Miracles can happen

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes....

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Miracles can happen

  • Is a calorie a calorie?

  • Physical: 100

  • Thought of the week

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"I Think Miracles Can Happen"

Today’s the day. The documentary about my life is out on Netflix. Unlike FUBAR, I’m not going to sell you too hard on it because this isn’t my project; it’s a project about me. But I asked Netflix to get me a clip so I could give you an exclusive. Here’s your first look:

Health Simplified: Is A Calorie A Calorie?

Some people believe only calories matter. Others think it’s about hormones. The reality? You can’t separate the two. Calories determine whether you gain or lose weight, and hormones play a role in hunger, appetite, and eating behavior. But here’s how to go about your day and eat well without thinking too much or counting calories,

First of all, all calories count (anyone who says otherwise is likely trying to sell you something) — because your body is either using or storing energy. And if you have extra energy you don’t use, some will be stored.

And, all calories are not equal.

Hang with us, because our goal is to reduce the stress of eating and give you more flexibility. As we mentioned yesterday, people who include dessert tend to be successful on diets because they don’t burn out. That means the goal is to eat plenty of foods that leave your brain and body satisfied, so you can enjoy other foods that aren't as nutritious. To do that, try to eat more protein and fiber.

Protein is your metabolism's best friend. For every 100 calories of protein you eat, up to 30 calories (30 percent) will be metabolized. This illustrates why all calories are not equal. For comparison, about 6 to 8 percent of carbohydrates and only 3 to 5 percent of fats will be burned during digestion.

Protein (lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, lentils, and soy) helps you eat less by increasing fullness and reducing hunger by boosting a hormone (ghrelin) that quiets cravings. The same can be said for foods loaded with fiber (whole grains, oats, legumes, vegetables, and berries).

This doesn’t mean fats or carbs are bad. They both have a place in your diet (fat can help with satiety, and fiber is mainly found in carb-based foods).

If you want to feel more in control and not feel hungry all the time, including protein and fiber in each meal is a great way to eat more, burn more, and manage cravings and hunger, without having to stress every calorie.

The Physical 100

As part of my job as Netflix’s Chief Action Officer, I reached out to Netflix’s fittest stars to learn about their habits and routines. I wanted to start with two stars from Physical: 100. It’s a fantastic competition in which 100 of Korea’s top athletes, military members, and actual Olympians compete in grueling challenges to see who’s the strongest.

Two competitors stood out to me. Shim Eu-ddeum is a fitness YouTuber with 1.5M followers, and Jang Eun-sil is a top wrestler; both women outlasted many men while competing in Physical 100. Here are some of their habits.

What's one thing you do every single day to strengthen your mental health?

Shim Eu-ddeum: I always remind myself to not overdo it. Every morning, I assess my energy level and my mental state. I also take time to clear my head by meditating and going on walks.

Jang Eun-sil: I consider each day to be very precious, and plan my day with the mindset of doing my best today means setting myself up well for tomorrow. I also try to carve out time for myself as a way to recharge. I usually work out during that time. I enjoy it because it feels like I get to focus on myself. I can only depend on myself to look after me, so I want to become stronger. I think that physical health improves my mental health and makes me more positive. I also like to listen to calming music.

Do you have a health routine? If so, what is it, and how often and when do you do it?

Shim Eu-ddeum: I like to go on walks. On weekends, my friend and I walk 2-3 hours at Namsam Park and have a delicious meal afterwards. Even on busy days, I try and take 30 minutes to walk along the Hangang River and get some fresh air.

Jang Eun-sil: My routine is to get plenty of sleep and get reenergized from breaks. Because I have a physically demanding job, I make an effort to make sure I have plenty of energy, and the best way to do that is through sleeping. After a night of deep sleep, I have a healthy breakfast in the morning and always make sure I take my supplements. From my time as a professional athlete to now, I always try to eat a diverse diet of products that are good for my health.

In training for Physical: 100, did you learn any workout or strength/agility techniques you're going to continue to do forever?

Shim Eu-ddeum: I’ve done pilates for over 10 years. As I was preparing for Physical: 100, I started powerlifting and found that it helped me gain more muscles. I still powerlift 1-2 times a week as pilates and powerlifting are complementary workouts and relieve my stress as well. I want to continue doing pilates and powerlifting until I’m a grandma.

Jang Eun-sil: I definitely have to say wrestling and CrossFit. These two sports really fit me well and I’m still addicted to them! While it’s been physically challenging from the past 10 years of arduous training for the National Wrestling team, I had a lot of fun learning crossfit. When I went to the box, I was captivated by how everyone, not just athletes, came to work out with a healthy and positive mindset. I’m always surrounded by elite athletes so it was a new source of motivation and challenge working out there. No matter how hard the training is, we help each grow, and I think we feel a bigger sense of accomplishment and satisfaction because of camaraderie.

Thought of the Week

“A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love. These things cannot be bought – they must be earned.” -Naval Ravikant