Did you know that Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is associated with biological age. What does this mean? It means that regardless of your chronological age, a higher HRV is associated with greater health, and higher degree of robust resilience for your body's system to bounce back to homeostasis. There are of course exceptions to this (which was covered in the seminar).
Now put HRV tracking together with DNA health testing to unlock your genetic potential and you have a very powerful combination when it comes to mastering your health and boosting performance. Yes of course this is oversimplified, and I'm sure you are probably thinking, "How?" That's why last week I teamed up with Thomas Olivier of Gensmart Academy to deliver a superb seminar in central London, called "Cracking Your Health Code: From DNA Health Testing To Heart Rate Variability"
This insightful seminar was received really well,
Very good presentations! Both Thomas and Cj showed in depth knowledge of the topic they presented and used real life examples of people who turned their life to better health which I find very inspirational!
With such a wonderful chance to give people simple but effective tools to influence their genetic destiny and shape their future health for the better (not to mention knocking their personal bests clean out the park) I'm really excited about teaming up with Thomas Olivier and Gensmart Academy in 2017 to deliver more life changing seminars.
For those who were unable to attend the seminar, I have some good news for you, on the 11th of December I will be hosting a free webinar, which covers most of the material in detail, plus all attendees will receive a video recording of the webinar too. You can sign up here.
Time to upgrade your performance and master your health.
Come join the revolution.
This week I was a bit stumped for recipes (it happens sometimes). I'm sure you've been there too right? When you are searching for inspiration but come up short. Luckily when it comes to those situations I know some amazing chefs who can do simple as well as mind boggling plant based delicacies.
One such person I can call on is Elisabeth Halijas who is Commander in Chief down at Rawligion in London. She runs a pretty awesome blog that's worth checking out too. So when I hit Elisabeth up on whatsapp to give me something simple but delicious, she had me covered. Check it out..
Here's the ingredients
5 red/green peppers
2 medium onions
150 g brown lentils
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp curry powder
Here's how to make it
Put the lentils to boil with a pinch of salt. Meanwhile, chop up the
onion roughly and start frying with a drizzle of olive oil. Either
grate the courgette with a food processor or chop into finer pieces by hand.
Mince the garlic and add to the onions. Chop the tomatoes into
fine pieces and add to the onion and garlic. Saute and add the
courgette, roughly chopped small handful of parsley, and spices to
flavour. Once the lentils are cooked, drain and add to the filling.
Mix thoroughly and add more spices if it needs it.
The tomatoes and courgette should be cooked into a mash by this stage, and the overall consistency should be quite thick. If it is not there yet, let it reduce a bit longer.
Meanwhile clean the peppers by washing them and slicing them in half to clean out the seeds. Alternatively you can slice off the tops and keep the peppers whole. Brush them with a little oil and fill them with the lentil mixture.
Put back the top you sliced off earlier and fit the peppers on to a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake a pre-heated oven at 180C for some 15 minutes or until the peppers are soft to touch.
Serve with a side salad of your liking.
So this weeks recipe is ridiculously easy to make and bursting with flavour. One of the complaints I get from people is that making meat free dishes can be so complicated to make.
Listen. It can be as difficult or as easy as you choose to make it, so without further ado here is the recipe!
Here's The Ingredients
20g (3/4 Instant Dashi (Japenese stock)
800ml (1.5 pints boiling water)
Spring onions x 4 (chopped)
Red of White Miso paste x 2 tablespoon
1 tablespoon Mirin (sweet rice wine)
Soy sauce x 1 tablespoon
200g Silken tofu (cubed)
How To Make It
Put the dashi with the boiling water in a saucepan and stir well. Add the chopped spring onion and simmer for 3 minutes.
Place the miso paste in a small bowl and add a little of the hot broth from the saucepan, and mix to get rid of any lumps. Then add the mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly.
Add the mirin, soy sauce and tofu. Heat gently without boiling. Serve when ready and get stuck in!
Emotional eating. It's a sticky subject. While many of us have displayed some of the behaviours at some point in our lives, it is actually considered a clinical condition.
It can be described as the connection between mood, food and weight loss.
Emotional eating is used as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions such as stress, anger, fear boredom, sadness or loneliness. Certain life events which impact us greatly, or the grind of day to day life can be enough to trigger negative feelings that lead to emotional eating and derail your weight loss efforts.
What are some of the triggers?
Now this isn't an exhaustive list, I'm sure you can think of a few more based on your experience to throw into the mix? Everyone is effected differently by challenges which trigger strong emotions, there are some people who actually eat less when confronted with overwhelming emotions and stressors.
With emotional eating, your emotions become so deeply tied to your eating habits that you automatically reach for that treat whenever you are stressed or angry, you don't even think about what you are doing. In some cases food can serve as a distraction, where you comfort eat rather than dealing with a painful situation. This is quite common too.
Whatever your own unique reasons may be, the result is often the same. Relief is short lived. Those uncomfortable emotions resurface and with it come powerful feelings of guilt, self hatred, anger or shame. Here is where the danger lies.
Burdened by these feelings you run head on into automatic eating habits to temporarily ease the pain, but end up sending you into a spiralling vicious cycle.
Is any of this familiar to you?
A lot of people think that overeating is simply due to a lack of discipline or will power, however this is rarely the case. But there are 5 other things (or what I call "traps") which can contribute to emotional eating. Take a look
Emotional eating is often a direct results of not being aware of why or what you are eating. This is where you unconsciously eat. Let me give you an example, when you have finished your meal or all you intended to eat, yet you continue to pick at the food left on your plate until its finished. It can be as simple as putting nuts, crisp, or food in your mouth simply because its there in front of you.
2) Food As Main Pleasure Source
When that bar of chocolate, pizza or ice-cream is "all I have to look forward too". When we've been stressed out, had a hard working day, in a challenging relationship or trained for a competition and food becomes your only source of pleasure, then this can become problematic.
Food can become addictive. Not only from a psychological standpoint, but research has now indicated that some of these highly processed foods, known as "hyper-palatable foods" light up the same opiate receptors in the brain utilised by drugs. For some people it is akin to a drug addiction. Research is still being done into this controversial area.
3) Unable To Tolerate Difficult Feelings
In western culture, especially here in the UK we are told to "Keep a stiff upper lip". We learn from a young age not to express those uncomfortable or messy feelings. When we choose this path, the ways in which we tend to deal with these uncomfortable or difficult emotions it not always in our best interest. This can make you more susceptible to emotional eating.
4) Body Hate
Yes, I know this may sound odd. But believe it or not body hate can be one of the biggest factors for emotional eating. Here's why, many people start their weight loss journey because they hate their body and the way they look, Its these powerful negative emotions that can act as a driver in the spiralling cycle I spoke about earlier.
The common belief is that once you have achieved your ideal weight that you will stop hating your body (i.e yourself). More often than not, chances are even if your body does change and you lose the weight you will still find something to dislike about your body (i.e yourself) and continue with the emotional eating cycle. This is where yo-yo dieting occurs. But here's the simple truth.
It's essential to learn to stop hating your body first, before you can stop the emotional eating cycle.
Sleep deprivation and waiting until you are starving to eat is a winning combination for emotional eating. Research has shown that certain areas of the brain responsible for telling us when we are full are compromised, unable to effectively tell us when we are full, while at the same time other areas increase our desire for food.
Now put yourself in a emotionally demanding situation to top things off and its no surprise that you will emotionally eat is it? When you stop to think about it, emotional eating is actually a very effective temporary method for you to deal with life's challenges (otherwise who would do it?).
The problem is that emotional eating is not a long term solution and poses many potential threats to your health, and can impact all areas of your life dramatically.
As you can probably tell, emotional eating is a very complicated subject, and that's why its important to identify your relationship to food and steadily unravel it into manageable chunks, before starting on any sort of "diet" or "healthy eating plan". Work with a coach or other qualified suitable professional to help put the right strategies in place for you.
It's why I consider emotional mastery and mindset two of the cornerstones of The 5 Pillars of Health.