The Soy-Craze & It’s Unknown Adverse Health Effects – Please Read!!!

If you don’t know, now you know….this is for all those who drink soy milk, eat tofu, or consume any products that use soy and claim it is a ‘healthy’ option…POP! I am now going to burst your bubble…
I’m not a doctor, biologist, certified nutritionist (although in process of getting that!) BUT this is information gathered that is relevant and true to the best of my (and other certified doctors, nutritionists, etc.) knowledge. Take this information and use it to change or not change your diet, it is up to you (and you may also want to speak with your primary care physician before changing your diet). BUT I care about me, my family, my friends, my readers, and anyone who breathes and I want to spread the warning about soy!

It is unfortunate but true, here in the U.S. and all over the world, there are so many food and beverage options available to us in this modern technologically advanced world which are harmful to our well-being. A LOT of companies and products claim to be ‘health products’. BUT do your homework first before taking their word over what un-biased research tells us.

I used to eat tofu, tempeh, soy milk. I was so happy that I found soy and soy found me…low fat, you can make tofu taste like anything and it isn’t animal protein, soy milk replaced my dairy (after I found out that dairy was not meant for humans and has adverse health effects)…and then one sunny day, my world fell apart…Okay, my world didn’t fall apart BUT I found out that soy is secretly NOT that great for my body! Damnit!!!!!!!!!!!!

Like many others, I wanted to get to and maintain a healthy weight/physique. I wanted my body to operate at optimal well being and capacity. I wanted energy, strength, a long life, yada, yada, yada. No, really, health is SO important to me and should be to you, it affects everything you do and how much you can enjoy your life. Everything you consume should be taken into consideration as to how it will positively or negatively affect your well-being.

Soy…the unfortunate truth. No matter if your soy is organic or GMO, it contains ‘anti-nutrients’, toxins and plant hormones.

  • Protease inhibitors that interfere with protein digestion
  • Phytates which block mineral absorption (zinc, calcium and iron deficiencies)
  • Lectins & Saponins that lead to gastrointestinal and immune disorders
  • Oxalates which can promote kidney stones
  • Oligosaccharides (cause gas)
  • Phytoestrogens or Plant Estrogens – “strong enough in numbers to cause significant endocrine disruption, leading most often to hypothyroidism with its symptoms of weight gain, fatigue, brain fog and depression”. And cause fertility problems!


What the?! POP went my bubble of love for soy. All along I was shopping at the supermarket with a big smile on my face, picking out all these soy products, when little did I know I was harming my body and my ability to achieve my optimal wellness! If you want more in depth information about soy, I have included one of the articles written by a doctor that I read about the adverse affects of soy. SOY IS BAD FOR YOU ARTICLE.

So, if you have been complaining about your inability to lose weight, you think…do I have a thyroid problem?, or are eating soy daily…now you know! Soy is in SO MANY foods on the shelf in your grocery store, so check the ingredient list. Unfortunately, “soy is now an ingredient in more than 60% of the foods sold in supermarkets and natural food stores, with much of it hidden in products where it wouldn’t ordinarily be expected, such as in fast-food burgers, breads and canned tuna” (SOY IS BAD FOR YOUR ARTICLE).

What to eat now? Use whey protein as a protein supplement for shakes and meal replacement. I use unsweetened Almond milk in my coffee and shakes. Whole foods, no more processed crap. Read the ingredient list on everything you eat. And for all of you who are vegetarians…combine nuts, seeds, unprocessed grains, beans to make sure you are getting complete protein.

AND SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY!

Health & Happiness, Nat

Vital Tips & Must-Have’s of Travel for Weight Loss Maintenance!

When I say ‘travel’, I mean anything from being out on the road a majority of the day for work, traveling via train, plane or automobile (I love that movie!), hell…basically anytime you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time. You need to prepare for what you will be feeding your body while out and about, or else….you may end up at some fast-food restaurant toxifying your body and undoing all your hard work!!!
Let’s start with work. Some have a kitchen at work and access to a refrigerator and microwave, which is wonderful. You people have it easy! Bring healthy snacks (nuts/apples) to work and pack a lunch (salad, steamed veggies, cooked chicken) & if you need to warm it up, pop it in the microwave. Prep your meals in tupperware for the week on Sunday or at least the night before. If you’re out on the road a majority of the day, prep meals/cook meals than put it in tupperware and put in a cooler bag if need be. Bring some fruit & nuts for quick snack to keep you fueled and ready to seize the day! And for those that have the ability to stop on home, well…make sure your refrigerator is stocked with all the healthy options so you can pop in for lunch and get back to work!

When we travel, sometimes people trick themselves into thinking… It’s PARTAAAY time! I’m going to eat whatever I want and drink whatever I want. Big mistake!! You can undo all your hard work with exercise and diet in this one trip, all for what? Greasy, high sodium, high sugar, high fat, high calorie, highly processed crap (that will make you feel like crap, physically & mentally)…I’ve got one thing to say, IT’S JUST FOOD PEOPLE!! We eat to live, not live to eat. Ask yourself, why am I traveling to this destination? Usually it’s for work, leisure, adventure, sight-seeing? So keep this in mind when it comes to meal time, feed yourself with healthful options, then get on with your trip & learn to enjoy life for the experiences that it has to offer! Here are my tips for those traveling.

First, prepare for the actual traveling part. Whether you’re hopping on a plane, train, or bus, there will be limited healthful food options unless you bring your own. Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges) & nuts or seeds (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds) are great snacks you can pack that don’t require refrigeration and can hold you over until you arrive at your destination. Or even pack your favorite protein powder drink mix (MY FAVORITE PROTEIN POWDER) and a shaker cup, all you’d have to do is add water to the shaker cup, and voila! And remember if you’re flying out of the country you must eat your fruit before you go through customs at your destination abroad. WATER is a must! Dehydration can make you crave all sorts of silly snacks and staying hydrated can keep you feeling full longer and keep you from getting headaches.

Second, once you arrive at your destination you will need to go into ‘live to eat’ mode. Whether you’re traveling for work or leisure, you will be eating out often. Main entrees and salads will be your go to items on the menus at the restaurants you visit. Pick light salads or steamed veggies and a lean protein. Ask for them to hold off on the butter. Choose light dressings and sauces that aren’t creamy. And always remember to use portion control! Protein should be the size of your palm minus your fingers, veggies should be two cupped handfuls, and ‘starchy carbs’ should be the size of one of your clenched fists.

To sum it up, remember all the hard work you put into exercise & diet and bring that mentality with you on your trip! Remember why you’re traveling, it’s not for the food, it’s to experience what the destination has to offer! Stay active and do some hiking, volleyball, run on the beach, use your hotel gym! I know you can do it, you will feel much better (mentally & physically) when you return if you stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan while traveling!!

Health & Happiness, Nat

Small Plates! And I’m NOT Talking About Tapas – Key to Weight Loss & Proper Diet

Hey there RawFitnesser’s!!
Let’s talk nutrition! Oh, if I had a dollar for everytime I was asked how much protein, carbohydrates, veggies, fats should I be eating with each meal…well, I wouldn’t have many dollars! Why? People don’t ask because they think that just because they’re eating healthy foods for each of their meals, their daily consumption is right on track for the goals they want to achieve…for the most part, this can result in frustration because these people aren’t seeing the results they thought they’d see.

Don’t go out and buy some scale to weigh your food, this will likely drive you crazy…and who has time for that!!! It’s all about the macronutrient ratios in each of your meals. Macronutrient ratio? The ratio of protein to carbohydrate to fat in each meal. And I break carbohydrate into ‘starchy carb’ (whole food, unprocessed, ex. oatmeal, sweet potato) & ‘veggie carb’ (greens, salad, broccoli). Fats should be ‘healthy’, unsaturated, no trans fat, think omega-3’s!

First, start journaling everything you eat and drink throughout the day. Use an online food journal like www.fitday.com to help calculate your daily totals of calories, protein, carbs & fats. I’d love for you to journal for the rest of your life because it really helps people stay consistent with their diet, but I know this may be unreasonable to ask. So, commit to journaling for 3-4 weeks. By the end of 3-4 weeks, it will come natural. You will know how much & what to eat daily for your meals to stay within your daily caloric goals and macronutrient ratios of protein (35%-40% total daily cals.), carbs (30%-45%), and healthy fats (20%-25%). Down the road, if you feel like you’re ‘relapsing’ and getting off track with diet, start journaling again to get your butt back on track!

Second, use smaller plates!! Here in the U.S. our ‘average’ plate sizes just keep getting larger and larger, and we keep filling them up with more and more food and our daily caloric intake keeps gettin’ higher as well as those waistbands! Use smaller plates. A general rule, your protein portion should be the size of your palm (minus your fingers!), your ‘veggie carbs’ should be the size of your 2 hands cupped together, and your (un-processed, whole food) ‘starchy carb’ portions should be no more than the size of your ONE clenched fist. Protein sources should be lean & low-fat, make sure that your daily diet includes at least 20% healthy fats.

Third, as I’ve already stated…macronutrient ratio for each meal is important. Start your day off with a healthy breakfast! And yes, it should include each one of the macronutrients (protein/carbs/healthy fats). Good example 1/2 cup oatmeal, 4 egg white w/spinach omelete, fish oil supplement. Try to include your ‘starchy carbs/grains’ (like oatmeal) to your earlier meals. Your body needs the fuel from the starchy carbs to get through the day, and also this way you will burn off those carbs by dinner. Eat for what you will be doing NEXT, this applies to the macronutrients. I eat a hearty breakfast (protein:starchy carbs, ex. oats & protein powder) to fuel my morning workout…and then eat a somewhat lighter lunch (protein:veggie carbs, ex. steamed veg & egg white omelete) because I will be working at a desk for a couple hours and somewhat sedentary…my dinner is light as well (protein:veggie carbs), because…guess what? I’ll be going to sleep soon after and don’t need as much ‘fuel’. Depending upon your workout program, daily activity level and goals, your macronutrient ratio will differ from the next person. But as a general rule, heavy weight lifting programs & goals to gain lots of lean muscle? You’ll NEED protein to recover those muscles & carbs to refuel the glucogen stores you lost during your workout so you can have the stamina for the next days workout, so don’t starve yourself of these macronutrients. Trying to shed the fat & slim down? You’ll still need to lift weights because you need that lean muscle to keep your metabolism up and burn fat, but you may be doing a less intense weight lifting program & more cardio, so your need for protein and starchy carbs will be a little lower & your diet should consist of lots of ‘veggie carbs’, moderate amounts of lean proteins, and low-to-moderate healthy fats. Keep fats lower but not below 20% & make sure they’re healthy fats!

I know this is a lot of information, and you may be like…what the hell are you talking about?!?!?!? To simplify, some general rules on portions for different types of food are below. Also, contact me at nmeconi@customizedpt.com if you’d like an individualized nutritional plan & exercise plan for your specific needs & goals. For those that have that drive and motivation to stick to a plan but just need a little ‘jump start’ because they aren’t sure what their diet & exercise should be, my ‘Jump Start’ program I offer is a perfect fit for you. Inquire at nmeconi@customizedpt.com for information regarding my ‘Jump Start’ program or other personal fitness training services offered by Raw Fitness!

General Rule for a Single Portion (taken from my fav site, bodybuilding.com)

  • Cereal (1 c.) = a baseball
  • Salad Dressing (2 Tbsp.) = a shot glass
  • Nuts (1 oz.) = a cupped palm
  • Cheese (1 oz.) = a ping-pong ball
  • Lean Sirloin Hamburger (3 oz.) = a mayo jar lid
  • Peanut Butter (1 tsp.) = one die
  • Beef (3 oz.) = a bar of soap
  • Rice (1/2 c.) = an ice cream scoop
  • Potato/Sweet Potato = a computer mouse
  • Butter (1 tsp.) = a Scrabble tile
  • Fruit (1 c.) = a tennis ball
  • Cooked Pasta (1/2 c.) = a golf ball
  • Fish (3 oz.) = a checkbook
  • Chicken (3 oz.) = a deck of playing cards

As always, good luck on your endeavors! – Nat –

H-2-the-O: Improve your ability to lose weight faster & feel better while doing it!

Improve your ability to metabolize your fat stores, recover from exercise quickly, increase energy, experience clear-mindedness, avoid constipation, improve your ability to absorb nutrients from food sources!

We all know we can die from dehydration…and the fact of the matter is that a majority of people drink just enough water daily to keep us going, but are far from being sufficiently hydrated. We drink soda, coffee, tea, juice, and other sugary drinks or artificially sweetened drinks throughout the day instead of water…this is NOT a good source for hydration people. First of all, these options are either high in sugar or calories or artificial crap that the body can’t process OR they are diuretics (coffee & tea). When there are additional ingredients in our drinks, our bodies have to process that first, and then the body can use whatever amount of water is left. Look, you just need to drink plain water…no if’s, and’s or but’s!

 

Want to improve your body’s capability to burn up those stubborn fat stores?

Without sufficient hydration, your body stops working properly. Your body NEEDS water to perform all of its very important daily tasks. For example, if you’re not drinking enough water, your body’s organs can’t function to capacity, your Kidneys stop working at capacity and the Liver takes over for some of the Kidneys duties…well guess what, your Liver isn’t able to do some of its important tasks…and you know what the Liver does, one of its primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into energy….

So, without sufficient hydration, your liver doesn’t metabolize fat for energy as it should.

Constipated? Fatigued? Want to improve your immune system?

Water helps rid the body of waste. Your blood, muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water. Your blood helps deliver nutrients to the systems throughout your body, your muscles need water to recover, and water helps your complexion and is important for avoiding those wrinkles ladies…and men! Do you suffer from constipation? Think that taking laxatives will cure your constipation? No, in fact, your bowel function may become dependent upon laxatives, and you can’t take laxatives for the rest of your life…all you have to do is stay hydrated! Hydration is key in proper digestion and bowel function, without water you will be constipated. Fully hydrated = blood efficiently delivering nutrients throughout your body, efficient waste/toxin removal, regulation of body temp., properly functioning digestive system and bowel function = Happier, healthier, much better feeling you! Not to mention, aids in weight loss and weight management!

So now that I’ve lectured you on the importance of H-2-the-O…How much water should you drink????

Every person’s water requirement for proper hydration will be different. A general rule states that you should drink half your body weight in water…so if you weight 150 lbs…you should drink 75 ounces of water/day. BUT, there are several factors that can affect your daily requirement for H2O. You must take into consideration the following. Your metabolism, health conditions (liver disease, sick?), activity levels (daily exercise?), climates (hot/dry/humid/cold), altitude (high altitude?), weight (overweight?)…below is a link to a decent tool to calculate how much water you should drink daily. Figure out what you need to drink/day and then read my tips to saying hydrated below.

Daily Water Requirement Calculator

http://nutrition.about.com/library/blwatercalculator.htm

Tips to Remembering to Drink that Water Every Day:

It’s not easy to stick to your new goal of drinking ‘X’ ounces of water per day. So here are a few methods I show my clients to help them stay hydrated!

1. “Rubberband Man”: If you must drink 8 bottles of water/day. Put 8 rubberbands on your wrist, and take one off each time you drink a bottle of water.

2. Buy a good BPA free water bottle. Calculate how many times you need to fill this water bottle up to meet your daily requirement. Bring this water bottle with you EVERYWHERE. Drink a few chugs per hour. If you need to drink 4 water bottles/day. Try to drink 2 water bottles before noon, and two after 12PM before 7PM.

3. Buy a few cases of water. Every morning, pull out the number of water bottles you need to drink for the day. Take with you to work. You should just about finish up drinking all of the water bottles by the time you get home if you work a 9a-5p job.

4. Replace your soda drinking/sport drink/other soft-drink or flavored drink with water! No more soda or flavored drinks people!

I know you can do it. And if you are trying to lose weight, or are affected by any of the above health issues, than that’s a motivation in and of itself to jump on the ‘hydration train’!…or else….say hello to my lil’ friend!!! lol…

 JUST KIDDING!!! —-> Health & Happiness, Nat

Strength & Tone, Cardio All-in-One! Time Challenge – “The 10’s”

Okay I did this workout in exactly 40 minutes. I pushed really hard and gave each and every exercise movement my best, that’s all that counts! I call it “The 10’s” because every exercise you aim to do 10 reps. It is a circuit type workout routine. Good luck!!

Part 1: Upper Body

Do 10 sets of: 10 Mountain Climber Hops + 10 Push ups…(so, you do 10R these 2 exercises 10 times)
(Each time I changed up the type of push ups, I did standard, wide fly and military push ups. Do push ups on your knees if necessary.)

Part 2: Core

Set 1- 10R Russian Twist (I did with feet elevated and with a 20 LB. KB, 1 twist each way = 1 rep) + 10R Lying Leg Raises
Set 2- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Lying Straight-leg Circles in each direction
Set 3- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Side Crunch/Side
Set 4- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Side-Side Pike Jumps (Start in downward dog position, hop both feet side-side as if you were jumping from one side of yoga mat to other (yoga mat width, not length)
Set 5- 10R Russian Twist + 10R V-Up Toes + Knees (Lying down w/hands overhead, take big breath in and bring hands overhead as you raise your upper body up and legs up straight at same time, reach to toes, than lower down a bit, than reach back up to knees, than lower all the way down to starting position)
Set 6- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Leg Raises
Set 7- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Bicycle Pedal Fwd/10R Bicycle Pedal Bkwd (1 pedal w/each leg = 1 Rep)
Set 8- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Lying Straight Leg Circles/direction
Set 9- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Side Crunch/Side
Set 10- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Side-Side Pike Jumps

Part 3: Lower Body

Do 10 Jump Squats before doing each exercise below.
Set 1: 10 Jump Squats + 10 Squat Thrusts (Get into plank position, jump both feet toward hands as you tuck knees to chest, jump feet back out to plank position = 1 rep)
Set 2: 10 Jump Squats + 10 ‘Skaters’/leg (Balance on 1 leg, as you reach forward with hand, squat down on leg you are balancing on and extend other leg backward, I call it doin’ the Apollo Ohno)
Set 3: 10 Jump Squats + 10R Side Lunge Jumps (Squat down on right leg and reach hands to right foot, extend left leg out to left until it is straight. Power up on right leg and hop right leg out to right as you squat down on left leg. One hop on each leg = 1 rep.)
Set 4: 10 Jump Squats + 10R Jump Kicks/leg (‘Karate kid style’ kicks, start by raising left knee hip level as you balance on right leg, jump off right foot as you kick up right leg and land on left foot. Do this 10 times with right leg kick, then 10 with left leg kick.)
Set 5: 10 Jump Squats + 10 (1-Leg) Squat Jumps/leg (Squat down on 1-leg, tap your knee or shin, then power up and hop up.)
Set 6: 10 Jump Squats + 10 Step Ups/leg (Kneel down on right knee on mat, press left heel into floor to raise up to standing, return to kneeling on right knee, do 10 times kneeling on right knee, then 10 times with left.)
Set 7: 10 Jump Squats + 10R Side Chair Step Ups/leg (Place foot on sturdy seat of a chair standing off to side of chair and facing back of chair, press heel into chair to come all the way up to standing on top of chair, return to start, do 10R/leg.)
Set 8: 10 Jump Squats + 10R 1-Leg Hip Lifts (I did these w/my heel on chair, lie on back place right heel on edge of seat of chair, raise left leg straight up toes pointing to ceiling, raise hips up as high as possible reaching left toes to ceiling, do 10 reps/leg.)
Set 9: 10 Jump Squats + 10 1-Leg Squat – Deadlift w/Shin tap/leg (Balance on right leg, extend left leg straight out in front of you, squat down on right leg and reach to left shin, straighten out right leg to standing, then squat on right leg again with left leg bent and tap right knee, return to standing. This = 1 rep. Do 10 reps total per each leg.)
Set 10: 10 Jump Squats + 10 Donkey Kicks w/Lateral Leg Raise/Leg (On all fours on floor, kick right heel back and up until leg fully extended, then keep leg straight as you bring it around to be in line with your hip, than reverse entire movement, this = 1 rep, do 10 reps per leg.

DONE! You made it. Time yourself and challenge yourself to first of all finish the workout, but then time-after-time, finish the workout faster and with the best form possible! Good Work!!

Best, Nat:)

3 Key Tips to Shed the LBS

Hi All!
Watch the video to find out 3 great tips to help you customize your exercise and diet plan to help you lose the weight and keep it off!

#1: CARDIO! Do cardio on non-weight training days (30-45 minutes) and weight training days (20-30 minutes).

#2: DO CARDIO AFTER WEIGHT TRAINING. Do 20-30 minutes cardio (intervals) after weight training.

#3: WATCH WHAT & HOW MUCH YOU EAT. 3 meals/day with 2 snacks if needed. At least 60-70 ounces water/day. No processed food. 1 Meal replacement protein/health shake every day.

Incorporate these 3 rules into your lifestyle and you’ll be sure to see improvements in your energy levels, body fat%, lean muscle mass, and advancement toward your fitness goals!

Health & Happiness,

Nat:)

Kettlebell Meltdown, Burn the LBS and Lose the Weight!

So every couple months I take a ‘rest’ week to rejuvenate my body, and everyone should. Your body needs a week to recuperate and recover from the stress and work you put it through week in and week out. When I say ‘rest’ week, this does not mean that I don’t workout. I do less intense workouts and take fun fitness classes like hot yoga, spinning, or zumba of course!! This way I give myself a ‘revival’ period, mentally and physically.
So today’s workout, I must admit…was not quite a ‘rest’ routine. But, I was giving myself a break from my usual 6 mile interval sprint training run which is quite brutal, so in my book this was a ‘rest’ workout from what I would have done today, lol….enjoy!

Check out my previous exercise video posts or YouTube for demonstration on how to perform these exercises.

Complete 4 Rounds of the exercises below as a circuit:
1. Kettlebell Step-Ups (10R/Leg)
2. Kettlebell Clean & Press (10R/Arm)
3. Double Kettlebell Swing (20R)
4. Kettlebell Single Leg Squat (10R/Leg)
5. Jump Rope/Scissor Shuffle/Jumping Jacks/Jump Squats (1 min; last round do 2-3 minutes)

Notes:
*Complete # of reps for each exercise, than move right onto next until you finish all exercises/reps which is one circuit. Take a short 30 seconds break and continue until you complete 4 circuits/rounds.
*Choose a weight heavy enough in which you max out at 10 reps for each exercise.
*Kettlebell Step-Ups- I held a Kettlebell in ‘racked’ position at my shoulder (same leg stepping up) and did step-ups on a chair.
*For #5- I did this workout to some dance music. So for #5 I would do Double Skip Jump Rope until the verse changed, go right into Scissor shuffle until music changed up, and so on. I usually did 10-20 jump squats per round.
*Scissor shuffle – Similar to what you do on a cross country skier machine but you are jumping as you scissor legs.

I was literally dripping sweat at the end of this workout but I really enjoyed it. The Jump Rope/#5 part was fun to do to music and I must admit it was quite a little dance party in my house! Try it out and challenge yourself to do all 4 rounds to burn off those pounds!!


Keep those fitness goals in mind, remember what you’re working out for!!! 🙂

Who Needs Rest Anyway?!

Who Needs Rest Anyway?!Perform 2-3 rounds of the following exercises.
Do each move for 40 seconds of ‘all out’ effort, move to next exercise with no rest in between. Take a quick 5-10 sec break between rounds.
1. High KB Swing/Double KB Swing
2. 1-Arm KB Swing
3. 1-Arm KB Swing
4. KB Figure 8’s
5. KB Squat-Tri.Ext.
6. KB Side-Side-Overhead Press
7. KB Suitcase DL’s
8. DBL KB Burpee, SGL KB Diag Press
9. KB Wide Halos
10. KB Wide Halos
11. KB Upright Rows
12. KB Knee Repeater
13. KB Knee Repeater
14. KB Thrusters
15. Push Ups
16. KB Russian Twist
17. KB Hip Raise + Press
18. KB Side Bridge Raise
19. KB Side Bridge Raise
20. KB Leg Raises


Keep up the GOOD WORK:) – NAT –

Fears – Roadblocks to Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals

Read this if you…overeat, binge eat, for anorexia, hate exercise, can’t keep from eating sweets or salty snacks/treats, ‘live to eat vs. eat to live’…..
Fear’s, we all have them. Some people are afraid of spiders, some of public speaking, and some…of the dark! I’m not here to talk about arachnophobia today though. I’m here to talk about “limiting beliefs” that lead to “limiting behaviors”.

Fear’s and limiting beliefs are similar in that they’re created by imagining some negative outcome in the future. You may be afraid of public speaking because you imagine that you will forget your lines, sound/look silly or uneducated, or be laughed at. Well it’s time to face these fears, feel the fear and do it! Don’t let these limiting beliefs and fears stop you from taking the necessary steps to achieve your dreams.

Usually, when trying to overcome a fear, you will have to TAKE THE RISK OF THE UNCOMFORTABLE…remember, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’.

All decisions we make are based on our associations to what actions will produce, PAIN or PLEASURE.
PAIN – linked to a negative outcome, situation, fear, or negative loss.
PLEASURE – linked to a positive outcome, experience, or positive gain.
We link some ideas, images, sounds, and situations to ‘PAIN’ and some to ‘PLEASURE’.
People have differences and similiarities in their linkages to PAIN and PLEASURE.
The MAIN POINT here is this. The FEAR of PAIN and OUR BELIEFS that an action will LEAD TO PLEASURE are driven by our PERCEPTIONS OF REALITY, NOT REALITY!

These ‘Perceptions of Reality’ are created based on past experiences/life events. Over time you’ve developed associations and beliefs based on past experiences. The problem here?…some of these past experiences created ‘limiting beliefs’ within you that now affect your behavior to future situations you deem are similar to this past experience and in turn, this leads to limiting behaviors.

Limiting Behaviors
are those that are holding you back or are ‘disempowering’ you.
Example: An association to public speaking – ‘you will fail, people will laugh’ – leads to limiting behavior…you don’t share your opinion/voice, don’t excel at job or don’t get promoted as a result.
Example: An association to eating sweets – developed as a child, ‘you feel satisfied/happy when indulging in sweets’ – leads to limiting behavior…now when you’re unhappy/stressed, you eat sweets to feel happy, but it keeps you from losing weight and achieving your fitness goals!

So What Do I Do????
1. FACE YOUR FEARS AND QUESTION THEM! Write down a list of all of your fears, disempowering beliefs, and things you associate with pain. Questions their validity. How rediculous is this belief?
2. ASSOCIATE EACH DISEMPOWERING BELIEF TO PAIN. For each disempowering belief say, ‘If I allow this belief to negatively impact me it will cost me or keep me from __________.’
3. For each disempowering belief write down, ‘I want to _______, but I scare myself by imagining ______.’
4. REPLACE THIS ‘IMAGINATION’ or ‘FEARFUL FEELING’ with feelings you associate with positive outcomes.

Example: Indulging in sweets or Overeating – ‘Living to Eat instead of Eating to Live’
=> You Say: “If I don’t eat/snack on this donut, I’ll miss out on the feeling of satisfaction/fullness.'(False!)
=> Rather Realize: “If I keep believing this and eating sweets too much, eating when unnecessary, and ‘living to eat’; I will gain weight, suffer from health problems, and undo all my hard work at the gym!
=> State the Truth: “I want to eat healthy/avoid sweets, BUT I scare myself by imagining that I’ll be missing out on something good, the feeling of satisfaction, and filling of some void.”
=> The Reality & New Associations: “If I stick to a healthy diet, avoid unnecessary sweets and unhealthy foods, and learn to ONLY ‘Eat to Live’; I WILL lose weight, improve my health, feel proud and confident, and see the results materialize from my workouts.”

YOU CAN overcome the roadblocks, YOU CAN face your fears, it may be uncomfortable and challenging, you may experience setbacks, but be determined to achieve your goals and push through day-by-day! You can apply these methods in all aspects of your life. Get out there, achieve the unexpected, be strong, and FACE YOUR FEARS!!

Too Much Tuna – Avoid Mercury Poisoning and the Dangerous Side Effects!

This is so important, please read this and pass this on to ALL of your friends and family, co-workers, everyone you know! You may already know about the link between Tuna and Mercury and you may not, no matter what, it’s important you get your facts straight so that you and everyone you know can avoid the dangerous side effects of high levels of mercury in your body.

PLEASE read these links below.

You may be trying to eat as healthy as possible and say, “oh we can’t do everything right Natalie”….well, THIS IS THE ONE THING YOU SHOULD BE DOING RIGHT! Get canned chicken instead of tuna! Eating tuna more than once every 7-10 days can lead to high levels of mercury in your body, No if’s and’s or but’s. It’s a fact. So….why should you care if you have high levels of mercury???

Well, it can affect fertility, blood pressure regulation, causes memory loss, skin rashes, mood swings, tremors, vision loss and numbness of the fingers and toes, and can lead to heart disease. Once mercury is in the human body, it acts as a neurotoxin, interfering with the brain and nervous system. This link is an article about effects – http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/effects.asp.

Also, high levels of mercury can cause our bodies to become ‘toxic’. When you are in a ‘toxic state’ you are prone to infection, immunity is lowered, prone to cancers, etc. People with immune disorders should especially be aware and avoid eating too much tuna. Also, women who are pregnant or expecting to get pregnant should avoid tuna because mercury greatly and negatively affects the development of fetus, also children should avoid tuna as well because their brains are still developing and mercury can cause serious problems.

According to EPA and FDA, fish that are high in mercury are tuna, shark, swordfish, mackerel, tilefish. Shrimp, salmon, catfish and Pollock are low in mercury. Canned ‘light’ tuna is lower in mercury than albacore ‘white’ tuna, so opt for canned ‘light’ tuna no more than once every 7-10 days. Ahi Tuna or Tuna Steaks are high in mercury as well and should not be eaten more than once every 7-10 days.

Another article – http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/Top-10-Reasons-Not-to-Eat-Tuna.aspx

*THIS LINK IS A MUST READ FROM LIVESTRONG.COM, CALLED ‘NEUROLOGICAL ILLNESSES’: http://www.livestrong.com/article/156914-mercury-in-tuna-side-effects/

One more link – http://heartspring.net/mercury_poison_symptoms.html

So please stop eating so much tuna! There is no reason when you have other options! I’d literally recommend eating fast food over tuna because of the horrible side effects of tuna, but I KNOW you can find better options than fast food or tuna. I mean, who in the world would continue to eat something that causes memory loss which could lead to dementia/alz heimers, cancers, tremors, vision loss, heart disease, neurological illnesses, mood swings, skin rashes and makes your body ‘toxic’? Not me, that’s for sure! And I hope you now have the information to make a better choice next time you reach for that canned tuna, get canned chicken or there is even a vegetarian ‘tuna’ option out there that tastes like tuna and has lots of protein and no mercury.

PLEASE pass this on, it’s so important that everyone is aware of this topic!