I know this is a day late, but it’s 2024 now and we all have a chance to make some changes. I’ve never been a big proponent of New Year’s resolutions, but I did want to share some of the things I’ve been doing for personal and physical health. Some of these are not new – in fact, most of them aren’t – but I have started to refocus on some of these items.
I’m also wondering what some of you are doing. Perhaps we can learn from each other.
For the past few years, I have mostly switched to a low-carb diet. Chips, cookies, bread, even potatoes have largely gone away. I did have some Doritos at a holiday party and had my fair share of Christmas cookies over the past couple weeks. But aside from special occasions like holidays and maybe family birthdays, I stay away from sweets and junk food.
I had already been leaning in this direction, but for the month of January, I signed up for Dr. Paul Saladino’s “Animal Based 30” challenge, which is an attempt to eat an animal-based diet for 30 days. I tend to tolerate animal protein better than plant proteins – which make me bloated and flatulent – so I’m buying into eating whole foods that are either animal proteins, fruit, or limited dairy products.
What I ate today:
- LUNCH: Two grass-fed burgers with cheddar cheese and one piece of dark chocolate (a Christmas gift)
- DINNER: 12 oz. flank steak cooked in a tablespoon of butter, 1 avocado, 2 teaspoons of honey, 1 oz. goat cheese
Supplements I take on a daily basis:
- 360-480 mg of magnesium glycinate for sleep and preventing cramps (LINK)
- 3-6 pills of grass fed bovine colostrum (LINK)
- 6 pills of desiccated liver (LINK)
- 10,000 IUs of Vitamin D3, plus K2 (LINK)
Again, I’ve always been a frequent visitor to the gym – except during COVID when the gym was closed, which sucks – so the 1st of the year sucks, because the gym suddenly gets packed for about a month. But over the past week or so, I’ve changed up my workout routine. I was somewhat stuck in a rut, so I’ve changed to the concept of doing a single set to failure of various exercises. Yes, just one set of the following exercises. Occasionally, I’ll throw in some other exercises, but these are my staples:
- Biceps curls
- Hammer curls
- Skull crushers
- Incline bench press
- Lateral raises
- Bent over rows
- Leg extensions
- Goblet squats
- Calf raises
My warmup includes 5-8 minutes of walking on a treadmill at 3 mph at a 15-degree incline. And I try to finish each lifting session with 60 seconds hanging from a bar, pushing a sled, and/or a farmer’s carry with 75- or 80-pound dumbbells for 60 seconds. After that I do a sauna session for 15-20 minutes, during which I read a book and sometimes stretch.
I try to do this routine 3-4 times a week. If I have time to go to the gym more, I usually make it an easier day with more walking at an incline and/or more time in the sauna.
This has been the biggest change for me in the past couple years. I’ve mentioned this once or twice before, but the last 1.5 years have been pretty hellish on a personal level. They say whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so I guess I’m a stronger person now. But lots of crazy things have happened, to the point that I could probably write a book. Very few of them have had to do with me, but mostly with people close to me – which means I’ve spent way too much time talking to doctors, lawyers, police officers, detectives, and others. It’s been a lifetime’s worth of drama in the span of about 18 months.
How have I dealt with it?
- Exercise (see above). Walking helps a lot, but I also feel a lot better and more relaxed after I lift and/or sit in the sauna.
- Journal. I had to learn to be careful not to just rehash events, but to try to tap into writing down my thoughts about what was happening. I also try to include things I’m grateful for, which is important when it seems like a lot is going wrong.
- Therapy. Every couple weeks for the last several months, I spend an hour with a therapist. Just like with the journal, though, I want to encourage you to go to therapy with a plan. It’s very easy to go in and just vent or run through events – and sometimes you need that – but I find it’s a lot more helpful to look inward and figure out why I feel certain things rather than focusing on what’s happening around me. I’m probably past the point now where I think therapy is absolutely necessary, but there was a time where the therapy sessions probably stopped me from flipping out on someone.
Anyway, these are all some ways I’ve learned to take care of myself. I’m physically stronger now on many lifts than I ever have been, and I’ve fixed some minor health issues I had with my bloodwork (low vitamin D, high triglycerides, etc.). After diving into the nutrition and health space pretty heavily over the past few years, it’s been truly life changing to figure out how much my health can be altered by specifically targeting issues with diet, exercise, sleep, etc.
What are you doing to take care of yourself?
(I swear I won’t judge anyone who is doing a New Year’s Resolution. They’ve just never worked for me as an individual, but we’re all different.)
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