IFS Podcast #3: Move Your DNA with Katy Bowman

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

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

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

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

-why high heels are destroying you;

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

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

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

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

-should we squat like the kids;

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

-what shoes to wear in summer and winter;

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

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

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

More about Katy:

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

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Quick and Delicious Broccoli Puree with Shrimp and Dried Veggies

broccoli-puree

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

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

Ingredients:

200 grams broccoli

200 grams cauliflower

1 table spoon butter

10-15 grams sesame seeds

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

home made bone stock

salt

4-5 black olives without the pit

marinated shrimp or some kind of fish

Directions:

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

Add the dried vegetables and spices.

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

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

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

Прекрасните ми съмишленици - Ирина Гиргинова и Димитър Дачев

My wonderful co-workers- Irina Girginova and Dimiter Dachev

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Too much working out, followed by injuries.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not enough physical activity and diseases

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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No Bake Tarts with Pumpkin and Cashew Filling

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

300-400 grams boiled pumpkin

250 grams raw cashew ( soak it beforehand)

250 grams walnuts ( soak them beforehand)

6-7 pitted dates

coconut butter

ginger

cinnamon

natural cocoa powder

vanilla

Directions:

For the base of the tarts:

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

For the cream:

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

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

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

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

It is delicious!

 

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Why Your Healthy Nutrition Is Still Leaving You Hungry?

Снимка: nomnompaleo.com

Image source: nomnompaleo.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Снимка: www.marthastewart.com

Снимка: www.marthastewart.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How CLEAN –literally!

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

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

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

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

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

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

What should you do?

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

What could be the other reasons?

Снимка: spectrummuminmalaysia.com

Снимка: spectrummuminmalaysia.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Add fermented foods.

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

Не пропускайте рецептата за пещерната мусака на Митко

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nadezhda and her first handstand steps:

Mitko and his progress on the renegade row.

Venelin and his super strength.

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When Your Feet Hurt, Everything Hurts!

Инес Субашка

Ines Subashka

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Снимка: http://www.katysays.com/

Снимка: http://www.katysays.com/

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

Снимка: commons.wikimedia.org

Снимка: commons.wikimedia.org

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

I won't even comment this...

Дори няма да коментирам…

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

Ето как изглежда крака ви с токче

That’s how your foot looks like in a heel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sitting Is Killing You! Check Out How!

squatting-desk

Sitting is toxic!

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

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

You are not built for it!

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

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

Watch the video:

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

squatting-desk

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

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

tanya

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Eco Path of Ivan Vazov

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Kristina Borisova

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

Ingredients:

2 table spoons coconut butter

1 head onion, cut

1 big head celery

2 table spoons curry

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

400 ml. coconut milk

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

1 tea spoon honey

50ml brandy

1 small pumpkin

Directions:

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

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

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

Ass some shredded coconut and sliced almonds.

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

Снимка: www.therootofhealth.com

Image source: www.therootofhealth.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The most common foods that provoke intolerances

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

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

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

-soy ( more about soy HERE)

-sugar

-vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The pulse test.

What is it?

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

 

Eliminating food

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

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

The main reasons for having food intolerances:

-eating the same foods every day

-artificial colors, preservatives

-eating too fast

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

-imbalance in the gut flora

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

- too much stress

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

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

Eating too fast

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

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

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

Improper digestion

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

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

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

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

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

Imbalanced gut flora

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

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

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

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

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

Antibiotics

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

Pain killers

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

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

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

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

Stress

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

How stress has a two direction influence?

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

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

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

What turns out?

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

I bet that at least two people said it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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6 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Working Out

Jen Selter

Jen Selter

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

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

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

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

In reality, both extremes ruin our health.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.More workouts, doesn’t mean skinnier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take better care of yourself and treat your body better!

You deserve it!

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And some videos from my latest workouts.

Even If You Eat Healthy, This Cooking Mistake Can Ruin Your Health! Are You Making It?

Ok! Still, don't let your steak be so undercooked, that it eats your salad!

Ok! Still, don’t let your steak be so undercooked, that it eats your salad!

How do you like your steaks? Probably overcooked! What type of person are you? The one that stares at a medium-baked steak with disgust ( the one that is slightly pink in the middle) or the one that dies to eat it this way?

Actually, it doesn’t matter, because I am sure that after you read the post, you will at least give a chance to medium baked steaks.

What happens with the meat when you overcook it?

It becomes hard, doesn’t it? I am always astonished by people, who manage to ruin a steak in this way. It is a form of art, to turn a juicy, fatty, pork steak, into some kind of food that resembles a foot sole. Unfortunately, this is more like the norm, than an exception.

When you bake meat too much, it gets hard and dry, because the molecules of the fats and proteins “tangle”  and bond together. This creates a tissue, which is pretty hard to be chewed, cut and digested. The worst thing is that in this process, the most valuable nutrients disappear- those that we actually eat for and those our body needs.

Too much baking, actually, robs the food out of nutrients, by creating chemical reactions between the nutrients, which on the other hand, form another type of chemical compounds, which are unknown for our body- i.e. it doesn’t understand their language; it doesn’t know what to do with them and until it finds a way to answer their presence and demands, they have already taken everything in their control and they are raging in our body, causing harm on our organs, vessels, hormonal balance and so forth.

When the meat is being cooked properly, then a big part of the nutrients are preserved. It turns out that cooking only improves the quality of the food and allows the body to absorb these nutrients.

It is no coincidence that most traditional recipes, that have reached us, require 4-6 hours of baking. In this process, the meat is being cooked slowly, without using its healthy and nutritious compounds.

I used to love cooking shows. There are some really good productions and there are chefs which have really soaked the wisdom of traditions and recipes, and everything they cook carries this wisdom. Good chefs take advantage of the variety and diversity of foods. They use everything from food, without throwing half of it.

The methods of cooking, also play a key role when it comes to if the food preserves its taste qualities and the available nutrients. Cooking methods, which should be used when cooking ( but which we often skip, in our rush to cook the food as fast as possible), contribute to keeping the moisture inside the meat, which on the other side allows for the water molecules to do their work.

What does that mean?

When this moisture is being heated, it creates conditions for hydrolytic  “cutting”. When the temperature is moderate, the water molecules play the role of knifes, which carefully cut the proteins and manage to soften even the stringiest tissues. Besides that, water doesn’t allow nutrients to tangle together and form a consistency, which turns your juicy steak into a foot sole.

It is exactly this process, which makes food taste good or to be more precise this is the process  which allows us to sense its taste. Taste buds are really small. The receptors, through which chemicals bond to them are also really small. That’s why the practices, which give taste to our food, should also be small.

For example, if you try raw meat, it want taste pretty good. If you cook it, the process of cooking, will help the release of the taste, which is “locked” in the meat, because the process mentioned above,  aids in the cutting of proteins into small segments, which break down to amino acids, called peptides. It is exactly these peptides, which have the size which perfectly fits the size of our taste buds. When this happens, we manage to experience the real taste of food.

That is why it is really important to realize why cooking all parts of the steaks and meat is crucial- i.e. bones, skin, connective tissue and so forth.

If we prepare the meat on a low temperature, the process mentioned above, aids for the gradual release of nutrients from the connective tissue. Thus, we come to the point, where meat, bones and other cooked parts, release their minerals and molecules, which are extremely nutritious and which are the foundation of healthy bones.

In order to keep your joints healthy, you should know what their health depends on. The key factor for the health of joints is the health of collagen in our tendons and ligaments. Collagen is consisted from a family of bio- molecules and those that matter the most, among them, are glucosaminoglycans.

When you cook meat, without leaving aside bones, tendons, cartilage, you have a bone stock that contains all the nutrients, that represent the building blocks of your own bones. In other words, you give your bones the whole family of molecules it needs, as well as a good quantity of minerals.

The advantage of giving your body the nutrients it needs, through real food, and not through pills bought from the drug store, is in the fact that the whole package of nutrients in the food, aids in its digestion, absorption and proper use from your body.

The stock you get from cooking meat this way is something like a health elixir.

Glucosaminoglycans in the stock, stimulate the growth of a healthy collagen and they can even repair your joints. This makes your joints stronger and helps you move easier and pain free.

Besides that healthy collagen is not just in your joints.  The truth is that it is everywhere- in your bones, skin, hair and arteries.  If I haven’t convinced you yet, why healthy collagen is so important, think about the annoying cellulite, that you desperately want to get rid of. One of the reasons for “the orange skin” is exactly not enough healthy collagen.

Personally, I love eating cartilage, the bone ends and other similar stuff. Every time I see somebody, who eats a steak and leaves the cartilage and the skin, because they are “disgusting”, my heart skips a beat and my eyes tear up.  The thing is that eating cartilage is good for your own cartilage. Eating meat organs is good for your own organs. Do you get what I mean?

And the best thing is that your DNA recognizes this. Your genes are used to getting nutrients from bone stocks, meat organs and the lack of these nutrients makes your body and health suffer.

Cooking is the method, which we might use in order to make our food healthier or exactly the opposite- make it worse. Everything is once again in our own hands and in the decision to cook using the wisdom of our ancestors, and the wisdom they’ve encoded in the recipes or just cheat in the cooking, just because we are in a rush to have some food on our plate, that will satisfy our physical hunger, in a short term aspect, but then it will leave our body starving in the long term! It is up to us!

P.S. And some more fun with Gordon Ramsay.

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gordon-ramsey3

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Especially For Egg Lovers: The Tricks to Cooking Delicious Eggs and 21 Ways To Do It

zucchini&red pepper frittata

I am constantly meeting people, who claim that they want to change their lifestyle and pay more attention to the food they eat. Still, they often say that they do not manage to do it, because they can’t eat so boring. Some time ago a person told me that “only boring people get bored”. A statement which might sound harsh, but it is so true.

Cooking is an art and as such, it requires imagination and desire. I love eating eggs and everybody asks me how I don’t get sick of them. Actually, eggs sound like a plane meal, because you think that the only way to cook them is to put them in a utensil with water. Boil them. Then fight for half an hour in order to peel them, without peeling half of the egg white . Then have lunch, trying to convince yourself that even though it doesn’t taste delicious, it is good- both for your health and your appearance.

Actually this is far from the truth. For a long time, I’ve been wanting to write a post, where I could share with you, some tricks in the cooking of omelet, scrambled and boiled eggs and offer you an abundance of recipes, where the main ingredient is eggs.

Omelet

Everybody things that cooking an omelet is the easiest thing to do. Actually, the truth is that not many people can cook a really delicious omelet, without overcooking it. If you want to cook the most delicious omelet, follow the advice of Jacques Pepin.

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs are once again an art. How often, do half of your eggs stick to the pan? If you want to prepare delicious, scrambled eggs, follow the advice of Heston Blumenthal

And sure it is always a must to hear the advice of Gordon Ramsey. I love this man and I remember, how when I was younger I spent hour watching his cooking show.

And last but not least, here is how to prepare your boiled eggs, without overcooking them and turning the yolk into a weapon.

eggs-guide

Spinach and Bacon Tortilla 

tortila-spanak-bekon

Paleo Breakfast Buritto 

zdravoslovni rula s qica

Paleo Coconut Pancake 

kokosova

Zucchini Pancakes with Sour Cream 

soleni-palachinki-tikvichki

Eggs in embers

Place the eggs in the embers and bake them for about 10-12 minutes.

qice-na-jar

Upside Down Cake from Drago

oburnat-sladkish

Pear Dessert from Drago

desrt-krushi

Boiled Eggs with a Sauce of Pine Nuts 

vareni-qica-sos-kedrovisemki

Paleo Bacon Zucchini & Red Pepper Frittatа

zucchini&red pepper frittata

3 ingredient cookies

3-ingredient cookies

Paleo Breakfast Muffins

Paleo-Breakfast-Muffins-Recipe-text

Spinach and Feta Fritttata

Spinach-and-Feta-Frittata

Pad Thai Zoodles

zoodles

Avocado Egg Salad

avocado-egg-salad

Italian Baked Eggs

Italian-baked-eggs

Spicy Chorizo Scotch Eggs

qica po shotlandski

Eggs in Avocado

qice-avokado

Spring Eggs 

proletni qica

Zucchini Pancakes

 zucchini-pancakes

Easy Crockpot Breakfast Pie

breakfast pie

Hazelnut, Feta and Rosemary Frittata

hazelnut-feta-and-rosemary-frittata

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The Reason I Am NOT Vegan!

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The other day, I was at a StartUp Conference, where I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people. No matter where you go, you can rarely hide from your profession, as it once again happened with e- everybody, always talks to you about workouts and nutrition. In one of the conversation, I and a wonderful woman, started discussing the topic about vegans and meat eaters.  I was the representative of meat eaters and she was a representative of vegans. Today’s post is provoked by this conversation. For a long time, I wanted to share my opinion on the topic and I think that this conversation, helped me realize exactly what I want to share.

I know that the topic about meat is like religion- you better not talk about it, if you do not want to drag negativity. I will state that I am tolerant and I do not judge people, who have decided to exclude meat. Still, this doesn’t bother me to share my own opinion and state my own arguments. People, who are open minded to different points of view, will carefully read what I wrote- they might not change their opinion or they might actually change it. Others, will immediately feel offended and they will attack me. This doesn’t matter. So…

If you really want to be healthy, you should eat meat. Here, I am not talking about refusing to sit for dinner, without a stack of steaks. You might eat eggs, seafood and meat. You should add different veggies and spices. Health is sustained on a couple staples. Health is not a result of eating meat or not eating meat.

The most used argument from vegans, is that they get enough protein from plant sources. Here, I can say a lot of things, but I will try to keep it short. The human body, health and what we are is a result of biochemical processes, which take place in a response to the material ( in our case food) we provide.

We are used to giving definitions, through which we are trying to simplify the world and make it more approachable, more secure and more understandable. Often times, it is exactly this wrongly formulated definitions, which mislead us.

That is exactly what happens with the word PROTEIN. Realize that animal protein and plant protein are two different things. Plant and animal proteins have different chemical structure.  For us, both are protein, but for our body, which doesn’t work with simplified definitions, but instead it divides every bite to its smallest particle, both are not substitutable.

The body cannot make from plant protein what it can make out of animal protein. First answer the question why do we eat? Food is a form of energy. Food is what gives our body, what it needs in order to function; in order to sustain all the systems in our body, in order to renew itself. The body, uses the food we eat, taking it down to its smallest particles in order to fuel each part of our body and guarantee its existence.

Even without digging deep into science, the most logical is that keeping in mind that the human body has more similarities with animals, than it has with beans in the field, animal protein will give it more of the nutrients it needs, than the plant protein would.

You probably know that one of the proteins, which are most abundant in the human body is collagen. It is the structural protein, which is the main component of connective tissue.

When we eat animal products- like meat, bone broths and so forth, we give our bodies the building blogs that unite it. We give it the bricks, which renew the old once.

By excluding animal protein and relying just on plant protein, we deprive our body of this bricks. You will say: “I do not eat meat and I feel good.” You feel good today. You will feel good in 5 years, but what is gonna happen in 15 years? The body is resistant and it will endure our destructive actions, for a pretty long time. Problems, diseases happen with accumulation. Problems and the consequences of not eating meat, won’t happen in a month. They will happen in years, but then, how long do you think you will need in order to reverse the process?

If you agree that animal and plant protein are not the same thing and that they are not substitutable, you will probably defend your decision to be a vegan, with the fact that you are against animal violence . Really? Tell you the truth, I and everyone who eats meat is against killing animals, just for the sake of it.

But let me tell you something. In nature, everything comes up to balance and survival. If a predator meets you in the woods, it won’t think that you are a person with a soul and if it is hungry… it will eat you. Not because it is antihuman, but just because this is its inborn instinct.

Let me tell you that the argument, that we are saving the Earth, if we don’t eat meat is the biggest delusion that exists. Why? I will save my explanations. Instead, just watch the video below. It is short, but it sums up everything that I’d write.

If the only argument you have about not eating meat is that you are against consumerism; against how the industry has taken over everything and how animals are being killed, not just to satisfy our vital needs, but also our caprices, the approach should be different.

Why instead of denying meat, you don’t try something else? Why not lay down the foundations of spreading the mission to return to our contact with nature; why don’t you spread the idea to become producers of our own food? Why not use your example to spread the idea that we should live close to nature, where we should grow our own food, so we can value it more and have some respect for it?

I do not like a lot of things in our contemporary world and I am against super- consumerism. The fact that I eat meat, though, doesn’t mean I am about violence.

The fact that you want to change the direction we are headed; the fact that you feel the inner duty to spread the mission for more consciousness of our actions and choices, doesn’t mean that you should deny our inborn instincts and deny the way we are created to function.

The human is neither herbivore, nor predator. We are omnivores and as such, we need both- plants and animals. Everything in life is about energy and its transformation. The human body, transforms the energy. In order to receive the energy it needs, we should give it the material it can transform, in order to produce exactly this energy!

 

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The Diet That Will End All Diets! It Worked For Me!

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When somebody asks me which diet works best, I always try to be honest and reply- NONE! A diet, in the meaning, that we all invest in this word, suggests deprivation, limitation, it has a deadline and it is something like a self- punishment for the fact that we are not thin enough, that we don’t have enough will or enough knowledge. A diet, is something like a redemption for the guilt, which is constantly chasing us, for “the sins”, which we falsely believe, we have. Diets, emphasize on a  daily basis, about not being enough and for trying to become more, by deprivation!

My philosophy is different- I won’t give you an advise to go on a  diet; to follow a strict diet plan; to eat in a particular hour or in particular quantities. I think that a healthy nutrition plan, obeys some principles, but these principles could undergo a change, with the goal to adapt the to the needs of every one of us.

Achieving the body you want is easy- just sign a contract with your body, that you will feed it with quality, real food. No matter where you are and what is around you, if you have the inner conviction that you want to do the best for yourself, then no crappy food will have the power to tempt you. You won’t care what is around you, because in every single moment you will make the optimally, best choice.

People often ask me what real food means. Some insist on the fact that real food doesn’t exist. Usually, these are once again, people who find it easier to pick up an excuse and find an external reason, for their lack of inner motivation.

If the term- real food, doesn’t tell you much about its essence, today I will try to suggest you a way, which will help you ALWAYS identify real food.

Let’s start from the fact that real food is quality food. Quality is a vast concept- everybody defines it from their own point of view. I am not talking about the quality of the expensive brand, which is selling you not real food, but the calculated expenses for its marketing. I am not talking about the popular food, which is popular just with the fact that every commercial block, emphasizes on it- not because it is truly a personification of quality, but just because it was created by somebody, who has the money to pay for its distribution.

Quality food- the one which is being imposed on us by mass media, is “quality” in the roots of the mind. The mind is something easy to be manipulated.

True quality is being perceived beyond the limitations of the mind- it is more of an instinct, an inside sense of what is right. True quality is the feeling, the attraction you get towards the apple tree or the homemade cheese in your grandma’s house. The sham quality, are the perfect, “plastic” apples in the supermarket, which tempt your mind, but which somehow don’t really feel real and high quality.

I once read, that something exists if the world can’t function normally without it.

I think that the health status of most people is a proof that quality food or actually, the consumption of quality food is on a decrease. Why do I think so? Is there something normal, for a 10 year old kid, having geriatric diseases? Is there something normal for a 20 year old, to have difficulties taking a flight of stairs, because he is so out of shape and so overweight, that it is painful to even bare his own weight?

Yes, life keeps on going without quality food, but it becomes boring; unsatisfying and more torturing.

Quality, doesn’t have one definition- but somehow, we always feel what is worth it and what is a waste of time, efforts and emotions.

Quality is something, which with its own, specific taste; with the way it makes you feel and look, tempts you to really want it, without contemplating afterwards if your decision was a mistake.

How many times did you feel guilt, when you ate a homemade yogurt or organic eggs?

How many times did you feel guilt, when you’ve bought chips or when you’ve eaten pizza?

Through the prism of the mind, the pizza might be a high- quality one- from a commercial point of view, but the inner feeling, never lies- it is silently whispering you, that what you are doing to your body is not right!

Quality is a result of traditions, efforts and standards, which have resisted the test of time and which demonstrates steadiness.

What is the steadiness of chocolate bars in the supermarket, when all of them are the same and the only thing which differs them is the package? Are you paying for food or for the package? Are you fueling your body with food or with the fruits of marketing creativity?

If we talk about growing real food- the art of planting your own food, growing it, preparing it and storing it- this is a process, a skill, a desire. Yes, quality is a process. Quality is a combination of the efforts, made in order to produce a particular product, the time which was invested, a pinch of passion and desire and the end product- the one, which packs more than just food ingredients.

You know, how your mother’s omelet is always the most delicious! It is just an omelet. Everybody has the same recipe and everybody makes it differently. You eat it in the restaurant, but it tastes plane; you eat it at home and it tastes like the most delicious thing on Earth!

Quality is not just a product- it is an event. Quality food is an event- the event of growing, gathering and storing your own food. The event of cooking and sharing it.

Quality food is not gonna be found in the supermarket or in the restaurant.

Quality food is the one we prepare by ourselves. The one which nature gave us and the one that doesn’t need complicated technologies,  in order to be processed; it doesn’t need added vitamins or a decrease of fat content. Quality food is the one, which doesn’t need high marketing expenses, in order to be promoted better; it doesn’t need to be in an attractive package, in order to convince us, that we should buy it!

Actually, quality food, by itself, doesn’t need a package or efforts on the marketing side. Quality food can always be distinguished.

Without quality food, the world doesn’t function normally!

Without quality food, my body doesn’t feel good. Without it, I don’t wake up in the morning, full of energy; without it I don’t have strength- neither strength of the mind, nor strength of the body. Without, quality food,, I do not feel good in my skin and I don’t manage to go proudly through the alleys of my own life, because I always miss something, I am always unconfident. Without, quality food, I feel that something real and something valuable is lacking from my day. Without quality food I feel that my soul is starving and my body is overeating!

Quality food has just one definition- YOUR OWN. But no matter what your definition is, I am sure that your inner voice, always hints you what is right and what is wrong. It is exactly the inner sense for rightness, which is the true test of quality!

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The Problems I Encounter with My Diet

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I am constantly writing posts, trying to give you more information, which could help you discover the pieces of knowledge that you need and then apply them in your life, in order to feel better.

Still, I often need to guess what you’d find interesting and what you actually need. This is why, I decided to ask you directly. Here is the question I asked last week, your questions and my answers.

Write down the difficulties you have, when it comes to your nutrition and then I will answer all your questions. It’s your turn to ask!

Denitza Kafelova: Inertia. Sporadic eating and then overeating at night.

This is one of the most common problems- “the lack of time”. The lack of time has its own synonymous- lack of priority- not as a whole, but the failure to place nutrition and health as a priority.

We often, place all other tasks in the first places of our daily schedule and we forget about our own needs.Here, I will once again remind you, that the more you take care of yourself and the better you feel, the more productive you will be in your workplace and the longer, you will be capable of doing what you love.

Put yourself off, because of your work and soon, you will be forced to put off your life, in order to cure yourself and recover the damages you’ve done to your body- a mission which could never end the way we wish it could.

Eating big quantities at night, is due to not enough eating during the day- the body is starving for energy. Just the way, when we deprive our own self from emotions, then we need twice the quantity, in order to feel content. The body, works the same way, when we deprive it.

Place yourself and your health on top in your list of priorities- then, everything will go smoother and easier.

Milena Todorova: With one word- Chocolate! I can’t help it…

I used to think the same. Back in the days, I was impressed with people who didn’t deprive themselves from junk food, but they just didn’t have the need and the desire to eat it. It turned out, that everything comes up to the habit. While we think that we can not go without something, this will be a fact. The moment, when we admit its possibility, we find the way to exclude it from our life. Read this postwhich will help you understand your own self and your “inability”to quit eating chocolate.

Th other reason, might be the fact that you don’t eat enough of the foods your body needs in order to be nourished. Read this post, that I previously wrote about chocolate cravings.

Do you crave sweets? Here is the reason WHY!

Denitsa Dimova: Snacking between meals.

Snacking between meals is due to three things: 1.not eating enough food in your main meals; 2.a habit; 3.boredom.

1.If the reason is that you are not eating enough food in your main meals, try increasing the amount of food you eat for breakfast and lunch. Add more good fats- more pork, fatty fish, avocado,coconut, butter.

2.If the reason is a habit, the first couple days, it will be difficult to alter it. It requires a little bit more consciousness and will. When THE TIME comes, instead of eating, do a set of push-ups, a handstand or go down and up the stairs- just create a new habit. I love saying that “what fires together, wires together”. It is the same with habits. Break the old bond and create a new one.

3.If the reason is boredom, then remember, that “only boring people, get bored”. There is no such thing as boredom. The world is an abundance of opportunities and in every single moment, we have the freedom to do a bunch of things. Probably, the boredom, comes out of the fact, that you don’t have a desire o do what you are imposing on yourself in that particular moment. Give yourself 10-15 minutes to do something else. The boredom will pass by and you will get back to your tasks, refreshed.

Alexander Bichev: Increasing active body weight, without increasing body fat percentage.; Not eating enough calories, from fat and carbs, on a High Fat- Low Carb diet and the problems that follow it.  

The problems with increasing your active body weight, are usually due to not enough eating. People who have “problems” with gaining weight, are usually fooling themselves, that they eat enough.Increase the quantity of food you eat.

The problem with increasing your active weight is a combination of nutrition and working out. Probably, something in your workout is not right- is your technique good? Do you perform the exercises slowly, in a controlled manner, or are you just sprinting through exercising, taking advantage of inertia? Do you train with adequate weight? Do you perform too many reps? Maybe you are over-training in your desire to progress and you are just stressing your body. Ask better questions and the answers will come to you.

Not eating enough calories is due to the fact that you are not eating enough or that you understand the HFLC diet in a wrong way. If you eat pork, eggs with the yolks, fatty fish and you use butter and avocado, then eating enough calories, will be a piece of cake. What probably happens is that you are still a slave of the notion that fats are bad and even though you are consciously trying to eat a high fat diet, your unconscious is sabotaging you- thus, you cut, both your carbs and your fat intake and you are left without energy.

Debora Krusteva: After one month, my body gets exhausted and I feel terribly hungry. I start indulging in food and everything gets back to where I started.

The reason is one- a bad structured nutrition plan. The nutrition plan, by itself, suggests that you eat foods, which are calorie dense and nourishing. Feeling exhausted is a sign of deprivation.

Start eating more. Eat for health, not for weight loss. A healthy body, functions better and it always looks better. Do not go on a diet with a deadline ( read about the diet without deadline). Instead, change your lifestyle and make it a philosophy, not a caprice.

El van der Waal: Before my monthly period, I can eat all day long, whatever is in sight. Especially carbs, bread and sweets. 

One of the main problems, comes from the fact that we don’t have enough knowledge about our own body and the way it functions. We are trying to impose a static diet on a body, which is a personification of dynamic. Read this post: Women, carb cravings, estrogen, progesteron: How this matters about your diet?

If you know your body better and the way it changes, you will be able to eat in a way, which won’t resemble a fight with your own nature and own body.

Antonely- Plamena Markova: The nutrition plan you recommend is great. I do not feel hungry, but it is really boring. I can’t eat the same thing every day. I love healthy food and variety. 

Boring food is a matter of imagination and execution. Maybe it i snot the nutrition plan that is boring, but the way you apply it makes it seem this way. If you think that healthy, means just boiled eggs- yes, you will get sick of them. Cooking is an art and just eggs and veggies, are enough, to help you create, hundreds, of different meals. And because this is a common “problem”I already wrote a whole post on the topic: Do You Think That Being On A Diet Is Boring? Check Out How to Change It?

Inna Diamandieva: I don’t know what to change in my nutrition, in order to remove the last fat, left on my belly- should I count calories- I do not overeat, I eat mainly eggs, bacon, butter, meat, fish, veggies…

Maybe you shouldn’t do anything with your food. Having more fat is always an indication that we are not doing something right- that we are moving against our own nature. Probably you are not sleeping enough; you are going to bed too late; you are drinking too much coffee.. Do you spend enough time in nature or you are constantly exposed to non native electromagnetic fields( read more HERE)?

Sometimes, the reason is not the food we eat. Probably you are working out way too much and you are stressing your body.

Probably, you don’t even have fat that you need to get rid of. Maybe you have a twisted idea of the way you look and the way you are supposed to look!

Bianka Ivanova: My problem is that when I eat mainly veggies, I get bloated. 

The question is why do you eat mainly veggies? Do you think that this is the equivalent of healthy? I love veggies and I don’t eat without a salad. Still, the try to fill our stomach with veggies, and limiting the quantity of the more calorie dense food, is an extreme, which is obviously leading to discomfort.

Eat, enough meat, fish and eggs. Use the veggies as garnish, not as a main dish. We are neither herbivores, nor predators- we are omnivores!

Desislava Aleksandrova: I am a vegetarian. I’ve never eaten meat and it disgusts me. I can feel the negatives of not eating animal protein. What am I supposed to do?

Maybe, you should try to understand yourself better. What is it that makes the meat seem disgusting? Go back in the past and see where it all started- did somebody make you believe meat is bad? No matter what is the reason, you should find the roots of the problem and then deal with it.

For the past two years, I’ve been training with a wonderful woman, who used to be a vegan for 17 years. She had health problems when we started working together. I spoke to her and gradually, she started eating some fish and some eggs. Then she started eating fatty fish. I still remember, the first time when she sent me a picture of her first bite of beef. She was so happy! Nowadays she eats, even, pork and her health is better than ever! Just start changing slowly!

Nikolai Gushlekov: Personally, I do not have any difficulties with my nutrition- quickly and easily, I can eat everything I get my hands on.

This really made me laugh. :) I am not sure if, Nikolai, expects an answer or it is just a joke. Still, thank you for your response and for the humor.

Mimi Alexieva: Ines, for the past year, I’ve been following your nutrition plan and your workouts really helped me get fitter. I feel and look better but my cholesterol is still out of norm. 

The increase in cholesterol, is not directly linked to the consumption of fat. I’ve written before, how cholesterol is something like a band- aid in the body. ( Eggs and Cholesterol- Who Is The Bad Guy?)

I will try to explain, in short, what is the reason behind higher cholesterol levels.

From an evolutionary standpoint, the body functions in a way, that always favors the production of cortisol, before the the production of other hormones, received from the same precursor. In this case, the precursor is pregnenolon. Pregnenolon is formed from cholesterol, and it is formed from LDL ( which we falsely call BAD cholesterol), Every time, when the body is stressed or inflames, it up- regulates the production of cholesterol, so it can produce more life- saving hormones.  In a period of stress or inflammation, the LDL levels, always increase in order to keep the cells save and help them produce more cholesterol, which could help in the formation of hormones.

When you’re stressed for any reason Pregnenolone will be converted into Cortisol – hence cortisol steal syndrome.This provides a feed back loop to your adrenal glands, pitituatary and hypothalmus which tells your liver to make more LDL so it can make up for the loss of steroid hormones due to the pregnenolone steal; this then becomes a do-loop and will continue until the underlying issue is resolved.

That’s why, the reason for higher cholesterol levels, might be found in a different place- if everything else is ok, probbaly the reason is too much stress, low vitamin A levels or problems with the thyroid.

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Quick and Easy Healthy Dessert: Pear Cream with Avocado, Tahini and Cocoa Nibs

крем с авокадо и круша

крем с авокадо и круша

Cooking is a wonderful way to spend some time, using your creativity and seeing how through your efforts, patience and desire, the ordinary products, become something different and delicious. Besides that, it is a wonderful way to spend more time with people you love.

I think that people have forgotten the advantages of cooking with your loved once, the opportunities it offers- to become closer, to communicate with each other and learn how to overcome difficulties- even if the difficulty is to bake the steak without burning it.

Nowadays, I am no longer alone in the kitchen and I start loving cooking even more than I used to. This week, Ivaylo and I, prepared this delicious cream with pears, tahini and avocado.

I was kind of suspicious about the combination of avocado and pears, but encouraged by Ivaylo, we tried it and it turned out great!

Ingredients:

3 pears

1 avocado

3 table spoons tahini

40-50 grams pre-soaked walnuts

1 table spoon sour cream

1tea spoon coconut butter

cocoa nibs

Directions:

Puree the fruits.

Blend the walnuts.

Add walnuts to the fruit puree. Add tahini, sour cream and coconut butter and stir again.

Then add some coca nibs and decorate with a pear.

Leave in the fridge.

 

Do You Have Eyesight Problems? This Is The Way to Improve Your Vision Naturally

eyes Capture

Somewhere along the way, humans made a wrong turn, which took us on a path, where each one of our actions leads to self- destruction.

We feel tremendous difficulties to listen to the signals sent from our own body. We find it hard to differ real food and we fail to lead a life, which helps us get better on a daily basis and accelerate our progress. Instead we burry ourselves in junk foods, full of chemicals, which we call food. We lead a sedentary lifestyle, which we mistakenly call goal oriented and a strong desire for career success.

Contemporary diseases, which have struck a huge part of our population, are not a result of bad luck. They are a result of our daily actions, which contradict our nature and which contradict to the way our body is meant to function.

Today I will focus your attention to a “disease”( a problem), which most of us deal with. A problem, which leads to a lot of discomfort in our daily life, and often times it is the reason for a lot of self- insecurity in younger peers. I am talking about eyesight problems- shortsightedness and long-sightedness.

Said in simpler terms, shortsightedness is when you can see close objects, but you have difficulties to see objects placed in distance. Long-sightedness is the opposite. Nowadays, shortsightedness is a common problem and it is actually not an inborn defect, but mostly a consequence of our lifestyle.

What do I mean by this?

First, I want to note that problems with the eyes, are often due to our nutrition habits, but this will be the accent of one of my next posts.

In this one, the main focus will be our daily actions and habits, which are out of the area of healthy eating.

Long-sightedness or the ability to see objects from a distance are the most released state of the eye. When the ciliary muscle of the eye is in a relaxed state, the lenses of the eye gets flat and allows further objects to be seen clearly. When we should see something from a shorter distance, the same muscle contracts and makes the lenses of the eye rounder, this makes the objects closer to us clearer. Focusing on objects closer to us, requires more muscle tension in the eyes, and focusing on those farther from us, requires the muscles to relax.

How does that matter?

Think how we spend our day! We are focused on the PC screen, the phone display. Our eyesight is constantly focused on objects which are closer to us and we rarely need to look in the horizon. For us, the world doesn’t exist as a sum of multilayer images, but like a flat picture we see, just what is on the front and we rarely need to focus on what is behind us.

Imagine it like this- if you take a weight and you contract your arm to 90 degrees. Hold the weight like this all the time. As a result, the muscles on your arm will shorten, in order to make it easier for you. If this is your permanent state, because the body doesn’t like to waste energy, it will reprogram your brain, to give signals to the body and this shortened state will become your normal state.

What is not being performed by the body, as a function, sooner or later becomes a “not working mechanism”. Exactly this is what happens with our eyes-when we constantly keep our eye- muscles under tension, this becomes the normal state of our eyesight and the body “forgets” how to keep the musculature of the eyes in a relaxed state.

Good vision, as well ad an athletic body, is once again a result of exercise- exercising your eyes to be in a tense state, by focusing on closer objects, as well as, being in a relaxed state, by focusing on objects further away from you.

While you are working on the PC, look up every now and then and look in the horizon. See beyond what is right in front of your eyes and try to see the world as a sum of multi-layer pictures, and not as a flat picture, which is limited to your screen or what is right in front of your eyes.

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Do You Experience The Platoe Effect with Your Healthy Diet? I Bet The Reason Is The Raw Nuts!

Снимка: www.elementsforlife.co.uk

Image source: www.elementsforlife.co.uk

Nuts! The favorite HEALTHY food of everybody. Raw nuts are extremely delicious food and personally, for me they were what helped me quit eating processed junk food and start eating real food.

Still, nuts are pretty calorie dense. In the same time, they are the kind of food, which disappears immediately… you just opened the package. You reach for one more handful of nuts and you can feel the empty bottom and the last raisin that got stuck in the corner. What I am trying to say is that it is easy to overdo them. Still, nuts are not a substitute to your meals. Personally, I can eat a cup of raw nuts, but I will always feel like eating something else, until I eat a steak/ eggs/ fish or some other protein rich food.

Communicating with people I train with, as well as with many of you- my readers, I understand that a lot of you abuse with the word HEALTHY in front of nuts and decide that if it is considered real food, you can eat it without limitations.

I am not going to lie to you, but nuts, more often than not, interfere with your progress ( when we talk about appearance) and I do not encourage you to fill your moments of boredom by eating them.

I notice, that especially women, eat a whole package of raw nuts in between the main meals. Do not forget that they are calorie dense and they contain both- a lot of fats and a lot of carbs, which Is not the perfect ratio and when you add the rest of the food you eat, you will easily g overboard with the total amount of calories you’ve eaten.

What are you supposed to know about nuts?

Nuts are the type of food, that is healthy in certain conditions and not so healthy in other conditions. I am not gonna comment processed nuts- you should exclude them from your menu.

If you eat nuts, you should eat them raw. Often times, we underestimate the way we store nuts ( and food as a whole), and realize it or not, this have a direct impact on their quality and the way they reflect on our health.

I will once again say, that in nature, nothing is a coincidence. It is no coincidence that all nuts, in their natural state, exist in some kind of a shell that keeps them safe. First, this has to do with their inborn defense from the animals, which feed on them, and second, it has to do with their storage.

Think about olive oil. You know how olive oil should be in a dark bottle. It is no coincidence. Vegetable oils shouldn’t be exposed to light, because they get oxidized and this makes them bad.

This is true for nuts, as well- they should stay in dark, dry places, and they shouldn’t be exposed to light.

Nuts and seeds contain the so called enzyme inhibitors ( think about phitic acid- the storage form of phosphorous in plants). These enzyme inhibitors, create problems in your stomach and they interfere with the absorption of food.

What are enzyme inhibitors? They are something like the defensive mechanism of plants, which doesn’t allow them to sprout in advance.

In order to be activated- to sprout- nuts and seeds should be soaked in water. Once they are soaked, the enzyme inhibitors are released and the process of sprouting and growth begins. This is the process when the nutrients are set free and they become absorbable.

Different nuts and seeds, require different amount of soaking- usually seeds are soaked for shorter- 4 hours, and nuts should be soaked for longer- 8 hours.

I will lie to you, if I say that I always pre-soak the nuts I eat. I happen to buy nuts and eat them immediately.

It is best to buy nuts with the shell and then soak them before eating. Right now I have walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds in a shell, which Ivaylo and I gathered during our hikes in the mountain.

It is important to know this information, because sometimes we fool If you overdo it with the nuts, if you do not store them properly, then this might have a negative influence on your digestion, and it determines your health status. It might turn out that “the healthy” nuts are harming you more than they are helping you.

My advice is to eat nuts in moderation and try to eat them every now and then- not on a daily basis. Sure, there is nothing wrong with adding a couple nuts to your salad, but if you eat 4 times and every time you eat 40-50 grams of nuts… add it up and you will see that you get a bunch of calories just from the nuts, and meanwhile you’ve eaten 4 more meals!

If you don’t have progress with your healthy eating, you are probably eating too much nuts!

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