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The beginning; the best place to start.

July 30, 2012

Today, I wrestled with the most frustrating (conceptual) opponent; simplicity. It is the Jackie Chan of nouns – turning an elaborate choreography of ideas into something so remarkably, comically effortless. All with a ponytail and broken English.


For I was reminded that the main challenge in learning ‘how to be healthy’ is not knowing your facts, but being able to harness them, distill them into an achievable goal. 

The biggest, most ball-bustingly inconvenient part of it all?  The more you ‘know’, the harder it is to slash through the thicket of all that scrubby, thorny information. It’s easy to become lost and disoriented if your healthy hedge has overgrown – you lose sight of the homestead (and the end of the increasingly irrelevant metaphor).

So today, as I pondered the best way to take alllllllll this information, nutrition knowledge and 10 000 ways to use coconut oil…how to smush it all together and dish up something vaguely appetising…this inspirational lady suddenly came to mind:



Everybody deserves a bit of cheesy musical whimsy in their life. And who hasn’t torn down the living room curtains and fashioned themselves a fetching drape-ensemble, Mum coming home to find naked windows and her daughter declaring she wants to become a guitar-weilding nun…? Who hasn’t, indeed.

Yes, Maria certainly imparted a plethora of punchy life-lessons.

The one to which I refer today is a favourite. As a prelude to all the Doe, Ray, Meeeee-ing, Maria reminds her wide-eyed, Austrian charges that it’s always best to start at the beginning. It’s a very good place to start!

It is such sound advice, for when we traverse the depths of our chosen interest, we sometimes forget which way is up. Even more tricky is passing that information on; teaching others. Where to begin? How to implant that knowledge into the brains of your students, clients, family or friends in a way that is retainable? Sensical.

Truth is, it’s not up to us to ‘implant’ – that’s kinda creepy and George Orwell-ish. A better way is to help others find the starting point. Leading gently; guiding them to the beginning, a beginning, their beginning, and letting things unfold.

Same goes for us, as we stack an increasingly precarious pile of information high in our minds. It can feel like we’ve read so much, like every dietary philosophy is so soundly backed by science and sense that choosing just one torments and confounds us. Once again, start at the beginning. Cement the basics. Go with what you know to be personally true and work from there. The beginning – don’t forget its fundamental importance.

I could go on (as always – it’s a problem), but that’s all I really wanted to put out there today. The wisdom of simplicity once again challenges and liberates us.

How do you cope with information overload? How do you keep it real & simple? What are your Doe, Ray, Me’s of nutrition?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Carley permalink
    August 1, 2012 8:19 am

    Once again, your posts and my life are in sync. A few months back, I liked the way my body looked on a particular diet (“lifestyle- the Kimberly Snyder Detox Solution”) and exercise regime, but I was still searching for the culprit behind my less-than-clear skin. I was led down the path of “grain-free,” which almost immediately cleared me up around 90 percent. I still get somewhat daily nuisances, but nothing like it was for the years and years of turmoil and research. I’ve also brought quality meat back into my life. Now, however, I’ve lost the energy and motivation to sustain my workouts, I feel overall just heavy, I’m still thin but I’ve got visible cellulite on my thighs that I’ve never had like this before, my perhaps nonexistent abs are hidden by an annoying layer of pudge, etc. And it’s easy to stumble across blogs of testimonials where people claim to have gone from paleo to adding grains in again with great hormonal and health results. What’s a girl to do? Eat grains and breakout, or forfeit them along with the body that makes me happy? Why can’t I find the perfect balance for me? Perhaps if I could just understand what about the grains I was eating (mostly millet/gluten free ones) were doing to make me breakout? Were they truly the culprit? I’m coming to you because your responses always seem to put me at ease (no pressure!) If you have any insight into my dilemma, I welcome your words with open arms, for I’ve currently thrown up my hands in surrender.


    • Catie permalink*
      August 5, 2012 8:19 am

      Thanks Carley. I sent you an email x

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