Tag Archives: laird

If You Do 5 Things for Your Health…

run

It seems to me that many individuals are seeking a healthier lifestyle, but struggle with where to start. Some questions I often hear are: Is it bad that I eat this? What should I start eating? What’s the best work out? 

In my opinion and based upon my own experiences, I believe that there are 5 great places to start. There are no overnight fixes, but if you implement these small changes, then you will be on the road to forming habits that will serve your health, not hinder it.

1. Stop cold-turkey or ween yourself off of soda.

-I understand what it’s like to have a routine with what you drink (I’m a coffee drinker). That said, I also understand that some people fail at quitting soda cold-turkey. Whichever way you choose to stop drinking soda, do it. It’s worth it–and there are plenty of alternative drinks that are chock full of nutrient dense wonderment. Swap the soda for Kombucha, coconut water, or something as simple as adding lemons & limes to your water.

2. Fill your refrigerator with food you would be proud of eating.

-There’s nothing that will enable you to keep making poor food choices more than having that food around you all the time. Shop for good, whole, real food. Think: vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, plant based milk (coconut or almond milk), free range eggs & grass fed beef. Also, find a non-gmo protein powder that you like and keep that around for a quick protein smoothie. Buy organic when you can.

3. Practice the 90-10 rule.

-Nothing turns me off quicker than hearing about over-obsessed eaters who are on the verge of a full blown mental disorder because of their relationship with food. The point is not to fear food, it’s to focus on good food and eat that the majority of the time. Aim for this: 90% of the time, eat the good stuff–like I listed above. The other 10% of the time, let yourself eat dinner out at your favorite restaurant, or enjoy a glass of wine with your significant other. It’s about balance, not being neurotic about food.

4. Find a fitness routine that you have fun with.

-There’s a great quote for this one; I can’t say it better than Laird does:

“Fitness doesn’t have to be a duty. It doesn’t have to mean charts and graphs and heart rate printouts. It should be a pleasurable part of your life, and it should include things that you do purely because you enjoy them. Fun is an ingredient that people often forget in their fitness program.” -Laird Hamilton (professional surfer and world-class athlete)

I can tell you first hand that I have not been a runner since a young age because it’s a chore that I must do. I run PURELY because of how it makes me feel. I feel happy, relieved, de-stressed, empowered, strong and revitalized every time I run. Nobody else has to understand why you do what you do, or why you run 10 miles a day, or why you spend hours in the gym. The important thing is that YOU are being true to what makes you happy in fitness. So, find a routine that makes your inner light shine and do it daily. Turn on your favorite music, dance a little if you want to, and challenge your body. 🙂

5. Don’t forget to lift weights. (this elaborates on #4)

-I think this one is incredibly important because of my own experience with lifting. So, here’s a story:

I have been an athlete for as long as I can remember, training for various sports. The running aspect of my training was always easy for me–I went out and did it because, at the risk of sounding corny, it fueled my soul.

However, I knew that I “should” be lifting too.

But, I didn’t enjoy it as much. I was so stubborn. I thought, “I like to run, it’s good for me, so that’s what I’m going to do. Screw lifting.” Luckily, with age I’ve become increasingly less stubborn about fitness. I am more open to new things if I believe they will truly benefit me.

About a year ago, I started lifting. I mean, REALLY dedicating myself to lifting–making it a priority. I lift every day now, with a rest day every week or so. Despite being sore and feeling a little weak at first, I almost immediately felt stronger and more powerful. My body started to change, I was becoming a bit leaner.

But, how could I be enjoying this process? I didn’t like lifting. My point in all of this rambling is that sometimes if you step outside of your comfort zone or what you think you’ll have fun doing, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised. You’ll find out that you grow to love it because it is positively impacting your body.

Advertisements

Laird Hamilton: My Inspiration. “Blame Laird”

Laird Hamilton: My inspiration, My motivation, My guru, My hero.

I suppose most people have professional athletes they look up to in hopes of being inspired, motivated, awestruck and captivated.

Laird Hamilton is this athlete for me. My interest and constant pursuance of his interview, book and video material is a part of many of my days at the computer.

Most that are close to me know about how highly I think of Laird Hamilton.

When I read his words or watch his videos, I feel so inspired both athletically and in pursuance of my dreams in life.

I feel so alive watching another over-the-top passionate athlete like Laird Hamilton exuding love, appreciation and dedication to his sport.

A lot of my habits with food and exercise have been cultivated with consideration to how I understand Laird to live. He does it right.

He has been deemed by many “The Best Athlete in the World.”

The phrase,

“Blame Laird”

was created in reference to his unique training techniques and passion for big waves.

I want to take advice from THAT guy.

I don’t always have the right words to say nor story or message to describe. So, often times I borrow his. Now is one of those times. Actually, it’s even better. It’s Laird’s wise words and experiences right from the waterman himself (via youtube videos).

I have embedded  some of my favorite Laird videos below. I hope you enjoy watching them as much as I did.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes from one of the videos,

“Part of the way you’re able to actually make the right moves is by not trying to make the moves. Just let the moves happen. I think that’s one of the things I can say about the ocean and about my relationship with the ocean is nothing’s gonna teach you patience better than waiting for a wave.”

Laird Hamilton in real time: it doesn’t get much better than that!

I had been wanting, for quite some time, to buy a Laird t-shirt to show my enthusiasm and support for him. I just recently bought my first

“Blame Laird” Shirt

as well as two stickers. I was very excited to receive them in the mail!

BLAME LAIRD STORY

“It all started when some people told Laird about stickers that were posted at Malibu Surfrider, and a few other spots in Southern California that simply said BLAME LAIRD. Laird then started getting calls about them popping up on his native island of Kaua’i.

Of course maybe for the first few seconds the notion that someone was putting energy into ‘BLAMING’ Laird stung him a bit, but quickly we all started to get a great belly laugh from it. I can remember it being so easy to find Laird in any line up since he was the only person out there standing on his board.

For about five years I watched Laird mess around trying to find the right equipment to stand up paddle surf. I am not a surfer so I will not pretend to understand the frustration that some of the lay down surfers feel about the “sweepers”, but I do know that there is an adjustment period for any change, and this too shall pass.

Laird decided to take something that could have been perceived as a negative and just have some fun with it. After all if you are having any fun at all stand up paddling, then you too can BLAME LAIRD.”

That’s the description on Gabby Reece & Laird Hamilton’s site. I’ve embraced the idea and love that I can wear it around now.

Winging It: How I Threw Planning out the Window

A fellow organic living blogger, Dana, and I had a mini discussion on instagram about the concept of “winging it.” She and I were using it in reference to not using recipes when making homemade deodorant. For the record, she is a phenomenal & helpful lady and you should check out her blog titled Organic Eater.

My style is to “wing it”. Not referring to a recipe, not getting wrapped up in precise measurements and not having any expectations. Just do it. (Thanks Nike).

Disclaimer: If your style is not to wing it, I do not mean to offend. Praise to those who have the patience for recipes, journals, and planners 🙂

That conversation with Dana sparked a moment of realization:

I wing most things in my life. Workouts, meals, future plans, blog posts, conversations–I do very little planning ahead of time.

From my experience so far in life, especially in college, the common response to this is something to the affect of: “You don’t plan? That’s irresponsible. You have to put time and thought into these things in order to be successful. You should have your plans set out for the future, write down your goals, keep a food journal, write down your exercises.” Blah, blah, blah.

It seems that to a lot of people, a lack of planning is regarded as flippantirresponsible, and careless.

The reason this hits home for me is because I believe my successes have been a direct result of not planning.

This doesn’t mean I did not imagine myself where I wanted to be in the future: happy, fulfilled, blissful. Rather, I let it happen, versus planning it out.

“Winging it” is liberating to me. It also feels natural, like there’s an innate behavior in me that already knows how to do that. Sometimes, “winging it” puts you in the “rogue” category to others. I’m okay with that. Rogue is good. Weird is good. Different is good. 🙂

I am currently spending time with my family (I was away from them throughout all of college–about 5 years). The idea of “winging it” reminds me a lot of my Dad, who I think very highly of (I think highly of my Mom too :)). Dad’s experience in this story, I believe, was a turning point for him mentally, and seeing it happen from the outside has helped my mentality also.

This is the short version: Dad, who is an absolute motorcycle enthusiast, had a dream to ride his motorcycle to Alaska (from Fort Worth, Texas). This would be a long trek, so he bought all kinds of equipment, planned routes, looked up places along the way, etc.–months and months of planning and preparing for this trip. He finally felt equipped and took off on this trip (on a 6-month old motorcycle). When he made it to Wyoming, his motorcycle’s engine failed. He could not ride any farther with his bike in the present condition. The part in the engine of his bike ended up being deemed an assembly line error–a malfunction that was completely unexpected and demoralizing to his psyche.

What I take from that is, Dad put so much time and energy into this trip, all for his bike to fail and cut the trip short. He invested so much time and effort and in the end, his big plan did not work out. Dad says that experience was life changing and it led him to “abandon planning.”

Investing so much in the plan can be a little backwards in my mind. Our lives have an incredible way of surprising us with positive things/adventures/experiences–so why do we forget that and try to plan it all out bit by bit?

Maybe it’s baggage, maybe it’s purely out of fear and stress. It seems clear to me that it is not productive.

I do not suggest that we disconnect ourselves completely from what could happen in the future. Instead, I think it may be much more helpful to live in the present moment and experience it, embrace it, love it, cherish it, let it happen like it will with no expectations.

Planning, to me, is worrying’s cousin. Most of the time it is done because we are fearful, stressed, or intimidated.

All of these ramblings are relevant because I get frequently asked questions like, “How much do you run?” or “Do you run everyday?” or “How much do you eat?”

This is no exaggeration: every single day when I leave the house to run, I truly and absolutely have no expectations or goals set for that run. I don’t have a running log where it says, “Today run this amount.” I just run. It’s simple. Running is not a calculated science for me. It’s an experience, a feeling, a challenging adventure.

That’s worth saying again, running is an adventure! It should be invigorating and stimulating.

I acknowledge that some people relate to goals and they want a target mileage, pace, amount of reps, etc. But, my advice will always be: WING IT! I find that goals limit me more than they help me. The sky is the limit. I will run for as long as I can stand it today; every day that amount is different.

Laird Hamilton says this in his book: “Why not let it rip, at least a little bit? Everyone I know who’s really stoked about getting out of bed in the morning does that to some extent.”

and this,

“I don’t have a set routine. To my mind, thats the quickest route to burnout (and it’s deeply unimaginative besides). To be healthy, to sleep well, to eat well. These things are essential every day…My activities vary daily, weekly, seasonally, geographically, psychologically, depending on who’s in town–you name it. The best way to maximize what a day has to offer is to look outside your window that morning, and then look inside yourself.” -Laird Hamilton

Maybe I should just ask Laird to write my blog, then it would be clear, succinct, concise and poised. 🙂

Here’s another pretty extravagant random fact: all of these inventions were created accidentally, without planning: Penicillin, the pacemaker and vulcanized rubber. 

Pretty cool. Pretty rad things can happen and will happen when you aren’t planning for it.

“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” -Joseph Campbell

My Dad is going to laugh when he reads this because he has said this to me numerous times (while I had an uninterested look on my face), but I find this quote/phrase so powerful: “Follow Your Bliss.”

Here’s the complete quote from Joseph Campbell, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

(I will not do Joseph Campbell justice if I attempt to describe who he is, so if you’re interested, it would be better and perhaps more accurate for you to look him up).

This post meanders a bit, but I enjoyed writing these thoughts.

I wrote this while hanging out by the window at Scholar’s Inn Bakehouse (my favorite coffee shop in Bloomington, IN) and the combination of the coffee and the ambiance apparently allowed me to speak openly and freely and tap into relating stories and quotes.

Hope everyone has a phenomenal day! 🙂

What is your “style” (to wing it or not to wing it)? What seems to work for you?

Phenomenal Read: Laird Hamilton’s Book: Force of Nature

I am no bookworm. I dedicate a lot of my time to fitness and nutrition, but rarely sit down and read a book.

However, when a book like this comes along (at the risk of sounding too dramatic), you HAVE to read it. I say this because I consider this book a “gold nugget.” The information in this book has been exponentially helpful and useful to me in my journey in becoming my healthiest and fittest self.

I could rave about this book all day long–but instead, I will share some tidbits, quotes, stories, and ideas from this book that might help and/or inspire you as well.

The author of this book, “Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul (and, of course, Surfing)” is professional surfer, fitness & nutrition genius, innovative waterman (he has been given credit for being the pioneer of tow-in surfing), family man (married to professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reece), Laird Hamilton.

His knowledge and wisdom are expansive, motivating, and captivating.

Laird’s interviews are on YouTube and are excellent pieces of inspiration for me. The man is a machine.

 

Here are a few exerpts from this book that I found particularly outstanding:

-On the key to happiness:

“I think that the key to happiness is maximizing each day. So, if you’re unhappy, here’s a simple prescription: Live harder.”

-On pursuing dreams:

“…When I was a kid growing up in Kauai, a teacher asked me what I wanted to do with my life. Obviously, she didn’t like my answer (to surf) because I also remember her shaking her head and telling me, ‘You can’t eat your surfboard.’ Well, I’ve been doing that for a while now, and at this point it tastes pretty good. Maybe she was waiting for me to say, ‘Oh, you’re right. I’ll be a lawyer.’ That would have been a very long wait. The point is, your path is yours alone. And if it’s the path less traveled, that’s absolutely fine. The world doesn’t need more conformists. The world needs more people who create and question and search. If you don’t fit in, celebrate that, and then get ready to stand your ground.”

-On treasuring the world around us:

“What we’ve been given here is precious: majestic in its smallest details and its grandest spectacles. Anytime you feel in danger of forgetting that, I recommend you take a good look at a 50 foot wave. Anyone who can be around something that powerful and not feel humbled has some serious analyzing to do.”

-On having a routine:

“I don’t have a set routine. To my mind, thats the quickest route to burnout (and it’s deeply unimaginative besides). To be healthy, to sleep well, to eat well. These things are essential every day…My activities vary daily, weekly, seasonally, geographically, psychologically, depending on who’s in town–you name it. The best way to maximize what a day has to offer is to look outside your window that morning, and then look inside yourself.”

-On enjoying fitness:

“Fitness doesn’t have to be a duty. It doesn’t have to mean charts and graphs and heart rate printouts. It should be a pleasurable part of your life, and it should include things that you do purely because you enjoy them. Fun is an ingredient that people often forget in their fitness program.”

-On enjoying the ride:

“The idea is to become an old wizard; to live a long and fruitful life and have family and be healthy and enjoy the ride. And speaking of the ride, why not let it rip, at least a little bit? Everyone I know who’s really stoked about getting out of bed in the morning does that to some extent.”

-On picturing what you want:

“Whatever you want to achieve, imagine it in every detail. When Michelangelo worked, he said he could see the sculpture in the rock before he began to carve and that his job was merely to remove the excess stone. That’s vision. Don’t be afraid to really use your imagination. Let it run wild. It’s one of the most powerful tools you’ve got.”

-On breaking the mold:

“Conventional wisdom about fitness is an oxymoron. Let’s break the mold instead.”

-On enjoying life:

“Instead of trying to enjoy our lives more, or pursuing the idea of getting into the position someday of being able to enjoy our lives more—maybe we should just start enjoying! Right this moment.”

-On finding passion:

“To find your passion, you have to look inward. If you look outward, all you see is what other people are doing. You are not other people.

-On Eating:

“Have you ever really looked at the labels on processed food? The list of ingredients is surreal. Here’s one: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Sounds like something you’d find in battery acid, not food. But it’s in microwave popcorn, added to make the bag less flammable. If PFOA sounds like a toxic chemical, that’s because it is; in fact, it’s been designated a likely carcinogen. And there are countless examples like this. Some chemicals are put into food to make the stuff last for months; some are added for cosmetic reasons–for coloring, flavoring, sweetening, texture, smell, you name it. Most of these additives haven’t been around that long, and their long-term effects on humans are unknown. Which means if you eat them, you’re the guinea pig.”

“Yes, it’s more expensive to buy organic food… But here’s the thing: When you put something into your mouth, you might enjoy it for 5 seconds, but your system will be dealing with its repercussions for a long time. Often people eat what their taste buds want and not what their bodies need. You know that Taco Bell isn’t the best dietary choice, but you go there because it’s easy and you like the taste. When you’re young you might be able to do this and still have a lot of energy. In the end, though, it’ll catch up with you. Potato chips in = potato chips out. That’s the rule.”

“As a culture, we rush through our meals because we think we’ve got far more important things to do. All too often, we take our food for granted. I’m always reminding myself to eat more consciously; to chew slowly and savor what I’m eating. (You can’t bolt down your dinner while watching CSI and then wonder why you have digestive problems).”

This book is available online at lairdhamilton.com or gabbyandlaird.com. It is a great investment, and if you decide to buy it, enjoy! 🙂

Work Cited: Hamilton, Laird. Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul, (and, of course, Surfing). Rodale: New York, NY. USA. 2008.

Sunscreen – Something To Note, Laird Hamilton

I’ll preface this post by saying that I am hoping to provide some good information here, and maybe help open a few minds–not to rant or force my thoughts on anyone. I just believe it is worth mentioning! 🙂

During a conversation with my mother today on the phone, she planted a seed of an idea in my mind that I instantly realized was very important and worth addressing and discussing in my blog: Sunscreen.

Being a Florida native, participating in outdoor activities where sun exposure is frequent, the topic/necessity of sunscreen is mentioned often. My ideas and beliefs pertaining to sunscreen have changed quite a bit since becoming more aware of the ingredients in my beauty products.

Just like any other beauty product you can pick up at the drug store, sunscreen contains a laundry list of harmful chemicals that you should not ignore. Many people immediately are in disbelief when they hear that.

“What do you mean? Sunscreen PROTECTS my skin!” Well, unfortunately, that’s not completely true.

If you care about the toxins that enter your body via the largest system in your body: the integumentary system (which includes your skin) then this is important.

It is good to remember that if you would not eat it, you might want to consider why you are putting it onto your skin (substances are absorbed through skin and go DIRECTLY into your bloodstream, unlike food that gets the benefit of kidneys and a liver to filter out impurities).

To put it simply, just because you can buy it at the store, does not mean it is good for you. One way to be more aware of what you apply to your body is to read the ingredients! Don’t blindly use products. If you pick up a bottle of sunscreen, it is likely that you do not know what most of those ingredients are, and you probably can’t pronounce them either–that’s because they are not made to go into your body.

If you need to hear this from a more credible source,

take Laird Hamilton for example. Laird is a professional surfer, health and fitness genius, son of surf legend Bill Hamilton, husband of health and fitness guru Gabrielle Reece, and has been deemed the “best athlete in the world” by many renowned athletes.

 

He is also lives in Kauai, Hawaii part of the year, and Malibu, California the rest. I believe it is safe two say two things about him: His knowledge is respected and virtually always right on the money, and he knows a thing or two about being in the sun.

Here is a direct Laird Hamilton quote:

“I hate sunscreen, it has a lot of toxins in it….Have you ever really looked at the labels on processed foods & products? The list of ingredients is surreal. Here’s one: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Sounds like something you’d find in battery acid, not in food and products that go into and onto your body.”

He goes on to discuss that a large portion of skin damage due to sun is the result of skin temperature getting too high. He suggests that submerging yourself constantly in water to keep your skin cool does a lot to minimize damages of extensive sun exposure. A good rule of thumb to always keep in mind in regards to your health is moderation; it’s never a great idea to over-do it, especially when talking about being in the sun.

In all of this, I am not suggesting that precautions should not be taken to avoid over exposure, rather, which precautions?

We are so quick to reach for the sunscreen when we should be reaching for a t-shirt, hat, shorts, sunglasses, or umbrella. Lots of sun protection & no toxins.

In the advancing market of natural and organic substitutes for everyday items containing harsh and harmful substances, companies like Aubrey Organics are changing sunscreen. They are creating sunscreens with lots of organic ingredients and virtually no toxins.

Awesome right? So, if you must, you can use sunscreen in moderation and feel more assured that you aren’t harming yourself as you are covering up with sunblock.

Wouldn’t you think twice about sunscreen after hearing that? I sure did.

These words from Laird came from a sit down interview titled “As It Lays” (you can watch it on youtube.com) and also from his book: “Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul, and, Of Course, Surfing.”