At the request of fans, this week we discuss Bruce Lee’s approach to nutrition and fitness! Nutrition and fitness were ongoing obsessions for Bruce during his life, and we can’t cover everything, so we’ll discuss the big ideas on this episode not specific regimens.
Bruce Lee was constantly experimenting on himself and seeing what worked for his body. There was cardio, weight training, martial techniques, teaching as training, nutrition from diet to supplements, meditation, and reading books. Often Bruce would be found doing several things at once, such as stretching and reading, using his time efficiently.
Bruce’s diet varied, but he consistently drank protein shakes and juices from their commercial grade juicer, an unusual household appliance in the 60’s. Bruce Lee explored many diets, including one with organ meats because of their high mineral content. He drank tea every day and put supplements into his tea such as ginseng and royal jelly. He would usually have 5 smaller meals a day, and Bruce expended so much energy daily that he didn’t have to watch what he ate. He was also a big proponent of getting enough sleep, getting 8hrs a night. Bruce enjoyed all kinds of food, but he didn’t smoke, drink alcohol, or drink coffee.
It was after Bruce’s big fight in Oakland that he started to explore fitness and nutrition in more detail. He started weight lifting, but disliked being bulky. Bruce began training for function over form to make his body strong, fast, and nimble. Bruce created and modified his own exercise equipment to target specific parts of his body. Bruce kept detailed daily planners where he wrote how many kicks, punches, crunches, or miles run he did each day. Stretching and meditation were also important parts of his fitness routine.
“Jogging is not only a form of exercise to me, it is also a form of relaxation. It’s my own hour, every morning, when I can be alone with my thoughts.”
“Meditation is a freeing of the mind from all motives.” Bruce’s philosophy about food is one we can all follow: “Eat what your body requires, and don’t get carried away with foods that don’t benefit you.” He was not extreme or rigid about food. He also did not believe in depriving yourself.
“Health is an appropriate balance of the coordination of all of what we are.”
While Bruce was experimenting with nutrition and fitness, he made sure he was in harmony with his body. Health is inline with the philosophy of self-actualization since you can listen to, cultivate, and balance your body.
If you’re interested in learning more about Bruce’s fitness and nutrition routines check out Bruce Lee: The Art of Expressing the Human Body.
Take Action: To focus on your nutrition and fitness is to ask yourself this: “I would feel better in my body if I did _” and fill in the blank with one action you can take.
#AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas)
This week’s #AAHA shout-out goes to Jeremy Lin, American NBA basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets. He’s known for unexpectedly leading a winning turnaround for the New York Knicks in 2012, gaining a huge following called “Linsanity.” Lin had a rough start to his NBA career, receiving no drafts and getting put in the D-league, and finally joined the Knicks in the 2011-2012 season. Jeremy Lin is the first American of Taiwanese descent and one of few Asian American NBA players. Jeremy, we applaud your hard work, how you’ve overcome prejudice and obstacles, and your love of basketball. Keep being awesome!
Below we have a #BruceLeeMoment email from Lecroy “Lee” Rhyanes, Jr.
Hello Shannon, Sharon, @brucelee podcast listeners,
My name is Lecroy "Lee" Rhyanes, Jr. from El Paso, Texas. There have been many #BruceLeeMoments throughout my life that I often reflect on as I'm listening to the podcast. One that I'd like to share is in response to the 'Walk On' episode #11 topic about phrases that we use to help us. The phrase I use is Bruce Lee's quote "Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning." There is no quote that I've applied in my experience as a student and educator more than this one. When I first got the opportunity to teach a college class at New Mexico State University in 2007, I included the quote on the syllabus for a freshman English class. Since then, I've taught more than a dozen college courses focused on creative justice and have always included this quote for students in the syllabus. Most recently, I got the opportunity to teach a summer course in 2016 that I titled "Creative Expressions of Masculinity In & Out of Juvenile Detention." The Bruce Lee quote also inspired me to create a Teaching Philosophy a few years ago which I include in my course syllabus as well. Here's a piece of the Teaching Philosophy I wrote inspired by Bruce Lee's quote..."Understanding how complex the ever-changing juvenile justice system can be, and the range of experience that students bring into the classroom, as an instructor, I do not profess to know everything. We're all in a state of constant learning. I'm an instructor who is also a student and will dedicate just as much time as I'll demand. Therefore, everyone that is participating in this class is accountable to the success of our learning experience." Looking back when I graduated in 2008 with my Masters Degree in Creative Writing, I included Bruce Lee's quote in my graduation invitation. Thank you for creating this podcast for listeners that have been inspired by Bruce Lee. Since childhood, Bruce Lee's inspiration has definitely been constant, especially in my journey and goals to learn and teach. Each week that I listen to a new podcast I'm re-inspired to continue taking steps and 'walk on' towards new goals...Thank you for the podcast and all that you do in the name of Bruce Lee...Peace. #listening.