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healthy eating

Episode 47 – My First Fast

Have you heard about the numerous health benefits of fasting and might be considering giving it a try? Well then, you’re in for a treat today as Christa shares with us her very own reasoning and experiences during her first extended fast!

Disclaimer: *** DO NOT ATTEMPT A FAST WITHOUT THE SUPERVISION OF YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER. *** Important: this should not be used as a tool for quick weight loss but instead to become quickly keto-adapted or for ultimate vitality.

 

While already practicing intermittent fasting, a daily eating pattern that cycles between a fasting and eating window, Christa typically eats her last meal around 6 or 7pm and fasts until the following day between 11AM – 12PM. After reaping the benefits from this, she decided to try an extended fast of 72 hours.

What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

  • Increased energy and fat burning ability – this is especially true while practicing a ketogenic diet, allowing you to get you into ketosis quicker and convert fat as an energy source instead of from stored sugar.
  • Insulin sensitivity increases for people who are suffering with insulin resistance.
  • Boosts the human growth hormone – facilitates in muscle growth.
  • Cellular repair – helps to boost immune function extending longevity.

Along with these benefits, Christa experiences a heightened awareness of eating habits and dependencies, a boost in energy and extremely important for her, a deeper, more rested night’s sleep.

Breakdown of Christa’s Extended 72 Hour Fast

Day 1 – While continuing her intermittent fasting pattern, Christa says she didn’t notice missing lunch her first day but did feel a true hunger around dinner time. With the help of Mind Zoning®, (a process of listening to a guided meditation or repeating a positive mantra to oneself), she was able to break through periods of increased hunger.

She explains sleeping deeper than usual, a common benefit, giving your body a much-needed break from being in a constant digestive state.

Day 2 – Getting a break from having to prep meals? “What a nice surprise,” Christa exclaims. Although this may be true, it’s important to maintain hydration and boost electrolytes throughout fasting so packing teas and filtered water for a busy day is crucial.

Recipe for Christa’s electrolyte blend:

  • 1 litter filtered water
  • 1/2 teaspoon “real salt
  • 5-10 Stevia drops
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1 drop of citrus bliss essential oil
  • Dash cayenne pepper

Day 3 –  Christa explains feeling like she was on “autopilot.”

After successfully completing 69 hours, Christa and her husband listened to their body’s innate wisdom and broke their fast early. This extended fast helped Christa further her intuition of her body’s needs aside from her normal eating habits.

She explains it as, “An amazing ability to trust my body and to learn what it needs while allowing myself permission to listen and end the fast early.”

With hunger decreasing after time during a fast, the thought patterns and actions you have surrounded by food are heightened. With increased awareness and harnessing the power of your mind, you now can create new patterns without linking food with daily stresses or boredom, reach your fitness goals and end the cycle of yo-yo dieting.

If you’re ready to start working towards your goals, no matter what your beginning stage looks like, Christa offers three different stages of programs online to best suite your needs. It’s important not to go from one extreme to another and to be in the right head space to take on any intermittent or extended fast and we’re here to help!

Which Program is Best for You?

  • The No Diet Detox consists of exactly what we like, no specific diet that suddenly tells you to eliminate everything you normally eat for 30 days. You simply take pictures of everything you consume to increase awareness.
  • 30 days to Thriving – Ready to end the reliance of sugar, refined carbs or alcohol? With a community of others battling the same fight, you can now work to find the perfect balance for your specific body and end food dependencies.
  • Ketogenic Kick-Off: Adapt to Burn Fat – A guided program which focuses on using fuel from fat instead sugars by eating a high fat, low carb diet.

If you’re interested in The Keto Kick-Off make sure to take advantage of this exclusive offer as we partner with Dr. Jerome Craig for our 3rd keto program launching September 6th! While vacations are over and maybe the cravings have crept back in, this is the perfect time to get back on track.

To enroll for this 100% online program, click here, and use code: “Podcast20” at checkout!

Subscribe to the Fitlandia Podcast today:

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Overcoming fear and setbacks with DeShawn Fontleroy

Episode 45 – Learn How to Overcome Fear and Setbacks

Today we welcome DeShawn Fontleroy of Sports Mastery. Sports Mastery was created to bridge the communication gap of between the student athlete and their parents and coaches. He begins by mentoring athletes first on how to overcome fear and then by making the most of any obstacle or setbacks they may face. All while challenging their sacrifices and social conflicts to help them reach their goals.

 

DeShawn begins with many of his clients by first explaining the process of fear, followed by a list of everything that they find to be a fear in their own life. Common fears are rejection, criticism, ill health, poverty etc., which as DeShawn says, “Are all taught by our friends, family and environment.” He describes the only true fears we’re born with is the fear of heights and of loud noises. These are fears engrained in us, but not often found when looking at what cripples us on a daily basis.

The true definition of fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous and likely to cause pain or threat.

DeShawn says, “The opposite of confidence is doubt and fear.” Your desire to improve has to include overcoming that fear factor if you truly want to overcome the emotions that are holding you from acting towards your dreams.

Many of us have these fears when it comes to making lifestyle changes or even a taking a break from things like sugar, caffeine, alcohol and refined carbs. It’s easy to wonder if you’re even capable. Well, you are!

Christa’s corner stones to fitness:

  • Daily Movement
  • Eating healthy
  • Positive mental thoughts with Mind Zoning® and meditation
  • Community

Life comes with challenges and the brain likes to go back into old habits in these times in an act to keep you safe. If your setback is a place that returns you to community it will bring you back to a place of progression. Being a part of a community, with mentors or what DeShawn calls a “corner man,” that always demonstrates acceptance and inclusion, will make you feel welcomed no matter where you are in your journey. This support will fuel you forward.

Sports Mastery Champion’s Blueprint

  • Legacy – This isn’t solely on what your goals look like, but how do you want to be remembered for the work you’ve put in? What are you doing every day which will reflect this?
  • Vision – When you have goal, what does it look like when you get there and how is it going to feel? Visualizing this goal will help your brain to follow that specific emotion, making it far more achievable when you get to work.
  • Mindset – What systems and strategies are you going to have in place for success and for setbacks? Success intoxication, as DeShawn describes, is when you fall back into an old mindset or set of habits when achieving a goal quickly. Keep moving forward!

The Power of Community

Both Fitlandia and Sports Mastery are deeply ingrained in the concept of community as a fundamental component to success, including the need to be deeply intimate with yourself. This intimacy includes all your accomplishments and your weaknesses. It’s important to know how to recover without feeling guilty when setbacks occur and to have that community of people in that time of need.

Recovering from setbacks quickly:

  • Have a plan in place so when you do have a setback, you immediately know what you’re going to do to recover
  • Have a couple people who keep you humble no matter how successful you are
  • Have a few “cheerleaders” you can always turn to

DeShawn says, “It’s all about planning for success and knowing what you’re going to do when fear creeps in so you can get back to the road moving forward.”

Make sure to list out your fears, work towards your goals by accepting the wins and the setbacks and go to iTunes and rate Fitlandia and Sports Mastery both with five stars! And if you haven’t already, click to join the closed (but completely open to everyone) Facebook group to be welcomed into the community!

For more of Sports Mastery, check out DeShawn’s Podcast and make sure you download his PDF to learn basic definitions and workbook assignments that will help determine your fears and how you feel and deal when challenged or threatened with them. You no longer have to deal with the bear of fear, “You just have to do the work”!

Thank you again to Portland Community College’s Institute for Health Professionals Functional Nutritional Program for sponsoring today’s show! This wonderful program is one year and 100% online making it doable for the busy entrepreneur who wants to integrate more holistic nutrition into their practice or if you’re just starting out. This program can completely boost your healthcare career in nutrition, just like Christa did back in 2015. The course is taught by practitioners who are experts in their fields who teach a science based curriculum; and for a well-rounded perspective, also incorporates traditional wisdom such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. To learn more or to enroll for the next course starting September 25th, check out PCC’S functional nutrition program.

We’re just days away from our next round of 30 Days to Thriving.

Sign up TODAY for just $57 (88% off the normal price of $495). We start 8/1/17.

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stories of transformation thubten comerford

Episode 44 – Stories of Transformation with Thubten Comerford

Welcome back to the Fitlandia Podcast! Today we have the pleasure of meeting with Thubten Comerford for another inspiring story of weight loss and transformation.

 

Thubten Comerford has come a long way from his elementary school days when his mother placed him on the Cambridge Weight Plan and he was constantly being reminded he was bigger than the other kids in his class. Growing up active but not athletic, Thubten always struggled with his weight. Upon entering college, he was in the early stages of substance abuse due to conflicting religious boundaries relating to his decision about coming out about his sexual identity. Thubten describes himself at that time as, “a “hot mess.” With no attention being paid to nutrition, he gained the “freshman 50” during his first year of college. He left school soon after and joined the National Guard and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After leaving the military, he went back to his parents’ house for a short time and then returned to school only to find himself living in a fraternity house, which escalated his negative drinking habits.

A few years after college Thubten became a practicing Buddhist Monk. While traveling and still struggling with his weight, he found himself reading Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo’s, Eat Right 4 Your Type and was quickly motivated for change. He soon dropped 50 pounds by eating right for his blood type and after starting a prescribed diet, dropped another 50!

Today, Thubten is 29 years clean and sober, describing it as a yo-yo rollercoaster journey that so many of us can relate to regarding dieting and self-mastery. He has lost another 40 pounds this year, on what he calls “the potato-based coffee diet” and is working to share his impactful story.

Books like, Presto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales, by Penn Jillette, have inspired Thubten during his transformation journey. He’s learned it’s about finding what works for his body while being aware that things change depending on time and environment. Today he knows how to be mindful of his actions since they are often related to deep-rooted thought patterns and forgiving of himself when working past negative emotions or during a setback.

As an avid entrepreneur, Thubten was searching for his next career endeavor when he asked himself, “How do I do food as a business that is an expression of me?”

With his vast knowledge of business and marketing, culinary skills and understanding of video and YouTube, he recently started producing a cooking show, Thubten’s Kitchen, a 13-episode, multi-segment program that will launch soon on YouTube and be formatted for network television. His Facebook site is live, and has more information, but here’s what each episode offers:

  • The first segment is a culinary training program where expert chefs come into Thubten’s Kitchen and teach him (as the student) to prepare their signature plant-based dish.
  • The second segment is with a farmer in the field.
  • During the third segment, Thubten meets with an artisan making a plant-based cured or fermented ingredient.
  • The closing segment concludes with Thubten making a wonderful plant-based dish using all the ingredients from the episode.

The business allows you to pick and choose the cured or fermented ingredients, including Thubten’s own line of products. There’s also a monthly pop-up episode, available on Feastly Portland where Thubten shares his very own recipes and plant-based meal tips.

Stay tuned for the Thubten’s Kitchen website for his great information on weight loss, healthy eating and everything nutritionally plant and nutrition based.

Closing Tips:

  • Start somewhere and do something – measure something small that you can feel positive about
  • Eat the rainbow and increase your plant based meal options
  • Stay connected with Thubten and his favorite canine companion through Instagram for videos, food as they continue to work on launching his show and website!

Feeling overwhelmed on how to break free from a sugar addiction, join our 7-day No Diet Detox challenge for FREE. It starts with awareness. Sign up today!

Huge shout out and thank you to today’s sponsor, Portland Community College and their holistic nutrition program. This 100% online program is 1 year and provides students with science-based principles while integrating in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for a well-rounded perspective on nutrition to start your healthcare career in nutrition or to supplement into your current holistic program. Christa did this course back in 2015 which launched her into creating what Fitlandia is today! To learn more or enroll for the next course starting September 25th, check out PCC’S functional nutrition program.

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releasing the guilt of a sugar addiction

Episode 43 – Releasing the Guilt of a Sugar Addiction

This week Christa is joined by Daniel Thomas, CEO of Evolution Eat, to help you release the guilt of a sugar addiction. Daniel is also partner and cofounder of Rich 20 Something, an education platform for millennials and entrepreneurs. Daniel teaches a counter-intuitive strategy to weight loss, dieting and lifestyle transformation that’s all about mindset, habits and skill development. Where self-development meets diet and wellness, Daniel helps individuals all over the world connect with their truest selves to begin a life of control over their bodies, minds and spirits; releasing all guilt from the past.

 

Daniel didn’t always associate with such positive principles or self-discovery. He describes growing up as a difficult time of being overweight, allergic and inflamed, feeling as if he had no control over his overall health.  With a loving mother who saturated him with love and food, he was quickly tied into an unhealthy relationship with food. Being an only child, Daniel often felt bored and lonely and found a reward loop with food that made him feel loved and entertained but lead to a reliance on food for fulfillment and to displace boredom.

This pattern continued for years after attending the best private high school in New York City, Georgetown University for undergrad, and almost stepping into Law School, as Daniel felt immense pressures to perform. He continued to gravitate towards things like caffeine, sugar and illegal uppers as a dynamic to feel better instead of looking for a solution from the inside.

When discovering the Paleo Diet, (before it was a hip thing), Daniel found it was the first time he had sunk into an “embodiment of control” over his emotions, cravings and old habits. He says that Evolution Eat was created almost by accident when the community surrounding him were so curious about his new discovery that as Daniel taught himself he built his practice by coaching others simultaneously.

Daniel says, “The second you can be honest about who you are, we can actually connect and help each other.”

He dives deep with his clients, as he states on his Website’s About Me, “The process of mastering a skill, diet, mindset, or lifestyle requires relentless effort, deep focus, and enthusiastic concentration. You must go deep to get something out of it.”

This is married with one of his core values of transparency as that it sets the stage to promote change. Being aware and externalizing your fears, guilt, shame or setbacks allows you to objectively look at it and release it from defining you any longer. Many of us live in fictional worlds and are never able to make a change or impact because we’re constantly maneuvering around what others think.

As we’ve discussed in other podcasts, everyone is so different and learning what your triggers are and the emotions that follow them, will continue to vary.

Daniel’s tips on how to bounce back from cravings:

  • Be aware and understand your dependencies – it’s incredibly important to be aware of the foods you consume as they may bring you down through addiction or bring you up through health.
  • Approach new ways of lifestyle with a new perspective – instead of focusing on the things you must eliminate, embrace the mindset of eating more of the good stuff! When your blood sugar dips, you need to fulfil up with protein and healthy fats, and LOTS of it.
  • Treat the journey as a long process and a skill that you can develop. When you make a mistake don’t carry it with guilt but invest in that mistake, it takes time!
  • Get out of your fixed mindset – no one is going to be perfect all the time and that’s okay.
  • Become curious about what’s happening in your environment when you’re craving sugar.
  • Educate! Immerse yourself in self-development of your awareness, mindset, external demands and habits.
  • Plan by prioritizing yourself – be proactive while planning food out and stick to it.
  • Implement a keystone habit – this is something that is good for yourself that you commit to every morning that brings you closer to connecting with the world from the inside out.
  • Meditation – trust that you’re all you’ll ever need to make yourself completely well!

“Living healthily is a skill you can train, it’s not a race to some desired outcome.” Daniel states.

There’s a solution to every single problem and we can change our lives at any second through Mind Zoning® and meditation, connecting with community, healthy eating and daily movement. Daniel does this every day by running down to the beach by his house at 4:45am, meditating for 20 minutes and then jumping in the freezing water. This daily practice sets him up for success, whatever his day may look like. His healthy routine is on his own terms which ensures he’s following his intentions and goals.

To connect with Daniel, make sure you check out EvolutionEat for mini courses, newsletters and blogs, or connect individually by emailing him at daniel@evolutioneat.com.

Feeling overwhelmed on how to break free from a sugar addiction, join our 7-day No Diet Detox challenge for FREE. It starts with awareness. Sign up today!

Huge shout out and thank you to today’s sponsor, Portland Community College and their holistic nutrition program. This 100% online program is 1 year and provides students with science-based principles while integrating in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for a well-rounded perspective on nutrition to start your healthcare career in nutrition or to supplement into your current holistic program. Christa did this course back in 2015 which launched her into creating what Fitlandia is today! To learn more or enroll for the next course starting September 25th, check out PCC’S functional nutrition program.

And, don’t forget to head over to the Fitlandia Podcast  on iTunes and subscribe, rate and review us! Make sure to put in your keystone habit about how you’re starting your day off right. We can’t wait to read them!

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Grieving Your Old Lifestyle

Episode 42 – Grieving Your Old Lifestyle

It’s natural to grieve your old lifestyle when making a shift into healthy eating, daily movement and positive thoughts. You’re forced to look at old patterns and learn how to let go of old coping mechanisms. In today’s show, we’ve pulled the webinar archives to repost this important info. We look at the Transtheoretical Model of Change as well as the 5 Stages of Grief to explain this process so you’re better prepared to cope with emotions.

What we can learn from models of change and stages of grieving when setting health goals?

As a Functional Medicine Practitioner working with my patients to overcome their health challenges and create positive change, I have to be aware of mind set and my expectations regarding their wants and needs.

It is never as simple as “tell me what to do and I’ll do it” or “this is the plan and these will be the outcomes.” Creating health is really about changing lifestyle and that involves transformation of not only the physical, but the mental and spiritual practice that we engage in every day.

If you have had involvement with Psychotherapy or studied psychology in school you may have heard of the following two models. While I have not studied these in depth I have used these to help myself and my patients understand where they are in their desire to change. No matter how much we associate transformation with what we do i.e. exercise, diet, sleep, therapy etc there is no denying that how we feel about the process is more telling of our future success or failure.

What has grief got to do with change?

First introduced by American Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying, the 5 stages of grieving has been useful in navigating people through the grieving process. While these stages are not meant to be a complete list of all possible emotions people will experience, they are helpful when facing a life-altering undertaking such as losing 100 pounds for example.

In the transtheoretical model, change is a process involving progression through various stages. When setting goals that are life changing people forget to take into account the process and commitment that is involved. I feel that checking into these various stages can be helpful in committing to the process.

Kübler-Ross model
The 5 stages of griefDenialAngerBargaining

Depression

Acceptance

Transtheoretical model
Progression through a series of stagesPre-contemplationContemplationPreparation

Action

Maintenance

Termination

While both models are controversial in their validity I feel that both patient and practitioner can use these stages to gauge commitment and track change so as to best reach their goals.

denial1. Denial & Precontemplation (Not Ready) – The person is trying to shut out the reality or magnitude of his/her situation, and begins to develop a false, preferable reality. People are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future, and can be unaware that their behavior is problematic. Unfortunately, this is where most people sit for too long until their health affects them negatively daily. For example a patient who is insulin resistant but not yet diagnosed as diabetic – “They have pills for that – I’ll be fine.”

2. Anger & Contemplation (Getting Ready) – People are beginning to recognize that their behavior is problematic, and start to look at the pros and cons of their continued actions. They recognize that denial cannot continue and may become bitter, the patient is very difficult to reason with due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. The patient can be angry with self, or with others, especially those who are close to them. Certain responses of a person undergoing this phase would be: “Why me? It’s not fair! I don’t want to give up my wine.”; “Why do I have to do this? Jane lost weight without having to do any of this!”

3. Preparation & Bargaining (Ready) – Patients intend to take action in the immediate future, and may take small steps toward behavior change. This often involves bargaining where the patient hopes that they can somehow avoid going down the path the practitioner has chartered for them. Seeking to negotiate a compromise is normal and it is important for practitioner and patient to truly examine whether this patient is ready for the next stage. Example: “OK so I’m cutting out sugar but chocolate brownies made with honey are fine! Right?”

4. Depression & Action – I know this sounds like a stalemate but I often see patients acquiring new healthy behaviors only to withdraw. “What if I succeed in kicking my diabetes?” “What if I really do lose 100 lbs?” Their friends can change, along with their habits, their clothes, even their problems. It is natural to feel sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty when going through this stage. Feeling those emotions shows that the person has begun to accept the situation. Becoming a different person requires an immense amount of courage!

5. Acceptance & Maintenance – Patients have been able to sustain action for a while and are working to prevent relapse. At this stage they have come to terms that they are better off this way and the changes have become the new lifestyle. This typically comes with a sense of peace, a retrospective view of self, and a calm stable mindset. I often hear “I can’t believe how much better I feel. I won’t go back to the way I used to eat!”

acceptance of a healthy lifestyle6. Termination – Individuals have no temptation to return to their old unhealthy habit as a way of coping. They are happy with the path they chose to follow and are comfortable with themselves and have been accepted by their peers old and new. This is ultimately where a good practitioner would want their patients to reach. While termination sounds final it is here that a doctor and patient build a lasting relationship built on mutual admiration, trust and satisfaction. It is here where the true reward lies.

So, remember no matter where you are in life, and in health, be aware of your motivation, set a course, create some systems, build in rewards, keep checking in with yourself, be kind to those around you and especially to yourself, be brave, live life, and stay strong.

Need help getting started? Try out our FREE, 7-Day No Diet Detox. That’s right – no dieting! Just 7 days of snapping pictures of your food to begin the mind-body connection.

 

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JP Sears of Awaken with JP

Episode 41 – Become Ultra Healthy with JP Sears of Awaken with JP

Christa intros JP Sears to the show and jumps right into some nutritional controversy with the American Heart Association’s assertion that coconut oil isn’t healthy. Christa wanted to get JP’s take on the situation since the topic was all over social media.

 

Here’s what JP had to say:

“From the bottom of my heart, I would dare say, virtually anything the American Heart Association says deserves to be flushed down the toilet.”

Because of the corporate agenda and funding into research, these studies aren’t for the greater good of people, but instead putting dollars into their pockets. Christa concurs. She points out that there is conflicting info in the industry and JP uses the example of the days when margarine was touted as being healthy.

The Power of Meditation

Christa reminds newcomers to the show that Fitlandia is on a mission to end dieting by first helping people change their thought-patterns using Mind Zoning®. Because these are like guided meditations, she explores the power of meditation with JP.

JP provides an amazing suggestion for those short on time or starting out. Personally, he does 10 minutes per day and focuses on a practice he learned from Thích Nhất Hạnh, which is a simple breathing meditation. As you breathe in, say to yourself, “I’m breathing in.” As you exhale, say to yourself, “I’m breathing out.” This is easy and approachable for anyone to try.

“Meditation is a great service we can give ourselves.”

Christa & JP discuss the challenges with life and busy schedules and that we don’t have to be perfect in our health practices. In fact, being aware and open about our triggers can help us keep moving forward.

“I used to shame the living crap out of myself. How I’m shaming myself is probably more toxic than the cookie I ate.”

End the Shaming Cycle

The shaming cycle can take someone back into an old, viscous addictive pattern, but Mind Zoning® can help, as well as being thoughtful about the benefits of that pattern. Looking at things that feel unhealthy always has an element of comfort and provides a sense of feeling in control.

Christa & JP speak on the power of planning for travel and staying healthy on the road and rely on Whole Foods to help stay healthy during travel and even search AirBnB listings to ensure access to being able to cook their own meals.

So what do Christa & JP eat? It’s similar: focus on veggies, higher on the side of healthy fats, and high-quality protein…and most importantly, don’t follow a dogma and instead focus on growing intuitively with what to eat and learning what’s best from how the body feels.

Christa shares a cautionary tale and that if you’re struggling with sugar, refined carb and/or alcohol addictions then tuning into your body could be challenging and her #1 tip: FOOD JOURNAL.

Self-Sabotage and Unresolved Wounds

Together they get heavy with regards to self-sabotage and looking at the root of self-sabotage. JP speaks to childhood experiences and how we reaffirm disempowering beliefs due to unresolved emotional pain.

Christa adds it’s connected to a lack of self-worth and the need to become aware of traumas. She gets inspired to create a Mind Zoning called “The Journey of Courage.” Doing inner child work can be an incredibly powerful process to healing and moving forward.

JP and Christa wrap up the show speaking to the power of vulnerability and community and/or tribe to help guide you through your transition. Also, working with a coach or therapist can have a powerful impact. He mentions Brene Brown’s TEDTalk on the Power of Vulnerability where she talks about connection and its power in our lives.

“Embrace discomfort. Nobody has ever excelled at anything by avoiding discomfort.”

Connect with all of JP’s awesomeness here:

Awaken with JP website

Awaken with JP YouTube channel

Buy the book: How to Be Ultra Spiritual with JP

Follow on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Gratitude for today’s sponsor!

Portland Community College Functional Nutrition Program Check out their 100% online functional nutritional program today.

 

If you’re looking for a holistic nutrition program to connect with others, learn how to connect with your body and overcome addiction for the next 30-day program with Fitlandia.

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is coconut oil healthy

Is Coconut Oil Healthy?

Oh boy! When I saw the USA Today article titled, “Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy,” I thought to myself, “Here we go again. Yet another food industry or big pharma-sponsored research study meant to keep flooding their pockets at the expense of our health.” Yes, I realize these are strong words and I stand by them.

First, a little history on my education, experience and position with regards to scientific research studies. During my Functional Nutrition training we had an entire class dedicated to this very topic called, “Intro to Research and Evidence-Based Practice for Nutritional Therapy.” Through this class I came to learn three very important things:

  1. Studies are open to interpretation.
  2. Science can not “prove” anything. It can only “disprove” ideas. Click here for more misconceptions about science.
  3. Private corporations pay for up to 75% of all studies.

In a nutshell, look to see who’s funding the studies and make your own judgement about the validity of their interpretation.

I do not profess to be a scientist, a research expert, nor a medical practitioner.  But, I am quite well-read and have my list of experts I do trust and rely on for information.

The key for anyone navigating nutrition information is to always keep these points for consideration:

  • Your body is unique and what works for someone else, may not work for you.
  • Giving up processed foods and adopting a whole foods’ diet is good advice for everyone (and the more plants, the better)!
  • Daily movement and a mix of strength training and cardio (along with a healthy diet) are needed to support your health goals.
  • Monitor your own health stats including:
    • LDL/HDL (the ratio counts, not just LDL)
    • Triglycerides
    • Fasting blood sugar
    • Resting heart rate
    • Blood pressure
    • Digestion, mood, sleep, energy, cognitive function

I personally eat a diet made up of 60%-70% fat; mostly from coconut oil, grass-fed butter, ghee, avocado oil, and for my cold-prep, olive oil. I avoid canola, sunflower, safflower, soybean, and other vegetable oils whenever possible. My health stats are amazing, but they weren’t always that way. Through immersing myself in the available information, becoming educated on the flaws of research studies, and monitoring my own health stats, I’ve come to have very strong opinions on what the AHA, FDA, and USDA pump out as their guidelines for us to follow. I’m not buying their stance one bit.

So do I think coconut oil (raw, organic, unrefined form) is healthy? Most definitely.

Be sure to subscribe to the Fitlandia Podcast and tune in to episode #41 where JP Sears of Awaken with JP shares his very direct insights on the AHA’s warning!

Ready to really geek out on the subject? Here are some other resources to shed even more light on the topic.

Dr. Axe: Is Coconut Oil Healthy? (The American Heart Association Doesn’t Think So)

Dr. Mark Hyman: Coconut Oil – Are You Coco-Nuts to Eat It?

Dr. Mercola: Why Coconut Oil is So Good for You

If you’re interested in giving up processed food and kicking diets to the curb, work with us to get your healthy-self back! Fitlandia can help you with our online, holistic programs.

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nutrigenetics and the future of healthcare

Episode 40 – Nutrigenetics and the Future of Healthcare

Christa welcomes back Dr. Michelle Neil-Sherwood, DO and Dr. Mark Sherwood, ND, or as they like to be called, “Drs. M & M without the sugar” to talk about the science of nutrigenetics. Dr. Michele and Dr. Mark own and operate a wellness-based practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma called Functional Medical Institute. Their practice bridges the medical model with the functional model to teach people how to be completely and totally well. Drs. M & M use all kinds of unique and interesting tools to accomplish their mission and have many patient success stories where existing medical conditions have been reversed or eliminated.

 

Christa repeats Dr. Michele’s opening statement and says, “So it’s not outside of our realm that we can actually be completely and totally well?  I love that.”

A Little Background on the Subject

The functional medicine approach gets to the root cause by looking at:

  • Hormones
  • Neuro transmitters
  • Nutrition
  • Lifestyle

Looking at genetics:

  • We are 99.9% genetically identical
  • The .1% difference is what makes us unique
  • That difference makes all the difference in the world – not everything works the same for everybody
    • Traditional diets
    • Workout programs
    • Supplement types and quantities

We’re born with our genes, but the experiential knowledge those genes have with the interaction of environment is called Epigenetics (the environment’s effect of the genes). For example, two identical twins can grow up and turn out a little different from each other because of the environment’s effect.

Nutrigenetics – the genes effect on the environment

  • How do our genes detoxify things?
  • How do our genes influence what we need to be taking?
  • How do our genes handle lipids; metabolize the fats we consume?
  • How do our genes handle workouts we do?
  • How do our genes handle inflammation?

Simply stated, what we eat could actually influence our DNA and the expression of our DNA.

Genetic Testing

Drs. M & M utilize genetic testing to get the ideal breakdown of macro nutrients for each individual based on their genetic makeup. They formulate a unique nutrition and exercise plan based on those results to optimize body composition for each person. Benefits of testing include:

  1. Cutting edge technology
  2. Replaces trial and error
  3. Unravels the mystery for each person so they get specific, individual plans
  4. Optimization of health
  5. Saves time by getting to the answers faster

Dr. Mark gives an example of how two people can have different reactions when consuming caffeine late in the day. One person may not be affected by a late afternoon cup of coffee, while the other person may be awake all night. Why? The person who is not affected at night by the coffee has a faster metabolism, so the caffeine is processed quicker. For the person whose metabolism is impaired, the caffeine is not processed as fast.

To change metabolism:

  • Reduce detoxification on back end (inside) = nutrigenetic effect
  • Reduce toxins on the front end (outside) = nutrigenomic effect

How does the genetic test work?  Get specific information here

  • A sample ‘buckle swab’ of cheek cells is taken
  • The sample is sent to lab and tested for 80 different genes specific for health, metabolic and exercise
  • Results come back within 21-25 days
  • Analyzed by Drs. M & M
  • An individual plan is designed based on patient’s genetic and lifestyle information
  • A sustainable life plan is created for the patient to use for the rest of their life
  • Implementation may be either fast pace or a slow transition but results are definite

Exercise Considerations

Most people think that more exercise is necessary to lose weight but it can create inflammation and can be the wrong type and amount for our unique genetic makeup.

Example:  A female patient, in her 40’s, chronic boot-camp person, 15-20 pounds overweight in excess fat, can’t get the fat off, frustrated, going to two boot camp classes daily several times a week, exhausted, and stressed out of her mind!

The patient’s genetic testing revealed that she is of an endurance-based structure. Drs. M & M outlined a new exercise plan including:

  • Only two boot camp sessions per week
  • Walking, yoga, relaxation to “chill out”

Once she incorporated these changes in her fitness routine, she immediately began to see results by allowing her body to adapt to the way it is supposed to be.

Christa shares her similar story of being an athlete all of her life, being 50 pounds overweight while working out six days a week (but eating and drinking “trash”). She functioned in survival mode with no coping mechanisms to handle stress and no boundaries to shut down work, or do any type of self-care. Christa confesses that she is now more aware to her addictive tendencies towards donuts and wine, but it would have been great to have this type of testing information back then – it would have saved time because it was a long journey for her to figure things out.

Taste Bud Genes (Phenylthiourea-Phenylthiocarbamide “PTC”)

The spectrum of taste is determined by our genetics. There is an inherited genetic component that influences how we taste PTC, a single gene that codes for a taste receptor on the tongue. This gene is known as the PTC gene or TAS2R38. People can be classified as “tasters,” “non-tasters,” or somewhere in between.

Tasters

  • Wide taste spectrum
  • Appreciates a broad range of tastes; bitter to sweet
  • May have a dysfunctional dopamine receptor which indicates that sweet equals happy; therefore, food becomes happiness

Non-Tasters

  • Narrow taste spectrum
  • Limited taste receptors
  • Prefer or can eat more bland foods
  • Doesn’t typically link food to happiness

Food Addiction

  • Must use caution when opening door to any type of “comfort” or “happy” food because it will cause the door to come flying open, which can activate the addition and lead to binge eating.
  • Once the addiction cycle opens that door, it can swing open for a long time.
  • Limit the shaming cycle by using Mind Zoning® or other types of mindfulness practices may help shorten the time that we are in the addiction.
  • Once we know this information, we are empowered.
  • We don’t have to ask for permission or forgiveness if we slip up; it is up to us to use the information and tools we have to be successful in all areas of our wellness journey.

Access to Genetic Testing

It’s not necessary to live in or to visit Tulsa, OK to get this genetic DNA test from Drs. M & M. You can access the information on their website and order your own sample test kit and mail it back for analysis. You’ll receive a 48-page comprehensive report within 3-4 weeks. Then, Drs. M & M spend 45-60 minutes (via Skype) reviewing it with you. They discuss your areas of vulnerability and set forth an action plan to fix those areas nutrigenomically. The plan is emailed to you as a written implementation synopsis.

Cost

Less than $500 for the entire package

$349 + shipping for kit, testing and analysis, written report

$100 for Skype consultation

“We want people to have this so they can unlock the keys and the mysteries to these problems; how do I lose weight and keep it off, maintain muscle tissue and fight against heart disease and diabetes,” explains Dr. Mark. We provide the tools necessary to answer their own healthcare problems so they can manage their healthcare. Investing in yourself and your health saves money. Drs. M & M point out that their goal is to “take away the ignorance button.” Their patients are fully equipped to make educated adult decisions about their health, exercise and nutrition. They own their own healthcare.

Final Tips

  • Food is vitally important to health
  • Food has changed and our health has declined over time because of it
  • Low-fat foods lead to the obesity epidemic
  • Using food to prevent disease

Dr. Michele quotes Aristotle, “Let food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food”.

Which Food Plan Works Best?

Eliminate the “standard American diet” foods such as:

  • Sugars
  • Grains
  • Breads
  • Corn
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • GMOs
  • Soy
  • MSG
  • High-fructose corn syrup

Bring your diet back to what we were designed and intended to eat:

  • Fresh and raw fruits and vegetables
  • Nutrient-dense foods with low sugars
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy proteins

Drs. M & M encourage their patients to follow an anti-inflammatory food protocol with no limits (just guardrails) so their taste buds never get out of control and dopamine receptors are not stimulated. People who stay on the path don’t tend to overeat.

Supplementation

  • Rule of 5 – if you’re taking over 5 supplements, there needs to be a good reason
  • Too many supplements can overstimulate your body and can weaken or limit your defenses
  • Antioxidants can be oxidative if used in excess
  • Cost savings by streamline and identifying targeted supplementation needs

Please check out Drs. M & M’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet from their previous last Fitlandia podcast.

If you’re looking for a holistic nutrition program to help break addictive cycles, sign up for the next 30-day program with Fitlandia.

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Today’s sponsor is the Portland Community College Institute for Health Professionals. Learn more about their 100% online program at climb.pcc.edu/nutrition.


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Envisioning a healthy summer

Episode 39 – Envisioning a Healthy Summer

We have a special treat this week as Christa King, Fitlandia’s Founder and CEO leads us through a Mind Zoning® session about envisioning a healthy summer.

 

If you’re new to Fitlandia, Mind Zoning® is similar to a guided meditation where your brain is invited to relax, slow down and get focused, but differs from meditation because it incorporates the idea of creating a new thought pattern. Meditation is about clearing thoughts and creating peace and space in your mind whereas Mind Zoning® takes it a step further to create new neural pathways designed to support your healthy goals.

Summertime Traps

Summertime can be a trap for a lot of people. It’s the time when healthy patterns of eating and exercise take a back seat to vacations; BBQ’s, parties and fun.

Many people begin the New Year with great energy and hope for a healthy lifestyle. They start losing weight and begin developing healthy habits, but when summer approaches, there’s a mentality of, “Yay, I’m on vacation, I can eat and drink anything I want.” The mindset is to eat and drink while on vacation and then get back on track once back home. The tricky part for those of us with sugar addiction or a reliance on alcohol, is that we may not get back on track and instead this behavior can drive us back to old patterns once our brain realizes how good the sugar or alcohol tastes and feels.

Staying on  Healthy Track

  • Be moderate
  • Be thoughtful
  • Be mindful of what you eat and drink
  • Plan activities during vacation or trips with friends, or BBQ’s or gatherings
  • Build awareness
  • Make good conscious choices that help support a healthy lifestyle

Let’s Begin

(**Caution** Do not drive or operate machinery while Mind Zoning)

  • Find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted
  • Position yourself in a comfortable seated position
  • Taking a few deep breaths, allowing your mind and body to relax
  • Starting at top of your head
  • Closing your eyes
  • Bring your attention to the very top of your head, imagine there is now this beautiful slow-moving cascading waterfall
  • It comes over the top of your head so slowly and goes down the back of your hair, over your head and neck
  • As it slowly passes by, notice how it is relaxing you and washing away any stress
  • Now across your shoulders – leaving behind a completely relaxed body
  • Cascading down your arms and torso
  • Noticing how you’ve become heavier in your chair or wherever you are
  • You’re able to sink further into relaxation
  • As that slow-moving cascading waterfall passes over your hips, your thighs and your knees
  • Passing over  your calves, your ankles, all the way to your toes
  • Noticing this beautiful, slow ever-streaming flow of water
  • So comforting, so relaxing, taking you into the most peaceful space right now
  • This beautiful wide-open place in your mind where you can release any stress, any chaos of the day
  • Letting this beautiful slow-moving water remove it, wash it away leaving a completely relaxed body behind

Now we invite the deepest part of your mind to start to think about your trips, adventures and plans, vacations far away, or nearby picnics and BBQ’s, or a family reunion or a birthday – whatever you have outlined for the summer.

  • You’ve been on this journey of health and wellness
  • Creating the very best version of you
  • Embracing a life of vitality, and becoming more conscious of a daily practice of:
    • eating healthy foods
    • moving
    • connecting socially
    • filling your mind with positive thoughts and goals

As you think of your plans for the summer, call upon that Super Hero in your mind (that part of your brain that can do anything), trusting that if you can think it, you can become it.

Call on your Super Hero now, and when you think of your plans for the summer begin to wonder how would that Super Hero comes into play to help you have the healthiest summer you’ve every had.

Maybe your Super Hero would have you:

  • go to bed earlier than ever have on vacation so you can get up early and get some exercise in before you start your adventures
  • pop out of bed to get outside in your location for a brisk walk or run
  • do a 7-minute hit workout

Your Super Hero helps you come up with ways to help you incorporate movement in everything you do, like:

  • taking a hike in one of the cities you’re visiting
  • doing a walking tour
  • planning a day of shopping where you’re walking the entire time

And now your Super Hero comes in to help you eat healthy for the entire summer by:

  • bringing a healthy dish to a potluck
  • choosing high-quality proteins to eat at a friend’s BBQ
  • finding it easy to forgo those common things like chips, or grains or any kind of processed foods and sugar

Your Super Hero makes it easy for you to make the healthiest possible choices in everything you do this summer.

Its also a good reminder that if you do choose to have alcohol or processed food or sugar; that you release any guilt or shame with that, knowing that it will not serve you. Instead just realizing that there could be setbacks, there could be consequences, there could be delays, but there is no guilt.

As you engage that Super Hero in you, notice how easy it is to have the healthiest summer you can imagine. You’re able to overcome any obstacle at all. If you’re traveling somewhere that is hot, or live somewhere hot, just notice how easy it is to get up early when it’s still cool out and take advantage of that brisk, fresh morning air. When we do that movement first thing in the morning, we set ourselves up for a successful day.

And now I’m going to invite the subconscious mind to connect with your inner Super Hero and call upon them anytime if you need a boost, reinforcement or a nudge of motivation. Your Super Hero is there for you. You might notice how easy it is to call upon them to strengthen you in those moments when you’re challenged. You can call upon that energy and engage in that energy and keep moving forward to have the healthiest summer yet. When you’re ready, open your eyes, coming back to this present time and space, feeling refreshed and energized.

Fitlandia is genuinely on a mission to end dieting and turn that failure rate of 67% into a success rate of 70% or greater by not only being able to create a healthy lifestyle but to maintaining it by engaging the power of the mind.

Head over to iTunes, subscribe to the podcast and give us on honest feedback on today’s Mind Zoning®. Let us know what you”ll do differently this summer and we’ll feature your intentions on a future podcast.

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Episode 37 – Incorporating Your Brain into Strength Training

Today, Christa welcomes her new fitness buddy, Mehul Parekh. While searching the Oregon Entrepreneur’s Network for connection opportunities with other fitness centers, Mehul came across Fitlandia, and thought, “How can you go wrong with a name like that?!” He connected with Christa and they decided to collaborate on a podcast to talk about how to incorporate your brain into your strength training workout.

 

Mehul is the owner of Bridgetown Brain and Body in Portland, Oregon. He gave Christa a private training session where they focused on the brain and muscle connection during the workout. She calls the session, “mind blowing” and encourages us to work to reframe how we think of strength training – especially for those of us just getting started.

Mehul’s Philosophies

  • injury-prevention
  • how to connect the brain to the body
  • a technique to prevent future injury

“What we’re learning more and more now in physical therapy, chiropractic circles and occupational therapy circles is that rehabbing injuries cannot just be a bottom-up approach,” says Mehul.

“There needs be brain involvement in how to activate muscles to make a lasting effect.”

Traditional physical therapies techniques might include:

  • Movement of injured or limited muscles/limbs
  • Holding something heavy (building strength)
  • Stretching (increasing mobility)
  • Botox injections (loosening muscles)

These therapies can be good, but changes in the physical body won’t be permanent until we connect the brain to the body. In strength training, you can strengthen the muscle all you want, but there is neurological component that needs to be incorporated. It’s necessary to include the brain to create a new neural pathway so we don’t slip back into old patterns. It is a whole-body experience when we connect the brain and the body in strength training.

What’s Different About a Brain and Body Workout? (vs. a conventional personal trainer)

  • Not exhausted afterwards (refreshed instead!)
  • No shouting, no drill sergeant, no platitudes
  • Not a no-holds barred generic one-hour session
  • Not the adage of “no pain, no gain”

The main concern with strength training in most gyms is that people are just given workouts – there is no consideration of long term progression and no planning about how the workout may affect your day.

What we do in the gym is supposed to be a carry-over effect for the rest of the day, it’s not supposed to be the end of it. There is no point to a workout if you can’t move afterwards.

It’s important to understand and be respectful of your body when working out, even when training hard. If you’re trying to break a personal record with a certain lift or squat, then it may be necessary to limit other moves on a specific day or when our bodies are giving indications that today might not be the best day.

Christa incorporates Ayurvedic principles with her workouts, and is a Pitta dosha means that she enjoys a good, hard workout. And even though this is her tendency and it feels good, she stays mindful and respectful of her body’s condition.

The Mark of a Good Trainer

  1. Has a fitness plan (no ad-libbing)
  2. Is flexible (mindful of energy and mobility levels)
  3. Crafts a workout for the individual
  4. Focused on injury prevention

Mehul’s e-book, Shattered!, is available for download at his website, and talks about how strength training stalls out, plateaus occur and how to break through them.

Basic Tips for Engaging Your Brain While Strength Training

  1. Short workout (bursts of exercise, 20-25 minutes daily)
  • Sessions with weights should be 46 minutes or less
  • Accomplishing a goal delivers a dopamine rush
  • Brings a sense of accomplishment
  • Helps overcome addiction cravings
  • Elevates moods, lessens depression
  1. Visualize your workout
    • Engaging in visualization of workout (even without doing it) gives a muscle-building benefit
    • Mind-zoning technique (getting brain engaged as a blueprint)
  2. Range of motion
    • Are you moving? Or are you moving a weight?
    • Greater neurological effect when you’re moving yourself through space (a push up, a squat)
  3. Changing workouts on a regular basis – incorporating a new move
    • Central nervous system burns more sugar when its learning something new
    • Helps with body recomposition and weight loss

The honeymoon period of weight lifting and resistance training is the first six to eight week – this is when strength is rapidly building. There is a neurological reaction caused by a more efficient recruitment of the fibers and the sensory and motor planning systems in the brain are working harder. This levels off after this time period and then it’s time to incorporate more moves which involve a full-range of joint and muscle movements.

FINAL TIPS

  1. Strength is a skill. Thinking about it from a skill-building perspective will change how you workout. Skills take time to learn. Practice consistent, short bursts of application to build the skill in your brain and in your body.
  2. Let go of soreness as a benchmark for a good workout. Get over the “it has to hurt” mentality. Soreness is a horrible indicator of a good workout.
  3. Create the lifestyle to meet your goals instead of focusing on the goal and not the lifestyle.
  4. Strength training is most beneficial when done 3-4 times a week.
  5. Eat healthy food every day – for LIFE!

Mehul is coming onboard as one of Fitlandia’s expert practitioners. Look for him in future podcasts as he’ll surely be posting all types of great videos and workout advice.

Want More? Subscribe to the Fitlandia Podcast today and have a healthy commute everyday! Share your comments in a review and we’ll feature you in an upcoming podcast.

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