It’s fascinating how we are literally made of the stuff that we put in our body.
It’s actually pretty crazy when you think about it.
Most people associate nutrition with the food you eat. But that’s only a part of the story. Nutrition is really anything that comes into your body. Whether through our mouths, our eyes, ears, or skin doesn’t matter.
Our bodies are like sponges, we’re constantly exposed to and absorbing things in the air, water, or food that comes on board this flesh-space ship we call the human body.
Not all of these compounds should be considered nutritious though.
Many are toxic. They’re a stress on the body.
Again, all of these things we’re eating, drinking or absorbing go back to the stimulus concept. It’s all just a stimulus. The important thing to be aware of is what’s happening inside your body because of the stimulus.
Our bodies need a much wider view of nutrition than just the food we eat. Water has nutrition. The air you breathe has nutrition. And even the products you put on your skin can have nutrition.
But they can all have toxins as well.
Air is a perfect example of this. Oxygen is one of the most important nutrients and gets used for thousands of processes throughout the body, but carbon monoxide is a lethal toxin and will kill you. Both can be in the air you breathe.
With all this toxic shit in our environment, in our food, in our water, and the air we breathe it’s more important than ever to be mindful of what you can control, because many of these toxins are beyond your control.
Why not live the best way you can?
Why not enjoy the food you eat on a level that’s beyond taste alone?
When we become more aware of the food we’re eating, it creates a feedback loop where you begin connecting certain foods with the way you’re feeling.
As the toxins you’re exposed to decreases and you heal from the damage they’ve caused, your taste buds will begin to change, food begins to take on new meaning. The increase in energy you’ll experience throughout the day will be noticeable after just a week.
But the real benefits come with time.
So why not have fun with it and make sure it’s not just a diet, but a lifestyle you can enjoy and build upon?
Nutrition is just as fundamental as sleep and one of the most important investments anyone can make to increase the health and wellness of their families and themselves.
4 Principles of Nutrition:
- Nutrition is Regenerative
- Toxins are Destructive
- Have Fun and Enjoy Food
- Is It Sustainable?
The level of toxins in your food have an inverse correlation with the level of quality in your food. As the level of toxins gets lower, the quality of the food tends to get higher.
Organic, pastured, non-GMO foods are a great way to start, because these kinds of labels have a certain guarantee that it won’t have extra toxins for your body to deal with.
Minimizing the toxins is a huge step toward optimizing nutrition. They’re everywhere and responsible for a huge load of stress on the body.
By minimizing the toxins in your diet, you will be actively giving your body a much-needed break from all the other stresses it must deal with in the modern world. And in a world full of stress, the best thing you can do is minimize the ones you can control.
You owe it to yourself and the people around you to practice a low-toxin lifestyle as much as possible because when it all comes down to it… would you rather live a long life with a sick body, or would you rather live a long life with a healthy body?
The difference is literally between feeling like shit for decades or feeling vibrant and full of life for decades.
We all die someday.
That’s the common argument for eating whatever you feel like, whenever you feel like it. And yes, this is totally true, we all do die someday. It’s a certainty.
But would you rather die all decrepit and sick, or would you rather die with that old person strength that our ancestors had?
I encourage you to look into the concept of physiological headroom. It’s not the focus of this post, so I’ll briefly describe it as how robust your physiology is at any point during your life… robust equals fitness plus health.
In nature, animals are either healthy or dead most of the time. There’s not much middle ground. Old animals don’t necessarily follow the same path as a modern human. They remain mobile and healthy until one day… they die.
On the other hand, modern people tend to slowly get sicker, then lose more and more mobility until one day… they also die but in a weakened and decrepit state.
And this has a lot to do with the foods we eat. But it’s multilayered though, and there’s not enough room in this post to get into all of that so I’ll keep it simple.
Everything you put into your body is either going to contribute toward old person strength or old person weakness. Which would you rather build on?
The trick is to pay close attention to everything that comes in and think of it all as a possible nutrient, or a possible toxin.
Your Nutrition is YOU.
Again, this goes back to your unique physiology, but also this idea that what you decide to put in your body IS your diet. Your diet IS your nutrition and it should fit your unique biochemistry and your unique circumstance.
If you’re training to compete in the Olympics or Crossfit, what you eat will be way different than if you have Type-II diabetes and just want to be healthy.
Your nutrition should fit your lifestyle.
Not the one you have now necessarily, but the one you desire.
What lifestyle do you truly want for yourself?
If you have children, what kind of lifestyle do you want them to have?
As a leader in business or your community, what kind of lifestyle do you want to project into the world?
Each of these questions is important to be aware of, and answering them boldly and honestly is a step toward living the way you want to live.
How you eat when you’re twenty will change the way you eat when you’re thirty.
It’s all a part of the habit building process that everyone is a part of as we choose to do stuff every moment throughout our entire lives. You have the power to align your diet with who you are, and it’s all about building habits.
Have Fun with Food.
What’s the point of eating food if you can’t enjoy it?
Don’t judge yourself if you eat something you know isn’t healthy. Just move on and continue to cultivate a deep respect for yourself and the food you eat.
When you feel bad for eating that donut or guilty for eating a cheeseburger and fries, the stress from feeling guilty is more likely to be worse for you than eating something that may not be healthy for you physically.
This kind of stress piles up and won’t help you change habits, it’ll help you run away from uncomfortable changes and back into bad habits.
Habits run deep and can’t be changed overnight.
I’ve heard 3 months, but there really isn’t a specific time. Sometimes when you’re done, you’re done. It’s always a choice, but how much you invest in that choice is what makes the difference.
Humor and fun are amazing ways to invest in choices. It reveals the light side of life in a way that’s undeniable. When you’re laughing and having fun, things like anger and fear go away and cease to exist until you bring them back again.
Having fun with your food helps you develop new habits by replacing fear-based agreements that were getting you nowhere with new agreements that support you on your journey instead of sabotage you.
Is it Sustainable?
This involves finances just as much as it involves biochemistry. Your financial situation will determine what foods you include in your diet, just like your biochemistry should guide what kind of nutrition plan you follow.
If you can’t afford to buy everything organic, just start by replacing one thing that you normally eat with something organic.
Instead of replacing an entirely processed diet with one that’s completely whole, start by switching out one thing you eat on a regular basis with a food that has only one ingredient (eg. Avocados, eggs, blueberries, pecans, etc).
It takes time to make these kinds of changes, and how much you can afford will depend on your life circumstance.
With that being said, it’s important to be real with yourself about priorities.
What is the most important thing to invest in? Your body? Or a new car? Your health? Or that new phone?
Priorities are strong motivators and will help you squeeze a little extra out of the areas of your life you may not want to invest in anyway.
Maybe this could be an opportunity to kick that old smoking habit and use that money to buy a couple of high quality, low-toxin foods on your weekly grocery trip instead.
Maybe it’s an opportunity to try out that new recipe you’ve always wanted to learn instead of watching a movie or playing a video game.
It’s difficult to fully love yourself if you don’t love what you put in your body, and investing in poor habits will only yield poor results. Instead, you can invest in habits that will support your continual strength, health, and wellness.
But, you should always be asking yourself if it’s sustainable or not.
Balance is hard to deny. It permeates the entire Universe and is present in this journey as well. You’ll need balance in each of these areas to bring it full-circle.
Balance integrates the body, the mind, the spirit, and time in a loop, and this loop involves much more than just nutrition when it comes to strength.
In the next post, I’ll be returning to the principle of balance. It’s essential to being and staying strong in both body and mind.