Why is it Key to Relax and How to?

Why is it Key to Relax and How to
?

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Why is it important to Relax and Tips on How to?

We are living times where everything is happening so fast. We are bombarded with media, messages, emails, constantly and it feels that everything carries a sense of urgency.

I got used to having to respond to every message or email I got almost immediately, having to run from one task to the next and always feeling that I was behind and not doing enough. It can be exhausting and I’m sure you know what I mean.

If we are constantly pushing ourselves to do more, must probably our stress levels are high and with it our cortisol.

Cortisol is the fight or flight hormone. It was extremely handy when we had to run from a tiger chasing us back a few thousand years ago. However, nowadays the tiger is the phone, the bills to pay, the email, the unhappy boss yelling, and so on.

And because those stimuli nowadays are almost constantly on, our Cortisol levels are always up.

So, what happens when we are stressed and Cortisol is high? 

When our fight or flight response is on, our body shuts down or compromises certain systems that are not useful when running away from the tiger, like the reproductive system, digestion, and detoxification.

This has multiple consequences for our health, especially when stress and high cortisol levels are chronically high.

Health issues related to high stress and cortisol are lower immune system, infertility issues, digestion problems, overweight, headaches, and many others.

This should be enough reason to consider reducing stress and add some relaxation during your day! 

So, how to relax? In a smart way

For many, this can be challenging, especially when having to deal with the feeling of not doing enough or staying behind.

But, please consider that you are doing it for your health. Also, I have found that relaxation done smartly can make you even more productive and certainly smarter.

Here are my 4 tips to relax during your day.

Start your day with a Morning Routine

I’m a big fan of morning routines. I like to start my day with 20 min of breathing practices and 5-10 min of visualization and mental preparation of my day. I follow it with a good breakfast high in proteins and fat, which keeps me satiated for many hours and keeps my brain working at its best.

Breathwork practice
My daily breathwork practice is my life savior!

Consider having in your morning routine some movement, meditation, hydration, good nutrition, and don’t check your phone for at least 1 hour after you have woken up. You can check my article about Best Morning Routine for a Great day.

Take Breaks During Work

I have found that working for around 1,5 hrs is the perfect time for me to stay inspired and productive. So, I try to take 15 min breaks in between. I go for a walk, have something to eat, tune into nature, or even go for an exercise session.

Choose something nourishing, calming, and relaxing. Avoid looking at the phone or any other screens. Connect with somebody, have a chat, distract yourself.

This way, when going back to work, you’ll be refreshed, filled with ideas, and ready to give it your all for another 1,5 hrs.

Keep nights for calming down and sleeping

During the night is the best time to let your body recover and restore. And if we do a few things, we can ensure to make the most out of it.

First, start by slowing down at least 3 to 4 hrs before going to sleep. Do things that you enjoy. Share quality time with your family and friends, read a book, stretch, take a bath, etc. Minimize phone usage and blue light in general, especially 1 hr before going to sleep. Use dim lights and create a calming atmosphere at home.

Night lights bedroom
Use dim lights at least 1 hr before going to sleep. Make your room as cozy as possible

At home, we like to put calm music and use dim lights. We also start talking at a lower volume and avoid playing active games with our kids 1 hr before putting them to sleep. We take showers, go to the sauna, use comfy clothes, and spend quality time together as a family.

And to ensure a good quality sleep check my article on How to Improve Sleep Quality?

Schedule unplugging time

Make sure to make time for longer breaks from the routine. It can be called holidays or unplugging time.

The main thing here is that you take yourself away from the day to day routine, keep the phone and computer away and preferably go somewhere else than your home.

When we change scenery our brains automatically let go of the ongoing day to day tasks and it becomes much easier to relax. 

Try to choose a place that brings you calmness, nature is great. And make an effort to be mostly with yourself. These are precious moments to reflect, reconnect, get inspired, make decisions, and so on.

Woman Relaxing
Take time to reconnect with yourself, reflect, envision, and mostly rest!

Follow these tips and keep in mind the effects that stress has on your body, and make sure you carve time to relax. This will not only improve your health but will make you a more productive, inspired, and happier person.

I hope you find this useful and if you need any help to make your Healthy Habits stick please contact me. I would be honored to guide you in your journey to a longer, happier, and smarter life!

Until next time, chill!

Daniel

Salmon Salad

How to start a Ketogenic Diet?


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For many changing diets can be one of the most difficult things to do. Just the thought of having to stop eating foods that represent freedom, comfort or even happiness can be a no go.

So, if you want to change your diet, the first thing is to think about what is your BIG reason(s) to change and WHY you want to do it!

Once you are clear WHY you want to change your diet and have a long term vision in your mind of the person that you want to be, look and feel, then change can happen much easier.

A Ketogenic diet is nowadays one of the leading edge Nutritional protocols that are out there. It’s a diet backed up by science, multiple research, and sponsored from doctors to athletes, achieving remarkable results with all kinds of people.

It’s a diet that can help you with almost every kind of health issue you might have. This is because it works straight into the deepest parts of your cells.

By changing the way we produce energy and by regulating our hormonal system, the Ketogenic diet has the potential to reverse diseases, make you lose weight, and make your immune system stronger than ever.

I don’t know about you, but I find these reasons very appealing to make a change and to let go of the pasta, bread, potatoes, and sweets.

So, if you want to start a Ketogenic Diet, here are the key steps to follow:

Clean your Kitchen

Cleaning your kitchen from the foods that are “not allowed” on a Ketogenic diet is crucial. This will help you avoiding using the wrong ingredients when preparing your new Keto dishes and also to avoid temptations. Make sure your kitchen is clear of:

    • All gluten products
    • All processed carbs, sugar, and starch (corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweets, bread, crackers, honey, agave, juices, dried fruit, sugars, etc.
    • Packed foods labeled “fat-free” or “low-fat”
    • Margarine and vegetable cooking oil (soy, corn, canola, sunflower, etc).
    • Watch out: Gluten-free products usually are packed with starches

If you are living with other family members that are not changing their diet, make sure to reorganize your kitchen so that you have clear places where your Keto foods are stored. This way you will know your go-to place when looking at what to cook and eat.

Restock your Kitchen

Once all the unnecessary carbs, unhealthy fats, and processed foods are out, it’s time to replace it with good quality, highly nutritious Keto foods. Here is a list of the things you might want to have at home consistently.

    • Healthy fats: olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee, almond milk, avocado, olives, nuts, nut butters, cheese, and seeds.
    • Herbs and seasoning: all included if they are free of gluten, low-quality vegetable oils, and sugar.
    • Low-sugar fruits: avocado, bell peppers, cucumber, tomato, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, eggplant, berries, lemons, and limes.
    • Protein: whole eggs, wild fish, shellfish, beef, lamb, liver, bison, chicken, turkey, duck, veal, wild game.
    • Vegetables: leafy greens and lettuces, spinach, broccoli, kale, cabbage, onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, sauerkraut, artichoke, alfalfa sprouts, green beans, celery, bok choy, radishes, asparagus, garlic, leek, fennel, shallots, ginger, parsley.
Keto Foods
Stock your kitchen with High Fat, Highly Nutritious, and Low-Carb foods!

Make a Plan

Some people like to go cold turkey into changes. If this is your way, set a day to start, make sure you have done the previous two steps, and go for it! 

It might be a bit harder the first 3 to 7 days, depending on how many carbohydrates and processed foods have you been eating in the past. But if you battle through the detox and withdrawal symptoms you will feel like never before after being one week on the diet.

On the other hand, if you are a person that prefers gradual changes. Take a week to lower your carbohydrate intake bit by bit. Try to add one low-carb/Keto meal per day the first 3 days, then a second one the following 3 days, and then finish the week with one full Keto eating day.

This way your body will adjust bit by bit and by the end of the week, you will be ready to give it all from thereon.

Supplements and water

There are a few supplements that can help the process. These are electrolytes, especially magnesium and potassium, Vitamin D, and DHA or Omega-3

These supplements, together with plenty of water daily (at least 2 Lts. – 68 Oz. per day), will help your body to feel its best while transitioning from being burning carbohydrates to burning fats for fuel.

I hope you find this information useful and that you strongly consider giving a Ketogenic diet a try. It’s quite remarkable the difference in your body and the healing effects that it has within time.

And if you need someone to help you transition at your own rhythm and terms, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I have been a Health Coach for 10 years and have broad experience helping people changing their diet and lifestyle.

Wishing you a healthy, happy and long life,

Daniel

Grilling

2 years Learnings of Low-Carb Diet

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My Learnings of 2 years of Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diet

For the last 2 years, I have been eating mainly a Low-Carb diet. During this time I have also reduced to a minimum the number of Carbs which at points made it a Ketogenic Diet.

Just to clarify, a Low-Carb diet is when you reduce significantly the number of carbohydrates that you eat. It is a diet focused on protein, healthy fats, and non-starchy vegetables. Usually, fruits, legumes, starchy vegetables, and grains are excluded. Generally, a diet with less than 150 gr per day of carbohydrates is considered a low-carb diet.

A Ketogenic diet is very similar, just that it is more strict in the number of Carbohydrates allowed and a bigger emphasis on the number of fats. Usually, you can eat less than 30 gr of carbohydrates per day. That is very little! The idea is to get the body to use fat as a source of energy instead of carbohydrates.

I am the kind of guy that has tried pretty much every diet that is out there. I have been vegetarian, vegan, raw food only, carb-cycling, high-carb, carnivore, you name it!

So, sticking to a Low-Carb diet for 2 years has been a great accomplishment. The main reason why this diet has stuck over time is because of the way it has made me feel.

Here are my learnings which I hope you find useful:

Regulating Insulin and Blood Sugar Levels has a bigger effect than what I have imagined

When you reduce the number of carbohydrates in your diet considerably, your level of insulin and blood sugar is reduced dramatically. This has a major effect on your body and mind.

Physically, your hormones get balanced. For the first time, I felt that by eating this way I had more steady calm energy, fewer spikes, and drops. Also, appetite hormones got regulated, I was not hungry all the time and the foods that I ate kept me satisfied longer.

Plus, I got rid of the usual sleepy feeling after eating a meal, which is usually a sign of blood sugar dropping while the body tries to re-adjust insulin and hormone levels.

I’m happier and brighter

This was a big surprise for me! But the more I stick to a Low-Carb diet the better my energy and mood are. Therefore, the happier I feel!

This is quite an amazing proof of the power of food and how our body functions. This is a result not only of keeping our insulin levels low but providing our brain with its favorite food. Fats! Yes, the same fats that you have heard that will make you fat. But the truth is that it is not like that.

Fats consumed in the right amount and quality are the best source of energy and fuel for the brain. When insulin level is low, your liver produces from fats ketones which are the best quality fuel for the brain and also body. Think about fats as jet fuel vs. carbs as diesel. Ketones are much more cleaner, effective and powerful.

Olive Oil
Cold-press oils, avocados, olives, seeds, and nuts are great sources of Healthy Fats!

It’s much easier to maintain a lean muscular body

By eating a Low-Carb diet I can be certain that I won’t accumulate extra fat in my body.

Not only because I’m limiting the consumption of carbohydrates, which are the ones that get transformed into stored fat when they are not used and burned.

But also, because eating a diet mainly focused on proteins, good fats, and vegetables is extremely satisfying, therefore there are fewer cravings for sweets and cheat meals.

When exercising regularly and intensively I need a bit more Carbs

I love to exercise! And I love to push myself. I train between 5 to 6 times per week a mix of cardio and weight training.

When I’m pushing myself physically I do feel I need a bit of carbohydrate to get that fast responsive energy that you need when sprinting, doing burpees, or lifting heavyweights.

The trick for me has been to find the right amount so that I can keep the benefits of a Low-Carb diet at the same time that I get a bit of extra energy for my workouts. If I stay in the range of 80 to 150 gr per day of carbohydrates I feel that I am in that sweet spot.

Exercising
Outdoor training! Calisthenics and forest run with my baby!

These are the main things that have kept me hooked to a Low-Carb Diet. Many other benefits are just a consequence of eating this way, like weight loss, extra energy, better sleep, more flexibility, faster recovery, etc. If you haven’t tried yet, I encourage you to give it a try.

Just stay consistent and strict for the first month! The body will have to go through a big change to get adapted to your new way of eating. Therefore, give it time, be patient and enjoy the fruit of your determination after your body will be running smoothly on fats and your mood and energy will be high in the sky.

And if you need help to start this diet, please contact me. I have over 10 years of Health Coaching experience and have helped hundreds of people to change their eating and lifestyle habits.

Wishing you a healthy and happy life!

Daniel

Time for Change

Coronavirus: How to deal with change?

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Coronavirus: How to deal with change?

Change in life is inevitable; we grow, meet people; go to school, get new jobs, get married, we have kids, etc. But the change that we are experiencing nowadays and what is coming ahead in the next months is out of ordinary.

There was nothing that could prepare us for it. We couldn’t see it coming. So, what’s next?

Like everything in life, I believe we carry inside the power to decide how we will go through the experience. It’s an internal game. And even if we have not seen the coronavirus episode through yet, I believe we can and should start preparing for what is coming ahead.

The global economic recession is clear. Jobs, companies, businesses will disappear. And it is shaking the safety and security for many. These might be inevitable changes ahead. But the way you prepare yourself for it is under your control.

Here are the things I have been focusing on,  first, to stay sane and healthy and secondly to be ready for the future that is coming.

Get clear on your goals and stay focused

This is a perfect time to check-in. Set new goals. Make a crystal clear vision of the life that you want to live. The person you want to become. The work that you want to do. The people you want to surround yourself with. Every single aspect. You have a great opportunity to re-check and decide. See it almost as starting with a blank page. Write your new story. And literally, write it down!

And then, after it’s written, and crystal clear, stay focused! Read it every single day. Practice those new qualities that you want to see in you already now. Even if it is alone in your home. Start taking baby steps, every single day.

Take this time to gain momentum. The more time and days you put in to create the new version of your life, the closer you will be once all of this is over!

Keep up your practices and/or passions

To make the point above easier and possible, we need to stay centered and connected to ourselves daily. Practices like yoga, meditation or breathwork can help us achieve that. The main thing is to be consistent. Every single day, take a moment to connect to yourself using your favorite toolkit.

Breathwork practice
My daily breathwork practice is my life savior!

If you are not into those types of things, I’m sure you have something that you are passionate about. Maybe is music, art, exercise or building something. Find your way and do it! Take the time to stay present, balanced and in touch with yourself. Then, taking steps towards your new life vision and goals will be much easier.

Make your home a sanctuary

We are spending more time at home than ever before. So, it is especially important to keep your home as your sacred space. Not only that is pleasant, clean, organized but also that is your little bubble in the middle of these.

Make it the place where you are building your new life vision. Where peace, joy, and love surpasses any other worrisome thought or bad news. Use music, make special meals and if you feel inspired, get some cleaning and decluttering done. It will make you feel lighter and give you good momentum to tackle bigger and new projects.

Living room
A tidy home is a reflection of a tidy mind! Pour your love into it!

Make a plan

Get practical! Make a plan to know how you will navigate the rough waters. Important! Do it in a moment that you are feeling good. Like for example, after your favorite practice, hobby or exercise.

Look at it with a solution-oriented mindset. You’ll see that when you are feeling good, ideas will flow and suddenly the big fearful unknown can get cleared and you will feel hopeful and ready to keep the momentum going towards the new life that you want to build.

Treat it as a business meeting. Meaning, take the time to focus on it, find solutions and then move on with your day with a positive and solution-oriented mindset.

It is a virtuous cycle! Get clear on your goals, take baby steps, stay centered and feeling good, get practical and repeat!

I hope you find this useful. I have said many times lately, that I truly believe that this is an amazing time to change and re-invent ourselves. To finally move towards the life of our dreams. To keep what is working and get rid of what is not. To expand and grow. What else are we waiting for?

If you need help to get crystal clear about your Life Vision and the strategy to get there, please contact me. It will honor me to coach you through that process.

Until next time, stay clear, stay focused, one step at a time!

Daniel