Health journeys, of course, can include struggles and successes, trial and error, good days and bad ones. That’s simply the price we pay for living in these beautiful biological castles of ours. There’s a lot going on inside our bodies.
It’s no wonder that so many of us have all kinds of questions when it comes to what can best help our bodies perform well—and stay well. One of my favorite things about connecting with readers and customers is hearing about your successes, as well as trying to answer your most pressing questions.
Here’s one of my favorite notes, and I hope you get a healthy dose of inspiration from it as well. It comes from a woman I’ll call “B” (and it’s been edited for length)
I’m particularly interested in switching up my meals and would appreciate your suggestions. I started a new healthy lifestyle in 2008 after deciding that if I was going to talk about health, I needed to not only talk the talk but walk the walk.
I was almost 200 pounds, and all diets that I tried didn’t work. I stayed committed to my new program, and over the next 10 months I lost—and kept off—50 pounds. I found that I had more energy and became more active. I even began paddling multiple times a week along with additional exercise. Paddling became my hobby, and I joined a competitive team of 60+ year-old men and women paddling.
Since then, I have been eating the same breakfast and lunch 90% of the time for the last 10+ years, which is a Nutrimeal shake in the morning and at noon with a healthy low GI snack in between. I generally have a low-GI meal in the evening.
Now you are suggesting that I have a heartier meal in the morning and a medium one at lunch and basically a snack for the evening. What do you think?
B wrote an awesome letter with so many great insights about commitment, motivation, and the importance of regular physical activity. I also don’t want to understate the importance of being part of a team—and how bonding with like-minded people over healthy activities can serve as a useful tool in your commitment to lifelong wellness. But her story is also a great reminder that paying attention to what you eat is essential to maintaining good health.
I would also say this: if what B is doing is working when it comes to her meal choices and portions, then don’t change a thing. B has had great success, and I don’t see a reason to change that. Now, if you’re in the mode where you’re trying to lose weight and it feels like you’re hamster-wheeling through your days with no results, then maybe you do change your approach to eating—with heavier meals earlier in the day and smaller and lighter ones toward the end. That will give your body time to digest better, and it can be a smart strategy for losing weight.
In any case, B, you’re doing a fantastic job, and your story is an inspiration to those around you—as well as to me!
The Question about Questions
It’s no surprise that in this day and age, we have immediate access to so much health information (though Dr. Google may have been replaced by Dr. ChatGPT). And in general, that’s a good thing. Arming yourself with information (as long as it’s trusted and well-sourced) can help you think about your approach to wellness in new ways.
That said, it’s always smart to remind yourself that diving into the rabbit hole of the web can lead you down paths that are frightening and incorrect (not to mention frighteningly incorrect!).
So always make a commitment to regular visits with your doctors to keep up with:
- regular and recommended screenings and diagnostics
- regular checkups that give you a chance to ask big-picture questions about concerns
- regular bloodwork as recommended by your doctor
Your health picture doesn’t come from search engines, but rather from a complete and personal look at what you are experiencing. Your research can give you ideas, provoke questions, and even give you some solutions to look into, but don’t take it as a substitute for being proactive with your personal health.
People who know—or find out—what I do for a living tend to ask me whatever health question may be on their minds. Sometimes, they’ll prod me about diet trends or what I do to stay in shape. Sometimes, they’ll ask me about the latest health headlines or if I know of anything they should try to help them sleep better. It’s always fun, and I always appreciate chatting about optimizing our bodies.
The thing I’m getting more questions about than just about anything else? Nutrigenomics.
That’s the interaction between nutrients and genes—the idea being that you can target foods that work best for your DNA, to reduce the risk of certain diseases. It’s a fascinating field, and in a way, it’s the type of customization that really can be the future of medicine and wellness. Instead of one-size-fits-all solutions, it should be more like this-size-fits-you solutions.
The thought is that it may be able to show you things like how sensitive you may be to caffeine, how you best may be able to burn fat, or what foods can put you at more risk for high blood pressure or other conditions.
Exciting developments will be emerging, and I look forward to sharing more with you as the field evolves.