Success isn't equated in the amount of dollars you earn or kilograms that stare back at you on the scales. It's not about how many friends you can rely on when you need that extra bit of support. Even still, it is not about your happiness. Really, it's a combination of all these things and so much more. Success is relative to you, and it's defined by your own standards and goals. One's life satisfaction says a lot about their overall 'success'. Finance, relationships, health, livelihood, the list can go on and on...but we need a balance of each of these areas in our life if we are to be a true success. The person with all the money in the world and no friends is not what we would determine to be successful. Yet the social butterfly that's living pay check to pay check is also not a shining beacon of what society would determine as a success.
You can have your cake and eat it too. It's called striking a balance. People who are in sync with themselves and the world around them, who devote their time and energy into an array of areas in their lives, are what I would determine as being successful. Yet, as I said, success is truly a relative phenomenon. Ask yourself, do you feel successful. How can you be more successful in your life? Do you need to physically alter areas of your life, or is it more of a mindset shift that you have to make. Dedicate this week to being focused on how each area of your life can contribute to you as being nothing but a success, because the only person stopping you from determining whether you are a success, or not, is yourself!
All Natural, low carbohydrate, sugar-free,gluten-free, lactose-free, paleo...these are just some of the labels you can read when you scan the aisles of supermarkets and health food stores. Yet what characterises a product a 'health food' product and what doesn't. One word: marketing. Healthy is not a fact, its an adjective, a 'quality' that marketers use to describe their products. Despite this, so many people get sucked into forking out way too much money or supposedly 'health food products' that are nothing more than glorified regular snacks. What's more, these companies are sprouting up more and more and people feel compelled to jump on the health movement bandwagon, guilting themselves into participating in a growing cult of body-obsessed, health-obsessed individuals. Don't get me wrong, eating healthy is fantastic and I believe everyone should make a commitment to prioritising what they put in their mouths. However, doing so through these quick health fixes, these all-in-one bars and powders and supplements is simply kidding yourself.
So what should you be looking out for. Here's my Golden Rules for spotting a genuinely healthful product from a regular chocolate bar with low quality protein and a hefty price tag added.
1. If it comes in a packet, chances are it's processed. Processed food is rarely better than a simply whole food as a source of energy and nutrients.
2. Be mindful of the different words that can be used for sugar. Glucose, Fructose, Agave, Coconut sugar,Repadura, Dextrose and a number of other words all mean the same thing essentially: SUGARand must be broken down in your body as sugar.
3. Fillers that bulk up the product and are not healthful: bulking agents, rice flour, gluten, soy, the list is almost endless. Don't forget about those industrial plant/seed oils like canola and soy oil that wreck havoc on your body.
4. The word 'natural' before things like flavours, colours, additives and seasoning. You have no idea what these so called 'natural' products are. Remember that many toxic and unhealthful substances occur naturally. Sugar is also 'natural'.
5. Protein bars beware: cheap protein sources like soy protein concentrate and sugar amounts equivalent to candy/sweets.
Long story short, just eat real food and don't get swayed by labels that are designed to do exactly what they've been doing: get you to buy exorbitantly overpriced products.
Follow me on Twitter: @Tommy_Grainger
For the past 3 years we've seen the Paleo movement take the world by storm. From cook books to online programs, community networks, conventions and online bloggers become practical paleo "celebrities". Yet is Paleo legit and is it actually healthy? In a word, yes. Paleo is not really a diet but rather, more of a lifestyle. Eating foods that our paleo ancestors consumed, or more so, as CLOSE to this lifestyle as possible in our modernised world, is always going to be better than the industrialised heavily-processed food that characterises the standard western diet. Saying goodbye to carb-ladened grains and hello to healthy fats, animal proteins, fruits, veg, nuts and seeds seems like a no brainer right?
I don't think it's that simple. In short: paleo is, in theory, great. BUT. And here's where I have a problem with Paleo....it can be extremely dogmatic. People who follow a paleo framework but don't treat it like a religion filled with dogma, name-shaming and guilt-ridding, are what I'd consider to be the people who are doing paleo correctly. They're the ones that aren't saying 'I'm paleo. I am primal. Grains are poison' or something of the like. Rather, they are the people who incorporate the wisdom of eating a mostly whole foods anti-inflammatory style of diet ,that is open to change and embraces flexibility. These people are the healthy 'paleo followers'. As soon as a diet becomes an identity, it is no longer healthy. They may say that you are what you eat, but this should not be considered too literally. When food becomes a deciding factor in one's identity and consumes the individual's life, it becomes an addiction, an obsession. It becomes orthorexia.
So in summary, I think paleo is absolutely fabulous and I think more people should embrace the ideal that a palaeolithic eating style characterises. However, approaching paleo as a restrictive way of eating, as a set of rules for how you must eat for the rest of your life, is far from healthy. It is consuming. Ask yourself whether you are consuming food or whether food is truly consuming you. You can have your cake and eat it too. Don't forget about finding that balance in your life that promotes true health and happiness.
Follow me on twitter: @Tommy_Grainger
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There has been a lot of debates about the effects of sugar on the human body. We're not just talking justabout table sugar here, but all the added sweeteners hidden under fancy names like evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrate and agave. One man Damon Gameau, takes the debate into his own hands by consuming a low-fat diet of conventional food products traditionally considered healthy: low fat yoghurts, juice, liquid breakfast drinks, cereal and most interestingly: children's lunchbox snacks. The results, in my opinion, are not surprising, but for many, will be quite the eye-opener. Over 2 months Gameau films a documentary: That Sugar Film, which tracks the effects on his body. Gaining more than 8kg and adding 10cm of fat around his waist, he moves from the healthiest 20% of the Australian male population, into the worst. His liver shows early signs of disease, his blood hits the ceiling, along with a number of other adverse health markers.
As a film maker and health activists, I can really appreciate the aesthetics of the film. It's not only informative, featuring a number of industry experts like David Gillespie, author of 'Sweet Poison', but celebrities such as Hugh Jackman and Steven Fry. It's fun, entertaining and an all-round fantastic contribution to the nutrition documentary field. Breaking down the complexities of sugar absorption and it's effects on the body, this is film that everyone can understand AND should watch.
More on the film:
Picture: That Sugar Film.com
Casey shares how her struggles with gluten and diagnosis with Celiac Disease led her to develop a popular online blog, amazingly delicious new recipes and promote a healthy body image world wide. This is great for anyone interested in the world of Gluten Free!
Are you happy? No, truly. Are you excited to get up in the morning and conquer the world with your 101 goals and dreams to fulfill? Yes? No? Perhaps?
Here's the thing: people's perceptions of what happiness is, differs just as much as people's levels of happiness. They're just so diverse.
So what does it mean to be happy?
The latest scientific research into the state of happiness, has focused on the characteristics that shape this so called sense of happiness. These primary factors are: overall level of satisfaction, social connections, family upbringing, health and then the external factors like career, wealth and marital status. From this, researchers have concluded that happiness is not what you might think it to be. It's not the idea of being overjoyed or pleased all of the time. Happiness is not to be considered a fleeting, short term phenomenon, although much of Western society's' conception of happiness is based on just that: materialism, career, having a long term partner.
This will burst your bubble: only 10% of the external factors like these, contribute to your overall sense of happiness.
Perhaps we need to broaden our approach to happiness to mean overall content, as this is where the research is pointing.
So how can you boost your happiness, right here, right now?
The first step is to realise that pursuing this notion of perpetual happiness is a false and lost cause. It's impossible. Our humanity itself calls for us to experience a broad spectrum of emotions: joy, sadness, anger, frustration, love and excitement. What scientists have pointed out through their extensive study across people who report high levels of happiness, is their understanding of this concept. The ability to put things into perspective, to acknowledge that we have our ups and downs, and to be resilient to an overarching doom and gloom
Mentality when times are tough, greatly shape a happier, healthier person.
What about diet and nutrition? This can be beneficial, but a balanced and nourishing eating regime alone won't result in high levels of happiness. Considering all areas of your life is the key. Here are some helpful tips to boost your happiness:
1. Meditate daily. This will enable you to better handle your emotions and shape a sense of mindfulness in all that you do.
2. Nourish your body. Whole foods should make up 80% or more of your diet. Don't be afraid to indulge. It's important not to restrict, but to find the balance that works best for you.
3. Socialise. Social connections are one of the greatest contributing factors to your happiness, which you can control. Lonely people aren't happy people!
4. Find a sense of purpose in what you do. Have goals. Share them with others, especially like-minded people. Excitement is the seed for long term happiness.
5. Be grateful. Practicing expressing gratitude will help you see the rose amongst the weeds. It will nourish your spiritual side and leave you feeling happy to be alive. This is best done through writing in a gratitude journal, for a mere 5 minutes a day!
Tell me below what you do to shape a sense of happiness, and whether or not you've tried any of the techniques noted above!
Thomas Grainger: www.thomasgrainger.info
Eating Disorder Recovery Book: www.eatingdisorderbook.info
Photography by: Patrick Lim
In this video I share my top 5 tips for successfully overcoming an eating disorder for life. Hope it helps. Don't forget to share it with friends, family and loved ones! Much appreciated :)
Vegan for more than 10 years, Jennifer reveals why you should consider being a vegan, including how to make small changes in your life to be more animal-friendly. We discuss whether veganism is for everyone, the 'right way' to be vegan, common mistakes/misconceptions, vegan-friendly living in the city, and much much more!
Food guilt. What is it? It's that all too familiar feeling we get when we regret eating something, or perhaps for some people, eating too much in general. So how does it come about? The answer lies in the way you approached the meal you just consumed/devoured or perhaps practically inhaled: a lack of mindful connection.
Say what? This isn't about yoga or meditation or any of that new age spiritual stuff, isn't it? It's supposed to be about food right? Think again. Before you stop reading out of frustration, disinterest or disbelief, allow me to explain.
Whether you are a chronic over eater, a closeted snacker, food restrictor, anorexic or just find yourself stressing about food, the commonality behind the root cause of this is not being present with your food when you eat it. That's right, you're not really paying attention. How do we know this to be the case? Well for starters, you wouldn't be experiencing that after guilt had you been present throughout your meal.
So what is this 'presence', this mindfulness that I speak of? To put it simply, it's to be consciously aware of the food choices that you are making, listening to your body to find out just what it needs at this time in your present situation. This is not the same thing as an impulsive craving. It's not about what you intellectually think you should eat or would enjoy the most. It's about being present, being focused and simply feeling into your own body.
Being present during a meal will ensure that, if going through patterns of restrictive dieting behaviour, that you will eat enough. Conversely, it will ensure that, should you be a classic overeater of unhealthy processes Frankenfoods, that you make wiser innate decisions from within and nourish your body with exactly the right amount of nutrition that it needs at this present moment. By adopting a present and mindful approach to the way that you eat, you won't feel guilty about the foods that you consume, because you'll know that you have given your body the right fuel to help it fulfill it's daily tasks. You won't have that aching regret for binging on the jar of cookies because you won't have binged to begin with. If you do choose to have a cookie, it will be for the right reasons at that moment. You will enjoy the experience and you will be able to stop at one, not when the jar is empty. Eating disorder sufferers will be able to trust that their body is asking for the dire energy it needs to continue to produce healthy cells in their bodies. They will eat to satisfaction not to a rigid low calorie regime.
It may sound stupid, it may appear overly simple, but the underlying reality is this: sometimes the most clear and concrete things are those that we overlook. Eat mindfully and you'll walk away smiling, not stressing, every time you swallow.
Thomas Grainger: www.thomasgrainger.info
Eating Disorder Recovery Book: www.eatingdisorderbook.info
Photography by: Daniela Brown
Presented by Thomas Grainger