The Do’s and Don’ts Of Health and Fitness For Filmmakers

MattFilmmaking, Lifestyle0 Comments

This is the fourth in a series I’m running on fitness and how it relates to your filmmaking and business life. We went over a number of workouts last time out. If you missed the other parts they here and here.

Today, I want to discuss some Dos and Donts when it comes to health and fitness. Sometimes, in learning what not to do, we can implicitly learn what to do.

I’m also going to get into diet and give you some specific food recommendations (and not recommended foods!) in this post.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

WHAT TO EAT TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH

For the most part, I’m cut from the primal cloth. That is to say, I prescribe predominaently to writings and diets relating to primal and paleo types…and I feel better for it!

The primal and paleo diets are closely related, but purists would argue there are differences. And there are some. I’ve lumped them together here because they’re closely related for the purposes of what I want to talk about, and I’ve been on both diets and still am (most of the time!) today.

It’s also important to know that these two diets are now wildly popular and it’s become something of an in-thing or diet ‘revolution’ online. What this “movement” isn’t:

  • raw food movement
  • veganism
  • vegitarianism
  • low caloric lifestyle
  • cannibal lifestyle!

Yes, it is a lifestyle and, yeah, it’s kind of a movement.

It’s far outside the scope of the program to go into all the nuts and bolts details of the wealth of scientific investigations that has been conducted in this area, but know that I’ve done the research (as I have with everything I talk about on Filmmaking Lifestyle) and I my personal perception of the world and how it relates to health/fitness and lifestyle, this seems like the most rewarding and efficient “diet” to live by.

I’m talking from experience and research here.. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

GETTING ALL PRIMAL

I hesitate to even use the word “diet” here, as that little word is forever raising hairs on the backs of people’s necks and is loaded with lots of negative connotations.

It really isn’t a diet in the strictest sense – more a lifestyle choice that enables one to grasp a strong hold of their health. Here are a few aspects of the primal lifestyle:

– Eat a lot of protein, a fair bit of (good) dietry fat and just a little carbs everyday.

– Exercise often

– Eat lots of animals and plants

– Move around at a slow pace

– Lift heavy things

– Run really fast every once in a while

– Get lots of sleep

– Play!

– Get some sunlight every day

– Avoid trauma

– Avoid poisonouse things (and people!)

– Use your mind.

Those are Mark Sisson’s guidelines from the Primal Blueprint with some slight ammendments thrown in by me.

Sounds good? This is what I live by every day (as much as I can).

That’s it. Doesn’t that sound like a easy and rewarding way to live? And by easy, I don’t mean lazy. There’s still work to be done, but following these as rough rules of thumb will enable you to get a hold off your health and fitness, and I bet you 100 grams of protein that it will change your life massively.

Yes, following those guidelines will seriously improve your health, fitness and lifestyle on a physical, mental and spiritual level.

I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I didn’t want to waste time debating the latest FDA findings and discussing which health fad group is disagreeing with which flash-in-the-pan discovery this week. The health and fitness crowd are a notoriously argumentative lot – got any personal trainer friends? I rest my case!

I wrote this post with an intention to improve your life in the best and quickest way possible. Following the guidelines above will do just that!

WHAT TO AVOID TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH

Things to avoid, in no particular order:

– Smoking.

– Recreational drugs (as well, of course, their harder cousins).

– Crappy people.

– Processed food.

– Too much sun (I love the sun as much as the next guy, by the way!)

– Anything that inhibits your flow and reflexes…

And, yes, I’d be a criminal if I didn’t mention arguably one of the most dangerous things on the planet, that isn’t a form of explosive…alcohol.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big proponent of drinking, but ensure that your drinking is always done wisely, in moderation and within proper taste (if you pardon the pun). I’m sounding like a government announcement now, but I’m trying to cover all the bases here.

A good rule of thumb is that if you find yourself going out and focusing more on where your next drink is coming from, as opposed to where your next social interaction is coming from, then you’ve probably hopped over the line into annoying drunk territory. This means no nights out with the intention of getting “wasted,” “pissed,” “smashed” or any other drinking word that you can think up.

It also doesn’t mean using alcohol as an excuse for bad behaviour. We’ve all had our fair share of stupid, immature and embarrasing nights on the liquid (I know I’ve had my fair share), but taking responsibilty for our actions, and everything that we do, is an important step on the journey to being a leader, which comes in handy if you make your own films.

Hard drugs go without saying, but I’ll mention them anyway. This blog isn’t meant to be a moral guiding post, and I come from the philosophical position that we should be free to do whatever we like, as long as we’re not hurting anyone. But, I’ve come to alter that philosophy slightly when it comes to drugs – “You are free to do anything you want, as long as it doesn’t harm other people or yourself.”

Personally, I went through my years of experimentation and I believe that I came out the other side a much better, knowledgeable and informed person – a person able to speak with clarity and honesty on a number of chemical substances. My advice is to get out whilst you’re still winning – I’ve seen far too many people reduced to nasty, greedy degenerates after getting attached to certain powders.

Will becoming a regular recreational drug user significantly hurt your chances at finding success in filmmaking and business? Well, there are certainly examples of people succeeding as functional drug users. But you have to ask yourself if that’s the sort of lifestyle that you want as a regular part of your life.

Above all, always be informed, and this goes for everything we talk about in this program, not just drugs – do your due dilligence. It’s your life. If I want to try anything in life, especially if it involves putting something into my body, I do my upmost to research everything.

With that slight preaching aside , I leave it open for you to make the choice – it is, afterall, your life, and sometimes our crazy mistakes are some of our best teachers. As much as I wanted to be Jack Kerouac, not everyone has that sort of constitution…and his, sadly, gave out after 47 years.

With these words of caution still ringing in your ears, here’s a non-conclusive list of (possibly) much less dangerous substances that you should also think about avoiding:

– Simple carbs

– Anything made with oils made from corn, soybean, canola, safflower, cottenseed, sunflower.

– Anything that contains trans fats or hydrogenated fats

– Junk foods of all kinds

– High sugar foods and drinks of all stripes

– Sodas and fizzy drinks

– Fruit juices

– Grains (only in small quantities)

– Processed food in general.

Everything in moderation, so the saying goes.

Look, I know what you’re thinking: everything above won’t kill you if you indulge in it in moderation. The only things you should abolutely avoid are the trans fats and hydrogenated fats.

With all the talk in the health communities reaching fever pitch in the last decade or so with buzz phrases like obesity, diabities and heart disease floating around and getting everyone in a lather, people have gone a little over the top with avoiding these things.

True, there are certain special population cases where certain ones from the list above should be religiously discontinued – for instance, an horrifically obese person considering a stomach stappling procedure, should not be allowed near McDonalds.

But, for the average person, a soda every couple of weeks is not going to do any harm. Eating fast food every now and then isn’t going to do any harm. I think it’s important to keep things in perspective with all this, and not get too carried around with becoming megalomaniacal calorie counters who are on their way to developing all sorts of psychological food issues.

SO WHAT SHOULD YOU BE EATING, THEN?

With that said, here are some foods you should think about adding to your day:

– Lots of fruit.

– Lots of vegetables.

– Green, white and red tea (there’s more than just black, you know).

– Avocado (mentioned above, but worth singaling out).

– Lean meats

– Fish (especially wild salmon and tuna)

– Eggs (one of the most complete foods on the planet).

– Butter

– Blueberries

– Artichokes

– Onions

– Beans

– Broccoli

– Spinach

– Olive oil (especially extra virgin)

– Walnut oil

– Avocado oil

– Flax oil

– Garlic

– Greek yogurt

– Tempeh

– Quinoa

– Almonds (almond butter, too)

– Macademia nuts)

– Tomatoes

– Dark chocolate

– Apricots

– Milk

HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH

One of the downsides of living in this modern and technologically advanced society is that simple concepts are often clouded and complicated.

We bare witness everyday to mind-boggling new advancements and achievements in medicine, science and chemistry. With such a complex array of scientific solutions that seem to get more and more niche, it’s no wonder we have become a society focused on complicated solutions for issue that really only require simple answers.

Take human genome research as an example: we are inundated with announcements about the discovery of a so called defective gene that somehow increases someone’s chance of obiesity, cancer, diabetes or artritis. These reports are everywhere and we’ve come to the conclusion, as a species, that every one of our medical problems is due to some kind of bad luck with inheriting a flawed gene!

It’s time to wake-up and stop pretending we’re somehow unlucky if we develop a disease or illness. The majority of disease in the developed world is caused by bad dietry and lifestyle habits. Sort these out and we reduce death, the strain on our health and medical services, as well as social services and a whole load of other services (depending on the country you live in, of course).

Alright, I’ll get off my soapbox now. I told you this blog post was going to be a bit of a Call To Action.

The point is, so much of this is within our power to change. If you get nothing else from this post, please understand that we can help ourselves. We really do have to the power to alter the course of our own destinies, whether it be emotionally, physically or spiritually.

If more people decided to read information like this, to go out and trackdown the right research and resources to help themselves, then the world would be a much better place.

Did anything you read here hit a nerve? Drop me a comment below.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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