What would you do if you were shipwrecked on a desert island? Where would you start? Food? Shelter? Water?
The "Robinson Crusoe" phenomenon states that when we have limited time, we can't do everything - at least not well. Something has to give.
When it comes to making all the healthy choices that improve our health - quality nutrition, movement, and sleep - AND living our lives, sometimes we just don't have time to do it all. It is likely that a few key steps can drive the majority of your results.
Watch this short training to learn about the 80/20 principle and minimum effective dose, and how these apply to your health.
Woman 50+? Prediabetes? We've got a program designed just for you: https://www.drtopherfox.com/membership
Menopause, muscle mass, and prediabetes
Menopause is a time when women face special challenges when it comes to maintaining health, controlling blood sugar, and living well. One of these challenges relates to loss of muscle. It turns out that maintaining or increasing muscle mass of crucial importance for preventing diabetes and reversing prediabetes.
Watch this short training to learn more about key steps for keeping or building a healthy muscle mass after menopause.
Dr. Topher Fox
Hey Doc, is this food good? Or bad?
Diet culture teaches us to label foods as good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. It's rarely that black and white.
Here's another way to look at food using a game called "Better Than." It can help you move past the labels, and judgement that comes with, and start racking up more short terms wins to improve your health and beat prediabetes.
Check out this 7-min training to learn more.
Like this type of training? Woman 50+ with prediabetes? We've got a program designed just for you: https://www.drtopherfox.com/membership
Dr. Topher Fox
Good habits can be hard!
Building good habits is one key strategy for improving health, but it can be one of the harder to implement well.
Watch this short training for insights about habits and 3 tips you can use to help yourself dial in your habits.
Looking for more help with prediabetes? Join our coaching program: https://www.drtopherfox.com/membership
Do you like things spicy?
Spices have 2 great benefits for helping you in your pursuit of good health. First, the vast majority of spices have been shown to have health benefits like reducing blood sugar, treating inflammation, or decreasing pain.
Second, spices can help keep you from getting bored! By changing up a spice profile, you can make a meal taste almost like a new meal.
Watch this 5-minute video for some insights about spices and your health.
Here's the link to premixed spice profiles mentioned in the video:
Like this type of training? Need help with prediabetes? Woman 50+? We've got a program designed specifically for you: https://www.reversingprediabetes.com
Dr. Topher Fox
I recently heard an interview with Corey McCarthy, who experienced significant trauma growing up in Buffalo, got mixed up with drugs and alcohol abuse, and spent many years in prison. He has subsequently become clean and sober, has been released from prison, and ministers to those stuck on a similar journey.
One of the ideas he spoke about, and which I loved, was the idea that we all have "two lists" we read from. The first is the list of all the negative things that might hold us back - childhood trauma, lack of money or education, genetic risk, etc. Reading from this list tempts us to place blame and avoid responsibility for the choice we get to make for how we respond. When the "check engine" light comes on in the car, it's saying, "Why does this always happen to me?"
The second is the list of things we could be grateful for. It's the list of people who support us, opportunities we have, maybe even the opportunity to use the mess in our own...
What is dietary fatigue?
I've often discussed the difficulty we all have in making healthy choices consistently, and the need to build a personal system that helps you make "the healthy choice" on a regular basis. Without this, most programs rely on willpower, and therefore eventually fail.
On the Sigma Nutrition Podcast, I heard a fascinating discussion with Gregg Slater. He is head of education at Lift the Bar, a company which educates fitness professionals, and a former PE teacher and Physical Training Instructor for the Royal Air Force.
This interview resonated with me as he focused on providing solutions for the decline in adherence, the ability to stick with a program, that invariable occurs over time. For weight loss, he called this dietary fatigue, and introduced the concept that:
That is, the result that you would see with your weight loss program is equal to the calorie deficit you intend to create minus...
Sleep and Metabolism
When I talk to people about controlling blood sugar and/or weight loss, I like to focus on 3 key elements needed for an Optimal Metabolism - Quality Movement, Quality Nutrition, and Quality Sleep. So what's up with sleep and metabolism? It turns out that people who are short on sleep tend to put themselves into a "metabolic storage mode" and have difficulty losing weight effectively. If you are curious, check out this interesting study.)
Unfortunately, as we get older, our sleep quality tends to diminish. For me, I usually fall asleep pretty easily but often I awake at 3 am and can't get back to sleep. The "monkey brain" starts going and my thoughts jump around from this to that, faster and faster, and sleep becomes elusive. So, I am always interested in strategies to help get back to sleep when I hear them.
My great aunt Barbara is 98 years old. She lives alone, still plays bridge, does her own shopping, and really seems to enjoy her life. She's fairly agile, and one would have a hard time calling her frail. She gets to enjoy 3 generations of descendants in her family. She really enjoys her life.
While none of knows how long we will live, I suspect most of us would agree that we would like to live whatever years we have with a minimal degree of disability, pain, and limitation. We'd like to live our years as healthy as possible.
If that's true for you, you need to know about the Blue Zones.
What are Blue Zones?
I think this research is really cool. Dr. Dan Buettner and his team have identified 5 areas in the world where people seem to live, on average, significantly longer and healthier than the rest of the world, and they have studied what makes these people unique. The story goes that they originally circled these 5 areas on the map in blue marker, hence the name Blue Zones...
Who is Your Tribe?
"You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with."
This quote has been attributed to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, and I believe there is a truth to it. The people you spend time with greatly influence your behavior - both in positive ways as well as negative ones. Your sister who always seems to say the right thing when you are down, to help you get back on your feet, that is positive. Your brother-in-law who keeps encouraging you to eat one more hotdog after you already declined ("C'mon, it's the weekend, live a little") is a negative influence.
So what does this have to do with health? Stay with me for just a moment.
Culture can be defined as "the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group." We can think of human culture, American culture, or even culture built around sports teams or dog breeds. Any time a group of people like to spend time together and have a...
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