Tuesday, August 24, 2010

10,000 Hours

In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell explains that the most successful people in any field, get to the pinnacle due to many factors, one of which is that they have put in 10,000 hours of practice.

We often don't SEE the hours of practice the person has put in though because we don't meet them until they have already arrived at the top.  We see the celebrities on the red carpet but don't see them working for hours with in the gym and saying "no" over and over to sweets.  We see athletes compete at the top of their game and conveniently forget the years of training that got them there.  We look at the CEO of a company with envy and think she/he was just born lucky or ambitious and don't give a second thought to the many hours she/he spent in obscurity toiling away at ground level.

Likewise, if you want to be the kind of person who has a normal weight, enjoys physical fitness, and eats healthy food, you have got to practice it over and over again.  You don't just wish to be that person and hope it accidentally happens.  You have to actually do it. 

Every day that you start the day with exercise or go to the gym, you are practicing your new desired habits.  Every day that you come up with excuses about why you cannot do those things, you are practicing the old undesired habits. 

Every shopping trip you make for healthy food and every meal you take the time to cook with lots of veggies and healthy stuff, and every time you decide to NOT eat your feelings or binge, you are practicing your new desired habits.  Every time you eat junk food or stuff your feelings down with food or buy crap "for the kids" wink, wink, you are practicing the old undesired habits.

Every night when you get to bed at a decent hour you are practicing the new desired habit.  Every night when you stay up too late watching TV or surfing the net, you are practicing the old undesired habit.

You get the point.

One of my mentors on this journey had a slogan that went:  Every Step.  Every Rep.  Every Meal.  Every Mile.  Every Day.  I ADORE that and use it often as my mantra.

That's all it is, practice and repetition.  You can practice the old ways or you can practice the new ways, your choice.  And according to Malcolm Gladwell, when you have put in 10,000 hours of practice on a certain skill, you will be a Master. 

In this Nike commercial, Michael Jordan talks about how maybe he makes it look easy, but the fans don't see the hours of practice he has spent honing his skills:

… “Maybe I led you to believe it was easy when it wasn’t. Maybe I made you think my highlights started at the free throw line, and not in the gym. Maybe I made you think that every shot I took was a game winner. That my game was built on flash, and not fire. Maybe it’s my fault that that you didn’t see that failure gave me strength; That my pain gave me motivation. Maybe I led you to believe that basketball was a G-d given gift, and not something I worked for… every single day of my life…”– Michael Jordan

What are YOU working for?  Just know that there is no way to master it unless you practice it.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

All That's Stopping You is....

I am deep in the do-do that is writing ebooks to share with you on my brand-new website / blog.  Nothing in the world brings on Writer's Block than having something you actually want to write!  I spend maybe 1 hour a day writing and 8 hours fretting about writing and re-organizing my sock drawer.

BUT, when I get everything done, it is going to be SO great and add so much value to your life!  That's the idea, anyway.

So, today I am sharing with you an article that one of my heros, Karen Knowler, wrote.  It is mahvelous.  Enjoy!

All That's Stopping You Is...

When it all comes down to it, unless you are being held captive (literally) by someone right now, which I sincerely hope not, then the only "thing" getting in your way to what you want is, indeed, you.

It's taken me a long time to really get this, but as a coach I've seen it over and over and over again. In fact, ultimately it's heartbreaking. So many dreams un-manifested. So many negative beliefs victorious. So many songs unsung, words unsaid, strawberry patches unharvested ; ).

We are all so good at coming up with excuses and reasons why not, but you know what? The Universe is ALWAYS conspiring to help us. Always. It is only US getting in our way.

And we are full of stories as to why we're different, or not X enough, or the time isn't right or whatever. And while I do believe in the divine timing of things, I also know that when we really want something, the timing IS right, and that's our inner guidance telling us so. Now we need to make it happen.

Yes. That's it. Just make it happen. No excuses. No story. No BS. Just Do It.

Recently at my one-day meeting with my business coach my "big why" vision (legacy) was birthed. Like most births it was not pain-free or without tears! But, also like childbirth, these were tears of joy and awe as much as anything. And at the end of it, I had to take a break, sit back and say "Oh My God..." at what had been created.

My coach held my feet to the fire and said, "Are you really committing to this?"

The question was a biggie. These kinds of dreams are not to be taken lightly, especially when lives are at stake and it is literally planet-changing.

So I thought about it... I mean really thought about it. I knew that if I said "yes" I would be committing to something so big, so massive in fact, that it would take most of the rest of my days to make it happen, but it would be AMAZING, legendary even.

But if I said "no"? I honestly don't believe I could live with myself, because I know I have been given exactly what I need to pull it off, even though it will stretch me to my limits and I couldn't go to my grave without at least giving it my all.

I really have no excuses. Fear would be the only thing stopping me, and even though I may get fearful at times as we all do, the difference is that I never let fear stop me.

My question to you this week is not necessarily about your legacy (although that's a great thing to think about any day of the week) but about what you are saying "no" to that is impacting yourself, your family or anyone or anything else negatively right now?

What story are you telling yourself about this?

Because, trust me, it all is just a story. There are always two sides to every coin. You just have to flip it over if you don't like what you see. You have to be prepared to see the truth, even if that means a little hard work, upheaval or stress in the short-term. You know the results will be oh-so worth it.

The fact is, the minute you decide to create a new reality for yourself an energetic "order" is put in to the Universe. The key to receiving that order is to stay true to what you are asking for, and not to wriggle and resist it, or tell yourself you're not worthy or can't have it. These are lies, and most importantly, our words have way more power than we may ever know. You have to stay in alignment with your request, see yourself living it, and be ready and grateful to receive it. Stay committed.

My coaching challenge to you this week then, is to answer that question about what you are saying "no" to, and write down on paper exactly what you are committing to saying "yes" to.

As long as your intentions are honourable, ethical and true, the Universe will hear the resonance and purity of your request and wheels will start turning in your favour.

You simply have to trust that the same force that put you on this planet loves you and is looking out for you, and gave you your hopes, dreams and desires for a reason. You are not here simply to exist, and your choosing to eat and live raw reminds you of that every day doesn't it?

So... when you've got clear on what you're going to say "yes" to and have put in your request, as that "thing" or outcome starts heading in your direction, you need to stand tall, reach out with both (grateful) hands and be ready to receive the gift that you never let yourself have before.

Are you ready to give up the excuses, stories and why nots and start living the life you dream of?

If you are, then it really is as simple as getting out your own way. I'm sorry if that's too easy or simplistic sounding, but you really do not need another debilitating excuse to play with :-)

© 2010 Karen Knowler WOULD YOU LIKE TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR ON YOUR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Karen Knowler, The Raw Food Coach publishes "Successfully Raw" - a free weekly eZine for raw food lovers everywhere. If you're ready to look good, feel great and create a raw life you love get your FREE tips, tools and recipes now at www.TheRawFoodCoach.com.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

When to Fire Your Therapist and Get an Israeli

Before I begin, why talk about marriage on a health and nutrition blog? 

Relationships are Primary Food.  Primary Food are the things in life that actually feed us and keep us healthy.  Other examples of Primary Food are Spirituality, Creativity, Career, Physical Exercise, Home Environment and Financial Security.  If Primary Food is out of balance, we often seek to restore balance through Secondary Food (the food we put in our mouths).  Hate your job?  Drown your sorrows in chocolate.  Lonely and unfulfilled?  Bring Ben and Jerry home to fill the void.  As a Holistic Nutritionist, I work with clients to make sure Primary Food is balanced and nourishing and then many over-eating problems just disappear on their own.

Now, on to the story, because today is my 15th wedding anniversary and I have a few things to say about that.

I met M on February 13, 1993 on a blind date.  Our date was to be one of many blind dates I had endured that winter.  Being a single Jewish woman in Manhattan is like being a Tetris block flying down the chute at high speed.  Everyone, and by "everyone", I mean every other JEW, is frantically scrambling to find the spot where you fit into the stack.

When I opened the door to my apartment that night and saw the crinkly-eyed smile that seemed to shine light into the darkest of places, I had no idea that standing before me was the Prince in a long-line of Frogs.  I mean, the guy was an Israeli for Pete's sake, and we all know the macho, swaggering, overly-confident Zohan-like Play-uh with a capital P, young Israeli studs are likely to be.
The Scrappy Cocoa

But back up a minute:  An important part of this story is that I was deeply depressed that winter.  I had battled depression my entire life and at that particular time, I was working with a therapist who had me going down the WRONG rabbit hole.  The sadder I got, the harder she pressed, thinking we were about to have a breakthrough.  What I was about to have was a break-DOWN actually.  (Note to self:  Don't push clients beyond their limits even if you don't believe they are at their limits!)  So actually, by February, I was deep in the shit.  Really deep.

Amidst this sadness, M and I began dating.  At the beginning, truthfully, I wasn't really even paying that much attention, so preoccupied was I with my problems.  One day, while walking together in Riverside Park, when he was perhaps growing weary of my grim demeanor, I tried to explain to him the depths of my suffering and pain.  Quite shockingly, he just laughed and said the words that would change the course of my life forever:

"If it hurts you to think of those things, why don't you just think of something else?"

WHAT???  You can't just CHANGE your thoughts!  Aren't your thoughts representations of the inner workings of your psyche?  Mustn't they be fully expressed, examined and analyzed?  Are you saying that I control my thoughts and that dark funnel I constantly follow them down and down and down, is not inevitable?  Why, in years of therapy, has no one ever told me this?

Cue heavenly light and singing angels.

The next day I fired my therapist and took a keener interest in my Play-uh.

M and I were married on August 11, 1995 in NYC.  The fifteen years since have been the years that grew me.  M gives me the security, support, love, encouragement and kicks in the butt, to keep me on the path to positive growth and self-fulfillment.  I believe I do the same for him, although he would tell me to stop thinking about it so much and just have fun!

Happy Anniversary Darling!  I raise my Fizzy Bubbule to us!

Disclaimer:  I do not mean to knock traditional psychotherapy.  OK, maybe just a little.  I hear it works for some.  But like I say with everything, if you've been at it for years, and you are just as miserable as ever, maybe it's time to consider an alternative.

Oh, and I am not a Psychiatrist and Big D Depression is a real disorder and may need professional treatment.  My husband may be better than Prozac but you'll have to find your own, because he's already taken.

Monday, August 9, 2010

pizza, pizza

It's a double-header recipe day here at Triumph Wellness!

Just so you don't think that I make my kids eat lentils and rice all the time (although we DO eat an awful lot of lentils and rice!), I wanted you all to know this:

The Segal Family eats Pizza pretty near once a week.

Shocking!  I know.   Sometimes it's not quite that often, but it is one of the kids' favorite meals, and when you make your own, you can make it a perfectly healthy meal!

I make two pizzas, one for kids and one for adults.  I start with a whole grain crust, recipe is below.  The kids usually stick to the standard sauce, cheese and Parmesan, but because I am preparing it, I can control how much cheese goes on top.  At the pizza parlor, you have to blot the grease, right?  Yuck.  I put exactly 2 ounces (2 slices) of cheese, drastically cutting the fat and cholesterol content. 

Kids' pizza uncooked

Kids' pizza cooked

For the grown ups I put lots of veggies on top, whatever we have in the house.  Our favorite is sauteed onions and peppers.  Sometimes we put cheese on ours, sometimes not.
Grown Up pizza with tomato sauce, sauteed onions and spinach, fresh figs, goat feta and Parmesan

Finished and about to be devoured

Whole Grain Pizza Crust
makes enough for 2 pies

3 tsp dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp maple syrup or brown rice syrup

Mix together and set aside 5-10 minutes while you measure out:

4 1/2 cups flour, any combo of whole wheat, spelt, oat flour, barley flour etc etc
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1 cup warm water
2 T olive oil

Add everything plus yeast mixture.  Knead a few minutes to form a sticky soft dough.  Coat a bowl with olive oil, place dough inside and turn it to coat all sides.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise for one hour or until doubled in size.  Pre-heat oven to 200C.  Split dough into two, and gently stretch one portion into a big circle.  Place on greased pizza tray or ungreased, pre-heated pizza stone.  Top with sauce and toppings of choice.  Bake 20 minutes.  Dig in!  Repeat with second ball of dough.

Follow with Vegan Brownies!!!
Lightly oil an 8x8 square baking pan and pre-heat the oven to 170C.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
dash salt
1/3 cup sugar
Mix dry ingredients and set aside. 

1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 T maple syrup or rice syrup
5 T coconut oil, melted or sunflower oil
1/2 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
Mix the above and add to dry ingredients.  Blend until smooth and spread into pan.  Bake 20 minutes.  Don't over-bake, you want these to be chewwwwwy, right?  Yumsville

In 2 days, my Better Half and I will be celebrating 15 years of marriage.
A lot of pizza and brownies have passed our lips in 15 years.  May there be many, many more.
Stay tuned....blog about LOVE to follow....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Inspiration in the Strangest of Places

Last night I went with one of my sons to see The Last Airbender.  I expected to be bored and almost brought a book with me.  My kids have been watching that animated series for years now and I never really paid it much mind.  I had also heard some pretty negative reviews...

Well, air bend me backwards if that wasn't an amazing movie!  I kept wanting to take notes for Pete's sake!  I am NOT kidding!!  It was like an Eastern Philosophy seminar with M.Night Shyamalan as professor.  And it made me realize several Things.  Big Things.  So as usual, I seem to be learning Life's big lessons through kid's movies.  Let's just say, I take my Inspiration from whence it comes.

In the movie there are 4 worlds within our world, each dominated by one of the four elements:  Earth, Water, Fire and Air. The Avatar is the one being who can control all 4 elements and thus bring harmony and balance to the world.  The Avatar is always cycling through life and re-birth, but the current Avatar "upper limited" himself (that's psych talk, for he freaked out at his own greatness and I'm planning an entire post on that soon!) and ran away for 100 years, throwing the world into chaos.  In the movie, he returns, but because he ran away at age 12, he had only learned how to control the air element and needs to learn the other three elements to become the master he was born to be.

So in this one little innocuous movie, we have the whole issue of accepting one's life purpose which as you know from past posts, is something that has been engaging me for quite some time now.  Then we have the Upper Limiting Behaviors (ULB's) that cause us to self-sabotage.  Again, more on that coming up soon.  And then the whole 4 element thing...

As a Holistic practitioner, I am very familiar with Element Theory.  Chinese medicine adds a 5th element to the above quartet, Wood.  Ayurveda consolidates them into just 3, combining Earth and Water into the Kapha dosha, which just happens to be MY dosha.  I'll do another post all about Ayurveda one day because it really is useful and wonderful.  And in both systems, of course the bottom line is about balance, just like the Avatar.  The ways in which the Avatar is taught to control the water element and to overcome his ULB's, well this is where I found my insight.

Other people cross deserts to reach enlightenment, I just go to the movies.  Life is Sweet.

Anyway, back on Planet Earth...

Yesterday, I also made Vegan Granola Bars Ala Mama PeaI changed her recipe a bit because I didn't have powdered stevia. 

Totally YUM!

The recipe is hereAnd that's not laziness, I'm just tired of blogger crashing whenever I cut and paste!

And lastly, just wanted to share some photos from our weekend up North.  We stayed in Moshav Betzet in the cutest little cabin!  We were surrounded by fruit trees.

Fruit of my loins
Fruity McFruit

When I asked the proprietor why the commercial lime season is so short here in Israel, she gave me a whole basket to take home with me!

And she said that limes are just not that well-known here which is why they only appear in markets for one month out of 12.  And I buy them ALL.

And finally, for those of you who don't live here and think "Israeli Breakfast" means sand and pita, I give you....

The Israeli Breakfast:
I LOVE this country!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cardio Vs Strength Training: Who Wins?

As a cardio addict, I myself have been guilty of neglecting weight training.  And it shows.  Although my weight roughly stays the same, my shape has not.  I'm flabbier than I was 8 years ago.  And I work out.  Imagine what would be if I wasn't exercising at all!

Something else interesting happened too:  The number of calories it took to maintain my weight 8 years ago, versus the number of calories it takes to maintain my weight now, has dropped.  Meaning, I have to eat less to stay this same weight.  Ugh.  Who wants that?

So last year, I began to take a closer look at the role our muscles play in our metabolism and how not building them, can lead to both of the above problems.  And I started lifting weights.  It's been start and stop, but the past month I have been much more consistent and am VERY pleased with the results.  Plus I get to throw around phrases like "super set" and "chest press" and that makes me totally cool.  Or a geek.

In last week's GOOP, Gwenyth Paltrow's excellent weekly newsletter, she had the following interview with Dr Oz Garcia.  It explains this muscle business perfectly:

Q:  “How might a 40 something jump start a sluggish metabolism?”

Dr. Oz Garcia, who I've been working with, gave us his answer:

A:  Staying slim and fit is always a challenge but maintaining your girly figure after age forty can be an all out battle. Even maintaining an exact diet and fitness regimen will not beat the penalty of aging.

On average, women gain 25 pounds between the ages of 30 and 60 and it’s not from eating those extra Twinkies. During the course of the natural aging process, women shed lean muscle mass. These lean muscles are the force from which calories are burned even while sitting around and just blinking.

Technically speaking, a pound of lean tissue burns 35 to 50 K’s each day. A loss of just a half-pound of lean muscle could cause you to gain three pounds in just one year, 25 pounds in 10 years, 50 pounds in 20 years and a hefty 75 pounds in 30 years.

So in order for women to stay lean well into their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s they need to maintain those lean muscles. This means working out every day. Yes, every day. Exercise with increased resistance and lower reps will provide increased muscle density and bone strength.

Interval training, when you get your heart pumping at maximum capacity and then slow down for a period of recovery, is great for losing weight in your 20’s and 30’s. Once you’re a bit older, however, you want to regulate your cardio training into a steady bell-shaped progression. Start off slow, work to a crescendo and then work you way back down.

Dr. Oz Garcia is a New York city based nutritionist. He is an expert in anti-aging nutrition and the author of several books on the matter including, “Redesigning 50: The No-Plastic-Surgery Guide to 21st-Century Age Defiance”
So, have I convinced you yet, to pick up some dumbbells?  Here are some great resources to help you design a weight program and get started on re-building your lean muscle mass:

The Body Fat Solution by Tom Veunto
http://www.tomvenuto.com/  (It's worth clicking that link just to get a gander at Tom's AMAZING physique!)

The New Rules of Lifting for Women - Alwyn Cosgrove and others

E-program, Turbulence Training by Craig Ballantyne who gets brownie points for recently going Vegan!
http://www.turbulencetraining.com/presentation.shtml  There's a good video presentation when you click that link.  This is mostly body weight exercises, so a good place to start if you're afraid of the weight room. 

You can get a free 4-week trial of Turbulence Training through fellow blogger Swigg:  http://skwigg.tripod.com/TurbulenceTraining4WeekBWW.pdf

Now, this wouldn't be a post by yours truly if I didn't take a minute to have an honest REAL heart-to-heart with ya'll, right?:

Experienced Exercisers:  If you aren't getting the kind of results you want even though you workout regularly, YOU HAVE GOT TO CHANGE YOUR WORKOUTS!  Sorry about the yelling, but you would not believe how often people complain to me "I already workout a ton and am STILL overweight!"  They use this as excuse to give up or as proof that they really cannot be as lean as they'd like.  Bollocks I say.  Not getting the results you want mean it's time to change something, not throw in the towel completely.  Open Your Minds, people!

Beginning Exercisers:  Don't worry too much about everything I wrote in this post.  You just need to begin building the exercise habit.  Start with walking if that's all you can do.  Start slowly but consistently.  Try to workout every single day.  This is the fastest and most effective way to build this habit.  Don't do so much that you get injured.  Keep it small, keep it slow, but do it daily.

OK, let's build some muscles!