Actually doing the work that needs to be done

It is super unsexy.

To do the work that needs to get done. We don't hate doing work - but - focusing on the task that actually needs to be completed can be the challenge. 

Maybe we want to do a badass muscle up, but do we have the strength, the mobility, the joint support required?

Working the muscle-up is sexy.

Doing serratus push-ups and warming up your rotator cuffs... might not seem as fun.

Working your body to the bone is pretty sexy.

Taking it easy. Resting. Recovery... less so.

Burning the candle at all the ends... sexy.

Prioritizing sleep? Nope.

The work that actually needs to be done to ACCOMPLISH GOALS rather than just chase them.

Isn't sexy, but it is necessary.

 

Before and after

We love a before and after shot.

  When searching stock photos for before and after this is what I found, I happen to think both ladies are lovely. 

When searching stock photos for before and after this is what I found, I happen to think both ladies are lovely. 

Shoot, I love a before and after shot. Who doesn't?

It gives us hope.

It gives us a feeling that change is possible.

That hard work nets results.

That (potentially) we've been doing it wrong and if we just fix this one thing we can change.

If we have more discipline. If we really really focus this time.

Then we too can be like Sally Smith from Sunport and drop 5 sizes in in 5 months.

Or we too can go from couch potato to killing it at marathons in 2 months.  

Or we too can go from just an average joe to RIPPED SUPER HERO STATUS. 

We love a makeover. 

The problem is these are just moments. There is SO MUCH MORE to the story. The fits and starts. The forward progress and backfire.

The after that goes back to the before. 

An image can be deceiving. 

What I am trying to say is that the journey to health, happiness, and strength is complex. It isn't a straight line up and to the right. There isn't always a moment where the "pounds melt off" or where you suddenly feel strong and powerful all the time. There are bright moments and there is a trajectory, but there are a lot of bumps and backslides. 

Sometimes we need to believe in the ease of a before and after to START.

But, don't let the before and after seduce you into feeling like a failure when the journey gets tough, when you have a bad day, or week, or month.  

Keep going forward.

Start and keep starting.

The road may be more muddled than expected, but moving forward is the way you will succeed. 

Love lets go of stress

Stress isn't bad.

Stress is what causes change, adaptation, growth.

But the way we achieve the latter is by having a break from the former.

We need recovery, rest, and the ability to breathe to benefit.

Which is why love is an antidote to stress. I am not talking about the romantic kind of love (though I am sure that also helps) I am talking about the love you give yourself.

Love of where you are, who you are, what you are - right here, right now. Allows the stress of being something different to dissipate. 

It allows elasticity into your life. 

It allows for grace. 

The first step toward change is to allow for what is right now.

Which isn't always easy. 

 

It's about time I posted something

Life happens.

Back when I was transitioning between my old job and doing Brain Body Gut full time I committed to blogging each day.

I would get up with enough time before work to write a post.

I loved this activity because it helped me connect to what I was passionate about. It cleared my head and gave me focus. It made me excited to learn and grow and find my voice.

But then.

Life happens.

And my frequency of posting diminished.

There are a few reasons why. 

One is that I want to put out valuable content which I need to gather my facts and do a bit of research. This takes time. I can't just hammer it out in a 60 minute time block.

Another is I have been toying around with morning routines. I love not touching a computer screen in the morning, doing a bit of breathing, taking my time to eat breakfast - but - this also takes time. 

So. What to do?

Time is real. 

And you need to pick and choose how you spend it.

This blog is important to me and I'd like posting to, once again, become habitual. To light me up. To inform me and you. 

Which draws me back to the statement "I'd rather have done than perfect".

I am going to embrace that and post more.

When I have time I will do a deep drive on nutrition, but when I don't have time I will still post. 

Sitting down and putting out content helps me figure out exactly what I am trying to say.

There is value in that. 

So my friends if you're interested in something specific let me know. 

Put it in the comments or email me at annette@brainbodygut.com

What barriers can you pull down to be more prolific?

How to unlock the jaws of a sugar craving?

Eat protein. 

It is a pretty simple test, but does require prep.

First, you have to have protein with you.

I'd like you to have animal protein. The kind you have to chew (ie no shakes). 

Eggs, chicken, steak, pork.

The less processed the better. 

The test:

When you hear the cries for skittles (WE NEEEEDS THEM)...

...or a pastry (PUHLEEASE)

...or a donut (I MUST)

...or even dried fruit (BUT I AM TRYING TO AVOID THE DONUT!!)

1. Eat 2, 4, 6 ounces of your protein option first -

2. Wait 20 minutes (set a timer if you need to) and see - do you still really want the sugary delight? 

If the answer is YES? Well, ok.

If NO. Excellent!!! You are rewiring your brain! Let's celebrate with a self hi-five! 

Rinse. Repeat.

 

A New Beginning

When do you start?

Do you wait until there is a special day? Until a new month? A new year? Until tomorrow?

Do you wait until your birthday?

Until after the 4th of July?

Until after your friend's 30th birthday bash?

Or do you start now?

There are things in life you want. 

Sometimes you just have to start.

And keep starting.

Until you are doing. 

Marketing and Nutrition

Today's Tidbit Tuesday is about something I find fascinating.

It is incredible much we believe is shaped by other people.

We all know that marketing is a thing.

We know that it is used to persuade.

But I think that most of think that we are also pretty savvy. We like to think that we at least know when we fall victim to elaborate campaigns or a well designed label. (I am a sucker for a good wine label.)

So let's test this. 

In today's Tidbit Tuesday I pose the question: 

Which has the most Vitamin C?

  1. Oranges (100g)
  2. Brussel Sprouts (100g)
  3. Bell Peppers (100g)

Think you know the answer? Go ahead and guess - the video will be coming shortly!

Look for more on Marketing & Nutrition I plan to dig deep and find out more fun facts on how great marketing has influenced our food selection. 

All I want is coffee

This has been a rough week and it is only Wednesday :/

I switched to decaf coffee at the beginning of February.

I did it pretty gradually adding in more and more decaf coffee to my caf coffee until it was all decaf. That didn't suck too bad.

I have done this in the past and those first two days of no caffeine were MIS-ER-ABLE. I was a lump. I had no energy. No light. No focus. I was one sad panda.

But, I got through it.

And this time around it wasn't so bad. I didn't want to die, so that was cool.

But, my friends.

There is one thing I am leaving out. This time. Ohhh this time. I was like, you know what is okay?

Some dark chocolate.

I decided this right around V-day figuring it was apropos to embrace the delightful buzz of 80%+ dark chocolate. 

Yes. I know. Chocolate has caffeine. 

And OH YES. My body loved it.

My brain was so super happy. I'd have moments of OH MI GAWD I can be so productive! Which FEELS great in the moment, but isn't really helping my body for the long term.

Now is time to focus in on the long term. I want to get my body to a place where it isn't so dependent on stimulants to feel ammazeballs. I want that to come from me, I want to support my adrenal glands, and I want to one day maybe enjoy an occasional cup of caf coffee.

I also think chocolate is rad and will let it come to play again, but right now it is serving as a crutch and undermining my goals. 

So.

This month I am letting go of chocolate and boy, does this make me sad.

 

And all I want is a cup of coffee.

Sometimes the short term goal is so very tempting.

So. Very. Tempting.

And sometimes you have to mute it's siren call and focus on the long term goal.

One decaf sip at a time.

 

Life is weird, uncomfortable, and yet magical

Where does the road lead?

The road pictured above is the street that I grew up on and if you kept walking you'd see my mailbox pop-up on the left hand side. 

I literally know where that road is going to lead. 

But in the bigger picture the question is not so answerable. Not to get all "we've had too many drinks let's talk about life" on you, but MAN LIFE.

It is weird, uncomfortable, and yet magical. 

I love goals and I think there is value in setting a trajectory in place. The way to start to push your journey into a direction is to have intention

But. 

That doesn't mean you know how the hand will play out. 

It just means you are now part of the equation. 

But.

Sometimes surrendering is also of value.

To bask in the unknown. 

To sit with the uncomfortable.

To understand that you don't have control.

Not really.

And that is the weird contradiction of life.

The balance between doing and accepting.

Blueberries = Brainberries?

I have blueberries on my business cards.

The other day I was asked, "Why blueberries? They must means something to you."

And it is true, they do. 

#1: Blueberries are awesome for the brain. A moderate amount has been shown to help with memory, cognitive function, and motor-control. Pah-POW! 

#2: They are tasty. Great for a bit of sweetness, but without the crazy amounts of sugar. Add them to ANYTHING! I even put them in ground meat and spice it with cinnamon and allspice. YUM.

#3: They are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients.  PHYTONUTRIENTS (!) they are helpers to vitamins and minerals needed to run your body, without these helpers your body is unable to make some very necessary conversions. 

#4: Fiber. Blueberries pack a nice amount of fiber for their punch. 

#5: Benefits for the whole body. There is a ton of research going on about all the benefits of blueberries and the impact they might have on cancer, heart health, and diabetes

As with all food this is about balance and isn't a call to eat a crap ton of blueberries every day. Adding a moderate amount daily/weekly especially when they are in season would be a smart move.

tl;dr 

Blueberries are rad and tasty, eat them. 

What do I need to do right now?

I was listening to the On Being podcast and heard a great quote.

It came from a really awesome sounding man named Parker Palmer, he'd gotten some of it from elsewhere, but that is besides the point (listen to the full talk here).

The point is that when I heard I was like OH MAN STICKY NOTE I NEED YOU! So I grabbed one and wrote the line down.

What do I need to do right now to water the root of inner wisdom to make work fruitful?
— Parker Palmer from On Being Talk

Ah.

I love it. 

It shifts the question that I am used to asking aka "what is most important thing I should focus on right now" to something more profound. 

It takes away the edge of I NEED TO BE PRODUCTIVE AND EFFICIENT and allows for a more creative answer.

 Spelled fruitful wrong. Classic me.

Spelled fruitful wrong. Classic me.

Sometimes being "unproductive" for a hot second or two can actually make your work better aka "more fruitful".

Need a shot?

Have you ever gotten nutrients pumped into your blood? 

No? Maybe?

What am I talking about?

Ok, if you don't like needles this may not be for you. But for the rest of you folk, have I got a treat for you! 

Now a needle might not feel treat-like, but your body... oh man your body, will be SO HAPPY.

A little while back (let's call it October) I headed over to Bella Fiore Klinik located in Upper Queen Anne. I was there for a couple reasons one was to check out my allergies and the other was to grab a shot at the shot bar

Let's talk about allergy testing first. 

The test I took measured IgG (Immunoglobulin G). IgG is an antibody and if you have a ton of antibodies in response to a certain type of food, you are definitely having a reaction to that food.  

When your body is in allergic state it is just reacting. It's like GUYS something in here IS NOT RIGHT! And the immune system gets the call to DEFEND THE BODY!

In the long term this is not good for the body. It adds to stress and can lead to chronic stress which means that the body cannot function properly aka bad news bears.

You take the taste by, as Dr. Heiger (who is rad) explained it,"finger painting with your blood".

SOUNDS FUN, RIGHT! Well, actually it kind of is, pin pricking your finger tip(s) is fairly painless and who doesn't love finger painting?

So my test. At the time I took it I was following a pretty strict eating plan. Pretty much only meat and veggies and within meat and veggies only certain veggies. This could affect results. I hadn't eaten wheat in at least six months, which means there is no wheat in my system for the antibodies to react to - HOWEVER - I might still have a problem with wheat. 

Make sense?

Not surprisingly wheat did not show up. What did was EGGS and in a pretty big way. Both regular and duck. Both to the white and the yolk. 

Sad, yes, but good to know because I can now make an informed decision rather than guessing. 

When your body isn't functioning well or is still healing (read: me) you might be reactive to foods you are not actually allergic to. As you heal your body can often handle you reintroducing foods that might initially have caused an allergic reaction. 

Meaning that maybe one day eggs and I can be reunited. 

Now. The shot.

Bella Fiore has a pretty awesome "Shot Bar" not the kind you drink, but the kind that are literally made of nutrients and shot directly into your bloodstream via a needle.  This is excellent because it bypasses the digestive tract which means you actually the absorb the nutrients without having to worry if they got processed through digestion or not. 

Want to try the Vitality Enhancer, how bout the Über Boost, or maybe you are more interested in the Shot of Bliss?

I went with the Liquid Zen which promised to help me "zen out" and I wasn't sorry. 

See more about the Shot Bar and prices here.

Check out more about Bella Fiore Klinik here.

Toasted Coconut Flakes (omgee so tasty) [Recipe]

Want a tasty treat? Roast them flakes!

I love this recipe because it is stupid simple and SUPER satisfying.

Step 1: Find yourself some Coconut Flakes. I like Edward & Sons, Organic Coconut Flakes, Unsweetened.

Step 2: Put about a TBS of Coconut Oil into a pan, I prefer a cast iron skillet. Warm pan on a lower heat to melt and spread the oil.

Step 3: Add a fair amount of the flakes (don't overfill). You want them to be laid pretty flat and even. 

Step 4: Keep the stove on a low to medium heat and keep your eye on the flakes. You will see them begin to brown, it doesn't take long. Eye their progress and don't let them burn. Stir them around. 

Step 5: Once they are sufficiently toasty take them off the heat.

Step 6: Optional. Add a bit of sea salt and/or add cinnamon. The taste is magic.

AND THAT IS IT! YOU DID IT! YOU MADE THEM!

Enjoy!

 

Because you can, is sometimes the only reason you need

I love it when people create with no agenda.

When you create because you can.

Because it makes you happy. 

Because you are just creating. 

I was listening to the Invisibilia podcast on NPR. The hosts were talking about how they'd gone through a lot of names while figuring out what they would call their podcast. One of the names they debated was "Inside Out" (listen here).

Which sounds a bit like the name of a kid's show. A colleague of theirs overheard the discussion and could hear the jingle to the non-existent show in his head.

And so - he created it.

For no purpose, no profit, or grand plan. Just because he could and he wanted to, he invested his time and created.

I LOVE THAT. 

It is part of the reason I added cheesy graphics to this video.

Sometimes you just got to do because you can.

I love the freedom of just producing because the act of CREATING is the magic.

5 Tips When You Are Sick [Video]

I was on the mend so I made a video with cheesy graphics.

In this video I cover 5 tips for when you are sick:

#1 Let it work it's way through you!

#2 Don't dampen the sickness.

#3 Bone Broth - drink it.

#4 Minerals!!! (I will do a future post on this as well).

#5 Vitamin D. 

I was so sick last week

Sickness is no joke.

There is the good and the bad of it. The good, for me, was that I was so so so utterly sick that I could. not. possibly. do anything. 

And this is good?

For me yes. Because it meant I had no guilt for lying inert on my bed mainlining Netflix. There was simply nothing else I could possibly do. That was good.

The bad is that I felt awful. 

Super awful. 

And sad. 

That was less than optimal. 

Let's get back to the good. I had an epiphany.

During the week of ill I did not (read: could not) work out. 

After that week, I was think resume schedule per normal. Get back on it! Get it! Win it! And then I thought... HOLD THE PHONE... I don't need to do that AND I don't want to!

So. I am not going to!

I am actually going to LISTEN to my body and HEAR that it is still recouping and pushing it IS NOT THE WAY.

You guys. Epiphany.

I have a choice here. 

Fitness and health are my jam, but I got a whole lifetime to move closer to my goals forcing me into a week where I don't really want to - for no real reason makes no sense. AND it could prolong how long it will take for me to get well so that also makes no sense.

So... consider. What do you have a choice in?

Is Bone Broth A Miracle Cure? No... And Yes.

Bone broth is really just stock.

People have been making stock for a LONG LONG time. It isn't some new crazy thing. It is actually a pretty old traditional thing. 

Stock is made from using the leftover bones (or buying bones) and creating a soup.

Sounds like magic ammiright?

Well no. 

And it isn't magic.

What it is, is nutritious. The benefit of creating stock from bones is that it contains a ton of minerals (and vitamins and amino acids, but lets focus on minerals). You see bones are where a lot of minerals are stored and in todays world many of us are not getting enough minerals into our diets. Bone broth is an excellent way to get in more in a way that is highly accessible. Meaning that because it is a liquid it has an easier time absorbing into our system. 

To sum it up the stock contains minerals we lack and in a liquid form they are easier to absorb. Win, win.

I stumbled upon this article the other day: http://www.today.com/food/i-tried-bone-broth-week-heres-what-happened-2D80450660

And though there are some good points raised, the mentality of "I tried it for a week" makes no sense, really isn't the point, and speaks to how our culture looks at things i.e. magic pill or quick fix. Sigh. Again, it just really isn't the point. 

Bone broth isn't a magic bullet.

It is a fantastic addition to a diet. 

If you're interested in trying your hand here are a few recipes to get you started. Everyone has their own spin so it is nice to scan a few different sources. Personally, I make mine in a crockpot - my crockpot is tiny so I tend to scale down portions.

Enjoy! And good luck!