4 pillars of health

My Habits: the Four Pillars of Health
Written by Fritz Nugent

Every single person has unique habits and mindset which influence how they go about their days, how they eat, sleep, move their bodies, and how they produce and hedge against stress. I am going to share with you some of my habits that may be unique to me. My idea is to bring clarity to the diversity and depth that habits can reach. Now, I’m not a perfect eater. My wife sleeps better than I do. I don’t handle stress optimally. My training habits definitely need work. Everyone has places within their lives and mindset where they can improve, if they seek growth.

The Four Pillars of Health

Quickly, let me reference the guiding principle of the Invictus Nutrition Program – the Four Pillars of Health: sleep, nutrition, movement, and stress. We leverage these areas as a dragnet to search the lifestyle habits of each client we work with. From each conversation, we glean nuggets upon which to help them progress.

Now that you have a reference for the framework, off we go. Keep in mind that every single habit listed here has a physiological importance all supported by research to help optimize each pillar. This is not all of my habits, rather the ones that seem to have the greatest positive effects on my life:

Sleep Habits

  • I go to bed and wake up within 30-60 minutes of the same time each day
  • I sleep in a cold room
  • My pre-sleep routine is the same most of the time (work, eat, shower, read, breathwork)
  • Off my phone 1 hour before bed, and lights out 30+ minutes before bed, read by candlelight
  • I wear sleep tape and a sleep mask every night
  • My morning routine is the same most of the time (glass of water with SEED, teeth and groom, meditate, breakfast, then deep work)

Nutrition Habits

  • Eat 0.8-1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day, mostly lean meats
  • Eat more carbohydrates on workout days, mostly non-processed whole foods
  • Eat by feel
  • Minimize sugar
  • Eat lots of colorful vegetables at each meal, and eat lots of fruits
  • Eat 30-40 different fruits and vegetables each month
  • Drink 0.75-1.0 gallons of water each day. On hotter or more humid days, more water
  • Don’t go shopping hungry
  • Track my food every once in a while to make sure I’m within a healthy range
  • Scale my poops using the Bristol Stool Chart
  • Take fish oil with my berries, fruit, and nuts at breakfast, especially 1-2 brazil nuts
  • Eat 1-2 “shitty” meals each week (burgers, pizza, pasta)… it’s called balance

Movement Habits

  • Warm up properly
  • Listen to my body
  • Don’t go hard every day
  • Zone 2 cardio at least one day every week, preferably out in nature
  • Go on leisurely walks with my wife around our neighborhood most days
  • Lift heavy once every 1-2 weeks
  • Sprint on something once every 1-2 weeks

Stress Habits

  • Meditate in the morning
  • Meet with a counselor sometimes
  • Get out into nature for hikes or light and long running each weekend
  • One day a week, no work, completely off
  • Practice breath work frequently
  • Call my family and one friend each weekend
  • Read by candlelight before bed
  • Practice compassion for others when driving

Invictus Nutrition Program

The idea here is to illustrate how unique habits are to each of us. I doubt that there are many people who do ALL of these things. Many of you will do some of these things. These habits were all consciously chosen to serve a need in my life. They may last a long time, or they may be upgraded or changed to fit my life demands as I learn and grow. And if I don’t like where some part of my mind or body is trending, then I can isolate which area(s) will have the greatest effect, and insert tiny habit changes to begin the process of metamorphosis. We all have the power to do so. Sometimes it takes a little help from a coach…

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jamesbenzo11
jamesbenzo11
October 4, 2021 2:50 pm

Amazing, very informative and helpful.