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Striving for a HEALTHY and HAPPY life can be really confusing at times.
We read about great habits to acquire. Some are even touted as MIRACLE SOLUTIONS at times.
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away"...Right?
In the end, even GOOD HABITS can become RUIN if taken out of context.
And here are the ones that have really REALIZED ME in the past.
Disclaimer: None of the following content is intended to replace medical advice. Always consult a physician before making any lifestyle changes that could affect your health. See our legal notice for more information.Here.
1. Eat fruits every day
As a kid, I really did NOT like healthy food. I just liked pasta, bread, chocolate... basically unhealthy carbs.
I had a hard time eating vegetables, and even most fruits didn't really interest me.
Fortunately though, my eating habits started to change in my teens.
Since the FRUITS were so sweet, I found them easier to eat regularly than vegetables. And I was very optimistic about the fact that this was a big step towards healthier living.
Of course it wasn't entirely wrong. Fruits contain a number of nutrients and elements (vitamins, minerals, etc.) that are really useful for us.
HOWEVER, I have since experienced the BENEFITS of including a few "FRUITS-FREE INTERNSHIPS" throughout the year.
I've had several food related health issues and if you're interested in reading more about them, here are some articles where I share some of my stories about them:
- The 5 Stages of the Bad Sugar Cycle: How Sugar Makes Me Sick
- 7 Reasons I'm Quitting Sugar (And You Should, Too)
- 90 Day Wildfit Challenge: An Honest Review
I went to several doctors and had many tests. I have been advised to try different diets that always cut out REFINED SUGAR at least.
Some of these diets even eliminated MOST SUGARS for a limited time.
And what I've learned for myself is that it CAN BE REALLY GOOD to go without fruit for at least a few days every now and then. Of course, you must eat a very healthy diet (eg tons of veggies) to really feel the benefits of such periods.
But the body seems used to having FOOD CYCLES. And we certainly didn't always have an abundance of fruit a few hundred years ago.
So, in my personal opinion, there are several reasons why you should omit fruits from time to time:
Revealing a possible intolerance to FRUCTOSE.
Our body can only process a certain amount of fructose in a day. It would be hard to reach that limit just by eating fruit. In fact, you would have to go WAY beyond the 2-3 fruit a day recommendation to get to that point.
Unfortunately, many processed foods have replaced refined sugar with fructose. It can be very difficult to keep track of the amounts consumed.
By cutting out fruit for at least a few days (and eating healthier), you can see if you're generally feeling better and have more energy.
Provoking a transient phase of KETOGEN.
Supposedly, our bodies are used to different cycles that historically depend on the seasons.
And these were the most likely:
- low calorie intake phases (e.g. winter when food must have been scarce),
- low-sugar phases and
- High-sugar periods (when sweet fruits and vegetables were ripe and readily available).
Well, I don't know about you, but I certainly did NOT experience low sugar in my early 30s... Our modern diet is pretty sugar intensive.
This means that our body's FAT BURNING MODE (or ketogenesis) is never triggered.
By cutting back on sugar once in a while, you are giving your body a chance to go into KETOGENESIS. This process appears to allow your body to cleanse or repair itself in addition to its fat burning effects.detox, if you want.
Help your taste buds change.
I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't experienced it myself.
Cut sugar for a few weeksit really changed the taste of the food.
A simple CUCUMBER looked super cute. All vegetables have a more intense flavor.
In some cases, you even like food that you used to hate.
It causes a change in your desire.
That was a huge game changer for me. I've always been SOOOaddicted to SUGAR. But it was killing meVERY ILLSo I had to find a way out.
and it's her90 day wildfit challengeit really pushed me forward. He addresses the whole issue of SUGAR ADDICTION both on a rational level and on a more emotional or even subconscious level.
It made me realize that it's hard to properly change your sugar cravings when you're eating it every day... It's a bit like a smoker noticing the cigarette but in the smokers section every few hours.
But that doesn't mean you should give up sugar and especially FRUITS forever. No way. But you can give your body a chance to develop other gut bacteria and put off your cravings by taking a temporary break.
2. Exercise every day
"DO SPORTS" is one of those traditional HEALTH MANTRAS that can easily be taken too far.
And I can certainly plead SUPER GUILTY here.
I used to think that SPORT is the ANSWER and the CURE for everything.
Do you want to lose weight, be healthier or have more stamina? Need to de-stress? Want to give your brain an energy boost?
To all these questions, I have ONE answer: GO FOR A MORNING RUN every day.
And it doesn't matter if you're an avid runner like me OR you play other sports, every day, all the time, as a cure-all for anything and everything.
The fact is: YOUR BODY NEEDS A REST TOO!
If you are a sports fanatic or plan to become one, consider the following:
- Your performance will increase faster and faster if you give your body a break regularly (at least once or twice a week).
- Doing the same move over and over again can harm you. Consider VARIOUS activities. You can do an “exercise” one day and walk or stretch the next.
- SPORT is NOT the answer to everything. Are you trying to compensate for something else that you might not be doing right in life?
That last question turned out to be crucial for me.
I realized that my SPORTMANIA was mainly caused by:
- the need to release incredible amounts of accumulated stress.
- the need to compensate for bad eating habits.
And I know some of you are going to start ROLLING YOUR EYES. I used to do this too when people criticized my athletic lifestyle.
Until I finally ended up with bad knees.
It got me thinking. And looking back, I really feel that way...
EVERYTHING I DO IN EXCESS IS TO MAKE SOMETHING PAYABLE.
What is your position on this?
3. Read before bed
There is! Here's an unexpected one.
Isn't reading the BEST thing before bed?
Literally EVERYONE says a good book should always be within reach on your bedside table.
But is it always true?
A few years ago I tried to implement this excellent and healthy habit.
And since I love learning languages, I decided that I would try to read just a few phrases in Russian or Greek before bed.
So I had a Greek children's book and a bilingual Russian novel on my bedside table, ready to eat.
I reached out and went to get the Greek book. I started reading and to my surprise, I understood more than I thought. This beautiful language fascinated me and every sentence I read only enlivened this PASSION.
I was so excited about my progress that I started looking for more words and digging deeper into the story.
10 minutes later, I was FULLY AWAKE. Like I just had coffee, if not worse.
That's when I realized that READING (ANYTHING EXCITING) BEFORE SLEEP is NOT a good idea.
A good friend of mine had a similar experience as a teenager when he first read HARRY POTTER.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT READING if you want to fall asleep soon...
4. Drink green tea at night
About 10 years ago I had to face severe panic attacks. They came out of nowhere and quickly grew to a level I never thought possible.
To cope, I started reading about other people's experiences. I tried to gather all the facts and tricks I could to help me get out of this fear trap.
Then I read about CAFFEINE. Because this substance makes your heart beat faster and increases your nervousness, it can be a big trigger for panic attacks.
I wasn't a big coffee drinker, but MY first panic attack was definitely triggered by DOUBLE very strong homemade coffee.
But after reading some posts on the subject, I realized that IT'S NOT JUST COFFEE that produces this effect.
Certain teas, INCLUDING GREEN TEA, will wake you up.
So it's not a good idea to overload them at night...
5. Be humble
Humility is often seen as a very valuable character trait.
And I used to think of it as the most important virtue to have. Because I can't stand pretentious people.
BUT being EXCESSIVELY humble WILL STOP you.
There are many ways in which one can be modest and humble.
For example, you could simply decide NOT to MENTION any of your accomplishments or how many possessions you have when that would be a good conversation starter.
This is an attitude that, in fact, I consider quite positive, depending on the situation.
It is good practice NOT to ALWAYS spill everything you have to say in each group discussion. Especially when it might make someone uncomfortable because they seem to have achieved less than you in the matter.
BUT, on the other end of the spectrum, some people tend to REFUSE ALL COMPLIMENTS out of humility.
If you are one of them, YOU ARE SAYING TOO MUCH and could harm your own personal development.
I need to know this because excessive modesty used to be one of my character traits.
In high school, I was a straight-A student, but I refused to see myself that way.
I would always say "Oh, I was lucky" or "I'm sure I'll get a bad grade next time".
If others called me "very smart," I would blush and dismiss the compliment. Saying that my IQ was probably no more and no less than anyone else's.
And indeed, I would refuse to acknowledge my strengths and abilities AT ALL.
That means that even INSIDE I started to believe that I wasn't worth much.
HUMBLE means to be humbleBe verbally cautious about your ability to reach. Essentially, you are signaling DOUBT, even to yourself.
And it took me YEARS to figure out how I was hurting myself without knowing it by being too humble.
I had to go through one of my lowest points in my life to realize that.
When I started having panic attacks because I was afraid of letting my bosses down at work. Because I had internally convinced myself that I couldn't do a job as well as my bosses made it out to be.
They told me I was AMAZING but I just couldn't believe it. So I thought, "You're going to be disappointed, I can't live up to the expectations you have of me."
That's when I realized how important a healthy dose of self-confidence is.
And that being too humble IS NOT A VIRTUE. It's a lie. And it is an obstacle to your personal growth.
6. Make sure you never get cold
I think, like me, you've heard many times to wear warm clothes to avoid freezing in winter.
My grandma was always embarrassed if I went out with wet hair. "You'll get cold and sick!" she would say.
All of this really got me thinking that GETTING A COLD is the same as GETTING SICK.
However, I only questioned this when I looked at the SAUNA practice. Usually, after 10 or 15 minutes of hot sweat in the sauna, it's best to GET INTO A VERY COLD POOL for at least a few seconds.
I spent a few weeks in a small Icelandic village and the people there told me that they often let their babies sleep in strollers, even when the weather is VERY COLD. While enjoying a good coffee and chatting with a friend indoors in the cozy and cozy cafe.
And they laughed at how often tourists get scared. Feeling the need to "save" the child, they run inside to ask if anyone has forgotten the baby.
But in fact, Icelanders told me that babies sleep much better outdoors. They are warm enough and the cool, fresh air just makes them sleep better and sounder...
Is cold sometimes good and sometimes bad?
I now believe that we have become VERY COMFORTABLE in our western societies.
We've become so used to living in a PERFECT TEMPERATURE environment that we get scared every time we're cold.
And I'm a firm believer that it's even more of a mental mindset than anything else.
If you think the COLD IS GOING TO BLOW YOU OUT, it probably will. But if you see it as something that makes you stronger, you'll probably do it again.
It's atThe Wim Hof method* seems to partially confirm this. Wim Hof, also known as ICEMAN, has developed a method based on cold exposure, breathing exercises and meditation that allows him to be exposed to EXTREME COLD with no noticeable effects on his body.
In fact, his health appears to have improved IMPRESSIVELY with exposure to the cold.
The story and case of Wim Hof fascinates me because for some time SCIENTISTS did not believe in the authenticity of his achievements. They thought it was a scam.
Until they were invited to carry out experiments and measurements of their abilities. Scientists had to recognize that Wim Hof was able to survive situations that they considered IMPOSSIBLE and deadly.
Even a little exposure to cold is beneficial.
But you don't have to go to these extremes to reap the benefits of the cold.
Here are some easy-to-implement practices that will help you reap the benefits of cold exposure:
- Lower the room temperature a little at home or at work.
- Take a 5-minute hot shower instead of a cold one every minute.
You can start with just a few seconds of cool and increase the ratio until you reach a ratio of 20 seconds of cool to 10 seconds of heat.
- Take the opportunity to take a long walk when it's cold outside.
You can start by wearing warm clothes, but you can try to increase your exposure to the cold a little over time. I made it simply by wearing leggings to hike in the mountains this winter. However, I still wore warm shoes and a thick jacket, scarf and hat.
- Make sure your room temperature is low enough (between 60-68°F or 16-19°C).
It will help you sleep better, and it will also have a positive effect on your health.
7. Watch the news every day
Growing up, I thought WATCHING THE NEWS on a daily basis was a sign of high education and even a MUST for any half-cultured adult out there.
It's important to know what's going on out there in the world, right?
They want to be informed of all the political and economic details in the daily NEWS. Otherwise, people will look at you like you're from another planet.
Well then I'm a weirdo. Because I totally gave upWATCH LATERTHE NEWS.
And this is for my own sanity.
It was all triggered by ONE job interview.
I took a year off to travel and stopped watching and reading the news every day. Until I started preparing for an interview.
I felt that my lack of knowledge of what happened in the world over the past 6 months would be a huge disadvantage.
So I started reading TV news and podcast.
It didn't take long for ANGST, STRANGE FEARS and PESSIMISM to take over.
Fortunately, I quickly realized WHY this was happening and decided to do NOTHING.RESPECTNEWS more.
I resorted to MORE RELIABLE and emotionally NEUTRAL sources of information, such as weeklies. And I found that using written sources of information worked best for me.
I am highly sensitive and PHOTOS turn me on a lot.
By regulating the amount and sources of news I consume, I've managed to improve my mood and mental health A LOT.
8. Wash yourself
It's only been a few weeks since I had a great and interesting interview with a German dermatologist, Dr. Yael Adler, heard.
In an interview, she explains that our SKIN naturally does ALL the WORK for us.
Our skin is capable of cleaning itself. Produces natural defenses against dryness and dirt. And of course it also prevents us from smelling bad, as long as we wear clean clothes.
There is no need to use creams, oils or even soap. At least while bathing.
Dr Yael Adler explains how daily washing of the body and skin with SHOWER GEL or SOAP DESTROYS this natural ecosystem.
According to her, the only reason we use soap on our skin regularly is to WASH OUR HANDS after using the restroom or being in a public area. And that's because the diversity of bacteria is TOO HIGH for our bodies to fight them naturally (as we could easily have done in a small strain with a regular pool of bacteria).
I found this whole subject fascinating and decided to read both of her books over the next few weeks. They are only available in German, so I'll keep you updated on more lessons learned here in English...
9. Waking up at 5 am...
This strange rumor is circulating on many blogs and channels that waking up at 5 am gives you instant magical powers.
If you wake up at 5 am tomorrow, it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
I've done this in the past. I've had some phases in my life where I've woken up so early (sometimes even earlier) every day for a few weeks or months.
And I admit that it definitely CHANGED MY LIFE.
But not always for the better.
Here are some pros and cons I discovered about this UNICORN HABIT:
Waking up at 5 am is good because...
- You wake up feeling ahead of the game.
It gives you a mental boost. You feel like you can do so much more. Instead of waking up around 10 or 11 am and feeling like the whole world has done a lot while you napped.
- The CALM and CALM around you make it easy to focus on a task.
This is especially true if you live in the city. The 5am to 6am or 7am time zone is much quieter than anything that happens after that, at least until 9pm or 10pm.
- You have TOTAL MENTAL CLARITY.
you just woke up As long as you've had a good night's sleep, your brain will be clearer than if you were trying to complete a task later in the day.
BUT WAKE UP AT 5 AM IS VERY BAD BECAUSE…
You will end up sacrificing your social interactions OR your SLEEP. And in the worst case, BOTH.
If I regularly need 8 hours of sleep for long-lasting well-being and I want to get up at 5 am every day, I must SLEEP EVERY DAY around 9 pm.
21 watch. I'm not kidding.
And this is exactly the moment when I must immediately SLEEP. To be realistic, I should probably be in bed by 8:30pm!
In most cases this leaves me VERY LITTLE time with my partner, friends or family.
Of course this might be different for you.
But in my case I started to see less of my friends AND I got more tired.
Instead, what I tried to do was CHANGE MY MIND.
I started to wonder WHY waking up at 7am would be a bad thing? And my conclusion was that it is NOT.
It's all about the mindset. If you believe YOUR LIFE IS A RACE, you will always feel like you are BEHIND.
Be kind to yourself and GIVE YOUR BODY the sleep it needs and your HEART the social time it needs FIRST.
10. Watch documentaries
One of mineNew Year's Resolutions This Yearwas to stop watching series and drastically reduce TV time.
BUT I made an exception. I've decided DOCUMENTARY or documentary type TV is good. Because they teach me something.
I still feel this is a good rule to follow.
However, a few days later I realized HOW ADDICTED TO TV.
I started watching A LOT OF DOCUMENTARY JOURNEYS. I found that I spent almost the same amount of time on TV as I did on NETFLIX, it was just that the type of content I watched was like thisanders.
Documentaries have become so enticing that it's almost like watching a movie.
And that's okay. I still prefer spending time like this to watching endless series and feeling like I'm just entertaining myself for hours, but in an unhealthy way.
However, pay attention to your overall TV consumption. Even if you are learning something, WATCHING TELEVISION is a VERY PASSIVE ACTIVITY. And studies have shown that excessive TV watching (more than 3 hours a day on average) at ANY AGE leads to negative health outcomes.
So don't be fooled and watch the IN TEMPERANCE documentaries.