Drink To Live

img_2202

“We drink to one another’s health and spoil our own” -Jerome K. Jerome

“I also eat fruit instead of drinking juices. That’s something I’ve read up on. I think that if you drink a lot of fruit juice you take in way too much sugar. You’d be better off eating a bunch of strawberries or apples.” -Kris Humphries

“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Water is the Only drink for a wise man” -Henry David Thoreau”

In recent years, thousands of drink products have been brought to market.  I have been amazed and sometimes overwhelmed at all the different drinks in supermarkets and convenient stores.  Now, consumers can choose from drinks such as coconut water, antioxidant water, almond milk, hemp milk, juice, juice drinks, and so on. Consumers can choose from flavored, regular, diet, or mixed sodas.  Sweet flavors and promotional health benefits have become main factors in choosing certain drinks.   Even though people have more choice at the store, they are probably more confused than ever.  We now “live to drink” as opposed to “drink to live.”

When people “Live to Drink”, negative health outcomes usually occur. Sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks have become popular to most people and the norm from to their day to day.   Most of these drinks that taste sweet contain a ton of sugar.  Sugar has a double edged sword when it comes to our health.  When people eat foods high in sugar, they become addicted to the molecule.  They crave and want it more.  Sugar contains empty calories, meaning that the high calories do not bring many nutritional benefits.  With that being said, calories from sugar encourage weight gain.  Why, then, do many people choose drinks that make them gain weight?  Most of the time, people choose temporary enjoyment over longstanding, consistent health.

If you value your health and body, choose to “drink to live.”  Choose drinks that encourage hydration, healthy bones, energy, and a healthy weight.  Water is calorie free and does not count to any weight gain.  It keeps our bodies hydrated and skin healthy.  Drink milk!  Low fat milk helps build healthy bones, repair muscles, and even relieves stress.  Coffee can be a healthy drink if chosen wisely.  Regular coffee encourages steady energy and offers antioxidants.  Adding creams and sugars adds more empty calories to this popular drink.  What matters most is to choose drinks that have health benefits over anything else.  To choose a drink for its sweet taste is only setting yourself up for failure.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 

 

Advertisements

Love Your “Rotten Spots”

img_2204

“A diamod with flaws is worth more than a pebble with our imperfections” -Chinese Proverb


“You have always worn your flaws upon your sleeve
And I have always buried them deep beneath the ground
Dig them up – let’s finish what we started
Dig them up – so nothing’s left unturned”

-“Flaws” by Bastille


“Everyone has parts they don’t love about themselves, but I think that as a [person] it’s much more healthier and positive to focus on the things you like about yourself, not pick yourself apart” -Miranda Kerr


 

“Any swagger is just defense. When you’re reminded so much of who you are by people – not a fame thing, but with my size, constantly, growing up – you just either curl up in a corner in the dark or you wear it proudly, like armor or something. You can turn it on its head and use it yourself before anybody else gets a chance.” -Peter Dinklage


 Just the other day, I was eating a fresh honey crisp apple.  It was amazing!  This apple had satisfying crunch, full flavor, and awesome juiciness.  One of the best apples I had in awhile.  I was just as amazed to see its appearance on the inside.  Much to my surprise, a good portion the fleshy inside of the apple had brown spots!  At first, I thought the apple was rotten!  But, I quickly dismissed the thought since it tasted and felt so good.  Sufficed to say, despite the unseemly brown patches, I finished the apple with glee.


In my own normal fashion, I connected this experience to a life lesson.  I started to think how on the outside, we are all beautiful and unique human beings.  We come in all different shapes and sizes.  We are wonderful in our own way. Yet, as time goes on, we accumulate “rotten spots.”  Bad events happen to everyone.  And, I mean EVERYONE!  We all accumulate fears, regrets, weaknesses, and even negative beliefs about ourselves.  On the inside, we are all a tiny bit rotten.


At the same time, these “rotten spots” make up who we are.  Yes, we have lost.  We have been hurt.  We have screwed up.  Nonetheless, we are still here!  We still stand! They shape and form how we think, be, and do.  What’s most important is to move past our flaws and failings.  If we dwell on the negative parts of ourselves and our lives, we will become truly rotten to the core.  Some people use these “spots” as excuses to never try.  They hide behind their flaws in order to never move out of their comfort zone or let their own light to shine.  However, embracing our flaws can be a liberating feeling.   Owning them and sharing stories can help others understand you and can inspire them to do the same.  Therefore, love who you are as a whole, good and bad parts of yourself.  Here is how you can love your “rotten spots:”


-share your feelings with a trusted friend
-share stories of how you failed
-face a fear
-laugh at yourself.  It increases your confidence.

-focus on your strengths.  They far outweigh any weaknesses you may have.


In conclusion, everyone has “rotten spots”.  Some are just better hiding and moving past them than others.  What’s important is to keep them in perspective.  You are not your fears or failures.  They may be a part of who you become, but they are not ALL of what you are.  Above All, Eat, Move, and Improve! 

 

Eat From the Rainbow

 

IMG_1313

“Stop eating ‘dead’ foods: junk, fried, and fast foods, as well as  processed carbs. They’re loaded with sugar and other additives.  The more live foods we eat (fruits and vegetables), the more alive we feel. The more dead foods we eat…well, you get the idea”. -Tony Horton, developer of P90x

“I’m into very colorful food. Obviously lots of flavor, but I think we eat with our eyes first, so it has to look great. The presentation has to be great.” -Giada DeLaurentiis

“The easiest diet is, you know, eat vegetables, eat fresh food. Just a really sensible healthy diet like you read about all the time.” -Drew Carrey

Look around.  This world is a wonderful place.  Nature offers awesome wonders wherever you are.  The bold colors of nature amaze me whenever I stop to appreciate their beauty.  If you think about it, each and every color is represented by nature:

-green grass
-blue oceans
-orange flowers
-red birds
-purple vegetables
-yellow leaves
-black rocks
-brown wood

-white sand


 
 Obviously, this just names a few.  I’m sure each and every color shows itself in some way in the natural world.  More importantly, foods come in all different colors.  In order to have a balanced, low calorie diet, it is imperative to eat a multitude of colors.  I have had so many people tell me they won’t eat one food or another because of its color.  For example, they won’t eat anything green.  They prefer brown and white. Where is the fun in that?  Eating foods that only have neutral colors sounds boring!
 

Fruits and vegetables are the most colorful of all the foods.  They have vibrant and bright colors inside and out.  There are purple plums, green grapes, red raspberries, and blue blueberries.  You can buy pineapples and apples or watermelons and watermelon radishes.  You get the point.  Interestingly enough, each of these colors usually contribute something specific to your body:

dark leafy greens: vitamin K for blood clotting
orange and yellow citrus fruits: vitamin C for a strong immune system
purple and blue: antioxidants to fight cancer
red beans: iron for healthy blood
-brown grains: complex carbs for long lasting energy

 

Hopefully, this is clear as day.  The colors of foods bring more benefits than what you see on the surface.  If you’re committed to changing the way you look and feel, consider adding more color to your plate.  You may be surprised how much your eyes and your body thank you.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

 

 

You Owe You

img_2200

“You matter.  What you do and who you are matters.  Don’t ever go to that job thinking you’re insignificant or not important.  Don’t think you’re not valued or that your work is not valuable.” -Eric Thomas

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.”   -Jen Sincero, “You are A Badass”

“You are loved. You are valuable. You are crafted with beauty and purpose. I treasure you and this world needs you. There is no one like you. You don’t need to look like the rest or talk like the rest or be like the rest. This world needs you as you are. There is no truth in the lie that you don’t matter. You are loved. You were put here for a reason. You were not an accident. You are not a mistake” -Curt Mega

“What’s most important is to always be yourself.  Unless you can be Batman.  Always be Batman” -Unknown

This is one of the toughest lessons I have had to learn in my life.  Growing up as a 4th child, my say didn’t matter most of the time.  I didn’t get many opportunities to voice my thoughts, ideas, or concerns.  All I could do was listen to my parents and siblings and go with the flow.  As I went through high school, I still didn’t realize that I am unique and have value. I tried to fit in with the popular crowd. I even tried to change myself into something I wasn’t. I even tolerated getting bullied just to be seen with the in crowd. Still, I was not happy.  I thought I would become more like those people and be their friends.  What I did not realize was I was letting them erode my value, and my own self worth.

We learn early in life that we are special and unique.  Our parents and family showers us with love, compliments, and encouragement.  People pay attention to us.  We make friends easily.  We dream, create, and imagine.  Unfortunately, the world teaches us otherwise.  It teaches that if you don’t look like a celebrity, you are ugly.  It shows us that if you don’t fit into a size two, you’re fat.  It shows that if you do not have money, you don’t deserve great things.  The media, strangers, and society have a skewed perception of who you should be.  Negative messages bog us down and kill our own self-perceptions.

I used to feel like a victim and a loser.  I used to believe no one wanted to hang out with me.  I used to stay quiet because I felt people wouldn’t listen.  These beliefs definitely hurt me mentally and spiritually.  I was not the joyful boy I used to be.  Until NOW. I have decided that I will respect myself enough to disallow the outside world to mold me.  I decided that if someone does not like me or make me a priority, I will not waste time and effort on them.  I decided to block myself from negative people and influences.  And, you can too!

Remember, you matter!  You are reading this because you want to make a change in your life.  You want things to get better and get results.  You have to realize you are special AND you have value.  With that being said, you do have a voice and opinion. You have the power to make decisions and communicate them to others.  Always remember, speak up if you notice something wrong.  Spend time with people who WANT to spend time with you. WALK away from anyone who does not recognize how special you are.  STAND up if you get tempted to do something that you know will hurt your results.  I promise, your confidence will skyrocket!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

 

Weather the Storms

weather-the-storms 
“You’re either headed to a storm, in a storm, or going out of one” -Eric Thomas
 
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning how to dance in the rain” -Vivian Greene
 
“Its stormy now but the sun’s gonna shine again
Even the worst storms gotta end
We’re better if we weather it all “
 -Storms by Hedley
 
One lesson I have learned in the past year is that everyone has challenges.  Obstacles in every shape and form develop as we try to achieve our goals.  However, these challenges are not there to scare us away or stop us.  They are there to strengthen our resolve.  How we handle these challenges is what matters most.  Our decisions will move us toward or away our goal.  Therefore, it is important to consider and determine the steps we take in the face of challenges.
 
For example, I received a call a few weeks ago from a larger account that my team and I call on.  Without warning, they had decided to stop any representative activity in their clinics.  That includes major opportunities to help their staff and patients with samples, education, and resources.  I could have easily grown angry and threw my hands up in frustration.  However, I see this as an obstacle to overcome.  At this point, my team and I are planing to find other ways we can regain access or influence our customs in other ways.  Since then, we have found out that we can still help them in some ways.  Therefore, the obstacles are not as bad as we thought they would be!
 
When it comes to nutrition, fitness, and behavior change, obstacles occur all the time,  Remember, they are not there to scare you away. These challenges strengthen you and prepare you for more challenges down the road.  Consider you are looking to exercise consistently by running outside.  What happens if it rains on the day you have a run planned?  Most people would wait for a better day.  What if it rains four days straight?  Then, the rain becomes an excuse for not exercising.  Instead, understand that the rain is an obstacle and look for another way to get your exercise in.  You can choose to go to a gym or do a workout at home.  OR, consider that you have young children and all they want is unhealthy food.  Some parents may give in and cook unhealthy foods for the whole family.  Instead, it is important to stick to your guns and cook what you know will be healthy for everyone.  The children will grow to know how to eat well despite not getting what they want all the time.
 
In conclusion, storms happen in life.  I have outlined some insignificant storms that can occur.  There are many other worse challenging situations people find themselves in.  Whatever challenge you find yourself against, remember that there are there to make you better, not bitter. It is critical to face challenges head on with enthusiasm and confidence.  You will be glad you did!  As Always, Eat Move, and Improve!  

You Choose Your Challenges

img_1972
 
 
 
 “It just hit me this is more than just a setback
and when you spelled it out, well, I guess I didn’t get that
and every trace of momentum is gone
and this isn’t turning out the way I want”

-“I So Hate Consequences” by Relient K


“The consequences of today are determined from the actions of the past.  To alter your future, change your decisions today”  -Anonymous


“I need you to pay very close attention. I need you to become aware that the world is on your side. That our nature always rewards us, and that there is a reason why life is not easy. Everybody in this world goes through uncomfortable struggles, and they are there to stay. They are there to give us confidence when we overcome them, to give us a challenge to work towards and to put us in our place when we lose our position. For every easy way out life will introduce us to something called consequence.”  -Unknown


I have a theory that we all choose our unique challenges in life.  Have you ever heard “You better know what you’re getting yourself into?”  I’m sure you can think of a few instances from your past.  There is a lot of truth from that statement.  All of our actions have consequences, good or bad.  Once the consequences reveal themselves, we have the choice of how we react to them.  Some examples of consequences can include:
 
-Gaining weight from lack of exercise
-winning a game through preparation, hard work, perseverance
-saving money by packing lunches instead of going out to eat for lunch
-losing weight through eating right and exercising regularly.
 
Our challenges in life come from the way we react to the consequences/ situations we find ourselves in.  If we decide to lay around and watch TV, we choose a hardship of gaining weight and being miserable about our bodies.  If we choose to step up and lose weight, we take on a burden of working out consistently and eating right. Personally, I knew sales would be a challenge. It takes long hours, rejection, and more frustration than I would like.  However, I choose these challenges because I know that the consequences far outweigh them.  These consequences include knowing I make a difference in my customer’s lives, making possible bonuses, and meeting many new professionals to grow my network.  Another example would be this blog.  I wanted to write something that was real and authentic that many people can relate to.  I had to commit to post something each week and continue to come up with post ideas.
 
Ultimately, there is a cause and effect to every thought and action we make in our lives.  Wether we realize it or not, they mold us into the people we become.  Consider the consequences of your actions before you go into action mode.  Make sure your actions align with the goals that you have placed in your future.  As Alway, Eat, Move, and Improve!
 
 

Start TODAY

IMG_0462

“You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about your pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here, and the decisions we make in this moment, which are based in either love or fear.” -Jim Carrey

“Live today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Just today. Inhabit your moments. Don’t rent them out to tomorrow. Do you know what you’re doing when you spend a moment wondering how things are going to turn out?” You’re cheating yourself out of today. Today is calling to you, trying to get your attention, but you’re stuck on tomorrow, and today trickles away like water down a drain. You wake up the next morning and that today you wasted is gone forever. It’s now yesterday. Some of those moments may have had wonderful things in store for you , but now you’ll never know.”                                                         -Jerry Spinelli in Love, Stargirl

“I can’t walk through life facing backwards
I have tried
I tried more than once to just make sure
And I was denied the future I’d been searching for
But I spun around and hurt no more
By living in the moment
Living my life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
I got peace in my heart
Got peace in my soul
Wherever I’m going, I’m already home”
 -Jason Mraz, “Living in the Moment”

“The best part about the future is that it comes one day at a time” -Abraham Lincoln

Ever use the phrase “I’ll start tomorrow?” I know I have. There’s been many to dos that I have had to take care of, only to put them off. Procrastinating can incur stress and create negative situations. Most of the time, they are minuscule like putting off making a lunch until the last minute or sleeping in.These procrastinations do not matter much in the grand scheme of it all. Other times, procrastination can have higher stakes. Imagine if you put off studying for a test until the night before. Or, you waited to ask your crush out on a date because you over thought the situation. Now, it’s too late to turn back the clock.  Waiting for the last moment in these situations can cause immediate stress and long term regret.

The truth is, tomorrow does not exist in reality. It’s only an expression. Today is all we have. Life happens in the now. When we say “I’ll start tomorrow,” we give ourselves the permission to continue to put it off. Before we know it, the time we had available to us to make a change is long gone. Precious time is wasted in procrastination and inaction.

Most people start diets or workout programs on certain days. Some of the most popular times are Mondays, a new month, or a new year. However, no day is different from another. Monday is no more special than Wednesday. January does not bring higher chances of success over July. What matters most is that YOU START. Here’s what to consider when making a lifestyle changes:

-what is your goal?
-what materials/ resources do I need to accomplish this goal?
-what are activities/ actions will move me toward this goal?
-how will I measure my progress?
-when would I like to accomplish this goal?
 
These questions will move you from thinking about a change to making the change. Moving toward a goal will create momentum and get you on the right track to your next big accomplishment! As always, eat, move, and improve!