Am I Still Learning?

I remember back when I knew everything. It actually wasn’t all that long ago…

I didn’t need to listen to anyone because I had all the answers. When I asked you a question I already knew the answer, I just wanted to see if you would lie to me.

I had a closed mind and there was nothing anyone could tell me that would, or could, change my mind.

Because I was right and I knew everything.

It turned out, much to my surprise, that I in fact did NOT have all the answers. That there actually were people out there who knew more than me. This realization made me feel like a fool.

I was worthless and stupid. The most worthless and the most stupid person on the planet. Of all time, living or dead. There was no one worse than me.

My ego had me thinking I was all or nothing. Never in the middle.

I was at the end of my journey. I had stopped learning. I had hit my bottom.

The good thing about hitting bottom is, there’s nowhere to go but up. Or die. I was so convinced I was so worthless that I couldn’t even possibly get suicide right so I chose to go up.

I chose life.

I chose to listen rather than speak.

I chose to open my mind.

I chose to learn all I could about how to improve my life.

And then I took action.

Every day I choose to expand my mind and explore views other than my own. I choose to be a worker among workers and a friend among friends rather than let my ego dictate that I should be at the top of the heap. Because I know that will just end up with me feeling like I’m at the bottom. Under the heap.

I choose learning over fear of the unknown. I accept and adapt to situations rather than force my will.

I choose joy and happiness over fear and anger. I choose gratitude over resentment.

What will I learn tomorrow?

~Thanks for reading
LC

Set Yourself Up for Success

The best way I’ve found to set up my day for success is found in my morning routine. After I make my coffee (first things first haha..), I think about the day ahead, what needs to be done when, and set my priorities.

I make a list of things and/or people I’m grateful for. This helps to keep me balanced and humble rather that resentful towards things I don’t have and people I don’t particularly care for.

I remind myself that things don’t always go as planned and tell myself to be ready to adapt to any changes that might arise.

I make sure I eat something. Healthy is best, but in a time crunch that’s not always an option. As long as I have something in my stomach to keep me from getting “hangry”, I can make it until I have time to prepare something better.

I get still and quiet, and practice deep breathing and meditation for 8 minutes, where I try to clear my mind and bring myself back to center. This was very difficult when I first started out. My mind would still be racing after the full 8 minutes, but after a lot of practice it got easier to calm my mind. If I don’t have time for the full 8 minutes I do less, but I do a minimum of 10 full deep breaths where I focus solely on my breath, the flow of air in and out. I find when I do this I have a much easier time with the things that go wrong during the day.

I also remind myself to pause if I become irritated. I remind myself that I can restart my day at any time. I try to work with things rather than against them. When I try to force my will upon situations rather than adapt to them it always leads to a bad day.

I remind myself to be kind to everyone even if I think they don’t deserve it. I remind myself to think of others and to be helpful rather than selfish and self-centered.

What can I do for others? What can I pack into the stream of life?

I look at where I went wrong the day before and try to take corrective measures to amend that behavior. This takes a lot of practice..

I remind myself that it’s ok to not be perfect. Not just for myself, but other people too. This also takes a lot of practice..

I don’t dwell on worry or remorse. When I do I’m not useful to others. I try to focus on the next indicated thing.

I remind myself to not dwell on fear but to direct my attention to love, tolerance, and acceptance.

When I do all these things I set myself up for success and even if my day doesn’t go as planned, it’s still a good day.

And lastly, I remind myself that a great attitude becomes a great mood. Which becomes a great day. Which becomes a great year. Which becomes a great life.

~Thanks for reading,

LC

Humility, Why is it Important For a Healthful Life?

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines humility as the feeling or attitude that you have no special importance that makes you better than others; lack of pride.

When we can recognize other people’s value as well as our own while keeping our heads up, and we can achieve a practical recognition of our weaknesses as well as our strengths, we have achieved sincere humility.

AA has taught me a lot about humility in that I, in fact, had absolutely none when I thought I did. I have learned that humility is the opposite of self-righteousness, ego, pride, and self-esteem. While I feel it’s important to have a little bit of these qualities, humility helps keep them from getting out of control and helps to keep me “right-sized”.

Having some humility has helped me a lot in being able to go with the flow of life, rather than constantly trying to battle to get things to go my way. It makes no difference in the grande scheme of things whether or not my way is right or not. This was a very tough pill for me to swallow, but I was finally able to do it.

Humility keeps me human.

Humility has given me more freedom to enjoy life on life’s terms. Not mine. This in turn opens me up to be able to be more helpful to others, which in turn helps make my life better.

Humility has given me the ability to forgive myself for not being perfect and to be comfortable in my own skin. I’m also more forgiving of others which has helped heal and strengthen my relationships with other people. We are all here on this earth together. I’ve found that it’s much easier to get along with people in spite of our differences than it is to try to change other people to suit me.

Holding on to grudges and hate was slowly killing me. I see that now. Gratitude, forgiveness, appreciation, compassion, and acceptance serve me much better than excuses, blame, being mean spirited, holding a grudge, or being right just to be right ever did.

And I owe it all to humility.

 

~Thanks for reading – LC

Apples

Apples are one of the top five fruits produced in the world and are readily available year round. They’re also delicious! And the magnitude of health benefits they hold makes it seemingly impossible to not eat one every day!

Apples are an abundant source of:

To get the full benefits, wash them well and leave the skin on. That’s where most of the nutrients are. Unpeeled apples have 2-6 times the antioxidant activity as peeled ones.

Apples are extremely versatile in the kitchen! You can eat them raw or cooked, hot or cold, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner… They’re amazing!

Try pairing them with dark chocolate, cheese, or pork. They’re awesome baked with honey, cinnamon, and walnuts!

The fiber in apples can help promote circulatory and heart health, while helping you lose weight by helping you feel fuller, longer.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is essential for the development, growth, and repair of your body’s tissues. Antioxidants boost the immune system and protect against free radicals, which are molecules harmful to the body. Vitamin C can’t be produced by the body so it’s important to consume it through fresh fruits and vegetables.

A diet rich in potassium can help prevent osteoporosis, reduce the risk of a stroke, and regulate fluids.

Phytochemicals play a prominent role in the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, strokes, and cognitive decline due to aging.

 

 

Try to make apples a daily part of your healthy eating routine!

Thanks for reading ~ LC

 

Baked Apples w/ Cinnamon, Honey, and Walnuts

Here’s an easy, healthy, and delicious way to enjoy apples! (As if they weren’t delicious and enjoyable on their own..)

 

Ingredients:

  • Apples
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
  • Walnuts

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Core and slice an apple (or several apples)
  • Drizzle with honey
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon
  • Toss in some walnuts
  • Mix all together in a bowl
  • Transfer to a baking sheet
  • Bake for 35 min, turn oven off and let sit for awhile
  • Enjoy!

 

Tuna and Lentil Bowl

This bowl of goodness is packed with Omega 3’s, low fat protein, fiber, B vitamins, Iron, Folate, Potassium, Magnesium, Phytonutrients, Vitamin E, Selenium, Calcium, CoQ 10, Lutein, Zeaxanthan, Beta-corotene, Vitamin C, and much more!

 

Ingredients:

  • 3oz Seared Tuna, rare, sliced
  • 1/4 cup lentils, cooked in veggie broth
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp shallots, minced
  • pinch of aleppo pepper (or chili flakes)
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup asparagus, blanched or grilled, cut on a bias in 1/4″ pieces
  • 1/2 tsp each: rosemary, thyme, parsley
  • 1 small handful spinach
  • Sliced scallion for garnish, squeeze of lemon, lemon zest

Method:

  • Cook the lentils, (preferably in homemade veggie broth!)
  • Save some of the broth and set aside
  • Get a saute pan hot with your favorite (healthy) cooking oil
  • Throw in the garlic, shallots, and aleppo, saute about 30 seconds
  • Add the tomatoes and asparagus
  • Saute a minute or 2, then
  • Add about 1/2 cup veggie broth and the miso
  • Fully incorporate the miso while bringing it to a boil
  • Add the lentils
  • Check the seasoning for salt and pepper, if needed
  • Add the herbs, toss it around
  • Throw in the spinach. As soon as it starts to wilt, pull it off the heat
  • Put it all in a bowl and top it with the seared sliced tuna
  • Garnish with scallions and lemon zest, and squeeze some lemon juice on it
  • Enjoy!

**This can be a soup too, just add more veggie broth, and maybe substitute scallops for the tuna! You could even whisk up an egg and drizzle it in while the soup is simmering.

 

Homemade Veggie Broth

There’s no real set recipe here as far as quantities go, or ingredients, but making your own veggie broth at home is easy and it lets you control the quality of ingredients as well as salt content.

Why buy it, when you can make it?

Use your veggie broth in homemade soups and sauces. I even use it instead of water to cook beans, rice, and quinoa for another layer of flavor!

Usual Ingredients:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Yellow onions
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaves
  • Whole black peppercorns
  • Fresh thyme

Method:

  • Rough chop all the veggies and throw them in a pot
  • Add all other ingredients
  • Cover with plenty of cold water
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for awhile
  • Strain liquid
  • Enjoy!

**Tip: Don’t include salt. You will more than likely be adding to salt to whatever dish you are using your homemade veggie broth in. No need to add it twice!

**Side note: There are many opinions on making stocks and broths. Some people peel the carrots and onions, and trim the leaves off the celery because they think it turns it bitter. Some people don’t. It is entirely up to you. There are no rules!

**I save my veggie scraps in a bag in the freezer when I cook and throw them in as well when I make broth. Also, you are not limited to the ingredients listed above. Try adding mushrooms, peppers, etc. into your broth. If you’re going for a particular color though, keep than in mind when adding your ingredients.

**This recipe freezes well. Make a big batch and portion in in smaller amounts to freeze. Then just pull some out as you need it.

Can Too Much Cardio Prevent Weight Loss?

If you’re busting your butt daily with some insane gut-busting routine you could possibly be doing more harm than good..

In western cultures like we have here in the United States, we have been taught that in order to lose weight, you have to pound the pavement running, hit the exercise bike or the treadmill, and start burning those calories! And forget about eating what you want…

At first glance, it makes sense.. Sweating and breathing heavy, working hard, and running all those miles… Surely the pounds must just be melting off, right?

This isn’t entirely true…

As with anything else, too much of one thing can end up being really bad for you.

Excessive cardio exercises are really hard on your feet, knees, and back. It’s also really hard on your heart. It can increase the risk of a heart attack by adding scar tissue and cardiac plaque.

Here are just a few of the studies done on the effects of excessive cardio:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3538475/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109715075452

https://globalnews.ca/news/3810972/too-much-high-intensity-exercise-can-be-bad-for-your-heart-study-says/

It also puts your body in a state of anabolism, which means it will start to burn the most effective source of energy first, which is your muscle, not your fat. Ever notice how chronic marathon runners look stringy and unhealthily lean? That’s why. They have to pack on carbs just to keep from losing muscle mass.

So, you want your body to burn fat, not muscle. Yes, you want to take in less calories than you burn to lose weight, but you don’t have to give up your favorite foods.

==> This video explains more about the science behind using your body’s natural processes to your advantage, and lose 10-15 pounds in a short amount of time without starving yourself, or doing crazy hard workouts which you’ll be unlikely to stay committed to for long anyway.

 

Educate yourself, and invest in yourself.

You are your most important asset.

Remember, it’s all about balance.

 

Thanks for reading ~ LC

Fear: What it Means to Me

“If you want small changes in your life, work on your attitude. If you want big and primary changes, work on your paradigm.” – Stephen Covey

 

When I was a little girl, I had no fear. I didn’t know anything about the consequences of my actions. When I failed, I tried again. I didn’t worry what other people thought. I was like a sponge, learning every day, making discoveries, making mistakes, and learning from them.

Think about it, when you’re a child learning to walk, you’re going to fall. That failure isn’t going to scare you into giving up You just do it again. And again, and again. You don’t worry about what other people think, you just keep doing it until you learn. It’s built in. You haven’t been taught fear yet.

As we grow older, fear begins to creep in. Outside influences slowly begin to mold our personalities and behaviors, and take a major role in how we formulate our opinions. We aren’t even aware this is happening.

We learn about worry.

We learn about responsibility.

We learn about consequences.

We develop habits. Some good, some bad.

We form relationships. Some good, some bad.

If you’re reading this, you probably got to a point in your life where you realized what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been living your life doesn’t feel right anymore.

You need something to change.

That’s what happened to me.

I drank so much my brain felt like mush.

I was overweight.

I could be really mean sometimes, even to the people I  love the most.

I had no drive, no ambition. I was stuck in a daily cycle that didn’t include anything related to self-development or self-improvement, only self-loathing and self-destruction.

I surrounded myself with like-minded people, and together we dwelt in our “happy” toxic world where we all  judged other people, hated those who were successful or physically fit, and anyone else who wasn’t as miserable as us. I acted as if I didn’t care what other people thought, but deep down I really did, and I hated myself for what I had become.

I had all these dreams and grand ideas but I never took any action, never had any follow through.

Never once did I ask a successful person how they did it. I just sat back and would growl to myself, “Must be nice..” Never once did I think about what it took for that person to be where they are today or how much work they must’ve put in to get there.

Fear had completely engulfed me and I either didn’t know it, or I just didn’t accept it and ignored it.

Fear had me in its mighty grip, grasping tighter every day.

Fear of financial problems.

Fear of my health.

Fear of disappointment.

Fear of acceptance.

Fear of life.

No fear of death, though. I had truly gotten to a place where I didn’t care if I lived or died.

 

Today I don’t let fear rule any aspect of my life.

I’m working on going back to that no fear mentality I had as a small child.

I’m comfortable with my body. It’s not picture-perfect, but I’m not overweight anymore.

I love learning new concepts and sharing what I’ve learned in the hopes of helping others achieve a better quality of life.

I’m not afraid of being wrong or failing anymore. I look at failure as an asset. Something to build on.

I don’t fear my financial situation anymore. It’s still not ideal but I’ve taken steps to educate myself on budgeting and saving for retirement. I’ve shifted my focus on what I can gain later rather than instant gratification.

I quit drinking and wasting time in a bar with the people I thought were my friends. They were really just acquaintances who had the same fears as me, and we just fed off of each other. We were in the same downward spiral pulling each other further and further down.

Turns out, they don’t even miss me. No one from that part of my life ever calls me to ask where I am. They don’t care.

I’ve started forming more healthy relationships with people who have what I want out of life. People who pick each other up instead of judging and putting people down.

I’ve traded negativity for positivity.

I read every day instead of watching TV.

I exercise every day.

I research every day.

I write and brainstorm every day.

I learn every day.

I improve just a little bit every day, and since I’ve made that change, my life has improved immeasurably!

I’m not afraid to try new things, I’m not afraid of change. Change is inevitable. Now that I’ve gotten more comfortable with the concept of change, I no longer fear it.

Change for the better is a good thing, and change for the worse is a learning experience. Which is a good thing.

In order to change your life you have to change your paradigms. In order to change your paradigms, you have to change your attitude.

I’ve found that it’s much easier and more efficient to change myself than it is to change everyone and everything around me, to suit me.

To have a better life, it takes work. But it’s totally worth it!

Don’t give in to fear.

Take action! Change your inner circle of friends if you need to. Nothing is more important than your personal well being. Because without that, you can’t be helpful to anyone else.

 

Thanks for reading ~ LC

 

Synergy: More Bang for your Buck

Eating whole foods provides a better balance of nutrients than just taking vitamins. The reason is the way the nutrients work together to maximize absorption.

An example of this is the way spinach improves the heath of your eyes.

Spinach contains both lutein and zeaxanthin. These two carotenoids offer a power punch of vision protection. You can increase your macular pigment which helps protect your eyesight within a few weeks just by increasing the amount of spinach you eat.

According to the American Optometric Association both lutein and zeaxanthin working together help to maintain healthy cells in the eyes by filtering high energy blue wavelengths of light, which are harmful to the eyes.

WebMD has an interesting article that can help get you started with research on the perfect food combinations.

And here’s a really handy chart and article to help you find out which foods work best together. Try playing around with some of these. You might even come up with your new favorite recipe!

In the meantime, try this Spinach and Grapefruit salad.. (*hint: The grapefruit helps your body absorb the iron from the spinach!)