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Couldn’t summarize my feelings on this subject any better than this article:

A few key quotes from the article are below for your enjoyment, but the entire text linked above is definitely worth a read!

“Going beyond the simple calories in/calories out equation, we started blaming entire food categories for our predicament. The debate recently swung 180 degrees from villainizing fats to making carbs and sugar the ugly enemy standing between us and six pack abs. Restriction of macronutrients, from the low fat days of the 1980s and 90s to the low carb days of South Beach and Atkins, have morphed into the era of superfoods in which kale, acai, and apple cider vinegar reign the kingdom. Buzzwords like “antioxidants,” “omega 3s,” “gluten,” and “probiotics” casually roll off our tongues like we actually know what they mean and how they impact our bodies.”

“…highly restrictive diets for the purpose of weight loss or performance will have devastating consequences and that we are blindly following some very bad and short-sighted science.”

“‘Boring’ eating patterns, in addition to exercising regularly and taking care of your sleep and stress over a sustained period of time, will lead to a healthier you and probably help you keep weight off for the foreseeable future.”

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If you haven’t read Resilience, by Eric Greitens, do it now!  A  No Excuses correspondence between two Navy SEALS, one of whom has fallen on hard times and self-doubt.  Greitens harkens back to ancient philosophers and digs deep into what it means to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and keep going, even when it seems impossible.  Basically, like any variety of self-improvement, it comes down to: “I can give you the tools, but in the end it’s on you.”  Everyone is capable!  I’ve highlighted so much of the book it’s impossible to put it all in this post, but here are a few quotes to whet your appetite:

“Humility leads to an open mind and a forgiving heart.”
― Greitens

“We sow a thought and reap an act; We sow an act and reap a habit; We sow a habit and reap a character; We sow a character and reap a destiny.   —ANONYMOUS”
― Greitens

“What happens to us becomes part of us. Resilient people do not bounce back from hard experiences; they find healthy ways to integrate them into their lives. In time, people find that great calamity met with great spirit can create great strength.”
― Greitens

“Smiling and breathing. These are simple things. Exercising and serving. These are simple things. Being grateful and gracious. These are simple things. Acting with humility. Acting with courage. These are simple things. Some people try to make this business of living too complicated,”
Eric Greitens, Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life

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Eating healthy is difficult, and it can be very frustrating that what was good yesterday is bad today…  Check out this take on things, and wait for the paleo time travel around 3 minutes – too funny!

Bottom line, your body needs fuel but you gotta enjoy your life and have an occasional treat!  Just keep things in moderation, experiment with what works for your body, and probably avoid excessive consumption or restrictions on your intake.  And in life.

And have a good weekend!

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…is never trying in the first place.  At least, that’s what Spanx founder Sara Blakely figured out when, as an adult, she analyzed her father’s encouragement of failure during her childhood.  During a recent interview, she discussed her father asking her and her siblings how they had failed each week during family dinner.  If they didn’t have an answer, he “almost seemed disappointed.”  She recalled one time mentioning how she had tried out for a play, failing horribly, much to the approval of her father.  In teaching and encouraging his children to embrace failure, he was delivering a powerful message: the only true failure is never even trying.

Embrace failure.  Whether it’s failing to meet your nutritional goals, failure to get that PR you’ve been working towards… Whatever it may be.  Keep trying, keep pushing your limits, and you will accomplish great things!

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We all want to be fit and eat well, but when does that eating well become an unhealthy obsession?  I think the answer for each of us is different.  For me, it was freshman year in college: The stress of everything, combined with my adamant (i.e.”obsessive”) desire NOT to gain the dreaded “Freshman 15,” created an unhealthy situation in which I actually lost 15 lbs, dropping to a barely-existing 115 lbs (to gauge, imagine current me LESS 15+ lbs… not good!)  Luckily, I was able to address the issue and have nearly fully recovered, 15 years later (gulp! has it really been that long?!?)  But the situation was, and continues to be, a mental battle that sometimes rears up in the least expected places.

Here’s a great article written by Isabelle and Franzi Ross on their family food situation, entitled “When What I Ate Made Me ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’

And another reminder about when being careful about what you eat bridges into the unhealthy situation that is Orthorexia: When Does Eating Clean Become An Eating Disorder?

Now, I’m not saying to go pig out or throw all your clean eating habits out the window.  I’m just saying it’s important to be aware of yourself and make good choices.  Know where your limits are, and respect them.  And be well rounded, in all things you do, including your eating habits!  It’s ok to stray from your “normal” routine every so often.  Just so long as you’re aware and do your best.

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^^ Dundore and Heister, on Penn Ave in Wyomissing, has some great treats for your gut bacteria!


Click image to link to Human Microbiome Project

More and more research is shining light on how important our microbiome is to our overall health.  Here’s another, investigating how gut bacteria may affect the ageing process. (link to full article)

“As part of their study, scientists working with Dario Riccardo Valenzano at the Max Planck Institute in Cologne treated a number of 9.5-week-old killifish with antibiotics to clear out their intestinal flora. They then exposed these middle-aged animals to the intestinal contents of younger, 6-week-old killifish in an aquarium. When the animals ‘taste’ the particles swimming around them, they also inevitably absorb the in the faecal remains swimming in the water. In this way, the from the young fish are successfully ‘transplanted’ into the older organism and colonize its gut. The older fish that receive the young intestinal microbiota not only live considerably longer than fish that were exposed only to their own gut or to those of animals of the same age, these ‘geriatric’ killifish, aged 16 weeks, are also as agile as young .”

Now, I’m not saying to go eating anything unsavory, but this is some interesting research!  What will the future bring?