Bonjour, Happy Easter and Happy spring time. The sun is shining in North London and all is well with the world. I’ve done my march around Hampstead Heath, put a load of green stuff in a blender and drunk it, and now, instead of having veins full red wine, if you cut me you’ll find warm water with lemon.
Yes, my body is a dilapidated temple currently undergoing renovation.
One of Tony Robbins biggest things is how important physical health is to every aspect of your life. If you don’t wake up with energy every day you can do nothing at all. He’s right, of course.
The funny thing about my self-improvement mission is that while I’ve spent the last year and a bit cramming my head full of self-help wisdom, I’ve been cramming my body with booze, sugar and coffee. As a result I’m tired most of the time, have put on a stone and a bit in weight, and my face looks like it belongs on the Pillsbury Dough Boy.
But hey ho – no more. At his event Tony gave a LOT of information about healthy diet and exercise but here are the main things I’ve taken away from it:
Breathing is (obviously) the most important thing we can do for our survival but Tony says that most of us do not breath properly – we breath to shallowly from our chest, not our tummies – and this has a big effect on our energy and our ability to think clearly.
Tony suggests doing 10 ‘Power Breaths’ three times day. Power breaths are big, long, slow breaths so that when you breathe in your tummy goes out. This is called diaphragmatic breathing. He says to do them in the ratio of 1-4-2 (i.e. inhale so that your tummy comes out for 5 seconds, hold for 20 seconds and exhale for 10 seconds).
I’ve been doing this when I think of it and it’s useful. It’s made me realise how much I hold my breath when I’m working or feeling stressed and how that makes me feel more panicky. A few deep slow breaths make most things feel better. Even if it does make my tummy look big.
The next most important thing for our vitality is water. Tony reckons the vast majority of us are de-hydrated and that it is the cause of a lot of illness and lethargy. He was even talking about some doctor who has done trials treating all sorts of illnesses with nothing but water.
Apparently we should drink ‘half your body weight in ounces daily’.
I have not figured out how much that is for my weight but I have been drinking A LOT OF WATER since and it’s been making a difference, not necessarily to my energy levels but to my skin. I am now getting the added benefits of many toilet breaks.
He also says that 70 per cent of our diet should be water rich foods (i.e. lots and lots of vegetables).
3) The Power of Fat
We’re all told that fats are bad for us but there are good fats and bad. Every cell in our body needs essential fatty acids to function, particularly our brains, so we should get as much of them as possible. Essential fatty acids can be found in avocado, nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, oils such as flax seed, olive oil, and fish oil.
Tony also recommends take a good Omega 3 and 6 supplement such as Udo’s Choice Oil Blend.
4) Go Green
Tony is very into something called Alkalising – which basically means ensuring that our body is not too acidic.
The theory is that almost all the foods we eat are supposedly broken down into either an acidic or alkaline base – and because our blood is slightly alkaline, with a normal pH of between 7.35 and 7.45, our diet should reflect this.
Most of us, however, eat too many ‘acid-forming’ foods such as wheat, dairy, meat, sugar, coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and alcohol.
This causes a pH imbalance which can lead to low energy and poor memory, headaches, bloating, etc etc.
As someone who loves wine, coffee, cheese and sugar, my diet, is basically pure acid so I’ve been trying to make changes.
On Sunday I ate only one and a half Cadbury Creme Eggs, which is positively restrained by my standards, and there’s a Lindt easter bunny winking at me as I type and I am NOT going to eat so much as a little ear of it. I also did not drink any alcohol from Monday to Thursday of last week (I did however, have some wine over the weekend). I haven’t cut out coffee altogether but have been having 1 cup a day as opposed to my usual 3-4.
Tony says that a really simply way to get more alkaline is to add fresh lemon to all your water (even though lemon is acidic, in the body it is alkaline – don’t really understand how, but I’ll take him at his word). After that we should aim for 70 per cent of your diet to be alkaline – which means green vegetables, almonds, avocados, lemons, limes, etc. He also suggests that you supplement your diet with a wheatgrass powder, which is really rich in nutrients and also alkalising.
We all know it but we don’t do it… EXERCISE, people! It makes you feel better, stronger, happier and healthier. The Unleash The Power Within conference was a good example of this. We were doing long days with very few breaks -every time I was beginning to get tired and distracted they’d put on on Black Eyed Peas or Rihanna, we’d dance like crazy people, and within a minute I was feeling good as new.
I have been dancing in my bedroom A LOT since the conference. I actually jump up an down and do my Tony move to it (pumping one hand up in the air). I look like a tit but who cares?! This is my current song of choice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktvTqknDobU
6) It’s not just what you eat by how you eat
– Drink water half an hour before or half an hour after your meals, not during. When we eat digestive enzymes are created to break down our food – if we put too much water in at the same time, these enzymes are watered down and cannot work as effectively.
– Do not eat carbs and proteins together; eat green vegetables/salad with proteins or with carbs; do not combine fats with proteins.
– Eat slowly and calmly. Do not wolf down your food, chew it and enjoy it.
– Make sure you eat several hours before bed time – if you eat a big meal before you go toned you don’t get proper rest because your body is spending half the night trying to digest your food. Your digestive system is at the peak of it’s powers in the middle of the day and then tapers off as the day goes on so eat lightly in the evening.
Oh and this is the ‘food pyramid’ that he shared… I can’t find a big image of it online but if you google it you’ll be able to read it better.