What You Need to Know about Alternative Sweeteners

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Everyone by now realizes that a diet high in sugar leads to health issues and obesity. Artificial sweeteners are a substitute for sugar but are also linked to health and weight issues. Today, we have an array of alternative sweeteners on the market. Which ones are better and are they the magical solution to having dessert while maintaining a healthy lifestyle?

 

Our brains are hard-wired for the taste of sugar. Our foraging ancestors would determine if a food was safe or rich in nutrients by how sweet it tasted. Sugar and added sugars (those not naturally occurring in food) are so prevalent in our diet that the average American consumes 32 teaspoons of sugar per day. So can we still splurge and satisfy our sweet tooth while maintaining a healthy lifestyle? If you search for low carb desserts on the Internet, you will find many recipes for brownies, cakes and cookies that are made with honey, coconut palm sugar or maple syrup. Let’s examine the pros and cons of these common alternative sweeteners.

 

Honey is one of the oldest sweeteners known to man. Its structure is similar to high fructose corn syrup in that it is 38% fructose and 31% glucose. The main difference is that honey contains beneficial properties like enzymes, other proteins, minerals and polyphenols. Polyphenols are micronutrients that help protect us against cardiovascular disease and cancer. Raw honey has a better nutrient profile than regular (pasteurized) honey because nutrients are lost during the heating process.  Raw honey is opaque and much thicker than pasteurized honey. Some agree that local honey is preferred over store bought since it contains plant pollens from the local area providing protection against seasonal allergies. One teaspoon contains 21 calories.

 

The Native American Indians brought us maple syrup. It is made from the sap of the maple tree. Most maple syrup originates from Canada. It is mainly sucrose. The extraction process is performed in two steps and 100% natural. You may have noticed there are grades listed on labels of the brands of syrups-Grade A and Grade B. Grade A is further classified based on the color of the syrup-light, medium or dark amber. Grade A syrup is best for use on pancakes, French toast and waffles. Grade B maple syrup is very dark and is best used in baking. Maple syrup does contains minerals and antioxidants. The darker the syrup the more there are of these health-promoting compounds. One teaspoon contains 17 calories.

 

The last alternative sweetener we will talk about is coconut sugar sometimes called coconut palm sugar. This sugar is derived from the sap of the coconut flower not the coconut. The extraction process is also a natural two-step process. Its main components are sucrose and glucose. Coconut sugar tastes and looks similar to brown sugar. It contains some minerals, polyphenols and antioxidants just like the other two. It also contains short chain fatty acids and a type of fiber known as inulin. Inulin helps to slow the absorption of glucose into the blood stream helping to better control your blood glucose response. One teaspoon contains 15 calories.

 

So to recap, while the above sweeteners contain trace amounts of antioxidants, minerals and polyphenols that are beneficial for health, in the end they still are sugar. Yes, they are a better choice than refined sugar because of their added benefits however they are not a miracle food. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that desserts made with these are healthy and can be eaten frequently. Sugar, in its variety of forms, still has the same effect on our health and waistlines. On those special occasions when you need a treat then chose a recipe using an alternative sweetener. Keep the emphasis on “special” and don’t make it a habit.

Why You Should Train Like an Athlete: Part 1

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If you’re an athlete in this day and age, training is an integral part of your life. Not only are you asked to perfect your sport-specific skills through practice (BTW, practice makes permanent, not perfect…article to come soon), you also have to develop the abilities within those skills to become the best basketball player, football player, golfer, sprinter or dancer that you can be.

 

50 years ago, you could count the number of athletes on your hand that did resistance training or speed training or jump training or agility training on a regular basis. And we’re talking professional athletes. Baseball coaches, for instance, believed that lifting weights got their players too bulky and “muscle bound”. That ideology carried over into many other sports realms. But now coaches and athletes alike understand that if they’re not lifting heavy, running extra sprints, jumping more or climbing around then they will be well behind the proverbial 8 ball.

 

So why is it so important for athletes to do extra training to become better at their sport, but not important for a 50-year old banker to do the same?! Well, he’s not training for a sport, right?!

 

We all begin life the same way and end life the same (although, in different capacities). Somewhere along the life continuum, we decide which path we are going to take so that we can live the lifestyle we want. Some become realtors or gardeners or bankers, and others become race car drivers or lawyers or pro athletes. Some of families and children and grandchildren and some don’t. In all of this, we are all striving to survive and live. And, although professional athletes are training to become better at their sport (which is their chosen occupation), they aren’t the only ones who have something to train for.

 

Life is the ultimate sport, is it not? I mean, how often do you have to pick things up, or cut the grass, or paint your walls, or help your baby that fell over and bumped his head, or get your parents out of their chair (you’re starting to see my point, hopefully). These are all instances in which we have to be prepared and be able to perform. And quality performance comes from quality training.

 

Running, jumping, skipping, lifting and climbing are not just things that are relegated to the professionals, these are things we should all be able to do, whether you’re 13, 30, or 80. No matter what path you choose, we are all striving to be the best at our sport. Depending on how well you train will determine how well you perform and also how long you will last in your sport.

 

We are all trying to last as long as we can in this thing called life, afterall.

 

Eating Healthy on a Budget

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A misconception many have when initially seeking to improve their nutrition is that “it’s expensive to eat healthy”. At first, this may appear to be true however maybe it is in your perception of the cost. When compared to expensive medical care for chronic diseases, the money spent to eat nutritious food is better viewed as an investment in you. If you create a plan, do the necessary work and use some smart shopping techniques then you may realize it’s not really all that costly in the end. Below are a few tips to help get you started on your new healthy eating plan.

 

  • Prepare/plan.

 

This little piece of advice is essential when trying to stay within

a budget. Once a week, sit down and plan your meals out for the next week. Next, check your pantry and refrigerator for what you already have that may have been pushed to the back. Then make a list of all items you will need to purchase. STICK to your list while shopping and avoid any impulse buying. Don’t go to the store hungry since you will be more apt to buy things that you do not need. That’s pretty simple and straight forward.

 

  • Grocery Store Shopping Tips

 

Shop the perimeter of the store where most whole foods are located. If you have to venture into the center, look to the top and bottom of the shelves for any necessary items. Retailers set up the grocery shelves in a particular fashion. The less expensive items are placed at the top or bottom of the shelves and more expensive items are at eye level. Get to know the manager of each department to find out what days they usually do their markdowns. It always helps to have some inside information when you are searching for bargains. Most shoppers go to the right when entering a store so that’s where they set up all those impulse sale items. Be different and go to the left so you don’t have to navigate through the temptation.

 

  • General Shopping Tips

 

Stock up when commonly used items are on sale but make sure that you will use them! Buy basic ingredients that are versatile and can be utilized in several different recipes. You don’t need a closet full of cooking oils or exotic spices that you don’t frequently use. If you need a specialty item for a certain recipe you can buy these in smaller quantities at specialty grocers. Good sourced proteins are more expensive so check the markdown bins for grass fed beef, pastured chicken and eggs. Freeze the meat and hard-boil the eggs since they are usually near their expiration date. Shop for produce that is in season. It will be less expensive and more nutritious not having traveled many miles to the store shelf. Frozen vegetables are okay to use if necessary. Be smart and don’t waste your money on purchasing everything organic. Check out the list known as “The Dirty Dozen” on the web and shop wisely. Be willing to do the work and don’t go for the quick and easy. Convenience foods do cost more and are full of unhealthy ingredients. For example, block cheeses are cheaper than shredded, processed foods like rice mixes are more than bags of rice and spices you already own at home. Be creative in the kitchen and whip up your own versions of those boxed rice and pasta mixes. You can get several meals out of a pot of soup rather than just one from a can.

 

  • Cooking at home

 

It will always be more expensive to eat out than to cook at home. You will have more control over what goes into your food and how it is prepared. Cook in bulk so you will have leftovers to use for lunches and other recipes for the week. Freeze portions to have on hand for those times you may have unexpected expenditures and need to tighten up your food budget temporarily. Instead of buying lunch everyday at work, pack it. This will save you at minimum $20-25 a week plus you will be eating more nutritious meals.  Instead of going out with friends for dinner, invite them over, share the cost of the food and spend time preparing the meal together. This is a great and fun way to spend quality time together. Another creative idea is to plan a menu together with like minded friends, split the work of preparing then share the meals with each other. It is always nice when you don’t have to do all the cooking!

 

Finally, give an honest look at where you are spending your extra money. Try cutting back on those $4 coffees, bottled waters and lunch out everyday. These little “extras” really add up over time. You only have one body so invest your money caring for it now so you don’t have to spend it all on prescriptions and medical bills down the road.

The Guide to Finding Time to Train

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Finding time to workout is one of the obstacles many of us face when it comes to developing our health and wellness. There are many factors that go into this, not to mention some factors that may not seem readily available (motivation, for instance, is a factor when it comes to finding time. Really, “lack of time” can just be a cover for “I’m not motivated”….I digress).

 

For those of you who really are husting like crazy with their jobs and family and are struggling to find time to get your training in, have no fear, you can make it work. The first thing we need to do is figure out how much time you are willing to put into your training. Next, where is your time currently time spent, truly. And finally, what can you do to get the most bang for your proverbial buck considering the answer to question #1. Let’s break it down and see what we come up with:

 

  • How much time are you willing to set aside for your training?

 

When I ask this question, I’m not asking you how much you think you SHOULD put in or how much your neighbor or sister puts in. I’m asking have much time are you willing to set aside for exercise? Many people get stuck in the belief that you have to workout for at least an hour to get anything out of it. This is what we’re taught, after all, by television, the government and other popular outlets. Here’s the thing, none of that matters if you’re just going to quit because it’s too much for YOU. If I tell you, you have to train 5 days a week for 2 hours at a time in order to get results, you’re packing your bags before you get started. So decide how much time YOU are WILLING to set aside, and start there.

 

  • Where is your current time spent?

 

A couple of obvious answers come to mind here. The answers that are most readily available are first, such as work and family. Okay, how much of your “family time” is truly family time. Are you busy playing Call of Duty, or watching the News, or hitting a Netflix marathon? And how much time do you spend on your phone MINDLESSLY? If the answer to any of these questions is 15 minutes or more, then you have time to workout. You have to decide what’s important to you. If improving your health and wellness is important, then pull yourself away from your phone for 20 minutes and workout. It’s all about what you want!

 

  • What’s the best bang-for-my-buck to improve health and wellness?

 

If you’re strapped for time and are looking for the best way to get the results you want, I have 3 words for you: Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT for short). MRT is a combination of High Intensity Interval Training and Resistance Training. Both of these training protocols are fantastic ways to get any result you want in and of themselves. When you combine them, you get a beast of a training convention that is efficient and effective. Here’s a look at how an MRT session may look:

 

Goblet Squats                                  20secs

Pushups                                            20secs

REST                                         60secs

Bear Crawl                                       40secs

REST                                         60secs

Kettlebell Swing                             20secs

Kettlebell Rows                              20secs each side

Rest and repeat 4 times

 

Now notice, we have a mixture of resistance training and interval training. All we’re doing is picking exercises and doing them for time, making sure to rest enough so that our heart rate can recover enough. After all, the point of interval training is to get your heart rate up quick, then to let it recover and repeat.

 

Whenever you feel ready to get yourself in the best shape of your life, start by deciding how much time you want to put in NOW. You have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is different for everybody.

What to Know About Seed Oils

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The next time you visit the grocery store take a stroll down the aisle that contains the cooking oils. You will find several to choose from such as vegetable, corn, canola and safflower just for starters. Next pick up any processed food box and check the label. You will probably find one or two of these oils there as well. They are in mayonnaise, nearly all salad dressings and most processed food on the market today. Companies market these oils as healthy to and the uninformed consumer will believe it. Today, let’s learn more about seed oils so you can decide if they really are the healthier option for you.

 

Vegetable oil is a term used for any oil not derived from an animal but it’s doesn’t come from vegetables either. The consumption of these oils has skyrocketed over the last century because of a variety of reasons. In the early 1900’s, Americans were concerned about the sanitary practices of the meat processing facilities that made the lard that many used for cooking. Vegetable oil was promoted as the cleaner cooking oil. It also was a way for companies to turn the agricultural surplus from corn and soybean production into a “food” source rather than a waste product. By the1970’s, the government began it’s “war on fat” campaign where vegetable oil and margarine were promoted as “heart healthy” and replaced butter and lard in America’s cooking. So because of heart healthy marketing, the fact that they turn waste into a food product for consumption and they are inexpensive they permeated the market. They also made the American diet become inflammatory and contributed to America’s obesity problem.

 

Most industrial seed oils are polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats are rich in Omega 6 fatty acids. We need both Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats in our diet since our body is unable to make these on our own. For optimal health, we need little Omega 6 in comparison to Omega 3. Can you see how the fatty acid composition of our diet was tipped to the Omega 6 side now? The extraction process of turning plants into oils involves subjecting seeds, beans or corn to high heat, using solvents like hexane in the extraction process then bleaching to deodorize the end product for our consumption. Most of the soybeans and corn produced in America are genetically modified as well making these oils less desirable. Omega 6 fats are unstable and can rapidly be broken down under the stress of heat, light and oxygen into oxidized fats. We need to limit oxidative stress and the promotion of free radicals for improved health. Lastly, the oils arrive at the store in light colored bottles and are placed on shelves under bright lights. This allows the oxidation process to continue further breaking down the oils.

 

A diet high in processed foods and using these types of oils for cooking will increase inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to diabetes, obesity, cancer and cardiovascular disease. These oils are known by many different names but the most common are: canola, sunflower, safflower, soybean and corn oil. Yes even peanut oil too. Even if you don’t purchase the bottled oil or margarine products, be careful with any packaged, processed food and condiments. Examine labels for these inflammatory oils. Try to consume more anti-inflammatory Omega 3’s rich foods like Omega 3 rich eggs, salmon and flax oil while eliminating the other from your diet. Take a good fish oil daily for added benefit. For cooking, use cold pressed coconut oil which is very stable and extra virgin olive oil in dark colored bottles for homemade salad dressings. Use butter, preferably from grass fed cows, rather than manufactured margarine products in moderation. Be an informed consumer so you don’t fall victim to marketing schemes that can negatively impact your health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Steps to Staying Consistent with Your Workouts

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When you’re trying to build a new habit, consistency is key. For certain habits this is easier to do than for other habits. For instance, brushing your teeth is a habit. It’s something that you’ve done every day pretty much since the day you were born (hopefully). So, it’s easy to remember to brush your teeth.

 

Working out, on the other, isn’t as easy to build in as brushing your teeth (for most people). It takes up more time, it requires some thought and takes physical effort. Unless you’re part of the 1% of the maniacs in this country that eat, sleep and breath pure fitness, exercise is a struggle.

 

If building training into your weekly routine is important to you (and, in order for you to succeed, it has to be important to YOU), there are a couple of simple tricks you can implement to help you stay consistent. Some will work better than others, depending on your personality type. So make sure to give them all a try and see what works:

  1. Get Started

    This one seems obvious, but is often the biggest barrier between your current state and being the healthiest version of yourself. Many people talk themselves out of working out before even trying it. They’ve already convinced themselves that they won’t succeed or that they don’t have enough time or that it will be too hard. If that’s you, figure out the EASIEST POSSIBLE STEP for you to take, and go. That may be a 10-minute walk in the morning or may be finding a personal trainer. Whatever it is, as NIKE would say (I did not get permission to put this in, so hopefully no one from NIKE reads this), JUST DO IT!!

  2. Set Your Clothes Out 

    Have you ever heard the saying “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”? That is what we’re talking about here. Put your clothes out the night before and set them by the door, or better yet in your car. This way that distraction is out of the way.

  3. Find What Works

    As you’re sitting there watching Biggest Loser, your mind is thinking “Man, that’s how hard I have to exercise to get in shape?!?! No thanks!!”. You’re convinced that it takes lots of time and has to be really, really hard. Well, this just isn’t true. Just because your best friend does Crossfit, doesn’t mean you have to. If you think you’ll like Pilates, go give that a try. How about mountain biking, sound fun? Get started! Find what works for YOU and go!!

  4. Make it Simple

    Back to the whole exercise-has-to-be-complex-and-difficult thing. There are no secrets, there are no short cuts, there are no magic pills (long side note: actually, even if there were a magic pill, statistics show that patients who are given prescriptions for diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer and depression only take their meds 51% of the time……..so that means if there were a magic pill, you would only take it 51% of the time…seriously!!), so don’t think that exercise has to be complex in order for it to work. Are there things that work better than others? Absolutely. But if you don’t like those things and they keep you from working out, then how is that helpful? Movement is ALWAYS better than no movement at all.

  5. SHOW UP

    At The Den (that’s what we call our training facility) we talk about Greasing the Groove. This is the idea of coming in, going through your movements, working on your form and not worrying about breaking records. Half the battle of working out is showing up. If you’ve already walked into the gym, you’re 100% further than 80% of America. Don’t feel like you have to bust your butt every day. If you simply want to ride the stationary bike that day, then do that. Don’t feel bad about Greasing the Groove.

 

Always remember, when you’re deciding to get started in working out, it has to be on your terms. It can’t be because your doctor told you to or your spouse told you to or your friends told you to. It has to come internally. Work on these simple steps and it will increase your chances of building a fitness-habit.

What Causes Chronic Stress and What to do about it!

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This is the third and final installment in our series on stress where we will examine the impact on our gut health. Stress comes in two forms acute and chronic. An example of acute stress in life is the loss of a job. It happens and while difficult, we usually find another job so it is relatively short lived. The other type is chronic and hangs around day in and day out. A good example of chronic stress is working at a job that just makes you miserable every day. You wake up stressed and then go to bed stressed too.  Any acute stress can certainly become chronic if a person does not handle it well or if it continues over a period of time. Chronic stress is the type of stress that has the biggest impact on our health and well being.

 

So how does stress affect our gut? We have two nervous systems in our body. Most of us have heard of our central nervous system. It is the one that is central to nearly all vital functions in our body. However, we also have a second “mini” system known as the enteric nervous system that directly influences our digestive processes. This is the one responsible for that nauseous feeling before a big presentation or you may be more familiar with the feeling of “butterflies” in your stomach. These two systems are connected by the vagus nerve and make up the gut-brain axis.

 

Chronic stress causes all sorts of reactions at the gut level. It decreases blood flow to our digestive system, decreases gastric secretions needed for proper digestion and enzyme production plus impairs the mucosal lining, which ultimately leads to a weakened immune system among other health issues. Chronic stress doesn’t always come from events outside the body though. It can come from the food we consume on a daily basis. Take for example, food intolerance and how subtle their signs and symptoms can be in our lives. There are seven common foods that are the source of intolerance and allergies: eggs, soy, shellfish, dairy, tree nuts, peanuts and wheat.  An allergy is severe and life threatening, while intolerance can go unnoticed for a period of time. Symptoms of intolerance can range from acne and headaches all the way to vomiting and diarrhea. Daily consumption of dairy for someone who is lactose intolerant is a chronic stressor on the body. Watch our ThriveTV episode on dairy.

 

Ever wonder how chronic stress can cause us to gain weight? Cortisol is a hormone we produce and need but carrying around chronic stress causes cortisol to stay elevated impacting insulin production resulting in weight gain especially around our mid section. It also makes it difficult to lose weight as well. Lastly, chronic stress disrupts the fine balance of “good” bugs and “bad” bugs in our gut known as our gut flora. Gut Flora is important for nutrient absorption, digestion and a healthy immune system. Some even think our gut flora impacts our ability to lose weight and contributes to obesity.

 

So what can you do to combat chronic stress in your life? 

 

  1. For starters, you can take a good probiotic daily. This will help restore your gut flora and correct any imbalances.

  2. Exercise is great for stress reduction. It eases tension and contributes to the release of endorphins that are known to improve mood.

  3. Eating a healthy, well balanced diet goes along way in helping to eliminate the chronic stress brought on by poor food choices and vitamin deficiencies. Also, pay attention to how you feel when you eat the seven known trigger foods. If you notice that every time you have ice cream you get a stuffy head consider removing dairy for 30 days and see if it improves.

  4. Most importantly, be honest when evaluating your stress level. Most of us deny or underestimate the amount of stress we are under on a daily basis. Once you are honest with yourself, take the steps necessary to reduce the stress in your life.

 

We discussed breathing in a previous article, which is a great place to start. Make this a daily habit and use it when you are feeling stressed. Spend time outdoors with nature. The color green is calming, promotes rest and is said to reduce anxiety. Take a walk at lunch or better yet eat your lunch outside if you can. Bring nature indoors by having fresh flowers in your home or try a little gardening. While stress cannot be completely eliminated from our lives, we can take steps to limit the impact it will have on us.

 

Don’t Look at the Wall!!

The car driven by Helio Castroneves, of Brazil, flips after hitting the wall in the first turn during practice for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Wednesday, May 13, 2015.  (AP Photo/Dick Darlington) ORG XMIT: NAA110

Indycar Racing is one of the most intense sports out there. Flying around an oval at 200+ Miles Per Hour in a car that weighs about 1600lbs and an engine that turns 650+ horsepower. Hit a wall going at those speeds in a car that light and you’re sure to have limited memory capacity the rest of your life.

 

It is interesting, then, when Mario Andretti, 4 time Indycar champ, was asked what advice he would give to someone just starting out in the sport, he said…

 

“Don’t look at the wall”…….Really!?!

 

4 Indycar Championships and the best you can come up with is “Don’t look at the wall”?!? Okay, he said a little more than that. He went on to finish his statement saying “your car goes where your eyes go”. Ultimately, if you can keep your eyes on the road and stay off the wall, you have a chance of winning the race.

 

Really, there’s more to this statement than simple racing advice. As straight forward as this is for racing, it is equally as straight forward for life! Let me explain myself a little better.

 

Many of us struggle with watching others succeed. When we hear about an old class mate or see a young entrepreneur on TV that’s made millions of dollars, we come up with reasons why “they” made it and “we” didn’t (or haven’t). These excuses can range from…

 

“They got lucky” to “I’m busy trying to feed my family”

 

And, guess what? You’re probably right, on both accounts. Most of success is luck and many of us are busy trying to feed our families. However, those excuses, the ones you find when you’re trying to justify your action or inaction, are THE WALL!

 

You see, we get pulled between our growth mindset and our fixed mindset. Our fixed mindset tells us that things are what they are and there’s not much we can do about it, so you might as well accept it and move on. The growth mindset, on the other hand, tells us that we can always improve, that things can always be better and we have no limit to what we can accomplish. We all have both of these in us, fixed mindset and growth mindset. The mixture and the determining factor of which one dominates your thoughts is the one you focus on the most.

 

The fixed mindset is THE WALL! You have no future, your job stinks and there’s nothing you can do about it and you’ll never find a soul mate. That’s a fixed mindset.

The growth mindset is THE ROAD! I can start my own business and work hard, my family will continue to grow and prosper and I can improve my health and wellness on a daily basis. That’s a growth mindset.

 

Focus on the wall and you’ll crash right into it. Keep your eyes on the road and you’ll move forward with every daring move you make.

 

The good news, when you crash and burn (notice I said “when”), you can ALWAYS get back on the road. Every one of us has peaks and valleys in our lives. And it’s what you learn and how you deal with valleys that determines how high you can climb in your peaks.

 

 

 

Disconnect and Just Say “NO!”

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In our series on stress and stress management, we started with breathing as a method to de-stress daily. Today, we will look at two subtle stress triggers that you might be experiencing and potential solutions to limit this type of stress.

 

Years ago we had only three television stations and the local news was on twice a day at 6pm then again at 11pm. We also had the national news right after dinner. They were only thirty minutes long including the commercials. Today, we have multiple news programs both local and national. We can even watch the news in other countries as on the BBC. Television is saturated with news and most of it is of the bad variety. By bad, I don’t mean in performance but in what is presented. Let’s face it, ratings are not obtained by talking about all the wonderful things that go on in the world but by telling of all the tragedies, fighting and misfortune. It is enough to make the world seem like a terrible place and to stress a person out.

 

Let’s apply the “you are what you eat” idea not only to food but to the input you allow into your brain. Just as consuming a poor diet can wreck your body, letting negative thoughts saturate your brain day in and day out can affect your mind and elevate your stress. I am not suggesting putting your head in the sand and not staying up to date on current events but just be choosey in what you allow in and how much time you spend reading or watching the news. One solution might be to download your favorite news app onto your phone or IPAD then browse the headlines to see what is happening and only focus on the stories that are important to you. You will naturally limit your exposure to all the negativity and the time spent around this type of stress inducing information. Feed your brain with information that will help you grow, learn and become a better person just as you feed your body whole, natural and healthy food.

 

The second stress trigger we experience is to say yes to every request asked of us. It is easier to say yes than it is to say no isn’t it? By saying no to a family member, friend or a boss you might experience the feelings of “I am not being a team player or I have let someone down”. Saying yes all the time also saves us from “missing out on things”.  Being over committed with too much to do in a short time frame is called Time Compression Syndrome and it creates stress!

 

In the workplace being productive is an expectation. It really runs the company- be productive and get things done in as little time as possible so you can do more. This can spill over into our lives outside of work if we allow it. Resting and relaxing is frowned upon in modern society for the most part. We run hard 24/7. Let’s look at our lives in this way. They say we experience 2.5 billion heartbeats in our lifetime and use about 100,000 beats a day. Where and how are you spending your heartbeats? Behind a desk, late into the day, doing a job you have no passion for because you can’t say “No” to your boss?

 

What about the mother who signs up for multiple committees trying to be Supermom but never gets to attend her child’s soccer games? Furthermore, taking on too many things at once sets you up for failure. None of them will be done well because of the lack of time. We must look at time differently. Time is something we can never get back once gone therefore time is valuable. If you don’t feel the enthusiasm in “heck yes I want to do that!” when asked a request pause and think it over a bit. You should feel excitement and want to jump at an opportunity because you will be spending some of your “heartbeats” there. This will definitely take a bit of practice. I still have a difficult time saying “no” but just practice. Start by valuing your time, know where your priorities are and practice saying “no” once in awhile.  It will be okay and it will get easier the more you do it. You will find the time to rest and relax. This will help you re-charge and be a better employee, parent and friend. It’s important to spend your heartbeats wisely doing things you love and are excited about rather than doing everything possible and being frazzled and stressed the entire time.