I have friends and relations who, when we’re together, will bring me up to speed on the latest clinical research on health and wellness they’ve read about. The theories are always revolutionary, promising to change how we think about weight loss or fitness. They’re always supported by the top research. “Don’t Eat Carbs!”, “Exercise Intensely for Fifteen Minutes Every Day”, “Fudge is Healthy”, (Okay, the last one I cribbed from Woody Allen’s Sleeper). The more promising the headline, the more qualified the actual results are. Compelling evidence suggests one course of conduct, only to be contradicted six months later.
When I hear about the latest findings, I nod and I listen. And maybe I’ll read the research that friends and family tell me about, but I rarely ever act on the articles. I believe that my friends and family are completely earnest in their desire to follow through with the recommendations they’ve read about. But of course, they rarely do. Like many people, they try, and then their interest, and therefore their efforts, wane. So when they try to get me excited about the latest research, I don’t get giddy.
Because, guess what, dear Tonic readers. There are no easy answers. I defy you to find them in this magazine, …or elsewhere, for that matter. However, in my seven+ years of publishing I have come to realize there are simple answers to health and wellness: Eat healthy, sleep more and stay active. For most of us, that’s it. If you can do that, you don’t have to read another word in Tonic. My job is done. (mic drop)
…Of course simple doesn’t equal easy. And knowing what to do isn’t the same as actually doing it. I try to “walk the walk”, but I average six hours of sleep a night. My weight fluctuates up and down, due to my lack of willpower and a long list of very unhealthy foods that I genuinely love (God bless pasta, pizza, Oregon Pinot Noirs, well-made Bourbon Sours and chocolate peanut butter). And I have been known to overdo the exercising to the point of injury. But I’m slimmer, stronger and fitter than I’ve ever been, and I eat far better that I used to. If only I could solve the mystery of the 5:00 a.m. necessa-pee, I’d be thrilled.
So what’s the “point” of Tonic? Well, I’m told the short articles make for a great bathroom read. But honestly, I see our articles as suggestions for you to develop your own methodology to getting to the point where you eat healthy, nutritious foods, get restful sleep and find the time and activities that you enjoy, so that you can remain active. We’re not all going to practice aerial yoga, do Crossfit, eat raw/vegan, have mind-blowing sex and then collapse into exhausted sleep for ten hours. But we can be inspired and work towards a healthier lifestyle. And if having a financial plan means that you’ve got peace of mind and can sleep better, or if cutting out the double-lattes means you can run for an extra twenty minutes with your daughter, then so much the better. (picks up the mic and drops it again)
So, there are no easy answers in this issue of Tonic. But if you want to know why sitting on your ass the whole day is a bad idea, and what you can do about it, read Joel Thuna and Claude Gallant’s article (p.38). If you think you’d like to detox, but don’t have the time for a whole cleanse, Michelle Pobega has some great suggestions for you (p.20). Or, if this note hasn’t inspired you and you need a swift kick in the pants, Rod Macdonald has some choice words (p.33). As always, if I’ve annoyed the hell out of you, spouted truisms, or somehow rubbed you the wrong way, please feel free to contact me.