Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thoughts to Reality

Imagine for a moment how it would be if every time you thought of something it would suddenly become real. If that were the case, upon what things would you focus your thoughts?

If you knew for certain that thinking would instantly make it so, how would that change the nature of your thoughts? Would you focus your thoughts on worry, frustration, anger and resentment, or would those thoughts be more directed toward the positive possibilities?

Of course, you know that your thoughts do not instantly create your reality. Yet those thoughts do indeed have a powerful influence on where your life leads. For your actions are certainly guided by your thoughts. And the actions you take do indeed have a major impact on your life and your world.

In fact, the thoughts with which you most consistently fill your mind do eventually become real. It just takes some time. So keep in mind what would happen if your thoughts were to suddenly become real. Because one day, they will be.
-- Ralph Marston

Changing Behaviors

How many times have you heard people say they wanted to do something?

…To lose weight
…To be stronger or bigger
…To travel oversees
…To get a job that pays more
…To go back to school
…To start own business

But, what does one really do to achieve their wants? Most of the time there is a huge gap between wanting something and actually doing something to get it.

Often times people see where they are, and where they could be.
But then the brain non-consciously calculates the distance to get from point A to point B. Often times a conflict of interests arises and the brain realizes that in order to make the change it might mean giving up something else important or changing a current lifestyle, which can create stress. In order to avoid the stress some people may choose to not go after their goal. The prime reason people do not do something is because they are afraid of failing.

Instead of taking the risk, people often make excuses as to why we can not achieve their goal.

...I do not have time to go to the gym to lose weight
…I have a fast metabolism, I can’t gain weight
…Gas prices are too high for me to travel right now
…I do not want to have to start over somewhere new
…I do not have time to juggle work, school, and a family
...I do not have the means to start my own business

Negative thoughts prevent change from happening. The most common ones are:

  • Arguing the downside to change (I can not cook healthy because my kids will not eat it)
  • Denying the need for change (I am not as fat as other people, I do not need to lose weight)
  • Accusing others of getting in the way (I do not have time to work out because I have to take my kids to practice)
  • Disagreeing with advice to change (I do not see the problem…)
  • Begin the process half-heartedly (ok, ok…)
  • Getting moody when actioning change (grrr, its not fair that I have to go to the gym and workout while you get to sit around and eat ice cream all night)
  • Procrastinating and delaying tactics (I’ll start tomorrow…)
  • Claiming past failure is proof of inability to change. (I’m destined…)

In order to be successful, one needs to first change their thinking pattern. Such as:

  • Accepting the need for change (I have a problem, and I can…)
  • Arguing the upside to change (it really helps me move on…)
  • Getting others to help (What I need you to do for me is…)
  • Affirming those trying to support you (this is great, so can you do…)
  • Agreeing with advice to change (Yes, you are right, …)
  • Sacrifice a lot of investment/effort (I need to do all these things…)
  • Being positive when actioning change (I can do this bit first, then…)
  • Starting small things now (today I will get this…)
  • Asserting failure is normal (it’s just a setback…)
  • Asserting that change is probable (I’ll get there in the end…)

Changing Behavior is rarely a single event. The individual moves gradually from being uninterested…
To considering a change… To deciding and preparing to make a change…
To making the change and continuing with the change.

It often takes a lot of small positive changes to eventually change a certain behavior.
In order to figure out what those small changes should be, you need to ask yourself some questions.

  • Why do you want to change?
  • How important is it on a scale of 1-10? If it is only a 7, why is it a seven and not a 5? Why is it not a 10?
  • What do you think you need to do?
  • Have you tried to change this behavior before? If so, what worked well in the past? What did not work so well?

If you answered these questions and have realized that it is truly important for you to change a certain behavior, then you need to decide how you are going to do it. If you need help, make sure to ask for it.
Avoid doing the things that did not work well in the past. Revisit what worked well and make small mini goals using those concepts. 3 months of planning is all the brain can really process at one time. If a goal will take longer than 3 months, it is easy to lose sight of it. Therefore, long term goals need to be written down and placed in an area where you will look at it frequently. In order to not lose focus, small mini goals should be set along the way. Goals should always be realistic, measureable, and have an end date. In order to be successful you need to own your goal. Once you have thought of some goals, you need to vocalize and write them down in your own hand writing. Also write down what you will do to achieve each mini goal. Put them in a place where you will see it every day and repeat them out loud to yourself. Make sure to keep track of your progress and reward yourself when you reach each mini goal.

Accomplishing a goal is never easy. There will always be people or events that create setbacks. They key to success is changing the way you think about those setbacks.
Cognitive Restructuring Techniques are techniques you can use to help change your thinking patterns. They include:

  • Changing the thought process about a particular situation from negative to positive
  • Develop a plan of action for a possible re-lapse before it happens.
  • Remember that no one can take away your ability to react to a different situation, you can control your own actions.
  • When negative thoughts come into your head, tell yourself to STOP!

It is your decisions, words and actions that determine your success. What small change are you going to make this week to help you accomplish your long term goal?

Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Supplement

by Brett Hall, R.D.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of biochemical reactions taking place in our bodies every second of every day. These reactions are the stuff of life…the processes that keep our heart pumping, our brains thinking and our muscles moving. Each and every one of these reactions has one thing in common – they ALL rely upon the assistance of vitamins and minerals. Without vitamins and minerals in our system to act as co-factors and catalysts for these life-giving reactions we would be no more than lifeless lumps of tissue. Suffice it to say that maintaining a proper balance of vitamins and minerals in the body is one of the very first and most important steps you can take in your quest for vibrant health and a fit physique.

Why Use a Multivitamin?

One of the most common questions I hear regarding multivitamin supplements is, “Isn’t a properly balanced diet of whole foods sufficient to provide the vitamins and minerals our bodies need?” Well, if we were asking that question 200 years ago the answer probably would have been ‘yes’. At that time our agricultural process was in a much more natural state. Crops were raised in low-lying valleys and flood plains that were naturally irrigated by nearby water sources and prone to seasonal and cyclical flooding. This flooding, while inconvenient to the farmers at times, served a vital purpose. It insured that the soil remained robust and fertile by depositing large amounts of mineral laden silt in the valleys during each flood. Mineral density in topsoil (along with nitrogen content) is of utmost importance when assessing the health of that topsoil and its ability to raise healthy, vitamin and mineral rich fruits and vegetables. (Fruits and vegetables can only produce vitamins with the assistance of plentiful levels of minerals. Therefore, if the mineral content of the soil is rich the plants will also be able to produce robust levels of vitamins).

So, as you can see, 200 years ago the combination of small scale farming with the natural flooding cycle, the use of natural crop rotation techniques and natural manure fertilizers ensured a steady supply of sustainable, mineral and nitrogen rich topsoil. This in turn produced hardy, healthy fruits and vegetables bursting with vitamins and minerals. In that era a balanced diet of plentiful fruits and vegetables would indeed have supplied sufficient levels of vitamins and minerals for optimal health.

However, times have changed – and the soil we grow our foods in has changed with the times. And not for the better I’m afraid.

With the advent of the industrial revolution came the need and desire for agricultural production on a massive scale. In order to accommodate this production rivers were damned to control flooding, “dry land” farming was begun (where farms were created in arid areas, relying on manmade irrigation), crops were no longer rotated, and chemical fertilizers began to replace natural fertilizers. The end result…our nations topsoil suffered tremendously.

Within 20 years this type of mass production farming had caused such damage to the vitality of our topsoil that in the year 1936 a statement was issued as “A Warning to the American People” by top nutrition experts within the United States Senate Committee. Here is an excerpt from that statement entitled Document #264:

“The alarming fact is that foods (fruits, vegetables and grains) now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of certain minerals are starving us - no matter how much of them we eat. No man of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his system with the minerals he requires for perfect health because his stomach isn't big enough to hold them.”

That was almost 70 years ago. More recently at the Earth Summit meeting in 1992 the following statistics were presented.

“The mineral content of the world's farm and rangeland soil has decreased dramatically. Percentage of Mineral Depletion from Soil During The Past 100 Years, By Continent:”

North America: 85%
South America: 76%
Asia: 76%
Africa: 74%
Europe: 72%
Australia: 55%

From these statistics it is abundantly clear that the fruits and vegetables we find in our supermarkets today simply aren’t the rich source of vitamins and minerals they once were. That being the case, it would be difficult for even the most diligent among us to meet our vitamin and mineral needs through a whole food diet…even if we religiously follow the USDA Guidelines and consume 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. And if you do this on a daily basis, you are far more conscientious about your diet than 99% of Americans.

For this reason, vitamin and mineral supplementation becomes important in order to assure proper daily intake and body balance of these vital nutrients.

Men's Performance Daily Multivitamin AM/PM

Women's Performance Daily Multivitamin AM/PM

Life Time Men's and Women's Performance Multivitamins is an advanced formulation including a powerful pack of all-natural antioxidants. Sign up for Autoship and have them delivered directly to your door. (NOTE: When placing your Autoship order use Club: Eden Prairie Life Time Athletic discount/referral number: 49720)

What Does Your Diet Look Like?

Here is an idea of what you consume before you even get to your meal at a Mexican restaurant, if you like to have margaritas along with your chips and salsa.

Before the Meal
2 margaritas on the rocks
.5c salsa
14 chips

Calories: 1921
Fat: 21g
Sodium: 3623mg
Carbs: 146g
Sugar: 95g (Equals half a cup of sugar!!!)
Protein: 5g

Your diet has a huge impact on whether or not you will accomplish your goals. Does your diet need help? To learn how to modify your diet to ensure you reach your goals, sign up for a consultation with a nutrition coach. One easy change you can make instantly is start taking a good multi-vitamin.

Men's Performance Daily Multivitamin AM/PM

Women's Performance Daily Multivitamin AM/PM

Life Time Men's and Women's Performance Multivitamins is an advanced formulation including a powerful pack of all-natural antioxidants. Sign up for Autoship and have them delivered directly to your door. (NOTE: When placing your Autoship order use Club: Eden Prairie Life Time Athletic discount/referral number: 49720)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Seize the Day

Today will proceed right along, no matter what you do. You can't stop it, and you can't hold on to it. What you can do, is use it for all it's worth.

You can choose to put forth the absolute minimum effort necessary to make it through this day, and you will indeed make it through the day. Trouble is, tomorrow you'll end up right back where you started, with the need to make it through another day.

Instead, use today for all it's worth. Make the effort to make some real progress. You know what needs to be done. You know what you want to accomplish. Now is the time to do it.

Instead of "making it through" focus on "making it happen." Think of one little thing you can do today, that will improve all your tomorrows, and then do it. Surely you have the time and energy for one little improvement. Think of the difference it will make.

When you're already moving sideways, it doesn't take that much more effort to change your direction to forward. Today is here right now. Use it!

Top 10 Holiday Diet Tips of All Time

Experts offer their top tips on handling holiday diet temptations.
By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LDWebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Holidays bring family and friends together to celebrate traditions and spread good cheer. They also bring lots of opportunities for socializing, eating, and drinking. Even the most disciplined people struggle with temptation during the holiday season.

To navigate the party landmines with your healthy diet intact, you need a strategy. Experts agree: Having a plan in place will help you handle night after night of eating and drinking.
"Think of your appetite as an expense account, and figure out how much you want to spend on drinks, appetizers, entrees, and dessert," advises Michelle May, MD, author of Am I Hungry? What to Do When Diets Don't Work. She suggests giving yourself permission to enjoy your favorite foods -- in sensible portions.
To help you survive the seasonal parties without packing on the pounds, diet gurus across the country offer their best holiday diet tips. Here are their top 10 recommendations:

1. Trim back the trimmings. Go all out and deck the halls with boughs of holly, glitter, and lights, but when it comes to holiday food, accessorize with care. To shave calories, go easy when adding nuts, cheese, cream sauces, gravy, butter, and whipped cream -- additions that don't add much to the meal, but can add plenty to your waistline. Trim calories wherever you can so you leave the party feeling satisfied, but not stuffed, recommends Carolyn O'Neil, MS, RD, author of The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous.

2. Wear snug clothes and keep one hand busy. When you wear snug-fitting attire, chances are you'll be too busy holding in your stomach to overeat. While you stand around looking posh in your holiday finery, hold a drink in your dominant hand so it won't be so easy to grab food, recommends obesity expert Cathy Nonas, MS, RD.

3. Chew gum. When you don't want to eat, pop a piece of sugarless gum into your mouth. This works well when you're cooking or when you're trying not to dive into the buffet, says Nonas.

4. Be a food snob. If you don't love it, don't eat it, says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Melinda Johnson, MS, RD. Scan the buffet for foods you truly treasure and skip the everyday dishes that are available all year long. And don't think it's your responsibility to sample everything on the buffet. Go ahead and indulge in your personal holiday favorites, then find a seat and, slowly and mindfully, savor every mouthful.

5. No skipping meals. Always eat normally on the day of a party. "People who skip meals to save up calories tend to overeat everything in sight once they get there," says Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, author of Diet Simple. "Eating sensibly throughout the day will take the edge off the appetite and empower a bit of restraint." Start with a nourishing breakfast, have a light lunch, then a small snack or salad shortly before the event.

6. Check it out. First things first. When you arrive at the party, grab a sparkling water with a twist, and wait at least 30 minutes before eating. This will give you time to relax, get comfortable in your surroundings, and survey your food choices on the buffet before diving in, says Tallmadge. A buffet is an invitation to eat all you can, and unless you carefully scrutinize it and make wise choices, you're likely to overeat.

7. Add fun and games. Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, co-author of Your Diet Is Driving Me Crazy, proposes taking the focus off food and getting family and friends more active during holiday parties. Think horseshoes, badminton, sledding, ice skating, or building snowmen. Indoors, try a spirited game of charades, or rent an instructional dance video followed by a dance-off. "The best parties include dancing, so why not make dancing after eating a new holiday tradition for a great form of fun and recreation?" asks David Katz, MD, MPH, author of The Flavor Point Diet.

8. Alternate alcohol with nonalcoholic beverages. Alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories -- especially holiday favorites like eggnog. "Cut your alcohol calories in half by alternating water or seltzer between alcoholic beverages," Katz advises.

9. Skip the appetizers. "Eschew the appetizers rather than chewing on them," says Katz. If you need a little nibble before the meal, go for the veggies, fruit, salsa, or a small handful of nuts.

10. Limit the variety. Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating, suggests putting only two items on your plate when you go to the food table. Return as many times as you like, but only take two items each time. "Variety stimulates appetite, and if you limit your choices to just a few items and stick with these, it will be easier to control than eating a little bit of 20 different dishes," agrees Katz.

Holiday parties are much more than food and drinks. They are a time to delight in the traditions of the season, and enjoy the company of family and friends. If you keep the focus on the spirit of the season -- and heed the advice of our diet experts -- you'll most likely get through the holidays without gaining a pound.
And if you do splurge, don't beat yourself up, the experts say. Just get right back to normal eating and exercising, and try to do a better job at the next party.

Low-Calorie Holiday Drink Recipes

Low Calorie Holiday Eggnog

3 medium eggs, separated
4 cups of skim milk
Sugar substitute = 1/2 c. sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of rum extract
Dash nutmeg

Beat egg yolks until thick and lemony. Combine with milk, vanilla, and rum extract. Beat whites until stiff and fold into milk mixture just prior to serving. Garnish each serving with a dash of nutmeg.
Yield: 8 1/2 cup servings.

Low Calorie Holiday Punch

1 package of strawberry Kool Aid
sugar substitute to taste
2 cups of club soda
2 cups of diet ginger ale
4 cups of water

Combine all ingredients just prior to serving. Pour into punch bowl. Garnish with orange slices.
Yield: 12 (1/2 cup servings).

Low Calorie Hot-Buttered Rum

Into a mug or a cup put:
1 tablespoon "butter" made from Butter Buds
1 packet of Equal
1 oz. rum

Put a teaspoon in the mug. Fill to the brim with boiling water. Add a few cloves on top. Savor.