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The most conspicuous area for energy gain and energy loss is the human body. Our systems for handling energy management in the human body are really clumsy. We look at the body as a sport machine or some sort of mobile vehicle and consider its function very externally. But there are nearly 100,000,000 cells in your body. Each single one of those cells has the potential to either burst forward with energy, or sink to the earth and drown in sickness. One single cell that goes the wrong direction will transform into a life altering process. What has been categorically proven is that much cellular activity is controlled by thought. And therefore the idea that we should either sit in meditation with a mind that is not ready for it or go running and that will alone improve our health is naive. Our state of mind while we exercise is vital to longevity. Are you fearful or angry p person engaged in activities such as running or swimming is going to cause themselves more damage than good. This day is about discovery in this aspect of your life.
Food and diet
There is nothing more important to the health and well-being of an individual especially their emotional and mental health than food and diet. You can really screw everything up in your life by eating badly. The question is what is bad and what is good?
I put it on the table here that I am not a nutritionist. And, I realise absolutely that there are certain foods that suit certain people better. Later in this program you’re going to get to experience the concept of a constitution and that really does also impact your dietary and food choices. However, what we have to be aware of is that as time gets more precious and we become time poor we become more exposed to those things that are easy to get, easy to buy, cheap, fast and readily available. The vast majority of those things at work include bread.
Bread is an amazing substance. First, in a mass production environment it is as cheap as mowing the lawn. The products that go into making bread are manufactured under chemical control and the poor old farmer is being driven nuts by big manufacturers making bread cheap. Because bread is cheap it is the favourite fast food. We stick something healthy between two slices of bread, paint the bread with a brown colour and leave one or two nuts in the bread and call it a healthy lunch. It’s not.
It is many things however. It is convenient, it is tasty, it feels this up, it’s cheap, it’s easy to eat, and with a sniff of lettuce, looks for all intents and purposes to be a health fanatics Nirvana.
Bread and a cardboard box are very similar products. They are made from starch.
For clarity here I do eat bread. I buy that bread from a fancy bakery that claims to be organic and stokes the bread in the fire with chanting by a celestial monk. But I suspect I’m eating bread just like you.
So much commercial knowledge has been driven by the anti-this and the anti-that brigade. Especially when it comes to diet. There are the primal diets that assume our ancestors only ate hand fed cows. There are those who claim that the human species cannot digest milk. There are others who believe that if we eat fruit alone we will be fantastic, and again another troop who advocate eating nothing all day and then pigging out for two hours a day as some sort of a health program. Most of this is rubbish. Scientifically unfounded. But it does lose weight and that can be the major focus of most people’s dietary programs. Their diet consists of how to do as little exercise as possible, eat as much as possible, drink as much as possible, and remain as skinny as possible. Completely a waste of time.
The wiser thing to do is to drill down one step further than the commercial information that is available regarding diet and weight management and start to talk about cellular health. The real health we care about is at a cellular level because this is the place where disease, immune system, longevity and many of the other features of being a healthy human can be measured and influenced.
Before we go there in this conversation I would like to recommend a book called The Four Hour Body, written by Tim Ferris, in which he describes the slow carb diet. I’m going to recommend that you try this diet during the 30 day program. You don’t need to buy the book to do the diet I will give you all the information you need however, if you would like to read the science this is an exceptional book and it has also other different recommendations for different objectives.
Paul Brag, the author of the Miracle of Fasting, claims that the word fasting appears nearly 40 times in the Bible. That doesn’t make it good! However it does show that it is a pretty old technique. 40 days and 40 nights fasting I would not recommend, I’ve tried it. However I do recommend people try what is called a juice fast. I’ve just completed my 20th juice fast, each of them being 5 days long. I do them roughly once or twice a year and especially around the first day of Spring. I don’t need to do fasts more often than that on a yearly basis because once in awhile I’ll get a bad dose of the trots and will automatically be doing some sort of cleansing anyway. However once a week, depending on my sporting commitments, I might skip eating dinner and maybe if I feel it, I’ll skip lunch and dinner. Sometimes I flip it around and skip breakfast and lunch and have a light dinner. I believe that giving your body a rest once a week is really cool. It certainly has a big impact on my mental clarity.
I love the stuff. A little too much unfortunately. I love a glass of wine each night and a few beers and a barbecue. I don’t love too much alcohol or better Port it doesn’t love me. I look back in my family heritage and my father, his father, my mother’s father, my mother’s brother, my nephew could all be categorised as alcoholic. And therefore I’m extremely mindful about the potential of becoming another Walker with an alcohol problem. I try to make the rule of no alcohol 5 to 6 nights a week. It’s not always that way but this is the objective. Drinking alcohol certainly puts on weight, makes the mornings hard to wake up to, and, changes our diet and metabolism significantly. It also has a huge depressive affect on the mind. When the mind is subject to huge depressive effects it becomes more sensitive to those things that don’t meet its expectation. That’s not good
Your blood pressure is a pretty good measure of your cellular health. However, this is a very long-term measurement. There is a measure called heart rate variability, and heart rate variability measures the amount of stress being placed on your physiological body on a daily even hourly basis. To measure this on a constant basis I use what is called an Oura ring. I recommend this device to every client I have and it certainly saves hours of conversation about how things are going. I’m not an advocate of using the word feeling as a measure of a persons biological health. Nor am I an advocate of waiting for something to go wrong to detect that something is wrong. I believe that these devices are here to increase our life expectancy by managing our day and giving us feedback as to how we are really performing in a way that’s far more accurate than “how you feel?”
The other two important measures of cellular health are: Poo and pee.
Your breath might be a third one.
We talk about poo in terms of inspecting our deposits at the end of the session in the bathroom and we have two clear observations. Fluffy floaty’s or sinky stinky’s.
Fluffy floaty’s show an adequate amount of fibre in our diet which is necessary for well-being and also good healthy hydration. Stinky stinky’s are probably the result of a little bit too much meat and not enough vegetables. If 90% of your deposit is sprayed against the side of the bowl then I probably suggest it’s fluffy floaty’s gone wild and you can cut back on the fibre a little bit. That’s a pretty good daily check.
The colour of your P is also a representative of health at a cellular level. After a long hard bike ride in which I will consume litres of water, no matter how much I drink my P stays quite yellow for some days. It reveals that I have become dehydrated and what it does demonstrate is how long it takes for the body to rehydrate once a dehydrates. I’ve taken on board the practice of pre-hydration. This means on the day before I go for a long bike ride I might consume up to 5 L of water. Unfortunately because I’m not 10 years old, this puts my body under a significant workload to hold onto it and most of it gets dumped.
I know this is a delicate topic probably not nice to hear but, inspecting our deposits can be a really important part of health at a cellular level. Of course these are not the only ones and the occasional blood test is important as well as all of those tests recommended to pre-detect things like prostate, breast cancers and other all too common illnesses. Each year the Government sends me a test kit for bowel cancer. This is all to do with cellular health.
The ring I mentioned above also measures quality of sleep and I think this input to our daily management of ourselves at a cellular level is crucial. Sleep deprivation affects more than 50% of the population. The mastery of sleep is a really important part of business development and family life. If you are one of these people who was watching TV late into the night thinking this is good for you think again. Even working late at night is unsustainable. The process of getting to sleep, of slowing down, of getting fresh air before you go to getting into bed, this whole process is very scientific. This is not the right venue for displaying the science of sleep but if you look up the company who makes the Oura Ring, they have a blog and it is spectacular on this topic.
For the purpose of the 30 day challenge I want to split exercise into two different groups. There is exercise which is like walking the dog and going for a jog and then there is cardiovascular exercise which I’m going to call HIT. High interval training, needs to be done three times a week. You can do more but it’s not necessary to do more. Not unless you’re an Olympic athlete. HIT training involves 30 seconds of maximum effort on such a thing as a turbo bike, then rest until the heart rate comes back down below 100 and then doing another 30 seconds and repeating this six times. So there is a total of three minutes of actual high intensity exercise and the rest is just recovering slowly in which you can read the paper if you want. There are many different ways other than a turbo bike that you can do the high intensity sessions. Sprinting uphill, skipping, swimming flat chat, and we can talk about others. This will be important for you to give a try for the period of the 30 day challenge.
The body has a mind. In fact it’s hard to know where the mind starts and The Body finishes. If you get a person slouched forward with a hunchback their mind will go into dark and depressive thought. If you lean a person over to one side and get them to present something to you that will be a very different presentation than the one they would present if they lean to the other side. A person who is in shock is usually very very open chested arched back and their breathing is extreme. Shock is recognised by extremely long inhalations and very short exhale. Sadness and depression is recognised by very long exhalations and very short inhalations.
Sitting at your desk too long is going to mess you up. Standing up at your desk too long is going to do the same. Walking with old shoes that are worn on the heels is going to mess you up mentally. Your posture and your thoughts are one single brain. We will talk about this in your coaching sessions.
We live in Bondi and there are backpackers who will buy a burger and sit in the gutter while eating it. They don’t have a place to go home to other than the backpacking centre and they don’t want to sit on the windy beach in the sun so instead they sit often in the gutter. It doesn’t matter how healthy the sandwich they are eating all the food they are consuming is usually some form of berry juice, sitting in a bad environment eating a good thing doesn’t make a good thing good. Sitting at your desk eating your lunch or breakfast or dinner or sitting at a dirty table with papers all over it at the Kitchen spoils the nourishment of the food. But it’s not only the physical environment that’s important it’s the mental one and if you are eating while you’re angry you are making yourself sick even if the food is very healthy. In our home often with the children at the table we put good music on and we try to enjoy light hearted humour. We don’t care too much how the kids eat with a knife and fork there’s plenty of time for them to grow up and learn that the most important thing is that they celebrate their food and enjoy the experience of being at the table. I remember all too many times the dinner table was completely negative because people were obsessed with the discipline of knife and fork rather than the celebration of the beautifully and carefully prepared food. If an animal is going to be sacrificed so that we can eat surely the least we can do is have a smile while we eat it.
In Japan there is a word that describes forest bathing. They don’t mean taking a bath in the forest but what they do mean is that why you are in a forest feel like you are soaking up the air just like you soak up the water in a nice hot shower. The air quality in the world is fluctuating significantly. As you know my background is as an environmental engineer specialising in air-pollution control abatement. And so this topic is very dear to my heart. Dust particles form from smoke and carbon monoxide to create a decrease in the oxygen content and as well as oxygen the energy of air. We breathe this air and then this way we think we are actually breathing but we are barely living.
The air at the ocean is pure and powerful especially when the weather is bad. In yoga language we call this quality of air Prana. Prana is another word for Life-force. Prana is therefore what we absorb from the air and the amount of it in the air varies with the different environments we have. An inner-city environment will have low Prana.
There was a company that started up at every airport with oxygen breathing apparatus you could use while waiting for a flight. They claimed that the quality of air in these breathing apparatus to help you overcome jetlag and kept you very healthy. I tried these devices and certainly I felt energised from the extra oxygen in the air that I was breathing. But if I compare this oxygenated feeling to the feeling I have when I’m in an environment that is rich in Prana, that oxygen process is very weak.
In the Himalayas, where I’ve been nearly 60 times with groups, as you were send the amount of oxygen in the air decreases. People get altitude sickness. But the air becomes rich with Prana. So while on the one hand the oxygen content makes the body struggle for energy on the other if you know that the air is rich in prana you can feel even better than you do at sea level. My friend the monk who had never run a marathon before ran the Everest marathon and won it convincingly just breathing to absorb prana. His competitors were from all over the world but they we’re breathing oxygen. There is no comparison. I will give you some breathing exercises to do during the 30 day challenge to help you absorb prana. This is called Walker Chi.
To finish off this cellular aspect of the power hour so that you can understand opportunity to conserve energy, rather than dump it, we must discuss this concept of mind body. Your body is natures Bible. If you want to know what’s going on in your head just look where your aches and pains are in your body. Each part of your body tells a story. Each part of your body is associated with some level of psychology. Your ankles are about values, your knees are about resistance and stubbornness, your hips are about vision, your lungs are your frustration centre, your neck and back are where you carry your baggage, your liver is where you store anger and your kidneys are where you experience fear. Your physical heart is where you will hold grief and, your hands and wrists have much to do with your attachments. Migraines come when we do not trust our intuitions. And the list goes on. If you are really interested in this science, the entire science of eastern healing, I have written a book on this topic and would be happy to share it with you on request.
That’s the end of this Day. We will discuss implementing and testing some of these in your routine.