Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Trials of Constant Transition

I hear all the questions, inquiries and speculation.

"When will you find a career? What is next for you? When will you finally settle? What about graduate school? What about real estate?"

The list of questions one hears is endless. Upon my arrival in Colorado on a cool, sunny November day, the questions continued to surface from the 'settlers' here. However, the pressure felt from the questions has thinned along with the Rocky Mountain air. Knowing one's direction, goals or plans carries much importance in the Western world which is dictated by results, bottom lines and clocks. Personally, I've been rather goal-oriented my whole life and have had direction. It's as if I have come to an opening in the jungle of direction and plans where neither currently exist. The issue isn't lack of goals, direction or plans rather too many of all of the above.

Since the moment I stepped foot in South America, a whole new world of opportunities and contacts has emerged. The crossroads where I now stand shows about 20 different arrows of opportunities to pursue. Is this a problem? I heard something on the news about 4 months ago about how many college graduates are now seeing the fruits of their labor/tuition cost under their parents' roof. The explanation was what else... the economy. It appears times have changed and the young 20 somethings have opportunities, just not the conventional career opportunities. No doubt the job market is the worst we've seen in 20 years yet small businesses and entrepreneurs seem to be primed to flourish. Personally, I know more than five people who are venturing their own business in one industry or another, half of them are making a nice portion of their income online (blogs, affiliate marketing, etc.). Yes, times are changing and college graduates have different visions than those of ten years past of doing more than just joining Corporate America to become a salary slave and eventually carry enough stress and health issues to continue funding the booming pharmaceutical industry. It's just not for me, at least right now.

To Each their own:

The definition of success is highly subjective. Ironically enough, as I write this blog post, I took a lunch break at a local bistro and was given a fortune cookie after paying the bill. I brought the cookie home opened it and ate it here at the computer. My fortune read, "You will be very successful in your career." The career gods have crept their way into fortune cookies. I also believe the definition of career is becoming more subjective as well. My definition of a career is doing what you love while earning some income in doing so. Others may view it as being in a company long term and strictly trading time for money. With the emergence of web 2.0, it seems now more than ever more possible to earn income from different streams. People can become famous for uploading their videos on youtube, quirky twitter posts, blogging and much more. The job market is struggling yet I know several people my age or younger making a legitimate income and support system from this world wide web.

Since this is my blog, I'll use my own personal example of success to test whether 'settling' for a career is better than continuously transitioning. Since I graduated college I have not lived in one place for more than 6 months. Even if I was in the same city, I moved several times continually learning new pockets of each respective place. The most 'settled' I have been was when I worked an outside sales position for a communications company, which also happened to last six months. It was the most income I have ever earned and was a decent salary + commission paycheck every couple weeks. Financially speaking, I was doing pretty well for a 24 year old. However, I was miserable every day that I worked there. My health and lifestyle were being highly compromised so I left for something different which has somewhat spurred my current 'transitioning' lifestyle. Then I look at a time when living in Argentina when financially speaking, I was poor. I was literally living day to day earning pesos teaching English any opportunity I could. Yet, this was one of the most exhilarating times of my life. Every day was a new challenge and I appreciated every little peso in my pocket. Less truly is more in my case, that's just me. Of course I'd love to live in a mansion on a beach and own a private jet or yacht, however I will never achieve that lifestyle through being a corporate sheep climbing the proverbial ladder. My health and lifestyle are too important to me.

Trials of constant transition is about continuous circulation, learning and never settling. I will settle someday but what living abroad and meeting travelers from all corners of the globe have taught me, there is too much on this planet to explore, learn from and give back to than to just 'settle' at such a young age. I feel at peace when I don't know where I'll be in a few months, that is my chill pill; constant transition, circulation and appreciation for what is in our life at that moment. Nothing lasts forever, especially all of us. Any of these days could be a last for any of us, why settle?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Painting a New Picture

The canvass is empty and awaiting new brushstrokes. Nearly a year since my return from Argentina, I look to hit the road again. Something about Colorado has been calling me for quite some time. Many have inquired what is inspiring this move, even myself at times. Is it family, outdoors, friends, seasons? It better be something worthy because I have lived in 'America's finest city' for nearly 6 years minus the year in South America.

Is it possible that this place is just too perfect? As a matter of fact, the one complaint I would have against San Diego is that I live one airplane second away from the airport, almost even have the flight pattern memorized by now. Really? That's it? It is true, San Diego really is America's finest city, behind San Francisco in my opinion. What this city has to offer is a year-round perfect climate, friendly people, great cuisine, beaches, deserts, Hollywood and Mexico all within a 2 hour radius. Not to mention I have met some of the most inspiring people here and have amazing friends to write home about. All of this has comprised a wonderful chapter in my book. Its picture is beautiful and complete for right now. Why not view our life as a book or a painting? My understanding is that I am 25 year old chico who likes to explore, learn and find new challenges. Perhaps, with all the beauty in this current chapter labeled San Diego, I am simply ready to turn a page or see the blank canvas once more.

Since I came to San Diego, all that I have learned is that this world has much to offer and I have to take advantage of all that I can and give back while doing so. A sincere and genuine sense of gratitude has been coming over me recently. It has been wonderful and I wouldn't be surprised if I were end up living in America's finest city again someday, until then many more places are out there to explore and learn from. For now, a new journey awaits and shall be approached with goals, open heart and a smile.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

High Altitude Attitude

Mt. Shavano (middle) silhouette in Colorado summer sunset

Gasping for the thin rocky mountain air with an oncoming lightheaded feeling, I look at my brother and good friend Reed as they too struggle for inhalation. "Why did we choose this route again?" I ask them between gasps. It was our first major hiking break of the day as we were attempting to summit Mt. Princeton (14,197ft.). There are two major trails one can take to find themselves atop this beautiful mountain. The first trail, which many prefer, is up the east side of the mountain and may take longer but is more enjoyable by means of difficulty level. The other prominent trail, which very few actually take, is up the southwest side of the mountain and is literally a straight ascent from the trail head to the summit. We chose the latter. It was an arduous climb and was really testing my level of conditioning since just 48 hours prior I was at my accustomed sea level state. There we sat eating oranges, power bars and sipping H2O concluding that one must either have to be really hardcore or stupid to take this arduous trail to the top. Although we would have liked to consider ourselves hardcore, we all humorously knew that we were just plain stupid. How did we get to this point anyways?A little glimpse of the rugged ascent

Several weeks prior when I knew I would be going to Colorado to celebrate my brother's 30th birthday, I realized that I never really took full advantage of the outdoor lifestyle Colorado had to offer. Oddly, it took me to travel to the south of Chile and trek Torres del Paine to help me realize how much I love hiking and trekking. Eighteen years of my life passed with a hiker's paradise in my backyard, yet sometimes you must leave the comfort of home to realize all that was taken for granted. Colorado's fifty six 14ers (peaks over 14,000 feet) have become a genuine interest of mine in the last year or so. Therefore, I knew when going to help my brother not feel so old at his 30th, a 14er must be put on the agenda.

I flew into Colorado on Wednesday evening from San Diego (sea level) and managed to sleep very little after staying with an old high school friend. Then Thursday was spent catching up with family and proceeding to catch up with more old friends that night at the local bar until the wee hours of the morning. Then came Friday morning, the day we had planned to ascend Mt. Princeton. With little rest and a tummy full of mixed beverages from the night before, the three of us decided to give it a go. We didn't even arrive at the trail head until noon, typically 'hardcore' climbers begin their ascent at the crack of dawn. Instead, we 'stupid' people prefer to begin the much tougher trail at the crack of noon. All three of us will go down in history as the most prepared climbers, our planning was flawless.... right?Last sign of tree life above treeline 12,000 feet

Standing atop the peak above 13,000 feet, overlooking Arkansas River Valley

There we were half way up the mountain, now my lightheaded feeling was in full effect and I suddenly realized altitude wasn't only challenging for breath but also the blood pressure. The amount of exercise I do on a weekly basis had prepared my lungs enough for the climb, however there was not much preparation I could have done to accustom the blood pressure at 10-14,000 feet higher. I actually surprised myself and stayed somewhat close behind my 'elder' brother who was scaling the ascent like a mountain goat in its natural environment. Step by step, with my quadriceps and calves screaming, I found myself above the 13,000 foot mark overlooking the Arkansas River valley and surrounding 14ers. Unfortunately, the sun was on its way down to the west as the time read 3:15pm when we were still a good hour away from the summit. We decided we had enough on this day. The trek back down to the car took just a little over 1 hour 30 minutes. We proceeded to drive down to the Mt. Princeton hot springs to soak our amateur climbing bodies. The rest of the day was a bit hazy to me as my body was basically in shut-down mode since it wasn't too happy about the combination of staying up late, exercising vigorously up a mountain just 48 hours after loathing in sunny San Diego.
Mt. Princeton from Reed's balcony over dinner and vino, a sweet feeling!

Though it is very unfortunate we didn't summit the 14er, it was a great learning experience of being young and dumb. I mean, after all we were there in the first place celebrating our youth since my brother says 30 is the new 20. Additionally, our flawless planning apparently does need some improvement for the next time we intend on ascending a 14er. As for myself, I have a whole lot more respect for not only 14ers, but altitude in general. In short, it kicked my butt. If anything, it has just increased my respect for the activity and preparation that is necessary to become an avid climber. However, I am even more motivated to get back and summit one of those 56 peaks!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bikram Yoga Experience

Have you ever tried the controversial yoga practice of Bikram Yoga? It's hot! As in 105 degrees Farenheit, 40% humidity hot. Imagine a huge Sauna room packed full of fellow yogis exerting energy through stretch, pose and breath. The best way I can sum up the experience is that it feels like the skin is surrounded by fire from the inside out. Naturally, the body perspires profusely through pores you never thought you had from the first breath until 90 minutes and 26 yoga poses are completed. For most, especially first timers, a 'timeout' from the flow of poses is necessary to gain control of the heart rate.

Developed by Bikram Choudhury who emigrated here from Calcutta, India and now resides in Los Angeles. He holds a copyright on his yoga and has developed a very successful business with over 500 locations throughout the United States. This has created much controversy as many feel the practice of yoga should not be used for personal profit. Regardless, the philosophy behind this yoga practice intrigues me....... and many, many others who have literally become addicted to it.

According to maestro Choudhury, the heat aids in speeding up the heart rate thus increasing the blood flow throughout the whole body. The blood circulation is affected in two different ways, extension and compression. Each pose (asana) extends one part of the body and compresses another forcing the heart to pump more fresh oxygenated blood to the area that was just being compressed.

When practicing, the challenge quickly becomes as much mental as it is physical. Personally, I had to focus like a samurai to control my breathing in order to slow my heart rate. The constant circulation of blood warms the inside of the body which could explain the fiery sensation in and outside of the largest organ, the skin. Supposedly, this practice becomes less difficult and more enjoyable with each class, soon leading to the healthiest addiction one could ask for. I will continue to go and study the effects it has on mind and body. From my first experience in the Bikram Yoga world, I felt physically drained and mentally still. Sitting outside of the class for 20 minutes afterwards catching my breath and drinking water, a rare zen-like state consumed me. I had no energy to stress or think much, my attention focused on my heart rate and blood flow. Physical euphoria and mental utopia consumed the rest of my evening. Therefore, I don't recommend beginning your Bikram yoga experience as a morning ritual, you may be walking on too many clouds in slow motion throughout the rest of the day, unless that's what you're looking for in daily activity.

It is recommended to take the first few classes slowly and bring adequate amount of water.... And a towel!!! I literally had to ring out my shorts after the class as if I had just jumped into the Pacific, quite intriguing eh? You can literally wring out the stress from your clothes afterwards ;)

Al fin, Bikram yoga, love it or hate it.. Don't knock it til you try it. Just remember to bring an open mind, a towel, water and your smile. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tapping Back into Blogosphere

Hola World! Yeah hi, Robin here tapping back into the blogosphere. Sipping on yerba mate and looking out of my studio window at the sun-christened buildings of downtown San Diego. All this combined with some of my favorite music (Manu Chao) calls for time of reflection and an update on la pura vida.

The last four months have been encapsulated by the whirlwinds of constant change. It never ceases to interest me how change is one of the toughest concepts for humans beings to accept. Do you ever find yourself contemplating where you are relative to 365 days ago? Upon my personal reflection, I see myself one year ago being fully accustomed to an Argentine lifestyle well consumed by futbol, La Bomba and good vino in the depths of winter residing in San Telmo. Today I see myself enjoying every moment of this day-off from the weekly hustle. A time where I also see myself consumed by the American dream ($) often working 60-70 hours a week. My sanity escape has become the beautiful sport of Muay Thai, hiking, running and most other exercise. Until now, writing has obviously escaped my priority list. My new home is in the heart of San Diego in a studio surrounded by downtown, the San Diego Bay and Balboa Park.

I find myself observing the metaphysical flow of energy and rhythm of each day. Perhaps learning a Martial Art has brought about this new perspective. Whether I'm working (outside sales) or relaxing, observing the rhythms and energy flow of people is fascinating. It's madness witnessing the up and down emotional rollercoaster that can be caused by a career in sales, a true test of personal craft in its own respect. Equally interesting to witness is how we humans sometime create closer bonds when physically far (thank the world wide web), yet can also create distance the closer we physically become. I see you sitting there wondering what the hell I'm writing about. It was never guaranteed that my new-found revelations and perspective will make any sense, but I share anyways.

The constant change in life has taught me gratitude for what is in my life now. One week, we may be able to visit one of our best family friends, the next week they're no longer with us due to illness, RIP Jerry. No matter how happy or sad our emotions leave us at this moment, the belief that it will soon be the contrary due to new change helps aid in acceptance of whatever we are currently feeling.

Maybe the beauty of today is that we never know what will really occur tomorrow. Life is an incredible classroom and is deserving of our full gratitude.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Final Day of Cleanse and its Immediate Gratification

The Master Cleanse Ingredients, my best friends for 5 days

Theoretically the Master Cleanse is designed for ten days. However, this being our first cleanse, Dani and I elected to begin with a five day detox. The continuous consumption of syrup-tasting lemonade with a spicy kick has run its course of purifying the body. On the fifth day of the cleanse, my energy level had increased immensely since the second and third day. My agenda on Saturday wasn't necessarily for emotional stability.

I made a nice two hour drive up the coast to Santa Ana to attend the funeral services of my Uncle Clifford Stanley Olof. I found great joy in witnessing what I had previously not known of a life lived in good faith and honor by Uncle Cliff. He loved to fly airplanes, fix cars in the backyard and shop at thrift stores and swap meets for the best deal. On his last day of life, he flew an airplane and passed away right in front of a thrift store, doing what he loved to do. I wish the rest of the Olof family and friends the best in finding peace at this time.

On the drive back from the funeral services, I noticed my energy level had remained relatively high even after a morning filled with sorrow. By the time night came, I went with some buddies to watch live Muay Thai fights, which gave me a greater appreciation for the sport. By the time 9pm arrived, my energy level was still surprisingly high. My body had adjusted to the new diet and I realized why it was designed for ten days. However, my taste buds and palette were ready for something other than lemonade. Additionally, my renewed energy yielded a renewed anticipation to resume physical activity.

We began easing out of the cleanse this morning by consuming 2 glasses of orange juice to bring up our glucose levels and prepare our body to consume foods. Though we started light with blueberries, yogurt and granola. The yogurt is especially beneficial in providing the body with probiotic bacteria which is the good bacteria to help the stomach prepare for more digestion of solid foods. Lunch comprised of a light salad and bread with olive oil. Then I consumed an apple, yerba mate and gatorade before I played a game of soccer with some Brazilian and Mexican friends. It felt great to play again, reminding me of being back in Argentina hearing the constant chatter of 'trash talk' in espanol. My flexibility has noticeably increased since the cleanse. Though, I tired out quickly, it has been a long time since my body felt that light and elastic performing any exercise. Dinner tonight consisted of creamy tomato soup with basil and bread. My consumption of H2O was equivelant to each day on the cleanse, 160 oz. Another interesting observation is that my body has absolutely no soreness after the 45 minute game of futbol, hmmm.. how does that cleanse sound now athletes?

Choosing between my tomato soup w/bread and the lemonade wasn't too difficult, no more lemonade for quite some time...

What is/was the best part of the cleanse?

My favorite part of this was not eating solid foods.... Sense the sarcasm. Really, my favorite part was/is the feeling of a renewed energy in the body. Additionally, my nasal cavity has never felt this clear, it really feels like a system reset in all facets of my inner workings. My favorite ingredient was the wheat grass capsule, provided noticeable energy increase. Alternatively, detoxifying through the skin by soaking in eucalyptus bath salts was a great excuse to treat the body to a realxing bath, this can be useful even after a long or stressful day.

What is/was the worse part of the cleanse?

Getting whiffs of food, any kind, while continuously searching for some justification of doing this while slurping down the syrupy lemonade with a kick. The salt water cleanse was gag-worthy as well. For good reason I've never met anyone who fancies chugging lukewarm salt water, mmm.

What was learned from the Master Cleanse?

I learned a significant amount about the mechanics of my body. My consciousness has greatly shifted to my body as well, as I noticed myself slowly consuming my meals today and really enjoying the taste and process of eating.

Do I recommend the Master Cleanse?

Absolutely! Save your health, cleanse yourself.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 4: Master Cleanse

Feeling light like a butterfly today, I made a trip to Trader Joe's to pick up some more grade B syrup when the checkout lady inquired if I was doing 'the cleanse'. She, along with all of the other emperical evidence, claimed I got over the hump (first 3 days).

I felt rather sluggish around 6pm today but survived the severe urge to just chomp on an apple. This is the conclusion of day 4 and I feel pretty good, my energy level is higher than it had been this time of night the first three evenings. I almost feel as if my body is glowing on the inside, yet a sensation of weakness kicks in from time to time. The cleanse is working being evidenced by a rejuvinated look and feel in the skin. My joints feel more flexible and loose as well. Day 5 approaches tomorrow and I will be attending my Uncle's funeral. Some emotional stress is expected and may very well end the cleanse but my efforts and attention will be in comforting my Aunt Marilyn and the rest of the family.

Do I recommend the Master Cleanse? Absolutely, my body feels amazing!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 3: Master Cleanse

Last night, day 2, was very difficult. An intense hunger set in and I began to feel lightheaded when I was in a communications course with my girlfriend. I immediately drank the last of my daily lemonade along with 2 wheat grass capsules and a hoodia extract capsule. Interestingly, my hunger and lightheaded feelings disappeared and I felt an energy increase. This is an example of this master cleanse bringing a more conscious awareness to the body's inner workings. Discomfort set in last night around 11pm so I knew toxins were being stirred around in my body.

I woke up six times to urinate during the night, yes 6 times. This didn't frustrate me too much since I knew it was the toxins leaving the body. Today our lemonade drink was detoured for several hours since I realized I had purchased Grade A maple syrup for our mix today so I had to make a run to Henry's market to buy the hard-to-find organic Grade B maple syrup. Low and behold they didn't have any but the lady helping me knew I was on the master cleanse and suggested a lower-priced Agave Nectar. It supposedly has the same nutrients as Grade B maple syrup. It does have a different taste however it is a good economic replacement for the syrup. The reason why the diet can't contain Grade A syrup is because of the sugar content is much higher in Grade A.

Today I feel pretty good as my energy level is somewhat higher than yesterday. I increased my detoxification by soaking in the bath tub with Eucalyptus bath salts for 20 minutes. Eucalyptus bath salts or even epsom salts ease physical discomfort and draw toxins through the pores. It was a pretty neat experience to see the skin prespire so much of the toxins out, you may call me crazy but it really was interesting.

Supposedly the first 3 days are the most difficult on the master clease so I'm looking forward to how my body has adjusted by tomorrow. I'm considering pressing for 7 days depending on how I feel day 5. For now, I'll take it step-by-step...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Master Cleanse: Day 2 of 5/ Pics of San Diego

Who said this cleanse was going to be a piece of cake? No pun intended. It truly is a struggle, I feel a little lightheaded, yet very fluid... literally very full of fluids. A friend of mine told me last night that they had done this same master cleanse and they do it once a year. Their description is that the body feels euphoric by the 4th or 5th day, my patience is truly being tested in anticipation of this physical euphoria.

Yesterday, my exercise level was about the same as usual. I did an hour of muay thai training in the morning and hiked Cowles mountain with my buddy Josh in the evening. A strong sense of hunger hit me when we finished the nearly 3 mile round trip hike. I immediately drank some of the syrup-tasting lemonade with a spicy kick upon the return home. Along with it I drank tons more water, wheat grass capsules and hoodia extract to curb the hunger. I woke up this morning feeling pretty weak yet my body's energy level kicked in once I sipped some of the lemonade supplemented by the psyllium husk, hoodia extract and wheat grass capsules. My hunger soon disappeared. This afternoon, I took a stroll up, down and all around Balboa Park which never ceases to amaze me with its beauty. I've found that being outside and in nature helps keep my attention off the constant discomfort. It has also given me an opportunity to capture some San Diego beauty, view pics at bottom!

Referenced again from the Master Cleanse book, here is what a typical day is like as far as consumption:

1. It’s best to start your day with one of 3 laxatives (psyllium husk, sea salt, or laxative tea) because they’re more effective on a empty stomach. I personally take the psyllium husk in the morning.

2. Next you can make yourself a glass of lemonade using fresh lemons, cayenne pepper, and grade B maple syrup. You can use flavored herbal tea (decaffeinated) for taste and hoodia gordonii to help subdue your hunger if you choose, but it’s optional. You might also want to make a whole days worth of lemonade at this time rather than making it glass by glass. We've made our lemonade the night before for a whole day's supply: 60 oz. of filtered water, 3 squeezed organic lemons, 12 tbsp of the grade B syrup, 1/2 tbsp of cayenne pepper.

3. I like to alternate between a glass of water and lemonade. Remember the goal is to flush out your system so be sure to get plenty of fresh filtered water. Try and drink my body weight in ounces of water, but the more the better.

4. You can take the wheat grass anytime after the first glass of lemonade. I take 5 grams a day, broken up into 2 doses. I personally take 2 capsules 3x a day; morning, afternoon, evening.

5. Throughout the day continue drinking lemonade and water

6. Before bed take another laxative (psyllium husk, sea salt, or laxative tea). This is when I usually take 1/2 tbsp of sea salt and 20 oz. of warm water or the laxative tea.

Once my body fully adjusts in day 3 or 4, the discomfort is supposed to subside, we'll see how it goes, as it is different with all body types.

Here are some pics that I was able to snap last night at Cowles Mtn. and today at Balboa Park:

Trail going up Cowles Mt.

Sunset from Cowles, waiting for Green Flash on St. Patty's Day

Not quite a green flash

Balboa Park, Cathedral in backdrop

Flower's view on 163 and Balboa Park Bridge

Spring Bloom in San Diego

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Master Cleanse: Day 1 of 5

I agreed to begin the Master Cleanse or body detox with my girlfriend. What constitutes of the Master Cleanse is a very simple recipe and excludes and solid foods, however provides the ample amount of nutrition for the body. This is my personal first fasting experience however lately I've read several articles that proclaim several long-term health benefits of cleansing the body. The true Master Cleanse is scheduled for 10 days however it recommends to start with anywhere between 3-10 days. Due to the fact that I'm beginning a new job next Monday I'll start slow, thus my girlfriend and I chose a 5 day cleanse. Many may question why it's necessary for the body to be detoxified. Sourced from the Master Cleanse book, here is an excerpt explaining outlining the benefits of the detox.

The Master Cleanse helps dissolve and eliminate toxins and congestion that have formed in any part of the body
• It helps cleanse the kidneys
• It eliminates hardened fecal material, and phlegm that has accumulated in your colon and digestive tract
• It helps purify the glands and cells in your body
• It helps eliminate unusable waste and hardened material in the joints and muscles
• The Master Cleanse helps build a healthy blood stream
• It can relieve pressure and irritation in the nerves, arteries and blood vessels
• The Master Cleanse diet contains high levels of important vitamins and minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper. Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C, nicotinic acid and pantothenic acid are also present.

The Master Cleanse is also recommended to those who are sluggish, have bloating, joint pains, stomach cramps, gallstones, indigestion, excess fat, kidney problems, infections, gout, arthritis, boils, ulcers, have no appetite, seem sick but don't have a cold or the flu, or those who've tried a balanced diet and your doctor can't figure out what is ailing them.

So there you have it, this is why I chose to accept this agreement. I am a huge advocate of treating the body right so I'd like to reset my body's systems with a nice big detox flush.

What ingredients do you need for the Master Cleanse??

Pretty simple, the most important ingredient is water of course. Not just any water or tap water, filtered or microfiltered water is recommended. Take your body weight in pounds and drink the corresponding amount of water in ounces. For example, I weigh 160 pounds, therefore I should drink a minimum of 160 ounces of water.
Organic lemons, cayenne pepper, unrefined sea salt and organic grade B syrup are the other primary ingredients that make up the lemonade to flush the system.

The secondary ingredients may include laxative herbal teas, psyllum husk, wheatgrass capsules and hoodia extract. The three forms of laxative in the master cleanse are the sea salt mixed with water, laxative tea and psyllum husk which acts as a great laxative due to its concentrated amount of fiber. The hoodia extract that comes in either liquid or capsules helps manage the appetite. The wheatgrass capsules provide ample amount of protein for the body.

I am already feeling the discomfort that comes naturally with any fasting. It's natural for the body to feel discomfort when ridding its toxins.

I will be updating the blog daily with my personal results of how the Master Cleanse is affecting me physically, mentally and spiritually.

Happy cleansing!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Integrating Your Mind and Body

The concept of mind and body integration has been around for centuries and has longly been debated widely by philosophers and scholars alike. The 17th Century philosopher, Rene DesCartes, regarded as the father of modern philosophy boldly claimed "I think, therefore I am." Thus thinking (mind) was equated with being (body). Three centuries passed with this philosophy until another famous philosopher Jean Paul Sartre analyzed DesCarte's statement and dug deeper. "The consciousness that says 'I am' is not the consciousnes that thinks," stated Sartre. Thus began a new dimension of consciousness. If there were nothing but thought in you, you wouldn't even know you were thinking. This new dimension of consciousness and awareness has been proven to reduce stress, increase the immune system, fight disease, and thus slow or even reverse biological aging.

The human mind can be used as our greatest tool and it can also use us to it's disposal if the underlying consciousness provides no awareness of the mind's tricks and manifestations. Considering the mind and body as seperate entities, the body is a molecular field while the mind is a thought field. The interdependent relationship between the two happens constantly for example when a thought arises it precipitates a molecule in the nervous system which then influences the other molecules thoughout the body. When the human awareness is brought brought back to the underlying consciousness, meditation is taking place. How do most human beings attain this dimension? It usually begins with respiration, breathing is the bridge between mind and body, thus productive mind and body integration is usually dependent upon respiration. That's why if you've ever been to a yoga, tai chi or meditation course the instructor will always stress the consistent focus on respiration.

There are many disciplines to practice mind and body integration such as yoga, quigong, akaido and tai chi among others which stress conscious breathing and body movement to bring the attention to the inner energy field. Deepak Chopra M.D., who is author of Grow Younger, Live Longer and Ageless Body, Timeless Mind and pioneer in mind/body medicine scientifically proves mind/body integration is one of ten steps to reverse the aging process. You probably won't become the next curious case of Benjamin Button through meditation and yoga alone but it surely helps slow aging. Should you decide to give meditation a go, remember several things that may help. Focus on respiration constantly and relax when thoughts arise, be aware of the thought and let it pass with each exhalation. The understanding that thoughts pass constantly through the mind is crucial to realize complete awareness of the moment. Listening the the inner energy field of the body is equally, if not more, important as tuning into the exterior environment. You might be surprised how the body reacts when it is listened to. Another way to daily exercise the unique mind/body relationship is when eating or drinking. If you slowly ingest your food and listen to the body instead of the mind, you'll notice you're fulfilled much sooner than usually thought.

The only way any of this will make sense is if you personally try simple mind/body intergration on a daily basis and observe its effect, if any. Remember to focus on breathing, feel your body as a field of energy while listening to it often and realize that your being is not dependent upon your thinking. Happy Discoveries!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Muay Thai and its Revelations

Muay thai, or Thai kickboxing, has become my new physical discipline. It has been over six years since I've endured this form of physical training when I wrestled which required continuous mental and physical discipline. Soccer, futbol, was the most recent sport that tested my athleticism which taught me the importance of strong, versatile and agile legs. Muay thai is proving to be a great complement or follow-up sport to futbol. Both sports test core balance and hip flexibility. Suddenly, I am realizing that learning new sports or physical arts greatly interests me. Muay Thai is also known as the Art of Eight Limbs where each fighter can strike with both hands, shins, knees and elbows.

It may be known as one of the toughest of all the martial arts, from my two months of training and learning the 'ropes' of this sport I can only attest. Muay thai is quite a fat and calorie burner as well. While maintaining a steady and consistent diet of vegetables, fruit, pasta, rice, salmon, egg, tea and mate dishes the weeks where I do more muay thai training, my weight is respectively lower. Since my first class, I've already lost 8 pounds. Let it be known that I was also carrying some left-over holiday pounds at the beginning of the training and my metabolism has alway sky-rocketed during times of consistent cross-training. My increased hip flexibility from muay thai has increased my running stride and apparently has less hip strain from the past. My right hip used to be sore after long runs dating back to high-school cross country. Kickboxing gave my hips the WD-40 effect, no feelings of friction or tension after long runs What comes of this experiment? I look forward to only improving my muay thai skills as I feel it is truly an art form that tests multiple dimensions of mind and body.

Physical training has its effects on seratonin levels as well, increasing that natural state of well-being. It's always amusing for me to observe my energy levels before and after workouts. The personal state of energy is always more positive and steady coming out of strenuous exercise than it was entering that particular workout. Physical exercise has always been my preferred form of body-mind integration or alternate form of meditation. Interestingly, when performing any physical exercise, letting go of the thoughts and allowing the body to perform its intended action naturally always yields better and more effective technique.

I'm not recommending that you all register in a kickboxing class, but I always recommend some form of mind-body integration exercise, whether it be tai chi, yoga, kickboxing, running, swimming, or even simple walking. Try feeling the body's energy field from head to toe by first focusing on your respiration. Once your attention is on your inhale/exhale, let your surrounding environment feed you energy. It's no wonder why many people enjoy exercising near the beach. The waves and sun act as great human battery chargers, only if you allow your body to feed off of it. Perception is reality and there's no question why I usually run faster and longer when allowing my body to feed of the environmental energy. Please experiment for yourselves the next time you're in the gym or just taking a stroll, see if your energy level has shifted from before to after the particular exercise.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Once Upon a Time, I was a blogger

Wait, correct me if I'm wrong, the calendar already is showing March 2009?

It's official, I've become just another once-upon-a-time blogger as we now pass time three months into the year 2009. What's new? Everything... really, things change so quickly and my life has become californiacated (not a word).

The last two months have been filled with doing random sales gigs. I was a door-to-door salesmen for about six weeks working 60 hour weeks learning how to convince residential homeowners that they need monitored security on their home. I was an independent contractor for Pinnacle Securities during this time, however I was working for the middleman, a company known as Cydcor which is a marketing firm that does face to face sales for companies such as Pinnacle, AT&T, etc. This was a short-lived career for me as I was putting in many hours and energy and would receive my commission checks days, sometimes weeks, after they were scheduled to arrive. Not very convenient for a young man in debt who needs money for rent when its commission-only.

Great learning experience!

In two weeks since, I've been interviewing for other sales positions and have done pretty well. Looks like I'll begin working for Agent Advantage selling digital advertising and paperclip ad campaigns for real estate agents and brokers next week. I was supposedly going to be offered a position with CBeyond doing business to business sales but was basically not offered the position because I mentioned the book "Four Hour Workweek" at some point in the initial interview for the position that requires 60 hours a week.... time is money Robin, didn't ya know?

Great learning experience!

Life has been quite amusing nonetheless in the first several months of this year as I'm learning the ropes of the U.S. job market on the shoestrings of sales positions. The most recent book that I have to rave about and recommend to anyone who hasn't already read it is "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" by Dan Millman. The subtitle of this book states A book that changes lives. True statement. I realized after reading this book that I don't really need that much in life, I'm pretty content with simplicity. Financial independence is still something that I strive for but I believe a more frugal lifestyle can only help me achieve this. I also realized that I would just love to wake up everyday and be a Spanish teacher and an athletic coach (wrestling, football, baseball). I can just hear my Dad saying at home, ''I told you so!" He always claimed he saw me as a coach or teacher, well that is really what would make me happy. However I feel like I have things to accomplish and places to see before I settle into this lifestyle.

Thanks for reading, I put no minutes of planning into this blog post, more of a journal entry for me, getting my thoughts out in the open on the public forum. I promise my coming posts will have more value for you. This was more of a personal blog entry to rid the thoughts, now that I've done that, time for a little meditation, which is always more attainable with a clear mind... or is it the other way? A clear mind is more attainable via meditation, ahh yes what a beautiful cycle, more on this later...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Goosebumps and 'Hope'

"America is a friend to each nation and every man, woman and child... and we are ready to lead once more" 44th President of the United States Barack Obama

It has been some time since I've seen a leader or public speaker who has the ability to captivate an audience and transcend goosebumps at the end of each powerful statement. Barack Obama has that power! Since my roommate Josh and I are abstaining from having a television, youtube has been my one-stop Obama shop for the regular dose of powerful speech and goosebumps.

I really feel like we once again have a great leader steering the fate of this country. Being fully aware that change for the better will not come overnight but with many days of 'cutting the fat' of unethical government and commercial practices. It is truly time to become responsible in all manners of our lives and I know it begins with myself personally. The United States of America has had a 20-year period of excessive consumption on luxuries that we cannot afford, once again, it begins with me. It's a great feeling to actually listen mindfully to our nation's leader, I can't recall the last time I've had this sentiment of trust and faith in the captain of the ship. A fresh start for us all, the key is simplicity. One of the greatest things I learned in 2008 in Argentina, happiness can be revealed through simplicity. Hold me too it por favor!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New Year

Happy New Year 2009!

Yes I know I am four days Boldlate on the whole New Year's blog post however I have just arrived back in the confines of San Diego from a 2-week 'unplugged' visit in Colorado visiting family. By unplugged, I mean without much use of internet, it was great being with family and seeing old friends. However, this time home with family was a good time for me to objectively view my current place in my life and what lies ahead. After a year of great travel and cultural experiences, I have a sizable amount of financial debt to go along with the rich experience and perspective gained in the last year. 2009 will surely be a great year as I am faced with new challenges, more responsibility and more expectations.

My way of transitioning the calendar years is to ponder on what I learned in 2008 and how it can be applied in 2009:

You really are what you eat: This was by far the most healthy year I've lived on average in my short 24 years. Much of this had to do with being on my own in a new country and relying on a healthy diet to keep me out of 3rd world hospitals due to illness. From what I've read and lived, two simple things may help you avoid costly medical bills, prescriptions, etc.; healthy diet and exercise... bet you've never heard that before :) . I look forward to being even more healthy in '09 in regards to my diet and I also plan on running a marathon. Due to convincing of a great friend, I've also decided to take up the practice of boxing and muay thai, just to keep in shape. Look for more posts on the martial arts game and marathon training this year.

The most interesting person in your life is the one most interested in you: This is a paraphrase from the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie and has been repeated many times by my good friend Amit. Nothing can be more true if you sit and think about it. Think of those people in your life right now, friends or family. Do you really want to spend any energy or worry on people who could care less about you? I'm a firm believer that you always have to take care of yourself before you can care for others but in some instances caring for others has a direct correlation in self-care. Studies show that volunteering and helping other human beings creates a natural feel-good effect on the conciousness and may strengthen your immune system. Moral? As Jimi Hendrix said, "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will know peace."

I dislike losing money twice as much as I enjoy earning it: Not that I've really ever earned a substantial amount of money but I do know one thing; it's easier to get into financial debt than to get out. I currently sit with nearly twelve grand of debt that I didn't have a year ago and am mapping how I can pay it off in one year, it's not easy but it will be sweet to be in a financial surplus this time next year. However if you were to ask me if I were to go back a year and change anything, I would not, the last year was the most educational year of my life and the education you receive from living in foreign lands and travelling is more than a college education, it's priceless.

In any struggle, creativity is your friend: In hard times with relatively high national unemployment and a struggling economy, this is where we must be most creative and I believe many more entrepreneurs will flourish in the coming years. If history repeats itself, think of the '70's when Carter was President and the economy was in a slump after Vietnam. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs seized their opportunities and are sure-handed role models for today's striving entrepreneurs. Always strive to work smarter not harder... hopefully I'll follow my own advice.

Es Como es: Now that I consider myself fluent in Spanish, I look to apply it as much as possible since I really do enjoy speaking Spanish more than English. However this is not where I'm going with this. Es como es translates to ''that's how it is.'' When things aren't going your way, try to see it as a breakthrough instead of the world against you because in life, es como es, it is what it is. You can't change anything that has already happened, it is what it is and look for any positive that you can from the situation. My good friend Mike taught me this just by living with him, he seemed to always find the positive in any 'es como es' situation. I look to find the positive in even the most unfortunate situations that I'll surely encounter this year. 2008 was a year for the ages in which we elected our first African American President, our economy is on the rocks, my favorite comedian George Carlin passed away, people were scammed into a $50 billion dollar ponzi scheme, Fidel passed the reigns to his brother and the US further polished its unfavorable reputation in the international community.... es como es. Here's to a great 2009: Cheers, Prost, Salude, Salud!