You ARE Okay…Even When You Think You’re Not

You ARE Okay…Even When You Think You’re Not

I had a bad week. After an amazing birthday celebration, I sank low and found myself feeling sad and melancholy with a heavy heart. The feelings have lasted for days during which time I began to beat myself up for wasting time. I started to feel victimized by my mood and frustrated that I didn’t have the energy to get out there and “make things happen.”

This pattern started when I was very young. I was a sick kid and I often felt depressed. I desperately wanted to feel better! I became curious at a young age about how the Body, Mind and Spirit came together to create our overall experience. You name it I’ve tried it, read it, or done it with my continual focus on getting well.

Fast-forward decades later, and while I feel so much better, I still struggle. I get down more times then I’d like to admit and although my physical body has been healthy, I still get tired at times. This has led to a repetitive pattern of thoughts like “what am I doing wrong?” “After all this effort, why do I still feel bad?”

Perhaps you can relate. It seems like so many people are out there talking about their successes, their breakthroughs and their wins and very few are open enough to share what really goes on just below the surface; those feelings of fragility, insecurity, and fear.

How many of you have an underlying problem that never goes away? How many feel that you are broken in some way and need to be fixed? Perhaps it’s a physical ailment that returns under stressful conditions or a constant struggle to provide a good income doing what you love, or a generalized anxiety and depression? Whatever the so-called problem, maybe it is time to embrace it rather than chase it away. Perhaps we can make it our friend rather than something we resist with all our force.

There are important lessons to learn through our pain and struggle. It may often seem that life offers us unexpected and sometimes undesirable experiences. No matter how positive we are, how many warrior weekends we’ve attended or the number of spiritual books we’ve read, sometimes shit happens. And guess what? It doesn’t mean that there we are faulty or that we’ve made bad choices.

Begin paying special attention to those things that aren’t working for you, those seemingly negative thoughts and patterns that you want so badly to disappear. Talk to them. Befriend them. Listen. Forgive. Offer them unconditional love. Treat them as if you would a desperate friend in need. They are parts of you just as much as the awesome award you recently won, the marathon you completed, or the dream home that you live in.

Wellness, health, and life are all about balance. With the good will come some bad. With the ups comes downs. When we work so hard to resist, avoid, and block the negative, we end up beating ourselves up and draining our very life source. We swim upstream rather than going with the flow. We go outward rather than inward where the true acceptance lies.

Today, love and accept yourself unconditionally no matter where you are. Embrace the pain and begin checking in to see what it’s trying to tell you. Be gentle with yourself and know that there is nowhere you need to be other than right here, right now. Be okay drudging through the mud. Begin making self-love, self-acceptance, and life-acceptance a regular part of your day, week, month and ultimately, your life.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles

http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Healthy Living Starts in Our Backyard

Healthy Living Starts in Our Backyard

Living a healthy and balanced life can feel overwhelming at times. Where do we begin? What aspects are the most important? With so many issues in our environment can really we make a difference in our lives and the lives of those around us?

What we do on a day-to-day basis does in fact make an impact on a grand scale. When we care for our family, and ourselves and we make incremental and consistent positive changes towards living a healthier life, we in turn affect the entire world.

Beginning at home is the most important place to start. Here are some immediate yet simple changes that you can make in order to protect your family from harmful toxins and chemicals along with creating a healthier body and home:

Water – Our skin is our largest organ and everything that we put onto our skin absorbs deep into our system including our bath and shower water. Find a water filtration system that will block toxic chemicals and one that provides clean, purified water for your shower. Remember that we breathe steam from our shower too, which can be equally harmful. Along with your bath, purchase a home purifying system or portable water filter for your drinking water and use a non-BPA plastic or stainless steel bottle for your water storage.

Personal Care Products – Learn to read labels and research companies that are creating chemical free, non-GMO, and organic skin and hair care. Dispose of products that contain Parabens, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulphate, Formaldehyde, synthetic fragrance, and other potentially harmful ingredients. For a full list of what to avoid, see my book LIVE LOOK FEEL.

Organic – Our fruit and vegetable supply is being highly affected by decreased soil nutrients, pesticides, and other environmental chemicals. Buying organic is your best option to protect your family from consuming an overload of toxins. To learn which fruits and vegetables are worse than others, see my WEBSITE under the Wellness section for a full list of the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen.

Cleaning Products – One of the best ways to clear your home of toxins is to replace all chemical cleaners with natural, environmentally safe ones. There are plenty of quality and effective products on the market. You can also learn quick and easy recipes online to create your own. By doing this you are reducing the amount of chemical waste that goes directly back into our environment and your body.

Air – The air we breathe in our homes often contains irritants, allergens, and chemicals. We normally don’t notice the particles that we’re breathing in but over time, they can negatively affect our health. Research a quality HEPA air filter that will help to clean your home’s air, creating a healthier environment for you and your family.

Re-Use/Recycle – Become more conscious of tossing away plastic containers. If using plastic, re-use them or better yet, switch to environmentally safe food storage containers made of glass. Avoid plastic and foil wrap whenever possible. Make sure to keep a recycling bin under your sink and teach your kids the importance of reducing waste made of materials that NEVER biodegrade and will only pile up in our garbage sites, oceans, and lakes.

Biodegradable – Today more than ever companies are striving towards creating biodegradable packaging. Learn more about the recycle symbols online and look for products that are packaged in biodegradable boxes and containers. Many are created from natural sources that will eventually dissolve into the earth leaving absolutely no toxic residue.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

The Beginner’s Guide to Supplements

The Beginner’s Guide to Supplements

It can be downright confusing trying to navigate through the world of supplements. There is literally a pill, potion, or powder for everything! Each herb, vitamin, mineral, and superfood is sold as a way to increase your vitality and improve your health. But which ones are effective and are they necessary?

There are certainly contradictory studies out there, some in support of supplements while others negate them. From my perspective, they are necessary and vital.

In today’s world we don’t eat a varied enough diet and our soils are depleted and so while eating a balanced diet is the best way to boost your health, it’s not always possible to get everything that we need in food alone. This is why I believe in supplementation.

When buying supplements research ones that are from organic, non-GMO sources. Also look for vitamins that are derived from whole foods whenever possible. While some drugstore brands are okay, often it pays to invest in a quality product that has a good reputation from a company with a strong track record.

While each person’s health profile is unique and so too are their vitamin requirements, there are certain supplements that I recommend to almost everyone in my wellness coaching practice.

Here is a list of some of the vitamins, minerals, herbs, and superfoods that I suggest to people who are seeking to turn back the clock, increase their vitality, and for those interested in improving the odds of living a longer life:

Multivitamin with Minerals – I liken a multivitamin to an insurance policy. We take it just in case. It’s difficult to know where we are lacking in terms of vitamins and minerals and it is rare that blood tests will give us a full breakdown. Therefore taking a potent multivitamin with minerals from whole food sources is a great option. Ensure that your multivitamin has adequate Vitamin D3 levels, approximately 5,000 IU per day and a significant level of antioxidants.

Probiotic – Our gut is our second brain. Everything that occurs in our body including our brain function, digestion, and immunity begins in our stomach. Therefore, taking a probiotic supplement daily is a great way to build up the vital stomach flora, which acts to strengthen our overall system. Look for one with numerous strains of probiotic and at least 30 billion live cultures.

Krill Oil/Omega Oils – Many of us receive an abundance of Omega 6 oils from food but less Omega 3 fatty acids. We require a balance of both in order to support proper brain and heart health and to reduce overall inflammation in the body. Krill oil in particular contains a high level of Omega 3 oils and Astaxanthin, which works to reduce sunspots and provides an extra layer of sun protection. Krill oil is found to be the most potent and absorbable version of these healthy Omega 3 oils. For vegetarians or vegans, consume flax, hemp, or walnut oil daily.

Turmeric/Curcumin – One of the most researched herbs for anti-aging is Turmeric. There is a long list of benefits from daily consumption of it’s active ingredient Curcumin including a possible lowering of Alzheimer’s risk, a reduction in joint inflammation, and increased immunity. This potent spice can be taken in powder or supplement form and for the most protection 3-4 grams per day is recommended.

Oil of Oregano – This powerful herb works to boost immunity especially during cold and flu season. People with asthma, allergies, sinusitis, and bronchitis have noticed impressive results using oil of Oregano. 3-5 drops under your tongue followed by some water provides maximum antioxidant and antifungal protection.

Raw Greens Superfood – It’s a challenge to eat enough fruits and vegetables throughout our day which is why a raw, greens superfood powder is an amazing alternate. One scoop normally provides anywhere from 15-40 servings of fresh fruit and vegetable extracts along with numerous other immune-supporting vitamins, minerals, herbs, phytonutrients, prebiotics, probiotics, and fiber.

Green Tea – Green Tea is known for it’s powerful anti-cancer benefits. The potent Polyphenols and Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) in Green Tea make it an ideal antioxidant, which fights free radicals in our body. Green Tea is also a thermogenic meaning that it can help to speed up the metabolism leading to increased fat burning effects.

Mushroom Medley – Mushrooms contain powerful compounds known to boost immunity. For those interested in extra cell protection, consider taking a powder or supplement containing Cordyceps, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Maitake and other medicinal mushrooms.

Ashwaganda – Ashwaganda is part of the adaptogen herb family. It works to boost overall energy and vitality, increase libido, lower the overall stress responses within the body, and helps many people to get a deeper and more restful sleep.

*Always consult with your physician before starting any supplement regimen as some may interfere with current medications or pre-existing health conditions.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles.
http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

Gratitude – The Key to Lasting Joy

Gratitude – The Key to Lasting Joy

I’ll be the first to admit that there have been many times in my life when I have struggled with feeling thankful. I have spent much of my time living in the future wanting, striving, and desiring more. Wishing for more success, more creativity, more balance, more growth has taken me away from the present moment.

We live in a society that has taught us to push forward and strive for those things that we desire. For the most part, I think this is a great concept. After all, we do live in a physical world with lots of wonderful opportunities and things to accomplish. It’s quite natural to want a loving relationship, the newest iPhone, or whatever it is that we are drawn to. The key is to find balance.

What has become blatantly clear to me is that unless we find gratitude in our day-to-day experiences, we are actually blocking more good from coming in. To be thankful for what we already have is an act of living in the present moment, which literally showers us with positivity and optimism.

Being still in the here and now is really the only place that we can be. Our minds may wander to a past experience or future dream but all we truly have is this moment. And for the most part, what we have is pretty darn good. Even if some are struggling with an illness or financial crisis, there are blessings to be found in those challenges should we choose to see them. Embracing gratitude shifts our energetic field and can actually speed up our healing and create miracles in our life. Being thankful for ALL THAT IS even when things don’t look the way we’d like is the key to living a happy and fulfilling life.

If you’re like me and often find yourself daydreaming about the future, try gently bringing yourself back to the now and make a mental list of 5 things that you’re grateful for today. They can be as small as the view from your window, the cozy bed you sleep in, or the stranger who opens the door for you at the office.

When we begin to notice the small gifts, we make way for even more goodness to come in. By living with more appreciation for the now, ironically, we are creating a brighter future, which feels more rich and satisfying.

It seems that for some people being grateful comes naturally, while others find it more challenging. I am beginning to wonder if there is perhaps a gratitude gauge that is set higher in some people than others. Similar to the happiness gauge where some people just seem more joyful from day-to-day while others have to work harder at it.

So regardless of where you are on the scale, there is nothing more important than committing to being thankful for today. Keep a gratitude journal and make lists of ALL of the blessings in your life. Tell others how thankful you are for their friendship. Become conscious of what is going right for you today instead of what is going wrong. The more we can put our attention on that, the better our lives will become.

Living in a state of gratitude is the best gift that you can give to yourself. It takes practice but like anything that you focus on, it does become easier with time and eventually being grateful will become your norm. Gratitude really is the key to lasting joy. Give it a try.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

7 Steps to Aging More Youthfully

7 Steps to Aging More Youthfully

Let’s face it aging is a privilege. Many people don’t have the opportunity to get old because of premature death so the fact that we are experiencing this process is a blessing in itself.

But in a world where our looks, appearance, and body image have become so important, where do we draw the line between accepting what is as we get older and when to make improvements to look and feel better?

The fact that many of us are living longer means that we will need to take even better care of our bodies and minds in order to enjoy our lives as we move into our 70’s, 80’s and beyond.

What worked for our grandparents may not be enough for us. With environmental problems, stress, and a lower quality of food, shifts need to take place. We can’t rely on the old paradigm because times have changed.

Here are 7 ways that you can make changes today in order to not only age more youthfully but to enjoy the time that you have that much more.

Organics – We must start buying organic produce, dairy products, meats and more if we want to increase our odds of living longer. We are already bombarded by toxic chemicals and harsh air pollutants so by eating cleaner, we give our body a break from having to detox those extra pesticides that are in our conventional foods.

Meditation – The busier that our lives get, the more we need to go inward. Meditation of some type is the key to quieting our inner voice of negativity, fear, and self-judgment, and a way to reduce stress and increase our memory and brain activity, as we get older.

Love What Is – Part of aging well is learning to love and accept our self fully and completely. Sometimes this is easier said than done. When we can learn to be gentler, we begin to quiet that inner critic and we learn to become our own best support system. Reading uplifting personal growth books, spending time in nature, tapping into inspiring projects, and creating a spiritual morning practice will help you to evolve and grow emotionally and spiritually. Learning to love what is in the present moment instead of living in the past or future will allow more joy and spontaneity into your life as well.

Exercise – It has been said over and over again but now more than ever, exercise is not optional. These days we spend less time being active and more time on our computers and IPhones. Make the daily commitment to move your body and even better, make it your social time as well. The most recent studies show that we can actually spend less time working out with better results. Consult a wellness coach, trainer, or fitness expert to learn more ways that this can be done and how you can build lean muscle and strengthen your heart for increased longevity.

Supplements – We aren’t receiving enough vitamins and minerals in food alone. This is partly because we’re too busy to eat a well-rounded diet but also because our food often contains less nourishment. Supplementing with a whole food multivitamin with minerals is like an insurance policy for your health. A potent probiotic is also essential. You’ll likely require other vitamin and herbal supplements so it’s best to have a personal consult with a wellness expert to find out which direction to go.

Sleep – Plenty of research shows that those who sleep well at night and who take short naps during the day tend to live longer and look younger. If you struggle with getting a deep slumber there are plenty of ways to remedy that including making changes to your bedroom setting along with herbal supplements or melatonin to increase the depth and quality of your sleep.

Superfoods – As mentioned, eating a healthy diet may no longer be enough. Even with the best of intentions, many of us are still lacking essential nutrients. Superfoods are known as super immune boosters! They are those foods, which really pack a punch when it comes to boosting your health and fighting off disease. While many of them can be eaten, I suggest looking for easily digestible superfood powders or supplements that are organic, raw and not overly processed. Some of these include greens powders like chlorella, mushroom extracts, herbs such as ashwaganda and maca, moringa, green tea, coconut, blueberries and many more!

Social Connection – In this hectic time of social media, ironically we have lost the ability to be social. Many of us, myself included, feel lonelier than ever. We rely on texting and instant messenger over talking. I predict a time in the very near future when we will go back to basics; a time when we re-learn the art of communication and when many of us will begin to yearn for a deeper, more personal connection. Decide that you are going to make a more conscious effort to surround yourself with supportive and loving individuals and consider distancing yourself from those people that drain you.

It is the daily, consistent steps we take which will make the biggest difference in the way we age. Aging isn’t an option. How we age is.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert living in Los Angeles.

http://jaybradleylifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

 

The Power of Detox!

The Power of Detox!

Many people take better care of their cars than they do their bodies. We are quite disciplined when it comes to changing our oil, washer fluid, and maintaining our regular service.

But when we think of a full body detox or cleanse we get nervous. We picture going without food for days or taking a bunch of powders, pills, and potions and suffering along the way. While some major detox programs can be difficult, there are simpler ways to give your body and organs a rest. We can make small changes today that can provide a gentle, yet effective cleansing. Here are some ideas:

  • Drink Water – The easiest way to cleanse our body of toxins is to commit to drinking more filtered water. Purchase a 32 oz. non-BPA plastic or stainless steel bottle and make it a point of filling it at least twice per day. This assures that you drink your minimum of 8 glasses daily. If you’re active, more water is likely required. For extra detox support, add organic lemon or lime to your water.
  • Milk Thistle – The active ingredient in milk thistle is called Sylmarin and it has powerful antioxidant and potent liver-supporting properties. It acts to gently cleanse your liver from toxins and impurities. Milk thistle also has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Make sure to use an organic supplement and take it daily throughout the year or cycle off and on for 3-month periods.
  • Infrared Sauna – This wonderful detox literally warms our body from the inside out and causes our system to sweat out toxins and impurities. Sweating is one of the safest and most natural ways for our body to cleanse. Look online for an infrared sauna health spa near you.
  • Fresh Vegetable Juice – We are all familiar with the lengthy 7 or 10-day juice cleanse but consider doing 1 day only of fresh, organic green juice. This easy to follow regiment will give your body a break from processing foods and you’ll find yourself feeling lighter, more clear, and energetic.
  • Intermittent Fasting – This fasting program isn’t as difficult as you may think. For 2-3 days per week try eating your last meal by 8pm and don’t eat again until noon the next day. Drink as much water as you’d like and feel free to have coffee in the morning but avoid solid foods for approximately 16 hours. This not only gives your organs a break, but it kick-starts your metabolism and helps you to burn fat too.
  • Epsom Salt Soak – The most simple cleanse of all is taking an Epsom salt bath. The active magnesium sulfate in the salts work on detoxifying heavy metals, chemicals, and toxins from your system while gently relaxing the muscles. Add your favorite essential oils for an added Zen experience.
  • Activated Charcoal – Activated carbon also known as activated charcoal can be found in powder or supplement form. It is most often made from the ash of hardwood trees or coconut. The porous surface of charcoal has negatively charged ions that work to attract and excrete positively charged toxins, poisons, and other buildup. Follow the directions on the bottle.

*Always consult with your physician before beginning a new supplement, herb, or fasting program.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!