Dive Koh Lanta


Coming October 2016!

Koh Lanta Dec 2015 1

12 days, 10 nights at Koh Lanta plus 1 night in Kuala Lumpur, 5 boat day trips –11 dives

Why would you love to go?

Absolutely gorgeous must-see diving sites!!

Koh Lanta 1 Koh Lanta 2
stonefish leopard shark

Koh Bida Nok, Koh Bida Nai, Hin Bida, Koh Phi-Phi, Koh Haa, Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, Hin Muang. King Cruiser Wreck, Shark Point, Anemone Reef. Extraordinary dive sites because of the variety of marine life, good visibility in the seawater and a great chance to spot big guys like reef sharks or even whale sharks and flocks of manta rays!

Plus Lanta is picturesque, friendly, quiet yet you can have lots of fun over there! Great place to rest and a great place to find adventures 🙂
It is kind of remote but not… although visited by many tourists Lanta remains very local and authentic.

Koh Lanta diving

 Coming October 2016!

Stay tuned for more information!

Ania Stan (AnnaGreenUp.com)

+61 450 355 352

What’s your weakest link?

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
When it comes to physical activities like any kind of sports training, exercise or physical work you are only as strong as your tendons and ligaments allow you to be. You are only as strong as your core strength allows you to be. You are only as strong as your flexibility allows you to be.

Think of it. You must have heard this phrase countless number of times and guess what? Yes, it is true! Imagine a very strong chain made of titanium with only one link made of silk. So what happens when you apply forces pulling on each end of this chain?  Yes, you got it right, it will snap of course. Why? Because that one silky link is neither strong nor flexible enough to withstand those pulling forces.
Now you are really getting the point.

Very similar rule applies to your own body although there is one great difference. There will be a few more planes of movement for your body to cope with. It will be pulling, pushing, swinging, bending, squatting, jumping, twisting and most likely doing few of those moves at the same time. Even if your muscles are strong you need a little bit more than that to actually be strong. You need those tendons and ligaments to be strong and flexible and you need your core to be strong as well so it all together can give you the support you do need while moving in so many planes while exercising or working physically. So to speak, pretty much in every day action.

How do you build that overall strength in each link of your chain (body)?
Multiple strategies are available. One I do believe in is a combination of weight training, calisthenics and stretching, or even better yoga.
Of course all structured in a well periodized training plan.

Actually combination of calisthenics workout with real yoga practice (NOT talking about those “yoga based” gym programs!) is a fantastic way to give you amazing results in overall performance.
Let’s see how this happens.

Anna Stan dragonfly

Calisthenics training engages your core at all times. It also makes multiple groups of your muscles work together which in turn improves greatly intermuscular coordination. This simply means that your muscles become accustomed to working together and become more efficient working as a team. That alone is one of the things your strength depends on.

Yoga, like any other body weight practice, does similar thing for your body plus allows you to increase flexibility to. Not to mention that mental health will benefit from doing yoga to a great extend allowing you in turn build strength beyond the physical level.

If you follow well-designed (periodized) training plan and include calisthenics routines and yoga practice into it you will grow some serious strength within your body. And your mind.
The plan should be based on principles of periodization to allow you building strength foundation gradually making it possible for the body to adapt to increments in loads and training intensities. That is achieved through improved: neuromuscular coordination, joints flexibility, tendons and ligaments strength and core strength. The body grows stronger and injury is less likely to occur.

Periodization of training plan also allows both progress and adequate recovery. In terms of any exercise regimen NO progress is possible without adequate recovery. If you are a self- disciplined person and you know how to work hard you also apply same rule to resting.
I’m not talking about being lazy and finding excuses “not to do it”, I’m talking about understanding that your body needs to recover- needs time to rest, sleep well and it does certainly needs you to feed it well. We will look deeper into a proper nutrition in a separate post, click here if you want to find out what are the basic rules.

One of the myriad benefits of yoga practice is you learn self-discipline. You learn there is a time to be strong and there is a time to let go and just relax.
You understand that rest is good for your body. It is essential for it in order to heal and grow stronger.

Keep that all in mind and remember this is your training.
There is only one way you can go in your life at the time.
It is your way.

yoga inversions

Physical performance. It doesn’t have to look pretty.

It doesn’t have to look pretty.

When you are training your face will be expressing all sorts of emotions, you will be sweating or red on your face, and you may be placing yourself in poses and positions that might seem strange to those who have no idea what you are doing. But is that actually important what do they think?
Of course it is not. It does not matter.
What matters then?
You are supposed to be concentrating on your technique and correct form. Whatever sport/activity you choose to do it is your technique and engagement with what you are doing that matters.

Correct form and 100% of your presence while you are training are the things you need to pay attention to.
How others see you, what you are wearing, if your top matches your shoes, what hair cut do you have, whether you 20, in your 30’s, 68 or 79, man or a woman  should not be of your concern at all.
Only your PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE determined by your mental engagement matters. And that is what brings the results you expect from your activity.

Whatever you are able to perform do at your best.

100 percent GreenUp walking

WALK & STRETCH program is a concept which I developed over 25 years of performing various sports with high frequency and intensity and over a few years of teaching. I took my inspiration mostly from any martial art I have ever been involved with, yoga, toddler’s movement, extensive knowledge of stretching and working on warm ups to improve joints range of movement, and more…

Human body amazes me and there is no single day I wouldn’t try to analyse and understand more of its anatomical, physical and physiological abilities. The way this whole great system operates without any break for all our life is just incredible.  Often we forget how wonderful it is and how much it has to work to overcome the hardship of serving our not so healthy lifestyle these days.
You and your body are meant to work together for your own betterment. The body tries to. Will you?
Your physical performance is determined by the connection you can establish with your body. You have a choice to listen to it and perform well or don’t listen to it and …

WALK & STRETCH is a gentle form of physical activity that will help you to establish that connection.

And here are some other benefits of taking part in WALK & STRETCH program:

  • lightens mood and makes everything look better
  • strengthens your body by helping to increase your range of motion and improve circulation; lowers blood pressure and strengthens the heart
  • improves your breathing; when walking, your breathing rate increases, causing oxygen to travel faster through bloodstream, helping to eliminate waste products and improve your energy level and the ability to heal
  • can lead to weight loss
  • improves sleep
  • can bring relief from pain and relief from stress
  • increases flexibility
  • improves posture
  • enhances muscular coordination
  • supports your joints; the majority of joint cartilage has no direct blood supply. It gets its nutrition from synovial or joint fluid that circulates as we move. Impact that comes from movement or compression, such as walking, “squishes” the cartilage, bringing oxygen and nutrients into the area. If you don’t walk, joints are deprived of life-giving fluid, which can speed their deterioration
  • according to many researches walking slows mental decline.

Most of my WALK & STRETCH programs are deeply restorative, designed to strengthen joints, ligaments, tendons, improve blood circulation, bring greater range of motion to stiff and restricted joints and muscles, improve posture and increase energy levels.

WALK & STRETCH programs are perfect for anyone regardless of age, sex or physical ability.

Although for interested ones I take it to another level where it becomes pretty intense calisthenics based workout on its own. So if you think you can train hard come and try!

WALK & STRETCH calisthenics

Do you exercise for your health?

When do you actually exercise for your health?


We exercise to …

Exactly, here comes the question.
Why do you exercise?

If you are an athlete then story changes but let’s don’t go that path this time.

So why do you exercise?

Why do you train lifting weights or jumping and running around the park with group of other people?

Why do you pay personal trainer to take you through weights session?

Why do you wake up at 4am to go to a swimming pool before you go to work?

Why do you jump on a treadmill straight after leaving your office?

Why do you run every evening/morning?
The list of questions goes…

Your health and well-being depends on your honest answer.

take responsibility for your happiness
Take responsibility for your happiness.

If you really like whatever you exercise and derive joy from it then yes- you ARE exercising for your health.
Not only physical one. Your mental health will benefit as well and that is the greatest advantage of taking up exercise.
On the other end if your motivation is to look good or you just heard “exercise is good for you” the whole story changes.  You jump on a treadmill with your earphones on and mind away not even being present on that treadmill and… Well in that case you are entirely disconnected from your exercise and you are running your health and life away.

Taking up any sport activity and performing it not really being there makes you disconnected not only from the exercise but also from yourself and I can’t see those great health benefits coming your way then. Nothing worse in that field if you see your exercise as another chore to do!

Only when you exercise mindfully and actually really enjoy it your physical and mental health really improves.

You learn more and more about yourself and get to understand your body – how it works, what it needs which is exactly what you need to.
You start to appreciate this amazing system that your body is and you are truly happy that you are exercising. And you become stronger. You are stronger.
Not only your body. As you take the time out to be fully present and free from anything else than yourself performing exercise you start to see life more clearly and your mind grows stronger.

So don’t wait for anybody to tell you what to do. Take responsibility for your happiness and free your mind and body!
Take up the activity you really like, take your headphones of your ears and enjoy your exercise fully!

absolute freestyle calisthenics
absolute freestyle calisthenics



How to prevent injuries? The importance of periodization in any sport training.

Who wants to get injured? Being unable to participate in your favourite sport or even to attend to your usual daily activities because of an injury is really frustrating. A serious injury can mean more than a long time off training and other things you like. It also means pain and a lot of rehabilitation. I don’t know anyone who wants to go through this and I believe that education on how to prevent injuries and the importance of preparing the body to exercise is vital for everyone.
This article introduces you to the concept of PERIODIZATION and the importance of periodization in any sport training.

I know many people who don’t want to go through warm up, stretches and warm down (cool down). The sooner you realise that those three plus proper rest are part of taking care of your body and minimising the risk of getting injured the safer you stay.

Did you know that

most common causes of injury are:

  • No warm up before training session
  • Excessive loading which applies forces to your tissues for which they are not prepared
  • Overtraining
  • Poor exercise technique
  • Muscle weakness or imbalances
  • Lack of flexibility (causes decrease in joint Range of Movement and limits body capabilities)
  • Previous injury
  • Inappropriate equipment
  • Accident
  • Genetic factors – may influence shape and structure of your joints
  • Joint laxity – condition which can make it difficult to control and stabilize your joints.

Best way to prevent an injury is to address points listed above and

prepare your body for exercise:

  • Asses your level of health and fitness or rather get a professional to asses those two for you.
  • Choose or get an exercise professional to choose and create a specific training program suited for your capabilities and your chosen sport requirements (if that’s the case).
  • Always warm up properly before your training.
  • Make sure you eat well and get enough rest to recover from your workouts.
  • Stick to the exercise program designed for you – build up gradually and don’t overdo it.
    Now we got to the concept of periodization.

Periodization is the process of varying a training program into specific time intervals to bring optimal gains in physical performance. The aim of periodization is to achieve improved biomotor skills such as: strength, endurance, speed, motor performance, and also muscle hypertrophy. In short words- to achieve improved physical performance. Periodization is a concept developed to aid a competitive athlete in reaching a peak physical performance at a particular point in time, such as for a major competition. The same concept works if your goal is overall health and fitness.

How does a periodized training program help preventing injuries?

If properly designed, a periodized training plan will engage a person in gradually progressing physical activity allowing all body systems to adopt in their pace to new stimulants. Muscles grow stronger and bigger, bones, tendons and ligaments become stronger, nervous system learns how to recruit more efficient neural connections, motor skills and coordination improves.

On the contrary, if a person trains with an extensive load instead of increasing it from low to maximum gradually their bone density and strength may decrease. And the loss in bone strength leaves them prone to injuries (fractures).

Quite a similar story is true for tendons. They adopt new stimulants over a long period of time. If the muscle growth exceeds the rate of tendons adaptation, tendons may not become strong enough to withstand the force of the muscle movement.

Every periodized training plan is based on strength. There are few types of strength. General strength is the foundation for all the rest. If it is not in the centre of attention during early stages of any training plan the body will become susceptible to injuries.

On the other hand, a well-designed periodized training plan allows to build that foundation gradually thus making it possible for the body to adapt to increments in loads and training intensities. That is achieved through improved: neuromuscular coordination, joints flexibility, tendons and ligaments strength and core strength. The body grows stronger and injury is less likely to occur.

Periodization of training plan also allows both progress and adequate recovery. Without this balance a person can reach undesirable state of overtraining which again increases the risk of injury.

As you can see safe training options are available. You can use periodization concept to plan your training smart and stay safe or alternatively, you can put yourself at risk and suffer for a long time.

ACL reconstruction rehab

Stress overload and weight management

In May I was talking about food and eating habits to those who have trouble with weight management but not only to them.

It was for everyone  who wants to feel good and is ready to start a happy journey to a better life through building (re-building) stronger connection with their body. This post is for the same group…
Have trouble with weight management? Read it.
Want to lose weight? Read it.
Want to regain health? Read it.
Want to regain balance, feel good and be happy living your life? Read it.

There is no doubt- what you feed your body with matters. It can impact not only your weight but also your mental and emotional well-being.
Healthy body sustains healthy mind and vice versa.
The way to a healthy body leads through “green” (healthy) eating but not only.
Exercise does bring health benefits if you do it mindfully and derive joy from it.

Is healthy “green” eating and exercise enough to make your life a happy one?

Let’s have a look.
You know that you need to eat well and you exercise, some of us exercise as if there was no tomorrow. You have your work life, family life and other affairs to attend to and at the end of the day you get stressed.  Stress means any force that puts pressure on your mind or your body and to many of us that may include positive events as well like a birth of your child.
Modern stress factors seem to be present in every aspect of  your life. If you don’t know how to cope with modern stress you are likely to lose the perspective and become very tired yet restless and you can’t even sleep well.
Persistent stress causes your adrenal glands to constantly produce stress hormones- adrenaline and cortisol. If you are feeling tired but wired it probably means that your stress hormones levels had already travelled up beyond the point your body can utilize them to balance your energy levels, body weight, emotions, your thoughts and pretty much all the physiological processes in your body.

What actually happens in your body during a stress response?

During a stress response adrenaline kicks in first. Its release into the bloodstream causes reactions such as an increase in heart rate, blood flow to your muscles and sugar metabolism. When adrenaline levels start to drop cortisol jumps in and continues to elevate blood sugar  levels so that your body has the energy to handle a stress situation. As a response your pancreas releases the insulin to break down the sugar in your blood stream and if your adrenal glands remain in a state of heightened alert and continue to produce adrenaline and cortisol  the whole process repeats over and over again.
Your immune system becomes suppressed and the chronic inflammation runs in your body.
The whole system is well out of balance and after a while you may notice plenty of “side effects” including fat build-up around your stomach that comes coupled with fat build-up in your blood vessels but you won’t see that one…

This fat build-up is a clear sign that continuously elevated blood sugar is not being consumed by your body in order to cope with actual threat such as fight to survive and causes your body to store more energy as fat.

If you have a trouble with weight management you need to keep in mind that excessively exercising equals exposing yourself to another form of stress overload. So if you eat not too bad and exercise like a madman and that fatty belly you want to get rid of is still there that may mean you are suffering from an adrenal fatigue and actually that belly is the smallest of your trouble…

We all need to slow down sometimes. Stop for a moment. Learn how to breathe, for some of us how to become aware of our breath again.

Step out of your own everyday-every week-every year “Matrix”. Learn how to rest and have at least a little bit of a quiet time. Learn how to be present in whatever you are doing at the time and stop chasing the future. It will come anyway.
What you need is stop running for a little bit to regain clarity on what you really want and what your goals actually are.

There are plethora of practices that can assist you achieving that. Yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, Qigong or just simple stretching combined with breathing (which also can be taken to a meditative state), I even use swimming meditation.
Anything that works for you is good as long as it leads you to the inner stillness. This is where you can get connected with yourself again and regain the ability to manage high levels of modern stress more skillfully and efficiently.

This is crucial to maintain healthy body and healthy mind.
It is crucial to our survival in a modern world.


meditative swimming
meditative swimming

Want to lose weight? Eat well.

If you want to lose weight concentrate on your health rather than losing your weight. Remember that the most important job you ought to do is to nourish and nurture your body. The rest will come along.

When you stop overeating and eating junk “food” and start to eat well the magic happens…

Do you want the magic to happen?

Want to lose weight? Want to get rid of mood swings? Dream about another nap straight after getting up? Fed up with bloating? The list goes.

When I’m talking about giving up junk “food” I mean any kind of it. That includes (nonetheless, it’s not limited to): most of the supermarket shelf content like stir fry sauces in jars, muesli bars, non-organic meats, mayo, ready-to-eat porridge, low fat yoghurt, UHT milk, all sorts of “grab-and-go” and many many more, just go to any supermarket and it will be there on each single shelf waiting for you to pay for it and to poison you in return.

What’s even more sad that this is not only supermarkets who offer junk “food” to you. There are others pretending to sell “healthy” options.

And of course YOU are the one who chooses to buy it all.

So how the magic happens?

You start. It’s simple as that.
You start to:

      1. Eat fresh and more green choosing natural produce, organic/biodynamic whenever you have a chance to do so
      2. Avoid/reduce/best- eliminate:
        • processed, refined and artificial products (including also colours, flavours, additives and preservatives)
        • sugar, glucose, corn syrup, fructose, artificial sweeteners (that may get easier if you avoid products from the first group above)
      3. Forget about wheat in any kind of shape and eliminate or reduce most of other grains.
        That means no more bread, buns, cakes, biscuits, pastas etc.
        If you choose to eat grains remember that more tolerable are for most people non-gluten grains.
        I hardly ever eat any but if I do I would use millet, buckwheat, amaranth, rice and always sprout them beforehand. Or chickpea flour, coconut flour, almond flour to bake a kind of bread.
      4. Soak your non-gluten grains, beans, nuts and seeds. The process of soaking neutralizes harmful anti-nutrients and hard-to-digest proteins and at the same time, activates vital enzymes, minerals and other beneficial nutrients locked inside.
        Use the same clean water you use for drinking.

        sprouted blue peas
        sprouted blue peas
      5. Reduce caffeine intake including not only coffee but also black tea. Remember that green tea has caffeine as well (not to mention artificial energy drinks!!)
      6. Use organic salt.
        I use Celtic Sea salt and Himalayan salt which both are unrefined and unprocessed what means they can be utilized by body properly.
        Salt which is non- organic such as table salt has been harvested mechanically and put through artificial processes to crack its molecular structure what leaves it deprived of all of its essential minerals but full of chemical additives like iodine, dextrose and bleaching agents.
      7. Eat slowly and chew well.
        It does not only help your stomach to digest and your intestine to absorb nutrients but also prevents improperly digested food from entering your blood and causing a wide range of adverse effects to your health.
        And as a bonus you finally get a chance to discover that your food is more flavorsome.
        Plus probably you will eat less as it takes time for your brain to send a signal to your stomach that you’re full.
      8. Don’t drink while eating. Drink about 30 minutes before your meal and not earlier than 1 hour after eating.
        If you are chewing adequately, you should be able to eat comfortably without liquids.
      9. Drink clean water and herbal teas. Investing into home water filter may be a good idea. Tap water is not a clean water.
      10. Avoid excessive consumption of dairy and chose organic or biodynamic and non- homogenised cows’ or goats’ milk.
        Listen to your body. Some races and cultures tolerate raw milk products and do really well on them while others can’t tolerate them and consuming dairy causes many health problems for them.
      11. Go alkaline whenever possible.
        Your health depends on the balance of an alkaline environment, created by eating more alkaline foods. Regulating your body’s acid/alkaline chemistry through simple changes in diet can result in weight loss, increased stamina and strength, a stronger immune system and a greater sense of wellbeing.
        I believe that it is not a coincidence that the numbers of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are rapidly growing. It seems that they correlate precisely with the rise in consumption of acid forming foods such as sugars, trans fats, fast food, refined food and white breads and a dramatic decrease in our consumption of fresh, life giving foods such as vegetables and essential fatty acids.
        Convenience or life-threatening choices?


    1. Good fat is good for you. High quality fat doesn’t make you fat. And it’s essential for your body to function properly including building cells and producing key hormones.
      Good sources of quality fat include:
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Extra virgin coconut oil/butter
  • Butter (raw, from organic grass fed cows’ milk is best)
  • Ghee (clarified butter)
  • Organic, grass-fed animal fats (lard, tallow)
  • Fish oil (be careful of its source)
  • Seeds (especially flax seeds)
  • Nuts (raw, organic, activated)
  • Avocados

    soaked and dehydrated nuts
    soaked and dehydrated nuts

Every human body works on similar mechanisms but we are not the same and each body has its own ways. Factors such as environment, our genetic inheritance, our lifestyle may play a big part in whether or not certain foods are suitable for a person to include in their diet.

What you can do is to understand how your own body works and support it while it’s serving you best it can or you can run a war against it.

Choice is yours. Just remember that there will be no winners in that war.

Do you want to win?

Balance in life. Part 2

This one is not for everyone.

If you are comfortable with being exhausted towards the end of each day and really love throwing your legs on the couch in front of TV (or throwing them on the table in front of the couch while watching TV…) please stop reading right now. It’s not for you!

This one goes to everyone who’s wants to regain balance in their life and discover new energy resources that are, as a matter of fact, available to all of us.

I’m fed up with bullshit. Who told us that whatever we find on the shelf in supermarket is food??

 The definition of food is “any nutritious substance that people or animal eat or drink or that plants absorb in order to maintain life and growth”.

What nutrients maintaining life and growth can be packed into a can of energy drink or a lovely perfect looking sausage packed with sugar, artificial thickeners and modified wheat? Do you really think that this very can of sugar (or worse, can of artificial sweetener) is really going to increase your overall performance during the day? How about the long run?!

Let’s take a closer look at your favourite BBQ sauce. Here goes the long list of ingredients:

  • Tomatoes from paste
  • Sugar
  • Corn flour from wheat
  • Acetic & citric acid
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Caramel 150c
  • Pectin
  • Spices
  • Tamarind extract
  • Yeast, salt, water

Not even going into details do you still think it is good for your kids to eat that bomb?

What about famous “low fat” products?

Have you ever wondered what process has your favourite yoghurt gone through to be labelled LOW FAT? If you haven’t thought about that yet the time is now. It surely has something replaced with highly processed, chemically-derived thickeners and most likely loads of sugar or artificial sweetener.

Never occurred to your taste buds that they are being deceived or to your gut to rebel against that poison?
I’m pretty sure there is no joy from drinking low fat milk so why do you do this to yourself?

Or worse- why do you give it to your own child?!

Why do you think you are exhausted half way through the day and feel like doing nothing by the end of it? You turn your TV on just to see movie or a TV show with a smart product placement cut by an army of brilliant advertisements convincing you to buy things you don’t really need. You should know by now that it will take you to the shops the very next day and you will buy another nutrient-deficient something that was described to you as food (or even better – excellent source of …) on the TV last night.

Am I wrong or did I miss something? True! I missed the fact that TV brainwash makes most of us want to be as “pretty” or “handsome” as those famous ones.

As a consequence you go and buy that wonderful “fat and gluten free” chicken breast, “low-carb – high-protein” bar, miraculous “anti-cellulite” cream and many other rubbish hoping for the result to come. It does come but not exactly as they advertised…

And you are feeling pretty depressed or just frustrated – you’ve tried so hard and nothing! You just missed the fact that it’s not your fault. But you may also be missing the truth that this is you and you only who can stop yourself from spinning in that crazy circle!

You can be happy, feel better and that little bit of the initial effort you need to put in will pay off. You will see.

I do believe that

food and certain way of exercising are crucial ingredients to support you on the way to betterment of yourself and those around you.

I don’t aspire to be your guide if you don’t want that. But I do know what worked for me and for some of my family and friends who were brave enough to abandon unhealthy habits, unhealthy foods, unhealthy thinking and grow stronger and happier than ever before.

I eat only certain foods and I exercise on regular basis according to training plan I prescribe to myself, I go to bed as early as possible and I’m up early.
Every day is a busy day for me but I don’t collapse by the end of it and even if I start to feel tired still feel really good.

I had to change quite a few things in my life to feel so balanced, strong and have that energy every day. Some of those changes seemed to be quite big sacrifices to me at the very beginning of that journey but by all means I would do it again.

I want to share with you my experiences and it’s entirely your choice what you make out of that for yourself and how you use it. I just hope I can help somehow.

Basic principles that will assist you to regain balance in life and maintain your body and mind stronger and in a good health:

  • Exercise –spend some energy to create momentum and lift your energy levels. Anything you enjoy works – e.g., walk, swim, jog, tennis, bike ride to start with.
    Engaging into well designed strength and conditioning training will give you additional benefits (I will talk about that in more detail in another post).
  • Eat FOOD instead of processed, dead imitations of it (I will talk about that in more detail in another post). Get fresh produce from local markets. Organic is the name of the game. Remember – source of food matters.
  • Create a regular sleep routine – human body can’t recover and function well if it gets regularly deprived of a good sleep. It leads to a general fatigue, both physical and mental and results in poor overall performance, which in severe cases is described by some people as a depression…
  • It is crucial for the process of growing stronger to break through our thinking patterns. In order to do that we need to slow down for a moment or even stop.
    By all means find time for yourself at least once a day – anything you can use to unplug yourself from “matrix” works; even if it’s only 5 minutes a day of performing deep breathing and not thinking.
    Go for a walk and try focus on the nature around you or/and on your breathing- funny how easily we forget that we do breathe regularly.
    If you don’t have time to go for a walk, stand on your balcony/patio or even in your room with window open and swing your arms around, move your head around and breathe- take a breath in and breathe out. Do it slowly and mindfully. Think of what you are grateful for today. It may not be easy at the beginning but it pays off to continue.
  • Smile to yourself and others as much as you can and create positive vibrations around yourself – I’m talking about genuine smile that is expressed in your eyes not that fake smile number 3.
    SMILE! It works and feels good!

smile and be happy

Congratulations to you!

You are still reading this post which means you want to change and are searching for help. That’s a great start! Make one step at the time, get excited about it and get excited about your next move. Be kind to yourself, remember – failure doesn’t exist! Just make sure that once you started the process of change in your life you stick with it.

Enjoy your journey!


Balance in life. Part I

Everyone seems to talk about balance these days. Balanced diet/nutrition, balanced lifestyle, balanced exercise program, balance between HDL and LDL (balance between “good” and “bad” cholesterol), work-life balance, emotional balance to name a few ideas in that department.
It all may be actually quite important to a human being I figured.

What is your idea about balance in life? What do you think may be out of balance in your life?

Obviously I’m not in the capacity to answer those questions for you but can tell you my experience and I hope it can help a little.

It all started with a judo throw. Ouchi gari? I can no longer remember what throw that was but it accidentally brought balance into my life… Along with couple of other factors made me change my old ways that were not serving me anymore.
The same judo throw, that put me down on the dojo mats with a pain so great that literally took my breath away for a while, actually turned out to be “a blessing in disguise” after all.
First step on the path to betterment of myself through torn cruciate ligament and lateral meniscus in my knee.
At that time I had trained pretty hard (as most of my life anyway) and spent most of my days at the dojo training all the martial arts we have but most importantly Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). Had fallen in love with that one and soon made myself to break my own weaknesses and barriers and 3 months from starting training BJJ I was already competing in Pan Pacific Championships.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Training, teaching, competing, working in other places, always in a rush- no time to eat, not much time to sleep, not much money to eat quality food. Fresh products count: close to zero. I had lived on supermarket home brand pasta, sweet chilli sauce, cheap eggs and bread. Gluten in its purest wheat nature.

How far can your body go this way?

Not far at all… So here I am, desperate to continue training and compete in the next Oceania BJJ comp with my knee giving me hell lot of a pain and restricting movement. Screw this. I’m winning silver in my weight category with my leg in a big brace made of a strapping tape. A month later I can barely walk. Surprise (!!). So I’m desperate again. I want to avoid a “death sentence” – that’s what I thought about the knee surgery and being away from trainings for months of rehab. I’m looking for alternative ideas and anybody who can make my knee working well again without surgery. My coach introduces me to a Chek practitioner who turns my whole world I know upside down. He talks to me about diet, gives some hair-raising information about organic foods, dairy, gluten, processed foods, coffee, sugar, alcohol, relationships etc. … He gets me to do all those impossible and absolutely weird (at least they seemed to be then…) exercises. I do it all. I try hard but still can’t believe or understand some of those things he tries to teach me. But I do it.

I go organic, I change my eating habits,

I cook, forget about the coffee (that was a tough one- I still can hear myself arguing: “What do you mean stop drinking drink coffee?? Ok, so I can actually have ONE a day if I really can’t do without ?? What? How come before 9am and with no milk only?! Really?? Artificial sweetener is a killer??”.

I try HARD to be in bed before 10am and do deep breathing beforehand. And I stretch. Oh my goodness gracious me!


This awful and disregarded activity that I just couldn’t stand for years becomes a vital part of my life now.
I chew my food thoroughly, I concentrate on eating – no more movies, books, newspapers etc. just me, food and the process of eating. I cook bone broth; the whole house stinks like a cowshed or worse… I eat grass fed cows’ liver, forget about my beloved bread and most of the fruit. I soak and dehydrate nuts before eating.
activated nuts
Luckily I had already abandoned soft drinks (I call them shitty drinks and dare to say that as a former heavy user of those I have a full right to call them this way) and given up any idea about “low fat food”.
This all is weird to me, quite difficult or even horrible! But I don’t want my knee to get cut open and I want to train so much. I need to heal and get stronger. So I do it all.

Well, completely torn ligament doesn’t grow back together and I finally decide to have it surgically fixed.
I’m in the hospital, pale and about to faint before even seeing the anaesthetist, thirsty as hell (mandatory fasting before the procedure ain’t fun) but it should be good.

All those changes had started bringing balance back to my life and my body grew stronger.

I should recover in no time.
I’m pretty much naked, wearing only that funny sort of a gown they give you at the hospital and trying to joke about it with my mum. I’m really scared. Now it’s just me and the anaesthetist. He gives me some stuff, disappears and comes back with more. Now I’m truly horrified. Next thing I see myself on a bed in a big room. I’m half conscious. I can’t remember the pain then. I was still drugged, with morphine and other stuff in my blood and I just wanted to sleep more. Then all the rest happens… Morphine is gone and here I am with my aching leg and the whole new story in front of us.

New life is about to begin.

please bring me my bone broth

Strength training miracle

What can beat that fantastic feeling of being invincible after pushing yourself to the limits during your training session?! Strength training is my favourite in this category.
I will tell you one of the reasons. Secret one. It’s neither about my weight nor about shape or size of my muscles. It’s better than that.

There are days when my “to-do” list becomes long, not necessarily exciting…  I get myself thinking “do I really have to do this today? Not up for it and not feeling ready at all” and suddenly so many other things seem to be extremely more important or interesting.
I start procrastinating. Obviously that makes me feel slow and low and eventually feel pretty bad about myself. Undone things start piling up and I, instead of feeling like a winner, start to feel exactly the opposite. No more sensation of accomplishment for me… awful! But I remember what my medicine for that sort of disease is. have used that number of times, always works, never fails.

Go and train. It doesn’t matter how much you don’t feel like doing it.

What stops YOU from achieving your dreams?

Do you know this feeling of being AWESOME halfway through your resistance workout, not to mention after it? Sounds familiar? Hope so! That is the strength training miracle! That means you have just accomplished something big. And you know it. Yes! Now you are feeling almighty. And you are right.

When I feel like that I ask myself how on Earth there can be anything harder than those weights you’ve just pushed?? The obvious answer is nothing. I have already succeeded and now any job or task waiting there for me to be done is a piece of cake! You get my point here right? I know you do!

So go and do it!

Remember, it doesn’t mean you have to be pushing hundreds of kilos of iron. I am a small athlete, I don’t do that, don’t want to hurt myself, I want to be better for myself, want to improve. I push through my limits and get stronger. My muscles grow stronger and so does my mind.

stronger body stronger mind

Go and do it now!