Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
by Mike Geary, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author of the best-seller: The Truth About Six Pack Abs
I was reading a statistic in a nutrition book recently, and this is going to shock you...
Now before I tell you the statistic, let's keep an important fact in mind... according to well renowned nutrition author Michael Pollan, and his amazing book called In Defense of Food, humankind has historically consumed approximately 80,000 different species of edible plants, animals, and fungi, and approximately 3,000 of those have been widespread foods of the human diet.
Now get ready for a shocking and appalling statistic...
Currently, the average adult eating a typical modern western diet in countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, etc consumes approximately 67% of their total caloric intake from only 3 foods -- CORN, SOY, AND WHEAT (and their derivatives).
What would be considered a reasonably healthy amount of corn, soy, and wheat in the human diet? Based on 10's of thousands of years of human history, and what the natural diet of our ancestors was (indicating what our digestive systems are still programmed to process), this would probably be in the range of about 1% to 5% MAX of our total calories from corn, soy, and wheat.
Considering that modern humans are eating 67% of their total calories from corn, soy, wheat... you can see why we have massive problems in our health, and our weight!
It's not a surprise that we have so many intolerances and allergies, specifically to soy and wheat (and gluten intolerance)... the human digestive system was simply never meant to consume these substances in such MASSIVE quantities.
Keep in mind that these massively high levels of corn, soy, and wheat in our modern human diet is a relatively new phenomenon that originated from the economics of the multi-billion dollar corn, soy, and wheat industries. It really HAS been all about the money... NOT about our health!
By "derivatives" of corn, soy, and wheat, this means the food additives such as:
high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
soybean oil (hydrogenated or plain refined)
refined wheat flour
hundreds of other food additives such as maltodextrin, corn or wheat starch, soy lecithin, mono and diglycerides, etc, etc
This doesn't surprise me... consider how much soda or other sweetened drinks (with loads of HFCS) that the average person drinks daily... this is a LOT of calories from just 1 sole corn derivative. Even marinades, salad dressings, ketchup, breads, and 100's of other foods contain loads of belly-fattening HFCS!
Also think about how many processed foods we have that are either fried in soybean or corn oil... and even if the foods are not fried in these oils, these oils are additives to almost every processed food... chips, candies, cakes, salad dressings, tomato sauces, burrito wraps, corn chips, breaded chicken, etc, etc. This is a LOT of calories from these 2 other corn and soy derivatives... both of them EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY!
On top of that, think about how much breads, cereals, pastas, muffins, and other highly processed wheat products that most people consume each day. Again, this is LOADS of unhealthy, blood-sugar spiking, nutrient-poor calories, that more than half of the population has some degree of intolerance to anyway.
It gets even worse!
Not only are we eating 67% of our total calories from corn, soy, and wheat... but because of the economics involved (specifically with cheap corn and soy) we are also feeding most of our farm animals corn and soy now too... again amplifying the amount of corn and soy that passes through the food chain and (from a biochemical standpoint) ends up in our bodies.
Probably the 2 worst examples of this blatant mismanagement of our food supply is how our factory farmed chickens and cows are fed.
Cows are fed mostly corn in factory feedlot farms, even though their digestive systems are only meant to eat grass and other forage. This makes the cows sick (hmm... E-coli anyone?), alters the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of the fats to unhealthy levels, and also diminishes the healthy CLA fats that would occur naturally in grass-fed beef. All of these problems go away if our cows are fed what they were made to eat naturally - grass!
Our chickens are also fed a diet of mostly corn and soy and crowded in tight pens in horrendous conditions... when the fact is that a chicken was meant to roam around the outdoors eating a mixture of greens, insects, worms, seeds, etc. When chickens are kept inside in tight quarters and fed only grains, it leads to an unhealthy meat for you to eat, and less healthy eggs compared to free-roaming chickens allowed to eat an outdoors diet.
Our food supply has gotten so screwed up that we're even feeding our salmon and other farmed fish corn and soy...again because of the economics involved. How ludicrous is this, considering that fish are meant to eat a diverse diet of smaller fish, worms, bugs, etc. Again this makes farm raised fish unhealthy in terms of nutrition compared to the wild counterparts. If you want to see something even scarier about farm-raised fish, watch this quick video about the toxic fish you might be buying.
So even when you're eating chicken, beef, and fish, you're still essentially getting even MORE corn and soy into your body...considering that the cows, chickens, and farmed fish ate mostly soy and corn.
So it's actually WORSE than just 67% isn't it!
Why is it so unhealthy to consume 2/3rds of our calories from corn, soy, and wheat?
Well, this section could encompass an entire book, so to keep this short, I'll just throw out a few random reasons...
Skews the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in our diet to as high as 30:1, when a ratio of 1:1 to 2:1 is considered healthy.
Problems with gluten intolerance (related to heavy wheat consumption)
Problems with weight gain, blood-sugar swings, and reduced insulin sensitivity (and progression of diabetes) due to excessive refined corn and wheat flours, as well as HFCS in our diet
Soy and corn are the most genetically modified crops (which also allows more pesticides and herbicides to be used, which are usually "xenoestrogens")
Many of the pesticide and herbicide residues in these crops are xenoestrogens, which can increase "stubborn" belly fat
Soy products and derivatives contain a double-whammy of xenoestrogens as well as phytoestrogens... again creating an environment in your body for fat storage, carcinogenic effects, and even "man boobs" for some men in very severe cases
The feeding of corn and soy to animals reduces the health and nutritional benefits of those animal products
and the list could go on and on and on...
So how do you avoid all of this overwhelming amount of corn, soy, and wheat in our food supply, and finally take control of your weight and your health?
1. Don't purchase processed foods! It all starts with your grocery cart discipline... choose only 1-ingredient foods such as fruits, veggies, beans, eggs (free roaming), nuts, seeds, and meats from grass-fed or free roaming animals that are raised correctly. Only resort to junk foods or processed foods on a 1-day per week "cheat day" but ONLY when dining out... that way, the processed foods aren't in your house to tempt you.
2. Get most of your carbs from fruits and veggies instead of grains.
3. Avoid store bought salad dressings as they almost always contain soybean oil and HFCS (instead, try my homemade healthy salad dressing)
4. Make sure that your tomato sauces don't have HFCS and soybean oils... look for sauces made with olive oil instead. Remember to avoid unhealthy canola oils too!
5. If you like guacamole (one of the healthiest snacks on the planet!), try veggie sticks with guacamole instead of genetically-modified, oil-soaked corn chips
6. If you like hummus, try veggies sticks with hummus instead of pita chips or other bread.
7. Reduce your cereal, bread, and pasta intake by having these foods only on "cheat days" and stick to more of the 1-ingredient foods I mentioned in #1 above. Try some of these healthy snacks as good alternatives (yes, I know that one of the 13 snacks on there has sprouted grain, which is fine on occasion).
I could go on with more examples, but I think that's good for now.
So with all of this said... Is my diet perfect? Well, no of course not! Nobody is perfect, and I can give in to temptation on occasion just like anybody else.
However, I'd estimate that my corn/soy/wheat consumption is only about 2-4% of my total caloric intake compared to 67% for the average person. The way that I achieve this is to simply not bring any corn, soy, or wheat products into my house, so I'm never tempted by it. Therefore, at least 6 days/week, I eat virtually no corn/soy/wheat, except for the occasional piece of sprouted grain toast a couple times a week (which is a better option than typical "whole grain" bread).
I do, however, give in and sometimes eat breads, pasta, and even corn chips, etc. when I'm dining out. I see these as my cheat meals and try to do this no more than once per week. I still completely eliminate sodas and deep fried foods though...they are just TOO evil!
Please share this article with your friends and family on email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, etc... this is one of the MAJOR reasons that we are so unhealthy and overweight as a society... 67% of our calories from just 3 foods (and their derivatives) is an appalling statistic! Don't give in to the marketing machine that is the corn, soy, and wheat industries! Take control of your OWN health instead of letting big corporations take control of your health.
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
By: Author Unknown
A number of frogs were traveling through the woods. Two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead.
The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all of their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead.
Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.
The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could.
Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out.
When he got out, the other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.
This story teaches two lessons:
1. There is the power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day.
2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be the push over the edge. Be careful of what you say. Speak life to those who cross your path. Anyone can speak words that can rob another of the spirit to push forward in difficult times.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
"I love working from home, I get so much laundry done and today I even cleaned out my refrigerator." This was a comment I overheard the other night while waiting for the PTA meeting to start at my daughters' school.
Unfortunately that was far from the first time I have heard a work at home mom say something like that in the last couple of months.
When I hear this, my first question is "how's your business going?" And inevitably I hear "well I just don't have time to focus on developing new products or work on my marketing plan."
Is it any wonder?
I know I did not start my business so I could get more laundry done. I started my business so I could turn my passion into income helping other working moms make more money and live a healthy more balanced life.
If you talk to successful entrepreneurs most will tell you there are three main reasons people start their own businesses. They are:
Of course there are other reasons. But nowhere on the list will you find laundry.
The reason must entrepreneurs fail is because they focus on the wrong tasks, usually tasks that don't yield revenue. It is human nature to work on tasks that you can easily accomplish. These are generally the tasks that you don't feel overwhelmed by or fear. But by no means does that mean they are automatically important to your business.
In order to get your business soaring to the next level you need to break out of your comfort zone. To take on new challenges that will bring you more revenue. This also means discipline and getting into habits. By following just a few simply rules you will notice a big change in your productivity, which can increase profitability in your business.
Seven Golden Rules for Productivity
1. Your business day starts the night before. Each evening after the kids are in bed, after the school lunches are made and the dinner dishes are clean I plan my next day's business activities. I write out a good old fashion "to do" list. I do not put my list on my computer or BlackBerry. I use a notepad. I list everything I think I need to accomplish the next day. After I have done a complete "brain dump" I prioritize each item. Not only am I ready to go the next morning, but I also sleep a whole lot better at night.
As my day progresses I cross off my completed tasks as well as write down any that may have come up unexpectedly that I needed to address. This way I have a full record of how my time was spent.
2. Set an alarm clock. Many entrepreneurs think because it's "my" business they don't need a schedule - that they can do whatever they want - wrong. I have seen this over and over. I hear complaints from people that their business is not where they want it to be. I ask a basic question like "what time do you set your alarm" and I hear - I don't use an alarm clock, I just get up when I wake up. This is counter-productive. You need to take control from the start of your day.
3. Never work in your pajamas. Your mind set is one of the most important factors in determining your success. You need to respect yourself, your customers and your business enough to dress appropriately. By doing so you will notice that you are more confident and assertive therefore getting more done in the same amount of hours.
4. Do not schedule meetings or take phone calls before noon. You are at your best first thing in the morning. Get your important things done first. Scheduling meetings and conference calls in the morning is counter-productive. Interruptions are the biggest factor in not completing tasks. Let your employees, colleagues and friends know that you will speak with them in the afternoon if need be.
5. Take a mid day exercise break. A study by Jim McKenna from the University of Bristol showed that exercise during the workday improves job performance. Participants returned to work more tolerant of themselves and their performance is also consistently higher, as shown by better time management and improved mental sharpness.
I like to take a 30-minute bike ride or speed walk around in the afternoon (I do my hard core workout first thing in the morning). By this time my important tasks for the day are usually complete. I let my mind wonder and this is where ideas hit me; ideas for content or marketing or new joint ventures deals. This is one of my favorite times of the day.
6. Have lunch with a mentor, colleague or protégé once a week. We can all get caught up in our own little world. We are so busy with our families and careers. But by having a lunch with someone smart and energetic you will be exposed to new ideas and different viewpoints. Your ideas become stronger making them easier to implement. This one lunch will make a huge difference in your productivity not only in your business but in your family life as well.
7. Reconcile your "to do" list. At the end of your workday look at what you had planned to accomplish that day and look at what you actually accomplished. If you accomplished 75% or more on your list - you had a good day. We all have to adjust for emergencies and ad hock situations whether those emergencies and situations arise in our business or our family life.
However if you fell below the 75% you need to make some changes. Because this means you are not in control of your business, instead your business is in control of you.
When you examine the list above what should be obvious is that these are very fundamental rules. Rules that everyone can implement in one form or another. None of these rules require any monetary commitment, but they all call for a mental and emotional commitment.
Start today and just seven days from now I bet you see a big difference in your productivity.
Monday, January 31, 2011
The Detriment of Front End Loading with a Home BusinessAuthor:
Donna Lessard Stewart
Here are 5 questions to ask to help with understanding the detriment of Front End Loading.
- Does the company require a large investment of product to start? Large, meaning $500 or more to get started.
- What kind of commission do you earn when you get someone to start with a large order of product?
- Are the majority of commissions earned on the initial purchase of a new member?
- Can you buy your status? Meaning can you purchase a certain amount of product to 'Get to' or 'Maintain' your status with wth business?
- Are you advised that you can recoup your money from your big product purchase by retail selling?
I know, I know. Some of you reading this may be saying, 'What\'s wrong with any of those statements?'
I say, 'A lot!'
Now, stay with me here for just a moment.
So many companies make most of their revenue on 'Front End Loading'. Sad but true.
What is Front End Loading? Basically it means the majority of product(s) sold are to the 'Distributers', not the end consumer. The company makes the majority of their profits from new distributers buying a lot of product up front or to 'Get To' or 'Maintain' a status.
Even if the new distributer is unable to retail sell the products, the company still makes money because it has already been purchased by the distributer, not an end consumer.
Most companies that front end load their members, will give a nice commission to the distributer that gets someone to buy in with a big order. This creates a major promotion of the 'big buy in' when someone starts.
The distributer is excited about their new venture of starting their own home business, and eventually realizes that they are unable to retail sell the products and they are stuck with it. Unfortunately, this happens all the time.
Sure, most companies have a return policy, however, it is typically a short time frame. By the time the distributer figures out they are unable to retail sell it, the time frame to return the product(s) has lapsed.
When this happens, many distributers try to give the products away as a method to lure potential customers and business partners. They may get a few, and the entire sad cycle begins again.
The company earns their profits while the distributer does not.
Now, lets dive a little deeper.
Let\'s say you have achieved a status of … let\'s call it 'Queen Bee'.
As a 'Queen Bee' you are required to have $1000 dollars worth of product purchased (from you or your customers) in any given month. (This does NOT include your initial buy in.)
So, you\'ve joined and paid $500 to start and have products on hand. You need to go out and produce another $1000 worth of product purchases (sales) in a given month to be a 'Queen Bee'. And you do it!! YEAH!! You\'re a Queen Bee!!!
You earn XYZ amount of commissions, you\'re happy and on your way to achieve the next status of 'Ultimate Queen Bee!!'
To achieve 'Ultimate Queen Bee!!' you need $2000 worth of product purchases (sales) in a given month and one of your customers (business partners) needs to achieve, 'Queen Bee' and have at least $1000 worth of product purchases (sales) in her business for the month.
Now you have your sales in line for the month, however, your business partner is 'short' about $500. Hmmmm…what to do??? How do you get her to work so you can advance to 'Ultimate Queen Bee'?
Well, your business partner could call the company and purchase that $500 worth of product herself to get to status of 'Queen Bee', which means she could advance to 'Queen Bee' and YOU would also advance to 'Ultimate Queen Bee'!
Soooo, you pressure your business partner to either go out and have parties and make the sales or just buy the amount of products needed to reach the status and ‘hopefully\' sell them next month.
Do you know what happens down the road?
You have a lot of people getting to and maintaining 'Queen Bee' by personally buying the amount of products required. (In hopes of retail selling)
You have a lot of people getting their business partner to buy products to maintain their status.
Hardly any, if any product is getting sold to the end consumer.
People get stuck with products they don\'t need or use and are unable to retail sell it. They are unable to get their money back because the return policy time frame has lapsed.
Yet, the company continues to make money while many, dare I say most of it\'s members lose their money.
Be Careful Out There
To Your Success,
The decision to work from home may be a great choice for some people. With today\'s economy and lack of financial security, starting a home business has proven to be a viable option for many. With over a decade of having a successful home business, not only have I been able to create financial security for my family, but I have helped so many others to do the same. I hope to continue to help others to achieve what ever their goals may be.