Murray Wellness – Healthy, Happy, Present
As many of you may have noticed by now, TC Surfski has a sister company, Murray Wellness, which my wife Kim started in the fall of 2013. For the most part we haven’t integrated the two, but over the past few months you may have noticed more Murray Wellness presence on my website and in my newsletter. For those who have attended the Surfski Immersion Camp, they have had the good fortune to experience what happens when both businesses have an opportunity to fuse into one and we combine surfski paddling with healthy gourmet cooking and eating.
Background in Healthy Cooking
If you have read my blogs, you’ll know that in the off-season last year I experimented quite a bit with my diet and training. This was certainly not my first diet and cooking experiment. Kim and I have been passionate about cooking from scratch and entertaining for over 14 years. Initially I did the bulk of the cooking and Kim focused on the entertaining, but over the past couple of years Kim has really gotten into the cooking side and now does much more on a day to day basis than I do.
In the spring of 2008, after reading several disturbing books on factory farmed meat production, I made the decision to become vegan. It was very challenging at first, but I quickly came to appreciate and enjoy the new challenge of cooking gourmet vegan meals. There is no doubt that it forced me out of my comfort zone and really drove me to discover hundreds of new ingredients I never knew existed. I lost weight following a vegan diet and got down to my lightest weight ever and stayed there for the entire time we were vegan (about 5 years). We also had a fabulous time introducing friends and family to gourmet vegan meals that were original and satisfying.
From High Carb Vegan to Low Carb Paleo
It was books that led to the decision to go vegan, and more, albeit very different books, that led me to go from vegan to a very non-vegan for of ketosis (low carb). You can read the details of my low carb experience in my blog, but to summarize, on the vegan diet I was really struggling with my endurance. This could very well have been due to the fact that I never did any long slow distance training, but the science behind changing the body to burn fat over sugar was enough to convince me that perhaps I didn’t need to do LSD workouts and could achieve the same effect with changes to my diet.
For the most part, the very low carb diet delivered on its promise and I developed better endurance than ever while cutting carbs. I had a great eight months on the low carb regime but then started a new job with travel 4-5 days a week and quickly eating well wasn’t so simple. Traveling as a vegan you end up eating a diet of 90% carbohydrates. Traveling as a low carb/paleo advocate, you end up trying to decide if low carbohydrate trumps eating non-organic factory farmed meat. A challenging dilemma any way you look at it. Needless to say, for the past six months, I’ve been in between vegan and paleo, working long hours, and making a lot of eating compromises. It has definitely had an effect on my conditioning, which of course I’m trying to counter-balance with my obsession on technique, for to come in a future blog, but s small hint… I’m starting to do a lot of visualitzation.
All said and done, over the last several years Kim and I have experimented extensively and learned a lot. After hundreds of books and over 15 years of trying just about everything, below is where we’ve landed:
- Diet absolutely matters, the vast majority of studies are now showing that beyond a doubt, diet is more critical to overall long term health than exercise
- Everyone is unique and a diet that works very well for one person may be detrimental to another
- There is a lot of misinformation in the nutrition world, but there is also a lot of fundamental commonality between seemingly opposite diet approaches
- Combining the whole, unrefined, natural, and organic elements of vegan and paleo may very well lead to the ultimate balanced diet, quickly emerging as “Pegan”
- There is a growing body of science pointing toward the fact that you can improve fat burning chemistry quicker through diet changes than training
- All of us can use a whole foods detox from time to time to reset our diet, identify foods that may not be working well for us, and introduce new and tasty foods and recipes to our routine
Recently Kim had one of my customers, Tracy Hardin, who is a top woman surfski paddler and cross country skier in Michigan, enroll in one of her detox programs. Rather than me tell you how awesome it was for her, below is what she wrote to Kim (her exact words)
“I have been a competitive athlete into my 50’s. But, the last few years I have been lacking in energy. I knew that I was eating too much sugar and drinking too much caffeine and wine. I thought I would never be able to give these things up, even for just the 15 day detox. But, with Kim and my fellow detoxers support, fabulous recipes and inspiration, it was fun and no problem for me. My eyes were opened to new ways of eating and releases of stress. I not only lost the extra pounds, but my mood lightened, my energy increased and I never felt deprived.”
Kim will be running her next detox in early January. Sign up now to get the EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT + A FREE 3 DAY STRESS LESS MINI DETOX. And if you happen to have an interest in Essential Oils, then there is a great option to purchase oils and get the full detox for free. Anyone can do this virtual detox which is all run via e-mail and a private Facebook group. This is the perfect opportunity to shake things up and experiment with some fun new changes to your diet that could very well help you shed those holiday pounds and give you just the motivation you need to make some lasting changes and prepare for paddling fitter and faster than ever in 2015.