Ho’oponopono. What the heck is Ho’oponopono?
Meditation and contemplation is an excellent topic to share with you, and I am excited to have our first guest blogger on YourStressIsGone.com contribute it! I have known Jan Wininger for 4 years now, and she has become a close and valued friend (along with her husband Dave). Jan is blessed with an impenetrable zeal for life, and she has the power to bless people with her positive attitude and enthusiasm. I recently learned, she is one of the few that is able to reach a truly deep state of meditation, and so I am so pleased she is sharing her thoughts here with us…..
We incur many kinds of stress from many sources. Naturally we try to lessen our stress. Some people do this by exercise, others may prefer listening to music, or being absorbed in a hobby, any kind of distraction. However successful those venues may be, they are only temporary. They don’t really solve the problem and may not decrease the stress in a meaningful manner. It is a natural reaction that we seek a way to induce peace and calm within ourselves. A balancing of the negative and positive energies.
“Meditation is the soul’s perspective glass ” -Feltham
“Meditation is the life of the soul; action is the soul of meditation; honor is the reward of action: so meditate , that thou mayst do.”- Quarles
Meditation is both calming and rewarding. Contemplation is rewarding also. These must not be confused.
To contemplate a thought or concept is to focus on its meaning. Contemplating is easier than meditating. To meditate, one must empty one’s mind. Contemplation is focusing on a thought. As you focus, different levels of meaning will emerge. You will begin to mentally associate the idea with the main thought, you will lead yourself to deeper insights and understanding. It is perfectly fine to think while contemplating. The key is maintaining your focus.
We are all on a spiritual path, however, we are all moving at different speeds.
Contemplation and meditation are not easy. They require self/honesty and removing our defences. We are conditioned and taught to be analytical, yet this is counter productive when contemplating and meditating. Contemplation and meditation are about being free to explore. Contemplation will lead you to a clearer understanding of your spiritual nature. When you focus on one thought, eg kindness – you open yourself up to associations connected with it. kindness – perhaps your mother, a friend, an act. It may elicit a feeling. It can be quite rewarding when you focus on the spiritual act of the word kindness. With more experience of contemplation, you will gain and develop a sense of inner peace. This can become a part of your daily routine!
More balance = less stress.
We contemplate everyday without knowing it! How do we contemplate? Begin by finding a quiet place to relax alone. Take your time. Focus on a thought and then think about on its responses and then let the responses multiply. Contemplating may evoke memories, insights. Try to contemplate only one thing at a time. If you don’t succeed the first time, repeat the same thought again at another time until you develop more insights. As you practice, your mind will stray but there still is a connection to the original thought. Contemplating should be pleasurable for you. Its purpose is to become liberated, and not hung up on the process.
How to begin?
Well today is day 21 of my 21 Day Health Transformation. I have noticed some amazing differences. I hope that you will all get to try this sometime soon.
My main intention was to take control of my lifestyle. To be the boss of me. To take so many of the things I have learned…about what I eat, what I think, what I do exercise wise, how I breathe…and do it for 21 days…to see what results I would get. For me to do it, as living proof, and then to share it with those who were looking to make a change in their own lives.
I have seen too many people walking around like zombies. Living life in a fog. Slowly dying inside. Losing who they were. Not becoming who they wanted to be. Eating crap for food. Poisoning their bodies. Feeding crap into their minds. Becoming jaded, unfocused. Not moving their bodies. Becoming sedentary, and just accepting the lack of energy and the aches and pains that built up. Letting their auras stagnate. Drowning slowly. I know because I was one of them. And so I can sense it in others.
Over my 21 days, the thing that I am most blown away with, is how much more energy I have. It is crazy! Some nights I have been up late doing creative stuff because my mind was on fire. And so many mornings I have naturally, without an alarm clock, just arisen, wide awake, alert and ready to go. In case you don’t know me…that was not something I am used to. Getting up was always a chore, fatigue was a natural feeling for me. But in these 21 days, especially as they wore on, I got generally really good sleeps, and woke up refreshed and ready to roar! I did my breathing exercises each day, to oxygenate my body. I crave my walk each day (and my cravings for chocolate have decreased dramatically). I feel good about myself because I made so many good decisions in the 21 days about what not to eat, and what to eat….what would hurt my body and what would heal my body. I know that applying this is the answer to allowing my body to be as healthy as possible. Preventative health care, instead of reactive health care and medicine.
Even though s*ht happened to me last week, I was able to cope with it and not break down like in the past I might have by getting sick, or going on a binge junk food attack. I dealt with my stresses in a healthier way. I had a more positive attitude due to the mental exercises I did daily. Life seems so very bright.
And oh, by the way, in the 21 days, I lost 14 pounds, and I have to take my belt in because my pants keep sliding down a bit! I didn’t diet. I was never hungry. I generally ate immediately when I felt a twinge of hunger. As I’ve said from the beginning, the 21 Day Health Transformation is not about losing weight. It is about regaining your life and your energy, about strengthening your body from the inside out and protecting yourself from sickness and disease that may be entire avoidable…and you just may find you begin to lose some pounds and transform your body as well.
The very first 21 Day Health Transformation session officially starts this coming Sunday August 26th. You have until midnight Tuesday August 21st to register, because I will start sending out some prep material right after that. I am very excited for those of you registered, I have some great tips and exercises that I believe will really help you as they have me.
I am the luckiest man alive. I have a wonderful family, I have my health back, I have true and great friends, I get to follow so many of my passions including coaching and helping people, I live in a great country. I feel blessed to be able to share with you all that I have learned over this past decade plus…so that you don’t have to go what I went through.
Peace, Health and Happiness!
Quinoa is a food you can do so much with, and is super healthy for you to boot!
I first heard of Quinoa years ago (I can’t even remember exactly how we came across it). We immediately got into a “how do you pronounce it?” quandary. I said well, obviously it is “kin-oh-ah’. My wife said a friend of hers at work called it “keen – wah”. Well I laughed at her friend (but turns out maybe I was wrong…which is impossible, because I don’t think I am ever wrong…lol!) And then last year at our local fall fair, they actually had a cool food stand that cooked nutritious food (is that even possible at a fall fair…hidden amongst the fries trucks and jumbo ear stands)…and I order “kin-oh-ah”…and the guy actually rolled his eyes at me (like it was an onerous chore for him to correct the masses), and repeated to me, “so you would like to order some “keen-wah”? Believe it or not they were actually sold out, and I had to come back in 20 minutes, because they were overcome by the demand! Good food is catching on…even at fall fairs!
Quinoa is easy to cook
It is really easy to make quinoa, especially if you have a rice cooker, just put 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. It can be cooked in a pot. I love quinoa with veggies! In fact one of my more favorite things these days is I take a soup stock, pour it in a pot, add a cup of quinoa, whatever cut up veggies I fell like that day (I always try to add different colours, like green and red and orange) and let cook over a low heat until the quinoa is all sprouted (yes it actually sprouts as you cook, which makes it even more nutritious), and it still has some soup present. I eat some right away, it is hot, filling, but also goes down easy. I always cook more quinoa than I want, then snack on it for the rest of the day, and refrigerate what ever is left.
Quinoa is highly nutritious
Quinoa is often labeled as a grain, but is in fact a pseudograin…actually a seed. It does not contain gluten, which makes it an alkaline-forming, easily digestible option for those who are gluten-intolerant. (and this number seems to grow every day).
Quinoa is very light. It has high levels of vitamin B, which helps convert carbohydrate into energy. It is a source of potassium, iron, and protein, as Quinoa is about 20% protein. It has all 8 essential amino acids. It also is said to have 2 antioxidant phytonutrients, and contain anti-inflammatory nutrients (which may help against cardio vascular diseases).
Here are two links you might find interesting. This link talks in-depth about the health properties of quinoa, and this link I include because they have a crazy amount of quinoa recipes (I am sure not all of them are good for the 21 Day Health Transformation, but you can have some fun looking at them!)
Years ago, I gave up using white rice (and so has my wife…and believe me that is no easy feat for a Philipina…as rice is so engrained in their culture!) Try it! I really think you and your family will like it!
Comfort Eating is something I had not realized I had been doing, but now that I am aware of it, it seems I have been doing it for as long as I can remember.
© Elborto | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos
Comfort eating is what we may do when we are feeling blue. Maybe sad, depressed, tired, bored, lonely…when we are looking for something that will make us feel better. Comfort eating might have started when we were young babies and children. If we got an ouchy, or were sad…our mom and dad might have bought us an ice cream or some other treat. I know that as parent myself, that is something I did for my daughters. If they had a rough day for some reason, then it was a great reason to go to Baskin Robbins and get a nice hot fudge sundae.
As we get older comfort eating might occur when we have a problem with a relationship, or a tough day at work. It may occur if we feel a low esteem, and that at least this Caramilk bar will love us if no one else will…well at least the sugar rush will make us feel good!
I know that when ever I have been stressed out in life I did comfort eating. If I was sad because my sports team lost I did comfort eating. If I was feeling sorry for myself for some reason (boo hoo) I did comfort eating. I did this for as long as I can remember. And in fact what is worse is that I would sometimes go see a movie (bye bye money) and then eat a large popcorn, large coke and large chocolate (bye bye money and hello pounds…lol)
I want to give you a real life example of comfort eating … that didn’t happen to me this week! I think this will help you, especially those of you registered for the upcoming 21 Day Health Transformation which is coming up really soon!
On Tuesday, I received a phone call with what seemed devastating news to me. My very first reaction was I decided I needed to go to the corner store and buy a chocolate bar. Can you say comfort eating?
And here’s where I owe it to all of you out there, and to this blog: I did not do comfort eating.
So yes I thought about it, my brain said to do it…it wanted an immediate rush of Dr. Feelgood (sugar). But I asked myself “Ok, so what will happen if I do that?”
1) I will be out $1.50 (because although it may be convenient, a convenience store is never cheap) = financial stress
2) I will eat calories I don’t need , and the chocolate bar basically offers absolutely no sustenance to the body = health stress
3) Mentally I will feel like crap afterwards because I let myself down by doing something I did not want to do = mental stress.
So although the comfort food may have given me some comfort for a few minutes, ultimately the comfort food would add to a lot of dis-stress and potentially dis-ease.
I am giving myself a pat on the back right now as I read this because I can say to myself “Good Job Tony”. Often we love to give praise to others, but sometimes we have to stop and acknowledge ourselves for the good deeds we do for ourselves….we need to show ourselves the love too!
For additional information on comfort eating, here is a link you might find interesting.
We would love to hear your stories of comfort eating, and how your life will change by being aware of it and altering your habits.
Almonds are a powerful tool in the 21 Day Health Transformation.
At all times, I try to have a small bag of almonds around me somewhere…just in case I need them. Why you ask, would I do need almonds?
I need almonds when:
- I want something crunchy (do you ever just get that feeling?)
- I want something quick, easy and nutritious
- I feel an urge to grab a chocolate bar
- I want to put some “sustenance” in a dish like chilli
- I make my amazing energy bars
- I want to nibble (instead of chips or something)
- They go great on salads!
There are so many times, when having 6 or 7 almonds will just fill me up enough to stop that urge for something not good for me, that I give it rave reviews. For example. The other day I had to walk to Shoppers Drug Mart to buy stamps. Well…it just so happens that in Shoppers Drug Mart they have a section dedicated strictly to chocolate…and man was I ever a chocolate hound. (notice I say “was”) By association if I was feeling tired, I would immediately find myself walking over to Shoppers to buy a 4 pack of Caramilk bars. (and on certain days I ate them all!). But this time, I knew what I would see there. I also knew that just thinking about going was starting to set a bell off in my head…alarm…time to buy Caramilks. So what I did was grab a handful of almonds, and on my way to the store I very slowly crunched them one by one, fully chewing them. And by the time I had got to Shoppers my urge had passed, and I was able to walk safely to the stamp section, passing the chocolate aisle both on the way there and the way back! Yes a few almonds now and then have really saved me in my 21 Day Health Transformation so far!
Almonds are quite high in vitamin B12, fiber (to make sure stuff moves through your body) and antioxidants (to fight against the free radicals that can do such harm to our body).
Although I like them raw the best, if you soak almonds it actually makes them easier to digest, and makes them more nutritious…try them both ways and see what you like.
Don’t get roasted almonds, don’t get them salted or smoked, and try to keep your hands off the chocolate coated ones! Stick with plain old raw ones…they will grow on you.
Did you know almond milk is a great substitution for milk? My whole family has given up milk, and daughter Sierra now thinks that milk tastes weird! You can either buy almond milk at the store, or make your own. Here is a simple recipe for almond milk!
Enjoy almonds….chew them slowly and really savour them.
Almonds may really help YOU in your 21 Day Health Transformation!
Wow. My weight loss in the first 7 days of the 21 Day Health Transformation is 6.8 pounds, approx 1 lb per day. Crazy! Nice! Motivating! The 21 Day Health Transformation is not just about weight loss, no, not at all. It is about becoming healthy from the inside out. It is about de-stressing yourself. It is about having positive mental habits. It is about feel healthier, happier and more energized. It is about feeling fully alive again. But hey, as a side effect, a little weight loss is not a bad thing eh? (Yes I am Canadian …eh!)
I wanted to share with you a couple of announcements, especially for those of you receiving my posts automatically via email.
Improvements To The Site
I have modified the entire look of the site (and will be continuing to add more valuable content and make it visually more appealing). Please check it out and tell me if you think it is an improvement over the earlier version. What other things would you like to see in the future on the site, or subjects you would like addressed?
Why Has It Been Re-named Health Transformation?
The 21 Day Health Challenge has been renamed to the 21 Day Health Transformation because I don’t want people to think this is scary, or competitive or anything like that. It is not. This is just a time for YOU to work on YOU. To implement things; perhaps new things, perhaps things you knew already but have forgotten; and to have someone there with you everyday so that you don’t feel like you are alone. We can do wonderful things when we work together. You are all one of the things that is making these 21 days even more fun for me! Weight loss may be part of your health transformation…but there is so much more to get as well!
How Have I Achieved This Weight Loss?
I am keeping logs of exactly what I am doing during my 21 days, and will share that with all of you who register for the 21 Day Health Transformation. (which is free this time only) However, you need to know that I am really not doing that much different from what I normally do! I still go to work each day. I still coach soccer. I still drive my kids around from place to place. I still work on this website. I am still planning for the fall basketball season. I am pretty darn busy as always. Why the exciting results of feeling more energy and weight loss (actually 2 people at my region meeting complimented me on my weight loss…and I didn’t even think it was noticeable at all…but it was nice to hear) if I am mostly doing the same I usually do? Well it is because of the “mostly” You see there are some key things I am doing differently (they may be small things…but they are CRITICAL things, and that is what I will share with you in the 21 Day Health Transformation.) Seriously…isn’t it time for you to change even part of your life…to do even a little transformation?
Thanks everyone for reading, and contributing, and telling your friends and loved ones about this site and this blog. Together we can make a huge difference in this world.
And don’t forget, any feedback or nice stories, or new things you have learned, please feel free to post them in the comments (to make a comment, simply click the comment button at the bottom of this post, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Peace, Health, Happiness and Success!
Moo! The milk cows will like this post, but the dairy farmers may not…lol!
Looking back, another thing that has positively impacted my health is decreasing my milk and dairy intake. I first read about it years ago. At the time I was interested because research seemed to suggest that dairy products might somehow create more mucous, and might somehow agitate my sinuses…which kept leading to sinus infection after sinus infection. I have to tell you that it was hard for me to even think about it at first. All my life I had cereal (processed sugary crap that I had to beg my mom to buy like Count Chocula…she tried to help me choose better things…but who could resist my “please ….”) for breakfast, along with milk! The media always promoted milk as good, that it would build my bones, that it would give me protein and energy and that to top it all off, when you drank milk you had an amazing time sporting that white mustache. I remember so vividly the slogan they used that was so catchy … Got Milk? I remember they even did “hip” ads showing some diary farmers grooving and rapping to a milk song. Heck there was hot chocolate, there was Nestles chocolate milk powder. And cheese! Cheese and crackers was great! Ice cream! Yogurt! Yum yum yum. But I kept getting sick, sick, sick.
However I have seen too many things that suggest that maybe dairy products aren’t as good for us as we have been led to believe. I have read of many instances where dairy increases dis-ease in the body. Many people seem to be allergic to it now…lactose intolerant. They pump tons of growth steroids into cows to increase their milk productions….where do those steroids end up? (and by the way haven’t we banned steroid use in most sports?) I coach basketball, and see many of the young men playing…is it coincidence that they kids are getting taller and taller and taller at younger and younger ages? Milk cows are also given antibiotics to decrease infections. And it was a wicked cycle of antibiotics that I was caught on when I was ill. These materials (like growth hormones and antibiotics) become contaminants in the milk and their impact on the human body is not entirely known. The more you research the subject, the more mystified and alarmed you may become.
And before you read below, just allow yourself to ponder this: Are milk and dairy products a HUGE business? Is there a lot of money to be lost by some people if dairy consumption decreases? Things that make you go hmmm…
I found a very interesting article (see here) written by Dr. Mark Hyman about milk and the many reasons to decrease your milk or pass on it altogether. Amongst other things the article discusses the work of Walter Willet, M.D., Ph.D Following are some clippings from the article I read:
The Truth about Dairy
Based on such findings, Dr. Willet has come to some important conclusions:
• Milk doesn’t benefit sports performance.
• There’s no evidence that dairy is good for your bones or prevents osteoporosis — in fact, the animal protein it contains may help cause bone loss!
• Dairy is linked to prostate cancer.
• It’s full of saturated fat and is linked to heart disease.
• Dairy causes digestive problems for the 75 percent of people with lactose intolerance.
• Dairy aggravates irritable bowel syndrome.
Plus, dairy may contribute to even more health problems, like:
Our bodies just weren’t made to digest milk on a regular basis. Instead, most scientists agree that it’s better for us to get calcium, potassium, protein, and fats from other food sources, like whole plant foods — vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and seaweed.
What can you drink instead? Try almond milk. (I will discuss this more in a following post)
During the 21 Day Health Challenge I will be challenging you to give up milk for 3 weeks. Give it a try and see how you feel. You may be surprised what nagging things quietly disappear.