Peer Week: Chelsey

036In a year I’ll be a better me!

She already is better. The first step to being better is to believe you are. Today I spent a radical day with my rock star friend Chelsey. I admire her outlook on life. To experience life. I tell her I saw some blackberry bushes on my way to her house, so we ended up biking to them and picking some for her basket. Eight miles later on our bikes, we ended up back home to enjoy a refreshing post bike frozen fruit smoothie. Follow that up with some light yoga stretching and we had a radical day. She is a country girl- check out her garden it’s awesome. She graciously let me finish up our visits with questions. Thank you!

Me: What do you consider to be ideal health?

Chelsey: Feeling good about yourself and eating healthy foods.

Me: How do you think the future health of our country looks?

Chelsey: It’s not going to get better. The government makes money when people are sick. That is why certain diseases have no ‘cures’. We buy food for the name brand. It’s commercialized too much. We need to be eating more natural food, although I’m not Continue reading

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Peer Week: Jenna and Samm

020When I thought about writing a peer week, I wanted to make sure I got a variety of people. With different outlooks, different pasts. I did not want people like me. I wanted opinions. I wanted individuals. There is no right or wrong answer to any of the questions and I wanted people to tell me their honest opinions and not what they thought I wanted to hear or what an audience would want to here. Health is dynamic and what we focus on and like will vary from person-to-person. Today I focused on friendship and the health outlook. Yesterday I featured Tabitha, today I spoke with her sister and my cousin Jenna. Consider there like upbringing the answers I got from Tab and Samm were completely different.  I love there outlook on the importance of a positive outlook on life. They’re so right. Your thoughts reflect on the outside, including health. So here we go, into the thoughts of two college early-twenty something girls.

Me: How would you define health or ideal health?

Samm and Jenna: It is the inside rather than an outside reflection. If you feel healthy, then it is going to show on the outside. You will be healthy.

Me: What do you think this country’s future looks like? Continue reading

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Peer Week Interviews: Tabitha

‘Health is a lifestyle, not a 60 minute quick-paced fix’ ~Tabitha Wood026

I had a blast interviewing my beyond awesome friend Tabitha Nicole. A 25-year old, ICU nurse, Crossfitter. We sat down, dug deep and enjoyed some photo fun! Here we go:

Me: How would you define health or ideal health?

Tabitha: Active, healthy eating, always striving to improve. Health is a constant and not something instantly obtained.

Me: What do you think this country’s future looks like?

Tabitha: I think it’s declining because Americans want fast, easy, and cheap. That’s why McDonald’s is a multi-billion dollar company. We value time. We’ll take the 3 minute drive-thru over 20 minutes to make a meal.

Me: How has our perspective on eating changed?

Tabitha: We’re always busy. The wife used to stay at home, but now it takes two working. Parents come home tired, so it is easier to throw on a pizza or go through McDonald’s. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a Tombstone Frozen Pizza on occasion, but eating processed dinners 6 days a week is a problem.

Me: Do you think the art of cooking and the experience of dinning is dying? Is it lost on this and the next generation? Continue reading

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What’s Next?

We’re going to do a flip from lasts week’s posts on longevity. What is current now? I admit most of our clients coming in our middle-aged women. They want to make a change. But what about the rest of the population? What about my generation? What about my peers? I have to say each decades brings it’s own concerns. I personally believe in the 20-something era we are focused more on the physical. Once we get older we can’t keep up like we used to or we get comfortable in our lives- complacent or we’re on the decline. We’re more at risk for disease or we’re already chalking up our list of medications. But at 25 the risk seems far away. We’re trying to establish ourselves or make ourselves look smoking hot to attract the love of our lives. We’re trying to start families. We want to be young wild and free. But what does our future look like?Look how much our health has changed the last 50 years. How medications, processed foods, and a lack of movement has taken over. We have become busy! We’re too busy to exercise. Or we’re the opposite, we exercise too much. We don’t have time to fix meals (that is if we even know how to cook). We have lost the experience of eating. Of sitting and socializing over a meal. Of quality family dinners. Of asking, ‘How was your day.’ We’re losing the traditional of passing along our grandparents home cooked meals. Things come pre-made or boxed already. Who cooks from scratch, let alone know how. We are constantly connected. Continue reading

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The Art of Living Long

cornaroTo finish off this week’s theme of Longevity I will do a little book review. For several years I have had a copy of The Art of the Living Long. I love it, it’s tattered and old looking, with gold topped pages and thick pieces of paper (it was published in 1905). The book is about the testaments of Louis Cornaro (1464 to 1566). He professes the life of temperate. Seeing as he lived to be over a hundred during the 1500’s I think maybe we should listen to him. Especially since he was an unhealthy man until he was in his 40’s. Then he began practicing the Temperate Life.

What does this mean. Cornaro was ahead of his time. Much like the Okinawans practice eating until they are 80% full, so too did Cornaro. He was about not overindulging or being a glutton. He especially believed in eating and drinking less as he aged. His body didn’t need as much, so he took less in. Only when he increased or overindulged did he come to be sick. It’s definitely something to think about. Rather than eating until we can’t what if we stopped before we have had our fill. Like I pointed out, we see this same practice today with Okinawa and their many centenarians. Continue reading

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Featured Foods: Sweetbreads

It’s no secret that I can be a twinge weird sometimes. I am fascinated by the animal odd bits. I spent last summer figuring out how to make tongues and kidneys delicious. To me it was a fun task and adventure, but to my friends it was gross. They are missing out. I believe those hunter gatherer’s they talk about so much were grubbing on the fatty, nutrient dense insides rather than the tougher muscle meat. Plus I am a little bit tight so I don’t mind saving money chowing on the bits people don’t want rather than splurging on a big grass-fed steak. It’s true offal comes at a great price. And there is so much variety, there are so many organs and odd ends you can try to make edible and yummy. Yesterday I fried some chicken livers and they were awesome, I think I could have served them to my mom and she wouldn’t have known they were livers (and I would totally hide that bit of information from her until the end too).

So back to sweetbreads. Last year I purchased my first sweetbreads, consumed with the nostalgia that sweetbreads were such a delicacy. Then I held and thought, ‘what the hell do I do with it now?’ I had to to a little searching to figure how to prep an fix the sweetbreads. and I have to say for my first attempt I didn’t hate them. If you can get past the conventional thinking of ‘yuck’ that has been introduced to us in Continue reading

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Lessons from the French

In ode to the longest living human being, Jeanne Calment, we are going to look at the French today. There is of course the French Paradox. The French eat a lot of fat, yet their health rates are better. They eat a ton of foie gras. They eat cheese. They drink wine. What is up with these beautiful, healthy French women? Let’s take a stroll to see ways in which we can become more French:

  • You were given legs, use them. That’s right walk more. Try walking to the store, to the work, to the park, to your neighbors. Get up and walk.
  • Look at the types of fat. Processed, fast-foods give us crappy trans fats. Not real fats that our brains and bodies crave, but artifical man-made fats that our bodies do not know how to handle.
  • Glass of red wine: again back to Monday’s post on longevity, some of them (some don’t drink at all) drink dark red wines in moderation. Think one glass a day, not holding off and drinking 7 on a Saturday night. Continue reading
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Medition in Motion: Tai Chi about the Okinawan’s and talking with my friend Cam about how he’d love to do tai chi and instruct in it, makes Tai Chi is the perfect topic for this week’s exercise post. Plus it’s right up my alley: Meditation in Motion. Sign me up! So clearly we can think that tai chi can bring a clear state of mind. But there are more benefits to tai chi. First off, what is it?

Tai chi is a low-impact, slow motion type of exercise. There are no pauses between motions often named after animals). You move naturally, with more circular movements. Not forced movement. You breathe deeply as you move. As you move you focus on your bodily sensations. Presence in what you are doing. Rather than tensing your muscles stay relaxed. The joints do not fully extend nor bend. Continue reading

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The World’s Oldest

Yesterday I explored longevity a bit, so naturally this spiked my curiosity about the world’s oldest people (they actually say we could live to be 120 to 160 years old) Hence the picture of this woman: Jeanne Calment. This pic says to me, ‘yep I’m a bad a** and I lived to 122, say something’. What did I learn in my digging about the keys to longevity. I’m going to use a Faith Hill song here, ‘The secret to life is there ain’t no secret.’ Jeanne broke all kinds of rules to health. But I do think she had a big thing going for her:

If you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry about it.

She was said to be immune to stress, which I think really helped her push to be the oldest recorded person. You see the same thing with the oldest living American Sarah Knauss, who also had a very chill demeanor. Back to Jeanne. Could you Continue reading

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Living a Long Healthy Life

Man I didn’t do any post last week, sorry! This week I am back and we are going to look at one of the topics of health that really intrigues me: longevity. I think sometimes we are so focused on the the outside. We’re searching for  perfect number or for that hard body, but what does it actually mean to be healthy? What’s life if we are not functioning at 100%? If we’re loaded up on medications? If we are constantly at the doctor? If we’re sick or at risk? I’ve always said Alzheimer’s scares me the most. To live this life and create all these experiences, to have people that love you, to not remember it. If we can’t move because of faulty, fragile joints. If we are afraid of disease. If we accept disease as our ultimate surmise. How many people truly die of old age? I remember talking to a client once about the Mediterraneans lack of health disease and the importance of fat. Her only rebuttal was that they were not ‘skinny’. I know many ‘skinny’ people who are not healthy. So how do we satisfy being comfortable in our skin (I think more important than striving for perfection) and living a life of quality? What are the secrets of the longest living people?

I did a post on the Okinawans years ago and it is still one of my favorites. I think we are so focused on building lives and perfect bodies, in using science and technology to make us better, we have disconnected ourselves with our roots. We prefer hitting the gyms and machines, to sowing the land and doing house chores or walking (we jump in our cars). The longest living people aren’t out doing the new fitness trend or running marathons pumping iron. They are merely living their lives. Doing their traditional activities and work. The Okinawans incorporate Tai Chi into their routine. I think the biggest asset to the healthy societies is their mindset. Let’s break it down, let’s look at what they’re doing and compare it to our lifestyles:

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