Category Archives: inspiration

How to Breathe Better in 3 Simple Steps

deep vagus breathing tips

Just breathe.

Well intentioned advice, no doubt.

But unfortunately, most of us are pretty clueless about how to breathe properly to get maximum benefit out of something we do unconsciously, all day, every day.

The truth is, proper breathing is a skill … one that’s inborn yet often lies dormant because we either a.) have never learned how to do it the right way, or b.) don’t practice it.

What Happens When You Don’t Breathe Properly

  • Shallow breathing, which is our default mode when we’re stressed, restricts the diaphragm’s range of motion. The lowest part of your lungs—which is where many small blood vessels instrumental in carrying oxygen to cells reside—never gets its full share of oxygenated air.
  • The breath plays a vital role in maintaining a balanced body. Shallow breathing causes your nervous system to become unbalanced, resulting in much higher stress levels.
  • Your airways get constricted, which makes it harder for the air to travel from your mouth to your lungs. The result: your body has to work harder and breathe faster.
  • Your blood vessels constrict, which can lead to increased blood pressure and force your heart to work harder.

Every process and organ in your body depends on oxygen. For example:

  • Your brain uses about 20% of the oxygen you take in. When it faces an oxygen shortage, the brain will slow down, which negatively impacts other systems in your body.
  • Since your heart beats around 100,000 times in a single day, it is dependent on getting enough oxygen to pump blood to all parts of your body that need it. Poor circulation leads to a whole bunch of other issues too.
  • Oxygen powers your muscles, and a shortage makes them get stiff, tense, and tired faster, which impacts your ability to move each day.

3 Simple Steps to Breathe Better

Many holistic healthcare practitioners make it seem like you need to sit down and meditate for 30-60 minutes every day to gain any benefit from deep breathing.

While I do think anyone could benefit from this approach, it’s just not realistic for most people. That’s why I prefer a simpler system to improving your breathing that can be done pretty much anywhere, anytime.

Step 1:

Find a quiet, comfortable spot. If you don’t have access to one, then put on some noise-cancelling headphones with some relaxing music (or one of the apps we recommend below).

Step 2:

Sit or stand upright, and breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose. Feel the air expand downward and fill your entire belly. Breathe out through your mouth.

Step 3:

Engage your diaphragm. Put one hand on your abdomen, just below your belly button. Feel your hand rise about an inch each time you inhale and fall about an inch each time you exhale. Your chest will rise slightly, too, in unison with your abdomen. Remember to relax your belly so that each inhalation expands it fully.

Diaphragmatic breathing activates your parasympathetic system via the vagus nerve, improving your heart rate variability and restoring balance in your body.

Long story short: when you teach yourself how to breathe better and practice deep breathing for just a few minutes each day, you will reduce your stress and anxiety levels and increase blood and oxygen circulation throughout your body.

Videos, Books, and Apps to Help Improve Your Breathing:

Sources:

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/take-a-deep-breath
  2. https://www.lung.org/blog/you-might-be-breathing-wrong
  3. https://college.acaai.org/better-breathing-guide/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137615/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6189422/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27995346/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5455070/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5709795/
  9. https://www.wimhofmethod.com/vagus-nerve-stimulation

How to Use Pure Food for Best Results (Healthy Smoothie and Food Recipes Included)

In this post, I’m going to show you how hundreds of others have used Pure Food to produce some pretty awesome results.

Whether you want to lose weight, put on some lean muscle, improve your energy levels, or most importantly, feel better, I’m confident the recipes and techniques I’m going to share below will help you.

There are lots of recipes in this post. I split them up between 1.) Smoothies and 2.) Food. I will continue to update it constantly, so bookmark it so you can come back if you need some inspiration!

Without further ado …

How to Use Pure Food Protein Powder in Smoothies

First off, use a blender for best results. The powder will mix okay on its own but it’ll taste smoother coming out of the blender.

Since Pure Food has only clean, healthy ingredients without the fillers, so-called natural flavors, and sweeteners other plant protein brands use, the taste is earthy and natural and your taste buds and gut may need time to acclimate to the probiotics. If you’re new to plant-based proteins and/or probiotics, start with one scoop (10 grams) and work your way up from there.

GIVE PURE FOOD TIME TO WORK
Pure Food will help you feel better and you will experience noticeable improvements in your health if you give it time to work. 

We recommend at least 14 days to allow the probiotics time to colonize in your gut. The probiotic strain we use, by the way, has been clinically shown to boost immunity, improve gut health, and help your body digest plant proteins better.

Like any good health or fitness product (and it should go without saying), you need to make a commitment to yourself by eating cleaner and exercising if you really want to see results fast.

Pure Food Smoothie / Juice / Liquid Recipes

Here are some of my favorite smoothie and juice recipes using both Pure Food Cacao and Vanilla Protein:

Simple Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Cacao Chia Berry Blast

  • 1 scoop Pure Food Cacao Protein Powder
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic berries
  • 1 T organic chia seeds (flax, hemp, or pumpkin work too)
  • Handful of ice
  • Water (or milk) to taste

Chocolate Fat Burning Smoothie

Chocolate Meal Replacement Smoothie

  • 2 scoops Pure Food Cacao Protein Powder
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 T organic oat flour
  • 1 T organic coconut oil
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • Handful of ice
  • Water (or milk) to taste

Want 3 More Pure Food Meal Replacement Recipes? Grab These Free Recipe Cards

Vanilla Berry Blast

Tropical Superfood Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie

  • 1/2 scoop Pure Food Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic strawberries
  • 1 handful organic greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • Water (or milk) to taste

See more Pure Food Smoothie recipes on Instagram

Food

Some of these recipes were sent to us by customers and others were created by us. You’ll find tasty-yet-healthy overnight oats, protein balls, cookies, brownies … even bread for all you carb-lovers.

Some of these recipes require baking and some don’t. Cooking/high heat denatures some of the nutrients in any food, including Pure Food, so I cook with mine sparingly.

But these recipes are a nutritious way to satisfy your sweet tooth (disclaimer: they’re not going to taste the exact same as their “regular” sugar- and junk-filled counterpart). With that said, we think they’re pretty darn good.

Pure Food Solid Food Recipes

no bake protein barNo-bake Protein Balls

No-Bake Protein Bars

Protein Muffins

Protein Pudding (or Ice Cream)

Chocolate Chip Vegan Cookies

Protein Pancakes

Healthy “Brownies”

Protein Bread

If you have additional recipe ideas, questions, or comments about how you use Pure Food, please share them with me by  emailing me directly at Scott@purefoodcompany.com

Enjoy!

Scott Christ

Founder, Pure Food Co.

Before You Ever Set Another New Year’s Resolution, Do This

For the past two years I have done something to start each year that has completely changed my life.

It’s far different and far more impactful from the boring old goals and resolutions.

Here’s what you’ll need before you start:

  • A pen and piece of paper (or a computer)
  • 30 minutes of quiet, uninterrupted time

Next, do this:

  1. Visualize where you want to be one year from today. Don’t know how to visualize? Here’s an awesome video from Marie Forleo and Danielle LaPorte. Or check out this article from Jack Canfield.
  2. Write a letter to yourself as if all the things you visualize for yourself have already happened (I included an example of a letter I wrote to myself at the bottom of this post).

When you’re writing, focus on the things in your life that matter most: family, career, health. Really try and visualize and feel what it would be like to have those things happen.

In the book Switch, Dan and Chip Heath say that creating a clearly painted picture of where you want to be (they call it a “destination postcard”) combined with the right habits is the key to achieving big goals.

This letter to yourself will serve as your destination postcard. And once you develop that clear picture of where you see yourself going, then it’s time to create some goals to help you get there (I wrote about the new science of goal setting on Entrepreneur a while back … it’s definitely worth checking out).

Most people just go straight to goal setting, then get discouraged when they don’t pan out.

You need to set your destination postcard first.

Ever since I started writing a letter to myself the last two years, I’ve been blown away by what I’ve been able to accomplish.

Not everything I wrote down came true, and certain events will play out far differently than you planned. But it’s incredible how many of the things I wrote down did come true … and every single one of the most audacious, seemingly-impossible ones have also begun to take form in my life.

The science world is only just starting to understand the power of imagination, visualization, and intuition. We don’t know how they work … but we know they do work.

So I ask you: what have you got to lose? 30 minutes out of 525,600 you’ll have this year?

Try writing a letter to yourself, read it once a week so that seed you planted cultivates and grows, and report back to me in January of next year. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Here’s an example of a letter I wrote to myself in January 2014 if you need some inspiration. When I re-read it in January 2015 it was pretty cool:

 

Oh what a year it’s been for you. The best year of your life, in fact (you said the same thing last year, so hey, you’re on a roll). 
 
You’ve always dreamed big. But for a long, long time it seemed like something was missing for you, right? 
 
This was the year of change. 
 
The year you finally started applying the knowledge from the thousands of hours of research, writing, and hard work.
 
You’ve always been a dreamer. 
 
And this year your dreams became reality. 
 
You took calculated risks, and they paid off. You invested your money and time wisely. You learned how to be “productive” instead of just “busy.” You put yourself outside your comfort zone.
 
And holy shit, you finally achieved the thing you’ve been working toward for the last 5 years: you’re a self made man.
 
You still have lots ‘o work to do. But the days of feeling unfulfilled with your career are behind you. 
 
You did it. 
 
You officially run a business online. You do what you love. You’re helping people. And you’ve finally found something you can put your heart and soul into. 
 
That’s pretty sweet. Well done. 

Most importantly, you just had your first child. I won’t spoil the surprise and tell you whether it’s a boy or girl. You always detested the people who said, “You’ll understand when you have kids.” 

As much as it pains my pride to admit this, they were right.
 
Having a child was the most significant moment of your life. 
 
You see the world in a new light. You’re a teacher. A guardian. A dad.
 
Everything’s a little different now. In the best way imaginable. 
 
You filled a piece of you that was missing for a long time. You absolutely love it.
 
And your wife. Watching her become a mother has been one of the most beautiful displays of love you’ve ever witnessed.
 
You’re more in love with her than you’ve ever been, and she with you. 
 
You two have a life of wonder ahead of you. 
This year you made some amazing memories with your family and you feel blessed and grateful for this time every day.
 
I look forward to you reading this and being astonished about how much of it is spot-on. 
 
The biggest lessons from the last year were:  Time is a gift. Use it wisely. Don’t waste it on things that don’t serve your higher purpose and lead you to your aspirations. Dream bigger than big.  
 
And this note will serve as proof that you can do whatever the hell you want in this world. 
 
You done well…but you’re not even close to being done. 
 
You won’t believe what the next year has in store.  

How to Live a Healthy, Happy, More Fulfilling Life

happy healthy lifeWhether you want to look great in a bathing suit, stop feeling so tired/stressed/anxious all the time, or live a more prosperous, happy, balanced, healthy and more fulfilling life, here’s “the secret” of the world’s healthiest, happiest, most successful people:

They choose to take action while others sit back and watch.

If you really want something to change in your life, just start. Not next week. Not tomorrow

Right freakinnow.

Because those tiny, seemingly insignificant steps every day will compound into great accomplishments over time.

For years I thought I had to wait until I was “ready.” To start working out … eat better … finally launch the business I dreamed about.

Then I said, “Screw it, I’m just gonna start.”

My life has changed in ways I couldn’t even imagine as a result.

Yours will too, if you stop waiting/wishing/hoping and just start.

Change is inevitable … so embrace it. 

Most people accept their fate and blame circumstance for their misfortunes. They play it safe and never question the status quo. They live a life of fear disguised as comfort. They’re “busy,” yet can never seem to find time for themselves.

Others make the time. They do whatever they can, within their bodily limits, to make themselves better.

Because they know it’s an investment in themselves.

And as a result, they create the life they want.

You will go through some really tough stuff along the way.

Life is hard, there’s no doubt about it, as most of us have experienced the past couple years.

Without the darkness, there is no light.

But I’m here to tell you I’m walking proof that all the adversity you will go through in life only makes you stronger and better prepared for this moment.

You have to take those first couple steps though.

They’re the hardest but also the most important.

Your life is a blank canvas. 

And your success largely depends on how you choose to see things.

Study after study proves that your mindset can have a dramatic impact on whether or not you accomplish your goals in life.

If you’re struggling with something, do these five things and I guarantee things will get better for you:

Step 1: Take a baby step

Take things one step at a time. If you’re trying to lose weight, for example, start with just a couple minutes of exercise every day. Small steps are what lead to big successes. Here are some small things you can do today:

  • Cook a healthy breakfast.
  • Do yoga for at least 10 minutes.
  • Take a 5-minute stretching or walking break every hour.
  • Read one inspirational article today.
  • Record what you eat in your food diary.
  • Look for healthy recipe for dinner.

Step 2: Write it down

If you don’t already have a journal or planner, drop what you’re doing and go get one. They’re that important. Use it to capture your thoughts, plan your day, and track your goals. Here’s what I do every day, as an example:

  • At the start of every day I write a positive quote at the top of my daily planner (today’s quote is “Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it”).
  • Next, I write down everything I plan to do over the course of the day to accomplish my goals (for example, “Write new blog post, network with 3 people, lift weights for 45 minutes, find recipe for healthy dinner”).
  • Then, I evaluate what I accomplished at the end of each day in these four categories:
    • Mental: What did I learn today? How did I challenge my mind? What did you read, write, or listen to that expanded your mental capacity and got you closer to your goals today?
    • Emotional: Who did I choose to spend my time with and what did I do? Did I take time to mindfully engage in happy, positive experiences with friends and family?
    • Physical: Did I exercise and eat healthy today and take care of my body? How so?
    • Spiritual: Did I take time to breath, give thanks, and stop to connect with the world around me?

This strategy will help you manage your time better and increase your self-confidence and healthy habits over time.

Step 3: Get support

Friends and family can help encourage you, increase your accountability, and help you cope with setbacks. That’s why social support is so crucial to overcoming any obstacle in your life. Find a friend or family member who lives a healthy lifestyle, and have the courage to ask for their help. You’ll be happy you did.

Step 4: Visualize your results

Visualization is a powerful tool that can drastically enhance your level of self-efficacy. In the book The Social Animal, author David Brooks says your subconscious mind processes up to 200,000 times more information than your conscious mind. Spend 5 minutes each day visualizing both the journey and the end result you seek. Forming a mental picture of yourself taking the steps required to reach your goal creates a lasting image in your brain that your subconscious will bring to reality.

Step 5: Do things that make you laugh and smile every day

Create experiences every day that make you happy. Spend time with people you love. Keep an uplifting book by your bedside for words of encouragement before you go to sleep or when you first wake up. Take a walk outside with your significant other. Experiences are infinitely more valuable than things.

Dream big but start small. Focus on your mindset first and you will open doors to anything and everything you want to accomplish in life.

Bonus: Here are 40 of My Favorite Inspirational Quotes

  1. “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” -Aristotle Onassis
  2. “All our dreams can come true–if we have the courage to pursue them.” -Walt Disney
  3. “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.  -Helen Keller
  4. “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” -Napoleon Hill
  5. “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” -Zig Ziglar
  6. “Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.” – Anne Frank
  7. “It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” -Abraham Lincoln
  8. “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” -Tony Robbins
  9. “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” -Charles Swindoll
  10. “I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” -Audrey Hepburn
  11. “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” -Harriet Beecher Stowe
  12. “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality in the mind next to honor “ -Aristotle
  13. “There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.” -Paulo Coelho
  14. “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” -Buddha
  15. “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” -Oprah Winfrey
  16. “The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.” -Chinese Proverb
  17. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein
  18. “First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.” -Aristotle
  19. “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  20. “Every day I will renew my commitment and think about the benefits that come from it.” -John Maxwell
  21. “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” -Bruce Lee
  22. “People who labor all their lives but have no purpose to direct every thought and impulse toward are wasting their time–even when hard at work.” -Marcus Aurelius
  23. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be”. -Lao Tzu
  24. “”In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” -Tony Robbins
  25. “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” -Helen Keller
  26. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” -Henry David Thoreau
  27. “If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.” -Micheal Jordan
  28. “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  29. “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” -Stephen Covey
  30. “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down ‘happy’.  They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” -John Lennon
  31. “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.“ -Friedrich Nietzsche
  32. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” -Steve Jobs
  33. “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt
  34. “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” -Vince Lombardi
  35. “Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” -Walt Disney
  36. “If you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered, irritable.” -Marcus Aurelius
  37. “I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me. Its because of them I’m doing it myself.” -Albert Einstein
  38. “He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.“ -William James
  39. “The best revenge is massive success.” – Frank Sinatra
  40. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” -Robert Frost