We all want to be healthy. We want to eat healthy, feel healthy, and have healthy relationships. There is no lack of articles on how to be healthy. In fact, one could argue there are too many articles telling us the “secret” to feeling good.
You’ll read the generic stuff about eating whole foods, getting 8 hours of sleep each night, and drinking plenty of water. And don’t get me wrong. This is all good advice, but it’s so general and so… non-specific.
Today I want to share 3 very specific things that you can do to move the needle towards being healthier than you were yesterday.
Here’s a hint: It makes up 60% of your bodyweight. And you need to keep replenishing it!
It’s no secret that you MUST drink a fair amount of water every day.
Since you also lose large amounts of water every day through urination, bowel movements, perspiration, skin evaporation, and breathing, you need to replenish what’s lost or you’ll become dehydrated. In fact, your brain triggers your thirst mechanism if you don’t replace water quickly enough.
PS - Even though it’s a liquid, if you drink alcohol, it interferes with the communication between your brain and your kidneys, sometimes causing you to excrete too much fluid. That’s why you may feel thirsty, even if you’ve drunk alcohol.
Many people like the idea that drinking a lot of water can help you lose weight. Be aware though, that drinking water doesn’t directly lead to losing weight, but it’s often a side benefit.
Indirectly, when you drink more water, you’re...
Do you know the science behind calories and how to use that to help you achieve your goals?
I’m sure you hear people talk all the time about “counting calories” or “watching their calories”.
But what are calories, and if you’re trying to lose weight, what do you need to know about them?
If you remember back to your high school science days, you may recall that a calorie is a measure of heat or energy. All foods you eat bring in calories. All activities you do burn up calories.
So you think if you eat fewer calories than you burn up, you’ll lose weight, right?
Well… yes. But there’s more to it than that.
MYTH: Calories measure how much energy you take in and burn up.
Not quite. The definition of a calorie has changed over time from a measure of heat conservation with regard to steam engines (it was the unit of heat required to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius), to an estimate of a food’s carbohydrate, protein, and fat...
When was the last time you were with some friends and someone told a joke that caused you to snort your drink through your nose?
When did you last laugh so hard your stomach hurt, and you couldn’t stop laughing, and you waved your hand soundlessly at your friend - who was also doubled over - hardly able to take a breath, and all that came out was a little wheeze, as you gasped for breath?
Believe it or not, laughter is terrific medicine!
Short-term, laughter changes your mood and gives you a mental lift. But it also changes your body. Laughter:
Maybe you’ve been up late, burning the midnight oil, trying to finish that last proposal... or client project... or email…
Maybe the next day you found yourself nodding off while at your kid’s soccer game… or in a meeting… or while watching a movie… or most dangerously, while driving your car…
Maybe this isn’t an occasional occurrence, but it goes on night after night, day after day...
When you lack the proper amount of sleep, not only do you lose out on the benefits of sleeping well, but you also lose out on the opportunity to live each day fully aware and awake. And you may even put yourself or your loved ones in danger if you drive while drowsy.
Let’s first talk about what happens when you don’t get enough sleep:
I remember learning a new language when I was in school. I remember being completely overwhelmed on that first day of Spanish class. I couldn’t believe I was expected to listen to, comprehend, and respond in another language.
That seemed like a tall order considering I knew exactly one Spanish word at the time: hola.
But somehow that teacher was right. By the end of my freshman year I could order some food, talk about the weather, and have a basic conversation with my classmates.
When you start out on any new project, it can definitely feel overwhelming. If you focus only on the end result, it can seem like it’s really far away… like you’ll never get there.
This is how I felt that first day of class. Like a baby learning to walk. We all have to start somewhere.
The key to reaching any goal is to take one small step at a time, and celebrate when you accomplish it.
You probably don’t think about it this way - most people...
Let’s make eating well - for you and your family - as easy as possible. Simplify, simplify...
You probably already know the best things to do in order to make eating right as easy as possible:
Now here are a few simple recipes you can...
Feeling guilty about “sneaking” some “forbidden” foods…
Exercising as a way to “make up for” all those calories you ate (or as punishment)...
Binge eating because “I’ve already messed up so much today, what’s a little more?”...
This is what happens when you look at food not as food but as either a friend or a foe.
Too often, food becomes the villain in a bad B-movie. It tempts you. It controls you. It even laughs at you.
So you run to the nearest stationary bike, begging it to save you from the evil food villain. And you pedal like mad… or you do extra step classes all week… or you starve yourself for a day…
And next week the vicious cycle starts all over again. And you go to bed miserable, thinking, “I really messed up on my diet today. I’ll try again tomorrow.”
The problem is, “there’s always something…”
Because then you have this conversation in your...
Sometimes things don’t turn out the way they’re supposed to.
Sometimes you show forget the eggs at the grocery store.
Sometimes the FedEx package arrives a day later than it should have.
Sometimes you eat “healthy” and still gain weight.
And sometimes your body does what it thinks is “right”... but it actually betrays you. Like when you develop inflammation.
You may have heard about inflammation, but not know too much about it. Since it’s really important for your overall health, let’s talk about it a little today.
In the simplest of terms, inflammation is your body’s response to stress. It could be from your environment, your lifestyle, or your diet.
Your immune system is supposed to protect you from bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. It cleans out damaged cells, irritants, and pathogens, and starts to heal any infections or wounds you may get.
When you see inflammation on your skin, you notice that it produces...
When you stop to think about all the little tiny organisms you can’t see, and how many millions...billions...of them there are, it’s pretty mind-blowing.
While many are floating around in the air, there are also hundreds of them inside your body.
No, this isn’t a new version of the movie Alien - none of them are going to try to take over your body - but in a sense, this really is a symbiotic relationship.
You thought your unique fingerprint is pretty cool, right? What about your unique microbiome?
You have bacteria living throughout your body, but there are 300 to 500 different kinds of bacteria in your gut: especially in your intestines and colon. When paired with other tiny organisms like viruses and fungi, you get the microbiome.
And your mix of microorganisms is different from everyone else’s. It’s partly due to your mother’s microbiome that you were exposed to at birth, and partly due to your personal diet and...