Saturday, October 02, 2010

7 Ways to Boost Your Energy

Many of us are looking for energy in all the wrong places
by Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Fatigue is one of the biggest problems of modern life, but we’re trying to fix that problem in all the wrong ways.

Trying to “get” or “find” energy is like trying to grab a fistful of water. If you want water (energy) to sit in your hand, you have to first create the conditions under which it’s possible — in the case of water, keeping your fingers tightly together and your hand cupped while open will do the trick — but trying to grab the water will not. It’s the same thing with energy.

Energy isn’t something you get or grab, but rather the by-product of certain conditions that allow it to show up in your life. If your health and attitude and body and mind are all aligned in the right way, there’s nothing else for you to do but to feel energized. It’s the natural “side-effect” of a healthy life — it just comes with the territory.

Let’s say you were a swimmer wearing a weight belt and you wanted to increase your time in the 50-yard freestyle. You could spend a lot of effort researching the latest titanium high-tech bathing suit — which might add a second or two to your time — but wouldn’t it be a lot more effective to simply drop the weight belt?

Most of us are carrying around weight belts and looking to increase our energy with coffee and stimulants when in fact if we just dropped the weight belt we’d automatically go faster.

Some of the items on our weight belt are: too little sleep, disorganization, toxic relationships, high-carb diets, undetected food sensitivities, and all sorts of other facts of modern life that I discuss in detail in my book, The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your Energy. In this article I’m going to suggest seven ways to help drop the weight belt from your energy tank. Do them and you may be surprised at what a boost in energy they give you.

1) Support your liver.
You can help your liver do its job more effectively — and boost your energy in the bargain — by taking a daily dose of an herb called milk thistle. I consider the liver to be the most misunderstood and under-appreciated organ in the human body, because when it’s not working right, the first thing to suffer is your energy. Giving the liver all the nutrients it needs to perform its daily tasks is one of the most important things you can do to boost your energy.

2) Get ten minutes of sun every day.
“The sun gives you strength, lifts your spirits and is a source of energy”, says my friend Al Sears, MD, author of Your Best Health Under the Sun. Like a growing body of health experts, Sears thinks we’ve become so sun phobic that we’re missing out on the myriad mood-boosting and energy-enhancing benefits that vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin has to offer.

3) Disconnect for a day.
One of the great energy drainers of the 21st century is information overload. We’re deluged with stuff coming at us from emails, RSS feeds, blogs, social networking sites, TV, magazines, radio, fax machines, Blackberries… you get the picture. Knowledge may be power, but information overload is just… well, noise. Try a media-free day and feel your own energy accumulate — rather than dissipate as you attend to millions of distractions. Most of the chatter, when you think about it, won’t make much difference in the long run anyway. (If you find the idea of disconnecting for a day a frightening thought, you are exactly the person who needs to do it the most!)

4) Try the “No-Frills, No-Excuses, Anytime-Anywhere” workout.
We all know that exercise helps with energy — at least I hope we do — but when it comes to working out, time remains a big obstacle for many people. Here’s my own “no excuses” lo-tech workout that you can do just about anywhere in as little as 15 or 20 minutes for an amazing boost in energy: 1) run a mile, 2) do some squats, 3) do some push-ups, 4) do some crunches. Stretch and go about your business refreshed and energized. And if you can’t go out and run the mile, do some jumping jacks in your office, or run the stairs.

5) Revive your “qi”.
Acupuncture is based on the precepts of traditional Chinese Medicine that says the body and mind are inextricably linked; that vital energy, or qi, regulates a person’s spiritual, mental and physical health; that each of us is a delicate balance of opposing and inseparable forces called yin and yang — and when that balance is disrupted, vital energy becomes blocked or weakened. When our qi (energy) is at optimal levels and flowing smoothly, we’re ready to take on the world. Spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically we’re strong, healthy and energized. One terrific way to balance that energy is through acupuncture.

6) De-clutter and deep-six the energy drain. Here’s a rule I’ve found to be a universal truth: your energy has a perfect inverse relationship to the accumulation of stuff you don’t need. The more unwanted, unused, unneeded stuff you have cluttering up your life, the less energy you have. Believe it or not, the condition of your desk (and desktop) and office and living space actually reflects a lot of what’s going on in your head. If you take time to organize and de-clutter, you’ll actually be freeing up a lot of psychic space, and that can really turbo-charge your energy.

7) Take the right supplements.
While supplements don’t really “give” you energy, they can correct metabolic issues that are draining it. They can also speed along certain pathways that are nutrient-dependent and that get sluggish (and energy draining) when those nutrients are in short supply. One terrific energizing nutrient is coenzyme Q10. It helps transform fats and sugars into energy and is a potent antioxidant.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vegan spot offers flavor

Soul Vegetarian restaurant serves one hundred percent vegan cuisine
By McQuisha Smith
FAMU - Staff Editor

At 11 a.m. Ahmahtsiyah B. Rahm opens Soul Vegetarian with a smiling face peeking from behind his salt-and-pepper beard. Customers inhale the aroma of barbeque tofu, vegan macaroni and cheese and fresh steamed collard greens.

Soul Vegetarian is a vegan restaurant that features a full menu of lunch platters, sandwiches, specialty drinks and more.

"Soul Vegetarian is an off-shoot of the African Hebrew Israelite community of Jerusalem," said Rahm.

"Part of our culture is a vegan diet, so we opened restaurants for the public to partake in a one-hundred percent vegan cuisine with no animal products," Rahm said.

In 1996, the Jerusalem community participated in the Olympics in Atlanta. Customers were served from three mobile food trailers.

"Once the Olympics were over, there was an opportunity for us to purchase a food trailer here in Tallahassee," Rahm said.

Soul Vegetarian began first serving on Florida A&'M's campus in 1997.

"We worked the food trailer for 13 years on ‘The Set' every Friday up until last year, but now we have our own building," Rahm said.

"I found out about Soul Vegetarian my freshman year," said Craig Beacham, a senior philosophy student from Prince George's County, Md.

Beacham has been vegan for almost three years, and visits Soul Vegetarian to go to get a quick meal.

"It's definitely makes it easier; it's convenient when you're on the move," Beacham said.

Beacham believes his support of small chains like Soul Vegetarian is a part of what helps sustain the vital community restaurant.

"You're supporting a business, you're supporting a family and community with a positive vision," Beacham said.

"It works for people in a transition from a meat-based diet to a plant-based diet," said Ariel Wright, a master of social work student at Florida State and two-year vegetarian from Alexandria Va., also agrees that Soul Vegetarian is a good place for students.

"They bring a lot of different communities together, you have people who are vegan and non-vegan come together." Wright said.

Beacham and Wright said some of their favorites include the vegan pizza, Garvey burger and their blue berry smoothie.

"Our goal is to motivate people to eat better and live better." Rahm said.

Soul Vegetarian is located on 1205D South Adams St.

"I recommend Soul Vegetarian to people who are vegetarian and who aren't, the food there is good." Beacham said.

Rahm is glad to be able to give another alternative of food for his customers; he believes that having a healthy diet is crucial. "Our goal is to motivate people to eat better and live better." Rahm said.

Soul Vegetarian is located on 1205d South Adams Street, they are open Monday-Friday 11a.m to 7p.m., and Saturday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Recession rips at US marriages, expands income gap

Pleas for food stamps have reached a record high
Associated Press

The recession seems to be socking Americans in the heart as well as the wallet: Marriages have hit an all-time low while pleas for food stamps have reached a record high and the gap between rich and poor has grown to its widest ever.

The long recession technically ended in mid-2009, economists say, but U.S. Census data released Tuesday show the painful, lingering effects. The annual survey covers all of last year, when unemployment skyrocketed to 10 percent, and the jobless rate is still a stubbornly high 9.6 percent.

The figures also show that Americans on average have been spending about 36 fewer minutes in the office per week and are stuck in traffic a bit less than they had been. But that is hardly good news, either. The reason is largely that people have lost jobs or are scraping by with part-time work.

"Millions of people are stuck at home because they can't find a job. Poverty increased in a majority of states, and children have been hit especially hard," said Mark Mather, associate vice president of the Population Reference Bureau.

The economic "indicators say we're in recovery, but the impact on families and children will linger on for years," he said.

Take marriage.

In America, marriages fell to a record low in 2009, with just 52 percent of adults 18 and over saying they were joined in wedlock, compared to 57 percent in 2000.

The never-married included 46.3 percent of young adults 25-34, with sharp increases in single people in cities in the Midwest and Southwest, including Cleveland, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Albuquerque, N.M. It was the first time the share of unmarried young adults exceeded those who were married.

Marriages have been declining for years due to rising divorce, more unmarried couples living together and increased job prospects for women. But sociologists say younger people are also now increasingly choosing to delay marriage as they struggle to find work and resist making long-term commitments.

In dollar terms, the rich are still getting richer, and the poor are falling further behind them.

The income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its largest margin ever, a stark divide as Democrats and Republicans spar over whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy.

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