5 Health Hacks to Improve Your Being

We can all be doing more to stay healthy.  A lot of us make excuses for not working out or not eating the right things, but in the end the only limits we have are the ones we put on ourselves. It’s never too late to be the person that you are meant to be. Whether it’s maximizing the dead left, or baby steps like taking a walk, you can be healthier, and here are a couple of ways to begin. Remember the long journey starts with the first step.  Start today for a better tomorrow:

 

Eat More Fat

What?  Isn’t fat bad for you?  O my friend, you seem to have stumbled in the age old trap of conventional wisdom. I agree with you – fat is bad – but you and I are talking about different fats. I say stay away from the canola oil and low fat foods. The best thing you can do for your body right now is to eat more animal fat and good fats. Science finally understands concepts that many of us have known for a long time: saturated fat is good for you. In every recent study those who ate more natural fats (animal, olive oil, butter, and fish) had better health than those who decided to get the turkey bacon and skip on the butter. Keeping good heart and organ health means you need saturated fat to keep them running at optimal performance; if you don’t believe me, I understand breaking the barriers of things that were browbeat into us is tough. However, I’m here to tell you that not only will you be healthier, but your body and your taste buds will thank you.

 

Exercise Every Hour

No, you don’t have to go to the gym every hour, but you need to move. Get out of your chair and go for a quick walk around the office. Even better do a set of push-ups or sit-ups. Whatever you do just keep those muscles working. Don’t forget to do your strength training or HIIT cardio, but you need to move, even if you’ve ever done those. The fact remains that one of the most dangerous things you can do for your health is sit.

 

 

 

Sleep

This one is so easy. It’s like asking, “Do you want more money?”  We can all sleep more and we should. People say, “Well you’re sleeping your life away”, I say, the hours I’m up I’m healthy and have more energy than you do because I don’t cut corners when it comes to sleep. A lot of us have lost the art of sleep. Sleep is an amazing process by which our bodies build, repair and optimize. The first step is redefining sleep. It’s like finding an old friend; you forget how much you missed it. There is a right way to sleep. Don’t watch TV or use anything electronic before bed. Relax with a book or just laying up at the ceiling. Make sure you have a DARK room, free from any light (I’m talking to the big LED alarm clock people out there). In a way sleep is like meditation, you need to clear your mind, focus on your breathing and relax. Get more sleep there shouldn’t be arguments about this one.

 

Don’t Eat Grains

Just don’t do it. They’re a waste of food storage, and they take away from all of the delicious things you could be having. Grains (including whole grains) create waves chaos in your gut. Autoimmune diseases and insulin resistance is connected directly to eating grains. Giving up grains has so many benefits. From more energy, to weight loss, when you cut grains you won’t miss them after a couple of weeks. As a matter of fact you’ll wonder why you’ve been eating them for so long. It’s like finally being a free man after being jailed for a long, long time. For those haters out there who are going to give me grief about this, that’s fine, I’ve heard the arguments, but in the end grains are bad for you. If you knew what gluten was doing to your gut, you would quit right now, because it’s like seeing people who’ve smoked for 20 years: It ain’t pretty. If you want optimal health, cutting grains is a great place to start.

 

Play

You don’t have to be a kid to play. Why go running miles and miles when you can play. A small amount of good exercise is better than running all those miles anyway and, the big secret: it’s more fun!  Get outdoors and take a walk, run around a self made obstacle course, throw a football or use the jungle gym with the kids. You need to play more, I’m telling you.

 

 

 

 

That’s it, now go out and find the new you.

“I eat really healthy, and if I’m tired, I take a nap.”

~ Caper Van Dien

Books You Need to Read That You’ve Never Heard Of

 

The King in Yellow is a remarkable book written more than 100 years ago. It is a macabre book of stories that intertwine over the central theme of The King in Yellow. The book speaks to the heart on the darkest matters of the heart that connect us all. From a young sculptor who falls in loves with his sculpture to a bloody rain of death in the United Kingdom The King in Yellow shakes to the foundation the things we all hold in reserve, in the darkest corners and the blackest boxes that live in the human heart.

 

The Monk is the oldest book on this list. Written in the 18th century the book tells the story of a young monk, the treachery in which he finds himself and a struggle with Satan. The monk is the father of what today is considered, “gothic literature”. This book began the culture of dark, foreboding books that speak to the heart of what we hold dear. It deals with how we long to find what is good and pure, and how we must face what is dark and sinister to find it. It is a testament to how we can triumph, and what darkness will do to those who lose the hope they hold dear in their hearts.

 

To Build a Fire is a story about loneliness and desperation. Everyone knows of Jack London and his depictions of the cold tundra in which people win glory and fall into darkness. This story continues London’s iconic writing and delves into one man and the verge of death in the wild. The image painted by London’s words is so good, it is one of the few stories you will read that will make you feel the chill of the cold even on the warmest of summer days.

 

Eight White Nights is a love story for today. It takes place between Christmas Day and New Years Eve and follows the life of an unnamed narrator as he falls in love with the enigmatic Clara. The book speaks to the poignancy of the things we say and don’t say when it comes to love and how just being honest is really what makes for the best of circumstances. It also shows that the warmest love may be found on the coldest nights.

 

The Shadow of the Wind is a book unlike few others. It is a book that speaks to all who love to read. It is a book that reminds you why you read. It is a book whose gradeur and poetic story speak to the heart of every book lover. Not only will you cherish this book for the rest of your life, you’ll wonder how you ever read so long and never found this book. Never underestimate the power of reading or of fiction. This book shows you that the power of the book is more than many civilizations.

Why Reading Fiction is a Novel Idea

We all know about the importance of reading, but what about fiction as opposed to non-fiction?  When it comes to quality fiction (paranormal romance and manga omitted) it is almost more important than non-fiction. You can learn about everything from non-fiction – the world, history, health, culture and so on – but the fact remains that fiction teaches you about yourself, and in many cases shapes you.

We have already talked about how reading is good for you and even how not being a reader may be deleterious for your health. However, the real topic today is why fiction is truly important. Fiction teaches you about you.  Fiction is a mirror that looks back at you and examines your strengths and flaws. It is a compass for the ideas you have and what you think and who you are. Fiction allows you to be someone else and allows you to learn about yourself. It feeds the imagination which is even more important.

And sometimes, just sometimes, fiction comes along which changes you. That speaks to you on such a level that you walk away from the book a different person. There are few book experiences in the world like the once I’m describing, but that is what makes it so special. The Japanese have a word, ukiyo, which means a fleeting beauty and a floating world. Books that change you, that teach you hidden things about yourself are rare, and to be treasured like the world’s most precious gem.

How do you find good fiction?  This is the ever present question that all book lovers have to deal with. The answer is not singular. It can be from others, reviews (which I highly do not recommend) or just by browsing.  Someone once said that finding a book is like prostitution. You walk into the store and books call to you like lovers promising pleasures. Their spines are supple and ornately decorated to catch your eye. You can look them over, but you won’t know how good they are until you take the time to try it. Even the scent of paper and binding is a perfume meant to entice, to say, “spend the night with me, I will make your dreams come true”.

I believe fiction will always be better than non-fiction. Fiction teaches you about yourself, which other books cannot (including self-improvement books) It is the once place where you can escape and yet examine at yourself at the same time. Books are more than just for pleasure. They are for our life. They show us who we are, who we want to be. They give us lives to live and help us become who we are. A life reading is a life lived.

“A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”

~ Will Rogers

Just Read!

This is a call to all, bibliophile or not, to read. There are few things better for your mind then reading.  I cannot stress the importance of it.  This is something that should be required in every family structure, and more schools need to be pushing it. Reading does so much for a person as an individual, that the ramifications of not reading should scare you.  Reading improves all areas of your cognitive abilities, conversations, relationship and makes you smarter. If you haven’t read you haven’t lived.

I never feel bad for the people that tell me they’ve never traveled to all these places they’ve wanted to. I can tell you I have traveled to more places than people visit in their lifetime, because I read. I can learn anything and go anywhere by opening a book. I can be anything, I can travel with anyone, I can fight battles, have relationships and become a better person because I read. I have learned as much from reading as I have from school. Reading is quintessential when it comes to a growing mind.  Without reading there is no imagination or thought. Without imagination there are no new ideas, without ideas there is just placid work and, ultimately a boring life.

What should you read? For this post the fact is that you DO read. Nonfiction gives you a view of the world. With nonfiction you can learn about people, place and history.  You can learn more than others can tell you and you will be less ignorant and better able to form opinions. Fiction teaches you about yourself. It forms the way you view yourself, the way you view others and the things that are most important to you.  Every book you read is a mirror: you see a part of yourself in it.

I have always found it sad when people say they don’t read. It breaks my heart to know that there are people who would rather watch TV or surf the internet. Even scientific studies show that people who read, have lower blood pressure, have less stress, are better educated and are better conversationalists.  Reading affects your health!  Who knew that just reading could make you live longer? There is nothing better you can do for yourself then read.  If it’s something you have trouble with I encourage you to do something about it right now.

Take a month, turn off the TV, shut down the computer and sit on your couch with a book. It may be hard at first, but I promise, after a few weeks you’ll wonder what you’ve been doing with your life for so long. After that month is over you’ll be changed. You’ll be spending your money in bookstores and not game stores.  You’ll cut your cable bill, and not have to worry about wondering where the time went. And, if you find you a twiddling away the hours reading, who cares?  You are doing something that is as important as exercise.

Here it is, you stand on the edge of a new life. A life full of adventure, characters you’ll come to love, some you’ll come to hate. Relationships you thought you’d never have, things you never thought you could do, and above all, you will be whisked away to worlds you never thought were possible, but have been there all along.

That’s it.

Sit down.

Open a book.

Read.

“…but he had a serenity that came with the choice of a life he wanted to live. And this serenity and certainty I have seen only among those who have the armor of books close by”

~ Michael Ondaatje