Building my trail on Mt. Anthony in Bennington keeps yielding fruitful thoughts on trail blazing and finding meaning in life. On this glorious, rainy, Vermont Winter day, I found myself facing two very large obstacles, which inspired these thoughts on overcoming impossible obstacles on your path… Not by dreaming about impossible dreams, but by taking on impossible tasks as part of your daily ritual. Training yourself in the habit of calmly engaging in projects that have impossible outcomes and not creating a story about the project or your ability to achieve it. Just get engaged and do the work.
Anyone who’s ever read a book on raw veganism or listened to a raw ‘guru’ give a lecture has heard this statement – “you will never get sick again as long as you eat a raw vegan diet.” There was a time early on my journey into raw foodism that I also believed and even shared this myth. That’s right, I said myth… Because it’s simply not true. While a raw vegan diet does allow one to experience greater health and vitality, it does not make one superhuman… it simply allows one to be a healthier human, and humans are vulnerable creatures. We are not perfect and we are not impervious to the machinations of the microscopic world. Viruses and bacteria are constantly evolving to overwhelm our defenses. While a clean, raw, plant-based diet can be a big help in this fight, it does not give someone guaranteed, rock-solid immunity.
The clock strikes 12:12:12 on 12/12/12. What is the significance of this? Objectively – none. But if you want to have some fun with it, go ahead and give it some meaning. Human beings are meaning making machines. Our brains are designed to find meaning in everything. It was one of our adaptations that gave us a big survival advantage in man’s early days. But many thousands of years later, this wiring can actually lead us astray. In the video below, I talk about the nature of meaning and the meaning of life.
While out in the mountains creating a new trail, I realized that the process that I use to design and build trails is very similar to the method you can use to create your own path in life. So many people are lost and looking for direction… looking to find their purpose, their inspiration… they are afraid of making the wrong choice, or taking the wrong step. So they take none. The video below describes the method I use to overcome these obstacles.
The weather outside is frightful, but I’m not going to sit here and feel spiteful. Instead, I’m going to follow a process that I’ve taught myself over the past few years, that helps to get me dressed, out the door and into action. It hasn’t failed yet. Perhaps you can apply these tools to the gray rainy days and challenges of your life.
In the video below, I describe my process for getting out the door, even when I don’t want to.
This is the 56th installment in my ‘Getting Started’ series. In this episode I focus on perfectionism.
It’s been a rough day at the end of a rough week. After slowly dying for the past two years, my trusty computer finally exhaled it’s final breath. Since a great deal of what I do takes place on the computer, this put me in a panic. I know this state well, as I’ve spent good portions of my adult life dealing with overwhelm, anxiety and panic. All this ‘training’ has taught me some very valuable lessons and allowed me to forge a set of tools that I use whenever situations like this arise.
So I opened up my Getting Started Toolbox and started to engineer a way out of the collapse looming on the horizon.
If you also have difficulty dealing with stress, anxiety, overwhelm or suffer from ‘perfectionism’, this video can help you see a way out.
Today, I want to discuss a new study that recently appeared in the Journal of Functional Foods. This study looked at the consumption of apples and it’s effect on heart disease factors such as the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream.
The results are quite exciting. Consumption of one apple a day for four weeks, can decrease the oxidation of LDL in the blood by 40%. This is very good news.
There is a lot of confusion in the media about the nature of heart disease and it’s causal factors, such as LDL ‘cholesterol’. To help clear this up, I’ll give you a quick primer on LDL. It stands for Low Density Lipoprotein. It’s a type of protein-based transport molecule that delivers fats, lipids and cholesterol through the blood. LDL itself is not a bad thing. But when LDL becomes oxidized in the blood it becomes dangerous. So reducing LDL in the blood is not the best course of action, but reducing oxidation of LDL in the blood is a much better course.
Apples and other fruits and vegetables contain anti-oxidants. These anti-oxidant molecules reduce the oxidation of many components of our bodies, including LDL. So consumption of more fresh fruits and veggies is a great strategy for increasing the levels of anti-oxidants in your blood and reducing the chance for things like LDL to oxidize and become damaging.
The moral of the story – eat your fresh fruits and veggies.
Tim Van Orden training with a patellar tendon strap
Today I want to share my success story in dealing with ‘runner’s knee’ pain. Many runners experience pain and swelling in the knee after long runs or high mileage increases. The most common cause of this pain is a condition known as patellofemoral syndrome, more commonly known as runner’s knee. This pain is caused by the knee cap rubbing on the sides of the femoral groove (at the base of the femur bone). This rubbing causes swelling and inflammation.
The best way to stop the knee cap from rubbing on the sides of the femoral groove is to stabilize and tighten the patellar tendon (the tendon that holds the knee cap in place). This can easily be done with the use of a patellar tendon knee strap.
Although this ‘tendon’ is technically a ligament, I am referring to it here as a tendon so that you are not confused when you try to purchase a ‘ligament strap’ and no one knows what you are talking about.
Tim Van Orden discussing a new study on the effect of zero calories sweeteners on the brain.
I’ve also decided to start a new video series which covers the latest breaking news in the world of nutrition. I’m calling it ‘Nutrition News’ 🙂
In this segment, I discuss a new study out of the University of California in San Diego that appeared in the Journal of Physiology and Behavior which looked at zero calorie sweeteners and their effects on the brain and weight gain.
The findings of this study are quite shocking – whether you are consuming artificial zero calorie sweeteners like aspartame, or natural zero calorie sweeteners like stevia, these substances effectively rewire the brain’s reward system in a harmful way.
If you are consuming diet soda or other zero calorie drinks, you could be setting yourself up for increased weight gain as your brain becomes rewired and craves even more calories throughout the day.
Tim Van Orden discusses whether or not to ‘go raw’
This is the first in my new FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) video series, where I’ll be answering many of the questions that fill up my various inboxes.
Today’s question – “Should I go raw?”
You’d be surprised how many times people ask whether or not it would be a good idea to ‘go raw’. Like it’s some kind of life transformation, rather than making simple dietary adjustments.
While I am a huge advocate of eating large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, I’m no longer a big fan of labels like ‘raw foodist’ or ‘raw vegan’ or ‘frutarian’ or ‘low fat raw vegan’, etc. In my experience, it’s a much healthier choice (mentally) to commit to making healthy choices rather than committing to a dietary ideology or dogma.
Get my full answer to this question of whether or not to go raw in the video below: