Ben Greenfield

Finally...New Year's resolutions that will AMP you up!

We are only about two weeks into the new year and yet a bunch of us have already broken some of our new year’s resolutions and determinations. Yup, me included. One of my resolutions this year was identical to last year: get to bed before midnight. (I am a health coach, but like everyone else, I have my stumbling blocks.) It's always been a struggle for me, as I'm a night owl by disposition and I end up suddenly inspired at 11:00 p.m. and so I get on the computer and one thing leads to another and I'm hitting the hay well after the clock strikes twelve! So, yeah, I’m pretty sure I broke this resolution on night two. I know I'm not alone. Our resolutions, and subsequent struggles to keep them, can humble and discourage us. If you’re in this boat, then, like me, you are tired of the cycle and ready to bust out of it.

That’s why I’m excited to give you some ideas of things we can to do to improve our health that are much easier to keep. Most resolutions have to do with diet and exercise--these do not! As a matter of fact, these are not just ideas or fads that are here today and gone tomorrow. These are principles to live by. I've already been slowly but surely adopting them into my lifestyle and I am the better for it. I bet you'll be able to do the same with very little striving and strain!

Processed with VSCO with x1 preset
Processed with VSCO with x1 preset

There’s no denying I’m amped about these simple concepts. Ben Greenfield is the former bodybuilder who pumped me up about them! He is strong, passionate, and enthusiastic---a triathlete, and a health coach for elite athletes. I expected our conversation to focus on how to improve our diet and sculpt our bodies for their maximum potential. Instead, he surprised me by wanting to talk about “the invisible variables that affect our health.”  (To hear the entire conversation, check out “Beyond food” Episode 57 of the Wise Traditions podcast!)

Here are the four simple areas we discussed that have been transformative and encouraging to me. On each point, I share action steps for incorporating these into my life.

Air – Obvi. Air is critical to life! How can we improve the quality of the air we breathe in? We need to go where it is! Indoor air is often stale, recirculated, and sometimes toxic (from furniture off-gassing, cleaning products, etc.). We've got to take time and make time to get outside to breathe in the good stuff! Most outside air is an improvement on indoor air. If the schedule doesn't permit getting out, we need to buy some detoxing plants or a HEPA filter to improve the atmosphere indoors. Action: I get outside daily (walking from my house to the car or from my car to the office doesn't count). I have bought plants to improve my indoor air quality.

Music – Ben played the ocarina when we were together, since he was traveling and space in his luggage would not accommodate his ukulele. Why did he bother? He’d never even played the ocarina before! He recognizes the power of music. Science is confirming what humans have intuitively known for millennia: music soothes the savage breast. Something is stirred within our spirits when we experience music. It relieves stress and even brings healing! Action: I play the guitar a couple of times a week. I sing in church.

Posture – We can eat a super clean diet, but still be stressing our body by the way we carry ourselves. Just like a car’s tires need to be aligned and balanced, our body does, as well. For organs and cells to work properly, let’s avoid unnecessarily “squishing” them, as if they were a wool coat stuffed into the drawer of a nightstand. Action: I sit up straight in the pew in church or in meetings. I take regular breaks when working (anything to avoid the constant 90° sitting position)!

Sunshine – Where to begin, in my ode to the sun? At the top of the list is the natural vitamin D that it gives us! Scientists point to vitamin D deficiency as a possible cause of the many diseases plaguing us today! Sunshine helps our circadian rhythms stay in sync, which improves the quality of our sleep. It boosts the immune system and our mood! Action: When I go out daily (see action step for "Air"), I get the added benefit of soaking in 15-20 minutes of sunshine! (And I'm not letting the cold weather stop me--the little shock is good for my lymphatic system! And at least my face and hands are exposed to the sun's healing effects!)

img_0910
img_0910

That’s it! Talk about an easy-peasy list, right? Consider these resolutions a way of life. I know I do. I consider them a way to AMP up my health this 2017! Hope you get AMPed too! Let me know how it goes and which of the above is your favorite!

***

Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and at westonaprice.org.

Surprises at the Wise Traditions conference (a/k/a you won't believe what happens next!)

I couldn’t resist using this clichéd click-bait subtitle because my experience at the conference was indeed just. like. that. It was one unexpected moment after another. You can watch an online health summit, the next wellness webinar or cooking tutorial on YouTube, but none of it compares to the actual experience of connecting LIVE with health experts and fellow foodies. The speakers get you thinking as you attend their presentations, and then you turn around and they join you for lunch! Between sessions, a fellow attendee points out a website that helps you find the dehydrator you were looking for. Your roommate tells you about her latest health hack. Each day you are empowered, encouraged, and energized. I hail from Washington, DC, a town better known for its political leanings than its alternative health tendencies. I was like a plant thirsty for some rain. I didn’t have to wait long before I was soaking it all in. Shortly after I arrived, I ran into speaker and gardener Celeste Longacre. (Don’t you just love her name?!) She invited me to her hotel room to demonstrate how to make beet kvaas. I drink it regularly but had never made it before. We hardly entered the room before she had started chopping up that beet like a Samurai swordsman! It was something to behold. My mind was blown. And then my heart was touched when she gave me garlic that she had grown from her very own garden. The conference was just kicking off and I’d already gotten a private kvaas demo and some swag!

img_0246
img_0246

On day two, I connected with Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mama. She told me that earlier that morning, she had gone for a walk down by the river. From a distance, she spotted some random guy who was barefoot and bare-chested (a rare sight in the month of November); he was walking along playing some flute-like instrument. Curious, she walked closer…and then it dawned on her. This was not just some random guy. It was fitness guru Ben Greenfield, a fellow speaker at the Wise Traditions conference!

We laughed, partially because it was so unexpected for her to encounter Ben like that, but also because the conference was just overflowing with these kinds of surprising moments. The Weston A. Price Foundation brings together all sorts of creative, intelligent, interesting people—each committed to finding good health through natural and alternative means. There was genuine connection and joy at every turn. And there was also as much to be gleaned from the one-on-one connections as there was from the seminars.

img_0464
img_0464

Hollywood producer Del Bigtree, of the movie “Vaxxed,” screened his movie at the conference and gave a post-screening presentation. He talked about how he got involved in the project and had been moved by the importance of the subject (the CDC's manipulation of study results) and its implications for our health and the health of our children. He had hitherto not quite realized the influence of the pharmaceutical companies on the media and consequently the public's access to critical health information. He is passionate about getting the movie wider distribution, not because he is particularly “anti-vax” but because he believes the public has the right to make informed decisions when it comes to vaccinations. Though he had been traveling around the country, he had never been among a group quite like ours. We were receptive, curious, and supportive. And we also challenged him to think about the role good nutrition could play in preserving our health.

That’s another thing I love about “Wise Traditions foodies” (as I like to call the WAPF-ers). They don’t just take in information—they process it; they ask tough questions. Many have taken their health into their own hands and are naturally skeptical of any medical theory. They take everything with a grain of (sea) salt.

IMG_0338.JPG
IMG_0338.JPG

So, to me, this is what the Wise Traditions conference is about: learning, growing, laughter, food, questioning, and, yes, surprises. Count me in for next year. Actually, scratch that. Count me in for the rest of my life!

*** Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and fitness professional. She is the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation and is the Wise Traditions podcast host. Wise Traditions can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and at westonaprice.org.