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Quick Thought   Leave a comment

When we see our friend after they’ve been to the salon for a new haircut we will often take a moment to compliment them on their new look.  When someone we know gets a new car we’ll show all sorts of interest in it and tell them what a great purchase they’ve made.  If we haven’t seen an acquaintance for a while and they appear to be more fit than when we saw them last time we’ll ask them if they’ve lost some weight or if they’ve been working out.

When it comes to the people we see regularly we take time to compliment them and build them up.  We even do this with people we don’t see very often but are acquainted with.  Sadly, the one person we don’t generally pay this courtesy to is ourselves.

Why don’t we do this for the man (or woman) in the mirror?  What’s so wrong about taking a moment to compliment ourselves on how nice our hair looks today?  If we got something new at a great price, why can’t we be proud of ourselves about it?  When we’ve been on point about our diet and exercise and the results are showing, is there anything wrong with taking notice and patting ourselves on the back?

We’ve been told since we were children that the answer is yes.  It’s bad.  It’s vain.  It’s self-serving and therefore wrong.  But is it really?  Like everything its a matter of moderation.  If you’re spending all day looking in the mirror admiring yourself, of course that’s not good.  But a quick “looking good” in the morning when you’re looking good is just showing confidence.  That’s a good thing.  Being proud of yourself for making a wise purchase isn’t egotistical, it’s prudent.  We should want to be shrewd in our business deals.  Letting yourself know that you’re pleased with the success you’ve had isn’t self serving, it’s reinforcing good behaviour.  Behaviour you should want to continue with.

So next time you see yourself in the mirror go ahead and be happy.  You’re a good person and you deserve it.  Smile and remind yourself you have a right to be happy.  Be proud of yourself like you would be for a good friend who was succeeding.  It isn’t wrong to be proud of yourself.  It should only be worrisome if you can’t.  Have a great day.  Peace.

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Are You Really Too Busy?   Leave a comment

Have you ever scheduled a gym session in for the day and by day’s end it just didn’t happen?  Did you ever plan on meditating to start your day but by the time you got to work you realized that instead of clearing your mind first thing it actually just slipped your mind?

We have a lot of rationalizations for these scheduling shortcomings.  You got out of work late so you didn’t have time to stop by the gym on the way home.  Or you got home and now you have other things to do so you just don’t think you’ll be able to squeeze time in for meditating.  Or there are a backlog of other obligations you need to attend to and the gym and meditation room just aren’t high enough on the list to make the cut.

You really believe that you want to do these activities, if only there was time.  But try as you might you just don’t seem to be able to find any room in your schedule to accommodate these activities.  If only there were more time in the day.

Is that really true though?  Is it absolutely impossible to work in anything more to your schedule?

Ask yourself this.  What if, instead of meditating for half an hour, you were told that you’d be put in a room with your favorite celebrity for that same amount of time?  I bet your schedule would be empty enough to fit that in.

Or if your hour of gym time, that you couldn’t possibly make today because your booked, suddenly become an hour alone with your fantasy crush.  Would you text your crush to tell them that you just can’t spare the time?  Probably not.

In reality we know that we could make the time for the activities if we were truly motivated to do so, we just aren’t.  If you allow yourself to be fooled by the excuse that you just can’t find the time then you never look hard enough to find the real reason you don’ t do these beneficial activities.

So spend a little time considering why you can’t make that time.  There are many reasons why people can’t find the time, but the only one that matters is the reason you’re not finding it.  When you get your reason take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the center.  On one side list the ways this reason is benefiting you, and on the other a list of how it’s hurting you.  Keep the list with you and when you find that you “don’t have the time” to meditate or go to the gym take out your list and read it.  I’m guessing the list of benefits won’t take much of any time to read, but the list of hurts will.

Hopefully when you’ve had a moment to see how your “reason” is affecting your life you’ll be motivated to get to the gym or clear some time to clear your mind.  Do this often enough and you’ll get into the habit of going to the gym and meditating.  And once it’s a habit you’ll easily find the time for it, no matter how busy your schedule really becomes.  Have a great day.  Peace.

Weekly Vlog Up On YouTube   Leave a comment

This week’s vlog is about time and how it relates to your self-improvement journey, with plenty of nerdy references to everyone’s favorite Time Lord Doctor Who.  If you have the time give it a watch.  Like if you enjoy it.  Leave a comment telling me what you think.  Also if you have any suggestions on how I can make these vlogs better leave a comment on that, too.  Subscribe and click the notification bell if you want to be immediately notified every time I upload a video.  Have a great week.  Peace.

Weekly Weigh In Video   Leave a comment

Here is this week’s weigh in video.  Let me know what you think about this week’s progress.  If you liked the video please leave a Like on YouTube.  If you have a comment or suggestion on my progress, the video itself, or things I can do better feel free to leave it either here or on the YouTube channel.  Subscribe and click the notification bell if you want to be immediately notified very time I post a video to my YouTube channel.  Have a great week.  Peace.

Your Brain the Hard Drive   Leave a comment

When your phone or computer starts running out of storage you’ll get a little message telling you so.  The device is prompting you to look at what you have on it and determine what you feel is important and what you can afford to get rid of.  And then you start deleting to make more room.

In a way, your brain works the same way.  It’s constantly determining what’s important and what isn’t.  What you want to keep, and what you can get rid of because it isn’t serving you anymore.  The big difference is how it goes about doing it.

Your phone or computer, should you ignore the initial warning, will simply send you another message soon enough.  Storage is full.  It won’t allow you to add anything else until you take the steps mentioned before to create more room.

Your brain does this automatically.  It’ll just start deleting things it feels you don’t need anymore while increasing the storage density of the things you do.

So how does your brain determine what’s important and you should keep?  Or how does it know what to delete?  It’s all summed up in the old phrase “use it or lose it.”

If you spend your day focusing on negative thoughts it assumes negative thoughts are important to you.  So it starts doubling down on saving negativity.  The areas of your brain focused on negativity will actually become more dense.  Your brain will start making connections between this negativity and that to reinforce the negative mindset for you.  And the more negative you get the less your brain feels you need positivity.  So guess what?  It’ll start spring cleaning out your positivity in favor of making room for more negativity.

The thing is that it works just as well the other way around.  If you focus on positivity your brain will assume that’s important to you.  It’ll make the areas of your brain focused on positivity more dense.  It’ll start viewing negativity as unimportant and will start deleting the negativity files on your brain’s hard drive.

The easiest way to accomplish this goal is planned input.  Start a gratitude journal so you have to focus on what’s good in your life.  When you find a positive affirmation you like write it down on a piece of paper and hang it where you frequently walk by so you’ll be constantly reminded of it.  Get a blank business card and write something motivational on it.  I carry one around in my wallet at all times.  On one side I wrote my name over the title “YouTube Influencer”  because I’m trying to grow my YouTube channel.  Every time I look at the card I’m not only reminded of that goal, it’s presented to me as if it has already occurred.  On the other side I’ve written my favorite affirmation.  “Every day in every way, I AM getting better and better.”  I look at that a lot too.

Maybe you’re more visual.  Keep pictures around your house that give you happy thoughts.  Make a point of stopping in front of them and take time to appreciate them.  Watch videos on YouTube that increase your positive vibes.

Maybe you’re more auditory focused.  Perhaps the Superman theme song gets you revved up and motivated.  Play it in your car on the way to work.  They make apps that recite positive affirmations for you.  You could play that as well, or instead.  Have an area of your life you want to improve on?  Find a podcast devoted to that area and take time each day to listen to it.

However you accomplish the goal of adding positive input into your hard drive you’ll slowly build up the positive connections in your brain.  Over time that will tell your internal hard drive management system to free up more space for it.  That means you’ll start being less negative naturally.  And a snowball effect will occur.  With less negative programming in your brain you become more positive.  When you become more positive your brain increases the positive files and density.  That in turn makes you less negative.  And again and again.

Your brain has been working this way all along, you just may not have been mindful of the data you’re inputting.  Make a choice today to only upload that which benefits you.  At the same time you’ve made the choice to release that which does not.  Over time, if you stick with the program, you’ll become the person you want to be instead of the person you happen to be.  And hopefully that’ll be a very positive person indeed.  Have a great day.  Peace.

To Supplement or Not to Supplement   Leave a comment

I get the question every now and again about what supplements I take on the ketogenic diet.  Which of course overlaps with the question of do you need to supplement on the ketogenic diet?  So I thought I’d take a moment to answer both for today’s blog.

The first one to answer is whether or not you need to supplement.  And the answer is no.   You don’t need to supplement.  The ketogenic diet will work without supplementing so you can’t really say it’s necessary.  Much like your car will continue to drive even if you don’t add a fuel cleaning additive to your tank when you fill up.  But your car can drive better if you do.  Similarly, you can operate better if you supplement.

So what should you supplement with if you’re going to supplement?  My list is pretty short, which isn’t surprising since I’ve already mentioned you can do without them.

First, a daily multivitamin is a good choice.   Your body requires a certain amount of vitamins and minerals to function properly.  While eating a proper ketogenic meal plan can include lots of dark leafy or cruciferous vegetables that will meet a lot of those needs, the reality is for many that we don’t get as much as we should.  And this can lead to deficiencies.  Taking a multivitamin every day helps ensure you are getting the proper amount.  While it’s always best to get these from whole food sources, it’s better to get them in a pill than not at all.

Second, while your body is turning itself into a fat burning machine it can struggle a little at first.  Energy demands can exceed your body’s ability to produce ketones. During that time it can be beneficial to supplement with exogenous ketones.  But I’d limit using them to the time while you’re adapting.  After all if you’re adding extra ketones into the system you lower the amount you need for your body to create.  And if the point of going on a ketogenic diet is to lose weight you should be encouraging your body to use its internal fat stores first, not exogenous one.  Having said that, from time to time when you need a little extra boost, exogenous ketones can offer that for you.  I just wouldn’t make a habit of using them.

Once you get the fatty acids flowing you need to get them into your cells to produce energy.  This is where L-Carnitine can be handy.  Your body produces a small amount of this transporter, but you can add more via supplementation.  As L-Carnitine helps shuttle fatty acid into the cells to create energy, supplementing with it can help you along on that goal.  As a reminder though you’ll burn fat either way so it isn’t a necessary supplement.  So if it isn’t in the budget I wouldn’t worry about it.

The last one I take and recommend is a vitamin D supplement.  Especially if you live in areas like the Pacific Northwest or Alaska where your sun exposure won’t be as great as if you lived in Florida or Hawaii.  Even if you live in those states, our lives are spent primarily indoors or behind protective glass like in your car.  As such you are likely deficient in this vitamin.  So I take a vitamin D supplement every other day to try to make up for that.  With a variety of health benefits, like bone density, sleep aid, and helps in weight loss it just doesn’t make sense to be deficient in it.

That’s it for whether to supplement or not.  This isn’t a list of all the supplements you could take, it’s just the list of the ones I do.  As a final word on the subject, keep in mind what the name implies.  A supplement shouldn’t be taken to handle all of a certain need.  A supplement should be an addition to a healthy diet and exercise plan.  If you’re relying totally on the supplements you should go back and fix your diet and exercise first.  I hope this helps and I hope you have a great day.  Peace.

A Salute to Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge   Leave a comment

On February 8th of 1794, Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge was born in Hamburg, Germany.  Why do I take a moment to commemorate Runge’s birth?  Simple, he was the first person to discover (or identify if you please) one of my favorite substances (and possibly yours), caffeine.

For those of you, such as myself, who like starting the day off with a warm cup of joe, this discovery is of epic importance.  If you don’t drink coffee, this day is still of interest to you if you drink tea or soda.

So I thought I’d run down a few of the benefits of caffeine.  Keep in mind these benefits don’t require going overboard,  As good as caffeine can be for us it’s just as easy for it to become a problem if you take it in large doses.  Also keep in mind with some of these benefits the science isn’t complete yet and they’re just believed to be true.

The first one is the most well-known and obvious.  Caffeine helps you stay awake.  It gives you energy by stimulating your metabolism.  The increased calorie burn not only gives you energy but can also help with your weight.  This is something to be especially mindful on when on the ketogenic diet or fasting.  Caffeine helps you to burn more stored fat when doing both.

Caffeine can help keep you up in other ways as well.  Men who drink between 3-4 cups of coffee a day (8 oz. cups) have a lower incidence of erectile dysfunction according to the University of Texas in Houston.

Caffeine can also help you in the gym.  Caffeine can give you a boost in strength, allowing you to life more.  It can also help increase the duration of your work out by improving your stamina.

And the final benefit I’ll mention, which is the one I’m using now as I write, is that it can boost your cognitive skills.  Caffeine has been shown to improve your thinking speed, clarity of thought, and memory.  Possibly explaining why every Starbucks I go to is overrun with college students.

So there you have it.  Now the caffeine in coffee was there long before Runge discovered it, but thanks to him we now know what it is that benefits us so much.  So if you’re having one today (not too close to bedtime I hope) take a moment to raise your glass and salute Friedlieb for his contribution to our lives.  Have a great day.  Peace.