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3 ESSENTIALS for amazing health! 

Today I’m talking about three life-changing things you can do to build amazing health.

Every time I hear folks talk like this - as if they’ve found the key, the cure, or the definitive “answer” to health in the modern world, I roll my eyes. Health is a dynamic state, with inputs and outputs individual to each one of us. No one thing - no magic bullet - exists that’ll work for every single one of us.

(No, not even the magic bullet.)


We may all follow a similar template (like: Eat Real Food, rinse, repeat), but our bodies, our hearts, and our minds hunger for different things. 

So while there is no pill, powder, or supplement that can work miracles for every single person, there ARE ways to invigorate the body and soul so that we can achieve better insight into what WE (that’s everyone - you, me, and your uncle McGee) need. 

These are ACTIONS we can all take to FACILITATE inspiration, STIMULATE our bodies and minds, and achieve breakthroughs in health that are unique to each of us. 

And they are ridiculously simple. Trust me, though: they're worth doing. Do these three things every day for two weeks and report back. I KNOW you’ll be amazed.

(Already do these things? Tell me here how they’ve helped you!)

Essential #1: Walking OUTSIDE. (Or inside. But not on a treadmill.)


Many of us do CrossFit, lift weights, run, jog or Zumba.

Whatever you do to stay in shape, I want you to know: it’s NOT the same as walking. It’s not. The same. As walking.

I first realized this when I read this blog post by the amazing Katy Bowman, where she says (emphasis is my own): 

“Exercise is for fun. Movement is a biological requirement. If you’re eating dessert [CrossFit/Zumba/Gym], make sure you’ve had your dinner [walking] first!"

And this one, where Katy says: 

"Walking daily is actually more important to health than brushing your teeth."

So...yeah. Walking is pretty freakin' important.

Since I began incorporating long walks - at whatever pace I choose - into my days, I’ve felt more invigorated, healthier, and more motivated than ever before. I’ve had breakthroughs in mental and physical health, in personal issues, and in my relationship with my dog. Who likes me way more these days.

Here’s a fun tutorial on stride (if you’re gonna walk, may as well do it right!) 

Remember...walking in high-heels defeats the purpose. (Would you squat in high heels?) (Please say no. Please say no.)

(And please...never do this.)


Walking outside carries the added benefit of being in nature, out of the cave, and becoming part of your own outer environment again. Connecting with the outdoors (in bare feet when safe) is a powerful stimulus.

If it’s too cold to walk outside, though, you’re good to go mall-walking. People-watching is almost as fun as bird-watching.


Essential #2: Deep breaths and a good stretch.


I’m ten thousand percent positive that at least one Email Monday reader thought upon reading Essential #1: "but I don’t have TIME to take a walk!"

If that’s the case, make sure you read the links above. LOTS of helpful and convincing stuff.

(And remember: I didn’t specify how far or how long you’ve got to walk. Heck, I don’t care if you walk in a circle around your house/apartment/place of business once a day. Just WALK!)

But every single person CAN find a few moments to breathe deeply and take a stretch.

First thing in the morning - whether you wake up to an alarm or by your own accord, DON’T hop right out of bed. Take five deep, long breaths, set an intention for your day, and give a good stretch, extending your fingers out beyond your head and really waking up your body and soul.

Deep breaths send sufficiency signals, and signals of calm, to your body. This alleviates much of the stress that tends to manifest from the moment that pesky alarm goes off.

(If you have to pee first thing in the morning, well...try to work this in somewhere. Let me know what you figure out.)

Bonus points for advanced yogis: in addition to stretching and a little deep breathing, do some inversions or a few sun salutations! I’m not a yoga expert, so if you’re interested in these, I’d seek out a qualified yoga instructor.)



Essential #3: Take a deliberate break from screen time.


Here’s another one that may seem impossible. So many of us work and LIVE in front of screens. They feel inescapable! Work, entertainment, and social engagement all seem to happen from behind a screen these days.

Screen time may seem like a way to engage with the world - but in reality, it can be a very limiting practice. 

Not only does the blue-tinted light send stress signals to our brains and bodies (that’s why, since my job entails nearly 12 hours of daily screen time, I use these fabulously nerdy computer glasses), but it also limits the field of vision we exercise daily.

What that means: we spend WAY too much time looking at things close-up, and not enough time exercising our far vision. This can lead to myopia - or, ne

In fact, nearsightedness is an increasing epidemic, especially among children.

So here’s what to do: when you catch yourself logging in to facebook, twitter, or doing any other “recreational” screen time activity, including catching up on DVR’d episodes of The New Girl, STOP.

(in Vanilla Ice voice: Stop! Collaborate and listen...)

Do one of the following instead:

Look out the window. Think about what you see.

OR

Go outside and gaze into the distance. Think about what you see.

Whether you do this for a few moments or a few hours is up to you. But re-routing that intentional screen time to some intentional looking and thinking time can be a powerful force of relaxation for your body and brain.

Here’s what it all comes down to: good health is NOT just about food. It’s about the daily, intentional actions we take to stimulate body and mind! These actions create a physical and mental terrain that is poised to accept the nutrition from good food, good relationships, and good experiences.

That’s all, folks! What are your good-health essentials? Let me know on the Facebook page!

With lots of love - and lots of walking,
Liz

 

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