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Plant-Based Diets Deconstructed

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With an overwhelming amount of health and nutrition advice out there, it can be confusing to know what to listen to.  Deciding which diet works best for our individual health goals and lifestyle can be challenging.  If you’re like me, you’ve probably experimented with a variety of different diets to see how your body responds.  This ongoing n of 1 experimentation has allowed me to fine-tune my dietary choices to use food as fuel to optimize my performance.  Through trial and error I have learned what foods work best for me to increase energy, boost immunity, and feel great and which foods to avoid that contribute to fatigue, inflammation, and toxicity. “Traditionally, nutrition research has dealt with providing nutrients to nourish populations. Nowadays, it focuses on improving the health of individuals through diet. Modern molecular nutritional research is aiming at health promotion and disease prevention and at performance improvement.  Personalized nutrition is the concept of adapting food to individual needs.” Because we’re all genetically different it makes sense that what works for one person does not guarantee it will work for another.  However, regardless of genetic makeup, scientific studies have been performed that indicate we would likely all stand to benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat, dairy, and processed foods. Eating a plant-based diet is not only better for our health, but necessary for our future.  Over the next decade, the world’s population is predicted to head towards hockey-stick type growth.  As a planet, will not…

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Combating Nutrient Deficiencies

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Several years ago, when I made a conscious decision to clean up my diet, I thought I was doing everything I could to eat clean and live a healthy and active lifestyle.  My goal was to fulfill my daily nutritional needs through whole foods that would provide me with the fuel I needed to perform at a high level and recover from intense training.  Since I had never been one to take loads of supplements, I was always skeptical of the claims that marketers used to sell the newest secret to weight loss success, promises of anti-aging, increased vitality, or products for any of the other goals we typically have that enable us to become the best versions of ourselves. However, the more I discovered about food production as it exists today and learned about the deteriorating quality of what we eat, even when eating healthily, the more I felt compelled to supplement my diet with targeted nutrients.  The problem that arose from this is that I found my medicine cabinet beginning to look eerily similar to someone on the opposite end of the health spectrum who may be suffering from chronic illnesses and taking 5-10 different medications per day.  Taking all these products was especially problematic anytime I was traveling or away from home for an extended period of time.  Since it was a big pain in the ass to have so many bottles on hand, especially when travelling, I decided to try to simplify everything by putting an…

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Guest Blogger: Megan Bruneau, M.A. RCC

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6 Differences Between Healthy High Achievers and Perfectionists–Which Are You? I was celebrating my roomie’s birthday last weekend, and I got on the topic of perfectionism with some peeps (I’m the most fun at parties). After a third round of tequila shots, someone said something along the lines of, “But I need perfectionism to be successful! It’s gotten me to where I am today.” I hear this message tons. Perfectionism or bust. Self-criticism or complacency. This is a myth. You don’t need perfectionism to be successful and high-achieving. In fact, perfectionism is likely sabotaging your performance. Let’s recap what perfectionism is: Self-worth that’s dependent on achievements, appearance, and outcomes Fear of failure Fear of (and avoidance of) uncomfortable feelings Inflexible, often unrealistically high expectations Critical inner voice/relationship to self This way of relating to life leads to “pathology”–depression, anxiety, OCD, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, procrastination, social anxiety, performance anxiety, test anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, chronic stress, you get the idea. So oftentimes, when you’re diagnosed with one of the aforementioned, perfectionism is actually at the root of it. Now get ready to have your mind blown: There’s a way of relating to life that’s conducive to both achievement AND happiness! A way to still be a boss, but to be free of anxiety and shame in the face of unstructured or “unproductive” time. This tactic, my friend, is called healthy striving, and it’s everything (Sidebar: I didn’t come up with this term. If I had it my way, I’d call it “Badassery,” but I have a hard enough time…

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The Meaning of L.Y.F.E

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LYFE.  What does it mean?  Why are we here?  What is our purpose?  These are the questions that mankind has struggled with since the dawn of time.  I’m no enlightened philosopher, but the common consensus is that, put simply, life is the pursuit of happiness.  The key word being pursuit, which means the action of following or chasing someone or something; to continue along a path.  In other words, “life is about the journey, not the destination.”  So the question really becomes, what can we do each waking moment to give us the happiness that we so desire?  It’s simple really, the meaning of LYFE is to “Live Your Fullest Everyday.” This means different things to different people.  For me, it means waking up with energy, investing in my health, striving for constant growth and improvement, embracing change, doing things I enjoy, and spending time with the people I love.  These are the things that give me purpose, provide a sense of fulfilment, and make me feel alive.  In my personal journey I have found that there is one underlying factor that significantly impacts everything else; my health.   It’s ironic that the one thing that is so fundamental to our livelihood is something that most of us know so little about.  There are so many conflicting messages on how to live and eat healthily.  Each new year brings about another fad diet, fitness trend, or newly discovered supplement that claims to be the secret to looking and feeling great.  The…

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