Improving Metabolism With Intermittent Fasting

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Chances are that if you read this blog, you live in a developed country. Food is readily available.

Look around you. There is plenty of food. Plenty is not the right word. We love food. We swim in food. We adore food so much we have large, humongous signs outside. We have *temples* dedicated to food on every block. Our love life is around food. We give food to others to show how much we care. Or we deprive kids of food to punish them. We bestow moral values to food and our whole belief system is centered on the idea that food, or more food, is always good.

Continue reading “Improving Metabolism With Intermittent Fasting”

Learning from Ancient Practices

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When I was in high school, I was fascinated by ancient history.

The Egyptians built massive pyramids, lavish temples and invented hieroglyphs, amongst other amazing inventions. I remember being awed by how they could get the resources together for these undertakings.

The Greeks invented philosophy and built the foundations of Europe. Between city wars, they had time for sculptures, poetry and Olympiads.

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Winter is a Great Time for Home Exercises

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There’s only snow and freezing rain outside. It’s also dark, cold and windy.

This makes you want to hibernate at home for the winter and only wake up to the gentle spring.

Fortunately, there are lots to do there during the winter! Here’s my selection of ideas for home winter training:

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Goals for 2017

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Happy New Year !

My goal for 2016 was simple : get back into exercise, be lean again, and clean up diet.

I got with a group of friends to start running during the summer, and do routinely 35 km per week (5k, 10k, and 21k). The performance were good.. until it started snowing. Surprisingly, I like running in the snow in the woods. It’s a good time to reset the clock and I feel fresh after the run… although completely frozen.

Weight is under control, leaner than my martial art days. That’s something I’m not going to complain about.

For diet, I stopped eating processed foods and 90% of my foods come from cooking. Of course, there are foods like chocolate, soya products or bread that I can’t make at home. But the whole adventure has been fun: discovering all kinds of vegetables and fruits, knowing how to prepare them, and experiment with different recipes.

The year wasn’t perfect. I had to go a dozen times to the dentist, for cavities I delayed. This is extremely costly in Canada, where health insurance doesn’t cover dental costs. I’m still learning how to control blood sugar. Oh good times 🙂

The new year is upon us – and it’s time to start fresh. An opportunity to start new projects, to look forward, and reach for the stars. Because why not. Better be young, hungry and scrappy.

My goals for 2017 are simple: train for a marathon (amongst others), continue sharing good knowledge here, and continue working on applications and platforms like OutcomeReference. I hope to share the journey here and create a good community along the way. I also hope you succeed in your goals and have a happy, healthy 2017!

Of course, these goals won’t be possible without good foundations. When people start a new year, it’s about joining a gym and start lifting weights. Or join an aerobics class. Or maybe trying a new diet. If I have a suggestion, it’s to take a holistic view and remember that exercise alone won’t solve health issues. All these make a good foundation:

  • Moderate exercise (a good 90mn per week) will burn the fat, give you energy, and improve your immune system. Simply you can’t do without.
  • Diet is the response to any weight issues (and probably many other issues). If any doubt, look at the Mediterranean diet: olive oil, legumes, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and the occasional fish
  • Manage your stress. Stress can wreak havoc in your circadian rhythms, make you age faster, and make your life miserable, without you knowing it. Listen to music, take one or two hours completely off every week, spend time with friends.
  • And be conscious of environmental factors like indoor air pollution or chemicals exposure.

Of course, you can do more than these bare minimum foundations. If you have interesting ideas for 2017, let me know !

There Are No Shortcuts To Good Health

It’s extraordinary what you can find on the Internet: weight-loss pills, miraculous teas, physical performance supplements, or anti-aging pills.

You don’t even have to go deep. A quick search on Amazon will show hundreds of products, many with good reviews.

When someone has bad health, it’s very tempting to get one of these and believe you will get rid of symptoms quick. The reality is that the supplements industry is not regulated by governments. Anyone can call themselves a supplement designer, mix baking powder with pesticides (USA Today article), fool people with marketing tricks, and totally get away with it. There are simply no rules and it’s not far from snake oil salesmen in the 19th century.

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Good Stress and Bad Stress, Part III

Before going further, I would like to thank all readers.

This site began only recently but it has already a good variety of articles on nutrition, exercise, mental health, rest & recovery and more. There are >5500 followers from over 50 countries. More importantly, a special thank you to those who take the extra step to comment. Every comment makes it worthwhile, and gives me more reason to care. My long term goal is to create a solid community around the art of healthy and happy living. I now see a clear way to achieve this both online and offline. So again, thanks for being there! I’ll make sure to make it a worthwhile journey 🙂

Now back to our series about good and bad stress.

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Exercising doesn’t have to be expensive

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2016 has been the year of the smart watch for me. I got an Apple Watch sports (~$400) and then got two GPS sports watches (more than $1k total). That’s a lot of expensive watches in the same year!

I already wrote a review of the Apple Watch and then made a complete guide of GPS sports watches. Go read them if you haven’t yet!

Let me be clear though: if sports watches help you train, you don’t need a GPS sports watch to exercise. Actually you really don’t need any expensive gear to exercise and have fun.

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Healthy Food Options For The Holiday Season

Year after year, the holiday season is an opportunity to catch up with friends, rejoice and exchange gifts from with friends and family.

On a personal level, I see the holiday season as an important reminder of the cycle of life. We are so often invested in our work and daily routine that we can forget that time slowly passes by, season after season. I stop, look around, realize how much it changed and then feel thankful that I’m here, with so many good things ahead.

In more practical terms, the holiday season is also a season of indulgence. It’s not just the extra pounds but the poor nutritional value of the food and beverages. I have a few recommendations you can look into:

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Looking out for each other

I’m going to make this quick.

It’s trendy to work on a beach in Thailand or in Bali for the winter.

It’s acceptable to move out to another city for your dream job. Not a lot of people think about it twice.

It’s fashionable to travel around the world and move around with just a backpack.

It’s ok to travel all the time and go see customers and prospects all around the country.

We fulfill our quest for self actualization.

That’s the American Dream and that’s what favorite Instagrammers and Youtubers like to talk about.

We lose out though on one important thing: having people around us who care.

I think this is something that’s rarely talked about and underestimated.

Have people around you who look out will help you when you move out with the heavy boxes. They will encourage you to see the doctor when you are coughing blood or when you have to go through a chemo session. They will also be there to support when you lose your job – knowing that otherwise you will finish that bottle of vodka and be filled with sadness. They will hug you when you’re going through a rough time with your spouse.

Looking out for each other is not as fashionable as getting a new iPhone. It’s not as exciting as going for a trip to Indonesia. But it might save your life next time you are faced with a challenge. And it will make you happy.

So if you want to spend 6 months to be a digital nomad, what if instead the better option is investing time and attention in friends? Inviting friends for a dinner at home and caring for them is less expensive than the air ticket and it will be definitively worth it in the long term.

This is true today. And it will still be true in 10 years.

So Look out for each other!