Never forget where you came from. I have heard this saying for years as I have progressed through the ranks of the military and life. To me it means, remember your background that made you into the person you are today, don’t sell out on it, and stay humble. The following is an email I sent to my cousin spring-time 2015. She has a company called Intentional Nourishment (shameless plug?) and I partook in one of those hip, new cleanses thingies from her. Not all cleanses are the same. Some are fads and do nothing for you, while others are legit. It sounds like a bunch of hippie garbage, but this one is real deal. I ate food the whole time and discovered some foods that I never thought I would like. I went into it a little guarded, this was a whole new direction, something new. I was unable to eat bacon or eggs, two staples in my diet (the main program was only 4 weeks, I survived). I love breakfast and the food associated with it. I’d rather meet someone for breakfast than any other meal. You can’t beat it. Before I go on a breakfast loving tirade, I wanted to share this email with you. After completing the cleanse, I sent this as a debrief of what I went through and how it affected me (I’m pretty sure she shed a tear or two reading it). It’s a bit cheesy (near the end), but I learned from this experience. It was during a big transition in my life and started me on where I’m at today. I didn’t really have an idea of what to write about this week, so I figured I’d dig into the archives and found this.
Before I started this cleanse, I lacked consistency in many aspects of my life. My diet was on a downward spiral, beer was a big part of my evenings. This usually led to ordering Chinese, pizza, or whatever I could find on my grubhub app. My house was cluttered, frustrating and I was overwhelmed on where to start. I was even stuck in a rut at the gym. I wasn’t planning my workouts and didn’t really have a goal. This program gave me a starting point.
When I started the cleanse, it helped me focus on one aspect I needed to alter. The first week I dedicated to making sure I wouldn’t go hungry at work. I’m a huge fan of having enough energy to do what I want to do. I get “hangry” if I don’t eat. Making this my goal forced me to prioritize what I needed to do when I got off work. Cook dinner, prep food for the next day, pack my bags, write the next days workout, etc. I based it all off of making sure I was following your guidelines, and other parts began to fall into place.
As I continued through the process I found ways that benefitted my work lifestyle. I purchased a portable smoothie mixer for work and stocked the fridge there berries, kale and coconut milk. This ensured I had a fall back at the office. Mass cooking foods also helped. I would make a stew or the quinoa/meat/veggie medley for lunches. Even when i didn’t mass cook, I made sure there was enough for leftovers.
The biggest drawback I found was in my morning workout. Before the cleanse, I would make a smoothie consisting of almond milk, eggs, berries, honey, almond butter, greens, and a pre-workout scoop. Cutting out the pre-workout really affected me that early in the morning (I wake up at 345-4 and in the gym around 515). My endurance suffered greatly, probably due to the fact I wasn’t eating a lot of carbs. I even found myself getting light headed and started eating apples to get some sugars between my workout and group physical training (they were organic, haha).
I have been in a state of transition for the past year and a half. This program helped me step back and focus on one thing, and the rest seems to be falling into place. The goal for me has never been to be at 5% body-fat, but to set an example in my performance when I lift and participate in activities. I have always had a passion for teaching and the past few weeks have reaffirmed that. I have learned a lot and just need to figure out a way to pass on the knowledge. I believe I’m on the verge of a breakthrough in some aspect of my life. Don’t know what yet, but I appreciate the guidance and foundation this program has given me.
My cousin always says, “It’s about the food, but it’s not about the food.” It’s a great slogan for your diet (you can apply this mantra to other aspects of life as well). Don’t restrict yourself (so much that you’re miserable), but don’t go crazy. Realize what works for you and do it. That is why my cousin calls it Intentional Nourishment. Yes, it’s a bunch of hippie stuff, but its hippie stuff that’s not all that farfetched. I hope to do this cleanse in the future, my body felt great afterwards. I have lost sight of a couple things since I went through this, just means I need to refocus. It’s always good to take a step back, look at where you are from where you started and reflect. Reconnecting with an old friend can bring you back down to earth or remind you of why you are going down the path you started. You learn history to understand how this world came to be and to learn from actions of the past, good and bad. It’s the same in your own life experiences. Reflect on them, just might help out in the future. Now, that’s enough touchy feely hippie stuff for today. I am going to go drink whiskey and karate in the garage.
Do work, be rad
Note: While reading the email over and over during the writing of this, I realized that big breakthrough would be meeting my wife. Who knew a divorce party would bring two unsuspecting people together. If you want to get more in depth about that story, go back and read my series The Whirlwind of Life (shameless plug 2). It’s my ongoing series (2 so far) of how I got to where I am today. Time will tell where this all leads me, but it should be an exciting ride. Hell, so far, I have a beautiful wife and two rad little ones. That ain’t bad.