Thursday, August 30, 2012

Devilish Dairy

Laser Provision: "Ice cream," they say, "is to die for." Unfortunately, that expression is more true than people know. Dairy products may taste great, but they cause more problems than they solve. Don't believe the propaganda as to how milk "does a body good." That may help the National Dairy Council sell milk, but it will not help you become healthy and well. It goes against the grain of what we know about evolutionary and orthomolecular nutrition. Not even children need to drink milk. Read on to find out why, and what to eat instead.

Coaching Inquiries: How much milk and dairy products do you consume on a regular basis? Are they no-fat, low-fat, or full-fat? Are they conventional or organic? Are they combined with alkaline-producing foods, or consumed on their own? How could you reduce or eliminate your consumption of milk and other dairy products? What changes would you have to make? Who could assist you to become a dairy-free zone on the road to wellness?

Gordian Grains

Laser Provision: After a few notes and acknowledgements, this Provision tackles one of the biggest health conundrums of them all: what to do with grains. On the one hand, there's no way to feed the more than 7 billion people on this planet without the abundant calories produced by grains. On the other hand, grains, like legumes, pose their own set of health problems. What's good for the many may not be good for the one, and vice-versa. So what's a person to do? Read on for a few words to the wise.

Coaching Inquiries: What part do grains play in your diet? Have you noticed any signs of gluten sensitivity? Are there times when you have trouble controlling your appetite? What would it take to reduce or eliminate your consumption of grains? Is there one grain, in particular, that you would like to start with? Who could join you in going against the grain?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Libelous Legumes

Laser Provision: Most people probably think of beans, peas, soy products, peanuts, and other legumes as perfectly safe to eat and perhaps even as healthy alternatives to meat. That may be true when it comes to commercial meat, the quality of which is so often compromised by the animal's treatment while alive and trauma while dying. But legumes pose their own set of health hazards. They often cause more problems than they solve, particularly for infants, children, and genetically susceptible individuals. All of us have to cope with their allergens, anti-nutrients, and hormones; which is why I view them more as something to be enjoyed on occasion rather than eaten regularly as a dietary staple. Read on to get the scoop on libelous legumes.

Coaching Inquiries: How many and want kinds of legumes do you include in your diet? How often do you eat them? When you eat soybeans, are they fermented or non-fermented? Do they come from genetically modified sources? What are your thoughts now as to any changes you might like to make? What other information do you want? Who would you want to talk with in the quest for wellness?

Trojan Foods

Laser Provision: It's one thing to eat a food and to get sick soon thereafter. We learn very quickly to not do that again. It's another thing to eat foods that slowly but surely chip away at our health and wellness. We hardly notice their debilitating effects and then, once noticed, we often fail to connect the dots back to the foods we have been eating. If you suspect that your foods may be causing health problems, beyond the most obvious of hazards, then this Provision will assist you to dig a little deeper and to clean up your diet even more.

Coaching Inquiries: Do you or does anyone in your family have any of the problems mentioned in today's Provision? Are there times when the problems are better and times when the problems are worse? What patterns do you notice? Do they follow your consumption of toxic lectins? How could you reduce your intake of grains, legumes, dairy products, and nightshade vegetables? Who could join you in the quest for health?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Resilient Roots

Laser Provision: Strong roots make for great resilience; that's as true for plants as it is for people. Without strong roots, trees blow over in the wind while people without strong roots get exhausted in the face of challenge. That connection accounts, in part, for why I love to eat root vegetables whenever I am about to face a demanding athletic challenge. The energy stored in those starchy tubers gives me the energy to go the distance in my race. Such vegetables should not be a daily indulgence, but they do have their place in a healthy diet. Read on to find out how they fit in.

Coaching Inquiries: How often do you eat starchy, root vegetables? How often do you eat other starchy vegetables, such as winter squash? Do you eat them fried in oil, mashed with dairy products, or otherwise loaded with fatty condiments? How could you reduce or eliminate such preparations? How could you make splendid, tossed salads a part of your daily routine? Who could join you for a healthy lunch in the days ahead?

Naturally Nuts

Laser Provision: In addition to fruits, vegetables, wild game including birds and fish, our distant ancestors had relatively easy access to three other foods: nuts, seeds, and eggs. These foods rounded out the protein and fat requirements of their healthy diets. Fortunately, we can replicate their food choices in today's world. We can eat more seeds, nuts, and eggs – not to mention wild, fatty fish – that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These heart-healthy fats help to offset the heart-risky fats in the quest for optimum wellness. Curious about the foods to choose? Read on for a variety of tips, pointers, and suggestions.

Coaching Inquiries: What seeds, nuts, eggs, and fish do you eat? How do you get your Omega-3 fatty acids? How could you improve the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids? Are there ways to make healthy fats a more regular part of your diet? Where could you go to find the seeds, nuts, eggs, and fish that would make it so?

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Perfect Protein

Laser Provision: Quantity, when it comes to protein, is generally not a problem. Most people in the developed world actually eat too much protein. But do we eat the right proteins for health and wellness? Do we even know what the right proteins are? From the standpoint of evolutionary nutrition, the answer is clear: people evolved eating non-starchy fruits and vegetables along with nuts, seeds, eggs, wild game, and wild fish. Those are the proteins our bodies digest most easily, and those are the proteins that many people are rediscovering today. If you want to make them a part of your diet, then this Provision is for you. It will point you to sources and formulas for success.

Coaching Inquiries: What proteins do you eat on a regular basis? Do you consciously look for free-range eggs, grass-fed meat, and wild fish? Do you know what local food sources are available to you? How could you befriend these sources and share them with others? What foods are you allergic to or intolerant of? How could your protein consumption contribute to both your well-being and the well-being of the planet?

Vital Veggies

Laser Provision: Too often vegetables are an afterthought, as in, "Eat your fruits and vegetables." But vegetables deserve far more attention than that. They are at least as important, if not more important, to health and wellness than their fruitier cousins. We're not talking here about French Fries and peanuts; those may be vegetables but they are not healthy vegetables. We are talking about fresh, colorful vegetables, ideally from local, organic sources, that can be eaten raw or lightly steamed. Salads, greens, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli can make a body whole, so why not eat some today? Click here to read on.

Coaching Inquiries: How colorful is your plate? Is more than half the plate filled with fruits and vegetables? How can you find more local sources for these nutritional powerhouses? What changes would you want to make in order to have a healthier diet? How could you make it so?

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Water Rights

Laser Provision: Good nutrition starts with good hydration. The human body is more water than anything else, so it behooves us to stay adequately hydrated with clean, fresh water. In most environments, that's easier said than done. Either clean, fresh water is not available or it is eclipsed by other liquids. For anyone who wants to reach and maintain both optimal weight and wellness, other liquids are best kept to a minimum. Surround yourself with dependable sources of clean, fresh water and drink at least two quarts (1.9 liters) per day – that's a primary input for health. Read on...

Coaching Inquiries: What are your beverages of choice? How could you decrease the consumption of other liquids and increase the consumption of clean, fresh water? Do you filter or distill your drinking water? What systems could you put in place that would making drinking water an easier choice?

Better Nutritional Guidelines

Laser Provision: In today's Provision we look at the details of why the official 2010 Dietary Recommendations for Americans read the way they do. They've come a long way since their last revision in 2005, but they are still limited by the mass audience for which they are written and the vested interests behind the food industry. If you want to stand out from the crowd, if you want to do better with your own health and wellness than most of the other people on the planet, then you may want to read through this Provision. Different results require different practices, and that's exactly what this Provision has in store. Click HERE to read on. Enjoy!

Coaching Inquiries: How would you describe your pattern of eating? What changes, if any, would you like to make? Where could you turn for healthy, local food sources? Do you know anyone who is a great representative of optimal wellness? How could you interview them to learn more about how and why they do what they do?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fabulous Fruits

Laser Provision: Today we dig into the one food that really loves to be eaten: fruit. There's no way to eat too much fruit that is fresh, colorful, and organic (ideally from in-season, local sources). That's because such fruit is so good for you. It is nutrient-rich with many health benefits, not to mention the sense of satiation that it brings. If you want to control your weight without getting rid of the carbohydrates, then fruit is your friend. Read on to find out the details.

Coaching Inquiries: How many pieces of fresh, colorful, and organic fruit do you eat on a daily basis? How could you eat more? What are some sources in your area for local fruit? Have you checked out the farmer's markets or Community Supported Agriculture farmers?

Powerful Plants

Laser Provision: When it comes to optimal wellness, the nutritional powerhouses are fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. These foods are the star performers with a delightful quality: there's almost no way to eat too much of them. That's why the LifeTrek Optimal Wellness Prototype sets a minimum daily level of consumption for fruits and vegetables with no maximum. They are the go-to foods when you are feeling hungry. Want to know how these foods fit in with the other plants you may be eating? This Provision covers them all.

Coaching Inquiries: Are raw fruits and vegetables among the staples of your diet? How could you increase your consumption of these nutritional powerhouses? Do you eat a lot of beans, potatoes, and grains? How could you decrease your consumption of these agricultural products? How could you map out a healthy menu for the next week? Who could work on that menu with you?

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Water Clarity

Laser Provision: When I first wrote about Water Rights almost six years ago, I received so many replies and requests that I wrote a follow-up Provision on the same subject. This time around was no different! There's obviously a lot of interest here, so I've written this Provision in Q&A format, grabbing questions and comments from both editions. The bottom line is that water benefits us on many levels, including the physical, mental, and spiritual. From the waters of the womb to the decomposition of the grave, water makes life possible. The better we connect with and treat water, the better life will be – so I hope you will join me for a few more reflections on the subject. Click here to read this full Provision.

Coaching Inquiries: What place do love and gratitude have in your life? How could consuming more and better water benefit you both physically and spiritually? Where are there bodies of water, or streams of moving water, that you could look at, get into, and / or otherwise connect with? Who could become your water body for life?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Nutrition 501

Laser Provision: What are the basics of healthy nutrition? That question is harder to answer than it might, at first, appear. Food isn't what it used to be and the effects are taking their toll. Overweight and obesity are the rule rather than the exception in many parts of the world while, at the same time, people elsewhere are starving in abject poverty. What's a person to do? The key is to get educated and interested in sustainable, healthy nutrition. It's not beyond our ability to turn things around. Read on to learn more!

Coaching Inquiries: Which of the 2010 Dietary Recommendations do you follow on a regular basis? Which ones could you start to follow more regularly? What changes would you like to make in your nutritional routine? Who could you recruit to share the journey with you?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Our Distributed Brain - What Have We Learned?

Laser Provision: When I started this Provisions series on Our Distributed Brains, little did I know what an educational and eventful four months it would be. I invited you then to help me co-construct this Provisions series by referring me to some of your favorite books and articles on learning and the brain. You did not disappoint. I am still making my way through the digital pile! In addition, as most of you know, my 87-year-old mother died rather suddenly and mercifully during this same period of time. Talk about learning from experience! My Limbic system, the seat of emotion, took over with deep feelings of sadness and grief. It's time now to summarize what we have learned before we move on to other topics. People tell me they love these summaries; I hope this one is no exception. Click here to read on.

Coaching Inquiries: What stimulates your brain for life? What would you like more of? What would you like less of? What goals might you be interested in taking up? Who would be a good conversation partner to talk with? What would you like to learn? How could notice more of the good stuff that makes life worth living?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Your Brain On Wonder

Laser Provision: There is, of course, a play on words in Candace Pert's 2006 book title, Everything you Need to Feel Go(o)d. Feeling good and feeling the presence of God are inextricably connected. The physiology, psychology, and spirituality of goodness and God are one and the same. There is a simple reason for that as everyone learned as a child: God is good. If you want to see how that works then join me for a Provision on wonder. It really is good to feel good.

Coaching Inquiries: What kind of emotions do you inspire in life and work? What kind of emotions are you filled with right now? How could you become more aware of them? How could you become more emotionally intelligent? What practices might assist you to listen more deeply and align yourself more fully with positive emotions? What is one thing you could do right now?

Your Brain On Learning

Laser Provision: My wife, Megan, and I recently spent a week in Las Vegas. It's not what you think. No gambling and glitzy shows for us. We spent the week laboring on the new home of our daughter and son-in-law. They purchased a foreclosure property which meant two things: they got a great deal and a great opportunity to learn about the joys of home ownership. No more calling the landlord when something doesn't work! Instead, you learn how to take care of things yourself. Where does learning come from and how does it work? With a nod to mirror neurons, I invite you to learn about learning in today's Provision.

Coaching Inquiries: What are some of your learning goals? What has been your approach to those goals? How have you been stimulating your mirror neurons? What successful examples have you been able to watch and what mental rehearsals have you been able to muster? How could you become even more engaged in learning what you want to learn?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Your Brain On Sleep

Laser Provision: Right before my mother went into the hospital for the medical crisis that led to her death, I wrote a Provision titled Your Brain on Exercise. Then began the 3-week odyssey of waiting, grief, and support that I have written about and shared with you through Provisions. During that 3-week period, many of my normal patterns had been greatly disrupted. Not only productivity, but exercise and sleep had suffered as well. Does that make a difference in brain functioning? You bet! Read on to find out more.

Coaching Inquiries: What is your pattern when it comes to sleep? Are you getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night? What could help you to push that up to 7.5 hours or more? What practices help you to get a good night's sleep? How might your life be better if your brain was getting more sleep? What's keeping you from making it so?

Your Brain On Exercise

Laser Provision: I have often written about the connection between my running routines and these weekly Provisions. Schedule permitting, I often sit down and write them soon after I clean up from a long run. I'm doing that right now. If you thought that running for 2+ hours just gives me a lot of time to think, you have only a small part of the picture. Exercise doesn't just give me time to think, it fuels the brain with ideas, happiness, vitality, alertness, and creativity. That's because, as we have seen my current Provision series, the brain is not just in our heads. It is distributed throughout the body and is nourished through a physiology of extracellular chemicals and fluids. If you want to make your brain smarter, then exercise may be just what the doctor ordered. Intrigued? Read on.

Coaching Inquiries: What is your pattern when it comes to exercise? Are you getting at least 90 minutes of vigorous exercise a week? What could help you to push that up to 150 minutes or more? Who could help you? What are some of your favorite exercises and activities? How might your life be better if your brain was sharper and your mood was happier? What's keeping you from taking the first step?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Your Brain On Dialogue

Laser Provision: I last wrote about the impact of goals on the human brain and by now I hope you know that when I write "brain" I mean the entire body-brain complex. Our brains are connected and distributed throughout every part of our body and goals have a demonstrable, beneficial effect on both their form and function. Simply put, it's good to put your brain on goals. But goals are not the only brain food. Omnivores that we are, our brains also thrive on dialogue. Indeed, if you want to wake up your brain there's no more surefire way to do that than to get into an engaging conversation with someone, if not an argument. Maybe that's why you're reading this Provision right now. Read on to start the conversation.

Coaching Inquiries: When was the last time that you had a good dialogue with yourself? With someone else? How could you deepen those practices? What kind of effect do you think that would have on your life and work? What's keeping you from starting that dialogue right now?

Monday, April 09, 2012

Your Brain On Goals

Laser Provision: When people work with coaches they usually want help with setting and achieving goals. The motivation is often very practical: they want to be more successful in life and work. What they don't always realize, however, is that the act of setting and striving to achieve goals changes the brain in demonstrable and positive ways. If you want to not only accomplish more but also to feel better, one of the best prescriptions is to get involved with intrinsic, goal-directed behavior. When was the last time you put your brain on goals? If it's been awhile, then this Provision might give you a nudge.

Coaching Inquiries: What are your goals right now? Are you sure? How could your goals better serve your life energy? What designs would help your goals to be expressed more fully? How could you stay focused on your goals even when distractions arise? What systems do you use, like a project manager, for progress monitoring? Who could help you to improve those systems in life and work?

To reply to this Provision, use our Feedback Form. To talk with us about coaching or consulting services for yourself or your organization, Email Us ( or use our Contact Form to arrange a complimentary conversation. To learn more about LifeTrek Coaching programs, Click Here.

The Subtle Energies of Intelligence

Laser Provision: As people have sought to understand the workings of the brain, our imagination has often been limited and shaped by our technology. As the industrial revolution got underway, the brain and nervous system were understood in mechanical terms. With the advent of electricity and computers, they were understood in binary terms. Things were either on or off, 1 or 0, with different combinations generating different functions and outputs. Now, however, with ever-more sophisticated models of chemical neuroanatomy, researchers are rearranging the pieces of the puzzle all over again. The brain is not a digital computer. It is a biochemical soup continuously wafting subtle energies of intelligence. If you'd like to learn how to play with the recipe, read on.

Coaching Inquiries: What practices do you engage in most frequently that help you to feel good? What practices would you like to try? How would you know if they were starting to have an effect? What would change about your mood and emotion? What kinds of intelligence might be evoked?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stop Mental Musterbating

Laser Provision: You read that Provision title right. The best thing we can do for our brains, in particular, and our happiness overall is to stop musterbating. You know what I mean: all those mental lists we keep of the things we "must" and "must not" do. Checklists are one thing, and many people find them to be helpful. "Must" and "must not" do lists are quite another thing. They cause us to "should" on ourselves with all kind of negative self talk about how sick, dumb, crazy, or stupid we are to not be doing what we are supposed to be doing. Sound familiar? Do you play the "should-a, would-a, could-a" game with yourself? If so, then this Provision may give you both relief and direction. How do you spell relief? Read on!

Coaching Inquiries: How often do you blame, belittle, or berate yourself? How often do you think such thoughts about others? What would your life be like if you were to let go of all mental musterbating? What if the "should-a, would-a, could-a" voices were dial down the volume or even disappear? How good would that be? How could you make it so?

Our Organizing Minds

Laser Provision: Today's Provision is an appreciative review of a new book co-authored by my friend and colleague, Margaret Moore, the CEO of Wellcoaches Corporation and co-director of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. The premise of the book is simple: to organize our lives we must first organize our minds. What that means and how to get it done is what the book and this Provision is all about. If you've been looking for a fresh approach to long-standing problems of disorganization and distraction, then I invite you to fasten your seat belt and read on. In one Provision we will cover all six Rules of Order. Click here to read on.

Coaching Inquiries: How would you describe the state of your organizing mind? Is it on autopilot or have you taken control? What would help you to be more aware and active? How could you get more sleep? How would you describe your priorities in life and work? How could you pay more attention to them both now and in the future? Who could coach you through the conversation?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Overwhelmed or Under Equipped?

Laser Provision: Increasing numbers of articles and books are being published, mostly by those who are 30 and over, with a similar refrain: the stress we are feeling these days reflects the fact that our brains have not yet caught up to our wired, 24-7 world. The overwhelm that we feel is not a personal failing; it is a global phenomenon that is taking a tremendous toll on our health and well-being. Fortunately, antidotes exist and they don't cost much money. A simple walk in the woods, taken regularly, may do the trick. So, too, with turning off the news and taking a few deep breaths. Although future generations may have better-equipped brains for the lives we now lead, the ones we have now require frequent servicing. If you've been looking for a respite, click here - this Provision fits the bill.

Coaching Inquiries: What practices assist you to find an oasis in the overwhelm? What helps you to eat well, exercise regularly, care for yourself, and relax your brain? How often do you do those things? Who could be your partner in the process? What would help you to more fully enjoy the journey?