Love what you do in life - it will keep you young and energized; think big and do not be afraid of success; learn from the past, plan for the future and focus on the present; when challenged fight back

10 Tips For Better Living

Keeping it simple, keeping it real.  Here are 10 tips to incorporate into your life that will improve all areas.

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  1. Lift Heavy Things. Strength is more important than any other aspect of fitness.  If you are weak you will not survive let alone thrive.
  2. Move.  Quickly and often; you must elevate your heart rate on a frequent basis and breathe heavy.  There are many ways to accomplish this – find what works best for you.
  3. 3 Times a Week. Find the time to do #’s 1 & 2.  If you cannot find the time you need to re evaluate and change your ‘schedule’ so that you can.  There are no excuses.
  4. Eat Real Food. Eat meat, fish and fowl that were raised on pasture, eggs and wild seafood. Eat vegetables and fruits preferably local and organic.  Eat healthy fats from pastured animals and wild fish. Eat roots, tubers and some starch commensurate with your activity levels and goals.
  5. Maintain a Healthy Weight: eat quantities of the above listed foods to support your activities but not excess body fat.
  6. Sleep.  At least 7-9 hours a night of sleep in a dark room with no LED distractions.  Avoid violent television and technological stimulation 2+ hours prior to bedtime
  7. Breathe & Focus. Find time for quiet reflection preferably in nature; if not, anywhere you can focus on the moment observing your breath and stillness.  Keep focused on your path and your goals. This can be done in many ways – find what works for best for you.
  8. Laugh. Find humor on a daily basis; learn to laugh and smile frequently.  See obstacles as opportunities. Maintain an optimistic yet realistic viewpoint.
  9. Find a Qualified Healer. Our healthcare system is rigged; seek a gifted alternative/holistic/functional medicine doctor to oversee your health care that focuses on preventative measures rather than disease and toxic drugs.
  10. Be Grateful. Appreciate and give thanks to a higher power for what you do have.  Ask for direction on how to achieve your goals and give back by helping those in need that also are willing to help themselves.

Elephant Meat – Part 1

Eat a lot of elephant meat.  Is it high in protein and grass fed?  Not sure but it will certainly allow you to get a lot done, simplify your life and enable you to better achieve your goals in many situations. You’ve heard the saying ‘how do you eat an elephant – one bite at a time’.

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That mentality has helped me tremendously since I first heard the expression.  In today’s fast paced 24/7 now now now technology laden world we have less time than ever.  The majority of people feel overwhelmed most of the time. This is not a good or healthy way to live.

Trying to get everything done all at once is the same thing as attempting to inhale an elephant in one sitting. You’re going to have some pretty severe indigestion.  And a lot of frustration.

I am a big believer in goals; setting them, planning and strategizing on the best ways to achieve them.  While it is important to aim high and have lofty goals one must first break them down into smaller or shorter term goals that will ultimately lead to the big one.

For example if your long term goal is to compete in the CF Games what smaller goals should you come up with to achieve along the way?  Maybe for now you’d be best served with finding a coach to help establish a periodized training plan.

When you have smaller goals it gives you a couple of advantages.  First, it simplifies the process and gives you something concrete to focus on.  The idea of qualifying for the CF Games can be quite daunting to say the least. Not knowing what to do specifically will lead to frustration.  It’s a lot easier to seek out a qualified coach to develop an initial plan for you.

Secondly, it’s far more achievable and will give you the satisfaction of completing it and checking it off your to do list. While you still have along way to go to your ultimate goal you are on the right path and moving in the right direction.

Viewing your life’s goals as a series of smaller ones will lead to an overall better quality of life, satisfaction, happiness and success.  Keep the lofty goals within your sight while focusing on smaller ones along the way.  This series of small successes will keep you on track.  Often before you realize it you will look down at your plate and be amazed that there’s not much of the elephant left.  It all adds up.

Squat to the Potty

The Urban Dictionary defines old school as “anything that is from an earlier era and looked upon with high regard or respect. Can be used to refer to music, clothing, language, or anything really”.  I’m definitely as old school kind of girl in most regards.  The world is constantly trying to improve upon things and doing some serious backsliding.

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This was further witnessed on a recent trip to Fort Myers to visit my brother in law and sister in law.  When they initially moved into their home back in 1986 the whole family pitched in to help.  My job was to line the kitchen and bathroom shelves with shelving paper since I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist.

It had been a few years since we visited and I was impressed with how great the house looked.  They are both retired now and that must leave more time for remodeling and keeping things in perfect order. After settling into ‘our’ room (formerly my niece’s) and getting ready to take a shower I looked at the toilet before sitting down and noticed how low it was.

I don’t travel with my squatty potty and miss it while on vacation but this toilet in the pretty yellow and blue guest room was much lower than what I have at home or have seen recently in hotel rooms.  It put my legs are parallel which is not squatty potty level but was greatly improved over the current standard.

Why is so much lower I wondered or why are they making toilets so much higher theses days.  After mentioning it to my sister in law she hadn’t thought about it but agreed that “yes, they are much higher in newer homes and hotels.” This prompted me to measure the toilet height and then compare it to the one in my home which came to a difference of 2 inches. And we know 2 inches can make a huge difference.

Why do you think that is?  One reason that comes to my mind is that people are getting too weak to sit down and stand up.  I get it in terms of someone that is ill or disabled and needing assistance thus requiring modifications.  But what about those that are just deteriorating from inactivity and poor lifestyle habits.

Modern man’s answer is to make the toilet higher which doesn’t solve the problem merely enables it to continue.  My answer is to make the person stronger.  But then again, I’m old school. . .

Morning, Noon or Night?

When I wake up in the morning my feet hit the ground like I’m coming off the starting blocks. I am, always have been and most likely always will be a morning person.  Don’t even talk to me at 8 pm.  My prime time is first thing in the am, the early am.  My best work and thinking generally take place before most people are out of bed.  This extreme is often referred to as a lark.

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On the other end of the spectrum are the people that come alive in the latter part of the evening often working until the wee hours of the night.  We call them owls.

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The larks and the owls represent the extremes.  Most people are somewhere in between. Why is this? Habits we have gotten into or developed, behaviors we can change?  Without delving into a lot of science and research our personal clocks were set before we were even born.  Genetics winds the clock in regards to when a person feels most up and at em’.

To a degree both behavior and environment can be altered.  For the extremes the body rules supreme and should you challenge it to a match you will lose.  A lark cannot become an owl and an owl cannot become a lark.  It’s what known as the circadian rhythm.  Science Daily defines that as “a roughly 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings, including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria. In a strict sense, circadian rhythms are endogenously generated, although they can be modulated by external cues such as sunlight and temperature.”

The majority (>50%) of the populations falls in the middle — neither dawn or dusk types. They can adjust more easily to any changes in sleeping schedules.  Should they need to get up or go to bed an hour or so earlier or later it won’t create too much of a problem for them.

The other half of the population splits about evenly into am and pm types with variances in the extremities.  The owls get tired later in the day than normal while the larks become tired in the early evening yet are wound for sound in the am often beating the sun up.

Age can also have an effect; the teen years with their hormonal changes and social norms may prompt many teens to stay up later and sleep in.  On the other end the elderly do the opposite – going to bed and getting up earlier. This could also be affected by decreased activity and medications that have a sedative effect.

Although man continues to try to change nature as always those attempts will fail and nature will endure.  You can’t change the inherent clock within an individual.  And many will keep their schedule well into old age.

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For the extremes the preference for early morning or evening should not be considered unhealthy or something to ‘correct’.  We’re all different and the more accepting we become of that the smoother life will be.

If you tend to the extreme – and larks are rarer than owls –  learning to accept this and going with what nature intended will lead to a better and more productive life. Sleep is not a bad habit to be kicked.  I always knew I was a ‘rare bird’ so hurry up folks you’re burning daylight!

Restaurant Review: The Sacred Pepper

As much as I love to cook and find being in my kitchen therapeutic it is very nice to eat out on occasion. Especially special ones; it was my Dad’s birthday and we had decided on a local new restaurant that had opened a little over a month ago. We had eaten there once before and had a great experience; was it luck or did they really have it as together as it seemed? We decided to find out.

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The ambiance detected immediately upon walking in causes one to take a very close look around. The décor was done with strategy, care and great thought to details.  The colors are soothing and the overall effect is beautiful. We arrived about 10 minutes before our reservations, were greeted warmly and promptly seated.  Within minutes a server arrived to take our drink order.  The proper amount of time was given to enjoy a few sips and look over the menu before arriving back to ask if we had any questions.

My only question to the server was ‘is your salmon wild’?  To which she replied “yes’.  After a slight pause she added “roped off in the ocean”.  Made me contemplate for a moment hmmm, is that truly wild or kind of sort of.  To her great credit she said “I had to tell you, you could be a food critic.”

That made me laugh since I had no idea what had given her that idea but it also gave me fodder for today’s blog post.  A food critic?  Why not, that might be fun…

For appetizers we chose the crab cakes again.  We had had them last time and wanted to conclude without a doubt they were the best we had ever had.  They were.  And I’ve had a lot of crab cakes.  Very lightly coated they consisted of 99% lump crab meat while the corn salsa and lemon aioli complemented them perfectly.

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We all ordered the house salad as we didn’t have one the last time.  It arrived on a perfectly chilled plate and came with a coconut white balsamic dressing.  That was one of the most delightful dressings I have ever tasted.  Made the salad beyond compare especially with the candied pecans.

Last time I had devoured a bone in ribeye so I opted for the grouper picatta (not because I questioned the salmon’s exercise habits) because it looked so good the last time hubby ordered it.  It did not disappoint.  The fish was at least a 6 ounce serving with a lovely picatta sauce served atop a cauliflower mash that was close to mashed potatoes as it gets.  Perfectly tender asparagus rounded out the meal.

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My husband got the honey truffled buttermilk chicken which was served with a side of creamed corn that I just had to have a bite of.  It was not sweet at all but flavored with chopped peppers and to the cream had been added a combo of six cheeses said out server.  Wow, on my list for next time.  My father had the chicken buratta — oak grilled with tomatoes, basil,capers, balsamic glazed and caramelized Brussels sprouts.  We were all equally pleased.

We passed on dessert not for the lack of offerings but they were full and as for me swimsuit season is fast approaching.  Sigh. I’ll be honest you would expect to pay quite more for the ambiance, food and service experienced; the bill was very reasonable.

Sooo, if I were a food critic how would I rate The Sacred Pepper?  A huge thumbs up or 5 stars*****.  Well worth it; we have found a new local favorite.

Focus

Focus yields success.  FOCUS defined:  “Follow One Course Until Successful”.  I didn’t coin it but I like it.  Focus can also be described as “power”.  It’s the skill to gather all your abilities and focus on the task or goal at hand.  It is essential to success.

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Let’s look at some situations in life where focus is a matter of life or death.  In military combat when enemy fire flies only one of you is going home that day.  Lose your focus and you will lose your life; being good is not always good enough. While the majority of us will not face military combat during our lives there are other situations where having focus will greatly increase the chances of success.  When someone leaves the world of job security, steady paychecks, benefits and retirement plans for entrepreneurship they must sharpen their focus because few survive and even fewer thrive.

Let’s take focus into the gym, a common ground for most of us.  How many of us have made up our mind to go on a diet, lose the nagging 5 – 20 pounds or get a six pack for summer only to quit as soon as the chocolate cake was cut? The same goes for those committing to a new exercise routine, vowing to get in shape but after a week they quit and go drinking to relieve the pain in their muscles.


The ability to focus personal powers will allow you to achieve what you want in life.  Use the power of focus whether in a fight for your life, in business, in your diet and in the gym.  If you make up your mind to do something it is the ability of focus that gets the job done.  It’s easy to have focus from breakfast to lunch or in a workout but to have focus for weeks, months and years is where the true power lies.  You must stay successful beyond the goal to keep the weight off after you’ve lost it or to stay fit.

When you are in a focused state the words “I’ll try”, “I can’t” and “I’ll do it tomorrow” are forced out of your vocabulary.  True focus actually means “do or die”.  Do not focus on the belief that life is easy because it is not.  Set your goals high but back them with knowledge, plans, education, mentors and action.  Realize that along the way you will be uncomfortable, you will fail at times and ultimately you will grow from that and succeed.