First, we would love to give a big shout out and thank you to Terry Gaffney for his incredible design work. He is responsible for making our logo and website look amazing, as well as the above image. Check out his website - http://terencegaffney.com/ - for other examples of his excellent work, and his contact info if you are in need of such services.
When we started and named Cado, we turned to Terry for how we should appear. He fired back a dozen or so top contenders for our logo and font. Responsive and quick turnaround time, within reason of course. After a few back-and-forths, we came to what you see here! Terry just gets it. A few conversations and he knows exactly what your design needs - colors, placement, you name it. It has been quite the evolution, and a fun process. Also, our business cards are unique and quite memorable!
Now, back to the amazing human body.
Watching the debacle that has been nutrition in this country over the last couple of decades, is like watching America’s Funniest Home Videos turn into Jackass. Don’t get us wrong - we love a good laugh. But what was once good, (albeit cheesy) family comedy has become all shots-to-the-testicles and fart jokes. I do not find amusement from watching the pain of others.
Nutrition is the same way. Too many marketing gimmicks and misdirection. Too much black-and-white when most of life occurs in the 99.999% area that is a spectrum of grey. The answer for each of us can be much more simple, while also providing depth. In fact, it will be so.
Instead of a food pyramid, let us discuss what is possible when looking at your health holistically in this Performance Pyramid.
*First, we must accept the fact that, much like putting gasoline in our motor vehicles, we cannot disassociate what we put into our bodies from how they perform.
What performance means to you, is another thing entirely. If you have goals and wish to meet them, or need guidance on finding goals, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Any nutrition article - research, blog, newspaper, magazine or journal - that fails to account for “current physiologic status,” “current state of training,” or any other combination subjective and objective data associated with current fitness levels, fails to properly inform you, its reader.
That would be analogous to putting whatever we feel like into our gas tanks - unleaded, premium, water, milk, juice, dish soap - and expecting our cars to work optimally, regardless. Or, failing to account for how the car actually works - its engine, transmission, tire type, intended use of the vehicle.
Nutrition cannot be singled out and regarded as an entity entirely separate from how our bodies currently function, or how we wish for them to function in the future. Each of us is like a unique motor vehicle with slightly different intended use (both in movement and specialty, as in career). How we move or "use our motor vehicle" is actually alterable.
In order to properly evolve in our performance, though, we need more specific insight. Genetics tests and other objective data have their places, but before we dive all the way down that rabbit hole, let us start with an overview.
At the foundation of this Performance Pyramid is movement. The human body was designed for movement, and move we shall. Other parts of this pyramid are not 100% fixed in their positions; we will describe both their use and their flexibility in coming posts.
*The goal of this pyramid is to direct your thinking towards a ground-up approach where your habits and actions follow your thoughts. Sort of like a checklist - how is my movement (exercise, the foundation)? Next, how is my hydration status and protein intake? So on and so forth up towards the top of the pyramid.
The great part about this philosophy is that you can use it to your advantage acutely - within a part of a day or a single day - or use it on a larger, more macro scale - week, month, year. Nutrition status is mostly short term. However, because nutrition's effectiveness relies on our training status, both macro and micro strategies work here. Again, more on how the particular order of this Pyramid works in coming articles.
Meanwhile, just take time to reflect on what this Performance Pyramid may mean for you right now. Worth stating again, the intent of this new Performance Pyramid is where to direct your attention and focus. According to the Dhammapada, the best-known book in the Pali Buddhist canon, “We are what we think.” Where your focus goes, so do you; where the head goes, so follows the body. Notice there is no mention of any foods or items that are "bad for you," or how to "avoid them." We believe there is no place for such negativity in your focus or in your thoughts. But, we know people enjoy life how they so choose. Do you, BooBoo. Do you.
TC: We had meant to create this pyramid for a long time. Finally, I had enough a couple of weeks ago. The cause, you might ask?
I hit the grocery store to grab the remaining ingredients necessary to make meatballs and sauce (gravy) according to my Grandmother’s recipe. She and my Grandfather have been making this recipe along with spaghetti and salad on Sundays for our family, for over 40 years. Probably more like 50. Before my time, anyway.
After checking out once with my items at the store, I noticed that I forgot the breadcrumbs for the meatballs. Walking back into the store, I then realized I had no idea where they kept the breadcrumbs.
Why did I forget this? I blame it on focus. Each week, my wife and I go to the grocery store. The list pretty much looks the same, and we spend about the same amount. The only thing that really changes is which fruits and vegetables are in-season, and which dinner recipes we choose.
One thing we do not buy regularly is breadcrumbs. Or bread. Or more than half of the grocery store. Over the years, entire aisles of the grocery store have ‘disappeared’ according to our minds. We do not bake or eat “sweets” like cookies. The only cereal we keep is oatmeal or steel-cut oats for overnight soaked oats.
[Side note: This type of nutritional decision making did not occur overnight, so please do not let us give you that impression. Every bit of dietary change has been conscious and focused. Our definition of going out to eat for enjoyment has also changed greatly over the years.]
So, I jogged my memory. After winding through the grocery store, I got to the back where the bread was, near the jars of nut butters and fruit preserves. Finally, I found the breadcrumbs. Then I wondered how many people have had this same thing happen to them, and whether it would be a good thing, nutritionally speaking, if most people never even made it down certain aisles in the grocery store. After all, it is not our responsibility to prop up unhealthy food makers; it is our duty to keep ourselves healthy.
So, let us direct your attention towards what we believe really matters in health. If you follow our Performance Pyramid and prioritize according to your own personal mantra, we believe over time you will achieve a lasting status of good health and performance.
Have a great week!
TC, MS, SV