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Developing an Unshakable Mindset

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Living in faith and minimizing fear is arguably the most important foundation for a peaceful and happy life. This, however, can be quite a challenge as we’re constantly bombarded with options and challenges that make us question every moment and decision of our lives, leaving us riddled with fear and anxiety on a daily basis.

Working to find a calmness of spirit and faith in the journey aligns us with our true nature and equips us with an unshakable mindset.

Those who are firm in their mindset stride forth into life without letting the unknown get them down. This unwavering strength in pursuit of their goals comes from the cultivation of a deep inner trust.

For some people, this mindset appears God given. They seem to have been born with an innate fearlessness, and a positive and buoyant disposition, while others grow up shy and worrisome. For those who are not naturally extroverted, moving towards a fearless mindset can seem like an almost impossible task.

Worry and concern can drive our decisions and hold us back from truly walking towards that which will ultimately bring us joy and actualization. It can feel safe to wear worries as a cloak to protect us from the trouble that looms. In truth, however, worry is no more a cloak than it is a magnet, attracting pain and even creating our own suffering.

The way to move towards our strength and out of our fears is through courage. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the recognition of it and the confidence to move forward nonetheless. Courage comes from the Latin root cor, meaning heart. Thus, to live in courage means to live through our hearts.

Courage gives us strength through openness, and when we live with an open heart, the oneness of the world becomes available to us. This enables us to call forth our divinity and align us with our true nature. By being in touch with our true self we move closer to a purer and more whole version of ourselves; it puts us in communion with nature and our own inner enlightenment.

It’s impossible to live through our hearts and in faith when we live in fear of the unknown. The unknown will always exist; it’s getting to a place of acceptance and trust that enables us to live in freedom.

The key in all of this is to have patience with the process. To actively and consciously work towards the goal on a daily basis, to be gentle on ourselves, and to know that we are in complete control of our own experience here on earth. Ways to achieve this include detoxifying physical movement, practicing conscious thought, and right eating.

Specifics to come next article in Pt 2: Strengthening Your Core to Live Through Your Heart

Photo by Azrul Aziz


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What Everyone Should Know About the Paleo Diet

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The Paleolithic diet is trending, hard. Many lose weight, build muscle, gain mental clarity, and reduce or eliminate extreme food intolerances. Others, unfortunately, use it as an excuse to eat way too much animal protein and tell everyone they’ve gone gluten free.

While most have heard of this diet, many people don’t know what it is or why it works. The core values of the paleo diet are noteworthy and there are some powerful elements to it that are worth taking on board, whether or not you are interesting in going for it fully.

What is it

The Paleolithic diet mimics the diet of our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors. The core values of the diet are as follows:

  • Highly alkaline
  • Higher intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals through plants
  • No processed foods
  • No gluten (which, btw, is the protein found in wheat and other grains)
  • No sugars, natural or refined
  • No starch
  • Balanced omega-3 to omega-6 fats ratio from animal sources

Why it works

People who commit to this diet and do it the properly see exceptional results. This is because the principals are highly evolved while the practices are very clean cut.

The overall health of our nation is atrocious, the critical underpinning of this being our high consumption of processed foods. All things being equal, cutting out processed foods, sugar, and gluten are some of the best things you can do for yourself. This results in the disappearance of all kinds of daily ailments, reduces toxin intake, improves nutrient content and absorption, and contributes to a glowing complexion. It also means you’re eliminating a lot of potential or actual allergens, those of which are massively exhausting on your system and cause anything from brain fog to IBS to acne. This is huge for your vitality and vibrance.

Our country also has an obsession with low-fat and fat-free foods, but the truth is that we critically need healthy fat for all of the functions of our body to work efficiently, not the least of which is our brains, which are made 60% of fat. The paleo diet’s emphasis on high fat consumption is one of the core reasons it’s so successful in effective weight loss and muscle growth. Healthy fats improve your metabolism, support organ function, enhance mental clarity, and burn slowly to give you sustained energy.

Limitations

Let me first say that I have a lot of respect for those who commit to this diet and live their life in a healthy and mindful way. For the highly committed, this is one of the very few diets out there that actually works. That being said, there are some points I’d like to make about animal protein consumption that are worth considering by those adopting this lifestyle.

1. Environmental impact

The butchering, processing, and shipping of animals consumes more than 1/3 of fossil fuels used in the United States. The natural resources that are used to raise and maintain our animal agriculture is exorbitant and is creating a huge environmental impact on our country. Not only does raising animals for human consumption take up a huge percentage of arable land, but so does growing and watering the food that we use to feed them. Additionally, factory farms generate almost 2 billion tons of waste per year, which ends up in our groundwater and a lot of the food that we eat. Eating a diet high in animal protein contributes to these staggering figures.

2. Actual alkalinity

The Paleolithic diet puts a high emphasis on alkalinity, which is great, but animal products aren’t actually all that alkaline. Animal protein is one of the most metabolically acidic foods humans eat, which can cause the body to pull critical minerals from the bones and cells to return the body to an alkaline state.

3. Antibiotic resistance

80% of antibiotics in the United States are fed to animals raised for human consumption. While the paleo diet emphasizes the importance of eating grass fed, ethically raised meat, not everyone on this diet follows this rule, especially when a fast food burger sans bun fits the bill.

Because the demand for animal protein is so high, factory farms are forced to cram more and more animals into farms with little space to themselves. Because the animals are in such close quarters, they’re fed antibiotics to reduce the likelihood they’ll get sick. When we eat animals that have been fed with antibiotics, we indirectly ingest the antibiotics. This has come to a turning point and antibiotic resistance is a massive issue facing our world. Because bacteria evolve in response to the use of antibiotics both in animals and humans, they have started to become resistant to the life saving antibiotics that have been developed over the past 100 years. This is an extremely serious issue and is compromising the future of our healthcare.

So, how to do paleo right? Follow all the basic rules – cut out processed foods, reduce sugar and gluten, and eat highly alkaline veggies. When it comes to meat, be mindful. Eat pasture raised, grass fed meat, and limit it daily. For those who are disciplined and commit, this is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices you can make.

Photo by Jonas Nilsson Lee


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The Golden Rules of Healthy Living  

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There are tons of theories out there when it comes to being healthy. While everyone is different and certain lifestyles work better for some than others, the following tips are important for everyone to incorporate.

1. Cut out sugar

…or at least work towards it. Studies have shown that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. Sugar is the underpinning of so much illness, both physical and mental, and is in almost everything. The one best thing you can do for your health is to reduce and cut out sugar. This includes sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, aspratame, and sucralose. Read your labels, opt for natural, raw sweeteners, and look forward to a vibrant and dis-ease free existence.

2. Be present when you eat

Ever wolf down a meal without even tasting it? Breathe. Chew. Relax. The way you eat says a lot about the way you live your life. Are you slowing down to enjoy it, or rushing through it to get to your next task? 

3. Drink lots of water

As simple as it is, most people aren’t adequately hydrated. Drinking water is the basis for a clear mind, healthy organ functioning, and beautiful skin. Do the best you can to drink water throughout the day, and brighten it up with lemon, orange, cucumber, or strawberries.

4. Eat the colors of the rainbow

The most amazing thing you can do to honor your body is to nourish it with vibrant foods from the earth. Eating lots of bright fruits and vegetables will provide you with all the minerals and nutrients you need for glowing skin, great sleep, tons of energy, and a strong immune system.

5. Live every moment with gratitude and love in your heart

Don’t hold grudges. Recognize your blessings. Release relationships that don’t serve your higher purpose. Our lives are the blink of an eye, work towards making your life an expression of love and you’ll align with your personal joy and true nature.

Photo By SCHICKA


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Eat Your Way to a Glowing Complexion

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Your skin is a reflection of your inner health. Creams, serums, and lotions work to a certain degree, but creating beautiful skin from the inside out is a sure fire way to a glowing complexion. By incorporating foods with the right nutrients into your diet, your skin will be clear and bright, and wrinkles and signs of aging will diminish. Look for foods with the following nutrients and your skin will transform beautifully.

1. Beta-Carotene

Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that gives the yellow-orange pigment to certain foods making them so rich in color. The human body converts it into Vitamin A, or retinol, crucial for skin health. Beta-carotene helps stimulate cell regeneration, which reduces wrinkles and improves skin color and texture. It also minimizes the effects of environmental damage from the sun and external pollution.

Sources in nature:

Carrots

Sweet potatoes

Persimmons

Squash

Kale

Spinach

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omegas are extremely important in hydrating your skin and regulating oil production. If you’re feeling dry and flaky (especially in winter months), incorporating quality sources of omega-3s into your diet can really help. Omega-3s are extremely anti-inflammatory and can soothe skin conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema. They can prevent the destruction of collagen and increase resilience to internal and external threats.

Sources in nature:

Coconut Oil

Avocados

Olive Oil

Hemp seeds

Flax seeds

Fish oil

Walnuts

Leafy greens

3. Vitamins C and E

These vitamins are imperative for a bright and glowing complexion. They increase collagen growth which gives skin its elasticity and protects against wrinkles. They can actually prevent your skin from harmful effects of the sun, and potentially reverse sun damage including age spots. Incorporating them into your diet will help you restore and maintain youthful skin.

Sources in nature:

Lemons

Grapefruits

Strawberries

Almonds

Spinach

Asparagus

Photo by Steven Spassov

 


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Snack Happy

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Nutrition is such an exciting field because of the immense healing power of food and its ability to help our bodies overcome illness, function at optimal levels, and to calm our minds. I make it a point to eat the highest quality ingredients in every meal of the day. That’s why, when I discovered the raw vegan company Hail Merry, I was over the moon.

Flavorful treats with perfect texture and consistency, Hail Merry products are made with nature’s powerhouses and are packed with nutrient dense ingredients including maca, coconut oil, and cacao. They’re absolutely delicious to boot. And, as fate would have it, I was fortunate enough to meet the owner of the company in Santa Monica last week.

Jovial, glowing, and most certainly a badass, this woman knows her stuff. I met her and her husband as they were celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary, and couldn’t help but notice their Hail Merry gear. Turned out, it was my lucky day, as this swooning couple happened to be the owner of my favorite raw vegan sweet company. I told them what a huge fan I was, and they immediately offered to send me a t-shirt and some samples of their new products.

Needless to say, the snacks and gear did not disappoint.

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The macaroons are heaven. The lemon flavor is zesty and you can taste a little crunch from the coconut pieces. The chocolate chip cookie dough tastes better than any non-vegan options I’ve ever had, and is moist and perfect.

For someone that likes to eat well, nuts can get pretty boring. However, Hail Merry puts a spin on theirs that totally sparks your taste buds. For the vanilla maple almonds, they use organic maple sugar, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, and sea salt, and let me tell you, they are absolutely divine. The sweet and salty combo is subtle yet flavorful, and go perfectly chopped up in oatmeal with some sliced banana and cinnamon.

The ‘Royal Blend’ is equally as tasty and the flavor combo takes your palate for quite the ride. A mix of almonds, cashews and pecans, this pack is seasoned with organic palm sugar (from sustainable farms), Hatch Chimayo chile pepper, Celtic sea salt, and cracked black pepper.

Hail Merry doesn’t roast or bake their nuts, but instead season and then dehydrate at a very low temperature. This ensures the integrity of the ingredients and protects the healthy oils found in nuts. The oils that they use are rich in omega-3s which are great for metabolism, skin, and brain health meaning that these snacks will leave you energized and guilt-free.

Already a proud supporter of Hail Merry, knowing the mission and the people behind the scenes makes it even better for me. Looking forward to trying the rest of the line, and sporting my tats all summer long.

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5 Super Skinny Habits

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Diets are dumb. The only way to get healthy and lean is to develop sustainable habits that support your goals, and keep your system free of toxins so that it can function at its most efficient capacity. Here are some habits that will certainly lend to that.

1. Switch your milk

Cow’s milk is intended to grow a sixty-pound calf into a thousand-pound cow. It is incredibly fattening. Additionally, because of its acidic nature it interferes with your body’s natural ability to eliminate toxins and keep your system clean and lean. There are so many amazing options out there to enjoy instead of cows milk including almond, hemp, coconut, flax and rice milk. Try them out and see what you enjoy.

2. Eat fiber rich foods

Fiber binds to toxins that cause us to gain and store weight and escorts them out of our systems. It also keeps our bowel movements regular, which is one of our most vital bodily functions. Fiber rich foods include apples, kale, pears, almonds, quinoa and beans. Ground flax seeds are an excellent source of fiber and you can purchase them to sprinkle on to salads, soups, and stir fries for an added dose of the nutrient.

3. Reduce sugar

Sugar is your body’s worst enemy. It has been shown to be more addictive than cocaine and is a massive contributor to our country’s obesity epidemic. Even better news is that it’s in everything. Read your labels and actively reduce and eliminate unexpected sources of sugar.

4. Cleanse until lunch time

When we wake up in the morning we’ve been fasting for the last five to eight hours. This is an incredible opportunity to support the body in cleansing and recharging itself by eating as little as possible while providing it with nutrients. So, start by drinking hot water with lemon. Then have an organic green tea. Then drink a juice. Slowly eat some fruit. This gives you similar benefits to doing a juice cleanse without having to commit several days to it, and keeps your caloric intake low while enabling your body to do important maintenance and repair on itself.

5. Drink water

I know this sounds super basic but water is one of the best ways of staying skinny. Dehydration is too often misinterpreted as hunger, which causes us to eat when we’re not hungry and doesn’t remedy what our body is actually trying to tell us. It’s also extremely important for keeping our brains hydrated so that we can be focused and alert, which is critical in making wise food choices. Additionally, water helps flush detrimental toxins and helps maintain a glowing complexion, so drink up now.

Photo: Dominik Martin