An interview with Angela Joy, health, wellbeing and fitness extraordinaire
We’re going to take a break from our nihilistic ramblings to speak with Angela Joy, a fellow blogger who specialises in health and wellbeing. She’s an avid runner and a advocate of positive psychology. We thought we’d ask her a few questions about healthy and happy living. Her blog is awesome, check it out. We’ll put links at the bottom of this post
I would like to first thank you for allowing me the opportunity to appear on your blog. I am incredibly honored and appreciative. My response are written below for you to read at your convenience. My hope is to inspire and motivate positive change J
Q: You mention that it’s important to ‘live in the moment.’ This is a philosophy preached by both traditional buddhists and new-age mystics alike. The problem with ‘living in the moment’ is that people can’t seem to stop thinking about the past or the future. You advised people to ‘put their cameras away,’ which was wonderful, but what other things can they do to stay ‘centred?’
A: Living in the moment is a feeling that many of us have lost touch with. As a result of the technology and quickly moving world that we live in, our minds are usually off somewhere else while we are currently engaged in a task.
Many of us do not even realize this is happening. In an effort to encourage this behavior, society has idolized multitasking. We often hear others state how they were able to complete three tasks at once in a matter of only several minutes. This is great, but did you complete that task to the best of your ability? Do you even remember actually completing the task? Were you present during the task, or absent focusing on the next task at hand?
Multi-tasking is causing us to spread ourselves thin and lose sight of what is important in life.
An example to better explain my statement is when you see someone photographing a moment rather than experiencing it.
My best advice for those seeking to become more present in their lives is to first recognize what it means to be present. Understand the concept of being present and why it is important.
Then you can begin to recognize when you are not present.
This recognition alone will help you to reconnect with yourself, your actions and thoughts – while learning to enjoy and remember important moments in your lifeJ
Q: Whenever I eat cake at work I feel awful afterwards. Why do we seem to ‘crash’ after eating heavily refined foods such as cake and pasta?
A: When we eat refined foods that are high in sugar and lacking in nutrients our bodies go into a bit of a shock, which is followed by a low. This process is better known as hypoglycemina.
Foods that contain fiber and nutrition take much longer to be digested and absorbed into the body. Refined foods that are high in sugar do not contain much, other than sugar. Therefore they are broken down and absorbed by the body very quickly. This quick absorption process causes the blood sugar to spike up high – your hormones love it, your taste buds love it, and you feel great. Then the blood sugar drops. You feel tired, sluggish and unhappy. This is due to the jolt that the body just experienced leaving your hormones completely out of whack and your body craving more sugar.
In an effort to prevent this from occurring we should make every effort to consume foods that serve our body’s needs, and are made up of nutrition and fiber. Our bodies need food that contains nutritional value, vitamins, minerals and fiber to allow them to function at peak levels J
Although most of us do not like to believe this; food was created to serve our body, not just our taste buds. The food we eat becomes our cells, organs, skin, hair, and nails. If we want strong organs, blood, bones, hair and nails we must consume foods that support their functioning, not deprave them of what they need – which is what highly refined, sugar-filled foods do.
Q: You preach a common phrase repeated among gurus in the wellness community that people should ‘love themselves.’ As much as it’s a good, marketable phrase, it’s not very practical. What does ‘loving yourself’ mean and how can people learn to love themselves?’
Loving yourself is waking up in the morning, staring in the mirror, and smiling at the person staring back at you. This may sound absurd, and even impossible for some, but by all means loving yourself is possible!
We are all wonderful and amazing human beings who were created for a specific reason and purpose. Yes, YOU were created for a very special purpose.
If you do not agree with me, and you do not think that your body is not all that great, then think about this:
– Every second your body is producing 25 million new cells
– A red blood cell moves through your body in less than 20 seconds
– Your nerve impulses travel at a speed of 249 miles per hour.
– Your heart beats 100,000 times every day – which is 30 million times per year!
– Your blood travels 60,000 miles through the body every day!
– Your lungs inhale two million liters of air every day – without you ever stopping to think about it.
– One square inch of your hand contains nine feet of blood vessels, 600 pain sensors, 9,000 serve ending, 36 heat sensors and 75 pressure sensors.
Still think you are unimportant, useless, ugly, boring, uninteresting? I do not think so.
YOU, not anyone else, was created at the specific moment that your father’s sperm entered your mother’s egg. This is not by chance.
So what isn’t to love?
Your body is such a gift. Cherish your gift, love it, feed it and move it – and in return it will take care of you J
Q: Many of our married friends are 30 pushing 70. One unnamed 32 year old individual looks rather like Prince Phillip (the old Prince Phillip, not the young one). People seem to get settled into married life and find themselves on the couch every night eating mountains of choc-coated almonds. Why do you think some people in long term relationships discard health and wellbeing?
A: Regardless of age people find themselves becoming complacent. They have all that they need to get by, therefore they choose to live their current life (regardless of the monotony and unhappiness that they may be feeling) because they are afraid of change, they don’t know how to make a change, or they are so tired and stressed that they can’t even bear the thought of doing something different.
The biggest of these three that I have mentioned, I truly believe, is stress.
We are under constant stress from all areas of our lives. When it comes time to think about making changes or doing something out of the ordinary we are afraid this will create more work which we cannot handle (or, feel like we cannot handle because we are so overwhelmed).
This is better known as burnout.
Burnout is felt in all aspects of our life.
We feel so overwhelmed that we do not see how we could possible find the time to exercise, eat healthy, make dinner, spend quality time with friends and family, or do anything else that supports our well-being.
The truth of the matter is; you have time for whatever you WANT to make time for.
What do you consider your priorities in life? These are the things that get done. If health and wellness is not a priority in your life it will be ignored and you will spend valuable years of your life sitting on a couch eating ice cream.
Every day YOU choose how you will spend your day. Every day you have a choice.
If you want to change, you have to truly want to make that change.
If you make change a priority, you will have time for it.
As a fitness and wellbeing writer, what are your thoughts on the various illnesses that affect obese people, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Are refined foods really responsible for the rise in these illnesses?
A: Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the many digestive issues that people are facing all over the world.
The health of our digestive system is one of the most important components of our bodies. When our digestive system is not functioning properly our entire body will begin to function improperly – because it is not able to fully absorb and digest the nutrients our body needs correctly.
While there are other areas of life that also impact our health and digestion (stress, lifestyle, environmental exposures, and much more) diet and exercise is a large piece to the puzzle.
If someone is facing a digestive issue the first thing they should do is seek guidance to improve the health of their gut through a nutrient-rich diet, filled with healthy gut bacteria (probiotics).
Probiotics offer the body healthy bacteria which supports digestive health. Anyone facing any type of digestive issue should consider a healthy dose of probiotics which can be consumed through their food and through supplements.
So I tried to lose weight through long distance walking, but found it utterly useless and not tiresome at all. In fact, I came to the realisation that the forced marching of POW’s in WWII wouldn’t have been nearly as traumatic as the so called ‘survivors’ say it was. So why is a 20-30 minute run is so much more beneficial to a 4 hour walk?
A: When the body walks at a steady, comfortable pace the metabolic system is not really altered.
When the body picks up the pace for a jog the heart pumps faster, the lungs pump more oxygen, healthy hormones are released, the body sweats out toxins, and much more. This process supports weight loss. A steady state walk will strengthen the leg’s slow twitch muscle fibers while slightly improving the cardiorespiratory system. The same benefits are possible when walking, although on a much smaller scale that may not be noticeable.
If you are hoping to lose weight try adding in job intervals. Pick up the pace for only a few seconds at a time throughout the walk. Get the heart rate up and push yourself to the point that you want to stop. Try to continue these bursts of fast walking or jogging throughout your walk, and each time you go for a walk try to jog a little longer.
Over time you will build up your cardiorespiratory ability, your heart will begin pumping more blood, happy hormones will be released, you will work up a little sweat, and you will build up strength. Intervals will help support weight loss. Steady state exercise is nowhere as effective.
During long bike rides, I’ve often found myself ruminating on why certain friends didn’t show up to my birthday last year. Finally, when the exercise is done, I return home in a worse mood than when I left. Our minds can be chaotic, especially when the body is under great physical stress. So how does someone manage their thoughts while training?
A: Try to focus on the positives!
When we endure long bouts of exercise we have time to think. You can use this time to think about anything you would like.
Your thoughts could be positive or negative. If you find yourself constantly thinking of negative thoughts this may be a sign to you that you have some negativity you are holding on to which is preventing you from being positive.
Work through the negativity and make an effort to find the good. Find the good in the situation, the upside, the positive, the other side of the coin.
Find a way to turn a bad situation into a good one. You are on a long ride, why not take the time to brainstorm.
Believe it or not this is an incredibly healthy process. You are on the right track.
Long bike rides are the perfect time to connect with your true self. Try to make the experience a positive one J
Okay, this is an important one. What can you tell us about the importance of gut bacteria for both physical health and mental wellbeing?
A: As I mentioned earlier, our gut health is incredibly important for our overall health. Gut health is linked to our body’s functioning as well as our thoughts, actions and moods.
The gut is commonly referred to as the second brain.
When the gut is unhealthy, food is not properly digested, and food is not moving through quickly – our brain often times becomes foggy and slow moving as well, creating lethargy, lack of motivation and a drop in our mood.
If you want to feel better, have more energy, and improve your mood and outlook on life, improve the health of your digestive system. This can be done by eating healthy WHOLE foods (vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes) that have not been altered and no ingredients have been added to them. Try crowding in these fresh, whole foods in an effort to crowd out unhealthy, processed foods that were made in a factory.
If the food was made in a factory and not from the ground, it will not support a healthy body and gut.
To supercharge the health of your gut, try these six tips:
- Eat fresh whole foods that are high in water content
- Drink 1 full glass of water in the morning, at lunch, and at dinner
- Exercise! Move the body and release toxins
- Sleep 7-8 hours per night
- Consume a probiotic-rich diet, or supplement
- Drink hot water or tea to promote positive gut flora
I particularly enjoyed your post ‘Your Guide to Nutrition Packed Foods’ and found that providing professional advice from a real physician to be invaluable. Many quacks on the internet provide ‘expert evidence,’ advising people that formulated ‘weight loss drinks’ and expensive vitamin pills are the key to lasting health. Is supplementation really necessary or can we get everything we need essential vegetables?
A: For the most part we can get what we need from vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and legumes.
However, based on the location you live and the foods you have access to, or the resources you have access to, it may be difficult to obtain all of the nutrients your body needs.
For example, I live in New Jersey (in America) and during the winter it is very difficult for me to absorb the amount of vitamin D that I need. Therefore, I supplement this nutrient.
I chose to supplement this nutrient because I know that I am deficient in it. I recommend that anyone interested in purchasing a supplement, first go to their doctor and request a full panel blood test to determine which nutrients they are deficient or low in.
Request that your hormone levels are checked as well as all of your vitamin and mineral levels.
Once you receive the results check to see what areas you are lacking.
Once you learn what you are lacking make an effort to eat foods that are high in this nutrient – while also supplementing.
Finally, what is your philosophy on life?
A: My philosophy is to live every single say with gratefulness. Everything that I do, say, or think is based on the notion that I am grateful to be alive, to have all that I was given, to do all that I can do, and to have achieved all that I have achieved. Every day is a miracle! If take the time to remember this we will begin to see the positive and wonderful aspects of our life, as well as the world around us.
I also truly believe that everything happens for a reason and we were all created for a specific and divine purpose.
Our mission in life is to discover that purpose and live it out to the best of our ability each day.
My purpose is to deliver joy to others. My name is Angela Joy; which translates to ‘messenger of joy.’ Before ever thinking of the meaning of my name I knew that I wanted to bring happiness into the lives of others (regardless of if it was through a smile, holding the door, or offering a kind word).Years later I put the two together and realized that this indeed is my purpose! I couldn’t be more grateful <3
Take a moment and ponder the thought; what is your purpose? What are your strengths? What do you enjoy doing? What brings you joy and fulfillment?
People can check out the website here…www.angelajoyhealth.com
I loved the opportunity to share with all of you. If you enjoyed my responses and would like to connect with me, please email me at email@example.com, follow my blog at www.angelajoyhealthfitness.com, or follow me on Facebook AngelaJoyHealth&Fitness.