prescription to “eat healthier” ??

Chronic and persistent inflammation due to stress, lack of sleep, and diet is the root of so much more illness than than we’re letting on. The doctor knows the answer, but will prescribe medication to relieve the symptoms, or clean up a resulting sickness, which can often be detrimental to our overall health (antibiotics, etc.). After all, would we ever accept “eat healthier” or “sleep more” as a prescription? Don’t get me wrong – get your vaccinations, take antibiotics for Lyme Disease, etc., but a cold (and more) can be best avoided by sleeping and best cured by… sleeping.

This is major gap in our relationship with medicine today and not enough people are talking about it. It’s putting (often times expensive) band aids on chronic lifestyle related illnesses so that we don’t feel a need to take care of ourselves. Habits don’t change overnight, but if there’s one priority, then creating a healthy lifestyle (even if over time) should be it. It’s the foundation for taking care of family, making decisions, and having good mental health (after all, the brain is the body). This is not going to happen through exercise, forget entirely about exercise: it’s all about the food.

Relegate meat to a side dish. Dairy and bread is an every-now-and-then. Green leafy things, other produce, legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils), and nuts are the main affair. When you cook your hands should first be washing dirt off of whole foods from the ground, a bush, or tree. Turn some music on and add some spices, oils, salt and pepper – learn how you like it. Have a rotation of go-to staple meals. Look for vegetarian recipes (even if you aren’t vegetarian). Eat as much as you want. Don’t count calories. Stop caring about what you look like (it doesn’t matter); start caring about how you feel. Have wine, have ice cream.

Pursuing health is an uphill climb that pushes you to carve out time and devote mental energy towards creating a new lifestyle (my thoughts on goal-setting) . This could be just a little bit, every day, until some day it all adds up and before you know it, you’ve arrived – healthy is easy because it’s just how you live. Invest time and money into your food journey. Health is wealth and the ROI is exponential.

i’d pawn diamonds for sleep

Nothing is more luxurious than a full, deep night’s rest – waking up feeling, not like you have to somehow make it through the day, but instead, ready and pulling in the day with a lasso: the parts to enjoy and the challenges. I just slept eight and a half hours (diamonds on my neck). But no one will put any money into selling this idea of luxury to you. You can’t swipe a card and buy REM sleep. It’s one of the most elusive, priceless luxury goods not on the market. Known to some, but not all – available to some, but not many. The investment is time, energy, and focus on getting the most out of every night, both on an individual and societal level. For some of us, we’ve got to admit we’re prioritizing meaningless things over sleep and health – late night entertainment and overworking (recognition, achievement – for our corporate, late nights: do you ever just say, “hey, I gotta go – will start again tomorrow”?).

And this is where I’m going to stop calling sleep a luxury in a sense of what we all deserve. We have to demand a better economic system that doesn’t force people to sacrifice sleep at the expense of getting by. Sleep is a basic need to feel human – get your emotions right and find the answers. It doesn’t cost anything but stepping off the throats of the middle class and those in lower economic tiers (stifled by time & stress). The ability to take care of one’s health feels luxurious, but should not be reserved for a select few. Where health is wealth, this will be an America where we can all be rich.