Health comes in many forms. By understanding what matters most and engaging in your health I believe you can live a full life.
Grub: Nutrition is a daunting field to master. Endless ideas on micronutrients (vitamins), macro dosages (carbs, fats, proteins) and so called superfoods, to ameliorate your health woes. I didn’t grow up with this complexity. I grew up believing food was simple – something we did as a family, mostly at home, and quick and dirty was sometimes, just fine. My love for food began in grade 8 cooking (yup not grade 8 nutrition, but cooking). We weren’t bogged down with health claims, we learnt how to cook: tomato sauce, cheese, and a bagel, all melted in the oven, perfect! At the same time I stumbled across the urban peasant, aired perfectly at 3.30pm on the CBC. My mother let me have a crack in the kitchen and I gradually began taking on more dishes. Some of us have legitimate dietary allergies and restrictions but for most us we just need to keep cooking! Keep it simple and as Michael Pollen so eloquently says – eat foods, mostly plants, and not too much!
I guy I know, who took inspiration from the urban peasant, has a pretty cool new vlog. Nice one Reggie:)
Exercise: Last month I discussed the great advances in low back care. Many of the suggestions focused on exercising more. Awesome! But hold on – it is not as simple as that. We have to remember that good clinicians should screen for serious problems and refer on (still only about 2% of cases). We should also remember, a little rest is just fine. We happily rest an ankle after a sprain in soccer and we can do the same for a back. We know an ankle will get better with time, we should expect the same out of our back. Rest a little, gradually do more, and have confidence in your strong and resilient back – its built to heal.
Mental health: I have a theory – weather apps do very little to improve our quality of life (it was strengthened by a nice piece in the Globe and Mail). We tend to agonize over what the day or week will hold, rarely remembering when the forecast is wrong and how well things actually turned out. It may inform us to bring an umbrella, or rain pants or to wear better boots, but most of the time we can simply look outside. The advantage to looking outside is that even on rainy days we still experience beauty, not just a screen. Next time you have the urge to check your app, take a look outside, breath and experience the day. Stay in the moment and let the day unfold with mystery. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Sleep: Netflix is wonderful but it might be hindering your ability to get a good night sleep. Have a read of this article and consider giving up your weekly show for an earlier bedtime. You might be surprised that much like giving up binge drinking, giving up binge watching will leave you a little fresher come 6am:)
Thanks for reading!
And a quote to leave you with. “Our body has an irresistible urge to heal, as health professionals we often need to leave this process alone and intervene less.” (adapted from Lorimer Moseley)