Posted by in podcast, wellness

Podcast 242: 5 Stress-Busting Strategies for Busy People.

9781118766026_200by Sean Croxton

Sometimes I disappear.

A month (or more) may pass between blog posts. The radio show will go silent. The weekly newsletters stop arriving in your inbox.

Some may misconstrue my disappearing acts for indolence or even a lack of passion for what I do. However, the truth is that my twice-a-year extended bouts of online inactivity substantiate my mission, not undermine it.

I mean, I’m not one to air anyone’s dirty laundry but consider how many health authorities “talk” about stress management while evidently not following their own advice — promoting “self care” but not taking really care of themselves.

I prefer to walk the talk. And if that means losing a few thousand subscribers or making half the money some people think I can make, I’m good with it. I love my job, but I love me more.

And sometimes I need a break.

Working primarily as a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition practitioner for 4 years, I learned some of life’s best lessons from my clients. One of which was that systemic dysfunction (hormonal, digestive, immune, etc.) and poor stress management were usually attached at the hip.

Most of my clients couldn’t find enough time in their busy schedules to sit down for lunch, let alone take a relaxing vacation, spend time with friends and family, or just veg out for a weekend and do nothing. They were always “on”, allowing business to supersede pleasure and taking care of others before attending to themselves.

At some point I decided that I had seen enough firsthand evidence to prove that my round-the-clock work ethic would eventually turn out to be my downfall. If something didn’t change, my health and relationships would pay the price. I’d become my clients.

While my work ethic will never leave me, I’ve learned that attempting to defy the natural oscillations of life will always end in a losing effort. I need to rest as hard as I work. There really is no getting around it.

So that’s why, after three months of working on a project and then the grueling, sleepless, putting-out-fires-on-the-hour-for-two-weeks-straight launch period, I have no problem taking a month off to mellow out, spend time with friends, and, of course, lie in bed in my Superman pajamas catching up on the last four seasons of the show everyone’s been talking about.

FYI: Online launches are like cigarettes, they’ll take years off your life if you let them…

I know, not everyone has the option of taking a monthlong leave from the workplace. I get that. But the point that I really want to make here is that lurking at the foundation of each of my stress management strategies was a “story” that had to be changed in order to create the space in my life (and mind) for self care to settle in.

Here are 5 of those stories and the stress-busting strategies that followed:


#1. I Have to Return That Email RIGHT NOW.

When you send someone an email, do you sit there on edge, staring at your monitor, waiting for a response?

Of course not! I sure as hell don’t. That would be weird.

But for several stressed-filled years, I was under the impression that as soon as an email hit my inbox, it had to be returned immediately. And if it wasn’t, the person on the other end would be bummed out and “disappointed” in me. This story had me literally chained to my inbox.

Here’s the truth. If it’s urgent, they’ll say it is. And if it’s REALLY urgent, they’ll friggin’ call you.

When you return an email immediately, it’s like an open invitation for the sender to hit you up whenever a random question pops up (usually something they could have Googled themselves). Before you know it, one “quick question” turns into a 20-email thread that typically ends uncomfortably. Just thinking about it stresses me out.

Due to changing my story around email I’ve become MUCH less neurotic about it. Each morning, I scan my inbox for any pressing matters that need to be taken care of. The ones that my assistant can handle get dragged over to her account. Then I save the rest for Friday’s designated email time.

This one has been a life changer for me.


#2. If I Take a Break I’ll Lose Fans and Followers.

The story I was clinging to here was similar to my email story above. I felt like my podcast listeners, blog readers, and video viewers would lose interest in what I had to say if they didn’t hear from me for a few weeks.

Let’s think about this for a minute…

My favorite TV show is Scandal. If you’re a fellow Scandal addict, you know very well that it’s on a two-month, mid-season hiatus. Despite the fact that I’ve had to get a little more creative about what I do with my Thursday nights, I haven’t gone so far as ousting Olivia Pope from my DVR settings.

I know the show comes back next month (February 27th, to be exact) and that my ass will be glued to my couch at 10pm so I can find out what happens next in the Mama Pope saga.

Hey, actors, producers, and writers need time off too. If they didn’t take breaks, the show would kinda suck.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

When you take time to recharge your batteries, you come back with a renewed focus and enthusiasm. Believe me, you don’t want me hosting the podcast year-round. You’d hate it. And so would I.

I will admit that there is some truth to this story, however. When I send out my first email newsletter after taking a month off, I get a mass exodus (like 1000 people) from my list.

Here’s how I handle this one: “If you unsubscribe, you’re not part of my tribe.”

It’s really that simple. The ones who matter will be there when I get back.


#3. I Need to Do Everything Myself!

In college I was the guy who would offer to do the entire group project myself so none of the other binge drinkers could screw up my grade.

In business it doesn’t work that way…

For the last year or so, I’ve been doing phone coaching with aspiring online entrepreneurs. One thing I’m always drilling into their heads is the fact that there is not enough time in the world to learn how to do graphic design, website coding, effective copy writing, and everything else that goes into an online biz.

When you try to do everything, you never finish anything.

I remember the days of standing in the Computer Technology aisle at Borders wondering which 600-page book on CSS or HTML I should buy.

Oh, hell no. Farm that sh*t out!

You’d be surprised how easy it is to find affordable help. There are literally thousands of fully capable people online on Elance, Odesk, and Craigslist, offering their services — things that you simply don’t have time for or just don’t care to do. There’s even a site called Fiverr where people will do almost anything (within reason) for 5 bucks! Use it.

Letting go of my “do it all myself” story opened up the brain space for creativity where stress once resided. I love my team. Without them, I don’t know where I’d be.


#4. I Need to Say YES.

If I said yes to every invitation to appear on a podcast, present at an online summit, or give a talk on the other side of the country, I wouldn’t have the bandwidth to focus on those things I love to do most, like reading and preparing for radio shows.

I only say yes if it feels right and is a win-win for both sides. If not, I’ll pass. With a thank you, of course.


#5. I Need to Create Tons of Content.

There was once a time (not that long ago) when I thought my subscribers would love it if I created something new for them everyday — a podcast, video, email, or blog post.

The truth is that no one has three hours a week to read, watch, and listen to me. Besides, meeting that kind of self-imposed expectation is pretty much impossible.

Late last year, I felt a huge relief when I decided that two pieces of weekly content was enough — a new podcast on Tuesday and a video (maybe) on Friday. If I can squeeze in more, that’s just icing on the cake. If not, I’m more than happy with my weekly minimum.

Speaking of new content…

Last night on the podcast, my friend Heidi Hanna, author of Stressaholic: 5 Steps to Transform Your Relationship with Stress, and I chatted about even more strategies for nipping stress in the bud, including…

* Setting boundaries
* Establishing expectations
* Having the right attitude
* Allocating adequate time for creating new habits

Click the player below to listen to this episode.

New Health Internet Radio with Sean Croxton on BlogTalkRadio

See you next week!

Sean
Author, The Dark Side of Fat Loss
Dark Side of Fat Loss


Posted by in wellness

Gorillas, The Bible, and Women. [VIDEO]

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 9.32.10 AMby Sean Croxton

It’s weird, the guy really does look like a caveman…

It’s kinda like I’m living in that old movie, Encino Man. You know, the one about the two high school students who stumble upon a frozen paleolithic man while digging a pool in their backyard. They thaw him out, give him a cool haircut and a clean shave, and take him to school where he gets all the girls.

But in this case, the caveman sleeping on my couch this week speaks in complete sentences, wrote one of my favorite books of last year, and even has a degree from Harvard.

Evolution…

Last night, John Durant and I sat down for a short interview about a couple of my favorite sections of his Paleo Manifesto as well as his upcoming free online event, Paleo Con.

Topics included…

* What animals in captivity can teach us about our health.

* What The Bible says about diet and disease.

* What he learned about women while recording Paleo Con sessions.

Click THE VIDEO below to check it out!

And don’t forget to register for Paleo Con. There’s something for everyone. Here’s a handful of the speakers and topics:

Mark Sisson: The New Low Carb Paradigm: The Future of Endurance Training

Christian Page: Whole Lamb Roast [Cooking Demo]

Chris Kresser: The Top 3 Mainstream and Paleo Nutrition Myths Debunked

Maneesh Sethi: How to Break Bad Habits and Create Good Ones

Abel James: Intermittent Fasting and Feasting for Fat Loss

Michelle Tam: Nom Nom Paleo’s Essential Kitchen Tools, Cooking Tips, And Ingredients

Katie the Wellness Mama: Real Life Tips For Helping Your Family Go Paleo

Dr. Chris Masterjohn: The Truth about Eating Animals

Click HERE to register to attend Paleo Con and to get your FREE Paleo for Beginner’s Guide plus some other cool stuff.

Happy Friday!

Sean
Author, The Dark Side of Fat Loss
Dark Side of Fat Loss


Posted by in podcast, wellness

Podcast 241: Food Industry Secrets with The Food Babe!

vani-hari-food-babeby Sean Croxton

Check this one out…

In the UK, food products containing petroleum-derived dyes require warning labels due to research linking certain shades of yellow to odd behaviors like children bouncing off of walls and running with scissors.

So to avoid having to slap a “you’re a bad parent if you buy me” sticker on one of their best selling products, Kraft Foods went out of its way to cook up a special dye-free version of their Mac & Cheese for their UK customers.

But here’s where it gets weird. Despite being fully aware of the hyperactivity problems linked to the chemical additives lurking inside of their Spongebob-by boxes of neon macaroni evidently marketed to children, Kraft kept peddling them here in the States.

Sounds pretty darn yellow, if you ask me.

From what I hear, put side-by-side in a lineup the reformulated UK version and the crack-for-kids American model are pretty much like twins, virtually identical in appearance and taste.

When a couple of my favorite real foodie bloggers, Vani Hari and Lisa Leake, took action and gathered over 250,0000 signatures from concerned customers demanding that Kraft remove all artificial dyes from their mac and cheese products, the company crossed their arms and refused to budge. Evidently we Americans can handle our yellow dye #5 better than our friends across the pond.

Yet Kraft’s refusal to listen its own customers was met head-on by an internet-orchestrated boycott of their products.

If the company didn’t want to change the color of their cheese, the next step was to start messing with their cheddar (that’s slang for money). In the end, money talks.

Late last year, Kraft, feeling the pressure of a decline in macaroni market share, announced a revamping of their Mac & Cheese line, replacing chemical food dyes with spices like paprika, annatto, and turmeric to give it that same yellow-orange color and same processed cheesy taste.

And that’s the irony of it all — a viral internet campaign, 250K petition signatures, national media coverage, and a consumer boycott. That’s what it takes to get a multibillion dollar food company to make a safer product that appears and tastes no different than its predecessor. The same product that the same company sells to the same Spongebob-viewing demographic overseas.

Last night, the woman (err, babe…) who spearheaded the Healthy Mac & Cheese movement, Vani Hari, stopped by the podcast to discuss not only her experience with the Kraft campaign but the changes she and her Food Babe Army have inspired change on the Chik-Fil-A menu and more.

Here are my notes…

4:05 – Chocolate chip cookies that will keep you alive forever.

7:45 – What happens when you eat nothing but donuts, muffins, and coffee for four months.

9:38 – What motivated Vani to make health her number one priority.

14:40 – Awakening to the hidden dangers in processed food ingredients and GMOs.

17:35 – The Kraft Investigation: good versions there, bad versions here…

21:27 – The Chicago Taste Test: “They taste the same!”

23:50 – “…it’s really about shifting people’s dollars in the marketplace.”

27:40 – Just how many ingredients (and butane) are in a Chik-Fil-A chicken sandwich?

31:43 – Meeting with Chik-Fil-A…and creating change!

34:40 – How to make natural food dyes.

35:10 – What’s really in the Honestly Good 100% Natural Lean Cuisines.

37:45 – Vani grades President Obama’s impact on the food supply.

41:40 – New Castle beer or New Cancer beer?

45:34 – The best organic, non-toxic, pesticide-free wines.

47:40 – The problem with GMO yeasts in California wines.

53:08 – Vani’s take on nutritional yeast.

58:34 – How YOU can support Vani’s movement!

Click the player below to listen to this CLASSIC episode.

Find Additional Health Podcasts with Sean Croxton on BlogTalkRadio

Cool Stuff Mentioned on this Episode…

The Food Babe’s Forever Cookies
The Inside Story On My Visit to Kraft Headquarters
The Kraft Petition
Chick-Fil-A or Chemical-Fil-A
Appetite for Profit Podcast with Michele Simon
My Blog Post: Lessons for the No on Prop 37 Vote
The Food Babe Eating Guides

See you next week!

Sean
Author, The Dark Side of Fat Loss
Dark Side of Fat Loss


Posted by in podcast, wellness

Podcast 240: The Louder the Blogger, the Wronger the Blogger.

DBFP_3D_smallby Sean Croxton

I had no idea what I was talking about.

It was the first video I’d ever made on YouTube, way back in 2007 — all about the mathematic model of fat loss. Burn more calories than you take in and you’ll lose fat. Take in more calories than you burn and you’ll pack on the pounds.

I even brought props. To drive home my point, I held up a rubbery, yellowish model of a pound of fat. Then for comparison, I held up a pound of muscle. If my memory serves me, I went on to explain how adding a pound of muscle will help you burn an extra 50 calories per day.

Be sure to hit the weights, oh YouTube people. Those calories really do add up!

I clicked the “upload” button and a few hours later returned to my account to find hundreds of comments and “thumbs up” from people around the world who seemed to enjoy the way I explained things.

That was the day that my life completely changed. As a rather shy, socially-anxious personal trainer at the time, I was instantly hooked on my newfound ability to connect with people all the way on the other side of the globe through video.

At the same time, I had no idea that the information I was so righteously espousing to my subscribers was totally and completely wrong.

The mathematical model of fat loss was a myth. And there was absolutely no scientific evidence proving that a pound of muscle burns 50 calories a day. None.

I wasn’t teaching, I was repeating — literally parroting what some “authority” (most likely one of my college professors) had so confidently parroted to me.

And on it went, like a bad game of telephone. My early YouTube videos were shared and embedded all about cyberspace. What’s more, very seldom was the content ever challenged, as if the confidence and conviction I spoke with was tantamount to trust and credibility. It’s not.

Don’t believe everything you hear and read, especially when it’s coming from some guy wearing a backwards Yankees cap, talking into a janky microphone connected to the world’s most garbage webcam.

Be selective and think for yourself. I mean, it’s your health at stake here. Just because the ear-splitting vegan guy wants you to eat 30 bananas a day doesn’t mean you should do it. The same goes for the paleo blogger, the Weston A. Price girl, the raw foodie, even the JERF guy.

In her ridiculously awesome book Death by Food Pyramid, Denise Minger writes…

“Anyone who’s certain they’re right about everything in nutrition is almost definitely wrong.”

Word.

Last week on Underground Wellness Radio, Denise revealed what she found when she combed through the scientific research looking for evidence supporting public food policy. Her conclusions will make you think twice before putting “authorities” in charge of your health.

Listen up, she knows what she’s talking about.

Here are my notes!

3:03 – From raw food vegan to real food nerd.

6:15 – Does industry influence food policy?

8:30 – How the government mangled the original food guide.

13:25 – The power of repetition: why so few question food and health guidelines.

15:30 – The people who are speaking the loudest are usually wrong.

19:54 – How to determine whether a potential authority is quality or “quack”.

22:52 – Diploma mills: how a dead cat can get a health certification!

26:28 – How to translate “science-ese”.

30:35 – How an old elephant proverb applies to nutrition research.

35:33 – What no one ever tells you about the Mediterranean diet.

38:28 – What a “high-fat” lab rat diet really consists of!

40:21 – Why nutritional outcomes vary due to individuality and genetics.

46:50 – Is there one perfect diet for everything?

48:40 – “We’re doing meat wrong.”

52:31 – The Denise Minger Dietary Guidelines. (In a nutshell…)

Listen to the entire episode below and be sure to go out and buy Death by Food Pyramid.

More Health Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Sean Croxton on BlogTalkRadio

Adios,

Sean
Author, The Dark Side of Fat Loss
Dark Side of Fat Loss


Posted by in podcast, wellness

Podcast 239: Just Let Me Eat My Beans and Rice in Peace…

Your-Personal-Paleo-Codeby Sean Croxton

I’m not giving up my sushi.

Hell to the no…

And if I post a pic of my spicy tuna hand roll on my Instagram feed, you better not leave a comment about how it’s “not paleo”.

While I totally respect your lionhearted diehard-ed-ness for being one of the few and the proud who can stick to a diet that snubs all grains, legumes, and dairy products, I also know that a strict paleo diet is not for me.

Yes, I’m a sinner. I tried to remain steadfast to my caveman commitment but couldn’t keep my eye from wandering.

Let’s face it, raw fish without white rice is like Facebook with no friends. A glass of raw milk makes me feel like I’m glowing. And I’m half-Mexican, so kicking beans to the curb would have my ancestors rolling over in their graves.

“Lo siento, abuela! No puedo comer arroz y frijoles. Yo soy paleo!”

That’s not happening.

But don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m munching on rice cakes and bean pies every day. I’m still a faithful real foodie. I just like to flirt.

As it turns out, I’m not the only one who finds a strict paleo diet personally unsustainable and cumbersome. According to Chris Kresser, in his badass new book Your Personal Paleo Code

“We don’t live in the Paleolithic era anymore. We’re not cavemen, so why should we follow a strict caveman diet? Why should we cut out foods we love and might thrive on simply because our ancestors didn’t eat them? We’ve evolved, and we need a plan that’s evolved to meet our individual needs and preferences. Why not combine the best of ancient wisdom and the best of modern nutrition?”

Finally, someone who understands me.

This week, I had the privilege of picking Chris’s big brain on Underground Wellness Radio. Click the player at the bottom of this post to listen to the entire show.

Here are my notes…

3:35 – How to stay healthy while on a nationwide book tour.

4:48 – Are grains, dairy, and legumes completely off limits?

7:23 – Is a strict paleo diet a sustainable diet?

8:51 – There was never any single paleo diet.

10:50 – “Within the paleo template there’s lots of room for customization.”

11:10 – Soluble vs. insoluble fiber vs. resistant starch.

18:08 – Why an hour of exercise does NOT balance out a full day of sitting.

22:45 – A nifty gadget that will put some pep in “steps”. (Plus, a little trash talk…)

24:29 – “If you’re not doing some form of regular stress management, you will sabotage all of your best efforts with diet, exercise, and supplements.”

25:10 – A radical step that saved Chris’s life after years of illness and frustration.

28:49 – The power of volunteering, contribution, and having a sense of purpose in life.

30:53 – Caller Q: I’ve lost 100 pounds but my thyroid numbers aren’t changing!

33:41 – Caller Q: Isn’t a high animal protein diet dangerous?

37:47 – Bonus goodie you get when you order Your Personal Paleo Code.

Click the PLAY button below to listen in.

Find Additional Health Podcasts with Sean Croxton on BlogTalkRadio

Adios,

Sean
Author, The Dark Side of Fat Loss
Dark Side of Fat Loss


Posted by in podcast, wellness

Podcast 238: Seriously, Stop Counting Calories.

CalorieMyth-HC-w-flap-11-24-2013-40kby Sean Croxton

It doesn’t work.

Never has worked. Never will work.

Okay, maybe it’ll work for a little bit — maybe a few weeks or months. But the weight always comes back.

And then some.

No matter how many times we white-knuckle our way through yet another doomed fat loss program, the strategy seldom changes…

Eat less. Exercise more.

But what if I told you that this strategy is the cause of your weight gain, not the cure?

The truth is that the trainers and gurus who convinced you that fat loss was a math problem probably skipped science class. Because what the science is saying something completely different…

It says that when you take in less calories, you burn less calories.

It says that when you exercise more, you want to eat more food.

It says that 70-percent of the “weight” you lost wasn’t even fat tissue.

It says that the less you eat, the higher your Body Mass Index (BMI).

It says that we’ve been doing it all wrong.

This week on Underground Wellness Radio, our friend Jonathan Bailor stopped by to translate the current fat loss research in a way that we can all understand — something that he did brilliantly in his new book The Calorie Myth.

Click the player at the bottom of this post to listen to the entire interview. Here are my notes!

6:10 – The Myth of Calorie Math: Why 100% of us should be morbidly obese.

9:26 – “The average American male should be gaining 104 pounds of fat per year…”

10:31 – When you take in less calories, your body burns less calories.

13:15 – “You cannot fix a broken system by starving it!”

13:40 – Are you really losing fat, or are you dropping muscle and ruining your health?

19:00 – How to eat 56000 extra calories and gain no weight!

21:25 – Why the weight always comes back with a vengeance.

23:24 – “Studies show that simply eating less fails 95.4% of the time long term.”

24:20 – Is it really as easy as just eating real food (JERFing)?

26:40 – Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full.

27:15 – How to Stay SANE: The four factors of fat-burning foods.

35:47 – Will eating this way give me a heart attack or increase my cholesterol?

42:51 – Do those metabolism calculators really work?

52:45 – How to burn fat by exercising for only 20 minutes per week.

Click the PLAY button below to listen to the entire show.

Listen to internet radio with Underground Wellness on Blog Talk Radio

Underground Awesomeness Mentioned in This Episode

Cholesterol Clarity podcast with Jimmy Moore
Why We Get Fat podcast with Gary Taubes
The Smarter Science of Slim podcast with Jonathan Bailor
Preview of Jonathan’s Real Food Con presentation

Don’t miss next Monday’s show with Chris Kresser, author of Your Personal Paleo Code. Here’s THE LINK!

Adios,

Sean
Author, The Dark Side of Fat Loss
Dark Side of Fat Loss


Posted by in podcast

Podcast 235: Why It’s Hard to Lose Fat in the Winter!

alex-jamiesonby Sean Croxton

BREAKING NEWS: I’ve decided to stop eating meat and to embrace a plant-based diet.

Actually, that’s not really true. I just wanted to know how it felt to write that.

You see, after 12 years of being vegan — even writing 3 books advocating the virtues of going meatless as well as establishing a significant online following — Alexandra (Alex) Jamieson, did what few plant-based bloggers have the courage to do…

She announced that she was no longer vegan.

Ballsy.

If Alex’s name doesn’t ring a bell, you probably remember her from the Oscar nominated documentary Super Size Me — she was Morgan Spurlock’s worried-sick girlfriend, as she watched his weight balloon and his health decline from a 30-day McDonald’s diet. You may also recall that she helped him recover his health and shed the fast food pounds with a plant-based diet.

On this week’s episode of Underground Wellness Radio, Alex and I chatted about not only what it was like to make such a big announcement to her vegan followers, but we also covered how you can tweak your diet to align with your body’s seasonal needs.

To listen to the entire show, click the player at the bottom of this post.

Here are my notes:

7:13 – The Church of Cookies and Kool-Aid…

11:33 – The REAL reason McDonald’s got rid of Super-Sized meals

14:57 – Eating Eggs in the Dark: “It felt really good.”

16:02 – Coming Out: The Vegan Confessional Booth

23:17 – 7 cooling foods you should avoid in the winter

23:56 – 3 warming greens that heat up the body

28:54 – Do our organs change with the seasons?

30:42 – How to trick your body to burn fat in the winter

32:20 – Why breaking a sweat will help your skin

34:47 – Seasonal Sleep: Why you should be going the bed earlier this time of year

39:00 – Why self-care is just as important as diet

44:34 – Alex’s Top 5 Health Books

46:44 – Alex’s Winter Cleanse program

48:03 – Stay tuned for the Super Size Me anniversary summit

Links Mentioned in this Episode

* Alex’s Warming Foods for Winter List
* Alex’s Winter Cleanse Program

Click the PLAY button below to listen to the entire episode.

Listen to internet radio with Underground Wellness on Blog Talk Radio

Happy Friday,

Sean