Life certainly isn’t easy. But neither is it hard. Life is challenging. And the real question is, are you up for the challenge?
Life seems to be constantly testing you. Whether it is your job, schooling, social or family life, obstacles present themselves in a variety of forms. By being healthy in mind and body at the start of your day, being in a state of well being, while learning tools to navigate emotional unrest and conflict resolution, one can go through life as successfully as can be imagined.
Primal Action Health Coaching is focused on nutrition, which we call fuel, fitness, and focus. Let’s break down each none of these in the perspective of how they benefit making life better in a state of well being.
When you consume food, it affects your emotional well being1. The term, comfort food, is an obvious example of how people use food to adjust their emotions. Food, or one of the things we consume as our fuel, is a source of energy for the body and the mind. The types of fuel you consume determines the amount of energy you will have2. The truly unfortunate thing is, most people eat food like products, rather than what food is. The terms natural and organic have been thrown around so much, they’ve almost become a cliche3, and we will explore those branding concepts at a later date. There are so many different types of diets purporting different effects on the body, and they have some validity. Here at Primal Action, we follow a diet similar to the ketogenic diet4but more in line with the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet, GAPS5 or Selective Carbohydrate Diets6. The basic premise is, remove grains, improper dairy, certain fruits and vegetables, certain sugars, processed seed oils and processed food. What does that leave you to eat? Meats, fermented vegetables, fermented milk, many different types cheeses and butters, healthy oils, olives, many different types of fruits and vegetables, whole nuts and seeds, honey. By eating this way on a daily basis at home, it allows you for the times when you are out and about to be able to enjoy foods that are not in your staple diet: restaurant food, canapés at a function, dinner at a friends who do not cook primally. Occasionally having beans or legumes and rice can be acceptable, considering the protein combination of them. Also, the fact that rice is quite low in fibre content, but since they contain phytates7, it’s best to limit their consumption. Make sure you prepare them properly by soaking for the required amount of time8. It’s true that nuts and sees do have phytates, but soaking them, too, will help compensate for that. This is just brief description of food as fuel. There’s much more detail to touch on such as: water, caffeine, intermittent fasting, and breathing. Yes, the breathe of life is ever so important as a source of energy and well being.
Food is penultimate, but without fitness, you body will stagnate through a sedentary life. Use it or lose it. The same goes with the mind, which we shall touch on next! Fitness does not mean being the next body builder or olympian. Those goals are amazing and we should applaud those who diligence puts them in these categories of elite athletes. For many of us, fitness means physical activity several times a week. A combination of high intensity interval training (HIIT), strength training, mobility practice and play. HIIT is great to build up stamina and heart rate, while strength training is imperative to keep muscle growth and bone structure. Mobility practice lubricates joints while extending range of motion. And play, whether it be team sport or individual practice, the enjoyment you get from it makes all the work you out in worth while9. Moving forward, we’ll delve into different types of exercise, what is the base for primal living, and how you can incorporate into your routine.
Focusing the mind through the use of sitting contemplation and reflection is a valuable tool needed to keep the mind functioning throughout your life10. The ability to maintain focus is constantly being put to the test in a world where instant gratification occurs in notifications, where everything is sped up and fleeting, and software tech is doing much of the thinking for you11. Developing a sense of focus will be able to maintain your well being. Continuous learning is also important12. Long form reading, just having the book at the night stand and reading every night, just as what is recommended for parents to children, is a great way to exercise the mind. Perhaps nothing too stimulating at night, as you want the brain to be able to rest and go to sleep after. Discussion on the benefits of sitting, breath regulation, long form reading, critical thinking tasks, hands on learning and day to day general learning or life navigation will be looked at in more detail in the blogs to come.
3 thoughts on “Fuel, Fitness and Focus”
Hey Collin,could u specify which grains veges fruits harmful to the body.. does caffeine hav an effect too.. the post has been extremely informative to form a structure to a better lifestyle,I’m just a bit dumb regarding what types of foods to eating thank u so much.. this effort is sooo valid
Thanks for the question. When we talk about grains, vegetables and fruit, we have to think of them in the culinary aspect, rather than botanical. That means, we think of things like pears as fruit, and zucchini (courgette) as vegetable, although it is actually a fruit. And with grains, we think of rice and wheat as grains, but also quinoa. Even though quinoa is a seed.
So to answer your question, the grains that you should not eat are: wheat, cous cous, quinoa, bulgar wheat and rice. I know rice is a major staple of for some, so reduction of rice at a minimum would be best.
For fruits, stick to berries: strawberries, blueberries, etc. They have the least amount of sugar. Lemon and lime are okay, also. Bananas are high in potassium and the most consumed fruit in the world, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you enjoy that as well. Just no more than one banana per day. Try to stay away from any other tropical fruits like pineapples and kiwis, as they are very high in sugar. Also, peaches, apples, oranges, etc, should be removed from the diet.
For vegetables, stay away from these: potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips. These types of root vegetables are high in sugar and starch. Beets and carrots are acceptable, just not in large quantities. Focus on dark leafy greens: spinach, kale (if it doesn’t bother your digestive system), broccolini, or the florets of broccoli, swish card. Other veg like zucchini, squash, pumpkin, mushroom, capsicum, eggplant, okra, fennel, and tomato are good choices.
Herbs like basil, oregano, fresh chili (if you can handle it), are all acceptable. Same with spices: cinnamon, salt and pepper, etc.
Caffeine from coffee, and it’s ‘cousins’ found in black and green tea and chocolate, have a stimulating effect and stir up digestion. Consume them in small quantities, so they don’t upset your digestion too much.
I’m still producing blogs on a daily basis and will be sending out an email tonight with more info. Feel free to respond here with more questions or directly to any other blog posts, emails or social media posts I send out.
Thanks so much!