Diet and Exercise for Life

The Keep It Simple Diet – Exercise – State of Mind – General Lifestyle

The best diet is to keep two simple concepts in mind. There is a concentration of a core group of foods that ought to be 80% of your diet and the TOTAL exclusion of bad foods. Forget the “in moderation” concept. There is no such thing. People will eat junk food on impulse then they have to eat a sustainable meal just to feel satisfied. That is how you accumulate more calories than you need and not to mention substances that are not good for your health.

Stop trying to figure out convoluted diagrams of what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, point systems, and ridiculous food combos. Just focus on the CORE and the EXCLUSION.

CORE:
Core Foods 80% of the Time
PROTEIN – e.g., chicken, pork, salmon, haddock, kidney beans, eggs …
NUTRIENTS – All vegetables
ENERGY and NUTRIENTS – All fruits

OUTER CORE:
Outer Core Foods 20% of the Time
GRAINS – Multigrain breads and crackers
Dairy – Cheese, low fat milk, low calorie yogurts
Nuts like cashews
Beer, wine, spirits

EXCLUSION:
Potato chips, hotdogs, fat laden breakfast “links”, fatty meats like cold cuts, fries, soda including diet, canned meals (e.g., canned ravioli in a sauce), frozen dinners, white bread, candy, pastries, extra cheesy pizza with high calorie sugar laden crusts (there are healthy pizzas!). Sugary “power bars” masquerading as energy supplements and the list goes on. In general, any highly processed food most often found in the supermarket freezer sections, and shelves with canned or boxed meals. Another strong indicator of a bad food is the amount of added sugars and salt.

THOUGHTS:
The concept of EVERYTHING “in moderation” is a problem for most people. People do not keep track of what they eat in terms of calories and nutrients. Bad foods provide little to no nutrients, contribute to health issues, do not satisfy hunger cravings and are high in calories causing weight gain. Why try to integrate them into your diet? Just exclude them! That is like saying a little bit of cancer is acceptable.

What is needed is the total exclusion of certain food groups. For every bad food you eat you are denying yourself healthy calories with life sustaining nutrients. THEN you eat more food on top of that to sustain you. Those extra calories each day add extra pounds per year. Keep up the bad diet year after year and things (YOU) don’t look or feel so good. It is time to simply admit that there are foods and food groups that ought to be excluded from your diet forever!

THE RESULT:
By just excluding the worst offenders in your diet (THINK 80/20 RULE – A concept I have been using for 15 years) you have just taken a major step forward to feeling better and maintaining that perfect weight you always dreamed of. Real food tastes better than prepackaged processed foods any day. Proper nutrition helps you avoiding energy highs and lows. It gives you the nutrients to actually feel comfortable and not hungry all day long. The 80/20 (Pareto) rule is a good guide. Aim to get 80% of your diet from good foods aka the CORE.

THE EFFORT:
It takes effort, but not that much effort to eat well. Just start the day with fruit or eggs and a whole grain bread instead of that cream and sugar laden coffee with a 500 calorie muffin. Lunch have baked or roasted chicken or fish with spices instead of sauces. Complement with vegetables. Skip the cold cut sub on a white roll. Follow the CORE listings above. The taste is better and is far superior to any preprocessed meal. Best of all it does not include excessive fats, sugars and salt.

WHERE TO FIND GOOD FOOD:
There is finally a concerted effort nationally where supermarket chains and restaurants alike are offering good unprocessed foods. Buy good foods at places like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Hannaford’s, Market Basket. Look for the “UNPROCESSED” sections of the store. The food without the fancy packaging! Generally those areas are NOT the freezer sections. Spices – All agree spices are better than using salty, sugary laden sauces. Simple dishes become very tasty. Eating CORE healthy is actually eating gourmet!

The Second Component to Good Health – Exercise

EXERCISE – CARDIO and WEIGHTS:
This is the part of the health equation most people fear. They get is all wrong. They think you have to go into full boot camp mentality when that is not the case. They go out and buy treadmills and other devices when in reality the best exercise is a walk or run in your own section of town. The only goal is to get out as much as you can even if it is just a one mile walk per day. Even every other day is great! That one mile works wonders in so many ways both physical and mental. That is how I started fifteen years ago and now run five miles per day six days a week year round. There are two components to exercise. That is cardio for the heart and lungs and weights for strength. Read onward ….

CARDIO:
Walking is so enlightening. Don’t be shy to walk down your street or through town. I met a young gal who always complemented me on my runs. Yet she said she was embarrassed to run down the main street. My experience is that when other people see you walk or run they get inspiration to do the same. I get compliments all the time. People like to be associated with active types.

Running is a step up and believe it or not a slow jog over a sustained period of time is more beneficial that trying to run some ridiculously fast mile. I do a slow five mile run five to six nights a week year round. Then do light weighs for 15 or so minutes 12 to 15 days a month. This keeps me below my max BMI (Body Mass Index) with plenty of energy to spare.

WEIGHTS:
A little goes a long way. Just a simple regime of bench presses every other day with a modest amount of weight. The reason I pick bench presses is because it works and tones the arms, chest and abs. Aim for 12 to 15 days a month doing weights. Maximum time is about 20 minutes. You will be surprised with the tone and strength you get over a few months.

THE CALENDAR:
This comes under time management and accountability. I have two calendars. One for daily business and social events and the other dedicated to health. Each day after my exercise is completed I make a note. “Run 5 miles | 10 sets of presses (80 pounds) x 10 sets”; Or “Walked 3 miles” … Simple as that.

Then at the end of the month I add up all the days I worked out and divide by the number of days in the month (times 100 to get percent) to get the amount of time that I exercised in percent. I aim for, and for the most part hit 80% every month year round. I add up the months each year for comparisons. Last year I averaged 83%. That means I worked out approximately 302 days out of 365. I hit the distribution I was aiming for under the 80/20 rule.

NOTES:

Pareto Distribution – Think in terms of the 80/20 rule aiming to do the right thing at least 80% of the time. I have been using this rule of thumb for diet and exercise for over fifteen years. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_distribution

BMI Minus 10 Concept – My theory of observation. Want to be healthy and look your best? Want your cloths to fit like they ought to? Calculate your body mass index. See what weight equals the number 25 in relation to your height. That number is the break even point. Above you are considered over weight. Below you are in the norm. Lose 10 pounds below that weight and you are OPTIMIZED.

Paleo Diet – A concentration on lean protein, vegetables and moderate to little fruits. Limit if not exclude dairy products. Overall not bad. We tend to differ and feel there is a need for dairy products as well as fruits and whole grains. Paleo for Beginners: Essentials to Get Started

Thoreau’s Diet – Henry Dave Thoreau literally “Lived Simply”. He is a model of life on a higher level of thought. Spent over two years living on Walden Pond in Concord in the 1800’s taking copious notes on nature and human interaction. His diet was pretty much bread, water, fruits and vegetables. He was one of a very few individuals who were in a higher state of mind. Suggested reading is “Walden”. This book really puts life in perspective. Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition

Spartan Up – Joe De Sena sums up life style attitude with great advice on diet and “Getting out of your comfort zone”. Spartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life

Time Management – Randy Pausch legendary time management guru gave a superb lecture on lifetime goals and time management just prior to his untimely death from cancer. The video is on YouTube and well worth spending the time to watch. “Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSobr

Basic Vitamin Pill – Just about every doctor agrees that a multivitamin is in your best interest. We agree. Just stay away from the ones that include exotic and or trace elements unless your doctor specifically says so. Simple is best. The more complex mixes can actually be toxic.

Dental Hygiene – The smallest of cavities harbor bacterium that can make you chronically ill with low level fevers all the time. You always feel down. You can create more serious issues like heart problems? Get your teeth checked out! See the CDC website – http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/dental/index.html

Flu Shots – The CDC works tirelessly year round to find the most dangerous strains of the flu and turn that information into flu shots targeted at those strains. You may still get the flu, BUT the strain
you get will be less severe and a very survivable version. See the CDC’s Key facts – http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm

CDC – Centers for Disease Control – Diet Information – http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/index.html

Disclaimer – This article is an opinion. We are not medical professionals. Your doctor’s assessment of your health and well being should take precedence on all health matters.

 



 

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