I started experimenting with intermittent fasting 3 weeks ago after a conversation with my friend Will Ruggles who is a health coach, experienced intermittent faster and has guided many people from all walks of life to success with intermittent fasting. Fasting is definitely something that has intrigued me as it is a spiritual and religious practice that has been in existence for thousands of years and I think it’s an interesting concept. The reason that I wanted to try intermittent fasting was to balance my hormones and get normal sleep as I have been struggling with waking up in the middle of the night since moving to Boise, ID in January 2018.
Intermittent fasting itself triggers your body to burn fat as a fuel source. Fat burns over a long time, in slow intervals, which helps you avoid the spikes and dips of energy that come from using carbohydrates, sugar or caffeine as your main fuel sources. Fat is also easily burned by the body and one of the premises of intermittent fasting is to train your body to burn fat as your main fuel source. Teaching your body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates also balances your hormonal systems by putting less stress on them.
I really thought that intermittent fasting would be extremely challenging for me. I am 6’2″, my body fat percentage is most likely below than 12%, I have a fast metabolism, am quite active and burn through carbohydrates and calories like nothing and I had a lot of concerns about being hungry, not getting enough calories and slipping back into old bad habits where I wouldn’t eat enough and start losing weight. These concerns stopped me from giving intermittent fasting a shot and I was able to work through them by being supported by Will.
Since starting intermittent fasting three weeks ago, I have seen my sleep patterns improve (I am fasting one day a week). I am able to go back sleep quite easily now when I wake up in the middle of the night and I am no longer waking up in the middle of the night every night. I am also able to deal with stress with greater ease after I have finished fasting and I have not experienced any of my concerns about intermittent fasting since I began.
I want to share some of the steps that I have taken to ensure success with intermittent fasting as I truly believe that fasting one day a week (which really means skipping one meal on the day that you fast and delaying the normal time that you eat the next day by a few hours) can be beneficial for everyone.
So far I have skipped breakfast twice and skipped dinner once. Breakfast is an easier meal for me to skip as I used to be a distance runner in college who ran 7 days a week and would always go out early morning runs before I had breakfast, so I knew that I could skip breakfast easily.
During my second fast I experimented with skipping dinner and this was more challenging mentally than skipping breakfast as got home that night around 7 PM and my fiancee was out with a friend so I didn’t know what to do with my evening. My normal evening routine involves coming home around 6:30 PM, spending about 30 minutes to prepare dinner and then spending another 30 minutes eating dinner with my fiancee. Once we are finished eating we spend most of the evening with each other. No aspects of my normal evening routine were available that night and it felt weird, but I also avoided the urge to go back to the familiar routine of cooking and eating dinner that night by I deciding to take an early bath, read and go to bed at 9:30 PM.
My third fast was for 15 hours only because I forgot that I hadn’t fasted this week and had client meeting on the afternoon of the day that I broke my fast that I did not want to be hungry in.
I have definitely felt my stomach grumble at least once during each fast and a light grumbling isn’t a big deal. Will suggested that I drink water with a 1/2 teaspoon of himalayan pink sea salt if I feel really hungry during a fast as he told me that during a fast your body is craving nutrients more than it is craving food. I have yet to need to do this and I do believe that this will make a difference if I ever needed to do so. Another thing that provides me peace when I am intermittent fasting is that Will said that the best thing about intermittent fasting is that if you are still hungry an hour after consuming water with himalayan pink sea salt then feel free to eat as you are not bound to fasting for a certain period of time.
After my first 3 weeks of fasting, I truly believe that proper planning and having someone to support and guide you through the process are key. There are some great intermittent fasting coaches out there who can guide you to both try and succeed with intermittent fasting and the health results of intermittent fasting are being proven to be substantial. If you would like to try intermittent fasting and need support with it, reach out and I will point you to someone who can support you throughout the process.
How I realized that healing my physical injuries was only a part of the puzzle.
You may not know it and I am health coach – a really freaking brilliant health coach in fact. I was trained by a Medical Doctor in how to prevent and reverse diseases through a whole foods, plant-based (vegan minus processed foods) diet. I have worked with clients who had major organ failure that limited them to being able to do nothing more than spend all day in bed, clients who had autoimmune diseases that prevented them from working, exercising and enjoying their favorite leisure-time activities and clients who had disease that the Centers for Disease Control said could not be reversed and worked with each and every one of these clients as well as many other clients to help them reverse their disease or health issue and fully get back to the activities that they love.
I don’t mention that I am a health coach because I have mostly worked with clients on a referral basis and have been working another job throughout all of my years as a health coach. In my other jobs, I have strived so hard to be successful and strived so hard to make something of myself because it’s what I thought you needed to do and what I have been told to do.
You hear all of the success stories – people who worked harder than anyone before them, were more committed, had greater leadership skills and never stopped in the pursuit of accomplishing their goals. This pretty much sums up the American dream. Work hard and you will succeed, be completely open, pliable and adjustable, become whoever you need to become to succeed, be highly efficient, do whatever it takes, find a way, don’t say no to a customer or client – these are the messages of many of the most successful people in the world preach as the keys to their success and I have tried them all and while I have had some big successes in my career and while I have some impressive accomplishments to show for it I also destroyed myself in the process.
3 years ago I was working in a dream job and had worked so hard to get there. I pushed myself every single day at the job prior to getting my dream job and I had a lot of success. Yet my non-stop pushing in my prior job also lead to me going into work everyday for well over a year with a torn labrum in my right shoulder. I kept on going in and kept on pushing myself because I wanted to be a good employee and wanted to prove how committed I was and show the world that nothing would stop me from accomplishing what I want.
I have been operating like this since I was in high school. I grew up in New York City (The Bronx to be accurate, which by the way the Bronx is in New York City). New York City has some very specialized high schools that offer a fantastic education and being bright and having good grades lends your parents to push you to take the specialized high schools test because if you get into one of these specialized schools you’ll get a great education, it will look really good on your college applications and your chances of succeeding in life are supposedly higher. So I took the specialized school exam and didn’t make either of the top 2 specialized schools and the one that I made was really far from home and it made no sense to go there.
So I was pushed to take the Catholic High School test because this way I could also get into a great school and be setup for success. I ended up getting into the second best Catholic High School in NYC and off I went…to Catholic School. It was weird, I wasn’t Catholic, I had never been to a religious school let alone church or any place of religious worship for that matter and I didn’t fit in right off the bat.
One area where I thought I could fit in though was in sports and when I didn’t make the soccer team my freshmen year of high school I felt completely lost. I didn’t know what to do to fit in so I decided to run track even though I knew that I wasn’t particularly fast and for most of my freshmen and sophomore years on the track team that was the case. Something changed during my outdoor track season during my sophomore year and I improved a decent amount, although I still was not that good. What may have changed was that I was sick of being a loser, sick of not being good enough, sick of being a failure.
In my pursuit to stop being a loser, I decided to run a few days a week during the summer leading up to the upcoming Cross Country season. I luckily lived close to our home Cross Country course and was running the toughest part of our Cross Country race repeatedly multiple times a week and my times came down quickly on this part of the course. Before official Cross Country practice even started I knew that I had a chance to be good in the upcoming season. We came back to early season practice and I was immediately running with the Varsity and finishing minutes ahead of people who had beaten me by minutes just a year ago. It was invigorating, I finally felt good about myself for the first time in High School and people started to pay attention to me. I had a really good Cross Country season and I decided that I would never feel like a failure again and this decision parlayed itself right in my career.
When I got my first job, I worked so hard and bragged so hard to prove how great I was to prove to myself and others that I was not the failure that I had been earlier in my life. I had a lot of success and I pushed myself to the brink to make it happen. My body started to break down though from the incessant pushing and at the age of 26 I developed adrenal fatigue. Thankfully with the support of an amazing health coach I was able to eliminate my adrenal fatigue and went right back to pushing myself.
After the adrenal fatigue I learned how to deal with the side effects that came with pushing myself so hard, which sounds great, but trust me when I say it is not. So I kept on forging ahead and 2 years later I set out to prove to people that I was a great employee and that I would stick a with something no matter what as I had not always stuck with my jobs prior to this. After I decided that I was going to stick with my job no matter what I knew that nothing was going to stop me, but instead of succeeding off of the bat, I actually struggled mightily. I felt like a failure and decided to kick it into high gear because I could not be failure, so I worked harder and harder. I became whomever I needed to be to succeed. I was open and pliable and adjustable and always said yes and practiced everything that the successful people of the world said that you needed to practice to succeed and i turned it around quickly.
My incessant pushing seemed like it worked (it really did not) and I kept on pushing. Then I tore the labrum in my right shoulder. I was in pain almost everyday at work and yet I couldn’t stop pushing myself as I had to show to people that I wouldn’t quit no matter what happened. I took two days off after the injury and jumped back in as if nothing ever happened and I figured out how to deal with the pain and how to calm it down in a matter of hours and everything was fine.
Then the day came – I was at work and my right forearm turned completely purple, the slightest touch to my forearm caused excruciating pain, my hand was numb and I knew something was wrong. So I stopped doing what I was doing, walked over to my Manager, showed her my forearm and said “I need to leave now”. She saw my arm and said “yes, go”.
At first I went to a medical clinic, hoping that they could diagnose the issue and get it to calm down so I could go back to work the next day. The person at the clinic told me to go to the Hospital and I walked right into the Beth-Israel Medical Center, filled out some paperwork and sat waiting. I expected to be waiting for a while because I heard that you normally wait a while to be seen when you go to a Hospital. Yet I was seen in less than 90 minutes and knew that something serious was happening.
Numerous tests were run, i saw a number of nurses and doctors and I was told that I might have a blood clot in my arm. I was so scared and felt so alone. Thankfully the final Doctor that I saw said that I did not have a blood clot and we were able to get my symptoms down. He told me to go see an Orthopedic Doctor soon. I saw an Orthopedic Doctor about10 days later and was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome where a nerve underneath my shoulder was entrapped by my collarbone (which I had broken less than a year prior to tearing my labrum) and was causing blood flow to be restricted to my right arm. This is also a permanent injury, unless I had a very scary surgery which only had a 70% success rate and the 30% of patients for whom the surgery failed were actually worse off after the failed surgery. I was 29 years old at the time and was sent to physical therapy to see if we could ward off surgery and thankfully physical therapy worked and I have never had another symptom of this injury since wrapping up physical therapy.
Yet I didn’t learn the lesson. In fact, not only did I not learn the lesson to stop pushing myself, I actually pushed myself further when I got my dream job. I was the U.S. Account Manager for a startup company where myself and 2 co-workers were literally launching the U.S. operation. The job was challenging and I had clients all over the U.S., I traveled a lot and dealt with a lot of stress. The stress sometimes caused me to wake up in the middle of the night terrified about client issues and yet I still pushed through it. I kind of felt unstoppable in the role and was pushing myself in all areas of my life. In fact I was working 6 days a week in that job and eventually took on an outside consulting client on my day off. I was making money, making a difference and living a good life. Then during a business trip to Miami, I took a very high-level yoga class that I had wanted to take for over a year. I pushed myself, par the usual, and during the class I fell from an upside down yoga posture and fractured a rib.
I came back from the business trip and despite knowing that I fractured a rib, I did not take a single day off as I told myself that I was too valuable to the company that I was working for and had too many clients that needed me. Some days I would wake up and my ribs were in so much pain that they literally felt like they were on fire and could barely get out of bed and I would always be able to calm the pain down and head right to work. After four months of pushing through, something gave and when I say gave, I mean trouble.
I was at a restaurant client in Manhattan when it happened and was in their kitchen doing my job. I reached forward to grab my notebook and after grabbing my notebook I felt the worst pain that I had ever felt in my life in my back. It felt like my spine had collapsed and I screamed loudly in their kitchen. Everyone working in the kitchen stopped what they were doing and rushed over to me and everyone asked if I was ok. All I could say was “I don’t know and could you get me a chair and a bag of ice”.
After icing my back I knew that I needed to go home and take care of myself and I called my boss and the other person whom i worked side by side with and told them that I hurt my back and needed to go home. I had never done this before and I had to.
Two weeks later I saw my Sports Medicine Doctor. The diagnosis was spondylolisthesis – a vertebrae in my back was pushed forward. Permanent injury number 2. I was devastated. The Physician’s Assistant came in I wrapped up the appointment with my Sports Medicine Doctor and said that I would either never be able to bend forward with regularity again or I would never be able to bend backward with regularity again. I was crushed and resigned myself to a life where I would go to work, go home, rest and take care of my back and maybe see friends once in a while and nothing more.
I left my dream job and took a much simpler job with regular hours, a regular schedule and little to no overtime as I finally got the lesson after my back injury – stop pushing yourself so freaking hard.
Life sucked for a while, sitting on a chair for more than 2 hours hurts and I did no physical activity for close to two years. Thankfully I met a fantastic woman who pushed me to go to Physical Therapy and I kept on getting stronger and stronger everyday. It took three years to get to this point and my back is now at 95%, I am able to do all of the activities that I love, I actually have no issues with bending backwards or forwards at all which is an absolute miracle. I have not pushed myself as hard at work and I am in much better shape physically.
But, I had not stopped pushing myself mentally and I had not dealt with the feelings of not being good enough for quite some time and I realized that while physical healing (which I help my clients with as a health coach) is great, it is easy to slip back into old patterns if you are not working through the mental aspect that lead you to push yourself so physically hard in the first place. I am still on the journey of mental healing and am glad that I am beginning this journey. I want to support other people on this journey and my goal is to make sure that no one else does to themselves what I have done to myself and I know that there are a lot of people who are pushing themselves to the brink of injury, illness and health issues on a daily basis and want to help people through this as their health coach.
The intersection of our mission and your passion can make it happen
As the owner of Pure Love Sustainability Inc, I am finding that many people that I am talking to in the 24 – 35 year age group want to do something to help the planet or want to start a business that focuses on their version of creating sustainable change in the world. Many of the people that I have talked to have an inkling of what they want to do, but don’t know how to start or know that sustainability is what they are passionate about, but aren’t sure how they can make a difference.
Pure Love Sustainability Inc. wants to support you in starting up your sustainability business. We do not have all of the answers, we do not know every single strategy to gain clients and we do not run a massively profitable business. With this said, we are working hard to get to this place and are out in the world learning every single day while getting to do what we love – create fully sustainable cities.
We have worked with over 70 hotels, restaurants, commercial kitchens, stadiums, grocery stores and event centers to help them reduce their environmental impact and also have created organic, sustainable farms in New York City, the surrounding suburbs and areas a bit north of the city. Sustainability is our love, our passion and what lights our fire and our mission at Pure Love Sustainability Inc. is to restore the well-being of people, society and the planet.
We want to accomplish this by creating fully sustainable cities where the following conditions are being met:
Renewable energy – 100% of power being generated from renewable resources
Reuse, reduce and recycle – Cities have completely reduced their waste sources and all of the items that cannot be reused are able to be recycled.
Organic and sustainable soil – City residents are growing organic food in their backyards and open spaces that feeds their families and communities
Creating new acres of organic, sustainable produce farmland – Cities have organic, sustainable produce farmland that can are being worked by young produce farmers who are feeding the community.
Clean water – Cities are providing their residents with access to clean water that supports life
Beauty – Cities are growing organic flowers in all open spaces
Prevention – Cities are promoting well-being practices that prevent, reverse and eliminate the presence of diseases in their residents.
And we are looking to build up the next group of sustainability entrepreneurs by tapping into your unique skills, your passions, your commitments and your goals and turning them loose so that you can create the sustainability business of your dream. If you are looking to turn your passion for making a difference in the well-being of people, society and the planet into the business of your dreams that allows you to do work that you love in areas that matter to you, please click on the link below and fill out our contact form
If you break down the word sustainability into its roots you are left with the words sustain and ability. So sustainability literally means the ability to sustain. It does not mean solar panels, it does not mean electric vehicles, it does not mean wind power nor does sustainability mean banning plastic straws.
So if sustainability means the ability to sustain then that poses a question, what are we trying to sustain?
Sustainability is solely about sustaining life.
The next question you may ask is “What life are we looking to sustain?”
All life. From amoeba to fungi to parrots to whales to squirrels to human life and more. When the goal of sustainability is to sustain life then it becomes clear why ending our reliance on fossil fuel matters, why electric vehicles make sense, why wind and solar power makes sense, why banning plastic straws and all of the other things that the proponents of sustainable movements are promoting matter.
Let’s look at a few examples of why a number of the issues that the proponents of sustainability push back on starting with the burning of fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons, primarily coal, fuel oil or natural gas, formed from the remains of dead plants and animals that have been converted to crude oil, coal, natural gas, or heavy oils by exposure to heat and pressure in the earth’s crust over hundreds of millions of years. In common dialogue, the term fossil fuel also includes hydrocarbon-containing natural resources that are not derived from animal or plant sources. The burning of fossil fuels by humans is the largest source of emissions of carbon dioxide, which is one of the greenhouse gases that allows radiative forcing and contributes to global warming. (https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/fossil_fuel.htm)
As you can see burning fossil fuels are not sustainable because they produce large amounts of carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide is one of the main causes of climate change. If climate change happens at the extent that scientists product that it will, life as we know it will forever be altered. This also speaks to why electric vehicles are so important. Fossil fuels also comes from sources that are not renewable such as coal, natural gas and oil.
Electric vehicles rely solely on electricity, while it is true that some of the electricity that is produced by electric vehicles comes from coal-fired power plants, electric vehicles also don’t have a tailpipe hence they don’t produce emissions and electric vehicles can generate power when the driver applies the brakes.
Solar and wind power on the other hand are completely renewable, free resources that are available to everyone. Wind power makes complete sense to everyone as wind blows, a wind turbine (think the blades on a windmill) captures the wind energy, then the power generator inside the turbine spins and converts the wind that was captured into usable electricity without burning any source of fuel or emitting any gas noe harmful chemicals. Wind power is one of the simplest and most sensical sources of energy.
Solar on the other hand can be a bit trickier to understand and is also an extremely effective energy source that is free and limitless. Solar power gets generated due to sunlight hitting the solar panel, the solar panel has a converter within it that is able to convert the heat that the sun’s rays produce into energy. The energy that the converter produces gets stored in a battery and the battery releases the energy to power the home, vehicle, equipment, appliance or anything else that is attached to the battery. Solar power eliminates the need for fossil fuels and yes while there is an upfront cost in utilizing solar power the upfront cost often get offset as many solar power systems generate more electricity than what is needed to power the device, vehicle, appliance, equipment or anything else that is connected to the battery and the excess power can be sent back to the power grid. Power companies will often pay you for generating the excess power so solar typically ends up being cost-neutral, profitable or close to it for the person, entity, business or organization that produces it.
Banning plastic straws are an interesting movement within the realm of sustainability. We all assume that plastic straws are recyclable when in fact most cities, towns, municipalities and recyclers cannot recycle plastic straws. Plastics as a whole are tricky to recycle as only harder, non-stretchy plastics can be recycled by most recycling facilities. Plastic milk containers, hard plastic water bottles (aquafina, dasani, fiji), laundry detergent containers (when fully rinsed out), plastic strawberry, blueberry, blackberry and raspberry boxes can be recycled by most municipalities and over 90% of plastic items including crinkly plastic water bottles (poland springs) and plastic straws cannot be recycled by most municipalities.
China used to be a huge buyer of plastics and even the plastics that municipalities often could not recycle from many countries in the world including the U.S. were being sent to China. Billions of pounds of plastic were shipped to China only two years ago, China would then sell the plastics to companies that made recycled plastic products and this was an extremely viable solution for the worlds plastics. Then China stopped buying plastic from the rest of the world two years ago and the bad news of this is that most of the plastics that cannot be recycled are now getting dumped in the ocean. This is why you are hearing about the massive efforts to clean up the plastics in the ocean as the gigantic volumes of plastic in the ocean are literally killing fish, turtles, sharks, lobsters, shrimp, whales and other marine life.
Plastic straws clearly do not sustain life, nor does fossil fuel, nor does conventional farming (I will get into more detail on this area in a later piece). No matter what your beliefs, views, morals, ethics, economic principles, etc. are we all share in the desire to sustain life because we too are life. If our air is too dirty to breathe and our water is too polluted to drink and there are no more fish in the oceans then we all suffer. So please take sustainability seriously because without it there is no life.
Take these actions everyday for 3 months to drastically improve your health
If we want to “Make America Great Again” then universal health care is just one starting point. Did you know that out of the 33 countries in the world that are labeled as developed that the United States of America is the only one that does not have universal health care. Literally, the only one (https://www.thebalance.com/universal-health-care-4156211). Universal healthcare would absolutely make a difference and it is not the panacea that cures all of our ills.
Truly, I am all for universal healthcare and most of the disease, health conditions, medical issues, etc. that we have are lifestyle-based. In other words we cause a large chunk of our health issues. Smoking is univerally known to be equated with so many different diseases and health issues that there is no need to put a link in this article that backs up these claims. Red meat consumption, sugar consumption, lack of fruit and vegetables and working long hours are also all equated with a number of diseases and health issues. While having health care can help you manage these diseases and live longer with your disease, health condition or medical issue, health care is not setup to have you eliminate the presence of these diseases nor prevent these diseases. I do believe that healthcare is great when an unexpected situation happens like someone falling on your ankle and causing it to fracture or getting into a car accident that was caused by a drunk driver.
For unexpected accidents that were out of your control, universal health care is amazing and necessary. We shouldn’t have medical debt because of unexpected life events that caused us to need medical care and still, many of the diseases, medical conditions and/or health issues that are prevalent in society are caused by lifestyle — more specifically poor diet and poor lifestyle choices that can be prevented. To truly “Make America Great Again” we need universal health care for unexpected accidents and we also need to be responsible for our health and well-being.
I have worked with a lot of people who have done a lot of damage to their bodies and helped eliminate the presence of their health issues so they can be fully engaged with the things that matter to them. During my 6 to 12 month health coaching programs I have helped clients recover from and completely reverse major organ failure, helped clients that have suffered major bone injuries get back to the activities that they love, I have helped my clients completely eliminated autoimmune disorders and sexually transmitted diseases and more health issues solely through implementing diet and lifestyle changes (a whole foods, plant-based diet, targeted strengthening exercises, aerobic exercise, etc.) and am so clear that just about every disease, health condition and medical issue can be reversed through diet.
I am not big on tips and tricks and here are 7 things that you can do right now to drastically improve your health in 3 months or less:
Stop smoking — Research has shown that people who stop smoking see large increases in lung functioning, heart functioning, improvements in blood pressure and have a significantly lower risk of getting a heart attack in anywhere from 24 hours to 1 year after they quit smoking (https://www.healthline.com/health/what-happens-when-you-quit-smoking#three-years).
Eat fruits and vegetables at every meal — Even one carrot and a half an apple per meal make a huge difference as fruit and vegetables are high in fiber, which helps your body flush out toxins (Our body is constantly producing toxins and we encounter a lot of environmental toxins on a daily basis as well). Fruit and vegetables are also high in antioxidants which are compounds that are found in food that help to counteract the effects of cell damage (https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/antioxidants-your-immune-system-super-foods-optimal-health)
Reduce (or eliminate) your meat consumption — Whether you like it or not meat consumption has been equated to heart disease and cancer. Even “white meat” such as chicken is high in cholesterol (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=39&v=RjNcvDxCvFk)
Get 20 minutes a day of aerobic exercise at least five times a week — There is a belief that the only ways to get benefits from exercise are to push yourself and push yourself hard, a.k.a. no pain, no gain. I am calling total BS on this and this study proves it (http://thinkhealth.priorityhealth.com/health-benefits-of-walking-20-minutes-a-day-makes-a-difference/). Pushing yourself hard is great if and only if your body is trained for this, when I say trained for this I don’t mean that you used to be able to run 5 miles in 45 minutes so I am going to jump on the treadmill and run 5 miles in 45 minutes today eventhough I haven’t run in 6 months. This causes injuries because the body has not yet acclimated to high level activity and needs to build up enough strength to actually be able to handle high levels of stress (physical activity causes stress because you are causing small muscle tears every time that you exercise, if the body is trained then it can handle the small muscle tears and repair them, if it is not then small muscles tears can quickly turn into large muscle tears and sideline you for weeks or months). Starting slow and building up, is the most effective way for you to exercise or you can also start slow and stay there because walking 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week makes a huge difference in your health as evidenced by the above study.
Stop working so damn much — Work hard and you will succeed is the American way, it’s all that we know and hard work is what makes Americans who we are. Umm, maybe… Numerous health issues have been equated with working long hours and one of my clients literally almost worked themselves to death. (https://www.inc.com/tom-popomaronis/science-says-you-shouldnt-work-more-than-this-number-of-hours-a-day.html).
Eliminate dairy from your diet — Are you freaking nuts? This may sound insane as milk, cheese and yogurt taste so good and dairy products are mucus forming, can cause bloating and gas, and have been shown to be inflammation causing (https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/no-dairy-diet#3). I know hundreds of people who have given up dairy and have experienced amazing health benefits when they did including experiencing fewer allergic reactions, being able to breathe with greater ease and a reduction in mucous. As the above article says, calcium can be gotten from so many forms of fruits and vegetables hence as I mentioned in point 2, eat fruit and vegetables at every meal and you won’t have any issues with getting enough calcium
Reduce your sugar consumption — After a rough day what do most people want more than anything else? A sweet treat! Sugar! Cookies, ice cream, chocolate, etc. I get it sugar brings up feelings of elation, it brings us back to childhood when our parents got us a treat for doing so well in school or succeeding at something that we worked hard on. I believe in rewarding ourselves and sugar is not the way to do it. Sugar has been linked with a number of health issues, diseases and medical conditions (https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/how-sugar-affects-your-body). I’m not perfect and I do consume sugar at times and we all need to reduce our sugar consumption for our health.
I promise you that if you practice these 7 things everyday for the next 3 months that you will see massive improvements in your health. If you have a medical condition or health issue that is impacting your day to day life you may even see some of the symptoms of your health issue reduced by takign these things on. If you would like support in taking these 7 items on or have a medical condition or health issue that stops you from doing the things that you love then you should give me a buzz or send me an email as we can work together and get you back to doing what you love in anywhere from 6 to 12 months.
Solar power and community solar make so much sense when you understand how standard electricity works.
I was reading an article that Idaho just started offering community solar and got super-excited about it as this can make solar power available to people who don’t own homes, homeowners who don’t want to pay for or install solar panels, restaurants, stadiums, malls, food courts, et al. I am a huge proponent of solar and just started a sustainability consulting company in Idaho called Pure Love Sustainability Inc. that provides in-home sustainability consulting to help homeowners to determine the sustainability features that they can add to their home and to help businesses reduce the amount of food waste that they send to landfill and also lower their power, water and heating bills.
Solar is one of the best solutions that is available to help homeowners and businesses to reduce their environmental impact and reduce their power, water and heating bills. Yet solar has not been implemented on a broad scale yet in the U.S.
I think the challenge comes down to electricity as a whole. I am not an electrical engineer nor purport to be one and on the surface electricity seems almost too simple. You plug something into the wall and it gets powered. Then we don’t think electricity after that. The homeowners and businesses that I have been speaking with understand that the same thing happens when you have solar panels on your home/business or source your power from community solar and we do have to think about solar a bit more than standard electricity. The interesting thing is that the mechanism behind standard electricity is not that simple either and there are hidden costs of standard electricity that actually make solar power a no-brainer once you know them.
As I said earlier I am not an electrical engineer and one of my best friends used to be an Electrical Engineer and Project Manager with Con Edison, the company that supplies most of New York City’s power and also owns all of the power lines in New York City. A few years ago we were having a great conversation about standard electricity and I took a few things away from that conversation that blew my mind and made it seem almost silly to not use solar power to power my home and business.
A majority of our power in the U.S. comes from power plants that have massive power generators. Power plants convert mechanical energy (coal or oil being burnt are examples of mechanical energy) into electrical power that we use to charge our phones and computers, heat our water, power our lights, air conditioners, refrigerators and more. There are a number of challenges with electrical power though. Power generators and power turbines (the equipment that generate power) get extremely hot and need to be cooled down with water and as my friend explained to me, 1,000 gallons of water need to be used to cool down a generator for every 1 killowatt hour of energy that a power plant produces.
In other words 1,000 gallons of water need to be used to produce 1 kilowatt hour of energy.
1 kilowatt hour of energy is the amount of power that it takes to run one standard 50 watt light bulb for 20 hours. Which means that huge volumes of water need to be used to power just the light bulbs in every home and business in America forget about the water heaters, televisions, ovens, refrigerators, stove tops et al that we use that rely on being plugged into a wall outlet.
Another interesting factor about standard electricity is that the further the power travels from the power plant (power station), the less efficient it is. So if you live close to a power plant the power grid will need to send out less electricity in order to power your home because your home will be able to utilize more of the electricity since it is traveling a shorter distance. If you live 10 miles from a power generator, the electricity that your home receives will be way less efficient and it will take more energy to power your home than it would if you lives one mile from the generator since more electricity must be produced to make up for the lack of efficiency due to the distance that power has traveled.
At the end of the conversation with my friend I realized that standard electricity wastes a huge amount of our water resources, is extremely inefficient and in the long-term does not make sense, all of which he affirmed for me.
Solar power on the other hand does not use any water at all as solar energy converts light from the rays of the sun directly into energy. Photovoltaic cells (solar panels) absorb sunlight and pass the suns rays through semiconducting materials such as silicon that can transport electric current. Then the solar cells within the solar panels convert solar energy into a usable form of energy. Solar panels do not need to be cooled down by water, hence it takes zero gallons of water to produce solar energy and since the water used to heat power generators cannot be reused (https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/11/08/is-solar-energy-less-efficient-than-non-renewables/#f8e080b4d4a7), solar energy is clearly the best choice when it comes to the amount of natural resources used.
When it comes to efficiency, it is true that only about 20% of the light that hits a solar panel gets converted into solar power ((https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/11/08/is-solar-energy-less-efficient-than-non-renewables/#f8e080b4d4a7)). This seems significant and this is a moot point as there the sun provides an infinite amount of light when it is shining whereas coal and oil are finite resources. Sunlight is also free to produce, where as oil and coal are not. So while coal and oil power appear more efficient on the surface, the costs to mine and ship these materials more than makes up for the lack of the efficiency of solar panels to convert the suns rays into energy.
As we know not everyone can have solar panels, on their home or business due to a variety of factors: cost, lack of sunlight, roofs that are too small for solar systems and the fact that many people do not own homes. This is where community solar becomes a huge asset. Community solar gets sourced from solar farms or solar scale utilities that have large pieces of land with thousands of solar panels and a large battery to capture all of the energy that solar panels gather and then distribute the solar energy among its members.
Being a part of a community solar program is like joining a Co-Operative Market (Co-Op Grocery Stores such as the Boise Co-Op, the Flatbush Food Co-Op and the Sacramento Co-Op exemplify this model). In a community solar program you pay an upfront or monthly membership fee that provides you with benefits such as receiving solar power at your home, office or building and you also get a credit on your bill when the solar utility generates more power than its users use. This happens because the power that community solar members does not use gets sent back to the power grid and the power company pays the solar utility for generating extra power. This payout then gets distributed evenly among its members (this is the same benefit that a homeowner or business gets when they install solar panels on their roof).
Community solar is a fantastic solution to make solar power more available and can help you and your business to significantly reduce the environmental impact that you have. By purchasing a community solar membership, you are preventing tens of thousands of gallons of water per year from being used to power your home, you are lowering or in some cases eliminating your power bill and you are doing the right thing for the future of the planet.
I am happy to personally help you determine whether community solar can make a difference for your home, office, restaurant, stadium, mall or apartment building. To schedule a consultation, please fill out the contact form on our website and we can schedule an initial consultation where we will assess both the short-term and long-term value that community solar can provide for you.
Michael Forman is the founder of Pure Love Sustainability Inc., a sustainability consulting company in Boise, ID. He has worked with more than 70 business to help them reduce their environmental impact and utility billls and is now also offering these same services to homeowners. Visit Pure Love Sustainability Inc’s website to learn more and schedule an initial consultation (www.purelovesustainabilityinc.com)
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton