15 Things I Wish I Knew 15 Years Ago

Nutrition and health information is constantly evolving; once vilified saturated fats like coconut oil and butter are now considered superfoods, cardio was the solution to fat loss then HIIT made an appearance and we’re now just waiting for the tables to turn on peanut M&M’s. Despite the fads and fashions that come and go there are some fundamental aspects of health that have continually stood the test of time and advanced in scientific research. Despite many of them being obvious components of health I wish someone had emphasised their importance to me a few years ago, healthy living would have been much easier and enjoyable for a start.

Paula PhotoThis post was really inspired by our new Fitter Food recruit, Paula Russell. She is fresh out of university with countless qualifications and has the whole world at her feet. She is full of enthusiasm and dedication towards her health and her career. Chatting with her this week reminded me of when I left university.  I invested a lot of time and energy in working hard, proving myself, pleasing others and plodding along on a treadmill as I believed these were things I needed to do to earn respect and status which would make me happy and successful in life.

Over time I came to understand this wasn’t necessarily the case, but in the meantime it meant I spent a lot of time doing things I didn’t always enjoy, experienced a great deal of guilt about not doing or being enough. My perception of health has changed greatly over the years, particularly in the last couple. This has been partly informed by my own personal journey and also studying nutritional therapy and functional medicine. As I chatted to Paula last week I thought about the things I wish I knew at her age (crikey I sound old!) and thought I’d share a few of them you all, think of them as helpful reminders of the essential ingredients for a healthy recipe for life.

  1. Health goes way beyond how many calories, carbs and gym sessions, happiness is top of the list and morning walks are your best medicine to get you there.
  2. One bad meal will not make you fat, stressing about it might.
  3. You need to sing more, even if you do it badly.
  4. The quickest way to transform your hormones is to laugh, breathe or large it to your favourite tunes.
  5. Chocolate is awesome, never attach any guilt to your love for this superfood.
  6. Increasing your action in the bedroom (sleep and sex) will likely have an equal impact on your body to any action on the gym floor.
  7. The sooner you accept a negative outcome to an action the easier it becomes to ditch it, a hangover is a good place to start.
  8. Be more dog: snooze, eat organ meats, care less about what people think, stretch, walk, sprint, fart, get muddy and greet everyone with BIG slobbery kisses.
  9. The quickest way to beat the bloat is to chew not chomp, eat like you’re on a first date…forever!
  10. Don’t take any medication without asking yourself why you need it and what caused this need.
  11. Don’t take any nutritional supplements without asking yourself why you need it and what caused this need.
  12. Friendship is a like a houseplant, it flourishes and brings you so much joy when you nourish it but can shrivel into nothing if neglected and ignored. Yes you can buy more plants but it’s a shame when you grew something so beautiful that once brought so much joy and fresh air to your life. #itsnevertoolatetosaysorry
  13. Mobility drills, stretching, warm ups and cool downs are not eating into your training session, they’re the foundation of it.
  14. Work less and travel more, make the most of every single minute of your precious life. One day pennies won’t count, but memories will.
  15. Just be so busy with general awesomeness you forget what day it is!
 And finally, as Paula is from Edinburgh I had to use this as an excuse to include a scene from my favourite film, simply because after this fine speech William Wallace’s men ask “what now?” and he simply replies “Just be Yourselves”  …I couldn’t have put it better myself 🙂