KETO? A diet or a process?

KETO? A diet or a process?

Ask a lot of people out there, “What diet do you think is good to go with?” 8 out of 10 times you will hear “Keto – it is great, AND the food is yum!”, or “high fat, low carbs – you know ‘that one’ where you get to eat the fat on the steak?”…

But is keto a DIET or a PROCESS? In my books, it is only a process, in the billion dollar diet industry it IS A DIET! With so many variables to this regulated ‘diet’, even I learn about a new version nearly every day. Creativity wins in the diet industry no doubt. We just need to look at Google search on diet options to see that.

Is Keto a diet or a process?
Is Keto a diet or a process? PROCESS FOR SURE!

Now, some may think, this is the ‘current’ fad diet, but not so, this has been around for a very long time, with SUGAR getting the bad-guy status (@billieeilish you do not have sole rights to that title, sugar had it first) , people needed something to make their food taste better. In walks Mr FAT, dressed neatly in only grass fed attire, food never tasted as good and even better the minute it got labelled as a ‘diet’. It is a PROCESS, all sciency types, stand with me on this one please.

My experience with plenty of eager dieters, who have come to sit on my couch before after and during a regulated keto diet plan, has had its impact on my opinion. I am personally not a scientist, dietician, nutritionist or doctor and am happy not to claim the title, I am however someone who packs a punch in experience when coaching people into wellness. Before I share THEIR experience, I would like to add, I have found in my time dealing with diets that humans are incredibly good at relying on EXTERNAL SUPPORT/GRATIFICATION/FIXER UPPERS, they WANT/NEED something OR somebody else to be the magic pill and oh boy, on queue, (do advertisers know that!!!?) in walks the ‘Ketogenic Diet’, aka, the magic fix that tastes FANTASTIC. Back to the dieters on my couch… I have heard amazing success stories, horror stories, and outright lies. In their self-defense, it was for them; self-defense?!

For those who have no clue what regulated keto diets actually entail, I will give the commercially accepted WEIGHT LOSS DRIVEN understanding: It is a VERY low-carb, with a high-fat diet, similar to Atkins and other low-carb diets but just yummier. You basically replace MOST OF YOUR carbs with fats – good fats if you read the fine print (even though most keto goers know this… sadly, a little bad fat always finds its way in, oh and did I mention the sugar leak and the HAVOC that causes on ketosis?). By replacing carbs you put your body into a metabolic state called ketosis where it ‘burns’ fats for fuel/energy. Mmmmm, who was that scientist that said you can transform one energy to another but it does not ‘GO AWAY’… the law of conservation of energy where “energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another”.

So the whole keto idea revolves around the fact that; your body does need energy to ‘do’, to exist. If you do not supply that energy in the form of for example a delicious chocolate cake, a nutritious homemade meal, or an energy drink [sic], IT WILL BE OK, as there is plenty of energy in the form of fat sitting on your rump or muffin top available, to be converted into usable energy – fat be gone. That simple? If only…

Time to burn some fat for energy! The magic fix is here!
Time to burn some fat for energy! The magic fix is here!

Back to my dieters on the couch. One lady specifically I remember. She and hubby, 8 months before seeing me, had decided to go strictly ketogenic. Now both were not actually overweight (in today’s accepted terms, I would like to add), and both were reasonably healthy. She came through the keto self-experiment fairly bruised and battered. At age 38 her hormones had turned upside down 6 months in and no matter how much or how little she ate, post keto, her weight did not budge. I mention this little bit of information purely to once again EMPHASIS that your diet IS PERSONAL, like your fingerprint. NO ONE PERSON IS THE SAME how on earth can we work on averages, which it seems is what is being touted within the variances of keto?

My next question is this, when you are taking on ANY DIET, which with it comes limitations, rules and regulations, bland food, some exercise, lots of water, sometimes supplements and my pet hate, black coffee (and please, I LOVE the IDEA of keto as much as any other individual but my Ma taught me, anything that seems too good, generally is so), COULD there be a possible pitfall in the fine print of the regulated keto diet? Besides the fact that my gallbladder was removed at age 18 – which makes eating 80% fat a challenge for my body, I look at the regulated keto diet as I look at ANY diet, and ask; CAN I DO IT FOREVER?

CAN I DO IT FOREVER?

There is a diet, and there is a regulated diet. Big difference. The regulated diet means you need to be on top of the rules and regulations for the diet you are embracing. Keto diet regulated; high fat, low carb and a bit of protein, basically; an average of 70-80% fat from total daily calories, 5-10% carbohydrate, and 10-20% protein. Today I heard my friend was told to do 60% fat, 30% protein, and 10% carb – another version of a keto diet. Now interesting here, relative to WHO is on this diet, your carb intake, to get you INTO ketosis can be a massive variable, from 20grams a day to 100… that is a HUGE difference in my world. And herein lies the sweet point, most ‘get-on-the-keto-diet-wagon’ don’t realize this huge variation, they go to the averages, YOU ARE NOT AVERAGE! That is like serving a coffee, black no sugar, to all my guests because that is my average coffee drinkers preference??!

So, if you are hardcore keto, I know you are GETTING IT RIGHT! But the average [sic] peep out there, (I hope your hair rose in that statement) will not look for or get the sciency bit about this diet – not for any other reason but the feeling of ‘close is good enough’. For those who don’t know, yup the averagers… this regulated diet is ALL SCIENCE. In fact, the reason I was attracted to it was exactly that, the science. But the science makes you very aware that this diet sits on a knife-edge when it comes to getting it right. The carb intake alone, if ‘slightly’ overdone, and I do mean slightly, allows you to skid right out of a ketogenic state of fat burning straight into a glucose burning state and the result is, you stay fat… and frustrated.

Will I be toeing the line between eating fat and getting fat to eating fat and burning fat too often? And will I be able to keep up with eating 80% clean good quality perfect fat for the rest of my life? And am I really able to ‘be regulated’ by a diet which is, in fact, a process?

You see, the reason why the diet industry IS a billion-dollar industry is based on the fact that we BUY INTO ‘regulated’ diets that we have ZERO CHANCE of adapting and living within forever and in that way, we are ON DIET or OFF DIET forever!!!

On a ‘regulated’ diet, GET THIN.

Off a ‘regulated’ diet, GET FAT.

And so we go on, we seem UNABLE to eat according to a non regulated diet without getting FAT simultaneously? What happened to us, we cannot eat based on instinct any more? ( Though I do not think it is our fault entirely, anyone ever looked at where your chicken comes from or the added sugar we get WITHOUT asking for it?)

LET US SPEAK ABOUT THE GOOD – THERE IS PLENTY

I love this regulated diet to such an extent that I do believe a large portion of our population could eat this as a non-regulated diet with ease – so rather a lifestyle approach. I do also believe that the extreme 80% fat go-into-ketosis approach is not the only way IN. There is a well balanced intermittent fasting approach which people like myself can use to get into ketosis without fat loading.

For sportspeople, this keto process, in my opinion, is THE BEST option to maximize performance. I dealt with a gent who went on a regulated ketogenic diet and over 6 weeks got keto-adapted and I watched as his body burnt fat beautifully for fuel. This diet allows energy levels to explode, the reason being that your body LOVES using ketones for energy!! Once you are keto-adapted, there is a far greater drive to be active – win-win for sure.

Coming back to the Law of the Conservation of Energy, and how amazing the keto process is for sportspeople, (note that the ‘average’ [sic there it is, again] person, most likely is not training for Iron man BUT most likely IS trying to get to at least 150min of exercise a week,) THE KETO PROCESS works beautifully if you are a sports buff. You become keto-adapted and literally turn into a machine. Can you imagine, carbo-loading be gone… and… your endurance and recuperation is on a different level. If you are driven to improve your performance and endurance, or would just like to increase your understanding of keto, please read the amazing book by Stephen Phinney, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. Beyond Obesity LLC. Why this book, Stephen Phinney explains why keto-adaption is key especially as a sportsperson, on the regulated keto diet: 70 – 110 grams of fat may be burned per hour, 50% greater fat usage versus the average [sic] diet which uses 20 to 60grams of fat!

HEALTH ASPECT OF THE KETO PROCESS

Besides burning fat which is a REAL ADVANTAGE if you on the overweight or obese category in life, the keto process is used to treat medical conditions such as epilepsy. Now, this is an interesting one, the emotions attached with epilepsy can prevent any caring mother to listen patiently when someone (that would be me) tries to explain how ‘food’ will solve her child’s epilepsy… We have such faith and belief in our doctors that we are blindsided by the simplest of answers. We, mere mortals, could not possibly solve it purely through the use of food? The science in the bag on this one, ‘keto diets’ are used to treat people with epilepsy, not to say that their epilepsy always disappears, but it does improve quite drastically. What a ketogenic state does: it alters genes involved in energy metabolism in the brain, which then helps stabilize neurons resulting in less epileptic seizures.

Your brain runs on KETONES or GLUCOSE not fat, in fact, its favorite fuel is ketones, it is pure and it is wholesome. Brain clarity is a great advantage of the Keto process. When your body burns ketones for fuel, it produces less oxidative stress vs carbs burning for fuel. Yes, you may get younger too! And not only that, in certain situations, it has been reported to reduce your body inflammation. However, I may add, I have read reports that are contrary to this last statement.

HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS

I found my clients going into ketosis, realized it was so firstly by physically tasting it on their breath, it can also be tested with test strips with urine. Other realizations as they were going into a ketogenic state were moodiness (that sugary wench needs to come out!) tiredness day 3 to 4 and sinus. This is the first point of going into ketosis, it is NOT YET keto-adapted. That takes at least 3 to 4 weeks of perfection, for some it takes months. Just for clarity purposes, my clients managed to go into ketosis on a regulated VLCD which split was 40% Protein, 40% Carb and 20% Fats but that said, ketosis is ketosis. Many think ketosis is 80% fat, 70, or 60%. There are variations. Ketosis or ketogenic state is what happens in your body, and there are various ways of getting INTO ketosis.

To be able to help you get into ketosis, chose the method you would prefer to use based on the fat content and calorie load, then get a good food tracking app, like MyFitnessPal. This allows you to log just about everything (except your children’s school extra murals) to enable the tweaking of your macronutrients to achieve desired results faster.

WHAT SITS IN THE FINE PRINT?

Besides the halitosis, what else should I be aware of? Firstly, you may not lose weight at all… despite loving your food and enjoying every meal and the fact that you are really trying… but still, no weight moves. The reasons are as follows; you could not be in ketosis due to too many carbs, too much protein, not ENOUGH calories (this is not starvation, in fact, it is extremely filling). You could be allergic or intolerant to some of the primary ingredients such as nuts, eggs, shellfish which all cause inflammation and then weight gain. You could also be leptin resistant (oh dear…). Leptin resistance is caused by stress (who doesn’t have that problem??) lack of sleep (ditto) and yo-yo dieting (50% of people on this planet).

Then there is the possibility of nutrient deficiency, people get so wrapped up in the yummy fats they forget about the fruits and vegetables we need to ensure we don’t run out of micronutrients…

Liver and kidney problems, if you already have a delicate liver and/or kidney, possibly well used, this diet may exasperate the problem ever so slightly.

Mood swings… this happens regardless of being on a ‘keto diet’. Sorry.

And last but by no means least, constipation due to lack of fiber for some people who do not eat enough of the vegetables. Personally, I never came across this one especially in people who ate large amounts of good fats.

WHAT FOOD TO EAT ON THE REGULATED KETO DIET?

Warning: the quality of fats you put into your body is extremely important. Junk fats are not deemed as good quality fats in your body. So too, Do talk to an advisor of choice, be it a doctor or registered dietitian before attempting a REGULATED ketogenic diet or ANY regulated diet.

LOW CARB VEG:
Arugula, spinach, eggplant, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, bell peppers, fennel, cabbage, celery, Brussels sprouts, kale.
Starchy veggies such as carrots, yams, beets, turnips, sweet and regular potatoes should be avoided.

LOW SUGAR FRUITS:
Tomatoes, avocado, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, coconut, lemon, and limes.
Off-limits are apples, pears, bananas, pineapples, papayas, grapes, and fruit juices in general (after all, fruit juice is equal to a fizzy drink, it just comes without the bubbles!!!).

SEAFOOD:
Wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, shrimp, crab, tuna, mussels, cod.

MEAT POULTRY EGGS:
Chicken, turkey, beef, venison, pork, lamb, eggs.

NUTS AND SEEDS:
Macadamia nuts, flaxseed, Brazil nuts, chia seeds, walnuts, pecans, hemp seeds, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds.

DAIRY
Cheese, cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt, cream, butter.

OILS
Extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, nut oils, coconut butter, MCT oil.

CONDIMENTS:
Olive oil mayonnaise, mustard, unsweetened ketchup (maybe just eat a tomato?), oil-based salad dressings.

EXTRA:
Coffee, tea, dark chocolate.

IS IT REALLY ‘THE’ DIET?

Well, unless they (whoever they are these days) now decide, we as a population should get healthy by adding another classification of KETOVORE to our eating groups of omnivore, carnivore, an herbivore, I really don’t think so. Firstly, the REGULATED keto diet is NOT ONLY an 80% fat loaded diet (which can happen instantaneously apparently if you add some glup to this diet – someone would have figured out an additive to super-boost going into ketosis by now for sure…) You can go into ketosis without A HIGH fat diet. Secondly, it is not a diet, it is a state in which your body burns ketones for ENERGY, A PROCESS, a by-product is weight loss if you get it right, and yes many do.

‘THE’ diet, should rather be based on YOU. What you eat, how you live, YOUR health condition, YOUR emotional condition, your STRESS condition… all your CONDITIONS equate to you NOT BEING AVERAGE. Chew on that BEFORE you take on the keto PROCESS, as good as it is, YOU ARE BETTER.

10 Truths that may change your life?

10 Truths that may change your life?

Ever wished you had a magic wand at your disposal? That somehow you could just say the right words to make magic happen? These are 10 truths, given some time in YOUR life, may make a difference!

Will it make a difference in my FINANCES, I get asked… Maybe I reply, would it improve my RELATIONSHIPS, possibly is my answer, and will it make me HEALTHIER, leaner more vibrant? So many questions when I make the suggestion to use 10 simple YET PROFOUND sentences, one a day, that could make your INSIDE a little better on the OUTSIDE.

Where do these 10 truths coming from, who thought of them and why should I pay attention you may be asking? Like all good things in life, it has a history. These 10 truths are based on a book dear to me, an inspiring author and the impactful words he put to paper, back in 1968. The book is ‘The Greatest Salesman in the World‘ by Og Mandino from which the greatest 10 truths, referred to as scrolls by the author, will be shared.

Firstly do not let the title sway you off course, it was dedicated to W Clement Stone, who by all counts was the greatest salesman (who if you like a little history is connected to and inspired Napoleon Hill who wrote one of the most read books on the planet; Think & Grow Rich – currently at 9th position worldwide, if you haven’t read it… oh dear).

Top 10 most read books in the world.
Top 10 most read books in the world.

This is a different understanding of how to achieve success no matter if you apply it to FINANCES, RELATIONSHIPS or HEALTH. Regardless of it being written in 1968, it is as relevant now as it was then. Great minds from many moons back still have an impact now.

What shifted my understanding of this book, and if you have not read it, do take the time to do so, was how the scrolls, the 10 truths CAN APPLY TO ANYTHING in life. All that is required is a little bit of imagination. The basic 10 truths as written by the great Og Mandino will be presented below, then use a bit of imagination on how to apply it to current focus areas in your life that may need a little bit of TLC. I will give you a general understanding and example of how to apply it and I will stay the course throughout the 10 truths for a better understanding, I have used ‘going on diet’ as the focus area.

I would like to add, each and every scroll in this gem of a book,
ever word,
as is,
as written, is brilliant and can be used verbatim… But if like me, you are not a salesman, it may feel, this said with respect, a bit disconnected when you say “I am the greatest salesman” daily, so never fear, replace words to suit your needs, it could be “I am the greatest 100m athlete“, make it relevant to you.

Now, long live the words that were written by Og Mandino, let’s embrace them and give them a new texture and life based on applicability to our lives today… Start by reading the book start to finish… Now this may take a while as part of the process is taking each of these TRUTHS (referred to as scrolls in the book) and reading each of them for 30 days, so basically just over 10 months of reading. If you would like an overview, it can be read in an afternoon, but how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time…

The 10 truths, the scrolls that will transform your life!

Each ‘scroll’ 1 to 10, the 10 truths, will be listed below, a suggested question will be asked based on the scroll/truth, your mind will attempt to find the answer, yes, I want your brain and subconscious to really get involved in transforming your life. I then highlight a favorite passage, one which I feel is relevant regardless of the year we find ourselves in – that being said, I trust that the little passages will motivate you to pick up this book and READ IT! I share my opinion on the passage and would love to hear yours too!

10 Truths can be transformational if you allow it to be.
10 Truths can be transformational if you allow it to be.

My suggestion is to do as following:

  • read the scroll/truth out loud with ENTHUSIASM,
  • ask yourself the question related to it. – You may ask WHY? Your brain will speed ahead looking for the answer and work relentlessly to find that answer 24/7 – as with these scrolls, finding the answers could be life-changing in a positive way.

NOTE: The main action is the replacement of the worlds ‘greatest salesman’, I have made use of diet as the reframing. Let us begin.

Truth 1
“The Scroll Marked I”
“Today I begin a new life” – Could be: Today I begin a new life focussed on my diet success.

Question yourself: Why do I begin a new life today and every day [succeeding on my diet]?

Excerpt: “I will commence my journey unencumbered with either the weight of unnecessary knowledge or the handicap of meaningless experience. Nature already has supplied me with knowledge and instinct far greater than any beast in the forest and the value of experience is overrated, usually by old men who nod wisely and speak stupidly.”

Is this not a truth, each an every day we wake up, some with a fantastic morning routine, others with yesterday’s chaos still on their minds. If you wake up and declare that you are beginning a new life today does that not open up a world of possibilities for you?

As you wake up, start your day off with saying ‘thank you’, thank you for a beautiful day, for a family, for a home to live in, for an awesome cup of coffee – you can find SOMETHING to say thank you for, even if it is just breathing. By starting each day as if it is a new life, the positive internal energies CAN escape and lay the foundation to a massively successful day.

Then my chosen excerpt for Scroll I lays close to my heart as it is based on our inborn intuitive ability. That KNOWINGNESS, that natural instinct applied to every thought and action we have, that goes beyond any other living form. This allows us to make decisions and act without “the weight of unnecessary knowledge or the handicap of meaningless experience“. Often we do our best PURELY driven by instinct, NOT desire, NOT passion, just pure RAW INSTINCT.

Maybe you are starting a new diet, job, relationship, can you imagine the internal strength you will feel if you say with enthusiasm, TODAY, I begin a NEW diet/job/relationship!!! But say it with unbridled emotion, let it go sit on your heart center, on your chest, let it bring tears to your eyes, one simple sentence could invoke joy, which can lead to action and eventually success.

Truth 2
“The Scroll Marked II”
“I will greet this day with love in my heart” – Could be, I will greet this day with love in my heart and a positive mental attitude about my diet.

Question yourself: Why will I greet this day with love in my heart [staying positive about my diet along the way]?

Excerpt: “And how will I confront each whom I meet? In only one way. In silence and to myself I will address him and say I Love You. Though spoken in silence these words will shine in my eyes, unwrinkle my brow, bring a smile to my lips, and echo in my voice; and his heart will be opened”

Have you ever, without a moment’s hesitation given a stranger the biggest sincerest smile you have? Have you felt how oddly good it feels WITHIN? And have you noticed that generally the stranger cannot help BUT to smile back? Now, add to that, the thought of I Love You… Og Mandino gives the perfect recipe to giving love to others AND TO YOURSELF! I can literally hear my inner goddess squealing with glee as I perform the action above. In need of healing? Tried of affirmations? Saying them till you go blue in the face? Start by loving yourself first, try this out, you may just be surprised… and hands down, my favorite scroll, for without love, how do we do anything?

Truth 3
“The Scroll Marked III”
“I will persist until I succeed” – Could be, I will persist until I succeed on my diet to better health.

Question yourself: Why will I persist [on my diet] until I succeed?

Excerpt: “The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning; and it is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary in order to reach my goal. Failure I may still encounter at the thousandth step, yet success hides behind the next bend in the road. Never will I know how close it lies unless I turn the corner. Always will I take another step. If there is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult.”

Truth? There is always a journey associated. We tend to see the gold medal winners and think how great it would be to be them? They have gone through their trials and tribulations, hard work, sweat and tears for that one moment of wearing the gold medal. It only comes down to that persistence, no matter where on your journey you may be, persistence is always required. Somebody may ask how to be persistent, how to carry on? I see it like this, if you are passionate about what you have tackled, be it a diet or a job, if you have an absolute desire, you will stay persistent by finding inspired dissatisfaction, something which keeps you moving forward! If not, you may be on the wrong journey…

Truth 4
“The Scroll Marked IV”
“I am nature’s greatest miracle” – Could be, I am nature’s greatest miracle and will be supported on my journey.

Question yourself: Why am I natures greatest miracle [receiving such amazing support on my journey]?

Excerpt: “I can accomplish far more than I have, and I will, for why should the miracle which produced me end with my birth? Why can I not extend that miracle to my deeds of today?”

I have read many a book and never have I been confronted with a sentence that holds as much TRUTH as this is. I spend time dissecting why we as a human race some seem complacent about where they are and where they are going, that living life is a process of following A – Z. This Og Mandino sentence alone says we should be reaching for more, accomplishing more, purely based on the fact that we are ALL walking MIRACLES. Now I am not saying we need to chase for more, as I do believe by just BEING we are achieving, we are tuning into our existing energies, collaborating with ‘all that is’ to create our miracles tiny as they may be (I mean, breathing can be fairly complicated if you look into the science as we know it). If we all had to realize the miracles we were, what would be possible? I for sure feel nothing will be impossible if that scroll/truth was a sentence our children were taught at school.

Truth 5
“The Scroll Marked V”
“I will live this day as if it is my last” – Could be, I will live this day as if it is my last need for a diet ever again!

Question yourself: Why do I live this day as if it is my last [need for a diet every again]?

Excerpt: “This day I will make the best day of my life. This day I will drink every minute to its full. I will savor its taste and give thanks. I will maketh every hour count and each minute I will trade only for some of value.”

Being present is one of the greatest virtues to have.

I sit engrossed in a story my daughter shares, valuing every bit of detail from the words she utters to the expression on her face as the story unfolds, for I KNOW, in an instant that ‘time’ is lost, history… as she rushes off on a new adventure.
PAUSE for crying out loud,
listen,
take it in,
feel the energy of the moment,
for it is MORE THAN WORDS or actions, it is time passing us by, NEVER to return again.

Nurture a sense of appreciation, a beingness, a presence that stretches time.

Life is now, it cannot exist in the past and it has no definite future. Only now. Make it count. Eckhart Tolle explains it beautifully in his book “The Power of Now” if you feel the need to get to grips with NOW read it.

Time
Stretch time, it IS POSSIBLE

Truth 6
“The Scroll Marked VI”
“Today I will be the master of my emotions” – Could be, Today, I will be the master of my emotions as I have made perfect nourishment choices, keeping my body and mind balanced.

Question yourself: Why will I master my emotions [and have perfect nourishment keeping my body and mind in balance]?

Excerpt: “Each day, when I awaken, I will follow this plan of battle before I am captured by the forces of sadness, self-pity and failure-
If I feel depressed I will sing.
If I feel sad I will laugh.
If I feel ill I will double my labor.
If I feel fear I will plunge ahead.
If I feel inferior I will wear new garments.
If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice.
If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come.
if I feel incompetent I will remember past success.
If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals.”

There is always something BETTER, brighter, more positive to reach for, something or someone to hold close, a better habit, a better thought, something to be GRATEFUL for. I work on the process of ‘WHAT IF UP‘, the UP being a positive step up from whatever crisis or event faces me. I may be facing a stressful meeting, feeling in my gut that it will possibly be tough to face a person, I immediately say ‘what if this is the best conversation ever had!?’ as an example, immediately my energy is better and chances are I DO have the BEST conversation ever.

Truth 7
“The Scroll Marked VII”
“I will laugh at the world” – Could be, I will laugh at the world today as I am in control of my health.

Question yourself: Why will I laugh at the world [and be in control of my health today]?

Excerpt: “Henceforth I will cultivate the habit of laughter. I will smile and my digestion will improve; I will chuckle and my burdens will be lightened; I will laugh and my life will be lengthened for this is the great secret of long life and now it is mine.

What is in a smile and a laugh? Good health spreads from that smile and laugh downwards in your body and outwards, it permeates every cell and microorganism of your being. Yes, when I read this scroll/truth, I may have first thought that it is not necessarily polite to laugh at the world, and then I got it… Besides the feel-good endorphins it releases, it protects your heart health and builds your immunity… all that is found in a good laugh! Read up on the need for a good laugh – I am all sorts of serious so this was a benefit for me in more ways than just a smile.

Truth 8
“The Scroll Marked VIII”
“Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold” – Could be, Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold for I now have the energy!

Question yourself: Why will I multiply my value a hundredfold today [with amazing energy]?

Excerpt: “Today I will surpass every action which I performed yesterday. I will climb today’s mountain to the utmost of my ability yet tomorrow I will climb higher than today, and the next will be higher than tomorrow. To surpass the deeds of others is unimportant; to surpass my own deeds is all.”

Our only true competition in life is ourselves. If we live a life of expression and reach to be the perfect expression, a human being on planet earth (which by the way is exactly as we were at birth), then all we need to be concerned about is when we look into a mirror, being able to love who you see, when we get into bed at night, being able to close our eyes and go to sleep at peace and with ease. We are our only competition, there is only one of us on planet earth and only we as individuals can be the best of what we can be. It becomes OUR CHOICE, after all, life does not happen TO US, but FOR US.

Truth 9
“The Scroll Marked IX”
“I will act now” – Could be, I will act now as I am worth it.

Question yourself: Why will I act now [with the knowledge that I am worth it]?

Excerpt: “I hunger for success. I thirst for happiness and peace of mind. Lest I act I will perish in a life of failure, misery, and sleepless nights.”

Faith can move a mountain, but don’t forget to bring a spade. Can this be seen as not having faith? I don’t think so. I believe life is a good game of tennis, firstly you need to show up at the court, have a partner, a game plan, ability, conviction, and a desire to have fun. Then as you serve your ball to your partner they are not going to throw a banana back at you, chances are they will return the SAME tennis ball back to you or there will be no game to play. Life kinda works that way too. By acting NOW a certain sense of spirit, an energy attaches to the action and a lot can be accomplished.

Truth 10
“The Scroll Marked X”
“Today I will pray for guidance” – Could be; Today I will pray for guidance on my journey to better health.

Question yourself: Why will I pray for guidance today [as I journey to better health]?

Excerpt: “The guidance I seek may come, or the guidance I seek may not come, but are not both of these an answer?”

Now there is a beautiful prayer at the end of this book in Scroll 10 or the final of the 10 TRUTHS. The basics of it are to pray for guidance. Now, you may meditate instead of prayer, either way, that quiet time can be soul nurturing and I find it a perfect time to listen to the messages being sent to me. GUIDANCE, the word, is used frequently alongside assurance and encouragement. Each of us, on our personal life journeys, will experience an advantage along the way if guidance is received. You may have to pray, meditate or just soundboard with a close friend, mentor or coach. In whichever way you find success, DO IT.

This book, these scrolls, the 10 Truths of life, if taken not only as some whimsical self-development process but taken to heart and integrated into your everyday life, can be impactful. I am eternally grateful to a man like Og Mandino who shared these beautiful words as they truly have had an impact on my life.

In search of a fat loss diet? Enter Google toilet…

In search of a fat loss diet? Enter Google toilet…

Ever attempted to ‘search’ for a fat loss diet on Google? Here are 3 easy tips on what-to-do and what-not-to-do.

We all reach critical milestones in our lives, where the desire to shed some unrequired bodily heat pads comes up. Fat loss diet to the rescue! At this very moment, we tend to ponder, for a BRIEF moment, on what ‘diet’ will work for me THIS TIME? ‘Ponder’ and ‘brief’ to be taken literally please, for I have found (and this includes myself) that the thought process could take anything form a split second (as we stare at ourselves in a mirror) to the time it takes us to force ourselves into a size 12 when for that matter it should be a size 16… It may be at this point where our ego blatantly fires at us; “You fat, you need to lose weight!” and the first thing we reach for in our minds is; what is the ‘latest diet’? And where would that be found? GOOGLE… the house of all-knowing, wisdom and clarity to help enforce the correct fat loss diet choice… after all, our friends may be tired of our dieting sprees and giving us advice which we DON’T FOLLOW

Let me explain the quagmire of the Google toilet and why this could be the exact action we should NOT TAKE.

The number of results that came up when I typed into Google; “Fat loss diet” on this very day was ‘About 281 000 000 results (0,51 seconds)’ and if we wanted to lose weight (regardless if it is water, bone, muscle or tissue) we could use a different broad search, which I did, I typed “Weight loss” and got ‘About 900 000 000 results (0,70 seconds)’.

Now yes, one of the tips I can give is to be specific about your search, decide if you want to find a diet which is keto, or juicing, or paleo before searching, common sense right? Maybe not so, you may be ‘that individual’ that prayerfully takes on Google hoping, wishing, wanting ‘it’ to find the right answer for you as you are PAST KNOWING WHAT TO DO!? If this sounds right, you are truly a seasoned dieter and would not have been put off by the zeros following 281 or 900 in your search on Google.

So, I have decided to help all the prayerful types out there, desperate to have direction in diet choices, with a couple of TIPS:

Diet time?
Diet time?

1. DO PAUSE, TAKE STOCK BEFORE YOU MAKE A DECISION

Reflect for a moment on yourself. AND get out a journal – preferably old fashioned handwritten!!! Answer these questions by WRITING DOWN THE ANSWERS, why? Trust me, when you are a week into your diet and weekend arrives you will need to remind yourself why you started in the first place… Ask yourself the following questions and write down the answers:

Has this been a gradual or sudden increase in weight?
If the rush for a fat loss diet seems extreme, assess if the weight gain was sudden, it may be a health issue that needs investigating, or it may be emotions like stress, anger, grief that need resolving (for once you have forced your body to lose the fat the stress may help you put it all back on again). It may be a lack of sleep, which can result in weight gain.

What diet will fit my lifestyle?
PLEASE refrain from overhauling your lifestyle to fit your diet, rather allow your diet to fit your lifestyle as best possible. I have seen people swear on a loved one (oh dear!!) that NOW is the time that their lifestyle WILL change!! 6 months down the line they are back to their previous lifestyle, this is like trying to change your fingerprint! A good example is if you LOVE a good healthy hearty breakfast and generally scale down on food intake through the day then why chose a diet that requires fasting at breakfast as the guideline?

What is my current health status?
Yes, it has a lot to do with it. If for example, you are obese, could you take on a diet that requires vast amounts of exercise daily that may damage joints? If you lack a gallbladder, would you take on a high-fat diet without consulting a doctor? What about hormones? If you are diabetic would you be limited by a diet in which you may only eat 3 times a day causing blood sugar to be thrown out?

Why do I want to COMMIT to a diet now?
Truly reflect, is it for yourself, your family, your son or daughter, for health improvement, for fitting into clothes, for confidence? WRITE YOUR REASONS DOWN to remind yourself why you stopped eating junk, why a week down the line when a friend offers you a glass of wine you can say no confidently, without the feeling of deprivation. You NEED to remind yourself! Carry this journal with you so when you do start your diet you can use it as a reminder – trust me you will need it. If you decide to skip this step, do think for a moment, how has NOT writing this down worked out for you in the past?

Identify your GOOD and BAD habits.
These are critical. Sometimes your weight gain can purely be you have stopped moving, you may be sitting for long stretches and all you need to really do (instead of scouring Google) is start moving again. Make the list. Focus on keeping good habits in place and decide which of the bad habits you would like to boot. DO NOT JUDGE YOURSELF AND CRITICIZE! My only advice is to take them on one at a time, do not try to go on diet and stop smoking simultaneously… something or someone may suffer as a result. Look, this is YOUR journey of life, only you have the choice as to how you want to live it, if it is a vibrantly healthy life you want to commit to, ditch the bad habits one at a time. The place to start; acknowledge them by writing them down and commit to a timeline that allows you to scratch them off the list.

How and what do I LIKE to eat?
This is a VERY IMPORTANT question. And, please be reasonable, you cannot expect to lose weight on a junk food diet, if that is your favorite food, which got you in a tiss when forcing on the size 12’s in the first place.

It is human to stick to what is familiar, go and read up on the basics of the Pareto principle, we generally follow the same habits that cause the results we get, we eat the same food type (20% of the choice available) 80% of the time. So why on earth will you incorporate any choices in a diet which is not familiar to your everyday choices? A good example: let us say you love fruit, it currently forms part of your daily intake, the diet you chose eliminates fruit and allows it once a week, how will you cope? Some say dieting requires SACRIFICE – that is pure deprivation in my mind and the ‘skinny bitch’ (Yup, she is there) in me screams retribution when limitations are imposed – rightly so. Truly, there are enough choices (millions in fact) that will fit your current lifestyle. There will be limitations based on dietary guidelines to ensure you lose weight but none of these limitations should cause you tohate waking up in the morning! Life is too short to add further stress to it, dieting is NOT punishment.

2. DO YOUR RESEARCH – CONFIDENTLY

After answering the questions mentioned in item 1 above, now it is time to open up Google and type in your relevant and SPECIFIC diet search.

You have spent the time understanding and clarifying why and how you need to diet besides the size 12’s. Now, after assessing that you do need to be on a diet, you can search Google for example, with the following self-determined parameters;

*limited exercise requirements (time may be an issue),

*balanced intake (gallbladder is missing and you generally eat from all food groups),

*no juicing and shakes please (I have to chew),

you can confidently start searching. You may, for example, enter the following into the search line:

‘Balanced diet’ – results: About 34 000 000 results (0,58 seconds)

Yes, it is still a massive amount to wade through, but you are now making an empowered choice, you have truly taken the power back, it is now YOU who set the parameters, these parameters can now be used to make your choice confidently, you know exactly what you LIKE and DISLIKE, what you can do to make a success of dieting rather than failing miserably.

3. YOU WERE BORN ALL KNOWING, MADE PERFECT BY PERFECT

Make perfect by perfect - no diet required?
Made perfect by perfect

Possibly my favorite thought process. My very best friend always says to me, “If you are fat, you know EXACTLY WHY you are fat, it is intuitive, you just KNOW“. And why is that? Well, I believe we are made perfect by perfect and the more we tune into our inner guidance system, the more chance we have of knowing EXACTLY the cause of our weight gain. So too, the more we tune in and draw close to our internal guidance system the more energy and love will flow UNCONDITIONALLY, not only to others but to OURSELVES!

Surprisingly, sometimes (most often) it is NOT JUST food or LACK OF EXERCISING or HEALTH issues that cause weight gain – sometimes it is purely our blocks in energy and love. Broad statement but let me explain.

Have you ever been in a stressful situation or an emotionally abusive situation or in an unloving situation? Oftentimes food is used as a protective measure OR to fill a void, for we have not necessarily learned how to love ourselves into wholeness. Sounds like oversimplification right? Not for me, the lack we feel in not ‘being enough is soul-destroying, a void is created and nature abhors a vacuum, she politely helps by filling it; food being the obvious choice. What mother has not offered a child a sweetie when the tears are flowing (yes, I know, moms these days know that is the incorrect approach, in my day however it was not so)?.

Besides lacking love, the energy blocks can hurt even more… created by unmet expectations, these little traumas are impactful. Ever needed to go for an injection and in the situation you find yourself flinching? That is an energy block explained right there… that hold, that expectation of the worst impact. Now the sad thing is, the more we hold on to that flinch status, the more we expect the worst – nothing changes and acceptance steps in. It now becomes familiar and then a reality, an energy block. How to deal with it? There are many ways, and sometimes it is a hit and miss along your personal life journey. Deepak Chopra is someone who addresses this and has an interesting article for you to start with – I will be blogging on this at some stage too. The other option is to work with your own personal ‘inner talk’ in self healing, try this link out with easy to use subliminals playing in the back ground, making use of science to do some of the work for you.

So, before you fly on to Google and search what is the best diet, decide to start loving yourself more. HOW is always a good question as many people would find that ‘selfish’, ‘self-absorbed’ or ‘egotistical’, I would say that you can only share from your own cup if it has something ‘in it’. In fact, do you recall (and I would really like to remind you!) the first time you were ‘in love’, maybe besotted with an individual, felt butterflies and confessed undying love to anyone? Or do you recall having and holding your children after they were born and feeling that ABSOLUTE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE flow through you?

YOU NEEDED NOTHING ELSE… let me say that again…

YOU NEEDED NOTHING ELSE!

My advice would be as follows, 2 tasks daily (in conjunction with your diet) to be done on your own and if you have a blessing called family, include them in one or both of the items for sure.

Firstly, start a gratitude diary – daily, write down 3 NEW gratitudes. Yes, do not repeat the same ones every day, LOOK carefully at your life, at you and note the blessings. This is something the family can get involved in. En route to school I ask both my children to verbalise their 3 gratitudes for the day and they love it. Eventually they remind me! If this seems like effort, never letting go of fat is more strenuous. Sometimes just embracing love and gratitude in your life can assist you in releasing fat!

Secondly, start FORGIVING, every day. Who must you forgive? Well, EVERYBODY, past present and future… really give this one some thought. When I started doing this, I felt there was not much forgiving to do, but there is. Look for one forgiveness a day and include YOURSELF every day.
You forgive PEOPLE and SITUATIONS past present and future – remove the bonds that exist, send them/it off to their good quickly and in peace. (Do you have to agree, approve, like the person or situation by forgiving them? Not at all, but LET THEM GO).
Forgive YOURSELF! And mean it. Now some may say that they are only kind to themselves and do not need forgiveness. Maybe so, sometimes however, when we ‘listen’ closely we will hear the negative thoughts we shower on ourselves daily – do forgive yourself regardless. You never know, you may have really hacked off someone in the traffic today!

What on earth has this got to do with our search on Google? Well, it allows us to approach a diet choice holistically, body, mind and soul. The reason why we are ONCE AGAIN searching Google for diets, IS because we possibly didn’t soul search before!!?

To end this off, a thought, I realize that sometimes we are so busy looking for the forest that we miss the trees. People worldwide are so busy searching for fat loss and weight loss, quick fixes, anything to ‘change’ [sic] ourselves that we sometimes miss the crucks of the issue. I believe that one of the primary reasons for weight gain IS self-esteem issues, lack of self-love, etc. Should we not rather start there? I decided to research it, the volume returned on the search term self-esteem: ‘About 64 700 000 results (0,64 seconds)’. This is close to 4 times fewer results than ‘fat loss’, maybe our Google search for diets should start with ‘how to love me’, embracing a healthier mind and then we can go about embracing a healthier body?

You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”- Yogi Berra

Start with love before the fat loss diet!
Start with love before the fat loss diet!
Lack of Sleep?  The big 5 reasons for NEEDING shut eye!

Lack of Sleep? The big 5 reasons for NEEDING shut eye!

If there was a slight chance that I could keep my body ticking on lack of sleep, maybe one hours sleep an evening, I would take it… but what and who would suffer in my life?

Spending years coaching people in better health and trimmer waistlines led me to understand just HOW important sleep glorious sleep is! Lack of sleep is a health risk to be taken seriously – if you said that to me at University, I would have laughed! Some people function optimally with as little as 5 hours of sleep and some swear they need at least 9 hours to be coherent at a days work. Like our fingerprint, each person has their magic time frame of optimal sleep, but sleep we must, and preferably enough.

There are some interesting and quirky reasons for good sleep and one which tickled me pink due to my overactive imagination was; when else could the brain elves do their e-filing, sifting and sorting, deleting, processing, archiving while simultaneously making dream suggestions to avoid being micromanaged by your consciousness? Can you imagine if besides EVERYTHING ELSE we do daily, we still had to micromanage this administrative nightmare!??

Micro-managing the brain - thank goodness we are asleep.
Thank you sub-conscious

Let us take a look at the BIG 5 reasons (based on the fact that this is a health blog, and I believe that sleep is as important as the amount of water we drink every day, it will be a subjective top 5) WHY sleep is a MUST DO on our list of living and how lack of sleep just ain’t cool.

THE BIG 5

DUMB AND DUMBER

Yup, you heard right, as I was pulling through nights at University to gain intelligence, little did I realize I was significantly affecting my cognitive processes, my ability to be attentive, alert, concentrate, reason, and problem-solve. Little did I know, I just needed to sleep more! There is a reason for EVERYTHING in our body, including sleep cycles, one of those reasons is the consolidation of memory and without sleep, memories disappear… now, this may not be important at Uni but when we start reaching 60 or 70 years of age, and the word Alzheimer’s keeps popping up in conversation with your children, then you may start realizing the importance of memory consolidation – and sleep.

YOUR CELLS AIN’T HEALING BUDDY

Let’s take on the obvious. EVERYONE knows that not enough sleep is linked to chronic diseases, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure, and the list goes on and on. Simply put, sleep better, feel better. If you are not sleeping properly, your body is not resting and recouping. We do not shut down when we go to beddy byes… In actual fact, we WAKE UP. At this point your body has to clean up the mess of the day, fix and repair, meet-up, digest what’s still to be digested, consolidate memory, report back, medicate, get in the pest remover, breath, boost immunity, grind your teeth, keep your heart going AAAAANNNNDDD make some dream suggestions. I could go on, but you may have got the point. It takes a lot physically to keep you on the straight and narrow, to keep you together. And if this does not happen… CHRONIC DISEASE becomes an added checklist item for your bodies troops to keep tabs on. Besides the quality nutrition we put down the pie hole, sleep allows cells and systems of the body to get back on track and repair – you cannot always blame the boss!

YOUR SKIN GOES TO POT

Lack of sleep has an impact on your hormones. And this has what to do with your skin? Well, limited sleep = body under greater stress and therefore = cortisol, our stress hormone is released in a copious amount which then = a break down of your skin collagen – yup, the protein that they are trying to mass sell to all who are willing to buy it, to improve skin texture and elasticity. JUST GO TO SLEEP! IT IS HEALTHIER & CHEAPER. It is after all, as shared in point 2 above the only time your body has time to do tissue repair! The dark circles under your eyes are not just from the physical LACK OF SLEEP but also from the LACK OF REPAIR.

Wrinkles
Those frowning wrinkles!

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX BABY!

Sadly so. Now let’s blame the boss, with your increased stress levels you arrive home, having had little to no sleep based on a deadline that needed meeting the previous day, frolicking with your partner is possibly the last thing on your mind. At that point, you have zero energy and increased tension, both of which do not count in your partners’ favor. As mentioned earlier in this blog, lack of sleep has its impact on your hormones, studies suggest that testosterone is one hormone that IS impacted by too little sleep. I find that generally speaking too little sleep is also stress-induced so between low testosterone and stress being high, a romantic evening with benefits will not be on the cards.

WE GET FAT! and WITH THAT SAD…

The last and possibly the MOST IMPORTANT one of the big 5 if you have a desire to live a long, happy, healthy and vibrant life. Lack of sleep in my experience has a massive impact on weight. (And weight has a massive impact on sadness too).

When someone mentions that they are using sleeping tablets, (please don’t, there are other ways which in which you can get your beauty sleep without numbing your energy) the first thing I do is check their waistline as surely the ONE AND ONLY reason for poisoning their vibe MUST BE to reduce their waistline, possibly they have tried every diet on the market and this is the last resort…

Studies have been done to reflect the fact that lack of sleep and resultant obesity are friends. Not enough sleep, (more time to eat – just saying) leads to an increase in hunger – more likely HANGER – why hanger, well firstly, there is this little peptide called ghrelin, (sounds like gremlin right!!?) that demands food from you like a teenage son. The minute you don’t sleep enough, ghrelin comes knocking. Get enough sleep and the peptides leptin hang around, which is in your favor, this little one signals satiety to your brain – what a beaut if you are into reducing your waistline. The second reason for Hanger… no sleep = you have more chance of craving and demanding the super-sized, bad fat, bad sugar, generally widely accepted (and ordered) bad food at bad fast food joint, than the cup of warm milk your mom always offered you.

Hungry
HANGER! BEWARE

There is sound science to back how lack of sleep impairs how our very own fat cells interact with insulin… problems in this department lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and diabetes just 2 of them.

Get on to the ‘Sleep-Diet’, it works! I can say, there are scores of times I would sit with a client, who thinks sleep is irrelevant in comparison to exercise and nutrition… TRUST ME… it ranks right up there (with oxygen and water) as RELEVANT in fat loss!

Sit quietly and assess when last you had a good nights sleep. One where you felt like a warrior when you woke up. Chances are, that was a long time ago. Then assess what health concerns you have, maybe you are on chronic medication, possibly you are short-tempered, or on the depressive side of life, or maybe it is just the early sign of wrinkles that has your earth tilting off its axis at the moment. No matter what you are facing, start with the basics and get that right FIRST. Get a good nights sleep tonight, and every night after that to live a vibrant life that I am sure you deserve.

Free will, does she exist?

Free will, does she exist?

Let us look at the critters responsible for our thoughts and emotions.

You most likely have used the words; “I just had a gut feeling about it!“, if so, you were 100% correct. Today we take on the essence of looking at our emotions as a force of 39 trillion bacterial cells versus 30 trillion human cells, yup, we are more bacterial than human… could it be that there is no free will?

This could be a chicken and egg scenario. Is it our thoughts that create ‘things’, or could it be our ‘things’ that create our thoughts? There is an absolute understanding that thoughts create things, one of my favorite books written by Wallace D Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich, is purely based on thoughts creating things. This is especially true when thoughts are driven by emotions, that then create beliefs that drive us to action and culminates in results, be they good or bad. Now if this premise can be taken as a possible reality, that it can be proved through personal experience, then the only questions left in my mind are;

  1. What or who creates our thoughts and emotions, and
  2. How important are the emotions that hold on to those thoughts?
Gut Bacteria - microbiome
Happy neighbor from Gut-City reporting for thought duty…

1. What or who creates our thoughts and emotions?

This is a question that can be answered scientifically, spiritually, subjectively and objectively. As I am the author, I have decided to answer it based on my gut – which could be seen as subjective of course. I have always advocated that everything, YES EVERYTHING in our body comes down to our gut, our little critters that have made home in a less than pleasant space, rule the roost from this position, be it our immunity (70% of the health of your immunity depends on the health of your gut city), or be it our emotions. Ever heard a child in distress (be it under pressure of school or a fight with a friend) state that they have an ‘upset tummy’?

We have always thought (really??) that we have free will, not so, scientists have determined that 7 seconds before making a move, you have already decided to. Now, why would that be? Well, firstly it has to do with self-preservation, fight or flight, our Neanderthal self steps in… I may add, if our survival purely depended on our personal response rate, I would most likely be dead. And secondly, we have a bucket load of bacteria who kinda like being in control for self-preservation too. Could it possibly be that your bacterial city – NOT YOU, decided it was time to down a glass of water, or eat a piece of citrus fruit, or walk away from an angry situation (a fight or flight response)? Possibly based on a ‘gut feel’? If we find ourselves as such intelligent beings, could it be that the actual intelligence comes from our bacteria and not our brain cells, that in fact, the bacteria IS the command centre and the brain; only the worker, the doer?

I picture human cells as a physical expression of thought but thought based on the energy, health, and environment (physical and spiritual) of your bacteria.

2. How important are the emotions that hold on to those thoughts?

So if we have no free will, and bacteria are the ones calling the shots, then do we own our emotions? Again, I see it this way, if I have 39 trillion children demanding sugar simultaneously, and I resist supplying the pure white and deadly, is it possible that there may be an emotional uprising, a crisis? Especially if of the 39 trillion, 30 trillion are not healthy bacteria, who flourish on sugar as a means of survival. Chances are thoughts will rush to the brain along the lines of; throw a tantrum, get angry, demand that pay rise after working 20 straight hours resulting in absolute exhaustion and get that bloody sugar drink in! Emotively done? I think so, at least 30 trillion emotive demands coming to your brain, way before this thought arises, “A cooldrink will be good, I wonder if the boss is noticing my overtime?

Lets not even get to stress and how that affects your gut-city

So how do we control these little invaders? Quite simply, we need to feed and water them correctly or they WILL be throwing their toys. TOYS OR WILL POWER? Besides the emotional and behavioral impact they have on us, if not heard, not fed, not watered, chances are illness will start manifesting. It will start with an unhappy gut-city and slowly move to every organ, cell, and tissue in your body. Ever watched dominos falling? Weight issues, headaches, chronic diseases, sleep problems, skin irritations, allergies, I can go on.

Please do your research on what is the best pre and probiotic for your gut. Do not be fooled by claims of ‘MILLIONS OF STRAINS’ labels on containers, you want the right neighbors to move into your Gut-City, those that smile and wave, have good conversations and even lend a cup of flour when required. Take the time to read up on the effects of a healthy gut change, especially based on the fact that “the human microbiome, the resident bacteria that live within our intestines may actually exercise strong control of various aspects of human health” written by Dr. Perlmutter. Link to his amazing books below:

http://Be Informed

I love the natural pre and probiotic supplement GI Probalance, that literally changed the health of my daughter within a month. After her lungs collapsed at 2 weeks of age and 9 years of continual doctor visits, I became obsessed with improving her immunity, keeping her critters happy was the answer! This pre/probiotic supplement made that difference – it has been 3 years and she has not been back to a doctor for lung problems, colds, flu, and allergies.

Ahhhhh, the gut-city, make them your friends! Look after them and they will look after you, thought wise, behaviorally, physically and emotionally. Get your gut-city behind you and success will surely follow.

REFERENCE:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection

http://www.microbiomeinstitute.org/blog/2016/1/20/how-many-bacterial-vs-human-cells-are-in-the-body

The opposite of dis|ease is only EASE.

The opposite of dis|ease is only EASE.

I have had the pleasure of a fairly deep conversation not just once but three times about how we as individuals reach for more and cope doing it. My thought process always centered around achieving absolute ‘EASE’ in my life.

Exactly 7 years ago, if you asked me what it was I wanted, most likely I would have focused on world travel, success, lots of money, big houses and flashy cars. I am now absolutely sure that my journey in life prepared me to get to the point of focusing purely on ‘ease’ – I realized that when I spent time un – eased, it lead to dis|ease, and the route I followed, had everything to do with it.

Gratitude

There exists absolute gratitude within me for getting to this point in my life. Some people may say that my desire or ambition has been cramped, well, I can say, I am now actively busy with setting up a training project which I am passionate about, I blog daily – a conversation I enjoy even if it is only with myself, work on my nutritional business, and have time with my 2 beautiful children.

For me that sounds close to fantastic, but the realization is that there is still a lot more work to be done to enable complete ease in my life.

2 Decisions made

This ease within my life was one of my conversations I had this week, we spoke of how to cope with the demands of daily life, how NOT to get anxious or worried. Firstly, make a promise to yourself to refrain from making any decisions based on fear or worry, as this changes from decisions made as a result of fear and worry about being chased by fear and worry. Secondly, prevent yourself from taking control of EVERYTHING that comes your way, sometimes you really need to let things GO AND FOLLOW YOUR GUT. If you are passionate about what you do, (there are few people my age who are fortunate to have such a blessing) then the bling and the dollars will be downstream. I have ALWAYS believed that.

If we allow our emotions to dwarf our intellect, our heart to rule our heads just for a little bit, the universe conspires to align success for you. That and a little bit of positive attitude and self-belief works wonders, a tool I subscribe to I mentioned in a previous blog regarding a positive mental diet: https://youinsideout.org/everything-and-more-not-just-enough/.

The tough part is this. We choose a journey within our greater journey, we walk it, determined to make money, to get the shiny car, (specifically a Mustang ’69, black, beautiful all road domineering car)… slowly we start becoming UNeasy, not as driven, based on the continuous work for money mentality we find ourselves in.

“Even if you win the rat race, you still a rat”

-Robert Kiyosaki

Then we convince ourselves that THIS IS THE ONLY WAY, KEEP GOING, DON’T GIVE UP! Before we know it, we end up close to 60 with a retirement plan that is not sufficient, a possible dis | ease or 2 lurking within our bodies due to stress and poor lifestyle and start wondering about that passion project we forgot about when we took the fork in the road on our journey. And to put the final nail in the coffin, we convince ourselves that we are ‘lucky‘ to have lived such a full and expressive life with our wonderful families, after all, there are people starving all over the world. – Close to broke, not being able to retire, and little to no time spent with our nearest and dearest, we cop out.

I say, live your bliss, be at EASE, make a little less money, not live in the biggest house for now, trust me if you chase love, joy, peace, fulfillment, ease and all those uplifting feelings, THE REST WILL FOLLOW! I assume that many will tell me to sniff the roses, and I DO THANK YOU, I am 100% knowledgeable of the blessings in every day and what i have to be grateful for as MANY are not as fortunate. My first 20 years of working life was a shocker when it came to smelling any roses in fact it was a bit of a stencher, and if I have learnt something from it and something which I pass on to any child who has time with me it is this.

My take on us and the simple life

  1. Be selfish, satisfy yourself first, for if you do , you WILL learn to serve many with a full cup of your own,
  2. Be a perfect expression of God’s/Universe/Source Energys breath on this planet earth as you were born perfect, made perfect by perfect to live perfect,
  3. Finally, live in ease – it is a BIG word packed in a small space, for if you live in ease and have gratitude; say thank you, you are most likely following your bliss and life is good.
ease
When passion and desire collide

Debunking diet myths, the sizzling 7!

Debunking diet myths, the sizzling 7!

Besides the laughable truths we live.

Every day of coaching better health, brings about new astounding reasons for lack of success in any diet arena. The diet myths which have reached my ears, causes a number of reactions from within me – depending on my relationship with the storyteller, they may see these reactions, firstly I hit the floor rolling with laughter, secondly my mouth gaps, thirdly I get a blank stare in my eyes, absolute disbelief…. and finally and sadly so, I see myself reflected in them and I feel a sense of personal sadness for I too have used these ‘truths’ to escape my own diet failure…

There are 7 sizzling diet myths which I will be mentioning briefly as I do dissect it in detail later and so too cover it in my MMM course, but let’s start with a few minor hiccups and have a quick chat around these beauts.

Firstly, I hear people explaining ‘getting fat’ away purely by stating they have a BIG BONE STRUCTURE.… my shattered nerves, the majority of people are within average bone size and generally when you reside on the short size of life, your bones are smaller based on a scaled down body ratio, yes, bones CAN have a greater density which can make a difference in weight, but big bones are the least of our problems….

Then another one which brings tears to my eyes, “I have a genetical disposition to be fat” now yes, search long enough and you will find such a study that confirms that your fat genes are primary… there are rat families that are prone to being fat. But, and a big butt at that, three quarters of this population do not suffer from this gene defect but rather the defect of lifting a fork full to their mouths once too often whilst binge watching Game of Thrones.

And finally, my all time favorite, “Diets just don’t work for me!” And after my belly laugh has ended I ask politely “So, how is being fat WORKING OUT FOR YOU?“. Let me explain, we are all on diet 24/7, diet is the foodstuffs we eat on a daily basis whether it be a Mediterranean diet or a fast food diet, the only difference being; one might kill you while the other may save you. So, if diets don’t work you most likely will need intravenous feeding tubes to assist. If your diet ain’t working most likely it is you are not working your diet.

Question Always
Debunking diet myths

7 Sizzlers – Diet Myths

  1. Limit your range of foods and you will lose weight – what you do lose is bone, muscle, tissue, maybe some poop and a lot of water… your body needs balance in all vitamins and minerals, fats proteins AND Carbohydrates. Leave things out and trust me, the minute you put them back in your body your system CELEBRATES and packs it neatly away on your hips for a rainy day.
  2. All carbohydrates are bad – laughable is all I can say, you NEED carbs in your body, it is what helps cell structures remain in place. Now yes, certain carbs are your enemies for sure and to ensure your blood sugar stays regulated it is wise to keep them out as best possible but putting in the right carbs are totally beneficial to better health.
  3. Eat low fat or fat free – sure, why don’t you stay hungry??? And by supper time your 1000 Cal day turns into 3000 Cal due to starvation.
  4. Exercise to eat what you want – now here I may get massive push back, but this one I state based on my experience with over 800 dieters, you can NEVER outrun your fork. It may not show on your waist but your health including your heart muscle, will be compromised by poor eating standards.
  5. Some sugars are worse than others – all sugars are equal, when we try deciding which is better or worse we end up right were we started with lines being blurred. (Now yes, nature’s bitter sugars are really important in our bodies and I exclude them here). Yes, there is honey – my absolute favorite, a beautiful gift from nature, whereas high fructose corn syrup HFCS, is her evil twin for sure, but sugar when you are trying to rid your body of fat is sugar nonetheless – adding it to your diet shuts down fat burning for energy IMMEDIATELY.
  6. Drinking water before meals assists in fat loss – now this is an interesting one. Ever had a half a liter of water before a meal to help eat less (as that is the reasoning)? Can you recall the gut ache and discomfort? Let me share something, someone with a weight issue will plow through their plate regardless of half a liter of water prior to supper, unless they are coached in mindfulness water ain’t gonna do diddly squat. In fact that water is going to weaken your digestive juices and cause poor digestion and LESS nutrition from getting to the organs that require the vitamins and minerals. Water intake should be steady through the day.
  7. LAST BUT BY NO MEANS LEAST… It just takes willpower and discipline – bullsh*t. When large food conglomerates produce pseudo processed foods based on its addictability rating in salt sweet and fat combinations, do you honestly think that being fed this junk from the formulas we grew up on till the fast food fix of today that willpower has ANYTHING to do with it???

Ahhhh, diet myths, this is truly one of my favorite conversations and an area where I experience ample cognitive dissonance when I take it on with blaming and complaining clients who only receive my support in an explanation that their truth may not be THE TRUTH. I deal with it gently yet firmly, as the myths are truly a ditch of excuses, a safety blanket, a journey to failure, which is not my idea of the end destination for any of my clients.

EXTRA BONUS: Open your mind and take a sneak peak at this interesting documentary – ‘FED UP’ : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y647tNm8nTI&t=3s

You have Zero Hunger?! Really?

You have Zero Hunger?! Really?

There needs to be a point on your day when you ARE experiencing HUNGER!

This may indeed seem like a controversial statement, but do hear me out. If you are NEVER hungry like ZERO hunger, chances are you are overfed. And if you are overfed, chances are you are going to get fat.

Now, let me restate this so that my readers do not think I am asking people to get to starvation, this I am indeed not doing. But with people I have worked with I have said the following,

“if you get to bed at night and you feel that grumble in your tummy, that is ONLY a reminder to drink a glass of water, it is also a THANK YOU for sufficient nourishment for the day“.

It really means that the resources you provided have been depleted and it is time to sleep. Please note, if they were staying up for another 2 or more hours it may be a problem as then your body may definitely not have sufficient fuel.

Hunger – It is a sign.

Now I can say the same is applicable to breakfast time, I always checked if clients woke up hungry, this is usually a sign of 2 things, one positive and one sadly negative. Positive first, it means your metabolism is firing on all cylinders, GREAT NEWS for sure! Your body is ready to refuel and cannot wait for you to do just that. Whatever you do, dont delay or ignore these signals or it WILL stop sending these messages. The negative… you may have eaten a larger than normal portion, it may have stretched the stomach space and your body was so tired after digestion that it now needs more energy than usual, or your stomach size went up and the body is now in shock and is asking for a quick fill of the now enormous hole.

Understand hunger
Hear the signals clearly sent from your body.

Why would I think something like this is so important? Well here’s why, and there are personal reasons and experiential. Let’s deal with experiential first, I dealt with plenty of clients who insisted on taking appetite suppressants (this didn’t last long – not after I had them for a chat). What happens in these cases is all hunger messages from stomach to brain have been blocked, you NEVER know if you are hungry – THAT IS NOT NORMAL!! What then happens is the nerve memory is shelved, archived, set out to pasture, and when you end your diet (usually you end your appetite suppressant simultaneously) your body struggles to get back to sending and receiving those signals again… you sit down for a plate of food and due to the fact that you have been on diet you feel you are entitled to a large helping of lasagne now… and soon you find you have worked your way through the entire left overs bowl and then pathetically appologise to the host and then start blaming the ‘deprivation’ diet you were on. Sound familiar? Then the whole cycle starts again, we of course gain weight AGAIN or; quick as humanly possible, we get back on appetite suppressants again and believe that this may be the only option for us!!! We all know that is not the case.

Now for my personal story. I spent 7 consecutive years on some sort of ‘dieting regime’ limiting my calories to under 1250 a day. Predominantly and for good measure much of this time daily calories did not exceed a 1000cal. You heard correctly, 7 years… now for my age, and activity levels I could have eaten 2500 calories and been healthy, but I had fallen into the trap of diet for life. Fast forward to present day, I have an archived metabolism. I do NOT get HUNGRY, hardly every, maybe at 12pm at night or when I overeat I feel hunger pains the next day. The result is I not only never get hungry but I do not know when I am fully satisfied with my intake. AND… the minute I exceed 1250cal I gain weight. Now I work specifically in a space of assisting my metabolism to heal.

Crazy story right!!? I am envious of people who can judge when they need food and not. When they are hungry or full. Metabolism is a vital part of your body functioning optimally, protect it, look after it and treat it kindly.

“We should care about it because it determines our weight. It’s going to determine our appetites, and it really determines our body fat levels as well. So if your metabolism is slower, then you’re not going to burn fuel as fast, and that’s going to cause you to store body fat. If you have a fast metabolism, that’s going to allow you to burn more energy.”

Mark MacDonald, author of Body Confidence.

Friendship, oxygen for life.

Friendship, oxygen for life.

If you have one good friend, you are fortunate, if you have 2 or more, you are truly blessed.

Spending time with a close friend this evening and having a heart to heart conversation allowed me such perspective on not just my life but on the importance of having a great friendship. Maslow has his hierarchy of needs with the basic physiological needs first and foremost, social needs came in at 3rd place. It is clear he had a thorough understanding of friendship for today I am truly grateful for the friends I have.

Taking into consideration and understanding that God truly made friends to apologize for the family you may have, places the importance of friendship into context. There are just certain things you CANNOT say to family, but you CAN say to friends. If they are GREAT friends they will tell you straight up if you may be demented, they may be blatantly honest and you will STILL BE FRIENDS the next day.

friendship
‘LOVE’

So what makes a great friend and what is a friend actually? After my gratitude for the time I spent chatting with my friend I actually looked it up to check, what does make a good friend and came across an inspiring way of looking at friends, I have included my comments in square brackets and referenced the article so you can read more if it does interest you:

Forgiveness is important because everyone makes mistakes. Rather than turning your back on a friend who has hurt you, talk about your pain. If this person is a real friend, he or she will apologize.” [I agree 500%, I have seen friends walk away from each other and bemoan the separation forever. Why do that!!!?]

Reliability is a cornerstone of good friendship. Knowing that you can call on someone who will be there for you, and you know has your back, is empowering and a great comfort.” [My friends know they can call any time. They also make it clear to me that I can call them.]

If you want to have a friend, learn to be a friend. Giving what you want to get is the best way to show someone how to be your friend. People generally like us because we like them.” [If it is a oneway relationship, it ain’t a relationship]

Envy will kill a friendship, and so will jealousy. Your friend may have everything you think you want, but if you are green with envy, your friend will sense that something’s out of sync in your relationship.So count your blessings, which should include having a friend who inspires you to achieve your goals.” [Empathy – yes, this one I need to replace. Have empathy for each other, feel their feelings to understand their choices and decisions. I tend to steer away from negativity and envy should not exist in good friendships. I have a friend who is incredibly fortunate in life in certain areas and I ONLY wish her the best. The way it should be.]

Negativity is the antithesis of friendship. No friendship is going to be perfect all of the time, but keep the bad vibes away; they can only undermine the good thing you’ve got going.” [Amen]

Deep discussions are a treasure of friendship. Having a friend who won’t judge you can make your life better. Letting out your feelings with a trusted ally is good therapy.” [Good friends act as soundboards, they will give you subjective and objective opinions and generally lift these opinions exactly when you need it.]

Sharing your feelings and being able to listen are important parts of any good relationship. For some reason, women seem to be better at this than men, so guys, let’s be better buddies to each other.”

Happiness can come from knowing you have good people in your life. If you don’t have a family of your own, having your friends as family is a true privilege.” [I do believe, happiness is an inside job, but having a good friend makes it that much easier!]

Independence is an important part of good friendships. Your friend, no matter how close he or she may be, can’t be there for you every minute; almost no one can. That would make for an unhealthy dependency; friendship needs to be a two-way street.”

People from your past may be more than just someone you once knew. For several reasons, it’s easier to feel close to people you have known for a long time. There is trust there, as well as the knowledge of how someone behaves under a variety of situations. Old friends are reliable, and most of the time, they make us feel a little safer.”

The following is the link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-fitness/201108/10-ways-make-and-be-great-friend

So what was special about my conversation? Let me summarize, as friends do, we caught up regarding our lives, what’s happening, and how well things are going. At this point I shared my dilemma, within an instant we had an in depth discussion, pros, cons, directions ahead, what are the possibilities, what should be done and what the Universe is teaching me. By the end of the conversation, we had booked exercise time for tomorrow, a 6 week plan ahead for exercise, possible business opportunity, a trip to the Northern Lights in Norway was verbally booked for next year, yes, it was decided to travel bi-yearly and we debated the Universes wisdom and involvement in it all… In around and hour, my life became a little more meaningful, a little fuller, a little more constructed and a little less too.

This is what a good friendship is about. Making it great is up to each of us.

Everything and more, not just enough.

Everything and more, not just enough.

I wish for you to embrace the understanding that you are everything and more.

I remember as a child, I truly felt that love made the world go round (do check my previous post), and my greatest wish was to hear from somebody, anybody that I was everything and more… not just enough, now, I don’t think that I am strange or unusual – though some may, in fact, classify me as the unusual which I will embrace any day – I do think that being told that as an individual allows a warm fuzzy feeling to settle over your heart.

Progress a few years down the line, I read so often how self-esteem issues are primary causes of heartache and despair and I had to pause and reflect to determine if this societal outbreak was in my camp too. Quite honestly, I had my fair share of heartache and despair…

My plan of action was as follows, I slowly started taking more notice of the voice in my head and the messages I was hearing, please note I do not have split personalities, I am however investigative and am very good at being self aware when required. Now, on a daily basis I have always classified myself as optimistic, but then I paused and started listening, carefully to that inner voice… and my word, I needed a new voice! With that in mind, I set out on the “Positive Mental Diet“, a thought process discussed in great detail by people such as Neville Goddard, Brian Tracey to mention a few. If every you have been on a physical diet, I can say, that is EASY in comparison to this little puppy. I have not only done it once but a couple of times in my life, in fact I motivate many to do it as it is truly one way of not just feeling enough as an individual but everything and more.

This is the process:

Firstly: what is negative to ensure clarity? Any thought, action, or out loud verbal grunt groan complaint or gossiping is classified as negative. If you dwell, think, act on negativity such as failure, a bad smell in the air, criticism just received, envy or condemn yourself or another person, that is negative. Basically, bite your tongue, thoughts and nerve endings.

1. Go easy on yourself, first spend a couple of days, one week would be best to take note of that little inner voice, distance yourself, be honest about it and try catch yourself out, for like me, you may say, “I don’t struggle with negative thoughts, I think only highly of myself…, do test this thought for the next week.

2. Prepare, I found placing little positive symbols everywhere helped, in my vehicle, my bathroom, my laptop, my kettle and on my fridge, place it where you move, what is interesting there is that it becomes amazing conversation starters as everyone wants to know what this is as after all, it is everywhere. Now you can explain to them how you are driving yourself past just being enough to someone who realises they are everything and more… [what self-esteem issues???]

3. The day you start on this diet, decide length of time, most people are truly courageous and start on 7 days. Wake up on your start day and utter these words FIRST: “Thank you” and “This is going to be a great day and I am the luckiest person alive today!” now just by typing that I felt AMAZING. Try saying it out loud!

4. There are some rules to these 7 days, please do not dwell on negative thoughts, you may acknowledge it but flip it over the minute it enters. Make it playful, inform your family that you are doing this and make it their objective (by the way children love this) to catch you out on a negative utterance. Oh, I forgot to mention, it is not just thoughts, it is the spoken word and actions too! Sounds impossible right?

5. If for some reason Day 1 don’t go so well, and you are ready to burn the wagon, take heart, some people don’t get past the first 5 minutes. It is however the greatest mind process you will take on in your life and worth every effort. Helpful tip: start noticing amazing things, start counting your blessing, notice the clear blue sky, the wonderful sunset, the friendly smile of a passer by, immediately the world starts behaving a bit more positively and conspires to keep good things coming your way. [If this sounds remotely like laws of the mind, it is and it helps to understand them – another topic for another day]

6. This is going to be difficult, and remember this, when we start to feel discomfort at our own thoughts, emotions out play logic by a mile, your mind WILL start advising you that you are wasting your time, it will drive you towards the negative – for old times’ sake, it may even ask you to say something mean or gossip. At this point, carry a little A6 booklet, or take out your mobile, start a Gratitude diary and put down a couple of items to be grateful for, that shuts up the negative committee in your head within a sentence or two.

7. Let us discuss another rule, if you have blundered your way through a day, and note, did not take my advice on starting a gratitude journal or put your sticky positive signs everywhere, well, no stress, you need to start again on Day 1:). You may just take my advice to heart if you reach attempt number 2.

8. You may see this as an impossible task, it may just be, but do attempt it. Get the family involved, each morning to this day, as I drive my children to school or we eat breakfast together, we share out loud 3 gratitude’s each to start our day and I immediately have a great start to my day as they have to theirs.

9. Do not attempt to control your thoughts (we make them 7 seconds before we act on them in any event) just acknowledge them and let them pass or flip them to positive thoughts. Do not attempt to control people and situations around you (or, if you do get that right, DO let me know as that would be AWESOME), remind yourself you chose what you mentally accept and if there is poor behaviour which drives you to the negative try remove yourself from the conversation or work in the space of breathing through it focusing on the positive – if you can bring out the gratitude journal.

10. Finally, keep in mind that we are energy beings, what we push out we generally attract, some people are of the mind that the best way to do this diet is to tell no one that you are doing it, if you have a great group of friends and colleagues it could be fantastic to share it with them. If however you feel challenged in your environment it may be better to keep it close to your heart. What ever your choice may be, I find that the Universe reacts to me as I react to it.

One thing I can say, this is a thought provoking journey, on completion of this, you will be at a greater peace within yourself, without the feeling of self-esteem issues, the best gift in life is to realize that you are everything and more and this can be done and helped along by the 7 day Positive Mental Diet!

Your Journey
Your journey on a positive mental diet

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