5 Common Mistakes Not to Make On Christmas

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There is something special about December. During this time of the year, it feels as if life changes its tread. It starts going in a different way and everything that takes place happens out of the plot. This is completely true for workouts and nutrition. A lot of people behave as if the closer Christmas comes, the closer we are to the end of the world. So it doesn’t really matter what we do in December, because  there will be nobody to endure the consequences of our unconscious behavior and choices. We behave as if the end of the world is coming and we should make up for the time, we won’t have in the future. We do our best when it comes to spending money, eating and resting ( understand not a real rest, but something more like laziness).

Actually holidays have a different meaning, which I won’t bother explaining here. Today I will redirect your attention towards the mistakes, you shouldn’t make if you want to be in shape during the holidays and after them.

1.Don’t eat as if the end of the world is coming.

Снимка: www.crossfitconvey.com

Снимка: www.crossfitconvey.com

The abundance of food that we have over the holidays is around us all year round. Now you will say: “My grandma’s pie is there, just, on Christmas!” Actually every food is available all year round. We just need more desire to prepare it!

I notice that one of the reason, most people cannot resist the variety of foods on the holiday tale is that we rarely take the time to cook throughout the year.  We rely more on packaged foods and fast food. We behave as if some foods are “special” and they should be deserved. Let me tell you something! The only way to deserve a food is by cooking it yourself. We do not need to postpone the eating of one thing or another, all year round, just to end up overeating and trying to make up for the whole period of deprivation.

Just think what would happen if instead of overeating for 5 days, we spread this food throughout the year! We would neither feel physically or mentally bad, because we’ve overeaten; nor would we destroy what we’ve worked so hard for through the year.

In this case, my advice is to use smaller plates and size your portion beforehand. Every time you place huge pans in front of you, you will unconsciously eat more. After all when you have a pan with 10 steaks, two steaks in your plate don’t seem that much. When you have a whole pan of pie, 3 pieces of pie don’t look that much. ( here I wrote why)

I am a fan of what gets measured, gets accomplished. Here I am not talking about counting calories or calculating something. If the size of your plate is a measure of the quantity of food you eat, choose the smaller plate. Thus, even if you get tempted to eat a second helping, you will once again eat less.

Besides that, do not forget that your nutrition is not with the mere goal to lose weight, but also to change your lifestyle. Why would you go back to your old habits? Why instead of celebrating the opportunity to eat everything inside, don’t you try to celebrate your new lifestyle? Why not turn these holidays into an occasion to celebrate your health and your mindful living? Trust me! There isn’t a food, that brings as much pleasure as knowing that you respect your own self and your body and that you are taking care of it.

Every time my mind tempts me to make a choice, I ask myself: “Is that good for my body?”

If my body whispers that overeating will make it feel bad, tired and sluggish, I’d rather not do it.

Let these holidays be different. Instead of rolling around, like heavy, stuffed balls let us e full of energy and enjoy our health and our bodies.

2.Forget about working out

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Yes! That’s what I mean! Most people worry that they have to travel and that they won’t be able to train. As you learned HERE, working out Is not the most important thing. What matters is movement and it has a lot of forms. Instead of spending the holidays, by wondering where you will find an open gym or go to the other extreme and sit all day long, use your leisure time to move more.

If you are traveling, I am sure that close to you, there will be e a beautiful place for a walk in nature. You can always do a couple lengths of walking lunges uphill or some sprints! Just like this – spontaneously!

Every time when you stay longer at home, on every hour stand up and move a little bit – do 10 burpees ( I will finish the post and I will do mine, what about you?); then do 10 push-ups; in a couple hours do 10 squats. Thus, at the end of the day if you are awake for 16 hours and 10 of them, you’ve spent at home, you will have 10 exercise of 10 rep. You won’t even feel it, but you would have moved the whole day.

And when a person moves, his body feels toned, and it doesn’t starve for food from boredom. And last but not least, such a small action, could lead to an avalanche of other positive actions – you know how one smile from a stranger is more than enough to make you do 5 more, good things for others. It is the same with movement – sometimes 10 squats can motivate you to go for a walk, clean the house or whatever it comes to your mind.

MOVE MORE!

Впрягайте пудовките ;)

Впрягайте пудовките ;)

3.Don’t stick to a particular schedule

The first thing, that a person who decides to get in shape does is to follow a strict nutrition and training plan and schedule. Everything is great, until the moment when the schedule is interrupted. Something like the lessons at school – you study them by heart and when somebody interrupts you, you forget everything and you should start over.

Realize that the life lived according to a schedule is the biggest mistake we could make. When you start listening to your body and feeling when and what you need, then you won’t need these strict plans, which are supposed to serve you as security and base. Then you will know, that no matter where you are, you always choose the best for your body!

Actually, right now you should abandon the strict schedule. Just because you will need to wait for the Christmas lunch, and you won’t eat at 11a.m., like you are used to, doesn’t mean that your diet has failed. Your diet is not a particular hour, place or time. Your diet is a way of life and a source of strength and energy- and this can’t be stuffed in frames!

4.Don’t stay hungry!

Often times we make the mistake to starve, because we are getting ready for “the last supper”. You know how when you stay hungry for a longer period of time, then you eat, eat and you feel like a cup without a bottom- as if everything leaks and you don’t absorb anything.

Instead of this, it is far better to eat something beforehand – the best choice is a combination of proteins and fat. You can eat two eggs, avocado and olives with some veggies. Thus, you will feel satiety and your body won’t starve. When it is time for dinner or lunch, you will be able to eat mindfully, and not driven by your instincts for survival.

5.Don’t forget to drink enough water

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It is such a paradox that between 75-90% of the human body is water and we underestimate the benefits of it. We make the effort to eat in a  certain way and get enough vitamins and minerals and we do not get the most important – water.

I won’t dig deeper into science and I won’t explain how every process in the body is dependent on water and how dehydration could interfere with our body’s normal functioning. I will just tell you that we often mistaken thirst for hunger. Often times we eat more if we haven’t drank enough water.  Drink water before you have lunch.

Take a bottle and drink all day long. I told you that what get measured, get accomplished. If you have a measure about how much water you drank, then you will know if it is enough or if you are fooling yourself.

A Short History of Trans Fats and Margarine: A Story That Ruined Our Health

Снимка: www.yours.ie

Снимка: www.yours.ie

One of the most discussed topics in the world of health and nutrition are fats and the benefits/ harms of them. I have a bunch of posts on my blog, where I wrote about this.

Besides the scientific part, personally I am a huge fan of curious facts. Sometimes it is interesting to learn how and why something occurred. Just then, you can completely understand if the consequences of it invention/ creation, have a positive or negative influence on our existence.

So, let’s start with the story of margarine. Margarine was created during the time of Napoleon III, in 1800. Napoleon announced a prize for the man who finds a substitute to butter, with which he could feed the army and the poor.

A product, which was created not with the goal for humanity to become healthier, but the goal to “sew up” the situation, as cheaply as possible, A chemist found out that if he presses together, pieces of tallow, under higher pressure, you can derive fatty elements, which combined with milk can turn solid.

The mixture had pearl glitter and that is why it was called margarine ( in Greek margarites means pearl). The new “food” was cheaper, but this wasn’t enough. Once a man accomplishes something, he always considers he can achieve more.

Front Side of Trans Fats T-Shirt

At the end of the century, another group of chemists found a way to create margarine, using an even cheaper material – cotton seeds. Cotton seeds were hard to preserve, because if it was left outside, it started to ferment and smell bad. This was a sign that the oil reacts with oxygen.

The reactive nature of oil, meant that it has the potential to be chemically modified in different ways. In order to make oil from cotton seeds, that was similar to butter, they were supposed to turn it into a solid paste. For that goal, there were two methods – one of them was to tangle a bundle of molecules, and the second one was to make every molecule less flexible and easier to stack. They chose the second option.

They caused a transformation in the fatty acids of oil, “flattening” them with heat, high pressure and nickel catalyst. The catalyst, was the one which stopped the molecules from getting tangled and turning into plastic. When the oils get flattened in this process, their double bonds change from their natural, flexible configuration into a more stiff and fixed one. Thus, trans fats appeared.

In their natural configuration fatty acids are really flexible, which doesn’t allow them to get solid and thus the molecules behave as liquids. Trans fats ( partially hydrogenated  fatty acids) convert fatty acids into stiff and stackable molecules. These vegetable solid get solid, just like utter does ( the difference is that when it comes to butter, the solidification happens in a natural way and its molecules are less flexible and more static by nature).

Fatty acids have a particular configuration, which allows them to interact with water. When fatty acids are processed into vegetable oils, they endure a disturbance in this configuration. And the enzyme, which interact with these fatty acids, can’t release them and this leads to a dysfunction on a cellular level.

The diet of the contemporary person, contain a lot of packaged foods, bought from the supermarket. Each one of them contains bad fats, because as we already learned this is the cheaper version.

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Become An Entrepreneur of Your Body: Get In The Best Shape of Your Life

Ido Portal

Ido Portal

Do you know how often we miss something amazing happening in our life, because we are too busy planning, and then walking on the outlined path. Often times what we want, couldn’t be found in the middle of the road; it doesn’t stand out. Often times we pass by it, because we do not let our life happen, and we are trying to force it to move through a particular route.

For the past two weeks I do not train. Not because I am lazy, but because of a doctor’s mistake I needed to have surgery on my foot. I will skip commenting doctors and I will just note, how something that was supposed to get better in a couple days, first went worse and then I needed another surgery. So, this doesn’t allow me to do everything as I used to.

I said, that I stopped training, but this doesn’t mean that I stopped moving. It is great when you can do a handstand. You can do handstand push- ups and challenge yourself, even though you can’t really load your foot. You can do a bunch of core exercises, push- ups on your knees and pull- ups.

Besides that  you can look on exercise, movement and life from a different perspective.

I was alone in the gym. I was thinking how I had the inner drive to do so many things ( when it comes to exercise), yet the circumstances didn’t allow me. Still, I do not feel disappointed, discouraged or desperate.

I was doing push- ups on my knees, when I started thinking how the person who trains, or actually the person who moves is something like entrepreneur. Actually, if I haven’t mentioned it before, I consider every one of us is an entrepreneur of his own life. You know how entrepreneurs have that inner spark, a flame which is never distinguished! A flame which motivated them and drives them to reach self- accomplishment, to reach triumphs, even after they’ve fallen down. The inner motivation, that doesn’t come from the superficial desires of the ego, but from the inner conviction, that we are born to be something more than just creatures walking on Earth, who don’t let their life unfold beyond the well- known path.

Entrepreneurs are people, who make plans, but then they are not afraid to go outside the lines. They plan, but they are always alert and ready to react depending on the circumstances. Because life happens NOW. Everything that we plan today, is gonna be different tomorrow. Everything we’ve planned yesterday is just a snapshot of our past state of mind, desires and circumstances. Still,  every day offers us a palette of challenges and if we are not flexible enough, if we are not entrepreneurs in our own life, but just executives of a strict plan, then we dig deeper into dissatisfaction.

I was training and I thought that the only way to always be in optimal shape is if you become an entrepreneur of your own body. This means that you shouldn’t be afraid to try – try different combinations of macronutrients, different proportions, different number of meals, different distribution of meals; to try different exercises, training methods, recovery methods.

When you become an entrepreneur of your own body, then you get the instruments to fulfill your potential.

Entrepreneurs are ready for everything. Nothing that takes place in the world out of them, couldn’t destroy the world within them. The outer circumstances are just the occasion, for an entrepreneur, to mobilize his abilities and in moments when others struggle, entrepreneurs show mastery.

I was doing push- ups and I was thinking how now  I get the opportunity to explore movement from a different angle, from a different perspective- to understand how the body functions in these conditions- how much food it needs, what type of movement it allows and how I can feed my motivation, when life doesn’t go on the straight, asphalt- paved road, but instead, decides to make a turn and head on the muddy road. Well, I’ve always loved muddy roads! They always lead to the most beautiful places.

If you want to be in shape, be entrepreneurs of your own body.

Try different things and do not get desperate is something doesn’t work out. Every lack of success is just an accumulation of information about what works – and the more we know what and why it doesn’t work, the closer we are to understanding what works.

And don’t forget it! Entrepreneurs ( the successful once), never attach their identity to what they do. They can fail in one thing and then without fear and doubt, start something else. They have realized that not what they do makes them worthy, but what they are makes their deeds worthy!

Be entrepreneurs of your own life and risk, try and succeed. Life is about gathering experience and memories, not about gathering information and standing on the sidelines, with the illusionary feeling of security.

3 Truths About High-Fat, Low- Carb Diets That You Want to Deny

Image source: www.sweatfactor.com

Image source: www.sweatfactor.com

What always surprises me in the fitness industry and the world of health and nutrition is how people read what is written, but made conclusions based on what is already in their mind. They read not in order to understand the other point of view, but just so they can find the right space between the lines, where they will once again state their, previously formed opinion. This is completely true for carbs and fats. Often times the way I eat is being attacked, because  the critics claim that carbs are vital for the body and that you can’t live by just eating eggs and lard. Truth is that it Is not the high fat diet that is unhealthy. What’s unhealthy is the way you follow a high fat, low carb diet.

What I notice is how when it comes to nutrition plans, people love going from one extreme towards another – initially we don’t eat any fat, then we start eating just fat and we exclude everything else. We find a religion, thrown out on the way and we decide to become its missionaries. Unfortunately, we never make the effort to explore it in its depth, down to its roots, so we can e sure that we are not just exploring what’s visible on the surface, but also what is hidden deeper.

1.High fat- low carb diets are unhealthy for women

Are they? Or to be more precise, what is unhealthy is the way women follow them.I’ve been on that road and I know what it is like. I used to be one of those people who used to eat just chicken breasts and if it was inevitable to add some butter in my meals, I used to cut the thinnest piece – so thin that it was transparent and it often tore down.

Then I started eating a high fat-low carb diet(HFLC) – or at least that is what I thought. My HFLC diet included eating more olives and some chicken thighs. Really far from the truth. In the same times, I used to limit the amount of carbs and I used to eat just green salads. After all, if the veggies have a color, different from green, it means that they are poisonous carbs, right? Do I need to say that I didn’t feel good?

The next stage was when I realized what it means to eat fat – eggs, lard, pork steaks. That’s when I went to the other extreme – I kept eating my green salads, but I added pork steaks with added butter and lard; eggs drowning in butter, together with whipped cream. Did I feel good? Once again NO. Besides that back then, my goal was to lose weight, and I was constantly gaining weight.

It is not HFLC diets that are UNHEALTHY! (1)

In both cases, I thought that I was eating a HFLC diet and I was about to draw the line on the diet and claim I to be a total fad.

It turned out that the problem was not the diet itself, but the way I followed it; the way I understood it.

Who told you, that a HFLC diet, means that you shouldn’t eat any vegetable that has a different color from green or white? I have never written such a thing.

The critics compete to tell me how unhealthy a HFLC diet is, because it disturbs the alkaline- acid balance in the body and how you should eat veggies. Do you know what? I don’t sit to eat, if I don’t have a huge plate of veggies in season. Actually, I just finished my pork steak with a salad of root beets, carrots, nuts and seeds.

The problem is that in your notion, the HFLC diet is just eggs, lard and steaks. But this is exactly this – YOUR PROBLEM! It is not a reason to draw the line on the diet. I agree that a woman who eats just eggs and lard and never eats veggies and fruits in season, will probably have hormonal imbalance. I agree that a woman who limits, both, the amount of carbs and fats, while fooling herself that chicken thighs contain enough fat, will have hormonal imbalances.

But is she going to have such problems if instead of this she takes the time to learn about the diet in more depth and realizes that what she can eat, goes in a wider diapason- we have the whole see; all the seafood; superfoods; seaweeds; a variety of meats; eggs; nuts and seeds; a bunch of veggies and fruits in season.

Did you know that you can have a meal, which doesn’t contain steaks or eggs and still eat a HFLC diet? The green smoothies that are so popular! What is gonna happen if we add more coconut butter, coconut flakes and avocado? You will once again have a “meal” which contains more fats and you won’t even taste a steak or lard!

Read more about the biggest mistakes we make when we go on a HFLC diet:

2. Your diet should be dynamic, not static

Strawberries in winter---

The problems, you have, when you follow your version of HFLC diet, don’t come from the diet, but from the fact that you are trying to follow something static, when life is actually dynamic. Our needs are constantly changing and we are connected with nature. Nature and seasons change and the foods that are available change together with them. We have evolved to follow the cycles of the nature and the fact that we are ignoring this is what causes disease.

If you take the time to learn about a HFLC diet in depth, you would understand that the ratio between fat and carb intake changes, depending on the season. You would know that in seasons, when the sunlight is longer, we can tolerate more carbs and when it is colder we tolerate more fat. Is it a coincidence that in winter there are more fatty foods available and in summer there is an abundance of carb foods like fruits and root veggies? No! It is just a matter of enough mindfulness to realize which seasons, what foods are available.

If you knew this, then you would probably follow a dynamic diet and your body would be happy. Because food is information. Food gives us information about the environment we live in and it tells the body what it needs in order to function properly and guarantee survival. Every season gives us different foods, not because we might get bored, but because every season has different requirements on the body and its functioning and food is the supplement, which helps us go through the different circumstances, without making a compromise with our health and the functioning of our body.

Read: 6 Mistakes I Made with My Diet So You Don’t Have To

Listen to my interviews with Dr. Jack Kruse(HERE) and Ben Greenfield(HERE) in order to find out more about how a high fat diet, influences women.

3.HFLC diets doesn’t give you enough energy

Or is it that you are just fooling yourself that you are following a HFLC diet?

Often times I hear people saying that HFLC diets exhaust the body and don’t give it enough energy. Often times you will hear people saying that a HFLC diet, makes them feel sluggish and weak. Actually, here the problem is once again from the way we’ve chosen to follow the HFLC diet. In the past, I also went through the period, when I used to think that one week on HFLC diet and one day for carb refuel with all kind of carb sources will give me energy. Actually, the fat adaptation takes a pretty long time.

Imagine it like you are moving to live in a new country – you change your house, your work, the language you speak in, your friends. Everything is different. You need a lot of time, so you can gradually get used to the new things. You need to learn how to live and function in a new way. Initially, this might cause discomfort, but not because it is bad for you, but just because it broke your old habits. Besides that, imagine it if every week you move back to your previous country, you feel energetic and you go back to the new place after the weekend. Are you gonna get used to the new country or are you gonna live just for the day when you will go back to your old place?

That’s exactly what happens with your body. When you go on a HFLC diet, your body needs a lot of time for adaptation. You need to give yourself time, so every cell, every organ could start functioning in a way, which prioritizes fat as a main source of energy. It is absolutely normal, when the body switches from one regimen of work to another one to, initially, have some lack of strength and other “side effects”( read HERE: What Should You Expect From a HFLC Diet)

But if you approach this nutrition plan wiser, then you won’t need to go through all that discomfort and your transition will be easier and more pleasant. But I will write about this in one of my next posts.

For those of you, who have given time to learn the RIGHT way to follow a HFLC diet, what is your opinion about the diet; what are the hardships you faces and what are the positives you get?

For the rest, I hope that you will think deeper if the problem is in the diet or in your version of the diet!

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The Adventure Life of Two Soul Mates: A Fairy Tale In The Cold

Аз и Ивайло :))

I and Ivaylo :) )

Sometimes the place where you are and the place where you’d like to be aren’t so far away from each other. Sometimes everything you need to do is to stop whining where you are in the present, to raise your head and notice that what you want is one reach apart – and it is waiting for you to take the initiative and search for it.

That’s what happened last Saturday, when I, Gabi ( my sister) and Ivaylo, headed for another amazing place – the pond of Pchelina and the chapel St. Joan Letni. We don’t always have time to visit places that are at the other end of the country, but there is always a new, different and mystical place, which is somewhere close to where we live.

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The Pond of Pchelina is no great way from Sofia, so if you’d like to have an adventure during the weekend, this is your destination.

Usually, Ivaylo and I, decide at the last moment where we will go. We wake up in the morning and while we are having breakfast, he asks me: “Where are we going today?”My first answer is always: “I don’t know.”A little bit later he already has a suggestion or I’ve found some interesting place in my favorite travelers blogs.

The first idea was to go straight to the chapel. As you know we are not tourists, but travelers and that is why we often step away from the well known path. This time we didn’t make an exception. From Pernik, we headed to Lobosh and we turned out to be at the other end of the pond ( not where the chapel was). The place really reminded me of a county from the movies. Huge meadows, grazing cows and in the distance you could see a couple houses hugging each other.

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The paths to the houses were one of these narrow and long paths, that curve upside the hill and then suddenly take a turn down on a steep hill.  It creates the feeling, as you are at a special place and you’ve traveled a couple days, so you can arrive in the county where you are meant to deliver an important telegram. By traveling, the path reveals a splendid view, which reveals the beauty of the pond.

On the way, we passed through “The Ranch of don Marmota”. I suppose that it is really exciting to say that you live in the ranch of don Marmota. We took a break and we walked through the country side. We didn’t skip doing a couple pistol squats on the bar and on the way back we did some walking lunges uphill.

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Then we headed to the chapel. For that goal, we were supposed to travel with the car, through the villages around us and head straight to Radomir. On the GPS we saw that we pass by the village of Izvor. Gabi and I have a village with the same name and it is close to Breznik ( a town near Radmoir). We haven’t been there for the past 15 years. We have a house, which keeps, probably it hardly fits, the pile of memories from our childhood. Actually, when I think of my childhood, I think about this house and the huge meadow with flowers, right in front of it. Ivaylo asked us if we want to go to Izvor and find the house. Gabi and I agreed immediately. But we didn’t think even for a second that Izvor next to Breznik and Izvor next to Radmoir could be two different places.

Thus, we arrived in Izvor. When we got there, Gabi immediately said: “The center is exactly as it used to be. Nothing has changed.”Then we remembered how we used to eat candies from the shop at the corner. We asked Ivaylo to turn right on a stony path, which was supposed to take us to the house. Everything looked familiar until the moment, when the path took us to a place that looked strange and different. We had an information that in the village there is about 20 people. We saw a grandma and we stopped to ask her for the house of Slavka ( a neighbor, which was supposed to be the key orientation in order to find the house). I insist on saying that Slavka is alive. The old lady, who seemed to be at least 90 years old, looked at us kind of perplexed and said that Slavka is dead. We kept on insisting that she is alive and that we want to find her house.  You should have seen the look of that lady. She seemed so confused and I think that she spent the whole afternoon wondering if Slavka is alive or not.

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We kept on searching and we saw a couple more people. We stopped to ask them for the river and the big meadow. They also seemed perplexed and they claimed that there isn’t a river and that we are probably talking about the canal. Gabi and I, insisted that the river is just below the meadow and after neither they agreed they have a river, nor we that we mean the canal we continued the expedition. There we go! More people! How lucky we were – we had an information that in the village there were not more than 20 people and we have already talked to more than half of them.

We stopped to ask another woman with the hope that she will know where Slavka’s house was. We once again insisted that Slavka is alive and that the river is below the meadow. The woman looked at us and said: “Wait a minute. Are you talking about Izvor next to Breznik or next to Radomir?”

That’s how it turned out that we are in the wrong village; that the center hasn’t changed because it has never looked this way and that we  have never eaten candies from that shop.

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After we almost convinced, as it turned out the populous inhabitants of the village, that Slavka is alive and that they have a river, a meadow and that we come to search for our roots, we were ready to head to the chapel.

We headed to Potzarnentzi village- the village at the side of the pond, where the chapel was. We stopped… in the middle of nowhere and we left the car there. We walked through one of these paths, that curve through the meadows. You know what I am talking about, don’t you? The dried, cracked soil and uneven terrain. I adore these paths. They teleport me somewhere in the past, they help me return in memories I love and memories I welcome in my present, so they can remind me of the carefree childhood, full of meaning and self -realization.

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On the way we passed by a couple houses. The place is exceptional, because it is really peaceful. There aren’t a lot of people and you feel as if you are surrounded just by nature and its greatness.

When we passed by the houses, there was a path that was surrounded by “walls”of autumn trees. Everything was goldenly orange. I felt as if I was in a fairy tale. I was walking on top of the leaves that the autumn has picked. Autumn has laid down a carpet of colorful leaves – wet lips which were  gently kissing the soil under our feet. Words were walking in front of us and our thoughts were holding hands.

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Walking, in front of us revealed a splendid view – vast space, a lot of nature, abundance of grazing cows and in the distance you could see the chapel.  It seemed kind of mystical. The weather was cold. Every time when it is colder and darker outside, nature really stands out. As if the colors get more intense and you can see every dark spice and shade. As if nature, through darkness and cold, draws its outlines and it seems more alive, more mystical.

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The sight took your breath away. Cliffs, where you could sit all day and look in the horizon and feel how the wind is gently touching your shoulders. You could e alone, but not feel lonely. To be nowhere and to feel exactly where you need to be. These places are always a great place for… pistol squats and handstands!

We took a lot of pictures, some sprints uphill and some handstands and it was time to go back home.

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That’s how another great adventure was saved in our memory.

Where did you go this week? Share your adventures with me!

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IFS Podcast #3: Master Your Health and Performance with The Superhuman Ben Greenfield

ben

Today I have a really special guest- Ben  Greenfield. He is an ex bodybuilder, Ironman athlete, Spartan racer, coach, speaker and author of the bestseller “Beyond Training:Mastering Endurance Training, Health and Life”.

He is one of the most influential people in the world of health and fitness and I really recommend you to read his book.

Nowadays, health experts are everywhere, but you can always recognize those who really know what they are talking about from those who just pretend they do. And people like Ben are pretty much a wealth of knowledge and an endless source of inspiration. Everything you need to know is on his website bengreenfieldfitness.com. If he hasn’t written about it he has probably interviewed somebody who has.

Some of the topics that we will dig in:

-what is the best way to get super fit

-why Ben believes that  a high fat diet, can benefit even endurance athletes

–is a high fat diet is ok for everybody and if there are some negative metabolic reactions when it comes to women and a high fat diet?

-how fast the human body could do an Ironman without actually training for one ( how did Ben do it)

-how do you achieve the perfect marriage between health and performance?

- what is HRV and how to use it in order  to track your recovery and the way your nervous system responds to different stimulus

-fueling on bulletproof coffee before an endurance event

-what is the difference when it comes to diets for performance and for lifestyle and health. And is there such a difference?

-how do you apply cold thermogenesis in your life and what are the benefits of it? How could one start using cold thermogenesis in order to derive health benefits?

-what are the top three tricks to biohack your home and how to stop electromagnetic damage to your body?

-is high fat/low car appropriate for kids and how Ben’s children fuel their body

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Psychology of Super-Stimulus: How They Manipulate Our Instincts and How to Use This In Order to Get Fitter

XXL_Burger_Baby

We live in a society, which worships the artificial and denies the natural. We live in a world, where normal is being stigmatized and the diversion is being raised in a cult.

We live in a society which follows the hypnotic rhythm, a result of the super – stimulus, which we are exposed to on a daily basis.

I love thinking about our evolution as human spices and its inability to catch up with the fast – changing world. When we start from technologies, food, lifestyle – every day everything is changing so quick, that a person, as an organism could hardly get adapted to the changes so quickly, without this leading to some kind of a void, some kind of a negative consequence.

The evolution itself is based on change and the natural adaptation to it. The problem is that adaptation requires time for that adaptation. Time which the fast – changing world doesn’t give us and this void, day after day intrudes in our life and we get to a stage where it is all we got – а stage, where  our life is defined more by what we are not, than what we are.

Super – stimulus are what twists reality and to what we “owe” a big part of our failure to control our behavior and to endure the negative consequences of our actions.

The main problem is that culture and technologies evolve so quickly, while our genes evolve slower.  Nowadays there is food in abundance, but our genes are adapted to more scarce quantities of food, hunting and gathering food. A big part of our actions, when they are not based on a conscious choice, are based on inner instincts. Instincts which are a result of our pre – programmed strive for survival.  If we accept the fact that instincts are a result of the need of our ancestors to survive in an environment, which hides risks and shortage, then we could easily explain our “illogical” behavior.

As a consequence of our instincts and the conditions that pre – determine them, we by nature feel the need of calorie dense foods – nutritious foods with higher energetic and nutritional value. This fact is being used by the food industry and by the business industry as a whole. In the case with the food industry, it manipulates our inborn instincts, by using them for the increase of the demand and the proposal of unhealthy foods, foods which super – stimulate our senses, beyond what the real food, we evolved eating, could stimulate.

How the industry manipulates our subconscious mind?

This is true for all our necessities, which expand beyond the food we eat. If you take closer look, you will notice interesting trends in animations, beauty standards, the size and type of the packages and so forth. All of these changes have their logical explanation and in the roots of it is  the skillful manipulation of our subconscious mind.

For example, we are attracted by a particular definition of “cuteness”, which hides the evolutionary goal to be attracted y cute looking beings, in order to take care for our younger peers. The characteristics, which lie in our notion about cute, are big eyes, childish traits like innocence, helplessness and so forth, bigger heads compared to the whole size of the body. Have you noticed the trends in animations? All these animation characters with huge eyes and heads; their cute look? This is just another trick to manipulate the mind and to encourage us to long for these animations and the products that follow them.

And when we talk about huge eyes…

Super – stimulus are the contemporary weapon, which turns us into dolls on strings in our own life. This is true for nutrition.

What determines the taste of food?

The taste of food is not determines just by the data that is being registered by one particular sense – i.e. the taste of food is not determined just y the perception of our taste buds’ receptors.  Smell, touch, the texture and the sound, also play a huge role in if we define a food as tasty or not.

When something delicious gets in our mouth, its chemical structure falls apart under the influence of our saliva and the free circulating molecules get into our taste buds. If the molecule binds to a receptor cell, it will provoke the cell to conduct a sequence of chemical and electrical signals.

The suggestion is that after that everything comes up to the signals, which are being sent to the brain, but as it often happens, the process is a lot more complicated.

As I mentioned the taste of food and the information we get for it is based on a lot more data registered in the taste buds.

Снимка: currentbuzz.my

Image source: currentbuzz.my

More often than not, taste is a combination of smell and taste and the interesting thing in this case is that the importance of taste gets second place.

The nerve fibers of our sense of smell, head towards our brain. Some of these fibers reach the hypothalamus – the center which controls appetite, fear, satisfaction; others reach the hippocampus, which is responsible for memories; third reach the brain stem, where they regulate basic functions as memory and breathing.

This kind of explains the reason why smells provoke such a strong emotional response.

Actually, the perception of taste is one of the most multi- sensible, keeping in mind that it includes smell, taste, the perception of our eyesight, hearing and so forth.

This is being used pretty skillfully by the business industry and in this case by food industry.

What is the reason about the precipice between the human instinct and the contemporary, man-made environment?

By evolving we have developed instincts, which help us, by directing our attention to stimulus in our environment, which we really need in order to survive. What we observe today is the substitution of stimulus, by the so called super- stimulus. They are those that could explain the precipice between the human instinct and the contemporary man – made environment. Super – stimulus are the roots of a lot of problems – obesity, TV addiction, video games addiction, twisted ideals for beauty and body shape and so forth. The man- made imitations of the real, natural foods and living organisms, have changed what we eat, the way we perceive our own self and the world around us.

I’d say that our life obeys to the moto “Act in a way, that will make something normal seem strange and then question the inborn, human instincts. “

Super – stimulus are everywhere. Our inability to resist them, is hidden in our unconscious actions and the instincts, formed throughout the centuries of evolution, when the environment used to be completely different and following our instincts was in our benefit. Nowadays, tough, we live in a different world which is characterized more with abundance, than with scarcity. Obeying these instincts harms us more than it helps us. Why?

I am sure that if you consciously observe the behavior of people around you, you will notice that  every time there is an abundance of food, people choose the bigger portion, the bigger piece. We act this way, because it is exactly our instincts which are hidden deep behind our actions, which drive us to choose “the biggest one”. In the conditions of scarcity, in the past, such an instinct guaranteed our ancestors enough food, so they could survive in periods when there was food shortage.

Which apple would you choose?

Снимка: karen-happinessis.blogspot.com

Image source karen-happinessis.blogspot.com

But today, obeying this instinct drives us to show behavior and habits, which harm us more than they help.

Besides that, the food we eat is artificially created and its taste has nothing to do with the taste of the same food in its natural state. For example, the apple from the tree, in my village has one taste, and the one from the supermarket a different one.

This is completely true for every food.

Why are we attracted to the taste of chocolate bars, junk food and other foods from the supermarket?

Снимка: http://echtlustig.com/

Снимка: http://echtlustig.com/

Sweet things in the supermarket are super- stimulus. They contain huge amounts sugar, salt and fats – a lot more than the quantity of these ingredients in the food in its natural state. A chocolate bar, for example, has such an intense taste and it “hits” the taste buds so strong, in a way that no real food could do it. Taste buds are something like an alarm in the body. By differing a variety of tastes, our ancestors have formed an instinct about which foods are good and which are dangerous. The taste of the food we now eat, totally confuses our taste buds and their ability to identify food as healthy. What used to be considered healthy and tasty, nowadays can’t even be registered by our taste buds, because of all the artificial ingredients in our food. Our taste adapts to them and changes.

A typical example about how our subconscious is being manipulated, are the menus in the restaurants. The different sizes of the meals, play with our subconscious and always drives us to order the bigger portion. Even when we know that we can’t eat so much food, we always give up and order the largest. Just in case – so we won’t be left hungry!

Besides that super – stimulus, when it comes to food and artificial ingredients, which have a much more intense taste, influence our taste in a way, that the more we eat a particular food, the more we dull our senses and this leads to the need to eat bigger quantities, so we can sense the taste and feel pleasure.

Imagine that you are eating spicy food. If you do it rarely, even one bite might make you cry and sneeze. But if eating spicy food is a habit, you could probably eat more, without even having a tear. Besides that, once you get hot from the spicy food, even if you keep on eating it, you won’t feel anything, because your senses will be temporarily dulled.

Image source: www.reddit.com

Снимка: www.reddit.com

Something similar happens with the taste we sense and the systematic consumption of foods, which are full of artificial ingredients. I remember the time when I used to eat a lot of junk food. Then, an apple was the tasteless thing in the world.

Today, when for more than two years and a half I haven’t eaten even a crumble of something different than real food, even carrots have a really sweet taste.

Taste buds change their sensibility! That’s why I always say that you should give healthy eating some time and that the less you eat junk food, the less you will feel like eating it and the worst it will taste if you try it.

By not realizing the presence of super- stimulus and their ability to manipulate our decisions, we become a hypnotized society, which could be easily manipulated by the food industry ( and not just it). The problem is that this have a negative influence on the quality of our life and our own health.

Even competition in business is based on who will manage to increase the per cent, with which super –stimulus tempt us. Notice the fast food restaurants – constantly appear new menus with more spicy food, more – crunchy food; sweeter food and so forth.

Thus, our desire to eat more salty, sweeter and more fatty foods is constantly increasing and the more we give in to this temptation, the more we distance ourselves from nature and our ability to consciously control our choices.

The surprisingly big influence of super –stimulus

One of my favorite books is Influence: Psychology of Conviction” by Robert Cialdini. In the book, Cialdini gives an example how birds always choose the bigger egg because from an evolutionary perspective this has a logical meaning. The smaller egg, is more likely to not be viable enough.

Then, the bird which chooses to give life to a smaller egg, would rob the spices of the opportunity to sustain itself and keep existing. That’s why the bird chooses the bigger egg, which guarantees the continuation of the spices. In this experiment, the interesting fact was that the eggs weren’t even laid by this breed of birds – i.e. the bird chooses another egg, just because it seems more likely to be viable. You can make your own conclusions, how powerful is the influence of super – stimulus, when a bird which has strong instincts could neglect its own egg, giving birth to the eggs of another spices.

Fortunately, we have advantage to the birds- we have bigger brain, which is developed to a level, which allows us to apply self- control, through which we could overcome the drive of our instincts and get out of the traps, which our contemporary civilization sets on every corner of our existence.

Does this mean that we are destined to be dolls on strings to every super- stimulus that gets on our way?

Actually, I think that we are not! I think that when a person is consciously aware of the existence of something, then he gets the strength to resist it and cope with his own choices – consciously and not just under the momentum drive born out of an inner instinct.

At the beginning you will need strong will- the will to not give in and to stick to your conscious choices.

You know how it is said that will has limits, i.e. that it is a resource that runs out and the more we use our will, the more we exhaust our ability to take advantage of its strength and resist temptations.

Still, I think that will is a mean, which helps us get started. Will is the one that serves us as a weapon, an instrument, with which we can stick to the choice we’ve made, even though we feel a strong drive to give in to temptation.

When we stick to a new model of behavior, for a certain amount of time, we have already distant ourselves from the manipulative grasp of super – stimulus and we don’t need will in order to sustain our choices.

That’s what happens with your diet! Trust me! If somebody have told me that there will come a day when I won’t taste even a crumble of junk food and that I won’t feel any desire to do it I would have laughed at him.

Yes, initially, I also showed some will to quit eating junk foods. Gradually, my taste buds, probably remembered what is the taste of real food and allowed me to enjoy it. Today I don’t need will anymore, because carrots are sweet, apples as well; steaks and eggs are delicious and I do not need to make my food’s taste stronger by adding manmade ingredients, which destroy my body.

brussels sprouts

Super-stimulus are one of the most powerful means, which are used to manipulate our mind. The packages in the supermarket become bigger, portions in the restaurants become bigger; the taste of foods becomes more intense and it dulls our natural senses and our perception about the world as a whole. They have made us believe that natural is not something normal and that is not tasty or tempting enough.

By realizing the presence of super- stimulus we could consciously choose to not allow them to influence us.

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I Suddenly Found The Purpose of My Life

Снимка: www.sheknows.com

Снимка: www.sheknows.com

Another night, when I am sitting on the floor, surrounded y silence. The kind of night silence, where it seems that nobody is there, and everybody I asleep, but it is still kind of loud around you. There isn’t anybody besides the thoughts that rush into your mind. Another night, when I rearrange the world. So many actors and everybody needs a role. I arrange the meaning and every time the piece fit perfectly together, somebody feels that he wasn’t give a significant role. Somebody is always feeling insignificant, neglected and somebody is always fighting for a different role. Then, I rearrange the meaning, but the place of everybody is always there, where it used to be in the beginning.

We spend our life in search of meaning. We live in a huge Universe, where there is place for everybody and everybody has  his own role. We have limited the definition of success to one of its varieties and we have belittled all the rest. So many people and all of them are fighting for just one role. We forget that as every other plot, life has a role for everybody and the one under the spotlight, isn’t more important than the one behind the curtains – without all of them, the play won’t exist.

We are all fighting for the same role and we feel humiliated, not good enough when life gives us the costume and asks us to play another role.

For me, the Universe, the world is something like a living organism. We think that we are all separated from each other, but in reality we co –exist in order to sustain the same thing. Everything we do to others, we do it to our own self. Everything we do to ourselves, we do it to others. You know how in one living organism, when one cell is sick and suffering, the whole organism gets sick.

We forget that in an organism there isn’t a more important organ or cell. All of them have a particular role and a task. From the smallest particle, to the biggest organ – everything is connected. At first sight, every organ does, just, what it was created for. Just what it is made for. It seems like this, just if we look at part of the picture. But if we look everything as a whole, we see that every organ, by doing what it does best, serves to a higher goal – it sustains a complicated mechanism. It helps it function, develop and fulfill its potential.

Why do we think the Universe is any different? Why do we think that we are different? We search for meaning, which we never seem to find. We don’t do what we love, because we have belittled success to one of its varieties and we spend our whole life, trying to be successful in something that we somehow feel is not for us. Something that doesn’t bring us pleasure and satisfaction.

Last week, I listened to a podcast, which made me think about the MEANING. Like honey bees, who do what they are good at – they do honey. This is their job and they probably enjoy doing it. But is making honey their main purpose? Is making honey their mission? If you are not a honey bee and you have a look on the whole picture, you would know that bees pollinate flowers. They help flowers spread and decorate the world around us. Because of them, we can walk in a hot, summer day and pick a flower, which we can gift to somebody – to make somebody happy; somebody who needs our time and attention. And all of this, just because the bee doesn’t ask what is the meaning behind working; what is the meaning behind its existence. It just does what it is good at, while initiating a mechanism, which makes the world a better place.

Isn’t the meaning of our life the same? Just doing what we are good at and what brings us pleasure, without asking if this fits the limited definition of success. Without asking if it is enough, because let me tell you something. It is always enough. It is enough that tonight I am doing what I love – I give life to words, which come from the deepest corners of my soul. Words which will reach some of you – some will ignore them, and others will have a desperate need to grab them, to find strength in them, which will give them the confidence to do what they want.

By doing what I love, I won’t change the world, but I will help myself and somebody else who needs me. Then, the person who found the strength will gift a piece of it to somebody else. By doing what we love, we become stronger and we give strength to people in our life. What else could be the meaning of life?

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IFS Podcast #2: Move Your DNA with Katy Bowman

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It’s Ines Subashka from InspiredFitStrong.com. Today I have a really interesting guest. Her name is Katy Bowman (from Aligned and Well) and she is pretty much a wealth of knowledge. I just finished reading her last book “Move Your DNA” which is a must read. Katy has written two more books, Aligment Matters and Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief”- - a book every woman should wear in her purse. She is a producer and talent of  Aligned and Well DVD series.

Sometimes you meet people, at some stage of your life, but you are not conscious enough, yet. That’s why you fail to realize the importance of these people. That’s what happened with Katy, the first time I read her  blog 4-5 years ago. My first thought was: “What is she talking about – no furniture and “boring”, restorative movements. No, thanks! I want to lose weight and be in shape.”

I am happy that I walked a long path and that today  I realize, that exactly the information she gives us, is the information that brought in action, takes us to our goals. I can write a lot about Katy  and how important it is to listen to everything she says, but I am sure that immediately after you play the podcast, you will be fascinated by her words and she will provoke your thinking and knowledge.

In today’s podcast we will dig in topics like:

-why high heels are destroying you;

-why not having much furniture at home is a good thing;

-do you really need to sit in order to rest;

-what is the reason about the increase of osteoporosis among adults;

-what’s up with juicing and why chewing your food matters;

-should we squat like the kids;

-why you have high tension in the calves and how is this related to neck pain;

-what shoes to wear in summer and winter;

-how the way you move your arms says a lot about the shoulder problems you have

Нпмате тази книга в дамската чанта? Веднага поправете грешката ;)

If you don’t have this book in your purse, immediately go grab a copy of it! ;)

More about Katy:

Katy is a biomechanist , who gives her all to decode this complicated science into an approachable language. The information she provides, really brings in a lot of consciousness about the way we move and the importance of movement about our health and quality of life. Her books really touch your mind and provoke you to take action, because she creates a really vivid picture of how the way we move throughout the day, determines the way we feel and the way we live. If you haven’t read her books, I assure you that this is the missing piece in your life. So listen to the podcast and then go ahead and grab a copy of them.

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Quick and Delicious Broccoli Puree with Shrimp and Dried Veggies

broccoli-puree

No matter how good you live, there comes a time when you need to let go of one of your wisdom teeth. Besides the fact that now, I will need to read more in order to compensate for it ;) , I can’t eat the way I usually do. But that doesn’t bother me at all, because now I can prepare delicious purees and eat more sea food.

Today I prepared this delicious broccoli and cauliflower puree with shrimp.

Ingredients:

200 grams broccoli

200 grams cauliflower

1 table spoon butter

10-15 grams sesame seeds

dried veggies ( I have leeks, onion, carrots, peppers, parsley and other green spices)

home made bone stock

salt

4-5 black olives without the pit

marinated shrimp or some kind of fish

Directions:

Boil the broccoli and the cauliflower. Drain the water and puree them, together with the butter. Add some bone stock. Then add the olives and stir again.

Add the dried vegetables and spices.

Then put the sesame seeds in the pan for a couple minutes, until it gets brown. I know this is not the best option, but I really craved something baked.

Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top of the puree and add shrimp or fish.

The Healing Power of Illness: Why We Get Sick and Why Injuries Occur

Прекрасните ми съмишленици - Ирина Гиргинова и Димитър Дачев

My wonderful co-workers- Irina Girginova and Dimiter Dachev

The law for completion takes care the sum of all changes to lead to immutability. We believe that as time goes by a lot of things change and this believe doesn’t allow us to see that time produces, just, repetitions of the same model. Through time, shapes change, but the content stays the same.

I believe that a person is a lot more than we suppose. I believe that our body is an outer expression of our inner state and that is why I dedicated my life to researching the visible- the body and thus having the opportunity to touch the invisible – the processes, which take place in the body and the conditions and emotions which overtake us.

I believe that diseases are, actually, not a matter of bad fate, but only a signal – a scream for help, which has the goal to attract more attention toward what is happening inside of us, as a response to our actions, thoughts and lifestyle.

I believe that every part of the body, is there on purpose and that everything from the head to the foot, through our organs has a hidden token and by understanding it, by researching and observing our own body and its reactions, we could manage our life and e the creators of the conditions we wish for.

I love the book “The Healing Power of Illness”. Disease is really a path – towards the self. Disease is the refusal of the body to run away from our own self, our fears and doubts.

My past is a past full of mistakes and a lot of desperate tries to run away from who I used to e. A lot of feelings of guilt and trials to punish myself for the guilt, by torturing my body.

I decided to share with you some thoughts on the topic of disease and injuries. Conclusions, which help me to balance the scale in my own life, in times, when I allow myself to give more importance to one thing and bias the scale towards one extreme.

You know that in life everything is about balance. We ignore clichés and that is why we ignore life. Cliches, actually carry wisdom, which on a daily basis proves its validity and likelihood. Wisdom, which is resistant to time and changes. That’s why I will say it again – life is a balance and everybody who doesn’t makes the effort, to create this balance on his own, provokes life and the Universe to barge in and create it.

Everything should have balance. Still, we constantly go into extremes. We are either living on the edge of one extreme or the other. We claim one of them to be “good” and the other one ”bad”. But at the end, both extremes, like the ends of a fan, touch each other, fuse together and become one.

In this post, I will take your attention to the periods of starvation and overeating; the periods of a lot of working out, followed by injuries and long rests. I will try to help you understand why everything happens to you and how the problem is not that you don’t have good genetics or enough will. The problem is that you are trying to move against nature’s laws, and there isn’t anybody who has dared to walk against them, who haven’t been “punished” for his self- will.

Overeating and starvation. A lack of will or a lack of balance?

Balance. Every one-sidedness, should be compensated by its polarity in order to lead to balance – a condition inherent to everything which surrounds us.

If you understand this, you will never wonder where the urge to overeat comes from or why after you’ve overeaten, you always have periods that you go on a strict, depriving diet.

When we starve, for some reason, we incline the scale in one direction – towards that of deprivation and scarcity. In life, nothing can be left in one extreme. Everything exists in cycles and exactly cycles, in a slight and non-obtrusive way, manage to create balance, taking from one thing and giving it to the other.

When we deprive our body, sooner or later, there comes a moment, when the balance should be restored and that is why the irresistible desire for food strikes you. You feel as if you can’t control yourself and you wonder what is going on. Actually nothing – it is just that your nature and your instinct is doing what you consciously fail to do – it creates balance.

When on the other side, we indulge in food, there always comes a time when we feel sick and we decide to stop eating for some time; we decide to follow a strict diet with low calories. In the case we have once again disturbed the balance, but from the other end of the extremes and it should be restored.

Thus, we get in an enchanted circle where we spin in periods of one extreme, throwing us in periods to the other extreme.

That’s why eating should be balanced. That’s why we should eat enough and when for a day, we allow to go towards one extreme, we should consciously give our body what we have taken or take it what we have over given.

By observing these conditions and realizing why they occur, then we won’t need to be experts in healthy eating and we won’t need to have master degrees and certificates. Everything is much simpler and obvious. By digging way too much into the details, we miss the basics.

Too much working out, followed by injuries.

Balance. Every one –sidedness, should be compensated by its polarity.

Back in the days, I used to train A LOT – all day long. For me, the day wasn’t good, if I haven’t worked out. Workouts wasn’t a pleasure, but something like a desperate try to punish myself, for the fact that I didn’t look in a certain way; that I wasn’t as athletic as I wished or that I ate more and so forth.

I used to train a lot and I used to injure myself a lot. Everybody felt sorry for me. I was working so hard, yet I never had luck. Actually, from my present point of view, I know the reasons behind everything that happened to me in the past. Luck is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice. Luck is just a consequence of the sum of our choices.

By working out so much, I was obviously trying to run away from something and fill my voids with activity. In the same time, I inclined the scale in one direction – too much activity and absolutely no rest.

When you do not plan your rest, the rest comes unplanned – masked as a disease, injury or something else, which forces you to stay in one place and rest.

If you injure yourself often, one of the reasons is that you are probably exhausted and your body is sending you a signal that you should change something.

Diseases and injuries are something like road signs on the way to our goals. I see things this way – when there is something ( health related), it always stops me from doing some kind of activity. I think how my present state is interfering with something I want to do. Then I realize, that I have gone to an extreme in this direction and that even if I adore working out, the injury is showing me that I have overdone it and that I should change my approach.

If you are in such a situation, think how your disease or your injury is showing you that you have gone off the road and you have gone to an extreme.

Not enough physical activity and diseases

Balance. Every one-sidedness, should be compensated by its polarity. Before some of you says : “There we go! If I train I will exhaust my body, that’s why it is better to rest!”, I will drag your attention to the situation with not enough physical activity and diseases.

What could you observe when somebody is too sedentary and eats crappy food? He lives like that for certain amount of time and then disease strike him – diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, osteoporosis and so forth.

Most diseases, require from the ill person, to move more and change his diet habits – to eat healthier.

Thus, the disease, forces the ill person to choose – either to suffer from his condition or to get himself together and start moving more and eating better.

Here, once again, one extreme, leads to the situation where life causes a condition, which forcefully makes us incline the scale in the other direction.

For most people, these processes happen unconsciously. That’s why, every time when they have an improvement, they can easily get back to their old habits and the extremes.

Thus, they spin in an enchanted circle and they produce the same model over and over again.

When you are brave enough to acknowledge in front of yourself that you are the one causing these conditions, then you have another perspective on life. Then you know, that life is not your enemy and that every coercion is actually help – the help to realize what you have done and then correct it!

If you wonder why you are overeating, ask yourself how often after you overeat, you go on “cleansing diets” and starvation.

If you wonder why you injure yourself, ask if you haven’t overdone with physical activity, work and so forth.

If diseases attack you, ask yourself if you haven’t abandoned yourself and if disease I not just a kick in the ass from life, intended to force you to change.

Every condition which makes you feel negative emotions is caused by the fact that you have gone to an extreme.

Correct it and the negativity will become unnecessary in your life.

Disease is just a signal. Change your actions and you will make the disease unnecessary! 

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No Bake Tarts with Pumpkin and Cashew Filling

Снимка: http://www.healthyfoodforliving.com/

Image source: http://www.healthyfoodforliving.com/

For the last two weeks, I’ve been wanting to experiment with a pumpkin cream. I love pumpkin and cashew and I decided to make raw tarts with pumpkin cream.

I had some time and I decided that I will use it to create something delicious in the kitchen.

It turned out great. I think that this cream, becomes my favorite, healthy recipe. You know how when we used to be kids and we “helped”our mothers in the kitchen, we always hoped that they will leave more cream on the pan or the bowl, so we can lick it.

Well, that is exactly what I did. But this time the quantity was under my own control and it was so delicious, that I consciously left a solid amount, pumpkin cream, that I ate after I finished cooking.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

300-400 grams boiled pumpkin

250 grams raw cashew ( soak it beforehand)

250 grams walnuts ( soak them beforehand)

6-7 pitted dates

coconut butter

ginger

cinnamon

natural cocoa powder

vanilla

Directions:

For the base of the tarts:

Puree the dates. Blend the walnuts and mix them with the dates. When I blend the dates, I add some water, so I won’t “torture”the blender. When you get a smoother mixture, add the cocoa powder and vanilla up to taste.

For the cream:

I used boiled pumpkin, while it was still hot, so the butter could melt inside.

I pureed the pumpkin and added 2 table spoons coconut butter.

I blended the cashew and I combined it with the pumpkin. Then I added a pinch of ginger and about 1 tea spoon cinnamon ( but I love its taste, so try with half spoon and if it is not enough, add more).

Then I shaped the tarts and inside, I poured the pumpkin cream. Then I placed them in the fridge.

It is delicious!

 

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Why Your Healthy Nutrition Is Still Leaving You Hungry?

Снимка: nomnompaleo.com

Image source: nomnompaleo.com

Last week somebody asked me: “Ines, why the quantity of food that used to bring me satiety is now not enough and leaves me hungry?” I don’t manage to answer everybody personally, but I promise you that in one way or another, every one of you will receive his answer. Today, I decided to answer the question I mentioned above.

I can answer really quick and I’d say: Because the body feeds not with what we eat, but with what we absorb!

But still, because I do not want to cheat on my style, I will write 5-6 pages on the topic.

Why the quantity of food that used to bring me satiety is now leaving me hungry?

As I mentioned, the body is not like the mind- it is not satiate with quantity, but with quality! This is the paradox we observe nowadays – people who eat massive amounts of food, yet they constantly feel the need to eat.

Actually there isn’t anything paradoxical. The key is the quality of the food. In this post, I won’t write how you are supposed to quit eating crappy food and how it is not giving your body enough nutrients. I already wrote about this HERE, HERE and HERE.

Today, I will assume that you are already eating healthy, but you are still having this problem.

How does the sample menu, of a person who eats “healthy”, contains?

Снимка: www.marthastewart.com

Снимка: www.marthastewart.com

Monday: eggs, meat, curds, green salad and cucumbers.

Tuesday: eggs, meat, curds, green salad and cucumbers.

Wednesday: eggs, meat, curds, green salad and cucumbers.

Thursday: eggs, meat, curds, green salad and cucumbers.

Friday: eggs, meat, curds, green salad and cucumbers.

Saturday: eggs, meat, curds, green salad and cucumbers.

Sunday: eggs, meat, curds, green salad and cucumbers.

How CLEAN –literally!

The problem is that the food you eat is real food, but it is still not enough. Your nutrition should take a lot of things, into account. HERE, I explained that the diet is not static, but dynamic. As such, it should be changed, together with the changes in our life – those that depend on us, like the amount of physical activity, sleep, recovery, as well as those of the environment we live in- like seasons and the change in temperature and the available foods for every season.

I’ve written before about the changes in our nutrition, as a consequence from the change of seasons and when we are supposed to eat more carbs and when we should eat more fat.

What happens when we eat the same foods over and over again?

When we eat the same foods, our body should digest them. In the digestion of every type of food, particular processes get activated and particular enzymes participate.

If we always eat the same thing, our body runs out of the enzymes that digest this food. Thus, we eat enough, but we do not absorb enough. And then, our body starves!

If you have 2 eggs, butter, avocado and broccoli, for breakfast, every single day, you are exhausting your body’s ability to absorb that food.

What should you do?

Try to approach your diet from its dynamic side. Research which foods are available this season and eat them. Don’t eat strawberries in February or oranges in August. Don’t eat green salads all year long. Vary the veggies, the fish, meat and your fat sources.

What could be the other reasons?

Снимка: spectrummuminmalaysia.com

Снимка: spectrummuminmalaysia.com

You do not eat fermented foods. Here, everything comes up to if you absorb food.

You know that in our body there are trillions of bacteria. Even though the word bacteria is associated with something negative, in our body, there are a lot of bacteria, which we need – the so called good bacteria. They are something like our best friends.

Bacteria are what transforms the indigestible or toxic compounds, in nutrient dense foods. With the help of enzymes ( they are something like the weapons of work), bacteria transform these foods and pathogens in ingredients, which bring benefit for the body.

By using enzymes and bacteria, the body can produce vitamins and amino acids from materials like sugar, starch and cellulose.

What happens is that these bacteria, actually feed on what is harmful for our body.

Good bacteria do a lot of good things for us – they free the minerals, that are “imprisoned” in veggies; they aid in the production of vitamins, contribute for the improvement of the functioning of the digestive system.

Good bacteria are familiar like probiotics. They conserve, detox and enrich our food. Actually, one of their benefits is that they secret hormones, which aid in the coordination of the muscle contractions of the intestine peristaltic; as well as they have the task to deal with pathogens – the bad bacteria.

Fermented foods, give us exactly this – probiotics, which improve the functioning of our digestive system and turn indigestible foods in digestible and absorbable.

If the food you eat does not bring you satiety or nothing tastes good, the reason is that you are not eating the proper foods and your body is starving, even though at first sight you are overeating.

Add fermented foods.

Are there other reasons why the food that used to keep you full is now leaving you hungry?

Не пропускайте рецептата за пещерната мусака на Митко

Пещерната мусака на Митко. Рецептата ще откриете в новия IFS Journal.

As I already mentioned, the diet is not static. There is a big chance, that in your desire to achieve your desired body, you’ve increased the amount of physical activity, but you didn’t change your nutrition. Maybe you spend more energy and your body needs more food.

Answer the question, if your physical activity has increased. If so, do not wonder that you are hungry – sit and eat as an adult and not as a two year old.

Last but not least, the change in seasons has A HUGE impact on what we eat and if we get satiate.

The change in temperature is a signal, that the body interprets. First of all, we are part of nature and we have evolved to exist in synchrony with it. During the winter months, because of the cold, our body has different needs and the foods we eat in summer, cannot keep us healthy in winter.

In winter, we need more animal products and more winter veggies ( mainly leafy greens and fermented foods).

Give it a thought! Is your nutrition the same as it was during the summer months when even meat lovers, like me, rarely eat meat and indulge in more eggs and fish.

Here are some of the achievements of the people I train with!

Nadezhda and her first handstand steps:

Mitko and his progress on the renegade row.

Venelin and his super strength.

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When Your Feet Hurt, Everything Hurts!

Инес Субашка

Ines Subashka

Nowadays we have really mistaken measures of health. For us, a healthy person is the one who trains, eats vegetables and yogurt and the one who can wear tight clothes, without his fat hanging over. That is a pretty superficial notion.

When our idea for health is such, then our actions, which aim for health improvement, will be the same – absurd.

We think that health comes up to what we put on our plate and how many times we week we go to the gym. Often times, exactly our actions that aim for health, are those that harm us more than they help.

Lower back pain, knee pain and foot pain has become something normal. Something like an inevitable evil, that accompanies aging. Actually, the human body is created for much more than this. The human body is created to function, perfectly, a lot longer than the first 10-15 years of our life.

The thing is that, the body can function perfectly, for a long time, just in case we take care of it. We approach our body, just the way we treat technologies – we use them to the max, and then, when something new comes out, we throw away the old one and substitute it for another one. Unfortunately, this practice is not applicable to the body. We can’t substitute it with e newer model. That’s why we are trying to “sew” it with pills, surgeries and all kind of “treatments”.

If we take care of our body, we can take advantage of its physical capacity, for a long time.

The health of the body, our bone system, starts from… our feet! Yes! We really underestimate the importance of our feet, but the problems with the feet, lead to problems in the ankles, knees, hips, lower back, neck and so forth.

Feet are for our body, what tires are for the car. If the tires are flat, then the car won’t be able to move.

Feet are really important. They, together with our eyes, ears and nose are something like a sensory organ. You know how old people say, that feet have a lot of “dots”. Actually, the feet, through these “dots”, draw a neurological picture, which is being transmitted to the brain. By stepping on a particular surface, the way we step, the mobility we have and the position that the foot is placed in, draws a painting for the terrain – if you are walking on a flat surface, if it is a steep hill, if there are stones, sand, water and etc. The momentum deformation in the joints, as a consequence from our steps, give information for the environment you are placed in. The meaning behind this information system is that the data for our environment, provokes a response from the body.

Actually, our feet can perform around 20 000 movements. That is a pretty serious number, but we have taken it down to just 2-3 movement, as a consequence from our lifestyle and the shoes in which we enchain our feet.

Some time ago, I read all books written by Katy Bowman (actually, you should definitely read, at least Move Your DNA, and soon you can expect my podcast with Katy), where she gave a really precise example about what shoes mean to our feet. Imagine that you place your hands in two wooden boxes and then you are forced to perform all your daily actions with the boxes. How would you feel and how much freedom of your movements would you have? That is what shoes are for our feet – something like wearing a cast for a lifetime.

The way we step and the condition of our feet, is being transmitted through the whole body. You know that the body has mechanisms, which always strive to compensate for defects in the system, so they can still sustain its functioning. If there is a lack of mobility in the ankles, flat feet and so forth, then everything up the chain will start compensating.

This happens for example with our knees and hips. I will explain this later on in this post.

Did you know that our toes are supposed to be spread, just like the fingers on our hands? Our second toe ( the one to the big toe) is supposed to be parallel to the outer part of the foot. Something that is completely impossible for most people, keeping in mind the position, that our foot is forced to be in, when we wear shoes.

Снимка: http://www.katysays.com/

Снимка: http://www.katysays.com/

Do you think that your toes could be spread, when you wear this?

Снимка: commons.wikimedia.org

Снимка: commons.wikimedia.org

Shoes and especially high heels ( I already wrote twice about them ( HERE and HERE) ), literally rob us out of the opportunity to be healthy. You know how shoes, squeeze our toes one on top of the other. This disturbs the stability and balance of our body. If you are a woman, I am sure that you hate the bones, that appear on your feet. Lately, it is a trend to remove them surgically. What a paradox! We are incline to have surgeries, but we are not open to change simple stuff in our daily life, in order to prevent this conditions.

I won't even comment this...

Дори няма да коментирам…

These bones, appear, exactly because of the position that we force our feet in – squeezed toes, means our foot gets narrow. Thus, the body is searching for more stability and creates another structure, which in additional way, broadens the foot and creates balance.

Ето как изглежда крака ви с токче

That’s how your foot looks like in a heel

Walking in shoes, leads to atrophy of the muscles on our feet. Do you remember about the 20 000 movements, that the foot can perform? We limit them to just 2-3! What happens with the muscles responsible for all other movements? They are not being used, and this means they atrophy.

By burying our legs in shoes, flip flops, high heels, we change the painting, that “the dots” of our feet draw and send to our brain. Thus, the system of the body, which responds back how the body should be positioned in a response to the environment it is placed in, receives wrong information and does not react in a way that suits the momentum need of the body.

The information, which the foot sends to the brain, allows our brain to integrate this information and respond with the best possible position of the ankle or the hips. A position, which allows the body to move forward, without significant distortion, which could possibly have a negative effect on the joints or soft tissues.

What happens with us? Our feet give a wrong information. This information is followed by a response, which does not suit the environment we are placed in. This places us in situations, where a small stone, a slight hill or a hole in the pavement, is more than enough to sprain our ankle or fall down. It happens like this, because our feet and ankle have lost mobility and sensibility and they do not manage to transmit correct information. Then, the brain cannot send a response, which will position the body in a way that will allow for smooth overcoming of the “obstacle”.

Maybe you have noticed that a sprained ankle, a broken arm or elbow, after a fall on the ground ( on a flat surface) is something common.

Shoes enchain our feet and rob the ankles out of mobility. The soles of most shoes, always have a small heel. This positions the foot in a way, where the toes are always pointing down and the heel is lifted up. This leads to the “beautiful” posture, which is inherent to a lot of people – slightly bent knees, which lead to the shortening of the calf muscles and the hamstrings. This leads to a shift in the position of the pelvis and takes the body out of its neutral posture. Each diversion from the neutral posture, leads to a flexion in the lower part of your spine and then your lower back starts hurting. What happens with your lower back, is being felt all the way to your neck and shoulders.

Например тези обувки. Повечето маратонки също имат сходен модел с повдигната пета.

For example this shoes. Most sneakers and running shoes have the same model – with elevated heel.

That’s how, just the fact that we are constantly wearing shoes, leads to all this pain and injuries.

This topic is pretty vast, so I will dedicate one of my next articles to some advices, that you might use in order to keep your feet healthy and decrease the negative consequences of wearing shoes. Until then, you might watch this.

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Sitting Is Killing You! Check Out How!

squatting-desk

Sitting is toxic!

Just like you can’t eat cupcakes, then skip dinner and call it healthy.

The same way, you can’t sit all day, train for 1 hours and think that you are active and taking care of your health!

You are not built for it!

Move more. Squat deep. Walk and challenge your body to spend the day in different positions!

You are not a furniture and you are not meant to sit all day!

Watch the video:

And here is my new possession, thanks to All 1 Studio and their new product ( HERE).

squatting-desk

Actually, get off the chair IMMEDIATELY! Squat down and spend a couple minutes like this!

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If You Don’t Make Progress with Your Workouts, Here Is The Mistake You Are Making!

tanya

We approach our workout, the way we approach life- we rush through them, without paying attention to the details; without taking enough time on every movement, every rep. We get in the gym and we do everything just so we can cover the standards. We think that the faster we do something, the better will be the effect. In reality, in the   long term, quicker is always slower!

One of the most common mistakes, and in the same time the one that few people realize, is rushing through the exercises! The uncontrolled performance of the movement!

The reasons for this mistake might be a lot. Some of them are:

1.You think that the faster it is, the better.

2.You put way too much weight, which doesn’t allow you to focus on the execution, and instead it force you to do everything, as quick as possible, just so you can get rid of the load.

3.You are doing it, because it feels easier and you want to get done with the set; to cover the standards and just get back home.

One of the things that really drives me insane is the quick execution of the exercises. It seems as if the trainee is just slacking.

The loading is determined by a lot of factors and one of them is the so called TUT or in other words Time Under Tension- how much time your muscles will be under pressure.

There is even a training method, which is based on training REALLY slow. Actually, I am a huge fan of it and I perform most exercises extremely slow and controlled.

A lot of trainees underestimate the fact, that muscles do work, in both- the positive and the negative part of the movement ( i.e. when you ascend and descend). What you might observe in the gym I how the negative part, usually shows the inability of the trainee to resist gravity.

Renegade row? You can always hear when somebody is doing it. Usually, the trainee will crash the dumbbell into the floor in a way that will make the plaster fall off the walls.

Actually, the next time, try to lower the weight extremely slow and instead of crashing the dumbbells into the floor- place them on the floor- silently and gently. You will feel how the exercise gets harder and you feel your muscles working twice as more!

Squats? Usually when I see somebody squatting, his movement resembles the fall of a comet- absolutely no control over the execution of the movement and just flowing with inertia.

Actually, in order to have better loading, in order to have better effect from the exercise, you should do it slowly and in a controlled fashion- both in the negative and the positive part.

I love it when somebody says that the goal of the exercise is not supposed to do it slowly. Really? I thought that the goal of the exercise is to keep your muscles under pressure and to resist gravity!

Workouts, pretty much, obey to laws of Physics. And keeping in mind how everybody “loves” Physics, it is no wonder that we train the way we do and that our workouts, instead of being personification of control and preciseness, they are personification of inertia, rushing and hurry over.

The slower you perform the exercise, the better will be your control over the movement. The control over the movement, allows you to feel how your body reacts, if your technique is right, while in the same time it challenges your muscles to work, by counteracting to gravity, in order to push, pull, and etc. the weight.

I have a mission for you! Dedicate this week to the slow execution of the exercises. Then come back and write me if you feel the difference.

Until then, here is an example how squatting with body weight, can become from extremely easy movement, a pretty challenging one! It’s all about TUT!

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A Story About Myself: Something That I’ve Been Wanting To Share With You

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They say that the book left unwritten kills you. I’d say that the words left unsaid, words, which you do not breath into life, are always standing on the border between the inner and the external world. They always build a wall, that you hit against and then it pushes you back. There are stories, which insist on being told- I don’t know if they love attention or if they just feel that somebody else might need to know about their existence. What I know is that I have such a story, that I’ve been holding inside my soul for a couple weeks, yet it insists on being called into life. It is constantly reminding me about its existence and it whines that I do not take time and attention to pack it in words and give it eternity on the white sheet.

Well, today I decided to do it, so it can let me move forward- so I can gather more moments, that I could share with you!

I have to catch up on telling you about a couple journeys- about the beautiful eco path of Ivan Vazov, the trip in the mountain on a bike and the walk in the village of Plana and the discovery of the eco farm “Elata”.

The Eco Path of Ivan Vazov

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Sometimes I read books, and I think about their author- who was he, what was his life like, what thoughts were running in his mind. I wonder where he got his inspiration- from the pain, the joy, the betrayals or the shared moments.

When, I and Ivaylo went on a walk through the eco path of Ivan Vazov ( a famous Bulgarian poet and writer), I answered these questions.The place is truly magical and mystical. Some kind of peace surrounds you and you feel like time and space are being rend and give you an opportunity to visit a different world, full of meaning.

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I don’t know about you, but I have a desperate need from nature.When I am far away from it, my soul is always starving. Not when I am surrounded by nature. It always manages to give me what nothing else could manage to offer me… even I myself fail to do it. Nature always has one small corner, where I can sit on the grass and feel that I am something more than myself. A corner, where I am surrounded by silence.  place that allows me to cry, without somebody asking me what has happened- not because he really cares, but because he is hungry for gossips.  Nature always gives me a ray of sunshine, when it is winter into my soul. Every night, in my honor, the moon shines bright and swings me for comfort. The wind which is gently blowing and hugging me, just to remind me that I am not alone, or the birds, which are there, by my side- without wanting or expecting something. They just feel that I need to have somebody by my side, but still, I have the desperate need for somebody to accept me without unraveling me.

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The eco path of Ivan Vazov is close to Sofia and you do not need to plan the trip.You just need to catch the train and get on the way. Get off the train on the rail station- Bov. I adore rail stations. There are something special about them. At first sight, all rail stations seem the same. They seem kind of lonely and express some kind of melancholy. You stare at the huge clock, typical for most stations and you are filled with the feeling of expectation- time, which exists so you are not forced to experience everything at once. Stations are the places, which noiselessly gather  the memories about the most silent, but at the same time the most emotional moments of people- the moments of meeting and departure. The moments, when one goodbye and one look, express more than all the words.They pack all feelings and all hopes.

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The station is surrounded by the greatness of the mountain. We got on the way towards the Eco path of Vazov. The uphill path was really peaceful. I was staring at the houses and I once again established that the home says a lot about its hosts. Actually, the home is the storage place, where we gather memories; the hiding- place where you hide from others and where you allow yourself to be left naked- and I do not mean to strip your clothes. I mean naked- by yourself- to undress the masks of your ego and to be left in your true essence.

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The home of a person speaks instead of himself. There are homes, where, when you walk in the air smells of love and care. There is some kind of presence and something that encourages you to ask the hosts to rent you a room and give you the opportunity to live there. There are homes, where you walk in and they seem neat and tidy, but the air smells of loneliness; and the rooms echo from the voids and emptiness.

The home, reflects the soul of the person. You know what I am talking about, right? You will hang up a couple pictures, but in reality you are hanging up memories- for people, for moments that you want to grab and hold forever.  But you know how everything is temporary, so at least you can have them like trophies on the wall, that remind you it has happened. You will place a couple flowerpots- a sign that you love helping others; you love lifting them up, when they are feeling down; helping them step on the next level, when the present place is narrow and uncomfortable; to enjoy the beauty of others, without being jealous and even help them flourish.

If you are rich enough… and I am talking about the richness of the soul, you will have one of this huge libraries, full of books- closed books, that keep the secrets- the secrets of the states of your soul, your moods, emotions and convictions.

If you really have a home, it will always carry the smell of the vanilla you just spilled, while you  were making a dessert for your loved once. It will probably have big, clean windows that will reflect the world on the outside and that will let the light come into your secret place. But just if you have a home!

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Walking there and observing the houses, I felt as if I could sneak into the souls of people and I could find out who is hiding behind the walls.

The path uphill is beautiful.It is kind of steep but it is a pleasure to walk there, you will get to the waterfall of Skaklya, which is ASTONISHING. Such an amazing view. There is on cliff, where you can sit and observe how you are a part of something great. You are a part of a Universe, which probably happened just so it can give us an opportunity to meet each other, discover our own self and feel complete.

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When you get to the waterfall, do not give up and keep walking uphill.

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There is a really steep staircase, which is the perfect place to train. Some jumping or running up the stairs is never a surplus.Then you will get to a meadow with colchicums. This was our six star restaurant. there are wooden benches, where you can sit and take  a rest, but we always prefer the grass. We walked through the village, where there is a small restaurant. The shop was closed, but the restaurant was open.

We ordered two pork steaks. While we were waiting for the steaks, we walked through the village and we gathered a lot of walnuts. The nature is extremely generous in autumn.  The steaks were huge and delicious.We got back to the meadow with the colchicums, where we took out the home grown vegetables that we bought near the rail station.

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We intended on going further to Lakatnik. This was our initial plan. But Ivo and I are not tourists- we are travelers.We departure with one plan, and then we follow the rhythm of the journey. Do you know the difference between a traveler and a tourist? Tourists go around sight-seeings like they are hypnotized. The have the mere goal, to “step”on every sightseeing, to hang the memory on their ego and show off that they’ve visited a lot of places. The tourists travel in order to cover some kind of a norm.

Travelers, on the other hand, travel for experiences. They don’t visit, just the popular places, but they are driven by their inner feeling and they walk in the direction where their instinct leads them.

The day was sunny and beautiful, so after the delicious lunch, we decided to just lay on the grass and enjoy the nature and the peace. I felt as if I was 8 years old, lying down on the meadow.  The time when “should”and “must”used to be just an annoying word, used by adults, just to interrupt my entertainment and joy.

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Around 5p.m., we headed back. The way down is a pleasure and you will get back to the station with ease.

Then we headed back to Sofia. I love roads like this- through the mountain, where every turn reveals an amazing view. You drive and in reality you are going through heaven. And the best part are the sunsets that seem amazing.

You should definitely visit this place! I will wait for your stories!

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A MUST TRY RECIPE: Pumpkin Soup in Pumpkin From Kristina Borisova

 

Kristina Borisova

Since October is the month of pumpkins, I decided to start a pumpkin recipe challenge. I received great recipes, and today I will share with you one of them. Kristina Borisova, who is a professional chef sent it to me.

Ingredients:

2 table spoons coconut butter

1 head onion, cut

1 big head celery

2 table spoons curry

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

400 ml. coconut milk

3 and a half tea cups pumpkin puree (800 grams pumpkin)

1 tea spoon honey

50ml brandy

1 small pumpkin

Directions:

Melt the butter and add the onion. Saute it. Add celery, curry and let it saute. Add the stock, coconut milk, pumpkin puree, brandy and honey. Leave it on slow heat until ready.

Puree the mixture. Get it back on the heat until it starts boiling.

Take the smaller pumpkin, take out the seeds and bake it in the oven with some salt and butter. After you bake it, pour the pumpkin soup inside.

Ass some shredded coconut and sliced almonds.

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The Food Intolerance Bible: A Guide to Cure Stomach Pain, Bloating, Food Cravings and Mood Swings

Снимка: www.therootofhealth.com

Image source: www.therootofhealth.com

In our evolution, somewhere along the way, we made the wrong turn and we distanced ourselves from our natural environment, which offers us an abundance of the resources, which we need in order to survive and thrive- both physically, emotionally and socially.

On the road, we are slowly but surely losing our instincts which guarantee us well- being and we rush into chasing goals which robs us even more.

We are mistakenly searching for a solution to the problems, by getting in a severe battle with the symptoms, while we are ignoring the cause. Thus, we get to a dead end, where, initially we have the hope that we are on the right path and later on we are left disappointed, having realized that all efforts were in vain – everything was just a desperate try to mask the visible and feed the illusion that we got rid of the invisible- the one that causes the problems.

We have the same approach towards our health. We accept that one thing or another is harming us; we waste efforts, trying to defend from intruders, and in the same time we are not making any efforts for the most important thing- our own body.

Something like bacteria and antibiotics. We accept the fact that the bacteria is the problem and the solution is the antibiotic. This statement misses one important detail- it is the environment or in other word our body, not the bacteria or virus, what matters. When the body is healthy and strong, even when it is exposed to viruses, it has inborn mechanisms that can cope with them.

Unfortunately our lifestyle, contributes to disarming our body and robbing it out of the ability to survive.

We are trying to improve our lifestyle, by focusing our efforts towards the world of material things and we ignore the most precious- our body and its health.

We make huge efforts in all directions, and no efforts when it comes to giving our body quality food, enough rest and the required dose of physical activity.

The food we eat matters! It matters more than you suggest. Until you realize this truth, no matter what you do, your “embed” health will always be a temporary condition, which is slowly but surely transitioning in destruction.

Food intolerances are among the most common causes of physical decay and as the time goes, they become the main reason for a lot of diseases.

It is kind of ironic. What we can influence- the food we eat, is actually destroying us, because we have given up the control in this direction and we are completely ignoring the need to pay attention to the quality of our food.

I ask you to join me to a short adventure, where you will understand how the food we eat, influences the health of our body; you will understand how you should listen better to the signals your body sends you- because it knows the best! Your body doesn’t lie and it knows what you need and what you should give up.

Stress creates problems and contributes to the development of foos intolerances.

Food intolerances can create a huge spectrum of symptoms. They can be divided in two categories- physical ( they are mostly connected with digestion) and psychological/ emotional/ behavioral.

Sometimes, you don’t need to have clear symptoms, that will hint you that you have a food intolerance.

It is easy to understand what is the connection between what you put in your mouth ( what you eat) and what happens with your digestion. It is harder to realize the connection between what you eat and the way you behave and what happens in your mind.

Our digestive system is built in a way, that allows it to absorb small nutrient components, which give our body what it needs. Our digestive system, doesn’t always manage to interfere with the absorption of some components, which in one way or another interfere with our organs’ proper functioning.

The most common foods that provoke intolerances

If I had to list the most common foods that provoke intolerances, they would be as follows:

-dairy ( everything you need to know about dairy HERE )

-grains, foods that contain gluten ( plenty of information about grains)

-soy ( more about soy HERE)

-sugar

-vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes

Nowadays, a lot of people complain from symptoms, which they accept for something normal and as a natural consequence from getting older. Nowadays almost every person complains from one of the following symptoms- bloating, stomach ache; burping after eating; gas; problems with going to the bathroom; leaky nose; nausea; water retention; anxiety; depression; trouble sleeping;  inability to concentrate; mood swings; lack of motivation; skin problems.

Disease like arthritis; leaky gut; joint pain are widely spread.

Often times, even though we undergo a lot of testing, we can’t establish the reason for these conditions. As it often happens, we ignore the simple things and we dig deeper into the more complicated.  In other words, we search for the reason not in its source, but in its consequences. I think that we should reconsider our attitude towards health and the treatment methods and before we turn to the traditional medicine, we should each in our own habits and the lifestyle we create through them. This would mean, that before we go to the doctor and before we take a handful of pills, which only suppress the symptom, but do not cure the disease, we should try to do something on our own. The first and most important thing is to pay attention to the quality of our food, the quality of our rest – which includes the quantity of sleep; limiting stress; the level of physical activity- here every extreme is not desired.

All the symptoms listed above, could be due to one thing- food intolerance. The good news is that we have almost full control over the food we eat and as long as we identify the reason, we can take care for the solution.

Maybe you are wondering how could it be that one food intolerance, causes all these symptoms?

The reactions that follow the food intolerance are a result of our immune system- something like an interaction between food, our digestive system; white blood cells and the antibodies to the specific types of food. These antibodies are called immunoglobulins. There are 5 types of immunoglobulins: IgA,IgD,IgE,IgG и IgM. Probably they seem more like “mystical signs”, but if you have happened to have your blood tested, you might have noticed the presence of this combination of letters.

So! Immunoglobulins are the antibodies. They are being produced in a response to the presence of antigens- the food molecules, towards which our body produces antibodies.

Keeping in mind the number of times we eat every day, this means that our body is constantly producing antibodies towards the foods we eat and the most interesting is that the body produces the most antibodies for the foods we eat the most.

There are a lot of reactions to the food, which is not necessary to be initiated by our immune system. Instead, these reactions are caused by inflammation provokers, like histamine, prostaglandin, serotonin and so forth.

Some foods, influence on the release of these inflammation mediators or they can even contain high levels of the substations mentioned above, which in turn lead to a reaction of intolerance. For example wine, spinach, tomatoes, sausage, contain high amounts of histamine.

Other foods, provoke the release of a particular substantion. For example strawberries, tomatoes, chocolate, bananas and alcohol provoke the release of histamine.

Other foods contain protein groups, which in one way or another, have the ability to influence on the construction of blood vessels- cabbage, cheese, citruses, all packaged foods, potatoes.

There are a lot of ways, to test the intolerance towards a particular food. Unfortunately, a big part of them are not reliable, and others require an expensive equipment and apparatuses, in  order to be applied, which doesn’t make them approachable.

There are a couple simple ways to detect a food intolerance:

The pulse test.

What is it?

If your pulse gets faster after you’ve eaten a particular food, this means that you probably have an intolerance to it. Actually if you limit the consumption of sweets and doughy foods for a month and then you once again introduce them in your diet, you will notice that your pulse I always higher after eating them. Besides that you will feel bloated, you will have gas and you will feel sluggish. These foods are the foundation of most people’s diet and few people realize their harm.

 

Eliminating food

Through eliminating a particular food, you get the chance to see which food groups provoke a reverse, negative reaction.

Here, it is appropriate to exclude the main food groups, that cause food intolerances and follow this nutrition plan for a month. Then, introduce every food group, one by one, by giving each one of them a period of 4-5 days, in order to see how you feel. If the negative symptoms are still there after 5 days, this means that you definitely have an intolerance towards this food group.

The main reasons for having food intolerances:

-eating the same foods every day

-artificial colors, preservatives

-eating too fast

- inability to digest- really low levels of stomach acid; not enough production of enzymes

-imbalance in the gut flora

-taking too many antibiotics; painkillers or other type of pills

- too much stress

Nowadays even though the variety of foods, spices and the different ways to prepare them, we often emphasize on 5-6 types of foods and we exclude everything else. The worst thing is that a lot of people , build their diet on the food groups that are the main reason for food intolerances- dairy and grains. By eating the same foods on a daily basis, we are asking for a reaction from the immune system. Besides that the variety of nutrients, that we give to our body is limited and this leads to some health problems.

One of the reasons for the severe reaction from the immune system, towards to foods we eat on a daily basis are the artificial ingredients. Everything that comes to us, packaged, always contains something man made, which harms our body. Small harms like this, caused on a daily basis lead to disease.

Eating too fast

When you eat too fast, the food you chew doesn’t have the ability to be broken down properly, so when it reaches the stomach it is not ready for digestion. This means that stomach juices and digestive enzymes cannot digest it and as a consequence, the indigested proteins can go through the stomach lining, which provokes a reaction from the immune system, which leads to food intolerances.

Besides that, chewing the food, aids in the stimulation of the defending stomach barrier, under the form of EGF- epidermal growth factor. It aids the growth of cells in the intestines. Chewing allows our digestive system to know what foods are coming and prepare for them. Eating too fast, is a shock for our digestive system.

Besides that when the mind is busy, while we are eating, the digestive system “switches off”. The mind sends signals to the body, that it is busy with something and this takes away the focus from the process of digestion. And after all, if we fail to digest the food properly, this leads to a cascade of consequences, which cause food intolerances.

Improper digestion

The lack of hydrochloric acid and enzymes is a common problem. If you do not digest the food properly, then there is a big risk, that the proteins in your food, will go through the stomach lining and this will increase the risk of leaky gut, which is a premise for proteins entering in the bloodstream, which our immune system registers as intruders and then attacks them.

Improper digestion, the lack of hydrochloric acid, increases the risk of bad bacteria and parasites.

The importance of hydrochloric acid ( HA), comes from the fact that it aids in the digestion of proteins; it interfere with the growth and development of bad bacteria; it aids the proper functioning of the bile fluid and it stimulates the production of enzymes. Besides that it participates in the absorption of important micronutrients.

Low levels of stomach acid, lead to bad digestion of proteins, fats and carbs. This in turn leads to symptoms like burping, bloating and gas.

HA is responsible for important digestive functions and if they do not run smoothly, there is a higher risk of food intolerances. The presence of bad bacteria, iron deficiency, burping and bloating are an indicator for low levels of HA.

Imbalanced gut flora

The pancreas has the main responsibility for the production of digestive enzymes. Not enough enzymes is a widely spread condition. The lack of enzymes leads to a lot of trouble. One of the main problems is the inability to digest, which leads to inability to absorb micronutrients, which are needed for our body’s proper functioning.

Not properly digested food, stays in the intestines and becomes food for bad bacteria. This lead to stomach ache, gas and bloating. Feeding intruders in your bod, leads to bad break down of protein and increases the unwanted reactions from your immune system.

The symptoms which are a sign of the lack of digestive enzymes are exhaustion, skin problems, inability to gain weight, gas, bloating, headache.

Probably, you notice that the symptoms overlap. Every one of them is caused by something that has to do with food- quantity, quality, cooking method and so forth.

If you have some of these symptoms, but you have accepted them for a normal state, now it is the time to overthink it and pay more attention to your food; experiment and make the fine tunes, which will improve the way you feel.

Antibiotics

Sad but true, nowadays people take antibiotics, the way kids eat candy- all the time and there is always “a sound” reason for it. Antibiotics interfere with the activity of probiotics, they interfere with the normal functioning in the intestines, lower the intestine immunity and welcome the development of bad bacteria. This increases the risk of leaky gut, which is always accompanied by a negative reaction from the immune system and food intolerances.

Pain killers

We take them with and without reason. All of them damage the tissue of the stomach lining.

Here comes the time for SLgA, which is a secretory immunoglobulin. This is the most common immune protein in the body. It covers the surface of the stomach lining. It plays the role of inner barrier, which defends us. SLgA is not the only form of immune cells in the intestines, but it is the main one.

Many of the reasons for food intolerances- stress, pills, bad gut flora- influence this secretory immunoglobulin, by lowering its levels.

Another reason for the increase of food intolerances and allergies is the mania for cleaning in our contemporary society. By not being exposed to our environment in its natural state, we fail to get exposed to substantions which could provoke the production of antibodies and thus, we fail to stimulate our immunity. All of you, can think of kids, who have been kept by their parents in really sterilized conditions. Even though their overprotectiveness, more often than not, these kids are always sick, they have allergies and so forth, compared to the kids that have bene raised more liberally.

Stress

Stress is a hot topic. We constantly blame on it a lot of guilt. The problem is that as it often happens we are blaming the guilty, but we do not take any action to minimize the negative consequences it causes. When it comes to stress, we blame on it a lot of diseases, but we don’t make any efforts to consciously influence some of the factors, which cause it, and thus decrease its harm.

How stress has a two direction influence?

Let’s say that you are eating foods to which you have food intolerance or you have the so called disbiosis ( disturbed ecology in your stomach), which causes inflammation in your body and provokes the production of inflammatory chemicals. These chemicals get into your bloodstream and they are being attacked by the body. As a consequence immune complexes are being formed, which move through your bloodstream and they are being detected by your brain- or to be more precise, this part of the brain, which is responsible for the instructions what hormones should be secreted. When the brain detects these inflammatory markers, it is immediately mobilized to respond, by signaling for the production of anti-inflammatory hormones. These hormones are being produced by the adrenal gland. The main hormone, which is being produced is cortisol. This means that the sickness in the stomach, sends signals to your brain and in a response it “orders”the production of the hormone of stress. Imagine it like this – you are constantly exposed to the influence of these foods ( you are intolerant to them).

Then your body will chronically release high levels of stress hormones and in a continuous period, this will lead to the so popular, nowadays, adrenal fatigue. On the other hand, high levels of cortisol, decrease the levels of SlgA and interfere with te repair of the stomach lining. Everything spins in an enchanted circle.

Besides that you’ve probably heard that the stomach is something like the second brain of the body. That is the place where there is a bunch of nerves, which receive and send signals to our organs. When there is some disturbance in the stomach, the nerve system is immediately informed about it. This activates the sympathetic nervous system, which responds for the reactions of the body in critical situations. When this part of the nervous system is activated, this sends signals to the body that it is in danger and this mobilizes its strength to fight the danger, which is potentially threatening its survival. This leads to our digestive system, being deprived from proper blood stream, which causes a cascade of unwanted conditions, which cause symptoms and disease that make you feel bad.

What turns out?

All symptoms, which signalize for food intolerances are some of the most common conditions of the contemporary person. Just think about it! How many people told you today, that they are tired, bloated or that they feel heaviness in their stomach; gas?

I bet that at least two people said it!

How many of them pay attention to these symptoms, and how many of them think about what they eat and how their body responds to it?

Almost nobody! I am sure that most of these people, regularly go to the doctor or take pills, which suppress the symptoms. Is that normal! Absolutely not!

The way that food intolerances have a negative influence on the health, could be summed up like this:

Food intolerances cause a negative response from the body, which interferes with the proper functioning of the organs and all systems in the body. Usually this type of intolerances are followed by a destruction of the stomach lining and leaky gut, which deactivates part of the defensive mechanisms of the body and allows the leaking of intruders in zones, where their presence is unwanted.

This mobilized the immune system to take everything under control and get rid of the intruders, which increases the level of stress. The signals for chronic stress, redirect the attention to vital functions in the body and focus it on the mere goal to survive. Everything spins in an enchanted circle and the second brain- the stomach, sends signals which once again activate the defensive mechanisms of the body, which provoke stress.

Thus, just what we eat, can cause a cascade of negative reactions in the body, which spin us in an enchanted circle and only adequate actions could save us.

Once you realize the importance of the food you eat, you will need patience and you will need to give your body enough time to recover ad start functioning.

Spend the next week, writing down what you eat. Thus, you will have real proofs for the food you eat and your mind won’t be able to fool you that you are eating properly.

Then, check out which are the foods that might cause your symptoms. Exclude them and stay away from their consumption for a month. Then, slowly, through the interval of 4 days, introduce tem in your meals. Pay attention to the difference in the way you feel and if the symptoms are there again, this means that you must exclude these food groups.

In order to help your body recover, you can take probiotics and digestive enzymes, which will help you feel better. Pay attention to the foods you eat every day. Try to introduce more variety. Eat fermented foods.

Food matters and our health is our most precious gift! Take care of it!

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6 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Working Out

Jen Selter

Jen Selter

1.Workouts don’t make you healthy, movements makes you healthy!

We live in a society, where we worship extremes. We swing from one extreme to another. This is true for our workouts- we either don’t train at all or we train to exhaustion and call this a healthy lifestyle.

Let e tell you- I was on this path. I used to be one of these people who wake up at 4a.m. in order to walk 3 miles to the gym; I used to wake up at 4a.m. in order to go to a swimming workout before work and school. I used to train twice a day, EVERY SINGLE DAY!

I used to live with the thought that I do more than those sitting in a chair all day long. I called my extreme – healthy, and their extreme – unhealthy.

In reality, both extremes ruin our health.

I used to be a slave of the notion that more, means better.

Looking on the past I feel sympathy for who I used to be or actually for what I did to my body.

Actually, a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have just one definition, which limits it to the gym, the stadium, the aerobic gym and so forth.

Actually there is a difference between health and workouts ( the way most people do it) – the appearance and the presence in the gym is what matters, everything else is secondary. A wrong statement, which leads to our present condition where we have become walking alarms that “scream” for trouble- because pain is exactly this – it is a symptom that we are not doing something right.

Our notion of healthy lifestyle is expressed by workouts, which are constituted from exercises, which have nothing to do with the way our body functions. We train in a way, which creates muscle imbalance and leads to more severe injuries.

The truth is that healthy lifestyle (when it comes to the physical activity), includes exactly this- physical activity. Physical activity is the walks in the park, hiking in the mountain, digging in the back yard, gathering your harvest, mowing the yard.

We fool ourselves that we can compensate for our sedentary lifestyle, in 1-2 hours spend in the gym.

Today I look on workouts in a different way. Today, I train not more than three times a week, but I am physically active every day. I walk in the park every day, I climb stairs, I hike, I ride my bike and so forth.

Today, for me the gym is just the place, where in controlled conditions I have the opportunity to track every movement of my body, how it reacts to different stimulus; to experiment with different positions and angles of loading and how my body bears them. The gym is something like my lab, where I am not trying to defend my title of “a healthy living freak”, but as an opportunity to get to know my body better and the way it functions.

To understand how and why it reacts in a certain way and then use what I’ve learned in my daily life, so I can move pain free and preserve my physical abilities for longer.

Today, my healthy lifestyle is not a fight with my body, but more like a synchrony- the synchrony of listening to what it says, to get to know it better and serve it better.

Today, I do not teach people to train. I help them achieve enough consciousness for how they move in space- how they sit, stand, walk, how they lean down to pick something, how they squat and so forth. I help them reinvent their body, by giving it what they have deprived it from and reconstruct a better functioning “machine” which will serve them.

2.More workouts, doesn’t mean skinnier

I wish I knew that working out more, doesn’t mean that I will lose weight faster. I wish I knew that this extreme with workouts, leads to exactly the opposite- to plateau, provoked by the constant stress on my body and its desperate tries to survive.

I wish I used to be wise enough, to know that it is not important to do much, but to do enough; that it is not important to do everything, but just what is right!

Today, I do not train to lose weight. If I want to lose weight, I know that it is nutrition and movement (non- exercise physical activity) that will do the work.

Nowadays, I train for function- I train to be healthy; to make my core stronger so it can keep my spine save; I train to remind the muscles on my back, that they are not there for decoration and that they have some work to do.

3.Being in shape doesn’t mean living in the gym

Being in shape and having a healthy lifestyle, doesn’t mean becoming a slave of schedules and schemes. It doesn’t mean spending your life in the presence of weights and your pre- packed meals.

This is the plot, just when you have a wrong approach. When you are aware how your body functions and what it needs, then you realize that the meaning of life is so much more that wasting your energy in the gym; spending countless hours planning your meals and becoming an antisocial person with limited interests and activities.

We are so much more than this! We have an unlimited potential and 24 hours every single day, when we can fulfill it. One day can fit so much meaning and so many different activities. The only premise is to stop wasting efforts and structure it better; to give enough in the proper direction and not to give everything in all directions.

In college, they used to teach us that during a crisis it is good to have a diversification of your business. It is the same in life- it is always good to have a diversification of your interests and activities. A lot of people force their soul to starve and waste their life, because some kind of  crisis or a bad situation takes away the opportunity to live routinely- in moments like this, if you have a palette of interests and activities, which thrill you and opportunities, which you have developed, you will always have a direction and a path to follow.

4.A healthy lifestyle is not a particular training method or a particular diet

… It is a philosophy of existence! A healthy lifestyle is just a consequence of our philosophy about life. It is built on the principles and values, which we have for everything we do and everything that happens. A healthy lifestyle is the accumulated sum of the choices we make. Choices, which are provoked from our priorities. Choices, which are provoked from grading what matters.

When we realize that WE are what matters; that our health is the most valuable we possess, then each one of our choices will be dictated by this conviction. Then, we won’t undertake actions, which will ruin our body and health. Then, we will know that working out to exhaustion is an act AGAINST your body.   Then, starving yourself in order to look in a particular way will be an act AGAINST your body. Then, overeating will be an act AGAINST your body.

5.Workouts are not with an end in itself to look in a particular way, but also to feel in a particular way!

The moment when I realized it, was one of the best moments of my life. The moment, when I went to my subsequent workout and my body was crying from exhaustion. I was warming up, when even my will didn’t want me to keep training. Then, I decided that I will have more use if I just stop and go in the park for a walk or just sit on a bench and rest.

The day, when it wasn’t time for my next meal, but I was hungry and my body felt weak. The day, when I decided that I will feed myself, without depriving myself by following my diet’s scheme, because I couldn’t stand the way I felt. I couldn’t stand how all the time I was thinking how weak I felt and how I cannot focus on what I was doing.

The day, when I understood that if a workout or a nutrition plan is making me feel bad, then it Is not healthy at all!

6.A workout plan is not something static, but dynamic

Just like a diet is not static, but dynamic, the same is true for our workouts. Just because, somewhere is written that I should train every day, doesn’t mean I should do it. I used to train in a strict schedule and even when I had a sleepless night or when I couldn’t get to sleep on time for a long time and I felt tired, I used to still train- even though my body complained. Now I know that it won’t be the end of the world if I do not train for 3 days and if I go to the gym on the fourth. I am already not dependent on workouts. I am dependent on feeling good. I do not allow to sabotage myself anymore and I don’t make my body suffer.

Take better care of yourself and treat your body better!

You deserve it!

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And some videos from my latest workouts.