Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"You don't have to find out you're dying to start living."

I first heard about Zach Sobiech when a friend shared a post about him on Upworthy. Zach passed away on May 20, 2013 from a rare form of cancer. Every year, cancer is responsible for cutting short the lives of millions of people and forever altering the lives of millions more.  Each of their stories is unique and tragic in its own way. Here's Zach's. It may be difficult to watch, but I promise that it's worth your time.

If you like Zach's music, you can buy his album on iTunes here. It's $5.99 and the proceeds go to a research fund set up on his behalf. Or you can donate money to the research fund directly here.

I am not affiliated in any way with Zach Sobiech, his family, iTunes or the Children's Cancer Research Fund. I just really want to share this extraordinary story of a young man who rose above circumstances to be a shining example to all of us.

With love and gratitude, 

Update from Upworthy:

Hey, everyone —

Zach Sobiech died last week. He left behind one of the most moving stories we've ever heard. We posted it on our site. And what's happened since then has blown all of our minds.

  • Browsers have translated it into 21 languages (though apparently, "Wondtacular" doesn't have a translation).
  • One of Zach's original recordings rose to the #1 slot on iTunes (the first time a song by an independent artist did so) and debuted on the Billboard Top 100 as the #1 digital track in the "Rock" category.

Sharing something on the Internet can help change the world. And that, in our opinion, is pretty wondtacular.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Guest Post - Chris Armstrong


Over the years, I've been through several cycles of the typical gym routine: alternating days of working different muscle groups on various weight machines and 30+ minutes on a treadmill or some other cardio machine - all in the hope of achieving the vaguely defined goal of getting "in shape." 

I had been overweight for years, but it hadn’t affected my vanity enough to motivate me to lose it. I always felt perfectly healthy and didn't feel any desire to work out regularly in order to "feel better." It was only some pesky numbers on blood test results that my doctor insisted were "outside normal parameters", and her suggestion of putting me on additional medications, that got my attention like nothing had in the past.

    I began looking for a form of exercise that could hold my interest more 
    than my somewhat unfocused gym experiences had several times before. 

Eventually, I discovered CrossFit. I was immediately drawn to the variety it provided: different workouts everyday, consisting of a range of activities like, running, jumping, gymnastic/body-weight movements, Olympic weightlifting and Powerlifting - anything BUT a predictable routine. A quick online search led me to the nearest CrossFit gym and I was off to the races. 

Another thing that was attractive about CrossFit was that all workouts could be modified to match anyone's level of fitness. In the same class, there can be teenagers and 60 year olds; firefighters, police, former and current military people; soccer moms of all sizes and fitness levels; and seriously overweight and out of shape guys of all ages. We're all doing the same general workout, but some are lifting more weight or jumping on a higher box and some finish before others. 

I've heard people say that they need to get in better shape before starting something as challenging as CrossFit. The best comeback I've heard for that is: 

        "Saying you're too out of shape to start exercising is like saying 
                     you're too dirty to take a bath."

In a typical CrossFit workout, we all start together with a running clock. Some workouts are meant to be finished in a predetermined time, while others take as long as it takes to finish all the prescribed exercises. We work out together and encourage each other all along the way. CrossFitters like to say that CrossFit is the only sport (and it IS also a professional sport) that has more cheering for the last person to finish than for the first. The last ones are always cheered on and encouraged by the ones who have already finished.

All of this working-together makes it feel like a bit of a family and I have found that even people of VERY different cultural/economic/political backgrounds find common ground through CrossFit and get along swimmingly.

"CrossFitters: Creating bonds through shared agony."

As this blog post is about motivation, you may be thinking all this motivational stuff I've mentioned so far is my main point, but I haven't even gotten to the MOST motivating part yet, at least for me.

Friday, May 17, 2013

How to Cleanse in 7 Days: Be Sexy and Gorgeous From the Inside Out!

My dear friend (and huge E3Live fan!) Evita Ramparte has written a fabulous E-book called How to Cleanse in 7 Days: Be Sexy & Gorgeous From the Inside Out! It’s a quick and very fun read, filled with gorgeous pictures and interesting and insightful thoughts.

In this book, Evita tells her own story of naturally healing herself of cancer and losing a lot of fat, while, at the same time, clearing up her skin and creating a life of exciting new possibilities for herself and for others. What I really love about How to Cleanse in 7 Days is the wisdom and science mixed in with the lighthearted wit Evita is famous for. She takes nothing too seriously, least of all herself, telling her readers to experiment and find for themselves which things work and what to leave behind. 

                 And speaking of leaving things behind, this is a book on 
                 how to cleanse your body as well as your mind and soul. 

Evita writes that we can not be fully cleansed and enjoy optimal health until we truly forgive and clean out our emotional lives, replacing anger and sadness with wonder and joy. In this, she is not alone. Most spiritual and philosophical practices tell us that forgiveness is the path to true peace of mind and health for mind and body. In this book, Evita gives her readers a protocol on just how to clear the mind and soul of negative emotions that have bogged us down for years, even decades.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Health Heroes - Papa Joe Aviance

I think that it is really important to recognize the every day heroes who live amongst us and inspire us to reach higher and live bigger than we think we are capable of doing. So, I'm starting another new series I'm calling Health Heroes! 

Papa Joe Aviance is the inspirational dynamo behind Walk For Life, a walking tour of the U.S. designed to help get people moving and living a healthier lifestyle. From his website:

        Hi! My name is Papa Joe Aviance!

        I have struggled with my weight my entire life, but 2008 
        was the breaking point. I had achieved success by releasing 
        a top Billboard house/dance track called "Last Nigh a DJ 
        Saved My Life", but I still wasn't happy - I was 450 pounds 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Think Twice! Carrageenan

This is the first blog post in a new series I’m calling Think Twice, in which I’ll be writing about food ingredients that may be doing us more harm than good. I hope that this will give you the tools to help make better-informed choices. Let me know if there are any ingredients you’d like me to write about!

I’ve always been a do-it-yourself type of girl. Once, I showed up to a dance class only to find it cancelled due to the absence of a teacher. In my small town of Klamath Falls, there weren’t many places to take dance classes. So I decided to start my own dance school. And I was pretty successful at it, too. Twenty-five years later, my dance school is still a vital force in the community (though I did eventually sell it to my partner to focus on my other pursuits).

This hands-on attitude permeates every area of my life  -  I grow much of the produce my family eats, my sewing machine is always at the ready to make or repair clothes for my children, and hey, I even have my own company to harvest and bottle the fresh blue-green algae that we enjoy every day. Until recently, I also used to make my own nut milk. But, between running my company, relocating to a new state and keeping up with the ever more hectic schedules of three growing children, I decided that, once in a while, when travelling, or running very short on time, I could just go ahead and buy it pre-made from the store.

And now, I’m realizing that that may have been a bad choice. You see, I’ve started reading about carrageenan, which is added to many processed foods. I took a quick look at the ingredient list on my favorite brand of almond milk, and wouldn’t you know it? There it is.

What’s so bad about carrageenan? As it turns out, a lot.