Question #1: I feel like my options are either fast food or spending an hour in the kitchen every night. How can I eat healthy without spending so much time cooking?
I’ll start by suggesting more raw foods. Fruits and veggies cleaned properly and eaten raw with perhaps a little seasoning are very healthy and take almost no time to prepare. One of my personal favorite time savers that packs a nutritious punch are salads with a variety of fruits and veggies. At least once a day I make a salad with organic greens, usually arugula and baby spinach, sliced cucumbers, blueberries, and sliced strawberries and/or apples, seasoned with a little Celtic sea salt and dill. Just experiment with whatever is in season. I like to add goat cheese or feta too. The point is that everything I put in is nutritious and easy to prepare. When I’m finished mixing the salad I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar as my dressing. If you are willing to do a little more prep work buy a restaurant style oil dispenser and make an oil blend with equal parts coconut oil, olive oil and sesame oil. It is better than olive oil alone because it has a better balance of fats. I will also add protein to this salad if I don’t want the protein prepared on it’s own. Tri-tip, flank steak, seared tuna and free-range chicken are great in a salad.
Another healthy time saver is a NuWave Infrared Oven. NuWave’s cook meat and veggies evenly without denaturing the nutrients like a microwave. All you have to do is set the timer and let the NuWave cook. You don’t need to turn or flip anything. I usually put my steak in and answer emails or fold laundry while it cooks.
Question #2: I’m overloaded on caffeine from coffee runs and diet soda addictions -- how can I increase energy in a healthy way?
Put down the diet soda!!! Diet sodas are the single worst things you can put into your body. I’d rather a client drink regular soda than diet. Consider that stuff poison.
Start by trying to cut back on the amount of caffeine you drink without putting pressure on yourself to quit cold turkey. At the same time start making an effort to get more quality sleep so you don’t need the caffeine buzz all day. The more hours of sleep you can get before midnight the better. Those hours count for 1.5 hours of sleep after midnight.
Daily meditation is another way to give your adrenals a break. Even just 10 minutes a day is good for clearing your mind and allowing your brain to re-charge. Staying committed to a regular strength-training regimen will also boost natural energy levels. Strength training triggers a release hormones that give you natural energy, focus and a feeling of well-being. Spending time outside every day, especially on sunny days is another way to get an energy boost.
Question #3: I sit for hours in front of a computer all day and talk on the phone all the time, receiving radiation -- how do I combat a tech-dependent life?
I would start by limiting exposure outside of the office. Remove any electronic devices from your bedroom where you sleep 6-8 hours a night. The ones that you must have in your bedroom should be moved as far away from your head and heart as possible. Do yourself a favor and take the television out of your bedroom, period.
It would also be a good idea to get some headphones that allow you to make and receive calls. It is better to use headphones to talk on the phone than to have a Bluetooth or the phone itself by your head all day. Speakerphone is always a great option too if you have a good enough quality speaker. I’m a huge fan of Skype and iChat. Even though you are still in front of a computer at least it isn’t pressed right up against your head.
If you can choose your workspace make an effort to get as much natural light as possible. And for your health’s sake GO OUTSIDE to spend some time in nature! Take your shoes off and get your feet in the grass.
Question #4: How can physical activity release endorphins in our body and help us refresh our body and mind?
Regular strenuous exercise and strength training in particular creates a positive hormonal cascade that up-regulates the “feel good” endorphins and hormones that give us a sense of well being. It isn’t just a coincidence that you feel really good about yourself after you workout hard. It’s all due to the hormones your body releases for up to 24 hours post exercise. My friends and I call it “Leveling up.”
You’ll also be happy to know that these hormones are very effective at mobilizing fat (burning fat) for energy. Cardio is still good to have as a part of your exercise regimen, but strength training with body weight or weights is far superior to aerobic exercise when it comes to burning fat and getting that sense of feeling good.
Question #5: I’m always stressed - how can we declutter our mind, and renew our mental clarity, and be happier?
Stay present. Over analyzing the past and worrying about the future takes you out of the present. There is a saying, “I’ve been looking for the future my entire life and all I ever seem to find is right now.”
Take in the present moment and appreciate it for what it is – it is all we have. It’s good to learn from the past, but let it stay where it belongs…in the past. It’s wise to plan for the future, but once you have a plan you should concentrate your mind on executing your plan in the present. Regular meditation is a good way to train your mind to stay present. Start with 10 minutes a day and go from there. There are lots of guided meditations you can find online and even meditation groups that meet regularly almost everywhere.
If you have more burning questions that need answers post on my Facebook Page and I'll do my best to give you a solution.