Have you ever wondered, "Why do I feel this way?" Or noticed that when you feel stressed that you are more likely to get ill? Did you know that stomach pains, weight gain or loss, erratic sleep and decrease in strength or sex drive are all common symptoms of being chronically stressed?
Now many of us may understand on an intellectual level that stress can make us ill, or may have even heard that "stress kills" but very few truly understand the mechanism behind how it works. This 4 minute clip does just that.
It tells you everything you need to know, in an entertaining yet informative way that does justice to the underlying science (which is quite some feat). Plus this powerful clip ends with some key strategies that we can all implement in our daily lives.
This video on how stress affects your body is essential viewing.
Check it out.
Trust me, you'll be glad you did.
(and it probably takes less time to watch it than it did to read this post!)
People often ask me, how did I get started with Paleo?
It's pretty simple really.
About 4 years ago I began modifying my strength training, I wanted to get maxiumum results, that not only improved my performance, but gave me boundless energy, the way it got me ripped was just an added bonus.
This post is about giving you the best possible resources (the very same ones that kick started my journey into paleo, but more importantly my exploration into nutrition as medicine).
It first started with these three books
1) The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain
2) The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf
3) Paleo Primer by Keris Marsden & Matt Whitmore (also known as Fitter Food)
Why these three books?
The first two at that time were the corner stone of the paleo movement. Slightly different takes on the philosophy and science that underpinned Paleo, but a good starting place.
The third book, was Paleo-ish, packed with delicious recipes that were simple and could satisfy the most ravenous of beasts (i.e ME!) plus it was created by friends of mine over at Fitter Food. The science was simplified to make it accessible to the general public but not dumbed down significantly that it distorted the important stuff.
Armed with this invaluable information, I then sought out experts in the field, and I even later went on to interview some of them for my podcast.
Below are essential listening if you are serious about Paleo.
1) Dr Ragnar's (AKA Dr Tommy Wood) 5 Keys To Optimal Nutrition
2) Dr Ragnar Debunks Diet Myths
3) The Anatomy of Primal Play with Darryl Edwards
Why these? Well Dr Tommy Wood is a rare breed in that he walks the walk and takes a balanced view to Paleo. What do I mean by that? He's a Doctor that actually strength trains (imagine that!) and believes in nutrition as a first line of defence for your health. He is not a Paleo fascist and always looks to research to discern fact from mythological fantasy, always asking, "Does the evidence support this?"
Darryl Edwards is the author of Paleo A-Z and Paleo Fitness, both of which are internationally best selling books. He know's his stuff. Not only that Darrly Edwards is the Founder of the UK's first and only Paleo Conference, Health Unplugged, which boasts national and international speakers focused on the sole purpose of bringing you a comprehensive 360 degree approach to health with a Paleo slant.
Now in it's second year running, you can find out more about this exciting Paleo event and plethora of first class speakers happening this month in London on 31st October to 1 st November here. I'll be speaking there too, specifically on ethical open relationships (polyamory) and their structure in paleolithic period, and what the modern implications are on a society hardwired for pair bonding and marriage.
But that's a side note. In short, the resources listed above will give you a solid base from which to step into the world of Paleo, or for those of you already familiar with Paleo, they're just wonderful nuggets of information for you to geek out over.
Plus in addition, if there is one Paleo documentary that you must check out. We Love Paleo is the one.
Take it in.
Two things most people struggle with at one point in their life, is body image, and weight management.
Are you surprised to learn that?
How many times have you said to yourself,
"I need to lose weight." or "I wish I wasn't so fat" or even, "I need to get lean."?
Are you secretly afraid of not being good enough? Not being able to get a handle on your weight management? Aren't you tired of not liking the way you look or feel about your body? Tired of trying to be perfect?
There are whole industries built on your self loathing.
Now it's onething to want to lose weight because for health reasons, or even wanting to look better naked. If you take up the challenge to do that for you, then more power to you. That's not what I'm talking about. So what do I mean?
I'm talking about having your self worth as a human being directly linked to a number on a set of scales. Take a look at these two positions and see if you have occupied one of them.
Position 1: "I've lost weight, I weigh X amount, I feel great. I'm awesome!"
Position 2: "I weigh X amount, how have I not lost anything, I'm such a failure."
Can you relate to any of these?
Now you may think there is nothing wrong with the first position, and you would be right. There isn't, until there is.
You see, they are two sides of the same coin. You are not your performance. Your self worth is not determined by your weight loss, or your weight gain. Let me ask you a question, just because you lost a certain amount of weight within a given time frame does that make you a better person than the next? Of course not.
So just because you didn't lose a certain amount of weight within a given time frame, does it make you any less of a human being? Does it make you a failure? Again, of course not, right? (remember failure is an event, not a person).
When we identify with either position we can be locked into cylces of shame. Shame about who we feel we are. Our inner dialogue screams deafeningly that, I am not good enough, I'm not worthy, I'm a failure. I'm not good enough (sound familiar?)
In her book, Daring Greatly, Social Scientist Brene Brown PhD states that "Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience that we are flawed." Brown goes on to say that research has shown that shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, bullying and eating disorders.
How has your relationship to your body, and your experience of yo-yo dieting impacted you? I bet not in a good way right? Even if not overtly, no doubt you experience moments of insecurity gnawing at your brain.
So what can we do to improve our body image and shake shame by the roots? Brene Brown says there are several things we can do, three of which are,
1) Recognising Shame and Understanding It's Triggers. Shame is both biology and biography. can you physically recognise when you are in the grips of shame? Feel your way through it. Figure out what messages and expectations triggered it.
2) Practice Critical Awareness. Can you reality-check the messages that are driving your shame? Are they realstic? Attainable? Are they who you want to be, or what you think others need/ want from you.
3) Are You Speaking Shame. Are you talking about how you feel and asking for what you need when you feel shame?
[Brene Brown: Daring Greatly, Penguin: 2012: 75: ]
Now I know the last one may be a stretch too far for some of you, but I want you to remember that pride is shame's cloak. By speaking on it to those we trust, people who we know have got our backs, we can loosen the grip shame has around our throat, and the power to influence our behaviour. This last step by Brene Brown is an important one.
And I've got one of my own I'd like to through in the mix. Anyone who knows, will tell you that feeding your mind good information, clearing faulty programming is also an important part of the process. I've created free audio downloads for you to try out. There are 3 different tracks for you to choose from, each around 10 minutes in length.
The audio downloads have been carefully crafted to tackle different challenges around body image and weight management. So you are sure to find one that matches your needs. Take your pick. Just click below.
I want you to consider this...
Sometimes, what we believe about ourselves actually has nothing to do with the reality of the
Have you ever had the experience where you thought you couldn't do something
That you didn't believe you could cope in that situation, but you did?
Then you know what I'm talking about right?
Even still, those of us that believe ourselves to be strong, chances are you've still haven't tapped into a fraction of your reserves.
Chances are, you are far more stronger and more powerful than you realise.