Lotus Body & Mind Coach

The society we live in is very demanding. We live in a competitive environment – we behave as if everything has to be bigger, faster and better to stay afloat. Keeping up appearances and pretending that life is easy at this pace demands an enormous mental and physical effort. To balance this Lotus Body & Mind writes about health and happiness and what you can do, to stay balanced, healthy and happy.

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Body & Mind 20 Nov 2017

the vegan beauty brands to look out for

he latest cult brand to announce its intentions to turn vegan is Hourglass Cosmetics with claims it will be 100 per cent vegan by 2020. We love the brand for its soft highlighting powders, lipsticks, famous Veil Mineral Primer. So now we really just have another reason to buy it.CEO and founder Carisa Janes told Vogue of her commitment to thevegan path, "This begins with our commitment to creating cruelty-free products and ultimately being the first completely vegan luxury cosmetics brand in the world. It is not a simple solution, but we are dedicated to putting in the time and effort it will take to find vegan alternatives for our product formulas." So what defines a vegan product?Vegan beauty and cosmetic products are free from animal testing, animal ingredients and animal-derived ingredients (including insect extracts, bovine uric acid and beeswax).The list of reformers is growing as beauty companies tap into what the beauty consumer is now demanding – beautiful products that are ethically made (and that work).By Stephanie DarlingCult favourite Kat Von D is also an adopter, building on her 100 per cent cruelty free platform, African Botanics, bareMinerals, Chantecaille, Dr Dennis Gross, Drunk Elephant, Dermalogica, Eyeko, Goldfaden MD, Korres, Lipstick Queen, Urban Decay, Mecca Cosmetica are just a few vegan-minded brands. Meanwhile Australian brands such as Jojoba Australia, Sodashi, frank body, Sukin and Aesop and Grown Alchemist are ones to add to the cart. One way to ascertain if a product is vegan is by looking for independent accreditation and logos issued by Vegan Action and The Vegan Society or having approval from PETA Australia or a listing under the vegan category here.If you are unsure of a vegan beauty brand's ingredients or credentials list have a look at Environmental Working Group which is an independent organisation that conducts research on beauty and cosmetic products and the ingredients in them.

Body & Mind 18 Jul 2017

ten signs you’re burning out (and how to stop it)

Ten Signs You’re Burning Out (And How To Stop It) Even the best jobs can lead to burnout. The harder you work and the more motivated you are to succeed, the easier it is to get in over your head.The prevalence of burnout is increasing as technology further blurs the line between work and home. New research from the American Psychological Association and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago reported the following:48% of Americans experienced increased stress over the past 5 years31% of employed adults have difficulty managing their work and family responsibilities53% say work leaves them "overtired and overwhelmed."A Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) poll found that “burnout from my current job” was one of the top reasons that people quit.Burnout can get the better of you, even when you have great passion for your work. Arianna Huffington experienced this first hand when she almost lost an eye from burnout. She was so tired at work that she passed out, hitting her face on her desk. She broke her cheek bone and had to get four stitches on her eye.“I wish I could go back and tell myself that not only is there no trade-off between living a well-rounded life and high performance, performance is actually improved when our lives include time for renewal, wisdom, wonder and giving. That would have saved me a lot of unnecessary stress, burnout and exhaustion.”  –Arianna Huffington Burnout often results from a misalignment of input and output; you get burnt out when you feel like you’re putting more into your work than you’re getting out of it. Sometimes this happens when a job isn’t rewarding, but more often than not it’s because you aren’t taking care of yourself.Before you can treat and even prevent burnout, you need to recognize the warning signs so that you’ll know when it’s time to take action. Here they are, in no particular order.Health problems. Burnout has a massive, negative impact upon your physical and mental health. Whether you’re experiencing back pain, depression, heart disease, obesity, or you’re just getting sick a lot, you need to consider the role your work is playing in this. You’ll know when burnout is affecting your health, and you’ll just have to decide whether your approach to work is worth the consequences.Cognitive difficulties. Research shows that stress hammers the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for executive function. Executive function impacts your memory, decision-making abilities, emotional control, and focus. When you notice that you’re making silly mistakes, forgetting important things, having outbursts of emotion, or making poor decisions, you’re likely burning out.Difficulty with work and personal relationships. Stress bleeds over into everything you do, particularly how you interact with people. Even when you feel that you’re keeping your stress under control at work, it can rear its ugly head at home. Often it’s your relationships that suffer. Stress makes many people more likely to snap at others, lose their cool, and get involved in silly, unnecessary conflicts. Others are more inclined to withdraw and avoid people they care about. Taking your work home with you. You know that sickening feeling when you’re lying in bed thinking about all the work that you didn’t get done and hoping that you didn’t miss something important? When you can’t stop thinking about work when you’re at home, it’s a strong sign that you're burning out.Fatigue. Burnout often leads to exhaustion because of the toll stress takes on your mind and body. The hallmarks of burnout fatigue are waking up with no energy after a good night’s sleep, drinking large amounts of caffeine to get you through the day, or having trouble staying awake at work.Negativity. Burnout can turn you very negative, even when you’re usually a positive person. If you find yourself focusing on the down side of situations, judging others and feeling cynical, it’s clear that negativity has taken hold and it’s time for you to do something about it.Decreased satisfaction. Burnout almost always leads to a nagging sense of dissatisfaction. Projects and people that used to get you excited no longer do so. This dip in satisfaction makes work very difficult, because no matter what you’re putting into your job, you don’t feel like you’re getting much out of it.Losing your motivation. We begin jobs in a honeymoon phase, seeing everything through rose-colored glasses. When you’re in this phase, motivation comes naturally. In a burnout state, you struggle to find the motivation to get the job done. You may complete tasks, and even complete them well, but the motivation that used to drive you is gone. Instead of doing work for the sake of the work itself, your motivation stems from fear—of missing deadlines, letting people down, or getting fired.Performance issues. People who burn out are often high achievers, so when their performance begins to slip, others don’t always notice. It’s crucial to monitor your slippage. How were you performing a month ago? Six months ago? A year ago? If you see a dip in your performance, it’s time to determine if burnout is behind it.Poor self-care. Life is a constant struggle against the things that feel good momentarily but aren’t good for you. When you experience burnout, your self-control wanes and you find yourself succumbing to temptations more easily. This is largely due to the way that stress compromises your decision-making and self-control and also partially due to lower levels of confidence and motivation.Fighting BurnoutIf you recognize many of these symptoms in yourself, don’t worry. Fighting burnout is a simple matter of self-care. You need good ways to separate yourself from your work so that you can recharge and find balance. The following will help you to accomplish this.Disconnect. Disconnecting is the most important burnout strategy on this list, because if you can’t find time to remove yourself electronically from your work, then you’ve never really left work. Making yourself available to your work 24/7 exposes you to a constant barrage of stressors that prevent you from refocusing and recharging. If taking the entire evening or weekend off from handling work e-mails and calls isn’t realistic, try designating specific times to check in on emails and respond to voicemails. For example, on weekday evenings, you may check emails after dinner, and on the weekend you may check your messages on Saturday afternoon while your kids are playing sports. Scheduling such short blocks of time alleviates stress without sacrificing your availability.Pay attention to your body signals. It’s easy to think that a headache is the result of dehydration, that a stomachache is the result of something you ate, and that an aching neck is from sleeping on it wrong, but that’s not always the case. Oftentimes, aches and pains are an accumulation of stress and anxiety. Burnout manifests in your body, so learn to pay attention to your body’s signals so that you can nip burnout in the bud. Your body is always talking, but you have to listen.Schedule relaxation. It’s just as important to plan out your relaxation time as it is to plan out when you work. Even scheduling something as simple as “read for 30 minutes” benefits you greatly. Scheduling relaxing activities makes certain they happen as well as gives you something to look forward to.Stay away from sleeping pills. When I say sleeping pills, I mean anything you take that sedates you so that you can sleep. Whether it's alcohol, Nyquil, Benadryl, Valium, Ambien, or what have you, these substances greatly disrupt your brain's natural sleep process. Have you ever noticed that sedatives can give you some really strange dreams? As you sleep and your brain removes harmful toxins, it cycles through an elaborate series of stages, at times shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams). Sedation interferes with these cycles, altering the brain's natural process. Anything that interferes with the brain's natural sleep process has dire consequences for the quality of your sleep, and you need adequate, quality sleep to avoid burnout.Get organized. Much of the stress we experience on a daily basis doesn’t stem from having too much work; it stems from being too disorganized to handle the work effectively. When you take the time to get organized, the load feels much more manageable.Take regular breaks during the workday. Physiologically, we work best in spurts of an hour to an hour and a half, followed by 15-minute breaks. If you wait until you feel tired to take a break, it’s too late—you’ve already missed the window of peak productivity and fatigued yourself unnecessarily in the process. Keeping to a schedule ensures that you work when you’re the most productive and that you rest during times that would otherwise be unproductive.Lean on your support system. It’s tempting to withdraw from other people when you’re feeling stressed, but they can be powerful allies in the war against burnout. Sympathetic family and friends are capable of helping you. Spending time with people who care about you helps you to remove yourself from the stresses of work and reminds you to live a little and have fun.Bringing It All TogetherIf these strategies don't work for you, then the problem might be your job. The wrong job can cause burnout in and of itself. In that case you'll have to decide what's more important: your work or your health.

Body & Mind 27 Jun 2017

how meditation benefits ceos

How Meditation Benefits CEOsBy Emma SappalaMindfulness is quickly following yoga in becoming a billion-dollar industry. It’s no surprise, then, that the popularity of meditation – one way to practice mindfulness – is also growing among CEOs and senior executives. Why are business leaders embracing meditation rather than, say, massage or ping-pong? Because there’s something to meditation that appears to benefit CEOs more than recreation or relaxation do alone.As CEO of the TLEX Institute, Johann Berlin specializes in bringing mindfulness training to CEOs and corporate teams. He says he’s seeing a growing interest among leaders in meditation as a way to build leadership skills – and achieve business goals. “Most of our new clients … are not sold by mindfulness as a novelty. They want to see how these approaches … are truly beneficial to existing priorities like retention, talent advancement, innovation.” For example, one of Berlin’s clients, a Fortune 25 company, has integrated mindfulness techniques into its high potentials program with the goal of creating agile and flexible mindsets as a foundation for leadership.The research on mindfulness suggests that meditation sharpens skills like attention, memory, and emotional intelligence. I spoke with a number of executives about their experiences with meditation, and saw again and again how their observations about meditation in the workplace connected back to the findings of academic research.Meditation builds resilience. Multiple research studies have shown that meditation has the potential to decrease anxiety, thereby potentially boosting resilience and performance under stress. That’s certainly been true for Alak Vasa, founder of Elements Truffles, who started meditating as a trader at Goldman Sachs and ITG. She claims meditation helped her keep fear and panic at bay, even under duress. “There was this one instance where the market tanked and there was panic on the desk. The trading desk was an organized riot. Thanks to my meditation practice, I was able to keep my composure and propose solutions to reduce the impact of the market crash.” Jonathan Tang, founder and CEO of VASTRM fashion, first introduced meditation to his staff after 9/11. “In the aftermath of 9/11, the employees at my company were noticeably shaky and distracted.  I decided to bring in a meditation facilitator to offer people the ability to sit silent for 20 minutes.  The room filled up quickly as people really needed an outlet for peace.   When the session was over, people who had never meditated before were filled with a sense of calm.  It helped them be more present at work and even carried forth to being more present with their families at home.”Meditation boosts emotional intelligence. Brain-imaging research suggests that meditation can help strengthen your ability to regulate your emotions.Archana Patchirajan, successful serial entrepreneur and CEO and Founder of Sattva, shared that in her early years as a leader, she wanted things to happen in her way and on her timeline. “I didn’t tend to understand what my team was going through. I would just get angry if they did not perform according to my expectations. ” Given research that shows anger’s impact on cardiovascular health, it is critical that leaders be able to manage their anger, and put themselves in others’ shoes. “Thanks to meditation I have developed patience.” Archana says. ”I have a better relationship with my team. Best of all, I maintain my peace of mind.”Dr. James Doty, a neurosurgeon at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, also values meditation for its ability to cultivate emotional intelligence. A colleague had developed a cutting-edge medical device, but the company he had started to develop and sell the device was on the rocks. Doty, an early investor, became the CEO. At a meeting with vital – but disgruntled – stakeholders, he faced an angry, unreasonable investor. He credits his mindfulness practice with helping him respond with empathy: “I paused and slowly took a few breaths… This led me to actually listen and understand not only his situation, but what he wanted and expected. By not responding in an emotional manner, it resulted in his not only becoming supportive but also becoming an ally in making the company a success. The company ultimately went public at a valuation of $1.3B. ”Meditation enhances creativity. Research on creativity suggests that we come up with our greatest insights and biggest breakthroughs when we are in a more meditative and relaxed state of mind. That is when we have “eureka” moments. This is likely because meditation encourages divergent thinking (i.e. coming up with the greatest number of possible solutions to a problem), a key component of creativity.Charly Kleissner credits meditation with helping him come up with new ideas and ventures that would otherwise not have occurred to him. “I co-founded the 100% IMPACT Network because of my meditation practice.”Meditation improves your relationships. While stress narrows your perspective and that of your team, and reduces empathy, negatively impacting performance, meditation can help boost your mood and increase your sense of connection to others, even make you a kinder and more compassionate person. Chirag Patel, CEO of Amneal Pharmaceuticals and Ernst & Young 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year, credits meditation with helping him feel more connected to his clients. “In a business you start connecting to your customer as your family rather than merely a business transaction.” The same goes for his relationships with his colleagues and staff.Meditation helps you focus. Research has shown that our minds have a tendency to wander about 50% of the time. Add in work interruptions, text messages, IMs, phone calls, and emails, and it’s no surprise that employees have a hard time staying focused. But studies show that meditation training can help curb our tendency for distraction, strengthening our ability to stay focused and even boosting memory.Peter Cooper, founder of Cooper Investors, attributes his ability to invest wisely to his meditation practice. “Being an investor requires the distillation of large volumes of information into a few relevant insights. Meditation has helped me discard interesting but unnecessary information and focus on the few things that make a difference to long run investment performance.”***Importantly, meditation is not just “one more thing to do.” If you’re thinking that you have enough on your plate and don’t need yet another thing, consider this advice that Arianna Huffington shared with me. “Although I’ve known its benefits since my teens, finding time for meditation was always a challenge because I was under the impression that I had to ‘do’ meditation. And I didn’t have time for another burdensome thing to ‘do.’ Fortunately, a friend pointed out one day that we don’t ‘do’ meditation; meditation ‘does’ us. That opened the door for me. The only thing to ‘do’ in meditation is nothing.”But as both research and experience show, doing nothing can have real results.  

Business 01 Jun 2017

wellness: the changing face of luxury

Wellness: The Changing Face of LuxuryBy Charlotte WoodingThe changing appetites of the next generation of the wealthy elite has meant that consumer spending has veered away from material goods. Where the principles of luxury once centred on extravagance and exclusivity, the focus today is shifting towards self-transformation and wellness.The impressive growth of the wellness market signals a new era for the luxury industry. Last year alone, the global market for health and wellness reached £539 billion and is expected to grow by a further 17 percent by 2021 to £640 billion, according to Euromonitor.One of the driving forces behind this growth is Millennials. This health-savvy generation is not choosing to spend on property or stock markets. Instead, Millennials are deeply invested in self-care and are willing to pay premiums for items such as organic food and drinks, boutique fitness classes and high-end athleisure attire as they strive to be the best versions of themselves.Given that 73 percent of Millennials would rather be healthy than wealthy, according to Cassandra, there’s clearly value for businesses to tap into this trend.It’s why more businesses are lining up to work with lifestyle brands, such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘Goop’. It may have come under fire for its complex diet plans and unorthodox cleanses, but Goop’s revenues have more than doubled from 2015 to 2016. And it’s just one of the many brands that are already reaping the rewards of increasingly health-conscious spenders. Self-improvement spacesAs wellness takes hold of luxury retail, brands are attempting gain standout and bring attention back to stores by launching fitness studios and wellness retreats.London department store Harrods has done just that by the opening its Wellness Clinic. Discreetly tucked away on Harrods' fourth floor, The Wellness Clinic is dedicated to wellbeing and beauty with world-renowned residents ready to transform you inside and out. With 14 luxury treatment rooms, two personal training studios and a photography room featuring a 3D imaging system which reveals how others see you (should you want to know), the clinic is at the pinnacle of self-care experience.Hot on the heels of Harrods, Saks Fifth Avenue has launched ‘The Wellery’ in its New York flagship, assisting consumers in living a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. The unique space offers immersive experiences dedicated to wellness, featuring a curated edit of more than 1,200 fitness classes, sought-after equipment, activewear and athleisure as well some of best skincare products and treatments.Similarly, Selfridges kicked off the launch of its inclusive Body Studio last year with a six-week pop-up workout studio in collaboration with Psycle and Yung Club. Now the largest department in the store, carrying everything from lingerie to loungewear, the Body Studio also features a clean eating café from Hemsley + Hemsley.Healthy-minded travelWith wellness enjoying its time in the sun, it’s no wonder that wellness tourism is hotter than ever.Regent Seven Seas Cruises is leveraging passengers’ desire to achieve well-being in mind and body with its new health-focused programmes. Starting this summer, guests cruising the Mediterranean with Seven Seas Voyager can take advantage of Seven Seas Wellness, which includes a series of excursions such as a Tai Chi class in the garden of the Pharo Palace in Marseilles, spa treatments and healthy eating.Meanwhile, the city of Beverly Hills, CA has mixed wealth and health in its latest tourism push to attract affluent travellers to the city. The ‘Weallth’ initiative kicked off earlier this month, gathering hospitality locations, restaurants and tapping experts in health to come together and showcase the city’s abundance of wellness options.  

Body & Mind 22 May 2017

how chronic stress is hurting your body

How Chronic Stress Is Hurting Your BodyBy: Cortney BelingChronic stress may be easy to ignore, but it deserves serious attention.Few illnesses are as endemic to modern society as chronic stress, and fewer still are so routinely ignored. We are so stressed so often that, for many of us, it’s become part of our baseline reality, hardly noticeable most of the time. For others, we wear our stress as a badge of honor, believing it shows how important, how busy, how productive we are, as if being relaxed were somehow synonymous with being lazy.We keep pushing through, not realizing that many of our mounting health problems?—?poor digestion, frequent illness, headaches, fatigue, insomnia (to name just a few)?—?are the direct result of this chronic aggravation. And even those of us who recognize that we have a problem are put off by how frustratingly vague stress management techniques seem to be. We can’t just pop a pill and see immediate, measurable results; we have to change our habits and build new ones, practicing them every single day, until a gradual shift takes place. It’s hardly the kind of instant gratification we’ve come to expect.Whether we acknowledge its presence in our lives or not, however, stress will take its toll, affecting us physically and psychologically in a variety of ways.Before we look at these, however, it’s important to understand some essentials of the nervous system. First is the autonomic nervous system, which regulates life-sustaining functions such as our heartbeat, temperature, and respiration. Extending from the brain to all the major organs of the body, this nerve network has two major divisions?—?the sympathetic nervous system, which triggers the “flight or flight” response in times of perceived threat, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms the body down when the threat has passed?—?the “rest and digest” state. Unfortunately, our body has no way of differentiating true danger, such as a hungry tiger, from psychological danger, such as a being late for a job interview, and the same physiological responses are triggered in both instances.Below are some of the major ways stress impacts the body.1. DigestionAn astounding 35 to 70% of people experience functional gastrointestinal disorders in their lifetime, and women more often than men. Despite having physical effects, like bloating, constipation, and abdominal pain, these disorders can’t be traced to physical causes. They are, however, directly impacted and exacerbated by stress. When we become stressed enough to activate the fight or flight response, the body directs all of its attention to dealing with the threat and away from nonessential functions?—?increasing heart rate and breathing, constricting blood vessels, and tightening muscles, but ceasing processes like digestion. After all, if we’re running from a tiger, our primary concern is hardly digesting the meal we just ate. Yet even mild levels of stress disrupt or slow down digestion. What’s worse, and somewhat ironically, the stress caused from gastrointestinal issues can in turn worsen their symptoms, resulting in an endless feedback loop of stress and discomfort.2. Immune SystemChronic stress also dampens the immune system, making us more prone to infections and slowing down wound healing?—?another nonessential function when faced with perceived mortal threats. Studies have shown, for instance, that people who report higher stress levels tend to stay longer in hospital after surgery and are more likely to experience infection-related complications, and be re-hospitalized in general, afterward. But overall and in general, stress leaves us vulnerable to illness.3. Musculoskeletal SystemWhen we’re hit by intense stress out of the blue, our muscles all tense up, all at once, releasing only once the threat has passed. Yet chronic, low level stress forces our muscles to be on guard all the time, anticipating the moment when they will need to spring into action and save us from danger. This can lead to both tension and migraine headaches, as well as chronic muscle tension and pain, particularly in the neck and shoulders. The more stressed we are, the more tense and constricted our muscles become, causing them to become fatigued and inefficient.Chronic stress impacts us in many other ways as well, causing things like irritability and mood swings, insomnia, and chronic fatigue, and leading us to consume more food, alcohol, and other substances. It also keeps us overweight, due to the effect cortisol has on our waistline, along with the impaired digestion and unhealthy food cravings mentioned previously.So now that we know just how bad stress is for our bodies and minds, what can we do to combat it?Stress RelieversMovementPhysical activity as a stress reducer has been studied extensively and is thought to be a highly effective way to manage stress. Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals in the brain that naturally relieve pain and boost mood, while simultaneously dampening the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. It also combats insomnia, one side effect of chronic stress, which in turn relieves the overall fatigue so common to the chronically stressed.Exercise can also be highly social or deeply meditative depending on the type and where it’s performed. In either instance, it allows you to disconnect from technology, work, and other stressors, and focus instead on the present moment, providing your mind with much-needed relief from the constant barrage of stressful thoughts and responsibilities.MeditationMeditation is another demonstrably potent stress management tool that activates the parasympathetic, or “rest and digest,” part of the nervous system. Anyone can do it and, contrary to popular belief, it’s not about stopping thoughts from happening?—?an impossible task (as anyone who has ever tried to not think of an elephant can attest). Rather, it’s about letting thoughts come and go without giving them our attention or passing judgment on them. We become the observer of our minds, learning to recognize that our thoughts do not form our core selves. They are simply thoughts, and we can choose to give them power or not.Meditation has many forms and can take as long, or as little, as you like?—?even just a minute can make a difference. With a wealth of resources on the internet to get you started, learning to meditate has never been more accessible. One of the more popular resources is an app called Headspace, which features an array of guided and unguided meditations and visualization techniques, of varying lengths and for varying concerns, such as depression, anxiety, relationships, or self-esteem.Breathing ExercisesWhether or not you practice meditation or yoga, both of which employ the breath and help manage stress, simple breathing exercises can deescalate even the most stressful situations in moments, and they can be practiced at any time, anywhere. When we are stressed, our breath naturally becomes quick and shallow. Simply by slowing and deepening our breathing, we can activate the parasympathetic nervous system and modulate our stress, tricking the body into relaxing by mimicking what being relaxed feels like.Try the following deep breathing exercise the next time you feel stressed:1. Place one hand on the belly and one on the chest.2. Take a slow, deep breath through the nose, allowing the belly to fully expand.3. Hold the breath for a few seconds.4. Release slowly through the mouth, thinking “relax.”5. Repeat 5 to 10 times, whenever you feel stressed or periodically throughout the day.Small Changes, Big RewardsChronic stress may be easy to ignore, but given the serious ramifications it has for your physical and emotional well-being, it deserves serious attention. By introducing these small measures into your life and practicing them daily, you will, over time, reap astonishing rewards. It’s worth the effort, and so are you.

Body & Mind 22 May 2017

30 behaviors that will make you unstoppable

30 Behaviors That Will Make You UnstoppableBy: Benjamin P HardyA lot of people are good at what they do. Some are even elite. A select few are completely unstoppable.Those who are unstoppable are in their own world. They don’t compete with anyone but themselves. You never know what they will do?—?only that you will be forced to respond. Even though they don’t compete with you, they make you compete with them.Are you unstoppable? By the end of this blog you will be.Let’s get started:1. Don’t think?—?know and act.“Don’t think. You already know what you have to do, and you know how to do it. What’s stopping you?”?—?Tim GroverRather than analyzing and thinking, act. Attuned to your senses, and with complete trust in yourself, do what you instinctively feel you should. As Oprah has said, “Every right decision I have ever made has come from my gut. Every wrong decision I’ve made was the result of me not listening to the greater voice of myself.”The moment you start thinking, you’ve already lost. Thinking swiftly pulls you out of the zone.2. Always be prepared so you have the freedom to act on instinct.“Just as the yin-yang symbol possesses a kernel of light in the dark, and of dark in the light, creative leaps are grounded in a technical foundation.”?—?Josh WaitzkinBecome a master of your craft. While everyone else is relaxing, you’re practicing and perfecting. Learn the left-brained rules in and out so your right brain can have limitless freedom to break the rules and create.With enhanced consciousness, time will slow down for you. You’ll see things in several more frames than others. While they’re trying to react to the situation, you’ll be able to manipulate and tweak the situation to your liking.3. Don’t be motivated by money or anything external.Having nice things is, well, nice. But for you, it’s never been about the money, prestige or anything else outside of you. Take these things away and nothing changes for you. You’re still going to be pushing your personal limits and giving it your all. Give these things to you and they won’t destroy you like they do most people.4. Never be satisfied.“The drive to close the gap between near-perfect and perfect is the difference between great and unstoppable.”?—?Tim GroverEven after you achieve a goal, you’re not content. For you, it’s not even about the goal. It’s about the climb to see how far you can push yourself.Does this make you ungrateful? Absolutely not. You’re entirely humbled and grateful for everything in your life. Which is why you will never get complacent or lazy.To quote Jim Rohn, “The way to enjoy life best is to wrap up one goal and start right on the next one. Don’t linger too long at the table of success, the only way to enjoy another meal is to get hungry.”5. Always be in control.Unlike most people, who are dependent on substances or other external factors, you are in control of what you put in your body, how you spend your time and how long you stay in the zone.Act based on instinct, not impulse. Just because you could doesn’t mean you do. And when you do, it’s because you want to, not because you have to.6. Be true to yourself.Although 70 percent of US employees hate their jobs and only one in three Americans report being happy, relentless and unstoppable people purge everything from their life they hate.Have the self-respect and confidence to live life on your terms. When something isn’t right in your life, change it. Immediately.7. Never let off the pressure.“Pressure can bust pipes, but it also can make diamonds.”?—?Robert HorryMost people can handle pressure in small doses. But when left to their own devices, they let off the pressure and relax.Not you. You never take the pressure off yourself. Instead, you continuously turn-up the pressure. It’s what keeps you alert and active.8. Don’t be afraid of the consequences of failure.Most people stay close to the ground, where it’s safe. If they fall, it won’t hurt that bad. But when you choose to fly high, the fall may kill you. And you’re OK with that. To you, there is no ceiling and there is no floor. It’s all in your head. If something goes wrong?—?if you “fail”?—?you adjust and keep going.9. Don’t compete with others. Make them compete with you.Most people are competing with other people. They continuously check-in to see what others in their space (their “competition”) are doing. As a result, they mimic and copy what’s “working.”Conversely, you’ve left all competition behind. Competing with others makes absolutely zero sense to you. It pulls you from your authentic zone. So you zone out all the external noise and instead zone in to your internal pressure to produce.10. Never stop learning.Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning. When you want to become the best at what you do, you never stop learning. You never stop improving and honing your skills and knowledge.Your unparalleled preparation is what gives you power. No one else is willing to pay the price you’ve paid.11. Success isn’t enough?—?it only increases the pressure.For most people, becoming “successful” is enough. However, when you’re relentless, success only increases the pressure to do more. Immediately following the achievement of a goal, you’re focused on your next challenge.12. Don’t get crushed by success.“Success can become a catalyst for failure.”?—?Greg McKeownMost people can’t handle success, authority or privilege. It destroys them. It makes them lazy. When they get what they want, they stop doing the very things that got them there. The external noise becomes too intense.But for you, no external noise can push harder than your own internal pressure. It’s not about this achievement, but the one after, and the one after that. There is no destination. Only when you’re finished.13. Completely own it when you screw up.“Implementing extreme ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.”?Jocko WillinkNo blame. No deception or illusion. Just the cold hard truth. When you mess up, you own it. And as the leader, you own it when your team fails. Only with extreme ownership can you have complete freedom and control.14. Let your work speak for itself.“Well done, is well said.”?—?Anthony LiccioneCal Newport’s book, Deep Work, distinguishes “deep work” from “shallow work.” Here’s the difference:Deep work is:RareHigh valueAnd non-replicable (i.e., not easy to copy/outsource)Shallow work is:CommonLow valueReplicable (i.e., anyone can do it)Talking is shallow. Anyone can do it. It’s easily replicated. It’s low value. Conversely, deep work is rare. It’s done by people who are focused and working while everyone else is talking. Deep work is so good it can’t be ignored.15. Always work on your mental strength.“Mental resilience is arguably the most critical trait of a world-class performer, and it should be nurtured continuously. Left to my own devices, I am always looking for ways to become more and more psychologically impregnable. When uncomfortable, my instinct is not to avoid the discomfort but to become at peace with it. My instinct is always to seek out challenges as opposed to avoiding them.”?—?Josh WaitzkinThe better you can be under pressure, the further you’ll go than anyone else. Because they’ll crumble under pressure.The best training you will ever do is mental training. Wherever your mind goes, your body follows. Wherever your thoughts go, your life follows.16. Confidence is your greatest asset.You’ve heard it before: Running a marathon is far more mental than physical. A person’s ability to run a marathon?—?or do anything hard?—?is more a reflection of their level of confidence than their actual ability.Your confidence determines:The size of challenges/goals you undertakeHow likely you will achieve those goalsHow well you bounce back from failuresIf you’re not confident, you will never put yourself out there in the first place. When you’re confident, you don’t care how many times you fail, you’re going to succeed. And it doesn’t matter how stacked the odds seem against you.17. Surround yourself with people who remind you of the future, not the past.When you surround yourself with people who remind you of your past, you’ll have a hard time progressing. This is why we get stuck in certain roles, which we can’t break free from (e.g., the fat kid or shy girl).Surrounding yourself with people who you want to be like allows you a fresh slate. You’re no longer defined by your past, only the future you are creating.According to “the Pygmalion Effect,” the expectations of those around you in large measure determines how well you perform.18. Let things go, but never forget.The science is clear: forgiveness improves not only your emotional health, but also your physical health.Being unstoppable requires carrying no unnecessary mental or emotional baggage. Consequently, you’ll need to immediately and completely forgive anyone who has wronged you. However, forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget. And it doesn’t mean you have to do further business with those who have wronged you.19. Have clear goals.“While a fixation on results is certainly unhealthy, short-term goals can be useful developmental tools if they are balanced within a nurturing long-term philosophy.”?—?Josh WaitzkinAccording to loads of psychology research, the most motivating goals are clearly defined and time-bound.Your goals can either be focused on your behaviors (e.g., I’m going to write 500 words per day) or on the outcomes you’re seeking (e.g., I’m going to get published on The New York Times by June 1, 2017).For most people, behaviorally-focused goals are the better and more motivating option. But when you crave the results so much that the work is irrelevant, your aim should be directed straight at the outcomes you want. However, results-focused goals are better when short-term and grounded in your long-term vision and philosophy. When your why is strong enough, the how will take care of itself.20. Respond immediately, rather than analyzing or stalling.“He who hesitates is lost.”?—?CatoAnticipation of an event is always more extreme than the event itself?—?both for positive and negative events.Just do it. Train yourself to respond immediately when you feel you should do something. Stop questioning yourself. Don’t analyze it. Don’t question if it came from God or from yourself. Just act.You’ll figure out what to do after you’ve taken action. Until you take action, it will all be hypothetical. But once you act, it becomes practical.21. Choose simplicity over complication.“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”?—?Albert EinsteinIt’s easy to be complicated. Most of the research and jargon in academia and business is over-complicated.Cutting to the core and hitting the truth is hard, because it’s simple. As Leonardo da Vinci has said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”Very few people will give you the truth. When you ask them a question, it gets mighty complicated. “There are so many variables” or “It depends” they say.T. S. Eliot said it best, “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”Wisdom is timeless and simple. Learn wisdom and choose it.22. Never be jealous or envious of someone else’s accomplishments.Being unstoppable means you genuinely want what’s best for everyone?—?even those you would consider your competitors. Jealousy and envy are the ego?—?which operates out of fear.The reason you are happy for other people’s success is because their success has nothing to do with you.You are in control of you. And you are different from every other person.There is no one who can do exactly what you can do. You have your own superpower with your own unique ability to contribute. And that’s what you’re going to do.23. Take the shot every time.“If I fail more than you, I win.”?—?Seth GodinYou miss every shot you don’t take. And most people don’t want to take the shot. Fear of failure paralyzes them.The only way you can become unstoppable is if you stop thinking about it. Just take the shot. Don’t do it only when it’s convenient or when you feel ready. Just go and make whatever adjustments you need after the fact.24. Don’t get caught up in the results of your success.Always remain focused on what got you those results: the work.When you start doing noteworthy stuff, there are benefits that can become distractions. It can get easy to “ride the wave” of your previous work. Keep practicing. Perfect your craft. Never forget what got you here.25. Think and act 10X.“When 10X is your measuring stick, you immediately see how you can bypass what everyone else is doing.”?—?Dan SullivanMost people?—?even those you deem to be “world class”?—?are not operating at 10X. In truth, you could surpass anyone if you radically stretch your thinking and belief system.Going 10X changes everything. As Dan Sullivan has said, “10X thinking automatically takes you ‘outside the box’ of your present obstacles and limitations.” It pulls you out of the problems most people are dealing with and opens you to an entirely new field of possibilities.When you take your goal of earning $100,000 this year and change it to $1,000,000, you’re forced to operate at a different level. The logical and traditional approach doesn’t work with 10X. As Shane Snow, author of Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success, has said,“10x progress is built on bravery and creativity instead. Working smarter.”The question is: Are you willing to go there? Not just entertain the thought for a second or two and then revert back to common thinking. No. Are you willing to sit with 10X thinking? Are you willing to question your own thought processes and open yourself to believing an entirely different set of possibilities?Could you convince yourself to believe in your 10X potential? Are you willing to undertake goals that seems lunacy, to you and everyone else? Are you willing to take the mental leap, trusting “the universe will conspire to make it happen”?10x thinking truly is hard to fathom until you experience. Once you experience it, you realize it not only possible, but even possibly conservative. Going from six figures to seven figures can happen within a few short years. If you think big enough, and are willing to act boldly and intelligently enough, it’s not that crazy.All the tools are in place in our global world. And if their not, then build them. There’s plenty of people doing it. You have no excuse, only that you don’t really want it, and are thus not willing to pay the price.26. Set goals that far exceed your current capabilities.“You need to aim beyond what you are capable of. You need to develop a complete disregard for where your abilities end. If you think you’re unable to work for the best company in its sphere, make that your aim. If you think you’re unable to be on the cover of TIME magazine, make it your business to be there. Make your vision of where you want to be a reality. Nothing is impossible.”?—?Paul ArdenIf your goals are logical, they won’t force you to create luck. Being unstoppable means your goals challenge you to be someone more than you currently are. As Jim Rohn has said, “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.”27. Make time for recovery and rejuvenation.“Wherever you are, make sure you’re there.”?—?Dan SullivanWhen you focus on results, rather than being busy, you’re 100 percent on when you’re working and 100 percent off when you’re not. This not only allows you to be present in the moment, but it allows you the needed time to rest and recover.Your ability to work at a high level is like fitness. If you never take a break between sets, you won’t be able to build strength, stamina and endurance. However, not all “rest” produces recovery. Certain things are more soothing than others.Recovering from my work generally consists of writing in my journal, listening to music, spending time with my wife and kids, preparing and eating delicious food, or serving other people. These things rejuvenate me. They make my work possible, but also meaningful.28. Start before you’re ready.“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”?—?Chinese ProverbMost people wait. They believe they can start after they have enough time, money, connections and credentials. They wait until they feel “secure.” Not people who are unstoppable.Unstoppable people started last year. They started five years ago before they even knew what they were doing. They started before they had any money. They started before they had all the answers. They started when no one else believed in them. The only permission they needed was the voice inside them prompting them to move forward. And they moved.29. If you need permission, you probably shouldn’t do it.A mentor of mine is a highly successful real estate investor. Throughout his career, he’s had hundreds of people ask him if they should “go into real-estate.”He tells every one of them the same thing: that they shouldn’t do it. In fact, he actually tries talking most of them out of it. And in most cases he succeeds.Why would he do that? “Those who are going to succeed will do so regardless of what I say,” he told me.I know so many people who chase whatever worked for other people. They never truly decide what they want to do, and end up jumping from one thing to the next?—?trying to strike quick gold. And repetitively, they stop digging just a few feet from the gold after resigning the spot is barren.No one will ever give you permission to live your dreams.30. Don’t make exceptions.Zig Ziglar used to tell a story of traveling one day and not getting in bed until 4 a.m. An hour and a half later (5:30), his alarm went off. He said,“Every fiber of my being was telling me to stay in bed.” But he had made a commitment, so he got up anyway. Admittedly, he had a horrible day and wasn’t productive at all.Yet, he says that decision changed his life. As he explains:“Had I bowed to my human, physical, emotional and mental desire to sleep in, I would have made that exception. A week later, I might have made an exception if I only got four hours of sleep. A week later, maybe I only got seven hours of sleep.The exception so many times becomes the rule. Had I slept in, I would’ve faced that danger. Watch those exceptions!”Hence, Zig was unstoppable.Conclusion“From this point, your strategy is to make everyone else get on your level, you’re not going down to theirs. You’re not competing with anyone else, ever again. They’re going to have to compete with you. From now on, the end result is all that matters.”?—?Tim GroverWhen you’re unstoppable, you will make sure to get what you want. Everything you need to know is already within you. All you need to do is trust yourself and act.

Other 02 May 2017

6 influential women leading the charitable charge

6 Influential Women Who Are Leading the Charitable Charge in the Magic City & BeyondFrom our Miami reporters; From a top TV personality to fierce entrepreneurs and stylish philanthropists, six of Miami's leading ladies have one thing in common: they are on a mission to encourage and empower others—not just in the 305, but across the globe. KAROLÍNA KURKOVÁThe Czech supermodel has conquered the catwalk, strutting her stuff for the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and landing countless campaigns for high-end fashion houses like Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Now, the blonde beauty balances modeling, motherhood, and giving back. What charities are you involved with right now?I work with Feeding America and amfAR [The Foundation for AIDS Research]. I did a campaign with Anna Wintour and a few female designers where we created products that were sold on Shopbop.com. All of the proceeds were given to moms in third-world countries who have HIV.How do you balance your career and personal life?It’s a learning process; having kids forces you to have balance. I am constantly learning how to manage my time more efficiently. I pay very close attention to nutrition and try to take care of myself. But my kids come first, because children really need that guidance and a lot of love and attention.Your childhood is not what people might expect.Growing up in a small town [in the Czech Republic] I got a lot of attention, but not in a good way. People would point at my long legs and stare at me. I never wore short skirts or shorts; I was always in pants trying to hide them. I was kind of insecure. I never thought of myself as a beautiful girl or that I could be a model.When was your first big break?At [14 years old], a friend of mine asked me if she could take pictures of me. And then, without telling me, she sent them to an agency. They called and said they would like to meet me in person. On one hand I was like, Oh my God, yes! and on the other, I wanted to kill my friend because she didn’t ask me. But if she had, I probably would have told her no, and I wouldn’t be where I am today.Philanthropy philosophy:We are a part of this planet, and we all need to help and empower others. ARLENE CHAPLINYogArt co-founder and Pérez Art Museum Miami Board of Trustees member Arlene Chaplin has made it her mission to fuse art, philanthropy, and fun in the Magic City.What drove you to become so involved in the community?From an early age, I saw my parents getting involved with and caring about the city. My dad was one of the first developers in Brickell, and he also dreamed of people staying, living, and working in downtown. So being a part of PAMM is amazing for me because he always felt like our city needed an arts and cultural center and that it helps to create a community.How do you find balance with all of your projects?Yoga, which is why I started YogArt. It’s exercise, but it helps your heart and soul, and I wanted to share that experience with others.YogArt went from a two-times-a-year event to a monthly ritual connecting the community. How does that make you feel?The heart of YogArt has always been about love. My two partners, Lee Brian Schrager and Dawn Feinberg, and myself all have something to share, but it’s all rooted in love and positive energy. And having [YogArt] events that people look forward to is incredibly rewarding. We’re planning on expanding to New York—stay tuned!What has been your biggest struggle?The number-one priority in my life is my children. I’m a mom first, then a wife, then hopefully a philanthropist. I want to be very loving and have an open relationship with my children, yet set guidelines and direct them on a great path. I think that if you give children good guidelines, then it’s a gift to the entire world, because having healthy children is very important for all of us.Philanthropy philosophy: I always try to be the best person I can possibly be, and I apply that to every aspect of my life.LISA PETRILLOAs CBS4’s lifestyle and entertainment reporter, Lisa Petrillo infuses our lives with glitz and glamour. Here, she talks about making it in the television industry while encouraging young girls along the way. How did you get your first big break?I knew Julio Iglesias very well through a family friend. At the time, the competing station was promoting an exclusive interview with him. I went to my news director and said, “I can get you an exclusive with Julio Iglesias at his house. I can show you what his bedroom looks like!” So off we went, and lo and behold, it was on the 11 o’clock news that night as the big exclusive.What’s been your biggest career challenge?There’s the challenge of being a mom and juggling my career. In the beginning I was part time, because I wanted to be with my kids. I even turned down an offer in LA that was going to have me in a big show, but that meant red carpets every night and not being home. I knew I wouldn’t be happy doing that.How has being a woman played a role in your career?In the beginning, it was hard. There were people who saw a young girl and didn’t want to take [me] seriously. But the power of the woman is so strong, and I think once you prove that you can do it just as well as a man, all bets are off.What charities are you involved with now?I am the honorary chair of Debbie’s Dream Foundation, which [aims] to stop stomach cancer. I was honored with the Broadcaster of the Year award in 2016, and am emceeing their annual gala again this year. I also work with Diabetes Research Institute Foundation and [host] their annual fundraising event called Out of the Kitchen.Do you feel responsible for setting an example for girls watching you on TV?I do. I love to talk to young girls about starting out and having them realize how hard it is. It’s not just about being on television. You have to write, produce, and know what you’re talking about. In this time of Instagram and selfies, being a journalist and keeping it real is the most important thing.Philanthropy philosophy:Giving and doing as much as you can for the charities and organizations that speak to you. I feel the best when I’ve contributed to something that’s close to my heart.MELISSA MEDINAExecutive vice president of tech advancement platform eMerge Americas, president of The Medina Family Foundation, and mother of five, Melissa Medina is seamlessly breaking tech (and stereotypical) boundaries. What challenges have you had to overcome?Being a woman, being Hispanic, being a mom, being the founder’s [eMerge’s Manny Medina] daughter. But I prefer to view them as drivers to prove to myself that I can push through. I was brought up by parents who encouraged me from a very young age to pursue whatever dream or passion I had. I never once thought that, because of these things, I couldn’t pursue a career.What is one of the most important lessons you’ve learned from your father?I don’t think I realized how truly blessed I am to have been raised by such an incredible man until later in life. Before that, he was just my dad. I realize now that I was raised by a mentor who taught me about sacrifice, determination, and perseverance.Tell us about the Medina Family Foundation.Through the Medina Family Foundation, we directly help local nonprofits that impact our community through education and youth [programs]. I serve on the boards of several of these organizations, and I [like] to get my children involved, too!How do you find balance?I think it is virtually impossible to have a perfectly balanced work-life schedule. I feel blessed to have such an incredible support system with an extremely supportive husband, mother, father, in-laws, and friends who all help me. If it weren’t for them, there would be no way that I could work and be a mom of five children under 10 years old!Philanthropy philosophy:It all goes back to the way my parents raised my brother and me; no matter how little or how much you have, it is important to give back whatever you can.SHANNON ALLENAfter her son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, Shannon Allen struggled to find fast but healthy food options, so she took matters into her own hands. Enter Grown, an all-organic and allergy-friendly restaurant at the forefront of the health-conscious movement.When was the moment you decided to create Grown?I’m a doer. I don’t believe in the words “no” or “impossible.” When my son Walker was diagnosed [with diabetes] and there were no healthy fast-food options when I needed them, I felt frustrated and defeated. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking, Shannon, nobody is going to come save you. I called my husband, [Miami Heat legend] Ray [Allen], and said, “If nobody’s got big enough balls to reinvent fast food, I’m going to do it.” That’s the moment Grown (8211 S. Dixie Hwy., Miami, 305-663-4769) was born.What does the future of Grown look like?We’re growing! We have two locations at Hard Rock Stadium, and they are the only USDA organic-certified fast-food concepts in an NFL arena. We’re opening in Orlando in Lake Nona inside of a Walmart. My dream is for every family, regardless of income or zip code, to be able to have access to organic fast food. With Grown living inside Walmart, a huge behemoth of a company that really cares, it truly makes us accessible to everyone.How do you balance business, marriage, and motherhood?I find balance in my family. They are my source of joy, and spending time with them is how I recharge my batteries. Ray and I try to steal our moments. We’ve been together almost 21 years, and it’s important to remember why we fell in love and to stay connected. And it’s crucial for our five children to know that they are the most important thing in our lives.Philanthropy philosophy:You can make an impact on someone’s life by sharing your time. It’s the small moments that really touch people.PETRA LEVINAn avid art collector and former Miss Germany, Petra Levin has dedicated her life to the arts and bettering the community, as evidenced by her tireless efforts with the American Cancer Society, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, and many more.How did you become an art collector?I always had a passion for contemporary art. I remember buying my first miniature Yves Klein sculpture many years ago. [But] becoming a collector doesn’t happen overnight. I [keep up with the industry] by reading numerous art magazines, visiting galleries, and devote a lot of time traveling regularly with my husband [beverage tycoon Stephen Levin] to various art fairs in Berlin, New York, and London.What is your opinion on women in the arts?Women have always been important to the art world as artists, curators, and directors, and have been historically underrated. To me, the most iconic [woman artist] is Louise Bourgeois. Her work has been so influential and boundary-breaking through her use of tools like radical abstraction and architectural interventions. She was one of the first artists in America to transcend gender [boundaries].What has been one of your biggest challenges?Public speaking. Coming from Germany and learning English has taken a lot of time and effort. But being involved with charities and giving many speeches [helped me] develop confidence.How do you recharge?Growing up, biking was part of our family activities. I still bike regularly on Miami Beach, and I devote time every day to exercise. But I also love playing with my two puppies, Feena and Friday, who I secretly call my “happy pills.” Their cuteness and unconditional love always make me smile!What do you love the most about living in the Magic City?Miami has such an incredible variety of the arts. And taking our boat out on the bay with friends and watching the most beautiful sunsets in America is something really special.Philanthropy philosophy:I believe that people who have achieved a degree of financial success in life have a moral obligation to give back to charitable causes.   

Body & Mind 18 Apr 2017

how to get fit for your holiday

HOW TO GET FIT FOR YOUR HOLIDAY (IN TWO MONTHS)Words by Mr Jamie MillarConsider this your two-month warning. There are only 60-odd days and counting until your holiday, which means that there are little more than 30 gym visits at best. Despite the plans you laid on New Year’s Day to sculpt an impeccable beach body, you’re facing the uncomfortable prospect of being forced to take your sofa physique on holiday.Even if you’re well-upholstered, the good news is that two months is plenty to substantially change your figure. But you don’t have the luxury of six months of bulking like a socially reclusive bodybuilder. Muscle will most dramatically alter your shape and consistency, but is time-consuming to construct in any real quantity; attempt to bulk too impatiently by piling up your plate and you’ll wind up puffy – or just plain fat.Blubber blurs definition, obscures your abs and is comparatively quick to shed. But if you’ve got no muscle to chisel around, then even if you do slim down, you’re practically inviting a bully to kick sand in your face, as supposedly happened to early 20th-century fitspiration Mr Charles Atlas when he was a 97lb (44kg).To look hot to globetrot at the last minute, follow the below principles and priority-board some brawn while losing only your excess baggage. Then come June, you’ll be fully ready to take your shirt off and put your Orlebars on.It’s possible to build muscle and burn fat simultaneously. Simply take four or five compound exercises – eg, squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, rows, bench and military presses – and perform them in a circuit. Aim for 8-10 reps with no to little rest between each exercise (30 seconds tops), and only a minute or two between circuits. Your heart and lungs will be pumping along with the iron, thereby stoking your metabolic furnace.“Strongman training is also amazing for muscle-building and fat-burning,” says Mr Tim Walker founder and head trainer of Evolution of Man Fitness, a London-based personal trainer who has transformed the staff of Men’s Health, GQ and Esquire with workouts that include pulling weighted sleds and flipping enormous tyres. “TV strongmen aren’t lean because they eat a dozen eggs, a packet of bacon and a whole loaf of bread for breakfast.”If your gym doesn’t have the necessary hardware, try loaded carries such as farmer’s walks: hold heavy dumbbells or kettlebells by your sides and, well, walk until your grip gives up. You need to get moving – fast. Far too many gym-goers plod away interminably on the treadmill, going nowhere slowly. Instead, do sprints for 15-30 seconds – ideally outside, where you can go flat out, recovering for a minute or two between maximal efforts by walking back. Repeat this for 10 to 30 minutes in total, not including warm-up and cool-down.While this might feel painful, and surprisingly quick, the afterburn (post-exercise oxygen consumption) will leave you burning calories long after your workout – at a much higher rate than after conventional steady-state cardio. If you don’t want to head outside, this theory can also be applied in the gym with high-intensity bursts on the rowing machine, static bike or battle ropes.In anticipation of the sun coming out and your guns being unholstered, you’ll likely dedicate even more time than usual to polishing those most fetishised of muscles, the biceps. But it’s your triceps – on the underside of your biceps – that constitute two-thirds of your total arm mass. So if you want to strain your sleeves, or remove them altogether, then prioritise your tris as you’ll need them for big compound moves such as bench and military presses (and thus your overall progress). Close-grip benches, dips and push-ups will all help with definition, as will the classic rope press-down when done properly: upper arms pinned, shoulders down.Speaking of which, boulder shoulders will enhance your appearance more than arms. As well as the standard-issue military press, lateral raises will add width, while reverse flys will improve your posture. Mr Brian Nguyen of LA’s Brik Fitness prescribes TRX inverted rows to bolster the shoulders of his client Mr Mark Wahlberg: “For arms to be able to grow, they have to have a foundation.” Happily, inverted rows also fire your guns. No matter how compelling the pseudoscience is, all diets ultimately work on the same basic principle: if you want to lose weight, eat less and move more. If you’re bulking, then eat more and supplement with iron (in barbell form). As a guide, Mr Walker recommends you “eat lots of green veg, lean and fatty meats (or vegetarian options), as well as good fats with every meal: think nuts, oils, avocado, etc.” He also recommends that you “stick to complex carbs, such as brown rice, sweet potato, quinoa, oats… and try to have low-sugar berries as your fruit.”Carbs help fuel intense workouts and healthy fats will help with satiety and sanity, but what you should watch is your sugar intake. “Refined sugar is nutritionally pointless. Just cut it out and only have it with a cheat meal if you must,” says Mr Walker. Usual suspects aside, be wary of “healthy” snack and protein bars, juices (you’d never eat that much fruit in one sitting) and alcoholic drinks, which also dampen your willpower. However tight your summer holiday deadline and your belt, don’t panic. Why? Cortisol, the so-called stress hormone, predisposes you to stockpile fat (particularly around your waist) and eats muscle for the breakfast (that you skipped because you were too busy). More prosaically, if you’re stressed, training and eating well are often the first casualties. And even if you do manage to hit the gym, so precarious is your immune system that you could get sick.Try meditating for 10-20 minutes first thing every morning, using a guided app such as Headspace or Calm. And get some sleep, which is vital for recovery, immunity and regulating cravings.But last, coffee. Caffeine is a tremendously effective, natural pre-workout supplement (and pretty much the only conclusively proven one) that helps you do more work in the gym. Too much, though, of what celebrated CrossFit coach Mr Kelly Starrett refers to as a “cup of fear” can raise cortisol. Stick to one in the morning – two if you’re training – or all those skinny lattes will end up fat.

Body & Mind 12 Apr 2017

tweaks for a perfect night’s sleep

FIVE EASY LIFESTYLE TWEAKS FOR A PERFECT NIGHT’S SLEEP Dr Jim Brown is a consultant physician and sleep specialist at the Centre for Human Health and Performance, 76 Harley Street London, which recently launched its sleep clinic.I treat sleep disorders and optimise sleep for everyone from office workers to elite performance athletes. Lack of sleep causes poor performance at work, low moods, weight gain and chronic ill health including increased risk of diabetes. Seven in 10 people sleep less than seven hours (seven to nine hours is the recommended amount). Key indicators of quality sleep include sleeping more than 85 per cent of your total time in bed, and falling asleep within 30 minutes.In today’s society, there is a vogue for always being connected, leading to insufficient time to wind down before bedtime. Stress and anxiety are big factors in sleep duration, quality and can lead to established insomnia. Ingesting the likes of caffeine to keep us “on top of our game” further affects our ability to sleep. Also, our bodies are influenced by external stimuli – including temperature and the “light-dark cycle” – along with internal biological processes that govern our sleep/wake cycle. This is known as the circadian rhythm.To optimise your sleep cycle and ensure you set yourself up for the perfect night’s sleep, here are five key things to introduce to your daily routine.USE YOUR BEDROOM FOR TWO THINGS ONLYIt is important to keep the circadian queues as regular as possible, and this involves keeping a regular bed and wake time. This schedule should be constant throughout the seven-day week. Catching up on sleep at the weekend – “social jet lag” – should be avoided. Having a bedtime routine should include a wind-down period. Some people find reading or relaxation techniques helpful. Write down tasks for the morning so that they are not playing on the mind at night. The bedroom should be reserved only for sleep and sex and should be dark, cool and without electronic devices including phones and TV. A warm shower helps because the subsequent drop in core temperature is a signal to the body that it is time to sleep.EXERCISE 150 MINUTES A WEEKExercise helps enormously with sleep. Research shows that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise weekly can improve sleep quality by up to 65 per cent. However, timing is important. Excessive late-evening exercise is known to cause sleep disturbance in the early part of the night.USE YOUR PHONE IN THE MORNINGAvoiding excessive light in the evenings is important, especially LED spotlights and blue light from screens close to the face. Our circadian rhythm is easily disrupted with artificial light and in particular the short wavelength light emitted by screens and handheld devices. Abnormal amounts of evening light supress a hormone called melatonin that prepares us for sleep. Glasses with lenses that filter out short wavelength light may be helpful in people who are unable to avoid these sources of artificial light. Bright light in the morning however boosts alertness and improves mood as well as ensuring the circadian rhythm is properly entrained.NO CHOCOLATE AFTER LUNCHWe all metabolise caffeine at different rates, but people who have difficulty sleeping should avoid consuming it in all forms (including chocolate) after lunch. Half the quantity of caffeine consumed at 6.00pm will still be circulating around the blood stream at midnight. Heavy and/or spicy meals late at night can cause heartburn, which effects sleep. Ideally the evening meal should be eaten at least two hours before bedtime with a light snack prior to bed if required. Milk has been proposed as the ideal drink at bedtime due to the combination of protein and electrolytes it contains, along with tryptophan which is the precursor amino acid to melatonin. Alcohol causes sleep fragmentation and less deep sleep.TAKE A NAPTaking a daytime nap has long been viewed as the preserve of the unmotivated. During the early afternoon there is a natural dip in alertness. This is part of the circadian cycle and the time for a siesta. Recent research has shown positive benefits of a short nap (of less than 30 minutes) in improving mood and productivity. Naps longer than this should be avoided as you will slip into the deeper stages of sleep and wake feeling groggy. People with difficulties falling or staying asleep at night should avoid sleeping during the day. 

Body & Mind 10 Apr 2017

miami nutritionists share healthy eating tips

Miami Nutritionists Share Healthy Eating Tips to Help You Maintain Your Beach Bod Year-RoundBooze, brunch, and bikinis are the three staples of summertime. Before spring ends, make sure to follow these handy tips from Miami’s top nutritionists on how to get your physique (and maintain it) throughout the summer season. Hint: Greens before sweets.Marissa CiorciariThe founder of Haute Body Nutrition believes being healthy is always in style...and so are vegetables."I recommend keeping to a diet that is made up mostly of plants—meaning plenty of vegetables (with all or most meals), fruits, nuts, beans, and seeds. My clients see great results by reducing processed grains and fibers, and replacing [them] with healthy fibers and fats from real plants such as avocados, walnuts, berries with chia pudding, sweet potatoes dusted with crushed pecans, etc. When you combine whole natural foods and an active lifestyle, you set your metabolism up for long-term success!"Bianca KlotsmanHolistic RX focuses on nutrition, wellness, and fitness. Follow Bianca Klotsman, and you’ll find delicious recipes, weight management programs, plus a stellar 30-day bridal glow plan. Her tip for a year-long summer body? Combine healthy foods with a daily sweat. "Nutrition-dense whole foods and a daily sweat are the foundation of the ultimate beach body! Listening to your body and giving it the nutrition-dense whole foods that it's craving is going to give you that year-long beach body—not just the seasonal summer body. I don't believe in a one-size-fits-all diet [so] you have to find a personalized regimen that's right for you, and your body will thank you for that."Dr. Matthew CooperKnown to most as the "Enzyme Doctor," Dr. Matthew Cooper of USA Sports Therapy suggests an individualized diet based on one’s chemistry to reach and maintain your fitness goals. "We all have unique bodies and each one is not the same. Improving your overall health by using enzyme therapy will help in particular to speed up metabolism, eliminate toxins, and allow your thyroid and adrenal glands to function better to expedite weight loss."Dina GarciaAt Vida Nutrition, dietician and nutritionist extraordinaire Dina Garcia will teach you how to live a healthy and stress-free lifestyle with four easy ingredients: protein, fat, fiber, and fluid—all of which will take your bikini body to the next level (and keep it there). "Having a beach body only takes two simple steps: Step 1: Have a body. Step 2: Put it on a beach. BAM, instant beach body! It's so easy to get caught in the 'comparisonitis' trap where we compare ourselves to others or how we used to look, especially when we slip into a bathing suit. Focus more on having fun at the beach than how you look. On the flip side of that, it is important to love and respect your body by taking care of it. To keep your body healthy and feeling its best, make sure to stay well hydrated, get plenty of feel-good exercise, eat a diet that is PF3-balanced (PF3 stands for protein, fat, fiber, and fluid) and most importantly, eat when you are hungry but stop before you are full—while making sure to enjoy every bite."Monica AuslanderThis summer, you can have your cake and eat it, too…as long as you follow Monica Auslander’s guidance at Essence Nutrition. The best part of her advice? Snacking. "Keep snacks in your purse and at your desk. Snacks put the 'fun' in functional, and they bridge the gaps between meals so that we don't over-eat when mealtimes come around. Wholesome snacks keep your blood sugar stable and reduce cravings, which could seriously derail maintaining what you've worked so hard for in that bikini!Some Essence Nutrition snacks? For the purse: Try Shanti Bars, a local brand packed with fiber and protein. Also, KIND Bars, but only the varieties that have less than five grams of sugar. For the kitchen, take six ounces of plain, 2% Greek yogurt, and season with oregano, sea salt, garlic, and turmeric. Rinse a can of chickpeas and drain, then pat try. Season it with a bit of avocado oil, and bake it in the oven or toaster oven until crispy and light brown. Pour them into the yogurt for a savory Mediterranean yogurt bowl."

Body & Mind 27 Mar 2017

fontainebleau miami beach's wellness escape

6 Workouts You Can't Miss at Fontainebleau Miami Beach's Wellness EscapeWhether you’re on top of your fitness game or just starting out on your wellness journey, Fontainebleau Miami Beach's Wellness Escape (happening April 7-9) will not disappoint in the fitness arena. Here, the top six workouts you can look forward to during the weekend-long wellness retreat.Barry’s Bootcamp is known for its cardio and strength building workouts that burn 1,000 calories in an hour. They’ll be at Fontainebleau Miami Beach during the Wellness Escape hosting fitness activations at the gym and Ocean Lawn so you can give their workouts a try. Don't forget to check out their smoothie bar at the Wellness Lounge & Marketplace to refuel, and to stop in their pop-up shop with apparel to upgrade your workout gear.Maybe yoga is more your thing and you’re looking for a local studio you can call home. You're in luck: greenmonkey® yoga is on the roster of workouts to try during the wellness retreat offering classes for experienced and novice yogis.Make sure to bring your dancing shoes because 305 Fitness will be kicking off the Wellness Escape with a high-energy, cardio dance party—Miami style. With the music pounding and Miami’s electric nightlife energy filling the air, you can brush up on your dance moves. Prepare to be dripping in sweat by the time the session is over.SoulCycle will also be in the house with demonstrations at the Wellness Lounge & Marketplace. If you’ve being dying to see what all the fuss is about, here’s your chance. Find out why so many riders have been raving about the indoor cycling workout. Tone House is for the wellness junkie who likes to train hard. The athlete-inspired workouts are tough, competitive, and really push you to your limit. They’ll be hosting activations for your upper and lower body, so come prepared to give it your all and tap into your inner athlete. Last but not least, Wellness Escape at Fontainebleau will culminate on a high note with one major morning dance party with Daybreaker. The experience is one that will really ignite a love for wellness in you and inspire you to continue on the journey. Start the day with a yoga session to set your intentions for the day before you let loose on the dance floor and have the time of your life.

Body & Mind 14 Mar 2017

256 years old man breaks the silence

What is the longest a person has ever lived for? Meet Li Ching Yuen, a man who lived an astonishing 256 years!  And no, this is not a myth or a fictional tale.According to a 1930 New York Times article, Wu Chung-chieh, a professor of the Chengdu University, discovered Imperial Chinese government records from 1827 congratulating Li Ching-Yuen on his 150th birthday,  and further documents later congratulating him on his 200th birthday in 1877. In 1928, a New York Times correspondent wrote that many of the old men in Li’s neighborhood asserted that their grandfathers knew him when they were boys, and that he at that time was a grown man.Li Ching Yuen reportedly began his herbalist career at the age of 10, where he gathered herbs in mountain ranges and learned of their potency for longevity. For almost 40 years, he survived on a diet of herbs such as lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shoo wu and gotu kola and rice wine. In 1749, at the age of 71, he joined the Chinese armies as teacher of martial arts.  Li was said to be a much-loved figure in his community, marrying 23 times and fathering over 200 children.According to the generally accepted tales told in his province, Li was able to read and write as a child, and by his tenth birthday had traveled in Kansu, Shansi, Tibet, Annam, Siam and Manchuria gathering herbs. For the first hundred years he continued at this occupation. Then he switched to selling herbs gathered by others. He sold lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shou wu and gotu kola along with other Chinese herbs, and lived off a diet of these herbs and rice wine. He Wasn’t The Only OneAccording to one of Li’s disciples, he had once encountered an even older 500-year-old man, who taught him Qigong exercises and dietary recommendations that would help him extend his lifespan to superhuman proportions. Apart from Qigong and a herb-rich diet, what else can we learn from this Master of Longevity?How about this: On his death bed, Li famously said, “I have done all that I have to do in this world”. Could his peaceful last words also hint at one of the biggest secrets to a long and prosperous life? It’s interesting to note that in the West, we’re often taught to believe that aging is something that must be “beaten” with high tech infrared devices and state of the art medication.His Secret To Long Health:Li was asked what his secret was to longevity. This was his reply: “Keep a quiet heart, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon and sleep like a dog.” These were the words of advice Li gave to Wu Pei-fu, the warlord, who took Li into his house to learn the secret of extremely long life.Li maintained that inward calm and peace of mind combined with breathing techniques were the secrets to incredible longevity. Obviously, his diet would have played a large role. But its fascinating that the old living person in recorded history attributes his long life to his state of mind. Why Is This So Hard To Believe?With the average lifespan for the Western world currently sitting between 70-85 years, the thought of someone living over 100 years old seems like quite the stretch. The thought of someone living over 200 years old seems extremely suspicious. But why don’t we believe that people can live this long?We have to keep in mind that some people in this world don’t live a grueling 9-5 lifestyle, they don’t have to deal with the stresses of debt, they aren’t breathing polluted city air, and they exercise regularly. They don’t eat refined sugars or flour, or any foods that have had pesticides sprayed on them. They aren’t living off of the standard American diet.They aren’t eating fatty meats, sugary deserts, and genetically modified foods. No antibiotics. No alcohol and no tobacco. Their diets not only exclude junk foods that we so often indulge in, they also include superfoods and herbs which are like steroids for our organs and immune system. They also spend their spare time in nature practicing breathing techniques and meditating which have been proven to improve mental, physical, and emotional health. They keep things simple, get proper sleep, and spend a great deal of time in nature under the sun. When we get a chance to relax in the sun, we feel instantly rejuvenated and call this a “vacation”. Imagine spending a lifetime doing that in the mountains, and combining that with perfect mental, spiritual, and physical well-being.I do not doubt for a minute that if we all did the things we knew we were supposed to do, that living to be 100 years old would be commonplace. When we treat our bodies right, who knows how long we can live for?Originally written by Steven Bancarz and published on Spirit Science and Metaphysics

Body & Mind 27 Feb 2017

denmark to be the world’s 1st 100% organic nation

Bhutan announced its plan to become the world’s first 100% organic nation in 2013, but it now has some competition. That’s right, Denmark’s government announced its plan to become Earth’s first 100% organic nation – and it has a solid plan of accomplishing that feat. According to OrganicVeganEarth, the Scandinavian country is already the most developed country in the world concerning the amount of organic products it exports. In fact, the country’s national organic brand will soon celebrate its 25th year in business – making it one of the oldest organic brands in the world!Since 2007, the Danish economy has been boosted by 200%, thanks to organic exports. Because the trend to opt for pesticide-free foods continues to increase, the government made the bold choice to accumulate 53 million Euros in 2015 to transform Denmark into an organic country. Now, it’s only a matter of time before the nation achieves its goal. The government intends to tackle the task of turning Denmark into a 100% organic country by working on two different fronts. First, it will give a boost to turn traditional farmland into organic and stimulate increased demand for pesticide-free products.In the 67-point document drafted by Økologiplan Danmark, it is explained that the aim is to double the agricultural land cultivated with organic methods by 2020. The Organic Action Plan for Denmark explains that the land belonging to the government will be cultivated using organic and biodynamic methods, and independent, small-scale farmers will also receive the finances and support to transform their own crops to be 100% organic (livestock included). Money will also be allotted to developing new technologies and ideas capable of promoting growth.The second part involves promoting the nation’s transition to organic. All institutions in Denmark should be on board with promoting pesticide-free, biodynamically-grown crops and produce. The first target is to ensure that 60% of food served to the public is organic. Schools and hospitals are especially expected to respect the country’s initiative.Let’s hope Denmark succeeds and sets an example for the rest of the world to follow!

Body & Mind 10 Feb 2017

an healthy nation

AN HEALTHY NATION: LETTUCE BELIEVE!By Kristina, founder and chief co-operator of our beloved Rawfully Organic! www.rawfullyorganic.comOur nation is unhealthy. While some may be practicing good health, more are unhealthy than healthy. I think now more than ever people are looking for health. Not just any type of health, but a solution to unease; a means to dissatisfaction. Society continuously searches for the “quick fix” to some of the most deep-rooted issues; yet, these self-destructive habits cannot be changed overnight. The solution seems to be complicated, but it is actually simple. The question is: are you brave enough to embark on the journey to ultimate body freedom?When I first went FullyRaw almost 10 years ago, I had no idea the transformation that would take place. Fruits and vegetables would change my life? Really? Sure, why not. If you eat them you feel better physically, right? YES. As a result, I found perfect physical health! Ironically, I didn’t expect for the rest of my life to change. My mindset changed, my emotions changed, and my heart changed. All of the things that I truly wanted for myself, I finally envisioned the manifestation for these possibilities. More importantly, I saw myself as worthy to have them. Then, I developed the bravery to take the steps towards making them happen. What desires and dreams and I speaking of specifically?Before when I was hyperglycemic, I always dreamed of having the perfect health, perfect body, and perfect confidence. Ironically, I saw this “Kristina” in my head, but I never acted like her in real life. She was my prototype. Becoming FullyRaw was like skydiving: I took the leap with complete faith that the person I wanted to become would manifest as a beacon of health inspiration to show the world what is possible through raw living. Eat raw isn’t just about the food, but it is just about the food. My transformation started with fruits and veggies; here I still stand with fruits and veggies. Am I in the same place? Yes and no. I eat just as clean as I did when I first started this journey; however, I stand before you transformed. I’m in a new element of confidence, happiness, healthiness, self-love, community love, family love, and hope.I do believe in the power of fruits and veggies. Anyone who has tried a bite of what raw wants another bite. There is something about eating raw that not only makes you CRAVE the fresh food, but also the image of what your body would be like completely PURE. Not to mention, there is something about being totally tied to the earth in a way that connects you with all living things. You turn ON, and there is no going back without an inner subconscious battle. So why not do it? Why not serve as a light, an inspiration to everyone you know?Drug companies dish out a different type of drug that has our nation in a downward spiral. Smoking. Drinking. Hate. Contamination. Littering. Pesticides. Hate. Self-Banter. Rudeness. Our nation is unhealthy. Fewer live in harmonic peace with their bodies and with the earth than not. But, this HARMONY is what we SEEK. It is that of which we dream. Take that step. What can help us? What can get to the root of the problem? What has the power to CHANGE our NATION? What has the power to save humanity when everything else feels like it’s crumbling beneath our feet? Can the solution be as simple as fruits and vegetables?Deceivingly enough, the simple solution is not a pill. While a pill appears to be a small, harmless antidote, it serves as a metaphoric representation of evil. It is white, colorless, and lifeless. Place it next to a perfectly juicy and plump blueberry and physically see the difference. One oozes juice; the other does not. One has life; the other does not. When we eat REAL FOOD, we have life. Real food HAS LIFE. Raw food is life: LIFE-GIVING.I believe in the power of fruits and veggies to create change infinitely. I often imagine a world where fruits and veggies are growing EVERYWHERE. A healthy nation where everyone is in-tune with their bodies and with the earth and where everyone is truly blissful. I have a dream of living in perfect, respectful, and loving harmony with all living creatures. Do you see this vision? I hope that you do, and I hope that you help me to create it one fruit and veggie at a time. If you struggle with eating raw, take it one day at a time. Start with simply enjoying meals of fruit and enjoying the abundance before you. Watch this transform you, and enjoy this journey. Open your heart to change and LOVE every experience. YOU CAN HELP OUR NATION. I’ll be right there beside you enjoying the same. I BELIEVE. DO YOU?

Body & Mind 25 Jan 2017

meditation to drive business success

How Meditation Actually Works to Drive Business SuccessWhen you’re a busy entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in your work. It’s easy to become distracted by your never-ending to-do list. But this is also a dangerous place to be.Stillness and mindfulness are essential to our wellbeing - and they should be a priority for every businessperson.By now, you’ve probably read hundreds of posts explaining the benefits of meditation - increased positive emotions, improved memory, reduced loneliness, stronger social connection, and decreased stress, to name a few.Perhaps you’ve tried it a couple of times before - or maybe you even made a regular practice out of it for a while. But then you let go of the habit, got bored, or grew frustrated by a lack of results.If this sounds like you, I’m hoping this post will convince you to try again.Why You Should Make Meditation a HabitMost of us won’t actually feel the benefits of meditation until we’ve been practicing for a solid period of time. Remember, it takes 21 days to build a habit.I’ve been meditating regularly for years now, and I’ve learned so much about myself and my business through this practice.Don’t just take it from me, though. Look to other successful entrepreneurs and celebrities who are benefiting from meditation. Richard Branson says meditation is incredibly important for success. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, rises at 5:30 every morning to meditate. Katy Perry is also a huge fan of meditation.Meditation can be uncomfortable for those who are just starting out. How can you find motivation to change your behavior and start incorporating meditation practice into your daily life? Block off 5 minutes every day at the same time to meditate. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, after lunch, or before bed, build some consistent practice into your day.  Choose meditations that are relevant to you. There are so many meditations to choose from; select those that are designed to help you with what you are wanting to achieve in your life, whether that is abundance, health or clarity.  Keep it simple. There are many forms of meditation to practice, but mindful breathing is a great place to start. If you’re struggling to make sitting meditation a daily habit, try walking. My meditations are recorded as mp3s, meaning you can save them on your phone and take them with you wherever you go. To Your Success and Happiness and ah-ha moments. 

Body & Mind 12 Jan 2017

crazy health tricks that really work

Crazy health tricks that really workMany methods to improve your health are pretty straightforward: to lose weight, eat less and exercise more; to boost your energy, get more sleep; to prevent dehydration, drink more water. Others, however, are totally counterintuitive. The following tips really do work—but they may leave you scratching your head.Drink coffee to have a better napIn a Japanese study that examined how to make the most of a nap, people who took a "coffee nap"—consuming about 200 milligrams of caffeine (the amount in one to two cups of coffee) and then immediately taking a 20-minute rest—felt more alert and performed better on computer tests than those who only took a nap.Why does this work? A 20-minute nap ends just as the caffeine kicks in and clears the brain of a molecule called adenosine, maximizing alertness. "Adenosine is a byproduct of wakefulness and activity," says Allen Towfigh, MD, medical director of New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine. "As adenosine levels increase, we become more fatigued. Napping clears out the adenosine and, when combined with caffeine, an adenosine-blocker, further reduces its effects and amplifies the effects of the nap."For healthy teeth, don't brush after eatingDon't brush your teeth immediately after meals and drinks, especially if they were acidic. Acidic foods—citrus fruits, sports drinks, tomatoes, soda (both diet and regular)—can soften tooth enamel "like wet sandstone," says Howard R. Gamble, immediate past president of the Academy of General Dentistry. Brushing your teeth at this stage can speed up acid's effect on your enamel and erode the layer underneath. Gamble suggests waiting 30 to 60 minutes before brushing. To wear a smaller size, gain weightMuscle weight, that is. If two women both weigh 150 pounds and only one lifts weights, the lifter will more likely fit into a smaller pant size than her sedentary counterpart. Likewise, a 150-pound woman who lifts weights could very well wear the same size as a 140-pound woman who doesn't exercise. The reason: Although a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle, muscle takes up less space, says Mark Nutting, fitness director of SACO Sport & Fitness in Saco, Maine. "You can get bigger muscles and get smaller overall if you lose the fat," he says. "The bulk so many women fear only occurs if you don't lose fat and develop muscle on top of it." Cut back on calories and add weight to your workout to lose inches.To eat less, eat moreGrabbing a 100-calorie snack pack of cookies or pretzels may seem virtuous, but it's more likely to make you hungrier than if you ate something more substantial, says Amy Goodson, RD, dietitian for Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine. "Eating small amounts of carbohydrates does nothing but spike your blood sugar and leave you wanting more carbs." Goodson recommends choosing a protein such as peanut butter or string cheese with an apple. "They are higher in calories per serving, but the protein and fat helps you get full faster and stay full longer—and you end up eating fewer calories overall," she says.Skip energy drinks when you're tiredEnergy drinks contain up to five times more caffeine than coffee, but the boost they provide is fleeting and comes with unpleasant side effects like nervousness, irritability, and rapid heartbeat, says Goodson. Plus, energy drinks often contain high levels of taurine, a central nervous system stimulant, and upwards of 50 grams of sugar per can (that's 13 teaspoons worth!). The sweet stuff spikes blood sugar temporarily, only to crash soon after, leaving you sluggish and foggyheaded—and reaching for another energy drink.Drink water when you're bloatedWhen you feel bloated, drinking water sounds as if it would only make matters worse, but it can often help, says James Lee, MD, gastroenterologist with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif. If you're on a high-fiber diet, for instance, then your body needs more water to work more efficiently, says Dr. Lee. "Water mixes with water soluble fiber and makes it into a gel like substance. This affects the motility of the gut and reduces the symptom of bloating." Drinking more water also relieves bloating caused by dehydration. When you're dehydrated, your body clings to the water your body does have, causing you to puff up.Drink a hot beverage to cool off Which will cool you off faster on a steamy summer morning: iced coffee or hot? Two recent studies say the latter—and so do other cultures where drinking hot tea in hot weather is the norm, like in India. When you sip a hot beverage, your body senses the change in temperature and increases your sweat production. Then, as the sweat evaporates from your skin, you cool off naturally.Exercise when you're tiredAfter a long, exhausting workday, exercising sounds like the last thing you'd want to do, but getting your sweat on will actually energize you. Fatigue along with mood and depression improved after a single 30-minute moderate intensity exercise session, according to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. "Everything we do uses oxygen, so when you exercise it helps you work more efficiently and you don't tire as easily," says Nutting. "You also function better mentally."To improve your relationship, spend less time togetherJumping from one social event to another without any time to come up for air could sacrifice the quality of your relationships. Spending time alone allows you to process your thoughts rather than act impulsively and, as a result, you get to know yourself better, says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, author of Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love. "Alone time enables you to be more in touch with yourself and can better give and receive," Lombardo says. "In addition, it reduces stress and anxiety, which could also contribute to relationship strains." Meditate, go for a walk, sit in a café and people watch, or even clean out your closet, she suggests. 

Body & Mind 03 Jan 2017

3 quick questions for a simpler and happier 2017

“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights”2016 came to an end I’d like to quickly share  3 of my favorite questions of all time that can help you shape 2017 into 365 days that will be simpler, happier and self-kinder.Stay safe, enjoy your New Year’s celebration!1. Is this useful?It’s very easy to spend a lot of time on things that do not really matter much. To spend hours, days or even weeks on being angry at someone, replaying a mistake or failure in one’s mind or to dwell on something negative and feeling more and more like a victim.So I try to ask myself this question as often as I can to question and confront my own thoughts.  To catch myself and to wake myself up when I get stuck in negative thought loops going round and round.By doing so I:Suffer less.Waste less time on going round in circles.Spend more of my time on finding a practical solution.2. What is one very small step I can take right now to get the ball rolling?This is my favorite question for when I want to get started with something or if I want to get going again with something that have fallen to the side for some reason.Because it makes things easier. Makes them feel lighter.This question prevents me from trying to escape into procrastination and helps me to avoid the side-effects of that such as sinking self-esteem and simply a lot of time being wasted on trying to hide.3. Will this matter in 5 years? Or even 5 weeks?This one helps me to simplify.To let go.To not make a mountain out of a molehill.To find the healthier and happier perspective.To not lose my focus and energy to crippling worries.To find a lightness in life where I do not have to carry around 5 tons of unnecessary mental baggage.It is a truly wonderful question.Have a wonderful 2017!