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Showing posts from April, 2013

NUTRIENT DENSITY

What you eat each day has powerful ramifications, influencing your mood, energy level, productivity, health and wellbeing. What to include in your diet is of such paramount importance, it is easily one of the most important decisions you face in your daily routine. When choosing what to eat at your next meal, it makes sense to eat as much of the most nutritious foods as you can, since the more of these foods you consume, the more nutritious your diet is overall, just as, for example, adding more carats to a gemstone makes it more valuable, and all-cotton fabrics are more breathable and skin friendly than synthetic mixes. Choose your own analogy if these don't suffice. The more nutritional powerhouses you eat, the healthier your diet is overall. A meat-eater is limited to the vitamin/mineral content of animal products, as a meat-centric diet is defined by these deficient foods, while a plant-eater who overemphasizes processed carbohydrates (grains) and soy products suffers the dig…

ZZZZZs

The importance of sleep cannot be overestimated, as sleep is essential to overall health and wellbeing. The National Institutes of Health says:

"Without enough sleep, you can’t focus and pay attention or respond quickly. A lack of sleep may even cause mood problems. Also, growing evidence shows that a chronic lack of sleep increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and infections."

How much is enough? If animals are any indication, carnivores tend to sleep more than herbivores, with meat-eaters like tigers requiring 16 hours of shut-eye per night to the leaf-eating giraffe's 2. As for humans, though individual "quotas" vary, and teenagers need more sleep than adults (generally between 9 and 10 hours), most grown-ups require at least 7 hours of sleep and as much as 9 hours or more!

Now you may think that you are an outlier, that you don't require even the bare minimum of what is recommended, and we all know people who function on 4 or …

MULTISPORT

Fans of Malcolm Gladwell's best-selling book Outliers: The Story of Success will recognize the theory that, on average, it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate, efficient practice to produce expertise in a given field, irrespective of whether that field is chess, dance, swimming, etc. This theory was based on the careers of professional musicians who tended to start their 10,000 hours before they were even old enough to read!

In an era when human lifespans are the highest they've ever been and many are adopting second or third careers or even hobbies, starting from scratch at the age of, say, 30 or 40, makes the prospect of logging 10,000 hours (equivalent to working 40 hours a week every week for 5 years) somewhat daunting. But there is hope. A new school of thought posits that a phenomenon called interleaving may be a more effective way to train than simply slogging through hour upon hour of monotonous tasks, be it pounding ball after ball on the golf course, logging the miles …

THE PURPOSE OF LIFE

Meditation has been written about and practiced for millennia. Reference the Upanishads and other ancient texts from all over the world, and you will see that though many forms and methods exist, all meditation styles have the same aim, which is: To still the mind, go beyond the thoughts and dwell with the consciousness that is one's essence.

It is nice to see that modern medicine is finally catching on, as prestigious institutions such as the Mayo Clinic endorse meditation for stress relief. You see, it is not enough to eat well and be active if you are constantly harried by thoughts and anxieties of your own making. And through meditation, which allows you to observe your thoughts, rather than identify with every passing and desire and fear that moves past your consciousness, you can get beyond the mind, reach that first thought, which is "I am," and which is the source of all other thoughts. We see the world from a subjective point of view, and everything we see from…

AVOID FAD DIETS

Fad diets abound, and many dieters look for quick fixes to reach their ideal weight. This renders them vulnerable to pseudoscience and false claims. A meat-centric diet such as so-called "Paleoliths" advocate has the benefits of conducing to weight loss. Any diet which excludes half of the traditional food groups (this diet shuns grains, legumes, and dairy in favor of meat, vegetables, and nuts/seeds) will result in calorie deficiencies simply because there isn't much to eat! How much chicken breast or canned tuna can one eat in a day, let alone at a sitting! And vegetables are so low in calories that to digest them often burns more calories than they contain. But this type of diet contains hidden and not-so-hidden detriments that may not be evident until it is too late.

1. The excessive protein intake that attends a meat-heavy diet produces excessive acidity in the body (a low pH is required to digest protein, and protein is amino acids which are themselves acidic). Th…