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Somehow amazingly another year has come and gone, almost in the blink of an eye. Filled with action, changes, surprises, challenges, blessings, learning and adaptation, the past year has been fascinating and fantastic. The more I take steps back to look at life unfold before me the more I’m amazed by it all. I’m continually blessed by everything around me and feel incredibly lucky and honored to be where I am in my life. A wonderful wife, three awesome boys, and a great extended network of family and friends that support, motivate and enrich my life. Work that I enjoy, get fulfillment and challenge from, with clients that encourage and propel my evolution as both a health professional and personally as just a regular guy making his way through the world. A body that enables me to move and enjoy the world in my own unique and rewarding way. A thirst for learning, connecting to and developing a philosophy on life and health that makes each day better than the last, no matter how it unfolds. Without a doubt, 2013 has been a year that will be instrumental in the narrative of my life for the above reasons and many more that I’m only scratching the surface of.

Reflections on 2013

It’s always fun to look back on a year and see where it took you and where it’s leading you. When I look back at this year, a few things stand out that encapsulate what 2013 has meant for me…

The more answers I find the more questions I create…

Not surprisingly, another year of my health journey has brought more depth of understanding and with that many more questions that I would like to explore. The only truth I’m finding is that the more we figure out about health, the more we realize we don’t really know. I still believe that there are so many truths we stand firmly on today that are going to crumble beneath our feet in the not too distant future. We need to always remember that our truth and reality is only as reliable as the information we have and the lens we look through. Both will change and we need to live in a way that embraces the change and evolution of truth and not in a way that’s threatened by change. I love that we don’t know everything (and might really know next to nothing) and am excited by what it means. It means our world is full of possibilities and uncertainty and that is very appealing to a guy like me.

The big picture matters a lot

Looking at the big picture in terms of nature, the earth, ecosystem, and human organism is the best way to understand human health and existence. We might be unique and special creatures but we are still inhabitants and participants on the planet Earth. The more we realize that we are part of a greater system the easier it will be to find our place in the world. The same goes with our bodies. We are intricate organisms that are simply systems trying to get along in the greater ecosystem of the world. What happens inside and outside our bodies makes the most sense when you look at the big picture of the human system and the world we live in. Trying to analyze, specialize and control everything will only lead us to disappointment and confusion.

Looking at the big picture in your life is the best way to tackle your health and wellness. Details and specifics can help and are of value but are the equivalent of a test tube. What happens in test tubes tell you something very specific for a certain condition or circumstance but mean less, nothing or even the opposite in the real world. Worrying about micromanaging your diet and exercise isn’t as valuable as you think if you’re ignoring the big picture which includes things like sleep, stress, fun, family, relationships, earth experience, purpose, personal responsibilities and so much more that makes up optimal and ideal human existence.

I’ve grown apart from “Paleo” and find myself less interested in all the people arguing over details and semantics…

I love the concept of Paleo and think it is valuable in helping people reframe how they think about health but it is getting too messy, opinionated and convoluted for my comfort level. Paleo as “the idea of trying to live a more natural based life and using clues from our broad and varied evolutionary experience” is a helpful paradigm to think about health decisions but Paleo as “a simplistic, naive, dogmatic and egocentric framework of a specific diet of eating like cavemen and doing CrossFit” is unfortunately what’s getting most of the common association and it’s not something I like being a part of. I am a big advocate of connecting to an older style of life but due to an over saturation of all sorts of immature Paleo-ish content floating around the world I have found myself disconnecting from “Paleo” more and more. It’s a great concept but, like everything that gets popular attention, the original meme is getting distorted quite a bit.

The health powers that be are coming around but it’s still going to be a while…

The tide continues to turn in the health sphere as more and more people reevaluate some of the things we’ve been believing, doing and allowing to be done to us. An increasing (although still small) percentage of people are becoming aware of how important it is to be the ambassador of your own health, from the food they eat and the medicines they take to paying more attention to stress, sleep and enjoying life. Numerous so called truths in health and nutrition are being challenged on a increasing frequency and eyes are opening across the globe. Big business is still going strong and the status quo is still fighting to maintain its clout but the ripple of change is growing. It’s not at a tipping point yet but it’s getting closer and spreading every year.

There were many other memorable moments, ideas, posts and reflections but those are just a few of the things that come to mind as big themes from last year.

On that note, I thank every one of you for a great 2013 and look forward to an even better 2014.

Thanks for reading, have a great New Year!

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