We are all born with the same opportunities in a world full of options to choose from in every aspect of our lives. Of course we all look different, we have different families of different race, nationality, religion, and family influences. 
As we grow we all attend the same levels of schooling, elementary, middle school, Jr High, and then High School. Some of us decide to go to directly into college while others choose to go directly into the work place. This is part of the growing process.

Then life starts to kick in like a giant wave that we get swept up in, this wave can derail us from our dreams and plans for our visions of what our lives were to be. I know this happened to me from a career standpoint and definitely when it came to my health.

The fact is that we are all here for one reason or another, if you are a religious person you may believe God put you here for a specific reason. You may feel that you are here for a specific reason even if you aren't religious. Regardless we are here to be great, to be awesome, to be inspiring, or whatever you dream or once dreamt you were to be. 
I personally was in an incredibly stressful and completely unfulfilling corporate job that paid bills, but made me very unhappy, very unsatisfied, and mostly feeling "what the heck am I doing". This affected my health all around.  

There is no reason to settle especially with our health. We know that not eating right and not exercising will greatly affect our health. Yet as we age it becomes more difficult to stay on track, again life's wave takes us to the place of a false sense of comfort, and doing what is easier. We often neglect to take care of ourselves. And we settle for the way we are, the way we feel, and the way we live our lives. This settling often leads to poor health or worse, such as chronic disease, limitations in the way we live. We were definitely not put here to settle, we are here to stretch and always improve and be the very best we can be! 

Our health is the most thing we should be taking time to nurture and nourish and invest in. Never settle for a C life when it comes to your health, Settling is easier when making a decision to change our eating habits, or beginning a workout program and changing to a healthier lifestyle because when we make a decision to say "I will start tomorrow" or "let me just watch this t.v. show" we experience a false sense of comfort in knowing that you really didn't have to start today. But this is a very short lived feeling of comfort, it usually leads to unhappiness and a sense of giving up. Again we are not here to settle. We must stretch to grow, and change anything in our life that is not positive. Settling is easy but not fulfilling.

 There is a story of a professor from a famous University, he did an experiment with his graduating class on the day of their final exam, this was the biggest test of their college career. He said" today is the biggest test of your lives, you need this to graduate and move on". He handed out the exams and instructed the class to keep the exams face down and not to turn them over until he said so. He then said "I have decided to give you all the opportunity of not taking this test today". He said " If you choose to not take the test, you will receive a C without even turning over the paper", "all you need to do is leave now and you will receive a C no questions asked". At that time about half the class packed their belongings and handed in their blank tests knowing they just received C and didn't have to do a thing. Once the group left the room he told the rest of the class that remained "today you have made one of the biggest decisions in your life, you have chosen to excel and not settle for the C in life and get the very best grade you can". He then told them that once he leaves the room to turn over there exams and begin. He left the room and the students all turned over their exams which was a single sheet of paper that simply read "Congratulations, you just received an A+ on this exam"!


Don't settle for a C, don't wait until tomorrow start stretching today!! Your health will be forever grateful!!

Peter Burke - 1/23/15

 
 
Picture
There is no doubt that that as we age in years our body ages with us. Research is proving that we can not only increase your chances of maintaining a healthy body but maintaining a healthy brain well into our age if we add these "superfoods" to your daily diet.

Blueberries - Besides being very tasty, blueberries have been found to protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's or dementia. Blueberries may also significantly improve the learning capacity.
Wild Salmon - Salmon are rich in are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega 3's also contain anti-inflammatory qualities.
Nut & Seeds - Both are good sources of vitamin E. Higher levels of vitamin E correspond with less cognitive decline as we age. Walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and non-hydrogenated nut butters are also great sources.
Avocados - Avocados are a fatty fruit which contribute to healthy blood flow. Which is critical to a healthy brain. Avocados also aid in lowering blood pressure, high blood pressure is a risk factor in cognitive decline as we age. Lower blood pressure will promote brain health.
Beans - Beans help stabilize blood sugar (glucose) levels. The brain relies on glucose for fuel. 
Pomegranate Juice - Pomegranates possess powerful anti-oxidant benefits, which will protect the brain from the damage of free radicals. The brain is the most sensitive organ in the body to free radicals. 
Whole Grains - Whole grains helps promote healthy blood flow, and help reduce the risk of heart disease. Brian health is heavily dependent on healthy blood flow.
Green Tea - Freshly brewed green tea can boost brain power by enhancing, memory, focus, and mood. It also contains high level antioxidants which promotes healthy blood flow.
Dark Chocolate - Dark chocolate contains powerful antioxidant properties, as well as the stimulant caffeine which enhances focus and concentration. It will also help stimulate the production of endorphin's which hell improve mood. 

The brain is often the forgotten or not thought of organ when we eat and exercise for good health. Aside from eating for brain health it is important to keep it working through reading and and always learning new things, and staying active and not sedate.

1/13/15 - Peter Burke 

 
 
Picture







One of the issues with the fast paced world we live in is that families are not spending the time to eat meals together. 
We are too busy taking the kids to different sporting or school activities, or parents are working different schedules and everyone is eating in shifts. Many times the choices made are not necessarily the healthiest options. When we eat like this the meals are usually rushed and we don't get to really enjoy the meal and the family time experience as we once did back when we were younger. My family did this for years as my wife and I both worked in the city. 

Back when i was a child we ate a home cooked meal every evening. We spent time in the kitchen while my mother was cooking then enjoy our meal together without a t.v on and there were certainly no cell phones or texting back then! We would actually talk about our days, and share stories and laugh together while enjoying a healthy home cooked meal! It is so important for families to get this this time together without all of the distractions of the world, television, cell phones and all of the portable wireless devices. 

Having two older children one 24, one 20 and a 9 yr old son the past few years our evening dinners were more like a revolving door diner. Some nights it was 3 of us, or 4 of us eating at different times with the t.v on in the background. Food was left out for the next one of us that came home later in the evening to throw in the microwave to heat up. What happens when we eat like this is as mentioned earlier in the blog, often non nutritional food choices are made due to timing and you loose the valuable daily downtime that should be spent with family. Eventually this becomes our routine and our family's are not as close as they should be and our physical and mental health is effected. 

As our family has gone through many things over the past few years and we are on the positive side of things now and we are a strong family unit again. We also have changed our lives to a much healthier way of living and one thing we realized was missing was the "old school" family sit down dinners where we could unwind after long days and enjoy time together and a good healthy home cooked meal. We have made concerted efforts to do this as often as possible. Above are pictures of our daughters meal she prepared last week;

Organic Chicken Stuffed with sweet pepper and pesto
Sauteed Organic Brussel Sprouts
Organic Cauliflower Mash

It was delicious, Thank You Samantha!!

The one thing we recently have done is we have declared Sunday as our "Family Healthy Meal Sunday"s". Each week one of us pick the menu and prepare a healthy meal for the family to eat and enjoy together!  It is a great opportunity for us to all be together, cook, listen to music, and most importantly laugh together as a family! We plan to expand this and invite more family and friends to our home to experience the healthy meals we prepare and even join in and prepare some of their own healthy recipes as well as just spending valued time together and enjoying the lost tradition of the family meals. There are a few rules that must be strictly adhered to though on the Family Healthy Meal Sunday's and they are as follows;

  1. All meals must be home cooked with healthy ingredients
  2. No television during dinner
  3. Cell Phones are not allowed at the table
  4. Music must be playing throughout
  5. Negativity is not allowed
  6. Laughter, fun and positive energy is mandatory
  7. Prior to eating each person shares one thing they are grateful for, Thanks to my wife Carmen for instituting this one. 
  8. Most of all you must have fun, share, and enjoy the most important thing your family and friends!!


I will continue writing about our Sunday's as it grows into a larger tradition. I hope you are all already doing something like this, if not it is a great time to start!!!

1/8/15 - Peter Burke