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Sunday, February 22, 2015

PaleoJay's Smoothie Cafe #97 Tidy up your Life and your Health

I recently read a book called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up- the Japanese are of decluttering and organizing”  by Marie Kondo.

This was actually a revelation of a book to me- in this slim volume (only about 200 pages) is a well organized prescription of just how you can totally organize your living space and all of your possessions!  It is a strange sort of book choice for me, since I didn’t even think I needed to go through my clothing, my books, and actually everything I own...but my daughter, and a couple of friends highly recommended it, and so I did.

And I am so glad that I did!  I am not a really cluttered person, but like in everything, there is always room for improvement.  I started with my outdoor shed, which is attached to my garage and just loaded with stuff- since it’s winter here in Wisconsin, I waited for a warm-ish day, and then began- I took everything out, and then, after adding a home made workbench made from old bathroom cabinets and a heavy duty slab of pressboard for a top, put it all back...perfectly ordered and with everything available, and MINUS all of the other stuff that resided there.

I would take Marie’s advice, and hold each item in my hands, and ask myself if I needed it, or truly wanted it, or ever thought I’d use it again.  If it was perfectly good, but I thought I’d never use it again, I thanked it in  my mind for serving me, but now it was time to let it go.  I got rid of so much junk, and in just a matter of several hours had a delightful workspace, even with the storage of many summer items like tillers, mowers, rakes, shovels, hoes, etc. etc.- all neatly organized and easily accessible.

I had “turned Japanese” like the old Cheap Trick song from the 1970’s, and was now enamoured of tidying!

I moved on to my closet, and learned to make decisions about every item of clothing I owned, and threw out very, very many things that were basically just encumbering me with useless, cluttered storage.  I learned to fold my t-shirts, shirts, handkerchiefs, socks, and everything else properly, and not ALL of my clothing items are available at a glance- nothing is stacked beneath something else, and every item is something I would really be sad at not having, and most importantly something that I can use and choose at a moment’s notice.  No searching or forgetting that something even exists anymore!  It makes living on a daily basis simple and pleasurable.

And what does this have to do with out HEALTH?  Actually, it is so similar in function that I couldn’t stop relating the two even as I read the book.  It is vitally important to our diet to clean out and dispose of every item in our cupboards or refrigerator that does not serve our health well!

Start with your cupboards- empty out your flour bin, your sugar bin- throw that crap OUT!  I have potato startch (to feed my gut microbes in my Paleo smoothies) in the flour bin, and I keep green and white tea bags in my sugar bin.  Go through your refrigerator- throw out anything that does not serve your HEALTH and well being- skimmed milk, anything low fat, industrial seed oils like margarine, corn, soy, canola, peanut oils- throw them away!  Salad dressings made of these oils- do NOT hang onto them in the name of frugality- these things are you health’s mortal enemies!  Throw out anything made by man, and keep what is made by God.

Make sure you have PLENTY of good, Paleo types of real foods to eat, all neatly stored and easily accessible.  To quote Marie Kondo in one of her best sayings: “The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t” .  This holds true for both possessions, and for foodstuffs!

And don’t stop there- “tidy up” your exercise gear as well! If you have free weights and barbells- give, sell, or throw them away!  You can keep a couple of light dumbells, and should make or buy a good kettle bell- but other than these weights are a mistake!  Heavy barbells and dumb bells can only compress your spine, gradually destroy your joints, and set you up for inevitable injury- heavy resistance is contraindicated for health.

In addition, weights are totally unnecessary for building your best strength and physique for your body type.  Go with Virtual resistance exercise, self resisted (one limb resisting against the other as in curls being resisted with the other arm), and body weight exercise like pushups, pull ups, hindu and pistol squats.  I still have all of my weights from years ago, and realize I have not touched them for over 8 years- in which time I have vastly improved my physique and strength levels  from where I was at when I was 57, and at the same time totally healed my weight lifter’s chronic knee, back, elbow, and shoulder problems!

Perfectly Paleo Exercise indeed!  Just as we are not meant by God and nature to live our lives inflamed, fat, and subject to the myriad of modern, largely autoimmune- based diseases like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer, we are also not meant to live with painful or ruined joints, chronic pain, and physiques that are bloated travesties, with bulging abdomens and fat butts (from heavy squats), and woman like “man-boobs” from heavy benches, and the many back, knee, and shoulder problems that are inevitable with such heavy training.

So, you don’t need a weight bench, squat stands, all the myriad of resistance machines and apparatus out there- get rid of them!

But, take this opportunity of newly available space and reduced clutter to get those few things that are really helpful and desirable to have in your lifelong quest for fitness- get your self a set of gymnastic rings to hang in your garage or basement, or even in your living room or to hang from a tree or playground structure.  With just these alone, you can build quite a physique and high level of
strength, easily and safely!

For my morning virtual resistance exercise, I have been using a towel on the living room carpet for years- I got myself a yoga mat, and it is a vast improvement for about $20!  I don’t need to use a pillow case to cushion my forehead on bridging anymore- also, it’s great for the yoga-like stretches I include in my morning exercise ritual.

Definitely, you will want a rebounder!  You don’t hear much about these in the “serious” fitness community- but there is no safer, more accessible, and effective way to address your overall cardiovascular health than by putting one of these in front of your television!  And vital for activating your lymph system for toxin and waste removal.

And the last thing I would add in the “Tidying Up” of your exercise equipment would be Perfect Pushup handles!  Just the safest, most ergonomically correct and friendly way to do your pushups, without putting strain on the joints of the wrist, elbows, and shoulders.

So there you go- declutter and tidy up!  Not only in your house, and garage, but in your HEALTH!