Tuesday, January 29, 2013

You DID NOT create anything on your own!

Everything that exists in this world is a co–creation. There is no "me" or "mine." Nothing you create is "yours" and yours alone. In the bigger picture of life, it has never been — neither will it ever be — that "this is mine" – "I did this myself" – "this is my idea."

Each and every single idea you have is in one way or another inspired or triggered by someone else's thoughts, words, or actions. So yes, while words like "I" "me" "mine" are merely linguistic convention used in order to express a story, the true essence of everything created comes from "we," not "me."

We are all co-creators inspired by one another's existence and creations. Let's not lose sight of our humility through the language we speak. Look beyond linguistic convention once in a while and give credit where credit is due. Silently (or out loud) give thanks to others for whatever you've created in your life — in your work, your relationships, your community, or whatever successes.

When people say "Thank you for everything you've done for me," my natural respond is "I couldn't have done it alone. Thank you for your help."

— If the only prayer you ever say is "thank you," that would be enough.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Being stuck in traffic can make you smarter!

Looking out the window and seeing the morning traffic inspired me to share this with you. Whenever I'm stuck in traffic I try to make use of the otherwise wasted time by listening to Italian CDs and learning to speak Italian. You could learn a new language, too, or choose other learnings that interest you. Una buona idea, si? :)

Buy audio books to listen in your car; you could listen to motivational speakers, or topics on finance, business, and even health. By the time you get to your destination, you could learn that the cells of your body is constantly renewing themselves, so healing yourself from illness is more possible than you are led to believe.

Or you would learn that our awe-inspiring, incomprehensibly gigantic Universe consists of countless solar systems that contain planets similar to Earth, and that those are just the ones we know about, since most of the stars we've looked at are within about 300 light- years of Earth and the distance to the center of our galaxy is nearly 100 times that — and you would then realize that the silly thing you said or the dry-cleaning you forgot to pick up are about as significant as the gum under your shoe.

So enjoy your time when stuck in traffic, knowing that when you reach your destination, you would arrive smarter than when you left your house. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

How to be smart when dining out (so you can enjoy guilt-free)

Part 1 of 3

One of my many favorite cheat foods is pizza. And I like to have the whole thing to myself! So I try to make the best choices I can when I eat out.

I always choose a thin crusted pizza (preferably whole wheat, but if not available, it's okay).

And I always ask for "take it easy on the cheese please." I usually ask for half the cheese they normally put. You don't need your pizza drowned in cheese — a light layer enough for flavor should do the trick. 

And boom! Just like that, with those wiser choices, you just cut your pizza calories in half. Less grease, less fat, less starchy carbs, but still same great taste and just enough to receive nutrients without overloading on "food"!

When making pizza at home, opt for low fat cheese, and use thin crust bread. You can even split a pita bread or an English muffin in half and use that as your crust, or use a fajita wrap! :)

Part 2 of 3

I love meat! Here I'm having a delicious braised short rib with Italian sausage in fresh pomodoro (tomato) on a bed of creamy polenta (cornmeal), and lightly grated parmigiano cheese.

Here's the tip: Always order a huge GREEN salad or a ton of GREEN veggies on the side to go with your meat. This way, not only are you having your protein, but you're also balancing your meal with fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Furthermore, the alkalinity of the greens will help counter the acidity of the meat — and this combination will help your body digest the meat more efficiently. You'll even feel light after your meal — not heavy and bloated as if you had meat with potatoes and rice.

So when it comes to green salads, always ask for the dressing on the side and make sure it is a light, healthy dressing. If healthy dressing is not available, just ask for a little olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon. 

And if you order a side of green veggies, always ask how it is made... If the veggie options they have are drowned in creams, oils or butter, just politely request that they minimize those things for your order. Better yet, I simply request mine to be steamed, or sautéed with garlic or shallots or whatever light, tasty flavor the chef thinks it's best!

Now go eat-out and have fun! :)

Part 3 of 3

If you love wine like I do, you probably enjoy learning something new about it every time you drink! :) And with the holiday season coming up, I want to share some basic wine knowledge to help you choose for gifts; or for entertaining at home or when dining out.

It's best to serve wine with food from its region. For pasta, look to an Italian bottle. For paella, go Spanish. If all else fails, try Merlot from France, Malbec from Argentina, Chardonnay from Australia, and Pinot Grigio from Northern Italy. Pinot Noir pairs with almost anything. And you can't go wrong with bubbly. 

Also, remember to stay hydrated when drinking wine. Preferably drink a glass of water for every glass of wine or two. It will make your wine-drinking adventure more fun — no dehydration, no bad breath, no headaches, no hang-over — Niente! 

If you're looking for a great bottle of wine on a tight budget, see if an expensive wine's producer also makes a value bottle — it's likely to be crafted with the same care. ;) Now go entertain some friends, and as you serve wine, share this info so you look like you actually know what you're talking about! lol :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A quick health tip you NEED to know (from your waist)!

Grab a measuring tape and wrap it around your body at the top of your hipbones; the number you see indicates how much abdominal fat you have. 

For an average size female, you should be less than 35 inches; less than 40 inches for a male. Anything over those numbers means you're at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease—even if your body mass index (BMI) falls within a healthy range. 

Do moderate-intensity cardio exercises like jogging, or biking for two or more hours every week, and add weight-bearing exercises to your regime. When you're getting in good shape and building lean muscle mass, your weight may not drop that much, but your waist size will. 

So don't be too concern with the weighing scale, instead, pay attention to the way you look and feel overall. Okay? :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

How long are my own workouts and why?

People automatically assume I workout a lot, but the truth is, I don't. 

I choose to only spend 3 times a week doing short, but intense 30-40 minute workouts. Resting days are so important for the body to recover, come back strong, and prevent injuries for the long term.

Most people think only long and frequent workouts can be effective; but I'm glad to say more and more people are now realizing that is not the case. 

If you have a decent aerobic base (meaning, you can jog for 20 minutes straight while still able to have a conversation), AND, if you can properly execute some basic weight lifting exercises, you can now learn to do less and achieve more — keep your workouts ever-changing, short and intense to burn maximum amount of calories in a small amount of time, while getting super strong and fit.

The video above is just a quick glimpse on how I get down and dirty in the gym. :) It's only a one minute video, but if you want to try and go head-to-head with me, all the details are below, including tips on modification so even beginners can try! :)

But first, always spend 5-10 minutes warming up and mimicking the moves before you even think about executing your first set of anything. And when done, always stretch. Your body can only perform at its best given the proper warm up and stretches.

Please modify the moves to suit your fitness level. Here are the details on this workout:

- 20 bench jump into wide squat
- 12 push ups with toe taps
- 20 renegade rows
- 10 one-arm reverse flyes (each arm)
- 12 wide squat curl and row
(Repeat the entire set of exercises for a total of 3-4 rounds.)

Quick tips for beginners:
- Use less weights and move slowly, you can always build up from there.
- Instead of jumping on a high bench, use a much lower bench or stepper.
- Or instead of jumping, just step up onto the stepper the same way you would walk up the stairs.
- When in the prone position on the ground, you can go on your knees to do the exercises (but be sure to have something soft for your knees to rest on).

Be sure to stretch after. Watch my video on How To Stretch All Your Major Muscles Without Pain. 

— If you're going to do something, always do your best. Your best will make you better and leave you with no regrets.

**Wait!! Want more? :) Check out more short fat-burning workouts here.

Friday, January 11, 2013

My top 5 advice from 2012 for a great 2013!

Here’s my top 5 advice from 2012 to hopefully inspire you to stay on track with whatever changes you want to make this year...

1.) If you can't put your heart into it, take yourself out of it. When it comes to living well and sharing that wellness with others, only that which is said and done from a place of heart can create more empowering experiences and enriching relationships.

4.) Do not look down on someone unless you're helping them up. Each of us have our own set of challenges to face. Have compassion.

5.) You cannot find yourself if you're always looking for someone else. Learn to enjoy your own company, get to know and care for yourself first. If you don't truly love and respect yourself, how can you expect others to truly love and respect you?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What do my abs really look like? And why?

Click on image to enlarge.

You do not have to "be perfect" to look and feel good. Every "body" is unique and has its strengths and weaknesses; explore what yours are, and have fun finding a balance that works best for you. Yes, FOR YOU! 

Don't be concern with others. Just adopt the things that work for you, and let go the things that don't. Try and keep it simple when making health and fitness goals.

For me, I choose to have a body composition that keeps me healthy and happy — one where I can truly enjoy life without feeling deprived in any way. (See photo and caption above.)

First 2 photos: This is what it looks like when I’m in the process of leaning out my abs. Not my favourite to maintain — have to eat super clean and really work my abs so muscles can show. I may only do this for major appearances on TV, in magazines or competitions. Other than that, I don’t like being so strict with myself — I prefer a balance that is more realistic for me... 

Third photo: This is the look I prefer to maintain... not-so-lean in the belly. Get to eat what I want in moderation. Maintain three 30-40 minute workouts per week. :))

Monday, January 7, 2013

Is it worth giving more than you get?

I listen to some of my clients tell me how hard they try to "do things" or "make time" for a "certain someone," but that someone isn't putting in a similar effort. Okay, I get it, you're disappointed, but you're hopeful; you think that person will somehow change over because you're forcing them to do so? If this is the case, you may be missing one of life's important lessons: Nothing true can ever exist (or last) if it is done by force or by placing your agenda-filled ego as the main driver.

I know all relationship/friendship circumstances can be very different, and so the best solution for each can vary. BUT here is the essence that would be wise to bare in mind — and that is... if someone really wants to be a part of your life, they will really make an effort to be in it. There's no need for you to try so hard. 

At some point, we all make this "mistake" of trying too hard to change someone over. The truth is... it's okay to make this mistake once or twice so you can learn from it. After all, how can you learn from a place of comfort and convenience? HOWEVER, what's not okay is if after a few rounds of this kind of drama you still don't learn from it; you continue this habit of choice over and over again only to complain or feel angry about it.

You do not have to settle for being somebody's part-time, or somebody's some-of-the-time, or even somebody's when-they-have-time. You deserve somebody who can be there for you all the time; whether in person, in mind or at heart. 

You do not have to settle for anything that compromises your inner balance unless you choose to. Communicating truthfully and kindly to yourself and the other person is always KEY. Again, the choice is always yours to make. Ask yourself "What kind of choices do I truly want to experience in this lifetime?"

Yes, I know it's a tough choice to make especially if you're emotionally invested, but just keep in mind that when you stop chasing the wrong things, you will give the right things a chance to catch you.