4 Toxic People To Eliminate From Your Life

“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold,”–Leo Tolstoy.

Truly how many times have you found yourself disappointed in people around you? I am a firm believer that we build our own castle and within its walls it is our responsibility to live in peace. The gates of your castle should not be made out of stone for those who love and care for you, however, the same gates should become a firm shield from those who decided to make a mess out of a castle that you built.

I’m talking about certain types of people who are toxic by default, by design, by their own darn fault; who refuse to see good in anything, giving you the feeling that you should not be enjoying life in the first place. ELIMINATE THOSE and start breathing again…Here they are:

  • The Negative Nancy.

Whenever you start a new job, there will always be those who do not want you to succeed because they never have and never will. These folks will go out of their way to spoil your perception about the new place before you even generated one. “Oh yeah, this one had had a divorce over this job”, “This place sucks a lot”, “Don’t expect to get help” and so on. These are the Negative Nancy’s to avoid. If these are in your friend’s circle, these people will do the same–never will want to go anywhere and will always find a reason why you should not go either. Do yourself a favor–start your elimination list.

  • The Jealous Girlfriend.

Good Lord, these folks are special…if for once you are happy because something super good happened to you and you shared with all your friends, this jealous type will always try to downgrade your experience no matter the cost. You got a nice car? You got engaged? Got a new awesome job? –You will be hearing the “Oh please” and the “I don’t really like it this much for me but on you it looks nice”, “He is not this cute anyways” types of speeches. Who needs this when you’re trying to be happy? Eliminate.

  • The Drama Diva.

There was a time in my life where I thought I have to help everyone who is having problems, be the go-to person. In my thirties now I understand and realize that some of the problems these people were having are the same problems that have been created over time by the very people who complain about them but refuse to make any changes. So guess what? Do you have someone around you who is constantly and forever on drama mode? It is the always “OMG” and “Can you believe this shit?” talk? Always and forever a crazy adventure and they don’t know why it is happening to them? Time to get the Drama out of your realm. Eliminate.

  • The Fakes & the Flakes.

These folks are the first ones to call you up to go drinking with but are the last ones to ever help you get a safe ride home or get you when you need them. The people who tell you they will be there for you at a certain time and then never show up, don’t answer their “read” text messages, come up with excuses ALL the time…Sounds familiar? You end up feeling stupid thinking something is wrong with you and in reality these folks are just Flakes. Eliminate.

The Fakes are the ones that say things behind your back and smile to your face pretending they are your friends. Eliminate. This one here is truly old school. While there are folks who might be good in nature inside and use the fake personality as a defense mechanism in the beginning, there are also those who are fake period for this is who they are. These people are dangerous because they are borderline psychopaths, the only difference is they don’t kill you physically; they murder you emotionally, manipulating your reality with zero remorse, so ELIMINATE.

There are many other personalities to avoid. It is easier said than done, but nevertheless, it is important to point those people out and configure yourself to have them around less and less if you cannot eliminate fully. You live only once. Surround yourself with folks who cry when you cry and laugh when you laugh, the people who comfort you in pain and applaud your glory.

Those people who are truly happy for you when you are successful are the very people who are in full content with themselves or just truly madly love you. Cherish them and give them the same in return.

 

As for the rest, start your list…

 

 

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3 Things To Remind Yourself Of When Your Other Wolf Says Quit

How many times have you found yourself plummeting to the couch during the workweek looking like the clocks from Dali’s Persistence of Memory with literally pieces of strength that need to be put together? After a long day of work, cooking, cleaning, dinner, kids, spouse you think–man, I am REALLY tired today! Naturally, one of the wolves kicks in, and you tend to adhere to the one that nags on “No”, “Stay home”, “Do it tomorrow”, “Just reeeelaaax”, sounds familiar? I bet it does and it can be an overwhelming struggle if you do not learn how to shut off the negative voice in your head.

There are three things you must remind yourself of when you’re about to feed the wrong wolf:

  1. You did not come this far to quit–Remember why you started in the first place.

Remember when the high came from post workouts and the lows were dealt with thanks to working hard out in the field or the gym? Remember how you dropped down a size or two and you waste got slimmer and legs got stronger? Yes, that is the same feeling that should keep you going every time the “enemy” voice comes out telling you to stay home. Why did you get this far? To quit? ARE you a quitter? Provided that the answer is NO, you must keep on going, you must see the finish line and think of your health and the reason why you started. What motivated you in the first place? Go back to there.

  1. Procrastination is your enemy.

Do not procrastinate getting out of the house. If you have 40 minutes to do a quick run before it gets dark, you have at least 20 percent of fuel energy left and your fuel tank hasn’t emptied yet, you HAVE to go. Your body will thank you later, your health will not wait for you to wake up. The sad thing is that while our bodies think we don’t have enough hours in the 24 given for the workout, the mind can follow just as easily to a failed way of thinking. Mind over matter–you get off the couch–actually, you don’t even sit on it–it’s a trap! If you drop your behind on it, you will be sucked in to staying and watching crap shows that will not give you any health benefits whatsoever. So, avoid the couch and off you go, workout, and then come home, eat clean and sleep, and never procrastinate on your health.

  1.  Feed the wolf that says “You Can”.

Train your mind to overcome your nagging wolf. You must be stronger and you must instill the mind-over-matter philosophy or you WILL fail. You don’t have to compare yourself to nobody. Everyone is dealing with his or her own pack of wolves, but it is up to you which pack you choose to lead. Feed the voice that says YOU CAN, feed the voice that asks you to remember the time, and feed the wolf that refuses to quit.

Never give up!

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How Much Cardio Do You Really Need Per Day

We all know the benefits of cardio. These include increased lung capacity, reduction of stress, lowering of blood pressure, controlling diabetes and cholesterol, and the list is endless! Not to mention the euphoria one feels afterwards is pretty priceless. However, some folks spend too much time in increased cardio activities who are not aiming at weight loss and whose bodies are not used to the high endurance routine.

Overuse of your body, i.e. having too many cardio workouts can seriously backfire. You must listen to your body and if you choose to push yourself to the limits you have to also do that gradually, and not all at once. What are the goals of the daily cardio for you? Is it to lose weight? To keep the weight levels steady? To feel good? Because you have to? There are many reasons so get to the root of the Why and you will find out the route to the How.  For example, if you are looking to simply stick within the low intensity exercises you can do about 10-15 minutes, 3-4 days a week of walking, running, dancing, whatever it is–cardio based activity that elevates your heart rate. This way you are maintaining your body at a fitness level that is not hard to sustain.

For medium levels of tension, if you want to lose weight as an example, you should increase your cardio to 30 minutes, 4 or more days a week patterns, according with Paige Waehner, a certified personal trainer, author, and an exercise expert at About.com.

Lastly, if you are training for a half marathon or a full one, you will have to put more into your workout than 20-30 minutes a day. We are talking miles of running, which can range between 30 minutes to an hour.

So know your “Why’s” to understand your “How’s”.  If you are not aiming at losing weight and your goal is to stay physically active then stick with under 20 minutes of cardio. As with any post workout do not forget to consume protein-based foods and do give your body breaks to recuperate for the next great move. To know how much protein you need go here.

Happy running, dancing, jumping, doing whatever that makes you move the mountains of your world, be healthy and stay fit,

-Cheers!

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Are You Getting Enough Protein? Think Again.

Do you think that you’re getting enough protein a day? According with the WebMD the average protein intake for a male must be about 56 grams, and for females about 46 grams daily. That’s average meaning you do not workout yet…

Things in perspective here 1 cup of green beans per serving has only 1.8 grams of protein, while a cup of diced chicken consists of a whopping 35 grams. So on average, if you do NOT workout and do not involve yourself in endurance training or physical activity you should be ok. However that changes when you live an active lifestyle.

For example, you are a long distance runner, you must know the formula of how much protein your body needs per kilogram of your body weight. According with the runnersconnect.net for an “optimal recovery” your body needs between 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

This is easy. Here is an example:

  • Take your weight in pounds, say you are 120-pound female.
  • Now divide by 2.2 (pounds in a kilogram) you get 54.5 (120/2.2)
  • Now take 54.5 kg multiply by average of 1.4 grams of protein (mentioned above 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kg of body weight, so I took 1.4 for this example) you get 76.3
  • 76.3 grams of protein is how much protein you NEED to recuperate after this workout and NOT the general 46 grams mentioned above as a general intake if you are a female. Makes sense?

So, now after realizing this you ate 1/2 cup of chicken (35 grams of protein), you drank 1 cup of milk (8 grams) and you had oatmeal (6 grams)…You only have had a total of 35+8+6=49 grams. You STILL need 27.3 grams (to get to your 76.3). This is WHY people use protein shakes or eat a LOT of foods with protein in it after a day of endurance training or a workout.

However, one should NOT have too much either. Overload of protein can lead to dehydration, dangerous kidney and liver toxins issues according with Livestrong.com while Not getting enough protein can result in muscle weakness, fatigue, swelling due to water retention and depleted muscle mass.

Hence, to be safe, if you’re into working out 2 hours (or doing intense endurance training) a day, do the full 76.3 grams (if you are a female who weights 120 pounds, so make sure you calculate it per YOUR body weight). If you’re doing 30 min to an hour stick with a number that’s between the general intake of protein for a female-46 and 76.3–stick with 55 grams as an example and you’re good to go!

Hope this helps! Happy training folks!

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Sea Urchin-My Butt! Literally!

It was a week of my sister’s destination wedding in the beautiful Hawaii. This was one of the reasons why you did not get a newsletter from me since the last week and a half. However, the real reason why I failed to appear here is because I got stung by many sea urchins…because I stepped on them…after I realized that I am not as good of a swimmer as I thought I was…AFTER I jumped off a cliff. Fabulous!

To make a very long story short, Anna (me) has decided that it would be rather brave of her to conquer her fear, i.e. doing something that is considered extreme, and in the spirit of several drinks, upbeat company, trying to impress the sister and foolish confidence, she decided to proceed with the route.

I jumped off a Black rock cliff (Maui). Don’t know some sources state it’s about 15 feet, others say it’s at least 10 meters (which is 30 feet long) depending on where you stand. Go figure. To ME it looked like it was all freakin’ hundred! Remember the part where I thought I was an OK swimmer? Well, total FAIL there because when I jumped my heart already almost stopped because I couldn’t believe I did it, and then I realized that hey, the actual swim to shore is not that short, so…I panicked, and swam towards the side rocks, which were all covered in sea urchins top to literally bottom! Coupled with a “nice” strong current, the waves had beat me off the rocks three times so I managed to fall on my derrière and my feet into a sea urchin bliss!

sea urchins on the rocks (wish this was the name of a drink instead…)))

Have YOU EVER been stung by something as vicious as the darn sea urchin? The pain is at most excruciating and at least…there is NO least!! It’s as bad as it gets! Frankly, I’d rather give birth again! These things will inject you with venomous spikes (or spines as it’s actually called) that are like barb wires. They go in easy but they do NOT come out the same way…so when you try to get them out you are getting them out (if you’re lucky) with your flesh. Ta-da!  Needless to say, lesson learned…no cliff jumping for my behind until I become a superb swimmer period; lesson number two–do not EVER go towards the side rocks at least not in that area…EVER!

So…a week and a half later, I still can’t run (it’s KILLING ME to say the least) and I am limping like a zombie from The Walking Dead. It’s really a “blast!” Click here and you can see a really cool video by other people on YouTube who jumped off so you’ll get an idea what I did.

And THIS is what my lovely foot looked like right after the stings. Sorry won’t show you my butt lol, but it was just as “pretty”. The black things–those are the spines/needles. They are that deep inside. Painful. Very.

just stung by sea urchins

just stung by sea urchins

 

Other than that we had a fantastic time in Hawaii and enjoyed beautiful sceneries of the magnificent sunsets, warm ocean water and a paradise feel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Four Things Men Should Stop Doing During Her Time Of The Month

Dear Men,

We love you very much. Nonetheless, for whatever reason, a week before her period starts, you dears, manage to spontaneously spark up conversations about forgotten issues, point out why you’re dissatisfied with her mother, or plainly get on her nerves and dig yourselves into a “happy” hole.

I often think this…I tell my husband i.e. I warn him in the lines of “…baby, the FLIP MODE is coming” …and yet, after repeating myself over five times he, WITHOUT A FAIL, will find something to talk about that will irritate me to pieces! After years of marriage, I came to the conclusion simply that men DO have selective listening coupled with an “I-don’t-want-to-hear-you-right-now-at-all” syndrome if the NFL is on especially. Hence I came up with the four things that men should stop doing during this time of the month.

1. The week before the period STOP bringing up issues.

I don’t know how else to explain this but about a week before is when your beautiful dearly beloved wife or girlfriend starts to slowly turn into a monster from the Predator movie. She will see you moving in the dark and smell you from the distance.  I mean seriously, WHY would you, after living with her at least for over a six-month period, put yourself at risk of being eaten alive? Can’t you just wait and talk about irritating stuff AFTER this time goes away? It simply never fails–I always see my husband start with–school issues, i.e. where to send our daughter to, which sport for her to engage in (always an argument, I want soccer he wants tennis), where are his soccer shoes (how the hell do I know???) and why he will not eat the leftover dinner on this night in particular.

2. Do not dig yourself into a hole—do the happy dance instead.

If you had already been guilty of similar scenarios listed above and have started digging your hole then stop. If you don’t, sooner or later the woman will snap and turn into a vampire who will suck your blood and you will wish that you just left those conversations for when she is done with her “transformation”. Hence, save yourself and be cool. Laugh more and make her happy as much as you can. It is best for both of you emotionally, and your behavior will reflect on her better thus strengthening your bond. Showing her understanding will only give you five star points and reassure her that you truly care.

3. Don’t be mean and selfish during the actual time. 

While this is not your fault that we have to deal with nature, it IS your fault if you choose to add oil to the fire. Don’t forget that this time for us is unpleasant as well. We bleed for days, have headaches, stomachaches, migraines, terrible mood swings, feel bloated, feel unattractive, you name it–it is a crap storm of Emojis. To add to his all, it is painful. Some of us have it more severe than others and we have to succumb to medications to calm the pain. Hence, please, help us through by staying empathetic and helpful, rather than irritating and mean. This isn’t about you, so please don’t take things personal. Know that we try our best to not snap at you, and without your help, it is very hard to do.

4. Stay as far away from sarcasm—this is not the time.

Lastly, if you want to literally make it out alive then please hold off on your sarcastic jokes about her family especially. Due to the many side effects this time of the month has to offer we can easily go from 1 to 60 mph between love and hate. Sarcasm is a big no-no because things she might laugh at or find somewhat tolerable from you can be taken as a challenge or an attack now since emotions and hormones are playing Mozart’s Turkish March. Therefore, be kind, loving, non-sarcastic, and don’t bring up old arguments, issues that are not really issues, and her mother. You then will be spared and left with zero headache of your own and no drama.

Hopefully this will be somewhat helpful to you guys! Soon enough your loved one will turn back into a blooming rose once more and hide the thorns…until the next month :))).

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The 5 Reasons Hydration Is So Important

Why is hydration so important for you?

Most studies suggest that an average woman needs to drink around eight glasses of water per day with men drinking around 12. While we often hear these statistics it is important to know the types of benefits that we can receive from keeping ourselves properly hydrated. Here are some of the top five reasons that you should follow these rules for your water intake each day.

  1. Digestion.

    Drinking enough water every day will help you with digestion. If you are dehydrated it doesn’t take that long for you to start experiencing issues like constipation, bloating, and others. There can also be some problems with nausea when you get dehydrated because your stomach experiences an increase in bacteria and yeast, which can backfire big time if hydration is not on your list of priorities.

  1. Better focus.

    Staying upbeat and energetic involves having proper hydration. If you are able to drink more water there is a good chance that you will stay better focalized and experience a greater level of mental acuity.

  2. It can help you lose weight and look better.

    Water is one of the first steps to losing weight and you can look better each day by diminishing the appearance of the dark circles from your eyes, improving your skin tone, its softness and elasticity. There is a famous article of a woman drinking three liters of water daily that shows the drastic difference this habit made in just four weeks. See here. She not only took off ten years off her face but also lost weight.

  3. Helping with appetite.

    If you feel that you are constantly having hunger cravings or that you always need to be eating something drinking your regular amount of water will help you curb some of these yearnings. This can help you with losing weight as well as starving off a number of different conditions that you can get from eating bad foods.

  4. Your body will run better as a whole.

    Proper hydration keeps our body running at its peak efficiency and helps us to avoid sickness and disease by keeping our immune system stronger. Our bloodstream provides ourselves and our vital organs with all of the oxygen and nutrients that it needs and when dehydration sets in the body will often take these nutrients and water from our cells which increases the amount of work that they have to do with minimal resources. More water is more energy and a healthier body. Period.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Exercise In The First Place

Why should you exercise in the first place?

When it comes down to finding motivation for exercise, there are a number of big reasons why you should consider adding regularly scheduled exercise into your lifestyle. Many people are quick to shrug off exercise suggesting that they don’t have time or they are simply too lazy after work to get out and be physically active. Here’s some of the top reasons why you should exercise and feel motivated to exercise every day.

  1. You can be more efficient.

    Exercise has been shown to give you more energy and to bring more oxygen to your brain. This can give you more power to learn and boost your memory. You can not only strengthen your body with exercise but also your mind.

  2. You can reduce aches and pains.

    Exercise can help you get better posture and to reduce muscle strains and aches. By losing weight and learning the proper form for exercise you can fix your posture for sitting and standing and experience less pain and discomfort.

  3. Improve confidence and experience less stress.

    By pushing yourself your exercise you can feel more accomplished as well as more social. Confidence can go a long way in strengthening relationships and improving your overall happiness in life. Exercise is also an excellent way to feed our body with endorphins and to reduce stress. Exercise is time that we set aside for ourselves and it works as a natural stress fighter which can reduce the chances for stress-related conditions as well as give us time to recharge every day.

  4. Improved sleep.

    If you regularly has difficulty sleeping, just a bit of exercise in your routine can help you to normalize your body clock, sleep better and produce more energy that you can use throughout the day.

  5. You can live longer and live fuller lives.

    Exercise ensures that your immune system runs at top efficiency and that you are less prone to getting sick or adopting certain diseases or conditions. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly are 50% less likely to get cold and people who didn’t. Exercise can also improve your life expectancy as much as quitting a bad smoking habit.

For all these reasons and more you should feel motivated to exercise and to cast aside lazy habits. Exercise for you and exercise to be happier every day.

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The 5 Reasons Why I Run

Some people might ask why do you run? People who do not love running or don’t care for it will never understand the why, the how and the struggle that comes with loving this sport. The runner’s road is not an easy one. There are ups and downs ALL the time. There are days where I literally make myself run because my eyes and my heart want to but my legs just refuse to. There are days where the wind and the rain will deliberately go against my pace, but I will keep cutting that air with my arms and continue to conquer yet another mile. Then, I’m at it again, month after month, year after year. So I carved out my five reasons why I run:

  1. I run because I feel better

Yes, you chase that feeling. It is an ultimate runner’s high when you know you are about to sprint at your last 20-30 seconds and you are done with it. I feel better when I run because then my body feels that it had finally received the cardio it longed for. I can hear my heart beat fast. I feel alive after a run. Period.

  1. I run because it gives me freedom.

While I live in “…the land of the free” as sung in our national anthem, I can honestly tell you that running gives me an unexplainable sense of freedom. There is a sense of euphoria that comes from knowing that you are the owner of your time, you body, your legs and the simple movement that gives you power. In that, I find the release and peace.

  1. I run because it is liberating.

With the same feeling of freedom I sense when I roam the parks mile after a mile comes the liberation from stress. I feel liberated from the thoughts of the day after my run. Sometimes just like the hot shower after a long day, the sweat running down my face after a run is the same concept–washed my stress away. That is what I truly needed.

  1. I run because I feel stronger.

Running is not easy. Running hurts, it gets tiring; it is ALL about mind over matter sometimes. For as long as God gives me freedom to run and the legs to accompany my passion, I will run. I feel strong that I can battle the deleterious bullshit self-talk of you-can’t-do-it and change it to yes, I can, and yes, I will!

Lastly,

  1. I run because I love it.

I started to run to loose weight postpartum. Today three years later, when this exercise is a part of my life and not a chore or a nuisance, I finally conclude that I run because I love it. I love moving the mountains of anxiety right before I start and pushing myself to the limits at the last mile. I love seeing others around me get inspired. These are the regulars at the park where I run, the brisk-walkers, the dreamers, moms and folks who refuse to give up on themselves regardless of age. I see these non-runners give a quick run at the end or in the middle of their walks now during the times that I’m there. I don’t know if I touched every one of them, but I know for a fact I have a few, and THAT is a wonderful feeling because running changes lives.

So I dare you to push forward, towards the stars, towards that end line! Discover the new you, and happy running folks!

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Baked Green Beans with Walnuts and Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar

So this fabulous and super delicious dish that is ready in 20 minutes of baking I literally stole from my close friend ha-ha, she won’t mind. I hovered over the dish when she made it as I realized that I was profusely salivating from the aroma of baked goodness I saw in front of me. So here it is!

All you need:

  • A non-stick flat baking tray
  • Green beans–get the fresh ones, not frozen.
  • Raw walnuts
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Balsamic Raspberry Vinegar (if you don’t have Raspberry you can use ANY kind really…and get the THICK kind not liquid-runny type.
  • Avocado oil or Grape Seed oil

Preparations:

  • Smother the tray with Avocado or Grape seed oil
  • Put the washed, dabbed beans on to the oily tray.
  • Salt and pepper the beans to your liking and with your hands mix them up on that tray to ensure they have all touched the oil well. So you know you put enough oil if your beans are now shiny and oily.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees and put the tray with beans there for 20 minutes
  • In the meantime, grind the walnuts in a grinder or a blender

That is IT! After the 20 minutes take out the beans, move them on to a pretty plate; spread the walnuts on the still hot beans evenly for presentation and taste. Lastly, grab the bottle of raspberry vinegar (here we used the one she bought from Leavenworth, WA), and pour the vinegar gently in strips fashion. You can do a zigzag if you want to 🙂

Enjoy now! It is amazing to taste to say the least and a fantastic add-on with any meat or fish!

Grinded walnuts

Grinded walnuts

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