Month: January 2017

Laird Hamilton

Put simply, Laird Hamilton is the result of successfully gene splicing the DNA of Captain America and Aquaman. At 52 years of age, he is still more handsome, fitter, fearless and just downright manlier than 99% of all of us!

Laird is known for his big wave surfing and innovation of various ocean riding crafts and techniques, but is now carving out a successful career for himself as a Health & Fitness guru, teaming up with his Pro Volleyball playing wife Gabby Reece.

He’s an inventor, trailblazer and wonderful role model for his 3 kids, not to mention the millions of us who strive to live a clean and kick ass life. He is also the inspiration for us to bring back the short shorts, so watch this space…

NORTH SHORE, Laird Hamilton, 1987. ©Universal

NORTH SHORE, Laird Hamilton, 1987. ©Universal

Add A Cleanse To Your New Years Resolutions

It may not have been included on the checklist of the previous Yog Blog article, but it certainly would be a good idea to add a detoxifying cleanse on your “to do” list, and one in particular which will have a huge impact on your health, is a colon cleanse.

If I had a dollar for every time people said that they were ‘on a diet but not seeing results’ I would be – well richer than I am now. Analogies are my go to so here is one: When it is time for an oil change you cannot just keep adding oil in your car year after year because you are mixing new with old and this simply will not make for a vehicle running at its optimal best. Our bodies work the same. Simply going on a diet or changing the way you eat is just not enough. You need to clean your pipes first.

Man Sitting On Bed And Feeling Unwell

Humans can carry up to 40 extra pounds of toxic build up in their colon alone. This not only puts a dampener on that summer body but more importantly is a breeding ground for disease. A colon cleanse is simple and just takes dedication, a few inexpensive ingredients and 10 days out of your year and I recommend doing it once a year.

Below are two different recipes. The first is for a single serving of the master cleanse lemonade. The second will make 6 servings.

#1 (single serving):

2 Tablespoons of organic lemon Juice (about 1/2 a Lemon)

2 Tablespoons of Organic grade B maple syrup or agave

1/10 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper powder

Ten ounces of filtered water

#2 (60 oz. daily serving):

60 ounces of filtered water

12 Tablespoons of organic grade B maple syrup

12 Tablespoons of organic lemon juice

1/2 Teaspoon cayenne pepper powder

healthy-colon-toxic-colon

There are a couple important things to remember when preparing the lemonade.

For one, the lemon juice must be fresh squeezed and organic.

Also, the maple syrup must be grade B maple syrup, not the sugar filled syrup that gets drenched on pancakes!

The cayenne pepper helps to break up mucus and increases healthy blood flow. It is also a good source of B and C vitamins.

While you are cleansing, drink 1 teaspoon of unrefined non-iodized sea salt in a small glass of water to help flush out your system. Do this first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed.

The most common question is whether you can eat any solid food whilst cleansing. The answer is ideally no but some people struggle to get through the entire 10 days. If you absolutely must eat a little bit then stick to light foods like salads and vegetables or drink one green juice per day. Absolutely no meat, dairy or gluten.

After day 10 incorporate fresh squeezed orange juice and light meals. Stay away from meat, dairy and gluten for 3 days after the cleanse so that you don’t jump straight back into stressing the digestive system.

retro surfers

Some herbs that you can add to your nutrition plan once you are finished the cleanse are:

– Psyllium – which is a soluble fiber that is found in many over-the-counter products for keeping the digestive system regular.

– Flaxseed – This herb seed is also a bulk-forming fiber that works by adding mass to waste matter in the intestines, helping to ease bowel movements

Good luck! Actually good dedication! You are going to need it!

BF

(Dr. Bruce Fulford D.A, C.N, Ph.D is a leading expert in Alphabiotics and certified clinical nutritionist. For more info about his work visit Alphabioticbalance.com)

 

Your New Year Checklist For Dominating 2017

In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, here’s a checklist of the 11 top things to do right now to help ensure you make the most of 2017, and set you up for a future of success and YOGness.

  1. Download a time management app

For most of us, many hours went to waste in 2016 due to poor time management. As our lives get busier and more distractions emerge around us, we develop an even greater propensity to procrastinate or misspend our precious time.

Having an organizer that can help you plan and complete your daily “to do” list is a valuable productivity tool.

There are many apps out there for this purpose, but I like to use the Wunderlist app which allows you to set tasks and sub tasks within projects and sorts them into a daily or even weekly to do list while sending you reminder notifications.

wunderlist-eg

2. Buy a large water bottle

There is no doubt about the necessity of water for survival, so it should be no surprise either that there are countless benefits of water to our health, function and even maintaining a youthful appearance. After all, we are comprised of up to 80% water.

The minimum recommended intake of H2O for adult males is 2.7 liters, and we normally get 20% of that through food. It can be difficult to remember to drink the other 80% we need, so investing in a large stainless steel or glass bottle to carry with you everywhere is my recommendation.

Treat yourself to a 40oz stainless steel bottle from Mobot, which also doubles as a foam roller, and aim to drink two full bottles per day to meet your minimum requirement.

If you want to take your health to the next level, then invest in an alkalizing water filter. Our friends at Life Ionizer will sort you right out.

mbot-thumb

3. Buy a group fitness membership

I know, the fitness kick from January 1st vibe is so cliché, but no harm in playing along. Problem is, so many people buy new gym memberships, or commit to finally using the one they already have, then inevitably end up just donating money monthly to their respective fitness boxes as soon as February rolls around as life becomes hectic again.

This is partly why I recommend a group fitness membership instead. Your motivation is likely to remain higher in an environment where other people are contributing to the overall energy and a good trainer is keeping you honest while sweating safely. The social aspect and sense of community in group sessions is also likely to keep you wanting to come back for more.

I recommend places like Training Mate, Soul Cycle or even sign up for a team in a semi-competitive sports league like mixed flag football or ultimate Frisbee. This way, you’re not just letting yourself down, you’re also letting down others by choosing to stay home overdosing on ESPN instead of lacing up the trainers for the real deal.

training-mate-01-600x450

4. Block out 1 weekend per month for a road trip

I am speaking mostly for Angelenos, but the vast majority of major cities around the world have great weekend or day trip destinations within a few hours drive, or at the most, a 60 minute flight.

Getting away from the rat race is important not only for achieving balance, but also enriching our character, and it need not be any more than loading up the car with a tent and surfboards, or hiking shoes and a picnic basket.

If taking a domestic flight from LAX is a bit steep, then a road trip to any of California’s great National Parks such as The Sequoias, Big Bear, or Joshua Tree should be high priority.

Don’t feel like driving? Take the train down to San Diego for an overnighter, or maybe just to San Clemente for a Sunday Funday.

cali-road-trip-1

5. Prepare for Yoga and meditation

This may seem like two checklist items, but these go hand in hand. If you’re not convinced about the benefits of yoga for your daily life, refer to our article about Yoga for YOGs HERE.

In L.A.,  yoga studios are as prolific as plastic surgery, but if I had to choose, Yoga Works normally provides a great experience for all levels in several locations, and there are often good deals on Groupon to help give you the extra push to sign up.

While Yoga helps quieten our minds and center our energy, it isn’t enough to rely on as your sole dose of meditation. Seeking more meditation practice will help you dominate 2017 and execute all aspects of your life at a high frequency.

Guided meditation sources are popping up everywhere, and the Headspace app is leading the charge. Start with just 5 mins per day and build up to as long as you’re comfortable with.

headspace-cartoon

6. Simplify your HQ

Over time, we accumulate lots of stuff, especially over a whole year if we don’t de-clutter regularly. When we have more stuff, we have more stuff to manage which can be overwhelming and stressful. Start with your home. Clear your bedroom of objects you simply don’t need to free up some space. For inspiration, watch “Minimalism” on Netflix immediately. If you have a home office, aim for a completely object and paper free desk. Downsize your wardrobe by donating any clothes to Goodwill that you haven’t worn in a year. Watch the documentary “The True Cost” for extra motivation.

You can also spring clean your phone by deleting contacts, unused apps and social media followers or “friends” . Go through these lists and unfriend/unfollow anybody you don’t know well or doesn’t have a positive influence on your life. You’ll be surprised how liberating this can be.

cluttered-desk

7. Create a “live life to the fullest” reminder

I shared my most recent and powerful “life’s short” trigger in our last article How I really feel about turning 40. It could be a quote that you frame and hang in your bathroom where you’ll see it first thing every morning, or even make it your smart phone wall paper. By constantly reminding yourself that you have one chance at this life, and time is ticking away ever so quickly, it will hopefully allow you to eradicate your fear based thoughts and go out to chase your dreams.

carpe-wrist

8. Get rid of your TV

I know this may sound a little extreme, but your television set is often the source of many non-redeemable hours of life disappearing into a black hole of waste. The way I look at it, ridding yourself of your TV is similar to taking junk food out of your fridge. If it’s not there, you won’t eat it. I prefer to have a Netflix account on my laptop, which is similar to having a corner store where you can still buy junk food, but you’ll only make the trip if you can be bothered or have something you really want to eat.

Don’t get me wrong, a little entertainment media is a good way to help us switch off our brains after a stressful day or provide some much needed laughs. Just try to be disciplined and avoid binge watching consecutive seasons of popular fictional shows for hours on end, and make an effort to balance it out with uplifting and educational documentaries.

no-more-tv

  1. Buy an Audible account

Read more books this year. And if you’re like me, whose only time to read is bedtime which normally lasts 5 minutes before falling asleep, then audiobooks are for you. Audiobooks can be handy when stuck in traffic on the way to work, cooking your evening meal, or even working out at the gym.

For a reasonable monthly fee of $15, an Audible account offers discounts and 1 credit for any purchase per month, which can accumulate up to 6 credits at any time.

audiobook-headphones

10. Put a nutrition plan in place

We all say we’re going to eat healthier this year, but how many of us even devise a plan, let alone stick to it?

Improving our nutrition will also require some education on better food choices and also meal preparation. It’s a constant, fulfilling practice. For education, there are many great documentaries out there such as Food Matters, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, and Sugar Coated to put you on the right path.

Too busy to prepare and cook your own healthy meals? Meal delivery services can be an excellent way to ensure you’re putting the right stuff in your body to suit your lifestyle.

I like Fresh n’ Lean which delivers pre-cooked, vacuum packaged goodies using organic, vegan ingredients that you can simply heat up on the stove. Stack.com also has a useful list of meal services for you athletes out there.

The best way to put you on the right nutrition path however is consult a reputable nutrition specialist. If you’re in Los Angeles, Clinical Nutritionist Dr. Bruce Fulford with prescribe the right diet according to your metabolic type.

fresh-n-lean

11.  Create a work vs play diary

Did 2016 seem like all work while your friends were all out doing cool, fun stuff? Or was last year fairly unproductive overall due to your social FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)?

The work:play ratio can be difficult to manage, especially if you have kids or you’re trying to get that business off the ground. It can also be challenging staying totally present when engaged in either of the two, for fear of the other one suffering.

So it can be useful to not only schedule your leisure time, but evaluate it at the end of the day. Simply keep a diary where you rate your work productivity and quality of social activities and the reason for the rating. You will soon see whether the time is being misused. Setting goals for your work and play time will then give you more control over your quality of life.

play-vs-work-balance

 

Okay there you have it, well done for sticking it out up to this point, this tells me you’re keen for a good start to a big year. This checklist could have gone on, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. You should have a great basis here to use the month of January to get your shit together to start 2017 on the right foot, and maintain these good habits throughout the year and beyond.

Now go get ‘em Tiger!!

 

M

 

 

 

How I Really Feel About Turning 40

I’ll be honest, in recent years when birthday time rolls around, I hadn’t thought too much about getting older… until now. In reality, it shouldn’t feel much different to this time last year. But the numerical yearly value attached to my time on this Earth has a powerful effect on perception as it ticks over into a new decade. And the perception seems to be universal, which influences my perception even more, especially when the most commonly asked question to me over the past three weeks has been “so how do you feel about turning 40?”

There’s a side of me that wants to respond with “like the last ounce of my youth has just disappeared”, or “like a kidless, wifeless, lonely old guy”, or even “like I’m now officially losing the race against time”, because that’s what I think people expect to hear, and deep down might even want to hear to make themselves feel better.

race-against-time

But these are just projections which society has imposed upon me. They are common perceptions of many men in the same stage of their life as me right now. So instead of answering the afore mentioned question with any of these self loathing, pessimistic phrases, I reply, proudly and with confidence, “I feel great!”

And this is the truth. When I think about how I actually feel, and not how I should feel based on societal norms, I feel…great. Fantastic in fact.

“Why?” you may ask with a hint of skepticism. For several reasons, which I will list for you in point form:

– I am the most knowledgeable I have ever been in my life.

– I feel in the best physical shape and health of my life, due largely to my accumulated understanding of how to avoid and manage injury, optimize recovery, train efficiently, eat properly and apply an advanced understanding of my own psychology, especially relating to motivation and discipline.

– I have over two decades under my belt of learning from my romantic relationships, and 3 decades of professional relationships.

– I am the most self aware I’ve ever been, and the closest I’ve ever been to mastering the power of living in, and appreciating the present moment, rather than focusing on the past or future, neither of which exist.

– I am more committed than ever to surrounding myself with good people, and avoiding or eradicating those from my life who don’t serve as a positive or uplifting influence.

– I am far more advanced than my younger years with regards to knowing my purpose and eradicating my ego from decisions or feelings about…well…everything.

marc-10I’ve come a long way…

Of course, there are obvious physiological challenges we all experience as we pass a certain age, such as metabolism slowing down, muscle and joint pain lingering longer after intense exercise, and skin losing it’s elasticity hence youthful appearance. Therefore it is important to accept that it requires harder work and discipline to minimize such effects of aging. Embrace it, and revel in the satisfaction of not allowing the aging process to take hold and beat you down.

Further to this point, I have noticed myself occasionally slip into a self-deprecating and defeatist approach to aging. For example I might say things like “I was able to do that back in the day”, “take it easy on me (on the rugby field) I’m getting old”, or “my back is so stiff today after training, that’s aging for you”.

The mind can be very impressionable, and the more we talk this way, the mind-body connection kicks in, and the older we will look and feel.

So…I will commit from now on to refraining from using such negative language, and instead speak in a way that elevates myself and doesn’t consist of making excuses or playing victim. For me it is way more satisfying to overcome the challenges of getting older than simply giving in to them.

marathon-w-dmacYep, life gets tougher on the body, but so what?!

Turning 40 has also exposed just how much time has passed, and passed quickly, especially when my celebrations have reunited me with long time friends after many years of absence. It is yet another reminder to live life to the fullest and maximize the remaining time I have.

Moving forward, I’d like to be frequently reminded to stay on the path to living to the max. I stumbled across a tool that really resonates with me when watching a TED talk by Tim Urban. He showed a slide where the life of an 80 year old was represented by a grid of small boxes, where each box represented a week.

I took the liberty of creating my own grid and filling in the boxes that have already expired. It’s a mind bender to see an entire lifetime (assuming I live to age 90) represented on just one sheet of paper. I have stuck it on my wall and will continue to color in each box at the end of that week until I die. It’s kind of like my version of having “Carpe Diem” tattooed on my wrist or ankle.

life-by-weeks-copy

So gents, what I’m essentially saying, is that while it’s important to accept and embrace the aging process, using it as an excuse for not working hard to be the best version of yourself is no bueno, and quite frankly, unYOGish.

Find your own trigger that reminds you how incredibly short life is, and to be the best version of you which is capable of squeezing every last drop out of the rest of your life.

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