Foot and Fitness Tips...

Self-Care on the Cheap: Acupressure Points to Relieve Cramps

Self-Care on the Cheap: Acupressure Points to Relieve Cramps

Beyond reaching for the heating pad and handfuls of ibuprofen, there are some simple ways to self-treat your menstrual cramps and the achy lower back that often accompanies them. Let us teach you three acupressure points so you can lessen the pain with…

Ask a Vegan: How to be a Healthy Vegan on a College Budget

Ask a Vegan: How to be a Healthy Vegan on a College Budget

Q1: I’ve heard it’s more expensive to have a vegan diet, is this true? I’ve actually found that it can be cheaper to live a vegan lifestyle! During my first semester of college, I didn’t follow a vegan diet and over the course of the semester I definitely bought a fair share of snacks and […]

The post Ask a Vegan: How to be a Healthy Vegan on a College Budget appeared first on Life Goals Mag.

Ask a Vegan: How to be a Healthy Vegan on a College Budget

Ask a Vegan: How to be a Healthy Vegan on a College Budget

Q1: I’ve heard it’s more expensive to have a vegan diet, is this true? I’ve actually found that it can be cheaper to live a vegan lifestyle! During my first semester of college, I didn’t follow a vegan diet and over the course of the semester I definitely bought a fair share of snacks and […]

The post Ask a Vegan: How to be a Healthy Vegan on a College Budget appeared first on Life Goals Mag.

A CrossFit Coach Crafted This Workout and It’s Going Kick Your Ass

A CrossFit Coach Crafted This Workout and It’s Going Kick Your Ass

If you’ve always wanted to try CrossFit but aren’t ready to commit to joining a box, try this workout from CrossFit coach and competitor Dani Horan of Champlain Valley CrossFit. All you’ll need is a jump rope and under 10 minutes to get your heart pum…

This Is Exactly What It Took For Esther to Lose 170 Pounds

This Is Exactly What It Took For Esther to Lose 170 Pounds

Losing weight is not always about aesthetic – not everyone is trying to drop pounds to fit into a new dress or look a certain way. In fact, many women turn to weight loss as a way to improve their mood and ensure they’re living a long, healthy life. Es…

World Champion Boxer Alicia Napoleon: “Anger Fueled My Dreams”

World Champion Boxer Alicia Napoleon: “Anger Fueled My Dreams”

Alicia Napoleon’s childhood dream was to be a boxer, but she had to fight tooth and nail to get there.
Watch Alicia’s full story on POPSUGAR’s new TV series, Conquered, Tuesday, March 28, on Z Living.

What to Eat For a Better Sex Life

What to Eat For a Better Sex Life

Our friends at YourTango have the diet you need for a better sex life.

Your body will thank you.

As anyone who has been following me for a while will know, almost every decision that I make is ultimately optimized for one of two things…

  1. My mental clarity
  2. My creative/sexual energy

How I eat, sleep, relax, play, and live are all optimized for these two outcomes.

My primary core values all come down to loving as fully as possible and giving as much as possible to the world. And both of these two things are served by having a clear mind and an abundance of creative energy.

One of the biggest contributing factors to my sexual and creative energy is the food that I put in my body. When I eat starchy, sugary, overly processed foods, I feel terrible and my cognitive functioning and sex drive immediately suffer. Conversely, when I eat clean, I sleep better, think more clearly, and enjoy a much more deeply satisfying sex life.

I thought I would release a deep-dive article on the whole food element of my daily nutrient intake.

While my life obviously has some fairly frequent deviations from the following three meals, these are by far the most common things that I eat on a daily basis.

The Better Sex Diet: How To Eat For Better Sex

For general context, I avoid common gut irritants (dairy, gluten, alcohol, refined sugar), and I eat in 2-4 square meals per day, depending on my unique goals for the day.

While I am far from being strict about it, many people would put me somewhere in the Paleo/Whole30/ketogenic/plant-based/Bulletproof diet range. Which is to say, I eat clean and don’t put a lot of crap in my body. I generally eat high fat, high protein, low carb, easily digestible, nutrient dense super foods.

If it’s deeply nourishing, easy to digest, and I can make it in under ten minutes, then, chances are, I like eating it. So, if you’re looking to sleep better, have a healthier gut, better skin, healthier hair, and you want a better sex life, you’ve come to the right article.

Let’s get into it.

Early Morning: Water/Intermittent Fasting

Most of the mornings that I wake up, I like to continue to fast until I actually feel hungry. I regularly like to wake up sometime between 4 and 6 AM and write for a few hours before I put any real calories in my body. During this time, I’ll drink 1-2 liters of water with the juice of a whole fresh lemon squeezed into it.

This is also the time of day that I most like to go for a walk and watch the sunrise (hooray for natural vitamin D!). Any kind of movement in the morning (walking, jogging, yoga/stretching, going to the gym) helps you to clear your mind, build emotional resilience, and get your creative juices flowing.

Then I’ll journal out my thoughts and action steps for the day in a Moleskine journal, and then it’s time for breakfast.

Why It’s Good For Your Sex Life

Intermittent fasting has been proven to show spikes in luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone levels. In other words, it boosts your sex drive substantially, even if you only do it once or twice per week.

Morning: High-Fat Nutrient-Dense Smoothie, Free-Range Eggs, And Supplements

The lineup of bottles that I have accumulated over the past few years has started to make a section of my fridge look like a miniature pharmacy, but each supplement plays a necessary role in the nutrient profile of my breakfast smoothie.

In my smoothie I will include:

  • 1-2 small servings of fruit (most frequently: banana, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries)
  • 4-5 servings of vegetables (spinach, steamed kale, cucumber, cilantro, parsley, spirulina, chlorella, organic greens powder)
  • A generous serving of healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, cashew butter, almond butter, MCT oil, hemp hearts, cacao nibs, black chia seeds)
  • High-quality protein (Bulletproof collagen protein, Garden Of Life vegan protein)

Depending on how many calories I’m going for on that particular day I will scale up or down certain ingredients (mainly the fruits and the fats) and go from there.

There are also a handful of supplements that I consume most days for good measure.

  • Organic cinnamon
  • Liposomal curcumin (turmeric)
  • Liposomal vitamin C
  • A high-quality B vitamin complex
  • Mushroom extract powder (for the immune system)
  • Magnesium bisglycinate (anti-cramping, improved mood)
  • Probiotics (for healthy digestion/gut health)
  • Pine pollen and maca root powder (for a libido boost)
  • Flax seed oil
  • Omega 3 oil + DHA (for brain health, cognitive function, and improved mood)

If it’s a high-calorie day (I have a big workout coming up later that morning, or I’m making up for under eating over the previous handful of days) then I will also eat an egg scramble with brightly colored vegetables (orange and red peppers, tomato, purple onion, purple cabbage) and some naturally fermented foods (like sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, kefir) for gut health.

And that will usually keep me full until at least 1 PM.

Why It’s Good For Your Sex Life

Brightly colored vegetables, dark berries, curcumin, whole free-range eggs, and many other ingredients listed in this section are amazing precursors to testosterone production. And the pine pollen, maca powder, and organic, healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil) kick your libido into overdrive.

Lunch: Batch Produced Organic Stir-Fry or Chili

I’m fairly lazy when it comes to spending too much time cooking on a daily basis (hence the nature of my breakfasts and dinners), so I like batch producing my lunches for the week on one day over the weekend (usually Sundays).

Whether it’s a stew, chili, stir-fry, or any other name for the same thing, I essentially make a huge batch of cooked veggies with some lean protein mixed in, and coconut oil or olive oil for the added fats, and then refrigerate and/or freeze the leftovers and eat them throughout the week. For this, it helps to have a set of quality glassware that you can freeze your portions for later consumption.

Why It’s Good For Your Sex Life

The human body requires healthy fats to produce most hormones, including testosterone. Coconut oil helps with your ability to produce cholesterol, which is necessary for optimal health, reduce your body fat and maintain your body weight. As a side note, overall weight control is also another natural way of improving testosterone production.

It’s also good to have warm foods (not just cold smoothies and salads) in your stomach because, according to ancient Chinese traditions around food, pre-heated foods help to keep the ‘fire’ in your stomach burning consistently (instead of dampening your digestive fires with only cold foods).

Snack: Nuts, Dark Berries, 80+ Percent Dark Chocolate

I’m not a huge snacker (I generally just drink a lot of water throughout the day to keep myself full between meals), but when I do snack, I tend to go for nuts, dark berries, and dark chocolate.

Having a large jar of organic cashew butter, almond butter, or coconut oil on hand is always helpful to curb your cravings. Grab a spoon full of your favorite fat and slurp it down. Same goes for blackberries, blueberries, and dark chocolate (make sure it’s at least 80 percent cacao).

These clever little snacks contain healthy fats, a whole host of antioxidants, and magnesium, manganese, iron, and zinc to get you through your afternoon.

Why It’s Good For Your Sex Life

Dark chocolate contains L-arginine, an amino acid that’s an effective natural sex enhancing compound for women and men. L-arginine works by increasing nitric oxide in your body and thereby promoting blood flow to your sexual organs, which can increase sexual desire.

Dinner: A Huge, Colorful Salad With Fish Or Chicken

That’s right – more veggies. I aim to consume 10-20 servings of vegetables per day, and I try to have a few in every meal. My dinner is generally just a huge pile of veggies (either a massive salad or a big cooked up veggie scramble in coconut oil and/or grass-fed ghee butter).

On a bed of spinach and mixed greens, I will add red/orange pepper, tomato, avocado, cucumber, and a handful of dark berries. Then, for added protein, either smoked salmon, sardines, or some other type of fish or chicken.

To finish it off, I’ll add nori (seaweed) flakes, pink Himalayan salt, bacon-flavored coconut flakes, and a healthy dose of organic olive oil, a tablespoon or balsamic vinegar reduction, and the juice of a full lemon.

Why It’s Good For Your Sex Life

I’ve already touched on the health benefits of eating large doses of brightly colored vegetables and dark berries, so for this section, I’ll focus on the olive oil and fish.

The omega 3 fatty acids in fish are good for cognitive functioning, stabilized mood, and muscle reparation, and research shows that those who consume olive oil regularly show a 17-19 percent boost in testosterone in a matter of weeks.

Once my belly is full of nutrient dense veggies I call it quits for food for the day. I avoid eating anything after 7 PM, but if I’m out really late and come home and want something to snack on before I pass out for the night, I’ll usually have a tablespoon of almond butter or coconut oil.

Then I shower, journal, read, and wind down for the night.

So that’s it – a ton of vegetables, a bit of fruit, a large helping of healthy fats, some lean proteins, and a lot of water. Nutrient dense, easy to prepare, and (most importantly) highly optimized for overall life energy.

…….

Sex and relationship coach Jordan Gray helps people remove their emotional blocks and maintain thriving intimate relationships. You can see more of his writing at JordanGrayConsulting.com.

More from our friends at YourTango:

7 Easy Tips For Therapeutic Relief For a Bloated Belly

7 Easy Tips For Therapeutic Relief For a Bloated Belly

The following post was originally published on Clean Living Guide.

When we’re feeling gassy or bloated, it can seem like we’re the only ones with this embarrassing problem. But the reality is that many people regularly experience gastro-intestinal discomfort. In fact, surveys suggest that close to 75 percent of people suffer from discomfort caused by bloating and gas.

Having lived with gluten intolerance for most of my life, I’m no stranger to these symptoms. And I’m going to arm you with some great tips to help relieve your sluggish digestion, but depending on what other symptoms may accompany bloating, it may be necessary to see a doctor and push forward with some investigative work. In particular if you’re experiencing persistent diarrhea or constipation. You don’t want to let those symptoms go unchecked.

The imbalanced modern diet – heavy on sugars and processed carbs – has contributed to a near epidemic of gut dysbiosis. This broad term for microbial imbalance, is commonly diagnosed as a candida overgrowth or a parasite like fungus called Blastocystis. And unfortunately people who have untreated gluten intolerance, Celiac or IBS are especially susceptible to this type of fungal overgrowth. If you suspect that this might be the reason behind your gassy constitution, you’ll want to see a capable doctor with a functional medicine or naturopathic practice.

If you suspect that gluten intolerance might be at play, but aren’t quite sure if your symptoms fit the bill, read “Misdiagnosis Maze: Symptoms & Causes of Gluten Intolerance.” The symptoms may not be what you think.

Simple Lifestyle Changes to Lighten Your Load

1. Morning Hydration

Start each day with 16-20 oz of water, with the juice of an entire freshly squeezed lemon. Take the tonic as soon as you wake up and at least 30 minutes before eating breakfast.

This effortless habit will dramatically improve your digestion and ability to get things moving in your gut. Think of this toning solution as a combination cleaning and hydration system for your intestines and colon. Gas often builds up when hard matter has become lodged in the intestines. By thoroughly hydrating the entire digestive tract with a gently acidic solution, you will eventually soften and gently break down stool that has gotten stuck, allowing it, along with gas, to pass.

This practice takes time to take effect, so don’t be disappointed if on day one you’re not seeing results. Give it a solid week before expecting to see stuff moving, and month to experience a dramatic shift.

If you’re consistent with it you can expect much improved elimination! This is exciting stuff, because with the stool you will be eliminating all manner of toxins and the cause of much of your bloating.

2. Fresh Ginger Root Decoction

Using about an inch (or tablespoon) of chopped ginger root per cup of water, bring the water to a boil and simmer covered for 20-25 minutes. Sip while hot, any time of day or with meals.

This powerful tea will aid in digestion and calm inflammation in the digestive tract. The pungent taste is an indicator of its purifying post-digestive effects. This makes ginger tea great to sip on when having a meal. Although you might like it as much as I do, and want to drink it all day long.

I drink fresh ginger root tea year round, much of the day. Not to settle my stomach, but because it’s what my body craves. Unlike any other beverage, ginger root tea gives me the sensation of deep hydration. I simply can’t get enough of it. You can take it with honey, but I prefer it plain and with the addition of turmeric – another anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial herb.

To save time, make big batch of decocted ginger tea and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Be sure to warm it up before drinking. Cold drinks promote stagnant digestion.

3. Abdominal Massage

Using your hands, massage your abdomen in a slow, circular motion for 2-3 minutes or about 4-5 times around.

  • Lay down flat on your back.
  • Start on the right side of your abdomen.
  • Continue up below your rib cage, down the left side and back around again.
  • Make small circular motions with your fingers, pressing them firmly as you go along.

Variations of this massage technique have been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Abdominal massage has many toning and energetic benefits, but what you’ll notice immediately is that it has the power to physically move gas through the intestines and can give you great in-the-moment relief.

Be mindful not to do this right after a big meal! Preferably, wait at least two hours after eating a substantial meal.

Practicing this self-massage technique consistently for a week or so, will improve blood flow to the abdomen, bringing with it all the benefits of improved circulation, and the potential to help with symptoms of constipation. As a result of both of these factors, it may aid in the detoxification of the intestines.

If you have any of the following conditions, avoid this technique or check with a doctor before performing this self-massage: if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, a hernia, intestinal or stomach ulcers; bleeding in the stomach, brains, or lungs; have inflammation of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or bladder; have stones of the bladder, kidneys, or gallbladder.

Here’s a fantastic video that’ll show you exactly how to do this, and give you a little more information on the incredible benefits:

4. Colon Hydrotherapy

Splurge on a series of three colonics, 4-5 days apart.

I was a sceptic for many years, because of conflicting information on the benefits and potential cons of colonics. But after performing a series of three colonics recently I can vouch for the incredible effects of this gentle therapy. Reducing the load of old, stagnant matter can really help reduce bloating and gas.

This could be especially useful if you’re experiencing mild constipation. The kind of constipation that doesn’t really constitute a doctor visit, but leaves you feeling a little clogged up because you’re bowels are just not moving enough. The key is to do a minimum of three treatments. Be sure to find a reputable spa that uses a three stage water filtration system.

If you can’t afford a series of colonics, try self-administered enemas at home. Be sure to get a non-toxic enema kit. Many kits on Amazon have bad reviews. You might consider just walking into a pharmacy and buying one in person. Check that the bag is made of silicone or a stainless steel canister, and that the tube does not smell of petrochemicals. The tubes are seem to be the most problematic component.

5. Yoga For Digestion

Do a 10-minute session of seated yoga twist poses followed by Breath of Fire exercise. Try Bharadvja’s Twist or Ardha Matsyendrasana.

Although twists are commonly associated as tonic postures for abdominal organs in addition to the spine, this advice is coming from my own personal experience. I’ve been doing yoga for 15 years now, and although I’m not a teacher, these are asanas that I’ve found to be noticeably helpful in relieving abdominal discomfort.

You can practice twists every morning, before an afternoon/evening meal, or just once in a while to treat in-the-moment discomfort, but take causation not to practice Breath of Fire close to bedtime.

Watch this video for correct Breath of Fire instruction. Even if you’ve practiced this breathing technique in a yoga class, chances are that you did not receive the full teaching.

6. Avoiding Processed Foods and Table Salt

Avoiding processed and preserved foods may seem like a no brainer, but the main point here is to avoid chemically processed table salt. Industrially processed foods are loaded with sodium chloride. The denatured salt used to preserve and enhance canned or pre-made meals bares no resemblance to the chemical structure of the naturally processed Celtic or Himalayan sea salts that I recommend in my recipes.

Table salt is a denatured chemical. Once it enters our bodies sodium chloride binds with water and other minerals, demineralizing and dehydrating the body. This poison cannot be metabolized by the body and as our bodies try to brake this foreign substance down, the process dramatically slows our digestion.

What’s worse, table salt has been proven to cause bloating and water retention, which results in looking and feeingl fat!

7. Avoid Being Sedentary
Use a standing desk and move your body as frequently as possible. Take short walks, get up and do a few jumping jacks. Do whatever you can to give your body a brake from sitting.

Sitting causes bloating. While sitting your organs and digestive tract become compressed. The whole of your midline becomes sluggish and, again – your digestion slows. If you focus on it, you can actually feel it happening!

According to Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease:9, sitting after eating causes:

“Sluggish digestion, in turn, can lead to cramping, bloating, heartburn, and constipation, as well as dysbiosis in your gastrointestinal tract, a condition caused by microbial imbalances in your body.”

If you have the option to switch to a standing desk, you can get a high end model at Focal Upright or find more affordable options on Amazon or at Ikea, but be sure to get the Focal Upright Locus Stool to accompany whatever desk you choose.

After herniating a disc I was determined to find the right computer set up. I stalked office furniture showrooms and tried EVERY model available before investing in my Locus Seat – including less expensive models from Focal Upright. None of the sit/stand stool options were anywhere close to as comfortable.

The padded standing base is essential for keeping my knees happy. For the intermittent moments that I use the seat, it could not be more comfortable. I find that when I do use the stool to give me knees even more of a brake, I tend to wiggle around on the stool, shifting my hips from side to side, or forward and back, which keeps my core and body actively engaged. I can’t recommend it enough. If you spend close to 8 hours at a desk, you owe it to yourself to upgrade.

If You Only Have 90 Minutes to Meal Prep, Focus on These 4 Things

If You Only Have 90 Minutes to Meal Prep, Focus on These 4 Things

Planning out meals, food shopping, and meal prepping can easily take up your entire day. If you’re short on time and still want to get a head start on healthy eating for the week ahead, do these four things – they’ll only take an hour and a half!
Relat…

The Week in Celebrity Instagrams: Selena Gomez Shows Off Naked

The Week in Celebrity Instagrams: Selena Gomez Shows Off Naked

Everyone really went for it this week.