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Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays

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Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays

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With the combo of the lower humidity that comes with cold weather, the tendency for people to stay huddled inside by the fire, higher stress levels, lower sleep hours, and of course the balanced holiday diet of booze, cookies and candies, the cold virus is in its glory during this time of year. So look out Granny! Below, I have gathered the leading ways to successfully fight off the common cold, as well as some key ideas on keeping the symptoms and duration of a cold to a minimum if you are already sick.

Feed a Cold…and Hydrate It

Hands down, the leading way to protect your body from a cold is to provide it with the proper fuel and nutrition it needs to run efficiently while keeping your immune system at full strength. I am personally a fan of feeding your body the correct balance of foods, as opposed to relying on vitamins and supplements to do the job. Our bodies have been digesting and breaking down whole, natural foods for generations and therefore are able to absorb and use more of the nutrients from foods as opposed to processed vitamin pills.

[one_half]"The population of people that were given probiotics in the study showed both a reduced duration of the cold (2 days instead of 4 days) as well as symptoms that were 34% less severe."[/one_half]

What are the best foods to eat when boosting your immune system?

1.   Colorful Fruits and Vegetables

  • Unanimously, every single source I spoke with highly recommends eating a large variety of fruits and vegetables during cold season, especially if you end up catching a cold.
  • For Sarah Koszyk, MA, RD, nutrition coach & registered dietitian at MV Nutrition, her top vote for antioxidant super foods to enhance your immune health are Carotenoids & Beta-Carotene.  “Time to get your colors on!” says Koszyk.  Purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow foods have beta-carotene and carotenoids which boost immune health and prevent free radicals from causing oxidative damage. Carotenes also include Vitamin A, which increases the production of white blood cells. White blood cells make up our immune health!”111

Koszyk recommends including these delicious foods this winter season:

  • Sweet Potatoes (eat them for breakfast with some cinnamon)
  • Carrots (you can mix them into a pasta sauce or soup)
  • Tomatoes
  • Pumpkin (add pumpkin puree to a smoothie)
  • Beets
  • Kale
  • Squash
  • Tangerines

To guarantee a good punch of fruits and vegetables every day, use this recipe and start off each day with a homemade Green Smoothie for breakfast.

2.   Cleansing Foods for your Liver and Kidneys

  • Naturally raised, organically grown fruits and vegetables are key in keeping the liver clean since the liver is the organ that detoxifies these chemicals in the body.
  • Traci Freeman, executive chef and founder of Lilah Belle’s Nutritional and Organic Meals to Go agrees. “A strong immune system is the best way to fight a cold or flu.  Good ol' garlic helps your liver activate enzymes that can flush out toxins. It also has a high amount of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing. Garlic packs the biggest antioxidant punch when eaten raw.  A quick ways to use garlic are put it in your salad dressing, or toss it in last minute with your cooked meal. The heat will release a punch of flavor and immune building compounds.”

[one_half]"To guarantee a good punch of fruits and vegetables every day, use this recipe and start off each day with homemade Green Smoothie for breakfast."[/one_half]

  • Freeman also adds that “ Beets are high in plant-flavonoids, which can improve the overall functions of your liver. Adding more avocados to your diet can help your body produce a type of antioxidant called glutathione, which is needed for our livers to filter out harmful materials.  You can make a wonderful salad with kale, walnuts, avocado, beets and mandarin oranges, with a fresh garlic salad dressing.  This will definitely make your organs healthier and stronger!”

Some other great foods that promote clean kidneys and liver include:

  • green tea
  • grapefruit
  • onions
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • brussel sprouts

3.   Probiotics and fermented foods

  • A study posted in the October 2012 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition studied the effects of probioitic ingestion during the common cold. The population of people that were given probiotics in the study showed both a reduced duration of the cold (2 days instead of 4 days) as well as symptoms that were 34% less severe.
  • For probiotics, Chris Kresser, licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of integrative medicine in Berkeley, recommends, ‘Probiotics found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi strengthen and maintain the mucosal barrier system (in our respiratory and intestinal tract), which is our first line of defense against pathogens. What’s more, 75% of our immune system is found in the gut.’
  • Kombucha is also an easy way to get your daily dose of probiotics. Traveling at SFO? You can even purchase a bottle of it in Terminal 2 at The Plant Cafe to drink during your flight home.

4. Bone Broths and Bone Marrow

  • Your Mom was right, that chicken soup and broth are great for beating a cold.
  • Both greatly assist the immune system by carrying more oxygen into the cells of the body.
  • You can easily make your own bone broth at home or Three Stone Hearth in Berkeley is an amazing source for grass-fed beef broths made fresh weekly and delivered to your door.

5.   Avoid or Reduce Inflammatory Foods

Chris Kresser’s worst offenders include:

  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Industrial seed oil
  • Sugar
  • Kresser explains that, “Food toxins provoke an immune reaction that can make us more vulnerable to foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.”

Also to avoid:

  • Junk foods and fried foods with hydrogenated oils (skip those airport food court fries and ask for a piece of fresh fruit or salad instead)
  • Alcohol since it slows down your liver’s detox function while your body is forced to process the cocktail you just drank.

6.   Keep Up with Your Fluids

  • Monitor your urine color to guarantee that you are keeping your body fully hydrated
  • Eating a well balanced diet is just as important as water intake when it comes to staying hydratedIMG_2861

Other than your food, there are a few other useful reminders to assist you in staying healthy this holiday season:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after being in crowded public areas or around people that are sick.
  • Keep your stress levels low. Stress will literally eat you alive if you allow it the opportunity. Check out Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year (LINK) for some good ideas on keeping your stress levels under control this season.
  • Sleep a minimum of 7-8 hours a night, catching even more Zzz’s when time permits. A rested body is a strong body.
  • Stay on track with your workouts and fitness activities. Keeping the body moving and oxygenated will assist with filtration and your immune system.

Follow these simple instructions, keep Grandma from wandering around the yard late on Christmas Eve, and we will all have a healthy and happy New Year!

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class

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Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class

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Are you and your body truly ready for what is about to happen next week? This is how I see it. You have booked a coach ticket using miles on Southwest to see your family in Milwaukee, connecting through Miami (3 hour layover), on a red eye. Your sister begs you to haul back all the sour dough bread and See’s candy you can carry-on so that she can give them as gifts to all of her neighbors. It is Christmas after all, so you agree (Note to Self: See Day 1 about learning how to say ‘No’). Then, when your favorite niece graciously explains that she will be giving up her fabulous Disney Princess canopy twin bed with the lumpy mattress for you to sleep in, I have a feeling that your body will be in need of a little TLC the next morning.

 

So when you wake up that next morning, gently roll out from under your pink canopy and down onto that ‘wall to wall’ luxurious pink princess carpet and slowly move through some of these stretches as your morning meditation and time for yourself.

[one_half]Then, when your favorite niece graciously explains that she will be giving up her fabulous Disney Princess canopy twin bed with the lumpy mattress for you to sleep in, I have a feeling that your body will be in need of a little TLC the next morning.[/one_half]

There is a lot of information and research floating around debating ‘To Stretch or Not To Stretch’. My personal belief and the philosophy that I follow with my clients, as well as my own body, is that stretches are useful and helpful  when performed on muscles that actually need to be stretched. Lengthening or over-stretching weak muscles often leads to further imbalances and joint issues. The challenge is that most people have no way of knowing which muscles in their bodies are actually in need of lengthening and inhibition versus which are actually long, weak, or taut and giving false feedback that they are needing a nice stretch. Sadly judging by sensation alone is never a reliable source. A great example of this comes from a client that came to me complaining that his hamstrings were always tight and painful and no amount of stretching would ever bring relief. After a quick assessment of his pelvic alignment and a flexibility screen of the muscles attached to his pelvis, we discovered that his hamstrings were actually too stretched, long and weak. He immediately started a prescription of hamstring shortening and strengthening, bringing about complete relief of his pain within a week. Not magic, just the physics of the body’s lever system. (For more information on stretch testing, check out this link to the complete trainer’s assessment.)art-seats2-420x0

So use these travel stretches as a body wake up, just like a puppy does his stretch and warm-up routine after laying down for an extended period of time. For full body mobility, I recommend moving in and out of each stretch initially. For example, for the hip flexors, lunging forward in the single knee, then coming back to your starting point.  Then as you find some of the movements are tight and difficult to move through, you can hold the stretch for 30+ seconds. Again, always stopping before any intense sensation of pain or pulling.

[one_half]The challenge is that most people have no way of knowing which muscles in their bodies are actually in need of lengthening and inhibition versus which are actually long, weak, or taut and giving false feedback that they are needing a nice stretch. Sadly judging by sensation alone is never a reliable source.[/one_half]

If you are home with a group of family or friends, try making it a fun activity for the entire family, getting the kids and granny to do them with you.  Nothing serious or intense, just a way of getting the blood flowing and joints moving. If weather permits, get outside and do them in a nearby park. Lastly, many of these stretches are designed to be done while traveling in coach on an airplane. On a crazy long flight and getting cramped up? Try some of these compact stretches to loosen things up a bit.

(Note: If you are not currently doing any type of exercise , injured or experiencing any type of body or joint pain, I always recommend consulting with a doctor or health professional before starting any type of new exercise program.)

For more information, or if you have exact questions on which stretches are appropriate for your body, feel free to drop me an email here at info@diakadibody.com.

Happy holidays and good luck making it to the Home Stretch!

1. Hip Flexors

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K10-_fJjaI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility alternate between shifting your weight forward then back, gradually increasing the range of motion as it feels comfortable for 12 reps per leg.

For a static stretch, try holding this for 30 seconds to begin with, continuing to hold the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

2. Quadriceps

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa-5xFRDPdY&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, you can start by alternating legs for the standing stretch, holding each leg for a quick second before switching for 24 reps. You can also use the toe on the wall stretch for mobility by lunging forward and back, gradually increasing the range of motion for 12 reps per leg.

For static stretching, when possible, use the kneeling toe on the wall version in order to relax your body during the stretch. Hold this stretch initially for 30 seconds, feeling for the muscle to relax and the fibers release.

3. Hamstrings

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z4ePzixMcA&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, i recommend slowly moving in and out of the bent over toe touch (5 count down, 5 count up), increasing the range of motion as able for 12 reps.

For a static stretch, when possible, use the floor version with one leg resting against the wall in order to relax your body during the stretch. Hold this stretch initially for 30 seconds, feeling for the muscle to relax and the fibers release.

4. Piriformis and Hips

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsZ_70O75Jc&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, I recommend sitting in the piriformis cross leg stretch (shin parallel to the floor) and slowly rocking forward into the stretch and back sitting straight up for 12 reps per leg.

For static stretches, hold these stretches initially for 30 seconds, feeling for the muscle to relax and the fibers release.

5. Lower Back, Hips Twist

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd8nxvs2R0g&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, alternately kick your legs across your body, pulling the knee across with opposing hand for 24 alternating side reps.

For static stretching, try holding the stretch for 30 seconds per leg to begin with, continuing to hold the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

6. Calves

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqlu8IiC2KU&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, use the wall lean version of the stretch and rock back and forth between (1) your back heel down and leg straight and (2) your back knee bent and rolling up on your toes with heel off. Try 12 reps on each leg by alternating heel up, heel down.

For static, hold these stretches for a minimum of 60 seconds to begin with due to the density of the calf muscles. Hold the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

7. Chest

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0aJCziKCnI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, slowly twist your upper body and spine into the stretch and back out of it for 12 reps per side.

For static, try holding these stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds to begin with, holding the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

8. Neck

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ246W0pApI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

I recommend using this stretch as a static stretch only as opposed to a mobility movement. Try holding these stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds to begin with, holding the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

9. Latissimus Dorsi (Lats)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4y40FwPoFw&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, I recommend rocking in and out of the stretch by alternately (1) shifting your hips with chest drop and (2) shifting your hips back front with chest up for 12 reps.

For static, try holding these stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds to begin with, holding the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go

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Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go

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Tickets? Check. Money? Check. Passport? Check. A delicious, organic carry-on meal and healthy snacks for your flight? Ooops...I knew I had forgotten something. If you are traveling this holiday season, be mentally prepared for those crazy security lines, delayed flights, and sprinting through airports to make tight connections. All of these will leave you with limited time to shop for healthy food at the airport. Even if you do have time, the healthy options are usually going to be few and far between. Trust me, there is nothing worse than eating some airport Chili's To Go meal, then hopping on a coast to coast flight, only to run into your own 'major turbulence' 3 hours in. Add in those damn changes in air pressure and you are carrying a 'bomb' that no security scanner would catch! Remember that these planes are a shared, controlled air environment people. Help a brother out!

My simple advice for food options while traveling, stick to 'Plan and Simple'.

PLAN AHEAD

Once again we return to this same advice. If you are able to just plan a bit ahead, then you should have no problem staying on track with both your food choices as well as your food volume while traveling.  

[one_half]"Trust me, there is nothing worse than eating some airport Chili's To Go meal, then hopping on a coast to coast flight, only to run into your own 'major turbulence' 3 hours in. Add in those damn changes in air pressure and you are carrying a 'bomb' that no security scanner would catch!"[/one_half]

1. BYO MEAL: Headed on a long flight back east into the cold, or for you lucky dogs headed west to Hawaii, pack a small meal to bring with you on the plane. You want to land at your destination feeling healthy and happy, not bloated and uncomfortable. And yes, we are allowed to transport food through security lines. Try these easy carry-on ideas:

     BREAKFAST:

  • 2 hard boiled pasture raised chicken eggs and a piece of organic fruit with a homemade Green Smoothie. Smoothies are always a better option than pressed juices because you get all the fiber. Not sure which eggs to purchase or worried about eating egg yolks? Get more information using our blog on Pasture Raised Chickens.   
  • Organic, plain greek yogurt, a piece of organic fruit, some gluten free granola ('Giddy Up and Go' granola is local to SF and delicious)

     LUNCH/DINNER:

  • Bring your own salad with some protein (boiled eggs, ground beef, chicken, etc). I always bring an avocado to mix with meat and greens for dressing.
  • Pack a simple meat and vegetable meal from your leftovers the night before
  • Nothing in the house? Save yourself an extra 20 minutes on the way to the airport and run by Whole Foods hot/salad bar to make your own salad to carry with you.

2. USE YOUR RESOURCES: I realize that time to plan ahead may be tough to find for most busy travelers, so use your resources to assist with the process.  In San Francisco, take advantage of great meal delivery companies like Lilah Belle's or Munchery to pre-order a healthy meal to take on the plane with you. I have been using Lilah Belle's delicious organic food service for over 10 years now to order a few meals a week as back up for when I arrive home from work too exhausted to cook something healthy. These meals have not only kept me on track with my food choices, but they have also helped me continue to introduce a great variety of organic, sustainably farmed foods into my meal plan every week.

[one_half]"From this day forward, remember that packing your food is just as important as packing your underwear when traveling. (Maybe even more important for those of you commando fans.) "[/one_half]

3. SMART TRAVEL SNACKS: Don't rely on processed, prepackaged protein bars or trail mix as your snacks, when it is just as easy and way healthier to make your own by combining raw nuts with a piece of seasonal organic fruit. (Note: Remember that 6 raw nuts = 1 serving of fat, so don't start shoving tons of raw almonds in thinking that you can eat all you want because they are healthy.)

MY VOTES FOR THE BEST TRAVEL SNACKS: DSC_0432-1024x680

  • 6-12 raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc) with a piece of organic seasonal fresh fruit
  • Homemade trail mix: combine raw nuts with unsweetened, dried organic fruit
  • Local, grass fed beef jerky. In San Francisco, The Fatted Calf butcher has delicious varieties for purchase.
  • Hard boiled pasture raised chicken eggs are also a great, easy travel snack.

MAKE SIMPLE CHOICES

The travel date arrives and you have been running a sprint for days in advance with no time to plan in any way. Do not fret, there are still some healthy options for food while traveling. In general, my advice is to stick to the most simple options available. 

1. GRAB A BITE ON THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT: Again, save just an extra 20 minutes to run by your favorite healthy food bar (i.e. Whole Food) or restaurant to pick up a meal to take with you on your flight. Stick to simple salads, meat and veggies, fresh fruit.

2. THE DREADED AIRPORT FOOD COURT: Whether you are dining at Hot Dog on a Stick or

airport

Sammy Hagar's Diner, always choose the most basic items on the menu at airport restaurants. Boiled eggs, salads, grilled chicken breast, basic meat and veggies are your smartest options. This is no time to order the fettucine alfredo. Always look for the lowest fat meats when you are unsure of the quality of the source, since the fat is where any toxins would be stored.  One final option before boarding, you can almost always count on the Protein box from Starbucks. It is definitely better than getting stuck eating the foil wrapped, flattened croissant egg-wich with Jimmy Dean Sausage and cheddar cheese that is being served on your morning flight.

3. SPRINT TO TERMINAL 2: In San Francisco, get down to Terminal 2 and pick up a salad and a kombucha from The Plant Cafe. Then you can also stop by the Napa Farm's Market for some raw nuts and fresh organic fruit. Heck, you can even squeeze in some vinyasa and a little Warrior 2 in the yoga studio in Terminal 2 if you have time. Yeah, we are pretty much spoiled rotten here in San Francisco. Use this link for a full break down of the food options at SFO.

From this day forward, remember that packing your food is just as important as packing your underwear when traveling. (Maybe even more important for those of you commando fans.)  In the end, you will be saving calories, probably saving money, helping to preserve the air quality of your flight, and definitely reducing the stress of staying healthy during your holiday travel.

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck

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Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck

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Stressing out about what to cook for your family meal during the holidays? Want to prepare dishes that will have your guests asking you for the recipe? Worry no more. We have attended local cooking schools, phoned in favors with distant relatives and reached out to the most experienced cooks we know in order to gather delicious AND simple recipes that are guaranteed to bring you rave reviews. You have heard trainers and nutritionists say it a million times, but trust me, the selections below are finally the proof. It IS possible to cook healthy dishes that have an amazing taste and are quite easy to prepare.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

I was a student in a cooking class called 'Everything But the Turkey' at SF Cooking School back in November and discovered this delicious AND healthy recipe for Curried Butternut Squash soup. Of the 16 dishes we cooked in class that day, it won 'Best in Show' by far.  I then cooked it for my family's Thanksgiving dinner and it was a huge hit there as well. It really is incredibly delicious and healthy and a perfect appetizer for both vegetarians and meat lovers alike.  I hope it will become a new favorite for your next holiday meal. Enjoy it!download (2)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste (recommended brand Thai Kitchen)
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 lbs) peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 medium baking potato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
  • 1 can (about 2 cups) coconut milk, well shaken

[one_half]"We have attended local cooking schools, phoned in favors with distant relatives and reached out to the most experienced cooks we know in order to gather delicious AND simple recipes that are guaranteed to bring you rave reviews." [/one_half]

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add coconut oil and, when hot, add the onion, garlic, and ginger with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent but not browned, 4-5 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, a minute more. Stir in the squash and potato with another pinch of salt. Add the stock, increase the heat the medium high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low; add the coconut milk, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash and potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until completely smooth. Heat the soup gently, taste, and season as needed with additional salt and pepper. The soup can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated at this point for up to 3 days. Ladle the hot soup into warm soup bowls, add a pinch of scallions and serve. For total cheat meals, feel free to add a bit of crème fraiche to the bowl as well when serving. Serves 4-6.

Orange Cranberry Sauce

Also from the SF Cooking School, this is a fun, unique twist on cranberry sauce or relish. It is super easy and a bright, colorful dish due to the tweak of keeping the rind on the oranges. The best part of preparing the dish is enjoying the scent of freshly ground coriander seeds. DO NOT use pre-ground coriander seeds for this recipe, or ever again for that matter. Also a great recipe to make ahead and store in mason jars, which can be a great gift for friends and neighbors.

  • 1 pound fresh cranberries
  • 2 oranges, coarsely chopped, seeds removed (do not peel, orange rinds stay on)
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

Grind the coriander seeds yourself using a mortar and pestle (be sure to enjoy the incredible scent of the ground seeds). Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until the cranberries and oranges are coarsely chopped. The relish is ready to serve (and lasts for approximately 2-3 days in fridge), or it can be stored in sealed, sterilized jars and refrigerated (lasts approximately 1 month in sealed jars). Makes about 3 cups.

Aunt Barbara’s Beef Loin

I tend to prefer simple, high quality meat dishes as the main course. This recipe is incredibly easy IMG_7971but so damn delicious.

  • Whole boneless beef loin.  (Figure 8-12oz per person)
  • Crushed garlic cloves (1 clove/8 oz)
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Let meat sit at room temp for about 1 to 1 ½ hour. Mix fresh crushed garlic, olive oil, pepper and salt. Rub mixture all over meat. Pre-heat gas grill until VERY hot.  Place meat on grill and sear, turning gently until all sides are browned. Do not leave it on the grill too long, maybe 10-20 sec per side. You do not want it to begin cooking. Then place in shallow pan and bake at 400. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer to gauge the desired doneness. Let stand about 10-15 min lightly covering with a foil tent. It will cook a little more while standing. Slice and serve.

Brian and Max’s Hawaiian Holiday Bark

[one_half]"Stressing out about what to cook for your family meal during the holidays? Want to prepare dishes that will have your guests asking you for the recipe? Worry no more."[/one_half]

So this combination dessert idea actually comes from 2 of my good friends, Brian and Max. Thanks guys! It is actually two completely separate dishes that when served as simple dessert options, or as party appetizers, will quench the holiday sweet cravings of any guest without sending them away feeling completely bloated and miserable.

Brian’s Dark Chocolate Holiday Bark

Brian’s holiday bark relies on your creativity in designing healthy AND delicious bark varieties from an endless list of possible toppings including nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds, etc), sea salt, orange zest, candied ginger, dried cranberries, etc. Or any combination of these!  You can also choose your own percentage of dark chocolate: (over 85% = Unsweetened, 65-85% = Bittersweet, Semi-sweet 35-65%, Milk 10-20%) Keep in mind that the higher the percentage of cocoa, the darker the chocolate and the healthier they will be.

  • Dark chocolate
  • Coconut oil for pan
  • Whatever toppings you choose

Melt dark chocolate slowly using a double boiler or a steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. Usually the higher end chocolates will have less stabilizers and therefore must be handled gently during the melting process.  Once melted, pour onto wax paper or a cooking sheet that has been greased with coconut oil. Pour it out super thin, no thicker than 1/4”. Place toppings on top of chocolate while still melted and hot so that it sinks in. Let cool and break apart to serve.

Max’s Grilled Pineapple

As I said, I always prefer simple, and this idea (it really is more of an idea than a recipe since it only has one ingredient) from Max could not be more simple, yet tasty.

  • 1 whole pineapple (skinned and chopped into large chunks)grilled-pineapple-with-honey

Heat your grill to medium heat. Place the chunks on the grill, rotating them as they minimally char on each side. Allow to cool just a bit before serving.

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more. “The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.” Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 3: The 80/20 Rule:  By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays

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Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays

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On Day 1 of DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas, we calmly warned you about the danger of letting stress ruin your holidays, and darn it if Day 2’s Holiday Hunger rules didn’t come along and completely freak folks out about the ‘hopeless effort’ towards a successfully healthy holiday season!

But remember, I mentioned at the end of Day 2 that the single most important rule for Holiday Party Survival was going to be revealed today. Believe it or not, this single rule has the power to supersede just about every other piece of advice we will give you during these 12 Days of Fitmas. In order to reduce the idiotic and worthless holiday stress many of us carry around and to begin enjoying the truly magical and FUN excitement of the holidays, a delicate balance must be achieved between the extremes of perfectly healthy behavior and full all out holiday debauchery. For this, I give you the 80/20 Rule.

[one_half]"If you are aiming to achieve aggressive goals in your fitness or health, such as efficient body fat reduction or muscle mass increases I would recommend living life more as 90/10 or even 95/5."[/one_half]

The basic idea of the 80/20 rule is that by following ideal nutrition, lifestyle, fitness and health practices when making 80% of the choices in your life, then you earn permission to make some not-so-healthy decisions for the other 20% of your choices. I find that this philosophy can be a great way of reducing the stress and pressure of always having to make ‘perfect’ lifestyle decisions by allowing folks to enjoy special treats in all aspects of their life.

To clarify, when I say that the ‘80’ should be ideal, I mean that you are making some near perfect decisions 80% of the time.

A typical 80 version of life includes:

  • Eating the appropriate volume of fresh, whole, naturally raised foods and the proper ratios of macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates) for your body’s metabolism and your daily life activities
  • Avoiding inflammatory foods such as dairy, soy, alcohol, processed foods (cereal, crackers, canned foods), and artificial sweeteners
  • Sleeping a minimum of 7 hours a night80-20-1
  • Hydrating well with water daily
  • Consistent strength workouts plus cardiovascular activity that matches your goals
  • Keeping your stress levels low and using stress reduction practices such as meditation, qigong, yoga, stretching or simple breathing exercises as necessary

My definition of not-so-healthy decisions that fall under the ‘20’ category include:

  • It is your first weekend of the season snowboarding in Tahoe and at the end of the day, a giant mug of hot cocoa by the fire pit at Northstar would be the ideal ending to a perfect day
  • On date night each week, you enjoy trying a new glass of wine with your spouse in hopes of learning more about wines and their distinguishing characteristics
  • Your favorite food is a truly good hamburger, so you love to try a new burger with all the fixings at new restaurants around San Francisco each month
  • You love to dance, so you choose to stay out late dancing one night a week, but keep the alcohol at low levels in order to avoid a hangover
  • At your nephew’s 6th birthday party, you really want a big piece, or even 2 of his chocolate birthday cake…so you have 2
  • Work gets out of hand for a couple of weeks due to a deadline, so you are forced to limit your workout days, finding only 15-30 minutes a couple times each week

Make sense?

One disclaimer on the 80/20 philosophy:

If you are aiming to achieve aggressive goals in your fitness or health, such as efficient body fat reduction, muscle mass increases, improving your triathlon time in a month, etc… I would recommend living life more as 90/10 or even 95/5. 80/20 is often what I would call a healthy maintenance lifestyle.

Now for the holidays and 80/20, I have to admit that the holidays in general tend to be the full throttle ‘bachelor weekend in Vegas’ version of ‘20’! Instead of it being a single weekend night of splurging, it is a 6 week marathon of ‘20’ that kicks off with the food fest known as Thanksgiving and thanksgiving-630x419drags us through the gluten gluttony of Christmas until we crawl across the drink fest finish line of New Years (see Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games for details).  So my advice is to try and keep the majority of your life and easy decisions as close to ‘95’ levels as possible during this season. That way, your frequent ‘20’ level temptations do not start adding up and the pounds start packing on.

In the end, remember that life is too damn short to miss out on the many treats for us to experience and enjoy during our lifetimes. But remember that life is also too damn short to miss out on the pride of taking care of your body, being happy with your physique, and feeling good every morning you wake up and with every step you take. It is about finding the ideal 80/20 balance in every decision you make.

[one_half]"Don’t you dare let that little guilt voice inside your head ruin every part of the holidays. Trust me, your Mom will be giving you enough guilt back at home."[/one_half]

So give yourself permission to enjoy the most special parts of this holiday season that make you smile and giggle like you did as a kid. Don’t beat yourself up for enjoying one or even two homemade smores with handmade Tahitian Vanilla Bean marshmallows from Tout Sweet! They are just too good to pass up!

Don’t you dare let that little guilt voice inside your head ruin every part of the holidays. Trust me, your Mom will be giving you enough guilt back at home. No need to add more yourself.  Just remember it is all a balancing act. Shoot for 95/5 when things are good so that 80/20 will keep you content and smiling during the holidays or other challenging times that come your way.

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips

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Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips

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Have you noticed that the majority of holiday gatherings involve a combination of (1) eating the most decadent array of treats from prosciutto and gruyere palmiers to pumpkin gooey butter cakes and (2) toasting in the celebrations with delicious holiday beverages ranging from Grandpa’s secret White Minx Cocktail to Toasted Marshmallow milkshakes for the kids (and kids at heart!). Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these tasty treats. But, it is no wonder that weight gain ranks as one of the top stressors of the holiday season.

So before we even start with food advice, let’s all make a pact to arrange festive gatherings with friends and family that are reliant on activities instead of eating and drinking. Watch for Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout and Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Out of the House Activities for the Big Day, in the up-coming DIAKADI 12 Days of Fitness for some great ideas on creating new traditions centered around active holiday events.

Now, some advice on surviving the Holiday Hunger Games.

HOLIDAY COCKTAILS

Let's start right off with the booze. First up, if you are trying to have the healthiest and happiest of holidays, I recommend that clients eliminate the alcohol or keep the drinking to a minimum. Maybe set yourself the goal of no alcohol during weeknight events. Not only are there extra calories involved, but since your body processes alcohol first, this leaves the carbohydrates and fats you consume to be stored as fat instead of being used as fuel. Alcohol also lowers your inhibitions and lessens your ability to make smart decisions on food and drink later that night.

Then add the sluggishness and bloating in to the mix and the jolly meter definitely starts dropping, and often so do your workouts.

But also be realistic, it is the holidays... When you get stuck talking to your Uncle Jack about the exact details of the past 2 months of weather patterns back home in Oklahoma or when trying to choke down your Aunt Fannie's award winning Christmas ambrosia salad with Miracle Whip, a cup of holiday cheer might be the perfect solution.  So plan for it and keep these thoughts in mind when making decisions on what to drink.

CLEAN ALCOHOL RANKINGS

1st: Wine or liquor straight up at 100 cal/drink. Personally, I think champagne is the perfect holiday choice. From the cork pop to every last bubble, nothing says celebrate better and cleaner.

2nd: Liquor with clean, minimal mixers at 100-200 cal/ drink. Flavored vodka and soda water are always great choices here.image

3rd: Beer at 100-300 cal/drink, but remember that these pack a big gluten bloat along with them.

4th: The grand array of mixed drinks packing 300-600 cal / drink. Absolutely avoid sugary drinks and mixers, especially crappy processed, prepackaged ones. Cheap alcohol and mixers are the perfect recipe for a restless night's sleep followed by hangover hell. For mixers, only use the best, fresh squeezed ingredients in creating your libations. Plus the clean ingredients will help keep your hangover to a minimum. Want to be the host with the most healthy and unique concoctions? Check out the drink mixing class at SF Mixology or the fun hands on classes at the Bourbon and Branch Beverage Academy.

Also, pace yourself. As my friend Malcolm says, "It is a marathon not a sprint." Always try to alternate alcohol, water, alcohol, water.  If drinking 'boring water' between cocktails is tough, order a Pelligrino with lime squeeze as your re-hydrator ‘between drink’. Trust me, you will be thankful the next morning.

[one_half]"Why not decide to make this the year where you actually feel great about your life and body as you head into the New Year by buckling down now and getting ahead of the game?"[/one_half]

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THE HOLIDAY FEAST

For food and beverages, there are two main guidelines I recommend to clients: 1- Track and 2- Plan.

TRACK YOUR FOOD and drinks every day during the holidays. No matter how ugly it may get, track every meal, each Starbucks PSL, each incredible hand crafted bite of deliciousness you choose from the trays passed at your friend’s holiday gala, every piece of that damn peppermint bark in the break room at work, and definitely every glass of champagne. Myfitnesspal, Meal Logger and EatingFree are all smart and easy ways to keep track of your intake, food group ratios and calories using your computer or smart phone. (Of course a pencil and paper work just fine as well.) Simply having to track all food and drink, then looking at the amounts will help keep you aware of the damage and will assist you in making smart decisions each day.

PLAN AHEAD for dangerous parties and unhealthy family meals. Whenever possible, offer to bring

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a healthy dish with you to events so that you have control over at least some of the food choices. If you are headed in to a big dinner or party, for a couple of days leading up to it, eat a little less fat each day in order to balance out for the extra fat and alcohol you will be consuming at the big event. Have several nights of parties in a row, reduce your ‘day-of’ fat and calorie intake for breakfast and lunch to bank for each evening’s festivities. Also try eating a healthy meal before heading into events, to help balance out your alcohol and to avoid over eating the pass around finger foods. A chunky salad with some protein and a quality starch like sweet potatoes or quinoa is always great pre-party fuel for me.

 

CHOICES, CHOICES! Your smartest selections off the buffet or trays are foods that are quality meats like salami, chicken skewers, or prosciutto. Grab the low sugar, low glycemic index choices like stuffed mushrooms or endive salad pick-ups. These will help to keep your blood sugar levels balanced and to keep your cravings in check. The earlier you make the mistake of boarding that Holiday Sugar Energy Roller Coaster, the longer that damn ride is and the harder it is to get off of it, often leading into the following week. If you are going to grab sweets, get super small tastes of them and try to set a limit up front in your head.

[one_half]"The earlier you make the mistake of boarding that Holiday Sugar Energy Roller Coaster, the longer that damn ride is and the harder it is to get off of it, often leading into the following week."[/one_half]

FOCUSED MAINTENANCE = GOOD, EXCUSE TO LET IT ALL GO = BAD. Once again, I return to the reminder to be realistic. Depending on your lifestyle, the holidays can be an impossible time to lose weight, especially for you social butterflies. Be aware of your life and your abilities so that you do not set yourself up for failure. If one of your typical holiday traditions is to gain 5-10 lbs every year between Thanksgiving and New Years, a goal of simply maintaining current body fat levels may be just right and plenty challenging for you. At the same time, do not use the holidays as your excuse to under achieve. Why not decide to make this the year where you actually feel great about your life and body as you head into the New Year by buckling down now and getting ahead of the game?

GO TEAM! Having a supportive partner or team mate (friend, relative, spouse) to set goals with, check in with, party hop with, and share challenging office party stories with is always a great help when aiming your sights on achieving difficult holiday health improvements.

TRAVELLING A LOT DURING THE HOLIDAYS?  Worried about finding healthy foods during transport or back home in Inorganicaville, NC?  Keep an eye out for Day 5: Planes, Trains and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go. We have some great tips headed your way.

I do have one final piece of advice, and it is honestly the most important rule I have for you concerning holiday party survival. It is so vital in fact that it deserves it’s own blog post. So it will be revealed tomorrow on Day 3: The Rule of 80/20. Stay tuned!

 

HOLIDAY PARTY SURVIVAL TIPS REVIEW:

  1. Realistic and reachable personal goals for your holiday food plan are key
  2. A strong support team always helps
  3. Smart decisions around alcohol consumption
  4. Make an effort to plan ahead
  5. Track your holiday intake
  6. Be choosy with the ‘treats’ you partake in at parties
  7. Final piece of advice to come tomorrow in Day 3

And may the scale be ever in your favor!

Bon appetit!

 

DIAKADI's The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of FitmasDIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

 

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Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress

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Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress

DIAKADI's The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of FitmasDIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

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3 Health Apps on the Market that We Dig

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3 Health Apps on the Market that We Dig

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Guest writer Jared Hill is an eclectic, Chicago based blogger. His articles mostly focus on fitness and NBA team reviews and have been featured on NewHope360, Los That Sports Blog, & Dr. Premm's Global Community.  Have you been seeing people intently studying their smartphones at the gym, track, and court?

While they might be ordering takeout, or furiously swiping left on Tinder, it’s slightly more probable that they've been using a health app. These miraculous “health monitors” are widely used today; within the fitness community, most obviously, but increasingly among the general population as well.In this article, you'll find details on the best of the best in the fitness app trend.

With this advantage in mind, we begin with one of the top apps favored by both health seekers and their doctors.

 

applehealthkitgray

 

As BusinessInsider.com explains, Apple's HealthKit isn’t “an app, exactly. It’s more of a hub where you can monitor daily health stats, and see them over longer periods of time,” making HealthKit something of an all-around organizer. It collects data from medical devices, fitness trackers, and other health apps and stores them in an organized format. Additionally, it translates data into medical metrics, ensuring accuracy.

HealthKit will track calories, blood sugar, cholesterol, weight, and heart rate. In its "Medical ID" format, you can document medical conditions, allergies, medications, doctors, and emergency contacts. By having all your health data in one location, you can see the relationship between your diet, exercise, weight, stress, and sleep. Seeing "cause and effect" in this way can guide you in achieving your fitness goals. A "Dashboard" enables you to decide which data you want to share or keep private. HealthKit works with apps of health care institutions, such as Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, and Mount Sinai. HealthKit operates on a closed platform, and Apple restricts access by unapproved developers and apps.

 

Bottom Line - Apple HealthKit scores as a data store.

 

googlefitfinal

 

Google Fit has taken a bite out of Apple's profits as a competitor with HealthKit. Fit tracks the same fitness elements as HealthKit, but it interfaces with other Android devices and apps. Fit has various partnerships with device manufacturers, such as Adidas, RunKeeper, Withings, Polar, and Nike Fuel. With Fit, you access information by opening individual apps separately. Fit operates on an open platform, and users have unrestricted access to other apps.

 

Bottom Line - Google Fit is an app that rivals Apple and is compatible with Android devices.

 

myfitnesspal1

 

MyFitnessPal is an app designed to help you achieve a weight loss goal. You establish a calorie goal and input your daily exercise and food intake. The app tracks calories consumed and burned, and its database is the largest among calorie counters, with nutritional information on thousands of brand-name, generic, and chain restaurant foods. You can also calculate calories from a recipe. A "Food Search" feature enables you to call up information by name.

 

Do you want the scoop on that Häagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream? MyFitnessPal will give you the nutritional breakdown in calories, fat, carbs, and protein for a specific serving size. As USA Today notes, “the great thing about [this app] is that [it] learns your tastes,” making it easy to track your favorite foods and restaurants you frequently visit. MyFitnessPal is compatible with numerous other apps and fitness-tracking devices.

 

Bottom Line - MyFitnessPal is a great weight loss buddy that enables you to accurately track calories as part of a weight reduction program.

 


One word of caution: there are some health apps on the market that may cause more harm than good. “Health apps are expanding at a rapid rate, so quickly that the FDA, despite its best intentions and efforts, has been unable to regulate each new app before it hits the market,” says Tim Cannon of HealthITJobs.com. It’s generally a good idea to check on the app you’re interested in using before you install it to make sure it’s got a good reputation, and a large enough base of users to generate meaningful reviews. If you can’t find any reviews for a specific app on the internet, steer clear.

That said, with the above three apps at your disposal, better health is just a download away!

 

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Foam Rolling the Upper Back [Scott: Draft in Process, need images in SS]

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Foam Rolling the Upper Back [Scott: Draft in Process, need images in SS]

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Since many of us carry our tension in our backs, you might be feeling a little extra tense this week, and we totally understand. With work conferences, Giants games, construction, and public transit delays, who wouldn't be feeling a little extra tight? But don't worry, we've got your back! If you suffer from the occasional upper back tightness that many of us do, look no further. In this week's Quick Tip, Jenny shows us a simple way to use the foam roller to release tension in the muscles of the upper back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFr7L43mFmI&feature=youtu.be

This exercise is great for pretty much everyone, but is especially good for people who use their upper back muscles often like baseball players, golfers, climbers, painters, parents of small children, etc. It can give the necessary release to the muscles that most commonly cause us grief.

Use a high density or low density foam roller, depending on the depth you prefer. Go slowly and allow your body to relax into the foam roller. And don't forget to breathe!

Note: If you feel any pain during the exercise, discontinue until checking with a professional.

We are always available to consult with you over the phone to help you with a treatment strategy. Call today to find out which therapist would be a great fit for your specific needs.

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How Much Sleep Do You Need? [Scott Updating, needs images in SS]

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How Much Sleep Do You Need? [Scott Updating, needs images in SS]

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As a sleep researcher and sleep educator, the most common question I get is, “How do I know how much sleep I need?” It’s a tricky question because the benefits of sleep are only partially determined by sleep duration. When people ask this question, what they really mean is, “What are the things I need to do in order for me to get all the physiological and behavioral benefits of a perfectly managed sleep-wake practice?” This article will help you answer that question, and one component of that question is understanding how much time you need to spend in bed per night. First, we need to review important fundamentals of sleep and wake regulation, otherwise the guidance here won’t make much sense.

You’ve heard of the importance of personalizing your diet. But what about your sleep?

While we don’t know that a single purpose for sleep exists, we do know that many important things take place during that period of time between when you shut your eyes at night and when you open them again in the morning. A major breakthrough in the field of sleep research took place in 1982 when Dr. Alexander Borbely, Emeritus Professor at the University of Zurich, published an article in the journalHuman Neurobiology describing a concept of how sleep and wake are controlled over a 24-hour period. He dubbed his idea the 2-Process Model of Sleep Regulation, and building upon the evidence available at that time, he changed the way the world understood how sleep and wake are regulated. In Dr. Borbely’s model, he described that the regulation of these states is based primarily upon the combination of two different processes occurring simultaneously. To understand how to get the sleep you need, let’s explore those two processes further. 

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Process 1 – sleep pressure

The first process of the professor’s 2-Process Model is sleep pressure. From the moment you wake up in the morning, a pressure for sleep mounts continuously until you sleep again. At night, the built-up sleep pressure helps you 1) fall asleep, and 2) stay asleep until the next morning.During sleep, this pressure decreases, and after a night of complete sleep, you start the next day with low sleep pressure. Later in the article, I’ll talk about the concept of “sleep debt,” which happens when you don’t wear down all your sleep pressure before starting the next day.

If sleep pressure builds from morning to night, why don’t we become increasingly sleepy from the moment we wake up? That’s where the second process of the 2-Process Model comes into play.

Process 2 – wake drive

This second process is called “wake drive.” You can think of it as the result of multiple brain systems working together—a wake network—to produce an alerting signal that increases in intensity to counteract mounting sleep pressure. The result? While sleep pressure builds from morning to night, wake drive also builds from morning to night, and your alertness stays relatively even across the day (with some within-day oscillations). This process raises another question: If wake drive is high during the night, how do we fall asleep? To understand the answer, we need to discuss how sleep pressure and wake drive differ. 


Unlike sleep pressure, which is determined by time awake and time asleep, wake drive is controlled by a 24-hour rhythm, like an oscillating sine wave (i.e., a repeating wave-pattern with a high point and low point). For instance, assume someone typically wakes up at 7 a.m. and goes to bed at 11 p.m. and that his or her wake rhythm is stable and fixed to this time frame. Under these conditions, their wake drive initiates at 7 a.m., builds all day to counteract mounting sleep pressure, reaches its peak at 10 p.m., and plummets at 11 p.m., descending to its lowest point across a 24-hour period. At 7 a.m. the next morning, it begins to build back up all over again. 

This rhythm repeats day after day—you awake at the same time and feel sleepy at the same time, on a daily basis. Importantly, the timing of the rhythm can be shifted forward or backwards. In a second example, imagine the wake rhythm is shifted two hours forward: wake drive starts at 9 a.m., builds all day, reaches its peak at midnight, plummets at 1 a.m. to its lowest level, and then builds back up again around 9 a.m. the next morning. It is easy to see that the timing of this rhythm is crucial for daytime alertness and quality night-time sleep. Let’s explore what sets the timing of our daily wake rhythm.

Imagine you live in San Francisco and travel halfway around the globe to Rome, Italy. When you arrive, your internal rhythms are still synced to San Francisco. At the beginning of your trip, you’re awake at night when everyone in Italy is sleeping and sleepy during the day when everyone else is fully awake. But slowly, over the course of multiple days, your body starts to adjust to this new time zone. What signal is the body responding to in order to adjust the timing of its internal rhythms to be in sync with the environment? The primary signal that sets our 24-hour body rhythms, including the timing of our wake rhythm, is light entering the eye. 

There is an incredible amount of information regarding this topic, but I’ll get to the bottom line. To set the timing of your wake rhythm, your brain wants to coordinate the timing of your wake signal to daytime. It does this by measuring the intensity and hue of light entering the eye. Indoor light is far less intense than outdoor light and, more than ever in human history, we spend much of our day indoors. So, bright daylight anchors your wake rhythm, and when you don’t get enough daylight, your wake rhythm shifts forward. This effect is compounded by getting too much artificial light at night. Essentially, by having light enter the eye at night when the brain should be getting exposure to darkness, we are again telling the brain that it should shift the timing of the wake rhythm forward. So, living in the modern world causes a double-whammy—too little light during the day and too much light at night—shifting our wake rhythm forward. 

What is one implication of having your wake rhythm shifted forward? Let’s say you need to get up at 7 a.m. and want to go to bed by 11 p.m. Remember, you start to build sleep pressure as soon as you wake up. Not a problem if your wake rhythm starts at 7 a.m. too. Everything works really, really well when these systems are coordinated. But, when your wake rhythm is shifted forward, say, to 9 a.m., now you have a mismatch between sleep pressure and wake drive. There is a gap between the intensity of these two counteracting forces, and that gap is maintained all day. 

What do you experience when this happens? Day-long sleepiness and impaired alertness (and a host of other cognitive issues). But it doesn’t end there. Let’s look at what happens to sleep at night. In this scenario, you want to go to sleep at 11 p.m., and you’ve been sleepy all day, but since your wake rhythm is shifted forward, it’s at its most powerful at the time you want to go to bed. This can cause insomnia or it can make the first phase of sleep shallow. Incidentally, the first phase of sleep should be the deepest, and this depth of sleep corresponds with the fastest reduction of sleep pressure. If you don’t wear down sleep pressure efficiently, you have to sleep longer to do so. But if you don’t sleep longer, instead waking by an alarm as most people do, you wake the next day with “sleep debt,” which, as I described earlier, means you carry some of yesterday’s unresolved sleep pressure with you into tomorrow. So, a mistimed wake rhythm can either shorten your sleep by making it harder to go to bed at night or disrupt the depth of your sleep, either of which will cause sleep debt. What this means is that seven hours of sleep will feel more like six the next day. Conversely, you could get nine hours of sleep (which might be a lot for you) and still not feel well rested. 

You can see why it’s difficult to directly answer the question, “How much sleep do I need?” Sleep quality is not entirely dependent upon sleep duration. Sleep quality could be disrupted by a wake rhythm that is overly active in the first part of the night, making it hard to nod off, or making the first sleep phase, the deepest sleep phase, shallower. The big lesson you should learn here is to anchor your wake rhythm by maintaining smart light habits throughout the day, evening, and night. To do this, get at least 30 minutes of outdoor light exposure during the day. In the evening, dim all lights and reduce blue or full-spectrum light in your environment. At night, while you sleep, maintain a very dark room.

Determining your ideal sleep duration

Given that the timing of your wake rhythm can shift, and that this shift can then influence sleep duration ability and needs, sleep duration is an important part of the puzzle. Let’s explore the topic, assuming your wake rhythm is well-timed and stable. Scientists have taken many approaches to try to answer the question, “How much sleep does one need?” A series of early studies put subjects in a stimulation-free environment for 14 to 24 hours per day and then monitored daily sleep quantity. Each day for the first two days, subjects slept up to 12 to 20 hours! Then, on subsequent days, daily sleep times reduced until each subject arrived at a consistent daily sleep amount. Most people settled at an average of eight hours per night, although some settled closer to nine and others closer to seven. Once each subject settled at his or her stable daily average, after they had the chance to wear down additional sleep pressure, this average likely approximated their actual daily sleep requirement.

One way to interpret these findings is to assume that subjects entered these studies with extra sleep debt that built over time and could be attributed to less-than-optimal nightly sleep before they entered the study. When given way-more-than-normal time for sleep in the study, this built-up pressure caused long sleep periods in the first few days, and decreased over time to settle at a unique average for each person. Interestingly, although the volunteers reported feeling perfectly normal when they entered the study, after they reduced this extra sleep pressure, they had notable improvements in mood and energy levels.

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More recently, sleep researchers Siobhan Banks, David Dinges, and others have been exploring this topic further. In some of their studies, they restrict sleep time during the week to four or five hours per night, then give subjects recovery sleep for several days in a row. Recovery sleep means that the subjects were allowed to sleep as long as they could, only waking up on their own volition and not by external means. What they found is quite telling. Not only does performance on mental tasks increasingly degrade each day during night after night of insufficient sleep, but when finally given a chance to sleep longer, they do—much longer, in fact. It’s common for these subjects to sleep 125 percent of normal, going from eight hours a night at baseline to ten hours a night during recovery nights. But, their sleep debt wasn’t fully worn down by one long slumber. Subjects had increased sleep duration beyond their baseline needs lasting for about four nights. And this occurred after only five nights of sleep deprivation. In real life situations, people will restrict sleep beyond five days fairly regularly. In fact, one-third of the U.S. population reports sleep less than six hours a night on average. I won’t go into the all the associations that have been found between chronic sleep restriction and disease, but my global impression is that the effects of chronic, persistent sleep loss promote a whole-system pathological response in humans. In other words, lots can go wrong and does. 

What if I can’t sleep past 7 a.m.?

If you can’t sleep past the time you usually wake up in the morning, does this mean you’re getting all the sleep you need? Well, actually, no. Let’s say you have a fairly strong wake rhythm that starts at 7 a.m. each day. Excellent! But, even if you haven’t worn down all your sleep pressure from the night before, you still may wake up at your usual time. You just might be sleepier than you need to be under this condition. So, one way to evaluate sleep need is to look at how long you can sleep. However, given this potentiality, you might just be experiencing sub-functional mental capacity during the day. In this scenario, try an experiment. Attempt to get complete nightly sleep for three weeks in a row, plus maintaining smart light habits day by day, and then see how you feel. To start, consider how much time you typically spend in bed per night. Tracking sleep manually or with the sleep tracker on Dan’s Plan is very useful for this. One objective measurement to indirectly assess sleep quality is to evaluate reaction time during the day, which is a measure of vigilance. For the first three days of the experiment, at the same time each morning, do 20 tries of a reaction time test at HumanBenchmark.com. Write down your average reaction time across each day, then average those 3 days into one score and file it as “baseline” in a place where you can reference it later. 

Example: 

  • Day 1: 269 milliseconds (ms)
  • Day 2: 303 ms
  • Day 3: 277 ms

Baseline Reaction Time Score (3-Day average): 283 ms

Now that you have an idea of your average time in bed each night, add 30 to 60 minutes to that  time by going to bed earlier. Try not to wake by an alarm during this experiment. Do not spend too much effort in evaluating how you feel during this three-week period. Instead, evaluate how you feel after three weeks have passed. The goal of the Dan’s Plan Restorative Sleeper concept is to wake refreshed and feel alert all day. How do you feel? Noticeably different and better? Also, do another three days of morning reaction time tests at humanBenchmark.com and see if your scores differ from your baseline. If you do see improvements, you’ve identified that you benefit by getting more sleep than your previous “normal.” Many people are surprised by how good they feel when they undergo this experiment, and that experiential evidence can motivate you to maintain this propitious nightly bed duration over the long term. If you didn’t sleep any longer and don’t feel much different, then you may be getting all the sleep you need on a regular basis. Either way, you’ve added knowledge to your own sleep practice and can then make corresponding adjustments if need be.

I track my sleep nightly to help nudge me to do the behaviors necessary to get the sleep I need. Here is a screenshot of my last year of sleep data, indicating that I put my money where my mouth is. 

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Complete sleep

This is a term I created to describe your ideal sleep duration. When trying to determine how much sleep you need, you also must understand that your own sleep needs can change from day to day, depending on factors like fighting an infection, recovering from a higher-than-normal level of physical activity or stress, and more. So, even if you were to determine a number you felt was representative of your ideal, the reality is that your sleep need can change night to night. My recommendation is the same: allow for more time in bed than sleep you need. If you need eight hours of time in bed, plan to spend 8.5 hours in bed so you can wake under your own volition and not by an alarm clock. If your body needs a bit more sleep that night, you’ll have planned for this to happen. Give your body the chance to get all the sleep that it wants to get, and you will be doing yourself a favor. Wake up on your own volition and not by external means. It’s fine to set an alarm as a stopgap but you should aim, on average, to wake naturally.

Sleep science is complex, but sleep guidance doesn’t have to be. Good sleep is extraordinarily important for your health and daily performance. My view is that the reality of the modern world requires you to counteract its forces that impair health, and this is very true for sleep. Try the recommendations covered here and leave a comment reporting your findings after you’ve had the chance to let your experiment run for a few weeks. 

End note

This article does not address the all contingencies—especially sleep disorders and other conditions that disrupt sleep—that can alter what I discussed above. Additionally, the actual science is far more complex than what I presented here, but the message this article conveys, and the guidance it confers, is useful to help you view sleep in a healthy way, and ultimately, to maintain a healthy sleep practice throughout life. 

Daniel PardiAbout Dan: Dan is an entrepreneur and researcher whose life’s work is centered on how to facilitate healthy behaviors in others. He is the CEO of humanOS.meand dansplan.com, health technology companies that utilize the Loop Model to Sustain Health Behaviors—which he developed—to help people live a healthy lifestyle in a modern world (See Stanford MedX presentation on the Loop Model.) He does research with the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department at Stanford and the Departments of Neurology and Endocrinology at Leiden University in the Netherlands. His current research looks at how sleep influences decision-making (current list of publications). Dan also works with Naval Special Warfare to help the most elite fighters in the world maintain vigilant performance in both combat and non-combat conditions. Follow him @dansplanhealth.

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Top 7 Reasons Everyone Should Learn Handstands

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Top 7 Reasons Everyone Should Learn Handstands

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1. Practice Forming Healthy Habits

There are two ways to adopt new behaviors: increase motivation or decrease the barrier for entry. In fitness, attempting to increase motivation is the predominant form of behavioral modification, and most often through “negative incentivizing.” Have you ever been pressured or guilt tripped for not training hard enough? I certainly have.

Increasing motivation, especially though guilt, results in the gym-goer feeling bad about the very thing they are trying to do more of. One solution is to replace negative reinforcement with positive and the best trainers and coaches do this.

However, there is an even simpler solution - make new fitness behaviors much smaller and easier to accomplish. As one example, a gym-goer who adopts the goal a single, daily push-up is much more likely to continue to expand her fitness repertoire than the fitness-enthusiast who sets the goal of running a marathon next year. Running a marathon is too big a leap at the beginning.

Learning handstands is a goal similar to practicing a daily push-up.  It is difficult enough to be challenging and specific enough - if you know the steps - that learners continue on the path of skill acquisition.

(If you are interested in the learning more about increasing motivation versus decreasing barrier for entry, check out the “Fogg Behavioral Model” at http://www.behaviormodel.org/)

2. Handstands: The New Fitness “Gateway Drug”Robin 2

There are extensive scientific studies that show that push-ups are a “gateway drug” to increased physical activity. Push-ups provide an easy exercise, that can be done anywhere with little oversight. Push-up progress is easy to track (“How many push-ups did you do today?”) and lead to wanting more challenging physical activities.

Handstands are the new fitness “gateway drug.” Handstands are more challenging than a single push-up, but need not be impossibly so. Because handstands can be broken down into dozens of tiny, incremental steps, they can be equally easy to learn, and inevitably lead students to wanting even more physical activity. Handstands provide a relatively complete exercise – bringing into play the arms and upper body, chest and core, legs and balance. Like push-ups, handstands can be done anywhere, and with little oversight.

3. Break Down The Steps

People don’t learn handstands because of a lack of knowledge of the necessary steps.

Progressing through small, incremental steps to the ultimate goal is the fastest way to learn a new skill. Unfortunately, handstands are almost never taught in this way. Every student and most trainers want the outcome - the end result of balancing upside down - right away. The result is that a student is taught to repeatedly throw themselves into handstands, usually against a wall, and struggle to find a balance in this completely unknown position. It is human nature to see a goal and attempt to accomplish that outcome now. In the case of handstands, this impedes our progress.

Instead examine the steps that make up a handstand, just like an infant learns to scoot, crawl, and cruise before walking freely on her own. If you do, you’ll learn handstands much more quickly

For video tutorials of all of the steps necessary to learn handstands visit Robin’s “How To Learn To Do A Handstand” YouTube playlist: http://bit.ly/1wl1PGD

 

4. Learn To Learn

Breaking down the steps required to balance a handstand will teach you to learn how to learn. By focusing on a specific task, understanding the components, and the habitual patterns that keep you from progressing, you will strengthen your ability to learn. The skillset and confidence that you gain by learning handstands will transfer to other skills that you would like to master. To learn more about learning and mastery, join the Accelerated Learning mailing list, where I send out monthly tips on how to speed up your learning process. Visit www.robinpzander.com/blog/ to sign up.

5. Learn To Dance

My friend Ben Weston teaches men to dance so that women approach them in bars and clubs. I find this a hysterical career (although I almost never go out to bars), but know all to well what it is like to feel uncomfortable dancing in public. Learning handstands was one of the pivotal moves that allowed me to gain confidence in my ability to dance and move effectively. Learning handstands can be a pathway into greater physical comfort – on and off of the dance floor.

6. Overcome Fear

Standing out in a crowd is an important ability to cultivate, whether for getting a job, finding a partner or making an impact on the world. Some people have more natural charisma than others, but the ability to be noticed is a learnable skill. Training handstands develops the skill of standing out. Embarrassment and nervousness are antithesis of balancing a handstand. When you learn to overcome your fears in handstands, you will also overcome fears elsewhere in your life.

Most people training in a new skill aren’t even aware of how much fear plays into limiting their performance. Once in a while I’ll hear an expert gymnasts declare of their masterful double backflip with a full twist that they were scared, but more often, even though our fears play into every physical activity we do, none of us have been taught the simple tools to combat this condition. Practicing handstands is literally practicing the skill of overcoming fear.

 7. Have More Fun

Finally, handstands are fun! Handstands can be an empowering physical activity that anyone can learn. They need not be complicated. The daily practice and small victories that I teach in “How to Learn a Handstand” will reward you for incremental progress, and create a fulfilling experience. Practicing handstands, in the gym and outside of the gym, will give you connection to the reasons you want to get more fit to begin with – to look better, to feel better, to enjoy your body. Handstands will help you to have more fun.

The Book – “How To Do A Handstand”

I have together everything I know about learning handstands together with more than 50 images and videos into an e-book entitled: “How To Do A Handstand: Learn To Balance A Fearless Handstand in 20 Day or Less.” The book is available for free on Amazon for the next 5 days.

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Visit http://www.fearlesshandstands.com to learn more. You can reach me through my website http://www.robinpzander.com or through DIAKADI, where I coach people to learn and master new skills.

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The 6-Figure Fitness Professional: How You Can Live Your Dream

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The 6-Figure Fitness Professional: How You Can Live Your Dream

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You work hard. You hustle. You put your passion and soul into your client’s success and well-being. But you are still scraping by to make ends meet working over 60 hours a week as a fitness professional. You are tired, burnt out, and losing momentum. Time to switch up your game plan. Time to realize your worth, your product, and your specialized niche. Time to maximize your productivity, free your schedule, and gain back the powers that will allow you to take your career to the next level and make a 6-figure income.

Building a 6-figure practice takes knowledge and the right tools. Here are top tips from the experts on how to live your dream and own a 6-figure practice as a fitness professional:

Develop Multiple Income Streams: Joe DiBianca, World Champion Body Builder & Personal Fitness Trainer, advocates being open to many different income opportunities such as selling products, internet marketing, and online fitness programs. He still trains clients one-on-one to stay up-to-date with people’s needs and goals. However, in order to free up one’s time, develop a product or program to work with your ideal client. Products and programs are the machines working for you so you are not the “machine” that has to be with clients 24-7 to make ends meet. Haven’t you always wanted to take a vacation while still getting paid as you soak up the sun?

Use Your Resources & Delegate: Billy Polson, CSCS, owner/founder of Diakadi Fitness Performance Life, a personal training gym in San Francisco, hires the right people to get the necessary jobs done and delegates whenever possible. Polson knows that you don’t have to do everything to make it happen and it’s important to use experts when necessary to save you time and money in the long run. Use resources like O-Desk or TaskRabbit to hire website developers, social media marketers, or interns. DiBianca also recommends investing in a life coach or internet marketing coach to determine your niche/product and maximize your capital.

Know Your Ideal Client: In order to build a strong brand and maintain a powerful customer following, you have to know who you are serving. Polson suggests creating a diagram of your ideal client so you know exactly who that person is, what their needs are, and how you are going to help him/her. DiBianca agrees and emphasizes to “become that which you want to attract to get your ideal client.” By understanding your ideal clients’ wants, you can develop marketing tools, programs, and products that will attract and keep devotees. Here is one free template from YP Advertising Solutions on how to determine your ideal customer.

Maximize Your Time & Energy: Burn-out is common among fitness professionals due to improper time management. Polson maximizes his time by scheduling everything from his work, food, personal workouts, to family time in order to streamline his productivity and find that work/life balance. Make sure the calendar is always accessible in order to update and stay focused.

Believe In Your Worth: Know what you are worth and make sure to charge accordingly. Do your research on other people and their products/programs. Stay competitive with your pricing. Polson states to look at other industries to see what other health professionals provide and charge for their services so you can get an idea of what people pay for. Polson also proposes working for a private gym or being your own boss so you can charge $100-$150 per hour versus earning $40 per hour as a corporate staff member. DiBianca reinforces that if you come from poverty and lack, you will attract that, so aim high, believe in you and your service, gain the trust of others, and go for the gold. Anything is possible.

Many people are making 6-figures while enjoying their vacations and free time. You can, too. Do your homework. Develop your niche and brand. Believe in your work. Cater to your ideal customer. Delegate and make the machine work for you. Time to take action now.

Sarah Koszyk is the founder of Family. Food. Fiesta. A family-based wellness program and recipe blog where she also conducts cooking videos with kids. She is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach at Eating Free, an online adult weight management program. She also provides in-person nutrition coaching at a private practice, MV Nutrition, in San Francisco, CA, where she specializes in sports nutrition and adult and pediatric weight management. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn.

Sarah Koszyk is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach at Eating Free, an online adult weight management program. She also provides in-person nutrition coaching at a private practice, MV Nutrition, in San Francisco, CA, where she specializes in sports nutrition and adult and pediatric weight management. She is the founder of Family. Food. Fiesta. a family-based wellness program and blog. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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In a Funk? Here’s what to do about it.

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In a Funk? Here’s what to do about it.

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Ever have one of those days where you’re just not motivated? You can’t really focus. You don’t want to do anything. You’re in a funk? So what do you do? You take the day off, right?

But what if something has to get done. You have to be at work and the proposal is due today. Or you have people coming over and you have to prepare your special meal. Or like me, you have to get a blog post done. Then what do you do?

Here’s my advice:

1) Recognize that you’re probably burnt out. Note it and make a tentative plan to take a few days off.  Sometimes just knowing you have a break coming up will help. But even if it doesn’t help now, what it will do is prevent you from being in the same situation again. Rest is necessary to recharge our motivation.

2) Ask yourself, how can I make this EASIER for me? Since you are already in a state of low motivation - simply trying to inspire yourself will likely not work.  But reducing your workload will help you get it done when the normal task is too much. Can you recruit someone to help you? Maybe you could brainstorm together and come up with the big idea.  Do you really need to write three pages?  Maybe a shorter version will suffice.  Plan B is still getting the job done.

3) Get traction by breaking it up into small ‘bite-sized’ pieces and start with what’s easy. Whatever big project you have to do - divide it up into 3-5 tasks. For my blog post, my tasks were: brainstorming about topics, writing a first draft, revising the draft, researching an image, creating a final version. Once you have your tasks laid out, pick the easiest one and start with that. Pick the one that requires the least amount of thinking. The key is getting you in action. Just the act of starting to do something will provide you with success momentum. You will recognize that doing the initial act wasn’t in fact that difficult and you are now ready to handle what’s next. You will have overcome the hardest part in no time - starting.

4) Give yourself a time limit to get it done. In my post ‘Got 30 minutes?’, I outline, how giving yourself just 30 minutes can get you a long way in the direction of achieving your outcome. When you put a time limit around the task (and a short one at that!), it suddenly becomes more doable...not such a pain...and not one that requires a lot of motivation.

5) Let go of creating perfection. Whether it’s a project proposal, your favorite recipe or a blog post - accept that this is not the day for you. You may not do your best work. And that’s okay. There are ebbs and flows to life and somedays ‘okay’ is the best you can do.

Got a cool strategy for getting you out of a funk? Share it in the comments below!

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Embrace Yourself and Live Your Best Life: Cassandra Steptoe's Story

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Embrace Yourself and Live Your Best Life: Cassandra Steptoe's Story

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DIAKADI Client Cassandra Steptoe has a story to tell. A story about rising above the rough times in her life and opening up her heart and life to the world. At 58 years old, Cassandra has lost 20 lbs since she started her training with DIAKADI Trainer Polina Smith, but more importantly, she has learned to embrace her body and is excited to be living her life to the fullest.

Cassandra was recently featured in the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the core members of The Medea Project, a theater program for women that are living with HIV.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I4wLmUUhcY

She offers this advice to people that are struggling with their health, fitness, and lives:

1- BE CONSISTENT with your workouts and healthy eating. Get to the gym at least once a week and live an active life (walking, hiking, etc) as much as you can.

2- MAKE A PLAN and ask for expert help if you need it. Help with knowing what to do as well as help with your motivation and inspiration to keep the program going.

3- HAVE FUN with it. Cassandra works out with her 6 year old grand daughter Vassidy, also known as the 'Cupcake of Light', for most workouts. Trust me, anyone would enjoy their workout with Vassidy at their side!

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San Francisco Chronicle Article: Theater program helps women disclose HIV status

The DIAKADI Difference is a program where DIAKADI Trainers volunteer their time to work with members of the San Francisco community that are in great need of fitness, health and life coaching and do not have the resources available to set their work in motion.

 

 

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It’s Time To Escape Average

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It’s Time To Escape Average

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Want to lead an unremarkably average life? Do what everyone else expects you to do. Don't stand out. Don't break any rules. Surround yourself with people that think just like you.  Accept what people tell you at face value. Get a regular job. Stay close to home. Don't take any risks. Accept what you've been 'given'.

How does this make you FEEL?

Uninspired? Okay? Normal? or like CRAP?Beyond average

When you think about it, many of us tend to settle into lives that we don't really feel like we have chosen. We get complacent. We get caught up with just trying to keep up.

But here's the problem. Settling is bullshit! Not expressing yourself. Not experimenting. Not venturing far from what you know. All these things keep you inside the box. And what’s worse is, you may realize the box isn’t even your own.

It's time to wake up. It's time to create something, to fail spectacularly, to feel the high of the peak and the low of the valley. It's time to take the leap and venture away from home. It's time to escape AVERAGE.

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“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming…WOO HOO…What a RIDE!”

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Is All Sugar Created Equal?

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Is All Sugar Created Equal?

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You’ve probably heard it countless times, especially in low-carb circles: sugar is sugar is sugar. This is true in principle – the glucose, fructose, and sucrose found in table sugar or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are the same molecules as the glucose, fructose, and sucrose in honey, fruit, and starchy vegetables. But when it comes to the way your body uses these sugars, these foods are hardly comparable. In this article, I’ll show you why all sugar is not created equal, and why you should care.

Does sugar from fruit and starchy vegetables have the same impact on your health as a candy bar?

Fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup Are Not The Same

In my previous post in this series, I compared HFCS with white sugar and concluded that these two sweeteners are more or less metabolically equivalent. In the comments section, a few people brought up research showing that fructose is metabolized very differently from glucose; in fact, it’s metabolized more like alcohol.

I’ll address that research in a second, but first, understand this: high fructose corn syrup is not the same thing as fructose. Fructose is a simple sugar molecule with a specific chemical structure, while HFCS is a mixture of fructose and glucose in a roughly 1:1 ratio.

Now, there are certainly some scary studies about the metabolic effects of pure fructose. In animal models, fructose administration can cause dyslipidemia, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, and even type 2 diabetes. (1)

But these harmful effects result from animals being fed large amounts of pure, isolated fructose. In this form, fructose does act much like a toxin in the body, and it would be a terrible idea to start sweetening your food with pure fructose. But because fructose isn’t found in isolation in nature or even in our food supply, these studies are largely irrelevant to practical nutrition.

Already, we’re beginning to see that all sugar is not created equal, and that form and “packaging” makes a huge difference in metabolic effect. In this case, pure fructose does not affect the body the same way as fructose in sugar or HFCS. Now, what about fructose in fruit?

Fruit: More Than Just a Hit of Sugar

Although conventional wisdom holds that fruit is unquestionably a health food, the push to avoid sugar and excess carbohydrates has in many cases left people hesitant, even afraid to eat fruit. While it’s typically acknowledged that eating an apple is better than eating a bag of candy, fruit is still often seen as a source of sugar that should be consumed in strict moderation, and the phrase “sugar is sugar” is a common refrain, especially in Paleo or low-carb communities. The problem with this viewpoint is that added sweeteners and fruit have completely different metabolic effects.

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First of all, the fiber and water found in whole fruit increase satiety, which makes it less likely that you’ll go into caloric excess. Studies going back more than forty years have shown that naturally occurring sugars in fruits are beneficial to health and do not promote weight gain, and we can see these effects in traditional cultures such as the Kuna, who obtain a significant percentage of their calories from fruit while remaining lean. (2, 3)

And despite some claims to the contrary, there’s no evidence that we should avoid whole fruit simply because it contains fructose. (4) Far from being a health hazard, like pure fructose or added sweeteners, studies overall suggest that eating whole, fresh fruit may actually decrease the risk of obesity and diabetes. (5) Additionally, randomized controlled trials have shown that eating fruit reduces oxidative stress markers and blood glucose in diabetics. (6) Further, limiting fruit intake has no effect on blood sugar, weight loss, or waist circumference. (7)

For most people, 3-5 servings of fruit per day is perfectly fine, although certain people with insulin resistance, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome may see improvements by restricting fruit intake to one to two servings a day, and by choosing fruits that are lower in sugar. Additionally, some benefits of fruit restriction for digestive issues come more from avoiding high FODMAP fruits as opposed to fruits altogether.

Solid Sugar vs. Liquid Sugar

Another angle to consider is the issue of sweeteners in beverages versus sweeteners in solid foods. Countless studies have demonstrated that drinking your sugar has uniquely harmful effects, primarily because most people fail to reduce their caloric intake to compensate for the extra calories they’re consuming in sweetened drinks. (8)

For example, a study of 323 adults found that subjects who increased the number of calories they obtained from sugar-sweetened beverages didn’t decrease their caloric consumption from other sources. (9)

Another study showed that total calorie intake among sixteen patients was greater on the days that sugar-sweetened beverages were given at lunch than on the days they weren’t. So even when the sweetener used is the same (usually sugar or HFCS), consuming it in a beverage will have different health effects than consuming it in a food.

Real Honey vs. Fake Honey

I’ve already written about the unique metabolic effects of honey, and there have been studies comparing the effects of honey and “artificial honey” on blood lipids, insulin response, and blood sugar. Although artificial honey is a mixture of glucose and fructose in the same ratio as was found in natural honey, its metabolic effects are completely different.

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In one study, supplementation with real honey decreased triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, increased HDL cholesterol, and even decreased plasma homocysteine. (10) On the contrary, the artificial “honey” raised triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Other similar studies have found that natural honey results in more stable postprandial blood sugar and insulin response when compared with artificial honey. (11, 12)

There are further examples that I won’t get into, but I hope I’ve demonstrated that the phrase “sugar is sugar” is simply not accurate when it comes to nutrition and “real” food. The source of sugar does make a difference, and we as a community need to be careful about generalizing study results where they may not apply, and demonizing foods that don’t deserve to be demonized.

If you missed any of the previous articles in this series on sweeteners, be sure to check them out below, and stay tuned for the final post where I’ll tie everything up and give you some practical tips on where sweeteners should fit in a healthy diet.

 

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DIAKADI Lecture | Weight Loss Myths Exposed: Eat Less, Exercise More – Not True!

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DIAKADI Lecture | Weight Loss Myths Exposed: Eat Less, Exercise More – Not True!

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Are you still searching for the perfect diet? Can’t get the weight off even though you are working out all the time? Come check out Alexandria Marcus' free lecture and unlock the secrets to your nutrition plan and how to fire it up.

 

 

Description:

  • Create new habits to replace old weight loss myths.
  • Learn to connect with your mind and body to lose weight.
  • Stop the blame/shame cycle that keeps you frustrated and stuck.
  • Leave with eating psychology tools to fire up your metabolism.
  • Discover the hidden messages in your excess weight and eating challenges.

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  • Date: September 3, 2014
  • Time: 7:00-8:30pm
  • Location: DIAKADI
  • Cost: Free for Trainers and Clients
  • REGISTER

Alexandria Marcus, HLC, EPC runs a company called HEARTfood. She works with motivated Alexindividuals who are tired of feeling stuck in emotional eating patterns and want to make peace with food and their body, while feeling lighter and experiencing more pleasure on a daily basis. She’s a Certified Eating Psychology Coach and a CHEK Certified Holistic Lifestyle and Nutrition Coach Level 2. She studied with New York Times best-selling author Geneen Roth and appeared on The Oprah Show. HEARTfood includes a private practice in San Francisco coaching clients in person, over Skype and on the phone. Alexandria also leads popular "Beyond Weight Loss" classes around the Bay Area. For years, Alexandria was stuck in the yo-yo dieting cycle, gaining and losing hundreds of pounds, until she discovered that deeper more sustainable answers lie within. She offers a non-diet approach of diving into issues around weight, food and body image in a safe, supportive community.

To learn more visit her website at www.MyHeartfood.com

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Top 5 Meal Delivery Services in San Francisco

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Top 5 Meal Delivery Services in San Francisco

Forget to pack a lunch or are scrambling to find something healthy at the last minute? Food delivery services throughout San Francisco will bring you healthy, portioned, freshly prepared meals right to your door. You can even order a weeks worth of food ahead of time. Now there's really no excuse to be buying greasy take-out for a late night dinner. Here are our top picks for best meal delivery services in San Francisco. [divider] [/divider]

Lilah Belle's

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Organic, low calorie,nutritionally balanced meals that actually fill you up and taste great too!  How is this even possible?! Lilah Belle's makes this happen with meals like pork chops with blackberry port sauce, chickpea vegetable salad with curried yogurt dressing, and teriyaki chicken with tangy apricot sauce. What isn't there to love about this place? Delivery happens twice a week on Monday or Tuesday depending on where you live. If you can't plan that far in advance, you can buy their meals right here at DIAKADI or stop by their shop on Divisadero on your way to work.

Luke's Local

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If you want a food delivery service that provides fresh, organic meals alongside local, sustainable groceries than look no further. Luke's Local has a wide variety of fresh gourmet meals ready for the taking. With prepared meals like marinated hanger steak, confit california yellowtail, and roasted pepper lasagna, who needs to sit a restaurant when you can have a gourmet meal at home? Even better, if you have a family they have family meal bundles to feed your family local, organic food for a few days so it's one less thing you'll have to think about during the week.

 

Munchery

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Want a delicious gourmet meal from a company that gives back to people in need? This community based company donates a meal to someone in need every time you order a meal. That's just one of many reasons why you should be ordering food from Munchery. With a rotating daily menu prepared by gourmet chefs, you can order breakfast, lunch, and dinner that will come to your doorstep at the time you have specified ahead of time. Extra brownie points for free delivery all throughout San Francisco! DIAKADI client's in the past have received deliveries to the gym so right when they're done working out they have a fresh meal waiting for them. Genius!

Square Meals

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Square Meals is awesome. Plain and simple. The menu changes on a weekly basis and items include, but are not limited to, king salmon, pot roast, and a stuffed chicken that is sure to satisfy your protein needs.If you're on Polk street you can check out their cafe that serves fresh seasonal meals from scratch daily. You can even pick up some Batter Bakery's treats for dessert, turning your square meal into more of a pentagon.  Don't worry, it will be our little secret.

Sprig

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Get the most delicious iPhone app out on the market right now. With three taps on your iPhone, you can get locally-sourced seasonal meals delivered right to your door in minutes. They even offer gluten free and vegetarian options to help cater to special dietary needs. At $9 per lunch and $10 per dinner, these meals are quite a steal for food on the go.

 

Do you regularly eat meals from one of our top five delivery services? Post a picture on our Facebook page or Tweet with #DIAKADITop5 and you might just be featured in one of our next blog posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Make it up already!

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Make it up already!

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I am excellent at execution. Give me a plan I believe in and I will make it happen no matter what.  In fact, I pride myself on being able to get something done especially when it seems impossible (completing a Whole 30 diet challenge while my kitchen was being remodeled is a recent example of this). The trouble with being a great doer is that you’re always looking for someone else to plan the solution for you. So what do you do if you can’t find an iron-clad solution that’s guaranteed to work? What then?

Simple. Make it up.

Yeah, you heard me. INVENT something.

The truth is the fear of invention (or making things up) holds a lot of us back. But here’s the thing. The plan or method that you found on www.youridealsolution.com or page 25, paragraph 3 of the life handbook was also made up.

By someone. At some point.

It’s probably true that the creator had the right experience and knowledge in the particular area to come up with a good solution. And very likely, they tested it, validated it and improved it.

Still, it doesn’t change the fact that they invented it at one point in time to solve a particular problem. There was a point when it was just an inkling that grew into a great idea. And sometimes, that’s what you have to do.

The concept of ‘reinventing the wheel’ is not lost on me. True, there are tried and tested methods that work. Why not learn from someone else’s work and save yourself some time and effort?

But here’s the thing. That doesn’t always work.

Because it may not work for you. Processes and templates strive to achieve predictable, yet average results for the average person. That may not be the RIGHT solution. And it usually isn’t an awesome one.

Every client I have worked with over the past 3 years has at some point required a creative custom solution to deal with their unique challenge.

Individual traits and circumstances have to be taken into account. Making it up is not winging it. It’s being innovative.

So take a look at the tried and tested methods. See what has worked for other people. But really keep your eyes open, don’t just follow the steps. Think about what aspects you can take and build upon for yourself. And if there isn’t anything plausible out there, make it up.

Or someone else will.

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What Would You Dare To Do If You Could Not Fail?

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What Would You Dare To Do If You Could Not Fail?

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This is the question that I most often ask people when I meet them for the first time. So many of us get so caught up in our daily lives and our to-do’s that we never really take the time to step back and really think about what we would do if we were sure to succeed.

Why do I love to ask it? Because your answer tells me so much more about you than “What do you do for a living?” ever could.

Knowing your deepest desire, your dream, your wish means knowing you. How lucky I am to share in your very personal quest!

But what’s the benefit to you? Just thinking it through and saying it aloud so someone else can hear - actually helps you move in the direction of your dream. The desire becomes more real. The goal becomes achievable. The “Why?” becomes “Why not?” And therein, lies the magic.

This is the basis of my postcard project. I’ve distributedpostcards asking the question “What would you dare to do if you knew you could not fail?” and anonymous replies have streamed in over the years. It’s an amazing thing to see handwritten declarations of daring. (View them online here or request one of your own)

Postcards come in at a usual steady pace but one day I received 20 postcard requests all from the same address. At first, I thought that there was an error or that my spam filter wasn’t working. After some investigating, it turned out to be legit and, the wonderful folks at the Milieu Center found my postcard site on a google search for appiness (yeah awesome!).

The Milieu Center is a day treatment program for adults with developmental disabilities based in Sacramento, California. In the words of their wonderful program coordinator “they have little control of their lives but I wanted them to see the amount of control they have over their own attitudes and perspectives.  We brainstormed some grandiose things but when it came down to it, it was the small things they wanted - “going camping” or “learning how to drive”.

Turns out the postcard project fit right in as a first step to declaring their dreams. And that’s really the lesson.

Dreams don’t have to be huge and potentially unattainable. You don’t need to be set up perfectly in order to start reaching for your dreams. And, your dreams are just that. Yours.

Not someone elses’. Not what other people think you should do. But what YOU want. YOUR awesome.

Everybody dreams. Fill your heart by reading the 37 cards I received from the Milieu Center students and staff. Then ask yourself, what do they inspire you to dream?

Here’s to YOUR Awesome.

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