Category Archives: Perspective

Peekaboo! Who’s There? Senza Zucchero!

Hello, all of you awesome people reading this!
I am so excited that so many of you decided to join in on the No Sugar Challenge in your busy lives. Good for you! If you missed the news, you can read about it here and still join us. We start on Monday the 19th.

A couple of things before we get started on Monday. Yes, we call it a challenge and it might be especially challenging for some of you, if you have never done anything like this before. But, it is not a pass or fail! A challenge is supposed to test you, so you can learn more about where you are right now, and where there is room for improvement. So, try to be in the mindset of curiosity and observation. For example, it could look like the following.

Potential incident: After one day of no sugar, your patience is at an all time low, you’re irritated and you just chewed the head off of one of your colleges. “That person had it coming anyway!”

Potential immediate thinking after potential incident: “I can’t do this S**t! This is no fun and I’m not doing this stupid challenge anymore!!!” while reaching for the nearest candy bar or sugary drink.

Better potential immediate thinking – using observation and curiosity: “WOW! Holy S**t. I just turned into the Super Grinch Monster after just a day of no sugar. I didn’t know that not eating sugar would affect me this much. That’s interesting. I wonder why it’s like that? I will have an apple and then apologize to my college (even though that person had it coming!) I guess there’s more room for improvement than I thought.”

Pay attention to patterns and emotions when it comes to sugar. Write down when you have your strongest cravings. Is there a specific pattern? Is it always with [fill in the blank] or after [ x ]? Also writing down your feelings at that time can be a clue. We are such creatures of habit that we might not even realize which patterns that we are in.

"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success."
-Alexander Graham Bell

Writing things down for a week, could highlight some habits and give you valuable feedback. Then you can make a plan, and be prepared with healthy snacks for when your strongest craving usually show up.

When in doubt – eat fruit. Roughly 75% of all the packaged food in supermarkets contain added sugar. (1)

Have a sweet weekend!
And for those of you joining, until Monday.
😉


*(hungry+anger) = hangry
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23102182
www.suiker-challenge.nl
https://www.diabetesfonds.nl/home

Photo by Joanna Nix on Unsplash
Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

No Sugar Daddy! Are you in for the week?

Last week I was in walking into a local cafe, here in Haarlem, where I saw these postcards. Curiosity made me wonder what it was about. (Well done, marketing team at Boomerang!) “No Sugar Daddy” is just one of many postcards being distributed to promote a National Sugar Challenge here in Holland. It starts on Monday the 19th of November, and finishes one week later, on Sunday the 25th. What an awesome initiative!

Eating too much sugar or refined carbs puts your blood sugar out of whack. When that goes on for a longer time, it puts an extra burden on the pancreas. This in turn paves the road for Type 2 Diabetes.

Did you know that Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes? They changed the name since increasingly younger and younger kids are being diagnosed with it.  And, if you read the blog post from two weeks ago you know that the latest research in cancer is showing that sugar plays a huge part..

So, join me in the Sugar Challenge! If you understand Dutch, (or feel handy with google translate), you can sign up for the Sugar Challenge here. Every day that week you will get some handy tips into your mailbox.

You say “Great idea, but I don’t speak Dutch.” No problemo! I will create a similar style of short messages for every day during the Sugar Challenge week. You can join me here by signing up for the newsletter, or simply by sending me an email with the title “Sugar Challenge – add me”.

Let’s learn a bit about the hidden sugars in our foods, how to read a food label, what happens to blood sugar when we eat, better options to drink in the bar, what is really insulin resistance and why should you care?

December is usually a month over-filled with sweets and candy, so why not take a week to re-set our taste buds before it starts. We often think about doing something like “eating healthier”, but rarely do we put it into action. Here is the perfect opportunity! Grab a college, partner and/or a friend, and let’s do this together.

"Where there is sugar, there are ants."
- Indonesian Proverb

If not eating any refined sugar for a week sounds like too big of a jump right now, sign up anyway! Learn some cool stuff and aim to decrease your consumption for that week. Win-win situation.

 

C’mon sweethearts! It’s just 7 days. Let’s Go!
😉

 


www.suiker-challenge.nl
https://www.diabetesfonds.nl/home
www.boomerang.nl

Photo by Nathalie Visser
Photo by Gem & Lauris RK on Unsplash
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

It’s Time to Look at Cancer Differently

One good thing with being on long flights, is that its perfect for podcasts. I had a couple of them lined up for my New York trip last week. Some podcasts are just good for passing time, but once in a while you get one of those that make you go “holy shit, that’s some eye opening stuff!” The episode on Pursuing Health with Dr. Julie Foucher where she interviews Dr. Thomas Seyfried on cancer treatment is definitely one of those.

In the podcast called “Challenging Conventional Cancer Care” Dr. Thomas definitely will ruffle some old feathers with this new metabolic therapy approach. Based on his research he says that cancer is not a genetic disease, but a metabolic one. That means that if we take away the foods that fuels cancer, we can get rid of it. Now that is changing how we look at this disease altogether! This would also go along with Chris Kesser who says “Genes load the gun, but environment pulls the trigger“.

“The paradigm change has to be, number one, it’s not a genetic disease. Number two, it’s a mitochondrial metabolic disease, and the treatments that you can use can be totally different than the ones used right now”*

According to Dr. Seyfried there are two types of fuel that feeds cancer. Cancer can use either one, or both of them for fuel depending of what type of tumor it is. So, what are the fuels? Glucose (sugars and almost all processed foods) and glutamine (an amino acid mainly found in animal proteins). Therefore by reducing the intake of these foods you are basically starving the cancer. This is why the Ketogenic diet can be very successful as you are restricting glucose, hence lowering your blood sugar levels.

Did you know that the “cancer survival rate” is just 5 years statistically. That means that if a person survives 5 years with cancer, statistically they will always count as a survivor, even if they die after 5 and a half years. I remember how shocked I was when I found this out a couple of years back. I thought that surviving cancer meant being alive more than 5 years! This is good information to have if you are reading up on statistics for a specific treatment.

Is this a controversial topic? You bet! But, I think it needs to be. Almost everyone has someone close to them affected by cancer these days. “…if we have a solution that’s working, why is the obituary page [in the newspaper] full of people dying from cancer?”.** It’s time to open up the conversation and look at other possibilities as well.

 

Here is the link on i-tunes if you want to download it. If you are short on time and want to skip to the intro of Dr. Seyfried it starts at 05:35, and the actual interview starts at 09:02.

 

If you think this seems impossible, well… the planet used to be flat at one time, and lobotomies were still performed in the 60’s, so let’s keep an open mind and start a real conversation about this.
I wish you all a round weekend! 😉

 

P.S. I passed both of my Exams last week and am now officially an NTP(Nutritional Therapy Practitioner)! [feelings of happiness and relief are inserted here]

Also, if this blog post interests you, take a look at this previous blog “Eat your brain into better wellth” and this excellent TED talk by William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer?




The book by Dr. Thomas Seyfried, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease
Mentioned in the podcast, book by Travis Christofferson, Tripping Over the Truth
*in the podcast at 1:05:31
**in the podcast at 34:45

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Failing? -Not Just Yet!

As I am in my 4th Year of Osteopathic Medicine Studies at the same time as I am finishing up my second degree in Nutritional Therapy (to become an NTP – Nutritional Therapy Practitioner) the “seemed like a good idea at the time” feels more like “what the *beep*was I thinking, doing this at the same time?!”

The pressure of passing all the exams, does indeed get to me. Being an A-type personality who feels  the need to do everything (very) well, it does take its toll. Failing is like the worst case scenario that is just not allowed to happen. Sometimes the pressure builds up so much that I don’t even want to start on a project because I am so worried about failing. Right then it seems better not to do it at all. Does anyone recognize this?

What if there was a way to take down this pressure and anxiety of failing a notch? And, what if, in doing so, we could remove a couple of stones in that barrier of “I will not start because then I cannot fail”.

So, when I came across this TED talk by Carol Dweck, it really resonated with me. What if, instead of just using pass/fail, we could allow ourselves to add in “not yet”.

I really thought about this and played out a couple of scenarios in my mind where I imagined myself getting a big fat FAIL slapped in my face – and then changing it to a NOT YET instead.

It is just a tiny word play, but I could feel how my brain relaxed immediately. “Not yet” has air around it. “Not yet” means that there is plenty of room to improve, to evolve, to work on things. OK, so you were not as awesome as you would have liked to be in this very moment, but you are allowed to work on it. Where as FAIL is just a dead end, on a long one way street. No fun going down that road again, is there.

Did you know that when your brain is in a growth mindset (not yet), there is a tonne of activity going on. Verses almost no activity at all in a fixed mindset (fail). When you are in a growth mindset your neurons are firing up and your brain is developing.(1)

OK, so you were not as awesome as you would have liked to be in this very moment, but you are allowed to work on it. There is air around “not yet”.

Of course it might not be possible to implement this one hundred percent of the time, and that’s not the point. But, I bet you could use this a lot more than you think. I would like to challenge you to use “not just yet” instead of “I’m failing” whenever possible. Do you have a chance to implement this at home, at school or at your work? Why not? No, I’m serious -Why…not?

Check out the video and if it flips a switch for you, your kids, your co-worker, or your partner – how cool would that be?!

Failing? – Not Just Yet!
Wishing you all an amazing weekend!
😉

 



1. https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve

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Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash
Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

Optimal Health Formula for the Future You

Just recently I had the pleasure of holding my presentation “Zoom Out!” for a very engaging audience. It was a motivational talk helping them getting started on their healthy week project in the office. But why do I call my talk “Zoom Out!” ?

Because too often when people want to change things they get too stuck in the smaller details, before even addressing the bigger picture. Or they change too much too quickly, making it too hard to adapt all the new habits – which makes one feel overwhelmed, and as if it is impossible to reach the goal. We then give up, and go back to our old habits. It’s better to take one small step at a time, and continue to build from there.

Zoom Out is all about seeing the big picture, and then doing small changes little by little. Choose one small thing to change, and make it into a habit. For example, instead of having a soda every day with lunch, have it every other day. Then, every third day and so on. Once that doesn’t feel like a big deal, add another smaller challenge. For example, I will stand up at work every day after I come back for lunch. Then slowly but surely try to extend that time until it becomes a habit.

The Optimal Health Formula
1. Give your body the best building blocks that you can.
2. Don't put more junk in your body.
3. Help your body to get rid of the already existing junk.

The beauty of this formula is that you can tailor it to your needs. Just adopt it to where you are right now, and see what you are willing to improve on. Lets take a closer look at what that could mean.

1. Give your body the best building blocks that you can.
Our cells renew themselves every single day! In about 10 years we have renewed all of our cells and built a completely new you. I think this is the coolest thing! So, how strong and healthy the future you will be, largely depends on the building blocks that you are giving it to work with. You cannot build a strong castle out of sugar. So, the nutrients that you put into your body, and how well your digestion functions will determine what kind of building blocks your body has to work with. You are what you absorb, not simply just what you eat. You may not notice big changes from day to day, but the accumulation over a long period of time, will shape the future you.

2. Do not put more junk into your body.
We already have so much pollution around us, in the air, in our drinking water, heavy metals, pesticides, and additives in our food. Our body is constantly working to get rid of the junk. It is not an easy job, and the liver and kidneys take a big hit here. Help your body by not adding any more junk. Choose organic produce, and look out for the dirty dozen. Choose the best quality, organic meat that you can afford. Learn about hidden sugars, bad oils and stay away from processed food as much as possible. Choose organic coffee instead of the standard heavily sprayed one. Maybe this could be a great health initiative for your office to take on?

3. Help your body to get rid of the already existing junk.
Help your liver and kidneys so they can do their work. Staying well hydrated, eating vegetables and fiber is key to moving this junk out of our bodies. Standing up at work, moving and sweating also helps a lot. You could start with something simple such as making sure you are properly hydrated, or going into the sauna. Or if you are ready for a much bigger challenge, you could do a full flexed detox program for a week or two. Choose your own level.

These three pieces are really the corner stones to our health, I think. And depending on how much you are asking of your body, and how you want it to feel, you need to be more diligent with your choices.

I would also like to add two more things that I think adds to a positive healthy you. Try to be outside, preferably in nature or a park, even if it is only for a short period of time, every single day. Also, having a positive community around you makes a huge difference. So, it’s a great idea to team up with a friend, college or partner.

It does not have to be super difficult to be a healthier you. Just start where you are right now, and take one small step at a time. Your cells will be delighted with their new building blocks, and over time build a stronger and healthier you.

Let’s all zoom out a bit, and take one step at a time.
Enjoy the weekend!

😉

 



Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Photo by Gary Chan on Unsplash
*If your office needs an inspirational talk for your next event, send me an email!

The Adventure Begins!

Moving is always some type of an adventure, and the further you go, the bigger the adventure tends to be! Right now I’m in the middle of moving boxes, “can’t find anything” and paint brushes. It’s going to turn out great, but right now I’m feeling like  it’s a bit more of this (see pic) than an “adventure”.  I’m sure that many of you can relate!

Because of all of this “adventurous stuff”, I’m a bit behind on the blogging. Rest assure that I will be back with more weekly blogs in September. Until then I will leave you with this awesome video of Christopher Walken showing some serious skill! If you have never seen this before, you are definitely in for a treat! “If you walk without rhythm, you’ll never learn”

 

Always expect the unexpected! Talk to you soon 😉

Photo by Chuttersnap on Unsplash

Photo by Matthew Sleeper on Unsplash

I’m guest hosting this Podcast. Have a listen!

A couple of moths ago I was asked to be a guest host on the Swedish Podcast “Cykelpratarna”, roughly translated to “The bike talkers”. Cykelpratarna is made by Anders Adamson and Tomas Jennebo, and it has been really fun to work with them and creating this podcast. I also have a new found respect for all the great podcasters out there. It is definitely not as easy as it sounds!

For those of you who know me a little bit better you know that my life has been multi faceted to say the least. I have lived in many different countries and I have had many different “lives” from Scuba Diving Instructor in Bali, to working in a private bank to working as I do now. In one of my other “lives” it was all about cycling. First on my own competing, and then working for some of the best pro teams in the World.

This Podcast focuses on my background in cycling, but I talk about other things as well, and what I am up to at the moment. So, you do not need to be a cycling expert to be able to tag along. If you want to find out more about me, and listen to some of my favorite songs, then you can either stream the podcast here, or just download it below. At the moment it is only available in Swedish, however if you are interested in getting an English version, send me an email titled “podcast in English” and we’ll take it from there.

Download the Podcast Episode Here

 

I have also attached some pictures from back in the days. Some of them are mentioned in the podcast with an accompanying story of course.

 

The famous BUTTON in Fabian’s white shirt! Here we are celebrating Fabian Cancellara’s win of Paris-Roubaix with the Team, which Marcus Ljungqvist was also a part of. Fun times!

 

Competing on cobbles somewhere in Belgium 2003.

 

 

Always a laugh with these two! Sport director Tristan Hoffman, and rider Kurt Asle-Arvesen. A usual afternoon for me, working on the Team.

 

The famous Survival camp with the Team. Here I am getting on a sail boat in the middle of the night during winter in Denmark. It was the start of three long, cold, wet days with hardly any sleep or food, and lots of hard work. A very interesting experience!

 

Just another day at work, here during the Giro d’Italia with Bjarne Riis. Below at the World Championships in Madrid.

 

Spring training camp in Italy, here with Aussie rider Luke Roberts.

 

Working on the WTA Pro Tour Tennis circuit and at the WTA Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.

 

 

Finally all of the matches have finished for the “day” at 11pm, and we can go for dinner!

 

 

With Chair Umpire Isabell during a WTA Tournament.  Remember have fun and… never take yourself too seriously!
🙂 Until next time

 

 

Same Shoulder Pain – Two Different Reasons

Last week we talked about different strategies for dealing with a similar problem. Depending on if the origin of the problem is external or internal, our strategy to improve should reflect that. So, lets take a closer look at two different people with “the same” shoulder pain.

Ben shows up at my practice complaining of pain in his right shoulder. It bothers him at work (he works in an office) and during sports. He has taken some painkillers that helps a little bit, but not completely. He also wakes up in the night sometimes because the shoulder bothers him. He does a few quick stretches at the gym, but not always.

Upon further examination it’s clear that all the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder are very tight. When I ask him further about his sports, it turns out that he has increased his workout routine lately, and in particular he is doing a lot more push-ups. I ask him to show me how he does a push-up, and it is clear that he is lacking the proper technique. He is not supporting his shoulders properly, and therefore putting an unnecessary burden on the rotator cuffs. For a while the rotator cuff muscles managed to compensate, but now they have reached a point of exhaustion – enter pain.

Ben’s homework included learning proper push-up technique. He was shocked to find out he had been doing it wrong for all these years. He also learned proper mobility work  for the shoulder, working with a foam roller and lacrosse ball for 10-15 minutes a day. Being strong without being flexible, is a road to injury. With a few complimentary deep tissue massage session he was “as good as new” within a few weeks.

Roy shows up at my practice complaining of pain in his right shoulder. It bothers him at work (he works in an office) and during sports. He has taken some painkillers but it doesn’t seem to help. He wakes up in the night, because the shoulder and neck bothers him, often around 3am. Sometimes he does a few quick stretches at the gym.

Roy’s rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder are very tight. He has not changed his work out routine in the past few months. He has dark, puffy circles under his eyes. The area around the lower end of his right rib-cage is a bit tender to the touch, and there is a slight metallic smell to his skin. These are all signs of an over burdened liver. I check his push-up technique, and it is fine.

He tells me that he drinks about 1-1,5 L of water a day, which he thinks is good. Further questioning reveals that he has had a lot of extra events at work  in the last few months, which includes “wining and dining”. As he feels very tired he drinks coffee throughout the day to keep himself going. Part from the “wining and dining” in the evening, he is quite rushed during the day and tends to eat quickly on the go, mostly carbs, like sandwiches and sweet stuff. All of these things have put a tremendous burden on his liver, which indirectly through shared nerve pathways sends pain into his shoulder.

Roy’s homework is to learn about proper hydration, diuretic beverages and basic liver function. He downloads the app to re-educate himself about how much and what he drinks, so that he can adjust accordingly. He was surprised to calculate that his baseline of drinking water is almost 3 Liter a day. He stops taking painkillers as they increase the burden on the liver. He reduces the intake of caffeine and alcohol, and notice that he starts sleeping a lot better.
He also learned proper mobility work  for the shoulder, working with a foam roller and lacrosse ball for 10-15 minutes a day, to speed up the recovery. With a few complimentary deep tissue massage session he was “as good as new” within a few months.

I hope these two examples has given you some ideas and food for thought in terms of problem solving. Making a change takes time and effort, but what could be more important in the long run, than investing in your own health?   😉

 


Photo by Form on Unsplash
Photo by Frame Kings on Unsplash
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Extraordinary MERU!

It’s Easter weekend, and for a lot of us that means a little bit of extra free time. I suggest that you check out this totally epic documentary called Meru in between food sessions, and/or while traveling. I had heard about it before, but just recently got down to watching it. It will blow your mind! You can currently find it on Netflix.

“A genuinely moving tale of super human perseverance and friendship”
-The Playlist
This is a view of Mount Meru as seen from
Tapovon Basecamp. The Shark’s Fin is the central pillar in the
formation and the part of the mountain most obviously shaped like a
shark’s fin.

At the very least it will make you appreciate the mountain of food most likely  in front of you during this time. *big smile*  Not only are the images of the mountain climbing breathtaking for a lot of reasons, but the story being told of friendship, athleticism, pure grit and what someone can achieve when they really want it, is mind blowing. How about using this film for a perspective check on your own difficulties? Just check it out, you won’t regret it.

I would also suggest that you listen to the podcast episode with Tim Ferriss interviewing Jimmy Chin called “The Athlete (and Artist) Who Cheats Death”.

Happy Easter everyone! 😉

 


Photo and photo text credit to Jimmy Chin @ website www.merufilm.com

Who do You Blame for the stuff that doesn’t work?

This Instagram post by Coach Ben Bergeron is just too good not to share. It just sums up so much in one picture. I really don’t think that I have to add anything to it. Hopefully this will provoke some good head-work, and help you to evaluate your own situation, whether in sports, relationships or work.

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.”
-Dr.Robert Anthony

 

And if by the end of it all, you still think it is the situation or the people around you that is causing the problem, then I have a quote for you.

“If you don’t like where you are…move! (You are not a tree.)”

 

Wishing you all a great start to your weekend 😉

 


Photo by Mahkeo on Unsplash