Death by Television

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By the time you are done reading this sentence you will have devoted around 6 seconds of your life sitting in front of a screen. What you don’t realize is the average human devotes, on average, around 8 hours a day in front of screens. A study from NY Times shared about 5 hours out of the 8 are spent watching television.

That’s a lot of sitting around doing…nothing.

Sitting for long periods of time puts pressure on your back and tightens your hip flexors affecting..well, every other part of your body. From your shoulders, to your back, all the way down to your calves; which is why so many people these days have a lot of bodily injuries, aches, and pains.

Simple solution: Go for a walk. I’ll explain why with my experience this past weekend.

This past weekend I was able to spend two days in downtown San Francisco where we walked for about 10 hours a day…that’s 2 more hours we spent walking then you did in front of a screen. At first, it was hard…especially since San Francisco is not the flattest city. The hills made my calves hurt and my legs ache.

On the second day however, I felt happier, lighter, healthier. We walked everywhere, and about midday when I saw a group of people stopped at a corner to catch their breath it occurred to me…we hadn’t stopped walking since we left that morning for breakfast. At the same time a question came to me: how many people are unable to go for a simple walk without losing breath or having to stop because something hurts?

It’s sad how many of us are trading in our health and our ability to go the distance for a box that turns our brains off and focus down.

I don’t just mean going the distance in your ability to walk up a hill, but in chasing your dreams, learning more about your world and yourself, feeding your creativity, and living the fullest life you are capable of.

 You are the strongest, most dangerous, greatest, and rarest creature on this earth. 

Why are you wasting your potential on your butt watching the TV literally suck the life out of you? Just by turning off the screen and going for a walk you are saying no to everything else and saying YES to you. Once you start saying yes to you and your life, The sky is just the beginning. In the words of a genius:

“oh the places you will go…So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.” -Dr. Seuss

You want to learn the second half?

Last weeks post gave you the NUMBER ONE thing you can do to help change your body forever.

Quick recap: Get rid of your body’s deficiencies by adding the nutrients you need to function properly. The best way you can do this if you are unaware of your deficiencies is to simply assume you have one. ( most humans have a deficiency due to our food consumption)

Quick Answer: Help your body by taking Fish Oil and Multi-vitmans (the two most common deficiencies) to help your body function right.

So….you want to learn the second half?

It’s age old and surpasses all other diet trends, fads, and lifestyle changes. It’s been around the longest, has the greatest amount of results, and is never wrong. You ready for it? It’s:

Move a little more, eat a little less.

Mind. Blown. Right?!

According to Dr. John Berardi, owner of Precision Nutrition claimed the goal is to achieve calorie control without actually having to count calories. Counting calories turns food into a math equation…and WE ALL know how much we love math equations.

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For example: Counting calories turns food into words, turns words into math (this is where the mass of the sun comes in) math back into words, then words into food.

Annoying right?

You want a simpler way of food control without all the math and counting ounces? It’s easy, just use your hand. Your hand is your individual food guide! Men and women are different so below is a table from Precision Nutritions guidelines for calorie control to help you:

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There you have it, the secret is out…or has it always been out and we are just so consumed with the hip new fads like waist training, Paleo, and no carb diets to remember the age old remedy for a healthy life?

Anyhoo…consider yourself reminded.

“We need to be reminded more than we need to be instructed.”                               -G.K. Chesterton

This One Addition Will Change Your Body Forever

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Have you ever been to a fitness convention?

If yes, you will know they are full of ENERGY, inspiration, and education on health and wellness. Every time I go to IDEA, one of the largest fitness conventions in the world, it never ceases to amaze me how much there is still to learn in the fitness industry. IDEA happened this past weekend and it was so energetic and inspiring that it overwhelmed me with the wealth of knowledge spread throughout those four days.

Above everything I heard this past weekend there were a few things that stood out to me more than anything, and this one gem I learned from Dr. John Berardi, owner and creator of Precision Nutrition, was something I could not keep to myself.

Dr. Berardi is a master at nutrition and wrote the book in creating REAL change for people in a healthy and natural way. He discussed a lot of facts on “diets” and ways for us to go back into the world to change peoples lives with two simple steps. The first one however, was not so common, common sense.

I know you’re waiting for me to tell you so I won’t delay anymore… He spoke about the human body and how it works. How it works with food, and how it works with stuff that says it is food.

Simply put, the function of food is to fuel the body.

However, if your body has deficiencies of nutrients nothing you put into your body will be able to be utilized properly or at all.

In short – all the money you spend on “organic” food you’re literally just flushing down the toilet.

This means, whether you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle, if you have deficiencies in your bodies system all that work could be at a total lose. So, how do you find out if you have a deficiency? You could:

  • Go to the doctor and ask for blood work
  • Go to a certified dietician who specializes in blood and urine sample diagnostic
  • Most common: just figure you have a deficiency

The last one is most common for a couple of reasons. First, well…it’s cheap. The other two cost quite a bit of money if you don’t have a friend who can do it for you. The other reason is due to the food being sold to us, most every person has a deficiency of some kind. We are not getting the nutrients we need in our veggie chips! Weird right?

Simple solution: add an omega fish oil and multi-vitamin (the two most common deficiencies)

Adding these two to your daily intake will change your body, drastically. Most, if not all of us, are not getting what we need to thrive with our available food sources.

Just by adding those two vitamins mentioned above your body will:

  • Absorb the food better and transfer it to the parts it needs to go
  • Increase digestion flow and metabolism
  • Increase your energy
  • Decrease your fat storage
  • Become a happier you!

The supplement company I trust and use is Advocare. You can find the supplements you need almost anywhere, just do your research before you choose, there are some faulty supplement companies out there.

Long story short, before you get a drastic meal plan that tells you to only eat 3 ounces of carbs in a meal (like I’ve done) make sure your body is even working properly. It will save you money, time, and your body by adding the nutrients it needs to thrive.

“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.”

The New Era of Success and How it Affects You

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Sitting in a big corporate office with a view, driving the company car, making six figures a year, wearing Armani suits, sitting in first class…..blah blah blah blah blah BLAH

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That is so old fashion and WAY out dated. The pasts version of success is gone and out the window for good, thank goodness! This new era has defined a new kind of success, a better kind of success. It doesn’t involve forty plus hour work weeks, getting home late from the office, driving yourself too thin, stressed out, and having to wear those hideous suits that make you itch.

The new era of success is defined by, ready for it? drum roll please….you. Thats right, YOU are in charge of what success looks like to you. The best part is, everyone’s is different! If your definition of success is that high rise corporate office job then more power to you, but not everyone would agree. Some people’s success is spending more time with the kids, having weekends off, backpacking around Europe for three months out the year, and even working from home.

Our culture does still have a hold on us where we, at first, believe this old world view of success is what we must aim for. I’m here to tell you…it’s not. You don’t have to climb any ladder to feel an ounce of success in your life.

According to Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, you shouldn’t even be on a ladder! Ladders only have two directions, up or down, theres no room for movement. Sandberg wrote in her most recent book Lean In about how if you’re going to climb anything, climb a jungle gym. There are all sorts of ways to climb in order to reach the top, but there is never just one way. I love this, don’t you?

So I ask you today, what does success mean to you? Not what it means to your spouse, or your parents (especially not your parents), or your dog…what does success mean to YOU?

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  • Go to this really awesome FREE online notepad called ZenPen and start writing down what success means to you, right now.
  • Once you’re done with your view of success, write down all the walls in your life affecting your progress with those dreams of success.
  • Lastly, DELETE the wall from your life and make room for yourself.

Trust me, when you make room for dreams, life has a way of fulfilling it for you.

Ready, set, GO!

When “Healthy” Becomes UNHEALTHY: The Dark Truth

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We (America) were once known as the obese country. With fried everything and donuts as cheeseburger buns, it’s really hard to see how that could ever be…. within the past few years however, there’s been a shift. We’ve traded our donuts in for “gluten free” and meats for vegan or plant based protein. Tabloids now have to keep up with the times by telling you their packaged snacks are only 100 calories, the canned tuna is gluten free, and they’ve even gotten creative in their ability to make chips out of vegetables.

This change in motion is great as I applaud Michelle Obama for boosting MyPLate awareness while more people are flooding the gyms,  however there is another underlying condition. It may seem like a new condition but it has been around since the ancient Egyptians and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. It is the romantic ideal of the “perfect body.” In today’s society is it perceived as flat tummies and round butts with toned arms and legs, the ultimate athlete in some cases. For men it is bulging biceps, chiseled abs with big quads and calves to match. Lets not even add ideal height and weight to the equation.

Media thrives on this body type and puts them in the lime light with ads, TV series, movies, and even cereal boxes. Todays top ten teen shows on television not only include these body types but in some cases are the only type they see and wish to be like. The result of this being 10 and 12 year old KIDS thinking they are fat and wish to lose weight.

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Not only are we thrown into a media frenzy of creating this “ideal body” but we are thrown curve balls with all this “healthy” talk about gluten free and less calories, daily dose of vegetables and diet plans. No one really knows what is even healthy so they go with what is the biggest craze at the time and hope it makes them look like the stars on TV. Some diets go so extreme they cut out carbs all together to cut weight fast, starve themselves on asparagus and fish for 4 weeks then binge eat on 12 donuts in one sitting because they feel deprived. After awhile you forget why you wanted to become “healthy” in the first place.

Health then, no longer becomes about keeping up with your kids while you play and keeping your body fueled well to be energized and living a long, fulfilling life. It becomes about getting the six pack and 12% body fat even if you’re miserable in the process and binge eat once you get there. This is when eating disorders begin and our infatuation with the way we look instead of the way we feel comes into play. Oh, and off topic but relevant, do you even know what Gluten is? Do you know why you are cutting it out of your diet? Let me enlighten you, but before I do, please watch this video on the “ideal body type” from the past to present.

This video shows you the daring truth, that EVERY body type has once been the “ideal” body type at one point or another, and EVERY body type is beautiful. Did you know, only 5% of the population has today’s ideal body type naturally. Which means, 95% of us have to resort to other ways if we want to be beautiful by medias standards.

Here are 4 quick tips to not falling into this void of media health, and becoming healthy FOR YOU.

1) “DON’T read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.”

2) Becomes the healthiest version of YOU. Adopt the 80/20 rule I follow if you like or find one that fits you. The 80/20 rules means eating healthy 80% of the time but allow 20% of the time for a slice of pizza without feeling guilty. With every meal include a healthy portion of CARBS (gasp): oats, quinoa, brown rice, whole grain, cous cous, veggies, fruits, PROTEIN (plant or animal based), and FAT (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, almonds, etc.)

The motto I live by: If it came from the earth (grains, vegetables, fruit, etc) or was once alive (grains, vegetables, fish, chicken, cow, fruit trees), it’s food.

3) don’t drink your calories. STOP drinking soda. Just stop it. Look, I love the polar bears from Coca Cola too but people scrub rust off their cars with it, why would you put that into your body? At least 8 glasses of water a day will boost your metabolism and cleanse your body of toxins. Coffee and tea are good for the soul and body as well in small portions, you don’t have to stop that.

4) Move your body daily. This does not mean you need to become a gym rat or hurt yourself by trying Crossfit. Going for a walk, jog, bike ride, hike, swimming, dancing in your living room are all moving your body; many of them are fun too. Exercise is only one part of being healthy and is not the be all of health, but it will keep your joints lubricated, muscles strong, and core able to last you a long time.

Now about the Gluten thing…Gluten is a protein found in wheat. That’s it. It doesn’t have teeth or on a mission to kill you. Some people do have an allergy to gluten, but not as many as they say they do. When people say they cut out gluten and lost a ton of weight its because they took out all the junk food and started eating healthy. Gluten doesn’t make you gain weight unless you abuse it, just like anything else.

Lastly, Please don’t eat the veggie chips and think you are eating your daily intake. Chips are chips no matter how you disguise them. Just eat the flipping vegetables.

“your best weight is whatever weight you reach when you’re living the healthiest life you actually enjoy.”

This ONE Exercise Will Help You Reach Your Goals

On a blank piece of paper, word doc, or wall you don’t mind writing on…name 100 things you have done in your life you are proud of.

Now, if you are anything like me, the moment you sit down to do this you feel a drip of sweat come off your brow and your palms become clammy. You suddenly cannot think of a single thing you are proud of…this usually follows suit with a racing heart, doodling some weird stick figure guy while your mind wanders, then finally crumbling up the paper and forgetting you ever tried to do this assignment.

Don’t be that guy/girl

This is a simple exercise to help you get your mind flowing and helping you realize you can do whatever you put your mind to. They don’t have to be big accomplishments either. Heck, I put down on my list trying eel at a sushi restaurant for my first time eating sushi. I didn’t eat sushi again for another 2 years, but thats besides the point. Below is a list of items you can find on my list to help get you started.

  • passed my drivers license test (without killing anyone I might add)
  • Received my high school diploma
  • was student of the month in elementary school
  • Moved to a different country
  • studied abroad in Italy
  • went sky diving
  • learned to drive a manual vehicle

These obviously don’t have to be the same for you (especially if you haven’t passed your drivers test…I’m not judging you, promise) they are examples and can be at any age in your life. If you became clean from drugs or alcohol, that is huge success. If you planted a garden and have kept your plants alive, thats a feat I have yet to accomplish so my hat goes off to you. Whatever you have accomplished, big or small, write it down.

This may take you awhile so don’t feel obligated to fill in all 100 at once. I know 100 seems like a big number but I bet if you think long enough, you can fill 100 items within one year of your life. This homework assignment, in the end, will show you how many things you have accomplished and how little this new goal is in comparison to what you have already done.

I hope you find this little exercise useful and please share your favorite accomplishments on the comments section below!

Reading past my bedtime; 3 things you can learn from a book

I did something this past week I haven’t done in 3-4 years… I picked up the last book of a series I have been reading for the past ten years, sat down for 7 hours, and finished the series. I started the book 4 years earlier but never finished it. I was almost afraid of finishing the book series in essence because I didn’t want to let go of the story. When I finally did however I had a revelation, of which I will explain now.

This might seem mundane to you and you’re probably thinking “ok, you read a book, whoopty doo.” It was so much more than just reading a book however, let me explain. I have never NOT finished anything I’ve started in my life, so the sheer fact that I didn’t finish the series bothered me. To the point where I would think about the book ever so often and wonder about the characters. It just felt unfinished. which is my first point:

  • If there is something that comes into your mind more often than not, you should probably look into it.

Secondly, Reading books allows you to visit a world of extraordinary within your normal world of reality. At times life gets hard. You will have some hard decisions to make, changes you are afraid of, or at times, a heartbreak. A book is a place you can go when your reality is closing in on you. So here is my second point:

  • No matter where you are in your world, there is always a way to get out of the cloud and into a space of clarity. A book is the perfect place to go to clear your mind and escape for a little while you figure out where to go next.

Lastly, books feed your mind and sometimes show you parts of yourself you never knew existed before. Depending on what kind of book you’re reading, it can show you different inspiring techniques or send you into a different world of fiction. The fiction books are almost more fun because it’s as if you are transported into that book and you become your own character in it. Your blood boils when a part angers you, or your heartbeat spikes on a thrilling part. You learn more about your “fight or flight” instinct through the experiences the character’s have in the story. This leads me to my last point:

  • You are never the same person when you finish the book as when you started it. A part of you changes, you learn something new about yourself and your life around you. Your mind forms new ideas, conquers challenges, and becomes more than it was. A part of you stays in the book you just read and a new you comes out of it.

Now, if you despise reading, you’re not going to get this. One day however, I really hope you do because reading is an essential part of growth, and there are some really neat adventures out there to read and become a part of. If you do read, then you get what I’m saying. Now all we have to do is apply what we have learned to our lives outside the book to make your own unique adventure in reality….once we are able to come back to reality that is.

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