An Introduction

Photo on 4-29-13 at 12.38 PMAllow me to introduce myself: My name is Andrew Schneck, I’m 21 years old, and have a number of diverse interests. I’m going to graduate college in 3 days with a business degree from IU Bloomington, originally hail from Pittsburgh, PA, and am headed to Raleigh, NC for a job full time in August.

I ran 2 blogs, one after the other, on investing the past few years. I’m taking one down soon, but a link to my old one is here. I also have a research site where I post my portfolio and research. A sample can be seen here if you’re interested; currently I’m up to over 200 “files” just like this one.

I like to read. A lot. I educated myself through college on all aspects of finance and investing. Malcom Gladwell wrote a fabulous book, The Outliers, which stressed the importance of dedicated practice in order to become an expert. 10,000 hours to be exact. I officially hit 10,000 hours sometime between February and March of this year with stocks, which I am quite pleased with. The book says it should take about 10 years; I did it in half the time, which means 5 hours per day on average over that time. As I said, I’m a pretty intense individual.

I’m not bored with investing, don’t get me wrong, but I want to start a new 10,000 hour project. I decided on health and wellness. My roommate is the zen master of the universe, or at least in my eyes he is, so I’ve looked to him for guidance and education this school year. He’s had me watch a number of documentaries, read books, and try different health experiments to see how my body reacted. I will be posting about much of the education I’ve gotten so far and I’ll then pick topics that interest me. I figure it’s great to learn in the public spotlight and get connected with other like-minded people. But if no one checks my site, so be it; I know from experience the benefits of writing about what you love.

Why Health & Wellness?

I got sick in 2012. I left school, spent 6 months at home recovering (having left school for spring semester) and gained 70 pounds. I was in great shape, approaching six pack status, so 70 pounds on top of 190 was crippling. I increased my weight by 35% and life changed drastically for me. Not only did my medication slow my mind and body down, my weight kept me out of the gym because of the sheer difficulty of activity.

My zen-master roommate changed all of that around, however. He introduced me to juicing, organic foods, and basic education on the differences between the American and paleolithic diets. From January 5th of this year, the day I came off my medication, I’ve dropped somewhere in the range of 50 pounds (I’m on a juice fast currently and part of my ritual is to not weigh myself until it’s over). So while I’m not fully back, I’ve made significant progress toward my goals. I’d say about 20 were just medication-related, but about 30 were hard-earned juicing & exercise pounds that I shed through sheer determination.

Not only that, it was easy! I was never hungry over that period, I actually felt healthier than I ever did eating normal meals, and I started to view food differently. Rather than something that sates a craving, it was something I put in my system to fuel myself. The difference is huge, but most McDonald’s customers wouldn’t understand the distinction. I still am becoming acquainted with it.

Educating Our Youth

I will likely post on this at some point, but I believe our education system has utterly failed our kids. When it comes to health and wellness, it’s egregious. Lobbyists are protecting their respective industries, the amount of money in Big Food is so much that you have to be careful of what you say, for fear of being sued, and so we have a food pyramid forced on us that is nowhere near reality.

I finish school this week after 17 years of “education” and I don’t know how to prepare a meal for myself, let alone know the difference between a cheeseburger and hummus with pita. I’m now getting there, but it’s not because of our schools. We shouldn’t have to go to culinary school for a basic wellness education. But that is where we are today.

childhood obesity education programsWe have the most obese country in the world laden with the most illnesses- nearly all preventable- and a lack of awareness of our bodies. Most Americans believe they have healthy diets when it’s anything but. I’ll get into more detail in its own post, but some of things I have seen have shocked me to my core. And it’s all easily preventable! Weight Watchers isn’t the solution, nor are any of the major weight management programs in the country. They preach discipline but not education; they want to hand you a fish but not teach you how to hook them on your own. They say cake is still okay, as are many other things so long as in moderation. I believe if people truly knew what was in a slice of cake, they wouldn’t touch it except on birthdays. And therein lies the rub: with a focus on profits, nobody is truly helped by the industry.

The answer does not lie with even more regulation, but rather education. McDonald’s can fight the government, but they can’t fight abandonment. If people choose to stop poisoning their bodies, there is no way around it for Big Food.

Recipes, Recipes, Recipes!

2013-04-04 13.11.17I want to start learning to seriously cook and prepare foods- mostly raw vegan- to nurture my body and also taste good. I think most people would be turned off to this type of rigidity, but if you could make it taste good, I doubt many would complain. So for my future romantic relationships, or even perhaps a business someday, I want to learn to prepare food the right way. Salads are great and all, but creativity and new food combinations excite me.

I will be sharing my personal cooking experiences as well as juicing recipes I find or come up with. I’m not into smoothies as much, but maybe that will change. I prefer to eat my fruits and juice my veggies. Be prepared for pictures and my thoughts on some of the foods, in addition to my commentary on topics like pasteurization, mass-produced food, V8, composting, sustainability, and organic vs. regular produce.

That’s Enough Already!

Okay, okay, I know. I can write for a long time, the issue is getting people to read more than a page! So I’ll cut this off here. I just want it to be clear why I’m writing: I was sick, I was introduced to a way of life I want to explore further, and perhaps people can learn along with me. I encourage people to get in touch as well; idea exchanges are highly valuable and I’m always interested in new points of view.

So with that, I’ll say thanks for visiting and I will begin posting more upon graduation.