New Skinnytaste Meal Planner (Updated + Revised) and a FREE 7 Day Meal Plan

I'm super excited to share the completely updated and revised Skinnytaste Meal Planner, Revised Edition a 52-week, daily meal planner to help you jump start your health goals by getting organized. Based on everyone's feedback about improving my previous Meal Planner, this revised planner was improved based on your feedback!

I’m super excited to share the completely updated and revised Skinnytaste Meal Planner, Revised Edition a 52-week, daily meal planner to help you jump start your health goals by getting organized. Based on everyone’s feedback about improving my previous Meal Planner, this revised planner was improved based on your feedback!

(pre-order only until 12/19), Available at Target.com, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

A detailed, thorough 7-day Skinnytaste meal plan that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire week, and an organized grocery list that will make grocery shopping so much easier and much less stressful.

The completely updated and revised Skinnytaste Meal Planner now includes:

  • More space for writing your meal entries including Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner!
  • Spiral binding so the planner lays flat for easier writing
  • Shopping lists to plan your week’s groceries
  • Notes sections to keep track of extra tasks
  • Check-boxes so you can mark off your weekly goals as you complete them each day
As before, there’s plenty of space to track your eating and exercise activities.
I'm super excited to share the completely updated and revised Skinnytaste Meal Planner, Revised Edition a 52-week, daily meal planner to help you jump start your health goals by getting organized. Based on everyone's feedback about improving my previous Meal Planner, this revised planner was improved based on your feedback!

I'm super excited to share the completely updated and revised Skinnytaste Meal Planner, Revised Edition a 52-week, daily meal planner to help you jump start your health goals by getting organized. Based on everyone's feedback about improving my previous Meal Planner, this revised planner was improved based on your feedback!

Meal planning is easy, it only takes a few steps:

  1. Plan your meals for the week (get your kids and husband involved)
  2. Make a shopping list.
  3. Go shopping!

To kick off the launch I’ve partnered with one of my cookbook team members and recipe developers, Danielle Hazard, experienced in the food, cooking and nutrition field and a perfect match for meal planning. Together, we’ve come up with a detailed, thorough meal plan that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire week!  Say goodbye to the stress of meal planning and grocery list writing and hello to a week of delicious, pre-planned, well balanced Skinnytaste meals.

To make it easy for you, we’ve included a more precise, organized grocery list that will make grocery shopping so much easier and much less stressful.  Save you money and time. You’ll dine out less often, waste less food and you’ll have everything you need on hand to help keep you on track.  Forget about spinning your wheels, trying to come up with meals for your busy week. We’ve done it for you!

Here are the details:

Breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday, are designed to serve 1 while dinners and all meals on Saturday and Sunday are designed to serve a family of 4.  Some recipes make enough leftovers for two nights or lunch the next day. While we truly believe there is no one size fits all meal plan, we did our best to come up with something that appeals to a wide range of individuals. Everything is Weight Watchers friendly, feel free to swap out any recipes you wish or just use this for inspiration!

The grocery list is comprehensive and includes everything you need to make all meals on the plan.  I’ve even included brand recommendations of products I love and use often.

And last, but certainly not least, this meal plan is flexible and realistic. There’s plenty of wiggle room for cocktails, healthy snacks, dessert and dinner out. And if necessary, you can move some things around to make it work with your schedule. Pair the plan with the NEW Skinnytaste Meal Planner and you are guaranteed to succeed.

I'm super excited to share the completely updated and revised Skinnytaste Meal Planner, Revised Edition a 52-week, daily meal planner to help you jump start your health goals by getting organized. Based on everyone's feedback about improving my previous Meal Planner, this revised planner was improved based on your feedback!

MONDAY (12/18)
B: 2 hard-boiled eggs (0) + 1 apple (0)
L: Chickpea Avocado Salad (3)
D: Balsamic Roasted Veggies and White Bean Pasta (8)

TUESDAY (12/19)
B: Avocado Toast with Sunny Side Egg (4) + 1 orange (0)
L: Chickpea Avocado Salad (3)
D: Madison’s Favorite Slow Cooker Beef Tacos (9) + Mexican Cauliflower Rice (1)

WEDNESDAY (12/20)
B: Avocado Toast with Sunny Side Egg (4) + 1 orange (4)
L: Spiralized Greek Cucumber Salad (7) + 1 apple (0)
D: ¾ cup Balsamic Roasted Veggies and White Bean Pasta (6) + 7 ounces Italian chicken sausage* (2)

THURSDAY (12/21)
B: 6 ounces nonfat Greek yogurt (0) topped with 1 sliced banana (0), 2 tablespoons chopped pecans (3), 1 teaspoon honey (1)
L: Spiralized Greek Cucumber Salad (7) + 1 apple (0)
D: Taco Salad made with leftover Slow Cooker Beef (6) + 2 cup chopped romaine (0), 1 ounce (about 18) baked tortilla chips (3) + ¼ cup Best Guacamole (3)

FRIDAY (12/22)
B: 6 ounces nonfat Greek yogurt (0) topped with 1 sliced banana (0), 2 tablespoons chopped pecans (3), 1 teaspoon honey (1)
L: Chilled Italian Shrimp Tortellini Pasta x2 (6)
D: Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup (2) + 1 ounce (about 18) baked tortilla chips (3)

SATURDAY (12/23)
B: Sausage, Cheese and Veggie Egg Bake (4) + fruit salad (¼ orange , ½ apple, ½ cup grapes) (0)
L: Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup (2) + 1 ounce (about 18) baked tortilla chips (3)
D: Dinner Out!

SUNDAY (12/24)
B: Sausage, Cheese and Veggie Egg Bake (4) + fruit salad (¼ orange , ½ apple, ½ cup grapes) (0)
L: Chilled Italian Shrimp Tortellini Pasta (6)
D: Homemade Spinach Manicotti (7) + House Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

*Cook sausage according to package directions and add to pasta.

(more…)

Original Source: New Skinnytaste Meal Planner (Updated + Revised) and a FREE 7 Day Meal Plan

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Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Hey folks!

I cannot BELIEVE another year has blazed by. I’m working on my yearly training update, which should be out late January, but we have the rest of the holiday season to navigate before getting there.

To that end, I’ve compiled a few options you (or someone you know) might enjoy for a holiday gift. Without further ado, let’s get gifty!

Dry Farm Wine

It’s tough to find bubbly without sugar. Did you know most have up to 50g/L??  Thanks to Dry Farm Wine, you can now have your bubbly without the negative effects.  

They’ve created The Sparkling Collection, a subscription for sparkling wine that works the same as their regular wine membership.

To buy: Dry Farm Wines Sparkling Collection

Not into the bubbly stuff? They also have great gifting options for the holidays. These are super cool, with the option to give a one time gift or customize a short term subscription, say 3 months!

To buy: Dry Farm Wines

Moskova Skivvies

I’ve generally been “ho-hum” about my underwear choices. I’m married, Nicki is stuck with me…I have historically covered my backside with whatever was handy. Well, then I tried Moskova undies.

This is a true story: I’d been sent a few pair of these undies and they sat on my desk for like 3 weeks. I received an email asking “did you try them??” and somewhat flustered and annoyed, I opened the package, stripped off my horror-show underwear that I had on at the moment, and put on a pair of Moskova underwear. I was standing directly in front of my dresser which housed my sox and underwear…I reached into my dresser, grabbed all of the underwear I currently owned (with a few pairs fleeing on their own power…that’s how old and ratty they were) and threw my old underwear away. I went back to my email, and responded “these are amazing, can I get 10 pair??” I really fail at describing how amazing they are…comfy and they look good—particularly when Nicki swipes a pair, which is almost a daily occurence.

If you love your backside (or someone else’s backside) put a pair of Moskova skivvies on that mamba-jamba!

To buy: Moskova

Henry Akins Hidden Jiu-Jitsu

If you or someone you know is into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or grappling I simply cannot recommend Henry’s material enough. Humble brag, I received my purple belt earlier in the year, (for those that don’t know, this is a pretty significant achievement). And without Henry’s materials, I would likely NOT have stuck with my training.

The best way I can describe what Henry brings to his jiu-jitsu is “simplicity.” When you see Henry’s solution to a problem you may have struggled with for years the response can range from joy on the one hand to nearly abject depression on the other as you realize your training could have been so much further along if you’d only had access to this material sooner. My ONLY hesitation in recommending this material to a broad audience is it’ll make other folks that much better which increases the likelihood of me getting smashed!

To buy: Henry Akins Hidden Jiu-Jitsu

Sleep Remedy

Honestly, what’s better than the gift of a good night’s sleep? For your partner that’s tossing and turning all night, your co-worker coming in groggy eyed morning after morning, your sister who just had a little one. Or, let’s be real, yourself…Whoever needs that extra nudge into dreamland, Doc Parsley has got them covered with his Sleep Remedy.

This stuff replenishes nutritional and stress induced deficiencies to help you get deep, restful, and restorative sleep. And, they’ve recently added a lemon-lime flavor as well as capsules to the line up!

To buy: docparsley.com

Instant Pot

If you have someone in your life who enjoys cooking, but needs time saving options, the Instant Pot is a perfect gift. Seriously, if you haven’t yet taken the plunge and purchased one of these puppies for yourself you don’t know what you’re missing. A pressure cooker and slow cooker in one, the Instant Pot is truly a life saver!  

If the someone you’re buying for will be cooking for a large family, be sure to grab the 8 qt size (also comes in 6 qt).

To buy: Instant Pot

Kettle & Fire Bone Broth

Bone broth? Really? As a gift?! Ok, maybe this one is primarily a ”gift to self” but if you have not tinkered with adding a good collagen/glycine source to your diet (like that found in bone broth) you are (I know it’s cliche to say, but it’s true dag-nab-it!) “missing out.” This is not mere cave-man scented marketing hyperbole mind you, you are literally missing out on what is likely a more representative balance of nutrients and amino acids consumed by our pre-westernized ancestors.

If you’re like most folks who consume any animal products, you likely stick to traditional cuts of meat, seafood etc. These are fantastic, nutrient dense options for sure but it appears that eating all those other “fiddly-bits” may be pretty important for health, inflammation and having a shiny coat. Or, if you’re not a dog, healthy skin and happy hair. And stuff. Kettle & Fire offers a number of flavors but the Chicken Mushroom is…amazing. Seriously, amazing. Oh, and they’ve got a special end of year savings for you too!

To buy: Kettle and Broth

Gymnastics Bodies

At 45 years old I’ve become quite aware of what helps (and what hinders) my performance, be that mental or physical in nature. Smart mobility and strength work like what I get from the Gymnastics Bodies program will, in all likelihood, remain a feature of my training for the rest of my life. If you’ve followed my training updates over the years you‘ll likely notice that GB has featured prominently in my training.

There’s something for everyone in Gymnastics Bodies. Coach Sommer has put an enormous amount of work into the online interface which is adaptable based on your performance. For me, I add one day per week of squatting or deadlifting and I’m “good.”

To buy: Gymnastics Bodies

Totally into lifting weights and not sure if you want to do gymnastics work? No problem, but I’d highly recommend checking out the stretch program offered by GB.

To buy: Gymnastics Bodies Stretch Series

Original Source: Holiday Gift Guide 2017

A Training Program for Single-Tasking & Focus

By Leo Babauta

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I heartily believe in giving your full focus to one task at a time. Single-tasking and focus are at the heart of my productivity method.

Pick one important task, and give it your entire focus. Finish that (or at least a chunk that you choose to work on right now), and then do the same with the next task. There’s simply no better way to get things done, one important task at a time. Even small tasks benefit from single-tasking with focus.

But knowing this and actually doing it are two different things. There are lots of things we know we should do, but putting them into practice, and being consistent about it, are simply much harder.

I think the answer is in intentional training.

We aren’t good at doing things we know we should do. That’s obvious. But how do we get better? By not trying? By trying, failing, and then not learning from the failure but instead being critical of ourselves about failing? Most of us just keep repeating the same mistakes, don’t get better, and don’t understand why we can’t get better.

So what if we trained ourselves to get better?

There are a number of important ideas in training that we can use to get better at single-tasking and focusing:

  1. Train in small doses to start with.
  2. Train at the easy level, and only progress with mastery.
  3. Train repeatedly, as perfectly as you can.
  4. Use the failure as feedback, and adjust.
  5. Vary the training.
  6. Practice regularly, instead of allowing yourself to forget.
  7. Focus on micro skills — instead of training your entire baseball swing, focus on one part at a time.

With those ideas, we’re going to train ourselves to get better at single-tasking with full focus.

The Focus Training Method

First, ask yourself whether this is important enough to train yourself in. Do you really care about finding focus, or is everything fine as it is? If it’s not fine, what difficulty does it cause you? Is it worth it to train yourself to relieve that difficulty? Do you care deeply about this? Remember that as you practice and feel like skipping the training.

Now here’s the training method I recommend:

  1. Set yourself to train in 5-10 minute bursts, 2-5 times a day, every day. There is a temptation to train for an hour, or 30 minutes, because 5-10 minutes seems silly. But we’re not attempting a marathon just yet — we want to train ourselves before we attempt a marathon. So set your practice for 5-10 minute intervals of full focus, then 5 minutes of break, then another interval, and so on. Let two of these short sessions a day be your minimum, even on weekends or when you’re traveling.
  2. Train at the easy level, don’t start with hard tasks. If writing your book is such a hard task that you really dread doing it, don’t start with that. Or maybe it’s doing your taxes/finances, or writing a difficult report or letter. Instead, start with easier tasks that won’t cause you to panic or totally dread doing it. You can work your way up to the hard tasks after a week or two, and when you do, just start in small doses (5-10 minutes).
  3. Use any failures as really important feedback for adjustment. If you get distracted or pulled away from the task, that’s completely OK — the only failure is the failure to learn from your mistakes. Failure is actually super important for training — if you’re not failing, you’re probably not pushing yourself into new learning. Failure is how we get better in training — notice what went wrong, and figure out how to adjust. Every time you mess up, think of this as a big golden opportunity, and relish the idea of reviewing what happened, and seeing how you can adjust and improve. Distracted by Facebook? Block it. Disconnect from the Internet. Give your spouse the wireless router. Tell people on Facebook you won’t be on Facebook until 5pm each day. Figure out what you need to do, and adjust.
  4. Mix up the training. There’s value in repeated training, but studies have shown that we learn best when we vary the training. Try to focus for 5 minutes one session, then 10 minutes the next. Try to focus on writing in one session, then reading in another, then writing an important email in a third session. Keep the difficulty level about the same, but mix up the tasks and even the micro skills you practice.
  5. Focus on 2-3 micro skills at a time (see below). Each practice session, just focus on a couple micro skills. Then mix it up in the next practice session. Eventually you’ll get so good at certain micro skills that you don’t need to think about them, they’ll just be easy. Then you can move on to others.

You can lengthen the training sessions (but no need to alter the number of sesions for awhile) as you get better at the training, and start to master the micro skills below. Don’t be in a rush to lengthen the training, but when you do, just add 5 minutes to the session.

So you might start with 5-10 minute sessions, then after a couple weeks, try 10-15 minute sessions, an so on. I wouldn’t recommend going longer than 30 minutes unless you do work that requires you to keep everything in your head (a complex mental model) and taking breaks is actually detrimental to the task.

The Micro Skills

There are lots of micro skills you can practice, and you’ll find some of your own as you adjust your practice based on mistakes and continued learning (blocking Facebook when needed, for example).

But here are some that I recommend practicing:

  1. Pick several important tasks to work on today. Each morning, or maybe even better the night before, you can pick three important tasks to focus on for the day (or the next day). What tasks will move the needle on your important projects, or important areas in your life? You might have a million to do, but just pick three. You can always pick three more if you finish those early.
  2. Pick one of those important tasks. In the morning, pick on of your three important tasks to focus on first. Yes, they’re all important. But you’ll get to the others later — for now, you can only do one. Pick one and focus on that. Btw, after you finish your three important tasks, you can decide to focus on smaller tasks (like answering email, paying bills, replying to messages, etc.) for half an hour or whatever you need. They’re valid things to use for your focus training sessions.
  3. Set yourself to do that task with focus. That means decide that you’re going to do nothing but focus on this task. You’re going to use it as a practice session. You might set a timer. You’re going to practice the micro skills in this section with this task, consciously, and not switch.
  4. Clear a space and make this feel important. That means clear a physical space (however clear you can get it in a minute or so) and clear your computer of whatever you don’t need. Turn off your phone. See this as a really important training session, worth using up some of your life instead of just a mindless task to get through.
  5. Set an intention. As you get started, set an intention for how you want to practice. Examples: “I want to be fully present as I read this article,” or “I want to practice focus deliberately as I write for 10 minutes,” or “I am going to do this task with love in my heart for the people I’m serving.” The intention is a way to remind yourself of the way you want to show up for this focus session.
  6. Have only the tools you need open. That means closing all apps. Turning off your phone. You don’t need a million things open to do this task. There’s just you and your yoga mat. Just you and your writing app. Just you and your book.
  7. Notice your urge to put it off. When you choose a task to focus on, you will often have an urge to put off starting. Notice this urge, and pay close attention to how it feels. It’s an urge, a moment of uncertainty and discomfort, and temptation to do something easier or more certain. It’s nothing you can’t handle, and not a reason to run. Stay with your task instead of switching to something else, and stay with how the urge feels in your body.
  8. Stay with it for just 5 minutes. Focus with complete devotion to this task for 5 minutes. You can lengthen to 10 or 15 minutes after mastering the 5-minute session.
  9. Watch your urge to switch. As you do your focus session, at different times you’ll often feel an urge to switch. You don’t need to switch just because you have the urge. Sit with the uge, meditating on how it feels, staying with it as you did with the urge to put off the task (No. 7 above). Let the urge get really strong, and realize that it’s nothing to be afraid of, nothing you need to run away from.
  10. *Take a short break, and then mindfully come back. Try setting a timer for your focus session, then when it goes off, set another 5-minute timer and take a break. Then come back to the task and do another focus session. You don’t have to do this every time, but it is a micro skill to practice.
  11. Mindfully immerse yourself in the task. As you do the task, try to be fully immersed in it, having your mind fully in the task, and/or the physcial sensations you feel as you do the task. This means noticing when your mind is wandering, and coming back. There’s nothing but you, your body, and this task.
  12. Find gratitude when you finish (as well as during). As you’re doing the task, you can feel gratitude that you’re able to do it. Gratitude for being alive, for being able to serve someone you care about by doing this task, for your growth as you practice focus. And as you finish your session, you can feel gratitude that you were able to focus (even if only for a little while), and that you furthered along your task (or finished it). Amazing!

These are some of the micro skills that I’ve found important to practice. After years of working on these skills, I can confidently say that I’m much better at them, though there are times when I need to remind myself to practice, of course.

Is focus and single-tasking something you want to get better at? Is it important to you? Will it serve you and the people you serve? Then set yourself to a training plan today!

Invites to My Habit Zen Web App

I’m opening my Habit Zen web app, designed to help you track and create new habits, to 2,000 new users in the next week or two. It’s free, just fill out this form:

Habit Zen Invite Form

We’ve been working hard to make the app better, and more improvements are coming soon!

Original Source: A Training Program for Single-Tasking & Focus

No, Drinking More Water is NOT Going To Improve Your Health

Ah…the beginning of an article. How to make it click-baity enough to get some eyeballs, yet actually offer value to the reader? Due to old-age or just lack of inspiration I’ve got nothing in this regard, so I’ll get to the story at hand:

A few weeks ago I had a sit-down with the dietetics staff at a medium sized, rural hospital. Super nice folks, very sincere. They deal with a population that is enormously overweight and which suffers from type 2 diabetes and all the related problems. This was a VERY interesting meeting as the folks who OWN the hospital are fully on-board with the Ancestral Health template and are huge advocates of things like the paleo and keto diets. The owners know this stuff works, they wanted to have a sit-down with their dietitians to try to get them on-board with the notion that eating strategies like paleo or keto “might” be helpful for their very sick (and expensive to treat) population. Everyone went around the table giving a bit of a bio and when it came to me I could see the eyes of the poor dietitians grow wide when they learned I’d written some paleo diet books and was a fan of low carb (for the right situations…you know, like fat loss and type 2 diabetes.)

Things got a bit…fidgety after my bio but our moderator did a great job of smoothing things over and asked the dietetics staff to go through what their process is in working with these obese and or type 2 diabetic patients. Again, I do not want to paint these folks as anything other than sincere and well meaning, but here is what they shared:

1-The MAIN item they focus on is getting folks to “drink more water.” This was mentioned and reiterated at least a dozen times.

2-Their avant garde initiative was to have families eat together, but a point was made that they “should not in any way criticize or second guess what they were eating” and yes, that IS a direct quote.

I want to unpack the second point first: I cannot think of a better basic recommendation that families should share meals together. Life is short, family is everything. Turning off the TV, putting away the smart-phones and other distractions and “talking” is a lost art these days.

THAT is awesome.

But…

In what was at least a 15 minute presentation, food-quality was not mentioned once. And upon inspection of the literature which supports this program, the claim was made that this mindful family eating was THE route to reversing weight and health issues that are dietary in nature.

Community IS one of the four pillars of health (along with sleep, movement and….food) but what was related to me is the vast majority of meals taken by these families were fast food, desserts, and what would generally be termed “highly processed snacks.”

Now, I do think far too much emphasis is placed on “diet.” For example, most people citing the upsides of Blue Zones focus almost exclusively on diet and pay little attention to the extended communities which are clearly a major factor in the health and well-being of these populations.

But the folks in the Blue Zones are NOT eating fast food. Ever. Not yet.

I asked these folks how they felt the program was working…as in, did they see decreasing rates of death and disease, were medical costs going down. These folks mentioned “evidence based medicine” quite frequently and I asked what one would consider to be a reasonable question about the efficacy (evidence of results) of this mindful-eating initiative. What I got was a pretty defensive back-pedaling as the unfortunate reality is the costs of dealing with all these diet and lifestyle related problems has continued its upward trend, which by the way is exponential in nature (understanding the implications of exponentials in this scenario might be worth unpacking in a future article.)

So, despite good intentions, this mindful eating program is not producing results that really matter.

You may think I’m being a big meanie here, but I’ll share an example of how this thinking is failing the population these folks are entrusted to serve. I asked for an example of one of their most challenging and expensive situations. This turned out to be a middle-aged male who is type 2 diabetic, on dialysis and he is now effectively a trunk. ONLY a trunk. Both arms have been amputated at the shoulder, both legs amputated at the hips, all due to diabetic complications. This poor guy has suffered a slew of surgeries (those limbs come off in pieces, not at once…toes, then foot, then lower leg…you get the picture) and must be medically transported multiple times per week for dialysis…then you have his medication costs and the fact he is no longer able to work and needs a full-time care provider. I won’t even relate how much this one individual has cost this system (and continues to cost) as you’d think I’m making the number up.

Fifty years ago this scenario was UNHEARD of. It did not happen. It is now  commonplace…and the best “evidence based medicine” recommendations these healthcare providers can offer is “mindful eating” and an insistence that folks should not worry about their food quality. They do not want people to feel shame about what’s on their plate. Before you are Triggered and put words in my mouth, I am not advocating these people should be shamed in any way. But I do think this is an epic failure on the part of the folks tasked to educate and help these folks. Pushing for food quality is the only way this story is going to change and even doing that is going to be tough to implement when we consider the nature of our modern, hectic lives and hyper-palatable foods. Our best efforts are likely to produce lackluster results, but this is not remotely our “best efforts.”

Ok, now to point #1 from above: Drink more water.

These folks were absolutely starry eyed at this suggestion, and they did say they have seen improvements in this area. Often, “water” is interpreted as “soft-drinks” but to the point above, there is a nervousness around suggesting there may be better and worse options as it might make someone feel bad to suggest sodas, although tasty, may not be all that healthy. I asked these folks what they felt, from a medical and physiological perspective, drinking more water would do for folks.

The responses fell into two camps:

1-People are “chronically dehydrated” and this is a major health concern.

2-Drinking water “fills people up.”

To point #2 I will simply say “no, drinking more water does not cause people to spontaneously reduce caloric intake.” I’ll let you practice your Google-fu in digging up the citations on that. On point #1 I’ll refer you to this article and pull out a few highlights on heat related deaths/illness, particularly in athletic populations. Why am I using this information? People who are active tend to require more water. People in warm settings require more water. So, exercising in the heat….man, we should really see the dangerous effects of dehydration, right? Well, from the article:

The Myths of Dehydration and Heat Illnesses

  • -The primary cause of hyponatremia in athletes is drinking too much water.
  • -The incidence of hyponatremia appears to be between 13% and 15% among endurance athletes.
    -Sodium supplementation has no effect on the occurrence of hyponatremia.
  • There seems to not be a single case of death resulting from sports-related dehydration in the medical literature.

 

I bolded that last line and I should mention that hyponatremia is low blood salt…which is usually accomplished by consuming too much water, not too little salt.

Now, each year there are a not insignificant number of deaths/hospitalizations in the military, sporting events, hiking etc, and it is absolutely related to water…but it is generally due to TOO MUCH. I looked and looked, and what I consistently come back with is that last bolded line: One is hard pressed to find ANY examples of people dying from dehydration, even in remarkably challenging settings. People do not die and in fact do not become ill due to dehydration in the most extreme of physical activities, even in the heat…so how can one make “drink more water” the go-to recommendation for a sedentary population that spends an inordinate amount of time indoors, under near perfect temperature control?

About 700 people die each year in the US due to heat stroke. These tend to be infants, the elderly and the obese. These are populations with impaired ability to sweat and regulate body temperature. I’m not making light of that, nor am I saying that is not an important issue, but what I am saying is the focus on “drink more water” does not really address the challenges in these heat stroke examples, and appear to be not only be unhelpful, but injurious to the general athletic population.

How did this meeting wrap up? I cannot say it was a “high note.” We agreed to flesh out some common goals of educating folks about “eat whole foods” but even this seemingly benign angle on my part was met with near panic on the part of the dietetics staff.

There is a remarkable amount of energy being put into various healthcare debates, particularly in the US. These debates focus mainly on “who is going to pay” with some advocating for a system like auto insurance in which one largely pays as one goes and has a catastrophic plan for accidents, vs something folks familiar with the NHS, Canadian or Northern European models would be familiar with. I do think it’s important how we set up incentives in situations like this, but debating about who will pay for a system in which the costs of dealing with diabesity related problems are increasing exponentially and are on track to bankrupt the developed world is at best rearranging deck-chairs on the Titanic.

I will release an article on exponential costs in a  week or two to provide some context here.

We face an incredibly complex problem of having a set of genetics wired for a different time, and a modern industrial food system that is a master at producing what is effectively addictive, hyper-palatable food.

If I could wave a magic wand and have every healthcare provider on the planet fully bought-in on the ancestral health model, if all these folks recognized a low carb diet can work miracles for diabesity…we’d STILL have a monumental challenge ahead of us.

We have none of that.

We have gate-keepers that are afraid to tell people “food quality matters” and the best our healthcare providers have to offer (drink more water) appears to be at best a waste of time, at worst, it may be making the problem worse.

What to do?

When I think about this two terms keep coming up: Grassroots, Trench Warfare. Grassroots means we are unlikely to see effective solutions offered up from on-high. There is too much money, inertia, ego and confusion in the dominant paradigm to just do an about-face. Grassroots means starting locally and this is where we transition to Trench Warfare: We gain ground anywhere the opportunity arises.

Although information is not generally THE thing that makes people enact significant change, if we do not have at least decent information, it’s tough to get things oriented in a way that we have any hope of success. “Drink more water” is not going to cut it. Where Grassroots meets Trench Warfare is the growing number of  health practitioners who are steeped in this Ancestral Health/functional medicine model. If you’d like to learn more about this movement check out my podcast with Chris Kresser as we talk about his recently released book, Unconventional Medicine.

Original Source: No, Drinking More Water is NOT Going To Improve Your Health

10 Reasons Why We Don’t Stick to Things

By Leo Babauta

We all do it in some form — tell ourselves we’re going to do something, and then we often end up not sticking to that plan.

Maybe one or more of these will resonate with you:

  • You say you’re going to stick to a certain diet, and then you end up breaking it in half a day, and then mostly abandoning it.
  • You say you’re going to work hard on certain projects and not procrastinate anymore, and then you get distracted by something and the plan goes out the door.
  • You say you’re going to meditate (or do yoga, read, write, etc.) every morning, and then one of these mornings you are in a rush or are tired and skip the meditation. Then you do it again the next day.
  • You say you’re going to stay on top of your email, or read more, or finally tackle that clutter … and the plan doesn’t even get off the ground.
  • You say you’re going to work out four times a week, and that works out exactly once, then you just don’t go to the gym.

So what’s going on? Are we just horrible people, with no discipline? Are we liars, never to be believed? Are we hopeless cases, consigned to spending a life on the couch eating donuts and potato chips, watching Netflix and hating ourselves?

I find this a fascinating subject, and I’ve been studying it in myself and in the thousands of people I’ve worked with. Here’s what I’ve been finding.

The Reasons We Don’t Stick With Our Plan

One of the things I’ve found is that there isn’t always just one reason. Sometimes it’s multiple reasons at once, or other times it’s different reasons depending on the situation or the type of person you are.

But here are some of the most common reasons we don’t stick to things:

  1. We don’t take it seriously. This is my No. 1 problem in this area — I tell myself I’m going to stick to a new plan, but I think that’s enough to make it happen. I somehow assume it’s going to be easy, despite all the past evidence that the only time I stick to things is when I take them seriously and put in a serious effort. Most of the time, we just half commit to something, kind of like only being half in a relationship — with that kind of commitment, eventually you’ll be out of it.
  2. We just forget. We tell ourselves we’re going to meditate every day, with complete resolve. Then the morning comes and we just plain forget. We remember later, but we’re busy then. The next morning, we forget again. By the time we remember, we feel disappointed with ourselves and give up.
  3. We run from discomfort or uncertainty. When the exercise habit (or meditation) gets uncomfortable, we stop enjoying it, and make up excuses to put it off (see No. 5 below). When we face a difficult habit like writing or big tasks at work, there is a lot of uncertainty in those tasks, so we start finding reasons to put it off. We don’t like uncertainty or discomfort, so we try to get out of it.
  4. We give in to temptation, out of habit. Temptation is all around us: the temptation of chocolate cake when we said we’re going to stick to a diet, the temptation of TV when we said we’re going to go to bed earlier, the temptation of the phone or Internet when we said we’re going to meditate. Actually, temptation is just a bit of discomfort, but our habitual response is to just give in. Rationalize, and let the temptation rule our response.
  5. We rationalize. When something gets difficult, or we have a temptation in front of us, our minds start to rationalize why it’s OK to do what we said we weren’t going to do. Our brains can be very very good at rationalizing: “Just one more won’t hurt,” or “You worked hard, you deserve it,” or “This time doesn’t count, you’ll start tomorrow,” or “It’s a special occasion, this is a good exception.” Those all sound reasonable, except that they sabotage our plans. Once we start to believe these rationalizations, sticking to anything goes out the door.
  6. We renegotiate. We say we’re going to do something, then when the moment comes to do it, we’re feeling temptation, discomfort, uncertainty … and so we start to say, “Well, I’m still going to do it, but in 5 minutes, after I check my messages.” Or, “I’m tired right now, I’ll just take a day off and do it tomorrow.” This is another form of rationalization — basically, just a habitual response to not wanting to do something, a way to get out of it. My friend Tynan says one of the most harmful things to the habit of self-discipline and building trust in ourselves is the habit of renegotiating with ourselves.
  7. We dislike the experience and avoid things we dislike. This seems natural — if I don’t like to eat vegetables, I probably will avoid them. If I don’t like to face an uncomfortable writing task, I’ll put it off. But the problem is that with every habit, with every difficult project … we’re going to find multiple moments of discomfort, of disliking the experience. We’ll never stick to anything if we bail as soon as we dislike something. Instead, we have to see that this habit of disliking, judging, resenting, mentally complaining, and avoiding … it’s hurting us. We don’t need to like everything about an experience to put ourselves fully into it. We are stronger than that.
  8. We forget why it’s important. Maybe you started out taking something seriously, but then a week into it, you’ve forgotten. Now you’re just thinking about how uncomfortable it is. If we forget the importance of something — and if something doesn’t really matter to us, we shouldn’t commit to it — if we forget, we won’t have a good reason to push into discomfort.
  9. We get down on ourselves or give up in disappointment. When we falter, when we don’t meet our ideals or expectations, when we mess up in some way … it’s actually not a big deal. Just learn from it and start again. But instead, we often beat ourselves up, feel super disappointed in ourselves. This isn’t helpful, and can actually sabotage our efforts.
  10. There are too many barriers. This is the simplest one, but we often forget. Let’s say I want to start eating healthier, and even have a plan for how I want to eat. But then morning comes, I’m hungry and in a hurry, and I’m supposed to make a tofu scramble, which requires a lot of chopping of vegetables, cooking, cleaning … too many things to do right now when I’m hungry, so I’ll just eat the bagel that will take 2 minutes to make. This is a big problem with most things we want to stick to — there are barriers that are too high for when we’re tired, rushed, or not feeling like it. Driving 20 minutes to the gym, having to declutter the living room before you meditate, having a lot of distractions when you write, anything that requires more than 5 minutes of prep time before we can get started … it’s too high of a barrier.

OK, so those are the reasons we don’t stick to things. Many of you are pretty familiar with these, but it’s good to be reminded, and it’s a smart idea to give them some consideration. Why do we let these obstacles continue to trip us up? Aren’t there good solutions?

Yes, there are — and they’re not all that difficult to implement, if we just consciously decide to do them and then take action to remember them and make them happen. Let’s take a look.

Overcome These Barriers, Get Better at Sticking to Things

  1. Take it super seriously. Is this important enough to commit to? Do you really want it, enough to push into discomfort when things get difficult? Consider this for a moment or two before deciding to try to stick to something. Then give it the effort that something important deserves — write it down. Make a plan, even if it’s just a short one. Commit to someone else. Set up reminders. Have a time when you’re going to do it every day. Clear a space to do that, set things up. Don’t take it lightly.
  2. Make sure you don’t forget. How will you remember when the time comes to do it? Where will you be, what will you be doing, when it’s time to meditate, or write, or exercise, or eat your healthy lunch? Put a reminder note or other visual reminder there. This is really important, because as we start to do something new, it’s too easy to forget. Put up multiple reminders, including one on your phone and one on your computer. If it’s important enough to commit to, it’s important enough to create these reminders.
  3. Relish the pushing into discomfort & uncertainty. We have to retrain ourselves to see discomfort and uncertainty as a signal to practice and get better at being in discomfort, instead of a signal to run away. Our minds habitually want to get away from discomfort and uncertainty, but there’s no good reason to do that. We won’t die or be hurt because we’re eating broccoli or doing a few pushups (unless you have a serious medical condition, of course — always check with a doctor if you do). There’s no need to panic and run when we’re uncomfortable. Instead, we can even start to relish this practice opportunity, to see it as a delicious experience of getting better at something, of learning and finding a way to open up to discomfort.
  4. See temptation as a signal to practice. In the same way, each time we have temptation, we can train ourselves to see it as a signal to practice staying in discomfort without needing to relieve it by giving in to the temptation. At a party where there’s chocolate cake (and you’re committed to a healthy eating plan)? Say no to the cake but hell yes to the opportunity to stay in the discomfort of not giving in to temptation. Say hell yes to the chance to explore what that’s like, to find joy and gratitude in the middle of it.
  5. Set boundaries to recognize your rationalizations. We can train ourselves, too, to become aware of when we’re rationalizing. It’s hard to see sometimes, because we’re so used to just rationalizing in the background, and allowing ourselves to believe it without any conscious thought. So to make it obvious that we’re rationalizing, it’s helpful to have firm boundaries, because then we see when the rationalizations are trying to convince us to cross the boundaries. For example, if you say, “I’m only going to eat between 11am and 6pm,” then it’s obvious when you’re trying to convince yourself to eat at 9pm. Other examples of boundaries: “I’m only going to watch two TV shows, and only after 8pm,” “I only eat hearty salads for lunch,” “I go for a walk or run every day when I get off work,” or “I meditate when I wake up, before I open my computer or phone.” When you set these hard boundaries, you see yourself trying to rationalize. When you realize this, just don’t let yourself believe the rationalization. They sound convincing, but they’re sabotaging you.
  6. Don’t renegotiate in the moment. Just don’t let yourself. Make the plan the day before (or at the beginning of the month, or the week, etc.) but don’t let yourself decide in the moment. You’re too prone to put it off or try to get out of discomfort. Instead, tell yourself that you can’t renegotiate for a week (or a month). Only after that period can you sit down and give it some thought, and decide whether you want to recommit.
  7. Relish the opening up to things you dislike. When you find yourself committed to doing something you dislike, it’s easy to try to get out of it, or resent having to do it. Instead, we can train ourselves to shift our mental attitude, and see it as an opportunity to practice open our minds up to this experience. What can we be grateful for right now, in the middle of this experience? How can we see this experience that we don’t like as a gift? How can we learn to see the deliciousness in this experience, instead of focusing on what we don’t like? Relish this opportunity!
  8. Reconnect to why it’s important. Every day, as you’re about to do this thing you’ve committed to, ask yourself why. Why is this important to you? Why have you devoted yourself to it, and is it worth devoting yourself fully to it? Can you commit wholeheartedly to it? Does this matter to you for a reason that’s bigger than your discomfort? Reconnect your actions to your devotion.
  9. Practice self compassion. When you mess up, when you are less than ideal, see when this causes you pain and difficulty. Give yourself some self compassion — actually give yourself a loving wish for an end to your struggle, a loving wish for peace, a loving wish for happiness. Instead of seeing this as a reason you suck, see it as a reason to love yourself. Then find something to learn from the experience, and start again. It’s no big deal.
  10. Remove as many barriers as you can. You’re fully committed, you’ve set up reminders, you know why this is important to you, you’ve set hard boundaries, and you’re ready to practice with your discomfort and temptations and rationalizing … now remove as many barriers as you can, to make it easier on yourself. Can you prepare everything ahead of time, so that when it comes time to do it, you just start? Can you make your meals on Sunday, so weekday lunches are just heating up a bowl of your veggie chili? Can you get your yoga mat and clothes ready, along with music or a yoga video, so that when you’re done with work, you can just change and press play? Can you remove distractions the night before, so that when you wake up to write, there’s just you and your writing program, and nothing else? Find your barriers, and remove them all. Eliminate all excuses to start.

I believe that if you implemented these steps, you’d be much better at sticking to something. What do you want to stick to for the rest of this month? For each month next year? Consider them now, figure out why they’re important to you and whether that’s an important enough reason to push into the discomfort of being consistent. Then commit yourself fully, wholeheartedly, with all of your being. You are worth it.

Original Source: 10 Reasons Why We Don’t Stick to Things