Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

Just a heads up that this will be my last FTLOF post for a couple of months, as I’m going back on maternity leave. You can keep up with the baby rosebuds on Instagram @daryarose.

This week decide earlier to make healthier choices, more adults getting food allergies, and what “natural flavors” really means.

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

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  Yes, you read that headline right. Stress can actually be a positive thing if we respond to it in a mindful way, says mindfulness and leadership expert Laurie J. Cameron. She’s the founder and CEO of PurposeBlue and the author of the The Mindful Day: Practical Ways to Find Focus, Calm, and Joy From Morning to Evening, and today we have her three tips for using those stressors to your advantage. 3 Mindfulness Keys to Turn Stress to Your Advantage The body’s response to stress — rapid heartbeat and breathing, narrowed vision, and a jolt of adrenaline — is…

The post 3 Ways to Make Stress Your Friend appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

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Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week standing desks are overrated, the new EPA head is terrifying, and how mushrooms might save the bees.

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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These days we’ve got trackers that monitor, well, just about everything: steps, workouts, heart rate, sleep, your dog’s activity … (We are truly living in the future.) via GIPHY And now we can add another thing to that trackable list (and it’s pretty darn cool): mindfulness. Yep, by monitoring breathing patterns that indicate periods of tension, relaxation and mental focus, the Spire Stone ($129.95) claims to reduce stress and anxiety while increasing mindfulness as you go through your everyday life. Does it work though? We tried it for a month and here are our thoughts! via GIPHY Spire Review: Pros The…

The post Does This Wearable Really Deliver Mindfulness? appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

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Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week plastics are more dangerous than you think, farmers are in crisis, and mindful people feel less pain.

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

 

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If you think that in order to create a ritual in your life you must burn sage and invoke specific deities with special mantras, think again. The act of ritual is simply bringing awareness to whatever you’re doing so that it elevates the activity and raises your consciousness. It’s this notion of mind-opening elevation that must be incorporated into the act, which means that when you become a slave to a habit, like smoking cigarettes, it can’t be considered a ritual. A ritual is fueled by love and it fills us with meaning. You may already be engaging in ritual…

The post How to Ritualize Your Regular Routine appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

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Although it may seem ridiculous, turning irritation into mindfulness will allow you to quickly get over an annoying incident and be much happier in the end. Recently, I was given this challenge at home. My daughter, who had her hair dyed pink, took a shower and left the white subway-tiled bathroom magenta. Not just the tile, but the white grout as well. It was a mess. When I saw this, I was overcome by irritation. I had not asked for a pink bathroom! But as I was scrubbing bleach all over (thankfully it was working!), I started to pay extra…

The post 5 Ways to Turn Your Irritation Into Mindfulness appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

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Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week low-carb is a bust, no edge to human longevity, and writing to improve body image.

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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Even after I fixed my diet, ditched the chronic cardio, and cleaned up my overall lifestyle to be more in line with our evolutionary upbringing, one big problem remained: my response to stress.

This had always been an issue for me. Part of it was that I kept a full plate at all times. Whether it was my training load, my businesses, my overall type A personality, stress was simply unavoidable, I thought.

How did I approach the situation and manage my stress differently over time?

First, I agonized over the existence of stress. My entire modus operandi throughout life had been to handle problems when they arose. I didn’t let things fester, I didn’t accept bad situations and learn to deal. I took care of things. If a problem didn’t resolve quickly , I assumed I was doing something wrong. Applied to stress, though? Man, what a disaster. I quickly realized that it was impossible to avoid stress, or eliminate it altogether. I needed a new approach.

So the first major step was admitting that stress is a fact of life, that stressors would arise, and what mattered was how I responded to them. My response could make the stress worse, or it could make it more manageable.

The first way I figured out how to improve my stress response was with smart supplementation. When I was still competing and doing the chronic cardio training required to succeed, I developed a supplement you might recognize by its old Primal Calm label and now called Adaptogenic Calm—designed to mitigate the negative effects of all that training stress. Both Brad Kearns and I used it, and it actually became an underground hit in the endurance scene. Athletes of all kinds were taking it and seeing great results. Of course, most of us just used it to allow our bodies to train even more and accumulate even more stress, which was one of the problems that got me into this mess in the first place.

The next step was realizing that even if I couldn’t eliminate stress entirely, I could eliminate unnecessary stress. First on the list was my training. You’ve heard the story before, so I won’t get too deeply into it. Suffice it to say, I was engaged in way too much endurance training—what I call chronic cardio—and spending way too much time out of the aerobic zone in the no-man’s land of moderately high-intensity that leads to sugar-burning and depresses fat-burning. This training was killing me, taking up all my time, necessitating an inflammatory high-carb, high-sugar diet that led to chronic GI distress and joint pain, and getting in the way of living.  If any of you can identify a big stressor upstream of a bunch of things going wrong in your life, take action and eliminate it. Changing how I trained led to the development of the Primal Blueprint and the resolution of most of my health problems.

Meditation always intrigued me. Even before it became an Internet sensation and every podcaster/blogger/CEO/coach out there credited their success to their morning meditation routine, I was surrounded by meditators. My wife, Carrie, has done it for decades. Lots of my athlete friends used it to—you guessed it—fight stress. And Malibu, CA, where I lived until a few months ago, is no stranger to yoga studios, health food stores, and other similar hives of mindfulness. I tried it. But it didn’t work for me. My mind was too active to become aware of its (lack of) self. Still, the science was convincing and I didn’t want to give up on what looked to be a potent anti-stress tool:

If sitting meditation didn’t work, maybe there was another way to get to a similar mindstate.

In a post I wrote about meditation alternatives, I gave 15 options and readers followed up with dozens of awesome suggestions in the comments. Standup paddling, hikes (or just hanging out) in nature, and guided meditations were my alternatives. They help me achieve the hyper-present flow state I’d only had glimpses of during “real” meditation. And sure enough, stress melts away as I’m doing the activity, I’m far less reactive to stressors (I have an extra split second or two to decide how I want to respond) throughout the week, and I appear to have greater resistance to stress. It’s almost an adaptogenic effect: rather than blunt or eliminate the stress response across the board, I’m able to call forth cortisol when the situation is serious. A car honking at me doesn’t trigger it, in other words.

Where am I today?

Stress is still there. It won’t ever go away, and I’m okay with that. I’ve got a growing food and supplement business, I’m as busy as ever with the writing, I just moved to Miami.

Meditation has gotten easier, but I’m still not a “meditation guy.” I don’t expect to be doing a 10-day silent retreat anytime soon.

Adaptogenic Calm remains a staple for me. The nutrients it contains are supraphysiological responses to the supraphysiological doses and durations of stress we receive in the modern world.

I welcome stress. If I align myself with the things I truly find meaningful and maintain active participation in life and avoid becoming a passive character in someone else’s storyline, the stressors become obstacles that make the narrative of my life more interesting. They propel me forward. Without stressors, I’m not living. I’m not doing anything. Stressors indicate action. They mean you’re bouncing up against reality and testing its mettle (and it, yours).

What’s your stress response journey? I’d love to hear how you’ve handled stress in the past, what you’ve learned along the way, and how you handle it now. Thanks, everybody.

I’ve got a contest coming up later this morning, so be sure to check back.

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The post How My Response to Stress Has Changed Through the Years appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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inline Wisdom_Post.jpegMy staff and I are quite close. Things stay busy these days, so there isn’t a lot of downtime, but I’ve worked with some of these folks for over a decade. We don’t discuss every grisly detail of our lives with each other. But we do share. We care about each other.

So when one of the Worker Bees mentioned he was having some potentially serious medical issues, I asked for details. Turns out he went to his doctor for a hard lump on his throat that was getting progressively bigger. Initial pokes and prods were inconclusive. An MRI led to a biopsy, which led to an email in the middle of the afternoon with the results and a hell of an opener: “This may be a cancer.” May helped. It wasn’t a sure thing yet.

For the next couple months, he continued getting tests to confirm one way or the other. A full body scan confirmed hypermetabolic activity in the lump, just like an active cancer would show. No other tissues showed up on the scan, meaning nothing had spread or originated elsewhere. No cancer confirmation, but his doctors were definitely leaning in that direction. He had meetings at the cancer center, filled out end-of-life directives, got a special parking pass. It was intense.

It wasn’t supposed to happen to a man like this. A wife, two kids, dogs, chickens, a new house, a job working in the health, fitness, and nutrition industry. Mid 30s. Fit, eats well, a strong foundation in Primal health principles. But happening it was.

Here’s what he said to me:

“Whatever happens, this has changed my perception of reality for the better (I think). I live in a different world now, rich with meaning and love and powerful emotions. It’s remarkable.”

Better?

Yep.

As he put it, when you think you’re dying, the nonsense you’ve been perpetuating falls away to reveal the essentials. It just happens on its own, and you get a glimpse of what really living entails.

Hugging your kids. Kissing your wife. A stroll after dinner to watch the sun dip below the horizon. A hawk soaring overhead. All things you’ve done and watched before, only now it’s different. Everything becomes imminent. Your concepts of the world and space-time condense. There’s less time now, but instead of getting frantic about it, you slow down and savor the moments. You’re present. Things that might have ruined your day or mood just roll off your back.

He saw it as a rare gift, and I have to agree. For all intents and purposes, he was dying (he wasn’t, but his nervous system didn’t know the difference). He got to make all the amends, undergo the self-realization, think about all the dreams and regrets he had accumulated or almost accumulated, and view things he took for granted in a new light. He got to prepare for death.

And then, he got good news. Exploratory surgery with an immediate biopsy right there in the operating room revealed that it wasn’t cancer. It was a cyst. They removed it. He went home, none the worse for wear.

The trickiest part of his whole experience has been figuring out how to keep it fresh in his heart and mind. How can he take what originated as a visceral response to the perceived threat of dying young and make it established policy? Turn it into wisdom that persists even when the threat has gone? The lump’s gone, and it never actually was a real threat. Will the insights remain?

That’s the eternal battle raging inside us, isn’t it?

We have these massive epiphanies triggered by events large and small. They change us, make us see the world from a different perspective. The prospect of random cancer helped the Worker Bee realize what he was taking for granted and glossing over. But when the direct effects of the trigger wane, we tend to let ourselves go. We get sloppy, complacent, and return to our previous incarnation.

Figuring this out seems like the key to happiness, success, meaning, world peace, and everything else we claim to hold dear. If we could get a handle on that slippery aspect of human psychology—the tendency to let learned wisdom flit away because the initial trigger resolves—there’d be no limit to what we could do as individuals and a species.

As we near the halfway mark of 2018, I want you all to ruminate on this matter.

  • How can we keep the spark of learned wisdom alive?
  • How can we turn tragedies into sustained improvements?
  • Better yet, how can we turn the tragedies of others into fuel for our own enduring improvements and realizations?

Let me know what you think, what you’ve learned down below. We all have stories like this. Candid details welcome and encouraged.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care, be well, and next time you hug a loved one, feel that hug for the miracle it is.

Because it is.

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The post Gaining (and Maintaining) Wisdom From Life Experience appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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