‘Tis The Season Of Sobriety


This is a freelance article by Helen Norton

Christmas is just around the corner now and the party season is already in full swing. Whether it’s office parties, family gatherings or new years celebrations, the chances are many people will increase their alcohol intake over the festive period. For most, this won’t cause any lasting damage but for people with existing alcohol problems it can be a common time for relapse and risking over indulgence.

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Not only that, but one report links alcohol with statistics that put Christmas and Thanksgiving amongst some of the most dangerous holidays of the year. With this in mind is it really necessary to drink heavily this year? Sure it might be nice to enjoy some festive fizz and a toast with your turkey but there are plenty of ways to enjoy a sober season and still have a great time. Here are some reasons why cutting out alcohol this Christmas could give you a new lease on life  and make you merrier than ever.

No hangovers

Roughly 75% of drinkers are thought to experience some hangover symptoms after bingeing on alcohol. If this includes you then you will be familiar with the headache, dizziness and nausea (often caused by dehydration as alcohol is a diuretic) that you may experience the morning after the night before. Many people also experience mild depressive symptoms on these ‘booze comedowns.’ Doesn’t sound very merry does it? For every night you spend drinking the chances are you’ll waste a day, or at least a morning, feeling ill, tired and blue. That time during the festive period that could be better spent enjoying yourself.

Save money



Those Christmas nights out really do add up financially. Take into account the cost of your cabs, post-alcohol takeout, the drinks themselves and any other poor spending choices you may make under the influence and you will find those dollars racking up. Then there’s the added cost to your shopping cart as you stock up on wines, spirits and beers for the family at home. Christmas is already an expensive time of year so why not cut out one unnecessary cost and encourage those around to you opt for alcohol free wine, cheap soft drinks or better still, a free tap water so that you can all put the money to better use – think extra gifts or even a family meal out sans the cocktails.

Be more productive



Around the festive period we spend a lot of our free time socializing and this often includes dining, drinking and not much else. Of course Christmas is a great time of year to catch up and spend time with family and friends but don’t feel pressured to attend every single social engagement going – there will be many of them. Instead spend your time more productively. Take on a project such as clearing out your old junk to make room for this years gifts. You could even donate any unwanted toys or clothes to a homeless shelter to try to help someone else have a happier Christmas. Or why not set about making some handmade cards, gifts or Christmas baking? Ultimately you will have more to show for your time than a sore head and this will improve your morale and Christmas spirit too.

Look better

Christmas time is often a time for indulgence and unsurprisingly the average American will put on weight during the festive period as they load up on comforting carbs, sumptuous sides and sweet treats. Alcohol is also responsible for bumping up your calorie intake so cutting it out can be a good way to try to keep weight gain to a minimum and reduce cellulite which experts believe is worsened by the toxins in alcohol. Aside from that, alcohol can dehydrate the skin and deprive it of vitamins and nutrients which may lead to a breakout of spots – not a good look for the office party – and can also give you bad breath and bloodshot eyes.

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This is all before you lose you inhibitions and begin dancing drunk on tables. Trust us, the best look this season is sober.

New years resolutions

It’s never too early to begin your new years resolutions and if staying sober is something you’d like to take into the new year then getting through Christmas is the ultimate test. During the holidays everyone seems to drink a little more so the temptation is greater and attitudes are more relaxed. If you can abstain through this period then you have a much higher chance of sticking to your resolution come January and with that you can enjoy the perks of sobriety – good looks, better health, productivity, more cash and a general new lease of life – all year-long.

Live and Learn. We All Do.

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Origins Exclusive Worldwide Premiere WATCH NOW!


Four Years, 19 countries, and 24 experts in Anthropology, medicine, ecology, and health have exposed the roots of our DNA and how to prevent the modern world from making you sick. Watch FREE November 13th – November 22nd.

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Are You A Winner?


I am not using the word winner in a Lombardian sense that we probably know—that winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. Vince Lombardi never said, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” Although that is the quote most often attributed to him, his actual words were: “Winning is not everything, but making the effort to win is.” All his life, Lombardi made that effort.You don’t need to win in order to be a winner. This statement would be incorrect if you seek something besides self-improvement.

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Some people want to win the lottery while others want to win a gold medal. Some people want to gain control and others seek to acquire status or assets. Whether you know it or not, or like it or not, you are in a constant pursuit of a goal at any given time.

This can be consciously or subconsciously.

Most of the time, we attach a conscious goal to our quest for self-improvement. At the same time, there is always an underlying self-belief that is responsible for our subconscious self-sabotaging pursuit. Basically, we set goals with our conscious and we pursue with our subconscious. For some people, more often than you think, these are two completely separate things. You are just not aware of it.

There is a big difference between winning and growing.

How important is winning in the traditional sense of conquering the opponent? Success in business depends on a person’s ability to produce and perform better than others. Although idealists would have us believe that we can survive without being competitive, this idea is not consistent with reality.

Adults are expected to pay bills on time, fulfill obligations to family, friends, and business associates, and conform to certain requirements of society. Of course, a non-competitive person can reach high levels of performance in our society but these are exceptions rather than rule.

We must posses a certain amount of competitiveness to survive and get ahead.

But, a true winner is a person who plays up to his or her potential. A winner can be a child who almost caught a ball.   A winner can be the kid who lost a tennis match love six, love six, but hit the ball a little better than the last time out. Self- improvement is the essence of winning. If you improve, you will be on the road of the winner.

Winning is growing. Growing can only be possible if you have your best interest in mind and can only occur at your own expense. Growing is obtainable only when you take responsibility for your own actions and involvement. You don’t lose when you lose a fight. You lose when you fail to learn something about yourself.

You don’t lose when someone else is better than you. You lose if you’re not better today than you were yesterday. You don’t win when you become physically strong; rather you do when you learn how to use your strength. You’re not a better person just because you do good deeds; you are when you feel good about doing good deeds.

There’s a big difference between winning against others and winning against your subconscious sabotaging self-beliefs. There is a big difference between growing in your own eyes versus growing in someone else’s eyes. It’s not about what they think about you, it is what you think of yourself. By definition, self-improvement can only come from within, from your self. It’s self-validation you’ll need if you want to experience any growth and to notice any self-improvement.

De-emphasizing winning during childhood is not the same as abandoning excellence.

If you continue to progress, you will eventually out perform other people. For most of us, there will always be someone who can move better, hit the ball harder, putt with more accuracy, or lift more weight. But through practice, you can and will improve. If you shun something because you aren’t performing as well as other people, the only person you are cheating is yourself.

Winning is an important part of life. When you win you know you have performed well – or at least better than your opponent. However, the opponent you should concentrate on most is yourself.

Competing is a journey rather than a destination. Winning is acknowledging, not receiving. When you set a goal, make sure it has a healthy background and that it has your best interest in mind. You are more likely to spend more time pursuing your goals than actually enjoying your achievements.

Therefore, make sure whatever you are pursuing, practicing, or working towards brings you happiness and joy, or why do it? If it’s not self-improvement you are chasing, then what are you chasing? If you’re not doing it for yourself, then whom are you doing it for? If LATER is when you’re going to start living your LIFE, what is it that you’re enjoying right NOW? If it’s not YOU who’s responsible for your own improvement, happiness, and joy, then WHO is?

Live and Learn. We All Do.

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Google Brings Ancient Egypt To Life


Visit the last standing wonder of the ancient world.

Come walk among the pharaohs.

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Bon Voyage Spartans! Cruise Sweepstakes Take Spartans By Storm


You’ve just completed your workout and are really feeling the tension in your muscles. You congratulate yourself on how hard you worked and dream about how much stronger you’ll be as a result.

What you’re forgetting, however, is the second key component of a great workout: muscle relaxation. Not only do you need to stimulate your muscles to grow, you must also provide them with enough rest and relaxation to heal and repair themselves so they will grow stronger.

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That is just what Joe De Sena plans to teach the Spartan Community with the First-Ever Spartan Race cruise to a private Bahamas Island.

The three-night Friday afternoon through Monday morning experience will feature an all-inclusive Norwegian Cruise Line cruise on the luxurious Sky from Miami, a 3+mile/15+ obstacle Spartan Sprint on a private island in the Bahamas’ Great Stirrup Cay, live music, dancing, all meals, and what’s considered best of all: a $50,000 prize pool for Elite racers.

The oceanside course will be hosted by Spartan founder Joe De Sena who will join the estimated 2,000 race enthusiasts and their families for this first-ever totally immersive island experience.

*             The first 200 racers that sign up for the “Elite” wave will be eligible for the $50,000 prize pool. The 200 spots will be on a first come, first serve basis.

**             Kids Travel Free – Children 17 and under at the time of booking are free* but are required to pay the Port Charges/Taxes/ Gratuities/Admin Fee/Cancelation and Medical Emergency Insurance: $288.00 per child – *ONLY if they are the 3rd or 4th passenger in the cabin. Otherwise, they will pay full price.

Sand, surf and obstacles await you on this one of a kind Spartan adventure. Join fellow Spartans March 6-9, 2015 when you’ll be taken on a cruise liner from the Port of Miami to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas for a first of it’s kind Spartan Sprint! Can you say, “Best. Vacation. EVER!?” Don’t Miss the Boat – Cabins are SellingFast!

To register log onto: www.thespartancruise.com/ or call 800 248 7471.

For a free race use code: BOP71588689

This code will work one time for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any Spartan Race in the continental US.

Use SPARTANBLOGGER to receive 10% off of any race.

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Five Things To Know About Beta Glucan


Although there’s no secret formula for a lifetime of good health, scores of research show that one daily supplement comes close: Beta Glucan. Hugely beneficial but little known, Beta Glucan is a polysaccharide, or a carb consisting of bonded sugar molecules, made of glucose. Glucose activates immune cells, which then trap foreign substances that shouldn’t be in your body. Below are five basic facts you need to know about this effective supplement:

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1. They’re Your Own Little Soldiers: Visualize that your immune cells are soldiers, and their job is to protect their homeland: your body. Beta Glucan can be thought of as your army’s General: the one who makes the decisions, trains its Immunocyte army, and then leads the attack on foreign pathogens. If you have a virus, for instance, Beta Glucan sounds the alarm to stimulate white blood cells to bind to the virus and destroy it. It’s important to have as strong an army – or immune system – as possible in order to fight off illness and prevent future diseases.

2. You Can’t Find it Everywhere: Unfortunately, Beta Glucan is not naturally occurring in the body, so the only way to get your hands on this incredibly important compound is through outside sources. Beta Glucan supplements can be purchased, and it can also be found in several common foods, including shiitake mushrooms, baker’s yeast, and cereal grains, like oats, wheat, rye, and barley. Think of it as another reason to eat your Cheerios.

3. …But They Are for Everyone: Because Beta Glucan is a lesser-known supplement, there exists the misconception that it’s not for everyone. Beta Glucan is, in fact, beneficial for all; however, until recently, it was not easily accessible to the public. Until six years ago, a 500mg bottle of the supplement could cost up to $60,000. Thankfully, recent advancements by A. J. Lanigan have lowered the price to $69.95. Today, whether you’re healthy or sick, it is recommended to take Beta Glucan every day.

4. It Can Help the Big and Small Infections: Having a stronger immune system means being able to respond better and faster to unknown pathogens in the body. This means that Beta Glucan, simply by strengthening the immune system, has the ability to battle bacteria, such as Staphylococcus or traveler’s diarrhea. In a 2008 study by the Montana Center for Work Physiology, it was shown that firemen given Beta Glucan had far fewer upper respiratory tract infections than those given a placebo. It’s also been reported to help with cancer and high cholesterol.

5. No Negative Side Effects: We know it sounds nearly too good to be true, but it’s been proven time and time again that Beta Glucan is safe and non-toxic. Multiple studies examining organs, tissues, and even brain function have shown that Beta Glucan only has positive effects. In fact, even people who were taking higher than recommended doses displayed zero side effects. There is no possibility of over-stimulating the immune system, nor is it unsafe to combine Beta Glucan with other prescribed medications. As Lanigan said, “Unless you hit somebody in the eye with the bottle, there is no harm that can be caused by this product.”

 Better Way Health

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You’re Only As Young As Your Spine Is Flexible.


This year I turned 35 years old. I can’t believe it. I rang in my new year with two herniated discs in my neck and never felt such excruciating pain – debilitating actually.

I saw multiple doctors. Anything to get rid of the pain and get me back to normal. An Orthopedic surgeon, acupuncturist, Chiropractor – you name it I probably pursued it.

Unfortunately for me, nothing really helped, until my parents bought me an inversion table for my birthday.

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Now to most, this probably seems like a weird sort of gift. But, if you know my father and our family – it’s not really weird at all.

So from July 29th until today I have incorporated hanging upside down into my physical fitness routine of the day and I can’t believe I never tried this before! And, I’m happy to report the pain is finally gone.

What is Inversion?

Inversion is an ancient technique that dates back to around 400 B.C during the time of Hippocrates. Inversion is simply hanging upside down using specially designed equipment.

If you thought hanging upside down to relieve back pain is some wacky, new age idea?

Think again.

Evidence shows Ancient Egyptians have been practicing inversion therapy since antiquity. We know for sure that inversion was used at least as early as 400 B.C., when Hippocrates, the father of medicine, first watched a patient have his knees and ankles tied to a ladder to be hoisted upside down for a dose of what has come to be known as inversion therapy.

They were labeled crazy, quacks and charlatans. But they were forward thinkers, ahead of their times, just like the great minds of the past who modernized our world.

Today, the Greek theories on inversion are still valid, but today there is a much easier way to relieve the back pains most people experience from time to time.

For centuries traction had been one of the primary doctor prescribed therapies for back problems. Recently pain medication and surgical treatments became popular. Even though traction was recommended for centuries sometimes modern doctors will advise against inversion therapy.

One of the main reasons doctors today advise against inversion is because they do not understand that the user has total control over the angle of incline and extreme angels that may concern the physician are not recommended nor are they usually necessary for achieving great benefits.

What some doctors need to realize is that a person can set the table for horizontal or any mild degree of incline. When very mild angles are used the stresses on the body are minimal and any risks are reduced.

If you think about it inversion makes a lot of sense.

In the development of life on earth, no force is of greater consequence than the force of gravity. This force, without the intelligent use of exchange of postures, can deform, disable or even destroy your body. Gravity applies its constant, relentless force to the pliable, moldable, movable structures of the body; much like a potter manipulates and molds clay.

One doctor suggested that there are six basic human postural categories. Three of them are common postures. Most people spend their lives, twenty-four hours a day in these postures. The other three postures are uncommon.

Sitting and standing are the two main compression postures. We spend 2/3 of our lives in these postures every day. These postures put a tremendous amount of pressure to the spine, discs and to the weight bearing joints of the body.

Compressional fatigue shows up as sagging of the facial skin, chest, breasts and abdomen are the most obvious. And the less obvious is what is not visible but happens to the spine and discs subsequently.

Since we cannot see with the naked eye what’s going on inside we do not place a lot of importance to it.

That’s why it makes so much sense to hang upside down and decompress the body. All that compression needs to be reversed.

If you are in a vertical position, which is standing, sitting, bending forward this causes compression. But if you incorporate movement to any of these three postures you can negate some of the compressive force of gravity. This is one reason why exercise is so good for you.

The natural laws of nature by which we all live greatly affect our daily lives. The sun rises in the morning, travels the course of the day and sets in the evening. It is an inevitable cycle.   The moon rises and sets and the tides are affected by the moon’s cycle.

There are some tides that rise to a height of 16 feet. Gravity pulls this tide of water down again when the moon is taken away. The same effect is produced on our body. These things are unchangeable; they always will be, and so, when we recognize this effect they have on our lives, we can adjust ourselves to them.

Gravity is a law of nature that affects the human body just as much as it affects the trees and plant life. We cannot escape this inevitable law of nature, and so we should adapt ourselves to some procedure where by we can overcome any ill effects we might suffer because of the affects of this.

We exist under this law also and if we are tired and exhausted, we feel the pull of gravity pulling us down – we wish to lie down and rest.

Over time, the compressive force of gravity is particularly harsh on the spine because of the flattening effect on the spinal discs.

The intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebra, and consist of a cartilage covering which surrounds a gelatin-like center. Combine the compressive effect of gravity with stress, weak back and stomach muscles, a lack of exercise and you have all of the ingredients for back pain.

Back pain is one of the most common physical complaints in the world. Every day, it is estimated that some eleven million Americans struggle to get through a day complicated by an aching back. In the United States alone, some 93 million workdays are lost each year due to back problems.

There is overwhelming evidence that spending a few minutes each day hanging inclined can be beneficial to your back, and to your general health, by simply counteracting the continuous downward pull of gravity.

Besides providing relief from back pain, a daily dose of inversion can help to promote good health by correcting common spinal alignment problems, eliminating tension headaches, reducing hemorrhoids, alleviating the discomfort of varicose veins, and stimulating mental alertness.

Many people suffer; especially in their later years from prolapsed internal organs that sag as a result of years of the downward pull of gravity.

Quite simply, inversion allows gravity to help the body to naturally correct and align itself. You stretch out and elongate your spine, get blood to the brain, invert and reposition internal organs, and take stress off of the heart, which usually has to pump blood uphill to the brain.

Of course, it is impossible to offset the gravitational effects of a lifetime just by jumping on an inversion table. But by spending a few minutes inverted each day, or two or three times a day, people usually begin to feel results by the end of the first week.

After a month of inversion, many people don’t know how they ever got along without it.

Both physicians and chiropractors report positive results from using natural gravity-inversion traction with patients.

A neurosurgeon in San Francisco says inversion seems to get people over the acute phase quicker than other forms of therapy. We believe that inversion can benefit the discs, strengthen ligaments and soft tissues, and relieve muscle spasms. We’ve also had success with patients suffering from herniated discs.

Other health and anti-aging benefits are: Improved circulation especially to the head and face; Relief of muscular tension in the neck and back, improved lymphatic circulation; and improved function of the glands and organs due to the hydrostatic/decongestioning effect of inversion.  In addition, improved brain function of memory, coordination and balance has also been reported.

However, there are a few conditions that may prevent one from hanging upside down.

Obvious contraindications are if you just had abdominal or chest surgery or have a recent rib or collarbone fracture. Persons with extremely high blood pressure or glaucoma may not be suitable. Every person is different and needs to be evaluated as such. If you have a contraindication you may not want to hang. Or, do a trial by using a mild angle on your   inversion machine (20-30 degrees) and see how you feel.

Certainly Inversion is not for everybody.  There are some contraindications, which I have already mentioned.  However, it would certainly be foolish NOT to try Inversion if you have been suffering with back pain.

As with any new exercise program, if someone is in doubt about his or her level of fitness, or if they are over the age of 40, consult a physician before starting an inversion program.

The key is to do your homework and explore all your options first.

The body is the most amazing machine that has ever been constructed and the work that it does in repairing itself is almost unbelievable.  God, who created this wonderful mechanism, is also able to maintain it in perfection, if we follow His natural laws.

Live and Learn. We All Do.

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