Further to last week’s post on exactly what to do to ensure you sabotage your mojo, I thought I’d follow it up with a 12-point method of exactly what to do, to get your mojo back, your health back, and optimise hormones so you can perform at the peak of your abilities in all areas of your life. I honestly believe that everything comes back to our physical fitness. Every effort we apply to other areas of our lives are vastly improved when we’re in peak physical shape. If we’re out of shape, we suffer in many ways, most of which we won’t actually realise, until we’re in better or peak shape. All of my clients have told me that they experience more energy – for example. This is energy that they never realised they were short of. They get into peak shape, ditch the sugar and carb cravings, lose the grains, and have higher levels of energy – consistently. They experience energy that they never knew they had! How cool is that? Not a bad side effect for clean eating and moving and strengthening your body. So here it is:
1. Sleep with your phone in airplane mode. Wake up, and keep it in airplane mode. For as long as you can, leave it in airplane mode. As soon as you check your phone, you’re opening yourself up to distractions and you’re on someone else’s time. When you respond immediately it’s as if you’re on a leash to someone else’s requests. This causes stress, as it delays the progress of your own goals and mission. Check emails just twice a day and leave your emails and distractions off at all other times. This last bit is really challenging. I’ll admit it, I don’t do it all the time, but when I do, my productivity sours.
2. Dedicate the first hour of your day (at least) making yourself strong for the day ahead and de-stress. This is usually some form of exercise – this might be yoga or fitness class, some form of aerobic activity like jogging or cycling, or strength training and/or some form of meditation. Aerobic activity is the number 1 method for emotional renewal according to Tony Schwartz, who wrote The Power Of Full Engagement. We all know this really. When do you feel stressed or depressed after exercise? For me, exercise first thing in the morning is best for a number of reasons; you burn fat immediately in a fasted state (before you break the fast), you de-stress by getting all the right chemicals and hormones circulating around your brain and body. Personally I’m more productive for the day ahead than if I were to start off with a cloudy and stressed head. I can think more clearly and I’m more motivated.
3. Count your blessings every morning. Br grateful. This can be done during exercise or yoga or separately. This is one of the most effective ways to tune in to everything positive you have in your life and when you focus on your blessing, this helps to de-stress and be rid of fear.
4. Visualise every day what you want to create that day. Say your goals out load.
5. After your workout, fuel your muscles with a decent form of protein and carbohydrate. I always opt for plant-based protein shakes such as Hemp Protein or Sun Warrior Hemp and Pea protein blend. I’ll mix it with banana and Almond milk and rest assured that I’m only putting fuel in my body, no nasty chemicals which are found in the majority of protein bars and shakes. More recommendations here.
6. If you eat breakfast, ditch the cereal and milk. Grains are high glycemic and inflammatory and milk typically causes inflammation among other things. Most people cannot process milk – probably because it’s designed for baby cows to grow fast. Swap for a protein and nutrient-rich breakfast. My preference is free-range, organic egg based. I tend to have a 3-4 egg omelette with spinach, broccoli, onions, mushrooms and a side of avocado and fresh vine tomatoes. This is low carb, high fat and loaded with nutrients. Fat does not make you fat. We need fat for testosterone too. (As long as it’s not trans fats – pure evil.) It’s so easy to stay lean and keep testosterone levels elevated, when you consume fewer carbs and only after an intensive workout. Avocados are a super food loaded with nutrients and high fat meaning you feel satiated. We can get sufficient glucose from other fruits and veggies to fuel our brains and our brains can also use ketones, stored in body fat, for fuel too. This is nutritional ketosis. This is genius and by far the fastest way to burn through fat safely, not depriving yourselves of key micronutrients or indeed macronutrients.
7. Drink green tea. It’s amazing. It helps to slow the rate at which your body absorbs carbs (meaning a more steady insulin response), helps to burn fat, increases metabolism and is an excellent antioxidant. It’s also good for your brain. Have it pure, in as natural and organic state as possible.
8. Get vegetable juicing. Fuel your body with some form of vegetable juice after your workout or at some point between breakfast and lunch. Pure veggies is best, maybe with one piece of fruit to sweeten the deal. Juicing is possibly the most effective method to get a huge dosage of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) into your body which our cells and body require to thrive. The biggest takeaway I’ve had from all of my research and countless food documentaries I watch, is that we, in the Western World, are stuffing our faces, yet depriving ourselves of key micronutrients we need as human beings to not only survive, but thrive. We only get micronutrients from plant-based foods. A cooked vegetable in the evening (or 2) is just a tiny fraction of what we need on a daily basis. 51% of our daily food intake should be raw, plant-based foods. Most of us are undernourished. This leads to illness, hormonal imbalance, lack of energy and faster ageing. When veggies are cooked, most of the nutrients are stripped of them. Fresh juicing is simply brilliant.
9. Instead of having a grain-based lunch, have a massive salad with a form of protein, preferably some kind of fatty fish like mackerel / salmon / sardines. If you feel really hungry and really feel you need additional carbs, try quinoa / buckwheat / millet / sweet potato. These are not grains and are lower on the glycemic index, meaning your blood sugars will remain steady, you won’t store the carbs as fat, you won’t experience energy highs and lows and the dreaded food coma. We’re not meant to fall asleep after meals. This is societal conditioning.
10. Snack on healthy food. Great snacks are raw nuts like almonds, macadamias and walnuts. Celery and almond butter is a favourite of mine. If you have fruit, combine it with a form of protein to suppress insulin spikes. If you like protein bars, choose ones with real food ingredients – preferably from plant-based proteins as most other forms come from soy (so evil for your body) and a really poor form of whey protein. Most cows in the US are injected with rBGH – a hormone used to fatten them up so the cows produce more milk. This disrupts hormones, namely, makes oestrogen increase and testosterone decrease among other things.
11. If you have an office-based job, get up and walk about as much as possible. Chairs, as mentioned last week, are one of the worst inventions ever for our backs and our health. In LA, where I’m lucky enough to live right now, people are starting to stand up whilst at their computers and are even using active workstations. These are essentially treadmills with a computer bracket to support your laptop. Ergonomics are essential to think about when working for 8 hours a day at your desk. When you’re moving and working, you can think more clearly too and get more done. Our brains require oxygen to function properly. Do you ever get up and walk about when someone calls you on your mobile? There’s a reason for that.
12. Have dinner at a table if you’re with a partner and /or family and not in front of the TV. Communicate. Talk openly about challenges, focus, what you want to achieve, what’s holding you back. What’s making you happy, what’s not. The more open you are in communicating, the less stressed you’ll be and the better all relations will be. If you live alone do something that adds value to your life, like watch something hilarious on TV! Or a decent documentary – like a food documentary. Something that adds value to your life – not mindless soap BS which only extracts value from your life. Don’t watch the news!! Ok, a little news is fine, but every day, sometimes several times a day, is an overload of negativity which can only sabotage your subconscious mind. This has been proven. This is a major contributor to fear that people tend to live in these days. Free yourself and focus on what you want to create in the world! Focus on your legacy, how you want to be remembered. Your family.
12.1 (doh!) Get a decent sleep which is not affected by alcohol. I know this is a challenge for many. I do love a glass or two of red wine with dinner. More than that though, and you’re going to affect your sleep. Our brain requires solid sleep to compartmentalise everything we learn during the day, to de-stress, to balance hormones, to release human growth hormone – the fountain of youth hormone. It keeps us young. If your sleep is affected, consistently, you’ll release less of this. If you’re a man, this will have an impact on testosterone too and your energy levels will be low.
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