Whats your “Diet” Today?

English: Variety of fresh vegetables being sol...

First off, I have to say, that I hate the word “DIET.”  This usually brings to mind eating plans that are short-term or crash course.  These are things that you are designed to go on for 2 weeks before you jump back on the crap diet a lot of people follow.  Promises of losing weight or gaining muscle in 3 weeks before that summer season.  This is not what I’m talking about.  I am talking about what you eat day in and day out.  This is the stuff your body ends up being made of.  Like it or not, your body is fueled and built by what you put into it.  There are so many opinions out there on what you should eat.  There are “vegans” who eat no animal products period.  There are “paleo diet people” who eat huge quantities of meats and no grains/beans.  In reality, what is best for you depends on several factors.  Among the more important ones are age, gender, activity level, goals, climate, season, genetics, health conditions, etc.  The fact is that no two people are going to thrive on the exact same diet.  I could probably go on and on  about this one topic.  But honestly, it’s just not worth going into unless you are really trying to get extremely healthy, heal a health condition,  or in get into excellent shape.  In general, there are a few simple rules to keep in mind.

1. Eat whole (preferably organic) Food that you cook yourself as often as possible. Don’t overcook it.

2. Vegetables are the focus of most healthy diets

3. Don’t eat junk. (packaged foods, sugar, vegetable oils, etc)

3.  Eat what feels right for your body

4. Don’t overeat and don’t eat late at night

5. If you want to gain weight eat a little more.  If you want to lose weight eat a little less.

And one final rule for all those people who think eating junk food and running on treadmills for hours is the way to go.  Your “body shape/type” is determined primarily by what you put into it.  It is a lot more effective to eat a clean diet and work out a little than to eat a junk diet and work out a lot.  So my question to you guys is:

What is your diet and why does it work or not work for you?

-Joe

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Right Brain Left Brain

English: Optic nerve pair & two brain hemispheres

Image via Wikipedia

Whose brain are you using today?  More specifically, what side of YOUR brain are you using today?  Different hemispheres of the brain are responsible for different tasks and learning styles.  It is not too difficult to figure out which side of your brain you operate from most often.

The left side is predominately geared towards “problem solving, logic, mathematics, planning, rationality, sequences, etc.”  People that use this side most are people who tend to be “thinkers.”  These are people who use the rational side of the brain to come up with the best solution, figure out the most efficient route, or budget the most effectively.  Areas of life that are dominated by left brain would include mathematics, science, technology, some sciences, and critical problem solving.

The right side is mainly geared towards “intuition, feeling, sensing, randomness, creativity, artistic expression, emotions, etc.”  People that use this side of their brain could be classified as “feelers.”  These are the artists, actors, musicians, debaters, philosophers, and entrepreneurs.  This half of the brain is focused on following your instincts, guts, and emotions.  Areas of life incorporated into left-brain thinking could include the arts, writing, creative business adventures, and holistic-style thinking.

Which side is better?  The “thinkers” might tell you that it is better to be analytical, rational, etc so that you base your life off of science and probabilities to achieve the best outcome.  The “feelers” might try to persuade you that you need to “experience” life through the senses and the emotions and not let all the details bog you down.

So which side is truly better?  My answer is neither and both.  If we want to become balanced people we need to incorporate BOTH sides of the brain.  If you identify yourself as being a feeler, fine.  Spend a little time doing analytical activities.  Read a book on how quantum physics work.  Take an engineering course or learn how vehicles or solar panels operate.  Balance a budget, or do some time management.  These are all things that will sharpen the left brain.  As for the thinkers, you guys need to let go of the analysis, the statistics, the rationality.  Go to a music venue or an art gallery.  Try some creative writing.  Have a philosophical debate with which the only intention is to expand your mind.  Do something creative.  These activities will sharpen the right half of your brain.  So in the end, we need to learn to use both sides of the coin if we want to go through life with a “good head on our shoulders.”

-Joe

Slow Down and UNPLUG

This is a post for the working people.  Working in all areas of life.  What kind of diet should i have?  How can i improve my health or fitness?  What clothes, shoes, electronics, movies should i buy?  Do i need to be in school right now?  Maybe i should be sleeping or running that errand to pickup some trash bags at Target.  We are a country of multi-taskers.  This is the way we are taught to operate.  There is a book called “Don’t Miss Your Life,” by Joe Robinson that talks about the “performance identity.”  This is basically the little voice inside your head that tells you it is not ok to relax and just LIVE.

We should ALWAYS be doing something productive.  Doing homework, doing errands, researching ways to improve things, Improving our houses, cleaning our homes and cars.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it is a great thing to want to improve yourself.  The problem a lot of people (myself included) have is that they don’t know when to stop.  Oh, i have free time?  Forget the funny show on t.v. or the relaxing novel on the cozy couch.  I should be getting ahead on my homework.  I should be learning something useful.  I should find new and improved ways to live my life.  We need to learn how to remove ourselves from the “performance identity.”  It is a useful mindset to accomplish things in life but it needs to be balanced out by another mindset.  This is the “living and being” mindset.  This is the realm of leisure, mindless fun, laughter, and genuine experiences.  The difference is that there is no “task” to accomplish or get done.  We live for the experience itself.  In Today’s world of technology that supposedly makes our lives easier, we seem to be more busy than ever.  Personally, it is a goal to detach 1 day every week to just BE.  Watch some looney tunes, read a good book on the couch, take a nap, be silly and smile, call an old friend to catch up, go on a walk to nowhere.  We need to take a minute to think about what we really NEED.  Schedule your life so that you can afford to take a day of R & R.  If you don’t think that you can take 1 day out of your busy week to unwind and relish in living your own life without an “agenda,” i would suggest that it would be a good idea to reconsider your lifestyle.  We are human beings.  We are not meant to constantly try to get better at living.  Sometimes, we are just meant to hold on and enjoy the ride.

-Joe

Homemade Fermented Salsa

Who doesn’t like spicy food?  Honestly, i think most everybody does.  Some people it doesn’t agree with.  Some it does.  Anyways, on the fermented food kick I have been batching up bottles of salsa that i adopted from Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions” cookbook.  I have tweaked her recipe to give it a little bit more of a kick.  This recipe makes about 2 quart sized jars.  This salsa is probiotic, anti-bacterial, and helps gently chelate heavy metals from your body.  Not to mention it tastes amazing.

2-3 days on the counter

Directions are simple.  Chop everything up.  Mix it in a large bowl.  Stuff it into mason jars.  Let sit for 2-3 days depending on how tangy you like it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • -5 large tomatoes
  • -2-3 bunches fresh cilantro
  • -2-4 TBSP sea salt
  • -2 medium red onions
  • -1-2 bulbs of garlic =)
  • -1 TBSP oregano
  • -crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • -optional (peppers: red and green bell, jalepeno, etc)

Store in the fridge after done fermenting and use with existing salsa or as a garnish with your food.

-Joe

Workout Excuses

How many people do you know that talk endlessly about wanting to change this or that about their workouts or just to START.  The problem is that there are always little reasons that things never get on track.  The big ones you hear are:

-no time, no equipment, too busy, don’t know how, etc.

Everybody can work out.  There are so many things the average person can do just sitting around their apartment.  Do some bodyweight routines.  Use kettlebells.  Go jog or walk outside.  The benefits of exercise are worth the effort.  15 minutes a day is all you need.  A lot of people think that they need to labor in a gym for an hour to get the results.  Diet is a lot more important than exercise when it comes to body shape/type.  Exercise makes everything in your body work better.  Every other animal in the wild moves around a lot every day except for humans.  Most people i talk with that are sticking to an exercise program are reaping the rewards and look forward to it after awhile.   The most important thing is to pick something you like doing and stick with it.  So don’t let your excuses get the better of you.  Get up and move.

Life Goals

     What are your life goals?  What things do you want to improve in yourself?  For most people things on the top of the list would be getting in shape, making more money or having a better job, being healthier, or having more fun.  There is no wrong answer here.  Personally, my goals are to be fitter and healthier this year than i was last, as well as make a conscious effort to improve myself in other areas of life; including school, business, family life, hobbies, writing,  social networking, etc.  What are your goals?  What are you willing to do to achieve these goals?
 
 
English: Everything starts from needs or desir...

A New Day

Every day is a new day.  Take a minute to think about that.  You are not the same person that you were a year ago.  You are not even the same person you were a month or a week ago.  This means that today you can CHOOSE who to be and what to do with your life.  Most of us procrastinate and put off doing the exact things that we know will change our life for the better.  It all comes down to the choices we make.  These will determine what will happen to you today and in the future.  As an exercise, think of where your life will be in a year from now.  5 years? 10?  Do you like the image of what you see?  If not, it is time to prioritize and figure out what changes you want to make to ensure a better future for yourself.  If you want to get healthier, fitter, happier, more productive, and a better life it is up to YOU to make it happen.

-Joe