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

How to Make Cooking Keto at Home Easy?

How to Cook Keto at Home Easy?


Posted Leave a commentPosted in Featured, Ketogenic Diet, Life

Cooking at home every day is demanding. Having to think about what to prepare, making it, and cleaning the mess, it is a lot of work. That is why eating out nowadays is so popular and for many the first option. 

On the other hand, I believe that Health starts in the kitchen. Because what we eat define us, and determine our well-being. And there is nowhere you can eat, except for home, that you will know exactly what is on your plate.

And then if you want to eat a Ketogenic Diet, it requires a bit more of planning and effort in the kitchen to make sure you stay on track. However, it can be quite easy!

So, how can we make cooking Keto at home easy?

I believe that it is possible. I cook for my family every single day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snacks, mostly Low-Carb/Ketogenic. I prepare everything from scratch, with no processed foods and always with fresh ingredients.

Here are my 5 tips to make cooking Keto at home faster, more pleasant, and easier.

Start by Planning your Groceries

First, I would recommend you to get clear on your top 10 Keto dishes. Consider having 2 to 3 types of breakfast 5 to 6 types of lunch and dinners, and a couple of snack options. 

After you know what are your usual go-to dishes, it is very easy to get your groceries planed. You will know which foods to buy after repeating the same dishes a few times.

Every time that you are in the kitchen, keep a pen and paper close by. You’ll start noticing which ingredients start to run low. Write them down right away for your next shopping trip.  

Finally, before going to do your groceries, do a final check-up to make sure you can make those 10 favorite dishes. Write down what you are missing. Don’t trust your memory!

Always go Bigger

When buying your groceries, make sure to buy more than enough. You should be able to cook 2 to 3 meals for each of the 10 dishes. This way you won’t have to go to the groceries too often and you’ll save a lot of time.

Keto Fridge
This is how our fridge usually looks like after going to the shop!

When cooking, make sure that you double or triple your recipes. Food in the fridge stays good for at least 4 days and there is always the freezing option. This way, with one effort you can eat many days.

You can opt to separate your meals in portions in case you will take them with you to work. Or for your kids to have something ready just to heat up.

Make it Easy for Yourself

The least processed foods are always best, however, when cooking for a big family it can take a lot of time. So, it is ok if you use some ready or easier to use options like:

      • Pre-washed clean salad
      • Ready washed and cut vegetables
      • Fish and chicken fillets without bones or skin
      • Ready or almost-ready snacks like:
        • Sliced turkey
        • Frozen berries
        • Yogurt 
        • Seeds and nuts
        • Cheeses
        • Olives
        • Boiled eggs

 Try to always have in your kitchen these options. So cooking or putting together a plate with few things can be easy and fast.

When tiredness hits, improvise!

Related to the point above, when you have run out of options and ingredients start to be low at home, it is good to have the “putting a plate together” option.

This means that you can use whatever is in the fridge, maybe some leftovers, add some cheese, a vegetable or two, few olives, boil a couple of eggs, and voila!

Putting a plate together
Steamed broccoli, cherry tomatoes, cottage cheese, and boil eggs. Easy, Keto, and Nutritious!

This takes a maximum of 10 min and you’ll have a good Keto plate to eat. The main thing is that you follow the points above so that you always have something in your fridge or cupboard to fix yourself and your family a quick meal.

Think in advance

A key strategy to be able to stick to the Ketogenic diet is to be one step ahead in the kitchen. Before ending the day make sure you are clear about what you’ll be eating the next day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Also, make sure you have ready Keto snacks, bread, or crackers to eat with or after your meals. Usually, these take some time to prepare. It’s best if you have them ready from the day before and that you do bigger batches. So that you don’t have to worry about them for a few days.

Keto Chocolate Cookies
Have snacks always ready. These are our favorite Keto Chocolate Cookies!

I hope you find these tips useful. This is what I do every day to keep my family fed and healthy. I won’t deny that it’s a lot of work, but these tips make it so much easier and the reward of healthy kids and a happy wife is priceless!

Wishing you an easy Keto Cooking time! 

Daniel

Burn Fat

What to expect when starting a Ketogenic Diet?


Posted Leave a commentPosted in Featured, Health

Let’s say that you have decided to give the Ketogenic Diet a try and you have done your research on How to Get Started.

Changing your diet from a carbohydrate-based diet to a predominantly fat-based diet is a big shift for the body. Depending on your eating history, it’s good for you to be prepared for changes and symptoms that you will experience along the way.

To transition your body to be fat-adapted, it is good to give yourself a minimum of 4 weeks. During this time you will follow, ideally, a strict ketogenic approach, where most of your calories will come from fat (70%-80%), moderate amount from protein (25%-15%), and a minimum from carbs (5%).

During your first month of a Ketogenic Diet, there are different stages. I divided it in weeks, based on what I have experienced myself and with my customers. But, please consider that each person’s experience is different based on their characteristics, past diet, and exercise level.

So, what to expect when starting a Ketogenic Diet?

Week 1:

During this week usually, you are excited about the change but usually is also the hardest one. Carbohydrate’s withdrawal symptoms are real. You might experience flu-like symptoms such as:

    • Headache
    • Runny nose
    • General tiredness
    • Mental fogginess
    • Dizziness  
    • Bodily pains

During this week, make sure to have plenty of resting time, drink lots of water, and supplement with electrolytes, especially magnesium, potassium, and sodium.

If you are used to exercising regularly, some light exercise might help to accelerate the adaptation process. Try not to push yourself too hard because you might find yourself without much energy. But don’t worry, it will return!

Week 2:

The body starts to get used to using fat as fuel and the grey cloud is lifting bit by bit. You are also getting more confident in the kitchen with new dishes, ingredients, and food substitutes.

At this stage, it’s great to start looking for recipes that inspire you and that substitute your favorite foods from the past. Things like Keto bread, crackers, and sweets are great resources to have always ready to accompany, end your meals or snack.

Also, you might start to lose the first kilos/pounds. The first stage of weight loss its mainly accumulated liquid in the body that is released when burning the carbs/glucose storages. Important: drink lots of water and use electrolyte supplements!

Water with sliced lemon
Get a minimum of 2 Lts – 64 Oz. of water per day!

This is a good time to start exercising a bit more regularly. Find the right intensity for you so that you end your workouts feeling good. Still not the time to push too hard. Exercise can help significantly to get you fat-adapted at this stage.

Week 3:

This is usually when you start to feel the best and when the routine of the diet kicks in. You get used to the food and your new daily meals start to feel like your normal lifestyle.

Usually at this point sleep starts to improve and also mental clarity. You might feel more alert and with more energy in general. Also, your appetite and cravings start to lower and you might find yourself not hungry in general.

You might still experience some bodily pains at this point, but don’t worry, it will pass! Keep on supplementing and drinking plenty of water. Also, listen to your body and rest as much as you need to.

Same as the previous week, keep on exercising regularly, at least 3 times during the week. Energy and strength levels might have started to improve during your workouts, but if it hasn’t yet, do not worry. Exercising is the hardest time for the body to use fat as fuel and it might need an extra 1 or 2 weeks to get adapted to its new fuel source.

Week 4:

During this week you should be already using fat for fuel and gotten fat adapted (it might take 1 to 2 extra weeks depending on the case). 

Once the transition has happened you should be feeling all the benefits of a Ketogenic Diet. Weight loss should be progressing at a rhythm of 500 gr to 2 kilos per week if you have some extra weight to lose.

Scale
If you want to lose weight, keep track of your progress on a weekly basis!

Your mental clarity should have improved, as well as your energy levels. You also might be experiencing better night sleeps and needing a bit less sleep than before. And waking up in the mornings should be easier.

Keep notice of the changes and remember what you have gone through. Also make sure you have enough recipes, ideas, and a good plan so that you are always one step ahead of your eating and also possible cravings.

Sticking to a Ketogenic Diet is a huge accomplishment that comes with big rewards. Ideally, during this month you also have worked on your mindset and have a clear and strong reason WHY you want to eat this way. If you are faced with temptations, cravings, or emotional eating moments, remember your BIG reason(s).

I hope you find this useful, and if you need a personal plan and advice to transition into a Ketogenic Diet and a Healthier Lifestyle, contact me. I’d be honored to guide you towards a longer, happier, and healthier life!

Wishing you all the best!

Daniel

Green Smoothie

Morning Routine: Start by Alkalising your body!

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Morning Routine: Start by Alkalising your body!

I’m a big fan of Mourning Routines! I believe that the way we start our day sets us for a great day or not such a great day.

A big part of my morning routine is to alkalize the body which for me it means to rehydrate and refill the system with plenty of water, vitamins, and minerals that are used during sleeping.

When we sleep we can lose up to 1 lt of water per night. We spend 7-8 hours (hopefully) in bed usually without drinking and our body continues to do all of its vital functions, plus, repairs and detox itself. Like magic, right!

During this process water, vitamins and minerals are used. And that is why in the morning we feel thirsty and even mildly dehydrated.

There are a few things that we can do the day before to make sure we have a better night’s sleep, check out my blog about How to Improve Sleep Quality Naturally?

However, when you wake up, follow the following steps to rehydrate and alkalize yourself to get ready for a great day!

Drink water as soon as you wake up

As soon as you wake up drink between 500 ml (17 oz.) to 1 lt (34 oz.) of room temperature water. I like to have a water bottle ready close to my bed so it the first thing that I see and do when I wake up.

If you can, drink your water in front of natural light. This will help your melatonin levels to go down and you will feel awake faster.

Fruits and Water Bottle
Start your day with 1 lt. (34 oz.) of room temperature water!

Get your greens in

After you have hydrated yourself with water, make sure to get the vitamins and minerals that your body needs and that will boost the way you feel during your day.

There are different ways to do this and you can choose your favorite one depending on your taste and the time you have available in the mornings:

1. Green Smoothie: 

In a blender mix your favorite greens, I usually like kale and spinach, add 1 or 2 fruit portions for taste. Here you can also add some good fats, like coconut oil, chia seeds or MCT oil. And if you want to make it a full breakfast, add also some protein powder and you are ready to go!

Make sure to use a good blender. My favorite is the Vitamix 5200. It will make your smoothie experience so much nicer!

2. Green Juice

Similarly to the green smoothie, you can pack a bunch of fresh fruits and vegetables in a green juice. The difference is that in the green juice you don’t get the fiber. But, if you use a slow juicer (this is my favorite one!) you can be sure you are getting the most out or your fruits and vegetables.

I like to use a mix of greens like kale, spinach, cucumber, and celery. Add 1 or 2 portions of fruit for taste (apples and/or oranges are great) and a piece of fresh ginger. This is a simple recipe that tastes good and will give your whole body the boost needed to start the day.

Green Juice
My favorite way to start the day! Fresh green juice packed with all the vitamins and minerals I need!

3. Spirulina/Chlorella or Green Powders

I always prefer fresh and raw fruits and vegetables, but sometimes access and/or time can be compromised to make a smoothie or juice, so green powders come handy.

Green algae’s like spirulina and chlorella are extremely rich in vitamins and minerals plus they have a high content of chlorophyll which is the best natural detoxifier. The only handicap is their taste. 

To drink your spirulina or chlorella in powder form (tablets are also available) mix it with lemon juice and water and it will go down easier. Start with 1/2 tsp of powder and increase the quantity bit by bit once you get used to the flavor. 

Another great option is ready mixed green powders like Amazing Grass ones. They have all the greens that you need plus fruits and vegetable powders which make the taste friendlier. You just need to mix them with a glass of water and that’s it!

Avoid or Delay your Cup of Coffee

It is the habit of many to start the day with a cup of coffee, as fast as possible. Even if you feel awake after your cup of joe, this will dehydrate your body even more after your night sleep.

Coffee is a natural diuretic, which will make you pee more. Therefore you’ll lose more vitamins and minerals and as a consequence extend further the feelings of dehydration after the night sleep. With time you can even compromise your health and body’s natural functioning just by sticking to your coffee habit.

Try instead following the two tips above first and wait for at least 90 min after waiting up before having your first cup of coffee. 

And if you haven’t ever tried to quit coffee, I would encourage you to give it a try!

This could be the answer to many health and mental issues that many people encounter, like mood swings, lack of energy, difficulty falling as sleep, headaches, loss of sex drive, and so much more.

I’ve been there, so I know how it feels! If you are willing to put to rest your cup of coffee, go and check my blog on 5 tips to Quit Coffee and Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms.

There you have it! Start your morning by hydrating and alkalizing yourself and you will see a major impact in the way you feel and the way you think during your day!

And if you have trouble getting your healthy habits to stick and/or have specific desires and needs to improve your health and well-being, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Wishing you a great day or night ahead!

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?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Featured, Life

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

Sleeping in bed

How to improve Sleep quality?

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Featured, Health

How to improve sleep quality naturally?

You have heard the saying; “You don’t know what you have until you lose it!”

That was exactly my experience with sleep. I always have been an excellent sleeper. My friends used to make fun of me saying that I could sleep on bare rocks or even standing in buses (no joke).

Until we had kids!

It’s not a surprise that when you have babies your sleep gets compromised. There might be also other reasons that compromise your sleep quality like mental and emotional stress, alcohol, drugs, overstimulation before going to sleep, etc.

Whichever the reason is that keeps you awake at night or prevents you to slip down a deeply restorative night sleep, here are some tips take have worked amazingly for me, even while having to wake up many times per night because of our small kids.

Darken your room and home

As soon as your brain realizes that it is getting darker it secretes melatonin which is the sleep hormone that will relax you and get you ready to go to bed.

Start by using dim lights in your home at least 1 hour before going to sleep. This will start the relaxation process. Also, darken your room as much as possible using blackout curtains.

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

Limit Blue Light

Based on the same principle as above, TV, cell-phones, and computers stimulate your system and prevents the secretion of melatonin. So, limit using any blue light device for at least 1 hr before going to sleep. Use that time to read a book, connect to your partner and prepare your room for a great night’s sleep.

Use an Acupressure Mat

This is one of the best things that I have ever owned! Really! It is a mat with tiny spikes where you lay down before going to sleep for 15 to 20 min. The spikes relax your whole nervous systems and vanish all the pain and tension in your body.

I would say that it improves your night quality sleep for at least 50%. It is an amazing and very simple tool but one worth trying. Check this link for my favorite one.

You can also use it at any point in the day when you are feeling tired, tense or stressed. It will relax you immediately.

Eat right

This is big! Nutrition has a huge impact on your sleep quality. To make it short focus on:

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables during the day: Having an extra amount of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in your system will help your system to restore and relax while your sleep
  • Hydrate: drink enough water during the day (min 2 Lts. – 68 oz.). To increase water absorption add a pinch of salt or squeeze a bit of lemon juice in your water. Make sure not to drink too much before going to sleep, otherwise, you’ll wake up to pee.
  • Eat Dinner at the latest 2 hours before going to sleep: Make sure you have enough time to digest your last heavy meal before going to sleep. You can still have a small snack before going to sleep if you are hungry but make sure is something light.
  • Have a spoon of honey before going to sleep: Honey sugars composition can trigger serotonin production which is the main neurotransmitter needed to secrete melatonin. Use good quality raw honey and if you want to boost your immune system at the same time go for Raw Manuka Honey.

There is a big debate about how many hours you should sleep. I believe that the quality of your sleep is much more important than the quantity. Anyway, it is important to get the right amount of hours for yourself and combine with the tips above, you will wake up feeling refreshed, clear-minded and ready for the new day.

So, these are the go-to tips I have used consistently to improve my sleep quality naturally especially while raising two small kids. Even if I don’t get too many hours, at least the ones I get are good quality ones!

Wishing you a good night’s sleep!

Until next time,

Daniel

P.S. If you need help to improve your Health and Lifestyle don’t hesitate to contact me and book your 15 min FREE session to get crystal clear on your goals and get started on your journey to a Healthy Lifestyle.

Samahita Retreat

How Breathwork saved my life?

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How Breathwork saved my life? 

This title might sound like an exaggeration. However, depending on the perspective I can guarantee you that if it wasn’t for my breathwork or pranayama practice, my life nowadays would be a complete mess.

I found pranayama 11 years ago, almost by “accident”. Back then, I was working in the Corporate World, immersed in the rat race, and screaming for a way out. Alcohol and weed were my daily medication for the pain I was feeling inside. I was deeply unsatisfied, I was questioning every aspect of my life. I couldn’t believe that that was it. Working 10-12 hours per day, go home, self-medicate and repeat the same the next day.

Thankfully, I had an inner guide that took me into spiritual practices like yoga, meditation, and alternative healings. This other side of my life kept me floating for a little while. I knew that I had to change. I tried quitting my job but didn’t dare to go through it and the pain kept on growing.

Until I took 1 month off and travel to Thailand to Samahita Retreat and my life changed forever. I had signed in for a Pranayama advance training for teachers. I don’t even know how I got accepted. But, it was the perfect place for me to be.

Not only I learned pranayama and breathwork, but I met on that trip my future wife, future business partner and future godmother of my first child. It was a life-changing experience. One that I will be forever grateful. I know something else than my rational mind guided me there.

After learning the practice from my teacher Paul Dallaghan, I was hooked. My whole life perspective changed. Mainly what changed was my mind and the flow of thoughts in it. It was quiet for the first time. There was space between thoughts. I could slow down. I could separate myself from the surrounding circumstances. It was magical!

Paul Dallaghan
Paul Dallaghan Teaching Pranayama at Samahita Retreat

I continue practicing and learning more throughout the years. I also slipped out of the practice a few times. When I have stopped, I could notice what was missing. I became more anxious, more stressed, irritable, prompted to addictions, not such a nice person to be around.

As soon as I took back the practice, the peace came back.

You see! When you have a practice, like pranayama or breathwork is for me, you can rest assured, that you will always have your life jacket on you. No matter what life throughs at you you will navigate through it. It is the best gift you can give yourself.

Breathwork practice
My daily breathwork practice is my life savior!

The other amazing impact that a breathwork practice has over your life is the ability to impact every area of your life. By having a calmer mind you can make different choices, better choices.

Life is made of one choice at a time…

You choose what to eat, what to say, with whom you spent time with, what kind of work you do, how you react to your kids, friends or family. We choose everything!

The thing is that most of the time we choose unconsciously, automatically, without considering that we might even have a different option. Easily we follow other people’s paths, advice or the social norm. Instead of being the own director of our life and choosing how our Life Movie will look like.

This is the power of breathwork for me. It’s not the only way. There are many other practices out there that can give you the same power. The power of choosing your thoughts. Therefore, the power of choosing your own life.

If it interests you to learn breathwork or pranayama and you have the possibility to visit Thailand, please check Samahita Retreat and Paul Dallaghan workshops. It is a life-changing experience.

If you can’t travel to Thailand but are still interested in starting a breathwork practice and change your Lifestyle for good, please contact me and book a FREE 15 min session so I can help you get started on your journey.

Wishing you a life of health, happiness, and joy!

Daniel

Sunrise

Best morning routine for a great day

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What is the best morning routine to have a great day?

How you spend your first couple of hours of the day is your choice. However, the way you do it has an immediate effect on how your day will turn out!

What you do the first hour or two of your day will set the tone for the day you will be having. So, it makes sense to take a little extra effort to choose wisely how we spend those first hours of the day.

You probably have experienced this when starting your days looking at your phone, for example, reading the news, or getting an unfriendly message from your boss, and getting the first negative thoughts in your head. After this happens it’s so much harder to shake the bad feeling away and therefor one negative thought triggers the next one and down the rabbit hole, you go! 

The good news is that we can experience our mornings differently by creating habits that set our days to be happier, calmer and more productive. 

For over 10 years I have been waking up early and have always started my day with some routine or practice that helps me to pre-pave my day to make it a great one!

These are the best habits that I have found work well to set my mind and body for the day.

Start by drinking water:

First thing is to hydrate your body from the night. Try to aim to drink 1 Lt (34 oz) of room temperature water. This will wake you up and make you feel refreshed almost instantly. I like to have a nice water bottle ready next to my bed as a reminder.

If you need an extra wake up help, wash your face with chilled water.

Appreciation:

Starting your day by appreciating the good things in your life is an easy way to increase the chances of having a great day. I usually like to do this in bed, just after waking up, as a way of warming up my mind and getting ready to get out of bed. 

If you find this one difficult, start with the most obvious ones. Appreciate your bed, your pillow, the roof on top of your head, and you’ll see that after a few ones, the momentum carries on and many more will come to your mind.

If you like writing and journalling, doing an appreciation list is also a great way to connect to that feeling of being grateful for what you already have in your life.

Meditate, breathe or contemplate:

The benefits of meditation and introspective practices are broad and well known. The main purpose of this moment as part of your morning routine is to reset your mind.

During this moment you will clear the train of thoughts that you might have carried from the previous day. You connect to the present moment, through the breath, sound, sensations, or your favorite meditation technique. 

If you want to learn to meditate, check my previous blog post here. 

After your meditation, it is a perfect moment to pre-pave your day. Think about how you want your day to unfold. Imagine the great things you will achieve, the great news you will receive and so on. This is the time to visualize your amazing future life ahead!

Meditating
My morning Meditation and Breathing practice is my anchor for the day!

Move and stretch:

Take a moment to stretch your body. Awaken all the joints and muscles. If you are a very active person you can do a few push-ups to increase the blood flow or you can just be gentle and open your physical body for a great day ahead.

Drink and/or eat:

Having rich micronutrient foods in the morning through green smoothies or juices increase mental clarity and also improves the way the body feels.

If you exercise regularly, also a protein-rich breakfast can be beneficial to get your engine going with stable energy throughout the day. 

If you eat and/or drink in the morning, consider that the first meal of the day is the most important one. Your body is the cleanest and the emptiest, therefore it is the most receptive to nutrients. Eat clean nutritious foods of your preference.

If you want to learn more about What to eat? Check out this blog post that I wrote.

Green Smoothie
The greener the better! Start your day with Micronutrient rich foods!

Don’t check your phone: 

This one is probably the most important one! Make sure you don’t see your phone until after your morning routine and your mind is ready to tackle whatever comes your way. 

Going through this morning routing should take you between one and two hours. So, make sure you set enough time so you don’t have to rush through it. Instead, make it a special moment for yourself. 

Because you are the most important person in your world, take the time for yourself to prepare for your great day! 

Remember that our habits make who we are as persons. And our morning habits are the foundation of the quality of the day we will experience. And if we repeat these morning habits morning after morning and we keep having a great day after a great day, guess what?!? We will have a great life!

So, until next time wake up and choose right!

Daniel

P.S. If you need help to implement some healthy habits in your life, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m offering Free 15 min consultations to get you started on a Healthier Lifestyle path.

Coffee Cup notebook

Coronavirus quarantine: What to do at Home?

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Things to do at Home while in the coronavirus quarantine

Now that we have to stay home and go through the quarantine time hoping to stop the coronavirus from spreading any further, it faces us with the next challenge.

What do we do at home with all the extra time that we have? How do we keep on living even if we can’t leave our homes? And how do we stay healthy, physically and mentally?

Here is a list of things to help you adapt your normal life to your home-based life. Also, some ideas on new things that you can try at home now that you have the time for it.

Keep a similar rhythm and routine as your normal life:

By keeping a routine you will use this time productively. There are many things I am sure you had been thinking in the past of doing at home that always got postponed because of lack of time. Well, now you have the time!

Instead of staying on the sofa the whole day, indulging on Netflix, which can be nice for one or two days, use this time productively.

Have a daily schedule, keep waking up at your normal time, don’t skip meals, schedule time for work, time for exercise and time for relaxation. This way your day will go by faster and you feel that you have accomplished something.

This also helps to distract yourself from the news and focus on your life and your love ones. This has a bigger impact on health that you can imagine. By feeling positive, empowered and productive your immune system gets stronger. Negative thoughts and habits do exactly the contrary.

Exercise at home:

Exercising, done in the right amount and intensity, can be beneficial for your mind and also for your immune system. It is the easiest and best way to boost your good-feeling hormones. Therefore, if you are feeling down because of being closed at home, move!

Jump, dance, squat, you name it! You can do the exercise of your preference. Make it a challenge to adapt your previous workout to your home. Use your furniture to do bodyweight exercises and heavy items to do weights. You can also check the links at the end of this article if you want to build your home gym!

kettlebells set
Build your own Home Gym and move your body! You’ll feel better!

Start a new business:

There has not been a better time to think about your future career and finances. The world is changing, and this is a clear example of how vulnerable the world economy can be and therefore your finances.

Starting a new business is the smartest thing to do at the moment. Think about it, you have the time for it. If you put the time eventually, you can build a source of income that doesn’t depend on a “permanent” job and if you do it, you can be in control of your destiny.

And because it has to be from your home, the best option is Online Business! If you find this idea appealing, check this link:

Add your name and email and I will send you a Free Workshop to teach you how to create an Online Business from scratch from Home.

Spend time in the kitchen:

Because food is medicine, and we want to stay healthy, spending time in the kitchen is key. Plus, it can be a great way to entertain yourself and learn some new healthy recipes. Get creative and experiment.

Also, take your time and don’t rush through it. Make it a special moment to connect to your food and if you have a partner or kids, get them involved in the cooking process. This can be a great time to share and enjoy a good healthy meal.

Family Cooking
Cook with your kids! It is a great way to spent time together!

Decluttering, cleaning, and organizing:

Your environment is a huge contributor to your mental and physical health. And now that we are at home, making our home extra special makes complete sense.

Start by decluttering, take everything out from closets, drawers, and cabinets. Then, make two piles, the ones that will stay and the ones that will go. After you have selected the things, you want to keep clean and reorganize them.

The things you will let go, put them in boxes and bags and look for a good new home, donate or maybe resell them. This way you can always help somebody else in need.

If we stay focused on the good side of things and make the best out of this situation, we can come out with lots of accomplishments and with new feelings of achievement.

This can be a great time for refocusing our priorities, making new plans for the future and taking full control of our health and life. I don’t know about you, but I want to be in the driver’s seat of my life! I want to choose my destiny! And I want to live a life of purpose and happiness!

Until next time, stay healthy and stay strong!

Daniel

Links to build a Home Gym:

P.S. If you need help to boost your health at this particular time, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m offering Free 15 min consultations to get you started on a Healthier Lifestyle path.