I wrote a bit about the importance of diet in polished poker Vol. I, especially when playing long sessions or tournaments live. I could have written a ton more because it’s such an important topic, but… it was a poker book and not a nutrition book. 🙂
In the age of quick information, we are undoing a lot of myths about our food. When I was a teenager growing up, if you wanted to know something, you had to actually go to a library and look up information on something called microfiche. Good times. 🙂 Better yet you had to scan through massive encyclopedias and read through countless amount of pointless information to reach one little paragraph about what you were looking up. It’s pretty easy to see why people could be kept in the dark about a lot of important information. People are still misinformed about a ton of things, even though information is a click away. If you had to make them walk or drive to a library and spend hours reading through periodicals and encyclopedias, they’d have every excuse to stay in the dark and misinformed.
Thank you Internet. For all the good and bad about it, we get a lot of good information, if we know how to sort through it all, in an instant right from our homes or on the go on our phones. The quick information age is changing a lot of things about society in ways I don’t think people totally understand yet (more on this in my next blog post – GTO and sabermetrics).
I’m not a fad diet person. I never have been, and likely never will be. Nothing against people chasing the latest dream. I get it. But having a good diet really isn’t that complex. Full disclose here, I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, but I do play one on a blog.
I’ve had an interest in nutrition for as long as, well, since I started jamming Lucky Charms into my mouth quicker than I could breathe. I couldn’t believe this deliciousness was just available by walking into a store and buying 12 boxes of them. Wow, how did people ever go anywhere but the store and their homes?
And there is lies the problem with modern society. Food is readily available. You don’t have to go out and hunt and kill for it. With that convenience comes a lot of potential problems, depending on how quickly and easily you want your food. We’re spoiled, and a rushed society (especially in the U.S.). We’re all paying for that convenience in the form of processed foods.
The Simple Way to Keep a Healthy Body and Mind
To stay out of the endless fad diet loops, you just need to do a few simple things.
- Limit or remove eating any processed foods. This means anything packaged that isn’t meant to eat that day or the next. It’s pretty simple, but the preservatives and chemicals used to keep food “fresh” is poisonous. This also means no fast food.
- Limit your sugar intake. There’s been lots of recent studies about sugar ad brain health, and they look pretty clear. Sugar attacks brain function. Even too much natural sugar (from fruit for example) is not good.
- Limit or remove Gluten from your diet. I know know, you’ve heard enough about the evil Gluten monster looking to steal away all the job from your delicious foods. Unfortunately, gluten is horribly bad. Some people can handle more amounts of it than others, but even if you’re not exhibiting symptoms, gluten is reaking havoc on your intestines, and body. I’d highly high recommend you check out Dr. David Perlmutter’s book entitled: Grain Brain. It’s been a #1 best seller on the NY times list for a long time now, and it’s packed full of very useful and practical information in a non-preachy format.
- Get 20+ minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day. Uhhh, you want a healthy heart, you need to keep it in shape. But what’s even more interesting is the neurological implications of cardio on your brain. Check out some recent studies: Cardio on brain function and memory.
- Pay attention to your body. If you’re getting rashes, having excess mucus regularly, pains anywhere in your abdominal areas, your body is trying to tell you something. Listen, and know that there’s a reason this is happening and that reason is fixable!
The bottom line here is that we have tons of new and great research done on health and nutrition. If there’s something going on in your body, and you just haven’t been able to figure out why that is, I’d bet a nickle the answer is somewhere up above. Lifestyle changes are never easy, and life should be a balance. You don’t want to remove all of your pleasures in life, but you’d do your body and mind a favor if you listened to it, and the current available science.