Sarah: So John, you told me about the paleo diet and what it is. But why did you decide to eat like that?
John: Well, let me tell you. I was feeling sick for a long time.
Sarah: Oh, I'm sorry.
John: Oh, it's okay now.
Thanks though. I started to feel sick three years ago, and then it got worse and worse in my stomach. I had lots of stomach trouble called indigestion, and I didn't know why until I found out that some foods are healthier than others. So that's why I started learning about the paleo diet and eating healthy. I found that we should eat fresh fruits and fresh vegetables and we definitely shouldn't eat fast food. And we shouldn't eat very many snacks either.
John: And because I was sick with my stomach trouble, I was also feeling depressed. But I learned that our moods and our emotions can be affected by what we eat.
John: Yes. I was very surprised to learn that. But it makes sense because our brain chemistry comes from the foods we eat. When we eat healthy foods, we get good chemistry in our body and our brains can function normally, and we can have good moods and good emotions.
Sarah: So you feel happier and healthier now that you changed your diet.
John: That's true. But changing my diet wasn't enough. Even though I fixed my diet, I still didn't feel 100 percent. So I had to do more research. And I found something else that's very important.
I didn't realize before but everyone needs to get enough exercise every week. In fact, it's best if you can exercise 30 minutes every day.
John: Well, of course you can take a day off. Two days off each week is okay. And you don't have to do very difficult exercise. Just riding a bicycle or jogging is enough. But I also found that having a healthy diet and getting enough exercise is still not enough because you need two more important factors.
Sarah: What are they?
John: One is called stress management. When we feel stressed, our body has a reaction to stress, and it can make you feel sick, and it can put you in a bad mood. So we need to learn ways to manage our stress. So we need to learn how to breathe deeply and relax more. And when we encounter stress, we should learn healthy ways to react and not react in unhealthy ways, such as getting angry or feeling frustrated.
Sarah: What's a healthy way to react?
John: Well first, you should breathe and relax your body by slowing down. And then you should think calmly and clearly about the best way to handle a problem. So don't just worry about the problem and think about what can go wrong, but think calmly about ways to solve problems.
John: But I found the most important factor in feeling healthy was a big surprise to me.
Sarah: What was it?
John: We need to get enough sleep.
John: Everyone knows we should sleep more but very few people sleep enough. Most adults should sleep 8 hours every night. I was only sleeping 5 or 6 hours every night.
Sarah: Oh wow.
John: Yeah. So sleeping at night is like recharging your battery, right. So do you have a cell phone?
Sarah: Sure, of course.
John: What do you do when the battery is dead?
Sarah: I plug it in.
John: Yeah. And you need to leave it plugged in until it has a full charge. Well, not sleeping enough is just like unplugging your phone before it's charged. So it's much better to have a healthy diet and get a regular exercise, learn stress management skills, and most importantly, get enough sleep every night.
Sarah: Okay. I'll try hard. Thank you.
I started the paleo diet.
Paleo refers to the Paleolithic period in human history, a time before man invented farming. Notice the following:
- The paleo diet is called the caveman diet.
- The paleo period was thousands of years.
I learned about our moods.
A mood is a feeling you have for a short time. Notice the following:
- I am in a good mood after I get money.
- She is in a bad mood today.
We can have good moods and good emotions.
An emotion is a strong feeling you have because of some event. Notice the following:
- I try not to show emotions when I am angry.
- You can learn a lot about people from their emotions.
One is called stress management.
Stress is an intense feeling of pressure or worry because of some events. Notice the following:
- He has a lot of stress with his job.
- If you feel stressed, you should try to breathe deeply.
When we encounter stress, we should learn healthy ways to react.
When you encounter something, you face it unexpectantly. Notice the following:
- I did not want to encounter my ex-girlfriend.
- On the hike we encountered a bear.
So sleeping at night is like recharging your battery.
When you recharge (or charge) something, you fill it up with energy. Notice the following:
- I need to recharge my tablet.
- Can I recharge my phone here?
stress • encounter • recharge
Here are some more great lessons!