Day 28 of Your 66 Days To An Extraordinary Life – “Pura Vida” Edition

IMG_1080 We have owned a cabin home outside of Asheville, NC. for 8 years. In 2013/2014 we lived here (this blog post is being written at the cabin, where we are spending the weekend) for a year. We have always marveled at how it made us feel when we were here. Whether  for a quick 2 day escape or, every day for the year we lived here- Nearly always relaxed, yet mentally sharp, calm but full of energy. What we have found over the years is that everyone, and we do mean everyone, who stays at the cabin has essentially identical experiences. We rent our home out and complete strangers write in our guest book. “Even our kids said they have never been so relaxed, while having so much fun.” Another couple said, “We have been staying in homes for vacation for decades and your home is without question the most serene and calming place we have stayed”. Friends, family members, kids, age 13, another kid age 81- they all experience, “my best night of sleep”- they all use the same words, even though many of them have never met each other. Some of these people are city folk, some understand the woods,  and it makes no difference. So what is it about this place?

cabin photoWe never could exactly describe the “cabin affect” but we came pretty darn close when we visited the west coast of Costa Rica a few years ago. They have an expression that that means everything from hello, to take it easy, to see ya later. The expression is “pura vida” and the literal translation is pure life. That is it! The cabin takes everyone to a place where they experience a pure life. We immediately named the cabin “Pura Vida”- from the sign at the entrance of the gravel driveway to the one by the front door- Welcome to Pura Vida. You may be thinking it does what it does to people because it forces you to slow down, because it is very rural, some type of escape from reality. We would say that may be a part of it but it is much more powerful than that. The year we lived here we were working at our consulting firm more than full time. It was our most difficult financial year, ever, by far. Payroll, overhead, to say nothing of annoying things like mortgages and sometimes even a car payment were, at times, challenging. We also were traveling extensively and yet every single day when we turned the corner of that driveway, and saw our home the same feelings came over us, every time.

We now understand it goes beyond a “pure life”- the cabin is the perfect host for holistic living. It creates a perfect environment for mind, body and spirit to connect and grow. Even if it is not in your nature to hike, you find yourself walking in the woods. Not just hiking but thinking and seeing and feeling your surroundings. Fresh vegetables and simple meals like turkey chili or homemade pizza just make sense at the cabin. Reading, curled up in front of the fire makes perfect sense. You might think, I don’t have a cabin in the woods, so how can I live the pure life? The answer is build it. Not a log cabin, a sanctuary. A room, a place where you can go and balance mind, body, spirit. We find water features and candles help to create that peaceful something. We have fountains, big small and medium, all over all of our houses. Identify your way to holistic living and make it happen.

Click here to go to our Youtube channel for recipes, fitness tips and other great information. Now more than 25 videos!

Day 27 of Your 66 Days To An Extraordinary Life – Spiritual Deep Dive

spirituality with wordAs you have learned we generally provide content from various experts, along with our insights. Today we are quoting directly from an expert whose ability to educate and inspire, to a more spiritual life, in a way we have rarely seen. If one were to follow these tips, we are sure all human beings, would be touched in way that would transform their lives. We hope you get as much out of this inspiring information as we have.

Remez Sasson wrote this powerful article on spiritual growth on one of our favorite sites, Success Consciousness. So powerful we did not want to “risk” you not clicking through to read it. We do however strongly recommend checking out Success Consciousness, tons of great knowledge.

“Spiritual growth is a process of shedding our wrong and unreal concepts, thoughts, beliefs and ideas, and becoming more conscious and aware of our inner being. This process uncovers the inner spirit that is always present, but hidden beyond the ego-personality.

Spiritual growth is the process of inner awakening, and becoming conscious of our inner being. It means the rising of the consciousness beyond the ordinary existence, and awakening to some Universal truths. It means going beyond the mind and the ego and realizing who you really are.

Spiritual growth is of great importance for everyone. Spiritual growth is the basis for a better and more harmonious life for everyone, a life free of tension, fear, and anxiety. It helps us learn not to let circumstances influence our inner being and state of mind. We manifest composure and detachment, and we develop inner power and strength, all of which are very useful and important tools.

Spiritual growth is not a means for escaping from responsibilities, behaving strangely and becoming an impractical person. It is a method of growing and becoming a stronger, happier and more responsible person.

A balanced life requires that we take care not only of the necessities of the body, feelings and mind, but also of the spirit, and this is the role of spiritual growth.

10 tips for spiritual growth

1. Read spiritual and uplifting books. Think about what you read, and find out how you can use the information in your life.

2. Meditate for at least 15 minutes every day. If you do not know how to meditate, it is easy to find books, websites or teachers who can teach you meditation.

3. Learn to make your mind quiet through concentration exercises and meditation.

4. Acknowledge the fact that you are a spirit with a physical body, not a physical body with a spirit. If you can really accept this idea, it will change your attitude towards many things in your life.

5. Look often into yourself and into your mind, and try to find out what is it that makes you feel conscious and alive.

6. Think positive. If you find yourself thinking negatively, immediately switch to thinking positively. Be in control of what enters your mind. Open the door for the positive and close it for the negative.

7. Develop the happiness habit, by always looking at the bright side of life and endeavoring to be happy. Happiness comes from within. Do not let your outer circumstances decide your happiness for you.

8. Exercise often your will power and decision making ability. This strengthens you and gives you control over your mind.

9. Thank the Universe for everything that you get.

10. Develop tolerance, patience, tact and consideration for others.

Spiritual growth is the birthright of everyone. It is the key to a life of happiness and peace of mind, and the manifesting the enormous power of the inner spirit.

This spirit is equally present within the most material person, and within the most spiritual person. The level of the manifestation of spirituality is dependent on how much the inner spirit is close to the surface, and on how much it is hidden by our thoughts, beliefs and negative habits.”

Click here to go to our Youtube channel for recipes, fitness tips and other great information. Now more than 25 videos!

Day 26 of Your 66 Days To An Extraordinary Life – Accidental Exercise and Those Calories

Healthy food plateDay 25, was the roll out of the Almond App, or the simple, almond tracking system for your holistic transformation. No, you are not going to have all your almonds (or carrots or raisins or…) gone every day. You are going to miss on calories, or on exercise, or on spiritual matters, or mental stimulation, perhaps even having FUN. The point is to do your best, every day and it will become more and more natural. Think of the tracking system as a simple way to see just how well you are doing. It also will help you identify those areas that are not coming along as well as other areas are.

So what about that term, accidental exercise. That is a phrase that actually came out of the way we like to see cities, or towns, or nature. We like to show up and wander, always with an eye open to opportunities for cool little places, or parks or trails….. We call it accidental tourism, meaning we are not sure where we are going or when but we are going to be ready to see, learn and engage. Same is true for opportunities to exercise. Little pockets of time open up and you should use them, whenever possible, for accidental exercise. Recently John had a client meeting. 15 minutes before it was supposed to start, he got a call from the client saying they were running about 15 minutes late, John was a few minutes from their office, so he pulled into the parking lot of a Hampton Inn, parked, bundled up and went for a 20 minute walk-a brisk, 20 minute walk. That is accidental exercise. If you are poised and looking for opportunities you can and will create “accidental opportunities”.

We also introduced calorie, carbohydrate and protein tracking yesterday. There are several ways you can do this- some prefer “write down everything you eat” and how much you ate and at the end of the day look it up. Total traditional folks can use a book, click here for the best one. It will cost you about $10 on Amazon. You can also just search the internet with your list.  John is a loseit fan. Online and basic app accounts are free. The app is a bit clunky likely due to the huge database of food, but it works. We know it is iPhone friendly not sure about Android. The website is quicker but not as intuitive- so there you go. John has used loseit, for more than 5 years and believes the pluses far outweigh the minuses. Another great feature of loseit is you can enter your height, weight, gender and age as well a your weight goals (lose, maintain or gain) and it will calculate the calories you need daily, to hit your goal. This is the best feature for many people. John has found their numbers very accurate for the average metabolism.

Lastly, why do we have you track just carbohydrates and protein? Well if you are staying away from foods with preservatives and other chemicals as we recommend people do, some tend to wind up eating too many pure carbohydrates and therefore not enough protein. We have found if you eat natural food and “force” yourself to eat enough protein, while keeping an eye on your carbohydrates, then the fat you eat (type is very important, think poly and mono unsaturated fats…) takes care of itself.

click here to go to our Youtube channel for recipes, fitness tips and other information.

Day 25 of Your 66 Days To An Extraordinary Life – The Almond App Edition

almonds
We love our almonds!

Congratulations! Day 25! What does that mean to you? You’ve been working the mind, body, spirit program. You’ve been changing your habits and you are feeling the change. You are on the path to a new lifestyle and the journey to an extraordinary life.  It is time to introduce the organic app. It is an app that you use to track your progress in your transformation. Developing habits and commitment was the first step, now something a bit more formal. The app is not actually ready for prime time but we have a very simple system you can use in it’s place. Better still is the fact this system tastes much better than an app.

As all of you know we really like almonds because they are about 170 calories for 30, and are a great source of protein. If you eat them one at a time and slowly they really do fill you up- super healthy and super tasty! We like them so much you are going to track living a holistic life, using this bag of almonds.

Yup, the almond countdown to an extraordinary life. If you can’t eat almonds, or for some reason actually do not like them :) , how about the raisin countdown to an extraordinary life, or the small, organic carrot countdown to an extraordinary life. We think you  get the point. You literally start every day with 30 almonds and if you get at least 7 hours of sleep the night before, eat 3 almonds, or throw 3 outside for the squirrels. Take 20 minutes after your shower to clear your mind and relax, eat two more almonds…..on it goes. Each area, mind – body and spirit have a maximum number of almonds you can use. In other words you can eat nothing but vegetables all day and workout for 3 hours but if you skip your spiritual time you are going to have almonds left…..The goal here is to get to 0 almonds in the bag at the end of the day. We are not saying at the end of the day, when you eat the last almond, the music comes up and the sun comes out, but little by little over those 66 days, you are beginning to feel different. This is a silly, simple and very effective way to ensure you are focusing on all three areas of holistic wellness.

Here are your specifics:

-7+ hours of sleep – 3 almonds

-At least 30 minutes of reflection, prayer, Reiki, meditation… – 3 almonds

-A minimum of 1/4 of an ounce (try to get to 1/3) of water per pound of body weight – 3 almonds

-A minimum of 15 minutes of brisk exercise and a total of 45 additional minutes of “accidental exercise – 3 almonds

-Within 100 calories (above or below) your daily caloric goal – 3 almonds

-80% of your calories come from unprocessed foods – 3 almonds

-No more than 60% of your calories come from carbohydrates – 3 almonds

-At least 20% of your calories come from protein – 3 almonds

-Laughter, that’s right do something fun, funny, silly, whatever – 3 almonds

-At least 30 minutes learning something of interest, documentary, or engaged in word or number puzzles – 3 almonds

Click here to go to our Youtube channel for recipes, fitness tips and other information.

Day 24 of Your 66 Days To An Extraordinary Life – Specific Meal Ideas

salmon dishBrief note: If you have not been to our YouTube channel in the last week or so we have added several videos on exercise, water filters and all kinds of good things. We now have 25 videos! Link is always at the bottom of every blog post.

We have provided you consistent reinforcement about eating food as close to it was when it was in the ground, on the tree or walking, swimming or flying (try and avoid processed foods) since day one. We have also provided specific breakfast recommendations and a list of some of our favorite super foods. Our youtube channel shows you several easy to make quick, healthy meals. Today though we wanted to really get specific. After 23 days, it is time to really bear down and begin turning concepts into lifestyles.

If you are still working (we have a wide mix of lifestyles) the night before your work week starts, is the perfect time to make that big pot of lentil soup or vegetable/ vegetable beef stew. Great for dinner and great to take with you for lunch during the week. Also grilling 5 or 6 organic chicken breasts allows you to have chicken sandwiches (on whole wheat, pumpernickel or rye please). Chicken salad, or just chicken on top of organic greens. More great lunches you can take with you during the week and all of them only take a few minutes to make.

Breakfast ideas: Protein shakes, with or without berries and organic milk is an awesome start to your day.  Greek Yogurt, Chobani is a great brand and our favorite. We like it with granola. Deb usually makes her own (future video) you can also use Cascadian Farm Organic (most grocery stores carry this brand now) granola. Not as good as Deb’s but pretty darn good. In fact Cascadian Farm has a great organic line of cereal and other products. A couple of scrambled eggs with whole wheat or other non enriched bread and a bit of fruit. Note here on eggs. Just like it is not true that consuming extra virgin olive oil with add fat to your body (olive oil has lots of healthy fat) the cholesterol in eggs does not translate to raising cholesterol levels in your body. Eggs are a wonderful food.

Lunch ideas: In addition to the ones already provide: This is specifically how to eat out and not just survive but thrive. Chains like Ruby Tuesday and Applebee’s have reasonable lower calorie choices these days.  One of the biggest tips here is to make sure they put any “toppings” on the side, so no butter on the broccoli. No sugar and butter on your sweet potato. We love cinnamon on a sweet potato. If you like or desire a protein, eat a small steak or piece of fish, again with nothing on top of it. Ruby Tuesdays and many other chains have 6oz sirloins and 6oz  salmon, a perfect size for portion control. There are hundreds of hidden calories in garlic butter, drizzled on the steak and broccoli, cream sauces and cheese are also common as toppings. We suggest the same for salads, all dressings on the side.

Dinner ideas: If eating at home, turkey burgers on the grill or fried in a little olive oil are delicious. We add a bit of Parmesan cheese to keep them moist. Sweet potato fries are lower in calories and very tasty. We have a protein, on a salad with tons of veggies at least once a week and our super food, salmon is delicious on salad. Tacos with black beans or chicken on a corn tortilla, is easy to make and low in calories. Make fresh pico di gallo to kick it up a notch. Black bean veggie burgers are good with tomato, lettuce and sliced onion and skip the cheese. They taste good without it. As you continue to eat better, cravings for unhealthy foods will go away and be replaced by a desire for pure, healthy fare.

TIP: Remember to always carry those healthy snacks. If your get a bit hungry between meals the only thing standing between you and an unhealthy choice are your snacks. Our favorites:

-Roasted low sodium sea salt Almonds

-Raisins

-Baby organic carrots (no they do not need to be refrigerated at work just don’t store them in your trunk)

-100 calorie mixed nuts packages by Planters

-Kind bars (not perfect but better than a bag of chips!)

-A home made trail mix (recipe coming..)

Click here to go to our Youtube channel for recipes, fitness tips and other information.

Day 23 of Your 66 Days to An Extraordinary Life – Mini Vacation Post

John backpacking
Mini vacation with your hotel on your back :)

We have written in an earlier post about the problem with routines. They stifle the conscious mind and therefore routines stifle mental stimulation. Routines can also have an adverse affect on your spirit as well. We are all prone to routine, including those of us that are insanely busy, as well as those of us that are retired. Again our nature is to live out of our unconscious, to save mental energy and stress that comes from thinking etc. so we need to fight this tendency.

Deb likes the idea of mini vacations. More than liking the “idea”, she likes mini vacations. They rejuvenate, they shift focus away from the day to day realities, and they absolutely break routines. Do you recognize signs of stress? Your jaws might be constantly be clenched, you have a slight headache, maybe even a tick in your eye. Unaddressed, this kind of ongoing stress can wear the body down. Two week vacations, every time we are stressed, is not an option for most of us so the mini vacation steps in. So what are mini vacations? They can be anything from an overnight trip to nowhere, sleep over baby sitter for the kids, or in our case the dogs, and you check into a nice hotel within an hour of your home and you just go walking around the town or city. You treat yourself to a nice dinner, or maybe go to a movie, or maybe you just curl up in your room with a book you bought 6 months ago and you just read it. That is just one way to take a mini vacation. Perhaps on your next day off you plan a “you” day. Perhaps a trip to a local park or nature preserve with a picnic lunch. You spend half a day and very little money walking, enjoying nature and thinking of not much of anything. A GREAT resource is “Discover The Forest” It is a website where you can find state, national parks even wilderness and wild life refuges near you. Cost, if any for admission, whether there is camping, hiking, mountain biking etc. is minimal. It is a great one stop shop, for the great outdoors. One of our favorite things about the great, outdoor mini vacation is they cost very little, if anything, and  instantly the stress melts away. It is very important to take care of stress right away and not let it build. A commercial from years ago called to women, “Calgon, take me away”. Perhaps it is too cold outside or too rainy or too, fill in the blank, so, hey how about you treat yourself to a massage? We love Tai Chi massage with hot stones but if you shop around on groupon or local coupons, you can find a deal and get a great massage for $20 or $30, tops.

TIP OF THE DAY:

When making that healthy dinner, make an extra portion or two and take it to work the next day. Hey, you are already cooking, it takes no extra time to “create” yummy leftovers……

Click here to go to our Youtube channel for recipes, fitness tips and other information.

Day 22 of 66 Days To An Extraordinary Life – Perfect Work Day Edition

?????????????????????????First of all THANK YOU from both of us. In three weeks we have surpassed our goal for readers of our blog. We are grateful for the interest and so hopeful our words and videos, are having a positive effect on all who are journeying with us.

The PERFECT work day:

You wake up after 8 glorious hours of sleep. You feel so good, relaxed yet energized, yes, sleep does that to us. You do some simple stretching when you get out of bed, just like a cat does every time they wake from a nap and head for a cup of coffee or juice. While enjoying your beverage you think of nothing, or you take a page of the reiki methodology and run through a list of things you are grateful for. Basically you relax and savor the beverage. Now it is off to your treadmill for a slow walk (or walking in place) for 10 minutes, nothing crazy here, just getting the blood flowing. Now it is time for a delicious protein shake. Time to get ready for work. Part of getting ready for work is bringing a bag of almonds and another of baby organic carrots to snack on. We also are bringing a small cooler with that extra piece of salmon we made for dinner last night along with the fresh broccoli. When we get  to work we park as far away from the building as possible and we walk briskly to our work place. As we go about our jobs we maximize movement. We walk to see people rather than call, when possible. We take calls standing up. We pump our arms while walking and if our job allows, we use resistance bands or small free weights to firm and tone while working!

We snack on the almonds, carrots and split lunch between that salmon we brought and a brisk walk with a few friends at work. The day finishes uneventfully, without issue (hey, this is after all, the perfect day) and we head home. First thing we do when we get home is decompress. We find a quiet corner and we focus on…..nothing. 15-20 minutes of clearing the mind. Time for dinner. You are making a vegetable panini with a cup of lentil soup, from the big pot you made yesterday. You do those things around your home you need to do and then find 30 minutes to watch part of a documentary on Roku, about evolution, that you are intrigued by.  After finishing up other needed home and life stuff you move towards bedtime, doing nothing  for that hour prior to putting your head on your pillow other than quiet refection, prayer, whatever spiritual food that suits you. You feel great, your fitness band shows 11,234 steps for the day! Your bedtime is targeted to 8 hours of solid sleep. You turn out the light and head for slumber. Congratulations. you have taken time for mind, body and spirit today.

TIP:

New videos being posted every day on our YouTube channel.  Exercise, healthy products, worth a look! Link below….

Click here to go to our Youtube channel for recipes, fitness tips and other information.

Day 21 of Your 66 Days To An Extraordinary Life – Accidental Fitness

Deb and john charlestonAccidental Fitness comes from getting our head out of the “got to go to the gym at…” mindset. The “I don’t have enough time to..” mindset. We both have full time, plus jobs. Plus means we are constantly researching the mind, body and spirit, whipping up posts for the blog, quotes for twitter or our Facebook page, “66 Days To An Extraordinary Life”. Deb studies nutrition as John studies Gerokinesiology (the science of aging). We often write, record, edit and post video’s on our YouTube channel, “Simple Fitness & Diet Solutions” in the spur of the moment. In our spare time, we are working on our first, joint venture book.  None of this is meant to create a post about how wonderful we are, it is all about providing a real world example, that you can live a holistic life, if you make it a priority, period.

So what is accidental fitness? It is the art and science of maximizing both aerobic and anaerobic (resistance training to stimulate your muscles) during your day, not in addition to your day. Here is a list of things, many of which, anyone can do if they make exercise a priority.

  • Park WAY out in the parking lot if you drive to work and when you go to any place you shop. Not only will you increase your steps you will get significantly fewer dings from neighboring car doors. The quicker your pace the closer to that “brisk” threshold we often speak of.
  • When getting ready for work do “lunge” steps when walking around your home. Do the same at home in the evening. You could do this at work as well although fellow associates might question your sanity….
  • Keep some small free weights or better yet resistance bands, in your locker or at your desk (check with your supervisor, some companies have…interesting rules about this). Do resistance exercises throughout the day when you have a free hand.
  • “Fidget” at your desk whenever you can. If you have a mostly sedentary job you can burn up to 350 calories extra calories a day, not bad!
  • Stand when on the phone. If practical, walk in place when on conference calls, this all adds up, and adds up quickly!
  • Around the house spend more time playing outside with the kids than helping them with their video game settings. No kids, perfect, still spend more time outside moving. You can after all spend free time where ever you want to; John & Deb always prefer outside to inside.  Too cold outside, well walk in place while watching TV or listening to music.
  • Start or join a walking club at work- always great to have other people to walk and talk to. Too hard to get one started or there is no interest, go walking anyway at lunch. Remember “brisk walking” (we have a specific video on this, link at bottom of every blog). Lunch is a great time for those minimum 15 minutes of brisk walking by the way.
  • If your body allows, do squats (they are tough on the knees) while at your desk. John and Deb love wall squats, where you brace your back to a wall and “squat” as low as you can and hold for as long as you can.

The list is only limited by your imagination and your commitment to living an extraordinary life. At the end of the day it is about priorities. We promise you that if you do, as we suggest, for 66 consecutive days, you will find the synergy of mind, body and spirit, will open the gateway to an extraordinary life.

Click here to go to our Youtube channel for recipes, fitness tips and other information.

Day 20 of Your 66 Days To An Extraordinary Life – Medical Care Edition

medicine east meets westSo much of what western medicine considers medicine, is dependent on the pills we take. Modern, western medicine has spent less and less time on prevention and more and more time on correction. The reality is that there are a number of ways to improve your health and those methods done in concert, can be very powerful. These methods can help prevent illness and can also aid in the treatment of illnesses. Deb’s Mother, who suffers from chronic back problems and kidney infections, has gone the traditional medicine route up until recently. She has had cortisone injections in her back, for the disc issues, and massive amounts and types of antibiotics for the infection. Neither the back pain or the infection has abated. She recently started seeing a chiropractor and acupuncturist and has benefited from a reduction in pain and an increase in overall health.  Her acupuncturist has stated that his next target is her problematic issues with kidney and bladder. Deb’s Mother is optimistic for the first time in several years.

What about acupuncture and reiki? What are they and why do so many people believe in them? The Mayo Clinic says acupuncture according to eastern beliefs, is a balance of energy flow in our bodies. Western practitioners believe it is a way to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue, in a way that stimulates the body’s natural pain killers, as well increasing blood flow. Reiki, according to the Mayo Clinic is a non invasive healing method that enhances the bodies natural healing abilities, and fosters mental, emotional and spiritual well being. The Mayo Clinic believes in this enough, that they have a physician in their Minnesota home hospital who practices reiki and yoga as part of his cancer protocol. This one, two punch of cancer, has made this particular combo powerful for many people. Although there remains much debate as to the benefits of “non-traditional” (really non-western is more accurate) treatments in conjunction with other forms of treatment, there is plenty of evidence to prove in conjunction with modern medicine, it works.

So do we have to practice eastern medicine to be the most conscientious about our health? The answer is, although it is often helpful, it is not required. Focusing on prevention, remains, far and away most important. Over the last decade focus on prevention of disease has taken a back seat to new medicines and specialists for disease. We will give you an example. What if you went to the doctor for headaches and the doctor discovered you have slightly elevated blood pressure? At the same time you are 15 pounds overweight, eat out a lot and have a sedentary lifestyle. What if the doctor said, I am not putting you on blood pressure medicine now. If you will commit to exercise, weight loss and the following diet provided by our nutritionist, I think we can get this under control. And what if you did all those things and the headaches went away, the blood pressure dropped and the 15 pounds also went away? If you chose not to handle your blood pressure in a natural way, it is likely the result would eventually be a cocktail of blood pressure medicines counteracting the lifestyle choices.

We are fans of traditional western medicine and of the physicians that practice it. We are suggesting here looking at your health in a broader sense, a more holistic sense, and perhaps this will help prevent illnesses and might help in the cure of others.

A very good article on approaching our medical care from a holistic point of view;

“Holistic medicine means consideration of the complete person, physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually, in the management and prevention of disease. It is underpinned by the concept that there is a link between our physical health and our more general ‘well-being’. In an holistic approach to medicine, there is the belief that our well-being relies not just on what is going on in our body physically in terms of illness or disease, but also on the close inter-relation of this with our psychological, emotional, social, spiritual and environmental state. These different states can be equally important. They should be managed together so that a person is treated as a whole. In fact some feel that the word holistic should really be spelt ‘wholistic’.[1] An holistic approach means that the doctor is informed about a patient’s whole life situation.[2]

It goes on to say in this article….

“…..However, it is a common misconception that holistic medicine is just ‘alternative’ or ‘complementary’ medicine. It is true that holistic medicine allows for a wider range of treatment approaches to be used together and encourages open-mindedness for these different approaches. Some of these approaches may include the use of complementary and alternative medicine but holistic medicine does not dismiss conventional medicine. It uses conventional medicine as part of the treatment approach. Nutrition, exercise, homeopathy, prayer, acupuncture and meditation are just a few other treatments that may be used together with conventional medicine as part of an holistic approach.”

TIP OF THE DAY:

John has always sought out sports medicine physicians, specifically those that actively work with athletes as his primary care physician. He does this because he has found these doctors look at diet and exercise or some type of physical therapy  first. They seem to do this because their work with athletes often makes it impractical, if not illegal, to go for the prescription pad first.

Click here to go to our Youtube channel for recipes, fitness tips and other information.

Day 19 of Your 66 Days To An Extraordinary Life

routines and the brainWe write daily about either mind, body or spirit or, sometimes two, or all three. That is to help you focus. Please understand and embrace that no one area is, any more or less, important than the other. Only through the synergy produced by actively pursuing all three, can an extraordinary life be found.

This morning we write about the critical importance of exercising that mind of yours. The cool thing about our brain is that there are nearly limitless ways to stimulate it. We start with an article that speaks to the synergy we opened with, it is written by Heidi Godman, the executive editor of The Harvard Health Letter- it is about how physical exercise helps the brain. The entire article is well worth a read,,, but here is a small excerpt:

“There are plenty of good reasons to be physically active. Big ones include reducing the odds of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Maybe you want to lose weight, lower your blood pressure, prevent depression, or just look better. Here’s another one, which especially applies to those of us (including me) experiencing the brain fog that comes with age: exercise changes the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills.”

So those minimum of 15 minutes of brisk exercise walking, jogging, whatever, not only helps your heart, your muscles and your lungs but that brisk walk you take every day helps your brain! Those are the two, for one’s, we love. What else can you do to make that brain of yours more vibrant and higher functioning? Well one great way to do this, that does not require money, or even much if any time, is to break the routines. We spend about 75% of our day operating out of our unconscious. Doubt us on this one? See if this sounds familiar. On day one of that new job, in an area of town, or the city you are not familiar with, you are aware of every stop light. You notice the shopping centers and the stores in those centers. Every turn is anticipated, every busy intersection noted. You are going to work for the first time at this new job and you are working your brain. You are completely, conscious. Fast forward 90 days after driving that same route every day. Ever get in your car, start it and 40 minutes later you are in the parking lot? You do not remember one light, one turn, anything. Congratulations your unconscious drove you to work! Liz, John’s sister talked about being present in the featured blog she did. So, conclusion, being present, not allowing the subconscious to operate for us, is stimulating to the spirit, mind and the body. Now it’s a three for one.

Family reunion May 2015
Our gypsies Liz & Peter with Barb & Jeff at a mini reunion in 2015

Now we run mostly out of our unconscious for good reason. Our brain remains the fastest super computer, by far. The more we operate out of our “storage” (the unconscious) it simplifies our life. We use less brain energy, we stay in our comfort zone, the list goes on and on but it also is terrible for our brain health. So we say, shatter your routines. Not all of them at once, life is already challenging. Pick one or two routines and turn them upside down. Take a different route to work for the next few months.

TIP:

We have a video on the importance of warming up and stretching (Youtube channel link at bottom of every blog post). Here is a very good article from Men’s Journal on stretching, we recommend you check it out here.

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