“If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls who live under tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson
There are many things wrong with our current diet;
High fructose corn syrup, additives, trans-fat, over-consumption of genetically modified grains and so-on..
It all has lead to a downward spiral of affluence diseases like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes , depressions & inflammation.
In our attempts to supply more food in a cheaper and faster way, we’ve deteriorated the quality of our products.
In addition; the food industry doesn’t exactly care much about your health but mainly about their own pockets.
And salt, sugar & fat is what sells. BIG-time
Yet health is everything.
What we put into our bodies is ultimately what we will become since the cells of our bodies are in a continuous process of renewal.
Crap in –> Crap out
So guess what’s going to happen when you’re (un)consciously stuffing KFC, Mc Donalds and Ben & Jerries Cookies & Cream?
You’ll feel less energized, less focused and notice a performance drop over time, additionally you’ll become more likely to attract a whole array of diseases and even premature death.
You DO NOT want a life like that.
No energy leads to no willpower, no willpower leads to lack of focus, lack of focus leads to nonperformance. Nonperformance leads to a low-quality life.
It’s the foundation that’s necessary to build a GREAT life upon.
Although many people already know this, I find it disturbing how many people neglect this information.,
In this post I’ve included my 6 tips that will make you healthier than 99% of people on this planet (personal guesstimate)
But let’s start with some..
Nutrition is a incredibly delicate topic since a lot of people struggle with weight issues. It’s actually directly related to the leading cause of death globally (30% of all deaths). Which are cardiovascular diseases.
Which is insane!
“At least 80% of premature deaths from cardiovascular diseases could be prevented through a healthy diet, regular physical activity and avoiding the use of tobacco.” – World Health Organization
80% is preventable!
0,3 x 0,8 = 24% of all deaths globally are preventable by diet, training and some good health habits.
It baffles me how little people actually know/do this.
But if you’ve watched some documentaries like Food Inc. (HIGHLY recommended) & Supersize Me you’ll know exactly that there are many things wrong with the stuff we’re being served these days and the choices we make continuously.
- Modified crops
- High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
- Feeding corn to animals (not natural diet) which affects quality of the meat
- Cost of calorie dense food < Cost of healthy food
It has lead to obesity, alarming rise in diabetes amongst all age groups, depressions, degrading performance and all that other stuff related to bad eating habits.
Not to mention the immense cost of “medical support” that’s required to get us “healthy” again.
As response to these “affluence-diseases” we jump on pills/treatments that can lower cholesterol, remove depression, get us re-focused and so-on. But these are all temporary fixes, mainly aimed at resolving the symptoms.
Doctors care increasingly less (IMO) about the causes of your diseases but are mainly interested in fixing these symptoms. So they can sell you things that don’t resolve the problem in the long-term.
“Do you mean doctors aren’t overly concerned with our health anymore? That’s ridiculous man!”
Yup, pretty much. But business is business eh?
Let’s not forget the pharmaceutical industry is worth hundreds of billions of dollars each year.
This has led too;
“an inherent conflict of interest between the legitimate business goals of pharmaceutical manufacturers and the social, medical and economic needs of providers and the public to select and use drugs in the most rational way” – WHO
Money vs. health
Heck they’re even spending twice as much on simply marketing their “products” than on researching.
Twice. as. much.
Anyway.. we already know that this is getting out of hand but since our brain is wired for failure by default we don’t really give much attention to it.
If you want: Here’s some more facts
Sure you can get by trough popping pills & quick-fix schemes that cure you temporary. They might even keep you alive in average health so you’ll be able to continue your mind-numbing job.
But see, here’s the problem with that;
I want myself to function optimally. I DO NOT want “average health’ like is preached in health magazines and schools.
I want laser-focus, endless energy levels and – as a result – mind bending performance.
Optimal Health 101
“Yeah all fancy words and such Simon, but what does it mean?”
I’ve made a compilation of 6 standard rules for myself that allow me to make the best decisions regarding my health at any time.
In my eyes it’s ridiculous not to follow any of these.
Without any further blabbering, here they are;
- Whole Foods
- Essential Supplements
- Stress management
As a bonus I’ve also included three components to avoid at all costs.
#1) Eat Whole Foods
If you only take away one tip from this post it should be this one (hence why I put it in the beginning).
We constantly indulge into processed crap like cookies, bakeries, soda, chips, … . But we weren’t designed to eat any of that. Marketers and mutinationals basically cater to our instinctual craving for salt, sugar and fat and then we try to create products that contain all of those.
They create feelings of over-stimulation which release copious amounts of endorphin’s in our mind (feel-good)
We manipulate food to excite our taste buds and neural receptors in the brain to the degree that we’ve become addicted to them. Hereby we forget the taste of “real food” (since it’s pretty stale in comparison)
We’re not motivated enough for choosing taste over nutritional value unless we’re able to rewire our standard brain.
What are whole foods?
Here’s the rule;
If it contains more than one ingredient – don’t eat it.
unprocessed, unrefined & uncomplicated,,
If it doesn’t grow or has lived, it should not go into your body. Twinkies don’t live, Pizza’s don’t grow on trees (last time I checked).
They are a compilation of different ingredients.
Chickens live, rice grows, apples sprout from trees,… .
You get the picture.
This is probably the 1% of health changes which will make up about 50% of your results
Our body is composed out of 65% water. It’s responsible for a gazillion (yeah, I counted them all) important processes in your body.
Instead of drinking high-sugar beverages it is better (understatement of the year) to supply your body with all the water it needs.
During the day and whilst you’re sleeping, you lose a lot of water. So it essential to keep yourself hydrated if you want to avoid fatigue, constipation or headaches. The RDA (recommended daily amount) for water is about 3 liters for men and 2,2 liters for women. (And it’s recommended to drink even more if you exercise intensively)
Personally I drink about four liters every day to ensure I replenish my lost water reserves – and that’s what I’d recommend to all men.
A great way to check if you need to drink more water is by looking at your urine. If it is yellow (or anything besides see-trough) you are (in my opinion) dehydrated and need to drink more until your urine is crystal clear.
Our bodies were made to move but we’re hardly moving at all since everything has become so ridiculously automated.
We don’t need to hunt anymore since we can just go to the supermarket, we don’t need to go out to buy stuff anymore since amazon drops it all off in front of our door, We don’t need to exercise anymore since the Abtronic 5000 can do that for us!
It’s getting ridiculous.
In our current society all our basic needs are pretty much being fulfilled constantly and we simply don’t have any reason anymore to get out of our comfortable chairs and do stuff.
“Fulfill basic needs, preserve energy”- your brain
It’s disturbing and frightening for the future.
The long-term consequences are detrimental. Think obesity, depression, coronary heart disease, diabetes (do I really need to sum up the benefits of exercise?)
But get the RDA at least – at the very least (this is 2,5 hours of moderate intensity exercise a week). It’s astounding how many people don’t even reach this!
The long-term benefits are undeniable.
My recommendation would be to do about 60-90 minutes of intense weightlifting, 4 times a week. Mainly aimed at compound movements that train your whole body. These are;
- Bench Presses
- Standing Barbell Shoulder Presses
- Dips & Pull-ups
That’s basically all you’ll need for a boatload of health benefits. Think; bone density, good cholesterol, weight loss, hormonal balance and so-on.
Here’s my most commonly used training regimen. The sets and reps vary although the exercises largely remain the same.
Sleep is another necessary ingredient that helps us recover from our training, workloads and whatnot. Repairing cells, improving memory, weight-loss, stress reduction and so-on..
Again, the health benefits are phenomenal. Yet people rarely get a good nights’ sleep! Too much stress, caffeine, distractions, overeating, overexposure to blue light and all that other stuff.
Here’s an article I wrote (a while back) on How To Sleep Better. It’s still useful today!
Another good tip is to sleep in periods of 90 minutes. Humans – on average – sleep in cycles of 90 minutes. Which basically means that whenever you wake up during a cycle you’l feel groggy. So whenever your alarm clock doesn’t synchronize with the ending of a cycle you won’t feel refreshed as you’re pulled out of your deep REM-sleep.
Irecommend sleeping about 6 to 7,5 hours each night. These are respectively 4 and 5 full sleep cycles. This is more than enough (from what I’ve experienced to keep you focused during the day)
If you do get fatigued – take a 20-25 minute power-nap
#5) Essential Supplements
The manipulation of our foods to grow it faster, fatter, bigger, cheaper like Joel Salatin would say has left it devoid of nutrients. Unless it’s organic (which is the best choice – but also most expensive)
Be sure to take an all-encompassing multivitamin and omega 3 supplement. These are basic and essential for everyone to take.
A good multivitamin should supply at least 100% (I recommend you to take more for optimal health) of the RDA of the 13 major vitamins and useful doses (25 – 100%) of trace minerals.
A good omega 3 supplement contains about a total of 2000mg of the two fatty acids EPA and DHA combined.
Additional antioxidants are optional like Vitamin C (200 – 500mg/day) and Vitamin E (400IU/day)
#6) Stress Management
We live in an extremely stressed-out world. Everything in our environment is agitating us constantly.
Advertisements, lights, video games, work pressures, …
Like James Clear already stated clearly on his blog; Stress is cumulative (meaning it builds up over time).
We just keep piling up physical, mental and emotional stress in our body without giving it the chance to release this tension. This can lead eventually to over stressing which results in burnouts, depression and chronic fatigue.
My favorites at the moment?
- A scented hot-bath with deep-house music for about 25 minutes. (+ candles)
- Meditating and drinking mint tea
- Listening to music or an audio book whilst going for a walk
I recommend relaxing daily as a reward – but only when you’ve completed all your daily tasks.
BONUS: Avoid these 3
Food is being manipulated in such ways that we can raise, grow, harvest it faster and cheaper without taking into account the negative effects it has on our health.
These are the three most important components you should always avoid. Go to your cabin/fridge and scan the labels & ingredients – I recommend to literally throw out anything containing these ingredients. Chances are there won’t be much left.
- High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
Trans-fats raise you bad cholesterol levels and lower good cholesterol. Making you more prone to artery-clogging and cardiac arrest.
Soy can lead to reduced functioning of the thyroid (results in low energy, slow metabolism, cold all the time, …). High doses in men can also lead to decreased testosterone (resulting in low libido, low stamina, weight gain,…)
It has some studies that moderate portions have some health benefits but these are minimal compared to other (better) food choices.
HFCS is the predominant sweetener used in processed food and soda. It’s derived as a byproduct from our enormous corn-production which has made it cheaper to use than sugar. It’s highly concentrated and devoid of nutrients. Basically it is a synonym for obesity, diabetes and heap of other diseases.
Other components you should test in your diet are lactose & gluten. Many people are sensitive to these without even knowing it. Try to eliminate them out of your diet for 4 weeks and then re-introduce them to see the differences.
There’s a lot been said on diets and health and it’s still unclear what will make you perform optimally. Different people have varying reactions to certain types of diet. Therefore I’d say you should keep experimenting and see what suits you best.
(note: I’ve been experimenting between paleo and ketogenic diets the last two weeks which has messed up my energy levels & focus – experimenting gradually is recommended)
But by following these 6 essential health tips you’ll shoot far above the masses in regards to your health – which in turn exponentially increases the quality of your life.
Who doesn’t want that eh?
If you let your food choices be decided by people who couldn’t care less about your health nor the quality of your life you’ll fall victim to a whole array of diseases and even become susceptible to premature death.
Eating right will allow you to have greater focus, greater energy and an all-round greater life.
Get your diet in check and your mind will follow.
- Whole foods, preferably organic
- 3 -4l water/day
- 60-90 mins compound weightlifting – 4x/week
- 6-7,5 hours sleep/night
- Relax 25 minutes/day
- Essential supplements: HIGH quality Multivitamin & Omega 3
Extra action points;
If you feel like this post can help anyone out that you know, feel free to share it with your friends or send it in a mail to your mom! It helps me out a lot! If you’re having any thoughts or questions on this topic, feel free to share those with me in the comment section below.