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3 Words to Success…

A valuable lesson today from one of MY coaches. My strength and conditioning coach to be exact.

As an aside, if your ready to step up your fitness with a safe, effective, guaranteed workout plan, you can look up ‘Coach Joe’ at www.WorkoutEngineAllentown.com

On to today’s message…

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The key to success in your personal health (athletic body fat, optimal strength, managing stress, etc.)… or in most things for that matter is this:

Win the Day.

It’s something I learned a long time ago as a strength and conditioning coach hanging around professional athletes.

Win every meal. Win every day in the weight room. Win with a good night’s sleep.

The results will reflect back when you look in the mirror.

Others will notice your success.

Win the Day.

So what does that actually mean to you?

Winning today means making progress.

Do everything you can to avoid missing workouts or skipping meal preparation.

Stick to the promises you make to yourself so you can transform… and wow the naysayers in your life that secretly think you’re lazy and sloppy.

Shush the negative folks that quietly cheer when you miss a deadline.

In fact, here’s a straightforward strategy to DEMONSTRATE that you are a person who has integrity and keeps promises…

Improve a little bit every 24 hours.

Re-imagine each day as a chance to win or lose… and commit to nothing less than victory.

Win the Day.

There are about 90 days left in 2017.

Now you’re probably not going to have 90 wins in 90 days…but that’s the magic with this mentality.

Your job isn’t to win the next 90…no, it’s to win 1.

Today.

And if you focus on just winning today…then you’ll likely succeed.

That will yield momentum for tomorrow… setting you up for another likely victory.

And the streak has started.

Yes, you’re going to have days where it’s all you can do to keep your head above water… days where you procrastinate, lose focus or things don’t go your way.

That’s okay.

Move on to the next one and WIN.

My guess is that if you win even 50 of the 90 or so days left this year you’ll do more in about 30% of the year then most do with all of it.

And if you win more…well, the sky is the limit.

But the key is simply Winning the Day.

Don’t worry if you feel behind… if you struggle for a day or two.

It only takes one WIN to get you back on track.

So as you begin each morning… remind yourself of this one job:

Win the Day.

What Do You See?

This is a famous optical illusion. Before we go any further, what do you see?

duck-rabbit

You might see a duck. You might see a rabbit. (If you only saw one, look for the other.)

Your brain decides what to see, and then once it fixes on it, you have to work to dislodge that image and consider the other one.

Most of our perceptions about anything—people, situations, problems, anxieties—OUR HEALTH are like this.

You can see a problem; or you can see an opportunity.

You can see a crippling defeat, or you can see a fresh start.

You can see the end, or you can see the beginning.

All of these, just like the illusion, are subject to our assessment.

That doesn’t mean we’re powerless—in fact, it’s the opposite.

We’re able to choose how things from the outside affect our perceptions, and then we just change how we think about them.

“External things are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now,” said Marcus Aurelius.

Take any problem you’re up against right now, and for just a moment, think about it as an opportunity.

What doors open because of it?

What is something you gain from facing this challenge?

Dislodge the image in your head. Think about it differently.

Low Fat Diets INCREASE Risk of Death…

As you probably know, I’m a huge proponent of having plenty of healthy fats in your diet. People have been incorrectly cutting fat to dangerously low levels for far too long.

This old school and outdated advice came about because it was far too easy for us to believe this simple and misleading equation: fat intake = fat on the body.

But we now know this fat fable isn’t true.

Our bodies are much more complex than this. We need fat to create hormones, maintain healthy cell membranes, and have excellent neurological function.

Notice I didn’t say decent or good neurological function, and that’s because fat has been shown to crush neurological disorders.

I want to shout it from the roof tops: FAT IS GOOD!

A study which was released August 29, 2017 examined the dietary habits of 135,000 people and came to the resounding conclusion that… drum roll please…

“High fat intake – including saturated fat – was associated with a reduced risk of mortality.”

Furthermore, this study found that a high carbohydrate diet increased the risk of mortality. Though it did not distinguish between the processed and unprocessed carbohydrates.

This is great news because it backs a pivotal recommendation my colleagues and I are impressing upon the mainstream.

It essential for the health of our society to destroy the belief that fat is resoundingly bad.

Remember the backlash the recent American Heart Association report received when it recommended against fat and coconut oil? This new study directly contradicts the major points of that report and supports concepts most functional medicine doctors know to be true.

This study is HUGE news!

So, without further ado, let’s dig a little deeper and discover what this study means for you and your health.

What The PURE Study Means for You…

3 Fast Facts

One of the most powerful aspects of the PURE study is its sheer magnitude. The PURE study followed 135,000 people from 18 countries over 7 years.

And throughout that time, as we just learned, overall findings pointed to an increased mortality for those with high carb diets and a decreased risk of mortality for those with high fat diets.

What’s more, this study found “saturated fat in moderation actually appears good for you.”

This study does not distinguish between the causes of death and points out, saturated fat findings “had no effect on cardiovascular disease in the model.” This adds to the mounting evidence that saturated fat does not cause cardiovascular disease.

Saturated fat has been the unjustified villain of cardiovascular health for the past 60 plus years. We know cardiovascular disease is caused by inflammation, not fat buildup in the arteries, and yet many remain mislead.

Beyond the benefits of a high fat, low carb diet, here are three other important findings from this study:

Three or four daily portions of fruit and vegetables appear to have similar benefits as the current recommendation of five. Meaning, it’s unnecessary to over-stress about getting exactly five servings of fruits and veggies each day. In this study three to four servings worked out to be 375-500 grams. Just for reference, 100 grams of fruits and veggies is about the equivalent of two cupped hands of raw, diced fruit or veggies. This means you should try and get at least 8 cupped handfuls of fruits and vegetables per day.

The benefits of the fruits, vegetables, and legumes is greater if they are consumed raw. The science behind the idea that raw is better is fairly complicated. But what’s most important is that you’re eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, so if cooking them means you’ll eat more, then by all means, cook ‘em

Replacing saturated-fatty-acid intake with carbohydrates had an adverse effect on blood lipids. This study examined the impact of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins on total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) and HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and apolipoprotein A1 (apoA1) and B (apoB).

It’s significant this study examined these factors as a “big picture” concept because they interact within the body in balancing relationships – their ratios are indicators of health. And to look at any one factor individually would contribute to the disproportionate and misleading information, which is exactly what the American Heart Association does.

I found it interesting that this study took a direct dig at the recent AHA report. The researchers called out the AHA recommendations and declared their findings to be in “direct contradiction” to their advice.

The PURE Study Directly Contradicts the Recent American Heart Association Report

The participants in the PURE study who had 10-13 percent of their dietary energy intake consist of saturated fat experienced a lower risk of death than those with low levels of saturated fat in their diet. Furthermore, those with very low saturated fat intake experienced harmful consequences.

Currently, the average saturated fat intake of Americans is around 14 percent, but the AHA recommends saturated fat intake should be less than six percent of total energy intake – which is dangerously low. This study found saturated fat levels that low increases the risk of mortality.

The leader of the PURE study, Dr. Salim Yusuf, made the poignant comment, “The AHA guidelines are not based on the best evidence – saturated fat was labeled as a villain years ago, and the traditional church kept on preaching that message. They have been resistant to change.”

What Do Skeptics Have to Say?

As always, it’s best to examine data with a balanced lens. And while I do believe this study is substantial in its support for fat, especially saturated fat, there are a few concerns worth addressing.

Firstly, the AHA directly responded to this study, saying that because it used questionnaires it should be interpreted with caution. But the sheer scope of this study in both the number of participants and duration of time is what allows statistics to do its job. When you have a study with numbers of such abundance, statistically relevant information and outliers can be carved out, leaving us with big picture conclusions.

Secondly, Dr. Laura Mauri asked how this study can be stacked up against randomized trials like the PREDIMED study of the Mediterranean diet. Randomized trials have always been tricky to conduct on a large scale because nutrition is inherently complex. The PURE study is a massive observational study with biomarkers and statistically relevant adjustments, which gives it authority.

Ultimately, this study is an in-depth analysis and challenge of modern nutrition recommendations.

It is my hope we can live better lives, empowered with accurate information about our health. Share this important study with your friends and family so together we can squash the belief that fat is bad!

Reprinted with permission from www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com

The Sleep Solution

If you suffer from insomnia or sleep disorders then you understand the seriousness of simply not getting a good night’s sleep. Your whole world around you appears to crumble when you can’t get a good 6-8 hours of quality deep REM sleep. Your work life, your family life all suffer.

Today’s article will touch on a few “key” things to consider to solve sleep problems.

To begin, remember that the awakening after a few hours of sleep and not being able to get back to sleep is often rebound from what you ate or drank hours before. High sugar, alcohol, highly spiced foods and of course, caffeinated drinks are often the culprits.

If you are unknowingly deficient in chromium, vanadium, manganese and other nutrients or suffer from adrenal dysfunction you can experience hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) rebound in a few hours where you abruptly wake-up and are unable to drift back to sleep.

Let’s now consider something called the “happy hormones” that lead to a restful sleep.

One of these hormones is serotonin, which anti-depressants like Prozac work on.

We make serotonin from the amino acid tryptophan.

Unfortunately as we age or are faced with an overload of stress the level of serotonin suffers.

Dozens of studies show that low tryptophan levels lead to insomnia, awakening feeling unrested, inability to stay asleep after getting there, and just lying there all night watching the clock.

For over a quarter of a century literally dozens of studies have proven this amino produces a great sleep in many, and with no side effects or hangover. In fact, folks have better mental clarity during the day. Furthermore, it improves daytime depression, PMS, fibromyalgia, and anxiety as well as carbohydrate cravings, binge-eating and even alcohol recovery.

Now from a functional medicine position it is important to know that a simple B6 or zinc deficiency can contribute to insomnia. A common vitamin B6 deficiency can keep you awake all night, or low zinc causing impaired conversion of B6, which is needed to make tryptophan work.

If you have an elevated organic acid, kynurenate acid, for example, and a low tryptophan, the correction of B6 may be all you need.

Now don’t forget plasticizers in our bodies lower zinc which is needed in the enzyme to convert B6 to its active form so it can then transform tryptophan to a serotonin.

I am disappointed with the number of people suffering with insomnia who could be helped if only their physician understood the significance of nutritional biochemistry.

It comes down to finding the cause of the problem.

Remember that as important as serotonin is for sleep and moods, most of serotonin is not made in the brain.

Ninety five percent of serotonin is made in the gut.

If the gut isn’t healthy, then you are going nowhere. If you have gas, bloating, alternating diarrhea or constipation or other gut issues than your chances of solving your insomnia problem may be futile until you fix your gut.

The secret is to find a doctor who understands the probable underlying causes of insomnia and knows how to do the proper testing to discover what needs to be fixed.

It really can be as simple as that.

Information reprinted with permission from www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com
References available upon request

The Secret To Achievement

I’ve spent more than my share of time around both people who struggled to achieve much success in life and people who enjoyed one success after another.

You see, I’ve seen over 1,000’s of patients over the last 14 years so I have much experience when it comes to helping folks regain their health from a chronic condition (autoimmune disease, diabetes, obesity, etc).

I’ve worked with many, many different types of people.

Some folks, the unsuccessful ones, give up before the starting line (or during the race).

They are unable to suspend their disbelief that change is, in fact, possible.

Or they start out strong, believing success IS possible, and then they drift back into their familiar bad habits.

Kind of shrugging their shoulders and smiling sadly when they’re confronted, face-to-face, about their relapse.

This negative attitude is a product of being surrounded by naysayers and possibly an unsupportive home environment.

On the other hand, I’ve enjoyed spending time around many top achievers and patients from many walks of life.

These folks are really no different than the folks who fail. It’s just that the successful folks BELIEVE that change is possible. They fail just like the rest of us; however, they are resilient… standing right back up, brushing the dust off, and attacking it again and again and again.

Successful folks are RELENTLESS in their pursuit of excellence, no matter what the endeavor.

So the diversity of people I’ve spent my time around is vast… and, again, the difference in achievement from the ordinary to the extraordinary largely centers around the way someone THINKS.

Remember success is not about how intelligent you are or how talented.

Some of the smartest folks I know habitually drink themselves to sleep every single weekend…but they choose to ignore the consequences…

…wasted talent, not living the life they desire and deserve, wallowing in mediocrity, or worse.

I know plenty of broke “geniuses” too.

I’ve seen literally hundreds of talented people struggle to achieve much of anything.

I’m talking about how you think about achievement.

You think that not only is success possible… but that you’ve got what it takes to achieve it, you deserve it, and that you’re going to make it happen.

You think bigger than the average person.

When most people are thinking that “the normal” they see around them is their ceiling – you’re thinking that you’re capable of so much more.

When others blame the birthday cake at their kid’s party, their genetics or their upbringing – you know that you control your own health.

You simply have to decide what you want, believe you deserve it and put yourself in a situation to make it your reality.

It’s really that simple.

So think big… but be specific. If you want to draw your map, you need a precise destination.

Then do what you need to do to feel you deserve success. For me the two things that helped me think that way were who I spent my time around and what I studied.

Then put yourself in a position to achieve it. What ever ‘IT’ is. Whether it’s training for your first 5k, learning a new language or finally conquering that chronic health condition.

That’s the willingness to take strategic action.

I hope you really embrace what I’ve just shared…it can be the platform that your success is built on if you do.