“F” Words

 

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“I’m talking about pursuiting it in your heart! Like believe in it! Having faith! 100%! That whatever it is you set out to do, that you can do it!” – Eric Thomas

“If you don’t trust, you will die physically if not emotionally.  To do anything in life, you must have faith” -Tony Robbins

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” -Steve Jobs


I recently read a book that totally changed by perspectives and priorities. “The Subtle Art of not giving a F*ck” is a highly acclaimed New York Times Bestseller by Mark Manson. Don’t let the vulgar title fool you. this book is chalk full of real advice and a fresh perspective. For the most part, Mark explains that most peoples cares and priorities are out of alignment. H suggests that society teaches us the wrong things to care about. These lessons include but are not limited to being liked all the time, following all the rules, having a ton of things, and making a boat load of money. He stresses that putting too much emphasis on these things will ultimately leave people empty and hating their lives. After reading this book, i came up with my own “F” words to live by.

Faith– Having a belief bigger than myself provides me with a strong positive outlook despite challenges. I believe things will turn out well no matter the circumstances.

Focus: Life becomes what we focus on. We have unlimited choices, options, people, etc. to define our lives. Our mood and out look will even change depending on what we focus on. We can choose to focus on the positive aspects and be optimistic even in the most dire of circumstances.  It may just be harder to find sometimes.

Family: Love them or hate them, your family will always be around. They are there when we are born and most of the time stick around until the end. We all have a unique connection with our family from day one and should celebrate that fact.

Friends: Our friends are basically an extension of our family. They fill in the gaps that your family cannot. They understand and empathize your situations and can be trusted to always have your best interest at heart. The best of friends pick you up and love you when you are at your lowest.

Food: Most people do not realize that food fuels your body. It is like gasoline for a car. Foods provide so much of what our bodies need each day- water, energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals just to name a few. If you want to feel better and look better, prioritize choosing quality and natural foods in your day.

Fluids: Our body is made up of 60% water. Let me say that again, we are made up of 60% water!! So then, why is it that we do not drink enough h20?? Simply put, most people do not prioritize water for one reason or another. Maybe they think it tastes bland. oO, they don’t “feel” thirsty. The fact is, we are really bad at identifying thirst. We are usually dehydrated by the time we feel thirsty. Or, we confuse thirst for hunger and eat excess calories.  Do yourreelf a favor and drink more water and low calorie drinks.

Fitness: Our bodies are meant to move. They are designed to move in all directions and ways. Why then do we stay at rest in front of our tv or at our desk? Because it’s easy of course! Well, lack of motion is detrimental to your body and mind. When we exercise, we improve our physical body. Exercise even improves our mood and clears our thinking. Go out and move!

Society has become a world of unlimited options. We have so much at our fingertips and can access virtually anything we please. But its important to focus on the important facets of a healthy individual. Prioritize these “F: words and see how your life changes! As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!!

Egg Head

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“Say!  I like green eggs & ham!  I do!  I like then, Sam-I-am! Green Eggs & Ham, Dr. Seuss

 

“If you could choose to master a single ingredient, no choice would teach you more about cooking than the egg. It is an end in itself; it’s a multipurpose ingredient; it’s an all-purpose garnish; it’s an invaluable tool.’ -Michael Ruhlman

“I love eggs so much!  I feel like my day hasn’t started until I have had my eggs.  I’m probably going to die from high cholesterol!” -Norah Jones

Every day, we are bombarded with marketing messages and half truths about many products or commodities.  Companies like to highlight the best and unique qualities of their offerings to make people become customers.  The marketplace is highly competitive and each company needs to stand out to consumers in some way.  Sometimes, companies and the general public even demonize products to make others look good.  For example, consider hygiene products.  Some commercials marketing body washes, toothbrushes, or shavers put down older, yet still effective products in their category.

One food that carries a bad reputation is the egg.  The egg has a rough and interesting history in nutrition.  Sometimes, it is seen as a gold standard of lean protein.  I’m sure you have heard the saying “the incredible, edible egg.”  Sometimes, the public has demonized eggs for their cholesterol content in the yolk.  They believed that the cholesterol in egg yolks raised blood cholesterol and lead to heart disease.

In fact, the bullied egg is just an egg.  It cannot take on properties such as good or evil.  It doesn’t think or do anything.  It’s just an object until people act upon it in some way.  In most cases, eggs can contribute to a healthy well rounded meal plan.  Some reasons why eggs are great include:

  • They provide a good source of lean protein; 7 grams per egg
  • They do not cost a lot
  • Each egg contains only 75 calories
  • They are low in salt
  • They are low in carbohydrates
  • They are extremely low in saturated fat
  • They are versatile and fit with many other foods

These benefits and nutrition facts are just the beginning.  I’m sure you get the picture so I won’t drone on about it.  The next question is, “How do I eat my eggs?  Here’s a list to get you started:

  • scrambled
  • fried
  • overeasy
  • “sunny side up”
  • in an omelet
  • on whole grain toast
  • over whole grain oatmeal.

Eggs can be a tasty and versatile addition to a healthy, well rounded meal plan.  They are easy to cook and do not cost much.  Be wary of the reputation(s) the public puts on certain foods.  They are not always accurate.  As Always, Easy, Move, and Improve!

(Re)Discover Disney

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I am a product of the 90s.  Looking back on that time, it seems like it could not have even been real.  There were some wacky trends and popular brands.  We had neon colored jackets, boy bands, and some wacky cartoons.  I loved growing up in this time period.  It was like a fantasy.  Any children’s toy and program took you to an entire different world and inspired your imagination.  During the 90s, Disney was a powerhouse in the cartoon movie business.  It came out with classic movies, probably too many to count.  Now, it continues to wow audiences and grow exponentially over time. love Disney for many reasons:  It has memorable characters, feel good movies, and lines I could quote for days.

I have started looking back on past works I experienced as a child.  I have read books from my high school years and watched kids movies from growing up.  It is giving me a new, fresh perspective. on things  I have become aware of new themes and lessons these works have waiting for adults in their stories.  I  Above all, Disney movies always had underlying messages.  They always carried inspiring and positive messages for their viewers intended to improve their lives.  Below, I explain some of my favorite core themes Disney consistently uses in its content and have come to appreciate recently.

Life is No an Easy Journey: Life is tough.  We find ourselves in difficult situations and sometimes do not know what to do.  It is important to acknowledge that life is not easy and we will go through difficult times.

“Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it.” –Rapunzel (Tangled)

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” — The Emperor (Mulan)

“Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.” — Grandmother Willow (Pocahontas)

“Change is good.” — Rafiki (The Lion King)

“The only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability.” — Remy (Ratatouille)

Be Brave: These difficult life situations move us to act.  We can choose our path and how we approach life difficulties.  Sometimes, being brave is the most important action you can take.

“A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.” — Zeus (Hercules)

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” — Winnie the Pooh (Pooh’s Most Grand Adventure)

“Our fate lives within us. You only have to be brave enough to see it.” — Merida (Brave)

“I’m only brave when I have to be. Being brave doesn’t mean you go looking for trouble.” — Mufasa (The Lion King)

“Remember, you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine.” — Snow White (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves)

Choose Happiness:  Optimism and happiness is a mindset.  Happiness does not come from outside or external sources. It comes from you. The way we think about our lives and world creates happiness.

“Happiness is the richest thing we will ever own.” — Donald Duck

“Remember, you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine.” — Snow White (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves)

Hakuna Matata” _Timon & Pumba (The Lion King)

“Just think of happy thoughts, and you’ll fly” -Peter Pan (Peter Pan)

I’m Feeling happy, which is a big deal for me” -Marlin (Finding Nemo)

Just Try: The abundance of choices in life make it easy to be lazy.  The internet, food delivery, and the convenience of home make it simple to never leave your front door and try new things.  Fear and the unknown occur when we have to do something new.  But, we cannot go anywhere if we stay where we are!

“All it takes is faith and trust.” — Peter Pan (Peter Pan)

“You control your destiny — you don’t need magic to do it. And there are no magical shortcuts to solving your problems.” — Merida (Brave)

“Life’s not a spectator sport. If watchin’ is all you’re gonna do, then you’re gonna watch your life go by without ya.” — Laverne (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

“Believe you can, then you will.” — Mulan (Princess Stories)

“Today is a good day to try.” — Quasimodo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Obviously, these are just a few examples of the powerful core themes Disney portrays through its movies.  Can you name others? Comment below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Attitude Over Everything

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“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”  -Winston Churchill

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude” -Scott Hamilton

“Having a positive attitude in a negative situation is not naive… it’s leadership” -Ralph Marston

I have learned so much about attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives in the last year or so.  For starters, they are at the root of how we think and see the world before us.  We make assumptions, snap judgments, and decisions based on these foundational perspectives.  Our attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives develop as we grow and experience events in our lives.  They are essentially at our subconscious level always feeding us thoughts and viewpoints of our outside world.  Eventually, they go on autopilot and work behind the scenes as we navigate throughout our day.

At the same time, our instilled beliefs and attitudes about the outside world come from an internal source.  They come from inside our hearts and minds.  In fact, our beliefs and attitudes make us feel in certain ways.  A negative attitude makes people closed off, stressed, and even afraid to make decisions.  A positive attitude creates an open mind, joy, and peace.  Even so, our attitudes make our physical state different. I’m sure you have seen someone who is sad- head down, clenched muscles, frowning.  Now, think of someone who is happy- bright eyes, smiling, head up, full of energy.  Therefore, certain attitudes not only change the way we view the world, but our outward appearance and demeanor reflects our inner world.

The good news- your attitude is a choice!  Just like how you choose your clothes, friends, or meals, you can choose your attitude!  It does take some work.  But, in the end the results are worth it.  If there is a negative belief you would like to change (I will NEVER be able to lose weight), focus on replacing it with a new positive, empowering one (I haven’t found how I can lose weight YET).  Use these methods:

  • Speaking your new attitude repeatedly out loud with emotion
  • Write out your current, negative attitude.  Cross it out & write in your new one
  • Post positive pictures and saying in places you spend a lot of time
  • Speak with positive people and ask for encouragement
  • Listen to positive music

 

Do you have other methods to change your attitudes?  Comment them below.  As Always, eat, move, and improve!

Kitchen= A Cooking Lab

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“The kitchen’s a laboratory, and everything that happens there has to do with science. It’s biology, chemistry, physics. Yes, there’s history. Yes, there’s artistry. Yes, to all of that. But what happened there, what actually happens to the food is all science.” Food critic-Alton Brown

No-one is born a great cook, one learns by doing” – Chef Julia Child

“It is important to experiment and endlessly seek after creating the best possible flavors when preparing foods. That means not being afraid to experiment with various ingredients.” – Chef Rocco DiSpirito

Every now and again, I get inspired in the kitchen.  I look at things a different way and want to experiment.  I come up with concoctions that some people would consider weird or odd.  But, to my surprise they come out quite tasty!  For example, I make a  cookies and cream protein shake in a shaker bottle with milk and ice after my workouts.  One day, I decided to blend my same shake with a scoop of hazelnut chocolate spread. It came out AMAZING!  I was wowed by the taste and texture change!  Another time, I needed to make a quick meal.  We had cooked noodles already, but I wasn’t feeling red sauce.  Instead, I mixed 1 tablespoon with a few shakes of garlic powder, minced onion, and parmesan cheese.  Viola, homemade garlic parmesan pasta sauce!

I’m sure most people would say these recipes are too simple or easy to make.  But, I just want to make a point here.  You can view your kitchen as a science lab.  You see, cooking is a form of science.  Different cooking methods use heat, cooling, mixing, blending, and others to create chemical and physical changes to the ingredients.  When these ingredients react and/ or interact with each other, the possible combinations are endless!

Long story short, cooking is a skill.  Anyone can learn the skill.  It comes with trial and error.  It’s ok to move out of your comfort zone in the kitchen.  Trying something new can be an exciting experience.  That’s how you can get better.  The resulting dishes you make may surprise you!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

*Readers: Have you ever cooked up anything in the kitchen that was new to you?  How did it go?  Comment below and let us know your experiences!*

Rise Up

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The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from ashes and rise. -Miguel C Cervantes

The greatest glory in living lies not in ever falling, but in rising every time we fall” -Nelson Mandella

We never lose our demons, [Mordo]. We only learn to live above them. -The Ancient One, Dr. Strange

You will, at some point in your life, be confronted with some kind of adversity.  It’s more often than not a universal given.  Some people would disagree with that statement.  But, life was not meant to be easy.  Obstacles and difficult decisions present themselves when we set goals and go after them.  The bitter truth is that we all fall.  What matters most is that we pick ourselves up again.

This concept can be applied to health goals.  Say you are looking to lose weight.  Along your journey, you find yourself in this situation.   Dessert was way too tempting at the restaurant. You decided to treat yourself since you are out with your friends.  The next day rolls around.  Because you had dessert yesterday, today wouldn’t hurt right?  A snowball effect occurs. The discipline and food choices haven’t been easy. Now, the discipline has fallen away and bad habit takes over. You have fallen off the proverbial “wagon”. So, you revert to your old habits.  In this case, you have two choices: keep falling behind, OR rise above your obstacles.

Consider sticking to a workout routine.  You begin with high expectations.  You have energy and motivation to get started. You are loving your workouts.  They are fun and exhilarating.  But, at some point, you plateau.  The workouts aren’t as fun anymore.  Your energy isn’t there.  You’re not seeing progress as fast.  Your’e discouraged.  What do you do?  Stop going or rise above?  I’ll give you a clue: it’s the latter.  Decide to rise above the negative feelings and doubts in your mind.  Once you do, you will enter the next level of progress.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 

The Writer’s Prompt Challenge- 03/2017

“Death Date”

Victoria peered outside as the rain and wind crashed against her window. A storm raged on across the landscape as she sat in her desolate room on top of a high citadel. She begins to reflect on the past 6 months. This is so silly.   I have been up here since that fateful day. Nothing of consequence has happened to me. Who came up with this grim practice anyway? Predicting the day you were meant to die and marking you for life? Apparently, everyone believed them, whoever they are. She stared at her arm. Her “death date” was 6 months ago. She was truly dying. But, not in the true term of the word. She was dying slowly on the inside. Each day she becomes more bored and withdrawn from the world’s wonders since her parents locked her away to protect her.

She peered down at her necklace: a pendant imbued with an orange gem linked to a gold chain. It was a gift from her mother. “We will never forget about you. We will come get you when we are sure your “death date” has come and gone. When you are safe.” That was the final words her mother said. No messages. No letters. No visitors. Since that day.

I have had enough of this, Victoria thinks. What sense is life if you never live? What kind of life occurs when you are always afraid to die? She was done with it all: the tower, her tattoo, waiting until the “danger” was past. It never passes! I must rise above drivel predictions and what others want for me. I need to get out of here. Victoria grabbed her heavy cloak, raced down the steps, and burst out the door. She set out on her way and never looked back.