EAT MOVE SLEEP by TOM RATH is one health book you must read for this year. At 16, the author was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) coupled with a new mutation that affects one in every 4.4 million people. The mutation leads to rampant cancerous growth throughout the body. As 20+ years go by, he has learnt more about how he can eat, move, and sleep to improve his chances of living a long and healthy life. Hence, small choices change everything. The book was written in a clean and neat 30 days’ sequence x 3 tips each day. Below summarises my top 13 simple takeaways that I will incorporate into my own lifestyle:
1. Recognise and always remind myself that my lifestyle choices can create rapid and dramatic changes at the genetic level
2. Overall approach to eating : less fat x fewer carbs x as little added sugar
3. Select food with 1:1 ratio of carbs to proteins. Reduce refined carbs like white rice, white bread, pasta etc, sharing that bowl of rice is a good start.
4. Prioritize protein intake in order of fruit and vegetables (asparagus, avocado, beans, peas, spinach), nuts, tofu, seafood, white meat, diary (cheese, cream, milk, yoghurt), red meat (beef, duck,lamb, pork) and avoid all processed meat (bacon, luncheon meat, sausage).
5. Target 7 servings of fruits/vegetables and pick produce with dark and vibrant colours – green (broccoli, kale,spinach, kale, bok choy, celery, cucumbers, peppers and other dark leafy green vegetables) red or blue (apples, berries, tomatos etc). Eat fruits whole and avoid juices.
6. Sugar is a toxin that fuels diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer. Any added sugars beyond what you get from whole fruits and vegetables are bad. Drink only water, plain tea, plain coffee or other unsweetened drinks.
7. Choose steamed, stewed or poached food over deep fried, fried and grilled food. The latter produce AGEs (advanced glycation end) products, linked to inflammation, diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s.
8. Take at least 20 minutes to savour a meal slowly to avoid overeating and accumulation of gastric gases. Start with the healthiest food.
9. Indulge less to enjoy more, so share all the little treats and eat in minute portions. If you tend to snack, put the healthiest snack at eye level or anywhere else most prominent.
10. Be active throughout the whole day with microactivities like taking the stairs or park far away from the door. Stay away from the seat (sitting more than 6 hours a day greatly increases your risk of an early death) by ensuring 2 minutes of leisure walking for every 20 minutes of sitting. Aim for 10,000 steps a day, measure the results with a fitbit or pedometer app on your phone.
11. Get a full hour of vigorous activity to burn calories all day long. Try to exercise in the morning for better mood and brainpower, even 5 minutes of outdoor activity will boost your mood.
12. Every single hour spent watching television decrease the viewer’s life expectancy by 22 minutes, if you must watch TV, exercise while doing it. And stop using the phone while walking, the ‘smartphone pose’ is bad for your wrists, neck and back.
13) Get good quality sleep of about 8 hours daily, get quality sleep by keeping all artificial lights at bay and download a white noise app to drown out background noises. Also avoid eating, drinking or using phones an hour before you go to bed. A good night sleep is effective at preventing a cold. During the day, take regular breaks in between working.
EAT MOVE SLEEP can be found at many branches of National Library. Otherwise, get it from TheBookDepository that provides free shipping to SG. Please remember to share your books with your friends or donate it to the local libraries when you are done with it. Let’s stay green.
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