BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are three of the nine essential amino acids including leucine, isoleucine and valine. The essential amino acids can’t be made by the body and therefore must be acquired through the diet. Research studies report that BCAA’s help to promote muscle growth, aids in recovery and reduces muscle soreness.
BCAAs are found in a number of healthy protein-rich foods, including organic grass-fed beef, wild Alaskan salmon, pastured egg yolks, raw grass-fed cheese, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and nuts. One of the best sources, however, is whey protein concentrate, which has one of the highest concentrations of leucine.
The typical requirement for leucine is 1 to 3 grams daily. However, to optimize its anabolic pathway for muscle growth and repair, you need as much as 8 to 16 grams of leucine daily. One 3-ounce serving of whey protein has 8 grams of leucine (compared to just 1.6 grams in salmon or 1.4 grams in egg yolk).
This likely explains why whey protein concentrate has been found to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and has been called the ideal fitness food when consumed just before or after a workout.
Try to get your BCAAs from your daily diet by incorporating salmon, grass-fed cheese, pumpkin seeds, pastured eggs and nuts if possible.
However, consider using a whey protein concentrate if you are short on time or on the go. This can be a convenient way to add BCAAs to shakes, oatmeal, and yogurt for post workout snacks and meals.
Make sure when selecting your whey protein to look for a pure, high, quality product. Many protein powders can contain high levels of lead, arsenic and toxic ingredients. Check the product on the Clean Label Project website:
Where are you going in life? Are you on the right path? It’s an important question to ask yourself and you may be surprised at the answer. Without purpose or direction we become stagnant and feel empty. Have you considered what you value most in life? If you don’t know, then you may end up on the wrong path.
It can be a challenge in our busy lives to achieve balance when it comes to family life, career, and health. However, if you don’t know where you’re going, you may find yourself at some point in life, full of regrets.
Stop spinning your wheels and write down an action oriented plan with specific goals that will help you live your best life.
One way to think about work-life balance is with a concept known as The Four Burners Theory. Here’s how it was first explained to me:
Imagine that your life is represented by a stove with four burners on it. Each burner symbolizes one major quadrant of your life.
The first burner represents your family.
The second burner is your friends.
The third burner is your health.
The fourth burner is your work.
One of the most frustrating parts of The Four Burners Theory is that it shines a light on your untapped potential. It can be easy to think, “If only I had more time, I could make more money or get in shape or spend more time at home.”
One way to manage this problem is to shift your focus from wishing you had more time to maximizing the time you have. In other words, you embrace your limitations. The question to ask yourself is, “Assuming a particular set of constraints, how can I be as effective as possible?”
Assuming I can only work from 9 AM to 5 PM, how can I make the most money possible?
Assuming I can only write for 15 minutes each day, how can I finish my book as fast as possible?
Assuming I can only exercise for 3 hours each week, how can I get in the best shape possible?
Consider writing down a small goal for each area of your life that you feel needs improvement. Here are some ideas:
Relationships– Take time each day to tell your loved ones how much you care for them. Set restraints on social media and use that time to spend with your family. Get in the habit of giving hugs more often. Read books, play board games, or put puzzles together with your children each week. Try and set up a consistent schedule to call your parents, siblings, and friends. Create special memories!
Career- This is a biggie! We all need to make money to live but if you hate your job, you will most likely be miserable. Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time at work so it’s vital to find something that is compatible with your family life. Also, if you have small children, you will regret working 60 or more hours a week. That’s precious time away from loved ones that you will never get back. Consider your options for another job with better hours or maybe a work from home option. Set a goal to improve this area of your life by determining the pros and cons of your current working situation and where you can make small positive changes.
Health- This is an area many of us end up sacrificing due to time restraints. However, it’s easy to set just one or two weekly goals that can make a substantial difference in your health. Number one is the food you bring into your home. Learn to make healthier food choices when shopping for groceries. It’s important for your children to learn the relationship between their health and what they eat. Take them shopping with you and let them make their own grocery list of healthy food choices. Restrict splurges on fast food to special circumstances or occasions. Additionally, consider how you can add activity into your day? Ride a bike or walk to work if that’s an option.
Set your alarm an hour early and get your workouts on your calendar. Even a ten minute workout once or twice a day can make a difference. Determine specific days and times each week for physical fitness and stay consistent. You will never regret this.
Consider what you value most in life and make a plan to make sure you take the right path. Because if you don’t know where you’re going than it doesn’t really matter.
Ditch the resolutions and start the new year off with an easy plan for success. Try my No Resolutions New Year Challenge that will help you improve your health and fitness level in thirty days.
Resolutions often fail because most people don’t fully understand the commitment required to create new habits. Change is often uncomfortable, and when things get hard, it’s easy to give up and revert back to old habits. However, adding small changes to your daily routine can lead to big results. Instead of setting unattainable resolutions for the new year, try this thirty-day challenge that works by adding small steps each week to get you on track to a healthier lifestyle.
Always check with your physician before starting any new diet or exercise program
Try to begin the challenge January 1st.Week one will start with two goals and you will add two new steps each week to help you create new healthy habits. At the end of the thirty days you should feel lighter, stronger, more energetic, and be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
Hopefully by the end of the month you will continue some or all of the new habits you developed during the thirty days.
LET THIS NEW YEAR be your turning point to self care and better health! Let me know how you like it. LET’S BEGIN –
DRINK 20 oz of lemon water before breakfast, lunch, and your evening meal.
2. Add exercise each day by taking a brisk walk/ jog 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. Or you can try this 15 minute workout video two times per day.
WEEK TWO (Continue week one goals and add these two goals to your daily routine)
Track your sugar grams and keep them under 30 grams per day
Add a green vegetable to your lunch and evening meal each day
WEEK THREE (Continue week one and two goals and add these additional goals to your daily routine)
Add 15 minutes of yoga to your calendar twice a week-
“But in this season it is well to reassert that the hope of mankind rests in faith. As man thinketh, so he is. Nothing much happens unless you believe in it, and believing there is hope for the world is a way to move toward it.” (Gladys Taber)
At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.
We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.
Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.
Love to start my Sunday morning with a easy yoga flow and then enjoy a delicious cup of bulletproof coffee. Try this short yoga flow to get you moving and then treat yourself with my easy recipe for bulletproof coffee.
Child’s Pose- One Minute
Down Dog- One Minute
Sun Salutation B- One Minute
Tree Pose- One Minute (30 secs each side)
Forward Fold- One Minute
Plank- One Minute
Corpse Pose- One Minute
Brew your favorite cup of coffee and add a tablespoon of organic coconut oil and a splash of coconut milk. Finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and enjoy a relaxing day
Try my new weekend workout. Perform each exercise with little rest in between exercises. Aim for 12 repetitions each exercise and complete entire circuit 2-3 times finishing with final stretch. Don’t forget to warm-up with 7 to 10 minutes of light activity and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Enjoy!!
A good morning routine is vital to our mental and physical health. Quite often our mornings are filled with stress as we rush to get out the door and start our day. Although it’s nice to hit the snooze button a couple times, it can create a cascade of events that can impact your day in a negative way.
That extra sleep robs you of valuable time that could be better spent fueling your body with a healthy breakfast, grooming, meditation and family time. Then of course you have to deal with traffic that can cause anxiety, anger, and elevated blood pressure before you even get out the door.
What if those extra minutes of sleep could be much better spent on a healthy routine that could make a dramatic impact on your day?
Try the following tips to improve your daily routine and set you up for a fabulous day.
Get up 20 to 30 minutes early to allow enough time to avoid the stress and anxiety of being late. Splash some cold water on your face and brush your teeth. Extra time is always a good thing when unexpected things happen like when you spill coffee on your outfit or suddenly remember you need to stop for gas. You will welcome the extra time and avoid the anxiety or running late.
Try a short stretch and meditation sequence when you first get out of bed. This is a great start to your morning that will clear your thoughts and get you energized to start your day.
3.Drink 20 oz of lemon water. Hydration is key for beautiful skin. Lemon water will boost your metabolism and get you energized for you day.
The benefits are endless including vitamin C to boost your immune system and also aids in digestion.
4. Eat a healthy breakfast and spend some time with your family. Family time is priceless and just a few minutes in the morning to chat with family to tell them you love them is time well spent. Stock up on food items that are easy to eat for breakfast such as protein bars, smoothies, fresh fruit and yogurt.
5. Get out the door 15 minutes early for your commute to offset any unforeseen incidents. Instead of listening to the news or blasting music, try tuning into positive affirmations on your ride. This 20 minute meditation is an amazing way to start your day with a positive mindset and gratitude.
I’ve significantly cut bread and dairy from my diet over the last several years due to my son’s autoimmune disorder. I’ve also determined that I probably have a sensitivity to dairy products since I tend to develop headaches, bloating, and a worsening of allergy symptoms after ingesting milk products.
Several studies suggest a link between increased inflammation and autoimmune disorders related to gluten and dairy in the diet.
Although I’ve always loved milk since I was a kid, I’ve found almond milk to be a great tasting dairy free alternative.
I really like the unsweetened plain Almond Breeze almond milk brand, and find it tastes most like the skim milk I drank as a child.
I’ve also found dairy free yogurt and ice cream products that are pretty good although a little pricey. I love Breyers Non-Dairy Oreo Cookies and Cream. It’s delicious for an occasional splurge.
However, gluten is another story. I’ve tried many different brands of gluten-free bread and almost all of them have a strange consistency and taste bad. Therefore I decided to eliminate bread from my diet but only have it occasionally when eating out.
Despite the prevailing skepticism, studies are now confirming that many people do indeed experience adverse reactions to gluten even if they test negative for celiac disease. This suggests gluten-sensitivity is a real problem,6 and that gluten-free diets may benefit many — not just those with celiac.
The number of Americans following a gluten-free diet has tripled since 2009, even though the number of people diagnosed with celiac disease has not increased
Studies are now confirming that many people do indeed experience adverse reactions to gluten even if they test negative for celiac disease. Those who react to gluten despite not having celiac tend to have leaky gut
Gluten-containing grains have been linked to more than 200 adverse health effects, with 20 adverse modes of toxicity, including neurotoxicity
Although I decided to eliminate bread from my diet, this past weekend I discovered this bread and was pleasantly surprised at the consistency and the taste.
I can honestly say that if it didn’t say gluten-free on the package, I wouldn’t suspect it was a gluten free product. So far I’ve used it for sandwiches and prepared them with the bread slightly toasted. It’s a delicious alternative for people on gluten free diets.
Why is self control so important? It can affect so many aspects of our lives; finances, health, and relationships. It can lead to unhealthy addictions to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling, etc. The list is endless.
But what if something as simple as changing our way of thinking could help us master self control?
As I reflect on the first Mother’s Day without my mom, I find myself more emotional than usual. Memories flash before my eyes of getting together on this day to celebrate our beautiful mom. May she rest in peace.
Happy Mother’s Day to all mom’s! Celebrate and cherish the time you have together.
MY MOTHER- MY WORLD
I knew mom’s health was failing and her time was near- I woke up anxious every morning afraid of what I’d hear.
God’s gentle nudge to visit her the day before she died- was life’s richest blessing – no words can describe.
I stayed by her bedside and countless tears I cried- I watched her constant pain and suffering- as I sat helpless by her side.
She whispered, “I love you” – they were her last words to me- I desperately wanted her to stay with me- but also to be free.
She fought so hard to stay here with her children and in her home- but she knew Dad would be waiting and she would not be alone.
I can’t imagine life without her – just knowing she’s not here- never again to see her is one of my worst fears
. I loved her Irish temper, her skin so pale, so fair- I admired her strength and determination- I loved her beautiful, fiery, red hair.
I’ll always treasure our memories and be her little girl- for to the world she’s just a mother, but to me she was MY WORLD.