How Healthy Eating Can Be Fun: Interview With Health Advocate Kevin Gianni
Healthy eating and healthy lifestyles can be
Well, Kevin Gianni has the solution.
Kevin Gianni and his wife, Annmarie, are a dynamic duo of health advocates who created The Renegade Health Show, a TV blog with the mission to “change the health of the world, one show at a time.”
What we love about Kevin and Annmarie Gianni is their fresh way of bringing you health and fitness information that always makes you think — and often makes you laugh out loud.
We recently met up with Kevin Gianni to learn about his new book, High Raw, and his trip around the country in a green (eco-friendly) RV called the Kale Whale.
Read on, for our interview with Kevin Gianni:
Q. When did you first decide that health was important?
A. First of all, while fitness was always important to me, even as early as high school, I knew nothing about nutrition.
In college, I saw my mother go through chemotherapy for breast cancer, but even then, I still didn’t see the link between nutrition and good health. But one day, something clicked for me…. Like many people, I had to go through my own bout of challenges before I had my epiphany.
For me, the epiphany came after many years of partying through college, drinking too much beer and eventually gaining weight in spite of my regular fitness routine.
After college, I shared a basement apartment in Brooklyn with a roommate. In this tiny apartment, I did professional web design projects by day and beer guzzling at night. After a late night of partying, I peeled my head off my pillow in the morning and asked myself a life-changing question: “Is there something better than this?”
The answer was the kind of positive kick in the butt that made me take action in a better direction…I began to take steps toward healthy eating that changed my life.
Today, I joke and say that I learned the importance of health after a bout of Brooklyn Basement-itis, but seriously, it was that one life-changing question that made me take action for the better.
It became abundantly clear to me just how powerful these simple, yet positive questions could be.
As a raw food advocate, instead of telling people to always eat 100% raw food, I suggest they ask themselves to think like a raw fooder and ask themselves, “What would a raw fooder do in this situation?”
This way, it’s not about being 100% raw – it’s not about being 100% perfect – instead, you see if you can take just one step closer to eating something raw.
When you ask yourself positive questions, you can avoid the old pitfall of going 100% raw for three days and then reverting back to processed foods when overwhelm sets in or when you see that tempting bag of chips.
Using a positive questioning process and taking it one step at a time can be much easier in the long run. Donna Gates calls that the principle of step-by-step .
With Body Ecology, I’d suggest the same thing. Body Ecology is a system of health and healing that is often not mastered overnight. So instead of getting overwhelmed, just think like Donna Gates or a Body Ecology follower.
Ask yourself, “What would Donna Gates do in this situation?” Maybe you’d eat your regular meal and add somefermented foods and drinks, for example.
If you begin thinking this way, you don’t have to make and follow long lists or write down all of your intentions. Instead, you can simply ask yourself this one question, “What would Donna Gates do right now?” and take one step closer to sticking to your Body Ecology lifestyle.
Q. How did natural health become a passion for you?
A. A friend of mine asked me to run a 5K race with her and with no training, I
placed first in my age group. Now, it’s not like I had a huge amount of people racing against me, but I was pretty amazed at what the human body could do with no training.
My friend asked me to run the Hartford Marathon with her as well. Having never run more than 10 miles in my life, I decided to go for it and finished in about four hours.
While I was amazed that I could even finish the marathon, I ended up hurting myself due to lack of training. So while I could see the incredible ability of my body, I also realized the importance of building up to things by training.
This is when I began to look into health and recognize that good health was so much more than healthy eating. It was also about building stamina and that’s where I decided I needed to step in.
Over the years, I found out that I had a knack for understanding patterns and why things work. I could look at things differently and come up with a fresh perspective.
Somehow, I feel that this fresh perspective is being channeled through me because I am able to take a lot of complex and varied information and break it down into a few easy steps.
In my last book, The Busy Person’s Fitness Solution, I looked at all the fitness books that lined my shelves and realized all the information is already out there…but what wasn’t there was an easy way to distill that information into the solutions that work.
This is my passion, cutting through all the information to bring people what works.
And of course, making it fun and easy to follow!
Q. What do people really want, when it comes to learning to be healthy?
A. People want their relationships, jobs and lives to be better. It really has nothing to do with food, nutrition or health, even though I wish it did. The bottom line is that people want to live extraordinary lives and to me, it’s about helping people fulfill their dreams.
So I like to focus on making health, weight loss and fitness fun, so that the other things in their lives start falling into place.
This is where protocols go out the window and we focus on having fun.
I work with people by focusing on what they like to do most of the day. If you like what you do most of the day, it’s easier to feel better and have the energy to put into getting healthy.
No one wants to have a plaque on the wall that says, “I ate 100% raw” or “I have six-pack abs.”
Instead, they want to have incredible lives – they want to have fun! This is what needs to be addressed in health.
And in fact, this is what Annmarie and I focus on in our health TV blog, The Renegade Health Show. The Renegade Health Show began in March 2008 and our audience response has been fantastic.
While people knew of us as health advocates, I think they appreciate that we have invited them into our private lives. In our show, they can see how we make healthy eating and healthy lifestyles fun, easy and stress-free. Even in our RV, we are able to focus on health and fitness because we are having a ball doing what we love.
We feel great when people write into us to tell us that by watching our show, they made big changes in their lives. This is why we do it – we truly want to make a positive difference in people’s health.
I want to introduce the possibility of change to as many people as possible. I love to see people make changes, like drinking a green supplement,drinking plenty of good water, consuming probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks.
I want people to realize that emotions are a result of their inner composition. If they can understand that, they can realize they are so much bigger and better than they think they are. We can actually change our internal body composition and feel better.
I want to create a huge change in the world…to say, it’s possible that you are so much better than you think you are. It might be that the chemicals you are putting in your body are changing your true essence.
If they can change that, they can change what goes into their body.
Q. How can people stick to a healthy eating and lifestyle? What are some of the challenges?
A. The protocol I recommend is continuing education: always make an effort to read or look at something new, whether on the Internet, reading a book, etc. Second, forget 99.9% of what you read or listened to, take the .01 percent of info and apply it to your practice.
For example, when I met Donna Gates, she told me about fermented foods and drinks. I decided to try fermented foods and I love them – I’m seeing results. So the one thing I incorporated is the fermented foods, which meant I didn’t have to try everything all at once.
You can make your own fermented foods and drinks easily and affordably with Body Ecology’s Starters. Make your own cultured vegetables and young coconut kefir at home! Or if you’re pressed for time and still want the health benefits of fermented foods and drinks, a bottle of InnergyBiotic is a convenient way to get your daily does of healthy, energizing, immune-boosting probiotics! Learn more about InnergyBiotic and purchase your bottle today.
Take one thing, apply it and take action, see if it works or not. Instead of focusing on everything and getting overwhelmed, just take one thing and apply it.
Now say you do one thing a month for 3 years…that’s 36 things you apply in your life on a regular basis and create new habits. This keeps you from getting overwhelmed by trying too many new things at once that you end up quitting.
Q. Talk about your book, High Raw…
A. As a raw food advocate, I hear a big debate about whether cooked or raw foods are better…but I’d like to change the conversation a bit. Because it’s not about whether cooked or raw foods are better. Instead, I’d like to ask the question, “Doesn’t it make sense that we each can eat more fresh fruits and vegetables?”
That’s really what High Raw is about…It’s about why raw fruits and vegetables can help us be more healthy and how you can get more of them into your diet.
And High Raw goes beyond that and helps you overcome common pitfalls, like confusion caused by all the conflicting health information and stumbling blocks like cravings, willpower and overwhelm.
I want to have a healthy lifestyle now and 20 years from now. I want to follow a healthy lifestyle that is easy and timeless…that makes sense. High Raw is not a book about dietary dogma. It’s a distillation of over 200 interviews with health advocates from all backgrounds of raw food and cooked foods.
Overall, High Raw teaches you to understand your own personality and nature and benefit from it by matching your health goals to your desired pace.
Q. What else do you want people to know?
A. I want people to know that I’m not an expert…I’m an advocate. Putting myself in an expert position requires me to know al the answers, and I don’t. I am finding answers and sharing them.
While I’m always looking into new things, like testing and getting evidence about your health, the one overlying message is to help people realize the importance of relaxing about your health…Allowing yourself to say, yes this is serious, it’s my health, but still have fun and relax about it.
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