7 Reasons to Love Apple Cider Vinegar

Jess-Ainscough-wellness-2Jess Ainscough writes:

I was first introduced to apple cider vinegar (ACV for short) several years ago after reading in a magazine that Fergie (Black Eyed Peas, not Duchess of York) takes a couple of teaspoons each day to assist weight loss. A body like Fergie by drinking apple cider vinegar? That is one bandwagon I was quick to jump on. While I’m still waiting for Fergie-like abs, I have been reaping the many other health benefits associated with including a little ACV in my diet. ACV has been touted for it many medicinal properties for yonks and it really is a cure-all remedy.

These are just a few benefits of apple cider vinegar…

Full story at: 7 Reasons to Love Apple Cider Vinegar.

It sounded disgusting to me, but I got used to it and it will certainly benefit your body more than that Coke you’re slugging with your meal. Continue reading

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Create Healthy Habits!

The Daily Love

via Visual Inspiration: Create Healthy Habits!.

‘Experts’ say it takes between 21 and 30 days to create a new habit. There are many great tools — Habitforge is one that comes to mind — that can help you set a goal and stick to it using technology. The ‘Pick Four’ methodology by Zig Ziglar and curated by Seth Godin is another that comes to mind. What do you use to create and keep health habits…

Pick Four notebooks. Click to buy…

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Your Body: One Year From Today

One of my favorite quotes in working with clients is “A year from now you’ll wish you started today”. Along those lines, Craig Harper writes:

If you’re serious about changing your body, and more importantly, keeping it that way, below you’ll find some relevant, valuable and potentially-transformational questions. They are the type of questions that I ask anyone who comes to me for coaching in this area. Keep in mind that transformation lives in the doing, not just the knowing, so if you’re in need of a physical overhaul, or maybe just a few minor modifications, take some time to answer the following thoughtfully and courageously.

What do you want your body to look, feel and function like one year from today (be specific)?

What do you need to do practically, to make your goal a reality?

What happens once your motivation subsides (it will)?

What happened last time you tried to change your body?

Why and how will it be different this time (if nothing changes, nothing changes)?

What’s your optimal exercise strategy (based on your genetics, age, goals, fitness, injuries, etc.)?

What’s one simple thing (that will make a difference) that you can change today?

What happened over the last 365 days (with your body)? Why?

Are you genuinely prepared to do the work (and to keep doing it), or do you just like ‘the idea’ of a different body?

Do you need to change your relationship with food? If so, how?

Do you have an accountability system? If so, what is it?

When it comes to the practical change-your-body variables (food, lifestyle, exercise, time management), what are your ‘non-negotiables’?

As I’ve said many times before on this site, when we ask better questions and we’re genuinely committed to change, we make better decisions, do better things, produce better results and our reality shifts.

Statistically, we know that, despite their conversations, declarations and intentions, most people won’t improve their health or fitness over the next year. Some will, most won’t. Of course, they can change and they want to change, but sadly, they won’t. Like the majority of our ever-expanding population, some will continue to get on and off the weight-loss merry-go-round, all the while complaining about their genetics, the weather, their sore ankle, their limited time and their exhausting schedule.

And then they’ll wake up and it will be July 2013.

Today, I challenge you to be in the minority.” via Your Body: One Year From Today.

When I read things like this I used to feel guilty — now I’m happy I’m on the right path! I started power walking in March and now walk, run and bike ride; thanks to Endomondo, I know I’ve put in over 500 miles in all three since I started…

I’ve lost over 100 pounds with Atkins in the past 10 years but gained 75 of it back because I don’t believe that Atkins is sustainable or healthy based on my experience. I’m sorry to tell you there is no substitute for eating better and exercising more…

Four Habits of Unhappy People and How to Change Them

Alexis Wolfer gave me an early birthday gift with this post:

The vast majority of us wake up in the morning with a clean slate. Sure, the stresses of the day before continue to weigh on us, and the to-do lists of the day ahead start running through our heads, but generally that moment when you first open your eyes in the morning is a fresh start. It is—literally—a “good morning.”

It’s what happens between that moment when we open our eyes to the bright day ahead and our first sip of coffee that changes the course of the entire day, leaving us stressed, grumpy and, well, unhappy—or, at the very least, less happy than we have the potential to be.

So, how do you ensure you wake up inspired, excited, and happy and stay that way throughout the day? Avoid these four habits many of us have that hamper our happiness before our morning cup of Joe.

Four Habits of Unhappy People and How to Change Them

1. You pop out of bed or, even worse, hit snooze and then rush out of bed.

Take your time when you rise. Stretch, feel your body, take three deep breaths, and start the day with intent. When you wake up, you have the power and privilege to set the course for your entire day. Just ten seconds will allow you to feel centered, balanced, clear, and happy for the day ahead.

2. You weigh yourself.

Listen up: there is no need to weigh yourself every day. (I would argue that there is no need to weigh yourself ever, but that’s fodder for a different post.) When you wake up and step on a scale, you give the scale the power to not only determine how you feel about your body, willpower, and beauty, but also you allow the scale to determine your mood and, even worse, your worth. Your weight is not your worth, beauty, attractiveness, or barometer by which to measure your happiness for the day. If you are going to weigh yourself, put a post-it that says “Weight ≠ Worth” on it, just to keep it in perspective.

3. You keep “skinny clothes” in your closet—and try them on.

If you wake up in the morning and try on clothes that don’t fit, it’s no wonder you’re bummed for the rest of the day. Starting your day feeling like you don’t fit in—literally—is never a good place to start. If there are clothes in your wardrobe that don’t fit—and haven’t fit in quite some time—donate them. Your clothes should reflect your style, not define your self-love.

4. You criticize your reflection.

Most of us take a first glance in the mirror and find something wrong: a pimple that popped up over night, dark under-eye circles, thighs that suddenly seem to be touching more than the day before. Before you find anything you wish were different, look in the mirror and give yourself a compliment. If you have trouble coming up with something each day, write down a few things you love about yourself and keep them on a note taped to your bathroom mirror for easy access.

Breaking these 4 common habits will take you from consistently waking up on the wrong side of the bed to being your happiest self. What are your bad habits and what right actions can you take to counter them?” via Four Habits of Happy People and How to Adopt Them « Positively Positive.

I have found that there are two wicked liars in our house; one is the scale and what is the mirror.

For the better part of this year have been seeking a healthier lifestyle; and eating more live foods and exercising daily. I feel better than I have in years but the scale in the mirror often present information that is inconsistent with how good I feel inside. Therefore, I simply stopped listening to them. Inside I feel like I just got out of college but on the outside I’m starting to look like someone’s grandfather; I’d rather listen to what I feel inside and know that when I do the right things the right results will follow — maybe not as fast as I would like, but they will follow.

I have found over the past few months that there is no substitute for diet and exercise, however, I am not so much on a diet as I am eating healthily. In the past decade I have lost 50 pounds twice with the Atkins diet and gained all but 25 of it back. Life on Atkins was painful; some days a roll with butter was more appealing than sex. And all the while I knew that Atkins was not sustainable and did not give my body what it needed.

This time around I’m taking it slowly. I drink more water. I eat more raw foods. I exercise every day. For the most part I have no cravings [except for good things] unless you want to count that second grilled cheese sandwich I had the other night! Seriously, the changes I made were simple but not easy. In the beginning I supported my diet now my diets supports me.

My scale and my mirror are liars but the clothes I haven’t been able to wear for over five years tell me I’m doing a good job and that my new lifestyle is working for me. I agree with Alexis; don’t start your day with negative input from the liars in your life. Instead, set out to do the right things in the right results will follow.

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Not Losing Weight? Listen Up!

You’ve been watching what you eat for weeks, but you can’t seem to get the scale to budge.

To rev up your metabolism and get the scale moving in the right direction, you might want to take a better look at what you’re putting in your mouth.

But it’s not all about the food.

Let’s dive in and help you shed those unwanted pounds…shall we?

It’s time to get clean

While we’ve all been told to check the labels, foods that require labels are processed, and processed foods can be poison to a diet plan. While low-fat granola bars and fuel-packed protein bars might have their place in an emergency (like hiking the Appalachian Trail, where there’s not a salad bar in sight), in the real world eating “clean” is the way to go.

That means eating foods as close to their natural state as possible – fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats and healthy fats. Keep the empty calories of processed foods out of the shopping cart. Instead, opt for foods in their natural state and not in a wrapper.

Get Off the Couch

Are you a couch potato, crashing after a day of work with a marathon session of your favorite TV show rather than a walk around the block?

The key to successful weight loss is torching more calories than you take in, so couch potatoes will have a tougher time dropping pounds.That’s not to say you need to channel your inner Arnold Schwarzenegger…hmmm, bad example, to successfully lose weight. You just need to recognize that exercise is a great way to burn extra calories and will help you have a better shot at seeing the numbers on the scale drop.

Take a walk, head to the park for a game of Frisbee or revisit your childhood and tune up that bike so you can hit the road for a burst of cardio your body will appreciate. The biggest perk is that the added activity will likely lead you to try new forms of exercise, and could inspire you to hit the gym to bust some weightlifting moves that will give your metabolism an added boost.

Keep Your Cool

Living on the edge with high stress levels and a constant anxiety can wreak havoc on even the best of diets.

Stress results in a flood of cortisol rushing through your system, an age-old response that began in the cave man era, when our bodies warned us of life-threatening dangers with the flight-or-flight response we now know as stress. The thing is, we now see rush-hour traffic and cranky co-workers in the same way as deadly cougar attacks, and we’re not fleeing the scene to reap the benefits of the response.

Those elevated cortisol levels lead to attacks on muscles, reduced insulin resistance, and the storage of unwanted fat (just in case that cougar blocks our path to the grocery store for a few weeks).

Try to find a little more Zen in your life, through yoga, meditation or massages might do the trick.

Time Your Meals

An effective way to build the healthy eating habit is to time your meals. Predetermined the day before exactly what time you will be eating. Schedule them roughly four hours apart. So for example; 8am, noon, 4pm, and 8pm would be your meal times for the day. This will keep you metabolism running high, blood sugar stable so your body can stay primed for buying stored fat as fuel, and satisfied to stave off any cravings. Prepare meals ahead of time so that you are ready to roll.

Dieting is Outdated

Really what it all comes down to is lifestyle changes — and seeing a healthy lifestyle as a choice that makes living an adventure.

If you eat right, you have the energy to head to the hills for a hike, hop on the mountain bike and tackle that challenging new trail or take the dog for a walk around a bigger block. And that opens the door for the life you want to live, not a life you only have the energy to dream about.

It’s just a matter of making slow, easy-to-manage changes that reflect a new found attention to a healthy way of living, like trading water for soda or a more nutrient-packed veggie place of mashed potatoes.” via Not Losing Weight? Listen Up!.

Normally, I would feel guilty curating something like this, however, in this case I’ve been doing all these things for a couple of months and the results have been amazing. I can testify first hand to what great advice this is…

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Workin’ your body weight…

David Kanigan shared this great video as part of his morning workout schedule…

It’s a great reminder for me! I live in rural Wisconsin where we don’t have health clubs or fitness centers. For years, I’ve let myself go to hell physically because the nearest YMCA is 18 miles away in Sturgeon Bay — after all, how could I workout without an elliptical machine?

Lately I’ve made a couple of important changes that are helping me quite a bit;

  • Eating mostly live or unprocessed foods [no more cheddarwurst, David!] — Brussels Sprouts ROCK!!! Try this recipe.
  • Drinking mostly water and tea, although I’m still addicted to my morning ‘red eye’ [coffee with two shots of espresso] and the occasional beer from Titletown Brewing Company in Green Bay. I don’t drink with meals — doesn’t help the digestion at all and food/beverage pairings have been the death of me; ie, cookies and milk, pizza and beer, cheddarwurst and diet soda. Some things that go together just shouldn’t go together in your body…
  • Walking every day. I used to be a runner until I had back surgery in 1990. I thought walking was for wusses — it was, the way I was doing it. I use Endomondo on my smartphone to compete against myself and walk miles in less than 14 minutes. Doing it that way, walking helps! NOT walking or exercising is for wusses. I bike, also and Endomondo has a website that shows me how all my efforts are adding up, too…
  • Yoga. Yup, Yoga. I have a couple of apps on my smartphone like Daily Yoga for Back Buildup and Sworkit that are really useful for toning my almost 54 year old body. Clients like Jackie Dumaine have been instrumental in changing my mindset around tools like yoga, too…
  • Last? I threw out my scale. In the past, I’ve lost 50lbs. three times; once using running in college, twice using Atkins. Atkins sucked for me — it was painful and the weight came back because the lifestyle is not sustainable. But, I wanted the instant gratification from the scale. This time around, I don’t let the scale tell me if I’m having a good day. I know if I’m doing the work or not and that if I do the right things, the right results will follow. I’m also not in it for a quick fix — I’m in it for the long haul; I want to live the rest of my life fit and healthy, not letting a mechanical device tell me if I’ve been good or bad.
You might be thinking to yourself at this point that I’m Captain Obvious but this stuff is just dawning on me now. David’s video got me thinking about the good decisions I’ve been making lately and the difference they are making in EVERYTHING I do and it’s encouragement to dig down deeper and do even more. Thanks, buddy! Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration: Workin’ your body weight… – Lead.Learn.Live..

Why you’re not getting what you want

Farmer plowing in Fahrenwalde, Mecklenburg-Vor...

I like this perspective from Mastin Kipp at The Daily Love…

Plain and simple, we get what we ask for.

Not just with our words, but also with our actions. In fact, our actions will show us what we are asking for far more than our words. We only take action on what we truly believe, so if we want to see what we are really asking for, let us look towards our actions.

If you say you want to lose weight, but your actions are to eat high calorie food and stay inactive, you aren’t really asking for health.

If you say you have faith but your actions are actions that are faithless, then you don’t really have faith.

If you say you love someone and your actions are unloving, then you don’t really love that person.

Let us be mindful of our actions.

The precursor to action is thought. Sometimes it can be VERY hard to be aware of what we are actually thinking, especially because many of our actions come from unconscious thoughts. If we want to tap into what’s really running us, but are having a hard time, let us see what actions we are taking.

We want love, but we run away when it shows up. There is a misalignment there of desire and thought.

We want weight loss and a healthy body, but we don’t get off our ass and exercise. There is a misalignment there, too.

In this literal Uni-verse, we can LITERALLY create (from the inside out) any type of experience we wish to choose. It is when our desires, our thoughts and our actions are in alignment that this kind of life begins to emerge.

The seed of a desire for something greater lives within all of us, but our lack of action prevents that kind of life from unfolding.

Imagine if a farmer had seeds and land to plant his seeds, but doubted that the seeds would grow if he planted them. So if this doubt were strong enough, the seeds would never get planted. Or, they get planted, but then the farmer can be too impatient and dig up the seeds the next day or the next week because the crop hasn’t come yet.

The farmer still has no harvest. Then a second farmer comes by at harvest time with a full crop of harvest, and the first farmer gets jealous and angry at the second farmer for having abundance. The first farmer may blame The Uni-verse or say, “People like me aren’t supposed to have this harvest”, but in reality, it is the farmers own doubt and impatience that prevents him from reaping his harvest.

We are many times like the first farmer. Our seeds are our desires. Our fields are our daily actions. We must plant our desires in actions and then be patient. If weeds of doubt creep in, we must clear them out. And in perfect time we will be able to harvest the fruit of our faith.

This is how life is. We need to nurture the fertile soil of our actions with faith and patience.

So, today, are you not getting what you want? Look at your desires. Look at your actions. Where is there a disconnect? How can you adjust your actions to sync up with your desires? And, if that feels weird, how can you change your MENTAL habits to allow yourself to take the proper action that is in alignment with your desires?

The answers to the lack you may be temporarily experiencing is all within you. Show up, let go and trust The Uni-verse one day at a time. Get your desires, thoughts and actions in alignment and then let your patience and faith shower down on the fertile soil of your actions.

Your harvest WILL come.

Sorry — I don’t normally curate such a long quote, but I wanted to share the whole post with you. Here’s another perspective on getting what you want…

“1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4

How about you? Getting what you want?