Did you know that one of the raps on Americans is that we smell like cheese? We don’t notice it, but other cultures around the world can smell the old dairy products oozing from our pores quite well.
I first learned this when the wife and I were traveling in Thailand before we were married. I was having a beer with a couple Australian blokes as they were observing that many cultures have their own unique smell – for Italians it’s garlic; Indians – curry; Japanese – fish; Americans… cheese.
We totally got the worst smell. But when you eat 33 pounds of cheese a year that’s what happens.
Trey and I write a lot about being more resilient and self-reliant and this includes eating right and exercise. Self-reliance is gaining as much control over your most important assets as possible. We have control over as much as two-thirds of the factors that influence our health, so it should be one of the assets we value the most.
When you’re unhealthy, you’re dependent on an increasingly rickety medical system to take care of you while worrying whether your insurance company will cover you, raise your rates astronomically or cut you off altogether.
So here are five ways to think completely differently about protecting the one asset that you have the most control over – your health. And the added benefit of following this advice? No more cheese smell.
1) Ignore most of what the government and agribusiness tells you about food
Generally, I believe that the state is hugely coercive and clumsy and that most of the time when the government gets involved in just about anything, this is what happens:
(Or click here)
When big government and big business team up together, well that’s a real recipe for trouble.
The result is crony capitalism, which soaks the productive class with huge costs and taxes while rewarding business with government bailouts, contracts, subsidies, and tax loopholes.
If you want to know why people are so completely pissed off at Wall Street right now, crony capitalism is the reason.
Funnily enough, it’s also why Americans today are suffering from an epidemic of obesity and chronic diseases like diabetes.
It’s why the US Department of Agriculture (which is supposed to be fighting obesity) spent $12 million helping Domino’s design and market an abomination of a pizza pie that consisted of six different layers of cheese and included a third of the average daily allowance of saturated fat in one slice.
It’s why from 1995 to 2006, government subsidies for corn totaled $56 billion. Corn is a nutritionally inferior product to begin with and high fructose corn syrup, which is now in most processed foods, is considered by most smart people to be a huge risk factor for diabetes.
And while our government spends billions to subsidize crap Franken-food on the one hand, it sends armed FDA thugs to shut down organic vegetable markets, and even oppose food producers who want to label their foods as being free of genetic modification on the other.
This is the kind of insane misalignment of incentives that always seem to occur whenever government and private industry diddle around with each other.
2) Eat like a caveman
Human genetics haven’t changed much since the beginning of agriculture. Therefore, the ideal (healthy) diet for us today is probably the same diet that our Paleolithic ancestors ate – fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts, grass-fed beef.
Notice that dairy products are excluded – presto-change-o, there goes your cheese smell – as are grains, beans, salt, refined sugars and processed oils.
Proponents of the “Paleo” diet argue that eating like a hunger-gatherer will keep you largely free of “diseases of affluence” — obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, gout, clogged arteries and the like.
For the record, I’m a newbie to the whole Paleo scene, but have been learning as much as I can about it. It makes total intuitive sense to me though, and if you want to learn more, here’s a great site I found.
3) Don’t exercise like this…
I believe the reason so many of us today fail to exercise regularly is because we’re doing it totally wrong.
4) Exercise like this…
We were engineered to be outside bounding, leaping, jumping, running, crawling, pedaling, pushing and pulling. You can do that anywhere.
I try and run about four miles several mornings a week. I’ll run as hard as I can for two miles, stop, throw the stick for the dog, do some pushups and sit ups, play air guitar listening to Skynyrd’s Freebird on the Ipod for a few minutes and then run home.
It’s the most enjoyable time of my day because I’m outside and get to see sights like this…
If you want to get in seriously good shape, forget the gym membership… Get outside and see the sights. Kick your own ass and love it.
5) Get pissed
Getting pissed and “sticking it to the man” can be a huge motivator. When I see this, it really pisses me off.
Obesity, passivity and addiction are totally incentivized today because they are huge profit centers. Keep folks hopped up on Franken-foods loaded with fat, sugar and salt and you’ve got the perfect captive consumer – fat, lazy and lethargic.
You can stick it to the man simply by vowing not to be this guy.
Good health is the ultimate freedom…