Ghostwritten For: Jordan Gray Consulting
Date: May 2017
Date: May 2017
The health and wellness world has never been more polluted with info and studies on diets, nutrition and fitness fads. Wading through it all to find definitive answers is incredibly confusing. Because no matter the point you want to argue, you can find the science to back it up.
One article will tell you that soy is the worst poison known to man, another will say that it is a miraculous saviour for all humankind and the answer to sustainably feeding the planet.
One doctor will say that wheat is slowly killing you every day, another will say it’s an essential fuel for the human body to function optimally.
The bottom line is that you need to do what works and feels good for you. Find one authority that you really resonate with and take on only their advice, wholesale, for at least two months, so your body can really experience the results – for better or worse.
I might not be that authority figure for you in the health world. But after years of research, specialist appointments, talks with friends and struggling to find what works for me, I’ve seen five dead-simple, universal things that everyone can focus on to help drastically improve their health across the board.
If you were to throw out all your books and podcasts and just follow these five points, you would live far more happily and healthily than the vast majority of the people in the world.
1. Eat nutrient dense, easily digestible foods
Your body has a list of priorities for where it chooses to spend its energy. Critical functions like respiration and blood circulation come first, then the digestive and immune systems, and finally, higher, “non-essential” functions, like high-level creative cognition.
Having a clear, energized mind is at the bottom of your body’s to-do list. It’s busy trying to simply continue existing. So it’s on you to give it what it needs.
If you’re looking to optimize your mood and creativity, you need to start by feeding the foundation. Garbage in, garbage out. If you’re consuming toxic, processed, inflammatory foods, your body not only doesn’t have the proper nutrients it requires to function properly, but it also has to spend energy to deal with the crap you’re feeding it.
It’s simple systems theory: the less energy your system has to spend to digest it’s fuel and heal from any damage, the more energy it has available to allocate to other, more complex parts of the system.
Nutrient deficient, hard to digest foods are essentially a tax on your system. When you eat them, there is a hefty energetic cost. If you feeling chronically weighed down, foggy, low or depressed, there is a massive chance that your diet is bringing you down.
Replace your breakfast or lunch every day with a big green smoothie. It doesn’t need to be too complicated. A handful of kale or spinach, a banana (for sweetness and texture), half an avocado (for healthy fats and more texture), some flax, chia or hemp seeds and a handful of berries. For a fuller nutrient profile, add chlorella and/or a versatile protein powder.
Instead of adding ice cubes, which waters down the flavour, but is great for temperature and texture, try freezing almond or coconut milk cubes, or adding frozen fruit instead of fresh.
2. Drink more water
Since your body is mostly water, every system in it relies on it for optimal functioning.
Water is especially crucial to aid your body’s natural detoxification process. Organs such as the kidneys, liver and lungs are filters for impurities and toxic chemicals from the foods we eat, the fluids we drink and the air we breathe.
But without adding plenty of clean water into the system to flush those filters and excrete the waste, it accumulates and stews in your cells, organs and fatty tissues.
General dehydration also causes fatigue, brain fog, irritability, cramps and vulnerability to sickness. So if you’re looking for more consistent energy and a clearer mind, reach for a cup of water instead of coffee.
Many people find themselves in a vicious cycle with a caffeine addiction. They’re tired/foggy so they drink coffee, which lets them burn themselves out more, so they have more coffee, which leads to further burnout… you can see where I’m going with this.
I carry a freshly stocked 1-litre water bottle in my bag pretty much everywhere I go. This helps me avoid buying the sodas, coffees and sweet drinks that most everyone else is living on, rather than straight up, good old-fashioned water. Managing your thirst with water throughout the day is key in reducing your cravings for other drinks.
3. Move your body
Your moods, work efficiency and general confidence are three massive reasons why you should be moving your body on a regular basis. Along with diet, this is the highest leverage thing you can focus on to make big changes in your life, fast.
And unless you have a specific goal of rocking a six pack and 24 inch biceps, you really don’t need to spend that much/any time in the gym.
Studies have shown that short bursts of high intensity cardio is just as effective as jogging or cycling at a medium pace for extended periods of time. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is the latest iteration of this research.
Check out this total body, cardio blasting workout that takes just 4 minutes to do, and is far more beneficial than an hour on a treadmill. No, that wasn’t a typo. Four. Minutes. Anywhere, anytime. The military and olympic athletes implement this style of exercise.
If you’re a runner, warm up and try sprinting full out for 15-20 seconds, then resting for a minute and repeating. Sprint, rest, sprint, rest, at least 5 times. The same pattern goes for biking, rowing, skipping and other cardio exercises.
You’ll be able to slash conventional workout times and see way more efficient gains in your stamina.
Your body is meant to be flexible and pain free. I think everyone should try guided yoga at least for a little while and learn where the tight/tender spots in their body are. Then you can do more targeted home care and self-massage that relieves your chronic tension, which will also improve the quality of your sleep. Which brings us to number four…
4. Prioritize quality sleep
Our culture worships hustle. Sleep and rest are often associated with weakness and laziness. If you’re getting 8+ hours a sleep a night, that means you’re a procrastinator and you’ll never be successful. But while 4-6 hours a night might work for 1% of the population, it can actually be dangerously unhealthy for most of us.
As I’ve emphasized multiple times so far, everyone’s body is different. What works for some will not work for others. One brain may need 5-6 hours to go through enough sleep cycles to detox and rejuvenate, while another might need 8-9. There are also some people that incorporate a power nap or two into their day to maintain optimal health and cut down on the amount of hours they need to spend in bed at night.
Exposure to white and blue light shuts down melatonin production in the brain, which regulates your sleep cycles. EMF (electromagnetic fields) also interrupt the functioning of the pineal gland, which produces melatonin. Keep your phone out of the bedroom at night, or at least on airplane mode, and stay away from screens a few hours before crashing.
If you have the time, stretching for just 10-15 minutes will open up your body and calm your mind, greatly decreasing the likelihood of lying awake with racing anxious thoughts.
We spend almost a third of our lives asleep. If there is anything you should invest in, it’s a quality pillow and mattress. You shouldn’t be waking up regularly with a kinked neck and sore body. While you’re unconscious, that discomfort is actually preventing your body from fully, deeply resting.
Sleep changes everything. You can’t push yourself and get quality exercise if you aren’t getting quality sleep. You also won’t have the vitality to stay organized and rock a busy schedule. The quality of your thinking changes based on how fatigued your body is. Maintaining high levels of performance in your business and creative life is entirely dependent on how well rested and fuelled your brain is.
Take the time to unplug and recharge. Your happiness depends on it.
5. Have amazing sex regularly
Sexually active people take fewer sick days, have lower blood pressure, lower stress levels and less risk of heart and other diseases in the body.
Skin to skin contact is as vital to your health as water and sleep. In the 21st century, it’s common to spend exponentially more time with your hands on smartphones and laptops than with other human beings. With our heads more and more in “the cloud” of internet and social media, the more crucial it becomes to counteract that disembodiment with human touch.
“Amazing” is the key word here. If you’re not occasionally losing yourself in ecstasy and needing a towel and a shower when you’re done, you’re probably not having amazing sex.
I’m talking about the flow-state inducing, sweat breaking, dirty talking, leg shaking kind of sex.
This requires a mix of intentionality, spontaneity, assertiveness and communication.
Summon your inner beast. Have the intention to ravish her. Don’t think. Act in the moment on all your impulses. Do what the animal in you wants to do, within the boundaries you and your partner have set.
If you haven’t set any boundaries, simply talking about them will drastically improve your sex life. It will give you a sense of permission to let loose. You know exactly where it’s safe to go, how fast and how hard. You won’t have to worry about making her feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
Amazing sex is the result of honesty, trust, vulnerability, boldness and full self-expression. You should feel completely and utterly free.
Making an effort in all five of these areas will seriously make you feel like a superhuman. Being the healthiest version of yourself does take a little time to cultivate. But if you do your best here, you’ll feel your best. I guarantee it.