by Mark Sisson Mark's Daily Apple
Recently by Mark Sisson: A Way of Life Has No Finish Line
Well, the apocalypse never came. No earth-rending seismic activity rearranged geography. Nary a tsunami wrought despair and destruction on coastlines, nor did the turn of the calendar awaken an ancient, many-tentacled evil force hidden deep below. We experienced neither a global awakening of consciousness, a visit from the original extraterrestrial architects of our physiology, nor an explosion of eschatological novelty. What that means is two things: the prophets of 2012 got it wrong, and you have to plan for the rest of your life.
Let’s start with 2013. How are you going to make sure it’s a successful year? What steps will you take?
I’ve got a few suggestions. This may seem a bit untimely coming on the heels of Christmas Day, but I wanted to encourage you to start thinking about where you’ve been and where you’re going. Whenever you have some time off from family and friends, consider getting some thinking done. Consider taking a few preliminary steps toward making 2013 a good year.
1. Install F.lux on your computer.
It takes a minute. It’s free. It will have a measurable impact on the quality and duration of your sleep, which will set the stage for health and productivity. There’s literally no reason not to install F.lux (even if you’re going to be photo-editing or something that requires the full spectrum, you can always turn the program off for a bit).
2. Buy blue-blocking glasses.
F.lux is great, but it only works on select electronic devices. What about everything else, like the TV, that light overhead, or (if you’re willing to look a little strange) the grocery store after dark? Glasses that block blue light will help you to go about your business in this modern life without pushing back your melatonin secretion, allowing you to get to bed at a reasonable time.
3. Find a local grass-fed beef supplier.
Grass-fed beef makes a big difference. It really does. And yes, it’s generally more expensive than grain-fed beef, but if you find the right local supplier and buy directly from them, you can get a better deal.
4. Buy a chest freezer.
If you’re going to switch to grass-fed beef and want the best deal you can find, you’ll want a chest freezer to enable bulk buying (or even cowpooling). You’ll save money and have steady access to good meat, but it’s also fun to weird out visitors with your giant meat locker. Bonus points if you position a sheep’s head such that it’s looking right into the eyes of whoever opens the door.
5. Buy a journal.
A journal gives you access to a free, unlicensed (but effective) therapist, and it allows you to conduct real n=1 experiments to figure out what works for you — and why. If you want to make any changes in the new year, a journal will help you make sense of them.
6. Get a library card.
Part of having a successful year is focusing on the mind — not just the body. I love reading and find books to be a quite powerful influence on the mind. If you think you’re in the same boat, go grab a library card — they’re usually free and woefully underutilized — so that you can start the influencing off right.
7. Find out where and when all the local farmers markets are.
So you’ve long told yourself that you’re going to “start shopping at farmers markets more,” but it never really materializes. That stops in 2013. To help your chances, compile a list of all the local farmers markets. Figure out where they are, when they run, and which ones fit into your schedule. You won’t be able to avoid going if you can’t make up a ridiculous excuse like “I don’t even know when it is!”
8. Treat yourself to a few quality cooking tools.
A good knife, a well-made wooden cutting board, and a solid enameled cast iron pot don’t just make cooking good food easier, they make it more enjoyable. If you want to start cooking more but haven’t been able to really get going, the first step is to get cookware that’s worthy of the food you’ll be making.
9. Find an Asian market near you.
Asian markets are teeming with interesting, delicious, nutritious, unique (at least to many people) foods. Want fresh (often living) fish and shellfish? Check out the seafood section. Want twenty different kinds of leafy greens? Check out the produce section. Want that spice or herb whose health benefits you read about on some blog somewhere? Check out the spice section. Having an Asian market nearby will be a helpful ally in the coming year.
10. Look for a seafood wholesaler.
If you’re lucky enough to have a seafood wholesaler near you, take advantage. You’ll be able to get oysters, crab, fish, and other sorts of sea creatures almost directly after they’re caught/harvested without the few days of lag time that can make a huge difference. Seafood is a big part of a healthy Primal eating plan, so be sure to have a good source.