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12 Life Lessons I Learned from the Film Frozen

12 Life Lessons I Learned from the Film Frozen

Disclaimer: This article has a lot of spoilers in it so if you haven’t seen Frozen yet, you better take a pause from reading this article, watch the movie, and then get back to this piece. You can even start a discussion after reading if you want. 

To say that Frozen is a successful film would be an understatement. With a box office earnings of about one billion dollars, two Academy awards, and a powerful soundtrack that everyone played until they got sick of it (side note: they didn’t get sick of it), the movie won the hearts of everyone who watched it. Also, the fact that it didn’t stick to the Prince-Charming-Saves-Damsel-in-Distress formula makes it more relatable in this age. It is so good that every known Frozen merchandise such as toys, clothes, and collectible items can be seen virtually everywhere both in physical and online stores. But apart from the quantifiable success achieved by the animated film, what really made people resonate with Frozen is the life lessons it portrayed. In this article, I listed 12 morals that I personally believe are reflected on the movie and how you can adapt these lessons in daily life.

1. Family comes first.

There are probably no siblings who never had an argument at least once in their lives, but once the dust has settled and they decided that their best playmate is actually their sister or brother, order is restored. Anna may not know in the beginning that the reason why Elsa was cut off from everyone else was because her big sister accidentally put her life in danger, but this didn’t stop her from reaching out to Elsa and from setting off to find her after she left the palace and put Arendelle on a state of eternal winter. Regardless of whom you consider family—whether it’s the ones you share a DNA strain with or the ones whom you choose to call kin—Frozen teaches us to look after each other especially when you know that you’re the only ones who can.

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2. Accept your children for who they are.

Elsa and Anna’s parents may have passed away ten minutes to the movie, which was really sad, but they did a fairly great job at raising the princesses to be the loving and well-mannered women they became. The King and Queen did not dismiss Elsa’s powers, and while they evidently believed that it was best for everyone to isolate her until she can control her gift, Elsa’s parents helped her in the best way they can. It can be difficult seeing how your kid is different from other children but one of the best ways to help them is by acknowledging their unique characteristics as a blessing.

3. Never apologize for being yourself.

Unless you take pleasure in making other people miserable, be comfortable in your skin every waking hour of your life. Just look at Anna. She may not exactly be the prim and proper princess we’ve become used to but you have to admit that as far as princesses go, her sense of humor and being adventurous works like a breath of fresh air. Besides, you can’t please everyone, so why bother? For as long as you love yourself enough to show your true colors and not maligning other people’s sensibilities, by all means let your freak flag fly.

4. Just because people shut you out doesn’t mean they hate you.

It doesn’t take rocket science to realize that Elsa didn’t want to stop building snowmen with Anna or to not have a social life. However, her isolation led her to believe that the only way she can protect the people she cared about is by staying away from them. And since Anna had no memory of the accident they had when they were little, she took Elsa’s elusion the wrong way—that she did something wrong that upset her big sister. It took a major confrontation and a slew of icicles before Anna found out why her sister has been locked up in her room for a long time. People who are comfortable with being alone are often mistaken for not wanting to blend with others when in truth they are just enjoying their solitude and that sometimes, you don’t even factor into that equation.

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5. Communicate.

In an alternate universe, the catastrophe that happened to Arendelle wouldn’t have happened if only Elsa opened up to Anna; after all she’s the only family left to her. Unfortunately, the young queen chose to bottle up her emotions and would rather deal with it on her own than to drag everyone she loves into the mess that is her feelings. In Elsa’s defense, sparing Anna from getting hurt (or possibly killed) signifies her love for her sister but it took her a near-death experience to realize that she didn’t have to go through all of it alone. The point is this: it’s perfectly all right if you want to spend time wallowing in your sadness but it wouldn’t hurt if you get help from people who are actually willing to give it to you—even if it’s just someone who will listen to you rant.

6. Exercise self-control.

One of the side effects of Elsa successfully shutting people out and suppressing her emotions was the latter’s going beyond her control and blowing up in her face. It also led her to make hasty decisions such as wandering off the forest alone, throwing her sister and company from the castle she built, and nearly killing one of the Weselton Duke’s henchmen. The thing is the more Elsa told herself not to feel, the more she wasn’t able to control her emotions. Despite being overwhelmed by emotions, it helps when you make sense of a situation before making a move. This way, you have complete rein of your feelings because you know what triggers them and therefore make rational decisions based not just on emotions alone but also logic.

7. Be nice to people.

Kristoff learned this lesson the hard way when he called Oaken a nasty name. Granted that he was frustrated with the winter slowing his business down and with the inflation but calling Oaken a crook was uncalled for. Kristoff’s exasperation was of course warranted but what he didn’t consider was the Oaken’s business was also going through the same crunches that his ice business is in. Not getting what you want doesn’t give you the license to be rude to anyone. All of us have our own daily battles to fight and you can do other people and yourself a favor by simply being nice, despite hard times.

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8. Channel your emotions in a constructive manner.

There are people who get satisfaction in swearing, breaking things, and hurting others when they are hurt, sad, or afraid. While this can be considered normal by others, it can also be destructive. When Elsa finally let it go, her powers carved the ice-capped mountain with ornate formations and even played God by breathing life to a snowman. However, her contemplating after sending Anna away made the castle dark and full of ice structures worthy of a villain’s headquarters. The point is if you find yourself thinking and feeling a lot of things at a time, you can try to find a way to channel it constructively.

9. Allow yourself to dream.

One of the things that endeared us to Olaf was his unadulterated optimism. Surely he didn’t have any experience with heat but it was his naiveté that affords him to dream big. Olaf imagined a summer where he doesn’t melt, and when he finally gets to experience heat, he didn’t mind staying with Anna even if the both of them were hanging by a thread. If you think about it, these scenes resonate with how people can pursue their dreams—by knowing what it is that you want, doing everything you can to get it, and sometimes even risking your safety just to achieve it.

10. Love doesn’t always happen on the first strike.

The song Anna and Hans shared was definitely catchy and cheesy but the thing is not everyone finds true love on the first take. You may find someone who fits your standards perfectly but they may still not be the one for you—especially if they just want to be with you because of reasons that aren’t love. If you have found the right person for you then hold on to him/her for dear life, but if you have to meet him/her yet, exercise precaution. Ask yourself why you want to be in a relationship and if you’re ready to take on the responsibilities that come along with the intimacy you’re looking for. Don’t sign up for a relationship just for the sake of being in one or to fill some void caused by other things and therefore require a specific solution.

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11. Relationships take a lot of work.

One of the things that affirm the love between Anna and Kristoff is the fact that they overcame challenges together, and while having fun, too. Their friendship and its victories made it easier for them to shift into a more intimate kind of relationship and it didn’t even take place until things in Arendelle went back to normal. Finishing each other’s sandwiches may be nice but a person who is willing to weather death with and for you is definitely more attractive. Being in a relationship is always a mixture of storms and rainbows, of moments where you think and move in synchrony and of ugly fights. Only those who are willing to work through these together can truly enjoy the purpose of having a partner.

12. True love has different faces.

The main characters of Frozen love making sacrifices—Elsa shutting herself in to protect Anna, Kristoff sending Anna home to Hans, Olaf melting by the fireplace so that he could keep Anna company, and Anna giving up her life so that Elsa could live. All of these acts are proof that true love can be shown in different ways. And that while we’re used to the symbolism of a boy and a girl ending up together, Frozen showed us that it’s not the only face of true love that we need.

Do you know of other lessons shown in Frozen that helped you improve your way of looking at things? Share us your stories by writing a comment below.

Featured photo credit: moustachemagazine.com via moustachemagazine.com

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Last Updated on November 15, 2019

Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

Wouldn’t you like to be able to eat twice as much as you do now without gaining weight? If so, I have good news for you because this is possible when you learn how to increase metabolism.

How Much Do You Know About Metabolism?

Before we get to the meat, let me say that metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body.[1] These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning, however, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with the metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn.

The metabolic rate is a rough estimate of how much energy your body needs to simply stay alive and perform all its biochemical reactions. These reactions require energy, aka burn calories.

Imagine that your brain alone consumes nearly 20% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure at rest),[2] your digestion and the detoxifying system come second, repairing tissues third and so on.

Staying alive is expensive for your body and its two main currencies are fats and sugars.

When I am talking about improving your metabolic rate (metabolism), I mean improving the amount of energy, your body requires to (pretty much) lay down in bed and do nothing for 24 hours.

Extra physical activity, extra thinking or fighting illness are things that require a lot of energy (burn a lot of calories) but they don’t really increase metabolism… actually they can decrease it.

Can You Naturally Change the Speed of Your Basal Metabolism?

The answer to this question is yes and you can also achieve an increase in metabolism and a drop in body fat by eating more.

Shocked? Well, I was too.

The way I came across this phenomenon is quite funny. Over my 10 years as a coach, I helped many busy professionals to naturally increase their metabolism by getting them leaner, fitter and stronger but, at the beginning of my career, I actually had no idea whether they were losing weight because of an increase in metabolism or because we created a calorie deficit with diet and exercise.

When I was training my clients regularly, they would lose weight. Every time I would take a few weeks of vacation, I would come back to London and find out that most of them gained back a generous amount of weight despite the fact that they were following their diet and they swapped our weight training sessions with cardio.

On the contrary, when they were going on vacation, they would do zero exercises and binge like there was no tomorrow but come back either lighter or weighing the same (but looking more muscular).

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Observing this phenomenon happening over and over again, got me curious about the mechanics of our metabolism and the ways to hack it.

Was it really possible that by relaxing and eating more food, someone could actually maintain his/her current weight or even be losing fat?

Driven by the desire to answer this question, I spent a good amount of years researching and testing different food strategies until I finally cracked the code to an improved metabolism that allows you to eat like a king and look like a Greek God.

Does Eating More Increase Metabolism?

Before I explain why eating more increases your metabolism, let me dig into something that I see people doing much more often: “eating less and moving more.”

It is quite common to see people embarking their yearly weight loss journey (usually after Christmas or Easter) by following very restrictive diets and bombarding their body with several hours of exercise per day.

Despite the short-term effectiveness of this approach, in the long run, if the goal is to increase metabolism and lose a lot of fat over an extended period of time, this simply won’t work.

As I have mentioned before, eating fewer calories and exercising more are energy-consuming activities for your body. In the first case, your body needs to use its own energy reserves to top up the missing energy it needs to fully function; and in the second, it takes your body extra energy to contract your muscles.

In both cases, your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure at rest) doesn’t vary much; therefore your metabolism stays unchanged.[3]

A different scenario happens when you eat less and move more for an extended period of time (weeks or months). In that case, your metabolism will slow down because your body is receiving a “we have little access to food and we need to run away from threats” signal.

Your metabolism is like your bank account.

To understand this concept, let’s imagine that you have $4,000 coming into your bank account each and every month. The money you spend on housing, transport, food and leisure are calibrated according to this monthly income.

Now, imagine that a rich uncle starts to send you $1,000 each day. What would you do? Probably, you would save that money for the first two or three days but, when you notice that $1,000 keep on coming every single day, you would likely start to spend more right?

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What if, instead of a rich uncle sending you money, a poor uncle needed your financial help to pay for the treatments of his illness? You would probably try your best to adjust your spending according to your old $4,000 monthly budget.

That’s exactly how your body reasons:

More Resources Coming in = More Energy Released (Improved Metabolism)

Fewer Resources Coming in = Less Energy Released (Decreased Metabolism)

Note that activities like weight training[4] and high-intensity interval training (HIIT),[5] when combined with an increase in nutrient-rich foods, will also improve your metabolism.

For this reason, today, when I coach a new client, I always start by increasing their daily food intake and their physical activities. Usually, people are quite confused because they come to me to lose weight and I tell them to eat more but, without fail, the next weekly weight-check shows a lower number.

Be aware that not all foods are equal and only certain foods have the power to increase metabolism to a noticeable extent.

Foods That Increase Metabolism

Doubling up on Snickers bars won’t improve your metabolism and you know that. What you may not know is that certain foods that are marked as “healthy” doesn’t help you with increasing your metabolism. They also make you gain weight.

Before giving you a list of foods to eat or avoid, let me explain a simple principle of human biochemistry.

Your body uses energy from three (or four) main sources:

  • Sugars: whether you eat a Snickers bar or a banana, the carbohydrates contained in both get absorbed in the gut and become blood glucose (the basic form of sugar our body utilizes as a source of energy).[6]
    When blood glucose is present in the bloodstream (elevated levels), the body always uses it as its primary source of energy. When blood glucose levels drop (this phenomenon happens when you’re using these sugars to fuel a physical activity or when your pancreas produced a spike of insulin and stores that glucose into fat and muscles), your body starts to release fatty acids into the bloodstream to use as a source of energy.
  • Fatty acids: either from your own fat cells (adipocytes) or from whatever fat-containing foods you ate in the past 2-3 hours. Fatty acids are a slower and more consistent form of energy than sugars that your body can utilise.
  • Amino acids: Amino acids are the broken-down form of proteins. Proteins cannot be used by the body as a source of energy, not even in their broken-down form. Your body can transform amino acids into glucose with a process called gluconeogenesis.[7] This is a very inefficient process where a decent amount of energy gets wasted (and that’s a good thing for us but I’ll get to that later).
  • Ketones: when you don’t feed your body any source of carbs (or proteins in excess), your liver produces an alternative source of energy called Ketones. It can replace the need for glucose (most of it at least).[8]

Now that you know the four energy sources the body can use to fuel its metabolism, let’s get to the meat (quite literally).

To make this simple for you, I am going to divide foods into three categories:

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  1. Red Flags – Avoid the red foods because they slow your metabolism. They are usually extremely low in micronutrients and high in antinutrients (agents that are highly toxic). They are highly processed or spike your insulin levels (therefore stopping your fat burning process).
  2. Orange Foods – Limit your consumption of orange foods. The orange foods on the list are suboptimal choices but they don’t have a negative impact on your metabolism when consumed in moderation. In fact, they contain a decent amount of micronutrients and, if eaten in small amounts, they shouldn’t stop your fat burning process.
  3. Green Foods – These are foods to consume most. Green foods will improve your metabolism and should be the main bulk of your diet.

Next, I’ll get into details exactly what foods to eat and avoid:

Sugars and Carbs

Sugars do not directly improve metabolism because they stop the process of fat utilisation. There is an exception to this rule though. When you eat a diet extremely low in carbohydrates and sugars for an extended period of time (two to six days onwards), introducing carbohydrates and sugars can actually improve metabolism quite a bit.

Unfortunately, for most of us that love eating bread, pasta, fruit and yoghurt, unless we were on a low-carb diet for the past few days, these foods are not an optimal choice.

Sugars like fructose (found in fruit or commercial sugar) actually decrease metabolism and should be limited. Heavily processed sugars and carbohydrates should be also limited. Here is the colour list of sugars and carbs that affect metabolism:

Red Flag Sugary Foods You Should Avoid:
  • Dried fruit
  • Commercial and packaged corn
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • All sorts of candies and lookalike
  • Packaged fruit juices and purees
  • Sugary dairy products like flavoured yoghurt, condensed milk etc
Orange Sugary Foods You Should Limit:
  • Bread and flour-based products
  • Milk and also vegan milk alternatives that are sweetened
  • Most fruit (exceptions are in the green list below)
  • Potatoes and potato starch products
  • Oatmeals and other grains
Green Sugary and Carb-Containing Foods That Improve Metabolism
  • All berries except strawberries
  • Tubers like squash, carrots, parsnips etc
  • Sweet potatoes
  • White rice
  • All green vegetables

Fats

Fatty acids and fats, in general, can improve or decrease metabolism depending on their composition.

Red Flag Fatty Foods You Should Avoid:
  • Margarine and hydrogenated fat
  • Lard
  • Gmo oils
  • Most vegetable oils from seeds and peanut oil
Orange Fatty Foods You Should Limit:
  • Nuts
  • Meat fat
  • Nut oils (macadamia, almond, cashew etc..)
  • Seeds
Green Fatty Foods You Should Eat Daily
  • Extra virgin olive oil (non-heated)
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil
  • Butter (organic)
  • Egg yolks (free-range)
  • Bone marrow

The fatty foods in the green section tend to be very effective in increasing metabolism, especially in the absence of carbohydrates because they stimulate the production of ketones (I’ll talk about this later).

Bear in mind that 1 gram of fat has 2.5 times the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrates; therefore “eating more fats” to increase metabolism should be done very gradually to avoid weight gain.

Proteins

Eating food not only sends regulatory signals to your brain about abundance vs scarcity of resources, but it can also increase your metabolism for a few hours. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).[9] It’s caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal.

Protein causes the largest rise in TEF.[10] It increases your metabolic rate by 15-30%, compared to 5-10% for carbs and 0-3% for fats

Eating protein has also been shown to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating, in fact, a study found that people were likely to eat around 441 fewer calories per day when protein made up 30% of their diet.[11]

Also, proteins help preserve muscle mass.[12] The more muscle mass we have, the higher our basal metabolism is.

For these reasons, the first nutritional advice I usually give to clients is to reduce sugars and increase proteins. This quick swap is often enough to kickstart their metabolism and commence the fat burning process.

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Red Protein Sources That Should Be Avoided
  • Cheap whey proteins
  • Soy proteins
  • GMO meat
  • GMO eggs
  • Packaged meat
Orange Protein Source to Be Limited
  • Canned tuna
  • Canned fish
  • Canned meat
  • Gluten-rich products like Seitan
  • Farmed fish
Green Protein Sources to Have Daily
  • Free-range meat
  • Free-range eggs
  • Wild meat and fish
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Collagen and beef protein hydrolyzed

Note that this is a general categorisation of the foods that, when added to your diet, have the power to increase or decrease metabolism. There are some specific foods and supplements worth mentioning because they have been proven to improve metabolism by increasing thyroid output or resting heart rate, they are as follows.

Other Foods and Supplements

Cold water

Drinking water may temporarily speed up your metabolism. Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 litres) of water increases resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour.[13]

This is not a surprise since our body is made up mainly by water and proper hydration is key to a fast metabolism. This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature.

MCT Oils or Powders

Medium-chain triglycerides or MCT have been shown to improve metabolism by stimulating Ketone production.[14] Coconut oil contains MCT fats and, when used as a replacement for cooking oil can help you improve metabolism.

You can buy the concentrated version of MCT oils and eat it separately to further enhance this effect. Either way, coconut oil or pure MCT oil can be a great addition to your diet if you’re following a ketogenic or intermittent fasting protocol.

Caffeine

Caffeine and coffee have been shown to improve metabolism by improving heart rate and, therefore improving calorie consumption.[15]

Green Tea

Green tea

is thought to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation, and to reduce fat production and absorption.[16]

Bottom Line

In this article, I just covered the basics of food and metabolism but, there are many other non-food related things you can do to improve your metabolism, like improving your sleep quality and following certain exercise routines.

For now, just know that making small and gradual changes to your diet can increase your metabolism and improve your general health. Starting from changing one habit at a time is always the best strategy to accomplish any goal.

Once you improve your diet, your hydration and your supplementation you can think about testing more advanced “bio-hacks” or techniques like ice baths and fasted HIIT training.

And remember, having a higher metabolism doesn’t only help you lose weight and keep it off but it also give you more energy and a feeling of vibrancy. If you give it time, it really is worth the investment.

Featured photo credit: Fitsum Admasu via unsplash.com

Reference

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