Saturday, October 13, 2018

Fiber and weight loss

Is fiber really good for your digestive system?  Of course it is.  Most of us know that - but few people realize just how essential it truly is.

You need fiber in your diet.

Not only is a high fiber diet good for digestion (and firming or softening stool), but it’s also the key to weight loss.  It’s also one of the best tools we have to fight cardiovascular issues, mood problems and weak immune systems. 

It even helps control our metabolism.

So what makes fiber so special?  It's not what you'd think.  Here’s the crazy secret about fiber: We can’t digest it.  To put it another way, fiber is basically a carbohydrate that your body can’t digest.  That sounds bad, right?  Think again.  For one thing, fiber is a displacing agent.  That means that it fills you up, but doesn’t add any calories to your diet.  Eating foods rich in fiber will leave you feeling full, while helping you shed pounds.  For another, fiber is a bulking agent.  That means it helps your stool take shape, and prevents the runs.

Fiber also aids in digestion and is essential for a healthy gut microbiome.

Did you know that about 100 trillion bacteria (categorized in 10,000 species) live in your gut?  That's actually a great thing.  Your microbiome is responsible for all sorts of workings in your body.  In fact, 80-90% of your serotonin (one of the body’s natural 'happy' hormones) is secreted in your gut.  Your microbiome is responsible for sending out those signals.

Your insulin sensitivity is controlled by your gut flora, as well.  If you want to avoid Type II diabetes, you need to keep those bacteria healthy.  The importance of your gut microbiome cannot be overstated, and the fuel that the flora in your gut needs is fiber. If you want a healthy microbiome (and, by extension, a healthy body) you need plenty of fiber - at least 25 grams a day for women, and 38 grams a day for men.  By the way, that’s way more than most of us eat.


Fiber comes in two basic forms. One is insoluble - i.e. it doesn’t dissolve in water.  Think of roughage, like leafy greens.  This type of fiber passes through you quickly, speeds up digestion and adds bulk to your stool.  It helps you feel full, but the effect is relatively short-lived.  The other basic form of fiber is soluble, which dissolves in water.  You’ll find this in juicy fruits, like oranges. You’ll also find soluble fiber in some vegetables (like Brussels sprouts) and many whole grains.

Metamucil is basically just soluble fiber, and many other digestion aids contain it.  What makes soluble fiber so special - and the most powerful type of fiber you can consume - is what it does when mixed with liquid.  Soluble fiber mixed with water turns into a gel-like substance.  Unlike insoluble fiber, this actually slows digestion down (but that’s not a bad thing).  The gel-like substance moves slowly, but very slickly. 

Meta-studies done on fiber find that, while both soluble and insoluble fiber leave you feeling satiated, only soluble fiber actually reduces caloric consumption.  That’s because it can fill up your gut for such a long time.  It also gives your body the chance to absorb all the vitamins and nutrients in all your food.

The most important takeaway for today is this: Get more fiber into your diet - both the soluble and insoluble.  That means more fruits and veggies (especially the watery sort that contain soluble fiber).  It means eating lots of unprocessed and whole grains.  Remember that the refining process actively strips fiber from grains, greatly reducing their benefit.  That’s why you should always replace white rice with brown, and white bread with 100% whole grain (it MUST say 100% or you’re not getting real whole grain benefits).  Adding plenty of fiber will ensure you don’t feel like you’re being deprived of nutrition or satisfaction.

There simply is no downside to a high fiber diet.  From digestive health, to weight loss, to protection against disease, to hormone regulation - fiber is the key to all of it.  Make sure you’re getting enough.  This should be one of your most important nutritional goals.

Eat more fiber!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Creating self discipline

One of my favorite Bible verses is 2 Timothy 1:7  'For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.'

Humans are naturally lazy, but that's only because we are in rebellion against how we should be thinking and acting.


So how do you create and maintain self discipline?  You do it by combining an automated brain program - doing whatever needs to be done - with an incredible commitment to your goal.  I like the saying, 'Don't let a good life can get in the way of a great one'.  What self discipline does is put you in control of your future, rather then letting your environment (or anything else) dictate your destiny.

Anyone can develop self discipline.  It’s a learned skill and it’s not complicated - you just have to train yourself for it, and it's something that (unless you're in boot camp) you generally have to do alone. 

Yes, the REST of your life matters too - so it's a daily balancing act.  But to succeed at any major goal in life, it takes a total commitment.  How do you do that?

Here’s are six tips that will serve you well:

1. Make your goals big.

When you challenge yourself to achieve bigger goals, you really commit yourself.  The more time you spend on it, the harder it becomes to quit.  Once you have spent so much sweat, time and effort on it, if you quit, it will have been for nothing.  The bigger the goal, the more dedicated you become.

2. Make your goals clear.

Clearly define what your goal means to you and what you will specifically do to achieve it.  If you set a goal to live healthier, for example, will you go running every day?  At what time and for how long? Will you eat healthy?  If there is no clear goal, there is no opportunity to create the specific steps you’d need to do to accomplish it.

3. Know that every day matters.

When you wake up in the morning, do you know what’s most important for you to accomplish that day?  Every goal, every priority, that you have set for yourself has to be done - it will determine whether your dream lives or dies.  Yes, occasionally, you'll catch a cold or have something else that interferes with your goal for a day or two.  Don't let it take too long.

Athletes know if they skip even one training session, they are already behind; they know they will lose a competition that is still three months away if they don’t do what they said they would, if they don’t follow through with their plan - if they aren’t disciplined.

4. Don’t fight your own plan.

If you want to go to the Olympics, each training session matters; there isn’t one that’s less important than another.  It’s the same with everything else in your life.  When you start the process, you cannot question it, you cannot hesitate, you cannot back down.  You have to work hard every single day to reach your dream - full force.

5. Build a WHATEVER IT TAKES mindset.

Build the mindset that no matter what, you will accomplish things when you said you would. No matter what. You have to create pressure for yourself, otherwise nothing will get done.  There is good stress and bad stress, and you have to make sure you are operating under good stress - butterflies in the stomach, a manageable adrenaline that stimulates you.

6. Make it a lifestyle.

Create a routine that becomes second nature, automatic, normal.  Athletes, for example, know what hours they train, when to break for lunchtime and dinnertime, and when to rest.  In training, they know they have to do a warm-up, main training, and cool-down and recovery.  By following the same routine, it becomes second nature - the discipline preps them to win.  Planning your own routine, and sticking to it until it becomes automatic, can prep you for success, too.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Altering DNA through meditation

Fairly recent British research has shown that various forms of meditation can alter the activity of genes linked to stress and depression.  Researchers examined evidence for mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi, affecting DNA. 

Data from 18 studies involving 846 participants revealed a pattern of molecular changes in the body that benefit mental and physical health.

This isn't about Chakras.  The key was nothing to do with unblocking them, but rather a gene-regulating stress molecule called nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB).  Under its influence, certain genes switch on a "fight or flight" response to stress which over time can increase the risk of cancer, accelerated ageing, and mental disorders such as depression.  That's because, under stress your adrenals are pumping out hormones that get you 'amped up' (to fight or flee).  It happens when you feel threatened or frightened - and it can happen continuously, over time.

People who practice meditation and other MBIs appear to lower their production of kappa B and the stress effects it triggers, the scientists found.

Lead investigator Ivana Buric, from the Brain, Belief and Behaviour Laboratory at the University of Coventry, said: "Millions of people around the world already enjoy the health benefits of mind-body interventions like yoga or meditation, but what they perhaps don't realize is that these benefits begin at a molecular level and can change the way our genetic code goes about its business.  "These activities are leaving what we call a molecular signature in our cells, which reverses the effect that stress or anxiety would have on the body by changing how our genes are expressed.  "Put simply, MBIs cause the brain to steer our DNA processes along a path which improves our well-being."

Although they didn't appear to consider it, I have no doubt whatsoever that prayer has the exact same effect.


The research is published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Health and Wellness Home Business advice (Part 5)

What does 'winning' mean to you?  You need to figure that out.  Why?  Because you have no chance of winning if you don't.

In the Network Marketing industry, you're going to have to do three(3) things:

1)  The stuff nobody else wants to do - and by that, I mean Can Not, Will Not or WON'T do

2)  Handle frustration

3)  Keep your focus and never quit


Sounds like 'fun', huh?  Well, it is... when you start winning.  By the way, you will be a winner in this business if you are teachable and motivated.  What you'll be doing is simple (REALLY simple), but it's not easy - I mean 'easy' in the way most people think of easy.

It's work.  It's work that takes desire, goals and commitment.  One thing that will help you enormously though, is if you have the right team behind you.  I can not possibly emphasize that enough.



As for me, I just got back from spending some time away.  No partying, just work.  I got some good productive mastermind meetings in, and enjoyed life a bit.  Plus, adding an amazing team member on this trip was a huge bonus!!  So welcome to the team to our newest team member!

Anyway, back to the subject of winning...

One of my favorite motivational/educational speakers in Gary Vaynerchuk - if you don't know who that is, Google and follow him.  He's a real, no BS talker and a very successful entrepreneur.  Anyway, on Instagram, I saw the following quote from Gary V. and it plays right into my own personal philosophy.

"When you get to do what you wanna do, you've won."

That's it!

It's not about the money, or fame.  It's about FREEDOM!  When you can do what you wanna' do, you have definitely WON.

I've said it many times before...

Think about it for a minute.  FREEDOM IS EVERYTHING.  Freedom means different things to different people, but it is everything.  Whether your meaning of freedom is Time Freedom, Money Freedom, or another type of Freedom is yours.  You get to create a life that allows you to do what you want to do!!

This is how I've chosen to do it - Click here for the Quick Introduction.  There's a lot more to it than that, but it sums up who we are and what we're about.

Anyway, after my weekend away I am back to the grind this week.  Though my grind is building my own business and creating my FREEDOM and my PARADISE, so it isn't a bad thing.

Why not join me?!?


"You don't have to have great ideas if you hear great ideas." – Eugene Schwartz

Monday, September 17, 2018

Health benefits of apples

Will an apple a day really keep the doctor away?  No, but they’re a great start.  The health benefits of apples are so plentiful and obvious, that they’ve become synonymous with healthy eating - and with good reason too.  Apples are one of the healthiest foods in the world.

Why is that?  Well, as you’d expect, apples come with all the health benefits of fruits that are high in fiber.  That creates better digestion, lower cholesterol levels and greater regulation of blood sugar.  In fact, one study found that an apple a day reduced the chances of developing type II diabetes by 28% in women.

True, they aren’t the highest-fiber fruit out there, but it appears that other chemicals in apples heighten their fiber’s benefits.  Specifically, a fiber called pectin interacts with numerous phytonutrients in apples to reduce fat, stimulate healthy insulin production and improve your cardiovascular health.  By the way, you can only get all these benefits from apples - and only in their whole form, not their juice or sauce.

Cancelling out cancer - and plenty more...


Apples are rich in antioxidants.  Those are the nutrients that neutralize free radicals and help prevent the sort of cellular damage that can lead to cancer.  Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples (especially) are packed with more antioxidants than almost any other food.  Those antioxidants have also been shown to decrease your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, and to help treat Alzheimer’s.   In fact, apple juice has been shown to slow and treat Alzheimer’s in mice.  Human studies are just around the corner.

You know what else?  Those antioxidants can also chop your odds of developing cataracts by 10-15%.


One particular antioxidant found in apples - quercetin - boosts and fortifies your immune system as well. That’s probably the reason they initially were said to keep the doctor away.  Actually, apples contain more surprises. The flavanols in apples can reduce your chances of developing pancreatic cancer by 23%!  The fiber in apples help prevent gall stones, and apples even help fight gout.  Surprisingly, apples are high in iron, and can help prevent anemia.  They’ve also been shown to increase vitality across the board, and are commonly given to those recovering from illnesses that cause weakness.

Apples are also a great anti-inflammatory, and are often used to help people suffering from inflammatory respiratory problems.  Nobody really knows why apples are so effective - probably because there are so many tremendous nutrients involved, their interaction is difficult to map.

The truth is, apples are packed full of so many kinds of antioxidants, polyphenols, flavanols, and fiber, that it will be years before we fully understand how they all interact to provide so many health benefits.  So, while an apple a day doesn’t guarantee you’ll never see a doctor’s office again, apples can guarantee that you’ll see less of them. They are the closest thing to a perfect food we’ll ever see.



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Saturday, August 18, 2018

GERD explained

What is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?  It’s when the burning sensation in the gut (commonly called heartburn) becomes chronic.  I've suffered from this myself, and it's dangerous. It causes inflammation - the root cause of most diseases.

Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs)  - which neutralize stomach acids - and H2 blockers work to relieve GERD. That's true, but I believe that natural GERD remedies that are much better, including (of course) diet.

What are the mechanics of GERD?

When we swallow, our mouth and tongue muscles close the windpipe to our lungs and divert the food into our esophagus - the tube connecting the throat to the stomach.  At the base of the esophagus is a ring of muscles - the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).  A healthy LES pushes food down into our stomach, where extra-strength acids help break it down for the next step in digestion.

With GERD, the LES relaxes and allows those harsh stomach acids to rise up into the esophagus, mouth, and tongue, which lack the anti-acid protection in our stomach.  When harsh acid hits tender, unprotected tissue, it burns!

Fortunately, dietary changes are often all it takes to avoid it altogether.

Inflammation, the root of all disease?

What exactly happens in that moment when strong acid hits defenseless tissue?  Pain happens, of course.  So does inflammation - our body’s natural response to an unnatural event.  There’s increasing evidence that inflammation is the mother of all, or nearly all, disease.

There are two types of inflammation.

Acute inflammation begins when infected, damaged or traumatized tissue issues an SOS from the trouble spot - your esophagus, for example.  Good pro-inflammation hormones then tell your white blood cells to move in to clear away infected and damaged tissue.  Anti-inflammatory compounds follow (once the threat is neutralized) to begin the healing process.

Acute inflammation is short-term.  The effects subside after a few days.  Acute inflammation that comes and goes as needed is generally OK, signaling an appropriate response to occasional trauma (stubbed toe, paper cut) or viral or other intruders.

Chronic inflammation is our concern with GERD.  It often has no symptoms, which makes it extra worrisome.  It's a silent, permanent welcome mat to everything from heart disease, cancers, immune system (and neurodegenerative disorders), diabetes, high blood pressure… you name it.

In the case of GERD, the likely local inflammation-borne diseases are:

Barrett’s Esophagus (BE).  The esophagus builds protective layers similar to the acid-resistant lining of the stomach - bringing with it a higher risk for esophageal cancer.  It’s not common, but you can't ignore it.
Erosive esophagitis.  The esophageal walls begin to erode away or become ulcerated.  It’s serious!  Some people experience bloody stools or vomit.  Esophageal ulcers can also cause chronic bleeding, which can lead to iron-deficiency anemia - also serious.
Strictures.  GERD-related inflammation can cause the esophagus to create a narrowed band-like stricture, which can impair swallowing - increasing the risk of choking on food stuck in the esophagus.
Dental damage.  Teeth exposed to harsh acid often erode, leading to a literal mouthful of uncomfortable and unhealthy outcomes.
GERD and asthma.  GERD and asthma often appear together, possibly because acid in the esophagus triggers immune system changes that are shown to lead to asthmatic conditions.

But wait, there's more..

Those with GERD-related inflammation are ALSO at increased risk for very unwanted:
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic bronchitis, laryngitis, cough, and sinusitis
  • Pneumonia (often recurring and serious)
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (lung scarring)
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Granulomas (pink bumps on the vocal cords)
  • Hoarseness, constant throat clearing
  • Sleep apnea


Un-inflame yourself

You can eat your way out of GERD-related inflammation.  It doesn't have to be a permanent change, or one that makes you unhappy.  Stress affects your stomach too!  It's more of a lifestyle of awareness and better food choices, that's all.

Below are some simple recommendations.

When you can, limit/avoid irritants, like:
  • High-fat foods
  • Caffeine (sorry)
  • Chocolate (sorry)
  • Onions, garlic
  • Peppermint
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Alcohol (not sorry)
  • Citrus and tomato products
As often as possible, create meals using better ingredients and techniques:
  • Fresh, organic, local fruits and vegetables, but very limited citrus and tomato (very acidic)
  • Lean protein - eggs, lean meat that’s grilled, poached, broiled, or baked - never fried
  • Complex carbohydrates - steel cut or old-fashioned oatmeal, 100% whole grain bread, brown rice, couscous
  • Potatoes and other root vegetables for their good carbs and fiber (not prepared with onion or garlic)
  • Good monounsaturated fats from fish and plants, from olive, sesame, canola, and sunflower oils, and from avocados, peanuts and peanut butter, and many nuts and seeds
  • Good polyunsaturated fats - oils such as safflower, soybean, corn, flaxseed, and walnut, and soybeans/tofu; and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and trout
Go on your personal quest to put out the fire in your throat.  A healthy future awaits, but it’s your call!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Healthy Snacking

Potato salad is one of the the most popular side dishes in America and, second to the potatoes, mayonnaise is the primary ingredient.  Is that bad?  No.  Eggs are a great source of protein, omega-3 fats and vitamin B12.  However, mayonnaise is mostly a source of fat. So, here's the concept:

Mayo-Free Potato salad

While some fat is good for you, the standard American diet is loaded with it - and cutting it down painlessly is usually a good idea. 

This recipe idea replaces the mayo with a combination of fat-free Greek yogurt (another protein powerhouse) and Dijon mustard, which adds a ton of flavor.  Feel free to change the herbs and veggies suggested here to better suit your taste.  This is just the way I do it.


The Blueprint:

  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ cup non-fat Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup onions, diced (approximately half of a small onion)
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon dill
  • ¼ teaspoon marjoram
  • ¼ teaspoon rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Here's what you do:

  1. Put eggs in a pan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, pull off heat, and set aside 12 minutes.
  2. Mix yogurt, mustard, vegetables and herbs in a large bowl
  3. Peel the eggs, quarter them, then smash with yogurt mixture using a fork or your fingers.

Not too difficult, right?  I say give it a try, at least once.