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Cardio Training – HIIT or Steady-State?

Exercise is a critical component of any weight loss regime and when we think of exercise for weight loss, we think of cardio. Cardiovascular exercise is incredibly beneficial for the heart. In fact, the word ‘cardio’ is derived from the Ancient Greek word ‘Kardia’ which literally meant ‘heart’. Lately, more and more people have been performing HIIT as part of their cardio workouts, but is HIIT more beneficial than steady-state? That’s what we’re going to attempt to find out right now.

What is HIIT ?

HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, is a form of training in which individuals alternate between periods of slow and steady exercise and fast-paced high-intensity exercise. The individual performing the workout will perform a short burst of slow and steady exercise, following by high-intensity fast-paced bursts of energy for a number of different rounds. A typical HIIT workout is over in far less time than a steady-state cardio workout, as it typically lasts just 15 – 30 minutes on average.

Benefits of HIIT

Saves time

HIIT workouts are over in no more than 30 minutes on average. In fact, the average workout lasts just 20 minutes. During this time, you can burn off as many calories as you would with a one-hour steady-state cardio session.

Burns calories

Just because HIIT workouts are over quickly that doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective. HIIT workouts are incredibly physically demanding and in just 20 minutes you can potentially burn off more than 400 calories. Not only that, but because it is so physically demanding, your metabolism increases after the exercise are complete and you burn off more calories than usual, even whilst in a rested state. This is known as the afterburn effect.

Keeps things interesting

We wouldn’t exactly call HIIT workouts fun unless you’re a sadist, but we would say that they keep things interesting. A typical steady-state cardio workout performed on a treadmill is boring. You’re literally going at the same pace, looking at the same view for close to an hour. With HIIT, you’re constantly changing the workout, so things stay fresh and exciting.

Sample HIIT workout

• After warming up, get onto a treadmill, set it to a very slow pace, and walk for 60 seconds.
• Now, increase the speed and sprint as fast as you can for 40 seconds.
• Turn the speed to low, walk for 60 seconds, and repeat for as many rounds as you can fit in in the space of 20 minutes.

What is steady-state cardio?

Steady-state cardio is basically a continuous cardio-based workout performed at a moderate speed, for a long duration of time. Typically, a steady-state cardio workout will last 45 – 60 minutes.

Benefits of steady-state cardio

Easier – Steady-state cardio is much easier than HIIT, making it ideal for beginners
Better on the joints – Walking at a steady pace on a treadmill, or outdoors, is much easier on the joints than sprinting on a hard surface.
Burns calories – Steady-state cardio is still cardio, and it is therefore great for people looking to lose weight.

Sample steady-state cardio workout

• After stretching and warming up, either go for a long walk outdoors or jump on a treadmill and walk at a steady pace for around 45 – 60 minutes. It’s that simple.
Well, that’s an overview of cardio training and the difference between high-intensity intervals and steady-state cardio. In the next part, we will look at ramping up your exercise efforts and add resistance training into your weight loss plan.

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Introducing Exercise into a Weight Loss Regime

If you were to ask any health expert what the two basic fundamentals of weight loss were, they’d tell you they were: diet and exercise. Exercise is extremely misunderstood when it comes to losing weight, yet when it is performed correctly, it can really speed up the process and improve your health no end.
But just what is it about exercise that makes it so beneficial? Sure, it’s easy to sit here and tell you that exercise is healthy, but why is it healthy? What does exercise do for you that makes it healthy, and how can you introduce an exercise and fitness routine into a weight loss regime?
Let’s find out, shall we?

Health benefits of exercise

To begin with, we’re going to start by looking at some of the main health benefits of exercise. These include, but are not limited to:

Weight loss

Yes, we’re as shocked as you are, but yes, it turns out that exercise does in fact help you to lose weight. Who knew, right? When we exercise and exert ourselves physically, our bodies of course need the energy to perform the various activities we’re performing. This energy comes from calories we consume as well as those found in stored body fat. The more physically active we are, the more calories we burn and the more weight we will lose.

Cardiovascular health

One of the biggest risks of obesity is heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer in the world, and what’s even more frustrating is the fact that it can be avoided by following a healthy diet and lifestyle. Exercise is beneficial for the heart and cardiovascular system as it reduces blood pressure, it lowers LDL cholesterol, it improves circulation, and it strengthens the heart, making it more effective.
Improved mental health – Have you ever noticed how, after exercising you feel fantastic? You’re full of energy, you’re in a great mood, you feel alert, and you just feel happier and more content with life.
Exercise promotes the production and secretion of endorphins and other happy chemicals that improve your mood and improve your mental health. Exercise can potentially be a fantastic natural treatment for mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression.

Exercise boosts your energy levels

If you ever find yourself feeling tired, lethargic, and fatigued, exercise is perfect.
Studies have found that regular exercise can increase a person’s energy levels significantly. Exercise boosts the metabolism, which in turn generates more energy for you, whilst burning off more calories in the process.

Should you work out at a gym or at home?

People often wonder whether it’s more effective to train at a gym or simply exercise at home. Here’s a look at some pros and cons of each.

Gym pros

• More equipment
• Great atmosphere
• Plenty of variety
• Access to personal trainers and experts

Gym cons

• Travel
• Price
• Can get busy at times
Exercise at home pros:
• Save time
• No large crowds
• Save money
• Do your own thing
• Listen to your own music

Exercise at home cons

• Potential lack of space
• Lack of equipment
• Hard to get motivated sometimes
• Can get boring
Well, that’s a brief overview of and against training at home or at a gym. The main takeaway should be to stay focused on your weight loss goals we set and exercise regularly. You must be stronger than your excuses and it’s when you feel like skipping your training the most that you absolutely must get up and do that 5 minutes. This will boost your self-esteem and you’ll develop the mindset of a winner.

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Top 5 Power Foods You Need In Your Diet For Weight Loss

To some people, the thought of eating food to lose weight is preposterous. Surely, when it comes to losing weight the less food you eat, the better? In reality, however, the exact opposite is true.
In order to lose weight, we need to make sure that we’ve eaten enough to provide our metabolisms with the energy needed to function. Some foods, however, are even more beneficial for shedding the pounds than others. Here’s a look at the top 5 power foods for weight loss.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a superfood that is considered one of the healthiest in the world. If you’re looking to lose weight, broccoli is ideal. To begin with, broccoli is naturally low in calories and is virtually fat-free. As well as that, broccoli is also rich in fiber, which is your secret weapon in the battle against the bulge. Fiber helps to promote satiety and helps to keep you feeling full for longer. If you feel full, you’ll be less likely to overeat.

Salmon

Salmon is an oily fish that is renowned for its health benefits. Salmon is a rich source of protein which is very useful for burning fat. Protein is thermogenic, which means that it raises your core body temperature as it is broken down. This in turn means that your body burns off more calories just to digest the food and break it down. The weight loss benefits here are apparent. As an added bonus, salmon is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and essential minerals.

Chicken breast

If you look at any healthy eating plan containing meat, you’ll find that the primary protein source is usually chicken breast. For losing weight, chicken breast is ideal. Chicken breast is virtually fat-free when skinless, and is naturally low in calories. It’s also a great source of protein, which increases your metabolism as it is digested and broken down. Not only that, but as protein takes longer to digest and be broken down, it also stays in your stomach for longer so you feel full for longer.

Avocados

Avocados are naturally rich in fats and are high in calories. Because of this, people often avoid them when trying to lose weight. This is a mistake. You see, avocados are rich in healthy fats such as oleic acid, which has been found to ramp up the metabolism and fight inflammation.
Inflammation is heavily linked to obesity. Avocados are also a great source of fiber. This, combined with their high-calorie content, makes them perfect for keeping you feeling full for longer.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is roughly 99% saturated fat. The saturated fat found in coconut oil, however, is incredibly good for you. The fats found in coconut oil are MCTs or Medium Chain Triglycerides. Because of their triglyceride chain length, when consumed, these fats are used as a near-instant source of energy.
The body is able to use the fat for fuel quicker, so you don’t store the fats for use at a later date. This increase in energy means that your metabolism increases, and you will, therefore, burn more calories.

Hooray for coconuts.


Well, these are just a few power foods everyone should look at including into a healthy and balanced diet. In the next part, we will look at some of the most popular diets going around and whether they should be implemented or thrown in the bin.

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Weight Loss For Life

Hello and welcome to our short, beginners guide on how to lose weight and become healthy quickly, easily, and most importantly permanently! On paper, losing weight really is simply a case of eating less and exercising more. In reality, nothing is ever that black and white, and to be truthful, losing weight is one of the hardest processes you will ever endure. Lately, health experts and officials have grown increasingly concerned with the obesity epidemic sweeping the nation, and many parts of the developed world. The number of obese individuals in the world is now at an all-time high. Every single year, it is estimated that more than 2.8 million people lose their lives as a result, either directly or indirectly, of being obese and overweight. Each year, health officials and governments are spending billions on obesity-related healthcare, so something simply must be done before it’s too late.

Whereas once upon a time, obesity was prevalent in developed countries with high incomes, recent studies have found that obesity is now growing increasingly common in under-developed countries with poor incomes. This is a very worrying statistic. While new data is being gathered, we can tell you that back in 2016, the number of overweight individuals living on our planet came in at 1.9 Billion. Experts now predict that that number is even higher. Out of this 1.9 Billion, a staggering 650 million were obese.
Since the 1970s, obesity levels have tripled, which indicates that somewhere along the line, we’re doing things very wrong.

Health Risks Associated With Obesity

Now we’re going to take a look at a few major health risks associated with obesity and being overweight.

Type-2 Diabetes

Type-2 Diabetes is very much a condition heavily linked to obesity. The vast majority of people affected with type-2 diabetes are obese or overweight. Losing weight is a great way to manage the disease, and if you do happen to lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle, you could even potentially rid yourself of the disease entirely.

Heart disease

Heart disease is the number one killer in the world. Each year, more people die from heart disease than from all forms of cancer combined. Being overweight means that your LDL cholesterol will likely be high, and you will also likely suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure) these can be precursors for heart disease, as well as other potentially fatal conditions such as a stroke.

Joint issues

People that are overweight often suffer from joint issues such as osteoarthritis. This is because the extra weight that they are carrying is placing additional stress and pressure on their joints. The knees often bear the brunt of this weight, though back and hip issues are also common with overweight individuals. Losing weight can ease the pressure placed on these joints and can, therefore, improve their overall quality of life.

Fatty liver disease

Individuals who happen to be obese are far more likely to suffer from fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease is a condition in which the liver literally becomes coated in a restrictive layer of fat. If not addressed, it could potentially be fatal. Well, that’s a brief look at the situation we are facing and why it’s important to do all we can to increase our health while decreasing obesity In the first part of the guide we’re going to start at the beginning which is our current state of health and the steps to begin a weight loss program correctly.

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Cooking The TLC Way – Sample Meal Options

In this section, I’m going to introduce you to some delicious TLC recipes.

Breakfast Smoothie

Ingredients:


1 cup of fresh blueberries
½ cup of chopped baby spinach
1 cup of avocado, chopped
2 tbsp of almonds, minced 1 cup of coconut milk
½ cup of ice cubes (optional)
Preparation: Wash and drain the baby spinach. Combine with other ingredients in a blender and mix for about 30 seconds. Serve cold.

Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup of berries
½ cup of pineapple cubes
½ cup of chopped apple
5 mint springs
1 tbsp of fresh lime juice
1 tsp of lime zest ¼ cup of water
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of agave syrup

Preparation:

In a small saucepan combine ¼ cup of water, mint spring, fresh lime juice, and lime zest. Allow it to boil over medium temperature and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 1 cup of berries, ½ cup of pineapple cubes and ½ cup of chopped apple. Add agave syrup and mix well. Pour the lime mixture over the salad and let it stand in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and sprinkle with 1 tsp of cinnamon before serving.

Grilled Eggplant Slices With Chopped Fennel

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant
½ cup of chopped fennel
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of chopped parsley
Preparation: Peel the eggplant and cut into 3 equal slices. Bake it in a barbecue pan without oil. When done, spread olive oil over it, sprinkle with fennel and parsley. (These eggplant slices are great cold, so you can leave them overnight in a refrigerator)

Turkey Fillet With Walnuts And Maple Syrup

Ingredients:

3 turkey fillets
½ cup of walnuts
1 tsp of maple syrup
¼ cup of water
1 tbsp of olive oil salt to taste
Preparation: Fry the fillets in a barbecue pan, over a low temperature, for about 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove the pan from the heat and add water, maple syrup, and walnuts. Mix well and fry for another 5-6 minutes until the water evaporates. Stir constantly. Allow it to cool for a while before serving.

Beef Chop With Pineapple And Turmeric

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds of beef chop, boneless
2 tbsp of coconut oil
1 tbsp of olive oil
½ cup of coconut milk
1 tsp of turmeric
¼ tsp of pepper
1 medium pineapple, peeled and chopped

Preparation:

Wash and dry the meat. Cut into bite-size cubes. Combine the meat with coconut oil, coconut milk, turmeric, pepper, and pineapple. Mix well and set aside for 15 minutes. Use a large wok pan to heat up the olive oil. Remove the meat and pineapple chops from the marinade and fry for about 5-7 minutes on each side. Now pour in the remaining marinade, cover the wok pan and cook for 30 minutes over a medium temperature. The marinade will become thick and the meat soft. Remove from the heat and serve.

Salmon With Zucchini

Ingredients:

1 pound of sliced salmon fillets
2 small zucchinis
6 Brussels sprouts
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp of pepper

Preparation:

Peel and slice zucchinis into 0.5-inch thick circle shape slices. Cut salmon fillets into bite-size pieces. Heat up one tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet and add your salmon fillets. Fry them up for about 10 minutes, or until they are nice and crispy. When done, move them to a plate covered with a kitchen paper to soak up the grease. Set aside. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half. Combine with zucchini slices in a large bowl and add 2 tbsp of the remaining olive oil. Move the vegetables to the skillet and cook until the Brussel sprouts are tender. This should take no more than 10 minutes. Add your salmon fillets to the skillet, cover, and allow it to rewarm. Serve and enjoy.

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Pitfalls To Avoid When Going Gluten-Free

Now we’ll be looking at a few common beginner mistakes to avoid when you decide to go gluten-free. Going gluten-free is a lot harder and more complex than most people realize. To help ensure your gluten-free journey runs as smoothly as possible, check out these beginner mistakes to avoid.

Not Reading Food Labels

First and foremost, one of the most common mistakes that people make when following a gluten-free diet, is failing to read the list of ingredients on the food labels and packing.
Sausages, for example, are generally thought of as being meat-based products. Therefore, a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that they are all suitable for a gluten-free diet. Some brands, however, contain cereals, grains, seasonings, or flours that actually do contain gluten.
There are, of course, 100% meat sausages, but some brands out there do add other things to their recipes. This is just one of many different examples. Basically, to avoid any potential complications, always take the time to read the ingredients.

Assuming That All Gluten-Free Foods Are Safe

Oats, as we mentioned earlier, do not contain gluten. Despite this, you still need to be extremely careful when eating oats, as they are often processed and packaged in environments where gluten is present.
Cross-contamination is therefore a very real possibility. The best advice we can give you here is to do as much research as possible and to not take any chances.

Not Getting Enough Nutrients

Many people suffering from gluten sensitivity issues, or celiac disease, often wind up becoming malnourished. Their bodies struggle to absorb adequate amounts of the right nutrients, along with the fact that sometimes they just don’t eat healthily enough. Going gluten-free does not guarantee that you’ll be getting enough of the right nutrients on a daily basis. We all have our most and least favorite foods, so be sure to prioritize healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, that are high in vitamins and minerals.

Quitting Too Early

Okay, time to get real here. When you transition over to a gluten-free diet, this is a big step, and your body will not like it as first. For the first two or three days, you will feel awful. You’ll feel tired, you’ll be hungry, you’ll have a headache, and you’ll be craving the foods that you know you shouldn’t be eating. You’ll basically want to go away and hibernate for a few months. If you stick with it, however, things will get better. Once your body accepts the fact that gluten is gone, you’ll actually begin to feel better than ever. If you can make it past the first few days, you should be perfectly fine.

Overlooking Sauces, Seasonings, And Condiments

After preparing your delicious gluten-free meal, out of habit, you may reach for the nearest seasoning, sauce, or condiments in general, and wonder why you’re bloated and in agony shortly afterward.
Though a little squeeze of sauce here, or a sprinkling of seasoning there, may not seem like much, in reality even the tiniest trace of gluten can potentially lead to some nasty side effects. Many sauces, seasonings, spices, and condiments contain gluten, or could potentially contain gluten, so just be careful and again, always read the packaging

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What Exactly Is A Gluten-Free Diet & Is It Right For Me?

Now it’s time for us to look at what a gluten-free diet really is, and whether it could be right for you. Remember, gluten is a very complex ingredient and is far more complex than a lot of people seem to realize. In basic terms, a gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes all foods and beverages containing gluten, or ingredients that may contain gluten. Those affected with Celiac disease will commonly cut gluten out of their diets. However, those with gluten sensitivity issues will also need to do the same. If you have experienced any adverse reactions or side effects when consuming foods or drinks containing gluten, such as those that we have listed previously, it may be time for you to adopt a gluten-free diet. Some people choose to cut gluten out of their diets anyway, even if they aren’t actually suffering from any form of sensitivity to it.

Foods To Eat And Foods To Avoid

So, as you can see, a gluten-free diet is very easy to describe, and diagnosing issues pertaining to gluten sensitivity is fairly simple. So, what foods can you eat, and which foods should you avoid if you choose to go gluten-free? Does this mean you can never eat a delicious pizza or bacon double cheeseburger again? No, absolutely not. The good news is that, because more and more people are adopting a gluten-free diet and lifestyle, there are now more delicious gluten substitutions than ever before. You can even purchase gluten-free flour, so you can literally bake your own bread, doughs, and bases using ingredients that are 100% gluten-free. To ensure your gluten-free experience runs as smoothly as possible, we’re now going to list some of the main foods you can eat, and foods you should avoid while following a gluten-free diet. We’ll begin with what you can eat.

Foods You Can Eat

Most Wholegrains – Yes, that’s right. The common belief is that all whole grains contain gluten and are therefore very bad for anybody suffering from gluten sensitivity issues.
The truth is that most whole grains are actually free from this pesky protein. The thing to remember, however, is that a lot of grains are processed in facilities that also process gluten-containing ingredients, so cross-contamination can occur. This is especially true when it comes to oats.
Examples of gluten-free whole grains, however, include the following:
• Quinoa
• Buckwheat
• Wild rice
• Brown rice
• Oats
• Arrowroot
• Teff
• Millet
• Amaranth
• Tapioca

Fruits And Vegetables – As long as they are natural, and haven’t been processed in any way, all fruits and vegetables are naturally free from gluten. Fruits and veggies are ideal for any
diet plan pretty much, as they are loaded full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that the body thrives upon. We won’t list each fruit and vegetable that you can eat on this diet as that would take an eternity. Just be wary of canned fruits or veggies, or pre-prepared ones.
Proteins – Again, as long as they are natural and haven’t been processed or tinkered with in any way, all meats and fishes are naturally free from gluten.
Meats and fish, for example, are rich in vitamins, minerals, and even some healthy fats and beneficial amino acids. Processed meats, however, such as sausages, are sometimes bulked out with cereals and ingredients which do contain gluten.
Eggs are another great source of protein that is naturally gluten-free. Nuts, seeds, and most legumes are also perfectly acceptable on a gluten-free diet.

Fats – Fat is a macronutrient that plays a crucial role in our day-to-day lives. It is essential for a number of natural processes within the body and, providing we get it from healthy and natural sources, it is actually extremely healthy. Fats are also naturally free from gluten. Just be wary of cooking sprays, or oils with added seasonings, as they may sometimes contain ingredients that could contain gluten. Examples of healthy fats include:
• Oily fish
• Coconut oil
• Olive oil
• Grass-fed butter
• Avocados
• 100% natural nut butter with nothing added
Beverages – As well as whole foods, you will also no doubt need to consume something to wash everything down. Most beverages are perfectly fine on a gluten-free diet, with drinks like water, fruit juice, tea, and coffee, all proving perfectly acceptable.
Just be wary of smoothies, alcoholic beverages, and malt beverages which are often made with grains and/or ingredients containing gluten.
Dairy – Dairy is another foodstuff that is generally perfectly acceptable on a gluten-free diet, again, as long as it hasn’t been tampered with in any way.
Dairy such as milk, cheese, cream, butter, yogurt, and sour cream, are all perfectly fine as they do not contain gluten.
A lot of people following a gluten-free diet however, often make the mistake of avoiding dairy because of the lactose. Lactose intolerance and a wheat intolerance are two completely different things entirely.

Foods To Avoid

Below we’ll be listing a series of foods and drinks to avoid on a gluten-free diet. We won’t be going into detail about why each one should be avoided because we all know that it’s because they contain gluten, or they have been prepared in an environment where gluten is present, and cross-contamination could have occurred.
Foods to avoid on a gluten-free diet include:
• Pastas
• Bread
• Seasonings
• Spice mixes
• Crackers
• Wheat bran
• Wheat starch
• Cereals
• Durum
• Couscous
• Wheat germ
• Spelt
• Semolina
• Rye
• Barley
• Sauces
• Processed meats
• Beer
• Wines
• Some ciders
• Some liquors such as whiskey
• Brewer’s yeast
• Baked and processed goods
• And more…
As you continue through our Gluten Free guide, you’ll find even more detailed information on what to eat so keep reading!

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History Of Gluten & How It’s Affecting Our Health

Wheat and other similar grains are considered by many to be godsends. Ever since we became self-sufficient, and discovered farming and agriculture, we have utilized wheat and grains in a wide variety of different ways. From bread and pasta to beer and wine, what is seemingly the gift that keeps on giving. There is, however, a downside to being self-sufficient. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade or so, you’ll have noticed how more and more people seem to be adopting a gluten-free diet.
Initially, people thought it was just a fad, or a trend set by Hipsters looking to standout and rebel against society. It turns out, however, that gluten-free diets were not just fads at all, and that, in actual fact, they are able to provide a wide range of health and wellness benefits to those that follow them.

But why do people feel the need to adopt a gluten-free diet and lifestyle in the first place? Well, in order to obtain an answer to that, we need to go back in time more than a million years.
The Caveman Diet
Back in the Paleolithic era, back when our caveman ancestors roamed the earth, we had no farms, no convenience stores, and no pizza delivery services. In fact, the food we used to eat back then had to be found, foraged, or killed. Cavemen would hunt wild animals, they’d snag fish if they could, they’d eat nuts, seeds, berries, and anything else deemed edible that grew in the wild. Nowadays, paleo diets are hugely popular. The common misconception about these diets is that they are for weight loss. They aren’t. They’re primarily to help people avoid common food allergies and intolerances, and the nasty side effects that go with them. You see, back then, cavemen were not obese, they didn’t suffer from food allergies, and they didn’t need to use prescription medications to control and regulate a wide range of different health issues based primarily on the modern Westernized diet. Granted, life expectancies back then were very low, but causes of death were deemed to primarily be natural back then. Though wheat and similar grains did grow in the wild, back then we had no idea that they were edible, so we stayed well clear.

Farming, Agriculture, And Gluten

Around 10,000 years ago, give or take a few decades, something changed. We went from hunting and foraging our food to being self-sustainable. Yes, we discovered farming and agriculture, and we discovered that grains could be grown in the ground, harvested, and processed to make edible items like primitive types of bread. That means that evolutionarily speaking, we have only been eating gluten for around 10,000 years. That seems like a long time, but considering the other foods like those followed on paleo-based diets, have been consumed for more than ten times that amount of time, you can see that our digestive systems may not have actually had time to catch up.

It is believed that we first began harvesting wheat around 8800 BCE. Primarily it was harvested in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Assyria. Around 5000 BCE however, many other parts of the world were also harvesting wheat. During the Bronze Age, spelled became a staple ingredient in diets all over the globe.
By the 15th Century, the New World was regularly harvesting and processing wheat and similar grains to make all kinds of delicious creations. By the 19th century, brewing and bread-making techniques really improved, and things continued to grow and expand from there.

How Is Gluten Affecting Our Health?

Gluten comes from the Latin word for glue. This is because it is able to hold grains such as wheat together and bind them. This protein is responsible for giving grain-based products such as bread and pasta, their soft and chewy texture. Now, a lot of people can quite happily eat gluten to their heart’s content, so surely, it’s harmless enough? Well, not exactly. Some people suffer from some form of gluten intolerance. As more and more research is being conducted on gluten and the potential health risks it presents, scientists are finding more and more evidence to suggest that to some individuals, gluten does appear to be more harmful than others. Experts believe that, if we were to go back to how we initially farmed and processed grains, we’d be much healthier than we are now. They believe that most grains consumed today have been so heavily processed, altered, and modified, that they are very different to the ones we ate thousands of years ago.

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Living Gluten-Free

Hello and welcome to our short, beginners guide on living a gluten-free life
As you may or may not be aware, we are currently in the midst of an obesity epidemic that has reached epic proportions. Life expectancies are on the decline, weight-related illnesses are on the up, and our health, in general at least, is deteriorating by the year. But why is this? With all of the advancements in modern technology, science, and medicine, surely we should be fitter and healthier than ever?
Well, we should be, but we aren’t. We aren’t, because we are obviously doing something very wrong. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out where we’re doing wrong either. We’re slipping up because we’re leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles, we aren’t getting enough exercise, and we’re eating the wrong foods.

The modern Westernized diet is far from ideal. In fact, it’s downright awful as far as a lot of people are concerned. You see, nowadays, food and drink is produced, not with health and wellness in mind, but rather, with speed, profit margins, and convenience in mind. Foods are heavily processed to within an inch of their lives and as a result, by the time they reach store shelves, they contain a mere fraction of the nutrients that they held before the processing took place. When foods are processed, they lose much of their nutrient content.

As well as that, they are also then often combined with artificial chemical ingredients to help promote taste, color, and shelf life. Bread is a fine example of this. As you probably know, wholemeal bread is considered to be a far healthier bread than white bread. This is because it undergoes far less processing.
One ingredient hiding in bread, however, that we’d like to talk about today, is gluten. You may have heard people talking about gluten allergies and intolerances but what precisely is gluten and is it really as bad as some people claim?

Gluten is a type of protein that is found within grains such as barley, rye, and wheat. That means that gluten is found in any products which contain these ingredients. Bread is a prime example, though there are, of course, many other foods made from these products and containing these products.
Now, the thing to remember here is that gluten intolerances and allergies are not the same as celiac disease. Celiac disease is a form of the immune disease which results in irritation and damage to the small intestine after gluten has been consumed. In actual fact, gluten is such a troublesome little critter, that there are 5 different problems people can face when it comes to consuming gluten. These are:
• Celiac disease
• Non-celiac gluten sensitivity
• Gluten intolerance
• Gluten ataxia
• Dermatitis herpetiformis

Many people also claim to have a gluten allergy. In reality, there is no such thing as a gluten allergy. What there is, however, is a wheat allergy, and that is what many people confuse with a gluten allergy. So, basically, it is impossible to be allergic to gluten, but it is not impossible to be allergic to wheat.
Those dealing with any of the aforementioned gluten-related conditions will often suffer from a wide range of symptoms – all of which happen to be very similar. These include:
• Bloating
• Distended stomach
• Stomach cramps
• Stomach pains
• Headaches
• Dizzy spells
• Tiredness
• Nausea
• Mood swings
• Weight loss
• Skin rashes and problems
• And more…

Well that’s a brief intro how gluten affects your body and into what we’ll be covering in this guide. In the following chapters, we’re going to focus on the different aspects of Gluten-Free Living and help you develop a plan to get the most out of everyday life.
Are you ready to begin?… Let’s dive in!

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Immersion in Different Fields

Immersion is arguably one of the quickest and best ways to improve your mental and emotional conditioning. It is also one of the hardest. Imagine if you spent a year learning Mandarin Chinese while simultaneously learning C programming and Brazilian Ju-Jitsu. It would be an immensely difficult year for you. It would also be one of the most rewarding if you were able to pull it off.
This is because each of these areas will teach your brain different things. When people learn things in a classroom learning it is usually the worst kind – rote learning reading from a screen. This is just not a healthy way to learn things and is also very repetitive. The way that people learn is every bit as important as the subject matter. So learning a language while talking to people is nothing like learning grammar from a book. And trying to create a new program in a software language is different from learning it in a classroom. Learning all three of these is just not realistic in the modern-day environment. But you could consider doing one of them, at least part-time. And there are also different forms of immersion.

Immersion Strategies


We have already mentioned two of the best immersion strategies available. These are intensive painting and intensive writing. Both of these draw on your creative faculties so you can make them stronger. Creativity is an excellent tool that you can use in nearly any context. Once you open up your creativity just a little, you can build momentum and make innovation and the imagination as core components of your existence. But it always takes commitment and willpower at the start to immerse yourself in the creative process. Consider that Mark Zuckerberg publicly posted that how was going to spend a year learning Mandarin Chinese. Intelligent people are constantly looking for ways to expand their mental capabilities.

Travel is one of the most common immersion strategies available. Learning how different people think and behave is excellent for contrast against your own personal values and beliefs. The starkest example of this is when people of the West go to places like India and Thailand in the East. While people in the West are goal orientated and live in the future, the people of the East tend to live in the moment more (this has its own set of drawbacks, as they generally don’t seem motivated enough in terms of self-development). Many people spend at least a year of their lives traveling. However, they tend to go the wrong way about it. They often do it near the end of their lives and try to fit in as many places as possible like ticking boxes off a checklist. When traveling, it is best to spend longer time periods in a set location to really imbibe the culture.

You can immerse yourself in anything. Try to immerse yourself in minimalism for a month. No tv, smartphone, no unhealthy food, no social media, no computer, a clean desk, a clean room, a small set of clothes, etc. Remember that 21 days is the time it takes to incorporate a habit. So if you manage to follow through witH something for over 21 days, then you can carry this habit forward with far less effort than when you started out.

Painful Immersion Practice – The Best Kind

One of the most useful techniques that you can learn to develop a strong mental framework is to find what you hate and do it intensely or try to do the opposite of what you are typically used to doing. In the modern world, people are set on trying to be comfortable. The biggest fear of someone in the modern era is to lose their income so they could not afford cable television or a smartphone bill, both of which do not contribute any real value while eating precious cognitive space.
An old Stoic practice is to practice being as poor as possible for a set amount of time. This might sound strange. But there is actually nothing whatsoever to fear. It is modern-day comforts that are actually a cause of much distress, as well as the constant striving for more and more and more. When you confront your fears so directly they lose a lot of their energy. They are only so powerful when you don’t look at them. This could also be called a form of shadow work in the form of directly confronting fears.

You can easily discover your fears through some creative writing and asking yourself some questions. Or just write out a list of things that you would never consider doing and ask yourself why. If you hate public speaking, try doing it intensely for a month or so. As painful as it is, you would be making an immense progress.

Be Prepared


Understand that immersion is not going to be a pleasant process, by and large. Though it will be very rewarding in the end. Can you remember how hard it was when you first had to learn the alphabet and string words together? This is what it feels like when you are learning something completely different. This is basically what immersion is. The more foreign the subject (such as Mandarin Chinese or martial art) the greater the benefits. It will stretch your mind in ways that it is not used to being stretched.
It is also worth considering that the vast amount of projects are abandoned early on. Most people finish their yearly resolutions two weeks into January. Before embarking on a project that could take you 3 months, be sure that you are prepared and that you are absolutely 100% certain that you want to do it.