This weeks' post is a quick one but I hope you find it valuable. Through my research, I always hear recommendations of other books, websites, etc. to check out and there are a couple websites I feel everyone should know...
One of the keys to living healthy is eating fresh foods. By buying our food locally, we are not only benefitting our health but our community as well. LocalHarvest.org is a fantastic resource for finding local farms, CSAs, farmers markets, and stands near you and seeing what they offer if you live anywhere in the United States. I live in a relatively remote area but it's amazing how many local resources there are around me that I would have never known about without this website.
Whether you're looking for fresh eggs, meat, vegetables, honey, meat, maple syrup, you name it - you should be able to find a local resource if not multiple options through this site. If you are looking for a farm/CSA to get food from regularly, many farms provide information on when you can tour their land so you really know where the food is coming from and how the animals there are treated.
I highly suggest checking it out. You'd be doing your community service by supporting local farmers and yourself a service by getting fresh, organic foods. You can also easily find grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork, free range chicken and eggs, and other high quality foods through this resource.
Thank you, Ben Greenfield, for showing me this website. I believe I first discovered it in his book, Beyond Training.
Another key to having good health is obviously water. According to Shawn Stevenson, here are the best sources of water in order:
FindASpring.com is a resource that can be used all around the world (especially in North America or Europe) to find a natural spring near you. I just discovered this resource recently - I've used it near where I live and when I've traveled but have not a had a spring near me yet. But when I do, I will report back.
Thank you, Shawn Stevenson, for letting me know about this website and I look forward to using it.
Check out those resources and let me know what you think in the comments. If you end up using one of them to get fresh food or water, definitely share your experience!
This is an unusual post - normally I cover specific topics on nutrition, fitness, or inspiration to help others on their self-improvement journeys. If this is the first post you read, I encourage you to look at one of my other recent posts:
If you enjoyed it enough to subscribe so that you get notified of new posts or news about the blog, head over to my Contact Page! Thank you for reading!
Guest Post - Written by April Shwe-Paul
I'm April Shwe-Paul, a Success Mindset & Purpose Coach from Auckland, New Zealand. I help ambitious people find clarity on what true success looks like and help them in achieving their goals. My YouTube Channel is all about self-development, where I share knowledge and expertise specifically in the area of mindset so that I can improve the quality of your life.
We are currently in uncertain times and the next few years will certainly bring more challenges and curveballs our way. While we can't control what happens in the world and external forces that affect us, we have control over how we react to it.
Here is a brief summary of my top 7 tips on how to manage stress given in the video above...
Getting out of your head and into your body is a great way to manage your state in stressful situations. Walking, hiking or getting out in nature will have a profound and positive impact on your mental state.
Meditation allows you to be more present and live in the moment instead of worrying about future scenarios. This trains your brain to be more patient, learn to stay in the present, and to focus on what you can control.
Meditation also help you be more relaxed. So the more stressed out you are, the longer you should meditate.
3. Perspective Change
Having a perspective change is really helpful to look at situations more objectively. I always think about the big picture when I encounter a stressful situation and ask myself questions that help me snap out of the downward spiral.
For instance, I'll ask myself questions like: “If you were given a month left to live, is this really that big of a problem in your life?” Questions like this help bring perspective and center my thoughts on what is really important.
Do a brain dump into your journal to help you manage stressful situations. Getting your thoughts on paper can help you realize how irrational some of your thoughts are. More importantly, journaling gives you an opportunity to address some of those issues. Once you’re able to prioritize your problems to resolve, you can create a step-by-step action plan to address them.
5. Take Care of Your Well-being
Look after your overall well-being. It's easy to neglect our health when we feel stressed but in order to overcome obstacles in our lives, we must be in a good state to tackle them. Having a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and drinking enough water are all keys to taking care of yourself.
6. Hugs & Talking to Friends
There's scientific proof that hugs help you manage stress. Oxytocin is produced when you hug someone. Oxytocin is a hormone that has been shown to reduce blood pressure and it also counters norepinephrine (the stress hormone). So embracing someone can boost both your mental and physical health.
On top of all that, talking to someone you trust who has an outside perspective can help you have a better perspective on your situation.
7. Focus on What You Can Control
Don't just focus on the outcome. Make sure to also focus on what you can control in the moment. Look at things as a learning experience rather than looking at it from an outcome perspective.
Asking yourself questions focused on empowering solutions can help with this. For instance, ask questions like:
I decided to reach out to April because I found her content valuable and thought you would as well! April provides great information in creative ways through her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube Channel.
Follow her content if you enjoyed this post and let her know your thoughts in the comments below!
The main reason that nutrition is so confusing nowadays is the variety of diets based on opposing ideas. The biggest argument of all – carbohydrates. There are many different forms of diets based around the idea that carbohydrates should be as low as humanly possible if you want to lose weight. And then there are those that focus on a lower-fat, calorie-counting approach?
So, which is right? What is the key to weight loss? Low-carbohydrate, low-fat, or calorie counting?
Before proceeding, please know that I am no expert. I feel that I can have an open discussion about this topic because I have experimented with both diets enough to have a good understanding of what works for me and have researched multiple experts on both sides of the coin.
From my research, here is where the experts side on this…
The experts that mainly focus on longevity like Dr. Cate Shanahan, Dr. Steven Gundry, and Ben Greenfield state that low-carbohydrate diets are what matters. The statements they make against carbohydrates are along the lines of, “Carbohydrates are just complex sugars and end up being equivalent to simple sugars after being broken down as glucose in the body.” They explain how crucial healthy fats are in your diet and that cholesterol is wrongly accused of heart problems and instead label processed foods, vegetable oils, and sugars as the culprits.
The experts that mainly focus on muscle-building like Mike Matthews and Greg Nuckols state that calories are what matters when it comes to weight loss/gain. They do not disagree with the importance of eating natural foods and state that if you go to the gym, it is even more important to eat natural foods. Outside of your total calorie count, they explain the importance of eating enough protein and prescribe a more balanced diet between carbohydrates, fats, and protein. For instance, Mike Matthews prescribes 45%, 25%, and 30% respectively (this specifically is for maintaining muscle), while also suggesting 80% of your diet comes from fresh, natural foods at a minimum.
From my experience, this is where I stand…
Personally, I enjoy using a low-carbohydrate diet when I need to cut weight. I aim to eat less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day and 90% of the time can hit that goal. I do not think there’s any solid proof that this is any better than a low-fat diet but for me, I like it because it essentially forces me to mainly eat natural foods and fat is much more satiating so I really never feel hungry, even if I decide to fast for most of the day.
When I need to build muscle, I eat more carbohydrates and I don’t worry about it. As long as I hit my goals for calories and protein and am still eating natural foods for the most part, I feel I am on the right track. I’m progressing in my workouts, adding weight, and feel great overall.
At the end of the day, you need to find the diet that works best for you. Find a diet you’re interested in and buy a couple cookbooks to make sure it is something you will enjoy. The best diet (and exercise program) is the one that you will adhere to and implement consistently.
If a diet (or exercise program) has worked for hundreds of thousands of people, it obviously works for some. Ultimately, you should never take a diet or exercise program as gospel. Experiment and make tweaks so that you enjoy it but are still making progress.
Side Note: I do not mean to discount any experts. I respect all experts I have done deep research on; they've done great work to influence hundreds of thousands of people, have taught me a ton, and have made an enormous positive impact on my life.
You are more than welcome to add to the discussion or ask questions in the comments below!
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Thank you for reading and please share on!
I’m not sure about you but I am noticing a TON of negativity lately. And rightfully so.
Are you upset about politics? Are you worried about what things will look like in a year from now? Or five years from now? Have you gone through a major career change? Or lost your job and aren’t sure what direction you’re headed in? Are your kids struggling with learning from home and you’re at a loss because you simply don’t have the time outside of your full-time job to help them?
These are all real struggles that many people are facing right now but here is what I want you to do: Stop. Relax. Take a breath.
Realize that nothing gets solved by taking out your frustrations on other people. Know that even though negativity is contagious, positivity is even moreso. By supporting each other and showing each other love, you’re helping other people and you’re also helping yourself stay positive.
Things will get better. Your luck has not run dry. We all will get through this. We just need to keep working hard and supporting each other. Also, we need to figure out what we can’t control versus what we can control.
The feeling of fulfillment comes from improving areas of your life that you know need some work, a.k.a. you know you’re moving forward. Whether it is in your career, your relationships, your knowledge, or your health, making improvements in your life (even if it is just a 1% change every day) is what you should focus on if you want to be happy.
There are 1 million ways to go about this. Start small. For instance, here are a few:
Just evaluate where you are falling short and make little changes. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Small hinges swing large doors,” and it’s true.
There is much more light in this world than darkness. Invest in yourself so that you can live your best life and support others who could use some positive vibes.
So please, quit fighting and worrying and start enjoying everything life has to offer. One step at a time.
Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this post, please comment below and/or share it on to others. We could all use positivity in these times, even if this just speaks to one person and helps them, I am grateful to be able to do that.
You can also subscribe to my blog by going to the Contact Page and providing your email. It is completely free and you will get my free guide to nutrition and fitness along with it! I intend to make a similar guide in the near future related to inspiration.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.