Be Healthy, Be Happy # 55

SUMMERTIME!

The first official day of summer will soon be upon us, and I always look forward to enjoying time outside in nature …. including getting lots of sunshine on a daily basis. I am also excited about: spending quality time with family; visiting friends we have not seen in a while; hiking (already been out on the trails several times during the past week); cooking – making healthy new recipes for brunches and dinners for family and friends, including slow cooker meals; kayaking-paddleboarding-swimming in the lake; a round of golf with good friends; a challenging game of doubles tennis on my favorite Har-Tru courts at our place in upstate New York; a visit to The Big Apple to hang out with our kids and their friends; seeing all the stars in the night sky; checking out the variety of farmers’ markets in the area; trying out a new restaurant; reading a number of actual books, and not just consuming online information; and getting in some outdoor workouts – playing with my kettlebells and other fitness “toys” on our deck or in the yard outside our place.

I am sure that you all have your own lists of summertime fun you are looking forward to enjoying soon. Hope you all have a wonderfully rejuvenating summer season!

BE HEALTHY & BE HAPPY!

GR​OK ON !

Bob
Mobile: +66 (0) 81-935-8017

Be Healthy, Be Happy # 54

HEALTHY (PRIMAL) TIPS FOR WOMEN & MEN

This week, I am sharing two excellent articles, with some specific advice for women and men. I actually sent this out a few years ago in one of my earlier weekly email communications to some of my “followers.”

These articles come from my favorite resource and blog – Mark’s Daily Apple – and I have personally done my best to follow the suggestions for the male list.

https://www.marksdailyapple.com/12-essential-tips-for-primal-women/

https://www.marksdailyapple.com/8-essential-tips-for-primal-men/

Please take some time to read and learn.

BE HEALTHY & BE HAPPY!

GR​OK ON !

Bob
Mobile: +66 (0) 81-935-8017

Be Healthy, Be Happy # 53

DIGITAL DECLUTTER

Greetings Primal Power Friends:

I posted this recently on my personal facebook page, but as I deactivated both of my facebook pages soon after this, many of you may not have seen the message. So, here you go ….

I would like to let you all know that I am starting a “digital declutter” process. I will be deactivating my personal facebook page as of today, including my relatively new Primal Bob page also. I have recently started reading an excellent book – “Digital Minimalism – Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” by Cal Newport. It has become fairly obvious that I have been spending an inordinate amount of time each day staring at screens – either my laptop or cellphone. The use of technology has definitely become a type of addiction, and it is surely not a healthy habit. I need to start making some changes ….

My goal with trying this Digital Minimalism approach (direct quote from book) is:
“A philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.”

So, for the coming two-three months, I will endeavor to stay off facebook entirely, on both my laptop and phone which are my primary technology devices; and I have also deactivated my Instagram account. For now, I will keep my WhatsApp account open, so that I can communicate easily with family & friends, via messages or calls.

Yes, I recognize that this is only a small first step in my “digital declutter” journey. As I progress with additional steps/actions, I will try to share via my website, primarily via blog posts like this one.

For those of you who currently contact me via facebook or messenger: If you would like to contact me directly, you can also simply send me an email. For personal messages, I prefer to use – rconnor7@hotmail.com, and for health-fitness coaching purposes, I prefer to use – bobc.primal@gmail.com. You will find that I usually respond to emails very promptly.

Additionally, for those of you here in Bangkok, feel free to call my cell phone or send a text message.(+66 81-935-8017). OR – you can reach me another old-fashioned tech way – on Skype (bob.connor7)

AND, I encourage all of you to follow my website: https://primalbob.com/
It is easy to subscribe to the site – just enter your email and click on the green SUBSCRIBE box at this link: https://primalbob.com/blogs/ There is also a place to leave comments, at the end of each blog post. Please feel free to send comments, questions, and your own thoughts – happy to have a dialogue on any topic! I will continue to publish regular blog posts, sharing my insights along with appropriate educational articles-links, regarding a variety of topics related to health-wellness and fitness.

I will be making a number of revisions on my website in the next few months, and I will likely rejoin/reactivate my current facebook pages in early August – possibly announcing a new online health coaching program as a special offer to all facebook friends. This will be an affordable, viable, attainable plan – with the promise of many direct benefits for your personal health and fitness. If you are consistently dedicated in following the advice/recommendations, you will gain many benefits and positive outcomes-results.

If you would like to know more about anything related to my health coaching services, please email me directly at bobc.primal@gmail.com. Helping people with various conditions, nutrition strategies, weight loss, fitness-strength gains, and overall lifestyle habits has become my true passion in life, especially as I personally strive to optimize my own healthspan – “the period of one’s life that one is healthy.”

BE HEALTHY & BE HAPPY!

GR​OK ON !

Bob
Mobile: +66 (0) 81-935-8017

Be Healthy, Be Happy # 52

SALT

For a number of years now, you may have heard that we should be careful about our intake of salt. Actually, I consider salt to be a very important and “vital nutrient” in our daily diet, as explained in greater detail in this excellent article-link by Chris Kresser – an integrative medical practicioner. He is especially “known for his in-depth research uncovering myths and misconceptions in modern medicine and providing natural health solutions with proven results.”Personally, I happen to favor various forms of the Himalayan pink sea salt, which is readily available in most grocery stores now. These days here in Bangkok, with the temperatures remaining very high on a daily basis, I will often add some sea salt to my preferred drinking water – Gerolsteiner, an excellent sparkling mineral water product. You can also add some extra salt to your meals, or perhaps use some good grass-fed salted butter at times. I find that these habits help keep me better hydrated, with proper mineral content also.

For some more reading-evidence, from MDA (Mark’s Daily Apple) – you can check out “Salt: What Is It Good For?”

So, please do not be afraid of consuming enough salt each day!

BE HEALTHY & BE HAPPY!

GR​OK ON !

Bob
Mobile: +66 (0) 81-935-8017

Be Healthy, Be Happy # 51

THE 80 – 20 PRINCIPLE / & My “TREATS”

In my attempt to consume healthy foods & beverages on a daily basis, I do not try to be “perfect.” There are times when I enjoy something that is not on my recommended list of things to eat or drink. My goal is to “eat healthy” at least 80% of the time. As I tell many who ask, I actually strive for 100% compliance, but I accept 80%, which often turns out to be about 90% many weeks. IMPORTANT – I advise that you do not strive for 80%, as that number can easily go down to 60% or less. The exact ratio is not vital, as there is a bit of flexibility as to how I approach my food-drink selections.

Yet, I do not consider these “less healthy” choices to be “cheat” items. For me, cheat is a negative perception. Rather, when I have something not considered “primal,” I always enjoy and savor the treat, chewing slowly and relishing each bite, as there is never any shame involved. That becomes just part of my 20%, as I know that I will still maintain good choices at least the other 80% of the time.

So, I imagine that you may be wondering what my “non-primal treats” might look like – here are some of my favorites. First is definitely bread, but a specific one – sourdough. With the fermentation process used in making sourdough, this bread can be considered more healthy than other typical breads like whole-wheat, etc …. And, to make it taste even better – I will usually slather some delicious grass-fed butter on top, along with some olive oil to soak it in – both yummy and healthy additions!

Other treats could be an extra glass of red wine on special occasions, or a nice dessert when out to dinner with my family or friends, possibly in celebration of a holiday or birthday, etc …. Or a nice ice cold beer on a hot day; or an extra square or two of dark chocolate.

For me, this 80-20 rule guides my choices but it does not dictate everything I consume. This can be viewed as a compromise, when fully primal choices are not available. And, I know that I will always get back on track easily in the coming days.

Probably the best quotation to summarize – “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

BE HEALTHY & BE HAPPY!

GR​OK ON !

Bob
Mobile: +66 (0) 81-935-8017

Be Healthy, Be Happy # 50

VEGETABLE OILS – AN AVOIDABLE “POISON”

A long post today for #50 on my website – a type of “milestone!” Please do your best to get through this one, as it contains many facts about what I consider a very important subject.

People often ask me what they can do to start eating a healthier diet. Typically, I will advise that they eliminate or drastically reduce their consumption of three things: Sugar; Grains (especially refined grains); and Vegetable Oils.

Today’s topic is vegetable oils, which have become fairly ubiquitous – appearing in so many food/cooking products over the last 10-20 years. I have seen numerous research articles and books which highlight the damaging effects of these oils on our overall health. I try to make sure that I very rarely consume any type of vegetable oils, which are sometimes referenced as the three C’s:  Canola oil, Corn Oil, & Cottonseed Oil; and the three S’s: Soybean oil, Sunflower oil, & Safflower oil. Others to avoid: Grapeseed Oil, Rice Bran Oil.

These oils are often main ingredients in many processed food products – crackers, chips, cookies, breakfast cereals, granola, salad dressings, bread, etc …. I make it a point to always check-read the ingredients list on any product I buy in a jar-can-box-bag or any container that lists ingredients.

One of the health-wellness leaders I follow is Dr. Cate Shanahan. She is a board-certified Family Physician, and she has done graduate studies in biochemistry and genetics at Cornell University. Her latest book “Deep Nutrition” is an excellent read!

I was listening to a podcast recently where she made a very illuminating statement – “We knew more about proper, healthy nutrition in 1930 than we do today.” Basically, back in 1930 and for around a couple decades after that, people ate “real food” – as there was not very many “fake-foods” or genetically modified “frankenfood” products – which fill the grocery store shelves these days. Here is Dr. Shanahan’s brief version of the damaging effects that can result from consuming vegetable oils –

“WHY VEGETABLE OILS ARE TOXIC”
(The short version)
‘These oils contain a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). PUFAs are unstable, and break down rapidly when exposed to chemical stress. Ever heard of varnish? It’s what carpenters use to finish wood. Varnish is made from vegetable oils, including soy and linseed (which is rich in omega-3, like canola), because these oils are chiefly composed of PUFAs. PUFAs react with oxygen in the air to help polymerize the varnish into a nice hard coating that helps preserve the wood.

Varnish is good for your floors, but not so good for your brain, your arteries or mitochondria. I elaborate on that below, throughout this blog, and in Deep Nutrition chapters 7 and 8.

A little bit of PUFA is not a problem for us, we actually need some. And when we get PUFA from whole foods like sunflower, chia or flax seeds, it’s well protected by antioxidants nature builds into the seed. These protectants get stripped away during the industrial scale refining of sunflower and the other vegetable oils, and that’s just the beginning of the problems with vegetable oils.

The refining process not only strips away antioxidants, it makes PUFAs toxic by exposing them to heat, pressure, metals and bleaching agents. This chemically alters the molecules into a wide variety of potent toxins with long names like 4-hydroxynonanal and 4-hydroxyhexanol, aldehydes, and others. These molecules are toxic because they promote free-radical reactions that damage our cellular machinery including mitochondria, enzymes, hormone receptors, and DNA.”

(The chart below from Dr. Cate offers an excellent resource list of the good fats & oils, and also the bad fats & oils.)

The following link offers additional insightful information/rationale as to why I steer far away from consuming vegetable oils: Why You Should Never Eat Vegetable Oil or Margarine

Finally, here in Bangkok and at restaurants all around the world now, vegetable oils are used to prepare many of the meals we are enjoying. When I go out to eat, I try to always ask that my omelettes are cooked in butter instead of oil. For dinner, I will ask that any cooking/frying be done in olive oil or butter.

This was a long post this week, but the consumption of unhealthy vegetable oils is a subject which I believe many people ignore far too often. It is time to start checking those ingredient labels, and being careful of what you are putting into your mouth and body!

BE HEALTHY & BE HAPPY!

GR​OK ON !

Bob
Mobile: +66 (0) 81-935-8017

Be Healthy, Be Happy # 49

NUTS ABOUT NUTS !!

One of the best (healthy) snacks I try to eat on a daily basis are various kinds of nuts; all kinds really – almonds, macadamias, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, brazil, hazelnuts – mostly unsalted and sometimes roasted, but preferably not roasted in any type of unhealthy vegetable oil. Regarding peanuts, they are considered a legume, but they do have similar nutrients to the other nuts.

A handful of nuts is usually enough to satisfy any current hunger pangs, providing healthy fats in my daily nutrient intake; along with some protein, carbs and other vitamins.

Additionally, as I mentioned last week, I enjoy some almond butter or cashew butter (or even combined together in a nice almond-cashew butter) for a different healthy snack – sometimes just enjoying a couple spoonfuls, or eating together with celery or a nice green apple – great combination and taste, also providing natural energy to the body. If I want more of a “treat,” then I spread the nut butter on a square of high quality dark chocolate!

For some more information-details, please peruse this article on the health benefits of nuts.

Additionally, this link is an excellent resource from Nutrition Australia.

I always have a bag of mixed nuts around, for when I need something to help keep me going, and especially when I travel – a much healthier option than almost all of the food offered on airplane flights, train trips, etc …. Also a very healthy alternative snack for kids and student-athletes; much better than the majority of pre-packaged processed junk available, which are easier to buy but significantly less healthy than a nice handful of nuts.

So, find yourself a big jar or a zip-lock bag, and go out and buy a bunch of different nuts and mix them all together!

BE HEALTHY & BE HAPPY!

GR​OK ON !

Bob
Mobile: +66 (0) 81-935-8017