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Bob Gurney – PhD, C. Mgr.

What motivates people to participate in exercise/physical activity and what are the barriers to participation in exercise/physical activity?

What motivates people to participate in exercise/physical activity and what are the barriers to participation in exercise/physical activity? The current literature appears to be extensive in addressing these questions however, previous research in this area lacked an understanding of motivation in the context of exercise behavior (McEwen, 1993; Haq and Griffin, 1996). Plonczynski (2000) reviewed 22 studies (mid to late 1990s) that measured motivation for exercise engagement. The studies were evaluated through criteria of types of instruments, reliability and validity. Plonczynski (2000) concluded that the studies reviewed were lacking in research design, administration and interpretation, and recommends a need to improve the theoretical applications of studies for both prediction and explanation of physical activity behaviors.

In a study of motivators and barriers to exercise and participation in sport, in metropolitan Madrid Spain, Rodriguez-Romo, Boned-Pascual, and Garrido-Munoz (2009) found that the most frequently cited motivators were fun, stay in shape and health, while barriers cited were demands of work and family, and lack of time. Motivators and barriers to participation in physical activity (Bragg, Tucker, Kaye and Desmond, 2009) were investigated through focus group sessions of participants in two groups (Group 1 = mean age of 14; Group 2 = mean age of 34). The motivators and barriers of this study were identified by focus group participants as: social influence (motivators); time and priorities (barriers); physical environment (both motivators and barriers); fun and enjoyment (motivators); inherently physical activities (motivators); weight concerns (motivators); fatigue (barriers), physical discomfort and current fitness level (barriers); and immediate positive feelings (motivators).

Adults between 74 and 85 years of age reported that motivators and barriers to participating in exercise/physical activity were associated with internal factors, such as pain and depression (Cohen-Mansfield, Marx and Guralnik, 2003). A more recent study (Buman, Yasova and Giacobbi, 2010) of older aged participants, indicate reporting of unpleasant experiences, weight gain, and fear of injury as barriers to participating in physical activity. In this same study, motivators to participate in physical activity were linked to positive experiences in life activities from a young age. A more current study of exercise motivation and relationships with exercise frequency, intensity and duration (Duncan, Hall, Wilson and Jenny, 2010) of approximately 1100 students (mean age = 24) found that there was a positive relationship between the construction of values and goals with exercise behaviors of frequency, intensity and duration. These researchers concluded that practitioners need to develop exercise programs to facilitate the exercise motives identities of participants to support their exercise engagements.

To help us understand motivators and barriers to physical activity, we request your participation in completing our survey questionnaire (should take less than 10 minutes) 

Click here for survey. >>


– Buman, M. P., Yasova, L. D., and Giacobbie, P. R. (2010) Descriptive and narrative reports of barriers and motivators to physical activity in sedentary older adults. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 11 (3) 223 – 230.

– Cohen-Mansfield, J., Marx, M. S., and Guralnik, J. M. (2003). Motivators and barriers to exercise in an older community-dwelling population. Journal of Aging & Physical Activity. 11 (2) 242 -253.

– Duncan, L. R., Hall, C. R., Wilson, P. M. and Jenny, O. (2010) Exercise motivation: a cross-sectional analysis examining it relationships with frequency, intensity, and duration of exercise. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 7, 7-15.

– Gabriel, R-R; Boned-Pascual, C., and Garrido-Muñoz, M. (2009) Reasons for and barriers to exercising and sports participation in Madrid. (English).Pan American Journal of Public Health. 26 (3) 244 – 254.

– Haq, M. B. and Griffin, M. (1996) Health motivation: key to health promoting behavior? The Nurse Practitioner. 21, 155-156.

Author: Bob Gurney


Your Life’s Story

Posted by: Jessica on Mar 1, 2013

A star has fallen from heaven and descends to earth. It looks around and does not see other stars but sees some lights of people. But that light is diffused and weak and not as bright as you and to shine so brightly as it once did would draw attention and so the star dims its light in order to fit in, to be as others, for this is its new home.

What the star does not realize is that it was sent to earth to bring light but the star sees it as not fitting in, not accepted and maybe, not even welcomed so the light of the star stays dim. The star is not being true to itself even not true to others for it has the power and wisdom and could be a guiding light while completing its mission on earth.

Now, you create the ending of this story. Will the star shine forth or will it remain in its dim state so it fits in with others? Your life is a choice. The dreams, desires and longing for greater things to come began as a child but you are wiser now and know that what is in you must shine outwards. It’s natural, it’s the true you, it’s your light upon the path you have chosen to walk. Do you want to walk in darkness knowing you have the power to change it? No, you do not; you desire to be Spirit, to convert the knowledge to power.

Knowledge is light and light has many meanings but we will focus on two of those meanings and blend them together. But first, let’s start with a light as something you see, like a star. A thought, intention and choice begin in the mind and become an image of what you desire; that is the beginning.

As the picture emerges from your thought, intention and choice then add power from the energy that exists within and around you; pure positive energy with a purpose becomes your reality but in your mind only. Next you need to transfer that image into your world and most often that is when it starts falling apart in the human state.



You see, you can do all kinds of wonderful things in your mind but in your physical world they vanish. This shows you that your human mind is interfering in your choices in that, you forgot you were Spirit. It’s like having a pillow of feathers and then throwing a brick into the pillow; it’s no longer light, that is the second diffusion of light, its weight.

As your goal is always in your possession you cannot blame another for its loss. A goal, all choices must be put into the light, the light of love, abundance and joy for that is a powerful energy and once having made the choice it is protected by the pure positive energy around it. Realize it can only be changed by you for once the energies have the choice it is unstoppable; it has to create what it was directed to do.

Your enemy is your humanness, not others or what they think or say; it’s only you. Having said that, why would you do this to yourself? Have you been so attached to what others think of you that you accept less of yourself? Do you need people to like or love you because you lack that from yourself? Realize, you are Spirit; you do not need the human anymore. You are where you should be – in the power; do not allow the human to determine what it wants and needs. Rather, allow the Spirit-self to have control; you will only get the best.


The “Pebble” Series

Part 4: Emptying Your Bucket – A 90 Day Renewal

By: Lars Gustafsson

Greek philosopher HeraculutusOver 10 years ago I was sitting in the audience, completely engrossed in what Dr. Deepak Chopra was saying. It was my first time listening to him live, and it was in the midst of the time period where I was immersed in simplifying the incredible confusion in nutrition.

May what he said, that changed the world of nutrition for me on that day, offer the same for you…

An excerpt from: “The Basics of Quantum Healing”, by Dr. Deepak Chopra,

The Greek philosopher Heraculutus compared the human body to a river. He said a river is a very mysterious thing. When you look at a river it looks the same to you in every second of its existence but in fact it’s not the same river. He said you cannot step into the same river twice because new water flows in all the time.

And it’s true also of the human body. If you could understand your body as it really is, you would see that the real you cannot step into the same flesh and bones twice because in every second of your existence you’re renewing your body, changing it more rapidly, more effortlessly, more spontaneously and more easily than you can change your clothes. We can take a number of processes: eating, breathing, digestion, metabolism, elimination, but most fundamentally the movement of consciousness which expresses itself as these processes, and you would see how effortlessly, how easily you can change your body and in fact are doing so all the time.

The physical bodies that you’re using to sit on these chairs, for example, aren’t the ones that you walked in with a little while ago. Even with one breath you take in 10 to the power of 22 atoms. An astronomical amount of raw material that ends up as your heart, brain and kidney cells, your neurons, your DNA. With each breath you breathe out 10 to the power of 22 atoms. It’s an astronomical amount of raw materials that is coming from every bit of your body. You are literally breathing out bits and pieces of your brain tissue and heart and kidney. Actually, technically speaking, we are intimately sharing our organs with each other all the time.

The American poet Walt Whitman said, “Every atom belonging to you as well belongs to me.” And this isn’t a metaphorical statement at all. “Every atom belonging to you as well belongs to me.” I can’t even call my personal body my own. And I try calling everything else my own. I can’t even claim a copyright on my own physical body. Right this moment in your body you have a million atoms that were once in the body of Christ. Based on radioactive isotope studies and mathematical computations it can easily be shown that in this moment of your existence you have a million atoms that were once in the body of Christ, in the body of Gautama Buddha or Leonardo Da Vinci or Michelangelo or Mr. Saddam Hussein. You can’t separate yourself from anything physically or anybody that has ever existed.

And here it is, the part that gave me the inspiration for seeing the cyclical nature of renewal…

In just the last 3 weeks, a quadrillion atoms, 10 to the power of 15 atoms have gone through your body that have gone through the body of every other species on this planet. And if you do radioactive isotope studies which have been done very elegantly, you can prove beyond a shadow of doubt that you replace 98% of all the atoms in your body in less than one year. You make a new liver every 6 weeks, a new skin once a month, a new stomach lining every 5 days, a new skeleton – it seems so hard and solid, but the skeleton you have now you didn’t have three months ago. Even the brain cells that you think with as carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen, as those basic elements, they weren’t there one year ago. And the DNA that holds memories of millions of years of evolutionary time, in fact hundreds of millions of years; the actual raw material of it comes and goes every six weeks. Those atoms drift in and out like migratory birds every six weeks.

My Invitation to you! You are invited to join me on a 10-hr online video education odyssey to bring you all the ‘cascade choices’ that would radically transform your life and the lives of those you love and care for. It is my “BodyMind Renewal Program”, and is available as my GIFT through our BodyMind Institute “Free Student Pass”, simply click here and login through the front page.

Remember that you have the power in every moment to direct the outcomes of your life. You initiate every action – biologically, physically, emotionally and spiritually – with your thoughts.

I’ll close for now, wishing you the ultimate life, free of all the pebbles in your bucket!

In health and inspiration.

Lars Gustafsson

Founder: BodyMind Institute

The Next Life Chapter

By: Dr Brandy James

Throughout life we are defined by many things, our job, abilities, status and the many different roles we play; husband, father, teacher, business man, athlete etc. As we age many of these roles change, some evolve and others no longer serve a purpose. In my practice I often see both men and woman at this turning point in life not knowing their purpose or what they are passionate about, both can leave them feeling lost. How do you define yourself? Is it through the approval of others or playing a role that is defined by society? Many times these roles are set out at a very young age; they set out a path and structure of how we are supposed to live, not necessarily addressing what our true purpose is and what our hearts desire. Often we are so busy trying to fulfill these roles we seldom live life on purpose. What happens to our definition of self when kids grow up and leave the house, our business roles change and retirement becomes close to being a reality? Who are you? What are your passions? A lot of our lives can be spent in distraction; this is where these roles come into play. Yes the roles we play serve a purpose and have their place but they are not who we are but rather what we are doing at that moment in time and often take us away from our true purpose unless we are consciously “playing” these roles. The Masculine role is typically to provide, to have direction and purpose, what happens when these aspects of life change?

Getting older has much stigma attached to it and the industry of anti-aging, huge. In my view, this is a powerful and exciting time in life. It is the end of one Chapter and the beginning of another, one you have control over and get to define. It is a time to break out of the robot routine and create a life that you want. This can be daunting as we are not encouraged or taught how to do this. As a society, we are encouraged to look younger, forced to think our bodies need to appear a certain way and be anything other than what we are in the moment. With the change in appearance as we age, our ideas and priorities may also change. It is a good time to turn the focus inward as well as create awareness and be conscious of your perception. Who do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see a “has been”, too fat, too skinny, no longer with status…some days, the list can be long. Take the wisdom you have gained over the years and step into the man you truly are.

It is hard not to get lost in the definition of what you are supposed to be rather than knowing the truth of who you are. It is a time to ask yourself what you are passionate about how do you want to show up in the world. This is an empowering and exciting chapter in your life and you get to decide how you want that to unfold. What are your thoughts around who you are and what you want to be? How can you change those thoughts to create a life filled with purpose and intention? Do you like yourself? Are you able to sit and be with yourself or do you prefer distraction? These are all good questions to ponder and help create the first steps in fully accepting all that you are. Meditation is a good practice for such questions; it is not an easy practice for many people due to the many thoughts that run in our minds but one of the most rewarding. Remember our perceptions can be changed with how we think.

Take a risk of getting to know yourself and connecting to your true masculine essence. Who is it you see when you look in the mirror? Do you often criticize what you see and wish for the younger version? I encourage you to take a good look and truly see deep into those eyes. This is the person who will be with you until the end; why not create a supportive relationship with him? What are your true desires and how you want to show up and move into this next phase of your life? Why not have a list of things to do, places to go, and experiences you want to have. Surround yourself with family, community, those who support your growth. Embrace who you are fully. Honour the person you are in this moment not the person you were. Stay open to infinite possibility, get to know yourself and believe in yourself. There is no end, just a new beginning. How are you going to create your new chapter?

Dr. Brandy James


The “Pebble” Series

Part 3: What Single ‘Cascade Choice’ Can You Make?

By: Lars Gustafsson

A single choice you make in thought, emotion or action affects each of the 70 trillion cells that make up your body and mind.

Everything in your body is connected to your intricate nervous system, blood and hormonal network. A small variation in your nutrition, creates results that you may experience as symptoms, in your organs, eyes, mouth, mind, heart, skin and entire body. I started to call these ‘cascade choices’.

In part one of “The ‘Pebble’ Series”, we discussed how each piece of stress in our lives can be represented by a pebble in a bucket. As our stress load increase, our bucket fills. With Cascade Choices, a single pebble removed from your bucket, can have an effect equal to having removed ten or twenty.

Amongst the many examples that have emerged in my 20-year career, one in particular stands out as a classic example of the importance of simple shifts in our nutrition.

When I met Jonathan, a highly trained executive personal trainer, I did not realize that his results would influence the rest of my nutrition career.

Jonathan was a Type I Diabetic since he was in his teens – meaning he had to inject insulin every time he would eat in order to control his blood sugars. In his teen years, he experienced a enormous stress load, moving to Canada from South Africa. This intense stress, quite literally induced the genetic markers that brought on this ‘lifetime affliction’. To manage the carbohydrates that he was eating, Jonathan was taking an incredible amount of Insulin, resulting in the highest level of insulin resistance that I had ever seen.

Not only was Jonathan Insulin resistant, he was also dehydrated. I knew that something as simple as increasing his hydration by 20-50% would induce huge biochemical changes in his body. So we began with very gentle shifts.

Increased hydration stimulates a plethora of positive shifts throughout the body:

  • Digestion increases, allowing greater access to nutrients from food.
  • Nutrient transfer across the 70 trillion cells walls is increased.
  • Enhanced cleansing of the lymph (which would increase the signaling of the insulin) and increased flushing of the organs.
  • Production of stress-reducing hormones, such as Serotonin, is increased.
  • Improved sleep, performance, and so much more!

I initially looked at separating Jonathan’s liquid intake from his meals and ensuring he had enough filtered water between meals to accommodate for his busy personal training schedule and activity levels. We added pieces of fruit as snacks between the meals to increase his carbohydrate intake and make sure he was able to avoid blood sugar crashes.

Hydration and adding fruit was not going to be enough though. I knew there was one major Cascade Choice for Jonathan that was going to be even more powerful.

Over our first hour together, we had a long conversation about the stress in his life. I knew that Cortisol – produced during mental or physical stress – was blocking the action of Insulin. Any stressful moments, days, weeks, or even months, could increase insulin requirements.

Jonathan agreed that his life was filled with anxiety. Being a perfectionist, he was constantly worrying for his clients, friends and family. He was making their choices, decisions, actions, and results a part of his mental and emotional life. He was literally absorbing everyone else’s reality into his mind, and as a result, into his body.

Does this sound familiar to you or someone you know?

Jonathan agreed that it was scientifically logical to use the techniques we have covered in this series, to better manage his stress.

I smile as I type this because as Jonathan came further and further out of stress, his intuitive right brain began to balance his logical left-brain. Even he attested to the fact that this helped him make wiser choices for himself and his clients.

Two weeks later, I was eagerly awaiting Jonathan’s return. He came in simply shaking his head and expressing his surprise at the results. He had reduced his insulin by 20% DESPITE the RAISE in carbohydrates by 30%. This amounted to an astounding change of 50%! He felt calm and more relaxed and he said the stress felt less pronounced. He could actually get to sleep without having so much on his mind! The rest of the hour was spent figuring out the next three Cascade Choices we could implement and in the following 3 months, he had reduced his insulin requirements by over 90%!**

Why was this result so astounding and significant for my career and for you today?

We all accumulate the metaphorical “pebbles” over a lifetime and each of these acts as a barrier to Insulin’s ability to communicate with your cells and effectively manage blood sugar.

Higher and higher insulin results in cascades of ‘negative’ hormones such as those that cause:

  • Vasoconstriction systems that cause high blood pressure
  • Lowered flow of nutrition to your cells
  • Fat and toxin gain
  • Hardening of the arteries
  • And on and on…

Dozens of books and thousands of articles have been written on the subject of Insulin resistance. They show up as books like “The Zone” (one of my favorites), “Syndrome X”, etc. Scientists, doctors and experts estimate that billions spent in the health industry – both medical and natural remedies – are actually treating the outcomes of Insulin resistance, instead of the causes.

Equal to the negative cascades of higher insulin, are the cascades of positive effects as you take control of the simple shifts that create the conditions you were previously in that created the lower insulin levels.

It isn’t magic or a special secret.

You are simply providing the optimal environment for your 70 trillion cells to return to the state they are meant to be in. Every day you replace about 200 billion cells, and every day you have the choice of giving them what they need to replicate perfectly. The imperfection of their duplication has resulted in the goals you have today, and perhaps why you are reading this article and series.

Now you have the choice to implement the next ‘cascade choice’ in your life and take a huge number of pebbles out of your bucket.

The three things we shifted for Jonathan were:

  1.  Getting rid of all the water, pop and coffee he was drinking with meals… and simply moving his hydration to before and between meals. The simple tip was to drink filtered water up to 5 minutes prior to a meal, and starting 1 1/2 hrs after. For the average man, this works out to be 3 liters each day, and for the average woman it is 2 liters. I will get into exercise hydration techniques that will instantly increase your results in my next part of this pebble series.
  2. Adding fruit as snacks between his meals to get rid of any blood sugar crashes (he was overcompensating by eating more at his three meals a day and you may be as well). Have a piece of fruit (apple, pear, bowl of berries, banana, peach, orange, etc.) 3hrs after a major meal, and then have another every 1 1/2 hrs up to 30 minutes prior to a meal or exercise.So a day could look like this: breakfast at 7am, fruit at 10am and 11:30am, lunch at noon, fruit at 3pm, 4:30 and 6pm, workout at 6:30 to 7:30, post exercise shake at 7:30, and your last meal at 8pm. My personal guidance for the volumes, timing, types and supplementation is definitely available from myself or one of our highly skilled BodyMind Nutritionists worldwide.
  3. Focusing on releasing stressful thoughts, emotions and beliefs. Using the techniques from the previous two pebble series articles, you can take a solid hold of your perceptions, beliefs and emotions, and create a brand new life filled with greater ease and peace.

Some other results that Jonathan experienced, and that you may too, as you begin these simple “Cascade Effect” shifts:

  • Perhaps you will eat more consciously, chew your food carefully, and eat generally less calories and higher density foods like fruit and vegetables.
  • You will most likely find that your taste buds change and you orient your choices towards those that fill your body and mind with rock solid nutrition. When you get used to thinking the way I do, everything becomes nutrition – relationships, television, etc.
  • You will find the evening negative news to be ‘distasteful’, and your discussions at the evening table with your loved ones will NOT be about negative and emotionally disturbing events of the day. Instead, your newly refreshed mind will orient itself naturally to fun conversations, joking, and laughter.
  • You may even find yourself influencing others by helping them through their rough stuff. You will begin to see the contrast between your fresh new mind and body, and how you ‘used’ to be with the folks that are around you.

There is also the really amazing ‘outside’ cascade effect that results from just a few simple choices you personally make.

I urge you to become aware of your positive influence on everyone around you, and just imagine what this would look like if a few dozen others in your life were to pick up on these shifts as well. I have seen this transform families, marriages, and even entire communities and companies.

Every one of us has a circle of influence of around 120 people we see on a daily and weekly basis – friends, family, co-workers, grocery store clerks, gym trainers, etc. With your new ‘vibe’, you are going to naturally and effortlessly have a new effect on all these people. Now, imagine if 10 more of your friends did the same thing?

Very quickly we can see how just a few people can have a massive effect on our world!

This is why I never participate in ANY anti-anything – anti-cancer, anti-war, anti-deforestation. As Mother Teresa said, “I will not attend your anti-war rally, but if you have a peace rally I will come.”

I believe in the ‘soft’ method of massive change … the ultimate ‘cascade effect’.

I applaud every choice you make to create a cascade effect in your life!

My Invitation to you! You are invited to join me on a 10-hr online video education odyssey to bring you all the ‘cascade choices’ that would radically transform your life and the lives of those you love and care for. This program is available as my GIFT through our BodyMind Institute “Free Student Pass”, simply click here and login through the front page.

Remember that you have the power in every moment to direct the outcomes of your life. You initiate every action – biologically, physically, emotionally and spiritually – with your thoughts.

I’ll close for now, wishing you the ultimate life, free of all the pebbles in your bucket!


In health and inspiration.

Lars Gustafsson

Founder: BodyMind Institute



**Important Note: in conveying this story about Jonathan, I am not making any health claims, and certainly, the results he experienced will be different from yours.

If you are a diabetic or have any health concern, you must seek the guidance of your medical doctor or health care professional before making any changes.


The “Pebble” Series

Part 2: What is the calmest experience of your life?

What if you could initiate a deep and transformative biological and emotional state any time you wanted, just by going back to a truly peaceful experience in your life?

Each piece of stress in our life, is like a pebble in a bucket. As we deepen our awareness of this process of taking ‘pebbles’ of stress out of our ‘bucket’, I am reminded of a simple technique I learned a decade ago, that can initiate an instant, full body & mind state of peace.

It’s called the “benchmark experience”, and here is my story…

Growing up in India, I dreamed of the day that I would dive into a Canadian lake with water so still, it looked like I was diving into glass. If you grew up in sweltering heat, I imagine that you can relate. At the age of 37, long after moving to Canada, this dream was finally realized. It happened at a misty morning, while staying at a cabin alongside a lake in northern Canada. The sun was just coming up over the trees, and the lake was as still as glass. I knew my moment had come, and yet the thought of my body hitting that chilly dark water sent a chill down my spine. I walked out to the end of the boat launch and looked down into the cold depth and watched the small fish swimming amongst the perfectly still grass.

I will never forget the feeling of taking the cleanest dive I could, and swimming under water for as long as possible … to emerge slowly and look out over the glassy, misty lake. I stayed there for a while absorbing the view, mist slowly moving across the surface of the water, and rays of morning sun breaking through the treas. The forest was alive with birdsong. I soaked up the view and what I felt in that moment. My body had become adjusted to the cold and I was experiencing one of the calmest and most incredible moments of my life.

This benchmark experience was one that I can now recall at any time to bring back the flood of incredible emotions that swept through me out in that lake.

Scientific studies have now unequivocally proven that when someone closes their eyes and fully visualizes an experience in place and time, their body reacts by creating the identical hormones and states that match that original moment.

So, can you recall a moment like this in your life? Take a few minutes to think about every detail of this moment. What was the space around you like? Were you indoors or outdoors? Was anyone else with you? What were the smells, sights, and sounds like? Do you have a picture of this place to help you with this visualization?

If you practice this single technique every day, over the coming weeks and months, you will be able to ‘recall’ this entire event without even closing your eyes. In any moment where you feel any stress or anxiety, you can instantly bring your whole body, mind, emotions and spirit to a place of quiet and calm.

I’ll finish this edition of the pebble series with a quote from one of my favorite authors and teachers.

“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.

The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.

If this sounds too mystical, refer again to the body. Every significant vital sign- body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on- alters the moment you decide to do anything… decisions are signals telling your body, mind, and environment to move in a certain direction.”

Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life

Remember that you have the power in every moment to direct the outcome of your life. You initiate every action — biologically, physically, emotionally and spiritually – with your thoughts.

I’ll close for now, wishing you the ultimate life, free of all the pebbles in your bucket!

In health and inspiration.

Lars Gustafsson

Founder: BodyMind Institute



The “Pebble” Series

Part 1: What pebbles are in your bucket?

By: Lars Gustafsson

“Discovering and taking out the stresses of your body and mind is like taking pebbles out of a bucket to allow it to carry more water…  water being the metaphor for optimal health, vitality, joy, abundance and freedom.”

As Jeff Sutton – my close friend and health mentor – said these words in our last bio-feedback consulting session yesterday, I was instantly struck with the profound nature of this comment.

In this analogy water represents health, abundance and a life filled with joy and vitality… while the pebbles represent all the layers and levels of stresses in the many forms they take in our bodies, minds, consciousness and hearts… consciously or unconsciously.  The inner emotional aspects to pebbles in the bucket are the most profound limitations in our lives… keeping us from expressing our highest and greatest natures.

In the course of our lives there are many, many things that stress us that we take for granted, many brought about by the influence of a paranoid society, TV, ridiculous inundation of negative news, loving and often well meaning adults, parents and leaders … and many, many other subtle forms of habits, environmental, work and life dynamics, and beliefs we absorb and make our own.

As children we are inundated with a plethora of fears to ‘hold’ us within a pattern of living that supposedly keeps us ‘safe’.  I recalled in my discussion with Jeff how as a child growing up in the village in India, I was constantly allowed the freedom to ‘disappear’ for the day with my tribal friends.  We explored areas of jungle, rivers, streams, fields, roads, and paths laden with dangers the average Canadian parent would “freak out” at!  Everything from extremely venomous snakes to dangerous bugs and spiders were lurking under every rock and bush that we came across.  I am certain that in our modern times the leash we have on our children would make my childhood seem like a very, very ‘wild’ time.

Jeff was reminiscing about his childhood, and how the leash his parents had on him was virtually non existent.  He was commenting how the society we live in imposes a reality that forces him to keep a fairly tight leash on his children, simply by virtue of all the ‘dangers’ imposed on us by our ‘modern’ times.  He talked about how, as a child, he would walk a mile to and from school four times every day, roaming through bushes and forest, and spending the entire day outdoors… far from the ‘safety’ of adult or parental supervision.  He said that he has met many people who have known and unknown phobias from all their restrictions and constrictions that literally confine their life experience into a very, very tiny existence!   He and I both recognized that our jobs as health guides are occupied mostly with helping people find and remove these pebbles from their lives … so that for once they can “see” beyond their own limitations and allow more health, abundance and joy into their lives.

We both came to the agreement that because of our ‘free’ childhood our ability to identify and honestly look at all the ‘pebbles’ in our bucket is much, much easier than many who grow up with a tighter leash imposed on them.   We also recognized that what you may be doing in one area to experience freedom may be adding more pebbles to your bucket.  This is especially true in the area of health and nutrition.   May people we have met, over exercise, take way too many supplements, and lead lives of incredible restriction in the futile effort to be as healthy as possible … when in fact all of these things and the beliefs around them may in fact be the very stressors that will eventually catch up with them.  Perhaps you’ve heard or read of people who literally ‘drop dead’ from a heart attack in the midst of the plethora of ‘healthy’ things they are doing?  We have!

Instead of dropping all of these healthy things there are many other layers to this that you may not be aware of.   Many other pebbles in your bucket may be ‘edging out’ the ‘good’ you are trying to do … and some of these ‘good’ things may be part of the adding of the pebbles!

So how honest are you willing to be right now with yourself? 

How important are your goals of living in an expanded reality?  

How many pebbles are in your bucket?

Give yourself a moment to take out a pen and paper and jot down as many ‘rules’, nutritional and life habits, beliefs, situations, relationships, financial, self imposed expectations, expectations from others, work and life dynamics, environmental and spiritual beliefs that cause you to feel any sensation of discomfort, dis-ease, pain, fear, guilt, anger, resentment and ANY sensation that you are being ‘boxed or fenced’ in.

Here’s a short list to get you started…

“I find myself feeling guilty about eating or drinking _____________.”

“I can’t stand ‘so and so’ at work, home or the gym.”

“I wish my boss would recognize what I do and my value.”

“I worry for my kids and the things they are doing, thinking, etc.”

“I worry about the economy, political situations in the world, and uncertainty.”

…. Ok, you get the idea … now it’s up to you to write as many things down as you can think of … and keep this list going … it’s your key to freedom.   You may instantly recognize that you can ‘toss’ some or all of these away … and as you do you will literally FEEL the relief and “openness” wash through you.  This sensation is literally opening up your genetic potential, allowing your body to absorb more nutrition, and enabling it to heal, repair and Detox.

When we knowingly or unknowingly ‘agree’ to hold on to too many habits and beliefs we begin to add way too many pebbles to our buckets.   Every one of these things you have listed is keeping your bucket filled up, and no matter how much you exercise, how perfectly you eat, or how immaculate your life may look and feel on the surface … your bucket may be full!

No matter how hard you try, strain, or how much pain you attempt to endure … you really are not emptying out the fundamental stressors that are always keeping you from truly experiencing the full expression of your genetic, emotional and human potential.  You MAY be loading in more!

In the next parts of this series I will begin to provide the specific processes and steps to identify and remove these pebbles in your life.   Some are bigger than others, in fact they may seem at this moment to feel like huge rocks, but you will find that we can get them taken out and solved with new nutritional, mental, physical and spiritual habits.

You will learn how to use just a few very simple habits to not only find and remove ALL the pebbles in your life, but prevent them from ever being put back.

For now — contemplate the list you have made.   Take time to look at each item and ask yourself how you can switch that situation, habit, belief or dynamic around and release it… or the limiting emotion around it.  Often it’s simply a perception shift, a new way of looking at things from a broader perspective that will help you easily and effortlessly take out each pebble one by one and toss it.

I’ll close for now, wishing you the ultimate life, free of all the pebbles in your bucket!

In health and inspiration

Lars Gustafsson

Founder: BodyMind Institute



Can You Be “Addicted” to Stress?

— Part 3 of the Stress Series —

By Lars Gustafsson

Ten years ago I found myself sitting in “Millionaire Mind” – a seminar weekend presented by T. Harve Ecker. Sitting there, I found myself thinking,

“I came here to learn how to become a millionaire (funny right?!) and all I keep hearing is how my blueprint is holding me back… that my THOUGHTS influence my FEELINGS, that my FEELINGS instigate the power of my ACTIONS…ACTIONS that create my RESULTS… I thought wasn’t this supposed to be about making money?!”

Each time I look back on this epic moment in my life, I have to laugh – in that statement, I was spelling out for myself, the secret to success that is discussed in every major personal growth book ever written. As the weekend progressed, it dawned on me that my blueprint was most likely what was holding me back in various areas of my life. I was also stunned into the life-changing realization that the state of my body influenced the state of my mind… and visa versa!

I began to see that I had been pre-programmed to behave in a certain way — my relationships, spending and saving habits, business practices and attitudes, and spiritual conditioning. ALL of this was guiding my life along a deep-set track that was dooming me to repeat past results! To top it off, my nutrition, exercise, sleep and lifestyle habits, along with my environment and friendships were also influencing and strengthening my blueprint. My whole life was bubbling out of a habitual way of being, and my body and results were reaping the outcome!

If one defines addiction as the repeated thought or action out of a bio-chemical or subconscious habit, then, I was deeply addicted to stress and repeated failure!

It’s hard to imagine how someone could be addicted to either of these – especially failure. And yet, I discovered that the repeated failures in my life had given me purpose to succeed and work even harder the next time. How warped was that?!

I KNEW that weekend that I needed a solution to my stress addiction. I KNEW that I had to change at a fundamental level; by taking control of what I thought and felt, I could guide my life in whatever direction I wanted. If I could figure out a few simple things that would influence a positive-feeling state in my body, this would have far reaching consequences in supporting a full and happy life.

Something else remarkable happened that weekend. I had a seed thought of what was at the CORE of all the health, fitness, weight loss and social issues in our society…

“Stress perpetuates stress.” Or in other words, “you become what you think — and act on.”

You literally have to divert your attention AWAY from the things or actions that are causing you stress. This is inordinately difficult in the beginning. It’s tough to look away from the dragon breathing fire in your face… and attempt to focus on something else! But I soon discovered it’s a LOT easier when you have your body on your side.

When I plunged into the research on stress and its many side effects, I was overwhelmed by the number of actions you would have to take in order to completely eliminate stress from your life. I came to a dramatic conclusion about how I was going to approach this personally and in my profession as a coach. It wasn’t about how many things you did to reduce stress but rather about becoming the master of a couple of simple thoughts and actions, each of which would have a cumulative effect that would in turn perpetuate more of these conditions, thoughts, emotions and actions. So in other words, it became about … “simple shifts that would last a lifetime.”

I decided to approach my own life in a new way. I focused on the simplest of things that I could do every day. I found that there were a number of habits that were causing me stress, and found it was my thought patterns that were creating the most stress.

I began recording my most predominant thoughts. I noted limiting thoughts in a notebook and made a small line whenever that thought reoccurred.

“I don’t have enough time.” 100’s of times a day

“I’m stressed.” 100’s and 100’s of times a day

“I’m worried about…” Dozens and dozens of times a day

“I can’t …” 100’s of times a day

This was only the beginning! I found this revelation remarkable since everyone, including myself, had thought I was a positive guy! Who knew!? I quickly shifted these limiting thoughts into…

“I always find time to do everything I need to … I have an abundance of time.”

“I feel peaceful, and I think and act in peaceful ways.”

“I am grateful for…” and listed all the things that occurred to me in that moment.

“I know that all things are working out perfectly for every person in my life.”

Just by reading these words I’m sure you notice the difference in how they make you feel. You can imagine how I felt by focusing all my efforts on shifting these and other thoughts for a few weeks — I began to see an incredible change happening in my life. I became more efficient in my habits, work efforts, and daily living. I found amazing spaces in which I could read, take a walk, and have more time for balance and myself. When others asked me how I was doing, I quickly found myself responding with the attitude of gratitude. I noticed that my worry habit was gone and replaced by a deep sense of knowing that everything occurs in the flow of life; that the stresses or ‘negatives’ being experienced by people around me were all part of their transformative gift.

Even more dramatically, I noticed a shift in my body. Remember that your subconscious calculates everything in your 73 trillion cells – from your 100,000 reactions in each cell per second to the subtle (and not so subtle) hormones that are the result of your 60,000 (or so) thoughts you have per day. My shift in awareness was having a profound effect on my cells!

And so — like me, if you practice this one simple shift, you will notice that:

• You will fall asleep faster, and sleep deeper and longer. Your body will recuperate faster from exercise, be less achy and sore, and feel stronger.

• Exercise will improve at all levels – endurance, stamina, strength and power.

• Your relationships will shift – from initially seeing how everyone around you may have the same habits you had, to something more subtle, almost unspoken. People will feel better around you, want to talk to you. They will feel as though they have changed but really, they haven’t – it’s just the new ‘vibe’ you’re giving off.

• Your body composition will shift — water retention will decrease, fat will drop away, and your lean muscle will return.

“Come on Lars, really? All of this from shifting my thoughts?” you ask.

Well, perhaps not all of these things. It is likely that you will see some type of a shift, and if anything you will notice that you look at things differently. You will realize that you take a few more positive actions for yourself each day – which may only be drinking more water and taking a few more deep breaths… but these small actions will add up.

And here’s the curious aspect to a shift in awareness- as your actions change, what you think about and seek out will change as well. You’ll notice that you are making more frequent trips to the supplement or health store, seeking out healthier nutrition options, and overall shifting every other area of life.

Again…“Gratitude perpetuates gratitude and goodness in your life.” Or in other words “You become what you think about.”

THE HUGE KEY that must be thought about and action taken on is in supporting your gut, organs, cells, immune system and mind throughout this transition. From my own experience in my life I cannot relay this to you strongly enough! If you try to go out there and simply ‘think positively’ or ‘change your focus’ — which I will admire and support tremendously — it may not be enough. Taking care of your body is equally important to support this change for a permanent shift in your life.

These EIGHT simple shifts for physical support will elevate your FEELINGS of positivity EFFORTLESSLY:

1. Your Gut-Brain Connection. Take two Probiotic capsules first thing in the morning with a glass of water, pinch of sea salt and tiny bit of juice (1/3 cup). You will immediately begin to see an improvement in your emotions, energy and vitality. Over 90% of your ‘feel good’ hormone Serotonin is made in your gut… “healthy gut – happy mind”. This shift may also increase your bowel movements (BM’s) to a healthy 2-3 times per day. If your BM’s do not reach this level, add 200mg of Magnesium Bisglycinate/Citrate or Malate in the morning. You can add this amount again at lunch and dinner if the first dose doesn’t achieve this goal. BM’s (Bowel Movements) are your gauge into how healthy or stressed you are; when you are at one or less per day, you’re becoming loaded with toxins and physical stress which will only exacerbate any type of mental or emotional stress you are in.

2. Blood Sugar Levels: Small snacks like dried berries and nuts (1/8 cup of each) or a piece of fruit (apple, orange, berries) between your meals will sustain your blood sugar levels and help drive your Serotonin production. Adding these snacks during the morning and afternoon can dramatically shift your ability to digest and utilize your meals, keep your mind awake and alert, calm your central nervous system, and elevate your moods effortlessly.

3. Hydration: Drinking purified water or spring water with a pinch of sea salt in every liter between meals will instantly turn on a plethora of metabolic function and enzyme systems, all while balancing hormones and elevating your whole sense of well-being. For women, attempt to drink two litres of water (herbal tea definitely counts) and men, up to three litres throughout the day. Begin drinking fluids 60-90 minutes after a meal (30 minutes after fruit) and up to five minutes prior to a meal. If you drink fluids with food, it will prevent the food from digesting properly, leading to fermentation, rotting, putrefaction and a rise in toxicity throughout your body and mind in the following hours and days. Often this simple shift alone can dramatically reduce stress, simply by preventing pounds of toxic matter from entering the body, blood, organs and mind.

4. Deep Breathing – the simplest of all habits. Science has shown us that by simply taking five deep breaths during times of stress, you can dramatically reduce your stress hormones and their damage to your body and mind. Try taking five deep breaths before you begin every meal of the day. Eventually, being more focused on your breath throughout the day will become a subconscious habit.

5. Supplement Support: a high quality B-Complex, anti-oxidant, multivitamin and essential fat (1tsp of Krill oil) taken at breakfast can supply all the key elements for enzyme, hormone and metabolic function. Further guidance and customization with a health professional can create a profile that will provide for every layer of your renewal at this time.

6. Natural Botanical Support: 1 capsule of Rhodiola with breakfast and lunch can support the anti-stress or peaceful conditions of your mind and body.

“Rhodiola rosea and its positive adaptogenic effects are well documented as being an effective way to assist in dealing with life’s stressful situations. An adaptogen is a botanical that exerts a normalizing effect upon bodily processes, creating an ideal biological environment for the reduction of stress. Everybody deals with the stressors in their life in their own way, but many people in today’s high-pressure, fast-paced workplaces have been looking for simple answers and helpful solutions to this dilemma. Rhodiola rosea has been found to stimulate the neurotransmitters responsible for creating feelings of well-being as well as offering significant relief for low energy conditions like asthenia. The reason that Rhodiola is effective at combating moodiness is due to the fact that it increases levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, all of which create “good feelings” in the brain.” (direct quote taken from

7. Exercise Support: a healthy combination of juice (1/2 cup for women and ¾-1 cup for men) mixed with a pinch of sea salt and 2-3 cups of filtered water will amply support your hydration, electrolyte and energy needs during exercise. Immediately following exercise (within five minutes) have a recovery shake with sprouted organic brown rice protein (20g for women and 30g for men) mixed with orange juice (1 cup for women and 1.5 cups for men), a pinch of sea salt and 2-3 cups of filtered water. This will instantly improve your recovery speed.

8. Brain Support: the most incredible system for resetting your brain patterns to that of balance and inner peace is Brain Wave Training. My personal experience from this has been nothing short of stunning. It has helped me to achieve a constant state of mental peace and as a result of this, physical peace. To look up a Brain Wave professional in your area or to discover more about this process, check out – and my interview with the founder, Lee Gerdes at –

Each of these steps is as significant as the next – any that you begin with will become your “simple shift that will last a lifetime.”

Over these last ten years I have used the first seven shifts mentioned above as the baseline for helping clients with every type of goal- from weight loss to improved physical and mental performance. It is remarkable to me that I haven’t found a single scientific study, for supplements or otherwise, that first implements these core elements BEFORE testing the efficacy of any other layer of change. For instance – before testing an anti-oxidant – why not first ensure the person being studied has a healthy gut, is not suffering from intoxication as a result of too few bowel movements, and that they are hydrated and being properly supported with a full nutritional profile? The conclusion I have come to is that scientific studies that show a positive change in the absence of these elements MUST provide a much greater result with them in place. Or perhaps, that supplement or element would not be needed because most of the issues would already be solved.

This is for all of us to discover for ourselves, while scientific studies can be used to provide valuable insights into helping us live healthier and more abundant lives. I hope that in sharing this insight with you, that you will turn to some simple shifts before jumping on a band wagon of expensive supplements and be able to make an informed decision from a healthier place about whether or not you need them.

I will close this article by encouraging you to continue being the observer of your life while incorporating one or more of the simple shifts mentioned above. These tools can only produce lasting results for you, as you choose to take action. And remember – it’s all about simple shifts.

I look forward to bringing you the next keys to living a life filled with fun, power and joy in my next article.

In health and inspiration,

Lars Gustafsson

Founder: BodyMind Institute


Can You Be “Addicted” to Stress?

– Part 2 of the Stress Series –

By Lars Gustafsson

“Addicted to Stress.” I know how absurd that sounds; it certainly was an eye opener for me 11 years ago. I realized that I was ‘addicted’ to stress and its many layers of emotional and physical effects.

Stress has a nature that captivates the human imagination and is the reason why so many news broadcasts focus on predominantly, if not all, “bad” news. And this is only where our fascination begins – what about movies, TV shows, gossip and many other forms of negative information?

What is it that makes us watch and listen to this stuff?

Ten years ago, I gave up my addiction to news, gossip, and negative information and found my mind opening to incredible new possibilities. This ‘heavy’ information was no longer weighing down my mind and subconscious and it literally felt like I was now free to imagine and create more in my life.


When I’d see friends and they would give me their accounts of what they saw on the news the night before, I found that it all sounded like fantasy, similar to the way you feel when you come out of a dramatic, ultra high-tech, stressed-out movie. I remember having this feeling after watching the movie “2012”. Coming out of the theatre, into open space, there was a sense of distortion – have you experienced this? It feels like the world around you is almost fake, people walking around in a daze and everything seeming too ‘out of touch’. This distortion in perception may only last a moment, but it is still there.

I could list off a number of stress hormones and endorphins that cause the emotional ‘low’ experienced after the ‘high’ of stress. This contrast leads to a sense of disconnection and ever more need for stimulation. When you come out of this unreal situation of what you have called life for a while, and ‘come down’ off this stress into the sublime ‘parasympathetic’ (non-stress) states, it can feel odd, unreal or even uncomfortable.

If you’re thinking “I love the sensation of the ‘push’ of stress…AND I love my ‘down’ time!” – you are not alone. I hear this often. In fact, I used to be there. But let me ask you, what are the activities that you do in your ‘down time’? How do they make you feel? Are you in an ‘up’ or ‘calm’ state of mind and body?

Many people spend their “down time” engaged in adrenaline activities – exercise & sport, or the observation of these, as in watching your kids in sports, watching TV sports, news or shows.

All of these create an ‘up’ sensation that is created by a number of stress hormone pathways.

Your subconscious calculates everything in your 73 trillion cells – from your 100,000 reactions in each cell per second to the subtle (and not so subtle) hormones that are the result of your 60,000 (or so) thoughts you have per day.

If I asked you what you thought yesterday – could you tell me? You’d likely have a general idea of the things you planned, accomplished and felt, but probably not what you thought.

It’s easier to track feelings or emotions rather than thoughts.

So how are you feeling every day? What spaces of time are you feeling in stress (or in some type of a ‘push’ state — which can be a positive emotional state)? And how much attention have you put into being in a calm state of mind and body in the day, especially when you eat your meals? And no – sleep does not count as part of these questions – we are looking for your overall state of being during your waking hours.

It may come as a surprise to you that your stressful thoughts have to be ‘counteracted’ by many trillions of functions in your body. Your body tries to determine what to do during the times that you are in a fight or flight state (stress) and how to recuperate the broken down systems afterwards.

I made many observations of my clients’ caloric, macronutrient, central nervous system, immune, mineral, vitamin and recuperative requirements after just ONE day of stress. Can you imagine what I found after 10 years of these observations from coaching clients in the Calgary downtown environment?

A startling fact emerged – one that just may change your life forever after reading this.

Eight hours of stress was the equivalent of ONE hour of intense exercise in terms of the effects on muscles, tendons, immunity and overall stress on the body.

I bet you’re not thinking about taking ‘post stress’ recuperative supplements as you are for your exercise are you? And yet you should be!

At the end of your stressful day, your thought process would ideally be something like this – “I need to take in some highly nutrient dense foods that can absorb quickly and heal my digestive, immune, organ, central nervous, muscular and skeletal systems.” This could be accomplished with a post exercise shake with some super foods, herbs, vitamins, anti-oxidants, proteins and fruit rather than a ‘fully balanced solid meal’ that your body would have trouble digesting.

DURING stress, very little food, if any, can be digested properly. In essence, it rots and putrefies, causing acidity and toxicity to flourish in your body. It feeds all the parasites, worms, yeast and harmful bacteria that may be in your body and that LOVE this rotting food. There are trillions of little critters called ‘opportunistic organisms’ that love, love, love your stressed out ‘pushed’ mind and body. In this article, I can’t even begin to get into the many off shoots of breakdown and wear-down that these critters cause – there are literally volumes of research and books on this subject alone! Rest assured that all of these conditions create a subconscious connection within you that will ‘feel’ like you are drawn or addicted to the conditions that create them.

Not only does stress cause food to sit rotting and undigested, but you are also becoming depleted of vital nutrients for the recovery from the stress of your exercise, thoughts and life. Your body is EXTREMELY smart! It can instantly turn off irrelevant systems like immune defense, sleep, rest, recovery, healing & repair when it sees the need to RUN or FIGHT whatever it is that is causing your stress.

While you contemplate these facts, think about some of the questions I have asked earlier. Reread this article a few times in the next few weeks while you are in different states of mind. I know you’re going to lift out different layers of what I’m bringing you here.

Contemplate your beliefs about why you need to think, behave, act or live your life in any way that demands a level of stress or ‘push’ some or all the time. Put some thought into what your life would look like if you were able to do everything you are doing now, but in a peaceful state of mind and body. Certainly this would only increase your performance in life and at whatever sport or exercise you choose, and MASSIVELY influence the speed at which you recuperate and improve.

A really good book that fits this discussion is, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”, by Robin Sharma. It’s a fabulous narrative of the discoveries one could experience as you begin to contemplate a life outside the very unreal ‘push’ that has been accepted as ‘normal’ in our world. When you begin to ‘live in the world but not of it’ … you begin to take tremendous control of your life, relationships, business, and most of all your health.

The ‘come down’ states you would feel when you begin even a modicum of supportive habits is the somewhat alter-ego state within your body and mind when all those trillions of critters go into full blown ‘rebellion’ when you create an alkaline, non-stressed, and cleansing supportive state. It may take some serious focus and effort to ‘unhinge’ yourself from the conditions created in your body and mind from stressful or ‘push’ states.

Stress can act as a ‘dulling’ of your consciousness, subconscious (think about what the 40 trillion bits of data are focused on) and overall way of living. You become used to something that is highly unusual and made up, and although you’ve agreed to be, do and have something that causes this ‘push’ state, in the end you could accomplish so much more if you took a different path at this juncture.

Let’s just quickly summarize the key points and questions to move into the future:

1. How much time are you in a stress or ‘push’ state in the day? The answer to this question will help you understand how much recuperative support you need to implement to ‘counteract’ the outcomes from these stresses.

2. How often are you eating ‘unconsciously’ or is your mind is in some other place while you eat? Are you stressed while you eat — and this includes watching sports, news… or being stressed shortly after your meal while digestion is occurring? This will give you an idea of how often you are potentially creating toxic conditions in your body with undigested proteins and food matter.

3. What levels of meaning do you place on the way you lead your life? What overall states of being have you become accustomed to? Your answers will enlighten you to how much you believe in the ‘push’ states you are in… and perhaps give you an idea of how much you may have accepted up to this point as ‘needing’ to be a certain way.

4. What types of breakdown states have you accepted as ‘age’ related, ‘genetics’ (we’ll really plunge into the unscientific illusion that your genes control your reality), or simply a part of what you are ‘supposed’ to do or be? This will give you insights into how much you have become ‘programmed’ to believe is ‘fate’ or out of your control … and begin to set you out on a new course in life where you become the director of your reality.

Here is a simple strategy to alter your entire reality: take a look at your life while you are living it. Be in the ‘now’, as if you are the director of a play. Observe the ‘actor’ you in your various roles – father, mother, daughter, son, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, boss, etc. Allow the ‘director’ you, to begin rewriting the script for a new calm and effective way of being the optimized version of you in all of these roles. Simply spend time every day ‘imagining’ or visualizing yourself feeling amazing in different ‘scenes’ of your life playing these roles… that’s all you have to do. Your subconscious will begin to accept these new conditions and do everything it can to create them.

Whenever you feel stressed in a particular moment, take a moment to realize that you are both the observer and director, capable of changing that emotion by what you think about the situation. See the big picture and approach the situation from a place of power and calm. Being stressed, I can assure you, is a place of weakness.

You are the director and script writer of your reality, and you can shift your thoughts to create the emotions and beliefs that create your life.

And remember – it’s all about simple shifts.

I look forward to bringing you the next keys to living a life filled with fun, power and joy in my next article.

In health and inspiration,

Lars Gustafsson

Founder: BodyMind Institute


Stress as a Transformative Gift

– Part 1 of the Stress Series –

By Lars Gustafsson

Nineteen years ago I was sitting in a motivational seminar, listening to a fabulous speaker talking about the trials of life being the greatest gifts of our lives. I heard a lot that day, and although I even forgot the name of the speaker, these were the words burned in my memory…

“The pressure in life creates diamonds in the rough — without pressure over millions of years coal would stay black and soft. Instead, that immense pressure turns that coal into one of the toughest and most beautiful substances on our planet.”

This metaphor is applicable on so many levels … life, relationships, business and sports, and brilliantly illustrates how stress can be a transformative tool.

Although no one, including myself, enjoys the pressures of negative stress, its outcome is often positive in the big picture. We may only be able to see this many years later after time has healed all that we were experiencing in that moment.

Just as our bodies change from the rigors of exercise, we will change under pressure. To recuperate from exercise, we use the best possible supplements and nutrition. To recover and strengthen from stress, it’s equally important to have the right tools at our disposal.

Much like the vicious acids and oxidation that results from exercise when we don’t utilize the proper recovery nutrients and rest, there are numerous things we can do that will continue to tear us down during or after a stressful period.

We can lay blame, feel guilty, argue, rant, rave, stew and ruminate … lose sleep … and so much more. Are we actually learning from the stress and becoming stronger through these thoughts and actions? Most likely not … unless at some point, hopefully sooner than later, we flip the switch and look at what we are learning, what we are grateful for in life, and see these conditions as a way to evolve and become stronger.

I have had coaches in every aspect of life — from personal trainers to life coaches — tell me that the way to propel oneself to the next level of life … physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually … is to have an innate plan of action to apply stress in an intelligent way, and a recovery plan to make large gains from the stress.

This is where any stress becomes transformative.

We definitely understand the physically transformative nature of stress, both when it comes from physical exercise and emotional pressures.

When you exercise, you create a condition of improvement that propels you through the first layers of limitations that you had when you began… with or without good nutrition. I have personally coached world-class athletes that had deplorable nutrition routines when they first came to see me — yet somehow their bodies recovered to propel them to the highest ranks in the world. Through this I came to see that mind over matter goes deeper than any of us can imagine or understand.

What if you have been on a treadmill of life for decades … not realizing that even the smallest levels of stress have been eating away at your body? What has slowly broken down over these years can be equated to the breakdown that can happen in a single triathlon season without the right recovery nutrients. Tendons, organs, cellular cleansing systems, the central nervous system, immune and rebuilding systems all suffer.

Emotional stress has the same nature – it eats away at all the normal operative systems of your body. It lays open your body to disease and dysfunctions that are often blamed on genetics or age. Sure these play a part but only because all the supportive and contributive aspects have not really been considered and applied.

So how can you flip the switch and turn any stressful situation into a beneficial and transformative experience?

Below are the top five keys that include physical, mental, emotional and spiritual support. The physical aspects will be the bed underneath all of it. You will obviously feel stronger, have positive hormones surging through your mind and body, and have a bolstered immune system that will help to see that big picture view of the situation you are in. It’s extremely challenging to feel positive if your body is acidic, bloated, worn down and weakened.

1. Eat lighter meals and replace one or more of them with liquid nutrition — a robust, nutrient dense shake will bypass your worn down digestive system and provide the much needed nutrition to your cells. A single shake under these conditions can be worth more in nutritional support than many days’ worth of food. Become familiar with super foods and other supportive nutrition that bolsters your digestive system, organs, cells, central nervous system, mind and body.

2. Become an expert at supporting your immune system: some key supplements are Vitamin D (one of Dr. Mercola’s favorites), C, E, CoQ10, Greens, Chaga Mushroom (a David Wolfe favorite), Probiotics and more.

Once the stress has subsided, look into how you can gently begin cleansing your organs, cells, digestive tract and lymph system. Care needs to be taken with this crucial subject, and I recommend guidance with a professional, as cleansing too deeply when your body is weakened by stress can be more of a detriment than a benefit. It’s somewhat like going into an extensive physical exercise program without proper build up or strengthening of all your systems.

3. Exercise to release stress. Just as in your meal plan and supplementation, this is as unique to you as your life. Take care to not overdo exercise during stress — which would show up in slow recovery times, poor sleep, and overall increased tension in your mind and body. Exercise is critical during stress — but too much or too intense exercise without the proper nutrition can wear down all of your systems. I have seen triathlon and iron man athletes age years from a single season of malnutrition.

4. Seek out every avenue to promote a healthy mind, here are a few that I recommend right from the start: brain training, bio-feedback, meditation, yoga, NLP training, life coaching … and healthy attitudes such as the gratitude, having fun with friends & family, ample sleep and rest.

Over the years, I have seen extremely stressed clients quickly come out of their stress when they started on even the simplest nutrition programs.

If you are reading this and feeling overwhelmed at the things you would have to add on to your already packed lifestyle, realize that the simplest of shifts is all you will need to get started. Pick one thing that you know you could fit in every day — even an extra glass of water with a pinch of Himalayan sea salt between meals, or an extra piece of fruit in the morning and afternoon instead of a cup of coffee, or getting to bed an hour early every night.

The “simple of shifts that will last a lifetime” are those that will quickly make you feel better about bringing something positive into the stressful mix.

5. Next … pick up on the idea of gratitude and look at all the many positive things that you have around you and in your life. Moving your emotions from those in observation of stress to those of gratitude can literally change your biology instantly. It pays to be grateful.

I’m going to close this article by helping you set the intention that you will begin a new journey of mastering stress by becoming an expert at taking care of your body, mind and emotions.

And remember … it’s all about simple shifts.

I look forward to bringing you the next keys to living a life filled with fun, power and joy in my next article.

In health and inspiration,

Lars Gustafsson

Founder: BodyMind Institute


Answering the Protein Question

By Lars Gustafsson

“How much protein should we eat?”

This single, seemingly simple question has resulted in thousands upon thousands of articles, books and studies.

In today’s society, people are eating far more protein than they need, and this is causing untold damage to their health, mind and emotions. As we examine the evidence supporting this claim, you may discover that you too, need less protein than you previously thought.

When I ‘landed’ in Canada at the age of 15, in 1987, my passion for nutrition was saturated with the immense amount of information available — and that of course was before the internet. I plunged into everything I could read and get my hands on in regards to supplements, nutrition and training. At that time, the research and hype was all around the ‘latest’ innovations in supplement science, especially around the ‘new’ protein powder products.

Since then, not a lot in the industry has changed – except that we are now inundated with a 1000 times more information and confusion around the topic of nutrition, including protein types and amounts.

After 5 years of non-stop trial and error — and listening to and applying a lot of the hype around the products and trumped up research — I was bloated, experiencing more gas than ever, and experiencing all the affects of having too much protein. Just a few of these symptoms included sore joints, water retention, slow and diminishing gains in the gym, poor focus and memory, irregular bowel movements, and on and on. My ‘weight’ wasn’t muscle at all … rather a combination of fat, water retention and toxins… bloating up my muscle to what ‘appeared’ to be size gains.

I hadn’t been taught the value of alkalinity and that excessive protein and carbohydrates were acidifying my cells, causing them to degrade and age very rapidly, rather than function at higher performance levels. The acidity was also eating away at my central nervous system, hormone systems, cells and tendons. I was sluggish and tired. My 20-year-old body felt like it was 40!

Soon after, at the beginning of my career, one of my mentors handed me a book by Dr. Barry Sears called “The Zone”. This instantly put a new perspective on things — primarily pointing me in the direction of Insulin and everything it was capable of.

Dr. Sears describes the power of balancing your Insulin throughout the day, in order to use the power of Insulin’s positive hormone signaling systems.

Over the next seven years, I immersed myself in researching and applying everything I could find on Insulin sensitivity.

I discovered that Insulin sensitivity is critical to achieving an optimal state of health. When you are Insulin resistant – I call it the “Insulin Resistance Cascade” – a series of hormone induced effects cause your body to become stressed, acidic and toxic. Most of our dietary, health and fitness industries are built on the ill affects of Insulin Resistance and the resulting cascade of negative effects this has on human biological systems.

What people are trying to do out there — without realizing it — is counteract the cascade of effects caused by Insulin Resistance with a mountain of supplements, juices, powders and programs.

Insulin resistance fundamentally answers the question to why people (and research studies that point them in this direction) overeat protein, supplements, and food in general. Insulin is responsible for so much more than just getting glucose into your cells. It is the core signaling system for everything from amino acid absorption to blood pressure and clotting of the arteries. When your cells don’t respond to Insulin you lose the ability to deliver amino acids into the cells — creating the need to overwhelm the body with protein to get marginal results.

When you don’t have the fundamental keys in place, which are discussed in my free online course, “The BodyMind Renewal Program”, you will gradually slip into a place where Insulin loses its ability to signal the ‘positive’ hormone systems in your body. All of these hormone systems create an opposite positive cascade that creates optimal support for your body to create its own states of healing, repair, anti-aging, balanced hormones, maximum sexual functions, sports performance, muscle gain, deep sleep, and so much more.

Your body has an innate ability to heal, repair and renew itself – nothing can ever heal you – it can only support your body towards these natural abilities. This is the fundamental law of nutrition.

After 18 years of research and experience, I have discovered 7 ultimate keys to establish a rock-solid foundation in nutrition and to quickly regain Insulin Sensitivity. If you can check off the following seven keys, you have an amazing foundation for supporting a healthy, strong and vibrant body and mind.

1. _____ I eat smaller snack-like meals at least three times each day with fruit or meals as snacks.

2. _____ I drink filtered water with a pinch of Himalayan or Sea Salt in between meals.

3. _____ I take at least one tablespoon of an omega 3 oil (i.e. Cod Oil) each day.

4. _____ I consume a high quality multivitamin and magnesium supplement.

5. _____ I have at least 2-3 bowel movements every day.

6. _____ I exercise every day for at least 30 minutes, or a minimum of 3-4x / week.

7. _____ I am free of stress — or at least know how to keep it out of my emotions.

Implementing just one of these keys can have a magnificent emotional and health benefit!

Over the past 18 years, I discovered 30 nutritional keys which I have recorded into a series of videos that are now offered as a free introductory course through The BodyMind Institute. My intention for offering this information for free is to provide you, and everyone you know, a rock solid education in the fundamentals of nutrition that can be immediately applied to your life.

Once you begin using just a few of these keys, you will begin to feel the affects of Insulin’s true power.

You will be able to eat up to 30-50% LESS protein and accomplishing the same results! And you will spend less time worrying about how to portion all your meals, and more time enjoying your nutrition and life.

At the root of most, if not all dis-ease, are the emotions that cause disturbance in our cellular systems … so in other words a mind-body connection.

This information can begin a completely new destiny in your quest to optimize your life and the lives of everyone you know.

I look forward to bringing you the next keys to living a life filled with fun, power and joy in my next article.

In health and inspiration,

Lars Gustafsson

Founder: BodyMind Institute


Effortless Renewal & Recovery

By Lars Gustafsson

It’s summer — an incredible time for you to explore whole new levels of possibilities …

…. when you merge your efforts into a singular focus of discovering what it means to have a body and mind working in total synergy.

Let’s get the fundamentals in place as you explore the limitless possibilities that will emerge for you in the next months … years … and decades.

Throughout your life you have replaced your body many, many times — and each of these times you have either provided what you needed for pure renewal … or missed some of these fundamentals, creating a debt to your body and mind.

Your body and mind exist in a seamless relationship.

Every moment each of your seventy trillion cells performs 100,000 functions.

How much of the rudimentary building materials and functional nutrients have you provided for this 24-7 process of renewal over these years?

Of these trillions upon trillions of functions, many are signaled into action by hormones stimulated by the 60,000 thoughts you think on a daily basis.

Have you noticed your thought patterns and how they affect your physical states — or visa versa?

What have your predominant thoughts been?

Your body and mind are in an inseparable cycle of renewal… and as your thoughts, emotions and beliefs shift with your life’s experiences, so do your cells and biology.

This whole package is where the key to life extension and anti-aging lies.

As your body renews itself on a moment-by-moment basis it is looking for the building blocks to key hormones like testosterone, growth hormone and insulin.

By supplying even the simplest of nutrients like water — these hormones — and the rest of the functions that they support will increase, like:

  • Immunity, Healing & Repair
  • Recovery from exercise
  • Deep & restful sleep
  • Sexual vitality and libido
  • Natural, non-adrenaline based energy

A decrease in any one of these is only a symptom of debt to your cells and mind.

The renewal phases are actually much shorter than you might have imagined … every replacement of your core organs and cells takes around ninety days.

All of this supported by extremely simple principles that I call … the simple shifts that will last the rest of your life.

These all fit the fundamental definition of nutrition laid out in BodyMind Nutrition — that in order to create a truly balanced nutrition profile you will support all of the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs in the moment, based on where each of these has been, currently is, and what you wish to create in the immediate future.

It’s a mouthful the first time … but soon you will do all of this effortlessly and intuitively.

So let’s jump into the first two simple shifts that will nurture every cell in your body…

My discovery of these first two shifts began as a child growing up in a tribal region of India.

What a cool way to get started in life hey?

I lived as every child does, from moment to moment.  I became an adventurous tribal kid.  These days we here from spiritual masters like Ekhart Tolle about the power of ‘being in the now’, and we when really think about the happiest times in our life it was when we were like a child . . . TOTALLY engrossed in THE NOW.

I was continuously living the core nutrition shifts . . . choosing on a moment by moment basis to have fun and enjoy life, eating fruit and healthy food continuously, had natural sea salt with my meals, and drinking clean filtered water all day.

Hold on.

Did you get that?  Can it really be that simple?

Let’s put those into different words . . . I ate fruit whenever and wherever I felt like it between meals, had natural rock sea salt with my meals, drank an abundance of water between my meals, and lived in the moment.

It took me several decades of life experience, coaching thousands of clients with their physical, fitness and life goals to uncover these jewels that had been there all the way along.

Just remember that knowledge is power but only if it’s true meaning and significance is revealed to you, if you understand it and know how to act on it.

You see, it takes doing simple things on a repetitive basis, in a way that is correct and done with focused awareness to create a level of success and enjoyment in life few ever accomplish.

In this month the keys we are focusing on are hydration and electrifying every cell and system in your body.   If you don’t have these first two in place now you will feel an incredible surge of new energy and function come back to your body and mind.

So your first Simple Shift is Hydration:

a) First thing every morning, drink a glass of room-temperature filtered water with a ½ cup of fresh juice and a tiny pinch of sun-dried sea salt.

b) Drink water between all meals and snacks until you reach the number of ounces equal to half your body weight in pounds.*

c) Don’t drink water or other liquids while eating. Stop drinking five minutes before eating, and resume drinking 30 minutes after a piece of fruit or 1.5 hours after a meal. (A quick water/fluid calculation to help you figure out how much you may need in the day is: your body weight / 2 = #oz of fluid / day).

The principles for this first shift:

Pure, clean water is the foundation of all life. When you are properly hydrated, every cell in your body functions at its peak capacity, absorbing much-needed nutrients and expelling stressful metabolic and toxic wastes.  Every metabolic function relies on water.  So do each of its 70 trillion-plus cells and their thousands of enzyme functions.  This makes sense if you consider that water makes up 70 to 90 per cent of your body.

Bathing every cell in clean water opens the door to inner peace by helping your mind store and retrieve memories, intuit and imagine, and experience sound, light, color and all sensory perceptions. Cognition, satiety, emotional stability, performance, energy and sleep – and any mind or body state you can name – depend on hydrating the body during the day.  Drinking pure, filtered, mineralized water will even restore metabolic function that otherwise lies dormant.

It’s important to drink filtered water because chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride, which may be added to your water supply, inhibit the body and mind’s natural functions (

If you must drink as you eat, sip on room temperature water. Too much water will dilute your stomach acid, and food will enter your bacteria-laden intestines only partially digested. Imagine food in the presence of bacteria, at 98 degrees. What do you think will happen? You’re right – the food will rot, putrefy, and your body will absorb some or all of it within eight to 24 hours. Some of it may never come back out. The ensuing inflammation and metabolic burden will cause stress, cravings and metabolic disease.

Avoid cold water because it shuts down digestion, which is regulated by both pH and temperature.

Sometimes dehydration causes a temporary surge of heightened energy. This is a full-body response, preparing your to fight – or flee. You may lose weight initially, but you will become physically worn out, and will regain any fat you lose and more. Depriving yourself of water is one of the most effective ways to shut down your body. Your mind and emotions will wreak havoc on your deteriorating physical condition, looking for more quick fixes. Properly hydrating can reverse your body and mind’s degeneration and contribute to massive healthy cell regeneration.

Are you dehydrated?

If you answer yes to any one of these questions, you are likely not drinking enough water.

  1. 1. Do you crave extra carbohydrates?
  2. 2. Do you feel unsatisfied after meals, often eating more than seems necessary?
  3. 3. Do you have long or short term memory problems?
  4. 4. Do your joints hurt, or are your injuries excessively inflamed?
  5. 5. Do you gain or lose weight despite your best efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
  6. 6. Do you recuperate slowly from exercise, training or sports?
  7. 7. Do you have digestive problems, such as constipation, bloating, pain or gas?
  8. 8. Do you feel emotionally drained and have trouble staying motivated?
  9. 9. Do you have trouble quieting your mind, meditating or maintaining a state of calm and inner peace?

Of course, no single shift will cure all these symptoms, but hydrating is an indispensible step toward resolving each of them.


Now your 2nd Simple Shift is to electrify your body and mind with raw salt.

a) Avoid processed “table salt” whenever possible.

b) Add a pinch (1/6 to 1/8 tsp) of Himalayan or Celtic sea salt to every litre of filtered water.

c) Add Himalayan or Celtic sea salt to meals except when table salt is already included, as in packaged, processed and canned foods.

Note: Use salt at all times sparingly, it is easy to overdo it.  Always consult your health care provider or medical doctor prior to making any changes to your nutrition and lifestyle, especially if you are currently on any medications.

The principles for this shift:

Consider the ancient saying, “You’re worth your weight in salt.” Throughout history, salt has been a prized commodity, and rightfully so. Raw sea salt creates a naturally alkaline pH in body tissues, maintains proper fluid volume in cells, neutralizes detrimental bacteria and enhances all metabolic functions. It allows fluids to move freely across membranes, the kidney’s cleansing system and blood-vessel walls. In conjunction with water, it helps regulate heartbeats and blood pressure.

It is critical that you eliminate refined, unhealthy “table salt” and replace it with unrefined crystal sea salt. Himalayan and Celtic are two excellent types. These raw sea salts contain up to 98 per cent sodium chloride and other salts and vital minerals in a composition so complex that no lab could reproduce it.

Don’t grind the salt until immediately before adding it to your food. Add it after cooking, to minimize heat damage. Cooking can de-nature the salt crystals, changing their molecular structure and thereby affecting the salt’s nutrients. Incidentally, sea salt has a unique taste, and you’ll need less of it than refined salt.

Watch your performance, energy and health improve instantly.  Your blood sugar will begin to normalize, your fat will reduce, your metabolism will increase, and your body will begin to detoxify more efficiently. All this activity will lead to a full-body healing and repair state, turning off fight or flight stress hormones.

Keeping in mind these first two shifts and having fruit as snacks between meals, you have now begun the most profound groundwork for providing for complete renewal every ninety days.   Watch your mind begin to shift as your body reaches ever-increased levels of healing and repair.

I would also like to invite you to discover more of these simple in the Free Student Pass in our BodyMind Institute, where the full video version of the BodyMind Renewal Program has been made available for free.

I look forward to hearing how these simple shifts have become a part of your life.  May you live these shifts and then become part of passing them on to those around you.

In health and inspiration,

Lars Gustafsson

Founder: BodyMind Institute

How Does Your Mind Link Into Nutrition Choices?

By Lars Gustafsson

Where are you now in your understanding of nutrition compared to a few years … or even decades ago? What are your habits and choices like now?

Like myself you will discover that one thing will prevail in all of your understanding of nutrition, and that is that it has to be simple to last. It has to become part of your natural way of living.

What is your natural way of living?

What if you discovered a missing key that controls entirely everything in your biology?

A discovery so powerful will shift everything for you, as it did for me.

In the 80’s carbohydrates were the rave, with science just discovering the metabolism of blood sugars. I began my personal discovery of nutrition as a 15 year old in 1987 right at the height of this craze.

In the 90’s the low or no carbohydrate phase took over the minds and consciousness of everyone in the industry. Yet all this while carbohydrates continued to rule endurance nutrition. In 93 when I began my career in nutrition I was very fortunate early in that period to have had a mentor point me in the direction of watching the level of blood sugar (NOT low or no carbohydrate intake), as a means to controlling all the hormones and outcomes in the body. This began with the book “The Zone”, and Dr. Barry Sears’ work around the importance of keeping blood sugars even in order to cause a condition where the low Insulin produced from these levels would role out a whole cascade of “positive hormones”.

Imagine that!

Using food to control whether your body would release positive or negative hormones. For a man this could mean the difference between causing testosterone and growth hormone being released verses estrogen and feminizing hormones. For women these feminizing hormones are causing the scourge of disease and cancer.

Then it hit me, a life experience that changed everything and led to the key that has unlocked incredible results in thousands…

I was slammed into STRESS!

At the end of 1999 I owned three small supplement stores that were headed down the way of becoming history, and being that I couldn’t admit to failure or quit — I pushed harder… and ended up working 15-18hours a day and sleeping 4-6hours a night. What a trip! I ate in the way I had up to then — controlling Insulin, eating small frequent meals, hydrating — doing everything I “thought” or “knew” to be “correct”. ANY dietitian or nutritionist would have looked at my nutrition and applauded the balance and effort.

YET IT HAPPENED… I gained 60lbs of water retention (stress hormones cause tremendous adema), toxins (my bowels were backed up – I was only going 1x/day or less), and body fat… and I gained the unwanted “side affects” of this type of weight gain — depression, lack of self confidence, complete loss of libido… and feeling unsatisfactory in every part of my life.

Then it all really came to an end.

In July of 2000 I collapsed — my marriage fell apart, I surrendered to bankruptcy, and I lost it all.


What happened next was nothing short of stunning.

Without changing my nutrition I lost ALL of the 60lbs in the next six months — with regular exercise (as I had always been doing even while gaining the weight) and no effort outside of getting A LOT more sleep…. and having little or no stress. The 8-9 hour sleep filled nights felt like a luxury, and I was headed towards a whole new and bright future.

It was with the guidance of my best friend that I got back into coaching nutrition.

But this time it was different.

I couldn’t understand what had happened to me in the previous year.

In April of 2001 I came across a speaker by the name of Harve Ecker who introduced me to a profound acronym called T.F.A.R… Thoughts create Feelings, which rule your Actions and produce the Results in your life.

I came away from that weekend with one overwhelming thought…

“Because thoughts precede our feelings… and feelings produce hormones which run all genetic functions in our body… thoughts must control biology!”

The FIRST book I came across that next week was by a genius and frontier-thinking scientist by the name of Dr. Candace Pert, and her book, “Molecules of Emotion”.

All you have to do is pick up this book and read through the first few pages to realize why I was overwhelmed by the science that was backing up my intuition after Harve’s weekend workshop. Dr. Pert brilliantly outlines how her research shows how cascades of hormones are created with each of our thoughts every day.

Because we think well in excess of 10,000’s of thoughts every day… imagine the importance of your thoughts vs. the 5-6 small meals and snacks you eat?

Teacher after teacher emerged in my life after that… ALL pointing to the fact that one’s thoughts rule our biology and reality.

Here’s a quick quiz I ask my audience in seminars that will help you relate to this…

Q: “If you are stressed where does blood flow in your body? To the core to digest and manage your organ functions or to your muscle so that you can fight or flee whatever it is that you are stressed about?”

A: “To the muscle”

Q: “If you are stressed at dinner — or watching, reading, thinking about something stressful — are you then in the optimal state to digest your food?”

A: “No!”

Q: “If you don’t digest your food what happens to the undigested matter?”

A: “It rots?”

A: “YES… and as it circulates through your intestines for the next 12 hours this rotting matter absorbs into your blood, organs, cells, central nervous system, and brain!”


This makes you think twice about watching the news or regurgitating the negative events of the day around dinner doesn’t it?

Ok… so what?

What if you are stressed around a few meals?

Well… just as you are stressed around one meal — it can take up to 3-4 days of clean, alkaline nutrition WITHOUT stress to clean out the toxins and build up from that one stressful meal.

Now you can see why we are in a weight, hormone depressed, immune depressed and emotionally drained condition as a nation and planet as a whole.


The link to your thoughts, emotions and beliefs that create all of these … and your biology is one to come to solid grips with … and then take action on.

Just as I began this with the key to success being simple shifts — the one simple shift that you can do right now is fully embrace that your thoughts rule your biology and reality.

Watch how you feel overall in a day…

… then one by one — discard the thoughts that don’t serve you (cause you stress, depression, drag you down, worry, fear, guilt, etc.) — and shift these to thoughts that are uplifting… things that you are passionate about, grateful for, and give you a sense of life and vitality.

Working with myself and watching the states of thousands of clients in these last ten years I have found that it’s not JUST one’s thoughts that matter… it’s every type of environmental condition — EMF’s, air, lighting, social conditions, social beliefs, media –… more of this in future articles.

I learned that the greatest keys to creating optimum health first began with the acknowledgement and work on one’s inner world.

The nutrition keys that support a non-stressed body and mind are elegantly simple — but the one thing that you will discover is….

“True balanced nutrition from the BodyMind Nutrition perspective is the complete way in which you nourish your mind, body, emotions and spirit in every moment of the day.”

Your beliefs become your thoughts.

Your thoughts become your words.

Your words become your actions.

Your actions become your habits.

Your habits become your values.

Your values become your destiny.

Mahatma Gandhi

I can add to this and say … “one’s total environment – inside and out – becomes one’s destiny.”

So where is nutrition headed?


It’s now moved past the micro and macro nutrient reality of the 80’s and 90’s into a whole new dimension of taking a whole range of factors into account — energetic, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, environmental, super foods, cleansing, stressors, pH, hormone balancing, social conditions, and so much more.

The key to taking this all in and beginning this adventure into a whole new way of nourishment, is to begin with one simple shift at a time.

An exciting new era of nutrition has emerged – linking the body and mind.

Begin with a simple shift that will last the rest of your life.

So here is one of your first simple shifts… choose to focus on positive events, thoughts, and feelings around every meal from now on.

In health and inspiration,

Lars Gustafsson

Founder: BodyMind Institute




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