Staying Alkaline... the Holy Grail for Health?

BLOG-HeaderHolyGrail.png

"Grail" is defined as a thing that is being earnestly pursued or sought after. I think all of us can relate when it comes to seeking out optimal health. As cliche (and ominous) as it may sound, "without your health you have nothing".

Now, I like to stay as optimistic as possible, and I believe that even if you are ill and lacking in health, you do have things to be grateful for. However, pursuing optimal health can improve your overall well-being and offer more consistency in your day-to-day happiness. So why not seek out the "holy grail" for health?

acidic body symptoms.jpg

After years upon years of trying different approaches to diet, exercise & lifestyle habits, one theme has been popular time and time again. One key factor pops up every time and determines whether or not you can break through all barriers to achieve optimal health. That one key factor is inflammation.

What illnesses are linked to inflammation?

  • Crohn's Disease
  • Chronic peptic ulcer
  • Stress
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Cancer

If you are experiencing inflammation anywhere in your body, it will be a barrier to unlocking your potential. What is the solution? The solution can be extensive and complex and also varies for every single individual. But that doesn't mean we can't take a simple approach to it. Because if we don't start somewhere, we will never start at all.

Think of this problem like an equation. Inflammation + X = Holy Grail to Health

  1. We need to cancel out Inflammation with something. In this equation, inflammation is a "negative".
  2. In an equation, what cancels out something? The opposite does. A positive can cancel out a negative and vice versa. Let's go through the process to find out what the opposite of inflammation is.
  3. First, what is inflammation? Inflammation (from Latin inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. Since we're focusing on diet/lifestyle, let's focus on IRRITANTS.
  4. Let's figure out what the "Irritants" are: Many experts deem an overly acidic diet to be a key cause of chronic inflammation ("irritation"). OVERLY ACIDIC DIET = IRRITANT.
  5. Let's figure out our body's natural state: In a healthy body, the natural biochemical balance is four parts alkaline to one part acid. To achieve this balance, a person needs to consume roughly 80 percent ALKALINE foods and 20 percent acidic foods. ALKALINE cancels out INFLAMMATION (irritants).
  6. In Summary: the goal is to keep your body's PH balanced and keep your acid levels under control. How do we do this, by giving our bodies 4x more Alkaline for every 1x Acidic.
  7. Back to solving that equation: Inflammation (-) + Alkalinity (+) = Holy Grail to Health
    • Or: 1xACID(-) + 4xALKALINE(+) = PH Balance

Now that we have the equation completed, we need to figure out what can be plugged in as an "ACID" and what can be plugged into the equation as an "ALKALINE".

Below is a list of acidic foods and foods that are on the alkaline side of the spectrum. Minimizing intake of the acidic foods and maximizing intake of the alkaline foods will help keep your body PH balanced. Remember the daily diet ratio to aim for is 1 part acidic to 4 parts alkaline.

Acidic Foods Alkaline Foods Chart

Take the challenge and spend the next 30 days focusing on sticking to the 1 part acidic: 4 parts alkaline ratio for your daily diet as you work towards your goal of optimal health!

Any recommendations made by Natalie Krul, Brave Angel, guest bloggers, or on our website www.BraveAngel.com about weight training, nutrition, supplements or lifestyle should be discussed between you and your doctor because working out involves risks. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this website or from our products or services.  Never rely on information on our website, from our products or services, in place of seeking professional medical advice.

Follow Blog

* indicates required

Just One Final Week... to Live...

#FreedomFebruary is coming to a close, and for the last week of February I want you to live it like you only have this one last week to live.

One day, everyday and someday soon, I hope that you wake up and live as if you only had one week left to live. You'd pay more attention to people you came into contact with throughout the day as if it was the last communication you would have with that person, or maybe even any person. You'd be caring & kind to others...and at the same time you'd hold nothing back. You'd be free of any fear, inhibition, embarrassment, & procrastination. You wouldn't even waste the time to contemplate if others were supposedly judging you, or that you weren't thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough...you would have had enough of wasting your time trying to be enough for everyone else so instead you'd start spending your time being present, in the now.

You wouldn't care what the weather forecast was and you wouldn't let it rule your mood for the day, because it was one of seven days you had left remaining. If it was raining, you'd take a long walk in the rain, without an umbrella, without a rain jacket. You'd delight in the sense of rain drops rolling down your face and the dewy refreshing smell & steamy humidity that a rainy day brings. You'd wake up early just to see the sunrise with all its glory and you'd make sure you were there to capture the last rays of the sunset before it dropped below the horizon. You'd hold all your friends and family close to your heart and cherish the time spent with each and every one. Take these words and apply them to your week.

Apply this mentality to every decision you need to make, in this upcoming week and going forward, and a whole new life will be presented to you that you never knew was there.

You can apply it to any question, like, "What workout will I do today?" Well, ask yourself, what kind of activities would I plan during my final week of life?

Here are a few of mine:

  • Hike to the top of the closest mountain or trail to watch the sunset over the hills
  • Very early in the morning, I'd Stand-Up Paddleboard out past the waves to the calmer waters and watch the sun as it creeps up from below the ocean's vista
  • I'd Fat Tire Bike the most beautiful, untouched beach until there was no one around except for nature, my dog, and my husband and I (and have an unforgettable picnic!)
  • I'd take my yoga practice to the sand dunes around the corner from my house, and start my yoga session so that it ends with the sunset

You see, once you apply this mentality, you will begin to build a life that is more connected to nature, connected to your loved ones, connected to any and all strangers, connected to the universe, connected to Divinity. A life in which you revel in everything that you have at your fingertips, everything standing right in front of you. Instead of facing life as if you don't have enough of this or that, you begin to realize that you had everything all along, you just weren't looking in the right place...

#DAILYMOTIVATION:

Some of us choose our path out of fear & disguise as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it....

Lesson learned, you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love....

When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is, and that you should live your life inside the world and try not to get into too much trouble, try to get an education, a job, a family... But life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing, and that is that everything around us, that which we call life, was made up by people that are NO smarter than you....
Find out what it is that you want and go after it as if your life depends on it...WHY? BECAUSE IT DOES.... There is no guarantee in life, well...there’s only one guarantee... if you don’t take action there will be no outcome at all, the only outcome will be that you didn’t achieve anything, you didn’t achieve what you want... a lot of people think that failure is a step backward. It’s not a step backward! Failure is a step forward in the right direction. EVERY time you fail, you learn something from it, you gain something from it, that’s PROGRESS in every sense of the word....
— - The Greatness Within, Les Brown

#BEACHBUM BUNS WORKOUT

beachbodyworkout

Follow Blog

* indicates required

12 Genius Bike Accessories & Bonus Barbell Workout

For #FreedomFebruary, as you ponder how you'll incorporate exercising daily, I want you to think outside of the box, get out of your comfort zone and for God's sake...free yourself from the monotonous and mindless workout routines that just aren't healthy mentally or physically.

You are worthy and capable of an enjoyable "workout". Think back to your childhood. When you were a wee little one, you didn't need to "workout" because you were already running around, playing outside, climbing trees, biking down the street to a friend's house, playing tag or basketball...all activities you enjoyed doing. Why trade in fun activity for mindless exercise? For your next "workout", why not play outside? Maybe you won't be climbing trees exactly, but why not climb a mountain trail? Maybe you won't be biking down the street to a friend's house, but why not bike to a park to people watch or read a good book?

Speaking of biking, if you don't have a bike, get one! Bicycling is very meditative and liberating. It's low-impact and a highly effective form of exercise as it activates many of your body's large muscle groups (hams, quads, glutes, core) while providing a wicked cardio burn too.

The average cyclist riding at a moderate pace will burn approximately 400-600 calories per hour
— www.ilovebicycling.com

AND...if you absolutely can't bicycle outdoors due to inclement weather, there is always the local spin class to attend (in which you can burn an average of 500-800 calories per hour class!).

The 12 Genius Must-Have Biking Accessories:

  1. This Mini Pocket Portable Bike Pump
  2. Night Gear: Running Shoe Lights w/LED Safety Lights
  3. Handlebar Bike Mount Phone Holder
  4. This Kryptonite Bike Lock
  5. Cycling Bike Lane Tail Light Projector
  6. Rydesafe Reflective Decal Stickers
  7. Multi Tool, Bike Repair Kit & Tire Levers
  8. This Bicycle Beverage Holder
  9. Mountable Water-Resistant Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
  10. This Gel Top Bike Seat Cushion Cover
  11. Bicycle Carryall Seat Strap-on Saddlebag
  12. And don't forget your helmet, bike gloves, water bottle & sunglasses!

#DailyMotivation & Driveway Barbell Workout

I'm going to sign off this post with two favorite daily customs of mine. They just so happen to be the same habitual undertakings of some of the world's most highly effective people.

#DailyMotivation & #DailyExercise

Everyday, I listen to at least one motivational speech that I find on Youtube or a podcast. And everyday I do some form of planned activity or exercise.

These wise words were inspired by some of the best motivational spiels out there:

You can either live your dreams...or live your fears...your time here is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life, don't be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people's thinking, don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out the noise of your inner voice, and most important...have the courage to follow your heart & intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become, everything else is secondary...
You gotta stay focused on where you're going. Some people would rather get even than get ahead. Stay focused on where you're going when times get tough...remember this one question, "What are you going to do with your time here on earth, what drives you?" 
Greatness is a lot of little things done well, day after day... you will never be successful until you turn your pain into greatness, until you allow your pain to push you from where you are to where you want to be. Stop running from your pain, your pain is going to be a part of your prize, a part of your product, a part of your drive and your dreams.
You see...you have this opportunity of a lifetime, yet it means absolutely nothing if you don't take advantage of it in this lifetime of opportunity. You've got to start saying YES to your life, YES to your dreams, YES to your unfolding future, YES to your potential, as opposed to saying no. Leave no dream and no opportunity left behind.
Align yourself with people that encourage you, people you can grow from, people that empower you... You see, we as humans have something that no other animal has, we have imagination, and what imagination means is that we can see it before it actually happens. Look into the future and imagine yourself as you want to be. You need to go into your future and see what you are going to be. You've got to take yourself beyond the pain, beyond the fear, your imagination needs to take you to where you want to be... and that will keep you from giving up. You need to keep seeing what you are going to be, don't keep seeing what you are now, envision what you are going to be one day and embrace it with faith. Fail forward and get to a place in your life where there is no obstacle you can't overcome.
Until you attempt to do something beyond that which you’ve already mastered, you will never grow...
— Les Brown

Driveway Barbell Workout

T-Grip Lite Bar

Invigorated by a radiant sun & warm weather and driven by a fierce desire to feel that PUMP that accompanies a barbell workout, the "Driveway Barbell Workout" was born. I wanted to workout outdoors...but I also had a strong craving for strength training. Luckily, I had my nifty portable T-Grip Lite Barbell Set on hand. So, I headed down to my driveway and knocked out the following workout:

Follow Blog

* indicates required

Why We Love Hiking & The Top 10 Hiking Essentials

trail-hiking-mountain-group

This month, for the #FreedomFebruary Challenge, take a hike! It's a refreshing outdoor activity to add to your plan.

Not only is hiking a superb outdoor activity that almost any skill level can participate in due to the fact that it's a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, but it's also a highly effective stress-reliever. Opting outside, especially removing yourself from the pandemonium of urban or suburban living, and hiking along a trail for a few miles until you feel as though you are at one with your surroundings and all the beautiful sights and sounds that nature hiking provides...resets your body, mind & spirit...and changes your life.

Another empowering aspect to hiking is that you can make your trek as easy or as intense as you'd like on any given day. You can decide to spontaneously hike along a mountain, park or beach trail until you feel you've had your fill of nature and it's time to turn around and call it a day. Or if you're inspired to challenge yourself, you can plan out a more complex expedition. 

The Physical Effects That Hiking Has On Your Body:

  • Supercharges your energy levels: brings extra oxygen & fuel to your muscles & organs
  • Keeps your joints flexible/mobile: helps fight osteoporosis and arthritis
  • Increases your endurance & alertness
  • Burns calories: even at a slow pace of 2 miles/hour a 150 lb. person burns ~240 cals/hr
  • Strengthens & tones your entire body: especially your legs and core, which in turn helps prevent back injuries
  • Elevates Mood
  • Daily Dose of Vitamin D: the best source is the sun, and all you need is 15 minutes in direct sunlight to get your RDA of Vitamin D!

Whether your hiking solo or with a group of friends, please always follow safe hiking practices by packing sufficient gear and leaving little-to-no carbon footprint! And remember, make it engaging, be mindful, and maybe even bring a camera and take some scenic photos!

Top Ten Items To Bring On A Hike:

  1. Hydration Pack: like this Teton Hydration Backpack
  2. Electrolyte Tablets: I swear by these Nuun tablets, they taste great too!
  3. Lifestraw Personal Water Filter and/or Water Purification Tablets
  4. A really good hat for sun protection
  5. Warm weather gear/Cold weather gear (jacket, poncho, wool socks)
  6. Proper waterproof hiking shoes (high-rise for cold weather hiking, mid-rise for warmer weather hiking)
  7. Survival Outdoors Longer Kit: Includes a signal mirror, whistle, waterproof fire starter striker, survival warm blanket, compass & dry bag
  8. Snacks or Food to last you the entire trek, energy bars like Clif bars are great
  9. Navigation: bring a map of the trail and familiarize yourself with the trail and your route
  10. Shelter: Having a camping hammock, like this portable nylon parachute hammock, in case your day hike turns into an unexpected overnighter...will keep you off the ground and is a great item to add to your pack. If you're planning an overnight hike, make sure you have a proper tent and you have practiced using it!

Follow Blog

* indicates required