Friday, April 11, 2014

Creating Mindfulness

Lately I've been doing some reading about the Law of Attraction. If you're unfamiliar with this idea, in a nutshell it's "what you think about, you bring about". You make dream boards, notebooks, and focus your thoughts and energy on what you want to attract into your life. That's an extremely simplified explanation.

I've been trying different practices to implement it into my life and bring some positivity my way. There is definitely something to it. It's almost eerie how you can focus your thoughts on bringing something into your life and suddenly it starts showing up.

I haven't been able to come up with a good explanation for it. Most experts on the subject say its about the universe responding to your "energy" or "vibrations". I have trouble with this explanation because I believe that what comes into my life is a combination of God's will and my own actions.

Last week I started reading a book called The Compound Effect by Darin Hardy. It has nothing to do with the Law of Attraction. It's about how every little mundane choice we make every day will eventually compound to make us successful or unsuccessful. But he did make an interesting statement about the Law of Attraction. Say you buy a new car. Suddenly you start seeing a whole lot more of that type of car out on the road. It's not that those cars have multiplied, it's that suddenly you're more aware of them.

Same thing with the Law of Attraction. When you focus your thoughts and energy on something in particular, you're going to notice more of it in your life. People respond to your attitude and demeanor. So it stands to reason that if you adopt a more positive outlook you're going to see more of what you want in your life.

Try it out. Smile at someone you don't know. Compliment someone in line next to you. Odds are they'll smile back and respond very nicely. Also, you'll probably make their day a little better.

So what am I trying to say here? Maybe this was a little long and rambling today. But the point I'm trying to make is, if you want better things to happen in your life, be a better person. Think about better things. See what happens.

"Success is something you attract by the person you become." - Jim Rohn

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What the Heck is Oil Pulling?

A while ago I heard about this thing called oil pulling. I didn't really give it much thought; I couldn't see what the benefits of doing such a thing could really be. So, as a true open-minded person, I didn't research it any further.

Then, just a few months ago, I heard about it again. This time I actually read a little about the benefits. Most of the articles I've read suggest using a high quality, cold pressed, extra virgin coconut oil. Other quality food grade oils can be used as well. Coconut oil seems to be a favorite because of its antibacterial properties.

So what do you do? Well, first thing in the morning, you take between 1/2-1 tablespoon of said oil and put it in your mouth. Then you just swish it around for about 15-20 minutes. The timing is important. The oil is drawing bacteria and toxins through your saliva and leaving it in your mouth longer than 20 minutes can allow your body to begin to reabsorb them. Not cool.

You don't want to gargle it or let it touch the back of your throat because of the bacteria building up in it. And you definitely don't want to swallow it. When the time is up, spit it into the trash or the toilet. Being oil, it can solidify again, clogging a sink drain.

I started doing it 4 days ago. I did it 3 days in a row but didn't have time this morning. I'll do it again tomorrow. I mainly just wanted to see what noticeable changes I would observe. The first thing I noticed was that my sinuses were clearing up. I could feel them draining before I had spit the oil out.

An unexpected side effect for me has been a decrease in allergy symptoms, even from the first day. I have very bad environmental allergies as well as an allergy to my cats. I wake up every morning with an itchy, runny nose and my face is always feeling itchy. On the second day I suddenly realized that I wasn't having allergies. I hadn't even thought about taking my allergy medicine.

So that's my cool oil pulling story for now. I'll update as I go along. I'm interested to see if it will really whiten my teeth!

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Truth About Running

Running is a new part of my life. Since the beginning of this year I've trained for and ran a half marathon and I'm currently training for a second one. It gives me a huge sense of pride and accomplishment. It also tore me up. I think runners are a different breed of people; or you become a different breed of people by running. So, why? Why do people run? What's the draw?

Running is about overcoming adversity. It's about looking at something you can't or shouldn't be able to do, saying screw it, and doing it anyway. I mean, what person in their right mind wants to run for 13 (or 26 or 100) miles without stopping? Just for a medal? Just to be able to say you did it? Well, yeah. Saying that you ran 13.1 miles in 2:25 makes people look at you differently. You did something that doesn't make any sense and that most people would never even consider. You get injured. You sprain muscles. You lose toe nails. Technically, you might be crazy.

Running is an act of rebellion. People see you running for hours at a time and walking with a limp the next day and out of good intention ask you why you do that to yourself. I usually respond with, "I like to eat". And then I keep running. It's an honest answer, to tell you the truth. Running is hard. It hurts. I don't even really like it. I just like the way I feel when I'm done and I like being able to eat just about anything I want. So maybe it's an inward act of rebellion as well. My body tells me to quit. My mind says I'm capable of just a little bit longer. My heart says I can go forever.

In a time of my life where I control very few of my circumstances, I can control my body. I can control when I run, how long I run, and what I eat after I run. I control my cross training and my flexibility training. I can't control when my boss gives me a raise or when my car decides to break down. But I can go for a run, clear my head, and feel infinitely better.

So I'll just run. I'll run until I can't. And maybe even after that. Because that's what runners do.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

This One is for The Ladies

Gentlemen, if you're squeamish, now is the time to look away. I'm going to be talking about (drum roll please) that time of the month. But if you have significant others who have a hard time coping with their symptoms, read on.

I've always had a very hard time with my monthly symptoms. Cramps were terrible, mood swings were almost worse, and it was extremely frustrating. It would take a whole day of loading up on midol just to make a small dent in the pain and moodiness. I would pretty much just curl up under a heating pad away from the world until I felt alive again.

When I first started working out, I noticed that my cramps weren't as bad as they had been. And if I continued to work out through the week even if I didn't feel like it, my mood would improve. I still dealt with days of bad cramps but it wasn't nearly like it was before. In researching this, I found some answers. Exercise increases blood flow which alleviates pain. Also, stress can make your cramps worse and exercise is a proven stress-reliever. Makes sense to me.

I also found that other natural remedies include iron-rich foods and vitamin E or omega 3 essential fatty acid supplements. That's where my next suggestion comes in. Exercising helped to drastically reduce my cramps but I noticed the biggest change when I added Shakeology to my daily diet. It has 4mg of iron (22% daily value) and 15 IU of vitamin E (50% daily value) as well as many other vitamins and amino acids. Not to mention the digestive enzymes, prebiotics and whole food ingredients to help your body detox. Since I've been drinking Shakeology I've only had a few months where I've had to take extra pain meds for a day or two.

I'm not saying all this because I sell Shakeology. In fact, I decided to become a coach and start selling it because I whole-heartedly believe in it. So, if you're looking for some natural remedies for your menstrual pain, I highly recommend giving it a try. And get out there and get moving. At least 30 minutes a day of something to get your heart rate up. Walk, swim, do yoga, do a workout DVD. I don't care, as long as you're doing something. Take care of YOU.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mudder: Volume 2

Since I last updated, I ran another Tough Mudder. This one was much easier in that it wasn't at a ski resort and thus no ski slopes to march up. Some of the obstacles were a little tougher though. Like this one:

Crawling under barbed wire with live wires dangling down. That really sucked. I didn't fall off the Berlin Walls this time, but I only did one. By the time we got to them I had barely enough upper body strength to get over the first one and not enough nerve to try the second one. This one was my favorite:

It was called Mud Mile and we just had to climb over these mounds of mud. It was definitely more fun than getting shocked. The worst part of the Mudder was actually after it. It rained really bad and we got stuck in the dirt parking lot for 4 hours pushing every single car out of the mud. Not fun. All in all though, it was definitely a great experience and I can't wait for next year!


In other updates, I'm starting INSANITY over from the beginning. I'm determined to get my six pack back. This also means committing to a clean diet. I'm going to be honest and say that I haven't been so good at that lately. I tend to eat a lot of carbs. I don't have very much patience for prepping food so I just eat whatever is most handy. So, I'm working on that. Beachbody provides me with a customized meal planner so I'll be trying to utilize that more often.

What about you? What are your goals and what are you doing to work toward them?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Six Month Review: Shakeology

A little over six months ago I started drinking a supplement called Shakeology. It's made by the company that makes P90X, INSANITY, etc. To put my opinion very simply: I love it! It's much more than just a protein shake or a weight loss shake. It offers nutrition that you can't find anywhere else.

First of all, it gives you all the vitamins you would get in a multivitamin. It also offers 17 grams of protein. There are vegan options that are made with brown rice protein instead of whey. Then it goes beyond that to offer blends of super-fruit/antioxidants, super-green/phytonutrients, adaptogens, and pre-and probiotic/digestive enzymes. Yeah, sounds like a lot of big, fancy words but these are things our bodies need. And, let's face it, most of us are not good at eating all the good foods we're supposed to every day. How many servings of fruits and veggies do you really get in a day? I know I don't eat enough of them. Shakeology gives me a head start on that with a few servings a day.

Granted, it's hard to use as a meal replacement with only 160 calories a serving. So, I usually make it with almond milk and add fruit and/or powdered peanut butter. That makes it very filling. I love it as a pre-workout snack. It gives me energy and also gives my immune system a nice boost.

I know this isn't a very scientific review, but I'm not a very scientific person. I love the way Shakeology makes me feel and that's what matters. I know it includes a blend of superfoods that you can't find in the grocery store. Drinking Shakeology is one of the best things I've ever done for my body. In fact, it's one of the driving factors that led me to becoming a Beachbody Coach. I wanted to be able to share this information with other people and help them lead healthier lives.

So, there's my opinion. If you want any more information on Shakeology, or to see the ingredients list, see my website here. Hope you all are having a fabulous week!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Running

I started running this week. A friend of mine is doing the 8 week beginner's running program from runnersworld.com with me. We're trying to get into good running shape for the next Tough Mudder either in September or October. I'm trying to gather up a team to go this time. I think it would be a lot of fun with more people.


If you know much about me, you know that running is my nemesis. I've always hated it. But now that I'm doing a good intro program and have another beginner doing it with me, it's much more tolerable. I'm even learning to like it. At the end of a stressful day, I even look forward to it. Tomorrow is a rest day and next week we'll be increasing our running time. I'm a little nervous about that, but by the end of the 8 weeks we're supposed to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping. I'd like to find a 5k to do between now and the Mudder to test my running endurance.

I'm still doing some Turbo Fire with the running, usually doing a more intense Turbo workout on the walking days and still observing my rest day. I'm hoping to try Brazil Butt Lift soon as well. I like to keep challenging myself with new workout routines. I ran this morning and I think I'll probably do a toning DVD later today.

Staying motivated is always a challenge, so I think it's good to have something to work towards. I would be much less inclined to run if I wasn't going to do a Mudder or a 5k. The Mudder also requires strength and agility so the cross training is essential. That's where my Beachbody workouts come in.

So, tell me, what are you working towards? Are you training for something or are you just looking to improve your health?