How do you know when you’ve arrived in Crunchytown and there’s no turning back? It’s hard to say, but for me, it surely didn’t happen overnight. I have met many pivotal people who have encouraged me along my way to near full-fledged hippie-dom. Whether it was the extremely energetic, size 2, fifty year-old cardio kickboxing teacher in college who like to motivate her class by exclaiming, “Come on guys! Get those bodies moving! It’s 6:30 in the morning and I don’t even drink coffee! Wheeee!” or the patient Bradley teacher who challenged me to ditch my beloved bleach and research what types of synthetic chemicals go into that neon green Pine-Sol bottle – I am indebted to those who’ve shared their enthusiasm for natural living.
Aside from people who’ve influenced my path, Providence would also have a couple of health challenges in store too. Between a case of Shingles before the age of 30 and a very recent diagnosis of TMJ and IBS, I am, like many Americans, becoming more aware of the role that stress can play in one’s overall health. I’ve also dealt with persistent infections and a string of mystery rashes (sounds lovely right?) that despite my drug-pushing doctor’s efforts, only cleared up once I decided to take charge of my own health and change my diet. Sometimes we can’t change the pace at which our modern lives chug on but we can focus on taking better care of ourselves through nutrition, sleep and exercise. I am so excited to encourage others in these areas because of the wonderful benefits I have seen in my health when I make these a priority.
In my first year of junior college I stared blankly at a computer screen while reading the result of a career aptitude test. It read, “Statistical analysis and synthesis of information”. “Huh? But I’m here to study fashion design! This program is way off base.” Or so I thought. Analyzing and synthesizing information has been so crucial to me in my journey to Crunchytown.
How did I learn to feed a child with a peanut allergy without inducing Angelina Jolie lips and hives? I bought the most thoroughly researched book I could find and read it cover to cover.
Which supplements do we take and why? Well, let me just whip out the latest studies on that.
What persuaded me after experiencing the effective, numbness of an epidural to give natural childbirth a try? Have you heard of a documentary called “The Business Of Being Born”….?
It turns out that I’m a lot more nerdy than I once thought (and that career aptitude testing is quite accurate). I’m totally embracing my analyzing and synthesizing side now and I promise to present information with research behind it because I care enough to do it for myself.
I sincerely hope that this blog will be like your personal, decaffeinated, peppy cheerleader encouraging and educating you towards better health. Perhaps, occasionally, you’ll find it entertaining too -but I’ll leave that to Richie :)
Depending who you ask, I’m either a nutrition-obsessed fitness freak, or a health food heretic. On one hand my coworkers mock the spartan simplicity of my healthy feasts. On the other, I stand accused by guardians of natural foods for filling my body with unnatural abominations like Splenda and on-sale chicken breast.
How’d I get to be this way? Maybe it started when my mom tried her best to make me cut sugar and eat my veggies, going so far as to grind her own wheat, bake her own bread, and juice her own juice. Like a typical son, I didn’t appreciate my mom’s efforts, but I do now. Maybe my hippie wife has had an influence on me too. They say guys usually marry someone similar to their mother.
Now I aim to be a produce-eating, meat-feasting, lifting, sprinting, mobility machine: strong, explosive, lean, agile, and flexible—sort of like an overgrown carnivorous jackrabbit.
I’m a former college baseball player, and a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) with NSCA. I dabble in Crossfit, compete once in awhile, and train everywhere.
As a college athlete, I was introduced to barbell training, but I wasn’t taught much about proper technique or the benefits beyond getting stronger for baseball. Eight years ago, I started educating myself on health, nutrition, and strength/conditioning training. After hundreds of articles, piles of books, hours of wasted time in a gym, and one awesome grad student (who taught me how to do a pullup and gave me my first intelligently designed strength training program), I quit eating and training like an ignoramus–and I didn’t even have to buy anything I saw on TV. Two years ago I became certified as a personal trainer, and less than a year ago I achieved my goal of certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Somewhere along the line I developed an abiding suspicion of the “natural” label. I do believe it is important to eat and train as “naturally” as possible, but there is a near cult-like hysteria surrounding the idea of “natural living.” Lots of folks blindly equate “natural” with”good for you,” and I think this leads, in general, to a myopic pursuit of minutia– supplements, enzymes, non-GMO, organic, raw, gluten free…
INSTEAD OF addressing major structural problems with diet and fitness. If I’m drinking a “pure cane sugar” soda everyday and avoiding poison by eating only organic apples, what is the point really?
Hopefully I can add a healthy dose of common sense to the hysteria that characterizes many discussions about nutrition and physical fitness, and in the process I can learn more about how to make my body and mind perform at its peak. Even if that means I embrace natural living.