Posted by: Jennifer Sage | May 3, 2008

You are what you eat! Getting sick sucks…

Wow, this is a powerful video, and it will be a powerful movie. The people of the United States really need this (although other nations are unfortunately following in our footsteps).

If you eat a SAD, a Standard American Diet, the evidence is showing more and more that you will be sick. More and more and more (sorry for the repetition…I feel rather strongly about this!) evidence is pointing to the fact that so many of the ailments and diseases and aches and pains that people suffer from on a daily basis are connected to their poor diets, to a lack of the proper nutrients and to ingestion of toxins in the form of pesticides, pollutants, fertilizers, etc.  

The sad part is that even if you do try to eat well (i.e. avoid processed and packaged foods, stay away from fast food, limit fats and sugars, eat your vegetables and fruits, have protein at every meal, etc), you can still end up with deficiency diseases, because it is so difficult to get the nutrients that we need from the foods that are available to us. Our food sources have changed dramatically over the past 50 years. The use of pesticides and fertilization have depleted the soil of basic vitamins and minerals by 30-75% over the past few decades. It is said that you’d have to eat 3-4 bowls of spinach today to get the same nutrients that your grandparents enjoyed in one bowl. Americans are eating too much and starving at the same time.  The great paradox of our time is that while at no time in history has food been so readily available and in such great quantities, never before has the quality and nutritional value of our food been so greatly diminished.

In 2005, the USDA did a study and found that almost everyone is deficient in key nutrients to prevent diseases (USDA, Agricultural Research Service), up to 93% of the population for vitamin E, 56% in magnesium, 44% in vitamin A, and so on. Based on that study, the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) reversed a 30-year stance and stated that yes, everyone needs to supplement in order to receive their most basic nutrients. These studies are based on the RDA amounts for vitamins and minerals prescribed by the USDA, the minimal requirements to prevent deficiency diseases. Imagine how many people are deficient if optimal health is their goal!

Buying organic might improve your nutritional intake somewhat, especially if you know the source of the produce (locally grown), but it will also make a huge dent in your wallet.  However, even eating organic isn’t guaranteed to supply you with the nutrients, or avoid the hormones and pesticides that you think it will. The term “organic” has taken on different meanings, and you many just be paying way too much money for a product that has little to no benefits over the non-organic variety. Here is a disconcerting article about Horizon organic milk, that not only discounts the claim of the company regarding their organic and expensive milk, but it also highlights the plight of the milk cows, even those coming from “organic” farms. [NB. I only bought organic milk, usually Horizon brand, until I read this article].

So, if your goal is optimal health (and I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t want that, but sadly it isn’t a goal of a large part of our population) then you need to not only monitor and manage what you eat, but you also need an excellent multivitamin. The quality of your supplements is far more important than you might think. Make sure that it is USP (U.S. Pharmacopeia) doctor grade quality, has no artificial or synthetic products, and is produced by the top lab in the country who adheres to international standards (far greater than our own standards in the US). The higher the quality of the supplement, the more bio-available it is, the more of the quality ingredients that you can actually absorb. Many off-the-shelf supplements on the market today are barely absorbable by the body, making them a complete waste of money. 

My next few posts will focus on nutrition and how to take responsibility for what you put in your body.  I’ll also describe what I believe (and have researched) to be the highest quality supplements available on the market today, at an incredibly reasonable price. No they aren’t inexpensive, but you get what you pay for. If price is your only requirement and you buy drug-store or discount store brands, you might as well take nothing.  For the quality of these supplements that I am referring to, you would pay almost double to three times as much if you got the same prescription from a naturopathic doctor, using the very same labs!

Taking responsibility for your own health, without resorting to drugs to mask the source of your problem, means reading and informing yourself. There are myriad sources online to learn about how to eat in a more healthy manner. Read! Learn! And enjoy the benefits of optimal health!

If for only one reason…

…getting sick sucks,
…and getting sick is largely avoidable!

Posted by: Jennifer Sage | April 19, 2008

Visualizations and Affirmations part 2

Following is Part 2 of Jack Canfield’s article on Visualizations and Affirmations.

Create Goal Pictures

Another powerful technique is to create a photograph or picture of yourself with your goal, as if it were already completed. If one of your goals is to own a new car, take your camera down to your local auto dealer and have a picture taken of yourself sitting behind the wheel of your dream car. If your goal is to visit Paris, find a picture or poster of the Eiffel Tower and cut out a picture of yourself and place it into the picture. With today’s technology, you could probably make an even more convincing image using your computer.

Create a Visual Picture and an Affirmation for Each Goal

We recommend that you find or create a picture of every aspect of your dream life. Create a picture or a visual representation for every goal you have — financial, career, recreation, new skills and abilities, things you want to purchase, and so on.

When we were writing the very first Chicken Soup for the Soul® book, we took a copy of the New York Times best seller list, scanned it into our computer, and using the same font as the newspaper, typed Chicken Soup for the Soul into the number one position in the “Paperback Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous” category. We printed several copies and hung them up around the office. Less than two years later, our book was the number one book in that category and stayed there for over a year!

Index Cards

We practice a similar discipline every day. We each have a list of about 30-40 goals we are currently working on. We write each goal on a 3×5 index card and keep those cards near our bed and take them with us when we travel. Each morning and each night we go through the stack of cards, one at a time, read the card, close our eyes, see the completion of that goal in its perfect desired state for about 15 seconds, open our eyes and repeat the process with the next card.

Use Affirmations to Support Your Visualization

An affirmation is a statement that evokes not only a picture, but the experience of already having what you want. Here’s an example of an affirmation:

I am happily vacationing 2 months out of the year in a tropical paradise, and working just four days a week owning my own business.

Repeating an affirmation several times a day keeps you focused on your goal, strengthens your motivation, and programs your subconscious by sending an order to your crew to do whatever it takes to make that goal happen.

Expect Results

Through writing down your goals, using the power of visualization and repeating your affirmations, you can achieve amazing results. Visualization and affirmations allow you to change your beliefs, assumptions, and opinions about the most important person in your life — YOU! They allow you to harness the 18 billion brain cells in your brain and get them all working in a singular and purposeful direction.

Your subconscious will become engaged in a process that transforms you forever. The process is invisible and doesn’t take a long time. It just happens over time, as long as you put in the time to visualize and affirm, surround yourself with positive people, read uplifting books and listen to audio programs that flood your mind with positive, life-affirming messages.

Repeat your affirmations every morning and night for a month and they will become an automatic part of your thinking — they will become woven into the very fabric of your being.

© 2008 Jack Canfield


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Posted by: Jennifer Sage | April 16, 2008

Visualizations and Affirmations, Part 1

I have been planning on writing a post about visualizations and affirmations and how to do it most effectively, as a compilation of personal experience and all my reading of John Assaraf, Jack Canfield, Esther Hicks and many, many others. I believe doing them faithfully every single day is one of the most important things you can do to guarantee your own personal success and to Reach Your Peak. Daily affirming your goals and desires, and visualizing them, allows you to write the screenplay of your own life. 

I received Jack Canfield’s newsletter today and in it he has written quite simply the best article on affirmations I’ve ever seen, so why try to improve on the best? I’ll simply quote him here (and post it in two parts as it is a long article). You should go sign up for Jack Canfield’s Success Strategies newsletter (go to the site and click on Free Success Resources).  Everyone will get a lot out of it – I just think everyone should receive the wisdom that Jack imparts. Just like I believe everyone should get the happy-go-lucky Notes from the Universe . I’m still grinning over the birthday message I got over 2 weeks ago from the Universe about what a cool, hip person I am and how there is no one on earth like me! 😉

Here is part 1 of Jack’s article:

Visualize and Affirm Your Desired Outcomes:
A Step-by-Step Guide, by Jack Canfield

You have an awesome power within you that most of us have never been taught to use. Elite athletes use it. The super rich use it. And peak performers in all fields are now starting to use it. That power is called visualization.

The daily practice of visualizing your dreams as already complete can rapidly accelerate your achievement of those dreams. Visualization of your goals and desires accomplishes four very important things.

1. It activates your creative subconscious which will start generating creative ideas to achieve your goal.

2. It programs your brain to more readily perceive and recognize the resources you will need to achieve your dreams.

3. It activates the law of attraction, thereby drawing into your life the people, resources, and circumstances you will need to achieve your goals.

4. It builds your internal motivation to take the necessary actions to achieve your dreams.

Visualization is really quite simple. You sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and imagine — in as vivid detail as you can — what you would be looking at if the dream you have were already realized. Imagine being inside of yourself, looking out through your eyes at the ideal result.

Mental Rehearsal

Athletes call this visualization process “mental rehearsal,” and they have been using it since the 1960s when we learned about it from the Russians. All you have to do is set aside a few minutes a day. The best times are when you first wake up, after meditation or prayer, and right before you go to bed. These are the times you are most relaxed. Go through the following three steps:

1. Imagine sitting in a movie theater, the lights dim, and then the movie starts. It is a movie of you doing perfectly whatever it is that you want to do better. See as much detail as you can create, including your clothing, the expression on your face, small body movements, the environment and any other people that might be around. Add in any sounds you would be hearing — traffic, music, other people talking, cheering. And finally, recreate in your body any feelings you think you would be experiencing as you engage in this activity.

2. Get out of your chair, walk up to the screen, open a door in the screen and enter into the movie. Now experience the whole thing again from inside of yourself, looking out through your eyes. This is called an “embodied image” rather than a “distant image.” It will deepen the impact of the experience. Again, see everything in vivid detail, hear the sounds you would hear, and feel the feelings you would feel.

3. Finally, walk back out of the screen that is still showing the picture of you performing perfectly, return to your seat in the theater, reach out and grab the screen and shrink it down to the size of a cracker. Then, bring this miniature screen up to your mouth, chew it up and swallow it. Imagine that each tiny piece — just like a hologram — contains the full picture of you performing well. Imagine all these little screens traveling down into your stomach and out through the bloodstream into every cell of your body. Then imagine that every cell of your body is lit up with a movie of you performing perfectly. It’s like one of those appliance store windows where 50 televisions are all tuned to the same channel.

When you have finished this process — it should take less than five minutes — you can open your eyes and go about your business. If you make this part of your daily routine, you will be amazed at how much improvement you will see in your life. 


Part 2 coming this weekend…

And next week, an article on using these principles to laugh in the face of the “recession”!  What recession??!!

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Posted by: Jennifer Sage | March 19, 2008

Manifesting quicker utilizing the power of combined intentions

I came across a wonderful new blog with an amazing concept. It’s called Unifestation, “where multiple energies unite towards the manifestation of individual dreams.” 
JB is the author and she wrote this in her blog regarding your attachment to your intention:  

It’s relatively easy to figure out what you don’t want, then turn it around to know what you do want. It’s doable to learn the language of affirmation and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), to learn to phrase an intention in the best way possible. One can become “clear” by uncovering counter intentions, limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns and erasing them through a variety of methods (EFT, The Work, Ho’oponopono, and so on).

The tricky part of affirmations and intention-setting is the Allow. Letting go. Having faith, believing to see it, trusting that it is on its way, living through the In-Between Time when nothing seems to be happening and you feel like giving up. It’s tricky, because it means you absolutely must forget about obtaining the very thing that you are trying to attract. In “Quantum Success“, Sandra Anne Taylor calls this the Law of Paradoxical Intent.Joe Vitale, author of “too many books to mention” including “The Attractor Factor”, “The Key” and “Zero Limits”, calls it “becoming clear”.

If you’re like me, forgetting about the thing I most “need” or “want” is like asking the sun not to shine. We are, by nature, attached to our preferred outcome because it directly affects our lives! So my outcome is constantly on my mind, skirting the edges of my thoughts, and generally not allowing itself to be let go. This sets up blocks that prevents the manifestation of the very thing I desire.

But when my energy is combined with the energies of others, it seems to work better. Why? Is it because more people are focusing on it? Well, that’s part of it. But I think the key is this:

Outsiders are not attached to the outcome, because it has no direct effect on their lives.

In other words, they have nothing to gain or lose by sending out a little positive energy towards my outcome. So while my energy might be laced with desperation, fear, doubt, or counter intentions, their energy is not! Their energy is pure.

Purity of thought and the absence of limiting beliefs, counter intentions, negative emotions, and other conflicting energy is the key to activating manifestation. This is why Prayer Circles and group energies have such a high success rate.

Today, I had an idea:What if there were a place where people could post their intentions and have others add their energies to it? Along the lines of a Prayer Circle, but without any religious or denominational attributes. Just a bunch of positive-thinking, like-minded individuals, uniting to help each other out by contributing resources of theirs that they already have in unlimited abundance—their pure, unconflicted, positive energy. It “costs” nothing to give but a few moments of thought.

This blog is the manifestation of that thought. The title Uni-Festation is a combination of the words “unite/unify” and “manifestation”: to unify and manifest, uniting our energies to help others manifest their visions. 

I welcome you all to go to Unifestation and post your intentions, ASK for what you want, and let others know about it so they can combine their energy, their objective energy to your wishes.  I’ve posted my most pressing one today, seeking investors for my new business. While you’re there, read some of the other intentions and send your pure and powerful energy in that direction.  This is so new, that the only ones there as of today are JB’s, but I’m trying to add to her intention of increasing traffic to this amazing site.
Share this with everyone you know, and together we can achieve more of what we truly want in our lives!

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Posted by: Jennifer Sage | February 9, 2008

Setting Goals – why New Year’s resolutions don’t work

In order to Reach Your Peak, you must learn to set goals to become a better you. But how do you do that in a way that ensures that you will adhere to your goals?

It’s February 9th, 2008.  By now you should realize that New Year’s Resolutions do not work, because if you’re like 99% of the people who made them at 11:59 p.m. on Dec 31, 2007 by now you’ve long forgotten them or deliberately threw them in the trash. Why? Because they are not backed by belief or the right mental preparation.  They are usually conscious statements to overcome a perceived weakness, such as not drinking anymore (or as much), losing weight, watching less tv, spending more time with family, etc. Besides, there is a big difference between wanting something, and being prepared to receive it. 

First of all, most people fail at resolutions because they expect to fail. They are conditioned to believe that they won’t achieve this goal because they never have before, so they believe they won’t work and they just run through the motions of setting them and hoping they will work.  Hope won’t get you where you want to be; it has to be supported by a subconscious belief and inspired action.

Secondly, we are conditioned to remain at the same weight, income level or in the same mediocre relationship, due to the habits we’ve acquired and reinforced over the years. It’s like having an internal thermostat that will always bring us back to our current situation, even if it’s not desirable. Everyone is challenged when it comes to growing beyond our current “set-point” because moving outside of your comfort zone, even if it will improve your finances, relationships or health, is often more difficult than the perceived benefit (at least, according to your subconscious mind, which prefers homeostasis, even a mundane inferior one).    

Will-power or resolve is the domain of the conscious mind, which only controls about 2-4 percent of you day-to-day actions and perceptions. In order to be successful, you must change the underlying beliefs that control your everyday actions, which is the domain of your subconscious mind, about 96% of the brain.  If you don’t like your current situation in life, then you must break from your old patterns of thinking and believing, and take aim at the conditioning that is at the source of these patterns.  Your underlying behavior and beliefs play such a large role in your decisions that pure willpower can hardly be expected to trump them.

John Assaraf speaks about the “psychocybernetic trigger” in your brain, called the amygdala, which has tremendous power over your perceptions and actions.  It acts like a thermostat in your subconscious, and detects any efforts to change your current situation. It senses potential and real stress and orders the release of neurotransmitters in response to the stressor, causing you anxiety, doubt, and fear. When most people feel this anxiety, they then decide not to pursue that path of change, even if it’s something they said they really wanted. The amygdala metaphorically pats itself on the back for a job well done.

Why does it do that? In short, it doesn’t like change. When you make an effort to change something, it alerts you and fools you to thinking that the change is not worth the effort, causing you to doubt or have fear over what you are trying to do.  It has an evolutionary purpose, to keep early man from venturing into that scary open space in the forest to avoid being eaten by a wild animal. Otherwise, without the triggers for extra caution, we might have been wiped out as a species.  But in today’s world, it’s what holds you back from really pursuing your goals by secreting those pesky neurotransmitters to “scare” you into submission.

I like to think of it as the evil “devil” on your shoulder whispering in your ear every time you are about to move beyond your comfort zone for your greater good, and convinces you to return to your old patterns of behavior. Rationalizing is its favorite game, and as John Assaraf says, rationalize means “rational lies”. Here are some examples of “rational lies” it might whisper in your ear:

  • Boy, some chips and salsa sound real good right now.  Forget those carrots and celery, how fun is that?  Don’t you prefer that salty crispy fatty taste?
  • That couch and remote look awful comfy right now.  Isn’t there a game on?  How about a Sex in the City rerun?  Who cares if you’ve seen it before!
  • Why go to the gym when you might have to ‘sweat’?  Yuck!  Too much effort; stay home! It’s safer here!
  • You say you want to do a what?? A triathlon? You might get hurt, or worse, might have to give up some of that tv time!  Better to not bother afterall.
  • Ask her out?? What if you say something dumb, like you always do? 
  • Whaddaya mean you want to take on more responsibilities at work? Don’t you know people don’t like you much? What if you screw up like last time?
  • They told you if you make more sales calls you’ll make more money?? That means you have to talk to people – ah man!  Why do that, when you can search the internet for cool Youtube videos instead!
  • $40,000 a year doesn’t look so bad afterall…you might have to actually do some work if you want to make that $100,000 this year.  Too scary! I got better things to tell you to do.
  • Spend more time with family? That means you’ll have to actually listen to your mother-in-law!  No way.  Let’s think of an excuse not to go…
And so all your best intentions go down the drain, destined to fail from the very first moment you stated your resolution. Hence, you repeat the same results over and over and over, because you haven’t changed the thought patterns and behavioral patterns that govern them. It’s like that old adage, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
Both your conscious mind and subconscious mind must be in alignment if change is going to take place, and usually there is a tug-of-war between the two. The conscious mind makes a statement, “I want to change this about myself.”  But the body says (ruled by the subconscious), “heck no.  You haven’t trained me to be that way – you’ve trained me to be like this.”  
If you want to truly make permanent changes in your life, you must first retrain your subconscious mind and create different mental images of your body and your health, your financial situation, your relationships, and any other area you would like to see changes. It takes about 15-30 minutes a day of mental retraining, and studies have shown (including a study by NASA) that it takes a minimum of 30 days to break subconscious patterns.  
What does mental retraining consist of?
First determine your goal, and be very clear about what it is you want.  My next post will talk about the specifics of goal setting, but for now, just think of having clarity of vision. 
What do you want? Better health? More money? A physical challenge, like a marathon? More time with family? A new career?  
Next, you must state the WHY behind each goal. Why do you want it? Will it make you a better person? Will it make you healthier, so you can live longer and spend more quality time with your children and grandchildren? Will financial freedom allow you to pursue your dreams of travel, send your children to the best universities, or allow you to fulfill your deepest desires for charitable giving? Will the reduction of stress allow you to focus on yourself and your family and your fitness? 
Then through a combination of visualizations and affirmations, what Joe Dispenza calls Mental Rehearsal, state each desire, and/or act them out in your mind’s eye with passion and emotion, a minimum of twice daily.  Visioning is more than just passively fantasizing about what you want. It is a type of mental and emotional workout that actually prepares you to experience and attract into your life what you want (and what are already available to you). 
How do visualizations and affirmations work?  
Visualizations and affirmations are actually methods of rewiring of your brain.  Your brain does not know the difference between a real event and an imagined event. In fact, through PET scans, brain researchers have found that the brain responds in a very similar manner to actual and imagined events.  Neural pathways are developed that reflect what is frequently impressed upon the brain, and synaptic connections are build and reinforced that support habitual trains of thought.  This is how new beliefs are created.  By experiencing a desire regularly through visualization, you actually create the neural infrastructure to support and process it in reality.  
In other words, you must first lay the groundwork for your success!  See it in your mind – Believe it – See it manifested in your life!
some tips: 
How to write and utilize affirmations. 
Coming soon: The Anatomy of Goal Setting.  How to ensure your success! 

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Posted by: Jennifer Sage | January 27, 2008

When you feel like quitting

I don’t think there’s a soul on earth who hasn’t encountered days where he or she felt like quitting, or days when you are so discouraged by all the hard work you’ve done, yet haven’t yet seen the results of that work. Everyone has down days, everyone gets frustrated, everyone encounters obstacles on the way to their goals, everyone has felt like throwing in the towel.It’s how you handle that frustration that sets apart the successful people from those who give up and then just talk about how nothing works, or spend their lives envious of those “lucky” people who get everything they want.

At the start of this new year, I found myself in a place of frustration, with doubt creeping into my thoughts, even though I do my affirmations daily and truly believe in the power of the Law of Attraction. It is very helpful in these moments to have a coach to help you see what you might be missing. My “coach” is my Mastermind Group that I am involved in through a training program with John Assaraf of The Secret. We had our Mastermind call the second week of January, at the height of my frustration, and I expressed to the group my issues. I pride myself in usually not succumbing to these moments, and in keeping my spirits up despite the fact that everything isn’t quite the way I’d like it to be at that moment. But I trust this Mastermind group and felt comfortable enough to seek their advice.

So I asked them: Why am I not manifesting? What isn’t working? What am I missing? For the past few months, I have believed that 2008 will be the best year of my life, but so far, these first 2 weeks have basically…. well, suffice it to say, it wasn’t how I had visualized it would be.

The group reminded me about patience, and to remember the Law of Gender, or Gestation, which states that for anything to manifest it must have an incubation or gestation period (like a baby takes nine months, trees and flowers have their own gestation periods). In order to reap, you must first sow. Ideas are spiritual seeds and will move into form or physical results. Your goals will manifest when the time is right. Everything in your life has a gestation period. Don’t give up too early! Wait for the gestation period to bring it into form.

John talks about how lack of patience with the Law of Attraction is like digging up your seeds way too early. You plant them, water them with love, dig out the weeds so they have room to grow, and make sure they get enough sun. But wait! Where are the flowers I am expecting to see and enjoy? Why aren’t they there now? Maybe something is wrong….so you dig them up, convinced that the process isn’t working. And you see that the shoots had sprouted from their seeds, and were just about to break the surface of the soil! Had you just waited just a little longer, your seeds, your ideas, would have flourished.

I am here to say that the advice my Mastermind Group gave me was spot on! Beginning the very next day, I began to see the results of my affirmations. I had things happen to me that could only be explained through the Law of Attraction.

I want to share an excerpt from an amazing book, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill.

Before success comes in any person’s life, they are sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a person the easiest and logical thing to do is to quit.That is exactly what the majority of people do.More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their gratest success came just one step BEYOND the point at which defeat had overtaken them.Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.   

After speaking with my Mastermind Group, and after reading this, I emerged with a renewed sense that I WILL accomplish great things in my life; I experienced a surge in my mind, body and soul that I CAN achieve all of my goals.And YOU can too. Start today seeing in your mind the person you want to become and the life you want to lead.

You’re not going to quit, you’re not going to throw in the towel, you’re not going to be one of those doubters who spread negativity by saying all the good things happen to everyone else.

There’s a part of you that wants to expand into a greater YOU, and a part of you that wants to hold you in what you’ve known for years, which is your old patterns. Your old patterns are holding you back from your greatness.  But in order to break free of them, you’ve got to take risks, and you’ve got to be patient. If you don’t, then you’ll stay mired in the same ho-hum existence. You’ve heard the expression, If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

Get out there. Take risks. Believe. Be patient. And never give up!

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Let’s examine the importance of tailoring an exercise program to your specific needs and physiological responses to exercise, and you’ll see why it makes sense to also customize your nutrition to your specific needs (as explained in my previous post). We’ll look at what VO2 Max and lactate threshold testing is, and how you can use the information from these tests to pinpoint your precise training zones.

As a personal trainer, coach and Master Instructor for Spinning, I have long preached the importance of customizing exercise. There is no “average” person; every person’s response to exercise is different. Everyone is starting from a different place, based on their genetics, their experience, the length of time they’ve been training, their diet, their stress levels, and the way their body metabolizes fuels.

You know those charts that tell you to find your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) by subtracting your age from 220, and then to work out at a certain percentage of that number (such as 80%MHR)? Well these charts are based on flawed research – in reality, your maximum heart rate has nothing to do with your age, and doesn’t drop by one beat on your birthday each year. So if you utilize these training zones based on this formula, you could be training in zones that are way off from where you should be.

Did you know that every piece of cardio equipment that asks you for you age is using this formula?? It’s unfortunate that this is the industry standard.

As a trainer, the first thing I find out is someone’s goals, then test them, and then devise a program around those objectives and the results of their test. If your goal is to lose weight, you need to boost your body’s ability to burn fat as its fuel source. You also want to boost your caloric burn. Believe it or not, you are not likely to do them both at once (at least, not initially for someone new to exercise). You have to build your aerobic base, first, which is your fat burning ability.

If your goal is to improve performance (running, cycling, triathlon, general fitness, etc), then you would spend different durations in totally different training zones than the person above. You are more likely to train at higher intensities, once you’ve built your aerobic base. You would also periodize your training program, changing it up every few months, based on your goals or races that you’re preparing for.

So how do you know what heart rates to train in? Use that bogus 220-Age formula? Or whatever heart rate the treadmill tells you at the gym? Do that and you could be missing out the benefits you are personally seeking. The only way to truly know your training zones is to take a VO2 test.

A VO2 Max/LT test consists of a graded exercise test on a treadmill or exercise bike that lasts about 10-14 minutes. 

VO2 max exercise submax testing

From the results of the test, I can tell you precisely where your lactate threshold (LT) heart rate is, which is the point where your body’s lactate production exceeds the ability to remove it. Without getting too physiological (I’ll do that in another post) suffice it to say this is a very important point. Training below it improves your aerobic metabolism, training at or around this heart rate improves your endurance performance, and training above it is anaerobic and can improve your short duration performance.

The other thing I can tell from the test is how many fat calories your body burns at each level. The goal for aerobic training zones is for at least 50% of your fuel consumption to be from fat. If this isn’t the case (and it rarely is!), I would tailor a program for you to train at specific heart rates to improve your fat burning ability. I can tell you from experience, very few people, maximize their ability to tap into this more efficient fuel source. Most people rely instead on carbohydrates as fuel.

If you trained at intensities that were too high, you would be improving your anaerobic metabolism and not your aerobic system. Nor would you train your body to prefer fat as a fuel source. Without a good aerobic base, this can lead to a whole host of problems, not the least of which is heightened cortisol production, the inability to lose weight, and in general, poor results. On the other hand, if you were training at intensities that are too low, you will never improve your caloric burn rate or raise your LT, and will also most likely not achieve your goals.

Can you see how training at the wrong zones can cause frustration, especially when you don’t see the results you would like to see? The only way to truly know what intensities to train at is to have a metabolic graded exercise test to determine your lactate threshold and VO2 max.

If the average shoe size is a size 8, does that mean you should wear a size 8 if you’re a size 6? Of course not. Again, average does not apply to the human body. Not knowing your training zones is like throwing darts blindfolded. If you want to hit the bullseye, you must get a test done!

Can you see now how this same principle can apply to your nutrition? How do you truly know what you need unless you take a metabolic test that analyzes key biomarkers of functional metabolism? You can’t. There’s no one-size-fits-all vitamin, just like there’s no one-size-fits-all training zone or exercise program.

You are unique. Get tested!


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Posted by: Jennifer Sage | January 25, 2008

Customized nutrition for optimal health

For about a year, I’ve been working with an amazing customized nutrition company that has blown my mind with what it is offering. I remember when I first learned about it last year, I was astounded that this hasn’t been done before, and I recognize that this is truly the future of nutritional supplements. With wellness being the next trillion dollar industry, and baby boomers just now reaching the age of 65, doesn’t that sound like an amazing opportunity to you? But let me tell you a little about the product, which I am sure will blow you away as well. There is no one out there who are doing what this company is doing! No one!

As you may know, the modern American diet is severely lacking in essential nutrients; therefore, supplementing is necessary for health. Due to over-planting, soil depletion and the widespread use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the produce that is commercially grown today in the U.S. and Canada contains 75% less nutrition than it did in the 1950s (source: Health Canada). Furthermore, modern manufacturing methods destroy or lessen many of the nutrients in processed foods.

Thirty years ago, the medical establishment scorned vitamin supplementing as unnecessary, even though science supported it. Recently however, the “experts” reversed a 30-year stand against the need to take vitamins. A recent report by two Harvard University researchers in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) – the voice of the American Medical Establishment – stated in no uncertain terms that Americans need to supplement to remain healthy. (287, 23:3116-26, 2002)

You should know that ordinary “off-the-shelf” vitamin supplements (like One-A-Day, Centrum and others) are largely ineffective. First, these drug store brand multivitamins are in hard-to-absorb forms, or their ingredients are isolated from their synergistic nutrient partners, facts which can greatly reduce their effectiveness. But they are ineffective primarily because they are formulated for the “average” person. No such person exists. Everyone is different; everyone’s metabolism is different, and therefore everyone needs different nutrients in different amounts to maintain “peak” health.

Doesn’t that make sense to you? Look at your spouse, or friend, or someone you work with. Why would you need the same multi-vitamin? You don’t, and if you are taking the same thing, many of you are getting cheated out of some highly important nutrients that might very well be the answer to your health questions and issues.

So, how can an individual determine the nutritional formula that is exactly right for his/her metabolism? The answer is testing. Working with a nationally well known, reputable nutritional lab, this company has developed an affordable test that measures three chemical markers in a person’s urine, and extrapolates a customized nutritional formula from its results.

Customizing nutrition based on metabolic testing

The test is called the PrivaTest. It is an accurate, scientific way to take a snapshot of the most critical metabolic markers in your body’s natural waste fluids to determine the status of your nutritional health and your body’s natural ability to detoxify itself. A scientific window into your personal biochemistry, the PrivaTest determines cellular function by measuring markers in three critical areas:

* Urinary Sulfates – A marker for sulfur reserves (needed for your liver’s detoxification processes).

* Urinary Lipid Peroxides – A marker for oxidative stress (determines your general antioxidant status).

* Urinary Nitrates – A marker for the regulation of nitric oxide (a compound involved in many body systems including your immune system, nervous system and circulatory system). Linked to the inflammatory response.

Research has shown that poor or altered function in these areas may be the root cause of many health challenges. By analyzing these biomarkers, the PrivaTest can tell you where you need nutritional support, and how much or little of it you need. Over-supplementing can be just as dangerous as under-supplementing.

Targeted nutrition

You take the PrivaTest in the privacy of your own home, and send it directly to the lab (in the free Fed Ex mailer provided) to be analyzed. Based on the results of your test, and on your age and gender, a customized formula of the highest quality nutrients chosen for your body’s unique needs, are mailed directly to you. Our unique product is called Custom Essentials. While most other multivitamins contains less than 20 ingredients, Custom Essentials multivitamin is a blend of up to 50 pharmaceutical-grade vitamins, chelated minerals, amino acids and phytonutrients.

When you receive your first month’s supply of Custom Essentials with your PrivaTest Report, you’ll have in your hands the distillation of years of research on human nutrition, herbal medicine, biochemistry and metabolic science.

Custom Essentials is not a stock supplement that has been private-labeled. It is produced exclusively for Ideal Health – and for you – by a formulator that has been supplying healthcare professionals with quality nutritional supplements for over 50 years. This is why Custom Essentials is the best multivitamin on the market today.

Can you think of a better gift to give your body than custom health and peace of mind? If you would like more information on these amazing products, email me. I can provide you with the scientific literature behind the testing, or any other information on our lab or formulary if desired. Feel free to check out their website, but if you are interested in ordering the PrivaTest and Custom Essentials, contact me as I can sign you up as a wholesale customer.

Now, if you are a savvy person who can recognize that this is the future of supplementing (200 million Americans are already supplementing), and that this company might very well be the Microsoft of nutrition, then I am looking for some business partners who are looking for a unique opportunity to help others while achieving financial freedom. Let me know!

Here’s to optimal health!


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Posted by: Jennifer Sage | December 23, 2007

Which thoughts do you feed?

I am not sure of the source of this great lesson, but it sure is insightful…


One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.


He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.


The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”


The grandson thought about it for a minute, and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”


The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

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Posted by: Jennifer Sage | December 18, 2007

Holiday Eating Guide – how to keep the weight off!

It’s holiday party time!  The bane of everyone, especially athletes who are trying so hard not to gain weight during this time of increased eating and decreased activity.  I was going to write out a holiday eating guide, but I found one that is better than anything I could have written!  And it’s from a very reliable source.  I get emails from, which is Chris Carmichael’s coaching company.  Chris was Lance Armstrong’s coach during his years as a world-class cyclist, and he is now devoting his time to his excellent training and coaching company in Colorado Springs.  Chris gave me permission to reprint these tips here, and whether you are an athlete or not, you will find some excellent advice for keeping the weight off (or at least to a minimum) over the next month.     

Tips for Handling Holiday Parties and Keeping the Weight Off

What if I told you that you can wake up on January 1st without the spare tire you normally strap on between Thanksgiving and New Year’s? It’s much harder to lose weight than it is to gain it, because you can burn off a few hundred calories in an hour, but you can eat the same calories in a matter of seconds. The holiday season is roughly five weeks long, but many people are still dealing with its impact on body weight and fitness up to six months later. However, you don’t have to lose that which you don’t gain, and I’ve used the following guidance to help thousands of clients navigate through the holiday season without gaining unnecessary pounds or sacrificing fun.


The Top 5 Things You Should Do


1. Step away from the buffet table: The closer you stand to the food, the more of it you’re going to eat. You’re at the party to socialize with friends and family. Visit the food, and then find a good location away from it for people watching and catching up.

2. Shorten your workouts: Just because you’re schedule is packed, that’s no reason to forego exercise. Even short workouts are beneficial. On top of burning calories to keep weight off, workouts that are even 15-30 minutes help keep your fitness from eroding out from under you.

3. Seek healthy food options: Cranberries are packed with antioxidants and sweet potatoes are full of beta-carotene and quality protein. Want a simple dish to take to a party? Slice sweet potato wedges, spray lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and cayenne pepper before baking at 350 degrees until soft in the middle and crispy on the outside (about 20 minutes).

4. Drink wisely: Beer has fewer calories per ounce, but wine is served in smaller quantities. A four-ounce glass of wine has about 90 calories, and a pint of beer has about 150-160. Cocktails can be a relatively low-calorie option, but only if you choose low-calorie or no-calorie mixers like tonic water.

5. Fill your plate: Go through the buffet line and fill your plate. One full plate will likely contain fewer calories than you’ll accumulate with several small trips, especially if you reserve at least one-third of your plate for vegetables.


The Top 5 Things You Shouldn’t Do


1. Don’t go to the party hungry: Having a snack or a small meal before heading out to the party will keep you from gorging yourself. The best foods for this snack are high in fiber or low on the glycemic index, because these are the most filling. Try whole grains like a vegetable stir fry over whole grain rice, or low-fat cheese on whole grain crackers.

2. Don’t let stress wear you down: People make poor decisions when we’re tired and stressed out. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture of the holiday season. Find the days and weeks that will be tough because of schedules, parties, and travel; as well as the days where you can recuperate and pencil in time for yourself.

3. Don’t keep leftover sweets: Make your home your refuge from the holiday dessert overload. It’s one thing to keep leftover turkey for lunches and dinners, but give the extra pie and cookies to someone else. Take them into the office the next day, but don’t keep them in your house. If no one will take them, toss them.

4. Don’t close down the party: Make a memorable appearance at the party, socialize, eat, drink, thank the host, and then find a reason to leave. The longer you stay, the more you will eat and drink, and the later it gets, the more you’re likely to overindulge, in a variety of ways.

5. Don’t skip your favorite treats: The holidays bring out foods specific to the season, including favorites you’ve been waiting all year to have again. You shouldn’t deprive yourself of your favorites, but don’t waste calories on sweets and high-fat dishes you don’t really like at any time of year. Choose your indulgences wisely.


It’s important to keep the holiday season in perspective and do your best to maintain your normal routines. Continue exercising, but don’t obsess about every calorie you put in your mouth or burn off with activity. And even if you start to gain weight, it’s not the end of the world; just keep your gains under control. Three to five pounds will melt off within a few weeks after the holidays, but it could take well into the spring to shed 15. Above all, stay safe and enjoy the opportunities this season presents to spend more time with friends and loved ones. 

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