10 Ways to Become a Better Musician

We all want to become better musicians, but how do we do it? Here is a list of 10 ways to become a better musician:

1. Self-evaluate. And be honest about it.

How does honestly evaluating your musicianship make you a better pianist/singer/violinist/composer/etc.? Well, I’ve got good news: you’re not as horrible a musician as you think you are!

Here’s why.

We tend to look at our mistakes. This can be good, as it allows for future growth and development. But only looking at our mistakes detracts from our overall musicianship. It hinders growth because it promotes negative self-talk, which can suck away our desire to make music and become better.

Remember: Mistakes do not make you a bad musician. Instead of judging yourself through the lens of error, look for the positive in your playing. Chances are you do some things beautifully.

On the other hand, we always have things to learn. Part of holding an honest self-evaluation means that you recognize room for improvement. What can you do better next time?

You will become a better musician if you judge yourself honestly. Look for the positive, recognize what you can do to improve, and then implement these ideas in your goals and your practicing.

2. Set (realistic) goals.

Now that you’ve held an honest self-evaluation, it’s time to set some goals. There are two types: long-term and short-term goals.

Long-term goals are the ones we make to accomplish in the future (like graduate from college or go on a vacation). These are goals not easily accomplished right now, but they are important to set because they give you something to look forward to. They give you something to work towards.

Some examples of long-term goals for musicians are:

  • Learn a specific piece
  • Put on a recital
  • Start a business as a music teacher
  • Develop a successful YouTube channel
  • Get a commission for an original composition

Remember: make sure your long-term goals are realistic. Attach a “due date” to your goal. When would you like to have this goal completed? What is a feasible timeline for you to accomplish the task? Building a YouTube channel will not happen overnight. Conductors aren’t going to ask you for a commission if they don’t know anything about your music. Learning a new piece does not take one practice session.

This is where short-term goals come in. jurnalbaswara.com

Short-term goals are the ones we can accomplish sooner than our long-term goals. In essence, short-term goals help us achieve our long-term goals (like take a specific class so you can graduate from college or save $10 a week so you can go on a vacation). These goals get us closer to attaining our long-term ones.

Some examples of short-term goals for musicians are:

  • Practice every day for at least 30 minutes
  • Learn multiple pieces
  • Take a class to learn how to teach music lessons
  • Post your first cover on YouTube and share it with your friends and family
  • Compose a new piece of music every day

Remember: short-term goals are steps to help us accomplish the long-term goals. Just like with the big ones, however, the short-term goals should be realistic. Attach a completion date to your short-term goals. What is a feasible timeline for you to accomplish the task?

You will become a better musician if you set realistic goals. They will help you stay on track with what you want to accomplish as a musician, and they push you to work hard.

3. Practice (a.k.a. accomplish your goals).

Yep, I’m saying it: if you want to become a better musician, you must practice your craft. Remember those goals you set? Now is the time to act on them, work for them, and accomplish them. Becoming better won’t happen overnight; it takes time, hard work, and a willingness to make mistakes.

Remember: part of being a human is that we are not perfect. We mess up. But then we learn and grow from those mistakes. This can happen as you practice your instrument and play a wrong note. This can happen as you struggle to learn how to effectively teach young children music or as you teach yourself how to make YouTube videos.

You will become a better musician if you practice your craft. Set goals and then work to accomplish them. You can do it.

4. Take breaks

This is so so so important! Studies have shown that the most effective practice sessions
happen in 45 minutes with a 15 minute break before the next 45 minutes of practicing. Your brain needs a rest, so make sure you give it one. If you push yourself too hard, practicing can turn into a negative (and wasteful) experience.

Remember: It’s good to take breaks in any creative activity. Doing so allows your mind and your body to rest, and it provides opportunities to return to your project with a fresh perspective.

You will become a better musician if you allow yourself to take breaks, refresh your mind, and approach your project with a new outlook.

5. Practice some more.

The key to success is trying and then trying again. Mastering your instrument is a difficult and challenging task, but it is worth it. So instead of making excuses for why you haven’t accomplished any of your goals, buckle down and get to work. This is where things start to get hard, but if you can push yourself to accomplish your goals, then you will find success.

Remember: You will become a better musician if you practice your craft. Set goals and then work to accomplish them. You can do it.

6. Study the music away from your instrument.

It is necessary to set aside time every day to be at the piano or pick up the violin, but many musicians neglect to include study time away from the instrument.

Ways to study your music away from your instrument:

  • Study the score
    • Look for patterns in themes
    • Notice dynamics, articulation, etc.
  • Audiate the music
    • “Play” the music in your mind
  • Visualize the music
    • Close your eyes and imagine you are playing your instrument/the piece

Remember: mentally studying your music is difficult but, if done correctly, can count as great practice. Instead of draining yourself on your instrument for 4 hours a day, spend some time away from the instrument and really get to know the music in-depth.

You will become a better musician if you study your music away from your instrument. You will learn the score better, which helps in memorization and learning the piece. It also helps your inner ear – your sense of pitch – as well as sharpens your mind.

7. Listen to lots of music outside of what you are currently playing.

One of my favorite things about being a musician is the fact that there is so much amazing music out in the world. YouTube is full of wonderful performances of all kinds of music ranging from Medieval to Contemporary and from classical to rap.

But why is this so important?

When you expose yourself to new music, you file those sounds away in your brain. Then when you go to practice (or write or compose or teach), you can recall those new sounds and ideas and implement them into your craft. If you limit the music you listen to, then you limit your creativity.

Remember: when you listen to new sounds, you are adding to your own library of music. Listening to and watching different performers and conductors gives you new ideas for interpretation. And who knows? You might discover a new piece or musical genre that you love!

You will become a better musician if you listen to lots of different kinds of music. Discover new sounds and find different interpretations that you can implement in your own music.

8. Live life!

The best part about being a musician is experiencing the music with our whole being. That being said, we can’t be good musicians if we haven’t experienced anything in life.

Our sorrows, our joys, our happiness, our anger, our anxieties, and our excitements all contribute to our music. They can inform our performance (by allowing us to call upon past memories/emotions to enhance a piece), strengthen us against hard times (by helping us remember our successes and our love for the craft), and encourage us to do better (by teaching us that our mistakes are not final failures).

Remember: life is wonderful and amazing, so don’t limit yourself. Experience new things! Meet new people! Talk to others who are different from you! All of these things enhance your musicianship.

You will be a better musician if you experience life. Learn all you can about the world and allow that to come through in your music.

9. Be kind to others.

Life is not a competition. Popular culture often says we need to be the best or else we aren’t successful, and that is just not true. This is why it’s so important to be kind. Trash talk and hateful words never made anyone successful, but kind words and supportive actions do make us better musicians and people.

Remember: we are all unique individuals with our own experiences, and chances are good that any person you meet is struggling with something. Be kind to them. Support them. Understand that their beliefs might be different from yours, and that’s okay.

You will be a better musician if you are kind to others. Empathy allows you to experience deep and wonderful emotions, and those help you make meaningful connections with others. These all influence your musicianship by giving you experience to call upon and perspective in your own life.

10. Rinse and repeat.

Becoming a better musician does not happen overnight. It takes time. It takes self-evaluation, goals, hard work, and experience.

So remember: never stop evaluating your musicianship. Always be working towards a goal. Make the effort to practice. Set some time away from your instrument. Sharpen your mind. Listen to new music. Experience life. Be kind.

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1. Kenali Tim dan Pemain Secara Mendalam

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Caring For Your 1 Month Old Baby

Can you believe that your baby is already one month old? It probably feels like your little bundle of joy arrived yesterday. And so much has changed in the last few weeks! As such, you may have a few questions about your 1 month old baby’s development.

In this post, the baby experts at Mustela will explain everything you need to know about caring for your 1 month old baby.

We’ll cover your baby’s development, senses, motor skills, eating schedule, and sleeping habits. Then we’ll close with some general childcare tips and a few warning signs to keep an eye out for.

Caring For Your 1 Month Old Baby

In the first few weeks after birth, your baby’s life is pretty simple. It involves plenty of sleeping, eating, and, of course, dirty-diaper-making. But your little one is growing rapidly, and you probably have a few questions about their development.

Here’s everything you need to know about your 1 month old baby.

Your 1 Month Old Baby’s Development

By the time your little one reaches the one-month mark, they’ve already put on a few pounds since birth.

While most babies actually lose weight in the first week of life (due to excess water weight being shed) babies start gaining weight quickly in the second and third weeks of life. Your baby is probably gaining a half-ounce to an ounce per day.

One-month-old baby boys are typically 8.8 pounds (4 kg) to 10.8 pounds (4.9 kg) in weight. On average, boys are between 20.9 inches (53 cm) to 22 inches (56 cm) in height at four weeks.

Baby girls are a bit smaller at the one-month mark, with average weights ranging from 8.4 pounds (3.8 kg) to 10.1 pounds (4.6 kg) and average heights between 20.5 inches (52 cm) to 21.7 inches (55 cm).

It’s important to note that these are just averages. Babies, just like adults, have a wide distribution of weights and heights. There’s absolutely no reason to worry if your 1 month old baby is a little bigger or smaller than the figures we’ve stated here.

Your 1 Month Old Baby’s Senses

Sense Of Sight

At just one month old, your baby’s senses are not yet fully developed. Your little one is extremely nearsighted and can only see objects clearly when they are 12 to 14 inches away from their face. Anything further than that appears fuzzy.

Babies prefer to look at objects with bright colors, simple designs, and bold lines because they’re easier to see.

Luckily, your baby is close enough to you to study you while they’re feeding. Your little one’s gaze will naturally be drawn to your face, as they are slowly learning to recognize you.

Sense Of Smell

At the same time, research has shown that your baby can recognize the scent of your breastmilk. Your infant’s sense of smell is still developing, but your milk is one scent they know and love.

For as much as your baby may enjoy your breast milk, sometimes it’s hard for new moms to get the hang of nursing. Between struggling to find the right position and dealing with cracked or sore nipples, breastfeeding isn’t always a walk in the park.

To moisturize and protect your breasts, use a natural nipple cream, like Mustela’s Nursing Comfort Balm. This lanolin-free balm is designed to ease discomfort, moisturize, and protect your nipples.

And it’s made with 100% naturally derived ingredients so you can feel good about what you’re putting on your skin.

Sense Of Taste

Your 1 month old baby’s sense of taste is also rudimentary, as they have only ever tasted breast milk or baby formula. This sense will develop as they grow and try new foods.

Sense Of Hearing

While your 1 month old baby can hear relatively well, they have not yet learned to recognize different sounds. One that they can identify, though, is the sound of your voice.

Research has shown that babies become familiar with their mother’s voice while in the womb. That’s why your baby finds your voice so soothing.

Sense Of Touch

Lastly, your baby’s sense of touch is limited, but it’s still important to hold them often. According to some studies, your baby needs skin-to-skin contact with Mom and Dad in order for their brain to develop properly.

So hold your little one close and give them plenty of TLC!

Your 1 Month Old Baby’s Motor Skills

At this point, your little bundle of joy doesn’t have the muscle strength to move around much. Your baby has basic reflexes, like the Moro reflex and the startle reflex, as well as the ability to suckle. Your little one should also be able to flail their arms and legs a bit.

If you place a single finger in the palm of your baby’s hand, they may close their fist around it. And while your 1 month old baby doesn’t have the strength to hold up their head yet, you may notice them turning their head to the side when lying on their back.

A great way to help your baby’s muscles develop is to give them plenty of tummy time. This is essentially placing your baby on their stomach and letting them get used to lying in this position. Tummy time will strengthen your little one’s arms, shoulders, neck, and back muscles.

Your 1 Month Old Baby’s Eating Schedule

At the one-month mark, your baby needs to eat often. They’re growing quickly and surviving on only breastmilk or baby formula, so they need to feed frequently.

Ordinarily, a 1 month old baby will become hungry every two to three hours. And while your little one may sleep for up to four or five hours at a time during the night, they need to eat immediately before and after sleeping.

Many parents wonder whether their baby is getting enough nutrition. This is a valid concern, but it’s difficult to give a precise answer, as all babies are different. If you’re formula-feeding your 1 month old baby, they should have about four ounces of formula every three to four hours.

If you’re breastfeeding, there are two ways to make sure your little one is eating adequately. The first is to make sure your baby seems content at the end of every feeding. Trust your judgment on this one! No one knows your baby better than you.

The second way to ensure that your baby is consuming enough is to monitor their weight. As long as your 1 month old baby is gaining weight at a healthy rate, their feeding habits are A-OK.

Your 1 Month Old Baby’s Sleeping Habits

This probably won’t come as a surprise, but babies sleep quite a bit. In fact, your 1 month old baby needs to sleep 15 to 16 hours per day.

Typically at this age, a baby will sleep between eight and nine hours during the night, with two or three interruptions for feeding. You may find that your baby is sleeping up to five hours at a time without waking.

If this is the case, try to get some rest! There’s no need to wake your baby up to feed them. They will let you know when they’re hungry.

Your baby likely sleeps another six to seven hours during the day, in the form of three or four naps. Again, there’s no need to disturb your baby’s sleep for the sake of feeding. Let your little one’s body determine when to sleep and when to eat.

There’s really no such thing as sleeping too much for your 1 month old baby!

Your 1 Month Old Baby And Visitors

With a new little one in the family, there’s no doubt that family and friends will want to pop by to see you and your baby. This can be one of the most enjoyable (and the most tiring!) parts of the first few weeks with a new baby.


You likely have some questions, too. Is it OK to take your 1 month old out in public? Can friends and family come to your house to visit? Can you say “no” to visitors when you’re simply too tired?

These are all great questions that can be hard to answer, especially given the current worldwide situation. So let’s talk about a few guidelines for visitors and visiting when you have a new baby.

First of all, it’s important to realize that a 1 month old baby’s immune system is still developing. Camille Sabella, MD from Cleveland Clinic Children’s says, “An infant’s immune system doesn’t mature until around 2 to 3 months.”

Without taking into account any pandemic or other health scare, Dr. Sabella recommends limiting an infant’s exposure to other people for the first two months of their life.

With the current situation, decisions about which visitors to allow become even more difficult. Here are some tips for navigating this difficult time.

  • Where to take your baby and which visitors to allow in your home is ultimately your decision. Don’t feel pressured to have people over if you aren’t comfortable with the idea. You can also feel free to say “no” when someone asks to hold your baby.
  • Weigh the risks and benefits of having visitors. The truth is that you need some help during the first few weeks of your baby’s life, so swearing off all visitors may not always be in your (or your baby’s) best interest. Allow friends and family to come over when you know you need a helping hand.
  • Have friends and family wash their hands before cuddling your little one. This goes for you and your older kids as well! And, if you feel more comfortable asking visitors to wear a mask while they’re in your house, don’t be afraid to mention it.
  • Whether or not you decide to have visitors, don’t stay cooped up in your house. For the sake of your physical and mental health, get outside to get some fresh air or take a stroll. Just don’t forget to bring sun protection for both you and your baby!
  • When you decide to take your baby out for an activity, do what you can to stay away from places that tend to be full of germs or lots of people.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have specific questions or find yourself extremely stressed and anxious about the situation. Deciding who can visit you and your new baby is not an easy task.

General Childcare Tips

There are so many parenting decisions to make when you have a baby that it can become overwhelming. But every parent should follow certain guidelines no matter what. Below are a few examples.

Diaper Changing

When your baby is on the changing table, never leave them unattended, not even for a second. Keep all of your diaper-changing supplies nearby so you can have a hand on your little one at all times.

Plan to change your baby’s diaper every couple of hours or more. Leaving them in a wet or dirty diaper too long can irritate their delicate skin and leave them susceptible to diaper rash.

Clean your baby’s bottom thoroughly when changing a dirty diaper. Wipe them well with soft wipes, like Mustela’s Certified Organic Water Wipes with Cotton and Aloe. These fragrance-free wipes are specially designed to relieve and moisturize sensitive skin.

And don’t forget to use diaper cream to protect your baby’s skin. Mustela’s Diaper Cream with Olive Oil and Aloe is a talc-free formula that calms your baby’s bottom and leaves a moisturizing layer on their skin to soothe and diminish redness.

Babyproofing Your Home

Babyproof your home to ensure your baby’s safety. At 1 month old, your little one probably isn’t rolling over or moving around much. But before you know it, they’ll be scooching around and rolling to get where they want to go! It doesn’t hurt to start babyproofing now.

This includes covering electrical outlets and cords, locking cabinets and doors, keeping toys and books only on the lower shelves of bookshelves, and so much more.

Click here to check out our guide on how to babyproof your home.

Nap Time And Bedtime

We already talked about your 1 month old baby’s sleep habits. What we haven’t covered is sleep safety, and that goes for nap time as well as bedtime.

The American Academy of Pediatrics sets the following guidelines for safe sleep for your little one:

  • Always put your baby to sleep on their back.
  • Put your baby to sleep on a firm sleep surface. Their sleep surface should also be bare (other than a fitted sheet), which means no blankets, pillows, or toys in the crib.
  • Share your room but not your bed for the first six months of your baby’s life.
  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime if your baby is doing well with breastfeeding.

Bath Time

Since your baby has been home for a few weeks, you’ve probably learned how to bathe a slippery infant!

Remember to keep a hand on your baby at all times and keep all the bathtime products that you need close by. If you forgot something, wrap your baby in a towel and take them with you to retrieve what you need.

In addition, choose natural skin care products that are safe for your baby. This will care for your little one’s skin while also treating any skin conditions they may be experiencing, like peeling skin, baby acne, cradle cap, or eczema.

Mustela offers a variety of baby-safe products made with natural ingredients that are gentle on your baby’s delicate skin. This includes everything from shampoo and body wash to soothing creams and lotions.

If you’re looking for organic baby skincare products that are biodegradable and come in a recyclable bottle and sustainably sourced packaging, we’ve got you covered there as well!

And finally, we love Cleansing Wipes and Organic Micellar Water with Olive Oil and Aloe for the days that a bath simply doesn’t happen!

Your baby’s skin is delicate and easily irritated, so using baby-friendly products is absolutely essential.

When To Be Concerned

There are a few situations in which you will need to consult a pediatrician. Head to the doctor’s office immediately if your baby:

  • Doesn’t respond to loud sounds or the sound of your voice
  • Is having trouble suckling
  • Doesn’t use their eyes to track objects 10 to 14 inches from their face
  • Seems unable to move their arms and legs

Apart from these early warning signs of a developmental delay, there’s no reason to be overly concerned with your 1 month old baby’s development. All babies follow their own unique developmental path.

At this stage in your little one’s life, eating and sleeping are the two primary activities to monitor. On top of that, just remember to hold your baby often, speak and sing to them as much as possible, and shower them with plenty of hugs and kisses, and your 1 month old baby will be as healthy as can be.You

And Your Little One

The first few weeks with your baby are tiring, exciting, amazing, and everything in-between. In this article, you’ve learned a bit more about how your 1 month old develops, their sleeping and eating habits, and considerations to take into account when it comes to visitors.

Having a 1 month old baby isn’t necessarily a piece of cake, but all of this information will help you understand and care for your sweet one as best as possible.

Remember our tips, like using Mustela’s Certified Organic Water Wipes with Cotton and Aloe to get your baby’s bottom squeaky clean at every diaper change, babyproofing your home, following safe sleep guidelines, and using Mustela’s bathtime products to keep your baby’s skin healthy, soft, and kissable!

These first few weeks of your baby’s life can be such a special time. Soak it up!

5 Non-Negotiable Vegan Foods to Eat Every Day (if You Want to Live a Long, Healthy Life)

Everybody loves to talk about the latest and greatest disease-preventing superfood — but have you actually made a part of your daily diet?

As a cardiovascular nurse and nutrition consultant, I spend much of my time wading in the muck of preventable chronic diseases, and I’ve dedicated my life to understanding nutrition science and lifestyle medicine.

And more importantly for you, how those two disciplines can be used to prevent and treat disease.

What I’ve found is that certain health foods — normal foods, not hard-to-find superfoods — have a remarkable capacity to protect you from disease, increase athletic performance, and give you a fighting chance of living a long, healthy life.

Below I’ve compiled a list of five food types that meet this criteria . Foods that I recommend vegans eat every single day — without exception.

Here they are: the five best possible answers to the question “What do vegans eat?“

1. Legumes

Let’s focus for a minute on the longest living populations on earth today that enjoy the best health and least amount of chronic disease.

They nearly all have one important thing in common from a nutritional perspective:


Get past the flatulence jokes, and it turns out that beans are a nutritional powerhouse and should be taken seriously.

Legume intake has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, among other effects. And for good reason …

Beans contain a number of important macro and micro nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, folate, fiber and potassium. Some of the phytochemicals present in beans can even be associated with producing an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effect and help us regulate our blood sugar and blood pressure as well as promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

Note: Looking for an easy way to make sure you get all the hard-to-find nutrients on a plant-based diet? Check out Complement Plus.

Almost sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t.

In 2007, the most comprehensive analysis of diet and cancer ever conducted was published by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).

Nine independent research teams from around the globe with some of the brightest minds in cancer prevention combed through nearly half a million studies to create a scientific consensus on the best ways to reduce the risk of developing this disease. In their final report, they concluded that people should be eating beans with every meal.  https://www.loansmp.com/

Here are three quick ways to easily incorporate more beans into your diet:

  • Add black beans to a salad
  • Spread hummus on a slice of whole wheat toast
  • Use refried beans in a vegan quesadilla or burrito

2. Fruit

Who doesn’t love biting into a ripe mango on a hot summer day, or eating a bucket full of freshly picked blueberries?

As it turns out, Americans fall woefully short of the recommended daily intake of fruits and this is not without consequence.

The 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was conducted by nearly 500 researchers from more than 300 institutions in 50 countries and took years to finish.

The study concluded that in the United States, the leading cause of death and disability was the American diet and that the worst part of our nutritional habits was not eating enough fruit.

Not vegetables or whole grains, but fruit.

Berries, in particular, seem to be the MVP of the fruit world and offer serious protection against cancer, boost immune cell activity, and protect the liver and the brain. A study of nearly 100,000 men and women, conducted by the American Cancer Society, found that those who ate the most berries were significantly less likely to die of cardiovascular disease.

I happen to love fruit as a source of fuel during long races and training sessions so for you athletes out there, consider that application as a great way to boost your daily intake.

Here are three more ways to incorporate more fruit into your daily routine:

  • Make a frozen, mixed berry sorbet using a masticating juicer or high-powered blender
  • Eat an entire meal of just fruit including mangoes, bananas, berries, watermelon, etc.
  • Throw assorted fruits into a smoothie

3. Greens

Dark-green, leafy vegetables may be the healthiest foods on the planet.

They offer the most nutrition per calorie and the greatest array of disease-fighting, performance-enhancing nutrients. And yet, today only about 1 in 25 Americans consume even a dozen servings per month when you should be shooting for at least a dozen servings per week.

Eating greens, especially of the cruciferous variety, is likely to be one the most powerful steps you can take to prolong your life.

Here are three easy ways to get more greens into your diet:

  • Add kale and/or spinach to a smoothie
  • Make a large spinach salad with your favorite toppings
  • Use Romaine lettuce to make hummus and veggie wraps

4. Whole Grains

I mentioned earlier that daily bean consumption was recommended for preventing cancer by the AICR.

That same analysis determined that whole grains were just as effective as beans and should be consumed with every meal.

A 2015 analysis of Harvard’s famous Nurses Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study — which have accumulated more than three million person-years of data — found that people who eat the most whole grains often live significantly longer independent of other lifestyle factors like smoking or obesity, etc.

If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

This is in no way surprising, considering the evidence that whole grains appear to mitigate the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and stroke and are quite adept at reducing inflammation, despite some of the nonsense you read circulating through the blogosphere about grains being pro-inflammatory.

*Clears throat*

I absolutely love barley, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, and rye, or simply adding whole wheat pasta or wild rice to a dish. Try experimenting with these if you aren’t already accustomed to eating them.

And if you have Celiac disease or a legitimate gluten sensitivity, you can still enjoy many of the benefits of these foods, you just have to choose the gluten-free varieties.

Here are three ways to get more whole grains in your body:

  • Make pasta using 100% whole wheat varieties
  • Use quinoa as a base for a veggie stir fry
  • Make a sandwich using sprouted, whole wheat toast

5. Nuts

The Global Burden of Disease Study, which I mentioned earlier, determined that inadequate nut and seed intake was the third-leading dietary risk factor for death and disability in the world and thought to lead to the death of millions of people every year. Yikes.

But that doesn’t mean you should be scarfing down mounds of nuts.

Just one handful (1/4 cup) of nuts, five or more days a week, is associated with an increase in lifespan by two years. This seems hard to believe but it turns out that nuts are extraordinary plant foods with remarkable disease fighting properties.

And if I had to choose just one?


Walnuts have the highest antioxidant and omega-3 content and appear particularly adept at killing cancer cells.

Here are three ways to eat more nuts:

  • Make your own trail mix for work using assorted raw nuts
  • Use nut butters like almond or cashew butter for spreads or dips
  • Throw some walnuts in a salad or smoothie
  • Add real food protein powder (with nuts and seeds) to a smoothie or baked good

The Meal That Brings it all Together

So are you wondering what the best way to combine all of these healthy everyday foods into one quick and convenient meal is? Try this:

Every day eat a large spinach and mixed greens salad with black beans, blueberries, walnuts and other veggies on a bed of quinoa or brown rice. Top that off with a cashew-based salad dressing and you’re done.

So easy. So delicious.

When it comes to living a long, healthy and productive life, this approach will keep science on your side and disease at bay.

About the Author: Aaron is a cardiovascular nurse, health coach and nutrition consultant, ultra-endurance athlete, father and husband. He also co-hosts the Thought For Food Podcast, writes for Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine and speaks to the public about preventing and reversing heart disease.

  • Non-negotiable?
    Those of us with food allergies, intolerances, or metabolic differences have to find ways to eat to work around the foods that we are unable to eat.
    I know a couple of people who are deathly allergic to legumes. I sometimes have to limit my fruit intake due to oral allergy syndrome, fructose issues, or ulcers. A couple of fruits cause me anaphylaxis. While I do eat greens, they really slow down my digestion, so I have to be careful not to overdo it.
    As for grains… I can’t eat any grains, even gluten-free ones. However, two of the ‘grains’ you mentioned are actually pseudocereals, not part of the grass family, and I am able to eat buckwheat and quinoa (and do regularly!) My main starch is potatoes (and other root vegetables.)
    And nuts… luckily I only have anaphylaxis with almonds and walnuts, so I am able to eat pecans and cashews. I am also okay with coconut and with seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, and hemp. But a lot of allergy sufferers have to avoid all tree nuts and any seeds that are processed on the same equipment/in the same plants.
    So… good for you, yes. But non-negotiable… no, not really. Our bodies are amazing instruments and incredibly adaptable. Even those of us with multiple allergies and intolerances can usually find a way to make a whole food, plant-based diet work.

    1. Thank you! I am new to a plant based diet and cannot eat gluten, soy, or any legumes. I’m slowly getting over my worry that I will be unhealthy without the legumes.

    2. Is it possible that this is not the right website for you? These foods are pretty much the core of the no-meat athlete diet.

    3. Thank you so much for these helpful starters. I have found this blog and the non-negotiable suggestions to be most helpful in determining how to start the vegan way of eating. I have been a vegetarian for about seven years and I am now working my way over to a vegan diet. I do want to comment on pdw’s post. I believe that we all must use our best judgement as to what foods will work best for us. Since pdw is allergic to almost everything mentioned in the blog, there may be some major health issues going on. Pdw may need to seek help from a medical professional.

    4. You can actually eat foods that you are allergic too and if you do it right (small quantities) over a long period of time your body will adapt to it. No human should be allergic to healthy foods. People with peanut allergies have eaten peanuts in very small amounts day after day until eventually they can actually eat a normal serving of peanuts without any reactions. There are also many plant based diets that help you stop allergic reactions. Do some research about it. It’s really amazing information! Vegan life!

  • Great article! My mom is trying to eat healthier, so this will come in handy in advising her on dietary proiorities– gotta get the most bang for your buck. Obviously, if you’re allergic/intolerant/sensitive to these foods, the article isn’t directed at you.

  • Don’t forget to cook your legumes with Kombu! It helps prevent digestion troubles, and adds nutrition!
    Be Well

  • I know this blog post is not necessarily about weight loss but for those who are trying to burn fat I have enjoyed success by omitting nuts.
    Yes, I concede, the author is only suggesting 1/4 cup of nuts but I could never eat just a quarter cup. I find nuts very ‘moreish’.
    Also as much as I try and eat greens I also juice with a lot of them. Especially on days when I know I will struggle to get them in. (In full disclosure I host the Juicing Radio podcast so am a bit biased)
    Great post through. Thank you

  • This is great – I love the generality of the checklist – what an asset for making a menu. Thank you.

  • I agree with Aaron. My dietician and doctor advised me to include fruits in my morning diet. Not only do they contain a good amount of fiber, they have the essential vitamins and minerals to provide you with soft and clear skin. Just imagine getting rid of acne and pimples by consuming fruits and veggies. Isn’t that great?

  • Thank you for this article. I will never be an athlete, just being able to walk and climb stairs without pain is my goal in life. I am 58 year old female, very obese and I worry about having a heart attack, my doctor tells me to eat plant based and lose weight and greatly reduce sodium. But the vegan programs and cookbooks are just to complicated using ingredients I have never heard of or simple do not like, such as lentils and ginger. I have wasted sooooo much money on programs and cookbooks just trying to find something simple. I will try to use the outline you expressed above as a starting point and see what recipes I can come up with using these basic ingredients to try to regain my health. Again, Thank you for this article.

Emotions, feelings and emotional control

What does emotional control really take? How can I have a better reaction to the events in my life I cannot control?

What you will learn from reading this article:

  • You cannot control everything that happens in your life, but you can control the meaning you attach to those events
  • You are the one in charge of your emotions and how you react to them
  • How to practice emotional control
  • How to let go of your expectations as a means of controlling your reactions
  • A formula for the complex cycle of meaning (Meaning = Emotion = Life)

Human beings are emotional creatures. We feel deeply, which is a good thing – until we let those feelings run away from us. Emotions are exceptionally powerful, which is why learning to control them is equally powerful.

Say you got stood up for a date or an offsite business meeting. Are you angry, frustrated, amused or indifferent? Are you able to let it go or do you hold a grudge? The way you respond to emotional challenges impacts everything you do, and letting your feelings run away from you is a quick way to lose what you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

There will always be some sort of roadblock or challenge to overcome. When these come up, you may be tempted to react emotionally and fling up your hands. Next time you’re faced with such a scenario, wait a moment and take a deep breath. By mastering how to control your emotions, you can create lasting change in your life – we’re going to show you how.

It’s all about meaning

There are plenty of things we can’t control: the weather, our children, traffic and love are just a few. But we do control the meaning we take away from events. Meaning connects to our larger life blueprint; it’s a way to either give up control of our lives or accept responsibility.

For example, let’s take Tony inviting some of his friends to his place in Fiji. It’s a lush, tropical paradise with sun and sand. It’s also raining. Tony wants everything to be perfect for his friends, but he’s miserable because life doesn’t match what he perceives as the ideal.

But when his friends arrive, they love the warm rain and immediately start splashing around in it. They’re completely happy even if the place doesn’t look like a postcard. They had no expectations of perfect weather; they just knew they were having a good time.

By attaching a negative meaning to what was going on, Tony let his emotions run the show.

When you learn how to control your emotions, you can derive more positive, productive meanings, even from seemingly negative events.

Let’s stick with this Fiji example. What emotions are now flying around? Tony believes he needs to create a certain kind of environment for his friends to be happy. He’s got an image of that ideal – sunny – and even though he knows that no one can control the weather, he’s still frustrated. So instead of enjoying his friends, he’s stuck in a bad mood. Meanwhile, his friends are having a great time. They’re not at all disappointed, but maybe they’re a little confused as to why Tony seems unhappy. So even though everyone is experiencing the rain, the meaning they’ve attached to it has caused completely different emotional responses. bogorupdate

When you set out to master your emotions, it’s critical to understand that they are your emotions. They belong to you. By letting your emotions run the show – and attaching negative meaning to them – we can damage our relationships and our lives. When you step back and react emotionally to circumstances, you allow the world to happen to you instead of for you.

So what can you do to regain emotional control, or prevent yourself from losing it? Change the meaning and you change the emotion. The reverse also holds true – change the emotion and you’ll change the meaning.

The power of words

Another key factor in the cycle of meaning is what words you use. What do you feel when someone says that you’re mistaken? What about if they say you’re wrong? Chances are that you don’t feel very good, no matter your level of emotional control, and that’s you just thinking about it, not it actually happening.

It’s a small example, but it illustrates just how crucial words are to how we make meaning (and thus what we feel). This is why Tony has people think about the words they’re in the habit of using, especially if they’re trying to make major life changes: Whatever words you attach to your experience become your experience.

How to control your emotions

Next time you’re faced with a situation that elicits strong feelings from you, pause to consider what meaning you’re going to attach to it. You can develop emotional control by using one of the following tactics:

1. Take a deep breath

Instead of reacting right away – whether positively or negatively – give yourself a moment to process what just happened.

2. Find out what you’re feeling

It’s easy to say, “I’m feeling angry because they hurt me.” Dig deeper. Are you angry because you’re afraid they’re right? Are you sad? Emotions are complex and often piggyback onto one another.

3. Replace negative thoughts

If your mind goes straight to how you’ve been wronged or how terrible everything is, divert yourself. Dwelling on negativity will only make you more prone to it, so focus on positive emotions. Change your thoughts and change your story.

4. Channel your energy

Human emotions are incredibly powerful. Let that energy go by participating in some sort of physical activity – going for a run or a walk, or even shooting some hoops.

5. Explore your emotions

Why do you feel the way you do? Journaling or talking with a trusted friend or family member can help you understand why you’re feeling what you do. Once you understand an emotion, it’s that much easier to control it.

Actions and the formula that makes up our lives

When you feel certain ways, you do certain things. Our patterns of behavior, from negative ones like smoking to positive ones like going to the gym, all stem from our desire to meet some of our six human needs, the meaning we’ve assigned and the feelings we have. The pattern then becomes our life story, what we tell ourselves about who we are and why we are that way. Instead of practicing emotional control, we likely feel adrift and powerless.

While we can’t control the triggers we encounter in our lives, we can control the meanings we extract from the events that occur, therefore controlling our feelings and, more broadly, our lives. If you’re trying to make a change in your life, examine what meanings you already have, then make up new ones. Emotional control is all about making the meaning you want – otherwise you’ll continue to repeat old patterns and not make any lasting change.

The formula

We can reduce the cycle of meaning’s complexity to a single formula:

Meaning = Emotion = Life

So if you’re looking to change your mood, change the meaning you’re taking from the triggering event. When you ask yourself, “How can I control my emotions?” what you’re really asking is, “How can I assign positive meaning to this event, instead of letting negative feelings linger?” You have the power to shift your mindset and improve your life, because life is happening for you, not to you.


Ready to discover what motivates your every action?

Gain control of your emotions and drop your limiting beliefs by attending Tony Robbins’ life changing event Unleash The Power Within.