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Four Superfoods of High Energy Addicts

As you launch into the New Year, here are some powerful insights on nutrition to help supercharge your health and vitality in 2016!

I’ve always been a bit obsessive about energy. Despite all you read about time management, the way I see it, performing at your best every day is much more about managing energy than it is managing time. You could have all the time in the world, for example, along with a clear sense of purpose, powerful goals, and deep convictions, but if your energy level isn’t there—if you are frequently tired, lethargic, or sick—chances are, you will squander whatever time advantage you have.

A high energy lifestyle starts with food.

by Abigail Keenan |stocksnap.io

But let’s face it, eating for maximum energy is hard work in a world where no matter where you go, you are assaulted by highly processed, sugar-infested, chemically-treated junk foods that cause your body’s insulin levels to act like a yo-yo.

If you struggle with energy ups and downs that frequently frustrate your ability to get things done, here are four superfoods that, according to leading nutritionists and high performance athletes and trainers, pack the most nutritional bang for the buck. Think of them as the “Rolls Royces” of energy-addicting fruits and vegetables!

(1) Avocado. This popular super-food–is it a fruit or a vegetable?– has more potassium than a banana, but without the high carb content that causes your blood sugar to spike, then drop through the floor (along with your energy). A great source of vital healthy fats, avocados are also high in copper, help reduce cholesterol, fight hypertension, and taste great!
(2) Sea Vegetables. These nutrient-rich superfoods include seaweed, kelp, dulce, wakami, and many others. High in metabolism-boosting iodine, sea vegetables aid digestion, have huge amounts of calcium, iron, and magnesium, and can be easily added to salads, soups, stews, rice, etc.
(3) Chia Seeds. Another great source of calcium, chia seeds are also high in boron, which make them perfect for promoting bone health, fighting arthritis, and enhancing energy. Since chia seeds absorb more than 12 times their weight in water, they make you feel full and satisfied long after eating. I have found that the best way to consume them is to add 2 – 3 tablespoons to a smoothie. Although many people soak them before eating, I don’t—and they digest fine.
(4) Cruciferous Vegetables. This vegetable family includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts. These nutrient-rich, energy-producing super-veggies stimulate your body’s own detoxification pathway system, neutralize cancer-causing carcinogens, and help lower estrogen levels. My favorite way to prepare: Cut them into small pieces, place on a cookie sheet, add some olive oil and sea salt, and bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. Delicious!

Although I was blessed with a fast metabolism, athletic body type, and a naturally high energy level, I am constantly exploring new ideas and approaches to optimizing my energy. After reading about “superfoods” a year or so ago, I began to incorporate them into my diet daily—with outstanding results. And if you’re looking for an easy way to consume them, check out my smoothie recipe, which include 3 of the 4 superfoods on the list (see below).

Question: What are your favorite high energy foods? How do you prepare them? Do you have any other habits you can share for increasing energy? I’d love to get your comments.

Get my nutrient-rich, energy enhancing smoothie recipe here:

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You May Be Smartphone Stupid If…

Popular speaker and award-winning author, Bill Zipp, is focused on helping leaders get back in control of their time and achieving what matters most in business and in life. One of his recent blog posts really got me thinking — and I think it will do the same for you. Below is an excerpt from You May Be Smartphone Stupid If…

It’s the technology we love to hate, but can’t live without: our smartphone.

That’s the conclusion an MIT research study reached about the personal impact of inventions in the last century. The smartphone handily beat out the alarm clock, the television, and email. Do you agree?

As amazing as our smartphones are—with apps for doing everything imaginable—I’m convinced that in many ways they’ve not made us any smarter. In a nod to Jeff Foxworthy, I offer you these five observations on smartphone addiction.

You May Be Smartphone Stupid If... by Bill Zipp

1. You may be smartphone stupid if you check your smartphone during meetings.

I’m still amazed when I attend a business meeting and people in it are checking their smartphones. It drives me crazy and it’s everywhere, from the executive suite to church subcommittees. And it’s stupid. But you say, the meeting you’re in is a pointless waste of time. Then deal with the real reason you’re checking your smartphone: meeting management. Don’t make things worse by your contributing to making it a pointless waste of time. As they say, two wrongs don’t make a right.

2. You may be smartphone stupid if your smartphone interrupts your one-on-one’s.

One-on-one’s are really a subset of meetings in general, but deserve special recognition. I’ve found that leaders who may not check their smartphone in a meeting so they don’t look bad to their peers or supervisors, have no hesitation when they’re with an employee. Better to have 15 minutes of concentrated interaction, than 60 minutes of interrupted, scattered conversation. You know this, but you check your smartphone anyway. Stop it! It makes you less effective with people. And effectiveness with people is the driving force of sustained leadership success.

3. You may be smartphone stupid if your smartphone keeps you in a constant state of urgency.

Here’s the real reason why, in my opinion, we check our smartphone in meetings and let it interrupt our one-on-one’s. We’re addicted to its urgency. This, in fact, may be the most profound way our smartphones make us stupid. Under the addictive influence of adrenaline, we make decisions based on urgency. Staying true to long term strategy, like the hedgehog, is what delivers sustained business success, not being distracted by every little emergency, like the fox.

4. You may be smartphone stupid if your smartphone interrupts you throughout the day.

“Okay, okay, Bill. I get what you’re saying,” I can hear you replying right now, “but I’m not addicted to my smartphone.” For the sake of argument (and our friendship), I’ll leave that statement aside and ask you this, how many times does your smartphone interrupt you throughout the day? Schedule your interruptions and give them focused attention. That means setting 15-30 minute fixed blocks of time each day—one in the morning, one mid-day, and one in the afternoon—where you check your smartphone, rather than having it disturb your workflow and wasting your time.

5. You may be smartphone stupid if your smartphone is taking over your personal life.

By now I’m sure you’re expecting me to wax eloquent in this fifth and final point about the need for work/life balance. And while I’m deeply passionate about that subject, I’ll not address it here. What I’d rather address, and what’s not commonly talked about regarding work/life balance, are its very real business benefits. Here’s one: barrenness. That is, the absence of. If your smartphone has taken over your personal life, it’s grazing the land of your body, soul, and spirit continuously, and they, too, without a break will become barren. And, of course, that’s not good for you, but it’s not good for business either. Who wants to fly on a plane with a burned-out pilot or be operated on by a burned-out surgeon? No one.

Check out Bill’s full blog post here.

Did you begin to notice any of these smartphone habits in yourself as you read through the blog post? How would taking a little extra time to consider these five points every day impact your business, you personal brand, and your life — long-term? I’d love to hear your take on this!

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Change Your Smile… Change Your Life

Recently, I came across a 2011 Ted Talk by Ron Gutman called The Hidden Impact of Smiling, he shares some fascinating research on this most basic human expression. Consider these findings:

  • A 30-year University of California study found that, by measuring the length of students’ smiles in a 1950’s high school yearbook, they could predict the duration of their marriages as well as how well they would score in standardized tests of happiness and self fulfillment.
  • A 2010 Wayne State University study of pre-1950’s Major League Baseball cards found that players who smiled in their photo lived an average of eight years longer than those who didn’t smile.
  • According to British researchers, smiling produces the same neurological stimulation as receiving up to $16 lbs sterling in cash. (approximately $25,000).
  • The simple act of smiling has been found to measurably reduce the amount of stress-producing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline while increasing brain-enhancing endorphins.

Last spring, in an article titled Smiling for Dollars in Dealer Magazine, automotive marketing expert Jim Boldebook described a study conducted by a psychology professor at a university in upstate New York involving three Albany, NY auto dealerships. The study focused exclusively on exploring what the professor termed the “smile factor” of sales consultants in influencing transactions. The results revealed that the sales consultants who smiled the most had a 20% higher conversion rate and 10% higher average gross profit per transaction than those who smiled the least.

While it’s self evident that smiling is associated with happiness and a greater sense of well being, this research goes much further; namely, that smiling more means living longer, having stronger relationships — even earning more income.

So how’s your “smile IQ?”

via MOMcircle

For example, of the sixteen-plus hours you spend awake every day, how much of that time do you spend smiling? When you approach a stranger walking down the street, do you wait for them to smile first before smiling back, or do you initiate the exchange of smiles? Does it matter?

If you believe even half of Gutman’s findings, it not only matters, it has life-changing potential.

Based on these surprising facts, what would it mean to the quality of your life if you smiled more frequently? Here’s a challenge: Change your smile… Change your life. Take ten minutes every day during the next week to intentionally focus on smiling, wherever you are — even if you’re alone (researchers have found that smiling enhances your mood). Then let me know how it goes!

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A Complaint-Free World: One Man’s Mission

In one of my recent posts, I explored the life-changing potential of taking personal responsibility for everything that happens in your life.

Recently, I came across a similar story.

In 2006, a minister from Kansas City named Will Bowen laid out a simple challenge to people across the nation: Eliminate complaining from their lives for 21 days — the length of time it takes to make something a true habit.

His book, A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted, got him featured on Oprah, The Today Show, Fox News and hundreds of other media outlets nationwide. He makes eight key points — both positive and negative about the impact of complaining.

  1. Complaining is about what you cannot have or get. Get over it.
  2. Avoid chronic complainers — the disease spreads.
  3. Patience is key: It takes 4-8 months to move from unconsciously incompetent to unconsciously competent.
  4. Complaining traps you in a constant state of “something is wrong.”
  5. Complaining is a form of manipulation; it pulls other people down.
  6. Instead of complaining, seek alternative language or be silent.
  7. Silence is mature self-possession.
  8. Commit to what you want and go after it without complaint when you encounter the inevitable obstacles.

AComplaintFreeWorld.org

Since the book, Bowen’s movement has persuaded more than 10 million people in over 100 countries to wear his purple bracelet symbolizing their commitment to go three straight weeks without uttering a single complaint. One of his many colorful quotes is:

“Complaining is like bad breath: You notice it when it comes out of somebody else’s mouth, but not your own.”

How would you respond to this challenge? Could you do it? Do you think you would have the self awareness, emotional control, sense of optimism and, at times, sheer willpower to eradicate complaining for 21 days? What would it mean to you — and to the quality of your life – -if you did?

Imagine… a complaint-free world! I’d love to get your feedback. You can reply by leaving a comment below.

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