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Take Control of Your Health

16 Jan

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Ugh. There are too many unhealthy, unhappy people. This isn’t news to me – I watched my Mom lose her strength and eventually her life when she was just twenty-nine. It has been many years since, but unfortunately, these illnesses are getting much more common despite the investment and research to cure them. Having my own children has been my wake up call.

Since early 2000, I’ve been strategically navigating the nutrition waters, and let me tell you – these waters are NOT safe. Honestly, I’ve been slowly figuring it out over the years, reading – taking classes, whatever it takes to learn about the opportunity to be healthy and stay healthy. And it IS an opportunity rather than a given. You have to reach for it, preferably before you are already at a deficit.

So, here I am today – frustrated. So many beautiful lives out there are losing the fight. The loss that my friends, family and clients are feeling after getting the heartbreaking news makes my soul ache. I can’t keep questioning how I’ll be received – or how many people will even read what I have to say. We all have to start somewhere and I am determined to help people get started toward healthier lives.

For those out there who want to be healthier, or want to encourage others to be, let’s join together and square off with our food. Here’s the challenge – commit to ONE WEEK of real food. Read labels, chose organic, avoid all processed foods and KNOW WHAT YOU’RE EATING. Just give it ONE WEEK. Of course, I don’t want you to stop there, but the education that you will get in that time should motivate you to make lasting changes. It will take effort, and you will make mistakes and eat unhealthy food sometimes, but your health is worth every challenging step you take.

I’m not trying to rebel against commerce or “fight the power” – but I don’t want to see people handing over the health of their children or the strength and resilience of their own bodies to ANY wealth-seeking entity. My original, immediate family is gone – not because of any targeted, malicious act; they just didn’t live with the intention to stay healthy. They were seemingly fit most of their lives, but their resistance to disease somehow slipped away. They didn’t see the dangers in everyday living, or maybe they chose to take that risk. I learned a difficult lesson from that.

Now, it’s my job to educate my family about the opportunities and dangers. My children are young enough that I can guide them and provide the healthiest foods, but they need to make their own decisions for health as well. We all do. There are so many opportunities to grow in a positive direction; I don’t want them (or any of you) to get bogged down in the negativity of the issues. Just know the facts, and make health-conscious decisions for yourself and your family based on those facts. Each of your decisions will add up to positive results.

I welcome any of you who wish to join my extended health-seeking family. I will be glad to provide more information, support, lists, recipes, references and answers to questions – just comment below or send a message. Whether you’re just starting this journey or somewhere along the path, I believe there is a lot we can offer each other.

Blessings on your health-seeking adventure!

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Healthy Hydration

3 Dec

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We’re doing a Healthy Holiday Hydration Challenge all through December, (join us on Facebook!)
As we increase our water, one important question is: Can we drink TOO MUCH water?
Too much of anything can be bad for you, so the short answer is, “yes”. Basically, you don’t want to drink too much too fast – like chugging 30oz all at once. The huge influx of water can overwhelm the bladder and kidneys. Another risk is that too much water in a short amount of time could wash away sodium from the blood, which helps regulate the amount of water that cells absorb. Some of the symptoms of water toxicity include: dizziness, nausea, confusion, seizures, and even hallucinations. For people with healthy kidney and liver function, the occurrence of these symptoms is not common, but it’s important to drink responsibly!

– Consider this guideline: Drink half your weight in ounces of water, not to exceed 100 ounces in a day.
– Pace yourself and drink throughout the day.
– Make sure you eat nutritious foods to provide your body the vitamins & minerals needed.
– Listen to your body; if you feel like you’re not responding well to water, back off a bit.
– If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned, you may wish to contact a health professional.
– Avoid a major change in water intake until you speak to your health practitioner if you have a major health condition.

These tips should help you get the benefits of hydration without the rare symptoms of water toxicity. Here’s to your your health!

Preparing Your Pantry for Health

6 Jan

We all know how challenging the goal of weight loss or just eating healthier can be. Goals that require long-term change are naturally more difficult, so it’s much easier to be successful when we prepare. One of the best steps to take toward healthier eating is to edit your pantry. I recommend really pushing yourself during this process – eliminating temptations now will make it much easier to stay on track later. So, let’s get started…

First, consider your goals and identify the ingredients that don’t support your health. Some obvious targets for elimination are foods containing hydrogenated oils/shortening, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucrolose, saccharin, sorbitol), artificial flavors, and MSG/monosodium glutamate. These ingredients can cause weight gain, food cravings and many other symptoms, so they are the first to eliminate.

In the pantry – You will want to look closely for these ingredients in all processed foods, spices, canned soups, canned tuna, sodas, and snack foods.
In the fridge – You’re likely to find the offensive ingredients in yogurt, condiments, salad dressings, and (of course) sodas.

Have you already eliminated all these? If so, other considerations are:

Corn syrup – Used as a cheaper sugar substitute, it is chemically processed, has no nutritional value and is very likely genetically modified.
Brominated flour – Found in many baked goods and breads, it has been linked to thyroid dysfunction and cancer.
Food dyes – It’s best for our health to avoid artificial food dyes, especially blue 1, blue 2, yellow 5, yellow 6, green 3, red 3, red 40, FD&C Lakes (can be any combo of dyes), and citrus red 2 (often used in oranges, hot dogs and sausage).
Nitrates, nitrites, sulfites – These additives are used way too often to preserve color in foods. They can cause headaches, migraines, respiratory issues, and digestive disorders.
Vegetable oil/brominated vegetable oil (BVO) – Vegetable oil seems benign enough, however they are extracted using chemicals and are likely made with genetically modified ingredients (canola, soybean, corn, safflower, and sunflower). Better choices are coconut oil and olive oil. And a note about BVO – watch for it in, of all things, beverages, despite the fact that it’s banned in Europe and Japan.
Peservatives BHT, BHA, TBMQ sodium benzoate, and potassium benzoate are all unnecessary chemicals added to increase shelf life or inhibit mold and can cause a variety of issues, including skin irritation, hyperactivity, and cancer.
Gluten – if you are concerned about digestive issues, you may want to eliminate gluten for a period of time to see if there is improvement in your health. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, durum wheat, graham flour, kamut, semolina, spelt, wheat germ, wheat bran, rye, bleached flour. It’s also important to note that studies now suggest that most people do not digest gluten efficiently, possibly because much of it has been genetically modified.

There are certainly a lot of ingredients to look for, so it can be a little overwhelming. After the initial purge, it’s easier to eat and shop healthier. Need help finding alternatives? Comment below and I’ll be glad to share the healthier options I’ve found.

Health & Happiness to You!