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If you missed the prior posts, they are:

Do you ever put people on a pedestal and think they’ve got it all figured out? Let me tell you, NO ONE has it all figured out.

It doesn’t matter how many millions they have, “successful” people have just as many issues to work on as you do.  I know I do.  Just ask my fiance, heh – she’ll tell you. (By the way, I got engaged on Xmas eve!  A video of the proposal)

So a “BS Meter” you can use with people is if they pretend to be perfect, they’re lying to you and to themselves.

For example, I procrastinated the hell outta finishing this post and health series.  I have been one lazy SOB the past two weeks, and have distracted myself with all the new shiny many iphone games I got for Xmas and my birthday. Whee 🙂

Plus, it didn’t help that I’ve been eating like crap since before Xmas.  But hey, I’m only human too.  I fall down. And I ALWAYS get back up and keep at it…

It’s probably better anyway that I waited to share this post until after the new year, so that your (and my) holiday gorging is done and you (and I) are ready to get back to the basics…

And now’s the “real” post – enjoy!



Food can be a big source of happiness in your life – or stress.  There are a lot of parallels with it and with work, how it as well can be a big source of happiness or stress.  I make a few specific parallels between the two below.

Authentically Enjoy Your Food & Drinkin’ (Whatever It Is)

<= The picture is of a meal from the super-yummy Leaf Organics restaurant in LA.  If you go there, get the mushroom-avocado burger with the onion bread (gluten-free), it is insanely good.  My fiance and I both LOVE it.  I also have a Unique Genius Superhero interview of the founder, Rod Rotondi. He has a fascinating life and business story.

Much of your health and happiness in life comes from your feelings around food and meals: your happiness goes up when you eat food that you appreciate, are grateful for and share with in good company.  So whatever the hell it is you eat – green or junky – do your best to really enjoy it and the whole experience.

(The same with work: As much of your happiness and wealth in life comes from your feelings around work – your happiness goes up when you have work that is fulfilling & satisfying, are grateful for it, and share with in good company.)

I would rather you had fun eating bread and cheese you love with good friends than having a “I don’t enjoy this but it’s good for me” raw salad miserably alone.

(The same with work: I would rather you had fun at a boring job with good friends than doing noble work in conditions – like doing it alone – that make you unhappy.  It can be lonely starting a company, rebuilding and recreating a work community around yourself…it’s not for everyone.)

Enjoyment from a “quick fix” of a candy bar or Frappacino doesn’t count – that’s a fix, not authentic gratitude or happiness that lasts.  (Unless you’re starving after doing a 28 day Utah survival course, and then get a peanut butter and chocolate milkshake – now THAT is gratitude!  Even though it didn’t stay down…)

A small digression…I did mention the hot chocolate exemption for all this, right?  Heh 🙂  While someday I might give up my hot chocolate habit, for now I truly do enjoy my Huckleberry hot chocolate, because 1) it’s “the real stuff” and feels like authentic goodness, and 2) it’s also an entire enjoyable experience beyond just the drink, because I ride my bike there, and/or share it with my fiance.  On the other hand, if I just walk into some cafe and get some crummy powdered hot chocolate, I do feel guilty.  By the way, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf hot chocolate is terrible – avoid it.

Find ways to ENJOY and be GRATEFUL for awesomely healthy food.  There is so much really tasty stuff out there.  And if you’re eating crap food, instead of feeling guilty, find ways to authentically enjoy it and be grateful for it too.

Guys – pounding on your chest about how much meat you can eat doesn’t count – that’s eating just to get attention. Unless you’re Epic Meal Time, the funniest cooking show on the internet, and the only guys I’ve ever seen who have turned fast food into sushi. Hilariously gross!

OK seriously, now on to the…

7 Ways Make It Easier On Yourself To Improve Your Nutrition (Or Find Your Unique Genius)

The easier you can make it on yourself to make progress, the more likely you’ll do it and stick to it, whether it’s around food or work.  In this case, I’m usin’ food examples:

  1. Spend time with people who inspire you / you want to be like / learn from: Studies have shown that your weight and health is affected by your friends.  Want to gain weight?  Spend time with heavy people!   So spend more time with your healthy friends and family, and less time around your unhealthy friends and family.
  2. Be adventurous: just frickin’ try something new, for God’s sake, it won’t kill you.  Many adults I know – are like little kids refusing to try a green food when they’re young, “it looks icky!”
  3. Go for progress, not perfection as you experiment and try new things to learn what works for you: I don’t believe 100% vegetarian/vegan is for everyone.  Some people should eat meat.  You won’t know where you fall until you experiment.  And after you have a holiday gorging feast (or several weeks of them)…forgive yourself, appreciate it and come on back to the good habits!
  4. Learn from people you trust, but don’t depend on one source (what works for them may not work for you).
  5. Everything in moderation.
  6. Buddy up: if your partner eats worse than you want, don’t criticize them and make them feel guilty – that’ll just make things worse.  Educate them, partner with them, find ways TOGETHER to enjoy being healthier – inspire them and you’ll get better results!
  7. Be persistently patient (with yourself and your partner).  Adopting new eating habits that stick change as fast as your mind does – that is, not very fast at all.  It takes 21 days to change a habit, and as long as 9 months to really lay down new neural pathways stick.

Notice that all of these principles apply to finding your optimally fulfilling work (Unique Genius) too!

Take A Next Step

  1. Read this book: In Defense Of Food, by Michael Pollen.  His sum philosophy: “Eat food. Not too much.  Mostly plants”.  Michael’s definition of food here is ‘real’ food not the imitation food we have now like energy bars and drinks; if your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, it’s not ‘food’.
  2. Write out an “Ideal Health” vision for yourself. If you had NO LIMITS, what would your body feel like?  How would your family and friends eat, move, practice health?  Your community, the world?  The more you can emotionally connect with an authentic vision, and believe in it, the more likely it will stick as a big enough “why” to inspire you for the next step…
  3. Commit to improving your health and taking baby steps!  Without commitment, it’s not going to happen.  Why is it important to you to do this?  First envision your life 10-20 years out following your current habits.  Then envision what life would be life if you keep improving your habits step by step over those 10-20 years.
  4. A simple first way to start your day off right and add a lot of nutrition: making your own smoothies (not that Jamba Juice crap), especially green smoothies.  I have one almost every day, made from greens (spinach or kale or chard or collard greens), parsley, fuji apples, ginger, mint, a whole lemon with rind, flax/chia seeds, hempseed, maca, goji berries, spirulina, water as the liquid.  I blend it all up in a Vitamix Turbo-blend 4500, which was about $350.   (Also: a blog about Green Smoothies)
  5. Have fun trying new things and exploring – isn’t that the whole point?
  6. Have a quick laugh (or get so grossed out you’ll never eat fast food again) at Epic Meal Time!


What’s Your Next Step?  Or Your 2 Cents?

I’d love to hear what you agree with, disagree with and what works for you – leave a comment below!

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5 Responses to “7 Ways To Make It Easier On Yourself To Improve Your Nutrition (Health Series Part 3)”

  1. Kate Harrington Says:

    Way to go, Aaron! Once again you’ve conquered the feat of applying something to which we all relate (eating) to something about which we all desire (doing fun, fulfilling work). Inspired I am… and extra applause for the Ideal Health Vision concept. Off to create mine now!
    With gratitude, kate

  2. David Jarvi Says:

    I was wondering what happened to #3

    This series really had an impact for me..

    I starting doing green smoothies and got way into it..just fun to find out something and go experiment.

    I had no idea how much better I would feel eating/drinking good stuff.

    I nominate these two for unique genius
    David Wolf @
    Kevin Gianni @

    these guys are the real deal

  3. Nansee Bruce Says:

    We met you at OHI. Your blogging has helped us keep semi on track. Thank you for taking the time. Oh, I like hot chocolate too! Not with my wheat grass though!

  4. Matt Bailey Says:

    Hey dude!

    Great Post! I’m loving the green shakes as well. Speaking of health posts, I just posted about the Body for life program I completed 3 years ago. Still in almost the same shape though.

    Where did I try the hot chocolate. So good!

  5. Bonnie Gillis Says:

    Hi Aaron,

    It was perfect timing for me when you sent this blog/newsletter. Just when I was feeling down on myself for ‘letting myself go’ on the holidays…I had committed to hardcore healthy eating and LOVING the benefits before the holiday food-frenzy, and was pretty perturbed with myself for leaving that zone. Along with that, I have been a chronic ‘pedestal pusher’ and needed your little wake-up call to help bring me out of the fog. It’s a work in progress, but in just a few weeks I’ve noticed I’m getting better and it’s paying off in the area of networking (which was non-existent for me until recently).

    Thanks for all your fab insights!

    In Joy,

    p.s. HUGE congrats on your engagement!

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