The Barefoot Golfer currently works in the insurance industry for a large international company at a sedentary desk job, although he did talk them into providing him with a sit-stand desk. It’s a great job, but it is not his passion. Aside from his wife, his passions include golf; exercise; reading a stupidly large amount on nutrition, exercise, and healthy living; fishing; cooking; and a newly generated interest in writing. Although his job does not require clinical application, he has a degree in kinesiology with a number of years experience as a clinical kinesiologist and personal trainer. His current job also requires him to remain knowledgeable about a number of medical conditions, both physical and psychological. As a recent update, he has recently begun to pursue his Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition and has less than one year left in his 3 year program.
Golf My Way
I love golf! I play as much as I can, although, “as much as I can”, is not enough right now do to other commitments and price. Basically, over the past 4 years, “as much as I can” relates to about 20 rounds of golf each year…ouch, that is poor. However, each season I resolve to play over 20 rounds and hit the range at least once per week. Given I am a 7.5 handicap right now, if I increase my practice and playing by this amount I should succeed in braining my handicap down a fair bit. My goal is to be a scratch golfer and hopefully join some type of tour in the future, even if it is just a local tour.
Over the past 3 years I have also become unreasonably biased toward minimalist shoes for every occasion and activity possible. I wear my Vibram Five Fingers Komodosports for all outdoor activities including hiking and sprinting, and I wear my Vibram Five Fingers Seeyas for the gym and indoor exercise activities. Unfortunately, this new footwear obsession caused a dilemma for me regarding my golfing footwear. I basically began to hate my golf shoes and they have always hurt my feet, which I used to think was just normal. So, I began my search for minimalist golf shoes, and since I live in Vancouver, Canada, I needed some water resistant shoes (Rainy climate like Seattle). I eventually settled on VivoBarefoot Linx.
And the Barefoot Golfer was born!
Paleo My Way
Since this blog will also focus a great deal on health and wellness, you might want to know how I live my life off the course, and what I consider healthy living and eating.
An ancestral lifestyle is what I believe to be healthy living and I will start off by saying that I have read a fair bit about ancestral health and along with my Kinesiology degree and pursuing my Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition, I get closer each day to considering myself an expert. But then again “any man who knows a thing, knows he knows, not a damn damn thing at all”…Thanks K’naan
Also, I don’t necessarily like the term “paleo” since those who don’t have much knowledge in the area tend to use it as a label/stereotype because they do not understand the variety with which “paleo” or ancestral health living can be applied. Not to mention that those who know nothing about it assume it is just another fad diet. Well…it’s not! It is a truly healthy way of life. That being said, as everyone is different, so will be their application of “paleo” eating and living. We are not all low-carb, we are not all crossfitters, we are not all cavepeople, and we do not only eat foods that were available to hunter gatherers in the Paleolithic period. Paleo is living by a set of scientifically based (for the most part) principles that allow us to optimize our health. Therefore, we attempt to eat, move, and live in ways that are actually shown to be optimal for the Human Species, not necessarily the exact way hunter gatherers lived.
However, within the ancestral health community, and for those with some decent knowledge of this stuff, I think Paleo serves the purpose of an umbrella term quite well. In the end, whether you call it Ancestral, Paleo, or Primal living, it all boils down to the same general principals.
1.) I EAT REAL FOOD!
- Food includes: Plenty of 100% pastured and/or grass fed and/or organic meat (particularly red meat), fish, vegetables, fruit, lots of yummy fats/oils (lard, bacon fat, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, butter, duck fat), some seeds and nuts, fermented vegetables, 1-3 glasses of wine a few days per week (gotta have some fun 🙂 ), and minimal daily amounts of at least 75% cocoa dark chocolate.
- Things I do not eat: Grains (obviously gluten containing grains are the worst, and yes, corn is a grain), any skim milk product, beans (including peanuts), highly processed vegetable oils (including canola oil…yikes!), added sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup, chemicals and things I can’t pronounce on the ingredients list. I also try to limit buying things with an ingredients list in general.
- The occasionals: Minimal full fat aged cheese, kefir, small amounts of honey or 100% maple syrup in “Paleo” backed goods, rare gluten free breads (ie. I had 2-3 gluten free pizzas, and small amounts of gluten free bread at special dinners in the past year)
- I do not think about or try to control macronutrient %’s, I just eat what I want in the above categories, with higher carbs on workout days
2.) I lift heavy things, sprint, jump, and do a bunch of slow movement (ie. golfing)
- Workouts are 2-4 times per week (see my Strength and Conditioning posts), 1-2 of those being some kind of sprinting or jumping
- Lots of walking and golf on the weekends – sometimes 2-6 hr walks. Not as much during the week with my sedentary job
3.) Stress Management
I try not to take life to seriously and live in the moment as much as possible. A very smart animated character once said “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift that is why it is called the present” (from Kung Fu Panda). Another great quote: “life is for living, not living up tight” (Jay-Z lyrics)
I also leave work at work, and let stressful things slip my mind until I have to deal with them again, this creates the necessity for calendar reminders, but let’s me relax when I am not dealing directly with something, allowing me to focus on the now.
I also do my best to meditate for at least 15 mins/day. This is a bit hit and miss for me but I am working on consistency.
4.) Fun, Friends, Play
I go to the park with wifey all the time and we just do random stuff (tennis, frisbee, run, jump, throw the baseball around, lay and read a book, do some handstands and cartwheels). We also play in a weekly beach volleyball league from spring through fall with a group of friends that adds a bit of competition to our fun. Aside from golf, I also enjoy fishing here in BC and at the family cottage.
We also dance in our apartment all the time, not sure if anyone else out there does this, but it’s fun and if we are the weird ones, so be it, it’s worth it. We also loves us some wii sports and wii just dance (great party game once people get past the embarrassment factor)
Sleep is so important! I never realized how important it was until I immersed myself in this paleo lifestyle and started doing more reading on healthy living. Basically, if you don’t get your sleep and stress under control, your other health efforts will be much less effective if at all. Luckily I can sleep. So much so that my wife, and likely others, are extremely jealous. It is very rare that I am not asleep within 5 minutes of my head hitting my pillow, and if I am not woken, I pretty much sleep through the whole night without making a peep.
So that is the Barefoot Golfer in a nutshell, if you are still with me, I invite you to share in my journey and read away!
The Barefoot Golfer