The Power of The Nap

Napping is good; my childhood was wasted crying to stay awake!

The Power of The Nap

If I could go back in time, I would go back to my 4 year old self that was dead set on keeping my eyes open through the ENTIRE day to become a ‘big kid’. Many hours were wasted fighting with my parents, hell, fighting with my body, just to be awake so I can say I didn’t take a nap. Flash forward twenty some years and I would love to be forced to take a nap. Sadly that is not the reality of my adult life and my 40-hour a week job. However, science is showing that making time for naps have countless positive effects on things such as productivity all the way down to your body’s inner functionality!

Our Bodies Dance to Their own Tune!

Our bodies all function off our own personal circadian rhythm, say what? That’s a fancy term for the 24 hour cycle that your body goes through each day. We all have our own circadian rhythm, and each person is different. They are influenced by things such as sunlight and our feeding schedule. There are clear patterns of brain wave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration and other biological activities linked to this daily cycle.

Mid-day Slump

As adults there are certain times throughout the day that our rhythm takes a bigger dip. You might be familiar with the term “mid-day slump”, turns out this is a real thing. Between 1:00-3:00 PM we experience a dip in our circadian rhythm and that is when we get drowsy, can’t focus, start questioning your thoughts and just overall less effective in your tasks. Now this “slump” can look different to each person and can vary by the day. If you get a great night sleep, your circadian rhythm will not have such a severe drop during the day, you might not even notice it.

Let’s Take a Brain Break

So now you know a bit more about why you might feel the need for a nap. Let’s talk about what the nap can do for you because I already know what you are thinking “who in the world has time for a nap?!”. The answer is rather simple, if you struggle through your circadian rhythm dip, you will be less productive, irritable and less alert, and likely have to redo simple tasks you usually have no problem completing.

Studies show that taking a 10-20 minute nap can help to boost alertness and energy making the rest of your day more productive and meaningful. By keeping your nap on the shorter side, you will stay out of the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep that makes for a smoother transition back to whatever it is that you need to do! As with most things, listen to your body, it knows you best. Some people find that their body needs more or less to recharge.

Avoid The Nap Hangover

If you nap for too long you can wind up with a hangover like feeling, leaving you in a groggy state for a while before you are back up and running. If you experience this, you need to cut your time back a bit. It will take some testing to find out what works best for your body as well as the best time of the day for you to take a nap.

Famous People Who Loved to Nap

Winston Churchill once said ”Nature has not intended mankind to work from eight in the morning until midnight without that refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts twenty minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces” From his book “The Gathering Storm”.

John F. Kennedy would nap for up to two hours without fail as part of his daily routine. Kennedy was not to be awoken unless it was a true emergency and would always be joined by Jackie

Studies, Research and My Opinion

There are many studies and ongoing research surrounding the benefits of napping yielding results such as improving memory, lessening the susceptibility to death by heart related diseases, blood pressure, dementia, weight control and immunity. Most of these studies are very specific in the demographic that it researched and at this time I’m not seeing anything that would make me feel comfortable stating any of those are a tested outcome across the board. What I can tell you with certainty is this; every human body has dips in their circadian rhythm, which literally makes us sleepy in the afternoon. Finding a nap period that works for you will release serotonin which produces feeling of wellbeing and can reverse the effects of stress, increases alertness and can increase productivity. Personally, I would rather find time for a 30-minute siesta and return to raring to go than struggle through the day working slower, not to my ability and likely having to redo the work I produce.

What Is HRV Training?

HEART RATE VARIABILITY TRAINING

Are you familiar with the concept of HRV or Heart Rate Variability training? If not, then it’s worth your time to get it’s know – how.

Let’s start with meditation. Meditation is the strongest practice, that I have ever came across, for increasing focus, developing self- control and training the mental toughness  essential for navigating the ups and downs of making your own career path in life and being your own boss.

The issue with meditation is that most of the people take it seriously at first and then fail to establish a regular habit of continuing it. A great reason for this behavior is that people don’t get any direct biofeedback on how well they are performing. This is the point where the need of heart rate variability training is felt.

WHAT IS HRV?

HRV stands for heart rate variability. It is a physiological phenomenon. It is a variation in the duration between every two heartbeats. It is measured by the variation in the beat-to-beat interval.

In other words, heart rate variability is simply a measure of the variation in time interval between each heartbeat. This variation in the time interval is managed by a primary part of the nervous system known as the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

It functions regardless of our wants and adjusts, among other things, our heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and digestion. The ANS is divided into two large portions, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system, also called the fight-or-flight mechanism.

Information or data is continuously processed in brain in a region called the hypothalamus. Through the ANS, the hypothalamus, sends signals to the whole body either to stimulate or to relax different functions.

It responds not only to a poor sleep, or that bitter communication with your colleagues or your boss, but also to the exciting events or news that you are selected for a job, or to that unexpected tasty healthy meal you had for dinner. All kinds of stimuli are managed by our body and thus life goes on. Anyhow, if you have constant instigators like stress, poor sleep, unhealthy diet, isolation, and lack of exercise, this balance may be disturbed, and your fight-or-flight response can switch into overdrive.

Many people leave meditation and exercising just because of the fact that they get demotivated. This demotivation is dependent on many factors but the crucial one is that people don’t get any direct biofeedback on their performance.

Biofeedback is a method which one can use to learn how to control one’s body’s functions like heart rate. In biofeedback, one is linked with electrical sensors that helps in receiving information (feedback or response) of one’s body (bio).

This feedback helps one in emphasizing on making fine changes in his/her body. Fine changes include relaxing specific muscles in order to accomplish the results one wants, like to lessen the muscle pain. In a nutshell, biofeedback empowers one to utilize one’s thoughts for controlling body, usually for improving health condition or physical productivity.

HRV Tracking

Through heart rate variability, one can really get a good understanding of the flexibility of the heart, which is a good predictor of a healthy and long life.

I’m a big nerd when it comes to self-quantified data so every single morning I religiously take one simple measurement of my HRV

For tracking HRV a variety of app and devices are may be used. Let’s take iHeart as an example. It actually measures your HRV and not only this, also it tells you about your “internal age” by calculating and measuring the stiffness of your aorta. The stiffness of aorta is used as an indicator of the health of the heart and it predicts the risk of sudden deaths from many reasons.

HRV Tracker

If you really want to track your heart rate variability, I would suggest going with HeartMath’s Inner Balance. There are too many other HRV trackers such as EliteHRV, HRV4training etc. but they are ideal for those who wears heart rate sensors.

Heart Math provides a simple-to-use system for anyone for daily practice. It has a healthy UX and is available not only for iOS but also Android.

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What is a good Heart Rate Variability?

The average Heart Rate Variability score is approximately 59 for Elite HRV users. It tells you about the above or below average value or score, which is quite interesting for one to know but it doesn’t shows whether your score is good or bad.

A higher Heart Rate Variability score (a greater HRV) at rest is usually an indicator of a better health, a younger internal age or a biological age and a better aerobic fitness. Furthermore, everything from your mindset, to air quality, to age, and exercise patterns affects HRV (Heart Rate Variability).

Your personal circumstances, your starting point, and your objective. Comparing you to yourself over time is usually the most essential and effective way of accomplishing your goals.

The Importance of a Healthy HRV

How one builds up compared to one’s age and gender demographics?

If one’s HRV scores are below one’s age-gender demographic range, then he/she may have underlying health issues which are negatively affecting his/her internal or biological age and should be addressed at-once. Adversely, if one’s Heart Rate Variability scores are regularly higher than one’s comparable age-gender demographic range, Then his/her biological age might be younger than his/her chronological age.

HRV CHARTS

It should be kept in mind that the elite HRV users’ base doesn’t indicate the general population. Representatives of Elite and recreational athletes have a higher Heart Rate Variability score. This may result in a little bit of data skewness. The average HRV score for Elite HRV users is 59.3 (on a 1-100 scale)

Elite HRV users
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Normative Elite HRV Scores by Age and Gender

The Elite HRV population sample was further divided into age and gender groups. This division was based on user input data to enable users to compare themselves to others within their same demographic group.

Males:

Elite HRV Score
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Elite HRV Score
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Females:

Elite HRV Score
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Males

Elite HRV Score
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Molecular Hydrogen: Why You Should Drink It

What is molecular hydrogen and why would you want to use it?

Have you tried molecular hydrogen? Your mitochondria love hydrogen! Molecular hydrogen is the smallest bio-available molecule in the universe and represents 90% of living matter. Medical research into molecular hydrogen (H2) has flourished since a landmark publication in Nature Medicine in June 2017. The article highlighted the cytoprotective and antioxidant effects of the supplementation of hydrogen gas in stroke models. Emerging evidence from studies also demonstrated that molecularMolecular Hydrogen hydrogen promises a huge wealth of therapeutic options for a variety of ailments. Since this discovery, molecular hydrogen (H2), the smallest molecule in existence, is making a tremendous impact as a health antioxidant supplement. Molecular Hydrogen primarily works by combating oxidative stress, to which most lifestyle-related illnesses, disease development, inflammation, cancers, and the aging process have been attributed to. When infused in water it provides multiple benefits, including increased energy and antioxidant activity. Clinical trials have been underway showing no negative long-term effects associated with use of molecular hydrogen.

What does it even do?

Molecular hydrogen has the incredible ability to convert the most toxic free radical, OH, with absolutely no negative by-products. H20, yes, I’m talking about water! By acting as a selective antioxidant, molecular hydrogen targets only the worst free radicals, while preserving other important reactive species for normal signaling regulation. Molecular hydrogen has a high bio-membrane penetration and intracellular diffusion capability which enables it to reach subcellular compartments like the blood-brain barrier, cell membrane, mitochondria and even the nucleus. It also has superior reductive activity to some other antioxidants such as vitamin E and vitamin C thereby avoiding increased mortality risk. Molecular hydrogen can offer multiple health benefits, with its unique cell-modulating effect caused by its ability to reach the nucleus and mitochondria. Because of all these amazing properties, molecular hydrogen can therapeutically benefit just about every organ in the body that exerts actions for anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, antioxidant and even anti-allergy!

The Super Health Benefits of Molecular Hydrogen Includes:
    1. Improves skin/anti aging
    1. Fights autoimmune disease
    1. Rheumatoid arthritis
    1. Combats allergies
    1. Corrects DNA damage
    2. May battle cancerous tumors
    1. Helps reduce fat
    2. Hydrogen Water is Antibacterial and May Promote Oral Health
    3. Increase the production of the hormone ghrelin, which protects the vascular system, liver, and the brain.
    4. Improves cognitive function
    5. May help keep us better hydrated
    6. Faster healing and recovery from sports injury
    1. Prevents brain damage
    1. Growth of brain cells
  1. May help prevent diabetes
How is this possible?

Being able to get deep into the cellular level puts molecular hydrogen in place to successfully neutralize and mop up free radicals and other dangerous reactive species, reducing oxidative damage. Once inside the mitochondrial chamber, molecular hydrogen exerts some anti-inflammatory properties, protecting the cell from noxious substances alongside acting as an antioxidant.

The Medical Gas Research group published findings showing that a molecular hydrogen supplement can be applied with great success in the treatment of diseases that are said to be the leading 10 causes of death in United States. The diseases that can be remedied with molecular hydrogen supplements includes cardiovascular complications, cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, influenza, pneumonia, and chronic lower respiratory diseases.    

So now you’re thinking, I’m not a scientist, how can I even do this? The answer is pretty easy! The simplest way of ingesting H2 is through hydrogen rich infused water. When looking into your options consider the hydrogen concentration is measured in parts per million (ppm) when choosing the product that you are going to use. Unfortunately there is no cost-efficient way to make your own hydrogen-infused water. Therefore, the most affordable ways to go are ready to drink hydrogen rich water and hydrogen-generating tablets.

Give me some hydrogen!

Hydrogen tablets can create a high ppm product, questionably the highest Molecular Hydrogenavailable depending on the formula. Hydrogen tablets are specially formulated with magnesium containing organic acids that when mixed with water can actually break the bonds of H20. This creates a cloud of H2 nanobubbles with magnesium ions which is essential in your nutrition. The ppm will vary depending on the formula and will typically require eight to 12 ounces of water.

Your other option is ready-to-drink hydrogen rich water, this of course is the most popular of the options because it is ready to go! The downside of the ready-to-drink method is low ppm. When you are using a ready-to-drink option depending on the packaging there is 1-2 ppm. When using hydrogen tablets you can get the ppm anywhere between .08-10 ppm.

A Guide to Intermittent Fasting

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is not a diet, but rather a dieting pattern. In A Guide to Intermittent Fastingsimpler terms: it’s making a conscious decision to skip certain meals on purpose. By fasting and then feasting on purpose, intermittent fasting generally means that you consume your calories during a specific window of the day, and choose not to eat food for a larger window of time.

There are a few different protocols to take advantage of intermittent fasting.

16 – Hour Intermittent Fast

Popularized by Hugh Jackman and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a fast to trim extra pounds. It is common to fast after dinner to around lunch the following day. Fast for 16 hours each day, for example by only eating between noon and 8pm. I am personally a fan of the 16/8 method, as I find it to be the simplest and the easiest to stick to.

13 – Hour Circadian Rhythm Fast

Based on research of scientist Dr. Satchin Panda. Participants aim to start fasting a close to sunset as possible for at least 13 hours daily

Eat-Stop-Eat

Once or twice a week, don’t eat anything from dinner one day, until dinner the next day (a 24 hour fast).

The 5:2 Diet

During 2 days of the week, eat only about 500–600 calories. A plan that involves eating the recommended calorie intake for 5 days a week but reducing calorie intake to 25% for the remaining 2 days – to 500 calories a day for women and 600 a day for men.

The 23:1 One Meal a Day

Referred to as 23:1, meaning a person spends 23 hours of the day fasting, leaving just 1 hour a day to eat, drink and consume calories. Basically you only eat one meal a day

The Potential Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Since the body is unable to get its energy from food during fasting, it taps into glucose that is stored in the liver and muscles. This begins around 8 hours after the last meal is consumed. When the stored glucose has been used up, the body then begins to burn fat as a source of energy, which can result in weight loss.

Here are some changes that occur in your body when you fast:

  • Human Growth Hormone (HGH): The levels of growth hormone skyrocket, increasing as much as 5-fold. This has benefits for fat loss and muscle gain, to name a few.
  • Insulin: Insulin sensitivity improves and levels of insulin drop dramatically. Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible
  • Cellular repair: When fasted, your cells initiate cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells
  • Gene expression: There are changes in the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease

These changes in hormone levels, cell function and gene expression are responsible for the health benefits of intermittent fasting.

As long as you stick to healthy foods, restricting your eating window and fasting from time to time can have some very impressive health benefits. It is an effective way to lose fat and improve metabolic health, while simplifying your life at the same time.

The Benefits of One Meal a Day (OMAD)

One meal a day is a form of intermittent fasting that literally involves eating one meal a day. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern or dieting cycle where you transition between periods of eating and fasting. The primary aim is to lose weight using an effective method that does not include the shortcomings or failures of other methods.

The Benefits of One Meal a DayOMAD utilizes the two periods of intermittent fasting which are fasting window and feeding window. In one meal a day the fasting window consists of about 22-23 hours of a day while the feeding window is limited to 1-2 hours in a day. Therefore, OMAD pushes intermittent fasting to its maximum capacity.

Within the limited feeding window, you can eat as much as you want but maintain a healthy diet that includes appropriate food groups. One meal a day is also quite flexible and allows a calorie-free light snack during the fasting window.

OMAD might seem extreme to those who are ignorant of its benefits and lifestyle plan. It is the most natural and effective way to lose weight, and stay healthy. Here are some benefits of OMAD:

Efficient Weight Loss

So many people struggle with weight loss because they keep trying methods that produce less result. Most of these weight loss plans come with strict diets and counting calories. Still the effects are short-term and unsatisfactory. One meal a day is an almost effortless way to lose weight. By simply eating less and healthy you shed calories quickly without a struggle.

Your Overall Health is Improved

Eating one meal a day helps to reduce various health risks such as blood pressure, cholesterol level and blood sugar levels. One meal a day helps the body maintain better insulin control.

Saves Time

Most people spend long amounts of time cooking, heating, and eating every day. OMAD lifestyle plan will help you cut down on those hours and find more use for time. Eating once a day guarantees less cooking, heating, and dishwashing time.

Saves Cash

One meal a day is one of the cheapest weight loss plans. It helps you save money by purchasing fewer junk foods and using less gas. Your grocery shopping becomes more cost-effective, and so does your lifestyle.

Increased mental and Physical Productivity

The benefits of one meal a day include higher clarity and concentration levels. It also includes increased energy and productivity than eating frequent times a day. OMAD improves memory, energizes cells and reduces fatigue.

Other benefits of one meal a day include:
  • Improved immune systems
  • Discipline
  • Long-term results

Should It Be A Meeting?

Did you know most office workers spend at least 45% of their week in meetings? Have you ever had a moment at work when you’ve thought, “Does this really call for a meeting?”

If you haven’t, you should start. Because if you’ve ever been in a meeting that didn’t go anywhere, you know how much of a waste of time it can be.

Not only can they be a huge time and productivity suck, they’re also expensive! Add up the hourly wage of everyone attending, and multiply that by the amount of hours you spend together, and you’ll get a quick idea of just how much money your company is losing.

Want fewer meetings at work? Learn how to say no. Not all decisions require a meeting in order to drive next steps, and too many meetings have way too many people to be effective.

Should-it-be-a-meeting
Familiarize yourself with this flowchart before scheduling another meeting (source: https://shoulditbeameeting.com)
Think twice before scheduling a meeting

There are few things that will kill a team’s velocity quicker than meeting overload. So before scheduling your next meeting, ask yourself a few simple questions:

  1. Does this decision require input from more than one other person?
  2. Does the group need to talk about this together, at the same time?
  3. Do you have to wait until you can find a mutual time for everyone to discuss later?

Unless you answered yes to all the above questions, you perhaps don’t need to schedule a meeting to achieve your goals. Here are some replacements to consider:

  • Email
  • Chat
  • Quick phone call
  • Brief in-person conversation
  • Shared document
Should you need a meeting, take advice from Jeff Bezos

When it comes to getting more out of business meetings, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has it down. Jeff Bezos knows how to run a meeting. Here’s how he does It. He follows three simple rules.

Jeff-Bezos-and-Amazon

“Two pizza” teams.

To avoid these time-wasting gatherings and ensure that his schedule is only filled with meetings that are worth his time, Bezos has a “two pizza rule” that helps him to banish unnecessary gatherings from his schedule.

“We try to create teams that are no larger than can be fed by two pizzas,” said Bezos. “We call that the two-pizza team rule.” – Jeff Bezos

If you’ve ever been in a meeting with too many people, you can understand the wisdom in this.

No PowerPoint

Bezos actually banned PowerPoint presentations in favor of memos.

“Somebody for the meeting has prepared a six-page…narratively structured memo. It has real sentences, and topic sentences, and verbs, and nouns–it’s not just bullet points.” “The great memos are written and rewritten, shared with colleagues who are asked to improve the work, set aside for a couple of days, and then edited again with a fresh mind. They simply can’t be done in a day or two.” – Jeff Bezos

None of that means anything if the meeting participants don’t prepare, which is what makes the third rule the best one of all.

Begin Meetings with Silence

Bezos starts each meeting by giving team members a half hour to actually read the prepared memos prior to discussing them.

“We read those memos, silently, during the meeting,” “It’s like a study hall. Everybody sits around the table, and we read silently, for usually about half an hour, however long it takes us to read the document. And then we discuss it.”

“Just like high school kids, executives will bluff their way through the meeting, as if they’ve read the memo,” “Because we’re busy. And so, you’ve got to actually carve out the time for the memo to get read–and that’s what the first half hour of the meeting is for. And then everyone has actually read the memo, they’re not just pretending to have read the memo.” -Jeff Bezos

You can imagine why this is so beneficial. How many times have you made it to an important meeting where, despite your best intentions, you’re simply not as prepared as you’d like to be?

Implementing Bezos’ three simple rules could not only help increase productivity but also make meetings less dreadful and boring. And, let’s face it, nobody truly enjoys PowerPoint anyway.

10 Time Wasters

Time is a very precious resource. The fact is that regardless of how well you manage time, at the end of a day, you will still only have had 24 hours. In one year there are still only 8,760 hours. The key is using your time efficiently and eliminating time wasters from your day. Your attitudes and behaviors effect how you use your time.

By substituting what’s not working for you with a more effective behavior and/or attitude you’re on the road to managing your time.

10 Time wasters

1. Waiting for Inspiration

The work of top creatives isn’t dependent upon motivation or creative inspiration, but rather it follows a consistent pattern and routine. It’s the mastering of daily habits that leads to success, not some mythical spark of creative inspiration.

2. Worrying about what people will say

Most of us worry a little too much about what others think of us. We all want to be liked and appreciated for our many talents, our ferocious intelligence, our good nature, our sparkling personality. But when we give over our power to others and allow that their impressions to become how we perceived, we lose out on who we really are.

Care about people’s approval, and you will always be their prisoner.

Lao Tzu

3. complaining

No one cares to be around a complainer. If you want to start attracting and creating the success you desire, you’ll want to stop complainingComplaining can add to your stress levels and the stress of those around you. The first step is to become aware when you are complaining. One of the techniques I use is: Thought Stopping. This is a technique that many therapists recommend for a variety of issues because it works well. When an undesirable thought enters your head, you literally interrupt it with the mental image of a stop sign or the word “stop!” and move on to a different thought.

4. Trying to please everybody

Trying to please everyone will never bring you the approval and love you seek. You absolutely shouldn’t try to please everyone all the time. It’s just not worth it. Not only will you begin to live your life according to someone else’s standards, but you’ll deplete yourself of any sense of happiness. Saying yes to everyone’s requests means you’re saying no to something else.

5. Comparing yourself

You know you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. Yet, that’s often easier said than done. Job title, income, grades, house, and Facebook likes, you’re not alone. I often find my self doing it too. We typically compare the worst we know of ourselves to the best we presume about others. The best way to get over this is to become intimately aware of your own successes. You can control one life—yours. But when we constantly compare ourselves to others, we waste precious energy focusing on other peoples’ lives rather than our own.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Theodore Roosevelt

6. Repeating the same mistakes

We feel driven to repeat mistakes from the past in the hopes that this time the situation will work out differently, but it rarely does. To avoid this repetition failure, I suggest the following: Engage in vigorous self-examination. You will have to identify the behaviors you want to change. Understand how your history influences these behaviors.

7. Perfectionism

If you’re a perfectionist, it could be seriously holding you back. Remember, there is nothing wrong with having high standards, but when these standards are too high, they can really get in the way of your work/school, relationships, and enjoyment of life. Because adults with perfectionism are often very critical of themselves, one of the most effective ways to overcome perfectionism is to replace self-critical or perfectionistic thoughts with more realistic and helpful statements. “It’s okay if some people don’t like me. No one is liked by everyone!”

8. Lack of priorities

The wrong priorities lead to bad decisions. Being under pressure because of a lack of priority makes your priorities even fuzzier, choosing the now over what really matters. Take a close look at how you ACTUALLY  spend your time. What are you doing that is moving the needle that needs to move?

Busy isn’t’ a sign of success, it’s a lack of priority.

Chase Jarvis

9. The fear of failure

Many of us are afraid of failing, at least some of the time. But fear of failure (also called “atychiphobia“) is when we allow that fear to stop us doing the things that can move us forward to achieve our goals. I do an exercise called “fear-setting” I learned from Tim Ferriss.

We suffer more in our imagination than in reality.

– Seneca

10. Not living your life

I know it’s easy to say we should just stop worrying and live our livesLiving a life where you’re happier and kinder towards yourself is not just about what you can do. But also about what you are already doing. Understand that your life unfolds as your mind perceives it. Cultivate an internal focus of control. Stop existing at the whim of other people, of tragedy, of uncertainty. Develop your personal view and embrace it, let it guide you.

 

How to Drastically Cut Your Electric Bill

What if I told you, you could reduce your electrical waste, save money, and actually earn cash in the process? Would you do it? A company that I have been using for the past year is making that a reality for Californians That company is called OhmConnect. I will explain how the company works and how you can Cash in on it.

Big energy companies really do not like using less efficient power plants. These less efficient power plants are not cost-effective, and they make it harder for the company to comply with pollution regulations. Due to these facts California’s energy companies are actually willing to pay consumers not to use energy during peak energy demand times.

OhmConnect is a big data company that harnesses information to save energy and make money. In fact their company won the U.S Department of Energy‘s American Data Challenge. This is where they come into the picture. OhmConnect’s algorithms monitor energy use on a minute by minute basis. When energy consumption approaches peak loads (When the less efficient power plants come online), OhmConnect starts taking action.

What OhmConnect does at these peak times are:

OhmConnect

  • Alerts you during peak loads. Notice can come anywhere from one day to five minutes in advance.
  • You participate in “Ohm Hours” by intentionally reducing energy consumption for one hour. This means shutting off lights, TV, dishwasher, dryer, or anything else using power.
  • OhmConnect sells your reduced energy consumption back to the grid who pays OhmConnect for the reduction.
  • OhmConnect retains 20% of the profit and passes 80% of it back to you. The points you earn can then get cashed out through PayPal.

The key to making money through OhmConnect is cutting back on energy consumption during “OhmHours“. When OhmHours go into effect you want to cut back on energy consumption as far as possible from your baseline energy use. This means shutting off lights, TV, dishwasher, dryer, or anything else using power. Hardcore Ohm users will actually turn off the breaker to their house. Or you can do what I do and leave the house to curb any temptation to turn on the TV or something.

How does OhmConnect determine wether or not you have saved energy? They calculate your home’s average over 10 weekdays or 4 weekend days prior to a OhmHour. Your average is your baseline. If you use less energy than your baseline you earn points. Each point is worth one cent. If you reduce energy use more than 20% below your baseline you will earn double points. If you reduce it by more than 40% below your baseline you will earn quadruple points. Just to be clear, using OhmConnect is no side hustle. But if you are a California resident who gets their utilities from PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E, you can definitely make some money for gas in the car, beer in the fridge, or paying down a small bill.

OhmConnect

  • On average you can expect to make 10- 30 points per OhmHour. But there are a few way to get the most out of OhmHour.
  • Connect your smart home devices to OhmConnect: You will earn 300-500 points per device (that’s $3-$5 per device), and OhmConnect will automatically reduce energy consumption for you during OhmHours.
  • Put your refrigerator on a smart plug. One of the biggest energy consumers are refrigerators and freezers.
  • Get on an Ohm Streak. You can earn 25%+ Once you reduce energy within 3 OhmHours in a row, you’re on a streak and your points will increase.

So if you are in California, it makes sense to sign up for OhmConnect.

So my final thought is it’s a great tool to help you become more energy (and financially) conscious. You’re not likely to earn a lot from OhmConnect, but you definitely don’t lose anything by signing up.

Ghee vs. Butter: Which is Best?

Ghee vs butter: what are the key differences?

What are the health benefits of ghee? Is ghee better than butter? I prefer using fats from nature and of course ghee. What about butter however? Check out below why I prefer ghee over conventional butter.

Both butter and ghee contain small amounts of important fat-soluble Butter vs Gheenutrients like vitamins D, E, K and beta-carotene. While this is awesome, don’t throw out your supplements just yet. Neither butter nor ghee contain high enough amounts of these nutrients to depend on as your sole source.

 

Many people look to butter for its high butyrate content; an anti-inflammatory fatty acid that keeps your gut lining and metabolism in good shape. There’s some conflicting information out there on whether or not ghee contains butyrate, but the consensus seems to be not so much. No worries. If you’re worried about your butyrate consumption, simply include more resistant starch in your diet or use both.

This is the biggest difference between butter and ghee and might be a game changer for you if you’re super sensitive to dairy protein. Butter is mostly fat and water, but it still has trace amounts of casein and lactose, the two compounds in dairy that most cause allergies and sensitivities. Casein is what gives butter its wonderful creaminess. It can also cause symptoms like: rashes and redness, wheezing, coughing, asthmatic symptoms, itching, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

 

Removing the milk solids and water from butter, ghee is left with a stronger, more intense flavor than regular butter. Its taste is also often described as nuttier, richer and deeper than butter. Ghee has little to no casein or lactose, meaning even very dairy-sensitive people can usually eat it. It blends into Bulletproof Coffee well and is a decent substitute for butter in most recipes, although it’s more oily than butter and may change the consistency of a dish slightly. If you do make Bulletproof Coffee with ghee, know that it won’t foam the same way butter does. So you won’t get that frothy latte top. Don’t worry – it’s still tasty

Hit Makers

Hit Makers

This is a must read for promoters and marketers. There is a lot of science backed with empirical observation here. There are lots of opinions, too. I would say that this book is effective at presenting the underpinnings of a variety of human attention, distraction and fascination. Not all of this is strictly scientific, but almost all of it is useful.

What I found much more interesting were the stories used to illustrate some of the points – which dive into art history, industrial design, politics and linguistics.
Some of the most up-to-date pop culture references will probably date this book quite quickly, but the historical parallels are timeless, and arguably more interesting.

Check out Hit Makers today:
Want to know what else I’m reading check out the Blake Murphy Book Club

Way of the Wolf

Way of the Wolf

Jordan Belfort has acted as a consultant to more than fifty public companies, and has been written about in virtually every major newspaper and magazine in the world, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The London Times, The Herald Tribune, Le Monde, Corriere della Serra, Forbes, Business Week, Paris Match and Rolling Stone.

Today, his proprietary Straight Line Selling and Persuasion System allows him to take virtually any company or individual, regardless of age, race, sex, educational background or social status, and empower them to create massive wealth, abundance, and entrepreneurial success, without sacrificing integrity or ethics.

If you are in sale right now, you absolutely have to read this book. Belfort has a deep and profound understanding of human nature and how to convey the right image to make a sale. From your tone of voice, cadence, enthusiasm, certainty, and belief in what you sell, he knows how to put that all together to generate sales at a rapid rate. If you sell anything by phone, you can use about 100% of what’s in this book. It will all apply to you. But if you are like me, and sell by appointment, maybe 90% will apply. But that 90% is pure gold. If you are going to learn from someone, learn from the best. If your goal is to make money selling…learn from someone who made a fortune doing exactly that. And in his book he lays it all out. He is a gifted teacher, and it’s impossible to not understand what he is teaching, and use it to your immediate profit.

I’m going through my second reading now, with a yellow highlighter. This is the kind of book you study.

Check out Way of the Wolf today:
Want to know what else I’m reading check out the Blake Murphy Book Club

What Is A Floatation Tank?

What is a flotation tank? The flotation tank looks like a large enclosed bathtub. They are usually built from fiberglass and design to block out all external distractions, such as: sights, sound, tactile sensations, and gravity. Basically a sensory deprivation tank. (Another name these flotation tanks can go by.)

Float Tank

The salt water solution is heated to skin temperature (93.5F). Once you are settled, it is almost impossible to tell watch parts of your body are in the water and watch aren’t. This is the trick your brain into thinking you’re floating in midair.

The buoyancy created by the Epsom-salt solution effectively removes the effects of gravity on the body.  This will make you feel almost completely weightless, letting Every single muscle in your body fully relax.

Floating weightlessly your body is perfectly supported by a cushion of silky skin temperature liquid. Freed from all sensation of gravity, temperature, touch, sight and sound (which together account for 90% of normal neuro-muscular activity). You conserve and redirect vast amounts of natural physical and mental energy.

The ultra deep relaxation of floating “resets” the body’s hormonal and metabolic balance, strengthening resistance to and accelerating recovery from the effects of stress, illness, injury, or strenuous exercise.

Unless you are an astronaut this is the only situation you will encounter where your body is free from harmful forces of gravity.

Celebrities like Steph Curry and Joe Rogan swear by flotation therapy. Steph Curry and Joe Rogan, who have promoted it as a post-workout recovery tool and a way to reduce muscle soreness.

Floating devotees claim that the therapy can be a cure-all for everything from hypertension to insomnia.

 

Hack Your Sleep With A Sleep Induction Mat

I just got my sleep induction mat from @prosourcefit with super sharp spikes (about 6,210 individual spikes)

A post shared by Blake S. Murphy (@blakesmurphy) on

Sleep Induction Mat

The tiny spikes on this torturous looking mat actually stimulate the acupressure points along your back. When you go to bed, your fight or flight response is still activated, your body’s nervous system is still in a sympathetic mode. When you lay down on a sleep induction mat your body panics for a moment because it can’t really figure out what you’re doing and why there’s some pain. (It’s not unbearable, or painful at all, just uncomfortable for a bit.) Once you adjust for a few seconds your body starts to relax and you just melt into it. Your nervous systems starts calming down and realizes that you’re not going to die. Then your body starts releasing your feel-good hormones. This is all the perfect storm to quiet your mind, let you relax, and let you slip into a deep, restful sleep.

Everybody needs to get quality sleep, and many of us are in need of some help when it comes to getting it. I definitely recommend trying this out if you are having trouble getting to sleep. Did you know 1/3 of your life is spent on sleep? That means 26 years of your life are spent in bed.

Other ways to improve your sleep that won’t cost you anything. No caffeine after 2 P.M. Start winding down two hours before bed. Avoid bright lights in use F.lux on your computer. Sleep in the pitch black room (If it admits light, cover it – Your hands should be invisible in front of you) Avoid big meals before bed.

My Exact Morning Routine

What is your morning routine?

I love my morning routine. A morning and an evening routine are a great way to bookend your day, and the morning routine in particular allows you to prioritize all the things necessary to take care of yourself and your body while your willpower is high.

4:30ish

I wake up trying not to use an alarm. Instead try to wake up naturally at the same time every morning. Check my HRV. Complete a morning entry into my custom Evernote Five Minute Journal

5:00ish

I walk to the kitchen and I pour 16oz of water. As I drink this water, I take my morning supplements and there’s currently quite a few – specifically:

-5g SixStar 100% Creatine Unflavored
-2 capsules Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Phospholipids
-1 capsules Sundance Natural’s Magnesium
-1 capsules Nature Made Turmeric Curcumin
-1 capsule Pure Encapsulations – O.N.E. Multivitamin
-1 capsule Natures Bounty Vitamin D3

5:15ish

I proceed to do my 10 minute morning stretch routine.

5:30ish

I will head out the door for my morning run. At a minimum I will run a mile every morning.

morning routine

6:00ish

I will return home and start making my version of Bulletproof Coffee. It consistent of:

2Tbs of Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter (which I turn into ghee)
2Tbs of Onnit MCT Oil
1 Tbs of Hazelnut Torani Syrup, Sugar Free
1Tbs of Heavy Whipping Cream
1 raw egg

6:30ish

I will take a cold shower. I will wash my body and hair with warm water. When I’m done with that, I will crank it as cold as it will go. Cold thermogenesis is the practice of intentionally exposing parts of the body to specific levels of cold stress. Years of research now shows this can cause significant increases in metabolism and calorie burning, can increase insulin sensitivity and help control blood glucose levels, reduce systemic inflammation, help with sleep and recovery, and potentially fight certain types of cancer as well as promote overall longevity. I will then stay in there for as long as I can but nothing less then two minutes.

6:45ish

I will get April up for school. I will talk to her about her sleep, dreams, things we are grateful for, breakfast, and the day’s activities.

7:20ish

We will head out the door to drop April off at school. On the way to school we will listen to an audio book that April has picked out. I try to teach her to always be learning. It’s especially effective when you’re commuting. I used to listen to tons of Anthony Robbins audiobooks on my way to work and I learned a lot of things while I was stuck in traffic. Plus it was really uplifting and made me more engaged at work.

7:45ish

I will drop April off at school and I will head to work for the day.

If you have proposed modifications to my morning routine, you want to describe your own morning routine, or you have questions, thoughts, then feel free to use the comments section below!

Man’s Search for Meaning

Man's Search for Meaning

There are a handful of books that should truly be required and desired reading for everyone across the world. This is one of them. It is simultaneously repulsive and compelling, disheartening and hopeful.

Steven Covey, the self help guru, made mention of this book in the first pages of his bestseller, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” It changed him. His self help system was based largely on this book.

This book humbled me; I used to get upset when someone took my parking spot, or cut into my queue but now I smile as I have never had to endure real horror or injustice.

Does a chronic disease or messed up life have you feeling like you’re at the end of the line? Are you feeling like it’s time to end your life? Reading/listening to this book may end your suffering. The author, Dr. Frankl, has insights on life that may change your perspective. He was a Jewish doctor in Austria when the Nazis invaded in 1938. He had the opportunity to get out of the country, but decided to stay with his family. That was the wrong choice as he ended up in concentration camps, but this little book was the result.

Check out Man’s Search for Meaning today:
Want to know what else I’m reading check out the Blake Murphy Book Club

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

While the book stumbles a bit in it’s opening chapter trying to justify it’s attention-grabbing title, the rest of the book is, without hyperbole, life changing.

This book isn’t about throwing everything to the wind and turning in to a useless blob. It is a book about being told harsh truths. It’s about giving f*cks where f*cks deserve to be given, placing your f*cks where they’re going to do you good instead of drag you down. That you are not uniquely talented. That the things you believe are the product of an imperfect mind imperfectly interpreting events. That society has made you entitled and your entitlement is making you depressed. And, most painfully of all, that you can fix it.

I highly recommend it, but if you pass on it, I really don’t give a f*ck.

Check out The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck today:
Want to know what else I’m reading check out the Blake Murphy Book Club

What Is Biohacking?

Biohacking is essentially the practice of changing our chemistry and our physiology through science and self-experimentation. It’s a broad definition, but that’s also because the idea of “biohacking” is constantly evolving. It can be as simple as lifestyle and dietary changes that improve the functioning of your body. It can be as daily as wearable technology that helps you monitor and regulate physiological data. Or it can be as extreme as implant technology and genetic engineering. The possibilities are endless, but they are all rooted in the idea that we can change our bodies and our brains, and that we can ultimately become smarter, faster, better.

The most well-known proponent of the prospect is Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey. In his guide to biohacking, he says,”The main thing that separates a biohacker from the rest of the self-improvement world is a systems-thinking approach to our own biology.”

If your body is a system, it’s got inputs (food, exercise, etc.) and outputs (energy, mood, etc.). Biohackers believe making constant tweaks to those inputs (like, really fine tuning them) can lead to immediate, measurable changes in the outputs.

In the biohacking ecosphere, you might see a lot of practices that many people swear by although the health benefits haven’t been confirmed by research. Biohackers generally don’t wait around for a peer-reviewed meta-analysis of a new therapy or approach. They try it themselves, see what happens, and make decisions from there.

So where do you begin? You can easily start using wearables like the FitBit or the Apple Watch. Or you could start experimenting with incorporating more foods that reduce inflammation. But if you’re ready for something new, and something different, consider one of these non-invasive biohacking approaches and see what benefits you.

Biohack

INTERMITTENT FASTING

Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat.

I have been intermittent fasting for over one year. I skip breakfast each day and eat two meals, the first around 1pm and the second around 8pm. Then, I fast for 16 hours until I start eating again the next day at 1pm.

intermittent fasting

 

RED LIGHT THERAPY

Red light therapy is also known as photobiomodulation (PBM), low level light therapy (LLLT), biostimulation, photonic stimulation or light box therapy. Have you ever spent a lot of time indoors and begun to feel just a little…off? Our bodies and brains need light to function at their best. Not only does the sun give us an important dose of vitamin D, it helps us in a number of other physiological and emotional ways. But let’s look a little closer – specifically at the light wavelengths between 600 and 900 nanometers (nm). These specific wavelengths of red light create a biochemical affect in our cells that serves to increase mitochondrial function. This improves ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production in the body. How does this range of light waves impact our bodies?

Studies have shown that your body responds particularly well to red and near-infrared wavelengths, which range from 600 to 900 nm. Red therapy light penetrates about 8-10 millimeters into the skin. Depending on which area of the body the red light is used, this can easily affect all skin layers, reaching into blood vessels, lymph pathways, nerves, and hair follicles. At which point your mitochondrial chromophores absorb the photons. This in turn activates a number of nervous system and metabolic processes.

Red Light Therapy

Grain Brain

Grain Brain

 

This book is the perfect companion to Dr Perlmutter’s book Brain Maker, one of my favorite recent health titles. Grain Brain carefully and clearly presents the reasons why everyone needs to make drastic and life altering changes to the way we view food and illness. The cause and effect link that Dr Perlmutter proposes undoes long held beliefs in the health care world about the relationship between diet and disease. Important life altering information is presented which will propel most readers into permanent dietary change. If you are looking for a way to change the way you eat and feel Grain Brain is the perfect place to start. Excellent and fantastic information.

If you truly believe that high carbs/sugar diets are not an issue in the American diet, then you aren’t looking around. I’m now completely sold on the idea that wheat is entering our diets in so many ways, and destroying our systems. I am telling all of my friends to remove it from their diets and of course, am coming across as some kind of loonie. I’ll admit, I think I believed the whole ‘gluten free’ trend was just that….a trend. Not anymore!

What you learn in this book is eye-opening, frightening and also life changing. If you aren’t ready to read the book, then just start by going gluten free for a week. I am betting that you will feel a remarkable change in your sense of wellness and your energy level.
There are other books on this as well, such as Wheat Belly. A friend of mine lost 30 pounds in six months just by following the advice of that author, which included getting rid of wheat.

I’m not the only one who loves it. Here are just a few of many:

“Dr. Perlmutter outlines an innovative approach to our most fragile organ, the brain. He is an absolute leader in the use of alternative and conventional approaches in the treatment of neurologic disorders. I have referred him patients with wonderful results. He is on the cutting edge and can help change the way we practice medicine.” —Mehmet Oz, MD

“Dr. Perlmutter takes us on a detailed tour of the destructive effects that ‘healthy whole grains’ have on our brains. Modern wheat, in particular, is responsible for destroying more brains in this country than all the strokes, car accidents, and head trauma combined. Dr. Perlmutter makes a persuasive case for this wheat-free approach to preserve brain health and functioning, or to begin the process of reversal.” —William Davis, MD, author of Wheat Belly 

“If you want to boost your brain power, keep your memory, and lift your mood and energy, as well as heal from a host of other common complaints, Dr. Perlmutter is your guide. This is the definitive instruction book for the care and feeding of your brain!” —Mark Hyman, MD, author of The Blood Sugar Solution

“Dementia and many other brain diseases are not inevitable, nor are they genetic. They are directly and powerfully linked to a diet high in sugar and grains. Grain Brain not only proves this, it also gives you everything you need to know to protect your brain–or a loved one’s–now.”–Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

Check out Grain Brain today:
Want to know what else I’m reading check out the Blake Murphy Book Club

Brain Maker

Brain Maker

 “The Gut–Your Second Brain–Who Knew!”

Terrific book about brain health and its relationship to the health and integrity of your gastrointestinal tract. Dr Perlmutter is a practicing MD, neurologist and nutritionist. Information presented is grounded in scientific research and peer reviewed literature. Much of Dr Perlmutter’s approach is cutting edge and offers a new way to view how the brain is affected by the diet you eat. Practical and easily applicable advise on how to improve your health and make a real change in the way you feel each day.

I have learned so much from this book. All of the healthy eating struggles and health obstacles of the past will be no more. I have acquired a second chance for me and my family. To alter our future and prevent all the brain diseases that we assumed were set in stone due to genetics. Absolutely astonishing information.

I’m not the only one who loves it. Here are just a few of many:

“Dr. Perlmutter’s book is among those rare and exciting exceptions: information so empowering, so enlightening, and presented so clearly and concisely that the reader emerges far better off for the reading experience. Put this book on your short list of must-reads for health and nutrition.”—William Davis, MD, author of Wheat Belly

“The single most important medical innovation in the 21st century is making the link between the gut and the little bugs that live there and nearly every chronic disease – from autism to depression, from asthma to autoimmune disease, from diabetes to dementia. Brain Maker is a game changer. For the first time, this brilliant scientist doctor connects the dots and teaches us why we need to tend our inner garden (our microbiome) and provides a radical but simple plan to reset, reboot, and renew your microbiome. This book shouldn’t be called Brain Maker, it should be called Health Maker.”—Mark Hyman, MD, author of The Blood Sugar Solution

Check out Grain Brain today:
Want to know what else I’m reading check out the Blake Murphy Book Club

Manage Your Day-to-Day

Manage Your Day-to-Day

This is a brief book with a number of contributors. Since there is no one answer for all people out there, hearing from a number of people their strategies for getting things accomplished is a nice change, compared to numerous single-author single-plan productivity books that are out there. However, there is some consistency of perspective, and some themes, such as reducing distractions, repeat across many contributors. You probably already know much of what is in here, but seeing the ways in which you are not maximizing your productivity in black and white (and red) brings them to the foreground where you cannot ignore them.

This book is an excellent read for those working from home. Or for those within a business who have control over their own time management. If you feel like you’re stressing yourself out over the little things, this book will bring you back to see the bigger picture, and why those little things may be helping or harming your productivity.

Before reading Manage Your Day-to-Day, I would start my day doing mundane tasks like answering email or just looking for something interesting on the internet. Now, after I exercise, I start writing or composing first thing. It makes me want to get out of bed. I rise now about 2 hours earlier than I had in the past. My productivity has gone way up. Due to the short length, I love the fact that I can re-listen to the audio version and remind myself of the nuggets that are found throughout.

Check out Manage Your Day-to-Day today:
Want to know what else I’m reading check out the Blake Murphy Book Club

The Basics of The Ketogenic Diet

I will teach you today, the basics of the Ketogenic Diet, also known as Keto Diet.

 

Disclaimer: I am neither a doctor nor self proclaimed nutrition expert so please consult your doctor before starting any diet or taking any action that affects your health and wellbeing.

 

First a summary of the science behind the Ketogenic Diet.
 
Keep in mind I’m summarizing hundreds of pages of explanation and supporting data into a few paragraphs:
 
A keto diet is well known for being a low carbohydrate diet, where the body manufactures ketones in the liver to be used as energy. It’s referred to as many different names – ketogenic diet, low carbohydrate diet, low carb high fat (LCHF), etc.
When you eat something high in carbohydrates, your body will produce glucose and insulin.
 
  • Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that it will be chosen over any other energy source.
  • Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body.
 
Since the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed and are therefore stored in the body. Typically, on an ordinary, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose for its main source of energy. By lowering the intake of carbohydrates, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis.
Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to aid us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are manufactured from the breakdown of fats in the liver.

So the bottom line here is, if you want your body to burn fat – meaning if you want your fat cells to break down triglycerides into fatty acids, release them into your blood stream and actually use them as energy – you need to keep your insulin level as low and absolutely avoid spikes in insulin.

A note on calories: Counting calories or increasing exercise output, according to the research of Taubes and many others, is a bad way to try to lose weight because what usually happens is instead of your body burning fat to make up for the deficit in calories, it simply decreases the amount of energy it expends. So you end up lethargic and still fat.
 
Being on a diet isn’t the easiest thing in the world, especially when you don’t know what you should eat. We’ve put together this ketogenic diet food list to help people out there make decisions on what they are eating and shopping for.

 

Below you can find a quick visual guide to what to eat on a ketogenic diet. Let’s go over some of the commonly identifiable items that people use on keto.

 

Eat as much as you want ingredient ideas:
  • Beef
  • Steak
  • Hamburger
  • Prime Rib
  • Filet Mignon
  • Roast Beef
  • Chicken
  • Duck (awesome if you can get it because it is very high fat),
  • Any Fish, Tuna, Salmon, Trout, Halibut,
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Bacon
  • Ham
  • Eggs
  • Shrimp
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Ghee
  • Oils (Olive Oil, Flaxseed oil, etc.),
  • Salt, Pepper, Soy Sauce,
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Celery
  • Cheeses
  • Oysters
  • Abalone
 
Add for variety but in moderation:
Read the ingredients (if applicable) and make darn sure they contain no sugar:
  • Avocados
  • Mustard (with no sugar or carbs)
  • Tea no sugar with milk
  • Coffee black no sugar
  • Heavy Cream
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Celery
  • Green Beans
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Peppers (Red, Green, Jalapeno, Habanero)
  • Onions
  • Nuts preferably almonds
  • Bok Choy
  • Kale
  • Cucumbers
You absolutely must avoid all sugar on this diet because it is the highest GI carbohydrate that will very quickly spike your insulin and destroy any Ketogenic effect. Other foods to avoid roughly in order of damage they will do to the diet:
All sugar.
All Bread.
Did I mention avoid sugar?
All traditional carbs like rice, pasta, wheat, potatoes, even the low GI ones like beans and lentils.
Beware of sauces that contain sugar or things like corn starch.
 
Here are a few things I use to get into ketosis and maintain it.
ketogenic

What is Kit, and how you can make money with Kit

What is Kit, and how you can make money with Kit.
What is Kit.com?
Kit.com is a new website that’s like Pinterest, but more shoppable, and focused on expert endorsements. They describe themselves as “a community to discover, discuss and get interesting products.”

It’s a fun, cleanly designed site, and I think there’s unique potential for bloggers and influencers to make money on Kit through affiliate marketing.
kit

Anyone can sign up and create their own “kits”– themed lists of items they love — though Kit focuses on promoting kits created by people who are an authority in their field.

For example, maybe you’re a fan of YouTube star Casey Neistat, and wondering what filmmaking gear he uses. Here’s his current gear kit, neatly organized, with Casey’s comments on each item, all linked to Amazonfor easy purchase.
If Casey has added his Amazon affiliate code to his Kit account (and I’m sure he has), he’ll get 100% of the commission from any sales made through his kit. Imagine if Pinterest let you do this! You can see where this is going in terms of money making potential.

Below is an example, a kit I recently created, full of Essential Personal Finance Books


Kits are easy to embed on your blog or website; just copy and paste the code generated by Kit, and bam, you have an attractive, easily shoppable collection.

Click on one of the items below, and it will bring up details, AND let you click to go directly to Amazon to purchase — I really like that Kit doesn’t unnecessarily route your readers through their website!

How does Kit.com work?
Signing up is fast and easy via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail.

Once you’ve signed up, be sure to fill out your profile, add a website link if applicable.
kit

 

Don’t forget to add your affiliate codes by going to “Edit Profile”, then the “Monetize” tab.
Once you’ve added your affiliate codes, you won’t have to do anything more to earn commission on products for those merchants. Any time you add an item for those merchants to a kit, Kit will automatically turn the product link into an affiliate link with your tracking code.
Now you’re ready to get started making kits!


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Advice To Help Your Personal Finances Flourish

Advice to help your personal finances flourish. Basic personal finance management doesn’t require advanced expertise. All you need is some common sense and a few strong financial management ideas to get you on the right path.

 

Develop a better plan for the future by keeping a journal of all of your expenditures. However, if you forget to keep up with it, it is easy to put it away and let it slip your mind. A better choice may possibly be writing your purchases on a poster or whiteboard that can be placed in a prominent place to catch your attention daily. Since the notes will be constantly visible to you, you will stay aware of your finances. This will help you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget.

 

Keeping a journal of all of your expenditures
Keeping a journal of all of your expenditures

 

Include quality health insurance in your personal financial plan. Everyone is going to face health problems. Good health insurance is crucial in those situations. Doctors and medical bills can climb into the tens and hundreds of thousands. Without insurance, this can be quite a burden.

 

Do not make charges on a credit card that you are having trouble paying off. Cut your extras spending off, and see if there is some other way to make payments on the card so that it does not get maxed out. Finish paying off your balance before using the card again, and then try to pay your credit card balance in full monthly to avoid future troubles.

 

Replace older incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency LED bulbs. If you replace these older bulbs, you should notice lowered energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint. LED bulbs last a lot longer than old-style, traditional light bulbs. The need to purchase fewer bulbs will save you money.

 

Replace older incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency LED bulbs
Replace older incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency LED bulbs

 

Keep student loans to a minimum unless you are confident that you will be in a position to pay them back comfortably. Private schools can be very costly to pay off.

 

Emergencies happen to everyone, so be sure to have savings ready when the time comes. You should also put money away for long term spending goals like college tuition, or a relaxing vacation.

 

If you are under 21 and want a credit card, be aware that the rules have changed in recent years. In previous times, college students were freely given credit cards with no restrictions. When this occurs you must have income that you can prove or have someone to cosign with you. Make sure your well aware of what a card requires before you apply.
Make sure you're well aware of what a card requires before you apply
Make sure you’re well aware of what a card requires before you apply

 

Know the value of things you save or have around the house. People often have things of great value that they think are not worth anything, and they throw it out. People stand to receive a nice surprise when they discover they own something valuable and it is worth significant money.

 

It is only natural that a good money manager can make more money, avoid financial pitfalls, and be free from worry. By carefully thinking things through and following the provided information, you will be in a position to develop a budget, lower your debt and put money in saving; ultimately gain control of your personal finances.

 

Quick And Easy Personal Finance Tips That Work

Quick and easy personal finance tips that work.

Do you desire to make life-long financial changes for the better? All you need is a little know how to make the change. Fortunately, this article provides lots of advice to help guide you make the right choices.

Eat like a local would to save money in a foreign country. Hotel restaurants should only be your last resort. Do some online research, or ask around, and find some great local places to eat. The food is likelier to be more enjoyable and less expensive.

Eat like a local would
Eat like a local would

Writing down your monthly expenditures can help you understand where your money is going. This will help you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget. If you write it in a notebook that gets closed and set aside until you open it again the next day, it might become a case of “out of sight, out of mind”. Instead, create a big chart or board at home and use that to list all your expenses. You will look at it every day and be reminded of what you need to do. I also keep a written monthly budget on my phone (EveryDollar App), and I put every penny I spend into the app.

In order to improve your finances, never pay full price. Don’t be a slave to brands, and don’t purchase anything without a coupon or discount. Don’t buy your favorite brand name detergent if you can save using another brand’s coupon.

Paying in full instead of getting into debt is the better option if you can manage it. Although there may be times that debt is unavoidable, try your hardest not to rack up high balances on credit cards. Loans and credit cards charge interest and fees; therefore, it is important to try not to borrow unless it is absolutely necessary. Also work with cash – once it’s gone it’s gone.

work with cash
Work with cash

Always know when it’s time to file taxes on your income with the IRS. If you anticipate a refund and want your money from a refund faster, you need to file your taxes as early as possible. If you are in a situation where you owe a great deal of money and are not going to be getting a tax refund, you can wait to file your taxes until April 15.

Be patient if you want to retain control over your personal finances. Many people buy just-released electronic devices without thinking about the cost. If you can be patient and wait just a little while, you can get the same products for less. These savings will really add up and allow you to eventually get much more for your money.

Be patient
Be patient

Your car and house are very likely going to be your biggest expenses. Payments and interest on these things will be the thing you spend the most on every month. Pay them off quicker by adding an extra payment each year or using your tax refunds to pay down the balance.

If your credit card is close to its limit, use a different one rather than letting it max out. Interest on multiple cards with lower balances should be lower than the interest on a maxed-out card. This can help you build your score and not hurt it if you manage your credit lines the right way.

If your credit card is close to its limit, use a different one
If your credit card is close to its limit, use a different one

Your perception of financial concerns is probably different now. Now that you have read this article, you will be able to step forward and manage your money successfully. All that is left is your will and determination to have a stable and strong financial future, so don’t let anything stand in your way.

How Anyone Can Learn to Cook

How anyone can learn to cook. Cooking is not just another useful skill you must learn, it is also an attitude towards food, according to your own body and towards a healthy life in general. You may have the impression that you are losing the battle with when it comes to food, which is why you prefer to eat chips and cookies instead of carrots. This means that is the time to learn how to cook.  Most people who go to work every day, eat food that is not prepared by themselves. However, one of the best ways to take care of yourself and your family is to learn how to cook. Cooking helps to understand the true taste and smell of food and to understand that food is not the enemy of our bodies, but a source of energy. Today, I will teach you how to cook.

1. Master the essential cooking skills

The essential and most important skill when it comes to cooking is confidence. Cooking is a technique that is supposed to be fun, interesting and allow you to use your creativity. If you approach it with confidence, you will definitely master every cooking skill.

2. Use fresh ingredients

Your dish deserves only the freshest ingredients. Seasonal products are the highest quality, but also the cheapest. So, why making an apple pie in summer, when you can use fresh juicy cherries or apricots? Using seasonal products will also give you a chance to experiment and learn more.

How Anyone Can Learn to Cook

3. Prepare the ingredients

Prepare all the ingredients before you begin cooking. Every chef will tell you that great cooking consists mainly of good organization. This means that you need to wash, peel and chop all the ingredients you will use.

How Anyone Can Learn to Cook


4. The secret is in spices and herbs

Every professional chef has their own secret, and that secret is using spices and herbs that gives the food a special and unique flavor that makes it very tasty, of course. Learn how to combine spices and herbs and do not follow the recipes. Experiment and enjoy while cooking, if you really want to become a professional.

How Anyone Can Learn to Cook

5. The plate should look attractive

The plate must look as good as it tastes, because it will encourage people to eat it. Pay attention to the colors and sprinkle the dish with fresh herbs to make it look appealing. Always strive to present food like a chef because cooking is art.

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How Anyone Can Learn to Cook

How to Get Rid of a Cough Naturally

How to get rid of a cough naturally. We all want to stay healthy. We exercise, eat healthy foods, and take supplements, yet we get sick in the least expected moment. The most common illness we may get is cough. Although it is not as severe as other diseases, cough is very inconvenient. Overtime, it can disappear in itself, but we don’t know exactly when, so it is best to treat it immediately.

There are many ways to treat cough. The most common and the simplest way is to take a cough medicine. However, not all cough medicines are the same. Some people may only need carbocisteine while others may require dextromethorphan. If you have several other illnesses, your doctor may have different remedies for your cough.

It looks daunting and complicated to go through traditional treatment. This is why many people resort to natural remedies. Not only is it safe, but it is also less expensive. Moreover, it is effective, too. To give you some ideas, here are several ways to get rid of cough naturally:

Take Honey Everyday

Honey is the most popular among natural remedies for cough. Since ancient time, it has been used to treat cough and other diseases. Honey can expel phlegm and detoxify the lungs. Take one spoon of honey every after meal is enough to fight cough.

 

How to Get Rid of a Cough Naturally

Drink Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is known to treat several diseases including cough. Aside from that, it is safe to use even for pregnant women. To prepare it, peel off the skin. Slice it into several pieces. Put all the slices of ginger into boiling water. When it browns, it is ready to serve as tea. Drink a cup of ginger tea in the morning and before going to bed.

How to Get Rid of a Cough Naturally

Drink Plenty of Water

Water is everywhere, yet we all ignore its healing power. Drinking plenty of water alone can cure a lot of diseases as it detoxifies our body and cleanses our internal organs. Drink ten glasses of water a day to treat your cough.

How to Get Rid of a Cough Naturally

Sun Exposure

Cough is very common during cool season such as winter. It means that it is less likely to occur during hot season such as summer. It is because cough is easily suppressed at high temperature. When you have a cough, expose yourself under the sun as much as possible.

How to Get Rid of a Cough Naturally

Conclusion

Cough is caused by many factors. It may be an ordinary cough that occurs seasonally or a symptom of a certain disease. Whatever type of cough you have, nature always has a safer remedy for it. The above remedies are proven and effective. Nevertheless, it is recommended you visit and consult your doctor if symptoms persist.

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Tips For Healthy Grocery Shopping

Tips for healthy grocery shopping. Getting healthy often involves creating a comprehensive plan, which is often the part that scares people into not even trying at all. However, small steps lead to bigger steps, and it’s important to start somewhere. You can begin with your relationship to food. This includes shopping at the grocery store.

Easy Grocery Shopping Tips

Think of shopping at the grocery store as your foundation for healthier living. You’re going to have a home that is ready to embrace healthy eating choices, simply because you went to the grocery store with a plan, and you stuck to that plan.

And in terms of making that plan, there are several things that you are going to want to keep in mind:

  • Planning ahead: There is a great deal of value in planning your grocery shopping tip ahead of time. That means planning your meals for the week, and coming up with snacks and ingredients that will allow you to eat at home as much as possible. This is where you get off to a good start, and you’re also going to save money. Create your list, hit up all possible resources for coupons, and do not shop hungry.
  • Produce: Spend as much time as possible in the produce section. You are going to be amazed at the possibilities you can find for meals and snacks.
  • Fortified: You’re going to want to be wary of fortified foods. Some are far too refined, lacking in essential nutrients.
  • Avoiding rush hour: This is easier said than done, but try to avoid shopping during the busier times of the day. The longer you spend in the grocery store, the easier it will wind up being to break your resolve.
  • Cheap aisles: The “cheap” aisles at the grocery store often include things like dried nuts and beans. Not only can ingredients like these be used in dozens of meals, but it’s another great way to save big when you’re grocery shopping.
  • Bulk health foods: Obviously, you don’t want to spend a hundred bucks on apples, or on anything that doesn’t have a particularly long shelf life. But you can save and help yourself a great deal by making purchases along the lines of a week’s supply of your favorite yogurt, or something like lentils and almonds.
  • Outside the perimeters: Ultimately, most of your healthy options, including your meats dairies, are likely to be found around the actual aisles of your grocery story. This is something to keep in mind.

How to you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget

I will teach you today, how to you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget.

How do you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget? For me it’s self control and willpowerI think it’s important to have a strong emotional connection to your goals. Rather than having a goal of I want to stick to X budget or save this much. Why are you saving? For your family? For financial freedom? Keep going with the whys until it’s so clear to you, you can’t see why you would do anything else. This can get you pretty far. 

 
Remember how hard it was to claw my way out of debt. I remember how painful it was being unemployed for 9 months, coasting along for the first 3 thinking I’d be fine since I had 7 months’ savings plus unemployment for 6 months, then the unemployment and savings running out, then the credit cards getting maxed out, finally finding a job and clawing my way out of debt in a year.
 
I also keep a written monthly budget on my phone (EveryDollar App), and I put every penny I spend into the app. Before I buy anything I look to see if it’s in the budget. If it’s not then I either have to not get it, plan to save up for it, or not spend somewhere else and modify the budget accordingly. But I also have “poor kid syndrome” so I’m always horrified of being broke even if I’ve got a good job and money saved up. 
 
Also work with cash – once it’s gone it’s gone for the month. Remembering that you can’t spend more than you make. Remembering I can’t afford it…
 
So let me know how you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget.

How our family saves $10,000 a year!

I will teach you today, how our family saves $10,000 a year!

Are you ready to save some money? Here are a few ways our family saves about $10,000 a year!

 

1. We make breakfast at home.

It is so enticing to hit up the drive through for breakfast because there just isn’t any time. But we began meal-prepping breakfast at home.

Every Sunday Shelly makes a breakfast frittata. It’s basically eggs, diced potatoes and onions. It costs a little less than $1.75 per day to make a nutritious breakfast at home! Saving us $17.50 a week or $910 a year.

frittata
 

2. We pack our lunch’s.

I take leftovers for lunch. Every now and then, I will have to buy lunch. But most of the time I take leftovers from home-cooked meals.

This saves us about $40 a week (or more!) or $2,080 a year. And we are wasting less food.

3. Remove credit cards.

Did you know the typical credit card user embraces about $15,000 in debt? If their interest rate is 14 % that is $2,100 in interest annually. (Source)
 

4. We negotiate our bills.

We simply called our provider and asked, very politely, if they would lower our bill because we are loyal customers. You can negotiate just about anything, credit cards fees, car insurance, and your cellphone bill. In total we saved about $40 a month or $480 a year!
 

5. We started driving less.

We are now saving $65 a week by reducing one tank of gas a week purely by deciding to drive to fewer places.

That means we stay home more, but we find lots of ways to entertain ourselves and save about $2,230 a year.
 

6. We started buying our meat in bulk.

We were able to get boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.89/lb. per pound from Zaycon and 92% lean ground beef for $3.99 a pound. I am not sure on the actual math on what this will save us. But here is a rough analysis of some expenditure.

  • Chicken: 40 lb case for $1.79/lb. Grocery prices: $3.39/lb
  • Ground Beef 93/7: 40 lb cases for $3.79/lb. Grocery prices: $4.29/lb
  • Hickory Smoked Bacon: 2, 15 lb cases for $2.99/lb. Grocery prices: $4.81/lb
  • Salmon Filets: 25 lb cases for $7.99/lb. Grocery prices: $8.99/lb
  • Cod Filets: 20 lb case for $5.29/lb. Grocery prices: $6.99/lb


7. We cut out our cable plan.

Instead, we use Netflix and Amazon prime, factoring out the cost of those two items per month that is saving us $59 a month or $708 annually.

8. We cut the club.

We ditched Costco, which was $55 annually and instead use Amazon to order bulk items like toilet paper and shampoo.

In total, that’s over $10,000 a year! Just by making small and simple choices to eliminate the small things.

What about you? What are some ways you cut out the little expenses?

What’s Worth Buying at the Dollar Store?

I will teach you today, what’s worth buying at the dollar store.
Dollar Tree

Dollar stores can be very hit-or-miss. Sure, there’s loads of stuff well worth a dollar. But there’s a lot of rubbish, too. If you’re a dollar store shopper, tell us what’s worth buying.

Here are a few thing I think are worth a buck cleaning products, micro USB cables, AUX cables, birthday cards, get well cards, really any cards. Cups and plates. They are cheap, fairly durable, and most people won’t even notice (or care). If something breaks, no big deal. Save the fancy stuff for special meals or when it’s just you. Oh and party supplies! What else is a deal?

Tell us: what’s worth buying at the dollar store? If you have any advice on what items aren’t worth it, go ahead and mention those, too.

How to Keep Utility Bills Down

Looking to reduce your utility bills? Well I have a few tips for you! 

Replace your standard bulbs with LEDS


I would replace all the bulbs with LEDs right off the bat. They’re going to last a very long time anyway. Also, you can install dimmers for the main bulbs to reduce electricity. You have to be careful here about product selection, because not all dimmers actually reduce consumption and not all LED bulbs are dimmable.


Dry clothes on a rack or line

Another idea is to dry clothes on a rack or line. It takes a bit getting used to, but avoiding that damn dryer can save you quite a bit, depending on how often you wash clothes.

 

Dry clothes on a rack or line

Change out your shower-head

For shower-heads, you are probably looking for something at 1.5 GPM or lower. Taking shorter showers will help as well.

Get out of the house

The less time you spend in your house, the more you’ll save on heating and cooling. If you have interests that involve being outside, feel free to capitalize on that. During the summer, you can save on cooling costs by cooking outside on a grill. You can also invest in a smart thermostat. Some smart thermostats can automatically learn when the house is likely to be occupied, and when it is likely to be empty. This allows it to automatically pre-heat or pre-cool the house, so that it’s at a comfortable temperature when a resident arrives. If the residents’ lifestyle changes, these smart thermostats will gradually adjust the schedule, maintaining energy savings and comfort.

 

Get out of the house

Find alternative forms of entertainment

Find alternative forms of entertainment that don’t involve running a big TV for a few hours. If you like the news in the morning, you can listen to a similar news program on your phone using TuneIn.

 

Find alternative forms of entertainment

Check insulation 

Check the insulation in your attic and other areas. If there is a lack of proper insulation, take care of that or you’re going to blow a bunch of money in heating/cooling costs. Also check to see if there are air leaks around windows and doors. Get some weather stripping foam to minimize this.

Probably the most universal advice I can give is to just look at everything that uses electricity or water and figure out ways to use it less or find an alternative that uses less or none at all.