Are You Eating this Addictive and Toxic Snack?

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Doritos Graphic Vivien Veil

By: Vivien Veil

Mmm, tasty Doritos corn chips.  I remember eating those chips growing up.  My mom would buy the Frito-Lay variety pack, and I’d quickly run over and steal the Doritos.  Those were the days of unhealthy and hazardous eating.  Thankfully, I’m no longer addicted to those bad boys.  I often ask myself, “Would I have been a lot smarter if toxic junk food never passed my lips?”  Who  knows… All I know is that I killed many brain cells during that era of “Standard American Diet” living.

Deadly processed foods are very addictive.  Just try and get your family member off of Doritos and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  They say it’s easier to change someone’s religion than to change someone’s diet.  I believe that!  Sadly, food manufacturers love adding harmful ingredients to their products – causing us to buy more and more of their foods.  These foods continually contribute to us getting fatter and fatter – not to mention sicker and sicker.

All you have to do is glance at the picture above.  That photo is enough to make any Dorito lover sweat.  And to think I devoured bags and bags of those suckers!

So, how can you avoid dining on these toxic ingredients?

Well, you’re going to have to dig deep and find the will-power to abolish them from your existence.  Scale down or cut out processed foods from your diet.  I know it’s not always easy, especially if you’re starting out, but just start taking baby steps, and soon you’ll be on the road to wholesome food paradise.  Fresh and natural foods are better for you anyway.  But I’m sure you already know this.

Snack on fruit, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, or vegetable crudités and rice cakes with hummus and salsa – anything but deadly chips laced with chemicals from hell.  Soon your taste buds will be like new, and you won’t even miss Doritos anymore.

Oh, and before I sign off… For the love of God, don’t go believing people who say Doritos are not bad for you.  I say this because PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said on a Fox Business Channel’s program that “Doritos are not bad for you.  They’re nothing more than corn mashed up, fried in oil, and flavored in the most delectable way.” Yikes!

You know what I say about that? LIES!  You’d have to be completely zombied out to believe that nonsense.  All you have to do is research the ingredients yourself.  It’s really not that difficult.  Google makes it easy for us to become food label detectives.

Americans currently spend about 90% of their food income buying processed junk like PepsiCo’s beloved Doritos.  Make a difference now by eating more whole foods.  Get those greedy companies where it hurts the most – their bank accounts!  Spend your money on quality food instead of poison.  Maybe that will get them to remove the venomous ingredients from their best-selling products.

Sayonara my faithful and healthy (or soon to be healthy) reader.  Please share this post with those you want to see live a more abundant and zombie-less life.

Celebrating the New Year in Japan

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2014 is the Year of the Horse. This painting was hanging at Futenma Shrine in Okinawa.

By: Shannon Murphy

I am not sure why I didn’t pay attention to what Okinawans were doing 12 months ago when we said hello to 2013, but this year I decided to find out what the locals do to celebrate the New Year.  What a surprise – they don’t eat black-eyed peas and greens. Ha!  In fact, celebrating New Year’s is one of Japan’s most important holidays.  Thanks to a couple of my Okinawan friends and my own research, I was able to put this article together.

The Japanese celebration of the New Year holiday (called Oshogatsu) occurs from December 28 to January 6.  Oshogatsu is the most important and elaborate holiday of the year.  During this time, many traditions are observed.  I want to share several of these with you, but keep in mind my article is just scratching the surface.

Cleaning your House

The Japanese prepare to celebrate Oshogatsu by cleaning their homes.  It is done at the end of the year so that the New Year is welcomed with a clean home.  This is a very thorough cleaning, from top to bottom.  Similar to a very serious spring cleaning like Americans do (or should do), but it’s done at the end of the year.  As I write this, I am looking around my house and am thinking to myself that I need to do the same thing once I pack up my Christmas decorations!  My house needs a serious “osoji” (cleaning.)

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Here are my boys standing underneath a large Buddhist bell that hangs on the grounds of Shuri Castle in Okinawa.

Ringing the Bells

At midnight on New Year’s, you will hear the bells at Buddhist temples ringing 108 times (called “joya-no-kane” in Japanese.)  The Buddhist religion believes there are 108 actions that defile persons and lead them away from wisdom, compassion, generosity, and creativity.  These defilements are actions that cause suffering to yourself and to others around you.  It is believed that by ringing the bells, you get rid of these behaviors from the previous year.  Therefore, you are starting the New Year “clean.”

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Okinawa soba has thick, long noodles, pork belly, green onions, and fish cake (the white oval shapes.)

Eating Soba Noodles

Traditionally, as part of the New Year’s Eve dinner or after the ringing of the bells, the Japanese eat soba noodles.  Soba noodles are made of buckwheat flour and they are long and narrow.  It is believed that eating these long noodles symbolize a long life.  These noodles can be eaten in a hot soup and when eaten on New Year’s Eve, it is called “toshikoshi” soba, which literally means “year-passing.”  Okinawa soba is one of my favorite dishes here, and I made a point to get some to celebrate the New Year.

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Futenma Shrine, Okinawa

Visiting a Shrine

A very important custom for the Japanese is to visit shrines to pray for happiness in the New Year.  This is called “hatsumode,” which means the first shrine visit of the New Year.  In fact, many are open 24 hours on January 1.  It’s tradition for the locals to visit a shrine by the 3rd of January.  I went to the popular Futenma Shrine in Okinawa with my boys and it was such a great atmosphere.  There were street vendors with toys, games, and food.  Many people were in the line waiting to enter the shrine.  The energy was hopeful and happy.

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Street vendors in front of Futenma Shrine with a plethora of food options

When you enter the shrine area, it is customary to wash your hands with water found at the entrance.  They pick up the wooden scoop with water and wash the left hand first.  Then the scoop is filled again to wash the right hand.  The scoop is filled a third time and poured on the left hand again, so you can wash your mouth and spit the water out.  As a side note, my oldest son almost contaminated the water by pouring the dirty water from his hand over the “clean” water basin.  Luckily, I stopped him just in time!  Major shrine foul averted.  Whew!

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Washing hands before entering shrine. Do not pour your dirty hand water over the clean water basin!

Many people were walking up to the shrine first after washing their hands, so of course we followed.  There was an offertory box located inside the shrine and people lined up to throw their offering into the box.  There were mostly coins, but I saw a few 1,000 yen bills and even one 5,000 yen bill.  After they throw the money in, they bow deeply twice, then clap their hands twice, bow deeply once more and pray for a few seconds.

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This line snaked around in order to buy omamori (charms.)

Many visitors were standing in a different line to purchase charms (“omamori”.)  The omamori provide blessings and protection.  The commonly purchased ones are for the protection for drivers, passing examinations, success in business and money, finding a mate and marriage, and protection for a healthy pregnancy.  The omamori are replaced once a year to avoid bad luck from the previous year.  They are returned to the same shrine where they were purchased, so they can be disposed of properly.  Then a new one can be purchased for the New Year.  Interesting enough, if you cannot find a charm that fits your blessing or protection needs, the shrine priest will customize one for you.

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Bad fortunes left behind (and maybe some good ones?) There sure are a lot, but thousands of people visit the shrines during Oshogatsu.

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Watching people purchase “omikuji” was the most entertaining.  “Omikuji” are fortunes.  Each person unfolds their fortune, reads it, and if they do not like the fortune, it is left tied to the omikuji rods at the shrine.  I read that sometimes people will also tie their good fortunes and leave them behind.  However, traditionally, your good fortune should be kept close to you, for example in your purse or wallet.  I should also mention that you can visit a shrine any time of the year to get omikuji.  It’s not just a New Year’s purchase.

The visit to the shrine was so fascinating because there were so many people and there was such a positive energy of happiness and hope for a better year ahead.  The rituals for how to enter and the different steps for each person to complete were all so interesting.  When you are living in another country with such different customs, it is just awesome to be able to witness it first hand and not just read about it.

Happy New Year! or “Akemashite oedetou!” in Japanese

A Joyous New Year

new years 2014 vivien

Feliz Año Nuevo!  Bonne Année!  Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!  Voorspoedige Nuwe Jaar! Xin Nian Yu Kuai!

One of the reasons I enjoy living in London is that you can never ever get bored here.  We literally get front row seats to the many delights that take place here – from award shows and plays to parades and sporting events.  It is no wonder London is one of the most visited cities in the world.  My favorite London tradition is the annual fireworks display in central London.  All around, people are counting down in a myriad of different languages as we all bid au revoir to the departing year.

At this time of my life – I am filled with peace, bliss, hope, and faith.  I am grateful for my entire family and friends for sticking by me through thick and thin.  I am looking forward to embarking on a glorious new journey with every one of you.

Happy New Year, everyone!  A special Happy New Year’s hug to all of my loyal readers.  Your sparkling spirit tells me that 2014 is going to be a marvelous year!

And a very affectionate New Year’s hug and kiss to my mother and sisters for being so selfless, patient, and loving.  I love you four so very much.

Wishing you a healthy and blessed New Year.

Love, good health, and blessings to you all.

Vivien XO

How to Handle Rejection

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VVeil Rejection

If you’re reading this, there’s a 99.9% chance you’ve been rejected at least once in your life.  Find out here how to overcome it. 

By: Vivien Veil

Rejection is one of the worst, most ignored and most common emotional wounds.  We generally avoid speaking about it to others since we crave acceptance and love from people.  Self-consciousness and embarrassment keep us from revealing those private emotions to anyone.

Denial of love emerges from rejection.  Love brings approval and recognition; rejection brings disapproval and refusal.  Each of us covets love – we need it to grow into healthy and happy individuals.  Love is to us what basil and pine nuts are to a great pesto.  Anyone who thinks they can live without love is sadly very self-deceived.  This is demonstrated by what occurs to the unloved.  Sickness of one sort or another sometimes develops.  Dogs often stop eating, get sick, and occasionally die from lack of love.

Rejection provokes a wound to “self.”  Many flaws can evolve within one’s personality when “self” is wounded.  Rebellion, insecurity, and mistrust in behavior often follow those with wounded personalities.  Rejection shoots a hole to our prideful heart – brutally harming our self-worth and self-admiration.  Oftentimes we feel cheapened to the point of even rejecting ourselves.  We may ask, “What is it about me that repels others?”  Some even resort to changing their personality in order to be accepted by people.

Given the cold shoulder by those you care about is one of the worst feelings in the world.  Yes, we are routinely rejected by strangers, acquaintances, and even work colleagues, but being denied by a love interest is most excruciating.  Some of the worst rejection traumas come via hurts linked with relationships.  We cultivate seeds of bitterness and hardness towards the person who hurt us.  Out of desperation, we even sometimes develop a stronger desire towards the person who rejected us.

I’ve seen this happen before in friends.  It is crazy, but the more rejection they faced, the more they ‘fancied’ the person rejecting them.  This happened to me once during my late teens after my first love caught me cheating on him.  He broke it off with me, and I just struggled to move on.  Rejection can definitely create negative emotions and behavior.

As bizarre as this sounds – the less you care about a person, the more they care about you.  And the more you care about someone, the less they care about you.  Yes, our “weird” world is a very strange and dark place.

Signs of Rejection

When rejection strikes, some type of reaction or response is required.  Some unwanted reactions cause us to lash out at others in confrontations of anger, bitterness, and rebellion.  The following list will help us identify the signs of rejection:

  • Rebellion
  • Bitterness
  • Self-Pity
  • Evasion and Daydreaming
  • Guilt
  • Inferiority
  • Insecurity
  • Negative Attitude
  • Defensiveness and a Judgmental Character
  • Distrust
  • Cold and Impenetrable Personality
  • Stubbornness

rejection vivien veil

To change the ramifications of rejection, we must first strengthen our self-worth to medicate the pain.  Keep in mind these tips the next time you experience rejection.

Ways to Overcome Rejection

1.  It has nothing to do with you. The blow of rejection affects us more when we are close to a person.  We will not pay much attention if a cashier at a shop rejects us.  Rejection becomes a heavy mental weight on our shoulders – we attack our character and everything we stand for.  Simply because we believe something must be wrong with our true selves to cause someone to “abandon” us.

Most of the time, the rebuff has nothing to do with us at all.  An individual may simply be too busy or stressed out to deal with a relationship at the moment.  Unless you are God, you will not know exactly what is going on in their minds.

2.  Forgiving your offenders.  Forgiveness of those who hurt us is a necessity for deliverance of rejection.  When we encounter rejection and remain in that state, we will unavoidably experience rejection by others.  However, forgiveness brings happiness, peace, and self-acceptance.  Forgiving does not mean we condone the awful things that happened to us.  Forgiveness does not deny their rejections, their selfishness, or meanness that may attach to them.

It is essential to stop viewing ourselves as their victims and holding them responsible for our emotional well-being.  Arriving to a forgiving place is a long and arduous journey, but once there, the forgiveness we gain will be a forgiveness worth having.  Unforgiveness only breeds torment and produces a toxic ‘cancer’ inside of us.  Now, if you are a Christian, God says that if we expect his forgiveness, we must forgive.  If we choose not to forgive, we can expect to be tormented until we do.  Plus, don’t forget to forgive yourself!

3.  God had better plans for you.   Things happen for a reason.  There is always something better in store for us – we just fail to see this when we are sad and hurting.  We need to see past the transitory period of heartache and sadness and realize that God allowed for it to happen for a reason.  Nothing in this life is a coincidence.  We may not understand it at that very moment, but it is normally revealed later on.

Many friends revealed to me that they felt depressed when a love interest broke up with them, only to discover a while later why it happened – they found the love of their lives when they least expected it!  Thereafter, they rejoiced at the fact they were rejected, and declared they would not have changed their past for anything in the world.  In hindsight, they laughed at the suffering they experienced.  Eventually, we will discover the real reason of our suffering – it just takes some patience to wait for that day.

4.  It isn’t you.  “Why did this happen? What did I do? Did I say something wrong? Am I not attractive enough?”  When a person rejects you, they are living out their own anxieties and fears.  Not everything revolves around you.  Keep in mind that the person who left you is going through their own private matters, and that you most likely did nothing to cause their decision.

Take comfort in knowing that the person who rejects you is dealing with their own personal battles and that you most likely did nothing to cause their outcome.

5.  Childhood rejection.  Rejection can sometimes stem from childhood.  Oftentimes, a child is deprived of a close relationship with their parents, i.e. working parents sending their children to daycare and spending very little time with them.  Sometimes the child senses rejection from the mother or father if the parents devote too little time with them.

Additionally, the death of one or both parents and a divorce can also produce an intense wound in a young child’s personality.  The child simply cannot understand what has occurred to his/her parent and relates to their disappearance as abandonment.  This ordeal becomes a persistent challenge to conquer throughout life.

Past childhood memories lodged in their subconscious minds may invoke strong panic attacks when rejected.  Remembering the source of your childhood rejection and openly speaking about it with a trusted family member, friend, counselor, or therapist can make a great impact on how you deal with this troublesome emotion in the future.  Sometimes a good “cry” is all you need to feel better.

Rejection is never going to go away.  Accepting this notion will turn you into a rejection fighter, so that you will emerge a much stronger person from each situation.  That way – you will no longer put so much emphasis on what people do to you.

6.  A learning experience.  Rejection does not always have to be doom and gloom.  We can use rejection to our advantage and become better people out of it.  If you were too controlling, too jealous, or a cheater – you can look within yourself and say, “I realize that I pushed them away because of this.  I’m going to try and change that part of me.”

Sadly, sometimes it takes a horrible emotional experience to bring humility and make us better people.  As far as I’m concerned, there is always room for improving ourselves.

7.  Harmonize and reunite.  Reconcile to restore broken relationships.  Turn hostility and animosity to friendship and good will.  Of course – the first thing you must do is forgive.  Reconciliation is a two-sided affair.  The procedure of reconciliation is executed between two people when the restoration is initiated by one person and accepted by the other.

We obviously cannot force others to accept us again, but we should aim to never let any “failure to gain reconciliation” rest at our doorstep.  Restoring a relationship with someone who caused us deep wounds can be unsettling.  Keep in mind that the true test of profitable reconciliation is when it brings peace.  If a renewed relationship is full of peace and free from hypocrisy and strife – then fear will flee and your lives will be improved.

8.  Be open to instruction.  Last, but certainly not least, you must be open for counsel.  Many changes need to be established.  Old nasty habits and negative behavior must be changed.  Everything in one’s life that is not full of positivity must be brought up to that standard.

Sometimes seeking a counselor or therapist can be an excellent idea to receive wisdom and understanding.  However, you have to leave all stubbornness and “refusal to receive advice” at the door.  The average Joe cannot properly diagnose his own problems.  He is too busy scratching the surface rather than digging for the roots.  Rejection sufferers tend to hate advice from others because they look at correction as another form of rejection.  Correction is not rejection! These people need to humble themselves and admit, “The problem is in me.  I need to change.”

Although we hate suffering the humbling effects of rejection, looking at it in a positive light will enable us to conquer it more effortlessly.

To freedom from the shackles of rejection,

Vivien Veil x :)


This Juice Melts Cellulite and Burns Fat

cellulite killer vivien veil

By:  Vivien Veil

This anti-cancer juice is exploding with ingredients that contain high levels of vitamins A and C

Regularly drinking this pure juice will affect every aspect of your life.  We all know that beauty comes from within; and once you begin hydrating your body with the most nutritionally perfect – organic liquid – everything about you will shine!  Your hair, your skin, your eyes, your nails, and your emotional thoughts – you will be wholly renewed and transformed.

Once the body and mind start operating on the fuel which God gave you – you will instantly feel energised!  This positive outcome will then spill over to all aspects of your life – your work, your relationships, and your self-confidence.

The ingredients in this juice expunges mucus and eradicates toxins.  Toxins and a too-acidic body contribute to weight gain.  The acidic residues infiltrate your cells – causing you to store fat.  The antioxidants in citrus fruit and the metabolism booster ginger join hands and saturate the cells – flushing out all the nasty bad stuff.

Plus, the fruit acids dissolve the mucus that are keeping those deadly acids hostage in your body.  Many of our favourite foods in the Western diet are loaded with acidity – creating acidic garbage in the bloodstream.  Such foods include dairy, meat, gluten-flour, coffee, alcohol, sugar, and even pollution.  It’s not harmful if you eat acidic foods in tiny amounts, but indulging on very acid-forming foods regularly places a burdensome task on the kidneys and liver.

The goal is to ALKALISE, DETOX, and REJUVENATE.

This living juice will help you destroy that toxic build-up.  After you develop a healthy nutritional lifestyle – loaded with living raw foods – the fat will just melt off.  So, join me as we kill those intruders with the potent ingredients listed below.

The main ingredient in my special elixir is – you guessed it – grapefruit!  Grapefruits are the largest members of the citrus family.  They originated outside of Asia and were hybridised in Jamaica (possibly a cross between a pommelo and a sweet orange).  A real popular ‘weight loss’ fruit, grapefruits are ‘eliminators’ – making them the ultimate detoxifier.  Your liver will love you once you start drinking these citrus delights.

Juice fasting with grapefruits (or eating them) for 3-7 days will detoxify your body.  It’ll clean out your colon and purify the fluids in your body.

Okay… Let’s start juicing! This zingy, zesty juice will instantly wake you and your senses up – making this an excellent breakfast juice.

Ingredients

  • 5 Grapefruits
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Limes
  • 1/4 Medium Pineapple
  • Handful of Ginger, you be the judge on how much to use

Instructions

  1. Cut the tops and bottoms of the grapefruits.  Then get a sharp knife and cut around the edges to peel off the skin.  Remember not to cut the white pith away – as it contains a ton of nutrients.  Do the same with the limes, pineapple, and lemon. (**You don’t need to peel the limes and lemon if you own a high-quality juicer)
  2. Juice the lemon, limes, ginger, and grapefruits. Then, juice the pineapple.
  3. Pour over ice.  Salud! (Cheers in Spanish for you non-Spanish speakers)

What’s So Important about Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is required for repairing and maintaining cells and bones – not to mention fighting off infections.  It even lowers your cancer and cardiovascular disease risks.  We need to continuously consume vitamin C rich foods – as our bodies don’t store vitamin C.

Health Benefits of Grapefruit Juice

  1. Cancer killer
  2. Lowers blood pressure
  3. Lowers cholesterol
  4. Makes you go number two by stimulating the digestive system
  5. Boosts the immune system
  6. Rich in vitamins A, C, folate, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, bioflavinoids, citric and phenolic acid, and pectin
  7. A great diuretic – helps reduce water retention
  8. Helps you lose weight
  9. Cellulite buster
  10. Powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial

Focus and Motivation During the Holidays

Focused During Holidays PictureBy: Gerhard de Bruin

The festival tidal wave of Christmas and New Year’s is looming ahead.  Yes, it’s only November, but it’s never too soon to begin planning for the mental onslaught they bring.  The holidays usually bring a host of undesirable consequences – less time training, weight gain, lack of discipline, and diminishing focus.  The typical person develops an iron-willed mantra:

The holidays are a time to relax and let loose.  I’ll get back on track come January.

From parties and family commitments to travelling and tempting meals – it’s no wonder that our clothes start to feel tight during the holidays.  Sadly, most people also lose the motivation to train hard, but it’s important to stay focused on your goals, so when New Year’s hits, you’re already ahead of everyone else.

Follow these strategies on how to stay on track during the holidays.  You must do whatever it takes to avoid going downhill with your training and nutritional goals.  Godspeed, soldier!  You’re going to need it!

1.  Prioritise and Plan

Devise your training schedule at least one month in advance.  Consistency and good time management techniques will bring you victory!  The holidays are an ideal time to stay loyal with your training and diet principles.  Sit down with your coach and outline your goals for the upcoming new year.  Discuss last year’s training and race results – and turn your past shortcomings into future strengths.  Don’t allow travelling to get in the way of exercising either.  If visiting family and friends will steer your training programme off path, create a way to use those travel days as recovery days.  You can afterwards intensify your workout plan to make up for those days.

Handle your time wisely!  Don’t try to be superman/superwoman.  Trying to perform too many tasks at once only brings stress and discouragement.  Wake up early and be realistic with what you can actually achieve within a time frame.  Simply following these tips alone will prevent burnout and loss of focus.

2.  Find Some Training Buddies

While solitary training allows you to press the mute button on the world, exercising with others can simplify your life and make training more enjoyable.  Working out with friends also gives you accountability.  It’s already tough waking up at ungodly hours to train, but you’ll be less likely to skip training knowing you’ve got a pal waiting for you.

Plus, working out with a friend or groups of buddies encourages a more positive mental outlook.  Believe it or not, social interaction and exercise play a pivotal role in the subconscious mind.  Researchers discovered this process called “social facilitation” with cyclists – they cycled faster when racing against someone else versus riding solo.  “The same holds true with runners.  When you run with others, you tend to give more effort,” says Cinda Kamphoff, Ph.D., a sports psychologist.  “You get caught up in the pace, and you might not recognise how fast you’re going.”

3.  Make Sleep a Priority

Lack of high-quality sleep negatively affects your training routine – not to mention your focus.  Sleeping more than seven hours a night helps  you stick to a solid exercise pattern and amps motivation.  Studies reveal that people who sleep more end up losing weight and reaching their goals.

Fatigue and sleep deprivation can easily drain motivation to exercise and even stops you from pushing yourself harder – therefore causing muscle loss and weight gain.  Your appetite grows when you sleep less.  You can’t properly hear the brain telling you to stop eating when you’re exhausted – instead, the signals to eat get louder.

The hormone that suppresses your appetite (leptin) is reduced, and the hormone that increases your appetite (ghrelin) becomes more active (Taheri et al., 2004).  “Hence, you can have a hard time differentiating between being hungry or tired.  In either case, cookies and chocolate can be very tempting,” states Nancy Clark, a board certified specialist in sports dietetics.

I often find myself feeling real tired and hungry at the end of a long training day.  I have to remind myself to get into bed, or else I’ll struggle to keep my weight and motivation in check.

4.  Join a Training Camp

Still need a push to reach your athletic objectives?  Many swear by enrolling in a great training camp.  Working alongside an elite coach might sound too extreme for some, but it’s definitely worth the expense if you require extra motivation, discipline, and are dead serious about taking your athletic performance to the next level.

Training camps during the holidays make a perfect active getaway, especially if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere during December, January, and February.  Warmer climates and professional guidance will fire up your fitness resolutions and encourage you to make better decisions.

In January, DBT Training Camp offers high-altitude training in beautiful Golden Gate, South Africa.  The camp takes care of everything for you, enabling you to gain better focus and best of all, you’ll come out of the camp with an insane amount of motivation to kick start the racing season.

5.  Set Mind-Blowing, yet Realistic Goals

Practice patience to achieve your dreams.  Impatience sets you up for disappointment and hopelessness.  Focus on  your progress rather than solely focusing on your sky-high goals.  That way you’ll discover whether or not your regimen is leading you closer or further away from you goals.

Pinpoint your goals on a regular basis, and understand the series of actions that you’re undertaking to achieve those goals.  The whole process of getting there is imperative, but having an awareness of the “bigger picture” assists you in staying motivated and focused during the fight to achieve your personal goals.

Keep a journal depicting your progress and track your athletic metrics every couple of weeks during the holiday season to remain inspired.

Source:  Taheri, S., L. Lin, D. Austin, T. Young, and E. Mignot. 2004. Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body max index. PLoS Med 1 (3): E62.

Original article can be found here

Aduki Bean Falafel with Tahini Sauce

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adzuki bean falafel

A far healthier version of the classic Middle-Eastern fast food treat

Aduki beans make a slightly healthier falafel than traditional chick peas – excellent for those wanting to add more fibre and less fat into their diets

This protein-rich little pulse is loaded with B-vitamins for  continuous energy and body tissue repair. They also contain tons of minerals needed for exercise:  lethargy-fighting iron; potassium, which acts as a natural diuretic by helping the body to rid itself of excess fluid; and immunity-boosting minerals zinc, calcium, and magnesium.

Did you know that in Japan, these small red legumes are known as the “king of beans?”

Serves: 4

Falafels

  • 1 1/2-cups dried aduki beans (not canned or precooked)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2-cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp oat flour
  • 1-cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  1. Soak dry beans overnight in cold water.  Drain and rinse.
  2. Boil pre-soaked beans for 30 minutes.  Drain and rinse.  Beans will not be completely cooked.  Leaving them slightly firm will help falafel’s texture.  Set beans in a single layer on a paper towel to dry.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).  Brush baking sheet with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, and set aside.
  4. In a food processor, add beans and parsley, flour, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, and salt.  Pulse until ingredients form a thick paste.  Use a tablespoon to scoop mixture into the palm of your hand, roll into balls, and place on prepared baking sheet.  Continue until all of the mixture has been used.  Brush remaining olive oil on the tops of the falafel balls and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  5. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F (180 degrees C) and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Serve on top of a green salad and top with tahini and hummus.

Tahini

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed with a little sea salt
  • 100 ml tahini
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Place the crushed garlic in a mixing bowl and stir in the tahini.
  2. Squeeze in the lemon juice – it will thicken considerably.  Stir in a little water until it reaches the consistency of double cream.  Add the olive oil and season.
Falafel Recipe: Courtesy of Eat Right for your Blood Type