The Fitness Coach's Choice: 10+ Tasty and Easy-to-Make Vegan Recipes

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Most people tell me that they have never eaten a vegan meal in their life. Let me tell you one thing: if you’ve ever eaten a banana, this statement is false.

Eating vegan is easier than you may think. Skip the cream, cheese and meat and you’re halfway there. Making a dish healthier is a more difficult topic, but also doable. A huge part of my last post How to Go Vegan: From Meat Eating to Vegetarian is simply eating more whole foods and vegan alternatives.

Let me tell you ten healthy vegan recipes, that I’ll recommend you as a Certified Fitness Coach.

Prevent Deficiencies As A Vegan

Meat is not a super package. You don’t have to worry that much about deficiencies. People eating a normal western diet suffer from way more deficiencies than vegetarian or vegan people do. Most people are deficient on fiber for example, which is crucial for our gut health and the prevention of gut cancer.

Make sure you’re eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Eat the rainbow they say – lots of colorful foods in your diet are a great source of healthy antioxidants. Also make sure you incorporate some nuts and seeds in your diet (Tip: Flaxseeds, add them to the breakfast recipe idea Nr. 3).

If you go fully vegan, you have to consider supplementation. Vitamin B12 is crucial. Watch a video about the supplements that you truly need here.

10+ Energy-Boosting Vegan Recipes

These 10+ recipes will help you get started with a healthier diet. They’re not calorie-dense, made of whole foods and don’t contain any salt or too much oil. They will keep you satiated and energized the whole day.

Credit where credit is due. These vegan recipes are inspired by the books Thrive, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Plant-Based Whole Foods Way to Staying Healthy for Life by Brendan Brazier,[1] and Power Foods for the Brain: An Effective 3-Step Plan to Protect Your Mind and Strengthen Your Memory by Dr. Neal Barnard.[2]

Life is short. Let’s start with three dessert ideas.

Dessert Ideas

Finding the right desserts was hard as first. Most of the conventional dessert options contain dairy.

These are simple dessert options that literally only take minutes to prepare.

#1 Banana Ice Cream

This recipe only has one ingredient. Super fast and easy.


  • Ripe Bananas


  • Peel and slice the bananas, place them in a container and freeze them for 1 hour.
  • Remove the frozen bananas from the freezer and let them thaw a little at room temperature.
  • Place the bananas in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy, like soft-serve ice cream.
  • You can vary the recipe by adding a little cinnamon, vanilla or cocoa powder.

#2 Fruit Pops

This is an all natural treat on those hot summer days.


  • About 3 cups unsweetened fruit juice of your choice, such as grape, pomegranate or orange juice (squeeze at home and use the pulp for more health benefits)


  • Fill an ice pop mold (set of 6) with the juice, put a wooden stick in there.
  • Let it freeze for a couple of hours.
  • To remove a frozen pop from the mold, run briefly under warm water.

#3 Vanilla Berry Sorbet

This refreshing sorbet makes a light finish to any meal.


  • 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries or strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup date sugar


  • In a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Adjust the sweetness with the date sugar amount to taste if needed.
  • Pour into a freezer container, cover and freeze for a couple of hours.
  • To serve, remove the sorbet from freezer and let stand at room temperature until soft enough to scoop out.

Image Credit: Two Peas & Their Pod

Breakfast Ideas

Your morning sets the tone for your day. A healthy breakfast will keep you mentally sharp and energized.

#4 Baked Oatmeal

This nourishing breakfast will help you start your day the right way.


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots for raisins
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • Rice milk, for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and lightly oil an 8 x 8-inch baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir until well combined.
  • Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Cool slightly, then cut into 8 squares.
  • Serve warm, topped with a little rice milk and extra cinnamon.

#5 Banana- Chocolate Pancakes

A good way to help children start down the vegan journey – they will love this dish!


  • 2 peeled and mashed bananas
  • 2 dried dates, stoned
  • 20g amaranth
  • 250ml chocolate hemp milk
  • 250ml water
  • 70g buckwheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons of linseeds
  • 4 tablespoons of hemp protein
  • 3 tablespoons of carob powder
  • 2 tablespoons of caca onibs


  • Blend all these ingredients together.
  • Pour very few coconut-oil (use an oil-spray) into a baking pan.
  • Pour the ingredients into the baking pan until you have the right size of the pancake for you.
  • Bake for 5 minutes, turn it to the other side and bake for another 5 minutes.

#6 Breakfast Bowl

Conventional cereals contain a lot of refined sugar and artifical sweeteners. This breakfast bowl is all natural and will help you get those antioxidants in early on.


  • 1 banana
  • 1 pear
  • 1 date, stoned
  • 3 tablespoons of almonds
  • 1 tablespoons of flaxseeds
  • 1/2 cup of millet flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon of grated ginger
  • 250ml soymilk


  • Peel the banana.
  • Stone the pear.
  • Cut the banana, pear, almonds and the dates into tiny pieces.
  • Put all the ingredients into a bowl.
  • Add the soymilk. Enjoy!

Dinner Ideas

End your day with style – the vegan way.

#7 Almond-Flaxseed-Burger

The good thing about the vegan diet is: You can eat the ingredients raw. There’s no need to heaten the patties up in a burger, but you can try it for extra taste.


  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 6 tablespoons of flaxseeds
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil


  • Blend all the ingredients together.
  • Form two burger patties. You can eat these vegan-meat-patties raw or put some coconut oil on them and put them into a baking pan at medium heat.
  • Cook until they’re golden.
  • Add them to two whole-grain pieces of bread.
  • Add some vegetables for extra taste.

#8 Chickpeas-Curry-Pizza

Yes, you can even eat pizza on a vegan diet.



  • 230g of grounded sunflower seeds
  • 180g of cooked chickpeas
  • 60ml of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon of curcuma


  • 1/2 middle-sized sweet potato
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 piece of broccoli (floweret)
  • 1/2 piece of cauliflower (floweret)


  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Blend all the ingredients for the crust together.
  • Stir it until it forms lumps.
  • Put some coconut-fat on the baking plate.
  • Distribute the blended mass evenly on the baking plate.
  • Add the toppings.
  • Bake for aprroximately 45 minutes in the oven. Baking time can be adjusted, according to your likes.

Image Credit: Vegan Richa

#9 Amaranth-Hemp Seeds-Salad

Low on calories and very tasty. Light dish. Great for helping you lose weight.


  • 1 Nori leaf, chopped
  • 4 handful of mixed salads
  • 10g of amaranth
  • 1 handful of sugar snaps
  • 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds


  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add some dressing, I recommend an italian dressing.
  • Make sure you use only a little bit of oil.

Beverages & Smoothies

Tip for making a smoothie: Remember to start with the slowest speed at the blender and slowly amp it up. Otherwise the ingredients won’t blend together as good as they should.

#10 Chocolate- Hemp milk


  • 875ml of water
  • 135g of hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of carob powder
  • 2 tablespoons of date sugar

To do: Blend all the ingredients together in a blender. Simple.

#11 Breakfast Smoothie


  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 2 cups frozen fruit (I prefer raspberries)
  • 1 cup nondairy milk (I prefer soy)

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend for about 2 minutes.

#12 Perfect – Crunchy Smoothie


  • 3/4 cup Breakfast Smoothie (see #2 Smoothie)
  • 1/4 cup toasted dried oats
  • Fresh berries


  • Layer 1/4 cup of the smoothie at the bottom of a glass.
  • Add a 2-tablespoon layer of oats next.
  • Followed by another 1/4 cup of smoothie, then the last 2 tablespoons oats.
  • Finish it off with the last 1/4 cup of smoothie.
  • Top with fresh berries. Crunchy and tasty.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via


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How Your Legs Secretly Tell Others About What You Are Thinking

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The only time I’m acutely aware of my legs, or what they are doing, is when I’m in spin class. Otherwise, I just accept that they exist. Walking and breathing are two things you do not typically have to think about; it just happens. Unfortunately, this usually means I don’t know what my legs are doing when I’m interacting with someone. This is not to say I have no awareness of my legs, just that I don’t often think about the position they’re in when it comes to body language.

I try to constantly be aware of how “closed-off” I seem to be in regards to my arms. Are they crossed? Did I intend for them to be? Am I balling my fists? But rarely do I find myself questioning which way my toes are pointed, if my ankles are crossed or whether I seem ready to jump up and head for the door.

The farther away from the brain a body part is positioned, the less awareness we have of what it is doing. This makes sense in regards to what I just said. I always think about my arms. But why shouldn’t I? They’re almost always in my field of vision. But only while I’m writing this am I realizing I’m sitting with my left leg in a figure four over my right.

So what does all this mean? When it comes to body language and the way you appear to others, flashing a fake smile can still appear sincere. Your legs, however, are likely to betray you if you’re trying to put on a false front. The following leg-related body language graphics can help you to me more aware of what you’re saying, even if you’re sitting quietly still.

Legs apart signify dominance

When you stand with both feet firmly planted on the ground, distributing your weight evenly, it makes a clear statement that you have no intention of leaving. While you may think you take on this position all the time, think about it: are you standing on both legs, or do you tend to jut one hip out a little bit?

When a man uses this legs-apart stance, it often signifies dominance, as it highlights the pelvic area. It allows men to highlight their masculinity and show solidarity as a team by all performing the same actions.

So, if you want a confidence boost, or just to appear confident, use this stance. But be careful not to use it in the wrong situation, it could make you look unnecessarily threatening or mean.

The ankle lock means the person is nervous

As a woman, sitting with your ankles crossed can be viewed as polite and feminine. However, when it comes to a situation such as an interview, sitting with crossed ankles can make you appear nervous. It’s the equivalent of mentally biting your lip.

The gesture can show that you are holding back a negative emotion or uncertainty. When you withdraw your feet under a chair, it makes it look as if you have a withdrawn attitude.

If the situation is reversed, and you observe a peer crossing their ankles and seemingly nervous, asking positive questions about their feelings can often get those ankles unlocked.

In fact, one study of 319 dental patients showed that 88% locked their ankles as soon as they sat in the chair to have work done. Patients who were only there for a checkup or teeth cleaning locked their ankles only 68% of the time. A whopping 98% locked up when the dentist administered an injection.

While those patients were most likely quite nervous, as most people tend to be at the dentist office, if you find yourself copying this position, relax your ankles and uncross them. Even if you are nervous, undoing the position can help you appear a bit braver and more open.

Figure four leg: the person is ready to argue

This is a position you want to be aware of. Be it intentional or not, having a “figure four” position indicates you’re ready to argue and be competitive if necessary. While you may feel this position is justified in some cases, it’s important to know when you’re making this move in case you are not trying to give off an argumentative vibe.

Like I mentioned in the beginning of this article, I found myself sitting in this manner while writing and I certainly wasn’t in an argumentative state. But because that’s the attitude this position gives off, I’m glad I now know how often I do it.

This position is amplified if you use one or both hands as a clamp. It locks the figure four into a permanent position giving the sign of a tough-minded, stubborn individual who rejects any opposing opinions.

Standing leg-cross: different meaning for men and women

The standing leg cross is for women what “legs apart” one is for men. It shows, very clearly, that a woman intends to stay exactly where she is; it’s authoritative. Additionally, it sends a message of denied access.

When a man takes on this position, it also says he intends to stay where he is, but it also shows an insecurity for his groin area; he doesn’t want to be kicked!

Legs Together

This is a very neutral position, as it illustrates an indifference as to whether you plan to stay or leave. If a child does it when talking to a teacher, it demonstrates attention. Likewise, people can do it to show respect, such as someone meeting royalty. Therefore, this one tends to be a pretty safe stance if you are trying to avoid offending anyone.

The Direction in which your Feet are Pointing Indicates where you’ll go

Looking at the position of someone’s feet can prove to be very telling. For instance, if you’re standing in a group, take note of where the person beside you has their feet. We tend to point our lead foot toward the most interesting or physically attractive person. Alternatively, when someone has their feet pointed toward the nearest exit, it’s a sure sign they are ready to leave.

Stay Focused

So what about you? While you were reading this, did you realize you do one or most of these?

Try to remain present throughout your day and realize what your legs are doing in any given situation. You may be surprised at the messages you’re sending!

The post How Your Legs Secretly Tell Others About What You Are Thinking appeared first on Lifehack.

Three Simple Mind Tricks You Can Use To Achieve Your Goals

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If you are a beginner with online marketing, or what some would call a “rookie,” it can be frustrating if you’re not making money yet.

I know how you feel, because it was that long ago when I was right there. I was broke, living with my parents, but I was determined to be successful no matter what.

Then I discovered three simple “mind-tricks” that made all my dreams come true, and they can help you achieve your goals too…

1. Take Massive Action

Whether you’re ready or not, don’t hesitate with “analysis paralysis.” Instead, make a quick decision to go after your goals and dreams. If you don’t go for it, and take the risk, somebody else will do it and get the rewards.

2. Find a Mentor

Forget the lottery mentality. Many people think they’ll wake up someday and get rich. But it will never happen if you don’t find a mentor and work hard.

3. Get Un-Comfortable

Every day, you need to push yourself to the next level, and do that one thing you’re not comfortable about. This helps you adapt, mature, and become a more well rounded person.

Achieve Your Dream Even Faster

When you use these three mind tricks, you’ll get on the path to achieving your dreams. And if you want to achieve your dreams even faster, let me tell you about a Done For You system that’s perfect for “rookies” in the online marketing business. The system was created by a 22-year-old “rookie” named Steven Bransfield (pictured with me below in Costa Rica).

Steven has generated $1,376,421.03 in the past two years, and he just produced a brand new video explaining exactly how he did it. And he’s personally helped four people make over six-figures in the past 12 months. You can learn this system too.

With this unique training, you’ll get the all the tools you need to make six-figures a year online for the rest of your life. Steven recently made a free video that explains how he went from zero-to-millionaire in just two years. Watch the Free Video below.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

How You Can Maintain A Healthier And Better Sex Experience By Understanding Women's Sexuality

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You’re at home, relaxing, watching TV when you notice your female partner walk by. You think: “she looks good.” And you find yourself suddenly thinking about sex. You walk over to playfully put your arms around her and suggest going to the bedroom. Except that instead of turning around and kissing you passionately, like you had hoped, she rolls her eyes, removes your hands from her waist and says: “are you kidding me!?”

There is a pervasive belief that men are always in the mood to have sex while women are the gatekeepers who say yes or no to men’s sexual advances. And while that dynamic is certainly true for some men and women, we know from the research that women are actually just as likely to be the partner in a heterosexual relationship who has a higher interest in sex.

Put another way, that means that if you feel you often want sex but your female partner doesn’t , there is a pretty good chance that she actually has more sexual desire than you may realize. So what’s getting in the way of that scenario I just described going more favourably for you both? There are three key things about women’s sexuality to consider.

Let Her Relax So She Can Focus And Enjoy The Moment 

There is a saying that the sexiest thing a husband can do is pull out the vacuum. And there just may be some truth to it.

That’s because one of the biggest things that contributes to higher sexual interest and enjoyment for women is feeling relaxed so they want to engage in, and can enjoy, sexual activities. But this is really hard to do when she is feeling overwhelmed and stressed with a million other things that are vying for her attention. Many women admit to making “to-do” lists during sex or even saying no to sex because they can’t relax until the dishes are put away (the bed is made, the kids are sleeping, their work deadline is met, the list goes on and on).

An unhelpful response to this sounds something like: “Come on, sex will help you relax!” And although there is scientific proof to this sometimes being true (i.e., sex can lead to orgasm which releases Oxycontin which can, in turn, help us feel more calm and at ease) saying these words will almost never work for a woman who is running around madly trying to keep her life (and the rest of the family’s lives) in order because it doesn’t actually address the root of the problem.

What can you do instead? Focus your attention on non sexual areas. Instead of trying to get her in the mood by honing your oral sex skills, focus more on the circumstances surrounding sex. If she is running around picking up dirty clothes, getting groceries and meeting work deadlines, ask how you can reduce her stress. Offer to vacuum or to take care of the kids so she can focus on work for a couple of extra hours. If you can help her with the things that are stressing her out, not only will she likely feel more cared for and loved, but it also has a better chance of reducing her mental load and helps to make space to think about the possibility of sex.

Don’t Rush. The Slower The Better

While there is certainly no “one-size-fits-all” for men’s sexuality, more often than not men report that their sexual desire is somewhat spontaneous in nature. It comes on fairly suddenly and once men are in the mood they can move forward with sexual activity relatively seamlessly. In contrast, women’s sexual desire is more often responsive in nature. Meaning that most women take time to “warm up” to the idea of engaging in sexual activity. They may initially feel sexually neutral (or even uninterested) but in the right circumstances they could experience building desire.

But just because you might like when she initiates sex out of the blue, chances are that reciprocating that sudden initiation will not work for her. Going straight for her erogenous zones (like her breasts or butt) while she is writing at her computer or making dinner may not do the trick as she may not be in a mentally sexual space, nor able to transition to one immediately. Instead these spontaneous moves could be perceived as invasive and unwanted.

What to try instead? Engage in pre-sex foreplay. And I’m not talking about kissing and heavy petting that we traditionally think about when we hear the word “foreplay.” I’m talking about setting the stage long before that. That’s because a lot of women indicate that they need to feel close and connected to their partner in order to want to have sex. Sometimes that means having a good conversation to feel more on the same page.

For some that means flirting and being romantic throughout the day (or even days). For others it could mean engaging in an activity together like cooking a meal or a dance class. (Or maybe all three!). But what you definitely don’t want to do is initiate sex in a way that doesn’t give her time reflect on whether or not she’s in the mood. Her first, in-the-moment evaluation of whether or not she is interested when she is caught off guard is more likely going to be no than yes. And then you’re left feeling sexually frustrated – and chances are so is she.

Share Your Thoughts Openly And Make Things Pleasant And Healthy

We are all responsible for our own sexual pleasure. But some women have difficult times asking for what they want in bed. And this is because most women have learned through years of socialization that they shouldn’t enjoy being sexual. In fact, I have yet to meet a woman who hasn’t received the message while she was a teenager that “good girls don’t (or shouldn’t) like sex” or who hasn’t been warned about their reputation if they “give it up too fast”. Then women enter into a romantic, sexual relationship and they are expected to be open and comfortable with sex and know what they like. Not an easy thing to do.

So don’t assume you know what she likes. In fact, you shouldn’t even focus your energies on guessing. There is a stereotype that men should be responsible for women’s pleasure. They face pressure that men should just know how to touch. When. Where. How much. But no one is a mind reader – not even Don Juan.

What you should do instead? Ask your partner what she likes. Ask her when she likes having sex (Late at night? First thing in the morning? Right after coming home from work?). What kind of sex she likes having (What position? Gentle or on the rougher side? Creative and different or predictable and routine?). What her favourite sexual experience with you was and why. And be aware that even if you’ve asked what she likes, really listen. Pay attention, and maybe even ask again. Because it could take her a while to feel comfortable and safe enough to share. Or it may take time for her to consider what it is that she does like. But sharing our sexual wants and needs helps our partner better meet our sexual needs and initiate accordingly.

There are plenty of things that impact women’s sexual desire. But by focusing on stress reduction, creating a slow build up to sex, and exploring sexual preferences you could discover that what you thought was absent sexual desire was perhaps only temporarily dormant instead.

The post How You Can Maintain A Healthier And Better Sex Experience By Understanding Women’s Sexuality appeared first on Lifehack.

This is How The Use of Emojis Can Shape Our Impressions

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If you’ve ever been tempted to include a smiley face in work correspondence, you aren’t alone. A recent survey found that around 76% of American workers use emoticons or emojis in professional communication.[1]

Knowing when it’s okay to use this communication tool can help you build relationships and save you from misunderstandings. Using them improperly can negatively affect how people view you.

How emojis can affect others’ impressions of you

I have a former colleague, Amanda, who communicated with me mostly via text message. She worked from home most days, and this was the fastest and easiest way for us to stay in touch. Amanda had a signature texting style. Whenever I asked her to confirm whether she understood something, or if I double-checked make sure that she received a document from me, she replied using her three favorite emojis: Smirk, Laugh Cry and Okay with a Laugh.

Texting with Amanda so often led me to develop some impressions about her. I assumed that because she used emojis in her correspondence, she must be funny and relaxed. Even when we discussed serious matters, such as confirming the budget with clients or discussing the direction of our work, she used emojis. Over time, I began to wonder whether she took her job seriously.

It didn’t matter that Amanda had great ideas and did amazing work. I had a hard time taking her seriously because replying with Laugh Cry (or any of her other favorites, for that matter) didn’t seem professional at all. Researchers have found that my impression of Amanda wasn’t unique. Their research concluded that study participants considered senders who used emojis to be less competent than their more traditional counterparts.[2]

Emoji-based impressions can be deceiving

When I met Amanda for the first time, I was completely blown away. It felt like I had been texting a different person. She was in a tailored black suit, and she carried a briefcase like a top-tier professional.

When she gave her presentation, she impressed everyone in the office. She outlined the budget, offered suggestions based on marketing data, and displayed projections for the upcoming year in a series of graphs. She was confident and answered our questions by citing her research during the Q&A portion of her talk. She had truly done her homework. If you imagine the ideal business presentation, that was what she gave.

There was nothing playful about Amanda’s presentation. She epitomized professionalism. Surely this was not the same person who insisted on concluding every interaction with a string of smiley faces.

After that, we conducted a survey about emojis at Lifehack

After I met Amanda in person, I became more conscientious about my messages at work. I wondered if I gave my colleagues the wrong impression about my work because of the way I used emojis to communicate. I also wondered how using emojis affected my colleagues’ opinions of others.

I decided that the best way to figure out how my coworkers viewed people who used emojis was to ask. We use Slack to communicate at the Lifehack office, which means that there are plenty of opportunities for emojis to show up at work every day. I interviewed 40 employees to gather their insights about communication at work.

I came to some interesting conclusions.

Serious people tend to use less emotionally involved emojis

Most of my colleagues noticed that people with higher rank in the office, such as managers, avoid using emotion-related emojis like smirks or smiley faces. This makes their texts seem more serious and professional.

Whenever a manager does use an emoji, it’s normally to offer appreciation or support. They favored emotion-neutral emojis, such as clapping hands, or items like a bonfire. If it had a face, our managers didn’t bother with it. Connecting emotions to their communication must have seemed too informal for their position.

My colleagues also agreed that they view sentences without emojis as items that need to be taken seriously. When an emoji is used, it signals that that part of the interaction is supposed to be humorous or entertaining.

Creative people can use emojis to form a completely understandable sentence FAST

Some people take communicating through emojis to a whole new level. They can make simple answers seem more interesting and creative. For example, when we’re trying to decide where we should eat, someone might text an emoji of a burger or sushi roll instead of typing an explanation about what they want.

Some of my creative colleagues can use emojis to string together complete thoughts without using any words. Once I was waiting for a colleague to show up so that I could start a meeting. I sent out a message over Slack to figure out where he was. One of my team members sent me two emojis: a man running and a toilet. I understood. It was simple, creative, and clear, and we didn’t have to go into the details.

The key with using emoji creatively is to think quickly. My colleagues said that when they saw someone spending too much time looking for the right series of emojis, it seemed like they were trying too hard. It’s like when you take too long to figure out a joke. By the time you respond, it’s not funny anymore.

Repeated use = identity

Just as I learned from Amanda, over-using emojis can become your signature. It’s the same as having a catch phrase or a tag-line, emojis contribute to your identity and others’ impressions of you.

We have a colleague who loves using the Yummy emoji. Whenever we have to order snacks, we let him choose first because we assume that he’s a foodie and will know where to find the tastiest snacks.

Unless you want to be known for a specific personality trait or interest, avoid over-using an emoji.

Tips for using emojis in workplace communication

All this discussion with my coworkers led me to a few conclusions about when and how to use emojis at work. Here are the best practices that the Lifehack Team passed on to me:

  • Only use emojis in the opening or closing of a conversation. If you want to say, “Hi,” or end your communication, it is appropriate to include an emoji. This can help to reassure others that you are a human being, but it keeps the body of your work from seeming unprofessional.
  • If you aren’t certain how someone will interpret your text, an emoji can help. So much of our communication is done over text message and email these days. Sometimes it’s challenging to convey tone and meaning with words, but an emoji can help.[3]

I recently received the style guide for an assignment I was working on, and my collaborator had listed all these strict-sounding guidelines for the job. She included an emoticon at the end of an example that she had given. The emoticon helped me understand that she was trying to lighten the mood, and it reminded me that there was a real person on the other side of the text box.

  • It’s okay to use emojis in casual conversation and when you are building relationships with peers. When you are engaging with your coworkers on some non-work related task, like figuring out where to go to lunch or discussing what to bring to the office picnic, it’s fine to use emojis. Their causal tone can make your communication seem friendlier.

These are just a few pointers from our small office, but they illustrate the ways that emojis can affect how others perceive us. There’s a time and a place for them, but it may not be at the end of every interaction, nor would including them in the middle of a formal proposal be a good idea.

Have fun with your emojis. Just be careful about how you use them at work 😉


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The Power of Memory Palace: How a Superb Memory Is Built

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Since we are going to discuss a completely crazy technique, let’s first get our brain in the right frame of mind. What would you say if I posed the following question: Whenever Pavlov rang a bell, did he have an urge to feed a dog?

Now remain in this state of mind as we learn a crazy and amazing technique that works immediately.

Memory Palace — The Power of Remembering Without Memorizing

So, what is this crazy thing called Method of Loci, otherwise known as a Memory Palace? It is a method of memory enhancement using visualization and spatial memory. It anchors familiar information so you can quickly recall data. It is credited to the ancient people of Rome and Greece and is used by memory champions across the world.

This is a technique that should be taught in schools across the globe. The key here is to forget about trying to force facts and information into your head through repetition. Instead, try to link the ideas in interesting ways that allow you to easily recall the data. Essentially, this is a journey through your mind.

Creating a Memory Palace

Let’s see how this technique works.

  • Step 1: Choose a location you are familiar with (i.e. your current home).
  • Step 2: Rehearse this journey in your mind several times. Try to think of your emotion in each room.
  • Step 3: Place a piece of information in each room and anchor it in a corner or on a physical object like a bed.
  • Step 4: Draw your Memory Palace.
  • Step 5: Begin your journey and make things interesting so they pop in your mind (i.e. nude images in weird locations!). The key is for the information to stick. Essentially, go wild and crazy with this technique… you don’t have to tell anyone.

Method of Loci for Geometry

Let’s demonstrate how this can work with math. If you are learning Geometry, which is difficult enough as it is, let’s see how this can be done using a Memory Palace in combination with a mnemonic device (First Letter Mnemonic).

How to Remember the Value of Pi

The number Pi is a mathematical constant. It is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Typically, people will approximate it to 3.14 or 3.14159. Yet, Pi has been calculated to the quadrillionth digit… that is 2,000,000,000,000,000! I don’t expect anyone to calculate this, but let’s look at an easy way to remember Pi up to 10 decimal places.

To do this we simply count the number of letters in each word. Pi to 10 decimal places (word lengths are digits):

  • May I have a large container of coffee ready for today?
  • May (3) I (1) have (4) a (1) large (5) container (9) of (2) coffee (6) ready (5) for (3) today (5)

So, we find Pi to 10 decimal places = 3.1415926535

Mnemonic Device + Method of Loci = Superb Memory

If you are looking for a superior memory, try combining a mnemonic device with the Method of Loci. Let’s look at a few examples of this.

Remember the Days in a Month

Remember the World Geography

Look at the first letter of each country and makes up an easy-to-remember sentence with each word’s first letter share the same letter as the county names’.

Stop Memorizing, Start Having Fun

You will be amazed how powerful these techniques are once you start practicing them. They are fun, easy to learn, easy to use, and they work immediately. It is hard to believe how powerful some of these crazy techniques are. So, get weird, have fun, and develop a superb memory!

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7 Great Mobile Apps for Bloggers, Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

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If you are a blogger, business owner, or entrepreneur, you need to have a toolbox of resources at your fingertips to help you organize and plan your business tasks. With everything being mobile these days, it’s wise to have a list of great business apps that can help you make your business more successful, more organized, and more viable.

Sometimes it can be confusing as to which tools you should use to maximize your efficiency. There are so many business tools out there today that seem to be a good idea. But you don’t want to over clutter the issue by having hundreds of apps. Instead, choose just a few great organizational and time-consuming apps that will help you utilize your time more efficiently.

The following seven mobile apps should help you to achieve some of your goals and stay organized throughout your daily routine. Some are time-saving apps while others deal with more specific organizational tasks and creative tools. Check out the following great mobile apps for bloggers, business owners, and entrepreneurs, and decide which ones will work best for you.

Google CRM App

Salesmate is a great CRM that works with your Google Apps that allows you to use your Google tools in one place. Google Chrome has a free version of this type of application when you sign into your Google account. But this app allows you to have more features that you can keep in one place for easy reference on your phone or mobile devices.

The best thing about this app is that it gives Apple/iOS users a way to tap into the excellent Google tools that they ordinarily may not have access to with the iOS system.

WordPress App

WordPress App for Android or Apple iOS allows you to have the ability to publish “on-the-go” through your WordPress platform without having to sign into your desktop computer to do it. WordPress is one of the most popular blogger platforms available today. But it is also a website platform. Many business owners put their main website on this platform, as well as their blogs. You can make quick updates to your WordPress page when you have this app on your mobile device. This is important when you need to put up a quick update to your business or online store. Bloggers can create and publish new posts immediately rather than waiting until they get back on their desktops. Building a site through a mobile device is just one of the latest trends in web hosting.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that allows you to view your site metrics and activity anytime. But some business owners or bloggers may not know you can do this with an app, as well. If you are on the Android (Google Play) system, you can download the mobile app for Google Analytics and check your Google Adsense and site stats anytime and anywhere.

Evernote App

Evernote is a great creative app that allows you to create and record ideas from your mobile device. You can include all types of multimedia such as pictures, video, audio clips, and more. It also allows you to draw or write freehand within the app and make any notes you want.


IFTTT App is a great solution for streamlining your favorite apps all in one place. It is compatible with over 400 apps, and it allows you to integrate all of your social media and other tools that you need to run your business.

Google Drive App

Google Drive is one of the best tools for storing media that you can find today. It is similar to DropBox and allows you to upload any file that you can download from any device. It is housed on a SkyDrive, so you have unlimited access to it through any computer or device that is connected to the internet. The Google drive app is available on the Android system, and you can download it from Google Play if you do not have it on your device. However, most Android systems come with it already loaded on their device under the Google Apps.

Trello App

Trello is a wonderful tool for creators and innovators. It allows you to set specific goals for your business that are “project-based.” There is both a desktop and mobile version, with the desktop version having a few more perks such as a larger interface and additional options. But the Trello app is an excellent way to create short-term and long-term goals, keep up-to-date on your ongoing projects and mark off minute tasks as you go, to chart your progress.

Know Your Resources

Keep track of these excellent mobile tools to take your work with you and work on projects on-the-go or help to organize your day. You’ll see that they are all great tools to help make your goals and success more attainable through their time-saving features. In addition to each of the recommended mobile apps above, be sure to also check out these quick tips for increasing the speed of your site.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

10+ Stylish Bookcases that Will Brighten Up Your Home

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If your home feels cluttered, or you have a lot of cool stuff but nowhere to put it, or your home needs a certain something to bring it to life, you need a bookcase to display your stuff with style and keep your things organized.

Bookcases are typically for books, but ordinary bookcases can be so boring and dull your décor. Luckily there are tons of awesome options, styles, colors and sizes that you can choose from to customize while you organize.

We have handpicked 13 stylish bookcases to give your space that organized, stylish, and modern vibe that it’s been missing.

1. Bookshelves “U” – Set of 4 white wall shelves 

These suspended shelves will almost look as if they disappear. The shelves are extra thin and light, made of a 2mm thick steel imported from Italy. Regardless of its thin appearance, the steel will never bend.

Each shelf can hold up to 44 pounds of books and trinkets. The U-shaped shelves are perfect for books. They’ll help you to stylishly declutter your living space so you can move around freely.

Bookshelves “U”, $322

2. DIY Industrial Retro Wall Mount Iron Pipe Shelf Storage Shelving Bookshelf

It is made from quality metal pipe, and will look great long after you install it. It can be customized to add additional shelving space easily and effortlessly. This easy, simple and unique design is perfect for any home, office, or café interior.

DIY Industrial Retro Wall Mount Iron Pipe Shelf Storage Shelving Bookshelf, $36.23

3. Y-Nut Loft Style Bookcase, “The Iron Librarian”, Steampunk Industrial Vintage Style

At a whopping 6.6 lbs and 17” x7”. 8’ x7’ it’s as heavy as it looks! This stylish bookcase is made entirely of water pipe.

It is exclusively for hardcover books. Soft-covers unfortunately will fall through the cracks, so use this shelf to display your best!

Y-Nut Loft Style Bookcase, “The Iron Librarian”, $43.25

4. Industrial Pipe Shelving Bookshelf Rustic Modern Wood Ladder Pipe Wall Shelf

The classy shelf is perfect for the home or coffee house interior. The 3 level rustic industrial pipe shelf is made out of quality metal pipe and solid timber. You can add additional shelving shelf easily and efficiently.

Industrial Pipe Shelving Bookshelf Rustic Modern Wood Ladder Pipe Wall, $153

5. SKB Family Red MDF Floating Wall Display Bookshelf/DVD Storage New Ladder Bookcase

This versatile display shelf will compliment any space and décor. Turn that empty, useless wall space into a focal point of your space.

With an invisible mounting system, this shelf is incredibly easy to install. It is made of high quality MDF with a matte finish, adding a dose of contemporary style to any room.

SKB Family Red MDF Floating Wall Display Bookshelf/DVD Storage New Ladder Bookcase, $30.79

6. American Country Style Wrought Iron Shelf Bookcase

This bookcase is incredible flexible and can be fit in a variety of spaces. The unique and industrial design will brighten up your space and give it that classy edge you want.

American Country Style Wrought Iron Shelf Bookcase, $65.99

7. Rustic Torched Wood Slanted Design Desktop Bookshelf Magazine Stand

This is a unique desk top rack with an upward tilted design, complete with a rustic torched wood finish. The torched wood finish compliments rustic decors and provides a unique accent for eclectic design schemes.

You can now keep all of your magazines and newspapers organized, and off of your desk, floor or coffee table. It can also be used to store frequently used books in the office, classroom, or kitchen.

Rustic Torched Wood Slanted Design Desktop Bookshelf Magazine Stand, $32.50

8. 5 Tier 57.5″ Natural Bamboo Bookshelf Revolving Bookcase

Liven up your space with this 100% natural bamboo bookshelf that is both elegant and durable. The sleek, clean design is both stylish and convenient.

You can easily install it in minutes, and the hardware is included. It has 5 tiers, a 360 degree rotating design. It’s also very simply to maintain, just wipe clean with a mild cleaner and a lint-free cloth.

5 Tier 57.5″ Natural Bamboo Bookshelf Revolving Bookcase, $99.95

9. HomCom 4-Tier Rotating Cube Media Tower

Save space and spruce up your look with a rotating storage solution for your entire media collection. The unique and eye catching design will transform and declutter your space.

It’s easy to assemble, lightweight and portable, yet extremely durable and sturdy.

HomCom 4-Tier Rotating Cube Media Tower, $62.99

10. 9-shelf Tree Bookshelf, Superjare Book Rack Bookcase

These shelves are made out of CARB certified board, non-formaldehyde so it is safe for your family. The smooth surface and curved edges don’t only look cool, but they also help to avoid snags and scratches.

The 9 tier division shelves give you a lot of playroom as to how you want to store your things. The shelves carry around 5-10 books depending on the size and thickness of the books. The innovative design allows for the unit to fit in small spaces, only taking up 1.34 sq. ft.

Superjare Book Rack Bookcase, $119.99

11. Contemporary Salvaged Cabin Bookcase

You’ll be the envy of your friends with this salvaged cabin wood bookcase with a silver finish. The rustic style multi-spaced bookcase provides plenty of storage for all of your books, décor and knick knacks!

Contemporary Salvaged Cabin Bookcase, $143.10

12. Furniture Pipeline Industrial Modern Decorative Storage 4 Shelf Display Bookcase

Ideal for small spaces, this bookcase is perfect for an urban space or a tiny house. It features four shelves for storing and displaying your treasure trove of books and trinkets.

Furniture Pipeline Industrial Modern Decorative Storage 4 Shelf Display Bookcase, $191.84

13. Kartell 8003/09 Bookworm Bookshelf by Ron Arad

This bookshelf has a very flexible and unique design with a contemporary flare that can accent any space. The shelf is ideal for displaying books, as well as your media, pictures, and plants.

Kartell 8003/09 Bookworm Bookshelf by Ron Arad, $381.24

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5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

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Associating with the right people can be the difference between happiness and misery. You may have heard the Jim Rohn quote,

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Others have an effect on the way we live our lives whether we like it or not. Choose your friends and associates wisely to foster positive and healthy relationships.

We only have a limited time to live a meaningful life. Just like you should avoid the 6 Biggest Wastes of Time We Regret Sooner or Later, you must steer clear of people who will waste your life.

Toxic People Are Like Soft Drinks, They Will Kill You Slowly

Cigarettes and drugs can kill you quickly, but toxic people are more like soft drinks. When you drink a soda, it is unlikely to cause you immediate harm, and it certainly shouldn’t kill you. If you drink a soda every day, though, you may notice the negative health effects of your soft drink consumption.

In the same way, toxic people slowly drain you of your vitality. The more energy you spend on them, the more stressed and empty you feel. Some of them create such a negative force in your life that they can turn you into a toxic person without you realizing it.

You may enjoy the temporary high of drinking a Coke, but drinking them habitually can cause diabetes and obesity. Hanging out with that toxic individual may seem okay at first, but in the end you’ll feel tired and used .

5 Types of Toxic People You Should Avoid at All Costs

Nobody strikes up a relationship hoping that it will be a drain on productivity and happiness. Unless you pay careful attention, toxic people weasel their way into your life and use your mental energy, patience, and happiness without you realizing it.

We have all encountered people like this, and some of us may have even been toxic people at some point in our lives. If we really are the sum of the five people we associate with the most, it is crucial to avoid these five types of toxic people.

1. The Gossiper

The gossiper is an insidious force in any organization. They make you feel like they are bringing you into the fold by sharing delicate information with you. It seems like all they do is gather and disperse chitchat about other people.

When someone wants to talk to you about someone else behind their back, it is almost always a toxic situation. It doesn’t add value to your life, and if the gossiper will talk to you, you can be sure that they’re also talking about you to someone else.

This is the person at work that corners you during break time and talks badly about another coworker’s performance. When the person feels that they can come to you, they’ll be likely to repeat this over and over. People see you together, and they may even label you as a gossiper just for being associated with this type of toxic person.

If you think about what you can get from the conversation, it is most likely that these talks will not benefit you in any way. In fact, associating with a gossiper could really hurt you. Think about how you’d feel if you knew someone was talking about you behind your back. Now imagine someone catching you in the middle of a gossipy exchange. You don’t need that drama in your life.

2. The Manipulator

A manipulator knows what they want, and they’ll use you to get it. They don’t care about your thoughts and feelings. It seems like the more time you spend with them, the less power you have over your own destiny. Stick around this person too long, and you’ll end up doing whatever they want instead of standing up for yourself.

Most of us don’t act without a purpose, but the manipulator is bent on achieving their mission at the expense of everyone around them. Manipulation can take several forms, but a classic way to manipulate is through victim hood.[1]

For example, I have a friend who is being in a toxic relationship. His girlfriend is controlling and abusive, and every time it seems as though he will get out of the negative situation, she manipulates him into staying. Whenever he tries to leave, she fakes a health crisis to make him feel sorry for her. Since my friend is a nice guy, he sticks around to try to maker her feel better.

3. The Judge

So many cultures revolve around shame, and the judge takes full advantage of our discomfort with shame to steal your energy. Regardless of what you say, think, or do, the judge will always have some criticism for you.

The judge never tries to put themselves in your shoes. Their only concern is what you did or didn’t do. The more time you spend with them, the more depressed you’ll be. You can never make them happy, and if their opinion of you influences your self-worth, you’re doomed to misery. When you’re dealing with a judge, you’ll always take the blame.

I had a friend who was married to a hard-working entrepreneur. The entrepreneur loved his wife very much. Unfortunately, his wife epitomized the judge. Often, he would have to go away for long periods of time for work. She blamed and resented him because he was away for so long, even though his job required it. It didn’t matter that his efforts paid for their home, gave them security, and allowed them to lead a good lifestyle. No matter how much he tried to make her happy, she was too consumed with finding fault to appreciate him.

4. The Exaggerator

An exaggerator doesn’t know how to keep a small problem small. They often resort to saying things like, “You never do…” or “You have always been…” They don’t take the time to consider steps you’ve taken to fix the problem or correct your mistake. Mess up in front of an exaggerator, and be prepared to be labeled by your mistake. To an exaggerator, everything feels like the end of the world.

Imagine you’re on a team, and you’re planning a big presentation. You were assigned to work on part of the presentation, but then someone in your family became ill and had to go to the hospital. You miss the deadline to turn your part of the project in to the team, but the final presentation is still over a week away.

Most people would understand these difficult circumstances, and a few might offer to help you complete your work during this stressful time. The exaggerator is not most people, though. An exaggerator will treat missing deadline as a horrible oversight that demonstrates your lack of dedication to the team. They will continue to hang this missed deadline over your head long after the presentation.

5. The Emotional Expresser

Being vulnerable enough to talk about feelings can be valuable in relationships, but sometimes people take this too far. The emotional expresser loves talking about feelings, but they never do this in a constructive way. This is the person who repeatedly tells you how something makes them feel, but they never take any action to improve bad situations.

It is so easy to fall into this trap of talking instead of taking action. If you hang out with an emotional expresser, sooner or later, you’ll become just like them. People like this can become so caught up in discussing their feelings that they lose the ability to solve their problems. This is not a productive or healthy way to live.

The emotional expresser comes to you with a personal problem that must be fixed. They’ll tell you about their terrible relationship or their evil boss, but they aren’t willing to do anything to solve their problems. They won’t cut ties with the person harming them, and they won’t look for a new job.

Any suggestion that you make for how they can improve their lives will be met with resistance. “I can’t do that…” and “I’ve already tried that…” are the default responses that the emotional expresser will give to you when you challenge them to face their problems head on.

Do Yourself a Favor, and Keep Excellent Company

When you allow these toxic people into your life, you set yourself up for a depressing, infuriating, emotionally exhausting experience. It can feel harsh to cut these types of people out of your life, but if they’re having a negative effect on you, then you need to act.

You have a limited amount of time and energy to apply to all the things that you want to do with your life. Don’t allow a toxic person to rob you of your potential.


[1] Psychology Today: 14 Signs of Psychological Manipulation

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The Top Three Skills Every Business Owner Needs for Long-Term Success

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If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you’ll need to master different skills during your career. Here are the top-three skills every business owner needs for long-term success…

1. The top skill for Beginners

If you’re a brand new entrepreneur—right from the very start— the number one most important skill to develop is sales. Most people are afraid of selling, so they just don’t do it. And that’s why most people quit the business, because they never make any sales.

Selling is THE MOST important skill in business. And when you’re beginning as an entrepreneur, it’s vital for you to learn how to influence people. And learn how to sell.

2. The top skill for Veterans

You will constantly face challenges along your journey, but you need to stick with your goals no matter what. That’s why resilience is one of the strongest traits you could possibly have.

There will be times when you think the problems will just never end, and that’s actually true—the problems will never end. The problems will keep coming even when you start making the “big” money. So you need to develop broad shoulders to survive in affiliate marketing.

3. The top skill for Scaling your business

The most important skill you need to scale your business is being good at promoting your products. The most successful affiliates I’ve ever known are always promoting. They won’t go to bed at night unless they send an email to their list. And they make over a million a year.

Most business owners get bogged down with all the management activities, and they never scale. To free up your time, hire a staff to handle your office work, so you can maintain your primary role of promoting the products.

It’s very important that you never lose the skill of being the main promoter of your company. And you’ll be able to scale your business further than you ever thought.

And if you want to cut your learning curve even faster, I have a good opportunity for you. I’m talking about the Internet’s only automatic system that deposits $1,250, $3,300, $9,000, even $18,000 directly into your bank account. The system was created by 22-year-old Steven Bransfield (pictured with me below), who used this exact system to pocket $1,376,421.03 in just two years.

And he’s personally helped four people make over six-figures in the past 12 months. You can learn this system too.

With this unique training, you’ll get the all the tools you need to make six-figures a year online for the rest of your life. Steven recently made a free video that explains how he went from zero-to-millionaire in just two years. Watch the Free Video below.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!