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Epigenetics Proves It: Negative Thoughts and Emotions Harm Your Health

by Kathy Smith

For decades we’ve heard talk of the mind-body connection, but what does it really mean?

Traditionally, the mind-body connection related to the notion that emotions, thoughts, social activities, spiritual practices, and behavior can affect our health. Today, thanks to some intrepid geneticists, we not only know this is true, but also the reason it occurs.

Ever since the discovery of genes, scientists have followed the path of genetic disposition and have strived to fight or prevent disease based on an individual’s genetic code. But, the new science of epigenetics has scientists looking at a much bigger picture.

Let’s take a look at what epigenetics means. Genetics is the study of heredity, or how the characteristics of living things are transmitted from one generation to the next. Every living thing contains the genetic material that makes up DNA molecules. This material is passed on when organisms reproduce. The prefix epi is derived from a Greek word that means “on, upon, at, by, near, over, on top of, toward, against, among.” Now, when we combine the prefix epi with the word genetics, we are referring to what occurs uponover or on top of the expression of genes.

Biologists studying epigenetics understand that environmental factors, such as stress and nutrition, to name a few, affect your genetic expression. And, what these biologists know with certainty is that the expression of your genes, not the genes themselves, dictates whether you develop certain diseases or age prematurely. In other words, one may have the “obesity gene,” but if nothing in the environment triggers that gene, it will never express as obesity.

This means that how you respond to what’s happening in your environment—whether it’s stress at work, final exams, or emotional or physical abuse—has a far greater effect than the event itself. In other words, when it comes to your body, perception is reality.

If you are chronically forlorn, for example, this negative emotion will influence the expression of your genes and thus impact your risk of developing disease. Conversely, there are many obese people, and even heavy smokers, who lead optimistic, balanced lives who are in much better health than their lean or non-smoking, but pessimistic, counterparts.

Dawson Church, in his book, The Genie in Your Genes: Epigenetic Medicine and the New Biology of Intention, reports that heart surgery patients who have a strong social support network and spiritual practice have one-seventh the mortality rate of those who don’t.

So, how do you start feeling optimistic when you’re feeling everything but? Well, you can start by recognizing that pessimism is nothing more than a habit—a learned response. And, the good news in that is that habits can be changed.

Habits are formed by the brain when we do something consistently over time. The brain recognizes the pattern and builds a neuropathway. Then, whenever the situation presents itself again, your brain takes that same neuropathway, which is now the path of least resistance. Neuropathways that are used regularly get stronger, and those that aren’t used at all disconnect.

So, the trick to changing habits is consistently doing the positive, new behavior you want until it forms a new neuropathway. Sound like a lot of time and effort? It doesn’t have to be. Since the brain doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined, and because time doesn’t exist at the other-than-conscious level of the mind, visualization can help you form new habits quickly and comfortably. This is where braintapping comes in. With proven technology-enhanced meditation that uses brain wave algorithms and visualization, you can quickly form the positive new habits that will give you a happier life and help safeguard your health.

And, if that’s not enough to convince you, a May 2014 study by the Institute of Science in Society showed that the relaxation response, as achieved through meditative practices, has been shown to positively affect at least 2,209 genes.

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

How To Eat Carbs And Still Lose Weight

by Kathy Smith

What’s so bad about carbs?

By now we’re all well aware of the low-carb diet craze, and many have tried to skip the bread from time to time, often with mixed results. Most of us are still left asking:

What exactly is all the fuss about?

When you munch on a muffin, here’s what happens to the carbs that you just put in your mouth: they’re converted into glucose, which is essentially the body’s energy. The problem is that there’s only so much glucose that you actually need. The rest is converted into glycogen and stored in the liver and in your muscles. When glycogen storage reaches full capacity, all the extra carbs are converted into fat.

 How Much is Too Much?

When it comes to carbs, there’s a range, depending on several factors. First and most importantly, how much time you’re putting in on a treadmill or at the gym is crucial. An elite athlete needs more carbs to fuel her lifestyle than someone who spends most of her day sitting at a computer.

Here’s a ballpark range of what’s appropriate, safe and effective, depending on your level of activity:

0-50g Carbs Per Day: Accelerated Fat Burning Zone

If you’re trying to lose a lot of water weight in a couple days, cut your carbs below 50/day. This isn’t easy to do, and very restrictive, but any professional model or bodybuilder knows it’s the fastest way to lean out in a short amount of time.

This is when your body goes into ketosis, a metabolic state where you’re burning your own fat as a main source of energy. But ketosis doesn’t come without its risks – so talk to your doctor before making any major changes in your diet.

50-100g Carbs Per Day: Weight Loss Zone

If you’re staying in this range, chances are good that you’ll achieve healthy weight loss.

I like the way my friend Mark Cisson (creator of the popular blog Mark’s Daily Apple) describes this range: “The primal sweet spot for effortless weight loss.”

100-150g Carbs Per Day: Weight Maintenance Zone

This supports healthy weight maintenance, because it allows optimal fat-burning and muscle development based on body weight and activity. Here, you get to enjoy ample amounts of vegetables and fruits while avoiding grains and sugars.

150-300g Carbs Per Day: Weight Gain Zone

Even though this is represents the low end of a typical American’s daily carb intake, the truth is that this number can lead to gradual weight gain (depending on the types of carbs you’re eating, and your activity level).

Over 300g Carbs Per Day: DANGER Zone!

If you’re eating in this range, you’re almost guaranteed to experience continuous weight gain. Mark aptly describes this as “The Danger Zone.”

How to Read Your Carb Label:

The carbohydrate count of the food you eat is usually right there in plain black lettering. If it contains over 30 grams in a small serving, with little to no fiber content, you might want to try a healthier option. Remember, the higher that fiber count is within those carbs, the better. (I could go on about the benefits of fiber, but that’s for another newsletter. For now, just know: Carbs with a high fiber content are generally considered the “good carbs.”)

A Carb Cutter’s Cheat Sheet

Here are a few carb-count examples of some typical foods:

1 Slice of whole wheat bread: 13-16 g/slice
1 can of soda: 35.6 g
1 slice of chocolate cake: 35 g
Mocha Frappucino: 44 g
Cinnamon Raisin Bagel: 65.1 g
1/2 cup of All Bran Cereal: 23.5 g
8 oz. Low-fat Blueberry Yogurt: 48 g

For comparison, here are some carbs that are combined with a little more fiber, which helps you digest them more slowly, and doesn’t create that unfavorable blood sugar spike (which leads to weight gain) caused by other carbs:

1/2 cup of Oatmeal: 12 g (2g of fiber)
1 small Banana: 23.1 g (2.6g of fiber)
1 medium Apple: 19 g (1.7g of fiber)
8 Asparagus Spears: 5.2 g (2.4g of fiber)
1/2 cup of Steamed Kale: 3.6 g (1.3g of fiber)

Take The Next Step:

Due to years of consuming a diet full of processed carbs, most people have grown quite insensitive to one of the most important hormones in our body—a hormone that can either be a huge asset to your body transformation goals, or a total fat loss and health-derailing nightmare.

Its name is insulin.

And insulin’s function is to help your body keep blood sugar at bay, clear it quickly from your bloodstream after a carbohydrate meal, and (hopefully) shuttle that blood sugar to muscle tissue for energy instead of fat.

I say “hopefully” because that’s actually the exact opposite of what occurs when most people eat carbs. Going back to insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate tolerance, due to a diet full of processed, insulin–and blood–sugar-spiking carbohydrates, most folks are suffering from some level of insulin resistance, a state in which insulin is no longer able to efficiently remove blood sugar from the blood stream.

The result? Dramatically reduced fat burning and increased fat storage.

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

The 3-Breath Practice To Melt Chaos

by Kathy Smith

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 10.17.09 AM

Sometimes, it’s easy to allow habits to control the day. There’s no doubt about it….Habits are powerful.

There’s a degree of internal discipline that’s needed in order to break out of the shell of habits in order to discover the wonderment and peace that surrounds you.

But that discipline can be as simple as a 3-breath practice.

So next time you’re feeling stuck or chaotic, there’s a simple but transformational practice that only takes 10 seconds, but will put you in-tune with the magic of the stillness of the present moment.

Here’s what to do…

1. Close your eyes, and relax your mind.

2. Let go of the chaotic story you’re telling yourself

3. Pause, and take three breaths. Take enough time in-between each breath to reconnect with where you are.

The beauty of this practice is that it creates a sacred space in your mind where you find yourself.

You drop the struggle.

You find a calm energy.

Before you begin the day, and you’re still curled up in bed, look through the window and begin your morning with this 3-breath practice. Drop the anxiety of the day ahead, and lay there…being exactly where you are.

And, whenever you find yourself making a gap in your mind and feel the stress seeping in, try the 3-breath practice.

Let fear, stress, and anxiety be like blowing a bubble….in an instant, you can pop it, and make room for serenity.

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

By Collage Video | | fitness, goals, Kathy Smith, story, stress, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

How To Potty Train Your Workout!

by Kathy Smith

Here’s your fit fact for the weekend….According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, even if you go to the gym each morning, your results can be NEGATED if you also spend most of the rest of your day sitting.

Your hectic life can make it hard to find time for consistent exercise…especially at the end of the day when you’re not necessarily in the mood. But here’s a way you can get in better shape without devoting a lot of time. If you find yourself struggling to stay active, the key is to have certain cues that prompt you to move. I’ve found a silly but effective method for staying active throughout the day….it’s called POTTY TRAINING! This may seem unusual, but you can start a new habit by adding a simple move to something you already do.

It’s simple.

All you have to do is commit to performing 20 air squats over the toilet every time you go into the bathroom.

Here’s how to do a PERFECT squat…

1. To begin, position yourself in front of the toilet. Lower yourself down so you ALMOST touch the seat of the toilet, but don’t make contact.
2. Stand back up.
2. Repeat and keep your knees and weight back
3. The further and lower you get down in the squat, the more you’ll feel it in your butt BTW, you can also take breaks and do them while you’re working on your computer. Set your timer to do them every 15 minutes! This allows you to pick up your metabolism, focus and energy throughout the day…and define your glutes!
 

Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.

By Collage Video | | fitness, goals, Healthy, Kathy Smith, practice, stress, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

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