When Nothing Else Seemed to Work Right, Be Right, Feel Right — The Barbell Felt Right

Снимка: www.crossfitcharlottetown.com

Image source: www.crossfitcharlottetown.com

There are days that start as if nothing is in place. You wake up and something is missing. You search but you can’t find what it is. You don’t know where is it’s place, but you feel the emptiness that has settled inside of you. There are days, when everything seems right, but inside of you is a complete chaos. You try to put it in order, but no matter what you do you keep feelingthe chaos.

Everybody has such days. Days when you don’t need anybody, but your own self. Moments to stay alone and face your demons, face your own pain and personal disappointment.

It was one of these days, that I do not deny. A day when I don’t manage to put myself in order, but days that I desperately need. I am forced to face everything that I do not like in myself, to accept it and then find a way to keep going forward. It is one of these days – bad for the ego, but great for my soul.

I went to the gym and I decided to work out. Pain is the weakness leaving the body. I always repeat it in my mind.

I put the bumpers on the barbell. Weights that I could lift without a problem… but not today. Today, my mind was trying to break me. It was trying to make me run away. How funny! Obviously, it didn’t realize that I cannot run away from my own self and that the best it could do was to allow me to challenge myself.

I put the bumpers on the barbell and as if I dumped down on it what was weighing… on my soul. I dumped it down on the barbell, so I could give it a shape; to breathe life into it and turn it into something material. This way it is easier to deal with it. When you see your enemy, you can judge him and see his weaknesses. You can evaluate if it is worth bothering or not.

I lifted the weight, but for a moment I felt my body weak. As if it was trying to give up. Was it trying to tell me that I am not stronger than anything? Was it trying to hint me that there is something outside of me and that I am not the one who determines what is gonna happen?

A good try! I lifted the weight and for a moment time stopped. A moment of numbness when my weakness met my strength. It was a matter of seconds – what was gonna prevail. A moment when I could see myself from the side. A moment when I reminded myself that the weight in the gym, increases, just when I become stronger and better. The weights get heavier, not in order to break me but in order to make me stronger.

The coach never gives you a heavier weight, before you are prepared to lift it. Life never gives you a challenge, before you are good enough, to go through it with mastery and end up like a winner.

Life never sends us obstacles, before we have nourished in our own self the opportunities, the qualities and the abilities to deal with them.

A moment, when I reminded myself that if I am holding this weight in my hands, then my body is prepared enough. It was just me and the weights. I was the coach and I believed in my abilities… just like life had faith in me.

I finished the set and I felt an urge of strength – physical and mental strength. As if by overcoming the weight in the gym, I overcame the burden in my life.

Again, on a couple acres of ground, surrounded by weights, I had an opportunity for a mini rehearsal for life.

A day when weights were once again, something more than a pile of iron. They were what symbolized the burden I was carrying inside. They were what reminded me that weight is not a burden, but a calling – for greatness. A calling that you can be something more than who you are today and that the weight that is given to you, is not meant to break you, but meant to make you stronger.

I placed the bumpers on the barbell… yet, in reality I dumped down on it what was weighing on my soul.

I lifted the barbell, and in reality I moved away the obstacle in my life.

He gym – the place, where you get the opportunity, on a couple acres of ground, to experience every emotion, in the time frame of a couple minutes. You get the opportunity to see life from a different perspective and then open the door. Get outside and feel more powerful and more capable than ever!

And my progress on the handstand push – ups.

4 Things to Avoid Eating In The Morning In Order to Be Fit

 

Lais De Leon

Lais De Leon

1.Dairy products besides butter

That’s right! Forget about a cup of milk for breakfast, a bowl of yogurt or a piece of toast with cheese.

The topic about dairy products, is a reason to write a whole book, but I will explain you some of the reasons to avoid dairy products and why you should exclude them from your breakfast, if you want to feel good.

There are a lot of arguments if eating dairy is healthy or not. I wrote on the topic HERE.

Remember that dairy products are as good as the source they come from – i.e. this automatically turns dairy products, bought from the supermarket into something you wouldn’t like to eat.

Second, the main problem with dairy products is pasteurization. Although, pasteurization decreases the risk of contamination in milk, it also kills the beneficial probiotics in milk, changes the characteristics of proteins and transforms milk from a source of nutrients, into a source of health problems. Do you know that in order for the process of pasteurization to be considered successful, one condition should be met – all living organisms should be killed. What does that tell you?

Снимка: freshdairies.wordpress.com

Image source: freshdairies.wordpress.com

Besides that, pasteurization turns lactose ( the milk sugar) in beta lactose sugars, which the body absorbs faster and which lead to a sudden peak in our blood sugar levels.

Do you know that it is exactly these peaks of blood sugar levels and the sudden drops that follow them, that cause hunger soon after we have eaten and cause the feeling of sluggishness and lack of energy?

How often do you happen to eat in the morning and two hours after that, you are hungry, even though the good quantity of food you ate? The reason is in these high and low cycles of blood sugar levels.

Besides that, on this stage of evolution, few people, digest lactose when we get older. After the age of 4-5, we lose the enzyme, that digests lactose. Then, by eating dairy products, we cannot digest them, and foods, that we cannot digest, lead to inflammation in the body, which in turn provoke other diseases like allergies, autoimmune diseases, mood swings, food intolerances ( HERE you can read more about the Bible of food intolerances. I recommend you this post.)

If you’ve been reading my blog, you are probably aware that in the foundation of my convictions is the fact that excess fat is a result of the improper functioning of the body and an indication that there is some kind of a problem in the body. Inflammation and food intolerances, are one of the main reasons for feeling bloated, sluggish, having mood swings and having a hard time to lose weight.

That’s why you better avoid dairy products in your breakfast.

Still, you can use butter. Even though it is a dairy product, butter is a lot healthier, because milk proteins ( those that harm us), are not present in butter. The small amount of milk proteins that are left in milk, are being enzymatically modified, during the fermentation process of butter. That’s why most people don’t have problems eating butter. You can try clarified butter(GHEE).

If you want to completely exclude dairy products, I recommend you coconut butter, which is a great source of fats in your healthy nutrition.

2.Sugar, including FRUITS

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Image source: http://www.tammysrecipes.com/node/5040

I know that you feel perplexed. You’ve been thought that it is great to start your day with fruits and I am telling you the opposite. I have a post about women and fruit diets ( read it HERE).

You know that I have tried all types of diets and I have experimented with myself – A LOT. There were moments, when my breakfast included fruits. I didn’t eat a huge quantity – just a piece of fruit added to my usual breakfast.

I used to have breakfast and an hour later I was already starving ( but the feeling of hunger was a little bit different than the one when you haven’t eaten for a long period of time). This hunger, was accompanied by a lack of energy and a sudden change in my mood.

I read a lot and I realized that the problem was with the source of carbs in my breakfast ( check out why you better skip the carbs in your breakfast). I tried to remove fruits from my breakfast and on the first day, I already felt great. I ate eggs, avocado and veggies. I didn’t feel hungry till lunch and I had energy. Since then, I don’t eat that much fruit and when I do, it is during the second half of the day.

Besides that, in the morning, the body needs more sodium than potassium, so the blood pressure could go up. Eating fruits, in the morning ( which contain more potassium), leads to a decrease in the blood pressure. Low blood pressure, in the morning, steals our energy. As I mentioned earlier, when we eat sugar ( no matter the form of sugar), blood sugar goes up and then curtly falls down. As it goes down, our blood pressure decreases as well. These drops of blood sugar levels, cause the feeling of sluggishness, inability to focus and food cravings.

Removing sugar and excluding fruits from your breakfast, could be one of the best decisions you’ve made.

And do not forget that fruit smoothies count as well.

3.Grains

Снимка: http://www.thesweetbeet.com

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

Our favorite grains. How could you start your day healthy, if you do not start it with oats or a toast! Sure, this is just a joke! Our notions about healthy breakfast, led us to the lack of health.

Here, I want explain in details about the harm of grains. You can read more about it in these posts:

The Truth About Grains: Why They Make You Sick?

Part 1: Why Grains Are NOT Healthy?

Part 2: Why Grains Are NOT Healthy?

4 Myths about Grains

Foods that contain gluten are addictive. They break down in the gut into opiates, which binds with the same receptors in the brain, as other opiates like heroin. If we eat grains, on a daily basis, our brain gets addicted as it would do with drugs. We start wanting more and more. We need a bigger quantity, just so we can satisfy our receptors. That’s why we feel the urge to eat, that’s why we experience mood swings and body discomfort.

Starting the day with grains is one of the biggest mistakes we could make.

4.Skipping breakfast

Снимка: www.gopixpic.com

Image source: www.gopixpic.com

A lot of people, especially women, in their desire to lose weight, do their best to avoid eating some calories. We decide that t is better to skip breakfast and eat for lunch. Before you rush telling me, that I am wrong because fasting works, I will tell you that I completely agree. I am a fan of fasting, as well, but in order for it to work, we should follow the protocol.

What most people do, is skip breakfast, then they try to decrease the amount of calories on all other meals. This doesn’t give the body what it needs and makes it starve. We feel a lack of energy and we are constantly thinking about food. Thus, we do not have energy and our life is obeyed to the thoughts of food. There comes a moment, when we can’t go on like this and when we do not follow the fasting protocol, properly, and we starve, our body takes a toll on us, and there comes a time when we feast on every food.

If you can’t follow the IF properly, you better stay away from skipping breakfast.

We all know what we shouldn’t do, but what could we do in order to feel better?

I will share with you my morning ritual:

Every morning I get up at 5:30a.m.

I take 10-15 times for my foam roller and tennis ball; I do mobility drills and I practice my handstand. In these 10-15 minutes, I include 15-20 squats and 15-20 push-ups. It doesn’t take a lot of time and it is a great start of the day. You do not train, but you move and you feel energized.

While I am doing the exercises, I listen to an interesting podcast. I don’t always do it, because I love silence. Depending on my mood, I either move in silence or while listening to something motivating and enriching.
stoika-glava

Then I prepare a tea, which I drink, while I write my morning post.

If I have trained the day before, I always take a cold shower.

Do I eat? It depends on my schedule. If I have more workouts with my clients ( because my workday starts at 6:45 a.m.), I have a breakfast of eggs, avocado, olives and veggies.

If I have less workouts, I prepare natural cocoa with coconut butter ( I don’t drink coffee anymore). If I don’t make cocoa, I take a bottle with homemade bone stock. Thus, I have energy for the next 2-3 hours. After the workouts, I have breakfast which is always different, but I eat eggs/ meat/ fish+ avocado and olives+ veggies ( sometimes it is a salad, sometimes stewed veggies).

If you drink coffee, instead of cocoa with coconut butter, try Bulletproof Coffee.

How could you start the day so you could be in great shape?

Wake up early. Do some exercises. Don’t train, just move.

If you are hungry, prepare a breakfast of eggs, avocado, olives and a variety of veggies. If you are not hungry, prepare your food for later on or start your day with Bulletproof coffee.

The morning determines the way our day goes. That’s why you shouldn’t neglect your morning ritual and the way you fuel your body!

2 Mistakes That All Women Make When Trying To Get In Shape

emily sky

A wonderful woman – Emily Sky ( check her on Facebook)

The approach we have towards a healthy lifestyle is a key factor when it comes to if we are gonna live healthy or we are just gonna think we do. I am the queen of mistakes. I’ve made almost every single mistake in my diet, and I have tracked the negative consequences of it – how my body reacted to it, how my mind reacted to it and what happened with my health status.

There isn’t a person who have gone on a nutrition plan and hasn’t made this mistake – a mistake, which takes away the pleasure of food and forces us to eat just because we believe it is healthy and just because we believe it will help us achieve the body we want. This mistake has to do with the type of foods, that we eat and the way we prepare them.

Today I will explain you how with less food, you could feel satiety. The only thing you need to do is stay away from the mistake I am talking about.

I will explain you how you could get rid of the dependency on crappy foods – those that you love and those you believe you can’t live without. Actually, you can, but you are still not aware of what is about those foods that is tempting you. It took me some time to realize it, but since then I haven’t looked back.

1.How to get rid of the dependency on some foods

In the past, I was one of those people who believed, I couldn’t live without junk food. No chocolate? What did I do wrong to deserve such a punishment? ( ;) ) It turned out that I can live without chocolate, without cakes and grainy foods.

Actually, what used to tempt me, wasn’t the food itself, but the spices in it. As the time went y and with the change in my nutrition habits, my taste changed tremendously. I started feeling the taste of real food. If back in the days, an apple used to be the tasteless food in the world, nowadays it is extremely sweet for me. Besides that, I started sensing when some food contains an artificial ingredient.

I started identifying what is it about a particular food, that I like and what I do not like. It turned out, that what used to tempt me wasn’t the food itself, but the spices it contained.

I used to think I love cinnamon bread. Turned out that what I love is the cinnamon itself.

I used to think that I love brownie and its smell. In reality, I love the smell of vanilla and cocoa.

I used to think that I like salty, doughy foods and what I liked was the dried spices they contain.

You know that I have a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. I remember, how we used to study how smells are really important and how in some Malls and shops, they place flavoring agents. For example with the smell of vanilla or cocoa. When we go shopping and we sense the smell, it provokes a reaction. Smells wake up memories ( I will explain it scientifically later in this post).

These memories, provoke an emotion and urge us to behave in a way, that predisposes us to consume more, to buy more. The smell of vanilla… doesn’t it remind you about your childhood and the cookies of your mother? A time when you felt secure and loved and a time that you long to come ack. You get emotional and you become a slave of your emotions and you are the perfect target for marketing.

How does this matter about your nutrition plan?

Everything that you need to remember is that you are not starving for a particular food, but for the spices in it. Spices are healthy and you can use them, actually you should use them in a healthy, nutrition plan. Experiment in the kitchen and add different spices. They make your meals tastier. A steak could be cooked in a hundred ways, when you marinate it in different spices.

Omelets and salads are different, when you add basil, oregano, dried parsley or dried tomatoes.

You can prepare healthy pancakes, which contain vanilla and cocoa. Then you will feel satisfied and you will get the taste you are starving for. Unlike crappy foods, this food won’t make your body starve. You will get the taste you want, and your body will receive the food it needs.

Ето идеи за здравословни десерти:

The Most Delicious Healthy Pancake: Coconut Pancake Jovaylo

Кокосова палачинка Джовайло

Кокосова палачинка Джовайло

Healthy Dessert with Chocolate, Avocado Cream

Здравословен крем от авокадо

Здравословен крем от авокадо (Снимка; http://greatbodyskin.com)

What determines the taste of your food?

Снимка: http://paleospirit.com/

Снимка: http://paleospirit.com/

The taste of your food is not determined just by the data that is being registered in one particular sense – i.e. the taste of food is not determined just by the perception of our taste buds. The smell, the touch, the look and the sound of the food also have a key role when it comes to evaluating a food as delicious or not.

When something delicious gets in our mouth, its chemical structure,  is broken down by the saliva and the freely circulating molecules enter the taste buds. If the molecule binds to a receptor cell, it will provoke the cell to conduct a sequence of chemical and electrical signals.

It is supposed that later on, everything comes down to the signals that are being sent to the brain, but the process is a lot more complicated.

As I mentioned earlier, the taste of food and the information we receive about it is based on a lot more than the data registered in the taste buds.

The taste in most cases is a combination of smell and taste and what is interesting is that taste takes second place.

The nervous fibers of our odor, direct towards the brain. Some of these fibers, reach the hypothalamus – the center, that controls appetite, fear and satisfaction, and others reach the hippocampus, which is responsible for memories; some of them reach the brain stem, where main functions like breathing happen.

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

Actually our perception about taste is one of the most multi –sensitive, when we keep in mind that taste is the combination of smell, taste, the perception of our sight, hearing and so forth.

That’s why the more spices are a part of our meals, the more it will satisfy our taste and mind.

2.How you could feel more satiety by eating less?

steakshrimp-1040375

The quantity of food, that our body urges us to eat, is determined by if our body receives what it needs. If we deprive it from fats, then it doesn’t matter what is the quantity of the carbs and the proteins we eat. Our body will urge our mind to search for more food.

Often times, the desire to eat a particular food, is not a consequence of the fact that we didn’t eat enough, but of the fact that our body has some kind of a deficiency.

Often times, when we start following a nutrition plan, we eat really plane. We forget the cooking book with recipes and we completely ignore the art of cooking. We consider that boiled eggs, boiled chicken breast, and plane salads are the foods that we MUST eat. We think we are eating enough, yet we always feel hungry for more. What is it that is missing? Maybe it is exactly the taste!

Варени пилешки гърди. Това изглежда ли ви вкусно?

Boiled chicken breasts. Does that look tasty?

I realized that when I add more spices to my meals; foods with a more intense taste, I get full a lot faster and I feel satiety for a longer period of time. I eat what is healthy, I eat less, yet I feel satiety.

The reason is exactly what I already told you – taste is a multi – sensitive perception. The more we satisfy all of our senses, the more signals get to our brain and it is the one that dictates our behavior, based on the information it receives.

Chicken breasts with bacon and spices. They look a lot more tasty, don't you think? :)

Chicken breasts with bacon and spices. They look a lot more tasty, don’t you think? :)

What is the difference between those who can follow a nutrition plan without problems and those that encounter difficulties?

Emily Sky

Emily Sky

Those that successfully follow a nutrition plan, use spices and turn food into an art. They know that healthy nutrition, doesn’t mean tasteless food. They know that the combination of tastes I what brings satiety and they know that by giving their body a variety of quality food, they offer it what it needs in order to be healthy, strong and fit.

You don’t believe me?

Try adding basil to your salad; marinated dried tomatoes or some oregano.

Try to marinate your steak with different spices or prepare a homemade dip for your boiled eggs!
Alisa-qica

Then write me what is the difference. :)

My Top 5 Mentors: The People Who Taught Me The Most about Nutrition and Being Fit

ina

Every one of us, has searched for a mentor – a person, who could help us achieve our goals. I, as well as you, are the kind of people who are interested in a healthier lifestyle; people who adore to show off with the number of push – ups we can do; the weight that we can deadlift or squat; how fast we can finish a 400m run. We set goals and often times we think that we don’t have enough to achieve them. We think that we haven’t found the right coach. We whine that we don’t have enough money to pay for a coach; enough time to go to the gym or enough luck to meet the best coach.

Have you heard how they say that what we need is actually around us? The thing is that we are not vigilant enough to notice it.

Well, today I will tell you about the people who taught me the most about health. I will tell you more about my mentors. And if you expect me to list their titles, I will tell you that none of them has such ( when it comes to training and nutrition). People who are around me, on a daily basis and people that I could constantly observe … for free and even they don’t suspect what I see and what I discover in them.

Mentor number 1: My father

My father is not one of those people who count calories. You will see him, eating toasted bread, with a thin layer of butter spread on top and some juicy, homemade sausage for a final touch. He loves chocolate and homemade cakes. Still, my father looks in great shape.

What did I learn from him?

Прекрасният ми баща :)

My wonderful father:)

I learned that fit are not the people who go on a diet, but those who appreciate food and have a mindful approach to it. My dad is one of those people who give their best in everything. He works a lot and often times he forgets about himself, while he is busy thinking about others. He might not even know it, but he is unconsciously fasting. His first meal is in the afternoon or straight in the evening. He comes home hungry, but he doesn’t indulge in food, nor he eats while standing or doing something else. He might be starving, but he will sit around the table. He will patiently cut his food in small and perfectly precise pieces. It seems as every piece was cut with a template. He will arrange his food in the plate, and when it looks as if it was served in a 5 star restaurant, he will start eating. Then he eats really slow. He chews every bite and enjoys the taste. I haven’t heard him saying that he has overeaten.

By observing my father, I learned to appreciate my food and have a mindful attitude towards it. I now know, that a person is getting satiety not just by what he puts in his mouth – just because eating is multi-sensory. What matters is not just the taste of food, but the way it looks, the combination of tastes, the feeling ( is it crumbly, soft, hard), the time we chew it and the signals that reach our brain.

Lesson 1 : Fit people are those who appreciate food and have mindful attitude towards it!

Mentor 2: Ivaylo

Да...непрекъснато ходи по парапети :)

Ivaylo :) yes, he is constantly doing this!

I love having breakfast, lunch and dinner with him. I could observe him with hours. He turns everything into art. Food is no exception. He always arranges the salad. He makes broccoli look like a flower or a tree. He makes smiles with olives and peppers, on top of my omelets or he just carefully, arranges the food on the plate.

Ivaylo is one of those people, who are pretty fit, without being on a diet or going to the gym on a schedule. Actually, he rarely goes to the gym.

He eats really slow and he starts eating, only after he has completely prepared his food. I am the kind of person, wo will press the steak on the pan, when I am starving, praying that it will bake faster. On the other hand, he will stay patiently and wait until the steak gets ready… BY ITSELF. Without outer forces.

There could be a bunch of his favorite foods, but he won’t indulge in them. He will eat enough, without overeating. He prefers to eat enough, so he doesn’t get stuffed and later on, when he is hungry, he will eat again. He doesn’t care of he has eaten 2 times or 8 times. He eats when he is hungry. It doesn’t matter if it is a couple hours after 6p.m. or if it is 12p.m. and he hasn’t even had breakfast yet. For him, food is not the meaning of his life, but just something that gives him pleasure, when he needs fuel. The rest of the time, he is so into what he is doing, that he doesn’t need to kill the boredom with food.

Lesson 2: Food is not the meaning of life, but a fuel which brings us pleasure, when we need it.

Ивайло :)

Ивайло :)

Ivaylo taught me another lesson. He taught me that you do not need to make structured workouts in order to be in shape. He trains when he feels like it, and the rest of the time he is exactly like kids – he is constantly doing something –weather he is gonna jump on the bar of a bridge; weather he will do a pull up on a branch, even though the last time the branch broke and he fell on the ground; weather he will jump with ease on a cliff or he will just do a sprint to climb a hill in the mountain. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t train for appearance. He trains for life – he trains to challenge himself and enjoy the abilities that our bodies possess, while living life. He is fitter than 90% of the people I know – people who train on a daily basis and strictly count each rep and lb.

Lesson 3: In order to be fitter you don’t need to train in the gym. In order to be fitter, you need to use your body – all day long. You need to move it in as many ways as possible; you need to move it in a spontaneous way and not just out of a routine habit.

Mentor 3: My sister

Габи :)

Gabi:)

If you don’t know it yet, I have a twin sister. When people see us together, they say: “You are so much alike.” Then we explain we are twins and what follows is: “ Really? Oh, you don’t have anything in common!”

Yes, even though we are twins, as much as we are alike we are really different. Gabi was one of the kids, who used to be fatter. The kind of kid who loved second helpings and wasn’t ashamed to ask for more. Her love for food, led her to a point when she was 17 years old, yet she was really heavy – 96kg.

Gabi before and after :)

Габи преди и след :)

Until the day, when she decided that this is not the body she wanted to live in; a body that was gonna define her and the reason others would judge her. She decided that food is not the most precious thing in her life and she changed… completely. She started taking care of her body. Back in the days, she ate her food in no time.

Today, Gabi is the kind of woman, who causes traffic on the street when she walks across it.She looks fabulous and she is really fit. She eats slowly and sometimes, I even get irritated by the fact how much time she needs to eat.  You won’t see her asking for second helpings or to pile food on her plate.

Lesson 4: Where you are now Is not that important. What matters is who you work to become. Being fit doesn’t have a deadline or an age. Being fit is a matter of choice. Habits could be formed and they are a consequence of a decision that we make!

Mentor 4: My grandmother

Баба ми на 71г. И аз си пожелавам да изглеждам и да се чувствам така :)

My grandmother – Emi :)

A lot of people think that being in shape has an age imitation. Actually, being fit is a lifestyle and not a temporary state of being. My grandmother is 71 years old, yet she looks fabulous. Not because she is my grandma, but because you can’t call the white, black. I’ve always admired the way she eats and the desire she invests in cooking.

When I was a kid, I was irritated by the fact how slowly she cut the salad in really small pieces. It took more time, and who cared how it was cut. As the time went by, I realized I was wrong. Part of the pleasure of eating is in preparing your food – with desire.

My grandma is not the kind of woman who was an athlete, but she is the kind of a woman that always rises up admiration. She is constantly doing something. She spends a lot of time in the garden – she carries stuff, digs, mows the yard, waters the flowers or cleans the windows. Fitness at home, with whatever is available.

Lesson 5: Being fit is a lifestyle; an attitude towards life and a deep care about details.

Mentor 5: My little cousin – Mariela

Мариела с мен и сестра ми :)

Mariela, my sister and I

Have you thought how much we could learn from kids? For me, they are our teachers. They remind us what we have forgotten and they cue us that we have taken our own self and life too seriously.

I love observing Mimi, when she eats. On her plate, everything is cut in really small pieces. She enjoys each bite, as if she just received a present. She takes a bite and places it her mouth. She closes her eyes, just like we do when we feel pleasure. As if she doesn’t need to see it. All she needs is to feel it. Then she chews slowly, with a huge smile on her face.

She could eat 1 apple… all day long – in small bites. She eats some, then she starts playing and later she comes back for another bite. If she is full and you are on your knees, asking her to eat a couple more bites, she will refuse. Yes, kids do not eat when they are full. They stop and they do not overeat. When she is hungry, nothing could make her mood better, until you give her an opportunity to eat.

Lesson 6: Eating is an experience. Eating is a pleasure and as such, it should have a measure – if we eat too much, then we don’t feel pleasure; if we do not eat enough, the pleasure is lost again!

Lesson 7: Kids are always in shape, because they are constantly moving – they jump, run, crawl. Kids are always fit because when they are tired – they rest. A kid that is tired, will always sit or go to sleep. Kids know that a champion is born, when he rests.

These are my mentors. The teachers who taught me more than any textbook or fitness guru. Think about it! I am sure that there is a bunch of them around you. Just observe them. People who are around us and people who always possess what we need. And they are willing to give it freely to us. Just observe them more!

If you enjoyed this post and find it helpful or inspiring, share it with your friends. Somebody might need it. Help the words, reach him. :)

IFS Podcats #4: Galina Denzel and The Art of Real Movement

InspiredFitSTrong.com

My guest today is one of those people who share a piece of themselves and their knowledge and thus gift us an opportunity- the opportunity to reinvent our own self and recover our health and then keep on living, free to fulfill our potential. I have the pleasure to welcome Galina Ivanova Denzel. She is a health specialist, fitness expert and for the past couple years she has been a Restorative Movement specialist.

But titles doesn’t mean anything, unless we get the spice of the personality and I can’t wait to hear what Galia has to share with us today.


Some of the topics we discuss in the podcast:

- how to become fitter and healthier after the holidays

-why exercise is not enough movement;

-how a person could eat more; train less and still be in the best shape of his life;

-how to improve your breathing and how asthma could be improved with the right type of movement;

-lower back pain and pregnancy 

- the importance of breastfeeding, in jaw development

-how every degenerative disease has a mechanical component and how it can be reversed through movement

- how the function of the organs is dependent on the state of muscles 

More about Galia:

Here you will find more information about Galia- http://www.galinadenzel.com/

Thank you for sharing this post through the social buttons below.

 

Workout In The Snow: 5 Amazing Fat-Burning Intervals

snow workout

Being fit isn’t hard. Everything you need is a desire and a little bit creativity. We need to let go of excuses and be more flexible. A lot of people think that they can’t be fitter, because they can’t train in a gym – they don’t have time, money or there isn’t a gym close to their home. The best workouts happen without special equipment – with some rocks, woods, trees, sleds and so forth.

Monica and I, might be older, but when it comes to our souls we are still 7 years old. That’s why we went to enjoy the snow and play with sleds. We decided to do some quick intervals with the sled. This workout is appropriate for everybody and especially for parents who have kids. Thus, your kid will enjoy your workout and you will find time to get fitter.

Go outside and repeat 4-5 times each of the intervals and I guarantee you that you will have a great workout in a really short time.

The Most Delicious Healthy Pancake: Coconut Pancake Jovaylo

кокосова палачинка

The most delicious recipes, are created on a Sunday morning or on a day when you have a rest and you allow the day to happen by itself – without rushing it. A day, when you wake up and you decide that food is not just a mean to satisfy your physical needs, but also a mean to help you use your imagination, to experiment and create something that brings pleasure to all your sensations. That’s what happened with this recipe. Every time a man steps in the kitchen, a masterpiece is born. The pancakes Jovaylo, were created when Ivaylo decided to cook my coconut pancakes. Both of us love pumpkin and he decided to grate some pumpkin and add it to the coconut pancakes. The combination and the taste is unique. I sincerely encourage you to try them.

Ingredients for 3 pancakes:

3 eggs

40 grams coconut flakes

100-150 grams grated pumpkin

100 ml. coconut milk

1 table spoon honey

butter for the pan

vanilla extract

a handful of walnuts

cinnamon

Directions:

1.Whip the eggs. Add vanilla, coconut flakes, grated pumpkin, honey and milk. Stir till you get a homogeneous mixture.

2.Grease the pan. With a dipper scoop from the mixture and spread it in the pan. Bake on both sides.

3.Then sprinkle the pancakes with walnuts and cinnamon and enjoy a delicious breakfast.

Personally, I eat them without the honey, but it depends on your taste.

What are your favorite recipes with coconut and pumpkin? Share them in the comments below!

  FREE E-Book- 30 Exercises on Becoming a Wonder Woman. ИЗТЕГЛЕТЕ Я ТУК.

Double Chocolate Cookies ( Grain Free)

Daniela-desert

One of the great women I coach, besides a strong and athletic women is a great example for a mother and wife. Today, her husband had a birthday and she made this delicious dessert. I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. Here is the original source of the recipe( Detoxinista.com).

Ingredients:

1 cup creamy almond butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a Silpat. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl, and mix until a smooth and sticky batter is formed. Drop the batter by tablespoons onto the lined baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8-9 minutes at 350F, or until firm.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes on the pan, before removing to cool completely.

Fit After The Holidays: 7 Easy Tips That Will Help You Get Back On Track with Your Diet

dinner1

Снимка: lecremedelacrumb.com

I wish that this type of posts were unnecessary. Still, I would fool myself, if I suggest that everybody ate, extremely, healthy during the holidays; that everybody ate enough, without indulging and overeating. I am sure that if you are reading this post, you make enough efforts, in order to be healthy and fit. Still, if your old habits have sneaked in and you have lost it, now it is time to substitute them with habits that make your body and mind feel better.

Many of you, probably think that everything has gone to waste. Such a mindset, often lengthens the period of time, when you wander about what to eat and if there is point in doing something different. Before I continue, I will tell you that there is a point in everything. Two or three days chaotic eating, won’t wipe out what you have achieved until now. If the year has 365 days, do you really think that 2-3 days will have such a tremendous influence? What matters is what you choose to do from now on! A step backwards, is sometime a speed up to a jump forward.

Have a positive outlook on everything. Usually, in days when we lose it, we get to realize how far we have gone and how great we felt with our new lifestyle and how nothing from the past is worth its price. Compromising with feeling good, is not worth the one hour of indulgence.

Did You Overeat During The Holidays? Let’s Fix The Consequences!

Don’t do cleansing days! Here is what you should do!

The most important thing is to calm down your mind. Until you are feeling like failure and until you feel a sense of guilt, nothing is gonna change. We are those who give meaning to the situations. Actually, what has happened is that you have eaten more and you ate foods which do not make you feel the way you’d like to feel. This is just a fact and not something good or bad.

Leave this fact in the past and move forward.

Physiology is what creates our thoughts and vice versa. The mind and the body are connected. When we eat bad food, the body in one way or another suffers and this is reflected on our thoughts and feelings.

That’s why the most important thing is to leave yesterday behind and start over today.

IMPORTANT! Do not make cleansing diets, don’t starve yourself and don’t deprive yourself in order to neutralize what you have eaten yesterday! Do not exhaust, yourself, with workouts.

None of this helps. This is just another extreme which will force you to pay the price later on.

Start today, as if nothing has happened yesterday. Eat as much as you would eat on a regular day.

What and How Much Should I Eat?

Aim to eat about four times. In every meal, you should have a source of protein, cars and fats. I know that you have a hard time to determine the quantities of food you should eat, that’s why I will give you a simple direction.

For men: The protein should be with the size of two palms, carbs with the size of two fists and fats with the size of four times your thumb.

For women: Protein should be with the size of one palm, carbs with the size of a fist and fats with the size of two times your thumb.

When you are not eating healthy, nutritious food, your body gets dehydrated and it needs more water. That’s why you should emphasize on liquids – water and homemade tea. If you have a hard time drinking more water, add lemon juice. It makes water easier to drink.

After food indulgence, the enzymes which help you digest food, run out. You know that we are not what we eat, but what we absorb. If you want your body to feel full, then you’d like to have enough enzymes, which will help your digestion. That’s why my advice is to buy enzymes and take them during the next 3-4 days.

Our health is just as good, as the state of our digestive system. Overeating is a stress for it. That’s why we should make the effort to recover the balance in our gut. This could happen through the so called probiotics or good bacteria. During the next couple days, add more fermented foods to your meals – homemade yogurt, kombucha, kefir and so forth ( read the Bible of Food Intolerances HERE)

Every time when I happen to eat more, I somehow instinctively crave something sour, something fermented. Your body cues you what you need.

The other “elixir”, which should improve your digestion is bone stock. Do you remember how our mothers and grandmas always insisted on feeding us stocks for lunch? I’ve written a lot about bone broths and the benefits of them. I assure you that they will help you get back on track.

What matters is, please, do not cut out the amount of fat you eat. It is an underestimated fact, but cholesterol suppresses appetite. That’s why when we eat something, which contains fat, we feel full faster. Everything in our body comes up to information. If the body feels full, then it will give an information that it doesn’t need more food. That’s why if your meals contain good fats, then the body will ask you to stop eating. So do not cut off the fat!

What You Should NOT DO:

1.Don’t starve!

2.Don’t eat just veggies. This will make you feel bloated while your body is still undernourished and starving.

3.Don’t just drink liquids. Satiety is a process. Eating is a process, as well! Chewing is required if you want to absorb your food and give the right information to your brain. Absorbing food, starts from your mouth.

4.Don’t train until exhaustion, in order to spend more energy.

5.Don’t consciously decrease the amount of food you eat, trying to compensate for overeating.

What You Should Do?

1.Eat 3-4 times!

2.With every meal, you should have protein, carbs and fats.

For men: The protein should be with the size of two palms, carbs with the size of two fists and fats with the size of four times your thumb.

For women: Protein should be with the size of one palm, carbs with the size of a fist and fats with the size of two times your thumb.

3.Emphasize on drinking more water.

4.Take some enzymes for the next 3-4 days.

5.Add more fermented foods to your meals – homemade yogurt, kombucha, kefir.

6.Add bone stock.

7.Eat good fats.

How would your meals look like?

Meal 1: eggs, stewed veggies, avocado

Meal 2: Pork steak, salad and olives + 1 tea cup bone stock.

Meal 3: Homemade yogurt, cinnamon and coconut ( you might skip this meal. Eat only if you are hungry between lunch and dinner).

Meal 4: Fish, veggie, avocado ( add a fermented drink or vegetable)

*During the next couple days, take an enzyme with every meal.

What Did I Forget?

Don’t forget movement! Our body works optimally, when it is moving.

You do not need to exhaust yourself with cardio, This will once again stress out your body. My advice is to go to the gym and have an intense workout with weights. Then, go back home and eat good, real food. It is completely normal, after you’ve eaten crappy food, that you will feel lethargic and lack motivation to move. Use your will and get yourself o the gym. Do this:

5х5 Front Squat

Push- ups 5х5

Hip Thrusters 3х8 with 5 second hold in the upper phase

One Arm Crossover Pull Down 3×8

Full Contact Twist 3×8

Rest 1minute between sets.

Download my Free E-Book in order to see how to perform the exercises PROPERLY!

The weather is wonderful, so go out for a walk. If you do not have an opportunity to go to the gym, check out some of the exercises I suggested last week.

-kettlebell workouts(watch the video HERE)

-body weight workouts (watch the video HERE)

-Hill Drills

- Workout with a resistance band

Leave a comment below and share the difficulties you encounter with your diet after the holidays.

The Christmas Workout Is Rescued: The Exercises That Help Me Stay Fit Everywhere

Една снимка от вчера :)

A picture from yesterday :)

If you are reading this, then you have a huge hug and a high five from me. This means you are a motivated, determined person, who doesn’t use excuses, but finds solutions. The solution to traveling a lot during the holidays is moving more in all kind of ways. If you’ve missed the first two parts of the exercise series, below you will find the kettlebell workouts, the body weight workouts and the workouts with a resistance band. Today, it is time for the last part – hill drills. Go outside and get moving!

In the last posts, I  shared videos for:

-kettlebell workouts(watch the video HERE)

-body weight workouts (watch the video HERE)

- Workout with a resistance band

I will be waiting for you to share your results during the holidays!

My Personal Confession: My Own Struggle with The Holidays and The Abundance of Food

news_775

Christmas is coming! The tables are covered with food. Since childhood, we are used to associating holidays with a lot of food… a variety of it. We have turned the abundance of meals in something like a sign that Christmas will e good and that we have enough.

If you are making efforts, during the year, to change your lifestyle, then holidays are a true test for what you have achieved. It is easy to keep up with a certain decision when you are in controlled conditions – when there isn’t any temptations around and your choices are a piece of cake. It gets difficult when you are surrounded by desserts, that have that smell of cinnamon and walnuts. It is difficult when you are surrounded by homemade bread, that smells of hot, melted butter and spices.

You have one plate in front of yourself and you want to try everything. You find it hard to resist this food, until the moment you make a decision and you make your own choice. When a person has a goal, which is based on his inner values and convictions, it doesn’t matter what happens in the world around him – he has already made his choice and nothing could make him hesitate.

If you are afraid of holidays or to be more precise from the food during the holidays… DON’T WORRY! I used to be there! I used to feel the same way. When I started following a nutrition plan, I used to hate holidays. There was a period, when I really wanted to avoid every birthday, every Easter and every Christmas. Everything was just fine, until the moment the holiday lunch or dinner came… and I lost it all.

It felt as if another self was coming back and was pitching into the food. Nothing else mattered, besides trying everything – in big quantities and a couple helpings. Such an indulgence, led to a disappointment and just another try to punish myself. This used to spin me into an enchanted circle of indulgence, deprivation and binging. It turned out like this – binging on Christmas, then deprivation and on New Year Eve- binging again.

I used to be afraid of food or actually of the way it provoked me to behave. I was dying to be around food and put just quality food on my plate. I wanted to be able to enjoy every bite and not be overwhelmed with the variety of foods.  I wanted to eat what tasted good, but in adequate quantities. Why couldn’t I eat just one piece of dessert, and even though I felt satiety I used to eat 3-4 pieces? Why couldn’t I take a small piece of bread, but instead I took a couple pieces from each grain meal?

I used to detest the fact, that on every holiday, instead of feeling great and happy, I felt bad – both physically and mentally. I felt bloated, sluggish and tired. When you feel bad physically, you don’t have strength and desire to enjoy something else.

Was this really the meaning of the holidays? To satisfy my greedy mind and leave my soul and body starving for something deeper!

I spent a couple years in this enchanted circle and a couple days before one Christmas I woke up and I said to myself, that this year will be different. I decided that this is just food and I cannot be afraid of it.

The decisions, choices and actions were in my own hands. I am the one choosing what and how much I will eat. My emotions and my thoughts are under my own control. Everything that I had to do was be more conscious. I wasn’t supposed to allow emotions to control me like a doll on strings.

After all is it normal to feel overwhelmed and nervous because of the fact that there is abundance of food?

I decided that I will sit for the holiday lunch and I will be thankful for the abundance, I will choose what I good for me and what will make my feel satiety and satisfaction by the blend of tastes while in  the same time it will make my body and soul feel great.

Actually, we value the taste of something when it is in smaller quantities. When we have a pile of food in the plate, we are eating for the sake of it. When there is less, then we eat with more attention, attitude and mindfulness. We experience every bite. Actually, satiety is not just in food, but in the way we eat. Whether we feel satiety or not, depends on the experience of eating. Mindful eating and attitude towards the food are the key.

Actually, do you know how I love explaining my success? You know that I am a fan of the fact that we are dependent on nature and nature’s laws! By law, everything strives for chaos. If we achieve something, we should either make enough effort to sustain it or a little bit more in order to move forward. If we just give in to every caprice of the mind, then we are in the rage of the chaos.

That’s why, do not fool yourself that we achieve one state of being and that through slacking we will keep being there. Actually, everything comes down to the conscious decision in every moment. Every day, we should wake up and make the vital minimum, in order to keep moving or at least in order to sustain what we have. Our mind loves getting attached to different things. It loves getting identified and associating. Free yourself from the chains of your mind and be conscious.

I remember this Christmas. We were sitting around the table and my grandma has made my FAVORITE dessert. I used to love it and I used to eat all of it at one. It was right in front of me and my first thought was: “Who cares, it is Christmas! Eat it!” Then, I told myself that eating it won’t change anything! Did I really need to eat it in order to feel happy? Isn’t there another way to call back the emotion I was hungry for?

How eating the whole dessert, would bring more meaning to my day and night? It wouldn’t! During the whole evening I stared at the plate in front of me and there was an inner fight. I felt as if I was gonna be deprived from something. I felt as if somebody took away from me, something that I deserved. I kept telling myself that the dessert could be made all year round and that this evening, I have chosen to eat something else – something that made me feel great.

Thus, after my conscious presence, while my mind was trying to take the lead, I didn’t eat the dessert. I didn’t eat a lot of things. Actually I ate just enough. I got off the table and I felt great, because my body didn’t suffer. I didn’t feel stuffed and bloated. I even had energy to go outside and walk, late at night, enjoying the streets covered in snow. I was walking and I was thinking that it is so great to feel wonderful on Christmas!

Since then, every holiday is special – not with the abundance of food, but with the fact that I am surrounded by an abundance, which I value. Nowadays I consider food to be an art, care, hard work and time. Now I know how much time it takes my grandma to prepare the dinner; the emotions she invests and the art she creates. Now I can observe biscuits and admire their perfect forms, their decoration – but I don’t feel the need to binge on them.

Now, when it comes to eating, holidays are just another day, when I sit around the table and I put on my plate just enough to feel full. What is special is that unlike other days, now I will be surrounded by my loved once. Why would I allow myself to waste precious moments with them? Why would I feel bad and complain how I overate and waste the time with them?

The rich, abundance of food during the holidays is not a green light to indulge. The abundance during the holidays is just a symbol of care, time and solitude. Respect is in our attitude, and the joy of what is served and not by food indulgence for the sake of it.

Let this Christmas be different!

Burn Fat Everywhere: Holiday Workout with a Resistance Band)

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

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

If you are reading this, then you have a huge hug and a high five from me. This means you are a motivated, determined person, who doesn’t use excuses, but finds solutions. The solution to traveling a lot during the holidays is moving more in all kind of ways. If you’ve missed the first two parts of the exercise series, below you will find the kettlebell workouts and the body weight workouts. Today, it is time for the third part – workouts with a resistance band. Take out your band and get moving!

In the next posts, I will share videos for:

-kettlebell workouts(watch the video HERE)

-body weight workouts (watch the video HERE)

- hill drills

I will be waiting for you to share your results during the holidays!

Holiday Workouts: Stay Fit While Traveling (Part 2 Body weight)

anna-renderer

The holidays are here. They are an occasion to get out of our daily routine and leave the boundaries, where we usually stuff our life. This often places us in situations, that challenge us.Situations, where the habits which we have abandoned, make their way back. This is completely true when it comes to working out and healthy nutrition.

That’s why I decided to share with you a series of exercises, which you could do no matter where you are. I decided to divide them, so depending on your environment and equipment or lack of it, you could still choose a combination of exercises which could help you get moving.

Don’t forget that a healthy lifestyle is not about working out in the gym, but about moving more and using our bodies up to their potential.

The second set of exercises is body weight workouts. Our body is our 24 hours gym. It is with us all the time and it is our best set of equipment. That’s why we never have an excuse to be sedentary. Watch the video with the body weight exercises and get moving.

In the next posts, I will share videos for:

-kettlebell workouts

-workouts with a resistance band

- hill drills

I will be waiting for you to share your results during the holidays!

Holiday Workouts: Stay Fit While Traveling (Part 1 Kettlebell)

Снимка: http://www.123rf.com/

Снимка: http://www.123rf.com/


The holidays are here. They are an occasion to get out of our daily routine and leave the boundaries, where we usually stuff our life. This often places us in situations, that challenge us.Situations, where the habits which we have abandoned, make their way back. This is completely true when it comes to working out and healthy nutrition.

That’s why I decided to share with you a series of exercises, which you could do no matter where you are. I decided to divide them, so depending on your environment and equipment or lack of it, you could still choose a combination of exercises which could help you get moving.

Don’t forget that a healthy lifestyle is not about working out in the gym, but about moving more and using our bodies up to their potential.

For the first set of exercises you will need a kettlebell. If you have a kettlebell, which you keep in your trunk, watch the video and then take it out and get moving.

In the next posts, I will share videos for:

-bodyweight workouts

-workouts with a resistance band

- hill drills

I will be waiting for you to share your results during the holidays!

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

lift

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

howard-wolowitz-water-meme

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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