The Unbelievably Easy Ways To Take The 'Hell' Out Of 'Healthy'

The Unbelievably Easy Ways To Take The 'Hell' Out Of 'Healthy'

"Why you gotta go and make things so complicated?"
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"Healthy" as a word has numerous connotations, varying from "someone who works out a lot" to "someone who eats cleanly all the time" and everything in between. However, due to the fluidity of its nature, achieving what is known as "healthy" can be confusing and intimidating.

Learning how to diet and exercise can prove to be a difficult task. Whether you want to build muscle, lose some weight and tone up, or just feel better, the world of health can be an overwhelming one. I ask, what about health has to be so damn difficult? Coming from the guy who has been on both sides of the health sphere, if I could go back and tell my previous self one thing, it would be "don't overcomplicate things and do your research."

1. Do stuff

Woah, no way! By "do stuff" I mean do what it is physically that you can find enjoyment in. If it's running or swimming, consistently run and swim. Don't get so caught up in following guidelines that it discourages you to actually do the damn thing!

If it's lifting it's as simple as ________ stuff (fill in the blanks). Press stuff (chest and shoulders), pull stuff (back/biceps), pick up stuff (legs/back), squat stuff (legs), stretch stuff (mobility), push stuff (chest/triceps). You can figure out HIIT, sumo or standard, body splits, bulking and cutting, bodybuilding v. CrossFit, rep ranges, and everything else along the way.

2. Diet and die by it

Everything you put into your body acts as a fuel for your body-- recovery, energy, mood, they are all affected by the food you consume. If you want to lose weight, it's a simple equation. Calories consumed < calories burned. Once you determine how your weight is affected by differing amounts of calories you consume, you can figure out exactly how many calories it takes to gain or lose weight.

No matter if you're trying to gain some muscle or lose a muffin top, clean eating is never a bad idea. There are thousands of articles out there telling you which foods are healthy, and another thousand dedicated to foods and products to help you out. Don't get caught up in the hype, because health can be simple. Consuming a high protein diet has consistently proven to be a great way to stave hunger and build muscle.

The best dieters also learn about macros (macronutrients). Don't consume a lot of calories if you're not getting the right kind of macros out of the food. For example, a 400 calorie muffin from Starbucks is only going to yield a large quantity of fat (not even fiber because it's not whole grain).

However, a 400 calorie omelet made with 4 eggs and cheese is packed with healthy fats and protein. Food is an investment, and calories are the funds in your bank account. Invest intelligently.

3. Don't get caught up in others' successes. Focus on yourself.

Social media is a beautiful monster. Everyone loves to post the highlight reels of their lives on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. Because of this, it can be easy to start comparing yourself to other people. Do yourself a favor... don't.

Cover Image Credit: Austin Goodwin

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These Are 4 Proven Ways That Vaccines Cause Autism

Stock up on those essential oils.

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Let's just start with the first (and main) point.

1. They don't.

Susan in your anti-vax group is not a scholarly source (despite her hours and hours of Google research).

2. But in case you still believe Susan...

Maybe you'll believe Autism Speaks who says, "Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism."

3. And if Autism Speaks still didn't convince you...

Feel free to take a look at this comprehensive list of studies that all say that there is no relationship between vaccines such as the MMR vaccination and the development of autism.

4. But here's what you should know...

There have been a few studies lately that have shown that autism develops in utero aka before a baby is even born AND before a baby can even receive vaccinations.

Vaccinations have prevented COUNTLESS deaths and illnesses. Vaccination rates are continuing to fall and do you know what that means? Measles will make its way back. Whooping cough will come back. Rubella, mumps, and polio will come back and there will be no way to stop it.

So, now that you know that vaccines do not cause autism, you're welcome to go tell Susan from your anti-vax group that as well as tell her that the Earth isn't flat. But, don't forget to mention it to her that her essential oils and organic foods are not keeping her children safe from the measles or tuberculosis.

Vaccinate your children. And, besides, even IF vaccinations caused autism, wouldn't you rather have a child with a developmental disorder rather than a child who died from the measles?

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Part 1: Necessary Changes

One of my favorite movies is "Fried Green Tomatoes" with Kathy Bates. In the movie Bates' character Evelyn Couch says, "Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face, and I didn't like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed." I know the feeling.

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I looked in the mirror over the weekend and didn't like what I saw.

The person I saw looking back at me is petty, selfish, manipulative, and unattractive. It wasn't that I hated what I saw, but I definitely didn't like what I saw either. It's a surreal feeling, looking at yourself through a critical lens, and it doesn't make you feel good in any way shape or form.

The image that I see of myself is not how I want others to perceive me. I want to be someone that people look at and see kindness, compassion, strength, and confidence.

I have enough general life experience to know that these types of changes aren't going to happen overnight, and not all of them will be physical; most of these will have to happen from the inside, from within myself.

When you find out you are all broken and damaged, it's hard to know where to start putting the pieces back together. I figured the best place to start would be the most literal: my actual insides; so, I decided to embark on a deep-cleansing journey to get all of the toxins out of my body, from the inside out.

I found this book on 10-day green smoothie detox stashed away in the dark corner of my bookshelf. The science behind it seems accurate and legitimate. By eliminating certain foods, your body is able to detox itself off of chemicals and foods that are slowing down your metabolism; the smoothies are specifically designed with combinations of foods that help restart your metabolism. Part of the detox process is getting rid of all dependencies on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

Every day you are given the recipe for a specific smoothie; you make the smoothie (about 40 ounces) and sip on it throughout the day whenever you get hungry. Every smoothie is a combination of leafy greens, water, fruit, and flax seeds. If you do happen to get hungry throughout the day, you are encouraged to eat raw nuts, hard boiled eggs, and a wide variety of crunchy green vegetables. There is also a detox tea that you have first thing in the morning, but other than that no other beverages are allowed except water.

I know that this is only the beginning of a very long, emotional, and draining journey. But I think I'm at the point in my life where I have to make these changes. I have to put my pieces together, I have to become a normal functioning adult, I have to find out who I am. I think that this is the perfect way to start.

For the next 10 days I am going to be documenting my experiences, how I'm feeling, what my emotions are doing, and any results that I see.

Stay tuned!

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