Happy, healthy, wealthy, and productive living to help save the world

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Compiled from Pixabay images by Jill Wellington, pasja1000, Erik Stein, Gerd Altmann, and annca.

Medium is filled with personal growth advice. So, what’s different about the Happy Healthy Wealthy Productive Sustainable (HHWPS) project?

Three things:

  1. My mission is to convince the world that a sustainable life is a happy, healthy, wealthy, and productive life. We can all help save the world by building a life we love living 🙂
  2. The HHWPS project will systematically work through 12 coherent chapters. I laid the foundation in 250 blog posts written from mid-2019 to mid-2020, and this Medium publication represents the next level of refinement.

We all have a pretty good idea of the foods we should and shouldn’t allow into our bodies. The problem is getting ourselves to act on this knowledge.

This basic problem has haunted me for more than a decade. It took hundreds of incremental improvements, but six months ago, I finally achieved perfection. This week’s article shares the 10 steps that made it happen:

  1. Start by figuring out how a healthy diet links to one or more of your deepest values.
  2. Healthy living is much more fun than unhealthy…

10 steps to natural and willpower-free enjoyment of healthy food

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Image created by Janet Cloete

This is not your usual healthy-eating article. There will be no mention of any trendy diets, no detailed meal plans, and no prescriptions about the number of calories you should eat at different times of the day.

The internet is already overflowing with advice about what, when, and how much we should eat.

Motivated by my own struggles with unhealthy food, I’ve poured a lot of thought and experimentation…

Let’s face it: Healthy, whole foods don’t offer the unnaturally enhanced taste sensations of hyper-palatable empty calories. But still, that doesn’t mean they can’t be deeply enjoyable!

In this week’s article, we explore how hedonic adaptation controls our enjoyment of food. Fill your life with hyper-palatable food, and your brain will quickly come to see that as “normal.” And that’s a real problem — if a continuous sugar overdose is your brain’s idea of normal, any real food will be bland and boring in comparison.

Luckily, this process can be reversed. When you heal your brain’s reward system, it will…

How to deeply enjoy your healthy food (and your healthy life)

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Did you know? You can train your brain to gain more pleasure from an apple than you currently get from chocolate.
Image by Janet Cloete.

Modern life is a constant battle between our primitive desires and our common sense. And let’s be honest, our desires win all too often, making our common sense very sad indeed.

But it doesn’t need to be this way! In this article, we’ll discuss how to repair your brain’s reward system so that you get even greater pleasure from healthy things than you currently get from unhealthy ones. The main focus will be on food, but we’ll also touch on the broader implications.

Let’s start at the root of our troublesome attraction to unhealthy pleasures.

The Hedonic Treadmill

There’s a very particular aspect…

This week’s article shares the 12 fantastic foods most responsible for my ongoing 12-year streak of perfect health.

Here they are:

  1. Avocado
  2. Kiwi fruit
  3. Free fruit at work
  4. Cucumber
  5. Salmon
  6. Yogurt
  7. Nuts
  8. Berries
  9. Seeds
  10. Spinach
  11. Orange juice
  12. Cooked vegetables

These foods entered my life in interesting ways as I gradually evolved from a nutrition noob to a holistic health enthusiast. It was fascinating to look back at this experience, and I hope these little stories can inspire more people to build a diet conducive to perfect health 😊

Have an HHWPS weekend!


Thanks to these natural immune-boosters, February 16th, 2009 might have been the last day I ever got sick.

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My 12 special foods as photographed by Janet Cloete.

Remember the last time you got sick? It sucks, right? Lying around wishing away several highly uncomfortable and utterly useless days. What would you give to never have to experience that again?

The good news is that a nutrient-laden diet might be all that’s needed. After a cancer scare back in 2008, I got swept up in a wave of motivation for healthy living, with a healthy diet front and center. …

Modern life constantly bombards us with unhealthy temptations — instant pleasures that harm our long-term health and happiness. We’ve all tried to resist these pleasures for the sake of our health (or our looks), only to relapse spectacularly when our willpower inevitably runs out.

This week’s article presents a better strategy: Seek out and enjoy all the pleasures of a healthy life.

Thanks to something called the hedonic treadmill, finding happiness from pleasure is actually much more complicated than it seems. We need to make sure these pleasures are varied, intermittent, and deserved. …

Many of life’s greatest pleasures are reserved only for the healthy

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Image by Pexels from Pixabay

It sucks that so many of the pleasurable things in life are bad for us, right? Wouldn’t it be great if we could sit in front of the TV eating chocolate and drinking wine all day long with no ill effects?

Actually, no.

Even if we could somehow eliminate all the health impacts of such behaviors, they would soon leave us unfulfilled and miserable. We would increasingly numb ourselves to life’s most intense sensory pleasures and, when there is no higher level left, life would become utterly meaningless.

It seems counterintuitive, but the health impact of mindless pursuits of instant…

Why do you strive to control your weight? Is it more about being healthy or about conforming to social standards?

Putting health first is always the best call. Healthy living leads to weight loss much more reliably than weight loss leads to health. For example, a healthy diet cutting out all those unhealthy foods designed to make us overeat makes it far easier to control our calorie intake.

When you focus only on health, it also becomes much easier to ignore the unrealistic beauty standards of modern society. We’ve been conditioned to desire bodies that require hours of daily gym…

Schalk Cloete

I’m a research scientist studying sustainable development from the angles of technology, policy, and personal growth. Learn more at schalkcloete.com.

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