The beginner’s mind & thirst

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki

I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a retreat, The Beginner’s Mind Health Retreat, this last weekend. I walked away with my mind ripped to shreds (liken this to tearing muscles fibers with the intend to repair and grow). I am armed with new tools. And day by day my mind is putting it all together.

It was encouraging to be surrounded by others who are THIRSTY. I was faced with the fact that I am smarter than I tend to believe I am – and above all else this awareness is priceless.

I am thirsty
I am thirsty. Thirsty for new knowledge. Thirsty for new experiences. Thirsty for new understanding. Thirsty for new relationships.

Thirsty

For most of my life I’ve felt like an outcast because of this. I’ve never been the person who hears something and immediately believes it. More often, I begin thinking ‘but what about…’ or ‘is this congruent with what I already believe I know.’ I am thirsty for all the facts and then determining how the facts do or do not fit together.

Thirsty

Thirst quenchers
I love that I have the opportunity to work 1-on-1 with so many intelligent and successful individuals – all in fields different than my own. It helps to quench my thirsts! I gain new knowledge with every conversation with a business owner and new insight from every discussion I have with a nurse or doctor.

I have friends who have quenched my thirst for new experiences – introducing me to mountain biking, paddleboarding, painting, sailing, gun shooting, and more. Some of those experiences scared the living daylights out of me and I will not do again. Others have become some of my favorite pastimes.

Books. I read and I read. I believe that I finished 3 books last week. Just yesterday a client asked me how many books I have read this year – I have absolutely no idea. I do know that I have not read enough and that I have a really big queue waiting to be read (drank?)

Thirsty

A beginner’s mind is thirsty —
I have a beginner’s mind
I am not sure that I will ever consider myself an expert of anything. I believe that I know A LOT about many different things. I believe that I know far more about health/fitness/well-being than many of my cohorts in personal training. But there is so much more to know and there are so many different possibilities. It’s endless.

I am far from an expert. I begin every day new – learning something brand new or something differently than I knew it before.

Thirsty

What do you thirst for?

Is The 21 Day Fix a Fitness Hero or a Fitness Villain?

Well said…love his writing style.

Excelsior Fitness

hero or villianThis post is the first of a new series on my blog that I am calling Hero or Villain. These posts will be no-BS assessments of various diets, workouts, equipment, trends, and what-nots that capture the popular fitness imagination because they are supposed to be our heroes by saving us from our troubles and woes. But you can’t just strap on a shiny cape and call yourself a hero.  Real heroes deliver on their promises and help us out.  Villains deceive us and damage our health and fitness. It’s that simple. I have no vested interest in any of the products I will review. I am only interested in your health and fitness.

All of a sudden I’ve been inundated with clients asking the same single question: “Jason,” they ask, “what is the meaning of life?”Well, if that was actually their question, I would simply answer, “42” (…look it…

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The 6 Most Shockingly Irresponsible “Fitspiration” Photos

I could not say it better myself. Love, love, LOVE this post

Reembody

The Reembody blog, up to this point, has been a thoughtful exploration of human movement, a subject about which I am extremely passionate.

Today, however, I’m mad and I’m going to tell you why.

I have been planning a blog post for a while on fitness misinformation, and it was originally going to be the same kind of thoughtful deconstruction found in my other installments. But then I read this and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever found in my newsfeed: so beautiful, in fact, that the rest of the health and fitness propaganda floating around Facebook like turds in a pool started to really, really piss me off.

So thoughtful deconstruction has been postponed for another day. Instead, we’re going to take a good look at a few of those turds and get pissed off together because, when someone preys upon your insecurities in an effort…

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Are You Raising the Fitness Bar Too High?

Interesting perspective. And VERY true. We often compare ourselves to our best selves, or younger selves – setting unrealistic and unhealthy goals. Interesting how “fit” has changed over the years.

PFITblog

It is so easy to get our minds out of whack. We fixate on where we want to BE so much, that we often totally forget where we CAME FROM and never really allow ourselves to celebrate where we ARE.

I willl not be discouragedListen, most of the time I am about 10lbs heavier than I’d prefer to be. So it takes me about 5-6 weeks to drop the extra weight to get in shape enough for a shoot, or show up to a fitness event, and actually feel like I “look fit”. That’s my reality. I can either fixate on how much leaner I could be, or I could remind myself that, not only have I been fatter, I’ve stayed fitter longer over the last few years. Another words, I’ve been worse.

I used to do extreme yo-yoing where I didn’t workout regularly for weeks – or even months. Normally it was when…

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Do what you love…and do it often

What do you love to do? How often do you do it? I believe that we have each been blessed with passions in our hearts – and that these passions have purpose. Are you passionate about your day-to-day life? Sure, some parts of life are less than enjoyable, but think big picture. What excites you? What gives you energy and focus? When you find what you love and pursue it, life no longer feels so much like work – or so it is said.

A life transition This is your life

If you can make your passion your career – you are in a wonderful position. I recently made the decision to step away from making a full-time career of my passion – temporarily. I love the change in pace. I love working with incredibly intelligent individuals. I love having ‘normal’ work hours.

Although I am still in the position to significantly impact and improve lives – the outcome is different. The reward is different. And my level of passion is not the same. While my current position is an important stepping stone towards my dream, I am keeping my eyes set on what I love – while adding valuable experience to me expertise and increasing my credentials.

How do you do what you love?

Quit your job

Been there and done that – maybe too many times during my short time as a working adult. Thankfully, in most instances I had better opportunities lined up. If you do not like your job – find another one. Yes, this is easier said than done, but I have done it and it is worth it. During my career in publishing, all of my coworkers talked about “selling their souls” to the company – I was not going to allow myself to get sucked into that mentality. They were all miserable and content, in a  high stress, deadline-driven environment. I had to get out – for my mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

Overall, does your job improve your life?

Stop watching TV

Do not have time? I hate that excuse. I do not let clients use it – and I dislike when I catch myself using it. It is a limiting belief. It is a default answer, and not always a sincere one. I have always managed to find time for everything – at times working full-time, part-time, and a full-time graduate student. And now, working full-time, part-time (in three different capacities) and working on my business plan. For Lent, my roommate and I gave up watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Thank goodness!! This has given me the time to write blog posts (as I seem to have become insanely busy).

The average U.S. adult watches 5 hours of television every day. EVERY DAY! This is amazing. Not only is this primarily sedentary time, it is time that we could use to do the things that we say we do not have time to do. I am guilty of watching a few hours of television most nights – and I am most often multi-tasking and not truly watching the television.

Can you watch less television?

Life is simple

I hope that my posts can help others to understand how simple many aspects of life are – particularly health and wellness. It may not be easy, but it is simple. The health and weight loss industry wants us to believe that everything is complicated – that is how they make money! Do not fall for it. Similarly, do not fall for the ‘easy’ gimmick solutions that charge a ton of money.

With regards to weight loss, health improvements, and fitness improvements, it is not as simple as fewer calories in and more calories out. However, it is very simple. Think Positively. Eat Mindfully. Move Intentionally.

How can you perceive life more simply?

Share your passion

It should be pretty obvious that I share my passion through this blog – among other ways. With energy and vigor. Sometimes I become heated about topics. Other times I am calm, collected, and share the inner workings of my heart and mind. Regardless, it is my passion educate and inspire others to make healthy lifestyle choices that improve quality of life. Through this blog, I am able to continue to live my dream.

What can you share?

Go out and start creating

And creating I am! I am building a strong foundation from which to launch my personal and professional dream. It is in the works. I have a few creative minds on my team (you know who you are!!) and we are moving surely but surely ahead. I am creating my niche. And I am creating happy, healthy people.

What can you create?

The bottomline

Life may not be easy, but it is simple. I am learning this more and more each day. I am also learning the value of living your dream – as I take this temporary step aside on the route to my dream (but still aligned – fear not). And I am more driven that ever to live MY dream.

“Whether you believe you can, or can’t, you are right.” – Henry Ford

Well stated post on fructose!

DJP Lifestyle & Fitness

There are many, many articles and opinions on fruit and how/when/if it should be eaten. First of all fruit is healthy for you, that can’t be denied. Having said that gym goers and athletes should assess their fruit intake based on their goals.

The carbohydrate in fruit is fructose. Fructose will only replenish liver glycogen stores, and it doesn’t take much to fully replenish liver glycogen stores. What happens when the liver glycogen stores are full? Essentially the fructose is converted in to fat.

I would say the majority of people who work out are looking to lower body fat and for that fructose is not the way to go.

At the moment I do an HIIT cardio workout within an hour of waking up and for this I eat one apple/banana 30ish minutes prior. The reason for this? Fast digestion which gives me fuel for the early morning workout…

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Nutrition advice: Where do you go?

We are constantly looking for answers to questions. Questions of all kinds. Thousands of people are interested in expanding their nutrition knowledge, but where are they turning for the answers to their questions? According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), most people get their nutrition information from the media: Television, magazines, the Internet, and newspapers. However, these popular sources of information are among the least credible, according to the ADA.

Many people are now going to the Internet first: Google and other search engines, WebMd, Wikipedia, personal blogs, etc. Can you trust the answers? Take for example Wikipedia…this is a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit…no expertise or qualifications needed. Do you really want to trust that information?

Sometimes the text on a page, or the well-meaning advice you received from a coworker, just won’t cut it.  And when this advice fails, more consumers are seeking guidance from experts who can answer their questions, provide personalized feedback, and offer individualized advice. But who is qualified to provide these answers? We want to trust our physicians, but the truth is 80% of physicians have not had even one course in nutrition. The most credible sources for your nutritional needs are registered dietitians.

Buyer beware  – Do your homework

One of the most accessible locations claiming to offer such services is local fitness centers. However, you must do your homework before signing up. Just as I have warned you about personal trainers, not all nutrition specialists are created equal. Some local fitness centers allow trainers to call themselves ‘Certified Nutritionists,’ well aware of how deceptive that is.

Unfortunately, the definition and meaning of the term “nutritionist” may vary greatly from one facility to another. This makes it difficult and confusing for you, the consumer. In many states, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, even without a college degree or any formal training in the science of nutrition. Although some states regulate the title of “nutritionist,” other similar sounding titles, such as “nutrition consultant” can still be freely used with no defined meaning. However, this is not always the case. In fact, using the title Certified Nutritionist, as some do, actually disregards legislation (s. 448.76) which states:

A person who is not a certified dietitian may not designate himself or herself as a dietitian, claim to provide dietetic services or use any title or initials that represent or may tend to represent the person as certified or licensed as a dietitian or as certified or licensed in a nutrition-related field.[Emphasis Added]

Clarifying the background and credentials of the person you meet with is important because nutrition is a complex science that requires years of training and continuing education. Receiving incorrect information from an untrained or poorly-trained individual could result in worsening your health. Here’s a breakdown of the credentials:

Registered Dietitian (R.D.). The R.D. credential is granted by the ADA and ensures that this individual has graduated with at least a bachelor of science degree in nutrition or dietetics from an accredited program, finished a 900-hour supervised internship that includes clinical experience, passed a national board examination, and completes at least 75 hours of continuing education every five years. R.D.s have more formal training in nutrition science than any other health professional.

Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist (L.D. or sometimes L.D./N.). Currently, 30 states require nutrition practitioners to apply to the state to become licensed as a dietitian or nutritionist (similar to physicians, nurses, physical therapists, etc.). State licensing ensures that an individual has met educational and training requirements. In addition, states can penalize individuals who operate unsafely or unethically, including revoking their license to practice.

The bottomline

Seek out a R.D. or L.D. if you have any medical conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, polycystic ovary syndrome, food allergies, or digestive problems. Check with your insurance company to see if they will cover your visit or reimburse your out-of-pocket expense. And if you are generally healthy (no medical conditions), consider taking a group nutrition class taught by a R.D.

If you’re meeting with anyone other than a R.D. or L.D./N. – such as a nutritional consultant or a personal trainer who is not also a R.D. – expect to receive only general nutrition education and advice. Fitness professionals have some nutrition training, but not enough to provide individualized nutrition assessments and counseling. They can, however, provide basic but important nutrition information, which may include explaining the basic food groups, teaching you how to read food labels, or answering general nutrition questions.

So, be careful who you take advice from. Each body is different. We know this. And just as each person should look for customized workouts, each person should seek out the diet and nutrition specific to their body type and lifestyle!

Enough said for today!

References

American Dietetic Association, www.eatright..org

Wisconsin Administrative Code, Retrieved from: http://nxt.legis.state.wi.us/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&d=stats&jd=448.76.

Drink and be merry? Minimize holiday pitfalls

The holiday season brings about many emotions and is a time for heightened stress, emotional eating binges, and seemingly inevitable weight gain. The pressure to please, managing schedules, shopping, and travel are all too demanding. The simple answer to prevent this outcome is to follow a controlled diet, exercise most days, and remain active. Though, this is not as simple in implementation as it is in theory.

Studies have shown that most individuals will gain 2-4 pounds during the holidays. Further and more lasting and detrimental, individuals rarely loose the weight they’ve gained.  Ten years later – do you wonder where the 20-40 additional pounds came from?

The best way to keep excess weight off is to avoid gaining the weight in the first place. Simple, right? Since caloric and hormonal imbalances are the primary causes for weight gain, it makes sense to address these issues. Reducing caloric intake and committing to a weekly workout and relaxation routine can breed a healthy holiday season.

Avoid the common pitfalls that affect us all during the holiday period. How much weight gain is attributed to beverage and alcoholic intake? Eggnog, wine, or champagne? The simple answer: enjoy, but don’t drink in access! How many cookies are eaten in the absence of hunger? How much butter or cream is consumed? Below are some suggestions as well as some dietary exchanges. Don’t let the holidays make a dent in your overall health and fitness.

Holiday weight management strategies:

  • Serve healthy appetizers like raw fruits and vegetables with low-calorie dips.
  • Serve meals on smaller dishes so that portion control is better managed.
  • Do not sit or stand close to the hors d’oeuvre tray or the bowl of mixed nuts – location and boredom eating can add significant calories.
  • Consider the following substitutions:

Exchange Recommendations

Recipe Substitute
1 Whole Egg 2 Egg Whites
Sour Cream Low fat plain yogurt or low fat sour cream
Milk Skim or 1%
Oil for baking products use apple sauce
Ice Cream Frozen Yogurt
Heavy Cream 2 Tablespoons flour whisked into 2 cups skim milk
Whipped Cream Chilled evaporated skim milk or low fat whipped products
Cheese Low fat cheese
Egg Nog Low fat egg nog or four bananas, 1-1/2 cups skim milk or soymilk, 1-1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt
Beer, Cider, Bailey’s & Kahlua Dry wine, Bloody Marys or spirits with diet mixer
Wine Mix ½ wine and ½ seltzer
Roasted Turkey Breast Remove the turkey skin
Green Bean Caserole Fresh Green Beans w/ chucks of potatoes instead of cream soup. Top with almonds instead of fried onion rings
Mashed Potato whole milk/butter Use Skim milk, chicken broth, garlic
Pumpkin Pie Crustless, use evaporated milk instead of heavy cream
Turkey Gravy Cranberry Sauce with a sugar substitue
Cheesecake Angel Food cake with fresh fruit
Stuffing Replace half the meat with dried fruits
Cranberry sauce Rinse the jelly off canned cranberries and sweeten with honey/citrus
Dark Turkey Meat White Turkey Meat
Creamy dip Hummus, low fat/fat-free sour cream, and yogurts
Pasta salads Use whole grain pasta and cut vegetables