Plant-based diet. How to start

A plant-based diet is very rarely introduced from birth.

But an American vegan activist Gary Yurofsky once said: “Put a live rabbit and an apple in the crib for a two-year-old child. If a child eats a rabbit and plays with an apple, I will admit that I was wrong and I will eat a steak.”

However, it is never too late to become a true vegetarian. Simply giving up a fried steak or  kebab, you can save the life of at least one representative of the animal world, and this will be the first step on the way to a meaningful and full-fledged life.

It is not necessary to switch to strict vegetarianism right away – there are many programs that allow you to do this progressively and gently.

Where should I start the transition to plant-based diet?

Before accepting a new philosophy of life, it is necessary to be imbued with its ideas, principles and concepts. In this endeavor, the best assistant will be thematic literature, a mentor who successfully let this philosophy into his life, a vegetarian message from like-minded people or examples of famous and respected people around the world who adhered to this diet.

TOP 5 books that are a must-read for novice vegetarians:

Jack Norris and Virginia Massina, “Vegetarian for Life”. This work will clearly explain all the benefits of plant food, teach you to enjoy a vegetarian diet and tell you how to diversify your diet.

Kathy Freston, “The Vegetarian”. A delightful book in its simplicity by a famous vegetarian, which teaches readers how to stay healthy and cheerful people throughout their lives.

Alexandra Romanova, “Vegan for beginners”. After reading this book, the future vegetarian will not have any questions about whether he needs a plant-based diet. Adapted for domestic readers, the book will tell you that a vegetarian diet is suitable for everyone who dreams of a long and fulfilling life, will teach you how to cook simple, unpretentious and at the same time incredibly delicious dishes, without sacrificing defenseless representatives of the fauna.

Thomas Campbell, ” Chinese Research in Practice: A simple transition to a healthy lifestyle.” The work will not only tell you why to stick to plant-based diet, but also teach you how to adjust your diet to a healthier one.

Leo Tolstoy, “The First Step”. The book will interest all fans of Russian classics, including experienced and novice vegetarians. Being a well-known adherent of plant food, Lev Nikolaevich was one of the first to expound the philosophy of nonviolence in his work, which, according to many ideas, logical conclusions and justifications, is significantly ahead of not only the author’s contemporaries, but also today’s knowledge.

How to give up meat and start plant-baised diet? Step-by-step instructions

The fact is that over the years of meat-eating, a special putrefactive microflora has formed in the gastrointestinal tract, which contributes to the breakdown of products with a high content of fats and proteins, but is practically indifferent to plant foods.

In vegans, on the contrary, bifidobacteria prevail in the intestines, which synthesize vitamins and other useful trace elements, restoring the body from the inside. However, it will take time and patience for the gastrointestinal microflora to be rebuilt.

Stage 1. Exclusion of meat from the menu

Since the body is used to eating fatty foods with a high protein content, you should not immediately switch to low-calorie salads, vegetables and fruits. At this stage, a small trick helps perfectly: as soon as you want to return to the meat menu, you should prepare the usual dishes from new products.

For example, beetroot cutlets, rice-carrot meatballs or bean stew. In addition, at this stage it will not be possible to fully balance your diet, because the body will need the usual protein intake. Nuts, beans, peas, soy and lentils can completely replace meat, providing the body with everything necessary.

At the first stage, the gastrointestinal microflora will begin to slightly change its composition, but a more balanced diet will be required for complete purification, since artificially increased protein intake is fraught with a violation of metabolism. Such a menu is acceptable only at first, when the body is just getting used to doing without meat. This period usually takes no more than a week.

Stage 2. Nutrient balance

Having learned to live without meat, you should think over your diet in detail in order to provide your body with the necessary nutrients. 

This period will be the most difficult, because the body will have to re-learn the digestive processes. During adaptation, breakdowns and a feeling of hunger are most possible despite a dense and full meal-this means that the body is still adjusting, accepting a new philosophy.

Stage 3. Acceptance and rethinking

As soon as the body and mind have been cleansed of cruelty and violence, and the body has learned to perceive plant food as the only possible one, the newly-born vegetarian will definitely feel a surge of strength, lightness and cheerfulness. The state of health will improve, the swelling, rapid heartbeat and heaviness in the whole body will go away, and it will become much easier to wake up in the morning. This is the moment of enlightenment, when it becomes clear that life without meat is natural, pure and full.

At this stage, you can start experimenting with varieties of plant-baised diet, trying out fructorian, macrobiotic recipes or testing the principles of raw food, perhaps some of them will appeal to you.

However, it is not necessary to switch to a more strict diet, the main thing is that the rest of the inhabitants of the planet do not suffer during the cooking process.

Spiritual Teacher. How to find your guru

Spiritual teacher is a guide on the path of self-knowledge.

And the question of finding a teacher in many traditions is extremely important. Is the question of finding a guru relevant in the modern world? Is it possible to develop independently, without a spiritual teacher? What criteria should be used to assess his competence? What difficulties can arise in the search for a spiritual teacher? And how, in fact, to find it?

When making a decision, be guided by three principles of sanity — personal experience, information and the opinion of a competent person. Become your own teacher. Interact with like-minded people.

Five types of spiritual teachers

From the point of view of yoga, there are five types of gurus.

The first is our own mind.

The mind is the only thing that distinguishes a person from an animal. It is our mind that allows us not to act under the influence of instincts, but to make decisions based on a rational view of things.

Our second spiritual teacher is conscience.

You can often hear the expression “live according to your conscience”.

The third teacher can be called our inner voice.

What should be understood by this concept? According to the ancient scriptures, there is a particle of universal intelligence in the heart of every living being. It is not so easy to hear this inner voice, and sometimes this opportunity is found only after years of moving along the path of spiritual development. But it is important to understand that all the knowledge and all the best and purest qualities are already inside us.

Our fourth teacher is all the people around us.

Everyone who surrounds us is somehow our teachers. And even if we are surrounded by people who are far from perfect, this does not mean that they cannot be our teachers. A person does not need to accumulate all the experience in order to understand which paths are false and which are true.

Sometimes we can see how anger, jealousy, envy, greed, and so on push people to crazy actions, the consequences of which can be very deplorable. And this is what allows us to understand that such behavior is destructive.

The fifth kind of guru is a teacher in the direct sense of the word.

That is, a person who takes responsibility for his student, who shares the knowledge and experience.

The principle of sanity

Despite the difficulties in finding a teacher, progress on the path of spiritual development is hardly possible without interaction with more competent people in this matter. Especially at the beginning of the journey, a person will most likely need to take an example from someone. And how not to make a mistake in this choice?

First of all, you should look at the fact that the words of this or that person, who can be an example for others, do not diverge from the actions.

In general, there are three principles of sanity. When we come across an idea or concept, we should check it: how much it is in tune with our personal experience, with what is written in books, and with the opinion of a competent person.

And only if all three principles coincide, such a concept can be considered adequate.

Buddha Shakyamuni  urged his disciples not to blindly believe even him. He said: “Do not accept my teaching just out of respect for me, check everything on personal experience.” To the questions of his students about finding a teacher, he said: “Be your own guide.”

To quit smoking with Yoga is real

To quit smoking might be hard, but yoga and meditation can support you in this journey. Tobacco use is considered a major risk factor for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, cancer, and premature death.

But nicotine is a stimulating and relaxing drug that causes severe addiction, so it is difficult for most smokers to quit smoking.

Can yoga and meditation practices help in the fight against addiction?

A group of researchers from the University of Health and Science of Oregon (USA) conducted a systematic review of scientific research on getting rid of nicotine addiction, including the practice of calming the mind and working with the body. The results of research claim that yoga helps to quit smoking.

How yoga can help to quit smoking?

It should be noted that a person who practices yoga is distinguished, first of all, by willpower. This is achieved both through physical practice and through direct training of the mind. It is the mind that plays a key role in the question of how yoga helps to quit smoking. First of all, the mobilization of the will is necessary to give up harmful dependence. It is the will that allows you to overcome a bad habit on your own.

Of course, unlike medications, it is impossible to get results here and now from yoga. There is no magic mantra or special pranayama that can defeat a bad habit, but the result obtained from the practice of yoga will be final and 100 %.

Yoga can help increase awareness of your body and mind

The researchers concluded that ” practices for calming the mind can be useful for getting rid of the smoking habit.”

Current primary treatments for smokers, including cognitive and behavioral therapies, as well as pharmacological methods, nicotine replacement therapy, and atypical antidepressants, have moderate effects. In view of this fact, the results of a review of studies on the effects of yoga and meditation on smoking cessation are encouraging.

While traditional methods of getting rid of nicotine addiction help many to quit smoking in the short term, long-term abstinence is a serious problem for most smokers.

The inclusion of complementary therapies, such as yoga and meditation, can help increase awareness of your body and mind, as well as develop greater emotional control and restraint in behavior.

There is general agreement that body and mind practices, including yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, and others, are extremely beneficial for stress relief. It is likely that those who are trying to break the habit of tobacco use can benefit from adding such techniques to their treatment program, especially during the stressful process of fighting cravings and desire.

The key to quit smoking is willpower

Quitting smoking requires, first of all, willpower. Every asana in yoga, even the simplest, strengthens the will of the practitioner, makes him stronger. The most effective asanas for developing willpower are: Urdhva prasarita padasana, Chaturanga Dandasana, Shalabhasana, Utthita Trikonasana.

The next time you want to smoke – you practice chaturanga dandasana – staying in this asana for at least a minute will discourage you from any desire. On average, a person spends 2-3 minutes smoking one cigarette, the proposed alternative will take a minute — not only will you be able to strengthen your health, but also save time.

Remember that any habit is formed in 28 days, give up smoking for this period, replacing it with yoga practices. I am sure that such a replacement will help you easily get rid of the addiction.

Evening alcohol and frequent snacks: 4 effective ways to get rid of bad habits

Each of us has our own individual shortcomings, but bad habits are often similar. Living according to a certain schedule, we sometimes do not have time to notice how unhealthy addictions make their way into our routine — from excessive alcohol abuse to late bedtime waste.

And if at first these vices seem nice and pleasant, then soon we begin to notice their very unpleasant side effects-from deterioration of well-being to loss of productivity.

It can’t go on like this, and below we have collected effective ways to break out of the captivity of bad habits, recommended by experts.

1. Alcohol

Alcohol is a pleasant thing, but very insidious. It can be very difficult to track the moment when you start to get used to it, and then to depend on it. At first, you just have a drink with friends every Friday or weekend, then you delight yourself with a bottle after a particularly difficult day and before you know it, a glass of alcohol becomes a mandatory end to any day.

Meanwhile, drinking more than two drinks a day or 14 drinks a week can weaken your immune system and cause a cascade of other problems, from poor sleep to an increased risk of cancer.

When deciding to limit yourself to alcohol, Aaron White, Ph. D., of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse, advises trying to avoid an all-or-nothing approach that can provoke relapses.

One way to move away from this bad habit gradually is to break the automatism of the routine. Instead of the usual ritual with beer or whiskey every night, prepare a new interesting cocktail with low or zero alcohol content. The effort and pleasure of creating something new should help you start drinking a little less.

2. Addiction to constant snacks

Delicious food raises our spirits and helps us feel satisfied. But while eating is vital for our body, with the abundance of snacks and sweets on the market, we always have the risk of constantly delighting ourselves with delicious treats, unconsciously dragging them into our mouths throughout the day-especially in the evenings and at night.

And this threatens not only to increase the indicators on the scales, but also to reduce energy levels, digestive disorders, poor sleep, and even the development of such serious health problems as diabetes.

“One way to reduce your consumption of comfort food is to limit your meals to a specific setting, such as the kitchen table,” advises psychologist Wendy Wood, Ph. D., author of Good Habits, Bad Habits.

This helps you associate the table with food and is less likely to consume it elsewhere.

3. Postponing training “for later”

Stop deceiving yourself and others by claiming that you are too busy to train! Let’s say more — even if you finally have a free minute, without willpower and motivation, you are unlikely to spend it on sports.

The more time we have, the more we have to waste. This is a finding from a large body of research on procrastination, which has found that people are often less willing to take on a task when they are given extra time to complete it.

“Whether you work at home or in the office, the antidote to the habit of skipping workouts is the same: set aside time and space for exercise,” says Pierce Steele, Ph. D., a psychologist at the University of Calgary.

He recalls that routine is the kryptonite of procrastination, because once formed, the habit of exercising can eliminate the temptation to quit training.

“Habits are like highways without exit ramps,” Steele adds.

Schedule your workouts for specific days and, if necessary, install a dedicated activity tracker, such as Strava, to get extra motivation.

4. Late withdrawal

After the end of the working day, we need to have time to do a lot of things before lights out. Yes, it is, but let’s face it: the main reason for our late lights — out is often not household chores, but the next episode of a favorite TV series or a feed on social networks.

It is especially easy to become an owl when you work remotely, or you have a flexible schedule, but even in this case, it is quite possible to get rid of the habit of going to bed in the morning.

If you do not have a serious sleep disorder, because of which you need to visit a doctor and start taking their prescribed medications, then the solution to the problem is very simple. Start, finally, to adhere to the regime and at least half an hour before bedtime do nothing.

“It sounds simple, but it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done,” says Michael Perlis, Ph. D., director of behavioral sleep medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.

At first, you will probably toss and turn and feel exhausted in the morning, but if you overcome the desire to take a nap in the afternoon and continue to adhere to the established schedule, you will soon correct your sleep schedule — according to Perlis, this usually takes 3-5 days.

Read more: WHY YOU BETTER START WALKING

Do this in the morning and you will change your life

Let’s admit, we all want a change

Each of us at some point of life thinks about how much his life corresponds to expectations, desires. How productive we are, what we live for and how to make it so that we live in pleasure and achieve the desired goals.

We spend a lot of time trying to find reasons for failures, new courses or videos on how to get better.
But it turns out that you can wake up in the morning and change your life in one hour. This is what you can read about in the book the “Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed To Transform Your Life… (Before 8AM)” by Hal Elrod.

Morning is magic

Hal came up with a system that helped him to get better every day. He called it “Magic Morning.” That’s what it is.

You set the alarm an hour earlier than you are used to get up. And within an hour, you perform 6 techniques that have a powerful impact on your life:

    • exercise,
    • say affirmations,
    • meditate,
    • visualize your dreams and goals,
    • keep a diary,
    • read books.

The silence or meditation

Try to start your day not with running around, but with calmhess and clarity. The best helper is meditation. Scientists claim that it reduces stress levels, improves concentration and even increases some areas of the brain (for example, the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus).

There are a very large number of techniques, the main thing is to perform them. Here’s the algorithm Hal Elrod gives:

Sit comfortably in a comfortable, but not too relaxing place – so as not to fall asleep.
Concentrate as much as possible on your breathing. To do this, you can use the “square rule” – inhale for 3 seconds, hold your breath for 3 seconds, exhale for 3 seconds and hold your breath again for the same time. Repeat this cycle throughout the session.

Your task is to clear your mind of all thoughts. They will still attack you – just accept it and keep concentrating on your breathing.

Start with 5 minutes and gradually increase this time.

Affirmations

Set your goals. Do it for every aspect of life – whether it’s finances, relationships, or physical health. Describe how you see your ideal life. The brain must know a specific destination.

Answer the question “Why i need this?” A few arguments will help you better clarify your goals and make them more conscious.

Describe what kind of person you need to be to achieve your goals.

Determine the actions that will lead to the goal. Include the exact number and frequency of steps you expect to take. Let’s say, ” I will go to the gym 2 times a week and spend 30 minutes on it.”

Write down your goals and then read them aloud every morning – every day. You can combine this with sports or a shower – the main thing is to do it emotionally and sincerely.

Visualization

Hal Elrod recommends doing this practice immediately after reading affirmations.

Imagine what you want to achieve. Just create in your brain as vivid and deep images as possible of the life you are striving for. Connect all the senses, imagine the emotions that you feel. In other words, try to relive your future. The more lively it turns out – the more effort you will then make to achieve your plan.

Imagine who you want to be. Imagine with what enthusiasm you will do your job, and with what pleasure you will go for a morning jog.

Physical exercises

You may find it hard to force yourself – but you’ll never regret it afterwards. Create some active routine that you enjoy. It can be dancing or jumping on the rope. Make a list of exercises so you don’t need to think what to do. This will bring energy to your day and make you feel motivated to achieve goals.

Reading

Whatever you want to achieve – surely someone has already done something similar.  And it is very likely that he told about it. Today, there is no point in reinventing the wheel – just read the manual. This is the power of reading-you can go through the path much faster than its discoverer.

Start with at least 10 pages a day-this will give you about 20 200–page books a year.

A diary

The diary helps to document events, impressions, ideas, plans – all that is so easily erased from the head. This is a free form of psychotherapy that is available always and everywhere. The need to summarize all the most important things makes you think well and concentrate on the experience you have experienced. And re-reading it allows you to take a fresh look at old ideas and life lessons, as well as trace your development.

There are many aspects of life that you can describe in your diary. You can write about your goals, dreams, plans, achievements, life lessons, and ideas. You can simply describe events and your thoughts about them.

Improve your life and don’t forget to enjoy it. Every day.

Why habits are more important than goals?

To achieve a goal, it is not enough to simply formulate it. It is necessary to acquire correct and useful habits. They are the basis for future success.

Habits imperceptibly control our lives and influence our behavior. Good habits help you achieve your goals, but bad habits prevent you from doing so.

What’s wrong with setting goals

When we decide to change something in life, we set a new goal for ourselves. But this approach has its drawbacks.

Goals have a deadline

That’s why after achieving a certain goal, many people return to where they started. A person runs a marathon, and then forgets about training. Someone loses weight and celebrates this victory with a cake.

Goals depend on factors that sometimes we can’t control

The goal may not be achievable. Unforeseen expenses can prevent a long-awaited trip to the sea. When we set a goal, we usually build an algorithm to achieve it. But things may not go according to plan.

Goals depend on willpower and self-discipline

Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit. Why we live and work this way, and not otherwise,” writes: “Willpower is not just a skill. This is a muscle that, like the muscles in the arms and legs, gets tired from hard work, so we have less energy for subsequent tasks.”

Setting goals demotivates us

Research shows that the human brain can confuse setting a goal with achieving it. We relax and begin to believe that the goal has already been achieved and there is nothing more to strive for. This is especially true when we tell other people about it.

What are the benefits of habits

When we do something out of habit, it means that we do it automatically, without thinking. So the goal is achieved gradually, imperceptibly and easily. This systematic approach has its advantages.

Habits come easily to us

It takes 30 days to form a new habit. It is during this period of time that we get used to performing a certain action every day.

Habits shape our lives

Our whole life is made up of habits that we hardly notice. According to research by Charles Duhigg, we habitually perform about 40% of actions per day. They may be subtle, but they shape our personality.

Habits change your lifestyle

Some habits can dramatically change our normal behavior. Duhigg calls them “key habits”. For example, daily exercise can encourage a person to eat a healthy diet and give up alcohol and smoking.

Fitness motivation

Stop wishing start doing

You think:
When I have more free time, I will start training.
When it’s spring, I will start running.
When it’s New Year, I will eat clean.
Doesn’t work, right?
YOU HAVE AN ENEMY, that is stronger, than you.
And it’s “WHEN” which controls your brain.
START use “NOW” and you’ll see, how your life changes.

Start training with healthy motivation

We all are looking for some fitness motivation to start training and doing sports.

My motivation was always a strong desire to be healthy, have strong body and good stamina combined with usefull information, good workout tips and videos.

Sometimes we really want to achieve some goal, but lack of information or some weird advice, like eat nothing and lose 5 kilos in one week, can harm a lot, so then we are even afraid to do something.

Effective tips to start being healthy

  1. No hard limits
    Usually setting a goal – to lose weight, turns into extreme measures. For example, a complete rejection of sweets and training five times a week. However, such ambitious plans in most cases end in failure, since it is impossible to radically change your lifestyle in one day.Moreover, in 3-4 days (maximum one week) you gonna feel depressed, low energized, bad mood and have a very strong desire give it all up, eat a burger and forget about perfect body, because such life is not worth it.
    The best way to stay motivated and really achieve a goal is to move in small but confident steps.
    Training to have a healthy strong body doesn’t mean not eating sugar and strict rules.This process is a joyfull path, because you start training step by step and feel better every day, you eat tasty food that is healthy.

 

2. Let your goals go far beyond appearance
Fitness should not be a punishment for you that causes negative emotions. It is necessary to turn physical activity into a pleasant time. Therefore, set goals that are not limited with the weight scale. For example, run a half marathon along the ocean coast, learn how to do simple tricks on a snowboard, or participate in a dance battle. That means become more confident, braver and happier person.Fitness is not only exhausting training sessions in the gym, but also any activity related to physical activity. When you set yourself such exciting goals, they become a source of incredible motivation.

3. Find an inspiring coach
There are fitness trainers who always know how to choose the right words. Motivate you to do intensive training or exercises that you previously thought were too difficult.Therefore, don’t focus only on fitness as a training process, but on the people that surround you. When you have an example to follow and a source of inexhaustible inspiration, every training session will turn into a real holiday.

4. Choose the perfect training program
Each person has their own desires and preferences. Some people like to train several times a week, but for a couple of hours. Others choose daily ten-minute sets of exercises. Someone can train exclusively in the fitness gym, and someone feels comfortable only during home sessions.If you don’t like heavy weights workout you can do stretching and body weight exercises. Or you can run outdoors and then perform some training session in the park. The choice is huge, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the perfect option for yourself.

5. Make a challenge
If the thought of long-term training doesn’t inspire you, then try to shake yourself up with the right challenge. For example, it can be a month-long marathon of plank performance or a challenge “perfect abs in six weeks”.This approach to fitness will not take much time, but you will see the results soon. In addition, such challenges teach you to regularly perform physical exercises, and achieving your goals, visible results motivate you.

6. Online fitness apps
There are many apps for weight loss, gaining muscle mass, stretching and other purposes. Pay attention to the wonderful applications for increasing the number of pull-UPS, training push-UPS, performing exercises on abs.

 Recover from active physical activity

Last but not least, give yourself time to recover from active physical activity. Otherwise, it will lead to overtraining, sleep problems, or poor health.
And this condition definitely does not motivate you to continue fitness classes.
If you have had unsuccessful attempts to start training, then treat it as a valuable experience.
Do not stop in percieving your dream to have a beautiful body, lose weight and achieve high results.

How to start training

Why you need to start training

You need to start doing workouts, because physical activity has significant health benefits. It has positive influence on heart, body and mind. Exercising reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.

If you ask a question, how to start training, it means that you have already taken the first step – the decision to take care of your health.

Our Body and Soul Transformation project aims to motivate people to perform any physical activity. So here is a quick guide for beginners to start training.

8 tips how to start training

1. Start today – if you don’t have a bike, you can rent one, if you don’t have a gym membership, buy a yoga mat and start doing exersises at home. To start doing something is already half of success.

2. Look for new opportunities – think about what sport you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe you have always dreamed of playing tennis or enjoyed playing volleyball at school. You need to find some activity that is fun for you and brings joy.

3. Start with small goals – if you want to lose weight start with the goal to lose 5 kilos in 1-2 months (not 10 kilos in one week).

4. Try different activities – even if you started to swim, do not stick to one activity. Also try new things – aerobics, running, roller skates .

5. Eat clean and drink water – this is your fuel that gives energy and help you recover after exercises. Your plate should contain vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grain bread, cereals, vegetable fats, fish, dairy products.

6. Strengthen your muscles – if you do cardio trainings don’t forget to find time once or twice a week to strengthen the muscles. You will not only form a beautiful figure, but also create a protective corset that will help you avoid injuries.

7. Make sure you use the correct technique – sometimes results don’t appear due to bad technique. Use videos and tutorial blogs, or better find a good personal trainer at least for a month to learn how to do exersises correctly.

8. Motivate yourself – you should be inspired . You can use a prize, such as a new tracksuit or gadget. Try to reward yourself for each new goal you achieve.

Everything is possible. And we are here to help you.
All you need is readiness and a good plan.
If you work hard soon you will be proud of your results!