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10 Ways To Restore Energy When You’re Exhausted Or Burned Out

BY MARISSA HÅKANSSON      APRIL 5, 2013

You have the power to cultivate energy within your body in any moment. Even when you’re exhausted, burned out and feel like you’ve got nothing left to give, your body can guide you to a space of greater vitality, inner strength and wellbeing.

Here are some strategies that I’ve used in my own life to do just that:

1. Rest when your body says rest.

It’s important to follow your body’s cues on when you need to rest rather than pushing yourself beyond what you can handle and then crashing. If in doubt, rest. When you listen to your body and give yourself the rest you need, you’ll rebuild your energy over the long-term.

2. Cultivate stillness within you.

There’s an incredible healing power in stillness. Prioritize creating quiet spaces in your day where you can simply be still. Really allow yourself to feel the stillness around you, letting it soak into your body. Notice that you too, that you also hold a stillness within the core of who you are.

3. Practice whole-body breathing.

Each day, take time out to breathe consciously. Feel your breath inside your body and notice how far it reaches within you. With each inhalation and exhalation, feel your breath extend further into your body (until it feels like every cell in your whole body is breathing). Then relish that feeling of life within your body.

4. Nourish your body wholeheartedly.

Be conscious and heartfelt in how you nourish your body by choosing foods that feel inherently good for you. Notice which foods provide a sense of restoration and healing in your body. And if you’re unsure, ask your innermost self what your body needs in this moment.

5. Explore gentle and restorative movement.

Integrating gentle movement into your day can help you connect more fully with your body and self. Light walking, stretching, restorative yoga, and similar activities can be wholly supportive of you regaining energy in your body and life. Explore various types of movement and see what feels right for your body.

Yoga

6. Have compassion for your self.

We gain energy from love and compassion. Be gentle with yourself when you’re exhausted, and treat yourself kindly. Be kind in your thoughts and feelings towards your self as well as in your actions. Feel love and compassion in your heart and extend that warmth to yourself regularly.

7. Stop doing what drains you.

You’ll instantly feel lighter and more alive when you choose to stop doing what drains you. Be aware of how your body responds to various things, people, places and experiences in your life; genuinely consider whether they support and fulfill you, or deplete you of energy.

8. Nurture what inspires you.

The feeling of inspiration is energizing in itself. Get clear on what truly inspires you by checking for that feeling of energy deep in your body. It may show up as a burning desire or an inner knowledge of your truth, but once you’ve found it, feed and nurture it through your thoughts, energy, and actions.

9. Be vigilant with your time.

Learn to guard your time like the precious gift that it is. Choose wisely in how you spend it, ensuring that you schedule plenty time and space to care for yourself. Don’t be quick to give it away, but when you do, be sure to give it willingly from a place of wholeheartedness.

10. Look for a deeper meaning.

When you can see meaning in your experience of exhaustion or burnout, you’ll instantly feel lighter. Get curious about the lesson in this challenging time. When you do, you’ll feel a genuine appreciation for your experiences, knowing that you’ll grow and evolve as a result, and be able to contribute more fully to this world.

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Dangers of A1 Beta Casein

Sunday, August 21, 2011        Dr. David Jockers

(NaturalNews) Dairy products are one of the most common foods consumed around the world. Some cultures survive on diets consisting of up to 80% raw cow, goat, &/or sheep milk. In the western world, however, dairy has become one of the most inflammatory foods. A recent discovery shows that a genetic shift in the casein molecule has produced a powerful toxin linked to numerous disorders and diseases.

Milk contains two primary protein molecules: whey and casein. Casein makes up about 80% of the protein in the milk. Casein is made up of 209 amino acids strung together in sequence. The 2 primary forms of casein are: A1 Beta Casein and A2 Beta Casein. These 2 are nearly identical in structure except for the amino acid at position 67. A1 contains histidine while A2 contains proline.

The bond between histidine and its linked amino acids is much weaker and much more easily broken than the bonding of proline in A2. This splitting happens during the digestive process and creates a peptide called beta casomorphin 7 (BCM7). BCM7 is an opioid, which gives it morphine-like qualities. This creates rampant oxidative stress in the gut and blood stream.

BCM7 is a 7 amino acid peptide that is resistant to degradation. It takes very strong immune responses to break this molecule down effectively. This immune response often takes place in the gut and causes digestive distress and leaky gut syndrome. The most susceptible individuals are those who already have digestive problems and infants who naturally have increased intestinal permeability.

When BCM7 passes into the bloodstream, it is able to cross through the blood brain barrier. In the brain, it can bind to opioid receptors and cause symptoms of schizophrenia, autism, and other mood and neurodevelopmental issues. Research performed on rats has shown autistic and schizophrenic type behavioral changes after the rats were injected with BCM7.

A1 beta casein and its byproduct BCM7 have also been linked to cases of type I diabetes, digestive disorders, neurodegenerative disorders and heart disease. These issues have the most supportive evidence linking them to A1 beta casein. This does not mean that A1 beta casein isn`t associated with other health disorders as well.

Avoiding A1 Beta Casein:

It can be quite challenging to enjoy dairy products and avoid A1 Beta Casein in the western hemisphere. You certainly have to look for specific breeds of cow that will not be labeled at the grocery store. A1 beta casein is produced by cattle belonging to the Bos Taurus subspecies, which is the primary breed of cattle in the western hemisphere. The Guernsey breeds produce only about 10% of their beta casein as A1 while the Jersey breed produces about 35%. The Ayrshire, Holstein, and Frisian breeds tend to produce 50% or more.

Goats do not produce A1 beta casein making their milk and dairy products. The `land of milk and honey` that was described in the bible is thought to be a reference to raw, goat milk and raw honey. Raw milk from grass-fed animals without A1 beta casein has a number of amazing health benefits due to the healthy omega 6:3 ratios, conjugated linoleic acid, and other immune supportive properties.

Organic butter from a grass-fed cow is still very healthy regardless of the breed of cow because it contains little to no protein. Research has found that cheese, yogurt, and fermented milk products from A1 beta casein containing breeds produce around the same amount of BCM7 as regular milk. These products should only be consumed from breeds of cow that produce very little A1 beta casein or none at all.

[Editor`s Note: NaturalNews is strongly against the use of all forms of animal testing. We fully support implementation of humane medical experimentation that promotes the health and wellbeing of all living creatures.]



sources:

http://naturalbias.com/a1-beta-casein-the-devil-in-your-milk/  

http://www.betacasein.org/

http://thebovine.wordpress.com/2008/11/15/a1-beta-casein-in-milk-also-implicated-in-autism-and-schizophrenia-percent-a1-and-a2-in-milk-is-breed-dependent/


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7 Ways Probiotics DETOXIFY Your Body

By Sayer Ji        Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

You’ve probably heard the buzz already about the many health benefits of probiotics, a word which literally translates to: pro- “for” + biotics “life” — FOR LIFE.  But did you know that these remarkable commensal microorganisms, which outnumber our bodily cells 10 to 1, and contribute over 95% of our body’s total genetic information, also break down highly toxic manmade chemicals which your body is either incapable, or only partially capable, of defending itself from?

Learn about some of the amazing ways in which ‘good bacteria’ help to detoxify chemicals within our body:

Bisphenol A:

This ubiquitous toxicant — linked to over 40 diseases — found in anything from thermal printer receipts, paper money, canned food liners, dental composites, and of course plastics, is a powerful endocrine disrupter now found in everyone’s bodies. Remarkably, two common probiotic strains, Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei, have been found in animal research to help the body detoxify it by reducing the intestinal absorption of bisphenol A through facilitating increased excretion.[i] The animals receiving probiotic treatment were found to have 2.4 times higher excretion of Bisphenol A in their feces, suggesting probiotic supplementation could be of significant benefit to humans as well.

Pesticides

Probiotic strains from the traditional Korean fermented cabbage dish known as kimchi have been identified to degrade a variety of organophosphorous pesticides such as chlorpyrifos, coumaphos, diazinon, methylparathion, and parathion.[ii] These nifty organisms actually use these exceedingly hard to break down chemicals as sources of carbon and phosphorous – ‘food’! – and were found to break down the pesticide 83.3% after 3 days and degraded it completely by day 9.[iii]  While this test tube study likely does not reflect exactly what happens in our gut when we ingest both chlorpyrifos and Kimchi, it is provocative, and may indicate there is some protective effects in the gut, and certainly cabbage tainted with organophosphorous pesticide which is subsequently fermented as an ingredient in Kimchi would certainly reduce the burden of this chemical in the diet.

Heavy Metals 

Lactobacillus bacteria found in food have been looked at as a potential adjunct agent for reducing metal toxicity in humans. According to one study, “This is because they have resistance mechanisms which are effective in preventing damage to their cells and they can bind and sequester heavy metals to their cell surfaces, thus removing them through subsequent defecation.” [iv] The study differentiates between detoxification and detoxication, the former of which is described as “the ability to remove drugs, mutagens, and other harmful agents from the body,” and the latter of which is the mechanism through which ‘good bacteria’ prevent “of damaging compounds into the body.” Because there is a large body of research on probiotics preventing and/or healing up intestinal permeability, this may be another way in which toxic stomach contents are preventing from doing harm to the body as a whole.

Cancerous Food Preservatives 

Another imchi study found it contained a strain of bacteria capable of breaking down sodium nitrate, a naturally and artificially occurring chemical (used from anything to rocket fuel and gunpowder) linked to a variety of chronic degenerative diseases, including cancer.[v] The study found a depletion of sodium nitrate by up to 90.0% after 5 days. Sodium nitrate becomes toxic when it is converted in food products, and even our intestines via microbiota, to N-nitrosodimethylamine. A study found that four lactobacillus strains where capable of breaking this toxic byproduct down by up to 50%.[vi]

Perchlorate

Perchlorate is an ingredient in jet fuel and fireworks that widely contaminates the environment and our food. Sadly, even organic food has been found concentrate high levels of this toxicant, making it exceedingly difficult to avoid exposure. It is now found in disturbing concentrations in breast milk and urine, and is a well-known endocrine disrupter capable of blocking the iodine receptor in the thyroid, resulting in hypothyroidism and concomitant neurological dysfunction.  A study found that the beneficial bacterial strain known as Bifidobacterium Bifidum is capable of degrading perchlorate, and that breast fed infants appear to have lower levels than infant formula fed babies due to the breast milk bacteria’s ability to degrade perchlorate through the perchlorate reductase pathway.[vii]


probiotics yogurt

Heterocylic Amines

Heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCA) are compounds formed when meat is cooked at high temperatures of 150-300 degrees C, and are extremely mutagenic (damage the DNA). Lactobacillus strains have been identified that significantly reduce the genotoxicity of theses compounds.[viii]

Toxic Foods

While not normally considered a ‘toxin,’ wheat contains a series of proteins that we do not have the genomic capability to produce enzymes to degrade. When these undigested proteins – and there are over 23,000 that have been identified in the wheat proteome – enter into the blood, they can wreak havoc on our health. Research has found that our body has dozens of strains of bacteria that are capable of breaking down glutinous proteins and therefore reduce its antigenicity and toxicity.

While the role of probiotics in degrading gluten proteins sounds great, a word of caution is in order. Since modern wheat is not a biologically compatible food for our species – having been introduced only recently in biological time, and having been hybridized to contain far more protein that our ancient ancestors were ever exposed to – it would be best to remove it entirely from the diet. Also, the aforementioned research showing bacteria in the human gut are capable of breaking some of these wheat proteins revealed that some of the species that were capable of doing this for us are intrinsically pathogenic, e.g. Clostidium botulinum and Klebsiella. So, relying on the help of bacteria to do the job of digesting a ‘food’ we are not capable of utilizing on our own, is a double-edged sword. Again, the best move is to remove it entirely from the diet as a precuationary step.

What Probiotic Should I Take?

While plenty of probiotic pills and liquids exist on the market, and many of which have significant health benefits, it is important to choose one that is either shelf stable, or has been refrigerated from the place of manufacture all the way to the place you are purchasing it from. Moreover, many probiotics are centrifugally extracted or filtered, leaving the nourishing food medium within which it was cultured behind. This is a problem in two ways: 1)  without sustenance, the probiotics are in ‘suspended animation’ and may either die or not properly ‘root’ into your gastrointestinal tract when you take them.  2) the ‘food matrix’ within probiotics are grown provides a protective medium of essential co-factors that help them survive the difficult journey down your gastointestinal tract.

With that said, another option is to consume a traditionally fermented, living probiotic food like sauerkraut, kimchi, or yogurt (focusing on non-cow’s milk varieties, unless you are lucky enough to find a source that has the beta-casein A2 producing cows). There is always goat’s milk which is relatively hypoallergenic.

Finally, the reality is that the probiotics in our bodies and in cultured foods ultimately derive from the soil, where an unimaginably vast reservoir of ‘good bacteria’ reside – assuming your soil is natural and not saturated with petrochemical inputs and other environmental toxicants.  And really fresh, organically produced – preferably biodynamicallydie grown – raw food is an excellent way to continually replenish your probiotic stores. Food is always going to be the best way to support your health, probiotic health included.

Updated October 2014

Article References
[i] Kenji Oishi, Tadashi Sato, Wakae Yokoi, Yasuto Yoshida, Masahiko Ito, Haruji Sawada. Effect of probiotics, Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei, on bisphenol A exposure in rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 Jun;72(6):1409-15. Epub 2008 Jun 7. PMID: 18540113

[ii] Shah Md Asraful Islam, Renukaradhya K Math, Kye Man Cho, Woo Jin Lim, Su Young Hong, Jong Min Kim, Myoung Geun Yun, Ji Joong Cho, Han Dae Yun. Organophosphorus hydrolase (OpdB) of Lactobacillus brevis WCP902 from kimchi is able to degrade organophosphorus pesticides. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 May 12;58(9):5380-6. PMID: 20405842

[iii] Kye Man Cho, Reukaradhya K Math, Shah Md Asraful Islam, Woo Jin Lim, Su Young Hong, Jong Min Kim, Myoung Geun Yun, Ji Joong Cho, Han Dae Yun. Biodegradation of chlorpyrifos by lactic acid bacteria during kimchi fermentation. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Mar 11;57(5):1882-9. PMID: 19199784

[iv] Marc Monachese, Jeremy P Burton, Gregor Reid. Bioremediation and tolerance of humans to heavy metals through microbial processes: a potential role for probiotics? Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Sep ;78(18):6397-404. Epub 2012 Jul 13. PMID: 22798364

[v] Chang-Kyung Oh, Myung-Chul Oh, Soo-Hyun Kim. The depletion of sodium nitrite by lactic acid bacteria isolated from kimchi. J Med Food. 2004;7(1):38-44. PMID: 15117551

[vi] Adriana Nowak, Sławomir Kuberski, Zdzisława Libudzisz. Probiotic lactic acid bacteria detoxify N-nitrosodimethylamine. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2014 Jul 10. Epub 2014 Jul 10. PMID: 25010287

[vii] C Phillip Shelor, Andrea B Kirk, Purnendu K Dasgupta, Martina Kroll, Catrina A Campbell, Pankaj K Choudhary. Breastfed infants metabolize perchlorate. Environ Sci Technol. 2012 May 1 ;46(9):5151-9. Epub 2012 Apr 20. PMID: 22497505

[viii] Adriana Nowak, Zdzislawa Libudzisz. Ability of probiotic Lactobacillus casei DN 114001 to bind or/and metabolise heterocyclic aromatic amines in vitro. Eur J Nutr. 2009 Oct ;48(7):419-27. Epub 2009 May 16. PMID: 19448966


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8 Ways to Put Yourself on Your Priority List

Finding Time for ”Me” Time

By Ellen G. Goldman, Health and Wellness Coach

How often have you found yourself thinking or saying the following?

“I wish I had more time for myself.”
“I’m so busy! I don’t have a moment to breathe.”
“I need more hours in the day.”
“I don’t have time for that.”

We lead crazy, busy lives. And the one thing we never seem to have time for is ourselves. This problem seems even more pervasive as we work harder to meet the challenges of this new economy.

Creating more personal time tops the list of goals many people want to accomplish. With work time, partner or family time and social time all demanding our attention, we are constantly juggling our day-to-day responsibilities. Finding as little as 15-30 minutes a day of uninterrupted, relaxing “me” time is challenging at best.

But we all instinctively know that when we take time for ourselves to pursue our passions, do the things that we enjoy, relax or even do nothing at all, we end up happier, healthier and feeling better. “Me” time allows us to de-stress, unwind and rejuvenate. Taking time for yourself allows you to renew, heal, and create reserves of energy and peace.

When I ask my clients why they don’t plan more “me” time in their schedules, three common themes arise: not enough time, feeling guilty, or it feels selfish. The more giving and caring a person you are, the more these feelings seem to emerge.

Remember that no matter what we do, there are only 24 hours in a day, so you can’t create more time. But you can clear some time by reevaluating priorities, perhaps saying “no” more often and practicing smart time management.

“Me” time is not something you should feel guilty about. It’s nothing more than taking some time to put aside your everyday business and treating yourself to an activity that you enjoy. It gives you an opportunity to relax, refocus and recharge. And when you do that, you can come back to your responsibilities with greater focus, commitment and enjoyment.

It is very common to become so involved in giving to others that we fail to give to ourselves. And although this is more often a trait in women, there are plenty of men out there who feel this way too. Many are so caught up in earning a living to take care of their families, that breaking away from responsibilities to indulge in hobbies, reading or hanging out with the guys makes them feel selfish.

If everyone else around you is worthy of care and attention, then so are you. You not only deserve this time, but you need it for your own well-being. Lack of time for ourselves often leads to feeling frustrated, tired, overwhelmed and out of balance. Without this time for ourselves, we lose sight of what’s important to us.

Peaceful woman relaxing at home with cup of tea

Occasionally I am asked, “Doesn’t exercise count as ‘me’ time?” Well the answer is yes and no. If you approach exercise as another responsibility to cross off the list, and/or get more joy when you are done vs. enjoying the actual time spent working out, you are probably getting lots of health benefits, but not the same kind you get from “me” time. Unless you walk away from your routine feeling renewed, refreshed, relaxed and ready to take on the world once again, you may still need another activity that you do just for the pure joy of doing it. If, despite a regular exercise routine, you still feel overwhelmed and yearning for personal time, scheduling a few “me” time activities will do you a world of good!

Let’s look at some ways you can make “me” time a reality:

First, decide that you deserve some time to yourself each day. Stop feeling guilty for taking time out for you, and realize in the long run, it’s a win-win for everyone. When you are tired, stressed out and pulled in too many directions, it is hard to give your best to all you must accomplish. Remember, self-time is not selfish—it’s a necessary dimension of self-care!

Decide how best to spend “me” time. How each of us chooses to spend free time is as individualized as we all are. If you had an extra 15 minutes, a half hour, an afternoon or an entire day, what would you do to make yourself feel rejuvenated, relaxed and happy? Write a list and keep it handy when you begin scheduling time into your calendar.

Evaluate the things that are wasting your time each day. Do you check your emails constantly and end up spending more time on your computer than you planned? Do you answer personal calls in the middle of your workday? Run to the supermarket daily to pick up dinner rather than plan in advance and shop once? If this sounds like you, you must take the time to organize your responsibilities, and you will gain more free time than you can imagine.

Learn to say “no” to requests to do things that you don’t really want to, don’t value or don’t bring you satisfaction and joy.

Ask for help with chores that don’t necessarily have to be completed by you alone.

At the beginning of each week, take a few minutes to designate specific time slots for all that must be accomplished—including “me” time. Treat your personal time like you would any other appointment and make it non-negotiable.

Commit to a minimum of 15-20 minutes of “me” time every day. Do something (or nothing) that completely lets go of responsibilities and releases your mind, allowing you to be alone with your thoughts.

Create a daily ritual. This can be a bath, listening to music, taking a walk or meditating. Make it something you can look forward to. Years ago, when my children were small and life felt too hectic and overwhelming, I created a ritual for “me” time. I decided it was well worth it to get up 45 minutes before the rest of the family to enjoy my coffee and breakfast in solitude. To this day it’s my time to read, daydream or just bask in the sounds of silence. Looking forward to this time, and a coffee pot on a timer, gets me out of bed with a smile on my face.

Stop wishing you had more time to yourself, and commit to carving it into your schedule. Rather than bemoan your lack of time, change your approach and create the time using the tips above. You will be amazed at how a little bit of time to yourself can make a huge difference in your health and happiness!

Source:
Richardson, Cheryl. 1999. Take Time for Your Life:
A Personal Coach’s 7-Step Program for Creating the Life You Want,
NY, Broadway Books.
www.sparkpeople.com


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What Everyone Should Know About Inflammation: A Cardiologist Explains

BY DR. JOEL KAHN    JULY 8, 2013 

Regular readers of MindBodyGreen are aware that a process in our bodies called inflammation is involved in many aspects of human health and disease. For example, you may have read that a breakfast of Egg McMuffins, sleep apnea, obesity and ultra-exercise are inflammatory, while turmeric, meditation and the Mediterranean diet are anti-inflammatory, and so on. Lost in the search for vitality and longevity is an understanding of what inflammation is and what can be done to tame it. In many ways, inflammation is a Goldilocks process – you don’t want too much or too little, but just the right amount.

When I explain inflammation to patients, I point out that the middle of the word is “flame,” and that it comes from the Latin “I ignite.” Inflammation is a complex process of cells and chemicals in our bodies standing ready to fight infections and other threats, and is a life saver when it’s a controlled reaction to a threat. For example, you may experience inflammation when you’re working on your deck and get a wood splinter. Maybe a mosquito lands on your back and enjoys some of your blood (hopefully full of fresh green juice!). Maybe you sprained your ankle when your perfect yoga hand stand came crashing down.

Over 2,000 years ago, the signs of acute inflammation were described as including pain, warmth, redness and swelling. This “first responder” wave of healing occurs because cells in the area are surveying their environment all the time with detectors on their surface that act much like radar watching for invaders. These detectors are called pattern recognition receptors (PRR). If a PRR detects something that has a “foreign” structure – a pathogen-associated molecular pattern, or PAMP – it will ring the fire alarm internally in the cell and surrounding blood vessels.

Chemicals begin to pour out that cause blood vessels to dilate (redness, warmth and swelling); others increase the sensitivity to pain, and the next thing you know, your ankle or finger is a hot, red, sore mess. These chemicals attract white blood cells that begin to clean up the area by engulfing foreign proteins. Enough white blood cells clumped together is called pus. After a period of increased blood flow, helping to dilute the irritant and bringing fighters to the scene, other factors that promote clotting are released and work to balance and decrease the blood flow. This is what happens when you scrape your knee and it weeps for a while but then scabs over.

inflammation

Some of the star chemicals involved in this process deserve a shout-out. Histamine is waiting to be released when an injury occurs, and causes arteries to expand and leak fluid (think of an antihistamine pill drying up your nose). Interleukins, such as IL-8, come from macrophages (“big eaters” in Greek, ready to swallow substances sensed as foreign) and bring their best friends: white blood cells. The white cells arrive to fight for your recovery because chemical attractants – sort of a white blood cell perfume – are released. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) also is released from macrophage cells, and may produce fever and loss of appetite. Nitric oxide is a gas released by the inner lining of blood cells and can be dumped out to increase blood flow when an injury occurs.

While inflammation is a protector of our health when it’s an acute response, chronic inflammation is a different story. A diverse group of medical illness are believed to be caused in part by chronic activation of the same chemical and cellular processes described above. These include asthma, acne, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and even atherosclerosis of heart arteries. In fact, in 1856 Rudolf Virchow proposed that arterial disease was an inflammation of blood vessels and now, over 150 years later, people who fear heart disease are routinely checked for this process.

So how does a natural, acute response become a chronic condition? Some of the reasons include injury to the gut (leaky gut syndrome) from processed foods, trans fats, sugars, alcohol, gluten and dairy allergies, toxins, ultra-exercise, obesity, inadequate sleep, and excessive stress and anger.

What can you do to keep your balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory reactions in the “Goldilocks” position? There are foods that you can add daily to your meals that cool down inflammation, such as ginger, turmeric, basil and rosemary. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and small amounts of olive oil, can do the same. Avoiding processed foods, dairy, wheat and sugar are also good strategies. Nutritional supplements, such as vitamin D3, omega-3 fish oil, probiotics, turmeric capsules, and boswellia can be helpful. Avoiding toxins such as pesticides and GMO foods by selecting organic products, taking care to choose skin and personal use products that do not contain irritant chemicals, and drinking purified water are solid recommendations. Getting adequate sleep, controlling your weight, and getting regular doses of  moderate exercise will help keep you in balance.

Remember, you can use these relatively simple lifestyle choices to keep the flame of inflammation at a low level and not get burned.


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Being The Best Version of Yourself

The greatest achievement in life is simple – Just be the best ‘you’ that is possible. Easy, right? Obviously not, otherwise we would all be performing at our peak potential at all times without ever letting our guard down. Doesn’t happen, right? But this is honestly the greatest honour we can give to ourselves, to our creator and to those we love and respect – to simply live the best life we possibly can by being the best version of ourselves.

Why is this so hard for most to live out in reality, though? It is because we have not made it a part of our lives. We have not made it a core goal & mission of our lives and we have not made a plan to achieve it. Success in anything has a method and a process. It is not something which just happens all of a sudden like a big explosion and ‘BAM!’ we become the best version of ourselves. It would be nice if this was the case, but the journey is what crafts us and steels the fiber of who we are. It is designed and executed day after day.

So how do you go about becoming ‘the best version of YOU’:

Create a vision of who the best you really is

The core of any goal setting program is not about what you get, it is about who you become.

So, it’s time to create a vision of what that really looks and feels like.

  • What does the best you really mean?
  • What are the standards you will hold in your life?
  • What results can this person who you will become create?
  • How will you behave on a daily basis?
  • What are the values which are the most important to you and that you commit to live to?

Key points to bring up here:

  1. Being the best ‘you’ does not mean you have to be the best at everything; trying to do that is just going to lead to stress and overwhelm and underperformance across all areas. You need to decide what the core things which you are going to master and who you are going to be known for. Then, go to work.
  2. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Remember this is about the best ‘you’ not what anyone else wants you to be. Success and being the effortless best you is only going to come from living authentically with yourself.

Go ahead, construct in your mind and on paper who the best version of you really is. Everything starts from here.

Start Being Nice to yourself

We are our own most brutal critic. It can be easy for us to find all of the ways that something won’t work out, why they can’t change, why they are not good enough before anything else. We can easily give up at the first sign of resistance or even before they have even started.

The truth is, there is no one else like you in the world. You are unique, you are gifted and you are a genius.

Every time you catch yourself in a negative space, notice it and catch it. Immediately change the belief to something positive and empowering. This is where the power of affirmations comes in. It is a single phrase you create to affirm and empower you to be the best you possible in various areas of your life.

Here are some examples:

“I am unique and special and have been gifted with talents which I will begin to utilize starting now.”
“I acknowledge my self-worth; I am confident in who I am and who I am becoming. I know I can handle any obstacle placed in my way”
“I am the architect of my own life and have the power to design and create any result to which I am committed.”

Use these or create some more of your own and try saying them to yourself literally every day. I recorded my affirmations myself and stored them on my iPod. Over and over I would listen to myself, telling myself exactly what I needed to hear. Affirmations program a new identity into your mind through the power of suggestion.

“You come finally to believe anything you tell yourself often enough —
even if it is not true.”
                        Napoleon Hill

mirror

Act as if

Sometimes the changes we need to make in our life are massive shifts in our identity and we try to fight it tooth and nail. Our identity is everything to us and we will do anything to try and stay consistent with who we believe we are. This is why often change can be so difficult because we are challenging our own internal belief systems from which we source our sense of self-worth and certainty.

The good news is that we can trick ourselves to change through the concept of ‘act as if’. When you consciously change your behaviors and thought patterns and focus on acting like someone else or an improved version of yourself then, your mind will start believing that this is normal for you. This may feel out of character for you right now but if you embody this trait or belief system or thought process or habit, it will have a massive impact on your overall life. Make sure you are selective on what you act out as it could become a permanent part of you.

Live by a Code of Conduct

I mentioned earlier that success is seldom one giant thing that occurs. It is the small things

repeated day in and day out, created from our habits. Now these can be thought of as day-to-day habits of things you do; but that is not the point of this article. It is not about doing things, it is about being. So instead establish a code of conduct for yourself, a set of behavior patterns and standards which you commit to living by every single day. This could be things like:

  • The energy you choose to bring home where you don’t let the stresses of your work come home and that you commit to giving your best energy here; or
  • It could be when you are with your partner or kids to be totally 100% present; or
  • That you always dress, walk and shake hands as the ultimate person you want to be; or
  • It could be living in your values of integrity, honest, honor or whatever it is to you in every moment.

Get the picture? Codes of conduct are your rituals around the person that you will be on a daily basis.

Take care of your vehicle of life

I could absolutely not write an article about being your best self without referencing the need and the massive benefit of taking care of your vehicle in life called your body. That is what it is, your vehicle of life. Still, so many people are given a high performance machine yet just. Did neglect it, feed it with garbage, don’t take care of it and wind up driving an old beat up bomb.

To be the best version of yourself you need a vehicle which is going to take you far and take you there fast. Energy is life, so do the things you know you are supposed to do, eat good food (first learn what good food is. Hint: it is not what the government tells you as per the food pyramid), exercise regularly and take care of your mind through meditation. Give it a go. Once you are there and really experience how amazing you feel, how much more you can get done and be as a person, you will become addicted. I promise.

Get on a strategic growth journey

Being your best self is synonymous with personal development and it always starts with becoming more aware of who you are and what patterns have been running you to date. Here is the truth; you cannot expect to become the best version of yourself while you are still running all of the same old thought and behavior patterns, which have gotten you to where you are now. It all has to change and if you are truly committed to becoming the absolute best you, then this change has to be deliberate. In fact, it cannot just be change, it must be transformation.

Ask yourself:

  • How do you need to grow as a person?
  • What skills do you need to learn?
  • What belief systems are serving you?
  • What will not serve you to get to your next level?
  • Then ask
  • Where can I get this information? Is it through a role model or through a mentor?
  • What standard of person do I need to hang around?
  • What do I need to do and when? (Now schedule it in)
  • How am I going to make this happen?

Ultimately, what we want is that being the best we can be becomes an effortless part of our day-to-day lives where we do not have to ‘try’ because we just are. This is when we have now created a new identity and are living this identity and it is the identity of our best self, until we raise our standards again and move to the next level.

“Growth is not a destination, it is a journey”
author Todd Polke                      source: toddpolke.com


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4 Habits That May Be Making You Unhappy

BY TINA WILLIAMSON    JANUARY 3, 2014 

We develop habits in our younger years. When actions results in favorable, outcomes we will repeat that behavior; through frequent repetition and reinforcement, we will become conditioned, like Pavlov’s dogs.

Whether habits are good or bad is a matter of opinion, but there are definitely patterns that are proven to provide more health, happiness and prosperity. Many habits we mistakenly think are making us happy are in fact causing our demise.

Let’s start creating new pathways but first, let’s learn about four habits that are making you unhappy.

1. Overindulging on good things

It’s true that there is too much of a good thing. You might start a healthy habit with good intentions, but those intentions can soon be replaced with obsessive, dangerous behaviors. Obsessing about your diet or fitness regime can lead to very negative effects. It’s OK if you miss one yoga class! Stop replacing the potential benefits of healthy habits with guilt, anxiety, self hate, and judgement.

Happiness is a balancing act, and that includes balancing the good stuff. As Oscar Wilde once said, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

2. Clinging to relationships

Your values, morals and interests are likely different than what they were 10 years ago. Have you made the appropriate changes to keep up with your shifting values? Are you still trying to be the same person you were when you were 25, hanging out with the same people? Is it possible that your routines are no longer in line with your values?

Does this relationship serve you?

Who you hang out with has a great impact on the person you are and the person you become. For example, if you’ve developed an interest in being healthy, instead of feeling obligated to continue your usual routine of chicken wings and beer at the pub, you could consider joining a running group or a sports team?

If certain relationships are negative or unhealthy, you might want to realign yourself. It’s OK to admit you’ve changed and that a relationship might not be in line with where you are or want to be.

Don’t be afraid to get out and meet new people! Be you and don’t apologize for who you are or for any changes you have made.

3. Resisting change

We fight change like gladiators. But we can’t avoid change, and although we think we’re playing it safe by staying in a dead end job or bad marriage, we aren’t. We need to accept change and the refreshing opportunities it brings.

Some things you can change and other things you simply can not.

For those things that you can not change, choose acceptance, which is relaxing the tension, letting go of the clenched jaw and resting the energy and pull of the mind. Accept the things that are out of your control and change the things that are in your control.

4. Buying things we think will make us happy

Happy people rarely keep clutter around the house because they know that extra belongings weigh them down and make them feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

You might think that the new big screen TV will make you happier. While it might provide an instant rush, the long term stress from debt, clutter and never having enough will create anxiety. When you seek happiness in material possessions, you’ll never be fulfilled, no no matter what you buy it. So start to rewire habits; change your thoughts, change your behaviors, make room for new pathways and open up your mind and life to new possibilities and chances.