It’s that time of year again. Summer is approaching and magazines are featuring the latest articles on “bikini fat-blasting tips” and “how to get fit for summer.” While I am the first to admit that I have written many such articles for various publications, I thought it was time to embrace another even more important truth; that we should LIVE LIKE IT’S SUMMER ALL YEAR LONG!
What does that mean exactly? For one, why not start celebrating your body today as you are even if you haven’t blasted all the fat. It’s sort of like using your fine china every day instead of just when company comes over. It’s time to stop postponing our happiness for some far off goal that may or may not be reached.
We have all done this in some form or another. I know I have certainly postponed plans for when I have more money or when I meet that dream mate. Well, perhaps we all need to work on loving ourselves from the inside out and then the outside in regardless of whether or not we’re beach ready.
As a wellness coach, I am the first to speak about getting fit, eating right, and becoming the best version of you that you can be. Along with that however, comes a lot of pressure. Sometimes, the very act of transforming our life while liberating on one hand can also be very daunting. Transforming means that we need to become something other than who we are right now. That takes us away from the present moment and often causes us to miss out.
What if we all surrender just a little? What if we let ourselves off the hook? What about hitting the beach un-waxed, unfit, and unassuming? Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to live fully and completely regardless of where we are at in our fitness or body goals.
Being body conscious can be two-fold. It can mean that we are conscious of putting our best selves out into the world and we become keenly aware of what we are putting into our body…that’s a good thing. But it can also have another meaning; that we are self-conscious of our bodies and feeling less than those who look better than we do.
With summer approaching I suggest that yes, you up your fitness routine, yes focus on eating a healthier diet, yes moisturize, wax, and do whatever it is that you need to do to feel good. But once you have that underway, relax. Breathe. Meditate. Love yourself. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Embrace your insecurities and those things you feel may be flaws while learning to stand in that quiet confidence knowing that you are always a work in progress. But for today, you will simply “be.”
Now go put on that skimpy bikini, head to the closest pool or beach, and OWN it!
Jay Bradley is an anti-aging & wellness coach living in Los Angeles
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
As a certified wellness coach CWC I’ve worked with people all over the world to help them achieve a healthier and happier balance between their body, mind, and spirit. My goal is to dig in, find out where they’re off balance, and then session by session, work to assist my clients in regaining and rediscovering a new way of living that better fits their goals.
Many of them want to lose weight, increase physical energy, or look and feel younger. While all of these are important, we come to realize as we work together that it is what’s inside that counts the most. We learn, as a team, that true balance, happiness, and wellness is ALWAYS an inside job.
If we look at quantum physics and the study of matter, we know that everything in life including the computer or phone that you’re reading this on, is in fact, energy. In essence all “things” are simply molecules bouncing around.
When we look at our physical body and our level of health for example, these too are made up of energy. The question then becomes, what gets our energy moving in a positive direction? The answer is our thoughts and emotions. Thoughts are the basis of everything that we desire. Past thoughts have created the life that we are living today and if we want to know where we’ll be in a week, month, or year from now, we need only look at today’s thoughts and inner feelings. By doing this we’ll know without much doubt what is to come.
All experiences in our present moment can be pinpointed to thoughts and beliefs that we had a week, month, or years ago. So in order to make changes in our life and improve our health, we must change our self-defeating thoughts. When we take more control and become the change that we want to see from the inside out, it’s a very empowering way to live.
This can also be one of the most challenging aspects of our journey. Many of our thoughts and beliefs are habitual and unconscious and it can be difficult to change the ones that have been with us since childhood…difficult but not impossible.
If we are dealing with a health crisis it can take even more strength and discipline to tap into that positive vibration of total healing within us. But the more we begin to catch our negative or self-defeating patterns, fears, and negative dialogue and then immediately changing them into positives, the quicker we experience shifts for the better.
Creating a morning practice that involves journaling, meditation, quiet reflection, and reading uplifting books is the beginning of putting your inner self first. When we carve out this time we begin to make our emotional and spiritual life a priority and this is where the magic begins. When we turn inward and pay attention to that quiet voice of intuition within us and we begin to get conscious of our thoughts, the right people, circumstances, and opportunities begin to show up almost effortlessly and our health often begins to improve. The ideal healer, doctor, coach, or specialist will appear with synchronicity to help speed the process along.
As I have learned in my life and through the experiences of my clients, ANYTHING is possible and change IS attainable once we begin to do the inner work of releasing negativity, fear, and limiting thoughts. When we work from the inside out and then the outside in, we have a recipe for true success in all areas. It doesn’t always happen over night but it is quite possibly the most important priority that we will ever make.
Jay Bradley is an Anti-Aging, Wellness, and Lifestyle Coach living in Los Angeles.
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger, and Feel Better!
Did you realize that we actually have two brains? Our gut is often referred to as our second brain because everything that happens in our body begins and ends in our stomach. The majority of Americans are moving through life with an unhealthy digestive system thus making them more prone to a myriad of possible diseases and health challenges.
There are numerous reasons why our stomachs are off balance with prescription drugs and antibiotics being number one. Stress also plays a huge factor in lowering digestive health, as does overconsumption of sugar and alcohol.
Some signs that you may have an unhealthy gut are skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea or acne, anxiety and/or depression, lack of energy, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, acid reflux and heartburn, and arthritis or inflammation of the joints.
When I work with clients we look at what they’re doing to promote a healthy gut and then get down to some serious business of improving their system even more by using the following life-changing suggestions:
Fermented Foods – Kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha tea are just some of the fermented foods which offer an incredible amount of gut-healthy bacteria. Make it a goal to consume some fermented products daily to optimize the healthy flora in your stomach.
Probiotic – More important than a multivitamin is a probiotic. Choose a probiotic supplement with at least 30 billion live cultures and commit to taking it daily indefinitely. Within a short period of time you’ll begin to see the positive benefits of this live product going to work! If you’ve recently consumed a round of antibiotics, it can take up to 6 months to regain your healthy stomach flora.
Sugar and Alcohol – Sugar, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates like processed foods can feed unhealthy gut yeast that attacks our systems. Often a short detox is required to get things under control and regain balance. Eliminating sugar, alcohol, and processed foods and sometimes even fruit and dairy products while consuming fermented foods and a probiotic supplement will re-boot your system and get you back to feeling great.
Meditation – Stress actually affects our entire body including our immune system and digestive health. Taking time each day to meditate will benefit your overall health in ways that you can’t even imagine. Take a class in transcendental meditation or join a meditation group near you. Also create time each morning for quiet reflection to de-stress and reconnect with your spirit.
When we begin to truly understand that our gut is like the operating system for our entire body, we start to make it a priority. If you aren’t feeling your best, work on regaining a healthy gut and you may just realize where the problems have been all along.
Jay Bradley is an anti-aging, wellness & lifestyle expert living in Los Angeles http://jaybradleylifestyle.com
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
By now we all know that proper sleep is the cornerstone of good health. But knowing it and experiencing it are two different things. Why is it that so many people are having such a difficult time getting and staying asleep? This important aspect of living longer and remaining healthy is a luxury for many.
Do you wake up often during the night? Perhaps you have problems falling asleep? Do you awaken after 8 hours of sleep feeling unrested? There are so many variables and reasons why we don’t get a high-quality slumber but here are some tips that will definitely make a difference and get you on the road to sweet dreams and restful days ahead.
MELATONIN – Melatonin is a well-known sleep enhancing hormone that is gentle on the body and offers a more relaxing and deep sleep. If you’re new to Melatonin, start with taking a 1-3 gram supplement an hour before bedtime. Alternatively, tart organic cherry juice also contains naturally occurring melatonin. Drink 1-2 oz. of tart cherry juice mixed with some water before your evening slumber.
ROOM SETTING – Many people underestimate the importance of the bedroom environment and how it contributes or interrupts sleep. Keep your room at a cool temperature (between 62-68 degrees F) and ensure that there is no distracting light from the windows, clock radios, and computers. A white noise machine or fan can also gently block out disturbing sounds.
CELL PHONE – Studies have shown that the EMF signals omitted from cell phones can interrupt your sleep. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23051584
Make sure to keep your cell phone far away from your bed and ensure that it’s on silent mode. Wi-Fi can also interfere with your sleep so it’s best to keep your computer and Internet setup in a separate room.
MEDITATION – Most of us know that meditation is good for us but we struggle with keeping it regular. A 20-minute daily meditation can shift our brain patterns and helps us to feel more relaxed and calm. This de-stressing practice will definitely improve your sleep patterns and help you to release negative emotions. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-helps-fight-insomnia-improves-sleep-201502187726
EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique is an amazing self-healing tool that can be used by everyone. You can learn the basics by searching Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xl8NZKLdD9o for EFT or tapping videos. Gently tapping on your acupuncture points while repeating affirmations can help you to release emotional heaviness and stress. With EFT, people have reported a deeper, more satisfying sleep.
ESSENTIAL OILS – Lavender is the best-known essential oil to enhance relaxation and sleep. Use a pure lavender spray on your pillows, roll-on lavender oil to your temples before bed, or use 10-15 drops in your laundry detergent when washing your sheets. Other oils that assist sleep are vetiver, ylang ylang, chamomile, and sandalwood.
Sleep disturbances encumber us from operating at our fullest during the day. If your sleep difficulties continue after trying some of these suggestions, make sure to dig deeper. Consider booking a sleep clinic so that you can have a professional analyze your sleep patterns.
Take control of your life and finally get that deep, restful, and restorative sleep that you deserve.
Jay Bradley is an anti-aging, wellness, and lifestyle coach living in Los Angeles.
He is the best-selling author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, the 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger, and Feel Better!
We have all come to rely on technology and it certainly has made our lives easier. But recent studies about the potential dangers of regular cell phone use has created some controversy.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organization (WHO) with its major goal to identify causes of cancer. The IARC has classified radio frequency or electro magnetic fields like those from cell phones as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” (http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2011/pdfs/pr208_E.pdf)
Learning that something is “possibly carcinogenic” is certainly enough to make most people give it some serious thought. After all, cancer-causing toxins and chemicals bombard us daily from our environment and our foods so wouldn’t it be wise to reduce or eliminate those within our control?
The message about these potential dangers shouldn’t cause fear or panic but rather give us the opportunity to make smarter day-to-day choices. It is nearly impossible to avoid regular cell phone use but here are some things that you can do today to begin reducing your exposure to these potentially harmful EMF frequencies:
- Text rather than talk – By texting rather than speaking directly into the phone, we avoid direct contact with our body in particular the head and brain.
- Use a plug-in headset – Always use a plug-in headset to avoid direct contact with your cell phone when speaking on the phone. Wireless headsets also emit EMF signals so it’s best to avoid them whenever possible.
- Airplane mode – When you must carry your phone in your pocket, put it on airplane mode to avoid emitting EMF signals.
- No child zone – Children may be at even more risk because their systems haven’t fully developed. Keep them away from regular cell phone use.
- Leave it behind – It’s rare that we have urgent circumstances so why not consider leaving your phone in the car when you’re out with friends or while shopping.
- Never carry it in your pocket – Avoid carrying your cell phone in your pocket or bra. Preventing direct body contact is best while keeping it at least one inch away from your body at all times.
- At night – Don’t keep your cell phone next to your bed. EMF’s may interrupt your sleep.
- Use protection – There are numerous cell phone cases and other tools that can reduce your phone’s radiation. Do your research to find ones that work.
While the verdict is still out as to the cancer-causing risks of using your cell phone daily, it’s best to be cautious. By making conscious choices to follow the steps above, you are reducing possible exposure to EMF signals and taking one more step to improve your odds of living a long and healthy life.
Jay Bradley is an anti-aging, wellness & lifestyle expert living in Los Angeles http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL the 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
People often say to me “wow you must work so hard to stay fit and keep your life balanced!” My answer is always the same; “actually I don’t really work hard but I AM consistent.”
There is a VERY big difference between working hard and being consistent.
When we work hard at anything, there will always come a time soon afterwards when we crash. Either we have reached our established goal, or we have finished the intended project and now it’s time to relax. After all, working hard for extended periods of time is exhausting! Nobody can keep up strenuous efforts forever.
When we work consistently however, it means that we put in regular, steady efforts over a long period of time. When it comes to our health, wellness, emotions, and overall lifestyle, consistency wins over hard work every time!
This is a great example of why diets don’t work. People go in with a specific goal; i.e. to lose 15 pounds. Once the weight is lost, the dieter eventually goes back to their old ways and the weight comes back quickly. This is because following a strict eating regimen is hard work and counting our calories or writing in a food journal is unnatural.
When my clients want to put on muscle mass, I let them know that it’s better to choose moderate workouts for the long term rather than big bursts of heavy weights for a couple of months. For one thing, the body appreciates a nice, consistent effort where it gets accustomed to regularity. Having short-term goals of putting on muscle is fine, but unless you can make exercise habitual, usually you will reach your goal and begin slacking afterwards.
Perhaps it’s time for all of us to re-think our health and wellness strategy. With the New Year approaching, why not choose a different path? Why not make consistency your number one priority? Try taking the word “work” out of your vocabulary altogether because it has negative connotations and denotes stress. Make 2016 about the commitment to small, yet consistent steps towards a total life makeover.
Instead of making gigantic and unreachable New Year’s resolutions, why not take baby steps? When it comes to your body, mind and spirit, here are some simple actions to follow for the upcoming year. I call it The Lucky 11.
- Exercise – Get your body to a gym at least 3 days per week. Even if you are comatose and have no energy, commit. If all you do is some simple stretching, you will feel a sense of pride that at least you arrived. Just like brushing your teeth, you have made it a part of your day and for that, bravo. Getting yourself there is more than most people ever do. To take it further, make this year the one where you find a workout partner or hire a trainer so that you have somebody to be accountable to.
- Drink more water – Buy yourself a 24 oz. stainless steel or non-BPA plastic water bottle and make it a plan to fill it with filtered water three times per day. DO NOT go to bed until you have consumed 3 bottles of fresh water. Do your best to drink it earlier in the day to avoid late night trips to the bathroom. By drinking more water, you’ll look and feel better from the inside out.
- Take a Multivitamin – Go to your health food store and ask for a quality, potent antioxidant multivitamin with minerals. Commit and get into the habit of taking it daily NO MATTER WHAT. They will change your life! You may not always feel a major difference but the long-term benefits are countless. Choose a vitamin that is derived from whole foods and without fillers or additives. My favorite is Dr. Mercola multivitamin with minerals.
- Take quiet time each day – Carve out at least 20 minutes per day where you take quiet time to reflect, journal, meditate, and pray. Putting yourself first inspires others to do the same and you will see dramatic changes in the way your day unfolds. Focus on your breathing and spend time reflecting on the life you dream of. Experience it in your mind and emotions as if it has already manifested and get ready for a miraculous year!
- Conquer bad habits – Make this year the one where you finally lessen or even eliminate bad habits. We all have them. Addictions, depression, anger, and the list goes on. Do something about it. Join a self-help group. Go to therapy, hypnosis or an energy healer. Hire a coach or fitness trainer and trust that with the right intentions, you can and will get over anything that holds you back. Don’t let the past fool you into thinking that change is impossible.
- Sleep – Sleep is the most important aspect of your life. Without it, we age faster and are less healthy, efficient, and productive. Look into changing your environment to create a peaceful sanctuary. Clear your bedroom of electronic devices and disturbances. Read about hormones, in particular melatonin, and good sleep habits. Let go of the guilt around taking a brief afternoon siesta. Feeling rested not only adds years to your life but also life to your years.
- Forgive – Make the upcoming year ALL about letting go and forgiving. If you hold any resentment or animosity towards another, let it go. Work on doing a forgiveness meditation. Investigate EFT (emotional freedom technique) or try writing a letter to the person you need to forgive and then burn it as a symbol of letting go. Holding onto unresolved, toxic emotions will only cause dis-ease within our body. Release it.
- Laugh – Most of us take our life WAY too seriously. I for one have forgotten how to play. As adults, we have so many responsibilities and commitments that having fun takes less priority than paying our bills. Make plans each month to do something playful with a friend. Discover new activities or dust off an old one. Laughter literally raises our energetic vibration and transforms our body, mind, and spirit.
- Change it up – While consistency is vital, it can be easy to fall into a boring, habitual routine. Make 2016 ALL about changing it up when things become monotonous. Stick with consistent actions but do something different within those tasks. Redecorate your favorite room, paint your wall bright orange, try a new workout routine, get a cool haircut or buy yourself some hip, fashionable clothes. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone a bit and do something out of the ordinary. Shaking things up energizes us and helps to spark new life within us.
- Raw superfood powder – Most of us do our best to eat well but getting enough vitamins and nutrient-rich foods can be challenging. The best choice that you can make is to take one scoop of raw, superfood powder every single day. This is your insurance policy. It ensures that you are receiving live energy which will ignite your cells and super-charge your entire body. My favorite is called Perfect Food Raw by Garden of Life.
- Put yourself first – Focus on loving yourself. Nothing is more vital than that we put ourselves first and work on nurturing, accepting, and forgiving ourselves. Many of us have done a pretty good job of beating ourselves up. Turn it around. Being your own best support system isn’t selfish; it’s just the opposite. By taking care of yourself and putting your needs first, you set a great example to those around you. When you begin doing this, you’ll see amazing shifts in ALL areas of your life!
The beginning of each New Year is always exciting. It is filled with infinite possibilities. Make 2016 your best year ever! Commit to making consistent efforts to shift and balance your body, mind, and spirit. Decide to put yourself first and eliminate the word “work” from your vocabulary. Not only will you look and feel better but you will also experience a sense of self-empowerment that nobody can take away!
Jay Bradley is an Anti-Aging, Wellness, and Lifestyle Expert living in Los Angeles.
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!