9 Lessons I Learned in 9 Months without a Sip of Coffee

Coffee-Espresso.-Cup-Of-Coffee
If you know me you are probably aware that until a year ago, everybody who bought me coffee without asking – was my best friend. I never had the hesitation if it is too late for coffee. It was always an appropriate time to have a cup of coffee. I used to get back at home around 9:30p.m. and my routine was to make a cup of coffee, sit on the floor and read. I had no problems going to sleep after that.

I love challenging myself and what I love the most is freedom – in every aspect of the word. I love the freedom of items, habits, people, opinions and so forth. I’ve traveled a long path towards my personal growth, but I have always considered that for me, coffee used to something like an outlet. It was a kind of dependence – not to caffeine, but to the motion of drinking coffee. It used to be my way to reward myself. There came a moment when I realized that I don’t even like the taste of it anymore. I used to drink it out of habit. Like every other habit – I did not drink coffee because I had the need of it, but because I made it something like an obligation – you wake up- you drink coffee; you go out with friends – you drink coffee; you are bored – you drink coffee.

That is when I decided that it was time to challenge myself and stop drinking coffee. A lot of people didn’t understand why I did it. Many used to convince me that coffee is not unhealthy and that I do not need to quit drinking it. In reality, I did not stop drinking coffee, because I felt it was unhealthy or because I was expecting that my health would become even better. I quit drinking coffee, because I wanted to be free – free of the dependence to the habit of drinking it. My mind was attached to this habit and every time when I was in the mountain and my coffee time was coming, yet I didn’t have coffee to drink – I felt an inner tension and irritation. I wanted to get rid of this feeling. I wanted to be able to experience every emotion on a conscious level. I wanted to choose the way I feel.

Thus, as it is with everything I have changed in my life, I woke up one morning and I told myself that I won’t drink coffee anymore. Nobody believed me, because I definitely… used to drink a lot of coffee. J

The first day was the only day when I had an inner conflict. Around noon, when it was time for my usual cup of coffee, it felt like I had two personalities inside of me – the first one was saying: “Go ahead. Make a cup of coffee.”, and the other one was saying: “This is just a caprice. You don’t need it.” I just accepted the fact that I will need to give myself some time and I didn’t drink coffee. Thus for the past 9 months I did not have even a sip of coffee.

coffee1

What did I learn in 9 months without coffee?

1.It doesn’t matter how attached we are to something

It doesn’t matter how attached we are to something – everything is just in our mind. Everything is a conviction, which we build in our mind and which could be destroyed the moment we decide to choose and act consciously. Nothing has been easier for me as quitting coffee. The reason? It was an inner choice. It wasn’t something that somebody else imposed on me or something I did because I knew that “I was supposed to”. It was just a moment when I felt the power inside of me and I decided to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. I wanted to prove myself that I can do everything. When you expand your comfort zone, you suddenly open a lot more space where you feel comfortable. It is harder to find something that gets you out of balance and you rarely feel frustrated or confused. You are already familiar with a bigger territory and you know that you can cope with a lot of things.

2.Not drinking coffee doesn’t  get in the way of your social life

More often than not, as it is with going on a healthier diet, people are afraid that when they gout with friends, they won’t feel in their place – everybody else will be eating pizza and you will just stay or eat eggs and a salad; others will drink coffee and you will order a cup of water with a piece of lemon. At first, everybody was asking me questions, as if they were trying to check if I am completely convinced for what I choose: “Are you sure that you will skip ordering a cup of coffee? At least one!”

I really did not drink coffee. I used to drink just water. Thus, for me it never mattered where I go, what is on the menu – I always had water or tea. And there is water and tea everywhere.

Did something change? No, the conversation and the company were still the most important and it didn’t matter what I ordered. As it is said: ”The soul doesn’t need coffee. The soul is looking for a conversation. The coffee is just the occasion.”

3.Caffeine is not addictive

I used to drink A LOT of coffee. I expected that it will be difficult to quit it, because even though I didn’t feel caffeine, it was definitely having some influence in my body.

I did not feel bad at all. I just found other things that I could do. When it was time for a cup of coffee… I did a handstand. A week later, when I wanted a break, I did not head to the coffee machine. I went to the wall and I did a handstand.

И ето какво направих днес:)

And here is what I am able to do today:)

Our daily life is a result of the habits we create. Good habits are being built just as easy as bad habits. The question is what we will emphasize. I am always trying to substitute a bad habit with a good one. Then quitting on the bad habit is a lot easier and brings so much satisfaction.

Having a habit that substitute the old one works miracles. If we focus on what is missing, then we have a hard time. If we focus on new opportunities, when we leave something old, then life gets exciting.

4.I used to think that I will miss coffee more than I actually did

Often times we expect way more suffering than we will actually experience. We are afraid to do something, because we think that we will feel pain, that we will be sad, but in reality this is not the case. It is just different and there I something great about it.

5.It is not difficult to watch how others drink coffee

You know what I am talking about, don’t you? You stopped eating junk food and you were afraid to go to the candy shop, because you were afraid what was gonna happen. You were afraid that you might experience an irresistible urge to grab a piece of cake; if you were gonna be able to resist the aroma of chocolate and vanilla and the soft layer, covered with chocolate cream.

It wasn’t difficult to observe how others drank coffee. Because as I already said the choice was my own and I did not feel deprived. I knew that I could always buy a cup of coffee, but that I just didn’t want to do it.

6.The urge to drink coffee is temporary. It passes quickly and doesn’t return

Just like it is with the urge to eat carbs, it is the same with every other caprice of our mind to get something instantly. If at that moment we take our attention away from the caprice and we redirect it towards something else, then it goes away.

The urges are really short and we need a little bit of consciousness in order to resist them.

7.Going away from something that was constantly with you, makes you appreciate it more

When something happens every day, it becomes a habit and we stop paying attention to it. When you drink a couple cups of coffee, every single day, you somehow get used to the taste and the aroma. You don’t even bother thinking about them.

A month after I quit drinking coffee, every time when somebody used to bring his cup of coffee in the gym, I felt an extremely strong scent of coffee. I won’t exaggerate it if I tell you that it made me feel sick a couple of times. The aroma was so strong and intense. As if my senses were sharpened and now the stimulus of coffee was completely different.  Even a small dose of it was enough to activate my senses to the roof.

8.It doesn’t matter if you drink coffee or not

Quitting coffee was an experiment I did with myself. I wanted to prove myself that no dependence is stronger than the conscious choice for a change. Such small victories give you the confidence that you can cope with everything. Every time when you have hardships you think about the daily triumphs and wins over your ego –they give you motivation.

9.No matter what you do, do it for yourself

During the past month I had two cups of coffee. The best part of it was that the first cup did not encourage me to start drinking more coffee and didn’t force me to turn it into a habit again. It felt as if I was now consciously choosing to drink coffee. I drank because I really felt a desire to drink coffee. The taste was so intense and different.

When you have given up on something and a lot of people keep you accountable for it, they become something like your judges. If they see you are going back to it, they start reproaching you and treat you as if you are obliged to give them an explanation.

In reality, the contract to do or not do something is not with other people’s opinion. We sign the contract with our own self. We know why we are doing one thing or another and nobody could make us feel guilty about it.

If we start doing something because that is what other people expect us to do, then we get stuck in the feeling of guilt. We do something that we want and other people judge us, then we feel guilty. Then it doesn’t matter if we are free of the habit or the item. Everything that matters is that we are dependent on society’s opinion.

Am I going to drink coffee? Sometimes, yes. But now I know that I can choose and that I am not dependent on my habits.

Why did I share all of this? Because it has nothing to do with coffee. It has everything to do with every habit, every addiction and everything that we think is a part of us and that we can’t let it go.

We are human beings and we have an unlimited potential. We have a power beyond what we suspect and we can be and achieve everything, the moment when we really choose to do it.

3 Vitamins That Will Boost Your Health and Immune System

Инес Субашка

Ines Subashka

Spring is here and together with the change it brings (change in climate, length of daylight, food availability), the body is challenges to adapt. Every season has different requirements on the body, but the transition from winter to spring is one of the most dramatic. Probably you are feeling it happen with yourself – spring fatigue, lack of strength, some people lose appetite, others have a strong urge to eat something without being able to define exactly what it is.

I remember three years ago, when every time May came I was feeling a strong urge to eat chocolate. No matter what I used to do nothing could satisfy it – besides chocolate. What is the reason behind this?

When seasons change the body needs to adapt. It needs different nutrients and sometimes the long winter and our unhealthy habits can exhaust the storage of micronutrients. We are way too focused on the ratio of macronutrients (fats, protein and carbs), but we rarely give it a thought if the food we eat contains the micronutrients we need.

As I wrote in one of my previous articles, the hunger we feel (the illogical hunger for something particular) is due to a deficit of some micronutrients. From an evolutionary perspective, this is something like an instinct – we instinctively know which food contains the micronutrient we need and our body is urging us to eat it.

Before I go ahead and share the most common deficits and the hunger for particular foods, I will emphasize on 4 reasons why nowadays, besides having an abundance of food, it seems we are eating enough, yet our body is actually starving.

1.Contemporary food has lack of nutrients

We eat a lot of food, but when it comes to its calorie content and not when it comes to its micronutrient density. Usually, it turns out that we eat too much, yet we starve our body. We eat our food by choice, led by pre – learned mental models and convictions and not because we rely on our instincts and what they cue us is good for our body. How often do you happen to eat the same food every single day because you’ve decided that you must or you just love it? Do you know that by doing this, especially when we talk about modern foods, we run out of the enzymes that are responsible for the digestion of these foods? This leads to gut issues, having allergies to the foods we eat on a daily basis, even though we do not have apparent symptoms of it, these allergies are digging in our body and causing a sequence of issues.

In the past food used to be with higher quality, it was richer in micronutrients and for 450 calories of food, people used to get more nutrients than we get for 450 of the food we eat today.

2.Contamporary foods contain anti-nutrients, that lock nutrients, as well as toxins that interfere with absorbing micronutrients

I’ve written a lot about grains and anti – nutrients:

Grains are the main food group most people eat. Thus, we are once again eating, yet starving our body. In short, grains can be considered a living organism – they have a seed that from an evolutionary perspective needs to survive, in order to guarantee the distribution of the plant. For this goal, evolution has built defensive mechanisms, which protect the germ, which in turns gives life to the next generation. Such are the lectins and phytic acid ( plant’s storage form of phosphorous). Grains and legumes have toxins that interfere with digestion. They hamper the breakdown of proteins into amino acids.

Thus, it once again turns out that we eat, yet the body starves.

3.The water we drink has a bad mineral content

This is true not just about water but also about the food we eat. Processing foods disturbs the chemical balance of food. The way most plants are grown – the soil that is devoid of minerals; the food that animals are fed with and so forth, decreases the nutrient content of food.

4.Contemporary way of cooking removes most of the valuable nutrients in foods

We have become a society that worships hurry. If something can be done in a rush, then it is right. If it takes more time to be cooked, then it is a waste of time.

Traditions and all recipes that have reached us are not by coincidence. Recipes carry a lot of wisdom and every ingredient, time for cooking is not a coincidence. In the past people used to prepare bone stocks that used to be cooked for hours – the reason is that when you cook with water, sauces or dressings from fat, it keeps the water-soluble and fat- soluble nutrients, which enrich the meal. Besides that not all nutrients in food are bio-available and continue cooking makes them bio-available. In the past meals used to contain a roader specter of food products and for example people used to eat every part of the animal, and not just the muscle tissue as we do today. Bone stocks with all the parts from the animal – cartilage, joints, ligaments enriched the meal with minerals that sustained the health of our own joints.

Today we try to get done with everything as fast as possible. We cook at really high temperatures that kill everything active and turn our food in something that the body can’t recognize – tangled molecules, trans fats and so forth, that are just harming us.

It once again turns out that we eat, yet we starve.

Most diseases that we have are due to the lack of micronutrients – the forced starvation of the body.

This week I will start a sequence of articles with different micronutrients – minerals and vitamins that the body needs in order to be healthy. I will talk about the balance between different mineral and vitamins, which foods contain them and how their deficit can lead to diseases and the symptoms we experience. I am sure that you will recognize your condition in some of the micronutrient deficits and I hope that this article will help you discover the reason for the way you feel. The body is created for health and strength. Disease and fatigue are not something to put up with, but just a symptom that we are not doing something right. Let’s find out what!

Vitamin A, D and K2

I have a strong love for these vitamins. For me they are more like hormones, than just vitamins. They play such an important role in the body and they are responsible for so many processes. Their deficit is the reason for a lot of diseases. It won’t be too much if I say that most diseases are due to their deficit.

It is not important to just supplement with them, but also to absorb them. We emphasize way too much on getting synthetic vitamins and we think that we are doing enough for our health. In reality it is more important to get these micronutrients from food. Vitamins are nothing if we do not take them with the whole complex of nutrients, required for their absorption. This is completely true for vitamin A, D and K2, which are fat- soluble – i.e. you need fats in order to absorb them. You are already guessing why so many people have a deficit of these nutrients, aren’t you?

The propaganda that fats are bad, planted the notion that we need to remove every drop of fat from our food – to cut fat from steaks, to get rid of the egg yolks, to throw away butter from the fridge. The more we believe these notions, the more our health is getting worse.

Have you heard about Weston Price? For sure! This man dedicated his life to establishing which are the key nutrients for the health of the teeth and bones. It turns out that the key is exactly in vitamin A, D and X-factor (K2).

Vitamin A

A

Most of you will say that you eat enough carrots and that you get enough vitamin A. Even though I also love carrots, they won’t do the work. Vitamin A has different forms:

-in animal products vitamin A comes in the form of retinol;

-in plant sources vitamin A is in the form of carotenoids.

The difference is that vitamin A from animal sources can be used from the body directly, and carotenoids should be first converted to retinol- i.e. you need a bigger quantity to get the desired dose.

Why do you need vitamin A?

-vitamin A is needed for better vision, immune system, the health of your bones, the health of the skin and so forth. HERE,I wrote how women who have a deficit of vitamin A, while pregnant could give birth to a child that has problems with vision.

Which are the foods rich in vitamin A?

-black liver, egg yolks, butter, colorful veggies

Vitamin D

Sunshine Vitamin D

Vitamin D is being produced mainly in the skin, under the influence of the sun. Foods like fermented cod liver oil contain it.

Why do you need vitamin D?

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for bone mineralization (imagine it like food for your bones) and for the functioning of the immune system.

Vitamin D has different forms, but I won’t bother you with them. What matters is that one of the forms of vitamin D is being produced by sunlight acting on cholesterol in the skin. This is an interesting fact. When I read Dr. Jack Kruse’s book, he mentioned how testing your cholesterol levels, might show different numbers in winter and in summer – i.e. higher cholesterol is normal in winter and lower cholesterol is normal in summer, because of the connection between sunlight, cholesterol and the conversion in vitamin D.

This makes me think about the mistaken conclusion from cholesterol testing – some people rush to conclude that higher cholesterol in winter is due to the consumption of more animal products, and in reality the reason is completely different. Just another proof how many facts play a role and how we shouldn’t take everything for the mere truth.

How could we get enough vitamin D?

The main vitamin D source is the sun. We should spend some time under the sun – on a daily basis. Being exposed to direct sunlight is really important for the proper functioning of the circadian rhythm – it determines all processes in our body. The sun and sun exposure are the main factors that wind up the circadian clock. The main way that the body receives information for the environment and what is taking place.

Vitamin K

K

Vitamin K has different forms, as well. Vitamin K 1 comes from plant sources (mainly leafy greens), and vitamin K2 comes from animal products and bacterial forms.

What is the role of vitamin K2?

Vitamin K2 is required for the activation of certain proteins, like those for the mineralization of bones and it keeps arteries from calcifying. Vitamin K2 is the one that helps for blood clotting. Without vitamin K2, bones can’t calcify, and soft tissues calcify and get atherosclerotic.

How to get enough vitamin K2?

Vitamin K2 is available in egg yolks, liver, butter, fermented veggies and old cheeses.

Have you noticed that all three vitamins are available in foods rich of fats? Coincidence? I doubt it! Probably it is more like the encoded intelligence of nature!

The importance of vitamin A, D and K2 balance

Usually when we know that something is healthy, we think that the more we take, the better it gets. This is a wrong misconception. We always go from one extreme to another and life is balance. Health as well!

Thus, too much consumption of vitamins doesn’t make us healthier. What is important is the ratio between different vitamins. Imagine it like a chemical reaction – if you put the proper proportion of chemicals, you get the desired result. If you get the wrong those, you get a completely different result.

Vitamin A and vitamin D need to be in balance with each other. This is no coincidence – both vitamins work together for the activation of particular genes. The improper ratio between vitamins, may lead to the improper expression of genes. Actually it is not just the absolute quantity that matters, but actually their ratio.

Vitamin D and K2 deficiency might lead to toxicity of vitamin A.

That is why you could find a lot of supplements that don’t contain just vitamin A or vitamin D, but a combination of both.

I wouldn’t recommend you the self-prescription of pills. I’d recommend you to try to get these vitamins from food.

The only supplement that I take is fermented cod liver oil. It is a little expensive, but it is totally worth the investment. For me it is something magical and healing!

 

3 Mistakes I Made While Trying To Get Leaner! Don’t Do Them!

lean

1.Working out more so I can eat more

Every one of you knows what I am talking about. You go to the gym and you do everything you can to exhaust yourself. You punish your body with physical activity, so you can reward it later on with food – food that we believe satisfies us and brings us pleasure.

I used to make this mistake for a long time. I used to go to the gym and give my best effort every single time. I used to think how I am gonna go back home and  how I can eat more of one food or another, just because I’ve spent enough energy. I used to turn days into a marathon – how much physical activity could fit in a single day. I used to feel guilt, if there was a day when I haven’t trained anything.

On those days, it felt as if I didn’t deserve to eat. That is exactly what I used to do – I used to train in order to deserve my meals. How wrong! Food is not something that we should deserve. We have a right to eat it. Our body is build up in a way to use food a fuel. The thing is that we shouldn’t overeat and over fuel our body.

When I used to train more in order to eat more, I used to feel bad. My whole body ached and I was constantly tired. Still, day after day I used to try to motivate myself and I used to believe I was supposed to pay the price.

There was a moment when I trained and I didn’t feel good. I just didn’t want to exhaust my body like this. I felt that my body needed rest and I wanted to listen to it. I wanted to give it rest. Back then I received a see through. I told myself: “Workouts are for performance. Workouts are not so I can spend more energy and then make up for it with more food. If my body feels bad from so much physical activity, then I can just listen to it. I can train less and eat according to my needs.”

I realized that I do not need to train in order to eat. Instead I need to eat in order to train, to move, to have strength. I realized that I do not need to punish my body, by torturing it with long, heavy training sessions and then try to reward it with food.

2.Watching other people’s achievements and punishing myself for the lack of such

If there is a person who claims that he has never experienced this, he will probably lie to you. If I am wrong, this means you are lucky!

Sometimes we spend more time observing the life of others, instead of taking care for our own life. We become an observers of other people’s life, instead of the main, acting character in our own life. An eyewitness, instead of an actor!

There was so many moments when I used to admire the achievements of others, and in the same time I punished myself for the lack of such.  I used to observe how others eat healthy, train at their best and build bodies for the cover of a magazine.

I used to take an unconfident look at my body and be ashamed of what I didn’t achieve. I used to feel guilty and I was spinning into an enchanted circle of self – blame, self- punishment with physical activity and then trying to please myself with food.

Until the moment when I realized that looking at other people’s pictures won’t bring me results. Until the moment when I realized that self- pity is not my friend, but an enemy.

I realized that every time you choose to act; every time when you take responsibility for your own life, what you are searching for finds you. It is not true that you do not have good genetics. It is not true that everybody can achieve it, but you can’t. It is that you just haven’t tried it. You just don’t give yourself enough time.

The other day I was riding my bike and suddenly a man on his bike passed by me. At first, my ego suffered. How come he was faster than me? I was mad at myself. Then I looked at his legs. I saw how he was spinning the pedals and I told myself – he leads and instead of whining, I could follow him. I could imitate him, until I gather inertia and until I myself become as good as he is. I was following the rhythm of his legs and I was pushing the pedals. The distance between us was getting shorter and I was already behind him. It turned out that I can as well. It was just that before he came  I didn’t have a base for comparison. While I was alone I didn’t know if I was giving my best. Probably I was staying in my comfort zone. Probably he came so he could challenge me and show me that I can.

Probably all pictures and achievements of others, that you see on a daily basis don’t have the goal to convince you that everybody besides you can do it. Maybe they are there in order to give you an example. In order to help you start, by following their tempo… until you gather inertia in order to finish the journey by yourself. Because trust me – YOU CAN!

3.Being too narrow minded and never accepting a different point of view

Opinions and convictions are something temporary. Not changing your point of view is not a sign of consistency, but just plane stubbornness and a lack of the ability to filter information.

Often times we think that it is just our convictions that are right. We find a religion and we don’t allow in our community anybody who owns up another religion.

I think  that there isn’t anything more appropriate than changing yourself and changing your convictions.

The more experience, knowledge and wisdom you gather, the more you can see life and everything else from a different perspective. You see not just the pieces of the puzzle, but the whole picture.

Often times we do not achieve results, just because we are not using the proper method. Sometimes it is not about a lack of effort. It is more often the lack of an approach.

How many times have you happened to do the same workouts, even though you do not see the results you want? How many times have you happened to start the same diet all over again, even though the last time it didn’t work?

We do the same thing over again, yet we expect a different result. It rarely happens like this.

Probably you think that weights will make you look bulky or that they won’t help you become leaner? If nothing else works why don’t you try?

Probably you’ve been just strength training and you stay away from swimming and higher reps? If you do not achieve your goals, why don’t you try something different? Sometimes just the rest from what we are used to be doing helps us see it through a different perspective and realize where we are making a mistake.

Maybe you are avoiding fats in your diet and you rely mainly on carbs? Try decreasing the carbs and increasing the fats. You won’t lose anything! Anyways you are not achieving the results you want. Try it and if it doesn’t work you can always go back to the old.

Maybe you are afraid to eat a tomato or a carrot because they have “a lot” of cars? Try it! Maybe it won’t harm your body, but it might even help.

Convictions are not a constant. Convictions are something that have to be challenged, by being open for a different opinion.

At the end of the day everything comes up to trying and testing on your own self and then making your own conclusions.

Nobody could possibly know how you feel and what is best for you. Everybody can give you directions. Everybody could draw a frame, which could direct you but not limit you. Details depend on you!

If something doesn’t work, then it is time to try something different. When walking forward doesn’t take you where you want to arrive, you need to make a turn and see where you got it wrong!

****

And my latest achievement :)

Ines Subashka

Ines Subashka

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Raw Paleo Carrot Cake

Carrot+Coconut+ Cake
I love carrots. I often joke that in my previous life I’ve probably been a rabbit. For a long time I wanted to make a raw carrot dessert. But I never dared to try. Yesterday, was the day to finally make one. I prepared this delicious raw carrot cake. It turned out so delicious that I don’t know what stopped me from making it for so long.

Ingredients:

For the cream:

1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water

2 tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 cup non-dairy milk

4 teaspoon homemade apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey

For the bottom:

about 4-5 big carrots (shredded)

about 8 dates

1/2 cup raw walnuts (soak them)

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

For the cream: Combine everything together. Process for about 4-5 minutes. Give your blender a break.

To make the cake bottom: Place everything together and blend it. My blender is not so big, so I divided everything in three parts and I blended it this way. Then I poured it in a bowl and mixed it well.

Then spread in a pan and spread the cream on top. Next time I intend to add a crust on the bottom, because this time it didn’t become as solid as I wanted it.

If you want, you might pour it in beautiful, crystal bowls so you don’t have a hard time cutting it in pieces and placing it in a plate.

Do you have favorite recipes with carrots? Share them with me!

Heal Tooth Decay: The Truth about Your Teeth

 zubi

I bet that at least once in your life you’ve had a plant, which you neglected. You forgot to water and soil it, and you probably noticed how its leaves curls and its colors faded. You witnessed how the beauty and life were robbed out of the plant due to not taking proper care and not “feeding” it. Conversely, if you’ve been persistent and were able to bring it back to life, you realized how proper care can have a dramatic restorative effect. The same result will take place when taking proper care of your body. You must maintain it and this is where the power of nutrition comes into play.

The reality is that our bodies are intelligent, and we must learn to treat it as such. Our lifestyle choices influence how our body responds. In choosing between healthy or unhealthy foods and habits, we are programming our bodies for either wellness or sickness. I love saying that the quality of our health depends on the quality of our food.

People underestimate the power of nutrition. I am a firm believer that through proper food choices, you can help your body recover and get it back to functioning at its best. I’ve seen it happen many times in others and in my own life. You see, I used to somehow survive on junk food and now I eat real, healthy food, and have become both healthy and very fit!

I also used to be one of those people who believed that genetics caused all of my physical flaws. For example, I’ve always had problem teeth and I’ve always blamed it on my parents bad teeth (Actually they have beautiful smiles, but they have problem teeth.) I always had somebody to blame until I found out that my health is in my own hands and that we all have access to the most powerful tool to healing the body – nutrition.

If you have problem teeth, read what I have to share with you and reconsider if genetics is the culprit or, in reality, the enemy is you! Your teeth can heal naturally because they were never designed to decay. Our teeth are designed by nature to be strong and healthy for as long as we live, just as our whole body. With every food choice we make, we either nurture our bodies, or we cause harm, and the types of foods we consume daily either strengthen or weaken our teeth.

Today I will share with you how to support the health and longevity of your teeth just by consuming the right foods. The modern theory of tooth decay states that: Tooth decay occurs when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) such as milk, pop, raisins, cakes or candy are frequently left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on these foods, producing acids as a result. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.

In reality, something completely different is the main reason for our problematic teeth. Tooth decay is a physiological process, which is triggered by our bodies as a response to our diet.

Drs. Leonora and Steinman found that the hypothalamus communicates with glands in our jaws called the parotid glands via parotid hormone releasing factor. When this gland is stimulated by the hypothalamus it releases parotid hormone, which in turn triggers mineral-rich dental lymph through microscopic channels in our teeth. (1 ) It is precisely this mineral-rich fluid, which keeps our teeth healthy. It is what cleans our teeth and remineralizes them. With our modern diet of processed foods, especially foods rich in carbohydrates, we sabotage the proper flow of this mineral- rich fluid. Such a “modern diet” causes the hypothalamus to stop signaling the parotid gland to release the hormone that triggers the movement of the remineralizing fluid. Over the long term, this results in tooth decay and, ultimately, tooth destruction.

When your food intake is based on too many processed foods, especially sugar and flour products, this damages your body’s ability to function properly and send adequate signals to your glands. When there are blood sugar spikes, minerals like calcium are pulled from our bones. According to Dr. Page (2 ), when there is a disturbance in the ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the blood ( the exact proportion for tooth health is 2.5 parts calcium to one part phosphorus), minerals are withdrawn from the tooth or other tissues, which in the long term results in tooth decay.

I am a big follower of Weston Price and his work, and as he states, “Lack of nutrition is the cause of physical degeneration.” Thus, if we learn how to use food correctly, we can stop the degeneration process of our bodies, which can be observed everywhere in modern society, and turn food to our advantage, not our curse. One of the premises for good health is the presence of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A,D,E and K, and it’s not surprising that they are found in fat. Fat- soluble vitamins are essential for our health, not just because of the nutrients they provide, but because they have a key role in activating substances that help our bodies utilize the minerals that are present in our diets.

For example, phosphorus, calcium, and our hormones as well need fat-soluble vitamin D. It is essential to the proper ratio of calcium and phosphorus, and as stated above, this proper ratio is the key element to healthy teeth, and it plays a key role in the prevention of tooth decay.

In addition, another element that is responsible for the deposition of calcium and phosphorus into our bones is the protein osteocalcin. Its production in the cells is highly dependent on the presence of fat- soluble vitamins A and D. An interesting fact is that vitamin A lowers blood serum calcium, which, in turn, indicates that vitamin A aids our bodies in the utilization of calcium. Vitamin A increases growth factors, which stimulate bones and teeth to grow and repair. As you may already know, cholesterol is vital for the production of hormones in our bodies. As I mentioned above, the immune system, minerals, and hormones interact with the tooth and related structures, which means that hormones have the power to control the process of tooth decay.

By now, you would probably asking what is their role?

Actually tooth decay is initiated by a glandular mechanism. Our pituitary gland has two sections based on the hormones each section produces. The sections are the anterior and the posterior pituitary. To understand it further, you should know what the role of each section is. The posterior pituitary gland works together with the pancreas to control blood sugar levels. As mentioned above, chronic imbalances in blood sugar often lead to tooth decay and other health problems. When the posterior pituitary fails to regulate the blood sugar level, a biochemical imbalance occurs; this, in turn, causes phosphorus to be pulled from our bones. In case you’re wondering, the main culprit for posterior pituitary deficiency is sugar.

On the other hand, the anterior pituitary gland regulates the thyroid gland. You are probably aware that a properly functioning thyroid gland is critical in order for us to enjoy good health and balanced hormones. In fact, a malfunctioning thyroid plays a role in the tooth decay process because the thyroid is responsible for the maintenance of blood calcium levels.

Let’s return to the hormones and cholesterol connection. In order for our hormones to properly perform their job and send the correct signals, we need cholesterol. Yes, cholesterol, which has been demonized by a huge part of the fitness industry. When you don’t maintain a healthy diet, your body’s ability to repair and keep your teeth healthy is compromised. The result is the demineralization of your teeth and a severe process of tooth decay. This, in turn, leads to more health complications because without healthy teeth, we fail to digest food properly, and this leads to more health complications, which inevitably leads to a total breakdown in our bodies. Thus disease can be traced to poor food selection!

If you’ve read “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” by Weston Price, you probably know about his research and analysis of primitive tribes and populations with healthy teeth as compared to those with decayed teeth. To sum it up, his research concluded that poor dietary choices are the cause of physical degeneration. As stated in his book: “…real food has lost its meaning and value. Rather, 500 calories of the modern diet comes from sweets and chocolate which are low in fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. These products replaced cheese and milk which where dense sources of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals.”

Another change in our diets, which probably led to the decaying process, is the preponderance of grains in our daily diet. If you’ve read “Wheat Belly”, you are probably aware that modern grains have nothing to do with grains from fifty years ago. Modern grains are full of anti-nutrients- starting from phytic acid (the phosphorus storing form of plants), lectins, gluten and so forth. These anti-nutrients lead to either intestinal irritation, inflammation or bind with minerals, which are essential for our health and thus rob our body from food.

Dentist Ralph Steinman discovered that our teeth’s ability to remineralize is based upon the regulating action of the largest salivary glands, the parotid glands. Located near the inside of our jaw bone, the parotid glands regulate the activity of the nutrient-rich dentinal fluid. The signal to the parotid glands comes from the regulating center of the brain, the hypothalamus. When the tooth fluid flow is reversed due to a signal from the parotid glands (as a result of a poor diet or otherwise), food debris, saliva and other matter are pulled into the tooth through the dentinal tubules. When this happens over time, the pulp becomes inflamed and tooth decay spreads to the enamel. Dr. Steinman identified the loss of certain key minerals in this process of tooth decay. These are magnesium, copper, iron and manganese, all of which are active in cellular metabolism and necessary for the energy-production that allows the cleansing flow of the fluid through dentin tubules.

So what is the main point in this discussion? Phytic acid, the anti-nutrient in grains, beans and nuts has the potential to block the absorption of each one of these vital tooth building minerals. It turns out that food is way more important than you thought and that your daily choices either treat disease or feed it. Our modern diet lacks fat-soluble vitamins and foods that are rich in the nutrients needed for our body to function properly; instead, these foods are substituted with processed foods, heavy carbohydrates and grains, which have a negative consequence on our body’s ability to repair and sustain health.

If you want to restore your health, you can certainly do it through persistence and better food choices. Our society needs to ditch the crappy foods bought from the supermarket and start eating real food. All the nutrients needed for our health can be found in organ meats, mineral rich bone broths and stocks prepared from fish and shellfish. We need to start consuming more butter, eggs, and homemade dairy products from grass fed animal sources.

Unfortunately, our modern society has given up nutrient rich foods – and has thus voluntarily given up its health – and replaced these nutritious foods with crappy, processed alternatives. The result is that we have compromised our health with a variety of diseases that rob us from the opportunity to enjoy what nature has given us – a healthy, strong and athletic body, capable of enduring great physical feats.

Our food is a potentially powerful tool that can restore and maintain the most valuable thing in life – our health, yet we’ve voluntarily given up our health by adhering to useless fads and poor choices.

Rethink your food and I promise you that you will rethink your life!

Resources:

1. Roggenkamp, Clyde L., and John Leonora. “Foreward.” Dentinal Fluid Transport : Publications of Drs. Ralph Steinman and John Leonora. Loma Linda, CA: Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, 2004. XIV. Print.”

2. Page, M. Abrams, L. Your Body is Your Best Doctor. New Canaan: Keats Publishing Inc.;1972:

3.Wheat Belly, William Davis

4.Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food, Catherine Shanahan

5. Cure Tooth Decay, Ramiel Nagel

6. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Weston Price

5 Lessons about Diets That I Wish We Could Learn

diet3

Our body, who we are; the way we think; our desires and the way we act are a result of long years of evolution and the adaptation to the constantly changing environment. Everything we do and think, but in the same time everything that seems illogical, has its logical, unconscious reason.

Our unconsciousness is the place where we store the information about everything we interact with. Everything that surrounds us, everything that in one way or another has touched the strings of our emotions and has left a lasting scar.

Instincts are something like an evolutionary guardian – they are there in order to run for help and direct us how to act, how to think in different situation, so we can guarantee the survival of our body. They are the weapon against the dangers that are spying from our environment. It sounds like a criminal movie, but in the pat this used to be the reality.

Nowadays, the stress we are exposed to, has nothing to do with running away from bears, starving for days or sleeping under the dark sky, when there is a storm. Still, from an evolutionary standpoint, we – humans have been exposed to such external stimulus for the bigger part of our existence.  Everything has left a lasting scar, that is encoded in our genes. Lasting mechanisms, which get activated every time when we get stuck in a situation, which carries an emotion that corresponds to the stressor of the past.

That’s why evolution is the best textbook. That’s why everything can be understood under the light of evolution. Everything has its logic. We just need to look for it in the right place.

Which are the instincts which sabotage our desire to be in shape and how can we cope with them through the lenses of evolution?

1.During which part of the day should we eat more carbs?

cocoa

Most experts say that we should eat most carbs in the morning and limit them throughout the rest of the day. I’d recommend you to eat the bigger quantity of carbs at night. HERE I wrote a post about this.

Besides the reasons exposed in the article, there are other directions, where we could find reasons to eat most carbs at night.

When is the time when you crave carbs the most? At night!

Then, don’t you find logic to build your nutrition plan in a way that will help you achieve your goals for a fitter and more athletic body (i.e. to eat quality food, up to your energy needs), while in the same time you distribute the fuel sources in a way that will fit your natural desires?

How would it matter how perfectly you eat during the day, if at night you are dying for sweets and you rush for the Nutella jar?

Why wouldn’t you distribute a bigger quantity of your carb intake in the part of the day when your body craves the,?

Evolutionary lesson 1: Eat your carbs at night!

2.During which part of the day should you eat your biggest meal?

dinner2

Here, the widely spread notion is that you should eat your biggest meal in the morning. Sure, you should firstly pay attention to the way you feel. You should distribute the quantity of food according to your personal needs and lifestyle. Still, from an evolutionary standpoint, you should eat your biggest meal at night. Everything else is against your natural needs, social patterns and instincts.

In the past, our ancestors used to hunt during the day and they gathered at night in order to cook and eat the prey, while using the occasion to socialize.

Here, some of you will say that you can’t overeat at night and then go to sleep. Actually, nobody is forcing you to overeat. If you eat according to your needs, your dinner won’t be so huge that you feel stuffed. Besides that, nobody is forcing you to eat at 10 p.m. A normal dinner might take place around 7p.m. But compared to your other meals, it will be bigger.

Evolutionary lesson 2: Do not stay away from food at night. Eat your biggest meal at night.

3.What should dominate in our diet – carbs or fats?

carbs-vs-fats

The key is in nature and its seasonality. In the past when our environment was not controlled, people used to eat what was available. People used to eat according to seasons and they lived and functioned in synchrony with nature.

What turns out if we look at nature and seasons?

Most carbs are available in seasons with longer light cycles – i.e. in late spring, summer and autumn.

During colder months, i.e. winter and spring, there are less carbs. Actually, back in the days this was the time of food scarcity. Back then, there were mostly animal products and leafy greens.

This means that when it is cold, the body tolerates more fats, and when it is hot we could increase our carb intake.

Even if you don’t think much about this, follow the signs of your body. When it is hot outside, the thought of fatty steak, does not seem as tempting, as fish, salad and a handful of berries.

When it is cold, we have a stronger desire to eat more fatty foods.

Evolutionary lesson 3:Eat more fats, when it is cold and include more carbs when it is hotter.

4.Why some nations are healthier when they eat mainly cars, and others are healthy but eat mainly fats?

Here evolution plays a key role. In countries with warmer climate, there is foods rich of carbs all year long.

In colder countries carb foods do not grow for such a long period and that’s why they eat foods rich of fats.

Do you understand why in Africa people tribes are healthy, even though they eat more cars and in the North Pole they are still healthy, despite eating so much fats? All of them follow the diet that has been encoded in their genes. A diet that corresponds to the climate and what is available for that particular region.

Evolutionary lesson 4:Live in synchrony with nature and eat according to seasons.

5.How should we train in order to be strong, lean and sexy?

Ashley Horner

Ashley Horner

It’s not by doing 2-3 hours of cardio.

Actually the proper way to train is one again hidden in the textbook of evolution.

In the past long physical activity was a sign of a stressor. When stressed, the body doesn’t care if we fit in our new jeans or if we look sexy on the beach. The only priority our body has is survival. Survival and loss of fat are not compatible. That’s why in order to achieve our goals, we need to perform physical activity, which will calm our body down and reassure it that it is not threatened.

In the past, sporadic, high intensity physical activity and all day physical activity with low intensity was the norm.

What does this mean adapted to our contemporary lifestyle?

We should move all day – walk, climb stairs, perform functional movements like squats, lunges, moving objects and so forth; short and intense workouts –sprints, workouts with weights and bodyweight workouts.

In order to achieve our goals, we should use the evolutionary model and adapt it to our contemporary lifestyle.

Obviously, we can’t go back to the cave(and we don’t need to do it), but still we can’t go against an information that is deeply encoded in our genes. That’s why we need to find a way to break the past through the lenses of the present. We need to live in synchrony with our body and its needs and not in a constant fight.

Thank you for sharing this post and letting it reach and help more people!

IFS Podcast #6: Nate Miyaki – Get Shredded with No Cardio and More Carbs At Night

nate-ines

One of my favorite days, are podcast days. I love the whole process of it – researching my guest; getting to know more about his life, interests, work and philosophy. Some of my guests have a philosophy that matches my own convictions. Others, have a philosophy that contradicts mine, but this just gives me a critical view about workouts and nutrition. This just challenges me and makes me grow. It helps me see everything I know, through the lenses of a different perspective and enrich my convictions.

This week, I have the pleasure to speak with Nate Miyaki. I’ve been following him for a couple years, but after this interview, he officially becomes one of my favorite experts. His attitude, philosophy and peaceful presence – everything is presented in such an approachable and interesting way.

Some of the topics we dig in:

-how a bodybuilder goes against the traditional methods and achieves his best shape with 3 meals a day and no cardio;

-how to achieve a lean body by eating carbs at night – is it possible and what are the reasons behind this;

-bodybuilding and IF – are they compatible;

-could you eat something in the 14-16 our window of fasting;

-women and IF – what are the main problems and is IF appropriate for women;

-how the quantity of carbs in the diet differs between a professional athlete and the average person;

-what is more important about getting leaner – workouts or nutrition;

-what does Nate Miyaki think about cheat meals;

-what carb sources does Nate recommend and what does he think about fruits and grains;

-low body fat, without cardio – is it possible?

Who is Nate Miyaki?

Nate Miyaki

Nate Miyaki

Nate Miyaki is a coach, bodybuilder and the author of 5 books. Some of his certifications:

  • Certified Personal Trainer, American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  • Certified Specialist in Sports Nutrition, International Sports Science Association (ISSA)
  • Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, International Sports Science Association (ISSA)
  • Functional Training & Corrective Exercise Specialty Certification (ACE)
  • Sport Yoga Instructor (NESTA)
  • 2009 Musclemania America & World Natural Bodybuilding Championships — 1st place, bantamweight division
  • 2004 NPC Max Muscle Natural Bodybuilding Championships — 1st place, lightweight division
  • Former professional wrestler and stunt/acrobatics instructor with All Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Iron. Check out the highlights:  Kamikaze Kid I Kamikaze Kid II

Website: NateMiyaki.com

The books of Nate Miyaki:

The Truth About Carbs: How to Eat Just the Right Amount of Carbs to Slash Fat, Look Great Naked, & Live Lean Year-Round

The-Truth-about-Carbs

Rise Above: 7 Strategies to Crush Adversity

Rise-Above-Cover

THE SAMURAI DIET: The Science & Strategy of Winning the Fat Loss War 

The-Samurai-Diet-2

The Way of the Cancer Warrior: 34 Strategies for Your Cancer War

cancer-warrior-book-final-4x6vhighqual

His latest book - A Philtered Soul -I just finished reading it and I sincerely encourage you to buy it! It is so inspiring! 

download (1)

Delicious Raw Cake with Orange Flavor

пролетна торта

Last week, a special person had a birthday. Everybody must have a cake on his birthday, even when he eats healthy. Usually, I don’t like the taste of citrus fruits and chocolate flavor, but I decided that I need to approach the occasion, by challenging myself and trying something different.

It turned out to be a delicious cake. Tell you the truth, it becomes on of my favorite, healthy recipes. That’s why, on the way home, buy the ingredients and prepare it.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

200 grams raw almonds (soak them)

3-4 table spoons natural cocoa powder

5 big, pitted dates

For the cream:

2 oranges

200 grams raw cashew (soak it)

2 table spoons coconut butter

vanilla

Directions:

For the crust:

Blend the almonds in a food processor. Add dates and cocoa powder. usually I blend the nuts. Then I put them in a bowl and blend the dates and the cocoa. Afterwards, with my hands I form a doughy texture. If you have a good blender, you don’t need to do this, but I suppose that most of you do not have a professional blender. If it turns out to be too thick, pour a little bit of water.

Separate 2-3 table spoons from the dough and the rest spread on the bottom of a pan.

For the cream:

Grate the rind of the orange.

Squeeze the orange juice.


Blend the cashew and the coconut butter. Then add vanilla and the orange juice. Do not pour all the juice. The cream shouldn’t become liquid. Pour some and if you need to, add more.

Spread on top of the crust. On top, sprinkle with the 2-3 table spoons of the crust.

Leave in the fridge for an hour or two.

I am really happy. I have a new bike and I am gonna test it in the 100km. competition in Vitosha mountain. Wish me luck.

kolelo

 

 

The Best Damn Article about Cheat Meals. Period!

cheat-day

No matter how much I write about cheat days, it will never be enough. This day becomes a holiday for everybody who goes on a diet. When we begin our career as “a person on a  diet”, we all go through the phase, where cheat days are our favorite moment.

I remember the time when I used to follow strict, nutrition plans and I used to eagerly anticipate Sunday. This was the day when I could eat whatever I wanted. All week, I was picking the foods I was gonna eat on Sunday – cakes, biscuits, spaghetti, pizza, you name it – everything that was advertised on TV and everything that was close to the cash-out in the supermarket. Sunday was a holiday!

Fortunately, for the past couple years I do not have cheat days.

What does my experience show about cheat days?

1.You live the whole week with the feeling of deprivation and you long for a free day.

2.You give your best effort to eat on cheat days and on the next day you must endure the consequences.

-after your cheat day you feel full;

-you don’t have desire for anything besides sitting and staring in space;

-you don’t have good sleep;

-you wake up bloated;

-you lack energy;

-you go through phases of sharp hunger, no matter the fact you’ve eaten an hour ago;

-you are thirsty;

-you suffer not just physically, but also mentally;

- everything is accompanied by the strong sense of guilt.

This is just a short list of the senses that your body endures. I could describe it in more detail, but I will leave it for the next time.

What is the problem with cheat days?

Some of you will say that you don’t have a cheat day, but just a single cheat meal. Still, I am not a fan of the mindset with a cheat meal. In the roots of it is the idea that we are breaking some rules. In the roots of it is the idea that before the cheat meal we are deprived and now we can award ourselves. The cheat meal by itself, suggests that for us a healthy lifestyle is not a choice, actually it is not a lifestyle, but just the needed evil, that will take u to our goals.

I see things like this. If when it comes to workouts, I am FOR sprints and AGAINST long, monotonous cardio, when it comes to nutrition I believe in the opposite.

Imagine the week as a sprint, and the cheat day or the cheat meal as a break. Most people do this – they sprint during the week, and give their best, held by the thought that the break is coming soon or in other words – they will eat whatever they want.

How many sprints could you do with a max effort, before you get tired and before everything starts resembling a long break? Not much!

Imagine nutrition as a marathon. The marathon is your life and your nutrition. You are advancing with a moderate pace and you are constantly coming closer to your goal. You divide your efforts. You don’t give it all out at the beginning, just to compensate with a  longer break later on. You don’t exhaust your will and you don’t have such a strong need from a break. You don’t get out of breath and you have strength to keep going.

That’s how your diet is gonna look like, if you do not sprint during the week, just so you can rest during the weekend.

You will be able to eat healthy and every now and then you will slow down the pace, without some dramatic changes and consequences.

Besides that a cheat day and a cheat meal program your mind in a wrong way. A cheat meal has a strong psychological factor. If you educate in yourself, the conviction that there is a particular day and time when you are allowed to eat particular foods, every time when you happen to do it on a different day, you will get the feeling of guilt. You will feel as a complete failure and this will rush you to act self –destructively.

On the other side, if you forget about the cheat day and you decide that healthy nutrition is a lifestyle and your own choice- then the marathon begins. You will eat good and every now and then you will get out of breath and you will slow down the pace. It doesn’t matter if it is the beginning, the middle or the end of the week. Right in this moment, physically and mentally you will need, not a break, but a minor slow down. For example your grandma has prepared your favorite pie. You decide that you want to eat some, not in order to compensate for the deprivation, but just because you need to feel the taste, that will return you memories from years that have gone by. You eat some and it is enough. Then the marathon continues. This approach to your nutrition won’t make you feel guilty, it won’t make you feel bad from the amount of food you have eaten.

When it comes to the physiological aspect of a cheat meal, a lot of people claim that they have such a meal, with the goal to provoke a positive reaction from the body – increase their metabolism, replenish glycogen stores, speed recovery and so forth.

You can achieve this with quality food, not just with crappy food. You don’t need to eat the whole world and eat a bunch of empty calories that will harm your body, in order to increase your metabolism.

Our body doesn’t like extremes. Actually life doesn’t tolerate extremes! The body prefers us to eat healthy and every now and then ( not up to a schedule), if we feel the psychological need, to give it some crappy food that brings satiety to our senses.

So, do not turn nutrition into a schedule. Do not create excess guilt and do not live with the feeling of deprivation, followed by a momentary award. This is not a healthy lifestyle. This is just another way to get enchained in rules and routine.

*

I am really happy. I have a new bike. This year I will participate in the Vitosha 100 competition. It is a 100 km. tour on a bike, around the mountain. I can’t wait to test my bike.

kolelo

It Took Me Time To Realize It: The Unexpected Reason We Gain Weight

fat-fit

We take our body and our mind for two separate things. We divide them and we think they are independent from one another. Some of us take the path of developing their mind, while totally neglecting the body. Others do the opposite – they sculpture their body like a statue, yet they leave their mind aside. Few people consider the fact that the body and the mind are connected. What we do to one of them, affects the other. Just the synchrony between them, leads to the results we search for.

Nowadays, people don’t have the problem that they don’t know how to eat or train properly. Ask whoever you meet on the street! I am sure that he will tell you that in order to be fitter, healthier and stronger, you need to stop eating processed foods, modern foods, fast foods and so forth and that you need to emphasize on eating more eggs, fish, meat, fruits and veggies. He will tell you that you should move more, walk more and stay away from spending the evening on the couch. Is this person sticking to his own advices… I doubt it!

The problem we have is not in the lack of information, but in our inability to control our own self. An inability that comes out of the fact that we are not good at listening to our own body, following its signals and giving it what it needs.

Our body is something like a biography. The biography of the choices we have made. The body is just the material personification of everything that is happening in our mind.

For some of you, it might sound esoteric, but I firmly believe in the connection between the mind and the body. The connection between the mind, disease and health. ( read more HERE)

Some of the most common diseases are eating disorders. This is something like the contemporary flu. The diseases of silence. The one suffering from them is silently, through his actions, trying to “scream”, to show what is killing him inside.

The body never lies. Even when we are silent, the body is speaking. Just those who are careful enough, who manage to observe and are wise enough, can “read” the person, standing in front of them, just by the way he looks. By observing the package, we can often understand what is hidden under the surface. As long as we know how to decipher the signs.

Today I want to make you think deeper about something that few people acknowledge. Today I will share with you my observations and my thoughts about being overweight or underweight. I will try to help you look on your appearance and your eating habits through a different perspective.

As I mentioned earlier, the body and the mind are connected. What is hidden in the mind, stands out on the body.

Being overweight or underweight is an indication about what is going on in the mind and if we understand better, the reason for being overweight, on the side of the mind, then we would arm with another weapon to finally win the battle with our weight.

Most of us know how to eat healthy, but we have problems with the discipline over the self. Many people complain that they are losing control, that they don’t want to eat so much, yet it doesn’t work that way.

What is the connection between being overweight and your mind?

What is the most obvious thing about somebody who is overweight?

The fatter is a person, the more space he takes. Bigger forms, require bigger space.

What is hidden in the mind of such a person? If you observe people, you’ve probably noticed, that overweight people, always feel a if they lack enough attention. In one way or another, they don’t feel significant enough. Something in them is constantly reproaching them that they are not enough. There is a conflict between what they think they deserve and what they receive in reality. They are convinced that they are capable of much more and that they deserve more attention and respect, but in the same time, the situation they are stuck in, emphasizes on the fact that they are not important.

Immediately, in the mind appears the conviction that the person is not significant and important. That the person doesn’t receive enough attention, but in the same time he is dying to get it. The person wants to be important and take more important place in life.

Do not forget that the body, always reflects the mindset. As I wrote in my previous post about the connection between the mind and disease ( HERE), in this case, once again the body is trying to make up for every extreme and take it to balance. In our mind, there is a deficiency and the body is trying to compensate for it. We do not feel significant and we want to take more SPACE in life. The body reacts – the pounds pile up. Our behavior is such that it encourages the goal of the mind and the body. We start with the uncontrollable urges to eat, and in reality we are hungry for emotions.

On the other side, people who have problems with being overweight, usually have some kind of trauma ( a psychological one), which they are trying to hide. They feel hurt and they want to hide it. Excess weight is something like a shelter. Being fatter, so you can hide under layers of fat. Not being attractive in the eyes of others, so you wouldn’t need to defend yourself.

I’ve noticed this for myself. And I am not talking about a lot of excess weight. I’ve noticed how my body is a product of my mind. How, depending on the stage of my life I find myself in, my body reacts and changes. Every time when I go through a conflict in my mind, which is born out of the fight between “ I am important and I need more attention”, my body reacts and forces me to behave in a way that promotes weight gain.

Usually, I manage to stop with the self- destructive actions, not when I find a diet that will discipline me, but when I solve my inner conflict.

What is the connection between being underweight and the mind?

In this case, the body is once again reflecting what is taking place in the mind. Underweight people or those who suffer from anorexia, are usually women or men who think that they are not enough – not beautiful enough, not capable enough. They are people, perfectionists, who are never content with who they are and they constantly self- punish themselves, thinking that they don’t deserve to be treated differently. They feel  unworthy and they are trying to hide from others. They are afraid that others might notice them and see how they are made out of flaws.

What is typical for a really thin person? He doesn’t take much space!

Did you get it? You are afraid that others will see you and that is why you are trying to be unnoticeable. What could be better than being thin enough, small enough so others can’t see you?

That’s how the body reacts to this mindset.

If you give it a thought about really thin people, you will notice that what they think and say about themselves, fits into what I have described.

What is typical for people who are in shape?

They have that balance – between the body and the mind. They are people who won’t overeat when they feel full, nor they are gonna starve when they need food. They’ve reached the balance.

I don’t know if you’ve thought deeper about this side of the coin! I realized a lot of things and I hope that I will help some of you to achieve the balance that you’ve been searching, by approaching the weight problems through a different perspective!

Have you thought about this and what is your opinion?

Delicious Easter Bread! A Healthy One!

Image source:www.realfoodpledge.com

Image source:www.realfoodpledge.com

It’s Easter! My favorite holiday and a wonderful idea to experiment with healthy recipe. Everybody needs to have an Easter bread on the table no matter if you eat it or not. For me what matters is to have homemade food on the table.And I try to cook the healthiest versions of it. Here is my recipe for an Easter bread.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut flour

3 eggs

zest of one lemon

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1 cup natural yogurt or coconut yoghurt

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 cup maple syrup

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon concentrated natural vanilla extract

1 teaspoon bicarb soda

a handful of raisins

a couple walnuts

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Grease a mini loaf tin.

Combine the flour, zest, coconut, and cardamom.

Add the eggs, combine. Add the yogurt and maple syrup, combine.

Add the salt, vanilla and bicarb, combine.

Spoon into your prepared pan. Stuck the raisins inside and decorate with walnuts. Bake for 35 minutes.

Cover with foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

Enjoy your Easter :)

I Am Sorry to Disappoint You: I Am Sick of Healthy Eating

Снимка: roadtord.wordpress.com

Image source: roadtord.wordpress.com

One of the main arguments people use when it comes to healthy eating is: “I can’t eat healthy. It is plane and boring.”

My education, wouldn’t allow me to say: “ Learn to cook and it will become interesting and tasty.” That’s why I try to explain it in a more tactic way. I tell people that there are so many varieties of meats, which could be prepared in a different way; a variety of veggies, which contribute for the taste of different dishes; an abundance of spices and herbs, which change the taste and bring for the feeling of satiety.

What does boring food mean?

What does boring food mean? Why do most people think that healthy eating I boring? Probably, because an apple doesn’t need a fancy package, which attracts attention; probably because an egg looks the same way and it doesn’t need to be branded, in order to carry not just the taste, but also the emotion that we attach to eating a particular, branded product.

I love the argument: “It is boring.” I love when somebody tells me that as if healthy eating is supposed to include a variety of foods, and the bases of it are eggs, meat, fish, veggies, fruits and spices.

Really?

Have you ever thought about what you are eating right now? Is it really that diverse? Just because the product you consume today has one name, it doesn’t mean that the product you ate yesterday was any different – when it comes to its ingredients and the information it carries to your body.

Pizza, donut, cinnamon bread, pretzels and you name it… a huge variety… of names, but not of ingredients. All the names I listed contain flour, vegetable oils, dairy products, eggs, salt, sugar and spices.

Have you noticed that the only difference are spices and the small addition of one ingredient or another, which actually change the taste? Either you will add poppy seeds, sesame seeds or if you actually add sugar to the dough and spread some chocolate on top, the basic ingredients stay the same.

You eat a variety of packaged desserts, which contain the same ingredients. The only variety comes from the package and the brand, not the ingredients. Go ahead and check it yourself. Read the labels of different foods, and you will notice that all of them contain the same ingredients. Yet, we fool ourselves that we eat variety of foods.

If you cook often, you probably know that most of the doughy desserts, have the same,  basic recipe and the rest are just some modifications and adjustments of the spices, that actually add up for the different taste.

What is hidden behind the “variety” of ingredients?

If I have to sum up the products, that most people eat in order to bring for “variety” in their nutrition, I’d list them like this:

-wheat

-grains

-sugar

-vegetable oils

-sweeteners and artificial colors

-dried milk

-powdered eggs

-different sausages

HUGE variety!

If you can create the idea of variety that you have, just from a handful of these ingredients, then what is stopping you from doing the same with healthy foods?

What is stopping you from achieving it with real products that do not bring harm for your health?

qica2qica3qica4qica5

Everything you need to do is learn how to cook. You need to know that 2-3 eggs, can be cooked in a hundred ways ( here are 21 recipes) and you will never feel like you are eating plane, boring food.

You need to know that you have so many types of meat, that could be cooked and marinated in different ways, with different spices and different garnishes and you will never feel like you are eating boring food.

You need to realize that the sea, river and ocean, offer an abundance of seafood, which has variety, it is delicious and not boring or plane.

You need to discover the abundance of spices and learn how to use them in cooking, so you can make your food different.

Isn’t the argument “it is plane and boring” just another try of your mind to keep you in your comfort zone, forcing you to play the role of a victim and excuse yourself why you are not who you’d like to become?

They say that eating eggs every day is unhealthy. Have you thought how many eggs are in the grain and doughy foods that you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? I am sure that they are not less, than the quantity of eggs I eat in a day.

I’ve done it as well! I used to think that eating eggs, fish, meat, organ meats, on a daily basis is plane and boring .I allowed my mind to sabotage me. Then, I decided that I will put o a scale my former eating habits, together with the healthy eating habits, and I realized that the effort is just the same. I realized that, anyways, I was eating the same foods – they were just packed in a different way. The difference was that one food, doesn’t give our body what it needs, and that it doesn’t help it feel and look astonishing, and the other food makes me feel like an experiment mouse, which is swallowing a bunch of chemicals ( carrying the names of food).

Healthy eating is fun and full of variety Do not fool yourself that you have a big choice of food, when you don’t eat healthy! You eat the same foods. Every day. The only difference is in the package and the brand.

Here are some of my clients’ achievements:

Another inspiring woman! Mira is so dedicated and hard working! She looks fragile and really feminine, yet she is a…

Posted by Ines Subashka- InspiredFitStrong on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Another inspiring morning in IFS! Women like Milena make my life complete! She couldn’t do push-ups when she started…

Posted by Ines Subashka- InspiredFitStrong on Tuesday, March 24, 2015

That’ s how we do it on Sunday mornings. Silvana is such an inspiration. She challenges herself and motivates everybody…

Posted by Ines Subashka- InspiredFitStrong on Sunday, March 15, 2015

One of my favorite machines! :) I love training with him! He is such a dedicated person. He is a father, a husband and…

One More Fitness Myth Debunked: How Long After I Work Out Should I Eat?

Sophie Guidolin

Sophie Guidolin

Some off topic: I know I haven’t posted all week, but it i not because I have forgotten you. I am studying witt Katy Bowman, to become a Restorative Health SpecialistI have Health Seminars in Bulgaria, I am preparing an IFS Bootcamp in Bulgaria and I have a ton of work with my gym in Bulgaria, so I had a pretty busy week. But there we go! The weekly post.

***

One of the questions people ask me on a daily basis is: “Ines, what should I eat post – workout? Am I supposed to eat immediately after that?”

My answer, usually confuses people. They are constantly reading how they should eat immediately post workout, in order to have progress; so they don’t lose muscle mass and so they don’t gain weight. On the other side, I tell them, that they do not need to eat immediately post workout. I tell them to eat when they feel the need to eat. Some people might feel hungry 30 minutes post workout, others might feel hunger 60 minutes post workout.

Personally, I never eat immediately after a workout. In most cases I train and then I have at least two group workouts with clients. This means that I won’t eat for 3 hours post workout. There are cases when I might eat 30 minutes post workout. I always listen to my body.

When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, the best indication about what we should do is listening to the signals our body is sending.

If you’ve been following my advices to eat 3-4 times a day, this means that you eat enough food, for every meal, so you can go longer periods of time without eating. You can go for 5-7 hours without food, because you are not spinning in the enchanted circle of insulin highs and lows, followed by the urge to eat.

Thus, if you have eaten 60-90 minutes pre-workout, then the chance to feel hunger, immediately after your training session is minimal.

Actually, every time when I have a heavy workout, my body never sends me signals that it is hungry, immediately post training. Even the thought of food, when I finish my workout, doesn’t seem good.

All of this has its logical, biological reasons. The problem is that as always we are slaves to the myths, without knowing what stands behind everything, we are encouraged to do.

What does a workout mean to our body?

Let’s first see what a workout means, when it comes to the information that our body receives from it.

Workouts are a type of stress. Working out, we take our body out of homeostasis and we activate mechanisms, which are trying to take it back in the so called allostasis ( which means consistency through change, or in other words, when we run upstairs, we kick our body out of homeostasis/ balance and the body responds by increasing our heart rate, we start breathing faster and so forth.)

Workouts, as a stressor provoke a reaction from our body. The first thing that happens is that our heart starts beating faster. This happens when the sympathetic nervous system activates ( the so called fight or flight response). Besides that, the force at which the heart beats, is increasing, which includes the veins, which return blood towards the heart – the sympathetic nervous system makes them constrict and become more rigid. As a result, the blood that returns through them, should make its way by moving with a bigger force.

When we start training, our pulse and our blood pressure increase. Then, the blood is being distributed in the body, so it can deliver oxygen to the systems, organs, muscle that need it the most. For that purpose, the arteries which lead to the muscles dilate, thus increasing the blood flow and the delivery of energy towards them.

Meanwhile, every time when such compensatory mechanisms are being activated, which alarm for some kind of stress and disruption in homeostasis, the whole body redirects toward the functions required for survival and neglects the secondary functions. In this case, it decreases the blood flow towards the “secondary” parts of the body, like the digestive tract. This means, that during stress ( during workout), digestion stops. As a result, the secretion of saliva stops; our pancreas stops producing enzymes and digestive acids and nutrients can’t be absorbed.

What does that mean? The body redirects its efforts towards delivering oxygen and energy to the muscles and it doesn’t give a damn about digestion.

What are we doing? We’ve just finished our last set and we are already eating a banana, drinking a protein shake or eating an energy bar, because that what we are “supposed to do”.

The problem is that at this moment, our body is still under the stress of the workout and it is not ready to digest food- i.e. it doesn’t have enough enzymes, the secretion of saliva is decreased ( you know that digestion starts from the mouth, with our saliva and the way it breaks down food; there isn’t enough digestive acid; food cannot be absorbed properly.

prepost-workout-nutrition

Some time ago, somebody told me a joke:

-I am on a diet!

-What type of diet?

-I don’t eat and just before I pass out, I eat a piece of cheese.

If you are not that type of person, who barely eats and needs food every hour or two, then you shouldn’t be hungry, immediately post workout.

Instead, listen to your body. Give it at least 30-40 minutes, so it can get back in homeostasis and so it can redirect its attention to other functions, besides survival.

What is the only case, when you will need food right after a workout?

1)If just before you pass out, you eat some cheese.

2)If you are a pro athlete that trains twice a day.

Most of the trainees, even when they look fit, they are a total damage on the inside.

Most of them have digestive problems, gas, bloating, stomach pain. Symptoms, which scream that something is way off. Still, most are fooling themselves, that they lead a healthy lifestyle and they are slaves to – eating up to a schedule, eating immediately after a workout, eating the same food, in the same proportions, every single day.

Actually, healthy is just what is in synchrony with our body. Healthy is just what gives us the opportunity to listen to the signals sent from our body and act according to them.

Let me ask you, do you really feel hunger or the need for energy, right after you finish your workout? I doubt it!

Stop overburdening yourself with what you “should do”. Stop deafening the voice of your own body.

Eat post workout – but not immediately, but when you feel hunger.

What should you eat post workout?

Your post workout or pre workout meal is not any different from the rest of your meal. Post workout nutrition is just fuel. It should contain quality, real food, which gives your body the building blocks, that will help it recover after the training session.

A good post workout meal doesn’t come out of a glittery package, it doesn’t come out of a powder that is being dissolved in water. It comes out of real food. Such, that nature gave u. It contains the micro and macro nutrients, that nature packed in real foods, keeping in mind that we need them in exactly these proportions.

I finished my workout about two hours ago and that is what I am gonna eat now:

steak

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The Most Effective Substitute of Cardio

statiq

Every time when I have a goal, I know that there is a path I should travel; efforts that I have to make; habits that I have to leave behind and new once which I should acquire. I know that I have to face the boundary, which divides my comfort zone and the opportunities which extend beyond it. I know that even though security and comfort advise me that I do not need to do what is difficult, the potential which is impatiently waiting to be fulfilled, is silently whispering that it is worth challenging myself.

Every time I challenge myself and every time I feel like quitting, I tell myself that every goal has a price. Only those who are ready to pay it, are worth experiencing the positive emotions from achieving it.

Being more athletic, stronger, faster, healthier are goals that have their own price – the price of working out and recovering better.

Having abs, being leaner, are goals that have a price – the price of eating better.

Being healthy is a goal that has its price – the price of listening to your body and even when you really want to complete another exhausting training session, to be smart enough and realize that you need to rest.

Everybody who is reading my blog, as well as I myself, have one common goal – the perfect marriage between health, fitness and appearance. This goal has its price.

Many people rush into chasing this goal, but they run into overvalues and they whine that they don’t have enough “resources” to pay the price.

We have fallen to believe that the price of an athletic and well developed body are low calorie diets and exhausting training sessions, that include a lot of cardio. We are convinced that the price of an athletic body is a lot of training and scarce eating.

When people ask me how much cardio I do, I joke that I don’t run even for the bus. Don’t get me wrong. I do not deny running. I love doing sprints or just putting my sneakers on and running in the country – not because I will waste calories, but because for me, running is meditation – not a mean to help me get fitter.

Still, a lot of people choose running as their main tool to lose weight.

Parks and treadmills are occupied by women and men, who run in order to lose weight.

I am not lazy! At all! But I am the kind of person who loves making efforts, when they have enough return of the investment. I do not like making efforts, just in order to stay busy and fake engagement.

I’d rather stop, take some time and acknowledge which are the efforts that bring me success and which are… just a filling into my daily life.

If you are the type of person, who wants to be fit, healthy and still not invest your whole time in training, then monotonous cardio is not for you!

You know that for me evolution is the best “textbook”, which hints us what we are supposed to do in order to be healthier and fitter.

The methods that we use in order to be fit are AGAINST evolution! The methods we use, just activate the “alarm” in our bodies and turn on the survival mechanisms. When our body is in survival mode, it doesn’t give a damn about the way you look in a swim suit, or if your boyfriend likes you when you are 5 pounds lighter. When your body is in a survival mode, it cares about sustaining the main functions, which guarantee existence.

Everything we do, sends signals to the body. Every action is information about what is going on in the external world.

Long, exhausting training sessions are an information about DANGER! Daily, exhausting workouts, slowly deplete our body. They deplete our hormones and lead to hormonal imbalances, they deplete our enzymes, disrupt our digestive system, lead to neurotransmitter imbalance and a bunch of other UGLY consequences, which are a premise about catastrophe.

Consequences, which do not lead to a fit and athletic body, but to a pile of bones, which plays the role of a body – a cage, where diseases rage and exhaust the prisoner – i.e. us.

The physical activity that helps us get fitter and healthier is the physical activity that our ancestors performed. They did not have time to work out. They were busier with hunting for food, running away from predators, building shelters and all kind of activities that had to do with survival.

Their physical activity had to do with a lot of walking, jumping, movements that resembled squatting, deadlifts, push – ups, pull ups, different types of locomotion, pushing and etc. These movements were accompanied by sporadic, intense sprints ( they did not realize that they were sprinting), in order to run away from something or in order to catch something.

Trust me! All of them were fit. If they had allowed for somebody to become so obese, that he would have a hard time to climb a flight of stairs or walk 1 mile, he would not be able to survive. That’s why nobody became obese.

That’s why in order to be fit, we need to use this formula – to walk more, move all day long, sporadically lift something heavy or sprint.

Actually, sprinting is not just running. Sprinting causes a particular metabolic reaction. They do much more! Every action communicates with our body and to be more precise with our genes.

Give your genes the information that they can “read” and you will receive the desired response.

So, what we should strive for is not sprinting, but causing the hormonal response from the body, which will fit our goals.

Here comes the role of HIIT.

HIIT can be applied in many ways. Every exercise can be performed in the type of HIIT.

This is my preferred method, in order to save me some monotonous cardio.

The best substitute of cardio are intervals.  You know that I swim. For most people, swimming is an aerobic sport. How would you react if I tell you that you can spend 20 minutes in the pool and have more positives, than if ou swim for 2 hours?

I’ve been on this path – the long, exhausting training sessions. I’ve been the kind of person that would run 15-20 laps on the stadium, I used to swim 4-5km. a day. I’ve spent hours on the treadmill.

Here are the methods that I use now. I will suggest you some ideas that will help you substitute long, boring cardio. This doesn’t mean that you should deprive yourself from a morning run, when you are somewhere in nature. But running is a mean for relaxation and meditation! Not a mean to lose weight!

Here is what you should do:

1.Sprints

Workout 1:

20sec. sprint: 40sec. rest. – repeat 6 times or if you are advanced 10 times.

Workout 2:

60 sec. max effort run: 60 sec rest

40 sec. max effort run: 40 sec rest

20 sec. max effort run: 20 sec rest

Workout 3:

3×3 max distance with 90 sec.  rest between sets

*Start running with moderate effort. The goal is to run max distance in 3 minutes.

1.1. Hill sprints

Hill sprints are my favorite.  I love the feeling post workout and besides that the running technique gets significantly better, because the incline encourages you to flex your knee and take your leg forward, while still pushing from the foot behind.

2.Tabata

HERE I wrote about this method. You can us different exercises and perform them in the Tabata method. It takes 4 minutes and the feeling is amazing.

3.Swings

HERE I wrote about swings, as a substitute of cardio and I suggested you some workouts.

4.Burpee

Burpees are an exercise which people love and hate – all at the same time. Here you can see the proper technique of burpees.

Otherwise you can do different “burpee challenges”

For example:

Workout 1:

30 or 50 burpees for time

Workout 2:

25 burpees

Rest the half of the time it took you to complete them

20 burpees

Rest the half of the time it took you to complete them

15 burpees

Rest the half of the time it took you to complete them

10 burpees

Rest the half of the time it took you to complete them

5 burpees

5.Battle rope

This is my favorite toy in the gym. You can do different intervals with the rope.

For example:

Workout 1:

5 sets of 20 hits with both arms, with 20 seconds rest between sets.

Workout 2:

30 hits with the rope

30 seconds rest

20 hits with the rope

20seconds rest

10 hits with the rope

Rest 1 minute and repeat again

6.A short workout with a combination of exercises

I love workouts with 2 exercises, which I combine and perform at the end of the workout.

For example:

Workout 1:

5 times on the minute:

10 jumping lunges

15 swings

Workout 2:

10-8-6-4-2

Jumping Squats

Box Jumps

Everything I listed, takes little time and you get big return of the investment of efforts.

You won’t feel exhausted.

This type of physical activity has a hormonal response which resembles the hormonal response from workouts with weights.

You take less time, you train with higher intensity and you burn more calories.

The physical activity you perform, communicates with your body and genes and it speaks to them in a familiar language. They respond by helping you achieve your goals.

Life is too interesting to waste it in the role of a mouse, which is running on the treadmill, day after day, without a goal and without results!

And here is my handstand walking progress:

Sweet Temptation Without Compunction: Banana Pie “Jovaylo”

Снимка: Ивайло Иванов; Здравословен бананов пай "Джовайло"

Picture by Ivaylo Ivanov; Healthy Banana Pie “Jovaylo”

Cooking is an art. I love art – every type of art! Cooking is an opportunity to create something, while investing a piece of yourself in your culinary masterpiece.

Have you noticed how an omelet cooked by one person can be delicious, while cooked by another it doesn’t taste that good? The recipe is the same, but it turns out different! Food is so much more important than we realize it to be! It can definitely pass on the emotions and mindset of the person who prepared it.

From all the foods, what I love the most are eggs and seafood. In the same time I love preparing healthy desserts.

This week I prepared a healthy, banana pie. It turned out delicious! I really don’t know why people don’t make their own healthy desserts – it is quick, easy and delicious!

The healthiest food is homemade food.

Here is how you can prepare Banana Pie “Jovaylo”

Ingredients:

For the crust

6-7 dates, pitted

100 grams raw cashew ( soaked)

100 grams raw almonds ( soaked)

2 tablespoons shredded coconut

1 table spoon cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

vanilla

1 tablespoon water

For the chocolate cream:

1 ripe avocado

2 table spoons natural cocoa powder

1 teaspoon rum

1 teaspoon instant coffee + 1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon melted coconut butter

1 tablespoon honey ( add it if you want the pie to be sweeter. I often skip the honey, because the natural sweetness of the dates and bananas is enough).

For the banana cream:

250 grams strained yogurt

1 banana

vanilla

Ето как декорирах моя пай :)

Here is how I decorated the pie :)

Directions:

For the crust:

Soak the nuts and the dates for a couple hours. Then blend them and add the rest of the ingredients for the crust. Blend until you receive the texture of dough. If it turns out too dry, add some water or coconut milk.

Spread on the bottom of your pan or bowl ( you might make separate dishes, instead of one whole pie).

For the chocolate cream:

Puree the avocado. Add cocoa powder and puree again. Add coconut butter, rum and coffee. Blend and if you want the pie to be sweeter, add honey.

Personally, I leave the chocolate cream without honey, so it can have a more intense, chocolate flavor, which goes great with the natural sweetness of dates and banana.

Spread the cream on top of the crust.

For the banana cream:

Puree the banana. Add the strained yogurt and vanilla. In order for your cream to stabilize, add gelatin.

Cover the chocolate cream with the banana cream and live in the fridge.

I decorated mine with cocoa powder.

It turned out to be a Love Pie :)

Try the Banana Pie and then send me your pictures :)

Здравословен бананов пай "Джовайло"

Здравословен бананов пай “Джовайло”

If you liked the recipe and find it delicious, share it with somebody who loves sweets. Help them find the healthy side of sweetness. 

Top Strategies to Get Rid of Your Love Handles and Muffin Top

Vanessa Seemore

Vanessa Seemore; Photo by: Ivaylo Georgiev

The body is something like a diamond, which we have the opportunity to varnish. Every choice we make about what we eat, how we move and how much we do it, to have a rest or not, what is the environment we live in, have an influence over our body. The body is something like a receiver to all signals from our environment. When the outer stimulus have a bigger frequency ( i.e. it happens regularly), besides receiving the information, the body starts reflecting it. This reflection is what our appearance is and what our health status is.

We want to achieve a particular level of fitness and we rush to follow the first diet that pops up in the google search and the first training program, that we’ve found in a magazine. We don’t ask ourselves if the stimulus we are gonna exert upon our body is the one that will provoke it to respond in a way that will satisfy us – i.e. by shaping strong and sexy legs and butt, defined arms and flat tummy.

Every woman, no matter how beautiful she is, always finds her own offsets. We, women, always have something that we want to change and it is exactly this desire that pushes us towards one diet or another.

I am not a fan of the methods for spot reduction of body fat, with a particular exercise. You have no idea, how often I hear comments like: “ I don’t wanna do this exercise for my lower body, because my problematic zone is my belly. Let’s focus there.”

Actually, the body doesn’t function independently. The body is not supposed to be divided in parts, it is one whole. That’s why you won’t hear me say how you should train just for your problematic zones.

Still, in this post I will emphasize on the main problem zones in women – arms and triceps ( in other words bat wings), love handles, abs, butt and breeches.

I will explain you what are the key points you should address and what are the winning strategies in order to cope with this problematic zones.

1.Love handles and abs

Image source: www.lovehandles.com

Image source: www.lovehandles.com

You have no idea, how many women and even men,  waste their time to do hundreds of sit –ups and side bents, thinking that the more reps they complete, the faster they will get rid of the unnecessary fat in this spot.

I’ve said it before, but workouts are for performance and diet is for weight loss.

The truth is that the best way to achieve the flat tummy and the abs you want is by starting to eat healthy and enough ( neither too scarce, nor too much).

When we talk about abs, the key factor is what we eat.

It doesn’t matter how many sit –ups you will do, when you eat a package of “healthy biscuits” after the workout. It doesn’t matter how many side bents you make, when you drink diet coke or another diet beverage.

Start eating healthy and nutritious, not low- calorie!

Image source: http://www.heywhatsfordinnermom.com/2013/02/sausage-crust-quiche-paleo-quiche.html

Image source: http://www.heywhatsfordinnermom.com/2013/02/sausage-crust-quiche-paleo-quiche.html

What does fat accumulation around the waste indicates about your hormones?

Besides that, the places where we gain fat are indication about what is going on inside the body. Do not forget that the body is like a book and everything we see on the surface, speaks about what is going on inside of the body.

Gaining fat around the waist is an indication about higher insulin and cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone. The reason behind stress might be many. One of them is our busy, daily schedule, the lack of sleep or sleep in inadequate times.  Higher cortisol levels, might e caused by exhaustion that is tied to too much training or inadequate calorie intake. Everything that we do against our body, causes some type of stress. Chronic stress, leads to chronically elevated cortisol levels, which is reflected on our appearance as fat around the waste.

Besides that elevated cortisol levels, might be due to food intolerances, which cause inflammation and cause stress. Read HERE about the Bible of food intolerances.

Insulin! As you know it increases when we eat and especially when we eat carbs. No wonder that so many people have excess fat on their waste. Just think about the way we eat. Every time when I see a woman who seems thin, but has belly fat and love handles, I know that her diet is full of carbs.

That’s why you should think twice if you are not eating too much grains, sweets, candy, bread, soda and fruits.

Maybe your “healthy” fruit diet is the reason that you can’t get rid of your belly fat.

Supplements that you might take, in order to decrease stress in your body are – vitamin B, vitamin C, rhodiola. Cinnamon can help to regulate insulin levels.

When it comes to exercises, it is better to choose a workout for your whole body. Train with basic, compound movements, increase the intensity and don’t train more than 45-60minutes.

HERE you can find exercises for your abs. But no matter how strong are your abs, if your nutrition is not good, your muscles will be covered in fat and the definition you want to have will be a mirage.

2.Butt and breeches

Ok! I decided that in this case it is better to show you inspiration. The wonderful MICHELLE LEWIN.

Ok! I decided that in this case it is better to show you inspiration. The wonderful MICHELLE LEWIN.

Here, I won’t repeat what I wrote about food. It is a key factor here, as well.

Here, I will accept that you are eating good and your goal is to have tighter and stronger, well- shaped butt.

A lot of women train. They say that they do squats, lunges, Bg- squats, and still there is no effect on their butt and legs.

They come to me, in the gym, and when I ask them to show me how they perform the exercises, their technique is pretty bad. Actually, they train, they waste time and efforts, but they don’t perform the exercises properly.

It is really important to perform the exercises with full range of motion and proper technique in order to load your muscles. In most cases, bad technique leads to a state where we stress our ligaments and joints. We force them to bare the load, and our muscles don’t do their work.

That’s why you need to master the proper technique of all exercises. If you can’t do it by yourself, find somebody who knows what he is doing and let him teach you. Invest some time to master the technique and later on you can continue on your own.

The exercises that will help you shape your butt and legs are:

-Deadlift

-Squat

-Bulgarian Squats and Bulgarian Squats from deficit

-Pistol Squats

-Hip Thrusters

-Swiss Ball Roll Out

-Glute Ham Rise

-Good Morning

-Lunges and Lunges from deficit

Read this post, where I wrote how to shape your booty, without increasing the volume of your legs ( HERE).

Bulgarian Squats are my favorite ( not because I am a Bulgarian)

Bulgarian Squats are my favorite ( not because I am a Bulgarian)

What does fat accumulation around the hips and thighs indicates about your hormones?

Gaining fat in the hips and thighs is once again an indication for hormonal imbalance. In this case, the cause is higher estrogen levels. Probably you’ve noticed that this fat accumulation is typical for women and usually women who can’t get rid of excess weight have such a hormonal imbalance.

In this case, nutrition is a key player. Soy and all soy derivatives are not encouraged and my advice is to avoid them. Read Stefani Ruper’s post HERE on how soy affects the health of women.

3.Get rid of the bat wings and flabby arms

Image source: www.epykliving.co.za

Image source: www.epykliving.co.za

Here the information about nutrition and training is the same. It is really important how you eat and if you perform the exercises properly.

Not to mention that a lot of women are afraid of doing push- ups or dips, because they are concerned with getting bulky or too muscular. Actually, the best exercises you could do in order to shape your arms are push- ups and dips. It is exactly the loos skin on your triceps that is driving you insane. If you regularly perform push-ups, dips, military press, side press and other pushing movements, you will do wonders for your arms.

What does fat accumulation on your triceps indicates about your hormones?

When it comes to hormones and fat accumulation on your triceps, this is an indication for low androgen levels.

Actually, leptin is the hormone that is being released from fat cells and it stimulates the turnover of male sex hormones into female sex hormones. I.e. the more fat we have, the more leptin our fat cells secrete and the more likely we  are to have such an imbalance in our androgen levels.

Nothing feels like being strong does!

Nothing feels like being strong does!

That’s why my advice is to once again focus on your nutrition.

In conclusion, I will tell you that we do not have problem zones. It is our approach that is mistaken. The appropriate nutrition plan and appropriate training program, with exercises performed with proper technique are the key to our dreamed body.

If you liked this post and find it helpful, please let it reach more people by sharing it through the social buttons below! Thank you! :)

What Are The Foods That Disrupt Your Metabolism and Make You Gain Weight?

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Let me ask you a question. Answer honestly! Why do you eat healthy? Because you think that this way you are gonna get the abs you dream about, your arms will look better and probably your cellulite will be gone?

We eat and we rarely realize what is the information that gets in the body through the food we choose. We don’t realize how the choice we make to eat a salad of fresh veggies, baked fish and spices, pizza or a sandwich, determines not only the way we feel, but also the quality of our life. The  food we choose, determines our future! Yes, it is that important!

Why?

Do you know that about 75% of our immune system is placed in our gastrointestinal tract? The immune system ( our guardian) is protected from the environment, just by a thin layer of cells. If for some reason the wholeness of this layer is damaged, we should expect  a cascade of negative consequences.

What kind of consequences?

-to become allergic to foods that we used to eat without any reverse bad  reaction;

-to feel discomfort of bloating and gas, due to the inability to digest the food;

-to get sick more often;

-the immune system might become hyper – reactive, which could expose us to a constant state of inflammation.

You’ve probably heard how the gut and the brain are connected. Do you know that during embryogenesis, a tissue is being split in two parts – one part forms the central nervous system and another one becomes the enteric nervous system. Up to a particular stage of our development, both systems develop independently from one another. On a later stage, both are being connected through a neuron “cable” called Vagus nerve.  The Vagus nerve is the connection between our brain and our gut. Thus the brain and the gut are connected throughout our whole life and they are in constant communication.

This is the reason we get butterflies in our stomach, before an exam. This is the reason a lot of antidepressants cause stomach issues, as well as the reason food intolerances could have direct influence on our mood and behavior.

Actually, everything has a deeper logic. A lot of the neurotransmitters ( they play the role of “ ambassadors” who send, stimulate and regulate the signals between neurons and body cells) are being produced in the gut. An example for neurotransmitters are for example dopamine, melatonin, serotonin.  Even if we don’t dig deeper into science, you have heard these names and you know that they are important for not being depressed, having a proper circadian signaling and so forth.

Imagine that the gut is the place where neurotransmitters are being build. If for some reason the health of the gut is disturbed; if there is some kind of imbalance, then these processes can’t happen. In reality, not enough care for the health of our gut or to be more precise the constant damage by unhealthy food choices, leads to the fact that we interfere with the ambassadors of our body. We are the one who interrupt the proper communication between our gut and our brain.

Look at things this way – if the gut is the place where we receive the information from our external environment, through the food and drinks we take, it is also the place where this information is being  “digested”, selected and finally sent to the brain. If the brain is the one that commands what should happen in our body, then we’d like it to receive trustworthy information. The brain makes decisions and sends signals for actions, based on the returning data, it receives from the gut, through neurotransmitters and hormones, that are being released.

What do we do?

Снимка: www.drhagmeyer.com

Снимка: www.drhagmeyer.com

We send information that cannot be “digested” properly. Our boss ( the brain) doesn’t get actual and proper data about the state of our body. It sends signals for action, which are based on false facts. This leads to an execution of the tasks, which do not suit the actual state of the body. There seems to be an imbalance, which we sustain on a daily basis. This imbalance causes more chaos in our body, which we can feel and experience through disease, lack of strength, fatigue and so forth.

None of us can see what is happening in our body, but everyone of us can feel what is taking place.

In my previous posts, I explained you in detail about food intolerances, grains and dairy products. You can read more here:

The Bible of Food Intolerances

Everything You Need to Know About Dairy Products

The Truth About Grains: Why They Make You Sick?

Part 1: Why Grains Are NOT Healthy?

Part 2: Why Grains Are NOT Healthy?

4 Myths about Grains

Today I will introduce you the so called FODMAPs (fermentable, oli-go-di-monosaccharides and polyos) or in other words, fermentable, non- absorbable carbs. When we eat foods that contain them, in the process of digestion they leave a lot of material that is food for bacteria. When bacteria eat it and proliferate, they ferment. When they ferment, this can lead to bloating, stomach pain and gas.

There are some foods, which ferment faster. That’s where FODMAPs come into play. These are sugars which cannot be digested and they feed bacteria, by creating circumstances for fungi in our digestive tract and lead to an imbalance in the ecosystem of the intestines.

Sometimes these type of foods, can cause symptoms out of the gut, like depression, mood swings, fatigue. As you already understood, our brain and gut are connected.

Sure, here everything comes up to the dosage. I am not telling you to exclude these foods completely. You should be careful and stay away from turning them into the staple of your diet.

Here are the foods that contain FODMPAs:

Снимка: blog.katescarlata.com

Снимка: blog.katescarlata.com

Dairy products: Lactose is the milk sugar. If you’ve read the post about dairy products, you already know that a lot of people have difficulty digesting lactose, because they lack the enzyme lactase. In addition, bigger quantities of dairy products, and especially milk can cause digestive issues.

Fruits and honey: Fructose is fruit sugar. Most tropical fruits and melon contain bigger quantities of fructose. Apples, pears and peaches fall in this category. Honey, agave and other sweeteners contain fructose. Most of the sport drinks contain a lot of fructose, as well.

Lentils and beans: They are oligosaccharides and fall in this category. You are probably not surprised, when you keep in mind how you felt the last time you ate a second helping of beans.

Wheat, onion and cabbage: Wheat contains sugars called fructans. Wheat is in everything. You will notice that if you buy your spices in packages and mixes, the label says that they contain wheat. Fructans are also in vegetables like onions, cauliflower, broccoli. Personally I love the taste of onion in my meals, but I rarely eat it because later on I feel bad. Have you noticed this with yourself?

Alcohol sugars: They are part of a lot of packaged foods. If you read on the package that it contains xylitol, maltitol or sorbitol, this means that there is alcohol sugars. The most interesting thing is that exactly “healthy foods”, the foods that claim they are “sugar free” contain these sweeteners.

Probably, even before you read this, you’ve noticed that you do not feel good if you eat a couple bowls of beans or if you overeat with fruits and cabbage.

Sometimes we don’t realize how by constantly consuming, bigger quantities of these foods, we can cause gut issues. This might be the reason for fatigue, mood swings and depression.

These are conditions that are common among people. We are more incline to take pills, to undergo a bunch of medical tests, yet we are not incline to change what is up to us – the choice of food.

The cure of every symptom starts from the kitchen –your own kitchen! The cure to every disease starts with the choice of food we make.

Choose something better for yourself!

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Get In Shape Without Going to The Gym

ina-tren

The best things happen on coincidence. Probably because coincidence is the name of nature’s laws. Coincidence is just the occasion, the reason to encounter what you are secretly looking for. Every Saturday, it takes me to an unknown place. I wake up in the morning and Ivaylo and I decide that we will travel without direction. We decide to get out of our comfort zone and to research the corners of the world, that are left infamous – not because they are not interesting, but because we’ ve become people who are slaves to security. We’d rather do the same thing over and over again, but be under the wing of the routine, that doesn’t offer us adventures, but offers us predictability. A predictability, which doesn’t bring sensations that are worth living for. It is just giving us enough sensations that sustain our existence.

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You know that every beginning is difficult. You know how the unknown scares us and even when you know that something is good for you, but it is still different and new, you have that fear that is trying to break you. There is an inner fight – to quit and get satisfied with your present state or to challenge yourself and reveal something more. That’s how I feel every time when we travel. When we are about to leave the city, I’d like to ask Ivaylo to turn back and go to the park. To take a walk there and then go back home. After all this is a place I visit every day and I can walk there with my eyes closed and still find the path home. Still, I patiently shelter my insecurity and I let the hunger for adventures lead me.

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This time we ended up in Passarel. A wonderful place near Sofia, but in the same time it is distant from the town and civilization. It is closer to nature and it offers its beauty. A place where time goes with a different pace. There, time is not something to limit or rush you. There, time is just an orienteer.

We parked the car near the church. We took one path and it was extremely muddy. By walking, I found out that I have lied to you when I said that the best investment I made was my foam roller. I realized that my best investment are my winter shoes. When you travel in winter, you realize how important are the clothes you wear. With these shoes, mud didn’t bother me. We were walking and enjoying the peaceful nature. During the last couple months I decided to change some of my habits. I used to walk a lot, but just… walk. I decided to remind myself what it is like to walk like kids – to do what you feel like doing. This includes the following:

While I am calmly walking by my sister, I suddenly burst into an uphill sprint. When I see stairs, instead of walking like a normal adult, I jump on them. I suddenly stop by a bench and do 10-20 jumps on it. I balance on the edge of the bench or a railing. I find a thicker branch and I do pull-ups. Actually I turn park into a playground.

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That’s what Ivaylo and I did. In the video you will see part of the exercises we did.. sporadically. We had a really intensive walk. We loaded our whole body without even having a structured workout. I reminded myself how kids always manage to stay in shape.

Then, on the way back we stopped by the rope bridge. I felt like I was in a  movie. The woods on the bridge were so decayed! There were holes in them and they were covered by snow. Ivaylo and I are pretty adventurous and we decided to walk on the bridge. We didn’t just walk on it… we didn’t skip doing our specialty. Ivaylo did a handstand and I did a pistol squat on the railing of the bridge. Mom, dad, for the first time I really hope you are not reading this post and you are not gonna see these pictures. ;)

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I love challenging myself. People often ask me how I manage to balance on narrow surface. I always think that the space I need to do a pistol squat on the railing, is the same as the space I need on the ground. Everything else is in my mind. I step on the railing. I focus and turn to myself. I don’t hear or see anything around. I merge into myself and I try to reach the infinite potential that each one of us has. I tell myself that I’ve done it a hundred times and there is no reason to fail today. And usually, I succeed. If not… I can swim! ;)

Look for adventures. Try because, life offers us abundance of opportunities. They are found beyond the boundaries of our comfort zone.

Here are some more ideas:

4 Mistakes That Ruin Your Diet

sushi

Healthy eating is something really simple. As it often happens, we turn simple and approachable things – those that come to us instinctively, into something complicated. We implicate around simple stuff, complicated methodic, rules and the accompanying sense of guilt. This is completely true for diets. We, women are queens when it comes to torturing our bodies. We take a diet and we filter it through our own fears and convictions. We read about one diet and we decide to start following it and then – day after day we take out everything healthy about it and we take it down to food, that doesn’t give our body anything, besides more deprivation.

For the past 7 years I’ve been involved in the world of healthy nutrition. I traveled a long way, and I made a lot of mistakes. Mistakes, which often left me feeling overwhelmed and confused. I was making the effort, yet I never achieved my goals. Healthy lifestyle was supposed to make me feel better and my trials showed the opposite. Looking back on the past, I see how I sabotaged my own progress. Sometimes when we are too goal oriented and when we want to achieve our goals as soon as possible we make mistakes that cost us a lot.

Often times we have some kind of an ideal, a goal and we try to stuff reality in our notions about how things are supposed to happen. In fact, we should use reality in order to build the path to our dream – step by step.

Today, I will share with you some of the mistakes I made in the past. These mistakes are common among women.

1.Eating too much vegetables

Снимка: www.mirror.co.uk

Снимка: www.mirror.co.uk

“Too much” is a vast concept. Everybody has a different definition, but you can always feel it when you are overdoing something and when you are doing it in moderation.

We wrongly substitute the word “healthy” with “low – calorie”. When we have a wrong definition, we get a wrong execution. This notion, urges us to build our menu on the base of foods, which are low- calorie and nutrient – deficient. Every one of you knows what it feels like to be hungry. You want to focus on something, but your body is constantly annoying you, telling you that it wants food. Still, you don’t want to give it too many calories, so it won’t store them as fat. What could you do in order to content both – your own self and your body? You can fool your body with food that doesn’t contain many calories.

That’s what I used to do. I used to eat little, but not enough. I used to get hungry pretty quick, but I knew that it wasn’t time for my next meal. I had the perfect option – VEGETABLES. A couple carrots, a couple pickles, a pepper or two and whatever is in season. What matters is to have something to chew, something that engages me and tricks my body that I am feeding it.

I’ve reached to a point where I ate A LOT of vegetables. I remember how I encountered the blog of a pretty famous fitness model, who claimed that you can eat more than a kilogram of vegetables a day. What matters is to eat less from the calorie – dense food. I listened to her and I followed her advices.

What are the results?

You stuff your body with vegetables. You feel bloated and your body doesn’t feel satiety. You are constantly thinking about food and you need something that is calorie – dense. Something that will feed your body.

What is the conclusion I made?

Eating vegetables all day long, doesn’t lead to better results! The problem is that for most people, getting in shape is a fight with their weight. If we know better, how our body functions, then there is no need for a fight. Just synchrony. Every time when we eat, this leads to a reaction from our body and a need for our digestive system to work. How do you think that this would influence your body – eating vegetables all day long?

What is the solution? Eating enough quality and nutrient – dense food. If we eat a steak with some veggies, our body will feel satiety and we won’t need to eat something every 30 minutes.

It is far better to eat 3-4 times a day, in enough quantities, than eating less, all day long.

2.Substituting food with energy drinks and coffee

coffee

This is common among women. “This is my third coffee. I don’t feel like drinking it, but I am hungry that’s why I am buying it.” When I used to drink coffee, I’ve made this mistake as well. I get hungry, but it is not time for my next meal, that’s why I search for a way to trick my body. I give it coffee, Isostar, Gatorade or something from the sort. When I used to do this, my body didn’t feel good. There was always that acerbity in my mouth. As if I was tasting the artificial sweeteners and the artificial coloring in these drinks.

Besides that, drinks that contain caffeine, increase cortisol levels – the stress hormone. When we are hungry, its levels rise. It is an instinctive reaction left from our ancestors. When you are hungry, cortisol levels rise. Our senses sharpen and we get more alert, in order to find a prey and guarantee our survival. Nowadays, we are neither walking around with spears, nor bears and wolfs are chasing us. Our survival is in danger by other factors, but not by food scarcity.

Chronically elevated cortisol, influences not only the way we feel, but also the way we look. Probably you’ve heard that the places we tend to store fat, indicate about which hormone I out of balance. Well, storing fat around your mid-section, indicates higher cortisol levels.

What are the results?

You drink energy drinks, coffee or other low- calorie drink, which make your stomach feel full. Drinks that do not ring for the satiety of your body. They make you feel bad, but does it matter? After all you are taking less calories.

What is the conclusion I made?

When you feel hunger, you need to eat. Some people can’t differ physical hunger from emotional hunger.

When you wonder if you need to eat, drink a glass of water and if 10 minutes later you are still thinking about food, this means that you are truly hungry. Instead of making coffee, make an omelet.

What is the solution?

Listen to your body. When we give our body what it needs, when it needs it we are in synchrony with it. Then, it won’t resist our goals, nor are we gonna resist its goals.

3. Substituting food with chewing gums or candies

duvki

Variety of chewing gums is almost as the variety of fruits and vegetables. There are chewing gums for every taste. Thee is for every caprice – without aspartame, without sugar, without artificial coloring. Chewing gums are another weapon against hunger, Or at least that is how we fool ourselves. The same is true for candies. It is interesting how we take things – if it is not a solid meal, then it doesn’t contain calories and we can substitute our meals with it.

The mouth can be accepted as a digestive organ as well. The tongue, saliva and teeth – they are no coincidence. Everything that gets in our mouth, sends signals to the brain. Chewing, activating the taste buds is a signal for the body that food is coming. If we are constantly signalizing our body that it will receive food, but it doesn’t receive it, this makes it much worse. Our inner instincts will urge us to search solid food. Do not get me wrong. I also love mint chewing gums. But I do not substitute my meals with them.

Candies…pure sugar. Caramel candy, strawberry candy! It is still a candy. Why do you think that it is better to take a candy instead of eating something nutrition dense?  Candies are a pure source of carbs ( the once you do not want to eat), artificial sweeteners and colors. With one sentence – nothing that brings satiety to the body.

Instead of fooling our body with gums and candies, it is far better to feed it.

4.Substituting calorie dense foods with low calorie foods

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As I mentioned, healthy is not equivalent to low – calorie. Every time when you see progress, you get enthusiastic to achieve better results. You reach to a point, where you substitute your meals, with really low – calorie foods. Suddenly curds and yogurt, become the staple of your diet. You stuff yourself with veggies and you eat a ton of curds. Curds, temporary makes you feel full. In the same time it doesn’t contain many calories. Perfect! Or maybe not?

The goal to be athletic, with a nice, lean body can be achieved with EATING… the right foods. Everything in the body comes up to biochemical processes. For every process you need building blocks. These building blocks come from food. Through it we take macro and micro – nutrients, which aid the functioning of our body. The food we eat, determines the hormonal responses of our body. The hormones our body releases, determines the way we look and feel. If a person is what he eats…  who would you be if you eat just curds and plane, boiled chicken breasts? Probably we will feel just as plane, robbed out of “color” and vitality.

What are the results?

You eat low- calorie foods. You are always hungry. Yes, your body is starving even when your stomach is full. When we don’t give our body what it needs, our mind is busy to think about foods, which will give us what we need. You eat less, you feel tired and exhausted. You lose weight, but you do not look athletic, as you want. You have the skinny –fat look.

What is the conclusion I made?

It is far better to eat a steak with salad. It is far better to cook a meal with sea food and stewed veggies. It is far better to use coconut butter for my veggies. I better eat nutrition – dense food. Then my body feels satiety. I get full faster. My body has building blocks. I take care of it and it returns the favor by helping me achieve my goals.

What is the solution?

To eat real food. Food that contains enough macro and micro – nutrients, which give building blocks to our body. The building blocks that help us shape the body we want!

Here is what I’ve been training for the past two days :)

My Personal Confession: 9 reasons I Quit Crossfit

Снимка: http://girlswhodocrossfit.com/

Image source: http://girlswhodocrossfit.com/

Another day. The alarm is ringing. I open my eyes and it is still dark outside. But this doesn’t matter. I wake up immediately. The day is not gonna wait for me. I grab my bag and I head to the stadium. It is dark, I am cold and I am still sleepy. It doesn’t matter. After all, you got to pay the price, in order to receive something that you want. At least that is what I’ve been taught and what I have fallen to believe. I am trying to warm up, but my body is still sleeping. In my mind, I am trying to grab a picture of my dream, a picture of my goal. A picture, which is gonna lead me and give me a sense of meaning, when my body is trying to break me and force me to rest.

That’s how my mornings used to be like, a couple years ago. I used to wake up at 4:30a.m. and I went to work out, so I can fit everything in my schedule – work, University, workouts and so forth.

The time when I found Crossfit. A moment when something inside of me flickered and as if I once again met my old love. Everything in Crossfit, reminded me about the physical conditioning in basketball. I decided that I finally found, what slipped away a couple years earlier.

I started reading and following everything that had to do something with Crossfit. I subscribed about all Crossfit Journals. I read every single issue. I used to read hundreds of blogs and I followed popular crossfitters. I was giving my best to become better.

I used to train hard and initially I had great results. I felt more athletic and my appearance changed.

I will make long story short and I will jump right to what matters. I reached to a point, where I felt tired and over trained. Instead of feeling better, my body started feeling worse and everything hurt. My body felt stiff, old and forgotten injuries started to remind of themselves. I have tested everything – 6 days on:2 days off; 2 days on:1 day off and so forth.

Nothing changed.

I still remember a day, when I was doing another WOD with n- number of squats and burpees and I was wondering how it is possible to feel so exhausted.

I came home and I decided that this was not the way to do it. I decided that I need to do what I always do – when walking in one direction takes me to a dead end street and I don’t see a way out, I should just make a complete turn. To go back and see where I made a mistake or where I could do things differently.

I started reading more and experimenting more. I got to the conclusion, that the principle 80?20 is true for workouts, i.e. 80 per cent of the results come from 20 percent of the effort. I was supposed to find which are these 20 percent. Thus, I came to the training method I use today, but I will share it in my next post. Now I will share my point of view about Crossfit.

What I like about Crossfit

Снимка: http://girlswhodocrossfit.com/

Image source: http://girlswhodocrossfit.com/

1.Crossfit  combines functional exercises and it doesn’t force you to specialize in one particular thing. It gives you an opportunity to challenge yourself in different sports, to test every physical skill – strength, endurance, agility, balance, speed and so forth.

2.Crossfit gives you an opportunity to be  in a community, where you are surrounded by people who share your interests and encourage your goals.

4. Crossfit gives an opportunity to every beginner, to train together with the advanced – to receive inspiration and experience.

5.Crossfit is a sport, that requires the trainees to have patience and look on their physical preparation in a long term perspective, while they are still dedicated to the basics.

6.Crossfit educates discipline.

7.In Crossfit workouts, everybody is defined as an individual, while still, the behavior to him is like to a team player – i.e. everybody trains up to his own abilities, but he is expected to help others, encourage them and the same is expected from them, as well.

8. Crossfit gives you an opportunity to try different moves, that you thought were just for professional athletes. It divides complicated movements, into a simpler, scaled and easy to perform movements. After consistent practice, you can put them together and finally have the opportunity to perform the “complicated” movement with ease.

Снимка: http://girlswhodocrossfit.com/

Image source: http://girlswhodocrossfit.com/

At the beginning, Crossfit definitely laid down the foundations of a positive movement, which encourages people to move more, train more and be more conscious about the choices they make and lead a better lifestyle. Crossfit, started as a sport for the average person, but became a sport that pretty much neglects the needs of the body and focuses on achievemnts.

Here is what I don’t like about Crossfit and the reasons I quit on this type of training:

1.The focus on the quantity of the work done, without giving enough priority to technique.

The myth, that Crossfit has standards about the technique, has its real proves just among professionals. Crossfit became a professional sport and we are once again fooling ourselves that Crossfit for the average person is the same. Just watch a video of trainees, which are not professionals. It hurts just to watch them squatting, jumping or running.

When the focus is on the quantity of the work done, we often ignore the signals of the body in our strive to reach the final goal. We reach to a point, where we force our body to perform a particular movement, even when the supporting muscles are tired and they give us a signal to stop. This increases the risk of overtraining and injury.

2.Too much work

Every one of you has heard about the diminishing norm of return or in other words, after a particular quantity of work done, more is actually equal to less. This is true for workouts, as well. The measure of a good workout is not exhaustion. Actually exhaustion and too much soreness are a sign that we are doing something wrong – we are not structuring our workouts properly, we are not picking the right weights and we are not recovering well.

From the beginning, I used to find the WODs, that contain 100 squats or 40-50 push – ups in just one round, to be strange. How many people do you know, that could perform 50 push – ups with PROPER technique, while in a complex with other exercises? I don’t know many!

Here, you will say that you can scale them down and do kneeling push- ups or band assisted push- ups. But do you really need to do it? Aren’t you gonna have more use, if you perform 5 sets of 5 push –ups – in a controlled and conscious manner. Feeling how every fiber in your body, endures the load, how every muscle from your chest, through your abdomen to your glutes is being activated!

Less work, done in a conscious manner, leads to better results!

3. Too much repetitiveness

If, on a  daily basis, we repetitively load our body in a similar way, i.e. with the same movements, done a bunch of times, we wear it out. We stress the same muscles, tendons, ligmanets. We load the body in the same planes, we make it strong in one directions, and we leave it weak in another. Do you think that 400 squats in a WOD are good for the body? 400 reps from a similar movement… 400 reps that wear out the body in one direction and load the same muscles.

4.Workouts are directly connected with the hormonal balance of the body

Exhausting workouts, that are common for Crossfit, often lead to depleting hormones and super production of other hormones. Inadequate recovery, leads to inhibited immune system, too much stress on the soft tissues and joints, increased risk of overtraining. Overtraining is a stress for the body. Stress decreases the levels of sex hormones and growth hormone and increases cortisol, increases inflammation in the body.

5.Olympic movements are not meant to be performed in sets of 30 reps or for time.

Olympic movements are complex when it comes to technique. They combine power, strength, coordination. They should be performed with less reps with enough rest. They are demanding on the muscles and the nervous system and you should be recovered in order to perform them without high risk of injury.

Crossfit WODs, have Olympic movements, which should be performed for time and with reps that do not lead to compromising with technique.

6.Variation has nothing to do with being chaotic

Adherents of Crossfit, say that the foundation of every WOD is variation. I will tell you that the foundation is more chaotic. At the beginning, when Crossfit was founded, the WODs had more variation and purpose. But nowadays, it Is not quite like that. You will see WODs, that combine a bunch of knee – dominant exercises or pushing movements. Exercises with high repetitiveness, that load the same muscles. More often than not the goal of the exercises is exhaustion and going to the limit.

Variation has to do with variety of exercises, done with the goal, to load the body in different planes, from different angles and with different intensity. It challenges you to train different qualities, which combines together increase physical preparedness.

7.There isn’t an individual approach. The WOD is just the norm.

wod

How could you train with 20 people at the same time and ask all of them to do the same thing? Even if you use the argument with scaling of the exercises – scaling has nothing to do with the needs of the body. You are asking a person, who is obviously having tight pecs and mobility restriction in the shoulder, to perform a bunch of push presses and a bunch of push – ups in a single WOD. Does his body need it? No! Why is he doing it? Because this is the WOD.

The body of each one of us is different and has different restrictions, which a good workout should target. The goal should be to turn our weaknesses into strengths and to find the weak links in our body. Then, through the right selection of exercises we should help it function properly.

8.Crossfit is for professionals, not for beginners.

The arguments with scaling come short again! I train with a lot of people and I will tell you that the beginners who can jump, run, lift weights and so forth, while performing everything with proper technique are… 0%.

Beginners should focus on technique, on learning to feel their body. Their task is not to set records. The task is to learn how to move their body through space. Running, jumping, exercise that require more coordination and have a more complex technique are a part of a workout based on a progression in the load. You can’t ask a beginner, to do dynamic exercises, when he hasn’t mastered his body in a  static position.

9.Crossfit is not meant to improve health. Crossfit gives more power to ego.

Crossfit is  a great… sport! Professional sport has nothing to do with the desire of the average person to be fit, healthy and look good in a bikini.

Professional athletes do just this – they train. During the rest of the time they are recovering.

The average person, doesn’t have time to recover from such an intense workout. And he doesn’t need to!

Crossfit became a professional sport. Professional sport is not for health. The average person sees just fragments from the life of professionals and then tries with jus a couple pieces, to put together his own puzzle. The problem is that in order to put together the whole puzzle, we need to know much more. Workouts of professional athletes do not fit the goals of the average person. Even if you think that you are extremely athletic, until sport becomes your profession, you are just fooling yourself that you can follow these protocols and be healthy and feel good.

Do not get me wrong – Crossfit is a wonderful sport and it gave me  lot! Still, Crossfit can be done properly, just when you have enough experience in the gym; when you recover properly. Crossfit, the way you see it for professional athletes is not suitable for the average person. For the past two years and a half, I’ve been training differently and I feel great and I am in the best shape of my life.

Инес Субашка

Ines Subashka

 

Инес Субашка

Ines Subashka

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In my next post I will share with you how I train and what I left from Crossfit.