Author: optimizedindividual

 

Health “Log(s)”

 

One trait that I notice in people who tend to have success in improving their lifestyles, is that they take NOTES!  You know, the good old pad and paper?

With modern life often being confusing, fast-paced, and complicated; it is sometimes difficult to keep track of just what we are doing in our personal lives.  It is easy to forget about our food plans, our exercise that we have done, the time we have used on ourselves.  Somehow, it can just slip away into the mess of everything else.  Add on top of that jobs, bills, family stuff, and more, and you have your work set out for you.

What is interesting is that we seem to keep track of everything else as a culture.  We keep our receipts when we buy important things.  We keep detailed accounts of our finances, taxes, and earnings.  We plan trips, budget, and plan for the future.  When it comes to our personal lives though; things tend to be left to how we feel about them in the present.  A great way to keep track of yourself is through the use of a simple “Health Log.”  Here is an example of what would be kept in a log.  They can be as simple or as detailed as is right for you.

 

DIETARY LOG:  The meals you eat during the week.

EXERCISE LOG:  The amount of time and what types of exercise you are doing weekly.

SLEEP LOG:  The amount and quality of sleep you get each night.  This may be unnecessary if you sleep well.

DE_STRESS TIME:  The amount of time and quality of time that you spend unwinding, letting your emotions come out, meditating, or just simply being without hassles for a while.

SPIRITUAL/EXISTENTIAL LIFE:  You may keep notes on your relationships with the greater world, universe, God, etc.  As these are complex issues; it can help to have some notes on where you stand on these things currently in life.

RELATIONSHIPS:  Log on how you are doing with friends, family, co-workers, etc.  Sometimes it is hard to see how our relationships are affecting us when we manage many relationships.

 

Really, anything can be added to this list that you feel affects your health or well-being.  It could be addictions, current health challenges, goals, etc.  The main idea is that you log these factors so that over time, you can see trends that may escape your view during the day-to-day.  It also helps track progress and keep you motivated.  For instance; you may notice that your daily food intake is maybe 15% better or cleaner than it used to be.  You may notice that your exercise regime is producing better endurance, or a more attractive physique.  You may find that a relationship is hurting your goal setting.  Whatever it is; a lot will show up in these logs.  And what does this “LOG THING,” cost you?  The cost is a pad, a pen, and maybe 15 minutes a day.  Not much for what it gives you back.

-JOE

Raw EGGS?! Yay or Nay?

 

I come across this topic often it seems like.  To eat or not to eat RAW EGGS.  Some people have reactions in disgust or fear.  They are concerned as taught that raw eggs are dangerous to consume; primarily because of bacteria.  Other issues are usually due to the “slimy” or “gross” nature of raw eggs.  On the plus side; raw eggs are generally much easier to digest, don’t stress out our enzyme reserves so much, and can contain healthy fats and proteins.  So the real risks?  Let’s check em out.

  •  Eggs produced in “factory farms” or “chicken slums” are not going to be healthy raw or cooked.  I would avoid these raw especially as you never know what kind of conditions or diseases these chickens came from.

 

  • Eggs from natural, healthy chickens are much safer and less risky than the factory farmed chickens.  People have been consuming raw eggs for a long time; animals only consume raw eggs.

 

So what is the bottom line?

Well it seems like this is a question that may not be answered for some time.  Personally, I have consumed hundreds of raw eggs without so much as a cold or flu.  I feel better when eating them this way in shakes or smoothies.  Really; it is a matter of personal choice and whether or not you believe in your mind it is a risky activity.  It is the same concept as SUSHI.  A good way to have the best of both worlds is to try egg shakes.  You can make them with anti-bacterial properties if you have concerns.  Here is a basic recipe:

EGG SHAKE:

-2 bananas

-4 raw eggs

-1 TBSP raw coconut oil (antibacterial)

1/4-1/2 TSP fresh cinnamon or cloves (antibacterial)

VERY TASTY and also a great post-workout shake.

So again, use caution when trying new things; and remember that anything that comes from an unhealthy animal is potentially dangerous and we never know how we are going to react to anything.  I believe that RAW eggs can be very healthy for people if common sense and high quality eggs are used.  I also believe unhealthy eggs can be somewhat dangerous; so do your best to make sure you know what kind of eggs you are getting.  If you do cook eggs, try to cook them over-easy or sunny side up as to not damage much of the good fat or protein!  Most people love eggs either way.

-JOSEPH

Walking: The ORIGINAL Exercise?

In modern times we sometimes don’t think of walking as “exercise.”  The word exercise tends to conjure up images of intense running, biking, weight-training, cross-fit, etc.  While these all may have a place in a good training program; I think we tend to forget that basic walking in the PRIMARY exercise for humans and most other upright animals.  Watch any mammal and see.  Predators only sprint intensely for short periods of time chasing prey.  The prey only sprints intensely trying to get away.  In the “office age,” where we tend to work indoors more, (and more sedentarily); walking has become less frequent.  We now have cars, buses, planes, trains, supermarkets, etc.  Our jobs are not as physical.  This may be a reason why some factory workers maintain decent health even when other factors such as diet may not be so great.  They are WALKING around most of the day!  Walking, tinkering, etc.  Yard work could also be put into this category.

I think that because we now tend to think of exercising as these intense activities we may not put the energy into trying the more basic stuff.  So how do you go about it?

Simple.  If you are going from not much exercise to just a 20-30 minute walk most days you will be doing yourself a huge favor.  I would recommend people to tackle this one before they begin more intense things; because the discipline to keep a walking routine going is far less than a workout schedule.  And let’s not forget that if you are outside walking, you are also getting that fresh air and sunshine!

-JOE

GROWING your own FOOD!

This is an interesting topic that is very related to health and healing.  It is that of gardening or growing your own food.  I will admit that I am a newbie at this activity but I did successfully grow a few things last season.  Among these were a few good zucchinis and cucumbers, one or two good kale plants, a few cherry tomato plants, and a mammoth swiss chard.  There are several reasons to get into growing plants.  The first for me is a very practical issue.  It is very cost effective.  Let me explain.

A packet of high quality seeds will run you around 5-10$ depending on your source.  This packet will have anywhere from 15-100 seeds usually.  Sometimes much more.  From your original 5-10$ you have the potential to grow much more $ than you spent.  It really is almost like GROWING MONEY.  Most people’s budgets are largely spent on FOOD.  Whether this is groceries, restaurants, snacks, or whatever; we spend a lot on food.  So this allows you to grow high quality food that is usually better than stuff at supermarkets for very little cost.

The kicker is that it requires discipline and a little start up!  It is another thing to remember or take care of.  You may have to purchase some simple supplies like containers, pots, or dirt.  You need to water the plants correctly over a hefty time span.  You need to learn and make sure that they have proper sun/shade.  The good news is that this is usually outside, and there is something about working with plants that is good for most of us.  I will leave you with a quote I remember from a gardening book I read a bit from.

“Time spent in the garden will not be deducted from your life.”

I take this to mean that whatever time and effort you put into your growing practices; you will get back in watching things grow, eating healthy food, saving money, and learning to become more self-sustaining.  A few good seed companies that I have used are “Johnny’s Selected Seeds,” and “Territorial Seeds.”  Even if you just start with a cherry tomato plant or a little bowl of spinach; it’s a great way to get into it.

-JOE

 

Cheap or Free “Health Strategies.”

Sometimes it seems like our attempts to live well and eat good are often thwarted by the price of certain foods or supplements.  Real, high quality food can be a bit pricey.  In fact, it is probably THE major expense in a health lifestyle.  It comes down to priorities.  People like to say that it is too much, but we spend millions and millions and fast food, restaurants, alcohol, cigarettes, and many other things too mind boggling to discuss.  Just random things that add up to large amounts of money over time.  Anyway, this article is going to mention some cheap or free health techniques that more just take time or participation rather than money.  By no means a complete list.

-SLEEP

-REST

-PLAY/LEISURE TIME

-SUNSHINE

-EXERCISE (sometimes money required but not for the basics.)

-MUSIC

-FRESH AIR

-STRESS RELIEF and MENTAL/EMOTIONAL TIME

-SOCIAL LIFE/COMMUNITY LIFE

-SELF-DEVELOPMENT

-IMPROVING FAMILY LIFE

-IMPROVING SPIRITUAL LIFE

-COMPLEX THINKING/PLANNING EXERCISES

-CREATING/FOLLOWING A LIFE PLAN

-HOBBIES/SPORTS

The list could go on for a while, but you get the point.  Remember that nature spends no money.  So try to think of things that you can do without spending a lot.  You don’t need a bunch of expensive supplements or equipment to improve things in your life.  We haven’t had this stuff long anyway.  So, the basic premise here is to TAKE CARE of yourself the old-fashioned way.  I really think we have gotten sucked into this modern-day age of marketing and media telling us that we NEED all these supplements to be healthy or happy.  The truth is that we populated the planet without any of these things and in general were much healthier before.  So be creative, do what feels right and makes sense.  Don’t let not being able to buy everything get in the way of doing something for yourself in the present.