Hey folks, how is everyone doing today? Hopefully good and by the end of this post – you’ll be on your way to feeling amazing. You see, we are all very interested here in self sufficiency and entrepreneurship (AKA freedom). Unfortunately there is an area where a lot of people neglect to optimize and that one’s health. I’ve read a hell of a lot of books on entrepreneurship and all the best ones stress the importance of maintaining the machine. In entrepreneurship there are a lot of variables but THE most important variable is YOU. You are the one who is going to have to work those 10 hours days, you are the one who is going to experience the inevitable ups and down of entrepreneurship. You are the person who is going to is going to have to learn to either let the stress bounce off you – or absorb into you. There is a great quote by the rock-reggae band Rebellion and their song Suffering. It reads as follows:
“I’ve got my mind set at ease
Don’t you know it’s you why you’re suffering?
You’re why you’re suffering”
Now take a few moments to digest that. Entrepreneurship is about struggle, anything in this life worth pursing is going to not be easy. However, in pursing our business passion’s we often neglect several key elements in our life that lead to happiness and well being. Some examples are our social life, fitness, dietary habits etc. The human body craves regularity and a sense of normalcy. It is like nature which can endure various outlier conditions of extreme heat, cold etc. but in the end returns to a sort of homeostasis. Neglecting ones health we can experience here and there – but consistently subject the human body to stress, poor diet and a lack of exercise and/or sleep and you are asking for trouble! In fact I have a great personal story of struggle when it comes to neglecting one’s health…
My story of health hardship
A few years back I was working full time while attending graduate school full time, it was stressful – but I didn’t realize how stressed my body was. I also was in a long distance struggling relationship and began to experience stomach pains. The pains grew worse and worse until I began to literally shit blood. It was bizarre as I was around 22 years old at the time and regularly worked out, lifted weights and trained jiu jitsu. My body was crying out to for some rest and relaxation, yet I kept pushing and pushing. I was soon diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis – an incurable condition of inflammation in the bowels, pretty much the brother Crohn’s disease, a particularly nasty affliction. I was having trouble going to work and school and missing a lot of productive time. Pretty soon became isolated in pain and alone. Isolation and pain turned into many hospital visits and I was considering having surgery to remove my ulcerated bowels. I was very very sick and my friends and family grew concerned.
So why is this relevant or important? Well at the time I was actually lifting a bit too much without adequate rest. I was physically and mentally stressed, consuming too much alcohol and eating how I thought I was supposed to eat. The food pyramid and mainstream media always pushed whole grains, dairy and wheat products. In actuality, the food pyramid is how the government wants folks to eat as corn, wheat, dairy are heavily subsidized. In actuality we need to look at the things humans originally ate years ago. Many years ago as in when we really ate from the earth and not the factory… I began to read more about the Paleo diet and heard about a guy named Robb Wolfe who had cured his Ulcerative Colitis with a holistic diet based with foods from the earth. A lot of people have trouble digesting wheat as it contains gluten – which can promote inflammation even in people who aren’t gluten intolerant! In the same fashion a lot of people have problems digesting lactose, which is a constituent in milk. It turns out as we might remember being taught in school that grains are pretty devoid of nutrition and can spike blood sugar levels… I felt like I had been lied to, what about the original food pyramid that we were taught about as kids? You know the one that looks like this:
To make it simple, grains – particularly wheat, corn etc. are inflammatory in nature. Dairy can be inflammatory as well. Inflammation is the basis of most all diseases and ailments. The oils we are accustomed to eating such as Canola, vegetable etc. are actually more like “Frankenoils” extracted with carcinogenic and volatile solvents like Hexane. I’m not trying to get all hippy and earthy-crunchy here but we were pitched a crock of shit growing up and now. Why should we be putting in a bunch of inflammatory grains in our body? These tend to spike our blood sugar levels and make us feel stuffed then starving – then we are starving, overeat and again feel stuffed. This cycle is a cycle of inflammation and can lead to a variety of diseases like Ulcerative Colitis, Arthritis, pain, autoimmune disorders and all sorts of funky things. In some pyramids we will notice sweets or alcohol being mentioned as well. I recently spoke with a leading Industry expert PhD in the area of Cardiology, in fact he works for leading big Pharma companies which develop statin drugs. He was of the opinion that the health benefits derived from alcohol are more due to the relaxation produced, rather than ethanol having some kind of soothing anti-inflammatory properties. In reality alcohol is rather inflammatory and it was causing me some gut havoc, even when drank in moderation as my Gastrointestinal doctor said was good at the time.
Long story short, I slowly but surely educated myself on what a real diet should look like. I soon wrapped up grad school – which helped a lot with stress. I also got out of a shitty and time consuming distance relationship, very relieving. All of a sudden I had less on my plate and dedicated more of my life to myself, my health and honing my skillsets in entrepreneurship. It took a while and a lot of suffering but I made it through a better person and although I still have Ulcerative Colitis, I don’t suffer from it. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if in a visit to the doctor – if they declared I no longer have signs of having UC. Does it sound like a magic tale or miracle? It is not, it is about loving yourself enough to put yourself and health first! Dedicate yourself to your own passions and live for yourself which is something all of us can appreciate. Let me show you a little something I came up with after a lot of research as to what a real food pyramid should look like:
Aside from wheat, we notice the lack of any really refined substance in our Green Pyramid. Essentially, we are animals and as such have historically relied on what has come from God’s green earth to nourish our bodies. Only recently have our tastes drifted to the factory where we have taken in more processed/refined food like substances. Notice how I didn’t say food. The food like substances are constantly pushed on us through advertising, marketing, location in grocery stores etc. Every day there is a silent war we are engaging in when it comes to nutrition. We are conscious human beings and in control of what goes down our gullet’s. It is about time we take a stand and say no to GMO, no to non-organic foods, no to the factory and YES to farmer. The closer our food came from growing out of the ground, walking, flying or swimming around – the more dense it is in nutrition. It is as simple as replacing ones diet with the most anti-inflammatory and nutritionally dense food around.
We as entrepreneurs tend to work harder than most 9-5’rs. This style of eating/lifestyle I talk about on this site. It is geared towards those who push themselves and need the best nutrition for their buck. We want to be eating the majority of food which gives our bodies the most nourishment. Genuine real food which promotes satiety, nutrition and plenty of fat/protein. Toss that wheat in the garbage can! If we get sick, then we will be less productive and time is money. Therefore we owe it to ourselves to best fuel our human machine and perform optimally.
The #1 killer in our nation is mostly related to an unhealthy lifestyle: Heart Disease. The following is a tidbit on Heart Disease straight from the CDC:
A huge problem and Americans are at Risk
High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these three risk factors.
Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including:
Overweight and obesity
Excessive alcohol use
So what are we to do?
First, let us start by taking control of our lives and our health by eating for optimal human health. Just as our heart is critical to our being, a cars engine is critical to the car. What would happen if the fuel we filled our cars with was not made for the car? What happens when we are throwing trash down the ol’ gullet? Disease, depression, anxiety, death to name a few.
Do yourself a favor and if you aren’t eating optimally now – make it a goal to get in some of the following foods this week. I promise you they are delicious, especially animals, greens and fat
Drink some green/white tea during the day. Green tea has a higher caffeine level than White tea. White tea is made from baby green tea leaves and it has a higher antioxidant level as well as a significantly lower caffeine level. For the nighttime, try winding down with some Chamomile. Chamomile is a great way to relax and has some effects on our GABA receptors which make us calm.
Who doesn’t like a good steak? Some steamed mussels? How about a big plate of eggs and bacon? You know what is even better than these things? These animals when they are in nature doing their thing. A grass eating cow that is free to roam on a farm is going to be much better for you than some sickly thing stuffed with grain. Do you think cows eat grain in the wild? How about Chickens? Do chickens like being cooped up all day in miserable conditions? It is a rather simple equation here, happy animal=happy food=happy human.
Cruciferous/Brassica vegetables are where the densest nutrition lies. Cruciferous greens are green leafy iron contain veggies which have way too much nutrition for me to type about here. Instead, let me provide you with a link to WH Foods. This is a great website all about some of the healthiest foods on earth! Although we don’t agree with some of the stuff like grains, most of this stuff is spot on and a solid resource to read up on.
Fat is NOT a bad thing. In fact it is incredibly healthy for us when we eat the right type of fat. If we stick we grass fed butter/ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado etc. our bodies will thank us greatly. You will notice you will be full longer and your blood sugar will remain more even. No 3 o’clock slump when our food is slowly digested and distributed in our bodies like it always has been for the greater part of the last 200,000 years!
The best fruits for us are berries. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries etc. They are dense both literally and figuratively when we speak of nutrition. A couple handfuls of berries is a great way to start the day or to have as a snack. Other fruits can be amazing like fresh citrus, mango, watermelon etc. Try some of the exotic ones like Starfruit and Kumquat – I bet you will be impressed.
Supplements are a great way to top off an already healthy diet. My favorite supplement – which is more of a ground up series of super foods is called Maximum Vibrance. This stuff is amazing and contains all the greens, probiotics, protein etc. you would need instead of a meal. This is one of those rare products that you can actually feel an increase in energy and well being after drinking. I like mixing this half and half with Hemp Protein, it allows the Maximum Vibrance to last a full month and makes it easier and more tasty to drink down. Hemp Protein I prefer over whey, because I find it easier to digest and it is 100% natural. No worries about articial flavors or where the whey is derived from. Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil is my favorite supplement and is better than regular fish oil as it contains a significant level of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial for human wellness and us modern day cave dwellers often times are malnourished from not having enough exposure to strong sun. Also pictured is nuts which are good in moderation but can be bad if too many are eaten, the reason being so it out of wack fat ratios which can cause inflammation.
Wait a minute… Is that marijuana in a freakin’ food Pyramid?
There is nothing wrong with a beer or two, but it is made from barley – which contains gluten. Even if one has a preference for hard alcohol, it is pretty inflammatory and is hard on the body. We are entrepreneurs, who has time to accidentally overindulge and feel like shit the next day? Enter Cannabis. The original American staple. It is anti-inflammatory, not physically addictive like alcohol and there are no hangovers. The biggest downside to cannabis is smoking it, so get a vaporizer or make some cannabis tincture.
As mentioned, Cannabis is an amazing medicine. What is even more amazing is that it is not physically addictive. This means that despite a user of cannabis consuming more regularly – they will not experience physical withdrawal symptoms. This means that it is a MUCH easier drug on the body than ‘downers’ like alcohol, opiates, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, GHB etc. In fact, withdrawal from things like alcohol, benzo’s, barbituates and GHB can all cause death in the form of Grand Mal seizure in rapid with- drawal.
Cannabis is uncommonly safe. In fact in the word of Lester Grinspoon M.D. (Harvard Med School, 1955)
“Cannabis is remarkably safe. Although not harmless, it is surely less toxic than most of the conventional medicines it could replace if it were legally available. Despite its use by millions of people over thousands of years, cannabis has never cause an over- dose death.”
That is right. Cannabis has never caused a single death – not 1, zero, zip nada. It is safer than aspirin, acetaminophen (tylenol), ibuprofen (advil), alcohol, caffeine, cough-syrup etc. I could go on and on but note that Cannabis is extremely safe medicine and very beneficial to our wellness if consumed in the right manner. What is the right manner? Well I would propose the right manner is how folks recommend we use booze. 1-3 drinks for males/day is usually the recommendation, try the same with high potency cannabis indica at the end of the day and unwind. No need to subscribe to those stoner stereotypes, cannabis is rapidly rising above the taboo classification and folks are realizing how beneficial it can really be.
Moving forward to a healthier happier life
So please ask yourself, are you optimally fueling your machine? Are you regularly providing your machine with the types of food that will help you live healthier, happier and better? We are entrepreneurs seeking to innovate, change and disrupt industries. Fuel yourself optimally and reap the rewards. You will have more energy, less sick time and ultimately better productivity. Heck you could even call it a life hack… Remember folks:
You are what you eat
Let’s hear about your stories about nutrition and wellness in the comments below and thanks all for reading.