real”. By real, I mean foods that are unprocessed and literally straight form the source. Whole Foods offers a place where you can find these foods readily available. Even now I am sitting in a Whole Foods on my laptop, a fresh salad next to me. The couple next to my table is talking about energy levels and spirituality, and the atmosphere promotes a strong will to accomplish goals. Job hunting, literature exploration, and theological conversations happen all around you…the vibe is good here. Hipsters, Spiritualists, Granolas, and the Health Enthusiasts have a place to gather…and I hope that I fit in here in some way.

The Pause

“I need a pause button!” How many times have you heard someone utter these words? We all seem to be searching for this imaginary and unreachable pause button. With the constant slew of demands the world tosses our way, we all just want a quick second to compose ourselves and figure life out, without life actually continuing forward. Think about how wonderful that would be? Imagine you have some unfortunate car troubles. The mechanic tells you that in order to drive your car again it will most likely cost upwards of a thousands bucks. Stress right? But what if we had this pause button? What if we could just pause life until we somehow managed to acquire an extra grand….and then were able to proceed on…..what a world that would be…

Alas, we live in a non imaginary world things like “pause buttons” don’t exist and life keeps forging on despite our undying wish to stall. It really is crazy to think how much happens in a day, and what sort of issues and problems we have to sort out in a 24 hour period. There is always something to be done, something to be paid, something to be late for, something to not want to do, something to enjoy, and so-on and so-on. That is what keeps life interesting. At least that is what we must tell ourselves to avoid going crazy.

I haven’t blogged much in the past year, not because I haven’t had anything to say, but because I haven’t found a moment to do it. I of course spent numerous hours watching netflix and other useless activities that could have been used to blog…but we will forget that….and say that I just couldn’t find the time.

2014 has been a whirlwind of a year. I have learned a lot. Expectations have been met. Expectations have been shattered. The youthful dream filled person I was before has been knocked down a couple pegs, and honestly, it probably was for the best. I was able to experience the realities of a relationship and the consequences of allowing a relationship to become the center of my own life. Needless to say that any song by Adele…makes WAY more sense now. Lots of good is happening and lots of hard work is now in store to take me where I have always wanted to be. This realization has been rewarding. Hard work brings fulfillment…and in order to fulfill my dreams… hard work will need to be sought after and not ignored.

It’s time to end 2014 better than I started it…by being 100% true and honest and believing in my full potential. Things will happen, if I make them happen.

Woot Woot!