3 Enlightening Health Benefits of Hiking and Being in Nature

health benefits of hiking“Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.” – Edward Abbey

As I started out on the trail, slivers of the sun shone through the tall, almost naked trees. I peered out across the calm, stillness of the lake as it glistened in the fading warmth of the autumn sun.

My two dogs, oblivious to the magic of this all, were more interested in the smells recently left at the base of a near oak tree. 😆

Suddenly, I knew this was a special moment…. a moment that needed to be captured and remembered on film. As I took out my now obsolete iPhone 3Gs, I wondered…
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Why? What made this moment any more special than the other hundred hikes I’ve had around this very same lake on this very same trail?
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Then it dawned on me (since the park closes for December and January each year) that this would be the last hike around the lake for 2014...  Somehow this ‘last hike of the year‘ became a symbolic metaphor and an encapsulation of every hike and good time I’ve ever had here.

UPDATE 2/2/2015: My Baby Soma passed away yesterday, so this really was her last hike at the lake and a special moment to capture. Somehow I must have known that intuitively. 😥
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The Last Hike Around the Lake for 2014

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Kaya and Soma starting off down the trail

Ever since we discovered this little park six years ago…. it’s been a great find!

The park is based around lake Mackintosh, which is used as the primary water reserve for the city of Burlington. The park itself offers a 3 mile hiking trail through the woods and over some nice terrain.

If 3 miles is more than you plan to hike in a given day, it also offers a one mile loop trail, as well as, a half-mile trail for those who just want to take a short stroll.

The park is run by the city and has a playground for the kids, paddle boats, kayaks and tons of spots for fishing. There are plenty of picnic areas with tables and grills… even a covered area for larger parties.
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Overall, it’s just a nice little place to take your dogs for a hike, go for a trail run, get a playground workout in or even take your friends and family picnicking or kayaking. [weaver_html br /]

Since it’s about a five minute drive from my home, I like to take my dogs there on the weekend to let them smell, walk and get away from the house. They love to ride there in the back of my truck.

In fact, one of my dogs, Kaya, starts freaking out with her “unique and often annoying”  whining and barking routine as soon as we pull into the park.

She basically sounds like a dog with ADD on crack!!! lol… she’s a special dog with special needs. 😉

We walked a little further up the trail as the sun continued its rise higher in the sky… the Golden Hour was upon us. And now that most of the leaves have fallen you can easily see the lake through the trees. I snapped a few more pics.
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Lake Mackintosh is really beautiful in the Fall

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My 3 Favorite Health Benefits of Hiking and Walking

Before planes, trains and automobiles… people actually had to walk from point A to point B and were more fit because of it. Walking and hiking are what the human body was designed for. This is primal and “functional” exercise at its most basic form.

Walking on a flat sidewalk is one thing… yet when you get back to mother nature you have to traverse the terrain as you find it. Of course, most hiking trails have well-worn paths from so much repetitive foot traffic and regular maintenance of the trail.

Even so, you’ll find yourself stepping over roots and rocks, climbing hills, crunching leaves, avoiding mud puddles and crossing small streams or downed trees that may be blocking your path. Additionally, you’ll be dodging the occasional spider web or two.

Over the years, I’ve really come to enjoy hiking and walking. Not only is it a nice form of exercise in its own right, it also provides the opportunity for self-reflection and can be used as a form of moving meditation.
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Health Benefit of Hiking #1: Exercise and Active Recovery

There have been several studies claiming that hiking is a powerful form of aerobic exercise.  More than being good for your heart and cardiovascular system, hiking simultaneously builds strength in the legs and core without the higher impact forces of running or jogging.

This makes it a great choice for an active recovery workout. If you’re not familiar with the term “active recovery“, it simply means doing some form of low intensity exercise or cardio in between your strength training workouts.

Active recovery workouts are usually done on your rest or off days to get your blood flowing, reduce muscle soreness and fatigue and speed the healing and recovery process of your musculoskeletal system. [weaver_html br /]

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Soma Dawg prefers a slower pace  these days. She turns 14 this March 6th and her hind legs have been bothering her lately

Since my old Soma Dawg isn’t moving as fast as she used to, I tend to use hiking for the recovery aspects mentioned above. That being said, hiking can be made easier or harder depending on your goals, desires and intentions for hiking.

You can turn hiking into a higher intensity workout by increasing the speed at which you hike, the distance, adding weighted backpacks or vests, hiking mountains or steeper grade hills and even adding some body weight exercises for your upper body like push-ups or pull-ups from tree limbs.

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

That reminds me of the time my brother took us hiking in the mountains. We started off climbing crazy steep hills and then ended up having to jump from giant rock to giant rock before making it up the mountain to a waterfall. Our legs were burning by the end! Good times. 🙂

From a medical perspective, regular hiking can help lower your risk of heart disease, improve your blood pressure and blood sugar, boost bone density, improve balance and decrease depression by boosting your mood.
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Health Benefit of Hiking #2: Opportunity for Self-Reflection

Often, it seems, that our days are filled with one damn thing after another. We’ve got to wake up, get ready, go to work, do this, do that, pick up the kids, take them here and then go there, cook dinner, clean the house, work out, do the laundry, and finally when we are all done… wash your face, brush your teeth and go to bed so we can get up and do it all over again.

When we are constantly doing, doing, doing we seldom have a chance to just be. Unfortunately, it is in these rare moments of quiet solitude that insights and clarity come to us. Hiking provides us with more of these moments and gives us the opportunity for self-reflection.
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You know that moving your body is also good for your mind! Our bodies and our minds are totally interconnected. [weaver_html br /]

Opportunity for Self reflection
“Breathe, breathe in the air. Don’t be afraid to care.” – Pink Floyd

Therefore, our disposition, or ‘natural mental and emotional outlook‘, also has a ripple effect throughout our body.

If we are in a state of constant stress, tension or worry… think about the havoc this is causing to your internal systems!

Hiking provides us the opportunity to leave all of our problems back in city.

As we learn to let go, clear our minds and simply enjoy the nature around us… we are creating space for self-reflection and a more relaxed frame of mind.

One of the things I like to do when hiking is count my blessings and let a deep sense of gratitude flood over my body and my mind. Gratitude is the precursor to an abundance mentality. When you appreciate and embrace your life and the people, gifts and good fortune that have come your way… you are opening the gateway to more abundance, happiness and contentment.

Hiking can be the opportunity to reflect on such things.
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Health Benefit of Hiking #3: Form of Moving Meditation

Getting out of the house and onto the trail will do more than just help you physically and mentally… there are also some spiritual health benefits of hiking through nature.
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Just being in nature is a healing modality all in itself. The sunshine, fresh air, and energy found in natural environments helps to nourish and encourage our bodies to heal. [weaver_html br /]

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Soma’s favorite spot to stop, smell and fully absorb the energy of the present moment

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Many of the Eastern wisdom traditions like Tai Chi, Yoga and Aikido (just to name a few), encourage practicing in nature.  Doing so is said to increase the absorption of the powerful life energy that is all pervasive in the natural world. This powerful energy is known as Chi in Tai Chi, Prana in Yoga and Ki in Aikido.

Whatever you want to call it, this life energy is vital to our health and well-being. Our bodies take in this energy primarily through the air we breathe, the water we drink, the foods we eat and also from the natural environment all around us.

This is why there’s such an emphasis on deep, diaphragmatic breathing in each of these eastern art forms and why they encourage the practice of meditation.

We all know meditation is important and provides a plethora of benefits such as taming the mind, reducing stress hormones and anxiety, boosting the immune system, increasing happiness, creativity and expanding consciousness… and some people, like the Buddha, even used it to attain enlightenment… if you’re in to that sort of thing!  :mrgreen:

Well, who says you can only meditate sitting down!?!?

Sure that’s how you’re supposed to do formal, seated meditation… and it is a great practice, for sure. However, eventually the goal is to be able to meditate and be present throughout your daily life, not just during your seated meditation practice!

One way to reach this advanced state of presence is to incorporate various forms of moving meditation into your daily routines. You can do this by taking up one of the Awakened Warrior Disciplines such as Tai Chi, Yoga or Aikido… which I highly encourage you to do.

Thirsty dog
All this hiking is making Soma thirsty!

You can also experiment with turning your daily walks and hikes into forms of moving meditation. These are called Presence Walks and, apparently, I’m not the only one doing these… here Steve Pavlina explains how:

“As you walk keep your conscious attention focused fully and completely on the present moment.  Do not allow any thoughts of past or future to enter your mind.  Do not imagine anything.  Do not subvocalize any of your thoughts (i.e. don’t think in words). 

Focus your complete attention on perceiving the present moment as fully as possible.  See what you see.  Hear what you hear.  Smell what you smell.  Feel what you feel. That’s it.  It sounds simple, but it’s very difficult to master.”

Eventually, you can work to integrate this into your daily life. For example, as someone is speaking to you, clear your mind. Become fully present and attentive to that person. Refrain from thinking about what you are going to say next or anything else. Put all of your focus and awareness on this present moment interaction between you and the other person.

As Olivia Fox Cabane details in her book, The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism, this type of presence in our interactions with others is one of the three components to developing a charismatic personality. The other two qualities being power and warmth.

As you continue the practice of taming your mind from identification with the incessant thinking, thought patterns and mental noise, you may begin to realize that you are NOT your mind or your body. You are something much more than that!

You are the consciousness that is beyond your body and mind.

No longer are you merely hiking through the woods… you are hiking through the forest of your own consciousness.  One day, with a flash of insight, you awaken from the Illusion of Separation to realize that  every THING and every ONE is merely a reflection of your Self in a different form.

You are not walking on some random trail… you are the trail. You are not simply observing the lake, the sun and the trees… you are the lake, the sun and the trees.

When the wind blows and whispers in your ear… who is it that is there to hear?
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Do You Hear the Sound of that Mountain Stream?

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Do you hear the sound of that mountain stream?

To bring this post to a fitting end, I thought I’d share a short hiking story with you. I first heard this story while listening to an audio book called A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

A Zen Master was walking in silence with one of his disciples along a mountain trail. When they came to an ancient cedar tree, they sat down under it for a simple meal of some rice and vegetables.

After the meal, the disciple, a young monk who had not yet found the key to the mystery of Zen, broke the silence by asking the Master, “Master, how do I enter Zen?”

He was, of course, inquiring how to enter the state of consciousness which is Zen.

The master remained silent. Almost five minutes passed while the disciple anxiously waited for an answer. He was about to ask another question when the Master suddenly spoke.

“Do you hear the sound of that mountain stream?”

The disciple had been busy thinking about the meaning of Zen. Now, as he began to listen to the sound, his noisy mind subsided. At first he heard nothing. Then, his thinking gave way to heightened alertness, and suddenly he did hear the hardly perceptible murmur of a small stream in the far distance.

“Yes, I can hear it now,” he said.

The Master raised his finger and, with a look in his eyes that in some way was both fierce and gentle, said, “Enter Zen from there.”

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“Enter Zen from there!”

The disciple was stunned. It was his first satori – a flash of enlightenment. He knew what Zen was without knowing what it was that he knew!

They continued on their journey in silence. The disciple was amazed at the aliveness of the world around him. He experienced everything as if for the first time.

Gradually, however, he started thinking again. The alert stillness became covered up again by mental noise, and before long he had another question.

“Master,” he said, “I have been thinking. What would you have said if I hadn’t been able to hear the mountain stream?”

The Master stopped, looked at him, raised his finger and said, “Enter Zen from there.”

 

Unleash the Power of Your Ultimate Potential,

Brandon

11 Ways to Raise Self Worth to a Whole New Level

“We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.” [weaver_html br /]- Malcolm X

increase your worthiness with a mountain[weaver_html br /]Elevating ones self worth is the first step in increasing the amount of success that surrounds you. The things you want in life must first be created from within yourself before they can be experienced in the physical world. This article is part two in the series about self worth. If you haven’t read the first part, discussing low self worth, than I recommend going through that one first.

This post focuses on ways to raise self worth, thereby allowing you to invite more success, love, and prosperity into your life. By focusing on the steps below, you will help to remove the subconscious resistance that is holding you back from your goals and creating the life you want to live.[weaver_html br /]

Ways to Help Raise Self Worth

1. Quit Judging Yourself So Harshly

This approach has you look at the ways you internally judge yourself and how this affects your own self worth. The truth is that this duality of right and wrong that we’ve learned growing up is a staple on how worthy and deserving we feel as a person.

Some people joke around and say that, “a bad act is only wrong if you are caught”.  However, this viewpoint is flawed due to one main point. Even if your parents, teachers, or police officers did NOT catch you in the act, there was one person that always did… YOU!

In the back of your mind you are constantly taking notes on the good things and the bad things you’ve done.  This brings you to an internal decision on how good of a person you feel you are.  However, these acts you consider “good” or “bad” are relative terms that have been conditioned into your moral mindset.
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“Judging yourself too harshly, may cause problems which influence you to sabotage your own efforts towards success.  This is because you subconsciously feel that you do NOT deserve it.”
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This self-sabotage may take on many forms, like dropping out of college, getting fired from your job, racking up credit card debit, getting into an abusive relationship or getting addicted to drugs. These subtle behaviours that change the course of our lives might NOT even be recognized, but are evoked from our viewpoint of our own self-worth.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

2. Realize You’ve Done the Best You Could

Let’s have a look at a powerful realization; whatever you or other’s have done, you did the best you could, given your level of consciousness at the time. At first glance, you may look at that statement and say it’s flawed or may NOT agree with it. However, I ask you to look deeper into why people do the things they do. There is a popular saying as people become older and wiser, “If I could go back knowing the things I know now, I would have done things differently”.

Most people react and do things based on their own past experience. So if their experience is lacking: if they have emotional scars, mistaken beliefs, fears or anxieties… than this may factor into their behaviours. The past is the past, so it’s useless blaming them or yourself for these errors of judgement.

You might picture in your mind,  “the best you could do” and label it as acceptable, wonderful or even completely horrible! Nevertheless, it remains true that you did the best you could considering your present level of understanding at that time. It is also good for you to consider other people’s past behaviours in the same light.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

3. Understand That No One is Perfect

You are NOT perfect, you make mistakes and that is okay. There is nothing wrong with making a bad decision in your life, or failing to succeed at something. This is how we grow as individuals.
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“Being human is about learning…  If you’re completely perfect, there would be nothing to learn and the point of existing would no longer be valid.”
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No one wants to be a failure at anything, it can be discouraging. What you need to realize is that failing at things is part of the journey towards the land of success. There is rarely a successful person that has accomplished their wildest dreams without having any failures.

These failures and mistakes are how we learn, grow and evolve as humans. This allows us to make better choices the next time a similar situation comes our way. [weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

4. Apologize and Ask For Forgiveness

Since we are only human and have made mistakes in our lives, sometimes those mistakes hurt someone else in the process. These scenarios are often replayed over and over in our minds. Sometimes you may wonder what you could’ve done differently. The past is the past and again you did the best you could. You can NOT change what you did to hurt another, but you can certainly learn how to avoid doing something similar in the future.

These thoughts of wronging another, disrupt your own natural energy field and have a tendency to diminish your own self worth. Here are a few things you can do to help bring the balance back to your energy field and also raise your self worth.

First, if you feel comfortable with it, you could simply contact this individual that you wronged and ask them for forgiveness. Just say you are sorry, that you learned from your mistakes, you wish them the best and then maybe do something nice for them. Just by hearing those words, that they forgive you, can have a dramatic effect on your self worth and also your health. If they don’t forgive you, then simply decide to forgive yourself.

If you do NOT feel comfortable with actually contacting certain individuals to apologize, you can also visualize you doing it or write a letter saying you’re sorry. You do NOT necessarily have to send that letter. Just by getting this expression out of you, can have a massive impact. You could also try and do something nice for them if these people are still a part of your life.

Rather, you can follow this guided mediation called “The Twin Hearts Meditation”, that I’ve included at the end of the article. This powerful meditation accomplishes similar results for allowing forgiveness from others and it also will bring you into a peaceful mindset.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

5. Forgive Others and Release Them

This step is similar to the previous one, however this involves releasing others from the wrong they have inflicted upon you. The best way to be forgiven is to forgive others that have also made mistakes. Since no one is perfect, people are bound to make mistakes that could’ve caused hurt, pain or suffering on your end.

Again, If you feel comfortable, you can talk to the person and say that you completely understand that people make mistakes and you totally forgive them for what they did. This could really help both of you, since it brings them a sense of relief knowing that you forgive them. It can also bring a sense of joy and love felt on your end for being the one to provide understanding and forgiveness.

Once again if that is an uncomfortable approach, you can visualize the act of forgiving them. Tell them that you forgive them, you hope they learned from their mistakes and you completely release them. Writing a letter is another way to accomplish the same thing as visualizing it.

Like before, the “Twin Hearts Meditation” guides you through the visualization of forgiving others. This tool is a great way to go about providing forgiveness to those who have wronged you.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

6. Improve Your Body Language

Power Pose to help Raise self worth
Holding this power pose for 2 minutes can have dramatic results.

Your body language can have a huge impact on how powerful you feel, how other’s feel about you and what you can achieve in life. When you feel powerful your body reflects it, similarly when you feel weak it mirrors that as well.

Take a look at someone’s body language after they win, they’ll usually adopt a power pose. Studies show that by standing in a dominate pose for two minutes can actually affect how you feel, as well as cause hormonal changes in the body.

Amy Cuddy from Harvard University has done extensive research on the impact of body language and how it affects you physically as well as mentally.

Her results show that people who hold a power pose for two minutes, experience a twenty percent increase in testosterone and a twenty-five percent decrease in cortisol (stress hormone). Conversely, people who stand in a submissive pose experience a ten percent decrease in testosterone and a fifteen percent increase in cortisol.

These changes effect how you feel about yourself, how others feel about you, and the amount of risk you feel comfortable with. It puts you into a state of power that can help you on your way to success.

All you have to do is hold one of these power poses for at least two minutes when you want to raise your power and reduce your stress. Don’t worry, you can do this privately by yourself, so people aren’t looking at you like you’re crazy haha![weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

7. Do Good Things For Others

Acts of kindness brings forth great improvements to your sense of self worth. Remember people have a tendency to judge themselves for their actions and rank them as “good” or “bad”.

If you want to have a higher sense of worthiness, naturally focus on doing more good things.There are so many options here that there should be NO problem increasing your participation in providing good to the world.

This can be done by, helping a friend, volunteering, donating things such as food, clothes, money, or toys. You could also provide support to someone needing it, make someone laugh or simply share more love to those who you come in contact with.

One thing is certain, there is nothing wrong with providing more joy, harmony, and love to those that are blessed enough to cross your path.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

8. Practice Meditation

Mediation brings you into a state of alignment with the energy that is present within all life. By meditating you become more calm, have a greater sense of peace and feel more in touch with the goodness that courses throughout your body. Not only is meditation good for increasing your own self worth, it is also medically proven to improve the quality of your health.

There are so many ways to meditate that it should be easy to find an approach that you are comfortable with. One of the most simple methods is to sit in silence and focus solely on taking controlled deep breaths. Silence your mind and bring yourself into the present moment.

Another approach is using guided meditations that you can listen to which guide you through the process. I have included the “Twin Hearts Meditation” that not only helps with guiding you through meditation, but also helps with guiding you through forgiving yourself and others.

One benefit to the guided meditations is that they give you something to focus your mind upon.  For those that are less experienced in the practice of meditation, shutting down the thinking process of the mind, can be quite a challenge. [weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

9. Steer Your Thoughts Towards the Positive

The act of positive thinking can have a dramatic effect NOT only on developing your self worth, but improving the overall quality of your life.

According to the National Science Foundation, a person has between 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day. Most people have no control over the thoughts that come into their mind. Majority of these thoughts are repeated multiple times a day, everyday and are conditioned by the past.

Instead of letting these random thoughts pop into your head, focus on deliberately thinking positive thoughts. Bring thoughts into your consciousness that reflect who you want to be.

Thoughts such as how great it felt helping that person, a visualization about a place you would like to visit, or the feelings of being proud about  how far you’ve come so far in life and how many great things you’ve learned. You could also take the time to think about where you want to go in life, what you want to accomplish and visualize already being there.
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“Your thoughts have the power to create, so make sure you are focusing them on where you want your life to go.
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There is NO way to govern all your thoughts throughout the day, but by simply introducing new positive thoughts into your thinking vocabulary, you have the possibly of diluting some of the negative thoughts that might pop into your mind on accident.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

10. Realize that Every Person is of Equal Worth

There is an epidemic of materialism that plagues our current society. The media has given us this idea that certain people are worth more than others. They continually provoke thoughts that your appearance, body, accomplishments, wealth, possessions, and social status are the true representations of your worth. In such a materialistic society it is sometimes hard NOT to think that way.

However, I stand to say that those are merely the circumstances of your life and NOT a true reflection of your self worth. In its essence, your self worth has nothing to do with the car you drive or your social status, but everything to do with the type of person you feel you are.

If that is the case, NO other person’s experience is worth more than your own, because experience in general is the main goal for all humans.

You can choose to experience positive or negative situations, love or hate, wealth or poverty. But make NO mistake, just because you own an expensive home or drive a fancy sports car, does NOT mean you are worth more than the man begging for food on the side of the road.

Internally you may have developed your own self worth, that is why you feel you deserve these things, but ultimately the beggar has the same potential as a human being. He or she may just have blocked their view on their own given deservedness, which we are all entitled to while living on this Earth. [weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

11. Know that You are in Control Your Future

The last step is to realize that ultimately you have complete control over your future. You can spend your time blaming others on why you didn’t succeed at something, or you can be more constructive and focus on what you need to do to succeed.

Just like your thoughts help create your reality, so does the complete surrender to the approach that you are the only one that is in charge of your future. Where you want to go is up to you… it all starts with the actions you take at the present moment.

Once you take this approach, it is actually quite liberating because then these external circumstances have less influence on your life than you once thought. Realize your self worth is the main foundation for the amount of success you allow to come into your life. By doing so, opens up more doorways that previously remained closed.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

Twin Hearts Meditation

The “Twin Hearts Meditation” is a universal spiritual meditation that is in no way involved in any particular religion. It is a technique that was developed by GrandMaster Choa Kok Sui, the founder of Pranic Healing.  Pranic healing is a form of energy medicine that has been shown and tested to increase the vital life-force energy within the body, allowing healing and regeneration of cells. It has started to be adopted in conjunction with standard medical practices in certain states in the US.  It has shown to improve the rate of healing in patients with all types of conditions.

The Meditation on Twin Hearts, was developed in order to increase the amount of life force energy within the Pranic Healer, thereby allowing them to transfer the excess energy to their patients.  This meditation has been highly praised by those who practice it regularly.  This meditation also guides you through the process of asking for forgiveness and forgiving others, which will lead you on your way to a higher sense of self worth.

Listen or download the Twin Hearts Meditation below:

To download the mp3 file, click play and then right-click on “download mp3”, select “save link as” and choose where you want to save it.

[mp3-jplayer tracks=”Meditation on Twin Hearts@meditation-twin-hearts-Master-Co-short.mp3″ dload=”y”]

Hope you found these tips useful with helping to improve your self worth.  Thanks for reading!

Best Regards,
Cory Cook

America’s First Motorcycle and the Indian Demo Ride

“The connection to place, to the land, the wind, the sun, stars, the moon… it sounds romantic, but it’s true – the visceral experience of motion, of moving through time on some amazing machine – a few cars touch on it, but not too many compared to motorcycles. I always felt that any motorcycle journey was special.”– Antoine Predock

Indian Scout Motorcycle

There’s nothing like firing up your bike on a warm, sunny day! Cruising down the back country roads under a Carolina blue sky, amongst the lush trees, farmlands and green pastures… it’s both an exhilarating and yet, mind centering experience.

You become fully present  as you seek to tame and control the mechanistic beast you’re riding. Your grip tightening as you accelerate into the rush and resistance of the wind.

The world of problems and mundanity forever behind you; Leaning into the corners and hearing the sound of the engine thundering out of the exhaust pipes as you roll onto the throttle… is all that matters now.

It’s AWESOME, broseph! And that’s why Cory and I jumped at the chance, when a good friend of ours invited us to go check out the Indian Demo ride in Greensboro, North Cackalacky.

I can’t wait to tell you all about it!!! However, before I do…. a brief motorcycle history lesson:
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America’s First Motorcycle Company

Before Harley Davidson… there was Indian! Say whaaaaat? 😉

“Indian is an American brand of motorcycles originally manufactured from 1901 to 1953 by a company in Springfield, Massachusetts. During the 1910s Indian became the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. Indian’s most popular models were the Scout, made from 1920 to 1946, and the Chief, made from 1922 to 1953.” -Wikipedia 

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Indian Scout 600cc circa 1920

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As the battle for American motorcycle dominance raged on… Harley Davidson, as we all know, emerged victorious and The Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company went bankrupt in 1953.

A number of successor organizations have perpetuated the name in recent years, although with apparently limited success… that is until Polaris Industries took over in 2011 and revitalized the Indian name.

Victory Judge
Me on the Vic Judge @ Carolina Wine Festival

As an aside, Polaris also makes the Victory line up of motorcycles and although I’ve only sat on a couple without actually riding them, I am a big fan of those as well. They seem like great bikes and I am especially fond of the Victory Vegas 8-Ball, Cross Country and the Judge.

Hopefully, Victory Motorcycles will have a demo ride in Greensboro in the near future and we can go ride their models as well.

Update: They did… you can check that out here. Okay, back to Indian.

Since Indian motorcycles have a vintage flair, rich history and helped pioneer what American motorcycling is today, it was pretty cool to get to test ride some of their new 2015 models.

Read on to see some pics of us on the bikes and to find out what we thought of the two Indian Models we rode. I’ve also included a short video of the all new 2015 Indian line up. So be sure to check that out. And to bring it all home, I found a great quote and a cool pic of Brad Pitt riding an old Indian Scout from the movie; ‘‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”
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Our Experience at the Indian Demo Ride

Jive Mother Mary
Jive Mother Mary @ The Fat Frogg – Elon, NC

The night prior we were cutting a rug down at a place called The Jugg with a girl named Linda Lue” … okay, not really, but that song is totally stuck in my head today!!!

Actually we were playing pool, drinking a few 1554’s from New Belgium Brewing Co. and listening to Jive Mother Mary at the Fat Frogg…. which is a bar & grill near Elon University campus.

After Midnight, Jive Mother Mary was jammin’ on some ZZ Top covers and their own classic rock inspired originals, when we realized we should probably dip out and head back to the house. We needed get some rest and be in good shape to ride those Indian Motorcycles the following afternoon.

We got there around 11:30am and as we were pulling in we saw about 20 bikes and their riders cruisin’ out to take ’em for a spin. The Indian dealership downtown had about 5 various models and over 20+ bikes from their 2015 line up for us to test ride.
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Cruising around Greensboro on the All New Indian Scout

2015 Black Indian Scout
Cory getting ready to ride the black 2015 Indian Scout

For our first motorcycle ride we decided to go with the Indian Scout. The Scout is based on the iconic namesake of Indian’s original and most popular motorcycle.

Straddling the bike and testing its weight and balance revealed a surprising lightweight and nimble frame. The bike weighs in at 558lbs with a full tank of gas.

This bike would be perfect for someone of a smaller build and stature. I’m about 5’11” with longer legs, so although this would be an awesome bike for zipping around town or back roads… I could see myself getting uncomfortable on longer rides.
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The source of power for the Scout is a 100 horse power V-twin engine with 69 cubic inches of displacement (1100cc)  and 72.2 foot pounds of raw torque. It is a liquid cooled engine with fuel injection and a belt drive… making it highly responsive.
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Red 2015 Indian Scout
Brandon chillin’ on the red 100HP Indian Scout

Being a lighter bike, the Scout had plenty of get up and go. I wish I would have been able to really open up the throttle to test its full acceleration. Still, I did get on it a few times and liked what it had to offer power wise.

I do think my V-Star 1300 has just as much, if not MORE power. Yet, since my bike has a slightly bigger engine that’s to be expected I guess.

My bike does weigh about 200lbs more than the Scout though, so it would be interesting to put them side by side for a drag race showdown!  Or for safety reasons, we could NOT DO THAT and just say we did. haha…

In fact, I’m doing the race in my head right now…. oh niiiiiice…. my V-Star 1300 just dusted the Scout big time!

Okay, back to reality! :mrgreen:
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The reality is that the Scout was a fun bike to be taking out for a spin around town. When I gave it some gas, it would definitely take off… which is always a good thing. The lighter weight and frame of the bike seemed to make it more maneuverable.
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One complaint we both had were the grips. We thought they seemed too small and thin in general. Grips can usually be swapped out easy enough, so that’s not a big deal.

However, I didn’t care for the gaudy radiator up front. Call it a personal preference of mine, I never really cared for the look of a big radiator on a motorcycle. I do like to have a liquid cooled engine though, so it would be nice to see a smaller, more aesthetic looking radiator.

All in all, the 2015 Indian Scout is a fine piece of craftsmanship and the most affordable bike in the Indian line up starting at $10,999. If you’re looking for your first motorcycle, this could be a contender. Although, I recommend taking the MSF Course and practicing on their 250’s first!
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Rolling Down the Streets in Luxury on the Indian Roadmaster

2015 Indian Roadmaster
Here I am enjoying the American Luxury of the Roadmaster

For our second run, we both decided to jump on the biggest, most luxurious touring bike Indian had to offer… the Roadmaster.

Neither Cory, nor I, have done a lot of touring on a motorcycle at this point. The longest ride so far was our trip last year to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This overnight trip took 2+ hours to get there, several hours riding around the parkway and mountains and then 2+ hours to get back. Definitely not cross country or anything.

Still, the road took it’s toll on us, especially since we rode without any wind protection such as a windshield or fairing. If we would have had a touring bike such as the Indian Roadmaster, things would have been a lot more…. comfortable!

The first thing I noticed upon hopping on the Roadmaster was the plush, desert tan leather seats. Not only did they look really nice, they were also soft and cushiony on the ol’ buttox. Both the driver and the passenger seats felt comfortable enough to withstand some serious mileage.

When I went to fire this bad boy up, I was a little confused because I couldn’t find a key to turn it on. One of the Indian reps standing nearby pointed out that it had a secure keyless ignition system and all I had to do was press that button. I did and the Roadmaster fired right up! Sweet!
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Powering this beast is the Thunder Stroke 111. The Thunder Stroke 111 is an 1800cc V-Twin engine that delivers an incredible 119 ft-lbs of torque and features styling that pays tribute to legendary Indian Motorcycle engines of the past.
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It had no problem keeping up with the Indian Scout, as I followed behind a few of them on this smooth second ride. For a bike weighing in at over 900lbs it was surprisingly easy to balance and control.

The Roadmaster has plenty of features such as a radio, electronically adjustable windshield, heated grips and seats and an ample amount of storage space to hold and secure your gear and luggage.

Neither of us had any complaints about the Roadmaster’s feel and functionality. The only thing for me is that I don’t particularly like how it looks.

The Indian Roadmaster’s starting price is around $26,999. If I was going to drop that kind of cash I would want to ride the Victory Cross Country Tour, Harley Davidson Electra Glide and the new Honda Goldwing before making any commitment to the Roadmaster.

Personally, I love the sleek modern style of the Victory Cross Country over the vintage-inspired vogue of the Roadmaster. But hey, that’s just me and everyone has their own tastes in motorcycles! 🙂
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2015 Indian Roadmaster
Cory captivating the very essence of the Indian Roadmaster

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The All New 2015 Indian Motorcycle Line-up

During the demo ride we only rode two of the five models Indian has to offer. It was a great way to spend the afternoon and we definitely enjoyed the hospitality and chance to test ride these bikes. If you have an Indian dealership nearby, look them up to see if you can participate in one of these demo rides.

As promised, here is a short video courtesy of Indian Motorcycles.  You’ll get to see their full line-up and learn more of the history and engineering behind the legacy of Indian Motorcycles. Check it out to see these bikes in full cruising spirit out where they belong…. on the American Highways!
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It’s Never Too Late to Be Whoever You Want to Be

To wrap up this post and in the spirit of Unleashing Your Ultimate Potential, I’d like to leave you with this inspirational quote taken from the movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

In this film there’s a short scene where Brad Pitt (Benjamin Button) finds an Indian Scout and takes it out for a joy ride. This is the same Indian Scout from the 1920’s that is pictured at the beginning of this blog post.
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Indian Scout
Brad Pitt riding an Indian Scout

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing.

We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you.

I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” – Benjamin Button

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Hope you enjoyed this review of our experience and learned a little something about American First Motorcycle Company in the process. Thanks for reading!

Unleash Your Ultimate Potential,

Brandon Cook

Give Yourself Permission to Live Life Full Out!

give yourself permission“Don’t look to society to give you permission to be yourself.”
– Dr. Steve Maraboli

Most of us are waiting for someone to give us permission to live our lives.

We’re waiting for someone to tell us it’s okay to be ourselves.

We’re waiting for our internal “mommy” and “daddy” to give us their metaphoric nod of approval.

Whether it’s our figurative or literal parents or any of the other prominent men and women in our lives….

So many of us are waiting for their acceptance, their agreement, and their RED Rubber Stamp of Approval in life.

If you want to achieve greatness, you need to stop asking for permission and give it to yourself. You don’t need their validation!
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“Why are we waiting for the world to give us permission to be, do and have anything? It’s not the world that can give you what you want… the external world is but a mere reflection of your own innermost reality.”

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What I mean is that any objective reality “out there” is skewed by your perception of that reality in your own mind- through your own perceptual filters. You’re not seeing the world as it is… rather you’re seeing the world as you believe it to be!

Your life circumstances are simply a mirrored reflection of your own mind and beliefs. And just like how your image is flipped when looking in a mirror… It’s NOT the world’s permission that we really need. It’s our own!

All a confident person really is… is someone who gives themselves permission to live their life their way. In what ways would your life change if you stopped waiting or asking for permission? How much happier could you be if you finally gave yourself permission to live life full out?
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Stop Asking and Give Yourself Permission….

Give Yourself Permission to change your mind about what is

Give Yourself Permission to accept yourself exactly as you are

Give Yourself Permission to live your life your way

Give Yourself Permission to start over from scratch if you need to

Give Yourself Permission to make as many mistakes as it takes to succeed

Give Yourself Permission to go after your dreams aggressively

Give Yourself Permission to make, save, and invest a kajillion bucks

Give Yourself Permission to be a mo’ fuggin’ rock star

Give Yourself Permission to enjoy lots of sex (it feels good)

Give Yourself Permission to live life at max capacity

Give Yourself Permission to walk the path least followed

Give Yourself Permission to become ever better with time

Give Yourself Permission to say what’s really on your mind

Give Yourself Permission to travel and explore new places and cultures

Give Yourself Permission to do something dangerous (think it through first)

Give Yourself Permission to expect the unexpected and unexpect the expected

Give Yourself Permission to be weird – we all know you are anyway

Give Yourself Permission to make new and interesting friends

Give Yourself Permission to approach women that you find attractive

Give Yourself Permission to be tolerant towards others and keep an open mind

Give Yourself Permission to fight for something you truly believe in

Give Yourself Permission to make a difference in this world

Give Yourself Permission to do something nice just for yourself

Give Yourself Permission to kick fear and self-doubt in their stanky face

Give Yourself Permission to do something wild, fun and crazy

Give Yourself Permission to be successful in all that you do

Give Yourself Permission to build muscle, burn fat and transform your body

Give Yourself Permission to believe that you CAN do it

Give Yourself Permission to enjoy a healthy and nutritious diet 90% of the time

Give Yourself Permission to indulge occasionally with the other 10%

Give Yourself Permission to love and inspire a child

Give Yourself Permission to do what’s best for you at this time

Give Yourself Permission to be happy for no external reason whatsoever

Give Yourself Permission to screw everything up once in while

Give Yourself Permission to simplify your life

Give Yourself Permission to focus on that which truly matters

Give Yourself Permission to read a new book or magazine (you might learn something)

Give Yourself Permission to forgive those who have wronged you

Give Yourself Permission to forgive yourself while you’re at it

Give Yourself Permission to leave the past behind you once and for all

Give Yourself Permission to rise above anything trying to hold you down

Give Yourself Permission to look her deeply in the eyes and smile

Give Yourself Permission to wave to someone you don’t even know

Give Yourself Permission to grow and expand your comfort zone

Give Yourself Permission to love someone deeply yet let them go if you must

Give Yourself Permission to seek out new and interesting places to hang out

Give Yourself Permission to write that book, sing that song or start that business

Give Yourself Permission to become the person you’ve always wanted to be

Give Yourself Permission to continually improve and refine your personality

Give Yourself Permission to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done

Give Yourself Permission to unleash the power of your ultimate potential
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What did I miss? If you can think of anything I left out be sure to tell me in the comment section below. Well, what are you waiting for…. permission or something!?  😛

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Not that you need it….

Unleash Your Ultimate Potential,

Brandon

Is Low Self Worth Sabotaging Your Future?

Low Self Worth“Self-worth comes from one thing – thinking that you are worthy.”
– Dr. Wayne Dyer

Does life seem to be one big struggle, to obtain the prosperity, love and happiness you feel you deserve?

Do you try with all your might to succeed, yet there always seems to be something holding you back or dragging you down?

If so, there could be areas of low self worth that need to be addressed within yourself. Getting this handled will help you to move beyond the patterns of self destructive behavior that are influencing your life on a subconscious level.

In this article we are going to discuss the difference between self worth and self esteem and how your current level of self worth could be influencing the life you have presently created. In the next blog, we will add to this and discuss ways on how to increase your self worth in order to master your life and create the reality you wish to experience.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

Self Worth VS Self Esteem – What’s the Difference?

Many people view self worth and self esteem as the same thing. However, there are distinct differences between them and the ways they can impact your entire life. Knowing the differences between self worth and self esteem can bring forth a new outlook about yourself, what you feel you deserve in life, and how the choices you make can affect what you create in this world (whether good or bad).

Self Worth is more or less relating to how much you respect yourself. This view is created by your past actions and whether or not you thought they were “good” or “bad”.

The collection of past actions are internally tallied and then you subconsciously create a score card that provides you with an overall sense of your value, worth, goodness and deservedness. Since good and bad are relative terms, the only thing that determines how you feel about your past actions is your own deeper internal sense of what you feel is right or wrong.

This is learned by the society you grew up in, your parents, family, friends, religion, schools, government and surrounding environments.

Self worth is mostly an internal view of how you see yourself. However, at the deepest core, you are more than the collection of your past thoughts, body, emotions, and behaviors. You are the spirit or energy that is an expression of itself in the physical form, and this is the truth of your unconditional worth.

But due to your own thoughts and emotions; your self worth is constantly changing depending upon this internal score card, the actions you chose to take in life and whether you felt that they were “good” or “bad”.

Self Esteem on the other hand, relates to your own confidence in yourself. This confidence can be associated with your appearance, intelligence, or your abilities at performing certain tasks. Your self esteem has the ability to be high for one thing, yet swing to the low side for other things. It’s constantly changing depending on the circumstances you find yourself in at the time.

Self esteem can be viewed as the external aspects of yourself. For example, I have high self esteem when playing guitar for people, yet my self esteem is low when it comes to dancing in front of people. As you can see, it’s the confidence held in your abilities and your appearance that gives you a reflection of your self esteem.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

Low Self Worth – What Do You Think You Deserve?

Every human being starts off with the same amount of worth when they enter this life. However, as we live our life, the thoughts we think and the actions we take, either lower our inherent worthiness or keep it elevated. It’s our internal perception on whether we believe these actions were “good, loving, or selfless”  or ”evil, hateful, or selfish”  that determines whether it adds to or takes away from the score card.

People do NOT get what they deserve, they simply get exactly what they “think” they deserve. This is in fact a huge eye opener, because it’s our beliefs that determine how much good we’re able to allow into our life.

I am Worthy!
Arnold Schwarzenegger believed he deserved to be a champion and then he became one!

How good can you stand it? Do you feel worthy of all that life has to offer? Do you feel you deserve a loving, respectful partner? These questions may have two different answers depending on if it’s your conscious or subconscious mind answering the questions. But even at the conscious level, at what point do things start to feel “too good” to be true and it starts to make you feel uncomfortable?

By starting to realize your own worth as a human being, you open up the door to show yourself more respect, which in turn can influence others to treat you with more respect as well. The more you open these doors to self-respect, the more influence it has on the choices you make, the people you hang out with, the actions you take, and the amount of self-sabotage you inflict upon yourself.

When you move into the light and become an awakened warrior that knows your own worth, you start to remove the resistance holding you back and bring with it more constructive choices. This new sense of deservedness can help propel you on your way to greater success.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

You Are Your Own Judge and Jury

Balance of WorthDeep down inside you have an “internal score card” that constantly tallies all of the “good” and “bad” things you have done in your life.

This score card is subconsciously accessed to determine your overall sense of self worth.

The problem is that “good” and “bad” are more or less relative terms determined by the society in which you were raised.  So what actually creates your overall score is what you were taught about “right and wrong” when growing up.

As a child, when you were bad you got punished for it, when you were good you got praise or rewards. It was this moral code you were given in these early years of your life that sets the foundation for how this “internal” score card is calculated.

You can see this more fully in those you deem as “bad” people, yet who have acquired huge amounts of worldly success. If they truly feel what they have done is “good”, then their score card will reflect that regardless of whether or not the other people observing them feel otherwise. So in their eyes, their success was something they deserved.

On the flip side, those that are often the most giving and loving can sometimes  have the lowest levels of self worth. This is due to their own view point and high ideals on what makes a person “good”. Each little act may be marked on their scorecard as a bad behavior, even if others might NOT consider it as such.

Yet as these individuals begin to recognize this, and come to the realization that they are in fact a “good” person, then waves of opportunities will start making more frequent appearances in their lives.

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Struggles Through Self-Sabotage

self sabotageHave you ever experienced a time, when everything was going your way… then all of a sudden, something happens which crushes the accomplishments you’ve been working so hard to achieve?

This could be anything, such as:

  • Saving up money, then all of a sudden your car breaks down and you end up spending all of your savings fixing it.
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  • Having to quit school because you need to work more because you are in debt from buying too many useless items.
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  • Finding yourself in destructive relationships with people that mistreat you.
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  • Getting addicted to drugs, alcohol or tobacco.
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  • Not taking care of your health and finding yourself with loads of doctor bills and tons of medications that you have to take.
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The point is that you could be self-sabotaging yourself without even realizing it. Most of the time, this self-sabotage comes about because on a subconscious level you do NOT feel worthy of the success you are experiencing. You manifest these problems to bring you back to the comfortable level where you feel you deserve to be.  This is know as a set point.

Sometimes you even choose to do stupid things even though someone advises against it. You ignore the warning that was given and choose to make make the wrong choice even though you had this guidance telling you NOT to. This could be as simple as continuing to buy unnecessary items and put yourself into debt when your financial advisor told you to cut back on expenses.

Or maybe one of your friends knows a person you are getting involved with and warns you about the type of person they are. Informs you that they are negative, abusive or has some other negative trait that would bring you down. However, you choose to ignore their advice only to later wish you would have listened to what they warned you about.

As you can see, this form of self-sabotage is a subtle way that you inflict a feeling of unworthiness upon yourself because you do NOT realize that you are worthy of the goodness that life has to offer you.

When you see these self inflicting problems starting to manifest into your life, it’s best to start working at removing your sense of low self worth. That way you feel more deserving for all the great things that life has to offer you, without having the need to sabotage your own efforts at living an awesome life.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

You Are a Worthy Human Being

Here we stand at the crossroads of worthiness and unworthiness, which way do you go? This is entirely up to you, for in the eyes of the universe, you are just as worthy as any other human being.  Whatever it is that you want to accomplish; If you want to be a rock-star, teacher, scientist, athlete, or millionaire it’s possible with the right sense of worthiness, mindset, skills and plans to get you there.

Low self worth is the first area that you need to address in order to accomplish your goals and dreams in this world. It’s what makes it all possible.

Now that you have an understanding of the differences between self-esteem and self-worth, in the next post we will discuss tips for increasing self worth. The end goal is to rate yourself at 100% on the internal score card. Once you reach that level, you open yourself up to all the great things that this world has to offer.

Start increasing your internal score card by sharing this post, via the buttons bellow, with anyone you feel could benefit from increasing their self worth! 🙂

Until next time,
Cory Cook

8 Ways to Believe in Yourself When Nobody Else Does

henryford“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford

The next time you get into your car to drive off, wherever you may roam, I want you to stop for a second to pay homage to Henry Ford.

Yes, he’s the guy in the picture over there and the man who created the Ford Motor Company, making it possible for YOU to have your very own personal automobile. He did it because he had an idea he believed in, and he never gave up, even when other people laughed at him.

Mr. Ford was most famously quoted for saying:
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“Whether you think that you can or that you can’t,
you are usually right.” – Henry Ford

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As you read this article on 8 Ways to Believe in Yourself When Nobody Else Does, keep in mind that you MUST believe in yourself first. Otherwise it will be practically impossible for anyone else to ever believe in you.

You have to choose between self-doubt or self-confidence and in the end… it’s a choice only YOU can make!
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1. Let Go of the Past

The past is over and done with. Though the experiences we have gone through have deeply affected every aspect of our lives – whether for better or worse. Our pasts have shaped our personalities, self-worth, and influence the choices and decisions we make in our daily interactions.
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“The most important thing for us to realize is this: the past has no control over our lives, except the control we allow it to have. It is not a life sentence that we must carry out!”

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Once we become aware of this fact and take full responsibility for our own lives we become the true creators of our own tomorrow. The past may have made you who you are today, but it’s up to you whether you stay that way or not.

If you want to develop maximum confidence and belief in yourself, just know that you have the full capacity to do so. Your past can’t stop you! It’s just a trail you leave behind, it’s like the wake of a boat, or your foot prints in the sand. It’s not who you are, it’s only who you were and where you have been.

Nothing more and nothing less. Learn from your past and then let it go.
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2. Embrace Your Present Moment Reality

The untamed human mind is a funny thing! It is always trying to escape reality. We spend so much time reliving the past or dreaming and worrying about the future, that we no longer have a grasp on what’s real and happening in our lives in this very moment.

We’re not living in reality, but rather our distorted perception of reality.

Reality can suck sometimes and the Truth can be a bitter pill to swallow. Many of us don’t want to examine our lives too closely, because if we do, we might have to face the fact that we aren’t as confident, happy, and awesome as we thought we were.
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“To really make a change and transform any aspect of your life, it’s crucial that you face the reality of your life circumstances.”

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By not embracing this moment as it truly is, we can continue to live in denial and protect our fragile egos from this often harsh reality. In this way, we also avoid feeling the pain of self-disappointment… yet, this comes at the cost of having to live our lives in quiet desperation.

You MUST stop deluding yourself and learn to face your present moment reality head on. Only when you’re honest with yourself can you objectively analyze your life and make the necessary changes that produce real results.

By discovering the hidden power within the NOW you gain access to the most important moment of your entire life… this one! It is only in this precise moment that life is lived.
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3. Discover Your Life Purpose and Mission

In order to believe in yourself you have to be living your life on purpose. If you don’t know exactly what you want in life, how will you ever achieve it? Let me clue you in… YOU WON’T!

You MUST discover what your life purpose is and embark on a critical mission to accomplish it. It all starts with designing a life plan for yourself and setting some goals.

When you set a goal for yourself (even a small one) and then achieve it, you will increase the level of confidence within yourself. As you realize your goals, one by one, your belief in yourself will begin to take off. Soon your accomplishments will start to add up and your self-esteem will skyrocket!
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“Decide exactly the type of person you’d like to become and what you want your life to be like… then create a plan of execution that will make it your reality.”

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If you’re unsure about what you want to do with your life, I suggest looking at your hobbies and passions first. What talents and skills do you have (or are willing to learn) that you can use to provide value to other people?

Now start creating a vision of what you desire by writing out goals for the following six areas of your life; physical, mental, spiritual, personal, social and financial.Continue to refine this vision over time as you learn and grow.

As an Awakened Warrior, you MUST discover and complete your life mission. You have something awesome to offer this world… don’t rob us of your contribution.
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4. Take Inspired and Massive Action

In my twenties, the internet was really starting to take off. I was like a sponge… absorbing information, reading tons of books, researching online, listening to audios. I couldn’t get enough. I was an information junkie and there was so much to learn and so little time to learn it.

Yet, after ten years of learning my life had changed very little. Sure there definitely were some improvements, personal growth and new insights. Life was good. However, many of my goals hadn’t been achieved and I was becoming discouraged. “What am I doing wrong?“, I wondered.

What I failed to realize is that your life will NOT change through learning alone…. ONLY through action and application. If we fail to act on what we know and learn, than that knowledge is utterly useless to affect change in our lives.
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“Knowledge is ONLY potential power. When we take Inspired and Massive Action we transform conceptual knowledge into practical wisdom.”

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The most potent form of action is INSPIRED ACTION! When you feel a deep sense of inspiration then life itself is encouraging you to act. This type of action may arise as a gut feeling, intuition or a sense of purpose and passion.

When you feel inspired to act, let this feeling guide you to do so immediately! To paraphrase Dale Carnegie, inaction breeds doubt and fear, while action breeds confidence and courage.

Life has a tendency to reward quick, decisive action and this is a surefire way to build a stronger sense of belief and confidence in one’s ability to make things happen.
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5. Never Accept Defeat or Failure

As you take inspired action and work towards realizing your mission and purpose in life, you will most likely experience some temporary defeat and failure. No matter how well you prepare yourself in life you will still make mistakes and possibly fail at what you set out to accomplish.

When this happens, you must remember that this does not make YOU a failure personally. You are only experiencing a temporary set back.  If you give up at the first sign of adversity, all that you’ve worked for will be in vain.

You never truly fail until you quit trying.

Failure is only an indication that your current actions were not optimal to produce your desired result. Your approach should be reevaluated, tweaked and a second attempt made.
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“Every set back and mistake contains a lesson and opportunity by which we may rise to higher levels of understanding and enlightenment.” 

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Many times, these “failures” serve as a means to bring humility to a person who has let their ego get too inflated. I know this was partially the case back in my “wanna-be rockstar days” … it took the breakup of the band to teach me a valuable lesson in leadership and in the power of remaining humble.

Napoleon Hill taught in his Law of Success Course, that “Every adversity you meet carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.” It is up to you to humble yourself and look for this hidden blessing so that you may rebound stronger, growing and profiting from the experience.

Be very careful not to personify the failure. Just let it go and move on confidently. As Bruce Lee reminds us, “In great attempts… it is glorious even to fail.”
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6. Control the Frame

As you go through life you will experience many things. Some will be good, some bad and some may shake you to your very core. Whenever we have an experience we tend to assign some type of meaning to this event in our minds, thus giving it a context.

For example, you may see a cute girl you would like to talk to and get to know better. So you approach her and say hello. She reacts indifferently to you and blows you off. One might then internalize this rejection through negative self-talk and hence “frame” the interaction in a way that diminishes their own self-worth.

Feeling rejected one might say to themselves, “Women don’t find me attractive.”; or “I’m no good with women.”; or “Women always reject me.”

In our own insecurity, we tend to blame ourselves when things don’t work out as planned… but realistically there are many factors involved that affect the outcome of every situation.
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“Controlling the frame is about having a strong sense of belief in yourself and carefully selecting the context and meaning you assign to events in your life.”

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There are two methods by which you can do this: either by upholding a favorable frame while the event is taking place or by “re-framing” the event in your mind after it all goes down.

Obviously the first method is more desirable since you can maintain your self-confidence by never undermining it in the first place. You simply KNOW that you’re an awesome person and things will work out in your favor. If they don’t, then you are fully capable of handling whatever arises.

After-the-fact, you can then re-frame this rejection by considering that she could have been having a terrible day or she could have been late for a meeting… or maybe your eye contact with her was poor. You never know!

In it’s simplest form, controlling the frame is about ALWAYS looking at the world and your life experiences (whatever they may be) in a positive light… and in a way that allows you to maintain your awesome-ocity!
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7. Keep Learning, Growing and Evolving

In our modern scientific world, many have come to conclude that this Universe is nothing but a meaningless, chance event and that there’s no real purpose for our lives. In my opinion, this is a very shortsighted and erroneous belief.

It is fairly obvious that the bigger picture and purpose of the universe is to evolve.

As we study evolutionary theory, we see this from the creation of the stars and galaxies to the development of the solar systems. From there planetary ecosystems continued growing and evolving to eventually support life in millions of different forms!

As life continued to evolve, adapt and grow… ever more intelligent and conscious creatures, such as ourselves, rose to the forefront of physical creation…. with each successor being given more access to the conscious intelligence that is the ultimate source governing it all.
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“By aligning our own life purpose with the very purpose of the universe itself (which is to grow and evolve) we tap into billions of years of intuitive wisdom, genius and intelligence that is stored in the very cells of our DNA.”

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The entire history of the Universe, is in a very real sense, an evolution and rise of consciousness. When we make it our purpose to keep learning, growing and evolving…We begin to believe in ourselves in ways we could never fathom from the limited perspective of our smaller selves.

We develop skills, assurance and insights that no one may ever take away from us… EVER… not even in death. We awaken to a world of infinite possibility and rise to the challenge of achieving our ultimate potential in life.

We begin to recognize others within our own selves. Finally developing the wisdom and compassion to love and accept one another… in all of our many, special and unique forms.
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8. Love Life and Don’t Waste Time

In this day and age, millions of good human beings get sucked into a whirlpool of negativity, pessimism and despair. It’s easy to do when we witness so much suffering, misery, greed, corruption, deception, brutality, hatred and evil in the world today.

That’s why the overriding mentality of the world is a pessimistic one. It’s just easier to default to that mindset then it is to consistently monitor your thoughts from day to day and actively reprogram your worldview to be more optimistic.

Personally, I inherited my negative attitude when I was growing up and it’s been a difficult thing to shake. In fact, I’m still working on it! The secret, I’ve learned, is to control your dominating thought patterns.
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“You will only begin to love life and believe in yourself when you stop wasting time by thinking negatively. Focus your mind only on what you want to experience and make it so!”

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A huge part of believing in yourself when nobody else does, rests in developing the capacity to rise above the haters and naysayers of the world. It’s about learning to love life and yourself in such a way that no one could ever diminish you.

This type of unwavering confidence all stems from your mindset… and your mindset is formed by the thoughts running through your head on a daily basis.

What you need to realize is that, over your lifetime, your mind has been conditioned to think and behave in a certain way. You are repeatedly running these same, tired thought patterns over and over through your brain.

It’s up to YOU (and you alone) to catch your mind reverting back to its old way of thinking. Correct it and put it back on your desired path. You will have to do this, time and again, until the new pathway is ingrained into your subconscious mind as the new default pattern.
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How to Believe in Yourself Recapitulation

Since this post is almost 3,000 words long I’d like to briefly recap the 8 Ways to Believe in Yourself When Nobody Else Does.  

Any skill, belief or talent that we want to master needs high volume of repetition and practice. Believing in yourself is no different than learning an instrument, you must pick it up and play it everyday!

1. Let Go of the Past

“The past has no control over our lives except the control we allow it to have. The past may have made you who you are today, but it’s up to you whether you stay that way or not.”

2. Embrace Your Present Moment Reality

“To really make a change and transform any aspect of your life, it’s crucial that you face the reality of your life circumstances. It is only in this precise moment that life is lived.”

3. Discover Your Life Purpose and Mission

“Decide exactly the type of person you’d like to become and what you want your life to be like… then create a plan of execution that will make it your reality.”

4. Take Inspired and Massive Action

“Knowledge is ONLY potential power. When we take Inspired and Massive Action we transform conceptual knowledge into practical wisdom.”

5. Never Accept Defeat or Failure

“Every set back and mistake contains a lesson and opportunity by which we may rise to higher levels of understanding and enlightenment.”

6. Control the Frame

“Controlling the frame is about having a strong sense of belief in yourself and carefully selecting the context and meaning you assign to events in your life.”

7. Keep Learning, Growing, and Evolving

“By aligning our own life purpose with the very purpose of the universe itself (which is to grow and evolve) we tap into billions of years of intuitive wisdom, genius and intelligence.”

8. Love Life and Don’t Waste Time

“You will only begin to love life and believe in yourself when you stop wasting time by thinking negatively. Focus your mind only on what you want to experience and make it so!”

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What I wrote at the beginning of this article is worth repeating; you MUST believe in yourself first. Otherwise it will be practically impossible for anyone else to ever believe in you. You have to choose between self-doubt or self-confidence and in the end… it’s a choice only YOU can make!

 

Unleash Your Ultimate Potential,

Brandon

P.S. I want you to take 30 seconds to visualize and imagine how different your life would be if you fully believed in yourself 100%! What would you do? Where would you go? Who would you become? What could you accomplish if self-doubt was no longer a hindrance holding you back from your own greatness?

Got it? Good… Now go check out this ground-breaking video by Dr. Robert Anthony on how to create Unstoppable Self-Confidence. Keep learning, start investing in yourself, and watch your life take off! It’s a strategy that has worked for me. 😉

 

Is it Worth Installing a Gas Water Heater Yourself?

installing a gas water heater“If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

A week ago my hot water heater died without warning. Essentially, I was forced to live up to my homeowner’s responsibility of restoring life and the universe back to normal!

At first, my plan was simply to repair the old gas water heater in high hopes of a cheap fix, but you know the cliche’…

“If you want to make the Water Heater Godz laugh…. tell them about your plans of a cheap repair!”

Still, you never know!

Whenever you are troubleshooting, it’s always better to start with the cheapest and easiest repairs first. That way you don’t make the mistake of buying a brand new water heater when you could’ve fixed the old one for ten bucks!

Ya know wat I’m sayin’ 😉
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Trouble Shooting  and Determining the Problem

In this scenario, the cheapest and easiest fix was to take apart the burner assembly, clean it and attempt to relight the pilot. Unfortunately, that didn’t work so I did a little more research.

All of the main symptoms (pilot lights, but won’t stay lit after release of the pilot button) were pointing to either the thermocouple or gas control valve, otherwise known as the thermostat.

Since the free fix didn’t work I moved on to the next troubleshooting idea – replace the Thermocouple!!! Another let down.  the cheap $10 replacement of the thermocouple was also a no go.

At this point everything is now pointing to the gas control valve. Time to drain the tank and move on to the next item on the ol’ checklist.

Upon further inspection and draining of the water heater, we discovered that the tank had 7 years of sediment build up. I think that’s what in all probability killed the gas control valve. The water draining out of the tank was also a slight rustic color, which could indicate that the water heater has some internal deterioration as well.
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Did you know you can do some basic maintenance to help prolong the life of your water heater by draining and flushing the water heater tank once a year? Neither did I! Neither did I.

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In retrospect, I probably could’ve fixed the old unit by installing a new gas control valve. Yet, how long would that last me before the tank rusted through and started leaking all over my garage?

After some thoughtful considerations on whether to order a new gas control valve for $135 + $42 expedited shipping, I decided it would be best to “simply” replace the whole unit and actually perform the recommended maintenance going forward.
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Insights from Installing my New Gas Water Heater

me and my pipe wrench
I want HOT WATER!!

Technically, I was replacing a gas water heater using the existing set up and not installing one from scratch. That would be slightly more complicated!

By the way, I should be clear that I knew absolutely nothing about hot water heaters prior to this one’s demise. You would be surprised how helpful Youtube can be on the subject of installing a gas water heater.

Plus, I do have some mechanical ability from working on my own cars, and helping my Father with the many household projects he’s done over the years.

This is my way of saying that I had a certain degree of confidence that I could do this install on my own.
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CAUTION: Since we’re dealing with gas here… there is a slight chance that you could blow yourself up. If you don’t feel like putting your ballz on the line, then it may be best to call in a pro! Consider that my disclaimer in case you accidentally incinerate the family jewels.

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By doing my own installation I think I saved $400-700 dollars or more in installation costs.

I also learned a lot about water heaters, how they work and how to trouble shoot, remove and install them. The biggest downside was having to spend a week without hot water while trying to get it installed correctly and up to code.
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“In addition, I gained a greater appreciation for the ability to have flowing hot water on tap… something billions of people must live without!”

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All in all, I realize why plumbers charge so much to install these heavy beasts. In fact, after looking over the numbers I’ve been thinking that maybe we should go into the plumbing business!!!!

I can see it now…

Cook Bros Plumbing Co.
We’re NOW open for business!!! … um, not really!


mariobrosOn second thought, installing hot water heaters daily could wear a brother out and I’m not so sure I’d enjoy doing this for a living. Not that there’s anything intrinsically wrong with it. I definitely have a deeper respect for Mario and Luigi!

Most importantly, the final lesson is that when the hot water is gone… someone’s gotta bring it back! Now you can either pay someone to do it for you or YOU can do it yourself.  Yet in the end it is a job that has to be done. The question you need to ask yourself is….
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Is it Worth Installing a Gas Water Heater Yourself
to Save Several Hundred Dollars?

YOU BE THE JUDGE!!!! 

Gas Water Heater = $700
Paying a pro to install it = $400-1,000+
The wisdom gained and experience of installing it yourself = Priceless! 😛
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Still Not Convinced You Should Do It Yourself?

Now for those still unsure if it’s worth it, we’ve included a play-by-play recap of the entire process and time estimations that were spent on the job.

Now be advised that this is NOT a “how to” article; I am just documenting the basic steps I went through for purely informational purposes. And to help you decide whether you want to tackle such a project.
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“You may decide that your time is a valuable commodity and could be better spent on something else. That is definitely a viable argument and one I fully support.”

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Even though I saved a decent chunk of cash, I paid for it with the opportunity cost… for all you inspiring economists out there! In other words, even though you might save several hundred dollars… you have to ask yourself what your time is worth?

If you were to put those same hours into running your business or other money-making pursuit than the value of your time may well exceed the money you’d save. In this case, it would be more advantageous to simply call a plumber.

On the other hand, if you would have just sat around watching T.V. or playing video games… maybe you should get yo’ a$$ off da couch and install that water heater yourself!!! 😯

Personally, I took this on as a homeowner challenge and a learning experience…. I’m glad I saved some money on the install, but as you will see, I definitely paid for it in time and labor putting in the new one.

On the bright side, I learned quite a few things that will help me in the future should another unit ever fail or need installed. And next time, I am certain I could do it in about half of the time. In my opinion, it was definitely worth all of the trouble!

My final thought to support “doing it yourself” is…
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“Anyone can call someone and spend their hard-earned money to get something repaired or installed…. yet only a small percentage of people can go out there and confidently do it themselves! Word…”
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Here’s the Full Recap of Our Water Heater Adventures!!!!


Wednesday (1 hour)

– Took my last hot shower unknowingly or I would have savored the moment!
– Discovered that the hot water heater died that evening
– Did a little research online

Thursday (1-3 hours)
– Researched how to repair gas hot water heaters online
– Took apart the old unit’s burner assembly
– Cleaned it and put it back together
– Tried to light the pilot and burner… didn’t work
– Pilot lights, but fails to stay lit and burner never fires
– Cause = either bad thermocouple or gas control valve

Friday (2-3 hours)
– More research on Google and Youtube
– Went to Lowe’s and bought an $8 Thermocouple
– Installed new thermocouple onto burner assembly
– Same scenario Pilot lights, but fails to stay lit and burner never fires
– Must be gas control valve

Saturday (2-4 hours)
– Tried one last ditch effort for a cheap fix
– Took the burner assembly out again and cleaned everything really well
– Still no dice, so now I know for certain it is the gas control valve
– Researched cost of new gas control valve.. identical part = $192 w/ fast shipping
– Got to take a hot shower at my lady friend’s place! 😎

Sunday (3-5 hours)
– Drained old unit using water hose (or thought I did)
– Started to remove gas control valve and heard gurgling and hissing sounds
– Finished draining unit using buckets
– Could see sediment coming out of tank with water
– Water was a slight rusty/dirty color with sediment build up
– Determined that the gas control valve failure was caused by excessive sediment build up
– Based on research, age of water heater, cost of part, etc. decided to buy a whole new unit
– Started pricing new units online

gas control valve
This is what failed on the old water heater

Monday (6-8 hours)
– Took half a day off of work to install
– Went to Home depot, Sears and Lowes checking out new water heaters
– Bought a $420 Whirlpool Gas Water Heater from Lowe’s and supplies
– Cleaned garage and prepared area for removal and installation process
– Removed the old unit and set to the side
– Lifted and set the new unit into place
– Started thinking about how to vent and install the new unit using the preexisting set up
– Went to back to Lowe’s for venting pipes and more supplies

Tuesday (8-12 hours)
– Took a full day off of work to install
– Fully read installation instructions and watched installation videos online
– Researched how to vent this type of water heater
– Went to Carolina Supply to get parts for gas line connections
– Talked to some plumbers there and learned some new things about venting
– Went to Lowe’s and bought some more supplies
– Filled up Thermal Expansion tank
– Realized that I bought the wrong type of gas water heater – needed a direct vent water heater not standard atmospheric
– Cried incessantly for one hour. Lol j/k
– Called around to see where I could buy a direct vent water heater.
– Went back to Carolina Supply and bought a Rheem 50 gallon direct vent gas water heater
– Took the wrong unit back down and set to the side
– Lifted and placed the new direct vent water heater into place
– Connected the cold water line and thermal expansion tank
– Worked on installing the venting system

Wednesday (3-5 hours)
– Went to Lowe’s again for more supplies
– Finished installing the venting system
– Connected the cold water line
– Connected the how water line
– Connected the gas pipe and union to the gas control valve
– Tested for water leaks, had one but fixed
– Tested for gas leaks using soapy bubbles – none discovered
– Filled tank with water and fired the pilot and burner
– Discovered another small water leak on the hot water connection
– Temporarily fixed the leak
– Took a HOT SHOWER!!!!!!!
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In Conclusion… Flow Like Hot Water My Friend!

Water Heater Installed
Here’s the finished installation

By the way, I’m still not finished. Got to fix the small leak, silicone the outside vent terminal, and will probably take the gas pipe connections apart and use pipe joint compound to seal them better.

Also have to box up the wrong water heater and unneeded supplies and take them back to Lowe’s for a refund.

Well, if you’ve read this far you are either really bored at work OR considering installing a gas water heater yourself!

Either way, you are now armed with some insights on whether you should attempt this job or outsource it to someone else. Hopefully, this was helpful to you in some way.

Thanks for reading our hot water heater adventure story!

And always remember what Bruce Lee has to say on the subject;

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

Until next time, keep the hot water flowing…

Brandon

P.S. I want to send a big shot out and thank you to my brother, Cory for helping me with the installation process. No way, I could of done this without his help. Definitely a two man job!

 

Eating Healthy While Staying on a Budget

Fruit Smile Face“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
– Buddha

The statement, “You are what you eat”, may NOT be taken very seriously by the majority of people today.

However, as times goes on that statement is starting to show its truth. More and more people are becoming concerned with eating healthy while staying on a budget.

It is good to hear that people are starting to awaken and are becoming more concerned about the foods that they are allowing to enter their body.

I decided to write this post so that I can share the ways we accomplish eating healthy and still manage to pay the bills.

I wish that I could give one easy solution for everyone in regards to their dilemmas on healthy eating, but it is a little more challenging than you might think. I understand that NOT all of you live in the same countries, and due to that… some of these options may not be available where you live.

Nevertheless, I am sure you will still find the other information in here helpful and insightful when it comes to learning how to eat more healthy and not going broke. [weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

Organic Vs Non-Organic

Before we can move onto saving money, we first must have a discussion on the health benefits of going organic verses the cost of organic produce.  Most of you should be aware of the organic produce labels that have been showing up in the markets for quite some time. If not, you probably need to get out more! 🙂

There are many studies that prove that eating organic food is a lot healthier for your body. The old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, might not remain true if your apple is covered in 56 different pesticides.

Well… what is the likeliness of your apple having pesticides on it if it is not organic anyways? There is a very good chance, EWG tests showed that 92% of all the apples they tested contained two or more pesticides on them. In this situation eating an apple a day might HURT you more than help you.

It has been my experience that you can tell a difference in the taste with organic produce verses non-organic. This may correlate with the higher nutrient content and less nitrates in the organic foods as well as the taste of pesticide residue that may still be lingering in non-organic produce.

However, our bodies sense of taste is there for a reason, so if organic food taste better and is suppose to be healthier for you, then it appears to be a win-win situation. Although, we left out one variable, the cost of organic foods.

How could we leave out cost when everyone obviously has a food budget they have to stick to each month? Organic foods do have a heftier price tag on them and this is a little hard to ignore. However, it could be argued that since locally organic produce has MORE nutrients in them than non-organic, you can get by with eating less of the same produce and get more quality nutrients.

Even so, everyone still has to have enough calories, especially if you are on a high calorie diet. This is when going by the EWG’s list of The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15 comes in handy.  By using these lists you can limit your cost by substituting some of the organic produce with items on the Clean 15 list. Therefore reducing your total bill and still keeping the pesticides you are eating down to a minimum.  Let’s go check out these lists.
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The Dirty Dozen List

The dirty dozen seeks to provide a valuable shopping list you can take with you shopping. This helps you to know which produce you should always buy organic. The list is updated yearly and the produce on the list does change, so it is good to keep up to date with it. For that reason, I’ve provided links to make sure you can get the newest list.

This list is numbered from the ones with the most pesticides to the least pesticides:

The items on this dirty dozen list are the ones you should NEVER buy in their conventional form. Stick to buying this produce in its organic form, or if they are unavailable as such, then choose an alternative that is organic or that is on the clean 15 list.

Here is a list of some of the most common produce that should be bought organically:

Crop Dusting Plane
This Sure Looks Healthy!
  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Nectarines – imported
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Potatoes
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Hot peppers
  13. Kale / collard greens
  14. Summer squash

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The Clean 15 List

It is time to move onto the clean 15. Keep in mind that just because it is labelled the clean 15 does NOT mean it is free from pesticides. The list simply states that these 15 produces have the lowest levels of pesticides, therefore putting you at less risk for ingesting large amounts of toxic pesticides.

Please note, I believe although they are labelled “clean”, it doesn’t guarantee that they have as much nutrients as the organic version. It is true that they have less pesticides than the ones on the dirty dozen list, but tests prove that their nutrient value doesn’t compare to their organic cousins. Here I quote the findings in PubMed (a government site), this is what they found:

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“Organic crops contained significantly more vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus and significantly less nitrates than conventional crops.

There were non-significant trends showing less protein but of a better quality and a higher content of nutritionally significant minerals with lower amounts of some heavy metals in organic crops compared to conventional ones.”

See what I mean when I say you can get more nutrition by eating healthy smaller quantities of organic than conventional produce? This means you DO NOT have to buy as much to get the same nutrient value compared with the conventional types. Nonetheless, if you do get conventional off the clean 15, at least you can sleep better knowing that they are not massively coated in pesticides.

Keep in mind that this list is numbered by the least clean to the most clean in regards to amounts of pesticides. Here is a list of some of the most common cleanest produce you can buy conventional:

  1. Sweet corn
  2. Onions
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocados
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet peas – Frozen
  7. Papayas
  8. Mangos
  9. Asparagus
  10. Eggplant
  11. Kiwi
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Sweet potatoes
  15. Mushrooms

Before reaching for a non-organic item on the dirty dozen list, you can now look and see if there is a suitable substitute that you can use instead. This can allow you to reduce the amount of money you are spending on buying everything that is organic.

I would still recommend buying as much as you can afford organically to make sure you are getting all the nutrients and vitamins, through healthy eating, you need to live a healthy lifestyle.

When looking at buying produce it is helping to take this in consideration. Here I quote “EWG”, this is their explanation on following their guidelines:

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“If you choose 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day from EWG’s Clean 15 rather than the Dirty Dozen, you can lower the volume of pesticides you consume daily by 92 percent, according to EWG calculations. You’ll also eat fewer types of pesticides.

Picking 5 servings of fruits and vegetables from the 12 most contaminated would cause you to consume an average of 14 different pesticides a day. If you choose 5 servings from the 15 least contaminated fruits and vegetables, you’ll consume fewer than 2 pesticides per day.”

If you want a printable version of this list that you can take with you to the store you can download it: [weaver_html br /]right ->> here.

This guide is also available in friendly smart phone apps that you can get:
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->> Iphone
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Cleaning Non-Organic Produce

By now you probably realize that it is best to buy most things organically. However, depending on the place you live and the season, it is possible that organic is just not an option.

Here are a few tips on limiting yourself to the exposure of pesticides by properly cleaning your produce. By NO means are these methods going to eliminate all the pesticides from the produce, but they can help reduce a decent amount of them.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

  1. Use a mixture of 1 part apple cider or white vinegar to 3 parts water. You can even store this in a spray bottle for easy usage. Some produce, such as lettuce, might need to be soaked in the solution to make sure the whole item gets treated.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]
  2. Use two spray bottles. In the first one, get 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide and mix in 3 parts peroxide and 1 part water. For the second bottle use 3 parts apple cider or white vinegar and 1 part water. Spray produce with the peroxide solution first and then spray it with the vinegar solution and wait a minute or so. Then just rinse it with water and you are ready to roll. (This is a little more effective in pesticide reductions)[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]
  3. Use a mixture of ½ cup water, ½ apple cider or white vinegar, ½ tablespoon of baking soda, juice from ½ a lemon. You can put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray your produce with it. Leave the solution on for 3-5 minutes and then rinse off.[weaver_html br /]

* Note that while using method one is by far the easiest one and will help a little, method 2 and 3 are by far the most effective for eliminating pesticide residues.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

Free-Range Organic Meats and Eggs

We have now reached the next topic dealing with free-range organic meats and eggs. I feel as long as we are talking about eating healthy, things such as: the place where the meat was raised, what they are feed and how they are treated makes a difference in the quality of the product.

This is a touchy subject and some might NOT agree with my ‘ethical outlook’ on how animals should be treated. Regardless if this is the case or not, you should still be concerned about the quality of the meats and eggs you are eating.

Cattle in the Mountains
Now Those are Some Happy Cows!!!

I have for a while been for the humane treatment of farm animals. Factory farms tend to treat their animals in an inhumane way, simply because these companies can cut costs and make more profit. Of course they argue that by making the animals go through ‘hell’ and by mistreating them they are doing us all a “favour” by making meat and eggs cheaper. In some ways this can be true.

However, by looking at the negative aspects of these types of meats and eggs, it leads me to believe that they DO NOT seem to be doing us a favour at all. In fact, I am pretty sure the end consumer is the last thing they have on their minds.

I actually have a theory, that if free-range organic meats and eggs were more of the ‘norm’, it would result in the cost of them being a whole lot lower. This is as simple as supply and demand.

We have an abundance of nasty, poorly treated, chemical and antibiotic infused meats on the market in the US. It only makes sense that it would be cheaper than the rare high quality versions.

If the table was to turn and factory farm meats and eggs start making way for more free-ranged organic versions, then I am sure the price will start to come down a little.

Let’s take a look at why their is a higher nutritional value of it being organic and free-ranged. Animals have to eat and most factory farmed animals are not fed the best foods nor do they live in the best conditions. Some of the reasons why these decrease the nutritional value of the food include the following:[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

  1. They eat foods that their bodies were not designed to consume, such as corn or leftover animal by-products.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]
  2. Their foods contain those same pesticides as mentioned above, as well as herbicides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]
  3. They are kept in close, cramped quarters, do not get any exercise and are often threatened by illness and disease.[weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]
  4. Due to illnesses they are continuously on antibiotics and other drugs to keep them “healthy” or as healthy as they can be under these conditions.[weaver_html br /]

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As you might expect, all these things that are happening to the animals in turn get passed onto us when we consume them. This might be the reason why antibiotics have become less effective on people than in comparison with the past.

The other benefits of eating healthy organic grass fed, free range meats is that they contain higher levels of omega-3’s than the factory farm versions. Actually the factory farms contain high levels of omega-6’s due to the types of food they get fed.

As you may know, omega-3’s play a huge roll in proper functioning of the brain, hormone levels, heart health, and are great at keeping inflammation down.

High amounts of omega-6’s on the other hand, can increase inflammation levels in the body and has been linked to an increased risk of getting many diseases such as: cardiovascular disease, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer just to name a few.

Basically, you have a higher risk of developing some of these inflammatory diseases when your diet consists of too many omega-6’s and not enough omega-3’s.

Now that we learned about the health benefits of eating free range organic eggs and meat, let’s take a look at where you might find these types of meat and eggs for the cheapest price in your area. [weaver_html br /][weaver_html br /]

Places to Shop

I am aware that it is possible that the resources available to me, might not be available to you depending on where you live. However, it is possible you may have different resources available to you that I might not have here. My goal here is to try to give you helpful tips that can solve your shopping problems, so that it is easier to keep eating healthy while remaining on your monthly budget.

Sometimes the places you shop can be the problem as to why things cost so much and are lower in quality.

My brother and I have picked two different places to shop at. Who knows, it’s very possible that we may add another in the future. Typically, we go to a healthy grocery store called “The Co-op” and buy good local free range meats, such as: chicken and grass fed beef. We also get there: organic grass fed eggs from local farms, organic produce and other items that are not sold at your typical grocery store.

Then we use “Lowes Foods” or a “Harris Teeter” grocery store for the remaining items to buy a mixture of organic and clean 15 fruits and vegetables, wild caught sock-eye salmon and other wild caught fish, frozen organic fruits and veggies and whatever else we need. Here are some good recommendations for trying to find the best places to buy your food at:

  1. Earthfare
  2. Wholefoods
  3. Company shops
  4. Local farmer’s markets
  5. Local farms
  6. Growing your own food

Going to your local farmer’s market or local farms can save you a large amount of money on your groceries. You are in fact, cutting out the middle man (grocery store) that is selling the food to you at one conventional location, of course with fee involved for their services. You can even ask the farmers (the ones who actually grow it) how they grow their food and if they use chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

You might be pleasantly surprised that their produce might be very close to being organic but they might not have wanted to fork out the extra cash to get the certification saying it’s organic. The other good thing about shopping locally is that your produce is fresher. It is fresher because it DID NOT have to take a road trip across the country or world to get to your grocery store. Therefore giving you more vitamins and nutrients at a cheaper cost.

Here are a couple nice websites where you can search for farms or farmer’s markets near your area so you can purchase some of your groceries.

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Now We’re Finally Eating Healthy

Now were eating healthyI hope I answered some of your questions and concerns on how to continue eating healthy and still be able to pay your bills. I would make it a goal to at least try to include as many fruits and vegetables as you can afford in their organic versions.  This will insure that you are receiving an adequate amount of nutrients that these produces provide.

If you thought there was little to NO difference between organic and conventional products before reading this, I HOPE the veil has been lifted from your eyes. Seems like common sense to me, that if pesticides are designed to kill things, then maybe we should NOT be eating them or they might kill us too.

If you found this post informational and beneficial, please show some love by commenting or sharing it with your family and friends. Let’s us spread truth to those that want to listen!

Keep eating healthy,

Until next time,
Cory Cook

The ONLY Intelligent Solution to the Health Care Crisis

“I only ate 400 bacon cheeseburgers, 20,000 french fries and drank 100 pounds of sugar this year… why am I feeling bad Doc!?!?” – Average Joe

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“Well it can’t be your nutrition or lifestyle habits. Don’t worry, I have a few different pills I can sell you!” – Doc Holiday

The health of our nation is declining rapidly while illness and obesity are reaching epidemic proportions. These largely preventive diseases are causing a major burden on the health care system we have in place… And, we all know, it isn’t the most efficient or affordable one to begin with.

I’m not going to pretend that I have all the answers or even know all the ins and outs of the health care crisis America is now facing. Still, one thing I do know is that the government is NOT the solution to the health care crisis.
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“What most people don’t fully realize is that our government is a HUGE part of the problem and the cause of why so many people are getting sick in the first place.”

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Explaining the intricacies of why this is so is beyond the scope of this article. However, the point that our government subsidizes the very product (corn) that is one of the major causes of the obesity epidemic should be enough to get a small glimpse into this Truth.

Additionally, with all the chemicals, pesticides, processed foods, and on and on our corporations are allowed sell to us without restriction or personal liability…

It’s no wonder that the health of America is coming undone at the seams (pun intended!) 😛
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Is This A Conspiracy Theory or a Conspiracy Reality!?

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I’ve never been a proponent for spouting conspiracy theories or blaming the government for all of our problems.

Nevertheless, if the shoe fits and their walking and talking like a half-dead duck all jacked up on Mountain Dewthen so be it!
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Maybe this isn’t so much of a “conspiracy theory” as it is a “conspiracy reality!!!
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“The USDA and FDA allows these toxic foods with known carcinogens and safety concerns to pass their inspections and come to market!”

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I believe this is due to what are obvious conflicting financial interests, political agendas and pressure from lobbyists of the corporations that pay for all of their expensive campaigns and elections.

Sadly, it’s these very artificial and processed foods (like high-fructose corn syrup for instance), that are some of the primary causes of obesity and diet-related disease to begin with.

Who cares that our children are developing hypertension and diabetes at shockingly younger ages… {insert extreme sarcasm} “This is ‘Merica … we’ve got to keep pizza, chocolate milk and the vending machines in our schools!” {/end extreme sarcasm}

If being part of the very cause isn’t enough, our government is also allowing the pharmaceutical industry to push through tons of unproven and experimental drugs that cause more side-effects and problems than they actually solve.

I’m not financial or marketing genius by any means, but creating a disease and selling the cure seems like a pretty solid get rich quick scheme to me.

My ultimate point is that the government is NOT the solution to the health care crisis… YOU ARE!!!
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Your Health is Your Greatest Wealth

This IS America and part of the greatness is being free to choose (mostly) whatever you want… the other part is having access to information, technology and being able to educate yourself about the realities of what our government and corporations are actually doing…

They are in the business of profit, after all, and nothing sells better than cheeseburgers (except for maybe experimental pharmaceuticals.)

Q: Why else would McDonald’s, which is technically a real estate corporation, sell hamburgers?!?!?

A: Because it keeps their tenants paying the rent!

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Click Here to Watch a Funny Clip from Coming to America

“You wouldn’t buy a home from your nutritionist, so why on Earth would you buy your food from someone who is in the real estate business?”

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Looking to the government and these corporations for practical health care solutions is like looking to McDowell’s for a sound nutritional plan. Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.

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Click Here for Another Laugh

These corporations don’t give a shizzle if you live or die through the consumption of their products… as long as you keep buying until you do. Besides, they’ve already got your children hooked as replacements for when you’re gone.

So they won’t miss you very much! 🙁

This may seem like an exaggeration on my part, but it’s not too far from the Truth. The depressing reality is that a corporation’s overriding mission is to maximize growth and profits for it’s shareholder’s at the lowest possible cost.

More tragically this is interpreted to mean “at any cost”,  without much consideration for the health of the environment or their consumers.

Hopefully, we can change this in the future by instilling some moral and ethical  requirements in our capitalistic society. Until then… you’ve got to look out for your own well-being!

Don’t entrust it to be maintained by some corporate conglomerate that values profit above all else. Your health is their last concern. Take steps to safeguard your health so that you can live longer and enjoy a higher quality of living as you age.

Don’t be like most people who slave away trading their hours and health for dimes. They take it for granted and as time passes it slips further and further away until it’s gone.

One day, they wake up and would pay or do anything to have their health back. They spend their life’s’ savings on hospital bills, health insurance costs and endless drug prescriptions just to keep themselves alive… if you can call that living!
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“Your health is your greatest wealth! Invest in it now and you will prosper. Ignore it and all that you have will be taken from you.”

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Here’s what I propose….
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Implementing the Intelligent Health Care Solution

health-careI think “We The People” should start taking responsibility for our own health care.

YOU are the only intelligent solution to the health care crisis we are now facing.

Don’t look or expect someone to save you because no one will. You can only save yourself and you can start right now.

There are three simple steps to implement the Intelligent Health Care Solution:

Step #1 – Firstly, stop eating psuedo-foods and all the other toxic and processed crap you shove down your throat on a daily basis. Limit your intake of this junk to one treat day a week. Mine is Saturday. That’s the first step in intelligent Health Care!

Step #2 The second step is to start eating, juicing, and blending tons of organic fruits and vegetables. Make superfoods your medicine and buy high quality organic ingredients. In the long run it’s still cheaper than stocking a cabinet full of prescription drugs!!!

Step #3 – The final step is to exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week. It doesn’t have to be painful and super intense, just get your blood flowing, your joints moving and lungs heaving a bit. Get out of the gym and make it fun if you have to!
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“If you’re not willing to implement these three steps…. you don’t deserve health care in my opinion because you are not practicing the very fundamentals of personal and intelligent “health care.”

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Let’s get real and start at the foundation…… maybe then our health care costs would be both practical and affordable for all.

Oh wait… that would involve intelligence, discipline, self-sacrifice and making uncomfortable lifestyle changes…. what was I thinking?!?!!? 🙄

Now if you really need health care… I feel for you and think you should be able to have and get it. However, let’s stop and remember that you’re responsible for your own health care 365 days a year… are you doing your part?

Well, are ya, PUNK?

Fortunately, I am very lucky to have great health care coverage.  Yet rarely, if ever, do I need to use it because of how I implement my own intelligent health care plan. I realize that I’m only 36 years old… so hopefully this trend will continue into my golden years as I keep juicing, exercising and taking responsibility for my health.
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A Hedonist’s Guide to Personal Health Care

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I LOVE TREAT DAY!!!

Many people see everything in terms of Black and White. In other words, you’re either a “health nut” who’s overly obsessed with health and nutrition or a “junk food junkie” who will have to have their burgers and fries pried from their cold, dead hands.

This is a bunch of BS. These good people are missing all of the Shades of Grey and simple strategies that can allow you to have your cake and eat it too.

I’ve been working to develop my self-discipline and improve my diet and nutritional habits over the last decade and a half… although, when I started I was the farthest thing from a Puritan.

In fact, just the opposite!!! If you can believe it.
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“Over the years my lifestyle has shifted to 90% healthy foods with a 10% leeway in the indulgences of our modern society. I might enjoy a burger and some drinks on Saturday… yet it’s not what I do every day… and it’s definitely not from a fast food restaurant… of course, this is in alignment with my own goals, dreams and values.”

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smoking-and-drinkingSmoking and excessive alcohol consumption should also be included in this discussion .. and I used to be a big offender of both, including all of the junk and processed foods as well. I’m not claiming innocence here and I still partake occasionally… yet I do my best to limit it to about 10% of my lifestyle.

It’s a choice I make and I am taking full responsibility for the consequences of my actions. Plus I’m using my knowledge of nutrition to mitigate any damage.

It’s not that smoking, drinking and eating junk food is “bad” or “evil” or anything like that. And people shouldn’t be judged negatively for being obese, smoking or indulging in unhealthy habits.

These substances simply are what they are. When a human being ingests them into their body, the body has to process and eliminate them because they are a threat to the well-being of the biological system.

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Are you on da Juice?

Certain substances like  fresh vegetable juice help the body to thrive and function optimally, while other substances like cigarettes and processed foods cause it to breakdown and malfunction.

This is just the reality of the situation and YOU will have to face the repercussions of what you put into your body!

Many of us are seeking pleasure in our lives and there’s nothing wrong with that. Let’s just make sure our “pursuit of pleasure” doesn’t end up causing us a lifetime of unnecessary pain and disease.

The Final Answer and ONLY solution to the Health Care Crisis we are all facing… is to take our health care into our own hands!

If each of us does our own part to unburden the health care system of these preventive diseases, which are mostly diet related anyway, I believe we can turn the fate of America around and make our health care concerns a thing of the distant past.

Word to your mother!

Brandon

 

 

 

Why YOU Should’ve Started Juice Fasting Yesterday!

intermittent juice fasting“You, and you alone are responsible for the result of how you nourish your body. The LIFE in your food is what counts. Your body is composed of billions of microscopic cells. Your very existence depends on them. They need nourishment, live, active nourishment. It depends on you, and on you alone, whether the food you eat results in nutrition or malnutrition.”
– Dr. Norman W. Walker

Juice Fasting is an integral part of the Awakened Warrior’s Diet and Nutritional Strategy because of the HUGE benefits it provides to our health, bodies and minds.

Not only does it supply your body with the raw, living and nourishing enzymes, vitamins and minerals that it needs to thrive and function at peak physical performance…you’ll also have more energy, clarity of mind and radiating health. BAM!!! :mrgreen:
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“Juice Fasting allows the body time to rest, heal, eliminate toxins, burn fat, improve insulin sensitivity, optimize your hormones and increase overall vitality and well-being.  And this is literally just the tip of the ice berg!”

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In fact, I believe it is so freakin’ phenomenal that YOU should’ve started juice fasting yesterday!!! However, like many, you may not be sure where or how to begin. And that’s why I want to share some of my best juice fasting tips and strategies with you, including a couple different methods for integrating juicing into your diet.

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How I Got Started with Juicing & Juice Fasting

My very first experience with juicing took place as a teenager. I remember my dad spontaneously purchased a juicer and brought it home. We made a few fruit blends with it, which tasted really good. Unfortunately, this lasted all of about a week before someone (I ain’t naming any names) put it together wrong and damaged it. It began leaking juice everywhere… Soooo that was the end of that. 😕

Fast forward to 2009. Now in my early thirties, I was looking for a way to add even more fruits and vegetables to my diet so that I could flood my cells with micronutrients and unleash the power of my ultimate potential!

juice fasting
Jack(ed) on “Juice”

Remembering that the old school bodybuilder, Jack Lalanne was a huge proponent for increasing your fruit and vegetable intake (as well as, juicing in his later years), I sought out to learn more on the topic.

I ordered the book “Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices” by Dr. Norman W. Walker and began further researching online. Dr. Walker was one of the early pioneers of juicing, first writing and publishing this book in 1936 under the title “Raw Vegetable Juices.”  It has been reprinted annually ever since.

Dr. Walker said that “Today, any person not familiar with the nutritional and recuperative value of fresh vegetable and fruit juices is woefully uninformed.”

After reading the book and tons of other articles about the benefits of juicing, I made the decision to buy a juicer from Wally World and give this a serious go. It was my first juicer and nothing fancy or too expensive, just a basic Hamilton Beach Juicer that cost me about $50 bones.

I began using it once or twice a week in addition to my regular healthy diet and enjoyed the taste and energy boost derived from the freshly made juices.

I especially liked the extra vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals I knew my body was receiving. There was definitely a difference compared to store-bought juices, which are actually devoid of any real nutrients and enzymes due to the pasteurization process.

Drinking this freshly made juice is like pouring pure, liquid nourishment down your throat… AND with all of the nutrients in their most highly absorbable and natural forms!

Think of it as high-octane fuel for your body’s 50 Trillion cells! 😎
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“Just supplementing your diet with the addition of freshly made juices is extremely beneficial. If all you ever do is start your day with 20+ ounces of a 20% fruit, 80% vegetable and leafy greens blend, that in and of itself, will go a long way towards maintaining your health.”
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So instead of having an artery clogging breakfast that will bog you down…. have 16 ounces of fresh vegetable and fruit juice for breakfast, then eat a sensible lunch and dinner. After your body adapts over the first week, you will be shocked at how much energy, clarity and focus you have. You might even lose a few pounds!
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My 7 Day Juice Fast Experience

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Click to Watch

That being said, it wasn’t until my brother and I watched an inspiring documentary called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, that I began experimenting with juice fasting and taking things to the next level.

By the way, after you finish reading this post you can watch it for free on Hulu by clicking the image on the left. It’s a great film that shows exactly how the power of juice fasting can help to heal and transform lives.

After watching the movie, my brother and I were pumped to try a 7 Day Juice Fast. We’re pretty healthy guys and fairly on the thin side so we decided to limit it to a week to prevent us from withering away to skin and bones!

I purchased a new Breville Juice Fountain and stocked up on tons of fresh fruits, vegetables and leafy greens for this “crazy“, yet exciting experiment. [weaver_html br /]

“Could I really go a full week without eating anything at all…
OR …would I go insane and BBQ my dogs on day three?!?!”

 

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We made delicious fruit and vegetable blends with a wide variety of produce


“Our plan was simply to drink 60 – 100 ounces of juice each day
and have a warm, potassium broth at night.”

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Most of our juicing consisted of a 50/50 blend of raw fruits and vegetables, with the exception of a 90% fruit juice blend we made in the evening. We juiced a lot of the same fruits and vegetables I talk about in my post on 72 Superfoods That Will Make YOU Superhuman.

The potassium broth was to change it up, give us something warm to drink and supply extra salts and electrolytes potentially lacking in the juice.

To make the broth we simply filled a large pot with water and boiled potatoes, celery, onions, carrots, parsley and added some salt and seasoning. We then strained the water, allowed it to cool some and then enjoyed the warm, nutritious broth.

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Below I’ve posted my Facebook status updates, which I used to document the fast and keep my friends and family informed of how things were going during the week:

Green Juice
Going Green!

Juice Fast Day 1: Woke up and made green juice. Then bought Breville juicer and $170 worth of fruits and veggies from Earthfare. Pizza at Earthfare smelled really good, bought a Zesty carrot juice drink to have on the way home. Stocked and ready to rock!

Juice Fast Day 2: Wrapping up day two. Haven’t really experienced any negative detox effects like headaches or anything, so I guess my diet has been pretty healthy overall. A little hungry but the juice usually satisfies me for a while and tastes good.

Juice Fast Day 3: Still alive and going strong. My waist is now 30″. I was having a mild headache tonight, but drank some orange pineapple juice and am now feeling great. Think I’ll take a dip in the hot tub to relax! Yeah buddy.

Juice Fast Day 4: Surprisingly felt great today with lots of energy, although after smelling my coworkers Italian food I began questioning why I’m doing this. 😐 I guess this is where my mental toughness will be tested as I continue to defy my instinct to PIG OUT! Drinking a hot potassium broth and it tastes pretty good.

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Drink Juice Son!

Juice Fast Day 5: Okay, getting a lil sick of juice right now, haha. However I felt good today. Hunger is pretty manageable by this point and almost non-existent. Dropped about 5 pounds and my muscles look pretty flat due to depleted glycogen stores. Couple more days to go!

Juice Fast Day 6: Had my first ever acupuncture session today. It was pretty fascinating and I feel great! By far this is the best day of the fast. Virtually no hunger today. Just had a 90% fruit drink consisting of strawberries, banana, kiwi, apples, pear, pineapple and carrots. Very tasty! Going to do a hot potassium broth a little bit later.

Juice Fast Day 7: Strangely this has been the hardest day yet as far as hunger. Maybe knowing that I plan to break the fast tomorrow is causing hunger in anticipation. Also been feeling a bit tired and low energy. I’m proud that I’ve gone a full week and I’m sure this has been beneficial for my body. That said, I’m ready for some dang food! Lol

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Best. Apple. EVER!

Juice Fast Day 8: Started off the day with juice and then broke the fast with an apple, 2 hard boiled eggs and a few nuts and seeds. My stomach felt a little funny so I read up on how to break a fast . They said to eat only fruits and veggies on the first day.

We didn’t listen and went to get miso soup, a small ginger salad and a sushi roll for lunch! Couldn’t resist, however it was definitely messing with our stomachs afterwards. 🙁

Probably not the best strategy for breaking the fast, so for dinner we simply had kiwi, pineapple and steamed spinach.

Juice Fast Day 9: Finished with the juice fast and am slowly incorporating more solid foods back into my diet. This has been both a challenge and an interesting experience. I lost a total of 10 pounds in a weeks time and was surprised at how much energy and mental clarity I had during the fast.
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Gettin’ Juicy Wit It….

As I wrap up the first post about how to get started with juicing and juice fasting, I want to reemphasize a few main points to keep in mind:

1. The ideal strategy for fasting and healing the body is to use fresh fruit and vegetables juices. The reason is because raw juices flood the body and cells with easily, assimilated nutrients providing the necessary nourishment, yet without disrupting the fasting process.

2. Juice Fasting allows the body time to rest, heal, eliminate toxins, burn fat, improve insulin sensitivity, optimize your hormones and increase overall vitality and well-being.  What this translates to is better health and a better-looking body!

3. Even if you don’t think you can do a full-on juice fast, remember that just supplementing your diet with the addition of freshly made juices is extremely beneficial. If all you ever do is start your day with 20 ounces of fruit and veggie juice, that in and of itself, can go a long way towards maintaining your health.

Finally, I’d like to end with our very first Youtube video for this website!!! Since it’s our first video please be gentle with us. We actually recorded this on Day 3 of our 7 Day Juice Fast to show off the new Breville Juice Fountain and how easy it is to get started.

Now Go Get Your Juice on 😀

Brandon

P.S. If you’ve decided to start juicing or juice fasting and are still not sure which fruits and vegetables to use or how to make them into delicious tasting drinks, I recommend the “5 Day Detox” by Drew Canole. This juicing program lays out a step-by-step, walk you by the hand approach to doing your first 5 Day Juice Fast. Check it out and get juicy wit’ it 🙂
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DISCLAIMER: Some people should NOT do a juice fast, especially children under 18 years old, pregnant mothers, diabetics, or those with liver, kidney or thyroid diseases. You should consult with your doctor before doing a juice fast, especially if you take any prescription or over-the-counter medications. However, juicing as a supplement to your diet might be an option in these cases.

In my opinion, doing a 7 Day Juice Fast is ONLY a temporary strategy for kicking off a fat loss diet, to reset your metabolism, or to help cleanse and heal your body. You should return to your ideal healthy diet afterwards… and remember that juicing can be an integral part of that diet!

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