Monday, August 17, 2015

A Summer For the Record Books

This has been the summer of complete fucketry, basically translated as "fuck it all."

We have literally been non-stop since the beginning of June. We have been balls-out with work, new side projects, school, social events, family visiting, weddings, graduations, a very sad attempt at a garden, and maybe, just maybe a day here or there for a second to catch our breath, or catch up on sleep before we start all over again on Monday.

I feel like this summer just started and yet it is over. Wahhh. Someone even said the four-letter "S" word today. I killed them with my eyes. It's going too fast!! We have worked too hard and WAY too much this summer. 

We have also had social obligations every weekend since June. With socialization, comes food and booze, and then more food and booze. I have eaten and drank everything in sight for pretty much the last 2.5 months. And by everything, I mean e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Meat, yep, cheese, you betcha, sugar, sweets, potato chips, lobster, and even some gluten in there too (!!). And booze... I am secretly/publicly considering that I might have a problem (which I am only half joking), but seriously I have consumed unhealthy amounts of alcohol for 2.5 months straight. (Hey! It's summer - don't judge!) Like I said, it has been the summer of debauchery and fucketry, and I am doing it up proper. Hallelujah-er. 

I said fuck it all over a month ago. Prior to that I was debauching partially and feeling guilty. Then one day I was tired of not eating at social events, and worrying, and trying to be "good," all the while trying to figure out what the hell I am doing with my life. Being on a "diet" while contemplating your life's purpose is kind of suicidal, just saying.

It is really hard to be stressed all the time and try to watch everything and anything that passed my lips, over analyzing my poops and perpetually more frequent gas. I think going to nutrition school makes you a crazy person. Try this. Try that. Don't eat this. Eat lots of that. Oh you know you really should.... no shouldn't..... AHHHHH.....all the while being super stressed about pretty much everything in my life and the directions I am taking, blahedy blah, blah. FUCK. IT. ALL!!

Said middle finger and all-consuming-debauchery has led to me feeling like an old, hungover, stiff, gassy, bloated, pooping problem, pimple-y, moody hag. Yewlp, that's me. All I do is eat, en masse and everything ever made, and drinking. Any excuse for a cocktail I will indulge (which is normally the case, but phew, I have even outdid myself) and oh yeah, I stopped working out consistently back in June too. I know, I know...recipe for disaster. Hi, my name is Recipe-for-Disaster.

I think honestly it was a valve waiting to burst. Between the strict diets corresponding with my course load, the multiple temptations at summer BBQs, insane amount of stress at work, training a new employee, going to school, starting a new business with a friend, while attempting to maintain some semblance of a social and family life, has led to this moment. Our garden is an embarrassment, divert your eyes, we were so defeated we just mowed the sucker down yesterday. To it all, I say fuck thee.

But you know what, I think this is natural. This is a huge, transitional, pivotal phase in my life. I have finally identified what I want to be doing with my life. I have 6 months left of school before I am a health coach. I will start working with an organization in the fall that I really believe in and feel I will make a huge difference in my community. I have given my current boss notice of my departure no later than the end of the year. My trainee will be done in a few weeks (phew!). I am starting another business on the side as supplement as well. And I know all my ups and downs with diet, and health, and nutrition, and exercise makes me human. 

People assume health coaches are perfect green juice drinking, kale chewing, yogi-crazed, finger-waggers at those who are "bad," but let me tell you, that is not what a health coach is. I will never wave my finger at you. If anything, I will empathize with you and help you to learn to be easier on yourself. Because sometimes shit hits the fan and you feel you are running 800 miles an hour in a circle and you just grab what is around, and that is probably wine and potato chips (at least for me). We have to learn to forgive ourselves. To allow ourselves debauchery and fucketry (and maybe the gaining of 10 lbs. in 2 months, which will go away!), there is no sense to beat yourself over the reality of life.

Sometimes when it feels like a whirlwind, embrace it, let it happen, be part of it, even if drunk, and chubby, and zitty, because we all know what our individual equilibrium is. We all strive to maintain it, going off kilter is what makes us human, makes us real, and if anything should alert you to cut yourself some slack, because big things are a-comin' and a-changin'.

So here's a cheers to acknowledging what is real and to a few more weeks of the inevitably fucketry.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Info Fiend Find: Food Choices Change Our Gene Expression

Food Choices Change Our Gene Expression

Food Choices Change Our Gene Expression

Without a doubt one of the most important decisions we make on a daily basis is what we choose to eat. Nowadays, those decisions are made all the more complex by the vast panorama of recommendations in the form of books, social media, television, and even advertisements at the point-of-sale.
The broad strokes favoring one recommendation over another involve the various ratios of macronutrients, including fat, carbohydrate, and protein, while the notion of consuming foods rich in the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) seems to be a commonality shared amongst most popular diets.
But we now understand that focusing on macronutrient ratios and content of micronutrients represents significant myopia. The foods we choose to consume are far more then simply metabolic chemicals. Food is information.
Whether your exploration of biology ended in high school or you went on to get a PhD in molecular genetics, each of us was schooled in what has become known as the “central dogma.” This is the tenet that holds that there is a direct flow of information from our DNA directing the production of various proteins that ultimately play fundamental roles in human physiology. Moreover, we were all schooled in the notion that our DNA was an indelible code that would determine everything from the color of our eyes to the ability of our blood to clot. Indeed, the statement, “it’s in my DNA” has been taken to mean that whatever is being referred to is a part of a person’s essence that cannot be altered.
But the expression of our DNA is anything but static. Moment-to-moment, specific genes are being amplified in their expression while others are being silenced – a process that dramatically enhances our adaptive ability to various environmental changes to which we are exposed. The effect of extrinsic factors in changing genetic expression defines the science of epigenetics.
More importantly, it turns out that the changes in the expression of our DNA that will favor either health or disease are, to significant degree, under our direct control. No doubt the notion that we have control of our genetic expression may well seem iconoclastic. But, more importantly, the idea that our choices, in terms of the foods we eat, the exercise we get, and the levels of stress in our day-to-day lives, all influence the expression of our DNA should be looked upon as representing profound empowerment.
Indeed, from the perspective of harnessing the science of epigenetics for health and vitality, by making the right food choices we open ourselves up to a new and virtually uncharted vista.