The Power Of Now

This International best seller by Eckart Tolle was somewhat of a savior of mine. Shortly after my career ending injury, my 2 ½ year relationship also broke down and I had also rented out my house and needed to figure out short term accommodation as I was planning on moving abroad to start fresh. It was always a tendency of mine to over analyze situations, with fear of making wrong decisions which could adversely affect my future, while also dwelling on unfavorable past events.

Having now found myself losing my career, my relationship, and my home, these tendencies were exaggerated and kicked into overdrive, fearing whether the decisions I had made or the decisions I needed to make were the right ones.

That’s when a concerned friend gave me the book “The Power Of Now” to read immediately, despite only being halfway through it himself.

Power of Now

Put simply, this book started me on the right path to being able to focus on the present moment, and to quit over-analyzing or worrying about the past or the future. As Eckart Tolle points out, the future doesn’t exist and neither does the past, and therefore worrying about them denies you the ability to enjoy the only thing which is real…the present, or the NOW.

The practice of being present is crucial when attempting to “live life to the fullest”, which is one of the main pre-requisites of being a YOG.

Tolle continues to talk about how our own minds and in particular our ego can be extremely destructive. He points out that our mind is a tool which is necessary to complete certain tasks, then should be laid to rest. Instead, our mind commonly leaks vital energy beyond its purpose. He suggests we actually become slaves to our minds, and if we can eliminate the “noise” which is created in our minds, we can achieve an intelligence beyond this noise and awaken a focus on the aspects of life which really matter, ie. Beauty, love, creativity, joy and inner peace.

So if the voice in your head is constantly talking to you about the past, or making you worry about the future, you need to read the Power Of Now…right NOW!

 

M

Branched-Chain Amino Acids For Building Muscle

Many YOGs and wannabe YOGs approach me about the preferred uses  and dosage of protein when it comes to building muscle. The following article provides a few tips to get you started…

Amino acids are split up in 2 groups: Essential and Non-Essential:

Since Non-essential amino acids are produced by the body I will not discuss them in this article. Instead let’s focus on the what to feed ourselves in order to get the most out of our workouts.

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential amino acids. Namely valine, leucine and isoleucine. They are essential which  means we must get them through diet as our bodies do not produce them. Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and have multiple functions related to energy production before  and after workouts. Therefore, they are needed during the ‘rebuild window’ and the correct amount is vital.

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Make sure you are getting your Amino Acids from a trusted source and keep them as pure as possible. Most protein powders will have BCAAs however, absorption is key so just another reason to get a pure protein powder. I personally use a pea protein free of all the chemicals a lot of ‘meathead’ stores sell. Remember that 36g of protein does not mean your body will accept all 36 grams.

Uses:

Branch chain Amino Acids have long been used to prevent fatigue and improve concentration, but the most common practice of taking BCAAs is to improve exercise performance and reduce muscle breakdown. Some practitioners have even used BCAAs to treat Lou Gehrig’s disease, brain conditions due to liver disease and cancer patients. Not only do BCAAs promote muscle recovery, they play an important role helping regulate the immune system which can be weakened after intense or prolonged exercise.  Another notable use is that BCAAs spare muscle glycogen, or energy stored in muscles.

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Dosage:

A balanced diet with adequate protein provides enough BCAAs, even for the strenuous exerciser. It is noted that no amount above 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight is beneficial. The key is trying to get them into your diet through meat, fish, eggs and legumes. Dairy is another option however due to the rising intolerance of casein (the main protein in dairy) I would suggest minimizing it. For those of you that are loading up with higher doses of protein, make sure you stay very well hydrated as water loss can be increased from nitrogen excretion during protein breakdown.

 

 

B