How many times have you changed your “mindset” about something only to find yourself right back in your old habits in days or weeks? Sort of like when your New Year Eve’s resolutions went out the window by the second week of February!

Habits are just that – habits!  They are not really connected to anything.  It’s something that we do subconsciously without even thinking about it.  Like brushing your teeth or getting dressed.

We actually have the power to change anything in a heartbeat as Tony Robbins would say.  I know that’s hard to believe when you’ve tried everything in order to quit smoking, stop drinking, quit junk food, change your eating habits, start exercising, save money or whatever it is that you want to change but keep resorting back to your old habits.  

We associate change with being hard, don’t we.

As humans, we ultimately work from what is called the primal brain or the reptilian part of the brain.

Those are where your habits come from.

We think we just need to think our way through it or reframe your mindset (the prefrontal cortex part of our brain). It’s much deeper than that.  Habit’s come from the survival part of the brain or reptilian/primal part of your brain.

It’s where your beliefs are about yourself.

Your identity (who we are at an unconscious level).

So if you don’t think very highly of yourself for whatever reason at the core level/identity level (primal brain) it will be a constant conflict with your thinking part of your mind (prefrontal cortex).

You can’t be anything other than what you believe about yourself is.  Your thoughts and energy create your reality. 

Your thinking part of the brain/prefrontal cortex is your “wants” part of your brain. Example:  I want to quit stop drinking – that’s your prefrontal cortex speaking. But the habits come from the reptilian part of the brain…the part that says you have to have a drink in order to survive.

Guess who wins?  The reptilian part! 

The reptilian part believes that whatever habit we have is necessary for survival. Even if it’s not in our best interest or even what we want. 

We tend to work from the outside in when we want change.  You get the healthy food, leave your running shoes where you can see them, join a gym, replace chewing gum with cigarettes, etc. Changing your environment or behavior only gets you so far for so long. You need to change from the inside out for lasting change.

We do what we are. 

Now that I’ve explained a little how habits come from the primal brain and the prefrontal cortex is our thinking part. The part that wants us to change but primal brain always wins.  

How do we actually make lasting change?

Especially if who we identify with is not who or what we want to be. 

I’m going to use a client setting a goal to lose 25 lbs but doesn’t follow through to eating in a healthy manner.

In order to reach your ideal weight or whatever goal you have set (financial, health, business, whatever)…

Focus on what you want! Not on what you don’t want.  

Energy flows where your attention goes.

This is where we usually focus on what we can’t have and feel deprived – but we are focusing on the problem.  

We need to see ourselves as the person that is 25 lbs lighter – all day, everyday.  We need to see ourselves as healthy and fit.  

Seeing ourselves as what we want to become will help us to make the right choices.

This is more than visualization.  The brain learns from repetition and the reptilian brain does not know truth from a lie.

We need to write it down, look at it, hear it, feel it, emotionalize with seeing ourselves as the healthy fit person.  Look at ourself in the mirror and love what you see – even if you don’t believe it! Continue to tell yourself you do.

What does that feel like?

What do you see?

If negative self-talk comes in, just know it’s just a thought, take a few deep breaths in through your nose, hold it for a few seconds and out through your mouth and just be.  Love yourself.  The thought can be dismissed and replaced if you choose.  Let it go and replace it with a good thought.

Repetition and more repetition will slowly start to reprogram your brain.  Doing this over and over you start changing little by little, doing different things. You start to love the changes you are seeing.

You notice you are focusing more on the energy you want to create vs the energy you don’t because it feels better. Slowly it becomes a habit. Your reptilian brain realizes “hey she’s not taking the urge I’m giving her to go for the food you shouldn’t be eating” and slowly your new healthy option becomes the habit. You start to change the person at the identity subconscious level. 

Habits can be changed and change doesn’t have to be hard. 

You have to become (relentlessly) the person you want to become now.  In your thinking, not just your doing.  The doing will come naturally when you change your thoughts about who you believe yourself to be.

Start by declaring the change you want to see.  Write it down.  Look at it several times a day. Get immersed in it. Write as if it already IS.

Become who you want to be now as if it is true.  Ask yourself what would that person be thinking and doing.

Don’t use words like can’t choose words like don’t.  For example, I don’t eat chocolate cake rather than I can’t eat chocolate cake. It can make a world of difference when you are around friends and family.  And, you don’t have to say it to anyone but yourself.  No explanation is needed. 

It’s not just about what you are eating, it’s about why you are eating it (without blame please).

Ask yourself “who was I being that created the person 25 lbs heavier than I am now”.  If self-worth is low on the list.  Start by writing “I am worthy.”

Remember one thing:  You have the power to change your beliefs no matter what they are!

Above all, the most important thing is to love and have confidence in yourself no matter where you are on your health journey every step of the way.

namaste.

It seems the 20 years of the “Got Milk” campaign has really got us believing that milk is so good for our health and bones.  But is Dairy really good or not?

Now a days there are all kinds of nut milks on the market. Is it a fad, is everyone allergic or lactose intolerant? 

There are some cultures that can tolerate lactose (milk sugar) – but many do not. There is also casein (one of the proteins found in milk – the other is whey) which is another issue for some and is slow to digest – it takes around 7 hours to digest. 

Dairy was not even consumed until after the agricultural revolution. Here in the U.S. parents usually switch their babies to cow’s milk after age 1. We are the only species that drinks another animal’s milk which if you think about it – it’s kind of weird! Babies produce lots of lactase which is an enzyme that helps absorb our mother’s milk.  After weaning, they stop producing as much lactase which is why some become lactose intolerant. Like I said, certain populations tolerate it better(1).

Dairy in general is inflammatory, mucus producing and is growth producing. 

It has been linked to ear infections in children, tumor growth, joint inflammation, increases insulin, skin issues like acne, psoarsis and eczema as well as respiratory and cardiovascular issues.  

Dairy sometimes produce vague symptoms. And, by vague I mean you are not having an acute reaction to it.  It shows up in different ways – usually inflammation of some sort. If you are lactose intolerant, you may have an acute type reaction usually within an hour or so – such as stomach pain, diarrhea, gas or bloating.

If you are drinking conventional dairy you are likely adding hormones and antibiotics that causes issues in your gut and disrupts your endocrine system. Furthermore, most milk here in the U.S. is produced from A-1 cows which is part of the problem. And before I totally go off in another direction on A1 vs. A2 cows because that in itself is a whole other story. I’ll just give you the short version. Regular milk mostly here in the U.S. contains A1 beta-casein, which is partly broken down to beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7) in the stomach. BCM-7 has been linked with several adverse health effects. In Europe, they have A-2 cows and it seems they do not have the problems we do with dairy. 

RAW, full-fat, organic grass-fed dairy on another hand is said to be extremely beneficial to our health. New York is one of 26 states where it can be bought with restrictions although where I live I have not come across where you can buy raw milk. California for example is much more readily available and even sold in stores because it’s legal. Pasteurization in conventional milk kills any nutrients that are valuable to our bodies which is why raw milk is the better option.  Raw milk contain live bacteria which is what makes it beneficial. If you do find raw milk in your area, make sure you are aware of the farmer’s practices so to be sure it is safe.  The FDA will demonize raw milk, however, I don’t have confidence in an agency that is paid by the US treasury as well as receives pay checks from drug companies. They are far from protecting us from dangerous foods on the market.

Organic, raw, grass-fed fermented diary in the form of kefir or yogurt has beneficial nutrients and in some cases healing to your body. Be sure to make sure the yogurt you are buying is not filled with sugar and other fillers.

What about Calcium?

There really is not a high amount of calcium in milk and there are much better sources. There is actually more calcium in leafy greens then there is in dairy.  Nuts and seeds are another excellent source of calcium besides it also has fat which helps absorption. Many people are under the assumption drinking low-  or no-fat milk is good but it leads to low absorption of calcium. Sardines is another excellent source of calcium. Dairy is acidic and vegetables are alkaline so another plus for eating vegetables over dairy for calcium. Plus, because dairy is acidic your body naturally aims to neutralize the body and will take calcium from your bones. Much contrary to many beliefs about dairy for preventing osteoporosis.  Studies show vitamin D is better for your bones than calcium.

Bottom line:

For me, I don’t drink milk or eat yogurt for quite a number of years. But I do eat grass-fed butter, ghee (which his actually dairy free but I mention it as a butter alternative as it also has a lot of healing properties) and occasionally eat cheese. When I do eat cheese, my joints are inflamed and my face breaks out – so I always regret it.  It also causes me digestive distress and bloating. It has caused me more harm than good so I stay away for the most part.  I seem to be okay with grass-fed butter on occasion or at least I think so.  Even with all the negative side affects it has been the hardest for me to 100% give up.  I try not to focus on it honestly and it works for the most part.  
 
It’s always good to declare you don’t eat something rather than you can’t have something (even if it’s only you are talking too :).  When your brain hears can’t it connects it with deprivation. 
 
Now, that’s not to say you will have the same issues. Some tolerate dairy well but I’d source your dairy from grass-fed cows at the very least.  And, if you are able to get raw dairy from a reputable farmer/source that would be your best option to reap the beneficial nutrients.
 
Cows that are raised on pasture and eat grass have a different nutrient profile than cows that are eating grain (which actually makes them sick which is why they need to give them antibiotics). Grass-fed/grass-finished cows have more more Omega-3 fatty acids and up to 500% more Conjugated Linoleic Acid.  The omega-3 to 6 ratio in grass-fed cows is perfect.  Grain-fed/conventional raised cows omega-6 ratio to omega-3 ratio is about 20 to 1.  The much higher ratio in omega-6 creates inflammation.  And if the cow is eating antibiotics so are you causing disruption to your microbiome.  This is the same for eating conventional beef vs. grass-fed.
 
Dairy sometimes has vague adverse symptoms and the best way to see if you have a sensitivity is to do an elimination diet for at least 7-9 days then reintroduce it for 3 days and see how your body reacts.  Most people do not even realize that dairy is in fact causing a lot of disruption to your health until you take it out.  
 
Here is a website I found very informative about milk facts from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences – Cornell University.
 
How well do you tolerate dairy?  What’s your take on it?  I’d love for you to share in the comments.