Adding Color To Your Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When did color start disappearing from your life?  By color, I don’t just mean color.  I mean the variety, the spice, the differences in your life.  How many of us fall into monotonous routines with every aspect of our life.  We wake up in the morning at the same time.  We eat the same bad cereal for breakfast.  We take the  same thing to work.  Our clothes haven’t changed for years.  Our favorite foods haven’t changed.  Maybe as we have “grown up” we have traded our “childish” reds, oranges, greens, yellows, and blues for more suitable things like black, gray, or tan.  How many people do you know that end up this way?  Children instinctively know not to do this.  They don’t want to eat the same food, go on the same vacation, or wear the same clothes every day.  They realize that they need color and variety in their life.  Part of the system is trading these instincts away for a more drab sense of security in the mundane.  “If it is always the same we can predict what will happen.”  “We will be safer this way.”  “I won’t stand out this way.”  These are a few of the common thought process.  The truth is that we are made to have color in our life. We are made to want variety and adventure.  Take a little extra time and create something new.   We all spend too much time thinking of what other people will think and not expressing what we want.  Don’t feel like the norm today?  Here are some suggestions for adding a little color into your life.

-Find a new recipe you have never made or try a new food you have never had before

-Buy a shirt or a pair of shoes that is completely uncharacteristic of what you SHOULD buy to match who you think you are

-Read a book or watch a movie that isn’t normally on your scope

-Go do something fun.  Play mini golf, go bowling, to to a  late movie, go go-karting

-Compliment people who are not afraid to add color into their life

Bottom line is: We live in a colorful, crazy world.  If we want to have full, meaningful lives, we need to stop playing it safe with what we know.  Life is too short to set up shop in the same town, listen to the same music, and have the same job your whole life.  People will say, “oh, those are just the things i like.”  I would say, “are they really the things you like, or just the things your comfortable with.”  Get out of your comfort zone and you will be surprised at how the world reacts.

-Joe

Balanced Fitness

Marine Style Physical Fitness Competition - Pu...

Fairly Short one today folks.  Ok, i’m going to throw out some stereotypes here.

-Meathead who is bulky but has no endurance or stamina

-Skinny marathon girl who does endless cardio and not much else

-Person who plays a sport and thinks it’s the only conditioning they need

What do all of these have in common?  They have unbalanced fitness programs.  People think; oh if i can bench press 300 pounds I’m fit.  If i can run 5 miles straight I’m fit.  That is not how it works.  What people are doing is spending all their time maximizing a single area of fitness.  This is unhealthy, and will unbalance you in some other area of your life as well.  There has to be a principle somewhere.  Balance in one area tends to lead to balance in others.  Vice versa holds true also.  I like Crossfits definitions of fitness.  These include 10 different factors or skills.  This is direct from them.

1. Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance- The ability of the body systems to gather, process, and transport oxygen.2. Stamina- The ability of the body to process, store, deliver, and utilize energy.

3. Strength- The ability of a muscular unit, or combo of muscular units to apply force.

4. Flexibility- The ability of maximizing range of motion at a given joint.

5. Power- The ability of a muscular unit, or combo of muscular units to apply maximum force in minimum time.

6. Speed- The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.

7. Coordination- The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.

8. Agility- The ability to minimize transition time between one movement pattern to another.

9. Accuracy- The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

10. Balance- The ability to control the placement of the bodies’ center of gravity in relation to its’ support base.

So how many of us actually work on all of these skills?  Obviously if you are in a sport or competition you will need to focus on whatever it is you are competing in, however for most of us I believe it is a lot more practical to work on creating a balanced program.  So how do we do that?  We basically just need to mix it up like everything else in life.  We fall into routines and get stuck in a rut.  So a good program might include bodyweight training, calisthenics, stretching, yoga, different sports, sprinting, functional cardio, biking, kayaking, whatever.  The list is endless.  The point is: you should not be doing the same workout day after day after day.  Your body likes to be challenged in different ways.  So get out of that routine and mix it up.

-Joe

Appalling

Image

This is so ridiculous i had to make a quick yap about it.  We were looking up some stuff and came across the most ridiculous things americans eat.  This one is one of the craziest things i have ever seen.  It is a conjoined effort between KFC and Krispy Kreme Donuts.  This is called the “Double Down” sandwich.  It is a donut followed by a fried chicken patty, followed by cheese, followed by bacon, followed by cheese, followed by another chicken patty, and topped off with another fried donut. WOW.  Thats all i got for this one.

-Joe

Healthy Kitchen Tools

Hey guys,

Some people have problems with preparing healthy food.  They don’t want to cook and clean.  Maybe they don’t think they can.  I’m here to change your mind.  I think everybody can cook and prepare healthy meals with the proper tools and practice.  I’m going to set down a few essential things that i use on a regular basis that help me keep up with eating right and saving time doing it.  So here goes.

1. The Humble Crock-Pot.

It doesn’t really get much simpler than this.  You just need a good amount of vegetables and some good quality meat if you want it.  Plug it in, throw your ingredients in and let it sit.  This probably takes all of 10 minutes to set up and creates massive amounts of slow-cooked, easily digestible food for you and your family.  Clean up is equally easy and there are usually leftovers.  I would recommend something that uses a ceramic pot but anything will work.

2. Nutribullet or other blender

This is a new tool i picked up in the past few months.  I  am amazed at how handy this thing is.  It cost 100 bucks from target.  With this little gadget you can “blend” vegetables of all kinds for smoothies or drinks.  You can add berries or nuts to them if you want.  I usually just do large amounts of raw vegetables to get more of them in.  To properly digest a salad, you need to basically chew it extremely well.  I don’t know about you, but i really don’t have the time or patience to eat salads.  Adding one of these to your day will add 3-4 servings of veggies into your body.  Another cool thing is that it has a separate milling blade that will grind up nuts and seeds into butters.  We made walnut butter here yesterday.  Just ground walnuts, a little bit of salt and a splash of maple syrup.  Invaluable tool for the price.  Other blenders will do the job too, but all the others i looked at were very pricey.

3. Juicer

Everybody seems to know about juicing these days.  This is another amazing tool to load your body up with easy to use nutrition.  Almost anything can be juiced.  Vegetables, fruits, greens, whatever.  This is a good way to start your day.  These machines can be a little pricey but are usually worth it in the long haul.  I have had mine about 2 years and so far its doing fine.  It’s amazing to see your bodies needs change when you start eating more fruits and vegetables.  Cravings go away, excess weight will melt off, health problems improve.  You can also juice herbs like ginger, parsley, cilantro, lemons, etc.  It can be a pain to clean at times, but overall a very good investment

4. Food Dehydrator

This is something i don’t use all that often at the moment but it’s very good to have around when i want to use it.  These things run around 50$ and will last until you break them.  You can use them to dehydrate or dry vegetables, fruits, beef jerky, and nuts.  If you eat raw nuts, you need to soak overnight and dehydrate them for your body to properly absorb them.  These machines can keep temperatures low (95 degrees) on mine.  This ensures that whatever you are “drying” will stay below around 117 or so degrees.  This is the temperature that food loses its “enzyme activity” and becomes more burdensome for your body to break down.  Although i don’t recommend it, you could make things like trail mixes with this.  I think good choices are raw dehydrated nuts, maybe some dehydrated vegetables.  Think of this as a healthy snack maker.

5. Cutting Board and Knife you Love

This is something that is easy to overlook but very important in the kitchen.  It is worth investing in a good quality knife, sharpener, and cutting board.  I know so many people who don’t cook because they have crappy knives and cutting things up is a pain.  You don’t need to go out and buy a fancy set of knives.  I use ONE knife.  I use a Santoku knife for almost everything.  I keep it sharp.  I sharpen it when it dulls.  This thing will dice through carrots, celery, tomatoes, apples, whatever i need it to cut.  I use it to chop up sweet potatoes for oven-baked fries.  If i had some dull knives from walmart i don’t think i would want to cook either.  So invest in a good quality knife or two, a sharpener, and a decent cutting board and you will be set.

I’m sure there are many other tools that people use in the kitchen.  These are some of the ones that i have found most useful.  Most of them are relatively inexpensive or they last a very long time.  Hopefully you guys find these helpful and inspiring you to cook for yourselves more often at home.

How do we Get Out?

Human eye

Hey guys,

This will be fairly short today, but the question is: How Do We Get Out?

This could mean a variety of things.  Maybe you are in a bad relationship.  Maybe you have health problems.  Maybe you don’t like your job.  Maybe you want to lose weight.  Maybe you don’t like who you have become.  The possibilities are endless.  So many of us find ourselves in situations we can’t stand and then wonder how we ended up there.  The little decisions we make every day are what add up to these life circumstances most of the time.  Of course there are things that are out of our control.  Accidents happen.  However, if you take a hard, honest look at yourself, you will realize that most of the things in life are created by our attitudes and choices.  I have no doubt that everyone has good intentions.  Everyone wants to be healthy, happy, have good relationships, good career opportunities, be in good shape, whatever.  The problem is what i am coming to term “lack of foresight” that human beings seem to all have in common.  This is why it’s hard to accomplish long-term goals.  Maybe we don’t stick up for ourselves in little things in a relationship.  Maybe we choose that Hot dog over the chicken and vegetables.  Whatever it is.  All of a sudden, we are in a bad relationship or we are way out of shape.  All the little choices add up.  The problem is that it’s often hard to see this because we are very shortsighted as humans.  So i think what everybody wants to know is how to overcome this problem.

The first step to getting out of your problem is to STOP doing the things that are creating it.  I know this is common sense but it evades us a lot of the time.  If you don’t want to end up in a bad relationship, make it clear where you stand from the beginning.  If you are already in a relationship, let your partner know there will be new boundaries.  If you want to lose weight or get healthy, don’t hang around people who are not going to support you in that goal.  Stop buying the junk and opt for cleaner food.  If you smoke, start cutting back.  Just stop doing whatever is causing the problem.

The second step is managing yourself through your transition.  Stopping smoking after years I’m sure is not an easy task.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Take it slow.  If you have friends that eat junk and you start refusing to eat with them there is going to be an adjustment period.  Remember, it usually makes people uncomfortable when you try to better yourself.  It makes a lot of people insecure.    So surround yourself with good people, read some material from people who have shared similar struggles, and take it one step at a time.

The final step is not backsliding.  It is very easy to start a healthy program and start to see results.  It is another thing to continue on the path for the long haul.  We often think it may be ok to go back to our old habits for a while.  Don’t cave in to these temptations.  Keep supporting yourself throughout your transition until whatever you are trying to do becomes a part of who you are and a lifestyle you can maintain.

A lot of bad things in life we either create or allow to happen.  Stop allowing people to make your decisions for you.  Everyone has a choice with what they do with their own life.

How to Lose Weight

Food for Life distributes food on an internati...

More than anything else in the health and fitness world, this seems to be most people’s biggest priority.  That is people without major health issues.  People try all kinds of things to accomplish this “goal.”  The problem is that most people seem to not want to take simple approaches and instead opt for fancy things like “diet plans” and “fat burning pills” to help them lose the weight very quickly.  The problem is that this isn’t really how it works.  A lot of people try burning off the fat while continuing the very lifestyle that creates it in the first place.  This seems a little counterproductive?  This is a basic, simple approach that works.  Let’s first look at the reason people become overweight in the first place.  The main cause is that people are simply consuming more of certain kinds of calories that their body either A. cannot process or B. does not need.  One of the biggest problems is a lack of nutrition.  Our bodies are designed to function with hundreds of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients.  A long time ago, these were rich in the whole foods diets of our ancestors.  The problem we face now, is that most packaged, processed food people buy in the stores or at restaurants has none of these things in it.  The empty calories are there, but as long as you are missing the nutrition you are going to stay hungry.  Most people are starving for nutrition, not for calories.  So number one is: fix your nutrition.  Opt for a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, good quality meats and eggs, real food.  Once your nutrition is on board, you will naturally stop overeating and craving everything.  The second problem is what i call the “carb shut-off switch.”  There seems to be a mechanism in the human body that sends a stop signal for things like protein.  You are not going to sit down and eat 5 chicken breasts in one sitting.  You may however, eat a whole bag of Cheetos or a bowl of popcorn.  We are basically programmed to crave carbohydrates because our body can store them for later use.  This works well in situations where you may not have enough food to eat or are semi-starving several months over the year.  The problem is that people eat large amounts of these things every day without the ability to burn them off.  These things include breads, pastas, potatoes, rice, corn, etc.  Now i have nothing against having a good sweet potato or potato every now and then but don’t make them a major portion of your calories.  Exercise is number 3.  Obviously we are living things, we are meant to move.  I once heard someone say we are all athletes inside.  I think this is true.  But looking around, you don’t see too many “athletes” past the age of say 25.  The truth is we are supposed to be lean and muscular into old age.  Please don’t fall into the myth of doing endless hours of cardiovascular training.  This is unnecessary.  A balanced program including strength training, stretching, some cardio, and plenty of rest will do the trick.  Remember, whatever muscle you put on is burning fat 24 hours a day.  So basically, we need to keep it simple.  The big 3 are: up the nutrition, cut out the processed foods and excess carbs, and have a balanced exercise program.  This is the true, simple way to effortless weight loss.

The Never Regret List

Ok guys, been out of this awhile.  Going through some stuff.  Anyways this post is about something i call the “Never-Regret list.”  How many times do we put things off that we want to get done?  Some common excuses I might give are:

-its too late

-i don’t feel good

-that can wait until tomorrow or another day

The problem is that sometimes these days do not come or all of a sudden a deadline is upon us and we get stressed out about getting something done.  A lot of people make lists to accomplish tasks.  Most of our lives are so complex these days (another post), that we need lists of some kind to organize our productivity throughout the day.  I use lists from time to time when i have a lot of little things to get done.  Eventually, the little things become habitual and you no longer need to put them on your list.  There is, however, a way to cheat on the list.  We put 10 things on the list.  8 We might not mind doing.  2 We deep down don’t really want to start at all.  So we trick ourselves.  We put these on the list but when the end of the day rolls down, we don’t always get these nagging things accomplished.  I have used a little trick i call my “Never Regret List” for quite awhile now, although i can’t say it always works.  Us humans are very good at tricking ourselves.  Anyways, the idea goes like this: Make a list of things that you do on a regular basis that you might not look forward to but that you never regret doing after they are done.  So a sample list of mine might include:

-eating right during the day, getting enough sleep, brushing my teeth, exercising, spending some time alone in prayer/meditation, laughing and fun (whole post on that one), and keeping my apartment clean and stocked, taking care of any schoolwork.

There are several things that i could add to this list but you get the basic idea.  Some of those things might not sound the best at the time, but it’s our own little tricks that often stop us from doing things that we really want to get done.  So my question to you is: What is on your own “Never-Regret List?”

-Joe