Practical Information for Healthy and Happy Life 

This website was developed for those that were looking for knowledge and support that allows to focus on life and its pleasures rather than constantly chasing after the trendy health products and services with flashy bells and whistles but no real value. You can begin by reading the blog and then contact us for more information or to book an appointment.

Martian Looking Glasses That Can Help Your Sleep and Moods

posted Oct 27, 2014, 4:40 PM by Ivan Kropyvnytskyy   [ updated Oct 27, 2014, 5:23 PM ]

Sleep and moods are both important for all of us to feel at our best. Light therapy, if used properly, can help both, especially during autumn and winter times

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Chances are that you already are (or should be) using light therapy and there are many different types of devices. Recently I came across this new one called Re-Timer made in Australia. It's expensive, but if money is not an issue, I like it, because it's more convenient to ware the light on your head, like glasses (or over your regular reading glasses), than to sit in front of it for long time. Let me know if you use any type of light therapy and how you like it.

 

Pictures from the Red Ferret article.

Weight Gain, Type 2 Diabetes, CPAP, and My Lovable Dutch Friend

posted Oct 25, 2014, 8:00 AM by Ivan Kropyvnytskyy   [ updated Oct 25, 2014, 8:05 AM ]

Today I want to write a post about (and for) a long time friend of mine from Holland. We were out of touch for a while and I have just found that he developed type 2 diabetes.

He told me that he gained lots of body weight (and although recently he lost 10 kilos he is still at 135). He started losing weight by working on his diet (less fat, less 'evil' sugar, 'more fruits, but not fructose', and more vegetables). For exercise he walks his dogs. He takes medication (Metformin) to control his blood sugars. He also tells me that his sleep is not very good, and that he has a CPAP machines that he is not able to use, because it is uncomfortable and he removes it unintentionally at night. He thinks that he needs a new CPAP machine. He appears to be open to suggestions on how to improve his health, and has some motivation to do something about his lifestyle to be healthier.

A couple of days ago we had a lovely chat on Skype, catching up on news about family and friends. He was very proud to tell me about his daughter who is now studying towards a Masters in Psychology. My friend is a very cheerful and lovely person, very social and lovable. He did a lot of voluntary work in his life. He supported me much and I stayed at his house many times during my study and work days in Holland. Now I really want to help him. So, the question is how?

First of all, can you see the connection between nutrition, exercise, sleep/recovery and mind in this case?

Secondly, what would you do or say to a person in a situation like this?

Apart from all the usual stuff one can find on the internet in lines with "continue medical management, and improve your diet and exercise" here's what I would add:

1. Low fat is a great approach for type 2 diabetes. Low fat plant based is probably even better.
2. Don't be scaried of carbs. Carbs are just polimers of glucose and cells in our body (especially in our brain) run on it. We need lots of slow, low glycemic index (GI) carbs (but not fast, high GI carbs). In a nutshel to achieve this we need to get a lot of fiber with carbs in our diet, and that should help.
3. Loosing weight by diet modification is best. Do not exercise to burn calories, exercise to build muscle (including heart and lungs).
4. Walking for excercise is all he can handle for now. Do not do high intensiy exercise until sleeping well. Exercise without proper recovery (sleep) can really burn us out. And proper sleep means not just quantity, but also quality.
5. Rather than getting a new CPAP machine, I think it is more likely that the old one will have to be adjusted and set up properly in a sleep clinic.

These would be my starting points. To achieve meaningful long term results he would need to stay motivated for long time (at least a year).

Do you have someting you'd like to add? Discuss it on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Changing Your Lifestyle: Doing It Yourself Or Finding a Coach?

posted Oct 19, 2014, 11:29 AM by Ivan Kropyvnytskyy   [ updated Oct 24, 2014, 9:39 AM ]

Hiring a health coach can be a cumbersome (and costly) experience and before you do that I really encourage you to try it first by yourself. But if you came to this blog chances are that you have already tried (possibly many times, and failed) on your own. So, how do you know when it is a good time to get a health coach?

First of all, doing it with a coach doesn't mean that you should not carefully plan ahead of time and not be prepared to do most of the work by yourself.

In my life most of my lifestyle adjustments I did on my own. But even being a highly trained medical and health expert I have extensively used help from different health experts at different times in my life. Unfortunately for me, none of the experts I worked with were able to provide me with a well rounded picture of my particular situation. And I have talked to many different ones: fitness trainers, physicians of all kinds, including sleep specialists, nutritionists, psychologists, and many other of so called alternative health provides.

Just to see some of them for a brief consultation (15 minutes) I would fly half a way around the world and pay a lot of money. At the same time I was able to get the expertise of others through the internet and absolutely for free, by just listening to hundreds of hours of their recorded lectures on YouTube. Each one of them gave me something of importance. I still continue constantly learning from as many of them as possible, and even now I still continue making small adjustments to my personal health practices if I discover some new information worth my attention. Although at this time I probably learn most from the people that I help to apply the principles of good health by using the comprehensive health system that I have developed.

If you are contemplating to work with a health coach, here's what I would suggest. First think very long and clear about if need and why you want a coach. What issues are you trying to solve? Is it to get clarity with health information? Or are more after some support, encouragement and motivation? Are you realistic in your expectations? Do you have enough resources and can you afford a coach?

If you ever would want to work with me, I say that first you have to have an open mind and a lot of motivation. If you already 'know' - there is no place within your mind for any new information that I will be sharing with you and it will be a waste of time for both of us. Also, sorry, but I am not going to motivate you as well. If your health problem is not enough of a motivator for you, I will be useless in trying give you a kick in the butt to motivate you to do something for yourself. If you want to work with me, your level of motivation has to be at least 100%, preferably 150% :-).

Before you choose a coach, ask around for recommendations, and the best recommendations would be from the satisfied clients who were able to solve their problems similar to those that you are dealing with right now. Also, do not be shy about asking questions and clarifying all the expectations, including terms and length of the proposed work. I personally, always want to be very open with my clients - to have a meaningful and profound change in your lifestyle we will likely need much more time than you expect. The minimum I would work with someone to get long lasting effect would be one year (on biweekly sessions frequency).

At the same never feel discouraged by previous setbacks that you had in the past. As it is often in life, the more you have failed - the higher your chances of success the next time. It certainly was the case with many changes in my life.

So, let me to congratulate you on your effort to change something in your life because it takes a lot of courage to do so. I admire you for that and I wish you all the success. Let me know if I can ever be of any help along the way. Cheers!

The Four Pillars of Health

posted Oct 19, 2014, 11:27 AM by Ivan Kropyvnytskyy   [ updated Oct 24, 2014, 8:49 AM ]

There are many things that impact our health. But from a practical standpoint these are the ones that I consider the Four Pillars of Health: Nutrition, Exercise, Recovery/Sleep and Mind Mastery Work. Often these are the quickest and easiest to change and in doing that we can have a very profound effect on the one's level of health, probably bigger than you can imagine possible before hand.

At the same time, in my experience these four pillars are also the most neglected. For some strange reasons people prefer to invest their time an resources into trying to find some miracle solutions ('snake oils'). One possible explanation for that is that many people, unfortunately, do not seem to have a good understanding of the health determinants (often not even being aware of that, which makes it much harder to work with them because they already 'know everything').

On a surface it seems so obvious and natural and we often do not pay attention to what we do: just eat, move, sleep and be. Who can not do that? But it turns out that we often get entrenched into some pretty destructive habits without even knowing the true dangers of our behaviours. Part of the problem is that we are constantly bombarded by streams of information from all the sides often by people who just try to sell us their products and services, regardless if they work or not.

As I have learned in over 25 years of studying different aspects of health and medicine, these 'common sense' approaches in health are often misleading and it is not surprising to me that being unhealthy is a new norm in our society.

Becoming healthy is not as easy as we like to think. In my experience it can take a lot of time to make meaningful changes in our lifestyles, even if that looks simple.

The purpose of this website is to give you an alternative view to many 'common sense' approaches that do not work in real life. There is a huge degree of misinformation deeply engraved in our common mind. Let me give you an example: many people would consider almonds to be a very healthy food and a good source of protein. In reality, although almonds do have some protein (about 13% of their caloric value, as much as for example oats do), the majority of almond calories comes from fat (74%). Because of its very high fat content I would not consider it to be a 'healthy food' for the majority of people, but marketing push continues doing its job of misinformation. At the same time, beans, have almost twice the amount of protein per calorie (and significantly less fat), but for some reason it is not a widely promoted health food.

This was just one small example to illustrate the problem with misinformation that we are facing. As we go along I hope to show you many other of these 'little' misconceptions and the huge effect they can have on our health and wellbeing. But keep in mind that learning requires two things: time and open mind. So, if you give me some of your time and an open mind I will work with you to help you to build a truly holistic understanding of health, that will help you to get through some big challenges of your life. Be prepared that you will have to implement a lot of 'small' changes in your life, and it will take time (and effort) but eventually it will have a dramatic positive and long lasting effect on your health and wellbeing.

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