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The Top Mindfulness Books

My blog post from April 16th was designed to encourage people to look at meditation or mindfulness to relieve stress. The purpose of the exercise is to promote healthy living. Here are some resources to get you into meditation shape.

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
 click it to get it

I’m reading this 1994 published book now. I believe it can change lives.

Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
 click it to get it

This is the master, you can not go wrong with any of this man’s books. This one is on Bill Gates reading list.

Meditation for Beginners
 click it to get it

This is a guide from a man who knows how to teach to process.

Once you go looking for the “right” book, you only need to start to succeed.

Be healthy,

Dave

MEDITATION: 3 MINUTES TO DE-STRESS

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“ THEY” Don’t Use The Word Because It’s Not P.C.

A recent NCIS episode had the main character trying to find a murderer (that’s the plotline every week). The suspect was hiding in a PTSD group that was practicing meditation as part of their therapy. The Commanding Officer corrected the main character for his use of the term meditation. The Commander said,” This is the Navy, we use the term Mindfulness”. This is now the mainstream term. Congressmen are writing books about Mindfulness like it’s new. It, of course, is not.

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At the start of this school year, I team-taught as a substitute in a large High School, where the teacher had a unit and lesson on the practice of Mindfulness. The school district had just had training for this excellent quality teacher on how to teach mindfulness to her students. One of the purposes was to help prevent teen suicide. The lesson seemed well received.

The mindfulness term seems to be a P.C. attempt to avoid any religious or spiritual overlap from meditations’ origin. I am not a fan of P.C. terms, but PTSD de-stressing and preventing teen suicide are admirable goals. The goals allow me to accept another P.C. term into my vocabulary.

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Every healthy aging program includes a statement about reducing stress. That sounds right, but personally, I run to the extremes. I have caustic days. I must get relief and fast on those days. Here are my quick tips and practices for immediate stress relief.

  1. H.A.L.T.- hungry, angry, lonely, tired. I check in with me to see if I am any or some of these things. I try to fix that first.
  2. BREATH- often the most important things in life are the simplest. What is more basic and more important than breathing?  I follow my breath for a while.
  3. PRAY and MEDITATE- a daily practice so that my connection and skills are always available.
  4. BE GRATEFUL- practice gratitude to remove stress by naming 5 things you are grateful for in 30 seconds.

The whole process can clean me up and turn me around in minutes. The Higher Power has created people in his image. You and I have the power to transcend any situation.

If you are new to this and need a starting point, check out a podcast at https://www.livestrong.com/article/13708902-how-to-calm-down-in-under-3-minutes.

Be Healthy,

Dave

Next Time: Recreational fitness

2019 Best Diets, The Suckers List

 

What is a Diet?

A diet is the kind of food that a creature habitually eats.

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We have a cockatiel at our home. I can go to the pet store and find a bag of “Cockatiel Food”, feed him and he is happy and presumably healthy. It is his diet. People are omnivores. Classic omnivores have a diet that consists of edibles from plant and animal origin.

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Go ahead and search the internet for the list of the 10 best diets. Since the list has little to do with what you are supposed to eat but rather what someone is selling for you to eat, it will be a suckers list. In your search, you will need to know what you want your diet to do. Do you want to lose weight, gain weight, muscle up, energy up, mode up, libido up, flatten the belly, or lower your Blood pressure and A1C? The list can go ad infinitum. It’s a sucker list.

 

I recently looked into Michael Greger’s diet information. He is a Vegan and has a book “How to not die”. He writes about how to diet to fight certain diseases that kill us. I also looked into Dr. Steven Gundry, a former cardiologist who is also a “plant-based diet” advocate and author.

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"Colorful Candy, Isolated on white"
“Colorful Candy, Isolated on white”

There are a lot of MD’s who have become an entrepreneur in the business of selling various diet plans and supplements to the unhealthy American consumer. The problem with is that the advocacy of each one is based on “cherry-picked” facts to prove a predetermined outcome. Bad science. These bright minds pick proof that supports what they want to sell and then ignore the balance of information from various studies. It seems almost all “diets” work for someone. They help carry a specific goal, but none can work for everyone. There is too much variety in the species for there to be a universal plan. Your plan must be customized for you.

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I am repeating some basic information for a healthy diet.

  • Eat fruit and vegetables with everything.
  • Avoid Bio-engineered food, no GMO veggies.
  • Limit over packaged food products.
  • Limit fast food
  • Avoid over-consumption by monitoring caloric input.

THE 2019 Winner for Best Diet       

Source: livestrong.com Jan. 21,2019

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is eating that emphasizes and encourages meals to be made at home, made of fresh and whole-food ingredients. The ingredients include vegetables, legumes, fruits, grain, lean protein, nuts, wine, cheese, oil, and herbs and spices. This diet likes social eating and smaller portion sizes than most Americans eat regularly. If you want a recognized plan, there are tons of recipes and resources available for this one. In order to keep it from being another “sucker” plan, add and subtract from it based on your personal needs and goals. It is a great starting point.

Next time: Quick Mindful Meditation to relieve stress.

Be Healthy,

Dave

 

 

PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION

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It is of little importance how fast I am moving, but it does matter which way I am pointing. I have taken 2 months off from blogging. There seemed to be a need for fresh air into my perspective, I am ready again. There will be some changes and additions this year to the blog to try to share more information and to try to pay for some upgrades in the site.

Two years ago I weighed in at the cardiologist at 251 pounds, The doctor said don’t come back here at that weight again. One year ago, this month, my weight was around 240 pounds, My work schedule had sent me off to Honolulu, Hawaii. I had the simple realization while there that I don’t have to live the life of a fat guy. This came to me through a high school buddy who lives in Honolulu. Keith was recovering from a minor surgery so he was off his regular workout routine. He is an age group, world-class jungle/off-road runner. We talked about aging, eating habits,  workouts, and old friends. He took his time each afternoon and evening to walk me through his city. He drove me to his workout sites and we walked some more. Oh, did I mention we ran track together in High School? I believe Keith is the same body weight as he was in high school or maybe a little less. My post-high school athletic career had me working to gain weight for football and I just kept going and gaining long after I’d stopped competing. I am grateful this old friend showed me the path to fitness. I am now at 218 pounds and pointed in the right direction.

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5 Reasons Walking is Underrated

Source from https://blog.myfitnesspal.com

There are a lot of workouts that have a barrier to entry. Take spinning for instance. To do it safely, a new rider needs help setting up the bike. Boxing requires extra gear, like gloves and hand wraps. The list goes on and on.

Walking often gets flack for not being “good enough”. Here are five reasons why that’s a myth:

  1. IT GETS YOU MOVING

In today’s “sitting is the new smoking” society, any movement is better than none. British researchers found sitting or simply standing for more than 30 minutes at a clip can negatively impact your health. The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-level exercise each week. You can divide it to fit your life, but get moving.

       2. IT REDUCES MORTALITY RATE

A study surveying more than 50,000 walkers in the United Kingdom found regular walking at an average, brisk or fast pace was associated with a 20% reduction in all-cause mortality. They also found a 24% reduction in the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

  1. IT’S LESS LIKELY TO CAUSE INJURY

Compared to running, walking has a much lower injury rate. A systematic review showed a one-year injury rate of 27% in novice runners, 32% in long-distance runners and 52% in marathon runners.

  1. IT HAS SIMILAR BENEFITS TO RUNNING

 Moderate-intensity walking shows a similarly visible reduction in risk of heart disease,   high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure, when compared to vigorous-   intensity running, according to research from “Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and   Vascular Biology”.

  1. IT CAN HELP YOU THINK CREATIVELY

Whether you’re a fan of the treadmill or prefer to stroll outdoors, walking can help you come up with your next big idea. Stanford researchers found creative thinking improves while a person is walking as well as shortly thereafter.

Next post: Which diet is ranked best for 2019

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Be healthy,

Dave

 

 

THE DAY AFTER

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Jump Start Your New Year

You may be on vacation with friends and relatives or you may be in that weird time at work between Christmas and New Years. It could just be Wednesday, but it is time to go outside.

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I’m jump-starting my New Year Health and Fitness with Walking Wednesday. We went to an odd Southern California spot called Talbert Park. It is not a regular walking place except for a few locals. It is on the northwest edge of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, just over the Santa Ana River. We were headed for a hilly walk near Crystal Cove when we decided to not drive that far and to go exploring at this park. Park is not what this place is. It really is just some undeveloped low land which is rare in this highly developed area. It is full of native brush, lots of paths, some bike jumps, some homeless campers, and rabbits, squirrels and lots of birds. We really enjoyed it.

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We had a lot of time so my wife and I walked our way across the field. We were wandering in the general direction of the river bed on the paths while trying to avoid some muddy areas. It was sunny but cool with a nip in the air which generally comes off the ocean this time of year. After some blithering around, we were rewarded by reaching the river bed full the seabirds. The many varieties were all lined up on the sea/river wall. It was very cool.

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What a great way to jump-start the New Year. We were out in the field for about 2 hours but with the stopping and looking at stuff and path hunting, it may have been only 45 minutes of exercise. Just right for Walking Wednesday. We did no pacing for training, this was a walk for the joy of it. This is what we needed and wanted. You should plan an unplanned joyful walk too.

Happy New year

Be Healthy, Dave

Correction from the last post: Twitter is David Brown @higherpowerfix

 

 

CASCADING LIFE PROBLEMS

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Don’t let life issues keep you from being all God intended you to be.

Walking Wednesday

New Year Resolution time is coming. You and I will make our annual empty promise to eat better and workout more. We want to lose a few pounds, nothing big. We want to get into better shape without sweating too much. STOP. 2/3rds of America is overweight or obese. We must do more than make an empty resolution. Let’s start now. Let’s start a real movement. No more “this diet or that diet”, we all know what to eat to be healthy. Begin with our next meal, build a habit. I am recording everything I eat for the next 30 days, including Holiday Brunch. Let’s start walking. Let’s begin with Walking Wednesday. I’ll be on Twitter every Wednesday to tell you about what I’m doing. You can tell me what you doing and we’ll get as many people as we can moving at least for that day.

Twitter: David Brown @higherpowerfix.

 

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I have been putting a few things on twitter for about 3 years. I wanted to focus on Meditation and Scientific Prayer. Then this year I started to put this blog’s link up to try to get more readers. I got a few. Now I am adding #walkingwednesday to the tweets. Your walk can be a meditation or just for fitness. Your whole body will benefit. If you are running in the jungles of Hawaii, post a picture. If you are walking with your support walker, sent a note and a photo. If you live in snow country, show me the mall walk. If you can do it with a friend or 10, let me know. It’s a movement.

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What to do next?

Everyone needs a plan or your resolution will go wherever last years went. There are lots of plans available so here is a “4 week Power Walking Plan for Weight Loss” from MyFitnessPal by Jessica Smith.

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YOUR WEEKLY GOAL

With this plan, you’ll aim to burn an average of 300 calories per day, with a combination of walking, strength training and stretching. General recommendations are walking three days/week, strength training for 2–3 days/week and flexibility training two days/week (or more), but should be adjusted to meet your current fitness level and schedule. Do this cycle four times and notice how much stronger you get each week.

FOR INTENSITY: POWERED-UP PACE WALK (3040 MINUTES)

Begin at an easy pace with a 5-minute walk to warm up your body, then use this 2-2-1 interval structure to power up your pace for 20–30 minutes.

  • 2 minutes: Walk at a brisk, but steady, pace (intensity: 5 out of 10*; you should be able to talk but your breathing will be quick).
  • 2 minutes: Move at a brisk, but steady, pace (intensity: 7/10; you should be able to answer short, brief questions, not carry on a full conversation).
  • 1 minute: Power up your pace as fast as you can, pumping your arms quickly to propel you faster (intensity: 8/10; this should feel very difficult, but manageable for 60 seconds).

Repeat the entire series of 5-minute intervals 4 times for a 30-minute walk and 6 times for a 40-minute walk (totals leave time for a 5-minute warmup and 5-minute cooldown).

Adding bursts of intensity like this during your walk is a great way to burn more fat in less time, without having to add the impact of jogging or running. Wind down your walk with a cooldown of about 5 minutes at an easy pace to recover your breathing and heart rate (you may also want to end your walk with these simple, total body stretches).

FOR ENDURANCE: STEADY STATE WALK (40–50 MINUTES)

Begin with an easy pace, 5-minute walk to warm up your body, then maintain a brisk, but steady, walking pace (intensity level 5–6) for 30–40 minutes. Cooldown for about 5 minutes, moving at an easy pace to recover your breathing and heart rate (you may also want to end your walk with simple, total-body stretches).

STRENGTH TRAINING (20–30 MINUTES)

Perform total body, strength-building movements using your bodyweight, dumbbells, resistance bands or whatever equipment you prefer.

STRETCHING (3–15 MINUTES)

Stretching can be done after your walks if it’s convenient for you, or at another time of your choosing. Focus on stretching your entire body evenly, paying extra attention and spending more time with areas that may be tight or stiff (for more stretching tips click here).

ACTIVE REST DAY

Stretch, garden, take a leisurely bike ride or stroll around the neighborhood. The point is to take a day off of “exercise” but you can still stay in motion while you ‘rest’ your body!

*Intensity scale of 1–10 refers to 10 being absolute maximal effort and 1 being no effort at all.

TIPS

Depending on your starting point, you’ll want to adapt the plan to meet your current fitness level and schedule. If you are just beginning to exercise, you may need to reduce your days per week and/or the length of your daily sessions. Each week, you can add 1 day of training or extend your session by 5 minutes to progressively increase your workload without overdoing it. Tailor it to meet your needs and preferences so it’s easy to stick with and that you can stay consistent with the plan because consistency is the key to getting (and maintaining) results!

Remember, while you might not burn as many calories during a strength-training session, by adding more muscle to your frame, you are adding more metabolically active tissue to your body (muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat). Don’t sweat it if you fall short of your 300-calorie goal on strength days — you are making important changes to your body with resistance training that will help change your body composition and shape over the long term.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Smith

Jessica SmithAs someone who struggled to lose weight for years, Jessica found that the key to her own 40-pound weight loss was making small, healthy lifestyle changes that led to big, lasting results. Now, as a certified wellcoach, fitness instructor and personal trainer, she has spent the last 15 years helping students and clients reach their goals in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami. She now reaches millions online through her YouTube Channel and home exercise DVD series. Please visit walkonwalkstrong.com to learn more about her fun, results-driven programs for all levels of exercise.

Be Healthy and tell me how it is working.

In the Spirit,

Dave