Kicking the Junk Food Habit

November 27, 2009 by  
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Last week I talked about keeping focused on your health during the holidays. But why make this just a holiday focus? We are faced with poor food choices all day long. We’re grabbing trans-fat laden pastries for breakfast, dashing through drive-up windows for lunch, and are lulled into the eating out of boxes for dinner by their ease and convenience.

The thing is these empty, processed foods have a cumulative and addictive effect that gets harder to kick the longer we allow them to persist in our diet. Fats and sugars are primary culprits. There have been studies that show that sugar triggers the production of the brain’s natural opioids which we respond to in the same way as other addictive narcotics—with a craving that just increases each time we have some. Significant fat intake, on the other hand, has the affect of increasing our resistance to leptin, the chemical that signals us to stop eating. Now put the two together … it’s no wonder we crave everything super sized!

The end result is we gain weight, the empty calories actually drain us of vital nutrients, we lose energy and the unhealthy feeling we end up with saps our motivation to push forward with our goals and dreams.  It’s no way to live.

So if you haven’t already, kick the addiction and start paying attention to what you are putting into your body. Just take a moment to assess your healthiest option when you are out to eat and plan to keep fresh, lean, and whole foods available at home and at work so you don’t feel forced to succumb to that easily accessible junk food. You will feel so much better and get so much more done.

Next week I’ll talk about some specific healthy habits that have not only helped to kept me healthy but have increase my zest for life. And while planning your gift giving this season, keep my book, “How To Ignite Your Passion for Living” in mind. There is nothing better than giving a gift that will help improve the lives of your friends and family.

Keeping on Track During the Holiday Season

November 20, 2009 by  
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Next week is Thanksgiving. Soon after that there’s Christmas and then New Years. It’s that dreaded holiday time when we are faced with many a temptation and sticking to goals, especially healthy diets, is very difficult. It doesn’t take much to regain that hard won weight loss or bring your health down and it can be infinitely harder to get back to a where you want to be.

So for the next few weeks I thought I’d focus on healthy eating in this time of endless traps. Staying healthy is important to keeping up your energy and motivation in order to accomplish all the great things you have planned. So don’t let a little too much pumpkin pie spoil it for you.

Keep in mind, staying healthy during the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. In fact, you should go out there and celebrate with gusto. Just be discerning about what and how much you eat or drink. To do so, just follow a few simple rules:

–Go ahead and enjoy a rum ball or two but not too much. And don’t fall into the “I’ve already been bad, I might as well not worry about it now” mentality and overindulge or tell yourself you’ll do better after the holidays. Let yourself have the occasional treat then get back to your healthy diet.

–At the parties stay active to keep your metabolism up and keep you too busy to visit the buffet table. Dance, participate in all the games, wander the room, and mingle.

–Keep your eye on the big picture. Review your goals and what you want out of your life daily so it’s at the forefront of you mind when the cookies get passed around the office.

Use any other tricks you know to keep you on track for your specific health and diet goals. You can also read more about the importance of health and great things you can do to improve it in Chapter Ten of my book, How To Ignite Your Passion for Living.

Build Your Passion for Life Through Constant Challenges

November 13, 2009 by  
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These past few weeks have been extremely busy for me. Besides working on and traveling for interviews, TV spots, and other promotions for my book, we have been building a new home. We are at the point where we are moving in but are still in the middle of completing most of the rooms which makes life in general rather chaotic, to say the least.

There is nothing I’ve done in real estate that has been quite like the experience I’m having in building my own place. It’s both thrilling and stressful, the process is intriguing, and nearly every day presents a new, often minor, but still necessary challenge to deal with. I could be getting frustrated. I could step back and just let the contractors make all the decisions.

I could give into the easy and quick methods and just get this done. But this place will be a sanctuary for me and my wife and a place to gather and build memories with family and friends. So, even though giving this my hands on attention has been time consuming and trying, it is another great challenge and an energizing experience that I know continues to feed my passion for life.

As I talk about in my book How to IGNITE Your Passion for Living, keeping your passion for life strong means constantly challenging yourself. This should be applied to all areas of your life. Whether you’re changing your financial situation, simply trying to improve your cooking skills, or building a home, put the greatest effort into your goal to get the most you can out of it and to grow your passion for everything you do.

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The Many Rewards of Intense Physical Challenges

November 6, 2009 by  
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You may have noticed that I talk a lot about my physical activities and how they relate to goal setting and accomplishments. But what I should also tell you is that I play competitive tennis, bike tough hills, and hike mountains because these tough physical challenges also give me a fantastic natural “high” that contributes to my ability to succeed. And that high is not all from the psychological boost the physical accomplishments give me.

According to numerous studies, that super good feeling you get from intense physical exertion is a result of endorphins and dopamine being released into your system and the burning of a stress hormone called cortisol. Endorphins are hormones that block brain receptors from receiving pain-signaling molecules, acting much like an opiate drug but without the negative side effects. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that triggers feelings of pleasure. Cortisol, on the other hand, is a hormone that is produced when we are under physical or psychological stress and, when present in excess, inflames and damages our organs. Intense exercise though, burns cortisol reducing this inflammation and making us feel better overall.

The euphoria and increased feeling of well-being that results from these physiological changes along with the mental stimulation novel and challenging experiences combine to give you an unbeatable feeling and that will increase your passion for life.

So get out there and, with your doctor’s blessing, find new and exhilarating ways to push yourself physically. It will not only increase your health, it will heighten your overall motivation and help elevate your level of accomplishment in anything you aim to do.