Tuesday Tribute: Adele Hite, nutrition guru and badass

Today, the slow, deliberate hand clap goes to a woman who is fighting the good fight against dumb (or just ill-informed) nutrition advice.

Tuesday Tribute: ADELE HITE

Adele Hite looking sassy.

Adele Hite looking sassy.

Adele’s a Registered Dietician with a Masters in Public Health, and general all-around badass in the battle against healthy eating misinformation. She runs the website called Eathropology and has done some solid work on combating the USDA’s food pyramid (scheme).

I met Adele just before the Ancestral Health Symposium in 2012. I was looking for a shared hotel room and she was willing and able to lend some mattress room to me. During that long weekend, she and I and her good friend Anna Kelles gossiped, plotted, and learned from each other. They were already in the public health world and I was outside, looking in, dipping my toe into the idea that something (or a lot of things) we are currently doing with regard to food and activity and thinking are just kind of, well, not good. And, more importantly, how can I help?

Adele helped to ignite my ancestral health research and fueled some new ideas in this little thinking cap of a skull. A book about women’s health! A book for US! A podcast! Another conference! Articles and speeches and poster presentations, oh my!

While it is not Adele’s responsibility to make sure that I actually DO follow through on those ideas, she deserves a lot of credit for getting me thinking. And yes, the podcast is still something I think would be amazing. Is podcasting “over”? I surely hope not. At least I can tell myself that if you are GOOD, your talents are never really “over”. And that is why women like Adele are out there, doing what they do, really WELL, and having an effect in the world.

I hope I see her again soon, but even if not, her work lives on, every day.

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Watch a Man At His First Yoga Class to Understand Success

They are a most curious specimen, those first-time dudes at yoga class. They often come at the behest of a friend or perhaps out of curiosity.

yoga-mat-man

They seem willing to give it a go and be amused by the whole thing if that’s what is needed for them to participate. Maybe they pretend they are a super hero to get them in the mood.

yoga spidey

Poses are undertaken with an element of skepticism and, if they don’t work well, an uninstructed tweak might be tried. This results in poses that, to the trained yogi’s eye, are somewhat . . . interesting. This ain’t no Warrior I:

a-lunge-not-warrior

Then, if asked to get into a pose that is actually a bit painful – or just uncomfortable – and they’re asked to hold it, hold it, hold it – they might not. If they’re really really tired and need a break, they will take one. They are willing to abandon what is not working.

They are willing to abandon what is not working.

Persistence. Tenacity. Follow-through. All perfectly valid practices in many parts of our lives and projects we undertake. However, that doggedness can also be a huge roadblock or time-waster if we don’t recognize the other side and know when to move on. If you find yourself in one of those ruts, unable to let go of a seriously draining project or something as simple as that bag of clothes that no longer fit, think of the guy in yoga class, and ask yourself, “how is that working out for me?”

Renting Your Job Is Easier Than Buying

Rent vs Own Image from IBM

Weirdly, from an IBM article about “renting” labor as consultants vs “buying” as full-time workers. But hey, it works for my purposes.

If you rent an apartment, you can pack up and move pretty much whenever. There’s no hassle to sell, no investment to recoup, no lawn to maintain or walls to paint. You. Just. Go.

So it is with employment, though it took the awesome James Altucher to point it out in an email:

“Oh, one [more] good thing about a job: you RENT the company, you don’t OWN the company.

In other words, you can leave any time you want. You don’t have to care about customers, shareholders, colleagues.” – James Altucher

Consider that your license to consider your daily life. If you are a business owner, you have responsibilities, which you likely took on willingly when you started the company. However, if you are NOT a business owner, you have SO MUCH FREEDOM you can barely comprehend. If you think you have no freedom, you are wrong. You have personal responsibilities, but you as an employee have zero working obligations. And in the state of New Mexico, that’s even more true as we have what’s called a “voluntary employment” law.

This means that every moment of every day that you work is completely voluntary, and every moment that you are being paid to come to work is completely voluntary by your employer. You can quit literally any time. And you can be fired anytime. There are no repercussions to this legally. It is liberating because you have only a sense of politeness forcing you to give those two weeks of notice. And if you are STILL employed, it probably means that the company likes you and they want to keep paying you rather than needing to hold on to you for some inconvenient red tape reason.

Rejoice, employees. Be free, if you want to be free.

Get What You Pay For: Reality Bites vs Awesome

This has to be the most perfectly concise summary of why it is sometimes/often/always a really freakin’ good idea to pay someone else to do something that you need done that THEY are good at doing:

“Wait, can’t I just <do that thing> myself, for free?”

Yes, you can. But you haven’t, and you never will. 

That thing can be anything. Building an exercise plan. Painting the house. Picking stocks. Researching a major purchase. Finding a great partner. Putting up your website. Negotiating business terms. Changing your car’s oil. Cooking healthy food. Going to the dentist. OK, OK, I guess you can’t literally outsource going to the dentist, but at least getting the appointment scheduled could be handled by someone else if you are prone to not doing it at all otherwise. The last part is key. It’s one thing to farm out tasks that you do get done, albeit slowly, to a faster operator. It’s another thing to hire out the tasks you will eventually get done but HATE doing (taxes!) just to take some stress off, if you can afford it.

But it is a whole new ballgame to recognize the things that need getting done if you are to get where you want to go that you simply will not do, based on your own history and knowledge of  yourself and your prioritization tendencies.

And that’s all for me for today, folks. I can’t put it any better than that. And yes, I might just pay the guy who wrote that to do what he does best so that I stop NOT doing that thing on my own time.

Artists Die of Exposure Every Day

Image courtesy of Art & Design Posted by GC Gabriela Cimpoaie

Artists? Who cares about those folks – they LOVE what they do and that’s all they need, right?

Consider a more inclusive definition of artist: someone who creates original works using their experience and, not incidentally, their brains. Now, as you can see, an artist can be:

  • writer
  • painter
  • logo designer
  • storyteller
  • sculptor
  • photographer
  • “content creator”

This last designation is the bane of working artists everywhere. The pain is captured well in a NY Times article by Tim Kreider, who says, “I’ve been trying to understand the mentality that leads people who wouldn’t ask a stranger to give them a keychain or a Twizzler to ask me to write them a thousand words for nothing.”

Kreider’s worked for 20 years as a writer, after being put through college by his parents. His sister also had college assistance through her medical training, but “as far as I know nobody ever asks her to perform a quick lobectomy — doesn’t have to be anything fancy, maybe just in her spare time, whatever she can do would be great — because it’ll help get her name out there.” Ouch.

One of the reactions to Kreider’s article was by Melinda Syzmanik (who happens to be a pretty nifty children’s book author, now on my radar!). Her blog post delves into the things she’s seen in her own career.

MY brother (George Feucht) is a photographer and cinematographer in his waking life, a well-trained and ridiculously talented professional. He’s asked to do free work all the time, from print publications to wedding photography for friends (usually not the friends who are also artists – they already get it). Let’s say you’re a pretty darn good exterminator with a fledgling business – you have customers but could use more. One of your acquaintences has a little squirrel problem, so they’re wondering if you could, “just swing by and take a look, thanks!” Most people would never ask this. And I hope that most exterminators, even if asked, would say, “No.” Or, “I charge $xx for new customers.”

Exterminator not enough of an example? How about your local dentist, the one that is more than happy to clean your teeth 3 times per year because they’re always looking for new referrals? Walk in there one day when you know they will be pretty empty, and promise a Yelp review for a cleaning. Try it at a restaurant. Try it with your corner hot-dog vendor, “Hey, dude – I just need one hot dog. I’ll walk back to work and tell my coworkers I got it from you!” Try it at a department store – the one that just posted a 3rd-quarter loss (so you *know* they can use business). You’d be more than willing to wear their store-brand clothing all over town just to give them more exposure.

Now how does it sound?

Depending on YOU, depending on the exact circumstances, doing work for free could be beneficial (see Ann Rea’s post). But those circumstances are pretty rare, if you do the math. If an editor called me up and said, “hey, could you write a piece for Runner’s World / Oprah / Time Magazine?” that’s pretty much a big fat NO. However, what if it were a much more targeted audience that could net me immediate benefits? The New Yorker? The New York Times Sunday Magazine? That would take more careful consideration. I already have books I can plug and link to, so that helps. And, if some publication with excellent eyeballs asked to republish something I’ve already put the time into and been paid for – THAT might not be a waste of time.

Ultimately, Mike Peterson sums it up pretty well in his blog post written with the perspective of getting experience in the world (read: growing up):

At 19, I told a Pulitzer-Prize winning poet that, while I didn’t get paid for my work on the campus humor magazine, it was a chance to see my name in print.

He replied, “When I want to see my name in print, I look in the phone book.”