We forget about breathing most of the time because its an autonomic function that works automatically. However, when we workout hard we notice that extra breath that we draw. Breathing can be controlled consciously also. The best way to utilize our breathing is too find a quiet space, close our eyes, and focus on deep breathing while also being aware of our surroundings, feelings, & thoughts. This is called mindfulness. It is a wonderful technique for reducing stress, increasing mental focus, and gaining clarity. It can also alleviate anxiety, decrease depression, and lower blood pressure. Deep breathing helps facilitate this process. So, find at least 10 minutes a day to practice this and your mind & body will thank you.
This morning I’m enjoying a small bowl of oatmeal. I added cinnamon, blueberries, vanilla Protein powder, and some flax & chia seeds. Yum! Good carbohydrates, fats, and protein, Well balanced. Although many people eat oats too they often make this HUGE Mistake:
The quality of the oats. Oats today all over the place….from highly processed packets of apples & cinnamon loaded with sugar to real oats that take 15 min to prepare. Remember the rule….Keep it Real!
So, the real oats are just simply oats and take about 15 – 20 min to prepare. Now, there is a quick oats version of this that is pretty good and is ready in less than half the time. Those are the only types I recommend. After that, its all down hill.
Plus, you should always add your own fresh ingredients:
Fresh or frozen fruit
Peanut or Almond Butter
Flax and/or Chia Seed
Grass Fed Milk, Almond Milk, etc.
Your Favorite Protein powder,
Mix, match, & enjoy! And ALWAYS Keep it REAL!
These days there is a War on Meat. Vegetarians and Vegans have made their points very clear. And I have to say they have some good points. I don’t believe in CAFO’s (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation). They are harmful to the environment and cruel & crowded for the animals. When I purchase meat, I strive to get meats from humanely raised meats that are organic, and grass-fed in open fields. Now, I don’t have all the answers to the debate and I can acknowledge a well constructed point of view even if I don’t agree with it. I do believe, however, that if you’re going to eat meat support companies/farms that do it in the best ways possible to provide quality meats of the highest kind with the most humane protocols. And Yes it’s worth the extra money…..
Also, I do believe red meat should be eaten no more than 1 – 2x per week. Plus, wild caught fish is an excellent source of protein & healthy fats. Seek a variety of fresh meats – turkey, chicken, grass fed beef, etc. I don’t generally recommend lunch meat as it is processed, however, there are some good organic brands.
In today’s food industry there are many, many choices. It’s overwhelming and to make it even more confusing there are so many different versions of the same item. For instance, take beef. There is commercial beef, organic beef, and grass fed beef. Which is best? Well, cows are supposed to eat grass so the obvious choice is grass fed beef where hopefully they graze in open fields. When choosing foods my 5 rules of thumb are:
1. Minimal (or none) processing
2. The less ingredients the better
3. Make sure you can pronounce and know what each ingredient is
4. Keep it Real – however the food is produced it should be closest to its absolute natural state the way Mother Earth intended it.
5. Find & support companies that only produce/grow organic, grass fed, humanely raised, etc.
Also, farmer’s markets are great places to great lots of great food! Always pursue the highest quality of food!
I get asked this many times and I always tell the truth. Losing body and fat drinking alcohol are conflicting goals. I know first hand because although I’m a personal trainer I love beer, wine, and a good margarita. I don’t like junk food or fast food and sugar is not my thing (very rarely). However, we all have our vices and that’s usually where the battle must be won if you’re going to achieve a lean body.
Now, I confess that when I drink too much and too often my body fat goes up and I see and feel the difference. Ultimately, I have to give it up for a period of time to get back on track. Alcohol has empty calories that add up fast! Plus, it interferes with your body’s ability to lose fat and additionally has shown to lower testosterone levels.
So, what’s the solution? If you’re a 1 – 2 drink type of person twice a week you’ll be fine. However, if you find yourself having 5 or more 3 times a week it’s definitely going to cause what I call 3 steps forward and 3 1/2 back. I suggest to 2 things:
1. Do at least a 30 day discipline dry out. (Or longer)
2. Once you’ve gotten back on track, then I suggest you allow yourself 2 -3 times per month to imbibe. However, I would also suggest to track your body fat/results. If it starts to go back up again, you need to cut back to 1 – 2 times per month and consider another 30 day dry out.
It’s always a battle between our favorite vices…whether it’s sugar, starchy carbs like potato chips, or alcohol, etc. you’ve got to find what works for you while not depriving yourself. Many of these are meant to be enjoyed…just not too much and not too often.