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Depending on how long you’ve been reading my stuff, you may have noticed a shift in rhetoric from me the last couple years. My story started when I was about 25. I had just started breaking onto the AVP scene, but had nothing on my resume to speak of beside a qualification or two. I was committed to go “all in” and give this volleyball thing a shot. So all I did was work out, try and play every day I could on the sand and eat a ton of calories to recover. Just a snapshot looking back, I won’t bore you with the whole story today.

That led to a lot of tendonitis and swelling. I swear, if I heard a trainer tell me one more time that the problem with my knees was a tracking issue I was going to snap. The reason I was such an advocate in the beginning of “take this supplement” and do this exact thing was because specific protocols worked wonders for me. Now I know why. My diet was void of essential nutrition and was highly inflammatory with dairy, fried foods and meats. After all, if you’re focused on “getting enough calories” as I hear people say all the time, then dairy and fried foods are kind of the way to get to that calorie goal.

So yea, naturally I noticed results immediately when I cut out milk, cut out beef and pork and (tried) to cut out cheese. *Cheese is as addicting as sugar in many experts’ minds. I don’t think you’ll get an argument to that from many health professionals and certainly not from me. At the same time I was cutting these inflammatory foods out, for the first time in my life started supplementing with omega 3s.

Think of it like a terrible situation of bad credit card debt. A diet that is not ideal and deficient in some basic nutrients is like charging all your expenses to your credit cards each month. Yea, the credit cards help you survive by supplying money you don’t currently have in the bank. Same with food. Our body can survive just fine even without a nutritious, well-balanced diet.

Over time though, it becomes harder and harder to make those minimum payments, right? As the balances keep adding up, those minimum payments become more and more expensive. It starts to hurt and stress to figure out making those payments. Those are like the little aches and pains we experience as our physical health starts to show signs of weakness. Things like tendonitis, delayed recovery from basic training, insomnia, acne, compromised digestion and constant fatigue to name a few. One of the popular “symptoms of aging” is osteoporosis, or a weakening of the bones. Think that is natural? NO! It’s those minimum payments on those credit cards starting to pile up.

OK, so you get motivated and do a cleanse. You eat more vegetables for a week, drink more water, cut out the soda and fried foods, and maybe even go with lean meats like poultry and fish. Sound familiar? Well, good for you. Not going to solve your problems necessarily. Kind of like having a boost in income, you can make more than the minimum payment and start to make a dent in your credit card balances. Problem isn’t solved. You feel better about it though. Feeling better about it is one step removed from complacency. That leads to the same old habits popping back up and those balances creeping back up.

What’s my point to this credit card metaphor? Simply this: It takes a LONG time to pay off your debt. Same way it takes a LONG time to truly heal your body if your diet has been/is deficient in any nutrients. A simple cleanse every now and again is better than nothing and so are some changes to your eating habits. The real results come from a dedicated, consistent effort over time that involves meeting (all) you nutritional needs.

Different areas of your body take different amounts of time to regenerate. Cell turnover is different for different organs. For example, one of the fastest healing tissues in your body are your oral tissues in your mouth. Bite your cheek and that painful cut can be a thing of the past within a couple days. Get a sunburn and your skin cells can be peeling off with fresh skin underneath in about a week. Eyes take a couple months. Your cells turnover enough to give you a new heart in 6-8 months. Liver and kidneys are similar. Your bone cells can take around a year to replace.

Here’s the point to all this that I really hope hits home: You’ll have a brand new body 1 year from today. The question is, “What are you going to build it with?”

That’s why single nutrients can be a big deal like when I tell you to supplement with fish oil and super greens. If you don’t have enough, adding them in can be very impactful. When it comes to building a brand new you, it’s going to take a year. It took me a few years to really change my life and physical health because any change isn’t easy, and any new routine that needs consistency can be tough to stick to. I’m here to tell you though, you can do it.

Every epic journey starts with a single step. As far as I know, we only get one go around on this earth, so I want to make the most of my journey. It’s never too late to start and never too soon to be better than you were yesterday.

 

Russ Marchewka’s commitment to better nutrition has earned him the nickname “Mr. Healthy” on the tour. He has spent the last eight years studying how nutrition affects his volleyball game. For more, visit his website, WorldHealthHub.com or connect with him on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/avpruss.

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