An Internet Assault on Our Health Freedom (Plus, How Cold Water Can Change Your Life) : The 7 Things I Learned This Week

Saturday Jul 23, 2011 | BY |
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cold water fearless
I don’t think it took our friend Nick even 2 seconds to consider getting into this ice cold creek in Colorado… I sat on the sidelines.

Today’s “7 Things” covers some pretty important lessons in health, the Internet and life…

In this edition, I share how you can break though challenges that you’ve been having (by jumping into cold water), how the Internet is changing how we get our health information and why the media may actually be needed (as well as what will happen if it goes away.)

It’s a pretty good line up, so be sure to read on through to the end and answer my question for you…

1. A cold water challenge (plus, lessons in life.)

On Wednesday, Annmarie and I went to Smith Rock in Redmond, Oregon to take a little hike…

We were in town for a small gathering a friend of ours put on (which was awesome, BTW) and wanted to sneak away into the nature to ground ourselves. I also wanted to jump in the river to wash up a bit in the water.

When we arrived, we hiked down 300 or so feet to the river bed the winds along massive cliffs of orange, red and brown rock. We followed the river to a ford and stripped down to our bathing suits to get it.

As I put my foot in, I realized that even though the air was about 80 degrees, the water was take-the-breath-out-of-you cold.

I’ve never really liked cold water. I have friends who can just jump right in a glacier lake without thinking twice about it. I’ve always been the one who preferred a hot tub or spring.

Regardless, I stepped in and walked to just below knee level and turned back to Annmarie. She hadn’t even gotten in yet, because she was waiting for my reaction. Just by looking at me, she knew it was cold, but got in to her shins as well.

For about 10 minutes the two of us stood in the water – frozen – waiting for our lower legs to warm up and we talked about if it was really a good idea to fully immerse ourselves in it. In that 10 minutes, we must have exchanged you-go-first’s a few dozen times.

It wasn’t until I decided to get my hair wet by splashing water on my head, that this benign event started to take meaning.

As the ice cold water was dripping down my back, I began to think about all the times that I was fearful of doing something and just dove into whatever it was. I had always found support when I needed it and, of course, always made it out alive.

So I shared this with Ann and told her getting in the water was a metaphor for the larger picture – of conquering fear. (I said it half joking, half serious.)

She laughed and said I was probably right. Then she said, “if it’s such a big deal for you, then you go first.”

So I did.

I collapsed my knees and dropped into the water. My breath became short as my chest became emerged and my back instantly started to tingle – a feeling I remember when I was in high school and I needed to ice my ankles in a big old bucket of frigid water before football games.

Annmarie dropped in right after me.

We had conquered our fear. It felt good.

Unfortunately, neither of us could manage more than 90 seconds in the river, but when we got out we gave each other a high five and celebrated our success by drying out in the hot sun.

We had accomplished something – albeit small – that we were fearful of.

Now, look, you may think I’m a pretty big wimp because it took me 15 minutes to eventually get enough courage to sit in the ice cold water for no more than 90 seconds, but I think the value of this story comes from it’s larger implications.

What haven’t you done so far because your fear is holding you back?

Look at it that way and you may just have to start thinking about how you’re going to go shoulder deep and finally get it done.

2. A new idea…

I want to thank everyone who’s posted comments on the blog from yesterday’s article (here.) Your comments about articles vs. videos lit a spark that has now turned into a pretty hot idea we’ll be developing over the next few weeks.

When I first looked at all the comments, I thought that maybe I should just stop doing the videos because everyone who commented preferred the written format – but as I thought more about it, I realized that those who read the written format were biased to it, so I likely wouldn’t hear from those who like to watch videos better – because they likely didn’t read the article.

If I were to ask the question in a video, I’d be 99% sure that the comments would be completely opposite.

Anyway, with all this feedback, we’re getting set to make a few little adjustments in what we do with the videos and I think everyone is going to be thrilled. I know I am!

The best news is that there will still be videos and articles – so if you prefer one format or another, we’re keeping you in the loop!

What I learned from this process of asking and listening – or better yet, “was reinforced” – is that you (yes, I mean you who are reading this) are a great source of knowledge and insight.

I want to thank you for helping me reach a new perspective that I’d been grasping for the last 3-4 months.

(Next time, I’ll ask right away… it will save me some grief. LOL!)

3. Filter bubbles, revisited.

I wrote about filter bubbles a few months ago (here.)

Then, I hadn’t read Eli Pariser’s book – in fact – it hadn’t even been released.

Last week, I bought the book for the Kindle and am about 50% finished with it.

For those of you who haven’t read about filter bubbles, it’s important to know what they are… it’s where the Internet is going – whether you like it or not.

Google and other Internet leaders are trying to do their best to serve information that you want based on your tendencies. So these companies have been watching what you do online and have started to serve search results and advertisements based on your preferences.

So for instance, if you’re into natural health, you’ll see more ads and more Google search results for natural health information and products. Not so bad on the surface, right?

Here’s where it gets sticky.

If you’re into WebMD (you visit the site every day) and all you know is western medicine and the doctor has just told you that you have diabetes – all the searches that come up for you, when you’re browsing for treatment options will be of diabetes drugs and solutions that have been called up on relevancy to your WebMD preference.

This has serious implications in our ability to grow – since real growth occurs when we’re faced with opposing and conflicting information that challenges our beliefs.

This practice pigeonholes us all into our own “filter bubbles” where we only see what the Internet things we want to see based on our past behavior.

To me, this takes away the freedom of the Internet. There’s no ability to change, grow or develop new ideas.

Pretty scary, don’t you think?

4. When the old-school media is gone…

I’ll likely write a complete article on filter bubbles in the future, but I wanted to cover one more point brought up in the book that is worth mentioning… (And yes, this applies to your health and how you get health information!)

Right now, there is a divide in the types of media that you see online.

Tabloid is one, traditional is the other.

TMZ or Gawker could be considered tabloid and the New York Times or Washington Post could be considered traditional.

As much as I don’t like mainstream media, I think it does have it’s place. It keeps us informed of trends, studies, and events that we may need to develop critical thought and see patterns of behavior – at least the old-school, traditional media does this…

The new-school media feeds on base human nature. Just look at the headlines on Gawker or TMZ and you’ll know what I’m talking about – sex, celebrity mishaps, drugs, death, etc.

What frightens me is that the new-school model is more profitable. Their revenue model is publish whatever gets traffic and sell ads. The old school model publishes what tends to be more relevant (arguable, but let’s assume this is truthful enough), then sells ads.

When you have more traffic, you sell more ads. Given the clues about the New York Times starting to sell subscriptions to its online articles leads me to believe eventually the old-school media will crumble – or equally as bad, start to mimic the new-school model – publish whatever brings in traffic.

This doesn’t bode well for information that is missing the initial shock-factor, but still could be very relevant to us. Information about environmental change or chemicals in our food might permanently take a backseat to images of Lindsay Lohan getting out of a car (is she drunk? is she sober?). Worse, the articles on those topics may just disappear.

We’ll watch this one as it develops, but over the last 5 years, I’ve seen many of the older-school media channels start to publish more tabloid-like articles.

The switch is already happening.

5. Want to change your life, energy and direction?

If so, you have to check out this online event that is being put on by the king and queen of energy – David and Kristen Morelli.

The event features a bunch of cool speakers (including me) and the format is much different than many events you’ve seen before.

In each interview, an expert will share some amazing tips about how to change your life, then at the end David will take you through a process that will literally change your energy to help you succeed.

It’s a cool concept and I think you’ll totally enjoy it.

The event, again, is online and it starts on Tuesday the 26th, so be sure to sign up now here (BTW, it’s free too!)…

http://www.renegadehealth.com/everythingisenergy/

6. I thought I’d like Mt. Shasta.

After all the talk I’d heard about Mt. Shasta being a spiritual and amazing place to go, I was kind of disappointed when we stopped there on the way up to Oregon.

The mountain is beautiful, don’t get me wrong, and the nature around it is spectacular as well, but the town is small and seems like it’s seen it’s day – if it ever had one.

The best thing about the city itself is probably the water – which is direct from a natural spring.

Another bright spot is Vivify, which is a Japanese restaurant that has some vegan options and a raw food dessert menu. We didn’t try any of the desserts, but we did order some of the vegan rolls and an entree. Pretty good. Definitely worth a stop if you’re barreling up or down I-5 and happen to pass through around lunch or dinner time.

7. My cat doesn’t like me, he just likes warm.

Completely irrelevant to health, but I used to think that our cat Jonny 5 really liked me.

Now I know better.

What he really likes about me is that I’m warm.

This was just reaffirmed to me a minute or so ago.

He walked into the room, meowing and attempting to jump on my lap as I was typing. Instead of letting him disrupt my writing, I got up off the couch and came into the bedroom to finish this article.

If he really wanted – or loved being in my presence – he surely would have followed me in the bedroom and tried to sit on my lap on the bed.

Of course, this was not the case.

Apparently, all he was saying was something like, “get up, dude. Your spot on the bed got cold, not I want to sleep where you are.”

As I write this, I’m sure he is curled up in a tight ball exactly where I was sitting before.

(In the beginning, I mentioned that this was irrelevant to health, but I actually think that’s not true. It’s completely relevant. Here’s why… have you ever thought one thing was true about your diet and later on found out you weren’t exactly right? I’m seen many people get caught up in diet dogma or belief systems only to realize that what they were doing was based on faulty information or logic. I’ve done it myself.

I guess good old Juanito Cinco (Jonny 5 in Spanish) was giving me a lesson to pass along that had much deeper implications. Maybe he really does love me (and you.))

I want to know your thoughts: What are you holding back from right now? What will it take to “jump in the water?”

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

19 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Tia says:

    I’ve been holding back from..committng to my health (food) and fitness (exercise) plan. I don’t think it will work — even if I do the work.

  2. Rachel says:

    Sometimes i get to be a worry-wort and it clouds my perception. I think that if i take the time to relax and be more realistic then i will feel the urge to “jump in the water”. Sometimes you just need to stop over thinking and go with the flow!

  3. Wanda Smith says:

    Hi Guys,
    I’m 58 years young and looking to move from the city to the rural with a garden and a well.
    Mobile home on a piece of property. My husband and I are setting ourselves up for our future.

    Tired of living for a mortgage payment. I want to have money left over to travel and hopefully retire and be able to survive.
    This will be my big plunge!
    The most thankful thing we have going for us is the fact our self owned and worked business can be anywhere we are.
    I’ve always been gutsy and move out on FAITH. My God has never let me down and He has always been there for us.
    Love you two you’re doing a great job out there.
    P.S. This filter bubble…I guess this is what I have noticed on FB’s side bars? I thought is was interesting that I would see ads of stuff that I was interested in LOL
    This is Wanda in Jax. FL.

  4. Lynn says:

    There are times to go slowly into the unknown, and times to jump in. In your example, I would prefer a good sauna first….then jump in. It is a spiritual experience. There is something to be said for preparing ahead….Like the cat..only he got YOU to prepare his place for him. Now whose smart. As you said in the early text, getting help to prepare ahead is helpful in some cases, especially facing the camera. Have fun! xxoo Lynn

  5. joel says:

    I believe that people instinctively experience “fear” in many ways throughout the day and don’t even realize it because they’re so used to their prejudices and beliefs. Some psychological researchers say that people experience “fight or flight” tension many times a day. When a housefly lands on you what do you do? Don’t tell me you wouldn’t flinch if a fly flew at your eye or buzzed in your ear. The other day I was sunbathing and a fly landed on me and I instinctively shooed it away. Then I thought “what do I have to fear from a little housefly?” Sure they land on crap but its not going to KILL me. Just when I decided that I was at peace with the fly it literally flew right at my eyes while I was laying down and of course I flinched a little. Determined to change, I invited the fly back on me and eventually I let it crawl up my back and later up my front and even over my face. Later that night, right after I told my wife about my experience, I happened to see six letters that were written hastily on my dream journal pad that I keep near my bed. It read “blk fly.” Two days earlier I had had this dream where a black fly landed on my bare midsection and I felt that the dream was trying to give me a message, maybe even warn me of a future danger. Well I had TOTALLY forgotten about that dream, so I laughed and showed my wife the message on the pad. My reward for not being as afraid of nature? Now when I do chi gung or sunbathe and the flies land on me I don’t get nearly as distracted even though it tickles. Also, when there is a fly in my house I can reach out my hand, tell it to get on to my finger and bring it outside (really!) If all is one then even houseflies are part of us.

  6. Gail says:

    There are many things I am holding back from but only I know those things and they are a part of my thoughts all the time; part of my dreams; part of my nightmares..I will know when I can jump in the water, but sometimes, it has taken a PUSH!

    Johnny-Cat DOES love you..in a ‘cat’ kind of way.

    BTW..I have a nephew who just moved up to Berkeley and I told him to ‘look you up’ (I sent him the website, FB, etc.) He’s an awesome person – gentle heart; great mind; a good soul. Anyway, you never know. Maybe he will. He is NOT, however, into health at all, and it’s something I pray that he will be. I have now ‘done my part’ by sending it out to the Universe..

  7. Ok, I might have to disagree with you about the fear and water idea. It’s not that you were afraid, because you know what cold water feels like and you don’t like it. So getting in again is going to be pretty much like the last time you did it, not fun.

    And I also don’t believe that Jonny 5 didn’t want to be with you, just your warm spot. Cats are very intelligent and with only one cat in the house they become very connected and in tune with their owners. Maybe he saw that you didn’t want to be with him by moving and he was insulted and hurt…..

  8. Rocio/justjesus says:

    Jomping in ice cold water..that is what I feel I am doing! I am joining the 7 days Raw Food Challenge! I already eat a lot of my food raw, but I really want to clean up because I have a lot of health issues and I need to lose 4-5 lbs that keep coming back no matter what.
    I do have a problem with almonds..I ate the whole 1/2 lb. I got from you Kevin, in one sitting!! , cakes, pizza, soda, fries are not my problem. But raw almonds are. I used to be in a 12 step program many years ago and I have been free from all kinds of sugar , flour, processed foods, etc.
    And I didn’t have any nuts or seeds then for 18 years! now good healthy raw nuts are a problem. I know God is with me through this and I am grateful I am not were I used to be, I know I do not want to be owned by any-nuts! people go nuts over nuts I have heard..but I don’t think need to stop eating them all together..any way I am in and I know I will grow
    closer to God. Many blessings!

  9. barbara says:

    holding back on spending the money I need with a coach or two to get my new biz off the ground. I’ve never had decent cash flow, negative many times, and this process will help me kickstart get me into very good cash flow, but the old pattern is holding me back. fear of more debt once again.

    btw, regarding traditional media on iternet dieing eventually and leaving only out of control tabloid as the only media left on the internet is AWESOME. It opens up the opportunity for people to create something else – like a new online tv show or online alternative news service, the field is wide open.

    run with it people!

  10. SB says:

    Thanks for your intelligent, good-natured quest for more+better health, + to share it w us all…
    BTW, schwartzreport.com + NaturalNews (Internet)+WBAI (listener-sponsored radio 99.5 FM) are good sources for “real” news hard to come by
    All Best! Glad you were refreshed!

  11. tracy gross says:

    I want to go back to collage and study Nutrition with a focus on holistic nutrition. I’m 41 and terrified of being a student. I’m also not looking forward to the debt.

  12. tracy gross says:

    BTW… I like both the videos and the Written articles!

  13. estheraida says:

    Keven and Annamrie, you guys looks great in person and soooo healthy. Good example to others!
    All right keep sending the vedeos. Including Juanito cinco looking for the warm you leave behind. Great reasoning! Cat are unfriendly. But i love to look at them purring. But their noises when on heat are sooo terrible. Feliciana my cat is more noble.
    Soory i missed your talk today at 5pmn, because I had a message to convey to Gabriel. The man in white

  14. susan says:

    first off I really like the videos! you have and ann marie have such good energy it oozes into the videos.
    my cat can definately talk and somewhere i read animals can have a vocabulary of up to 600 words, this seems evident when i sat “so you want some salmon?” and get a very loud meow.
    Fear- every time a friend visits me we go to the beach, we’ve all seen jaws and heard about attacks in one inch of water. my one friend started talking about the shark thing and i said but you just drove 18 hours on the interstate in a small car surrounded by mac trucks all going 80 mph and didn’t bat an eyelash..we jumped in and she felt something and grabbed me while lunging out of the water, of course it was a a piece of rope stuck in the sand. often times fear is just a piece of rope in the sand as well.
    I’ve also getting used to snakes as well as they are all around, one black one even tried to nose his way in my window, wow, alot of people would freak out but i chased it away. I think alot of fear is being “surprized by something” like a scorpion on your ceiling, but they aren’t going to kill you and all the scorpions don’t get together and say let’s get the humans today, i think we conquer fear by getting aquainted with the things we’re afraid of…

  15. SarahS says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I’m so glad you considered both sides of the video vs article question… I wanted to post a comment under the article, but didn’t have time that day. I was concerned because so many folks supported the written articles, so I wanted to chime in to support the videos!

    The videos really give a more personal experience that just can’t be replicated in text. I discovered this when our local weather blogger started doing video forecasts a few days ago – the difference was night and day! I enjoyed the weather forecast 100% more in video format. I’d been checking the forecasts on his site for years, but never realized how funny and genuine he is until I saw him on video. That human element makes so much difference.

    It’s the same with your site – your humor and sincerity show through more in your videos than your articles. Thanks for all you do!

    Sincerely,
    Sarah

  16. Linda says:

    Dear Kevin, I had written a very long detailed comment along with a request for help. My granddaughter came in and it was all erased. Guess I wasn’t supposed to get your advice. Aside from that I will say that I like both the written info and the videos! Thanks!

  17. Angie says:

    I jumped in yesterday. 🙂

  18. rachel says:

    I need to create my dreams and goals now;
    to have the financial ability to have a wonderful quiet home in the country with lots of land, garden and more…help people/groups
    with additonal money, travel a lot, and more.
    I have lots of stuff like books and lots of very practical supplies I have gathered for emergencies, food storage and so on. I also have
    to organize lots of papers, artciles and so on that clog my office. Plus things that I know are excess and clutter( like collections) and although I have been slowly getting rid of these
    this stuff is holding me back. Perhaps I really want my dreams and goals but sabotage them.
    namaste’, rachel

  19. margot says:

    I read your written emails but i have always preferred the videos. thankyou for all your work.

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