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In part one of “The ‘Pebble’ Series”, we discussed how each piece of stress in our lives can be represented by a pebble in a bucket. As our stress load increases, our bucket fills. With Cascade Choices, a single pebble removed from your bucket, can have an effect equal to having removed ten or twenty.
Amongst the many examples that have emerged in my 20-year career, one in particular stands out as a classic example of the importance of simple shifts in our nutrition.
When I met Jonathan, a highly trained executive personal trainer, I did not realize that his results would influence the rest of my nutrition career.
Jonathan was a Type I Diabetic since he was in his teens – meaning he had to inject insulin every time he ate in order to control his blood sugars. In his teen years, he experienced a enormous stress load, moving to Canada from South Africa.
This intense stress quite literally induced the genetic markers that brought on this ‘lifetime affliction’. To manage the carbohydrates that he was eating, Jonathan was taking an incredible amount of insulin, resulting in the highest level of insulin resistance that I had ever seen.
Not only was Jonathan Insulin Resistant, he was also dehydrated. I knew that something as simple as increasing his hydration by 20-50% would induce huge biochemical changes in his body. So we began with very gentle shifts.
I initially looked at separating Jonathan’s liquid intake from his meals and ensuring he had enough filtered water between meals to accommodate for his busy personal training schedule and activity levels. We added pieces of fruit as snacks between the meals to increase his carbohydrate intake and make sure he was able to avoid blood sugar crashes.
Hydration and adding fruit was not going to be enough though. I knew there was one major Cascade Choice for Jonathan that was going to be even more powerful.
Over our first hour together, we had a long conversation about the stress in his life. I knew that Cortisol, produced during mental or physical stress, was blocking the action of Insulin. Any stressful moments, days, weeks, or even months, could increase insulin requirements.
Jonathan agreed that his life was filled with anxiety. Being a perfectionist, he was constantly worrying for his clients, friends and family. He was making their choices, decisions, actions, and results a part of his mental and emotional life. He was literally absorbing everyone else’s reality into his mind, and as a result, into his body.
Jonathan agreed that it was scientifically logical to use the techniques we have covered in this series, to better manage his stress.
I smile as I type this because as Jonathan came further and further out of stress, his intuitive right brain began to balance his logical left-brain. Even he attested to the fact that this helped him make wiser choices for himself and his clients.
Two weeks later, I was eagerly awaiting Jonathan’s return. He came in simply shaking his head and expressing his surprise at the results. He had reduced his insulin by 20% DESPITE the RAISE in carbohydrates by 30%.
This amounted to an astounding change of 50%! He felt calm and more relaxed and he said the stress felt less pronounced. He could actually get to sleep without having so much on his mind! The rest of the hour was spent figuring out the next three Cascade Choices we could implement and in the following 3 months, he had reduced his insulin requirements by over 90%!**
We all accumulate the metaphorical “pebbles” over a lifetime and each of these acts as a barrier to Insulin’s ability to communicate with your cells and effectively manage blood sugar.
Dozens of books and thousands of articles have been written on the subject of Insulin resistance. They show up as books like “The Zone” (one of my favorites), “Syndrome X”, etc. Scientists, doctors and experts estimate that billions spent in the health industry – both medical and natural remedies – are actually treating the outcomes of Insulin resistance, instead of the causes.
Equal to the negative cascades of higher insulin, are the cascades of positive effects as you take control of the simple shifts that created the conditions you were previously in, that created the lower insulin levels.
You are simply providing the optimal environment for your 70 trillion cells to return to the state they are meant to be in. Every day you replace about 200 billion cells, and every day you have the choice of giving them what they need to replicate perfectly.
The imperfection of their duplication has resulted in the goals you have today, and perhaps why you are reading this article and series. Now you have the choice to implement the next ‘cascade choice’ in your life and take a huge number of pebbles out of your bucket.
1. Getting rid of all the water, pop and coffee he was drinking with meals… and simply moving his hydration to before and between meals. The simple tip was to drink filtered water up to 5 minutes prior to a meal, and starting 1 1/2 hrs after.
For the average man, this works out to be 3 liters each day, and for the average woman it is 2 liters. I will get into exercise hydration techniques that will instantly increase your results in my next part of this pebble series.
2. Adding fruit as snacks between his meals to get rid of any blood sugar crashes (he was overcompensating by eating more at his three meals a day and you may be as well). Have a piece of fruit (apple, pear, bowl of berries, banana, peach, orange, etc.) 3hrs after a major meal, and then have another every 1 1/2 hrs up to 30 minutes prior to a meal or exercise.
So a day could look like this: breakfast at 7am, fruit at 10am and 11:30am, lunch at noon, fruit at 3pm, 4:30 and 6pm, workout at 6:30 to 7:30, post exercise shake at 7:30, and your last meal at 8pm. My personal guidance for the volumes, timing, types and supplementation is definitely available from myself or one of our highly skilled BodyMind Nutritionists worldwide.
3. Focusing on releasing stressful thoughts, emotions and beliefs. Using the techniques from the previous two pebble series articles, you can take a solid hold of your perceptions, beliefs and emotions, and create a brand new life filled with greater ease and peace.
1. Perhaps you will eat more consciously, chew your food carefully, and eat generally less calories and higher density foods like fruit and vegetables.
2. You will most likely find that your taste buds change and you orient your choices towards those that fill your body and mind with rock-solid nutrition. When you get used to thinking the way I do, everything becomes nutrition – relationships, television, etc.
3. You will find the evening negative news to be ‘distasteful’, and your discussions at the evening table with your loved ones will NOT be about negative and emotionally disturbing events of the day. Instead, your newly refreshed mind will orient itself naturally to fun conversations, joking, and laughter.
4. You may even find yourself influencing others by helping them through their rough stuff. You will begin to see the contrast between your fresh, new mind and body, and how you ‘used’ to be with the folks that are around you.
I urge you to become aware of your positive influence on everyone around you, and just imagine what this would look like if a few dozen others in your life were to pick up on these shifts as well. I have seen this transform families, marriages, and even entire communities and companies.
Every one of us has a circle of influence of around 120 people we see on a daily and weekly basis – friends, family, co-workers, grocery store clerks, gym trainers, etc. With your new ‘vibe’, you are going to naturally and effortlessly have a new effect on all these people. Now, imagine if 10 more of your friends did the same thing?
Very quickly we can see how just a few people can have a massive effect on our world!
This is why I never participate in ANY anti-anything – anti-cancer, anti-war, anti-deforestation. As Mother Teresa said, “I will not attend your anti-war rally, but if you have a peace rally I will come.”
I believe in the ‘soft’ method of massive change … the ultimate ‘cascade effect’.
I applaud every choice you make to create a cascade effect in your life!
My Invitation to you! You are invited to join me on a 10-hr online video education odyssey to bring you all the ‘cascade choices’ that would radically transform your life and the lives of those you love and care for. This program is available as my GIFT through our BodyMind Institute “Free Student Pass”, simply click here and login through the front page.
Remember that you have the power in every moment to direct the outcomes of your life. You initiate every action – biologically, physically, emotionally and spiritually – with your thoughts.
I’ll close for now, wishing you the ultimate life, free from all the pebbles in your bucket!
In health and inspiration.
Lars Rain Gustafsson
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The “Pebble” Series Part 4: A 90-Day Renewal
The “Pebble” Series Part 2: pebbles in the calm water
The “Pebble” Series Part 1: Which Pebbles Are in Your Bucket?
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