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In Conversation: Phil Cui of Yeah Bowl on Men's Health

Little changes can and do lead to big results, and the first thing we can do it talk about it.

That’s why this Men’s Health Month, we’re highlighting the importance of looking after your body and mind with the help of some friends.

First up, meet Phil Cui of Yeah Bowl poké shop, and community cold exposure initiative, Icemunity. We talked to Phil about setting health goals, staying engaged and fueling your body through eating well.

What does men’s health mean to you?

3 things, healthy mind, healthy & able body & healthy connections. To me that means making sure you are finding ways to fill each one of those cups, consistently. I believe when you have all 3 of these looked after you will be a happier & healthy human.

How would you describe the significance of taking care of your mental health?

Taking care of ones mental health is as important as taking care of your physical health! It should be a daily practice. When you look after your mental health & wellbeing you automatically offer the world a better you, which then impacts your environment & the people around you. Think of it like a light lightening up a room. 

Finding motivation is key to staying on track with our health goals. How do you stay engaged?

My curiosity of the human body & its potential keeps me well engaged. I think focusing on a goal & acquiring new skills is the best way to stay focused, the magic is most of the time always found within the journey. I get a lot of my motivation from exploring what this body of mine is capable of, the human body honestly fascinates me! A few challenges I’m working on at the moment are the front splits & box splints (I want to challenge the status quo), a regular running routine, bouldering/rock climbing (it's like playing Tetris with your body) and regular cold water immersion throughout the year.

Resilience, mindset, metabolism, and longevity are the four key benefits of cold exposure therapy. Tell us about the Ice-munity project.

This really started off as a Saturday group activity among friends. We all knew the benefits of cold exposure & cold showers but the community, positive peer pressure & accountability really kept it going. Now Ice-Munity is a space that merges community & connection through ice. I want this to be a space where people can challenge themselves & each other, connect with like minded individuals & just come together and bond over a common interest. Cold water!

Mental and physical health are interconnected, and what you eat plays an important foundational role for both. What tips do you have on how to fuel your body through diet?

I’m a huge advocate for eating good = feeling good. Whole foods, lots of quality protein & minimal amounts of processed stuff. My meals mostly consist of YeahBowls, quality protein & eggs! In terms of diet you want to follow something that has the least amount of resistance for you, if it's too hard & restrictive you’re not going to stick to it & quit. Keep it simple! fruits, lots of protein & veges. You wouldn’t put diesel in your Ferrari so don’t treat your body like that either.

What are your top tips to decrease stress?

My absolute go-to way to change my state is to move the body! take a run, or jog, do a workout, just moooove. For me changing my physiology often times changes my emotions & state. If I don't have the time to do that I remind myself to take a few deep breathes or do a few rounds of breathwork/breathing (box breathing), this usually takes me back down to baseline & regain control.

Last but not least, what’s your favourite Two Islands product and why?

The Protein powders! Getting enough protein not only helps you build muscle but is the key to a long & healthy life.

Yeah Bowl poké shop:

Two locations in Auckland: K Road and Britomart
https://www.yeahbowl.com/