10 Food Rules To Live By or….well….Death Likely.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about healthy eating, dieting, and weight loss. Here are 10 simple rules to help clear that all up.

  1. Eat a diet balanced in fruit and vegetables, grains and starches, meats, legumes, and dairy.
  2. Try not to eat too much red meat or pork and focus on chicken, fish, and veggies to get the youthfulness of those in the Mediterranean. Replace butter with healthy olive oil.
  3. Add butter to your coffee to truly be healthy.
  4. When eating grains and starches, avoid gluten. Always choose gluten free.
  5. Avoid eating grains and starches, legumes as well as dairy to successfully go Paleo. Eat a diet balanced in meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fats.
  6. In addition to avoiding starches, legumes, and dairy, also cut out fruit so that you can follow a low carb, ketogenic diet.
  7. Avoid eating eggs, meat, dairy, and anything that comes from an animal, but feel free to include dairy alternatives such as almond or coconut milk, lots of fruit and vegetables, beans and lentils, grains and starches to properly follow a vegan diet. Don’t even look at honey, what are you some kind of animal!? Sorry, that was offensive to the animals probably.
  8. The grains and starches should not be starchy or processed. Focus on tubers, potatoes, corn, squash, yucca, etc. as part of the Whole Food Plant Based Diet.
  9. Do a juice cleanse often to help pick up the slack for your ill functioning liver and kidney. If it is not expensive, it aint working. Consider organic juice.
  10. Lastly, make sure that your food is clean. Eating dirty food is the absolutely worst of them all. With your clean food, drink kombucha.

With these 10 easy steps you’ll be the worlds healthiest person and all health issues should be cured permanently.

Bon appétit!

Minimal Living

The idea of living as a minimalist is so interesting to me. We are lucky enough to have a guest blogger today, Keith Lawlor who lives (and loves!) the minimalist life. Enjoy the article below as he gives us an insight into his world! 

Minimalism is everywhere, and it’s awesome.

 

People often tend to envision minimalism as an empty space – white, bright and sterile. This is the image that is hash-tagged and tweeted. It’s the one we see from minimalist bloggers, and the one that naysayers love to challenge. But minimalism is so much more than a blank emptiness. It’s a form of freedom that we never knew we needed.

I found my way to minimalism from a desire to simplify my physical life at home. In the living room, I have a shelf under a wall-mounted TV which would gather layers of dust because moving all the items to clean it became too time-consuming. I ignored and avoided the chore at all costs. Yet I knew it was dusty and that irked me. It was a display of my things, but was also a source of dissatisfaction. I had brimming drawers of unused bathroom products, a closet full of rarely worn clothes, and kitchen cupboards with duplicates for no reason; two salad spinners, two can openers, two colanders. It goes on. For a long time, I never even consciously realized how often I had to dig to find something, or was pushing things aside in pursuit of something else. I’d explored some other areas of intentional living – personal finance, zero waste – and quickly realized the benefit of minimalism.

I started with my living room shelf. I looked at every item and asked myself – Does this add value to my life? Does this serve a needed function? Does this spark joy? I got rid of knick-knacks from my travels, I cut my book inventory in half, I tossed the piece of driftwood from Cape Breton. I took the time to look at each item and make the decision to keep it or remove it. I even got rid of all my picture frames. I kept the photos in a box for future enjoyment, but framed on the shelf, they were mundane dust-collectors that I never paid attention to. That’s hardly a way to cherish the people in them. I get more joy looking at them twice a year than I ever did with them on my shelf all-day every-day.

Once I was done, the image of the shelf was lucrative. Bare by former standards, it could now be cleaned in half the time, and the items remaining were the ones that I am most proud of. Newfoundland fiction (my home province), a silver Kiwi bird that brings me back to a solo 3-months in New Zealand, and a ceramic frog that I occasionally slip into Bobby’s boots for an ongoing laugh. Here’s the best part – it was easy. Or at the very least, far easier than I expected it to be.

I was hooked, and kept moving through the home. The bathroom drawers were emptied of colognes, and shaving cream. I got rid of extra razers, old hair clippers, nail files and tweezers, tiny floss containers, partially full travel toothpastes, shabby floor mats and more. I can’t even remember most of the things, which is indicative of how much crap I had. I do recall finding a single-use face mask in a plastic package. How did this come to me? How long had it been there? I still don’t know.

The kitchen was a landmine of excess. Table cloths I kept for ‘someday’ were donated, and excess glassware for ‘just in case’ moments were removed. I had leaky water bottles, and a Bubba Mug for resort-vacations. I had wine bottles lining the upper cupboards, which were promptly recycled. Good bye to the duplicate colander, and the pizza cutter, and the loose-handled frying pan, and the olive-pitter, and the brie baker, and the chip bag clips, and the clunky coffee maker that brewed far too much and caused me to waste coffee every day. None of it was needed, and none of it has every been missed. Not once. Ever. I’m not kidding.

The bedroom provided some of the greatest relief. I donated a huge portion of clothing point blank. With my newly-found minimalism focus, I could easily determine 20+ items that were better suited to be introduced to the second-hand market. From there, I took everything I hadn’t worn in the last 6 months, plus about half of my stack of cheap t-shirts and put it in an empty bedside trunk. I made a deal with myself that anything remaining at the end of 3 months would be donated. I took just two items from the trunk – a pair of running pants and a pair of hiking pants. Everything else was purged. My closet looks close to empty, but the truth is, I still wear all of the same clothes I wore before and nothing more. There’s some stat out there that suggests we only wear 20% of the clothing we own. I donated my 80%. I also opted to get rid of Winners wall art, cheap accent pillows, an unused desk and chair, an unneeded dresser and more.

Today, our home has only the items that serve us regularly, and a strictly-curated collection of keepsake items that truly bring joy. And we eliminated more than clutter. We eliminated stress, cleaning time, decision fatigue, and the impulse to purchase every little thing that marketers tell us we need. I’ve learned that the one extra throw pillow doesn’t make you happier – it does the opposite. It occupies space, it robs your money and its power to build future wealth, and it becomes one more item to tidy, move, and eventually toss (likely to just end up in the ocean).

Minimalism has also led me to even broader areas than clutter. I’ve minimized relationships, cutting out the take-take-takers and the toxic ‘friends’ that I erroneously allowed into my space. I’ve cut social media use, realizing that 7 minutes buried in Snapchat videos I don’t care for, and 20 minutes on Instagram browsing filtered versions of other people’s best-moments, added nothing to my life, and only detracted from it. I’ve allowed minimalism to focus my goals into actionable items. I’ve reconsidered the trajectory of my life and realized that when we strip everything away, all that truly matters is our health and our relationships, and that’s where I want to focus.

We should also acknowledge that minimalism is fluid. My minimalism experience will likely vary from yours, and comparison is often unproductive. But experimenting with minimalism is a valuable exercise nonetheless, and I encourage everyone to take a few moments to ask themselves what truly compliments their life, and then cut out the excess.

Minimalism is so much more than another trend – it’s a cultural shift towards intentional living and freedom, and everyone can benefit.

Keith

 

Staying healthy over the holidays

There are so many strategies to staying healthy over the holidays and endless posts and information available. Here are some standard tips:

  • Don’t eat sweets
  • Stay home
  • Don’t drink alcohol
  • Definitely don’t drink egg nog
  • Do not go to parties
  • Definitely don’t go to buffets.

There you have it! Just kidding. But what if you want to go to your work’s holiday party and get wasted in front of all your co-workers (and are responsible and have a designated driver of course)!? What about all of the potlucks and bake exchanges!? Staying healthy over the holidays does not have to be impossible. Here are a few things to consider over the holidays that will help you from ignoring your health and goals for an entire month.

Balance

If you are going to a “shot”luck on Friday night, make sure you have an extra healthy b’fast and lunch. There is no need to sabotage a whole day just because of one meal. Also, some preliminary hydration wouldn’t hurt either!

Never skip a meal

Try your very best not to ever skip a meal because you are already anticipating that you will overeat for one of them. Its a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy because you most certainly will, but also you will be extra hungry because you missed a meal! This will lead to overeating 100% of the time.

Exercise

Try not to drop your workout routines just because it is ‘the holidays.’ I love the holidays, hell I am even born on Christmas day, but the holidays do not need to be celebrated night and day for the entire month of December.

Be mindful

Think about whether or not your hunger is what is pushing you to the buffet table for round 2. Are you satisfied with what you ate? If you eat a second piece of dessert will you be twice as satisfied?

Say no

If someone is pushing their stupid, cherry filled cookie upon you and you really do not want it, SAY NO. You can say no thank you also. It is absolutely okay to refuse a dessert even if someone insists without as single ounce of an excuse. If you really want to throw out a line here is one “No thanks, I’m full.” Simple.

Stop with the Christmas baking

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard from co-workers that they need to get all of their Christmas baking done AND how much of their Christmas baking that they, themselves, eat. Why the eff do you need to bake 30 types of cookies and squares?! No one is going to die because they didn’t get a tin of your peanut butter balls because chances are they have 50 other tins in their freezer. If you have people in your life you like to bake for to show that you are thinking of them, try something new this year. Give a special ornament, a homemade wreath, a cute jar of preserves (surely you can trust yourself not to binge eat pickles or cranberry chutney whilst cooking it), or even a nice local product such as chocolate or cheese. Point is, no one is going to die without your baking.

Watch the liquid calories

Holiday punches, ciders, eggnogs, lattes, you name it. These delightful, yet extremely calorie laden beverages are bound to eff with your health goals. If you are going for a specialty beverage try to enjoy just one and switch to something a little lighter.

Best of luck, although with these tips and a little self-love, “the holidays” won’t be to blame!