Wealthy Health-Wise

keeping it small & simple

10 Reasons Why You Should be Practicing Tai Chi September 22, 2011

Filed under: Medicine — Kazi @ 11:54 pm
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Their doing it in the park
their doing it after dark
Tai Chi, Oh yeah

OK, so I got a little creative with the songs’ original lyrics. But you must admit, Tai Chi fits nicely into the Rock Creek Park chorus.

Tai Chi is a Chinese internal martial art. One of the many exercise forms that fall under the greater umbrella of what the Chinese call Chi Kung (or Qi Gong). These exercises are not reserved for the martial arts community. Tai Chi is practiced by people from all walks of life. Young and old, strong and frail, athletes and scholars. Everyone can benefit by adding a regular Tai Chi practice to their self-healing regimen.

Here are 10+ Reasons Why You Should be practicing Tai Chi.

1. Tai Chi is Safe, efficient and effective (SEE) – i have yet to hear of anyone being injured by participating in Tai Chi practice. The movements are slow and grounded. There is no dangerous equipment involved.

2. Efficient practicing Tai Chi for 20 minutes a day can have a tremendous positive effect upon your health, strength and flexibility. You get a substantial return on your energy/time investment.

3. Effective- unlike many of the new fad exercises and equipment popping up every other day on our televisions and internet, Tai Chi has been around for over a thousand years. First, only being handed down within Chinese family lineages. Tai Chi’s effectiveness as a health tonic has led to its spread throughout the known world. Many progressive health centers like the Mayo Clinic recommend Tai Chi to their patients and in many cases have an instructor on staff.

4. Tai Chi fosters stress resilience. In addition to the myo-facial workout, Tai Chi’s mental focus and breathing techniques teach you how to recognize and reduce stress within the mind-body continuum.

5. You can practice alone or in a group. Are you the solitary type? Do you like to really focus during your exercise? Or does a group atmosphere motivate you and allow you to meet new, like-minded friends? Well, either way you can find Tai Chi instruction that fits your preferences.

6. No additional equipment necessary. All you need it your able body, desire and an instructor. There are more advanced forms of Tai Chi that uses a sword as a practice weapon. But it will be some time before you are ready to tackle this level, if you choose.

7. Gets you outdoors. Tai Chi can be practiced anywhere, but you get the most benefit practicing in the outdoors. preferably in a natural setting. The fresh air (deep breathing is a crucial part of Tai Chi), the sunlight  (many Americans are significantly Vitamin D deficient) and the sounds of nature, add unparalleled healing elements to your Tai Chi practice.

8. Cost effective. Tai Chi is a choreographed movement. And so the key to learning it is practice, practice, practice. You can progress just fine attending 1 sessions per week. The rest of your practice is done on your own or with other classmates, in between sessions with your instructor.

9. Tai Chi practice creates body awareness. Practicing Tai Chi teaches you how to listen to your body. You will begin to notice how your body reacts to your movement and develop a greater awareness of your energy level through the day. The little changes in body function that would have previously gone unnoticed, will become more apparent. This is extremely helpful for western men, who have been raised to ignore pain and use our bodies to the edge of abuse, before seeking out the assistance of a healing professional.

10. No special fitness apparel required. As long as your regular clothing is not tight and allows you to move freely (you need to take some big steps, raise you arms high, pivot and twist at the hip), you will have no problem practicing on your lunch break and returning to you desk without a shower and change of cloths.

A more significant motivator should be how Tai Chi practice can benefit your health. Researchers have found that intensive Tai Chi practice shows some favorable effects on:

  • the promotion of balance control, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness
  • has shown to reduce the risk of falls in both healthy elderly patients, and those recovering from chronic stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and fibromyalgia,.
  • Tai chi’s gentle, low impact movements burn more calories than surfing and nearly as many as downhill skiing.
  • reduced levels of LDL’s 20–26 milligrams when practiced for 12–14 weeks.
  • compared to regular stretching showed the ability to greatly reduce pain and improve overall physical and mental health in people over 60 with severe osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • A pilot study has found preliminary evidence that tai chi and related qigong may reduce the severity of diabetes.
  • In a randomized trial of 66 patients with fibromyalgia, the tai chi intervention group did significantly better in terms of pain, fatigue, sleeplessness and depression than a comparable group given stretching exercises and wellness education.
  • A systematic review funded in part by the U.S. government, of the current (as of 2010) studies on the effects of practicing Tai Chi found that, 1 hour to 1 year of regular Tai Chi significantly increased psychological well-being including reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhanced mood in community-dwelling healthy participants and in patients with chronic conditions. Seven observational studies with relatively large sample sizes reinforced the beneficial association between Tai Chi practice and psychological health.”

Now that you know what you’re missing:

Join The Medicine Movement – Fall Tai Chi Schedule

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No Health. No Wealth. Getting Our Priorities Straight October 21, 2010

Filed under: Health,Lifestyle — Kazi @ 6:00 am
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A sharp mind and a healthy body are fundamental to success in life and career. If your are in a business that demands critical decision making, stamina and a positive attitude, being healthy is particularly important.

How many of us these days suffer the stresses of long hours, multitasking and back to back deadlines. In addition to business and career pressures, we have family and community responsibilities pulling from every direction.

The stress that such a lifestyle can produce is enough to challenge the strength of your body and mind.

When you are unable to attend a critical business meeting due to a health issue, your colleagues will surely understand, but make no doubt about it, there will also be a certain level of disappointment and dissatisfaction in the atmosphere. If this becomes a pattern for you, their tolerance will swiftly fade.

A common cold, headache or twisted ankle can reduce you performance and jeopardize an important project. Imagine what a major illness could have on your plans.

So in addition to the hard and soft skills needed for success in your career, your health should be considered as a major asset to success in whatever field or venture you pursue.

Start viewing your health as part of your resume or as a key resource in you business plan.

Take proactive steps to make sure you prepare yourself physically, psycho-emotionally and socially to handle the challenges of your busy life.

Preventive health practices that foster and support vitality, clear thinking, restful sleep and and good digestion, should be included in your arsenal of strategies for business success.

Here are some key practices to help you obtain and maintain a healthy, happy body and mind.

  • Be sure to get enough sleep each night. Condition your sleep cycle by getting in bed at the same time every night.
  • Pay attention to your diet. Don’t treat your diet as casually as you do a trip to the toilet. Eat fresh, whole foods that sustain, energize and heal you naturally. Be sure to supplement your diet with super food snacks & herbs that fill in the nutritional gaps in your main meals.
  • Make exercise a daily routine. It doesn’t have to be a 60 minute sweat fest. I0-20 min. of vigorous exercise, 3-5 days a week, will keep you in shape once you’ve attained a healthy level of fitness for your age.
  • Your body is your personal temple. Keep it as clean as a house of worship erected as a dwelling space for divine. Inside and Out.  Add a seasonal detox and a regular trip to the sauna to your health maintenance schedule.
  • Don’t dwell on negative thoughts and emotions. Address any situation that has become a distraction directly. Then let it go and move on. Present your case in a calm but direct face to face or written messages that expresses your concerns.
  • Make time to share, consult, support and be nurtured by your social network. Whether family or friends. Make sure you are not isolated and have a circle of people to connect with who are not involved in your career.

The old attitude of putting your health on the back burner because your business comes first, is passe.

The compartmentalized model of life is slowly fading into the sunset as the integrated model that connects all aspects of our lives into one whole re-emerges on the opposite horizon.

Allow it to become your path to wealth, wisdom and good health.

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7 Seasonal Adjustments to Balance Your Health-Fitness Routine October 8, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 9:43 pm
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I was sitting on my back porch today. Soaking up the last rays of warmth before the sun dips further south. Most of the trees here are still pretty green. There are some scattered red and orange beauties, making their transition. And the few golden-yellow giants in the distance confirm that the first chill is not far away.

Autumn, more commonly known as fall is a season in which “things fall apart.” The leaves fall from the trees and fruit from the vine. Signaling the time for harvest, in-gathering and grounding.

The wise woman & man recognize the change of season as a shift in the energy governing the earth’s life, health and strength. To take advantage of the spirit of the season, it’s necessary to adjust our schedules, activities and diets to our environment.


Here are 7 suggestions to help get the most out of the cool-drying nature of Autumn.

1.Earlier to bed, later to rise.

Like the Sun, we can benefit by shortening our day. Add an extra ½ hour to your down time. You can add thirty minutes at each end of your rise and retire cycle or use the time for internal work like reading scripture/spiritual literature, contemplating nature or the stars, writing in your day/dream journal.


2.Nutrients in, garbage out.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the lungs and colon energy correspond to the fall season. Extra attention should be given to balancing any deficiencies in their function. Clean your nostrils each morning with the aid of a Netty pot, using slight sea salted water. Reduce your intake of mucus forming foods. Use expectorant herbs as a cordial tea to keep the lungs clear. The skin is a direct extension of the colon. Brushing the skin with a loofah or other wet brush will exfoliate the dead skin and stimulate circulation. Eat locally grown, fresh, fibrous fruits and vegetables to help clean the colon. In some instances, a colonic may be in order.


3.Fall back.

Reduce the intensity, length or frequency of your fitness regime. Harvest and begin storing life force in your energy channels to sustain you in the cold season when the sun will be scarce. Try one of these suggestions- if your working out 6 days a week, give yourself an extra day of rest. Train for 40 min. instead of an hour. Don’t increase your max weight or cardio/duration until the spring.


4.Work your inside game.

Increase you meditative and energy exercise time. Move from the outside in. The internal martial arts are excellent for balancing and fortifying your inner bodies. Practice standing and moving meditation forms to ground your mind-body. Release excess toxins into the earth, so that they can be transformed into life-sustaining energy. Yoga and Chi Kung are among the most popular forms practiced in the U.S. today. Find a teacher now and use the fall/winter seasons to build the foundation of your practice.


5.Enjoy the harvest.

Eat foods that are locally in season. Apple picking opportunities are available on farms throughout the east coast of the U.S. right about now. Take the family, get all the apples you can eat and have a blast doing it. Eat as much fall harvest food as you can: artichoke, arugula, broccoli, endive, beets, broccoli raabe, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, celery, chard, chicories, cranberries,eggplant, fennel, garlic, horseradish, kale, scallion, green onion, leeks, okra, pears, peppers, grapes, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkin, radish, spinach, sweet potato, turnips, squash and zucchini.


6.Baton down the hatches.

Start fortifying your residence against the coming wind and cold. Seal the windows and doors. Stock up wood for the fireplace. Stock up on rock salt for melting ice. Have your furnace serviced. Flush the radiators. Flush all gas powered garden equipment. Prepare to bring in the potted plants. Put away your garden hoses. Cover the swimming pool. Rearrange furniture to take advantage of the warmth of light from southern windows. Change your wardrobe. Put away the spring/summer clothing in exchange for the cold weather gear. Winterize your car.


7.Give thanks.

When we harvest the benefits of our hard work, we have to keep in mind that very little is accomplished alone. There are forces helping us both seen and unseen. Be grateful for all of the people who support, encourage, guide and challenge us. Give thanks to whatever force you hold to be “greater than yourself”, for allowing you an opportunity to live another day and make your unique contribution to the world. There is someone in the world right now, that would give anything to be in your shoes . . . . . . literally.


Those who do not lose their base endure
Those who die but do not perish have longevity
Lao Tzu – Tao Te Ching

Above quote by permission of Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths in 2006.


 

Removing the Obstacles to Health and Fitness Success June 5, 2010

Filed under: Health,Personal Development,Wellness — Kazi @ 5:20 pm
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As a health & wellness professional, I am privileged to serve in the capacity of a catalyst for change.  Most clients are interested in things like weight loss, chronic disease prevention, post rehab. training, stress management, pain management and some want to totally transform their lifestyle to attain and maintain better health.

Far too often, I encounter people who are prevented from pursuing their health goals with passion due to both real and imaginary obstacles. Obstacles that make their goals seem impossible.  One real obstacle to pursuing a healthy lifestyle is finances.

There are still many Americans living on subsistence wages who find it very difficult to shop for the best food or find housing in an environment that is healthy for their families.  Spending money on organic food, spa treatments and fitness training, even in a group setting is out of the question. The working poor are still a reality in this country.

Another major obstacle that can thwart a healthy lifestyle transformation is a defeated mindset. In many cases the people with financial instability also suffer from poor mental models that inhibit the manifestation of their desire to change both their financial situation and their poor health.

Health in it’s totality is a reflection of an organism which embraces and exudes love, peace and happiness. These are experiences that are not limited to our physical being. They require an integration of our personal, social, environmental and universal beings.

I am convinced that this integral approach is needed in order for people to achieve the healthy life they truly desire.  So I have decided to expand the scope of my service to embrace a personal development model that educates and coaches individuals and groups in the mindset, skills and strategies that lead to a lifestyle that fosters and enhances not only health, but wealth and wisdom also.  Thus, Healthy Wealth-Wise.

I know that the experts would advise against such a move. Expert wisdom is to specialize and reduce your scope of practice. Fortunately, I am not an expert.  I know that I am tackling an enormous problem and that is exactly why it will be an extraordinary accomplishment for me.

My success in this venture will allow me to impact the lives of a greater number of people and exercise presently underutilized talents as an educator and coach.  Leading to a greater sense of accomplishment and wholeness for both myself and those I serve.

To accomplish this refocusing and retooling of my business model, I have enlisted the services of Goals and Accountability Coach Vernon Muhammad and his Six Weeks to Sunrise Teleseminar, to guide and support me through the process of producing Extraordinary Results.

So stay tuned for new themes and topics in future post. But don’t despair if you have come to look forward to the health related post I’ve been writing.  Without Health, how could we enjoy or wealth or share our wisdom.

muchpeace,
Kazi

www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com

www.twitter.com/50andFit

 

Sitting Bull April 20, 2010

Filed under: Health,Lifestyle — Kazi @ 9:22 pm
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A healthy lifestyle addresses all of the aspects of our lives that contribute to our ability to thrive physically,socially and psychologically. No stone should be left unturned. These three components of our lives are integrated.  They support each other, inform each other and work together as a unified whole that is the cornerstone of true health.

As you already know.  I am a stickler for efficiency when it comes to health and healing power tools (strategies, techniques). I am a believer in the acronym KISS: keep it small and simple.  So anytime I find a tool that is not only safe, effective and efficient, but addresses more than one of these crucial areas of our being at once. I incorporate it into my way of life. One essential power tool that I discovered over 30 years ago and have been committed to for over 20 years is the practice of meditation.

Meditation practice addresses the physical body through relieving stress and resetting the sub-conscious, life maintenance faculties of our being, in the way that you re-start your computer after a minor crash.

Meditation teaches us patience and to pause the constant ego chatter that prevents us from truly hearing and connecting beyond our own self interest, without becoming a slave to tribal, common senser standards of right and wrong.


Meditation also acquaints you with that part of your self that is quiet, non-judgmental and most important enduring.  The part that is always and forever in the here and now, which is all there is. Making this acquaintance is the key to mind health and to tapping the wealth of the psyche.

Here is another simple meditation practice you can begin today.

  1. Find a comfortable, quiet space.
  2. Sit erect, but not tense on the edge of your seat.
  3. Breathe deeply and slowly into your belly (your chest and shoulders should not rise and fall).
  4. Mentally scan your body from head to toe for areas of tension and release them.
  5. Now, begin counting backwards from 100. Counting one number for each inhalation and each exhalation.
  6. If at any point you lose count, return to 100. Do not become frustrated. Losing count is normal in the beginning. It too shall pass.
  7. When you arrive at 0, just sit quietly and listen. Just listen.
  8. After 5-10 minutes, very slowwwly open your eyes.
  9. When your focus fully returns to the outer world, slowly stand and end your practice.

Run this experiment for 28 days (four weeks) and keep a journal of your experience during the practice and of new things you notice in your physical, social and psychological life since beginning the practice.  Come back and share with us your findings.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating!
bro. jamal

muchpeace,
Kazi

PS. Free Pre-Boot Camp continues Thursday. 5 sessions remaining.
www.mybodytemple.net
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kazi@mybdoytemple.net

 

The Exerpill. Side effects may cause……, ……,……,……,……. April 19, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Health,Lifestyle — Kazi @ 11:31 pm
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Here we go again!

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water (ok the gym, park, garden, basement; wherever you get your workout on), here is another pharmaceutical mirage, aimed at getting your attention and keeping you fixated to your couch.

LA Times August 1, 2008 reported: AICAR: Scientists say they’ve put exercise in a pill.

Salk Institute for Biological Studies Ronald Evans holds a vial of a drug that boosts the effects of exercise in mice. Evans works at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Ca. Researchers experiment with a chemical compound that they say can produce the benefits of aerobic activity without the work.

Physicians, public health officials, employers, researchers and average folk all agree: America needs to get off its ass and get moving. We’ve got the largest obesity epidemic in history, right here in our laps and the latest hype is about how science is going to save the day by allowing us to have our cake and eat it too. All 2,000 calories of it. But professor Krump (sorry Eddie) is going to protect us with another miracle pill.

AICAR has been tested in humans for a variety of conditions since the 1980s as a means of preserving blood flow to the heart during surgery. But the interest in AICAR as an exercise substitute is the result of the research of Ronald Evans, a molecular physiologist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Evens made headlines in 2004 for engineering “marathon mice. He accomplished this by means of injecting a single gene into a fertilized egg.

Evans then turned his research to the possibility of getting the same results with a drug. Enter AICAR, a drug that closely resembles a nucleotide that prompts the production of an enzyme that activates the high-endurance genes. To everyone’s surprise, the experiment worked. The result is a chemical compound that drastically elevates the fat burning chemistry in mice, in the absence of exercise. Evans predicted that in the wake of his study, published in the journal Cell, the drug would “fly off the shelves.” You don’t say!

Let’s just say this pill actually works with humans. What do you get for the ability to remain on the couch? The fat burning equivalent of aerobic exercise. Ok,

  • but how do you prevent the muscle wasting (loss) that occurs in the absence of strength training.
  • the actual act of exercise can help improve cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, reduce mental stress, reduce depression and strengthen bones. Are you going to wait on the couch until a pill is developed to achieve this too?
  • does this give folks a green light to eat any and every brightly wrapped, highly processed, toxic excuse for real food on the shelves of you local super duper mart?
  • will the user of this drug get the same self-esteem boost that comes from adopting a healthy lifestyle and witnessing the positive physical, psychological, social and economic effects it produces?
  • Is this the kind of therapy universal health care will fund?

The compound, which is naturally produced in tiny amounts in human muscle cells and has been studied for decades, is readily available through scientific supply companies. One company was offering AICAR for $120 a gram. At that price, giving a person the drug in the same concentration the mice got would cost thousands of dollars a day.

For the record, let me say: if AICAR turns out to be an effective, safe means of preserving blood flow to the heart during surgery and in preventing weight gain in the bed ridden; it should be employed in these circumstances. But to depend on another drug to lose and maintain a healthy weight is yet another step, in a long walk in the wrong direction. Break you dependence on the pharmaceutical industry to fix you once your broken. Use the strength and sense you were born with to “Make Your Lifestyle your Medicine and Your Medicine Your Lifestyle.

Nuff said.

muchpeace,
Kazi

PS. Free Pre-Boot Camp (six sessions) begins this coming Tuesday.
www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com
www.twitter.com/50andFit

kazi@mybdoytemple.net

 

Knead To Know April 18, 2010

Filed under: Bodywork,Fitness,Health — Kazi @ 2:07 pm
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I guess it was somewhere in my thirties that I began to become intimately cognizant of my mortality. My bodies ability to mask and repair damage quickly and in the background, began to falter. I started noticing little kinks and aches that lasted beyond the initial incident and linger with me like that kid in grade school who just didn’t get the hint- “I don’t really want to be your friend dude.” Don’t judge me, it was grade school.

Since then, the incidents of aches, pain and accidents incurred while executing movements that I previously pulled of with my eyes closed, have increased exponentially. Truth be told, this is one of the reasons I became a fitness trainer.  I’ve always been an information junkie. I needed to know what the heck was going on and what could I do to prevent it.

My research revealed that I needed to change the way I was treating my body. I needed develop a program to strengthen my areas of skeleto-muscular weakness and relax their corresponding excesses.  Through self experimentation I discovered that many of my aches were do to hypertonicity.

Hypertonicity is an increased tension of the muscles, meaning the muscle tone is abnormally rigid, hampering proper movement. This condition is the opposite of hypotonicity. Hypotonicity is a decreased tension in muscle tone. A lack of muscle tone inhibits proper movement as the muscle is not developed or is too soft to support the body.

So, information junkie that I am, the next stop for me was massage school.  There I learned simple time tested techniques for relieving hypertonic muscles.  But there was still a problem.  Occasionally I would have pain on my own body that I either could not reach or could not apply the proper pressure in order to relieve the pain.  Back to the drawing board.

The solutions I found were in the use of a few simple inexpensive tools that everyone (at least everyone over the age of 35) should have in there homes.  First up, the Thera Cane. This is a deep pressure massage device that can be used to gently (or not so gently) massage muscles on any part of the body.  What I like most about the Thera Cane, is that it greatly reduces the amount of strength you need to get deep into the muscle. I use it mainly for trigger point work. Relieving a trigger point requires that you apply continuous pressure to a pin point area for up to a minute. Sounds simple until those minutes start adding up.  You can get a Thera Cane online for about $30.

The Dolphin Massager gets the most use in my arsenal. Slaving over a hot computer to bring you folk these illuminating and popular post (i have total of 10 followers as of today, woohooooo!) can lead to aching upper back, shoulder and neck muscles.  The dolphin relieves that pain for me in a matter of minutes. It’s also good for relieving lower back ache.  A client was purchasing these to give as Christmas gifts a few years back.  Sharper image was going out of business and selling them for about $20 bucks each.  I asked her to get me one also. (are yo u starting to see a pattern here. some say i’m cheap, i prefer frugal.) The Budgetnista would be proud of me). This is a purchase that has paid for itself a thousandfold.

Research over the last ten years has directed the attention of bodyworkers and fitness professionals to put more time into releasing myofacial tissue.  Muscles are covered with a sheath of connective tissue (fascia) that helps them glide over surrounding tissues.  This tissue can loose its pliability and stick to adjacent muscles, bones or ligaments. I use foam rolls and my own body weight, to reduce pain and tension resulting from restricted fascia. Foam rollers run anywhere from $15 to $40 depending upon the length, type of foam and manufacturer.

Ball of varying sizes can also be used for myofacial release work. There are balls made specifically for this technique, but tennis balls, soft medicine balls and other firm balls of various sizes have worked just fine for me.

So if you suffer from acute aches and pains and looking for some tools and techniques to help you spell relief. Give these a try. If you need some extra direction, hit me up.

muchpeace,
Kazi

PS. Free Pre-Boot Camp (six sessions) begins this coming Tuesday.
www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com
www.twitter.com/50andFit

kazi@mybdoytemple.net

 

In Season April 17, 2010

Filed under: Food,Health,Lifestyle,Wellness — Kazi @ 9:46 pm
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Here is a tasty dish that you can whip up in about 10 minutes. It’s lite, nutritious and green (read PC).  It is rich in monounsaturated fat and full of protective phytochemicals and fiber. I would lean towards buying organic to avoid any pesticides or other chemical exposure, but you decide. Either way this is a great meal, especially during this time of year.

Avocado-Broccoli Salad

1 pound broccoli
1 ripe avocado
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon grainy prepared mustard

  1. Trim and wash the broccoli and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Steam or boil the broccoli in a large pot until it is just crunchy-tender and bright green, then drain it well, and cool.
  2. Peel and pit the avocado, then cut it into small cubes. Fold the avocado into the broccoli.
  3. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard together in a small bowl, until well mixed.
  4. Toss the broccoli and avocado with the dressing.

Simple – Quick – Tasty

muchpeace,
Kazi

PS. Free Pre-Boot Camp (six sessions) begins this coming Tuesday.
www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com
www.twitter.com/50andFit

 

Work In, When You Can’t Workout April 16, 2010

Although I’ve been enjoying the outdoors lately, working out in the open air, getting inspiration from the other folks exercising in my local park. There are those days when it rains and I just have to settle for a home gym training session. So is life. Flexibility is my middle name (well, at least for the sake of this post).  When the heavens hand me a lemon. I proceed to make lemon aide.

Simple indoor workout to keep me 50andFit:

20 min. on Schwinn Airdyne Stationary Bike. If you’re not familiar with this piece of equipment, the movable arms allow you to get an upper body (arms), lower body and cardio workout all at once. (I’m really big on efficiency. Just not an hours in the gym kind of guy.)You can even place your feet on the pegs and power the bike using your arms alone. This is a great stationary bike for athletes, beginners and even someone using it for rehab purposes.

I purchased mine used, from someone on Craigs List about 5 years ago (evolution model) for about $150.  It was practically brand new,although the owner had the machine for over 3years. This is often the case with exercise equipment. Folks commonly make the purchase, use the device for a month or two, then it becomes a clothing hanger. One day I’ll tell you how I got a bow flex machine for $0.00.

Added bonus in using the Airdyne: the resistance is provided by a fan which replaces the front wheel. Once you get this baby going, the fan provides a welcomed breeze while you ride.

An alternative for those who already own a bike, is to get a stationary bike stand or trainer which allows you to turn your road bike into a stationary bike.

Add a little music (I like to listen to audio books) and you get your workout indoors.

muchpeace,
Kazi

PS. Free Pre-Boot Camp (six sessions) begins this coming Tuesday.
www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com
www.twitter.com/50andFit

 

Believe You Me April 14, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Health,Lifestyle,Mind,Movement,Wellness — Kazi @ 9:29 pm
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Because I am a fitness professional, people often assume that my philosophy on health revolves around physical exercise.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Physical exercise is a important and integral part of any health and wellness program, but it’s not the be all and end all.

In working with private clients, I try to drive home to them that attaining and maintaining a healthy lifestyle revolves around six key components. They are: diet, exercise, hygiene, sleep, mindset and social support.  These are the bedrock of an effective and holistic healthy lifestyle program.  But if I had to choose one, as the most significant in the effect it has upon a persons success in their attempt to get and stay healthy; I would have to go with mindset.

Your mindset is the mental model that informs your value system, your goals, ethics, self-esteem, social interactions and in fact your reality.  Your belief system is the filter through which everything you experience and perceive is screened to be accepted, rejected or modified.  Some of these beliefs you are very much aware of and others have long ago receded into the unconscious.

When you decide to make some changes in your lifestyle in order to improve your own and your families health, it’s because of the value you have placed on health in your head.  Just as important as your value for health, is your belief in your ability to make the changes necessary and degree of confidence you have in the method or professional you choose to aid you in reaching your goal.

If you approach the task of transforming your lifestyle with a head full of doubts and negative thinking, you are almost sure to fail. Likewise a lack of confidence in the person you have chosen to help you, may very well render you un-coachable.   Both of these attitudes lead to self sabotage.  Fortunately, like behavior, your beliefs and attitudes although deep rooted can be modified.

In essence, when choosing a program that involves any kind of behavior change.  Make sure it addresses the powerful influence played by the unseen, intangible and elusive committee of beliefs.  Once you are successful in getting your head centered in the game, you are guaranteed to be a winner.

“With confidence, you have won before you have started”
Marcus Garvey

muchpeaceluv,
Kazi CPT, CMT

PS. Free Pre-Boot Camp (six sessions) begins this coming Tuesday.
www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com
www.twitter.com/50andFit

 

Warm Up Before You Heat Up April 13, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Fitness,Health,Movement — Kazi @ 2:58 pm
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Hopefully, my readers belong to the committed few who haven’t strayed away from your New Years Health & Fitness resolutions and continue to make exercise an integral part of the Sacred Lifestyle.  The benefits of exercise are well documented throughout medical journals and the general media. So, I will not bore you with my rant on “why exercise.” If you are reading this blog, I assume, you are already convinced and can skip the lecture.

Let’s get straight to the meat of the matter.  To get the benefits of exercise it is necessary that you do it consistently.  I have found that one of the obstacles to being consistent about exercising is injuries incurred while working out.  Sometimes we are so gung-ho about getting in shape, that we leap into exercising head first.  Although this is great as a motivator, it can lead to unnecessary injuries that can side line you for days, weeks or even months.

A few common practices that may lead to exercise related injury are: Using improper form while executing movements.  Pushing yourself too hard or lifting too much weight is another common way people hurt themselves while training.  The one I would like to offer some assistance with today is injury due to lack of properly warming up before going hard in the gym.

Warming up your body is essential to preventing injury to yourself while you are exercising. Here are a few reasons why you want to warm up:

  • a warmed muscle both contracts more forcefully and relaxes more quickly.
  • improves muscle elasticity, also reducing the risk of strains and pulls.
  • reduces the resistance to blood flow and lower stress on the heart.
  • increased Blood Temperature means a slightly greater volume of oxygen is made available to the working muscles, enhancing endurance and performance.
  • the range of motion around a joint is increased.
  • the warm-up is also a good time to mentally prepare for an event by clearing the mind, increasing focus, reviewing skills and strategy.

In essence, warming up not only helps to prevent injury, it enhances performance and allows you to get the most benefit from your exercise routine.

Here is a video of me demonstrating some dynamic warm up movements developed by fitness professional Loren Landaw.

If you have not been warming up before your workout, try this routine.  I am interested in hearing how this warm up effects your workout routine in general.  So leave me a post after you have tried it for a week or so.

muchpeaceluv,

Kazi- CPT, CMT

PS. Free Pre-Boot Camp begins April 20

www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com
www.twitter.com/50andFit

 

Magnolias, Lilac and Sage – Oh my! April 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kazi @ 9:30 pm
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Here I go again. Running my mouth about the spectacle of spring. I can’t help it. Ever since I was a child, spring always had a way of capturing my attention and giving and connecting me to the earth. It’s as if the world just becomes a much Kinder and Gentler (my favorite Bushism) planet, with unending opportunities for discovery.

So, I bump into my neighbor Joann today. She insist I come and experience the aromatic cacophony unfolding in her backyard. Her two big magnolia trees blossomed last week and are dropping the petals all over the place. Now if you have ever seen magnolias in bloom, I don’t have to tell you, it’s a beautiful sight. They are hot pink,white and large. The flip side is when the petals fall they decompose very quickly and turn brown. Not pretty. But the fragrance is fabulous. It takes over the air.

Next, we walk over to the lilac tree. You have to get very close to smell the fragrance, but when you get a whiff, man it’s heaven. Not to mention, the lilac flowers are some of natures eye candy.

In the back of the yard are three tall pine trees. Because the one in the middle is the tallest and they are so close together, the actually look like one huge pine from afar. When we walked up to the pines, the scent of pine needles made a bee line for my olfactory nerve. I got a rush that any drug addict worth there salt would die for. Ok, my secret is out. I am a certified tree huger. I’m not ashamed to claim it. I’m secure in my masculinity 🙂

Last on the list was the herb garden. The leaves of sage and thyme were just making their appearance, but their odor was already strong. I found the thyme to have a spicy odor. The sage reminded me of an astringent type of sour. Fresh herbs added to your food (at the right moment) in addition to the nutrients and flavor the contribute, bring fragrances that supplement the saying of grace They alert the taste bud and the digestive system to prep the house for the family reunion that is about to occur. We are what we eat.

So Kazi, that all sounds real nice and natury (I made that word up), but what does it all have to do with health and fitness. Well, whole health goes beyond working out and eating a balanced diet. A healthy lifestyle attunes you to the gifts, wonder and downright awesomeness of the everyday world around us. The ability to appreciate the simple things, the natural things, is a sign of a healthy body and psyche.

We spend so much time looking for happiness in things that have to be acquired or achieved. As if happiness has to be earned. I know this is the common sensors view of the world. And I agree that happiness can be found in our achievements and acquisitions. But the foundation of our happiness is in our ability to Be. Be-hold the miracle that is the earth. Be-hold the miracle of the creatures of the earth. Be-hold the miracle that is you and I. Be-hold the happiness shared by a flower dying. Grateful to have lived for just a few days. Just to remind us that we all have our time to shine and open the way for the next performance of natures show.

Let’s show our gratefulness for our common home. When nature smile on us, smile back.

muchpeaceluv,

Kazi

PS. Check out my upcoming Seated Massage Workshop

www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com
www.twitter.com/50andFit

 

On the 7th day he rested April 11, 2010

An integral factor in improving and maintaining health, wellness and fitness is often overlooked by the strong and the young. This factor is rest and rejuvenation. As members of a society that promotes the aggressive pursuit of goals, wealth and power, we have all been subliminally seduced into accepting the idea that work and play are both superior to rest.

We put the energetic, go getters on a pedestal of some inferred psycho-physical superiority that the rest of us should some how strive to match or at least concede our inferiority as mere mortals. Rest is viewed as a reward for our labor, not a major contributor to our health and happiness.

Fortunately, our lives are not completely in the hands of our belief systems and social pressures. Rest is something we cannot LIVE without. Sleep is an unavoidable, consequence of our daily energy expenditure and need for psychological and biological repair.

That part of our psyche that does not depend on outer, social, man made judgments to keep us alive, has no problem reducing our work output and shutting us down if necessary, when we don’t get proper rest. So let’s take heed to the guidance of our inner physician and make rest, recovery an integral part of our wellness regime.

Here are a few ways to ensure your getting the down time you need:

  • try to get to bed at approximately the same hour each night.
  • If you work from home, rise early and schedule a 15-20 minute siesta/cat nap into your day.
  • Take 3 minutes when transitioning from a completed task to begin a new one to just sit and release.
  • Schedule a vacation, staycation) or spiritual retreat into your annual calendar.
  • Hit the spa or schedule an appointment with a bodywork therapist at least once a month.
  • Get out of the city at least one weekend seasonally.
  • Include an healing art such as Yoga or Tai Chi as part of your exercise program.
  • Develop body awareness. Your body will let you know when it needs a break. This could help you avoid unnecessary down time.

muchpeaceluv,
Kazi

PS. Check out my upcoming Seated Massage Workshop

www.mybodytemple.net
www.mybodyfitbootcamp.com
www.twitter.com/50andFit

 

Compassionate Confrontation with Comfort April 10, 2010

In the past couple of weeks I have stepped up my own fitness routine to take advantage of the exuberant energy of the season and to prepare for the Spring/Summer season of BodyFit Boot Camp at Branch Brook Park in Newark. Over the years, when exercising at a challenging intensity I’ve become well acquainted with my minds borderline panic reaction to physical stress.

When we exercise our bodies at a level it has not been accustomed to, when we push or get pushed beyond our comfort zone, our mind sounds a crisis scale alarm before we even enter our personal Red Zone. The alarm takes on various tones. Rationalizations- logical, reasonable arguments that support the idea of letting up – “Take it down now and go hard on the next set.” Suddenly remembering something Important and slowing down to “….gather your thoughts.” Or, after the sensation of your lungs and muscles burning, get outright ignorant with some “what da fuk am I doin, this sht is crazy.” (Pardon my french)

On the flip side, exercising at athletic intensity requires a very monitored field of attention. You don’t have the luxury of allowing your thoughts to drift in whichever direction the wind is blowing. The successful (safe, efficient and effective) application of strength, balance, agility, speed, energy transformation and will; to complete a movement or series of movements is tied directly to ones’ ability to stay in the moment.

So a polarity is set up in the psyche, with the thoughts running in one direction and the attention affixed to another. Some may see this as a less than ideal situation. It is most ideal. It is the ideal opportunity for the sedentary man and women to practice an ancient and simple method of gaining physical and psychological strength, simultaneously. Here is a technique I have found useful. Put it to good use.

  1. In safe surroundings. While performing a movement/exercise you have mastered and can execute with proper form.
  2. Allow your attention to remain fixed on the observation of :
  • your movement in space and in your body
  • the breath entering and leaving your body (don’t try to control it)
    3. When your mind begins to make SUGGESTIONS to let up or stop:
  • scan your body for pain
  • if you find pain, observe it, along with your motion and breath
  • do not comment on the suggestions from the mind keep returning your attention to your movement, breath and body

This is the practice of compassionate confrontation with comfort. It yields strength, body awareness and stress resilience. So don’t just read this post and go back to the couch. These holistic benefits will carry over into every aspect of your life. I dear you to take these 5 simple points and see what a difference they will make in your daily wealth, health and wisdom.

Leave me a comment about your experiences with entering your physical discomfort zone.  I would love to hear it.

Kazi

Rise and Shine Your Light Divine

http://mybodytemple.net
http://mybodyfitbootcamp.com
http://twitter.com/50andFIT

 

Vital Signs April 8, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 3:38 pm
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A good indicator of your cardiovascular health is your Resting Heart Rate (RHR). Your resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats in 1 minute, when your body is at rest.  You can take your pulse at you radial artery (wrist) or carotid artery (neck), counting each pulse/beat for 1 min. The most accurate time to do this is before rising from bed in the morning.  A healthy RHR should be below 90 beats/min.


Your resting heart rate is an indicator of what’s called your Stoke Volume, the amount of blood the left ventricle of the heart fills up with before it pumps that blood through your system.  An increase in stroke volume means the heart does not need to pump as often, hence a decrease in RHR.


Regular cardiovascular or endurance exercise (walking, running, cycling, swimming, etc.) can assist in lowering your RHR and improving your heart health. As you become more fit, your RHR should decrease.


Get Out and Move



 

Springboard April 7, 2010

I pray that everyone is enjoying the transition of the seasons.  I can’t remember my first conscious experience of spring blossoming. What I do remember is being fascinated by how one day the landscape is grey, brown and black.  Soon the rains move in and bring their luggage. They cast  a darkness over the land (da duuuum).  Suddenly, the sun reappears,  high in the sky. This is when the magic happens.  Everywhere is growth, color and fragrance.  The very air is filled with the sound of activity.  Heads that were covered and faces towards the ground (and away from the wind) are revealed. Community returns above ground. I can’t help it.  Every single time, it blows me away. It all happens minus computers, management, paper work, etc.  It’s so elegant and efficient.

When spring reveals itself, I actually feel the same way I do upon awakening in the morning.  Not sure where I’ve been, but I’m very familiar with what’s ahead of me. We use morning water to cleanse and purify the  images, thoughts, memories and judgements we may encounter in the uncensored night.  Morning is when we release and consume water,  salt and fresh.  The water is refreshing, cleansing and connecting. Spring brings the rains.  She splashes water on our heads, gently coaxing the thirsty soul back into this world .

Springs energy is also explosive.  It takes over a previously dormant space and fills it with life, activity, community and beauty. It transforms the landscape so drastically, in such a short time, that it can SHOCK the consciousness into bearing witness to it’s presence.  Spring doesn’t creep up on you.  She explodes into your awareness like plant spirit medicine shamans.  She whirls on one leg sending the wind spinning from the hem of her skirt. The sweat from her head showers sweet water when it shakes like calabash and shekere.  If you allow her to teach you her whirling dance, you can ride the hem of her skirt to the success of your aims.

Our annual wake up call visits us this season. Let’s ride in the direction of the wind. Let’s spend a few days weeding and seeding our psycho-social gardens. Lets’ reach out, touch, expand our family/networks.  Let’s get working on our new projects or new phases of old projects. Let’s Spring Ahead.

Let’s be Rainmakers, Garden Keepers and Truth Sayers again.

muchpeace,
Kazi

Rise and Shine Your Light Divine

http://mybodytemple.net
http://mybodyfitbootcamp.com
http://twitter.com/50andFIT

 

Learn how to ease the stress and pain of your loved ones. April 4, 2010

Filed under: Bodywork,Health,Massage,Stress,Wellness — Kazi @ 7:11 pm
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Seated Massage Workshop – for Partners, Family and Friends.

This workshop is for anyone who would enjoy being able to gift their partners, loved ones and friends with the relaxing, revitalizing response of massage. This workshop will give you the awareness, tools and confidence to give anyone a 10-20 minute seated massage.
Help your partner to relieve the daily stress, ignite their internal healing resources, prepare the body for restful sleep and cultivate the bond of love and mutual healing.

No special tools are required. Your hands and a chair are the only prerequisites to qualify for this workshop. We provide the chair.

To Register go to:
www.mybodytemple.net/events
973-968-6055

 

Shaking Up The Parts to Make a Soluble Whole March 30, 2010

Filed under: Health,Uncategorized — Kazi @ 4:41 pm
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The medicine movement arts have been an integral part of mans’ self-healing protocol since our first steps. Movement is essential to the holistic health of all living things. So much so, that we associate prolonged stillness with death. Although the body is the most apparent beneficiary of regular movement, whether recreational, medicinal or ritual; our mental and spiritual bodies also benefit from regular exercise.

In movement arts such as Yoga, Tai Chi and the various forms of ritual dance, movement is supported by measured breathing and guided by healing intention. The resultant dance elicits a bio-energetic tonic that strengthens the body, while stilling the mind and refueling the soul. Three for the price of one. These are truly holistic exercises.


The benefits of movement forms do not demand decades or even years of practice. The calming, vitalizing effects of these simple exercises can be witnessed the very first time they are practiced. We are in fact, genetically prescribed, hormonally prepared and neuro-chemically pre-disposed to reap the rewards of medicinal movement practice. Of course, the more you practice, the more benefits and mastery you accumulate. Some of the recognized benefits that has brought these arts into the mainstream include: improved cardiovascular health, stress reduction, blood pressure reduction, improved balance and coordination, improved mental clarity and creativity to name a few.

Medicine movement is the missing link in your self-healing arsenal. It is the catalyst of the dormant, unseen nutrients in your food, herbal, supplemental regimen. Movement medicine gently shakes up the medicine bottle of your body, mixing and reactivating the settled particles into a soluble, unified life elixir.  The movement arts are to the body temple, what construction workers are to a building project. The engineer and his workers follow the design of the architect to build a structure to the carry out a pre-defined purpose. The workers use all the tools at their disposal (breath, posture, gesture, attention, discipline, visualization, memory, etc.) to transform the building materials (nutrients, oxygen, blood, libido, neuron-transmitters, hormones, etc.) into a temple worthy of inhabitance by the divine.

RISE and SHINE your LIGHT DIVINE

WWW.MYBODYTEMPLE.NET
WWW.MYBODYFITBOOTCAMP.COM

 

Sweet Dreams March 29, 2010

Here are a few tips that can help to support your quest to secure the restorative sleep you deserve:
  1. Establish a consistent bedtime routine, and try to go to bed at the same time every night. This will help set your body’s internal sleep–wake cycles.
  2. Don’t sleep late on weekends, which can disrupt your pattern. It’s better to get up at your regular time and take a nap later in the day if you need it.
  3. Get plenty of exercise during the day. The more energy you expend during the day, the sleepier you will feel at bedtime.  Don’t exercise within 30 minutes of your bedtime— doing so may make it more difficult to fall asleep.
  4. Reduce or eliminate your intake of caffeine, stimulants and alcohol. Even when consumed early in the day, these can affect sleep.
  5. Avoid large meals late in the evening.
  6. Learn and practice a relaxation technique regularly: Breathing exercises, meditation and yoga are good examples.
  7. Make sure you have a comfortable bed, bedding, and pillows. Foam mattress pads or toppers can also improve your bed’s comfort level.
  8. Take the TV out of the bedroom. You should be sleeping, not watching television late into the night.
  9. Don’t obsess about not sleeping. Instead, remind yourself that while sleeplessness is troublesome, it isn’t life-threatening.

    Put these to use today and get the sleep you need. Sleep is the Repairer and Restorer
 

Meditation Practice for Virgins. March 24, 2010

I will not stack the deck with any explanations on what meditation is, does or what the benefits are.  This way we avoid the power of suggestion.  Just follow the directions below and share with us  your personal experience. Experience is The Best Teacher.

Meditation 101 for First Timers (Virgins).

Find a quiet space. Sit erect, yet relaxed. Feet flat on the floor. Hands resting on your lap.

Softly focus your eyes on the tip of your nose.

Inhale deeply into your abdomen. [when you inhale, only your tummy should expand. Not your chest. If necessary, place your hands on your tummy (navel area) until you feel your tummy expanding with each inhalation.]

Inhale slowly, but not so slow or deep that you find yourself straining. Maintain a relaxed effort.

Pay attention to the sensation of your expanding and contracting  tummy as you breath.  Keep your mind on the sensation you feel with each complete breath.

Periodically check your posture.  If you begin to slouch, gently resume your original erect/relaxed posture.

If your mind wanders (you start thinking about other things (job, lunch, telling your friends how you meditated), return your attention to feeling the sensation of breathing in your tummy.  This will definitely happen. Do not become frustrated.  Just keep bringing attention back until your time is up.

If your eyes become heavy and want to close allow them to close.

When done, open your eyes very slowly.  Then you can begin moving very slowly.

First timers practice for at least 5 minutes.
You can do this a few times a day. Most important, is to practice everyday at least once.

First timers, please post comments on your experience.

“The proof is in the pudding”

 

The 20 Minute Booty Buster March 18, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Fitness,Health,Uncategorized — Kazi @ 6:10 pm
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Getting my workout in late tonight, so I’m going to use one of my favorites. It’s ultra efficient as far as time required, equipment needed and bottom line results.

This routine comes from the folks over at Crossfit.com.  It’s one of their baseline workouts.  They call it Angie (the give their workouts girls names).  It’s very simple and mucho effective.
I have modified it for my goals and purposes.

5 pull ups
10 push ups
20 sit ups
40 squats

Do them back to back.
5 Sets
2 min. rest between sets.

This is a great body weight training routine.  Works your heart, lungs, back, shoulders, biceps, grip, chest, triceps, abdominals, quads, hamstrings and glutes.  All in under 20 min.
Sounds easy. Give it a shot.  Let me know how it went.

 

Smoothies Back In Season March 17, 2010

Filed under: Health,Medicine,Uncategorized — Kazi @ 12:38 pm
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Here is a little somethin somethin to keep you stoked when the 2 O’clock brain fade invades your productivity parade:

Blueberry Blitz

1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen pineapples
1 tbs Berrie Greens (or another green supplement)
1 tbs hemp protein powder (or your fav protein powder)
1/3 eye dropper of  stevia extract

place ingredients into Magic Bullet blender and blend until smooooooooth.

Wallah.

Tell me what you think.

 

Guess who’s coming to dinner? March 16, 2010

Filed under: Detox,Health,Lifestyle,Uncategorized — Kazi @ 5:03 pm
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When we last tuned in,our hero had been fasting for about 2 days and was experiencing symptoms like voices encouraging him to “just say no” , grab a pizza and stop trying to act like a monk.  Well by day three that all passed.  I fact, I was feeling so good on day 4 (which was my day to break the fast on raw food) that I decided to go an extra day (to teach my self a lesson. Ha).  So on saturday I broke the fast and lived on raw food for the next three days.  Needless to say, I feel great.

Eat Me

I did workout on the third day of the fast.  I was able to get about 1/2 way through the strength training routine I had planned.  But started to feel a bit lite in the head, so I cut the workout short to be on the safe side.  I tried this once before and ended up with the same results.  So, I would concur with most who advise against any type of strenuous activity on a liquid fast.  When you can feel your heart beating in your hands and feet.  It’s not really a good sign.

I broke the fast on simple raw food detox diet of spinach, snow peas, and mushroom salad.  I supplemented this with a miso broth.  These are nutritious, easy to prepare, tasty and have enough fiber to get the old GI system up and running again.  I also took some acidopholus tablets to restoring some good bacteria to my bowels.  The day after I started eating, I began having bowel movements again. Oh yeah, forgot to mention; I didn’t have a bowel movement for about 3 1/2 days.  This is common when fasting if your not also taking some type of laxative.  Or should I say, it’s common for me.

So that’s about it. Not exciting stuff, but I hopefully gave you some insight into what to expect on a short fast/detox (4 days fasting and 3 days raw).  If your interested in incorporating fasting or seasonal detoxing into your lifestyle and would like a personalized program, hit my inbox at  ibnallahskazi@gmail.com

 

Will I Am – That I Am March 10, 2010

My taste buds are in an uproar.  They are usually the chief protagonist during a fast.  At least for me.  My taste buds are mad bored right now.  They yearn for something tasty.  Anything really.  Salty, Spicy, Bitter, Sour of Sweet.  Just one stimulating jolt of oral bliss could send me to heaven.  And set me back 2 days.

Fasting has a way of revealing things about you.  Things you may or may not have already known.  One things for sure, you will witness a battle of will vs temptations in the first few days.  But it’s not your belly that’s rebelling, it’s the mind.  The part of your mind that is dedicated to ensuring your survival as a egg/sperm carrying member of the species will prop up every argument against and alternative to not eating.  Especially when it knows good and well that food is readily available.  This too shall pass.  Literally.  Just say no and have a sip of the universal solvent.

Fasting has been promoted as a way of detoxifying the body.  Not sure I would put alot of weight behind that.  What I do know is that it has a way of stilling the mind chatter (after the initial battle), and body tension.  Successful fasting also strengthens your will.  If you can resist the natural inclination to eat when hungry, you can resist most temptations that will enter your life.  This alone is a good reason to make fasting an integral part of your sacred lifestyle.  The part of our brains that will try to sabotage the fast means well.   It is concerned with maintaining the bottom line – survival.  But our ability to tame this part of our nature is what separates us from our animal cousins.  It’s our ability to choose that evolves our humanity.

I hear so much these days about teaching people, especially young people about making the right choices.  But I’m not convinced that we teach people how to build up their choice muscles.  Every box of cigarettes has a warning lable on it’s side that tells us that smoking is hazardous to our health.  Yet, we still have millions of smokers in America and worldwide.  Addiction is the absence of choice.  And addiction is the number one disease in the modern world.  Addiction to substances, the past, comfort, ideas, people, cultures and the hardest one to kick- addiction to who we think we are.  Fasting is preventive and healing medicine for addictions.

Tomorrow I anticipate the experience of physical weakness and frailty.  This is part and parcel of the journey.  The weakness although physical has a profound impact upon the psyche.  When you feel weak, your aggressiveness is automatically diminished.  It’s as if there is a voice in the back of your head saying: “Hey, I don’t want no trouble.”  It makes me very humble.  Humble but not fearful.  It’s like becoming water.  You lose interest in resisting.  When the world pushes, you just roll with the pushes until it wears itself out.  Then extend a hand of assistance to get the world spinning again.   If you really want to walk in master teachers footsteps, try a 40 day fast.  I assure you, you will become a master cheek turner 🙂

 

I’d forget my breakfast, if I was’nt fasting March 9, 2010

Filed under: Health,Uncategorized — Kazi @ 12:30 pm
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So I’m training a client this morning, guiding her through a  strength training  routine we have done several times before. This time we have  increased weight.  As we complete a set and I reached for a few almonds she keeps on a table in the  work out area (I train clients in their homes, residential gyms, offices, etc.).  After chewing a handful of nuts it hits me “oh shht, I’m fasting today.”

Not the first time this has happened to me over the years.  I have been practicing fasting in various guises over the past 35 years.  In the beginning, I never had this problem. I was always super aware of the fact that I was not eating.  And wanted everyone else to know also.   Now, it’s just another part of my life.  Like exchanging the  fall/winter attire in my closet for spring/summer wear.  Sometime it gets done early in the season.  But some years I find myself digging in the chest for the appropriate seasonal attire after arriving home soaked in sweat from wearing a wool sweater on a 65 degree day.  Eating the almonds was a similar experience.   My first thoughts: “How could you be so forgetful?”  Then my inner slacker kicked in “relax, it’s only a few almonds and she doesn’t even know your fasting.”  Thanks Slacker, I needed that.

So what do I do?  Do I postpone the beginning of my fast until tomorrow (the purist path)?  Should I revise my plans and include almond milk as part of my liquid diet for the next few days?  Or just say “Oops, my bad” and keep it moving.  I’m definitely an oops kind of guy.  So let’s just keep this little hiccup between you and me.

The rest of today will be just water.  So far I’ve downed 2 liters.  Since it’s only day one, I intend to go ahead with my scheduled strength workout for the day.  I’ll let you know how that works out tomorrow.

 

spring cleaning thoughts March 7, 2010

Filed under: Health,Uncategorized — Kazi @ 6:33 pm
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Tuesday will be the first day of my Spring Cleaning campaign.  It’s a time when I focus my attention on reducing the old, stale, dis-functional, non useful, diseased, excesses in my life.  The roots of my cleaning frenzy are anchored in a physical detox process that can last anywhere from 7 – 14 days.  My diet becomes narrow and lite.  Raw, low starch fruits and veggies are the staple during the cleansing, accompanied by lots of fluid intake (and out take). 

I take a look at my projects, activities, groups, relationships.  Are they fruitful, balanced, living or stagnant?  Where do I need to trim the excess?  Where can my energies yield the most growth?  The life force I put into any situation during the next 3 months is going to lead to exuberant growth  and development.  I’m Choosing carefully.  But gotta weed before I seed.  So apologies are in order.  Fences need mending.  Burnt bridges need rebuilding.

I’m reducing old ideas, beliefs, reasons, likes, dis-likes.  Supplementing the newly born glimpses of the now.  Stepping out on the strength of what can be.  On the strength of the possible, potential and destined.

Stay tuned, this could be more than interesting.  Feel me!

 

stay tuned for some “ain’t necessarily so” pearls of wisdom March 6, 2010

At 50 years of age I am seeking, experimenting with and embracing ways to use emerging wisdom to balance waning strength.  Juggling with ideas sacred, profane, fun and sometimes frightening. Playing the role of child, brother, father, friend, neighbor, coach, educator, activist, researcher, therapist, wilderness guide, entrepreneur and wanna-be blogger. This blog will serve as a place for me to share thoughts, experiences, experiments, results, questions, stories, encounters, insights, conflicts, confusion, obstacles, progress, plans, images of  the unknown.  About Life, Wisdom, Health and Wealth.  Enjoy the ride.

The blog is a work in progress.  Learning by doing.  Suggestions are welcome.  Comments are encouraged.  Criticism is accepted , though painful. Don’t hesitate to spread the word.