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Can’t Avoid Sugar Today? Here Are Some Tips to Recover

16 Apr


We all know sugar isn’t good for us, but it can be really difficult to avoid – especially on days like Easter! I try not to eat processed sugar on a regular basis, but there are some occasions that feature sugar as the focal point. Rather than lock myself in a closet and spend my holidays in solitude, I chose to participate in holidays, which may include an ocassional dessert. Instead of just accepting the aftermath of low energy, crankiness and not feeling well in general, I decided to investigate some steps I could take to offset my sugar intake and I’ve noticed a big improvement. Hopefully these tips will help you too.

  1. When you know you’re going to eat sugar, make sure to eat it with a good protein. This can help your body absorb the sugar more slowly and not have the crash that we commonly have after.
  2. Make sure to drink lots of water to support your kidneys in the processing and elimination of the sugar. Being hydrated before during and after your sugar intake is best.
  3. Eat a salad or lots of raw veggies. The fiber will help your body manage the sugar better and you’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel after you eat a fresh, colorful salad!
  4. Apple cider vinegar has been proven in research studies to help the body manage sugar more efficiently, even in the case of diabetes. You can add a couple teaspoons to your salad with some olive oil as your salad dressing or put it in water (I have found it it be more palatable in hot water as more of a tea, but I’m not sure why.)
  5. Diatomaceous Earth has been found to help regulate blood sugar by promoting healthy function of the pancreas. A teaspoon of the fine powder can be added to water daily and can gradually be increased to a tablespoon for a healthy cleanse as well.
  6. Get moving! Daily exercise can improve circulation and help your body utilize glucose more efficiently.  Even if you take a brisk walk for ten minutes, it can put glucosecit its place – into the cells for energy!

These strategies are good for your blood sugar and supportive of overall health. I don’t recommend binging on sugar or even eating it on a regular basis, but when you do have sweets, these tips can help you rebound nicely! 

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Why Do We Need To Detox?

11 Apr


Have you ever been doing something that takes some effort and in the middle of it you ask, “Why am I even doing this?!” I love that the brain is so smart that it can find an out for us – but there are some things we NEED to do, despite the effort they require. Detoxing is one of those things.

Some people say, “I was told our bodies are built to detox, so why would I need to do anything special?” Well yes, our bodies are built to eliminate waste daily through our intestines, kidneys, lymph system and even through our sweat. There are a few caveats to this statement though:

  1. Many of us don’t have the perfect detox genes that allow elimination of toxins to happen efficiently.
  2. Even those who have efficient detoxification pathways can be overwhelmed by too many toxins.
  3. There are certain types of chemicals that the body wasn’t built to recognize and eliminate, so they often get an opportunity to hide out in our cells.

 Another good question is, “Where do the toxins even come from?” We are exposed to toxins all the time as we breathe, eat and hydrate. Clearly, these are things we can’t stop doing, so we just need to do them more wisely.

In our air we find chemicals from fuel, synthetic products in our homes and cars, pollution, cleaning products and even artificial scents made to “improve our environment”. 

In food, we encounter chemicals through artificial ingredients, preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, and organophosphate from genetically modified foods (GMOs). 

Two of the most common damaging chemicals in our water are chlorine and fluoride, but there are others that can cause problems when we drink tap water, shower or bathe in unfiltered water and even swim often in chemically treated water.

One more category worth mentioning is personal care. The soaps, shampoos, hair gels, deodorants, fragrances and cosmetics we use are a major source of chemicals. We absorb them through our skin and inhale them daily. 

So – What can we do about all these chemicals?! We really need to:

  1. Identify the toxins we can minimize. It doesn’t have to be done all at once, but you can gradually lessen your toxic load. (Check out my next article for specific steps to do this.)
  2. Create an exit strategy to clear the toxins you just can’t avoid – DETOX! (More details for this step will also follow.)
  3. Pay attention to your body and how you respond to certain chemicals. This will help you identify the ones you really need to avoid and it can help you recognize how often your body needs to do a detox.

I know – this doesn’t sound easy and it will clearly involve CHANGE, but you and your health are totally worth the effort!

Set Your Intentions & Get What You Want!

2 Apr

Have you ever joined a program, class or group challenge and after it’s over you think, “That was good information, I’ll have to remember that.” And then, back to your daily routine you go…

I’ve done it and I realized I wanted to have more to show for my time than a few pages of notes and a positive opinion of the organizer! And for the programs I offer, I really want people to experience amazing benefits.
So, when you’re starting a program, class or group challenge, take five to ten minutes to set your personal intentions:

1. Write down what you commit to do. Are you committing to a detox program, starting a workout plan or learning a new skill in a class series? (Example commitment: I am committed to complete this four-week detox program that starts on April 3rd.)

2. Now, determine what you want to get out of it. What’s in it for you and how do you expect it to make your life better? It’s a good idea to share these expectations with the people offering the content too; they are usually just as eager to see you benefit and can often adjust or add content. (Example: I want to have enough energy that I don’t have to take a nap or drink coffee mid-day, lose five pounds and eliminate the headaches and digestive issues I’ve been having.)

3. Share your commitment and expectations from steps 1 and 2 above with a friend or family member who will support and encourage you. Maybe they’ll even join you!

4. Make a plan to track your progress and success markers each week – or whenever you realize them! It’s important to recognize what works and what doesn’t so you can continue what will get you to your goal and maintain it. Use your planner, calendar or notebook; whatever is easiest to reference. (Example: When I stopped eating carbs I noticed an improvement in energy and fewer digestive issues. When this program is over, I know I need to continue to minimize carbs.)

5. What will you be risking if you don’t fully commit? This will help motivate you when things get challenging. (Example: If I don’t reduce my headaches and digestive issues I’ll miss out on events with friends and fear my health issues will become worse, preventing me from living the life I plan to live.)

6. Put your classes and reminders on your calendar. If there are specific challenges you expect, prepare by adjusting your schedule, removing obstacles/temptations and placing encouragement in strategic places. (Example: Schedule classes, shopping for fresh produce every couple of days and extra time to prepare new recipes on the calendar. Then remove junk food from your pantry and purchase the essentials for detox so you’re not caught off guard.)

This should get you headed right toward your goals! I hope these steps help you get the most out of your programs! 

Reinforce Your Resolution

12 Jan

Resolutions are tricky; we want to set a goal that really matters, but not something so crazy we could never achieve it. Some of us shoot for the moon and others are still contemplating that perfect goal. For all who really want to see improvements in life, here are a few things that can boost you toward your desired outcome, whether you call it a resolution or just a much needed change.

  1. Get focused. Make sure you’re targeting your desired outcome. Let’s use weight loss as an example. It’s a good start to say you want to lose 15 pounds in the New Year, but give yourself a little time to think about it. What do you believe losing the weight will do for you? Do you want to be in a smaller size, or do you want to tighten up in specific areas? Losing the weight may or may not get you to those specific outcomes unless you identify in advance exactly what you want.
  2. Quantify where you are and where you want to be. With weight or clothing size, this step is pretty easy, but it takes some thought when it comes to goals that aren’t numbers driven. Drilling down to the specifics pays off and makes it much easier to see your progress, and course correct if you’re getting off track.
  3. Determine the pay-off for you and others. Imagine that you’ve met your goal. How does that change your day-to-day life? How does it change things for your loved ones? What are the long-term benefits of this accomplishment? If the resolution is a big leap for you, it may be helpful to visualize your accomplishment by creating an inspiration board or journaling as if you have already achieved the goal. (This can be useful throughout the year as inspiration, reminding you that the benefits will be bigger than the obstacles.)
  4. Think beyond the resolution. What has contributed to the issue or current status? What changes and actions will help you achieve your resolution? As you consider these questions, it may be helpful to revisit the last step to remind you why this goal is so important to you.
  5. Identify obstacles & plan a counterstrike. Take some time to think about the barriers you may face and the weaknesses you could experience as you work toward your goal. When you identify what may come between you and your desired future, plan around it. For each obstacle, give yourself options, reinforcement and support that you can use when you need it the most.
  6. Set mile markers. To keep you moving toward your goal, it’s helpful to see progress as you go. Breaking down your goal into smaller steps allows you to see progress as you go and allows you accomplish it in reasonable segments. The quantified info from step 2 may help you identify specific, reasonable incremental goals.
  7. Reward yourself. Plan to win and give yourself benefits along the way. If your goal is to get into a smaller size, don’t hold back all the reward until you get there. Buy something flattering at the halfway point, or enjoy a rejuvenating relaxation day. (Just make sure your reward is supportive of your goal!)
  8. Review & revise. One reason resolutions are broken is that we’re no longer in alignment with the goal. We can lose sight of the importance, feel frustrated, or believe we’re not on track to succeed. When you give yourself an opportunity to review the resolution, you can refresh your commitment or revise the plan so you can reap the rewards of your resolution.

These steps should help you achieve your resolutions and minimize stress and frustration while you work toward them. Cheers!

 

Focus on What Drives Your Goals

10 Jan

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I’m not a big believer in front loading the New Year with goals just for the tradition of it. So often, we set ourselves up for disappointment when we do – we set loads of expectations, do very little planning, and even less follow through. I believe the statistic is just ten percent of all Americans who follow through with their New Years resolutions. I’m not saying we should avoid resolutions altogether; let’s just do things a little differently, so we get the results we want.

Here’s what I propose:

Ask yourself – What do I need to accomplish?

AND WHY?

This “why” is really important. It’s what you need to think about when you’re tempted, if you falter, and when you think about giving up.

Here’s an example. Five years ago, I decided I needed to make changes in my nutrition. I wasn’t feeling well, had low energy, and hadn’t lost the baby weight from my then two-year-old son. When I sought answers, my blood work indicated that I had a wheat intolerance and should eliminate gluten from my diet. Technically, my goals were to lose weight, increase my energy and improve my overall health. Then I quantified desired outcomes; the problem was, I had dealt with all those factors for more than two years and they weren’t that compelling.

But when I thought about WHY I really needed to accomplish these goals, I got fired up. I thought about being active, vital and healthy for my children as they grew up. I had lost my Mom when I was little, so I knew it wasn’t outside the realm of possibility to lose vitality at a young age and I got MOTIVATED! I stopped eating all things gluten and haven’t looked back. I’ve never cheated – not even one piece of pizza – until I found gluten-free options! Accomplishing my goals changed everything for me (it would take many more blogs to explain), and focusing on my “why” made it possible.

There are certainly more ways to prepare for successful goals, which I will likely write about next – but motivation and focus can be gained by identifying your “why”.

Happy New Year!

Empower Yourself With Essential Oils

4 Dec

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When I started using essential oils with my family, I truly had no idea that I would soon rely on them. I am NOT a fan of chemicals, so it made sense to try the natural oils, but I wasn’t sure where to begin. I was overwhelmed by the oils I found in the stores; I knew the benefits of a few, but not many. And then there was the question of how to use them. So I bought a couple and carted them home with my groceries. I didn’t use them much, mostly because I didn’t fully understand their benefits.

After reading another study about the health dangers of chemicals, I started searching for a line of essential oils that were: pure and free of any fillers; approachable and easy to use; reasonably priced; from a socially responsible company that provides educational support. After almost three years of searching and trying different brands, I found a line that fits all my requirements. I ordered a kit from doTERRA that would offer a variety of therapeutic oils for the needs of my family. I paid about $175 (with shipping) for ten oils, and in the first month, I was able to address stomach aches, a plantar wart, headaches, sleep issues, back pain, abrasions, eczema, earaches and even an ear issue with my dog!

Once I saw how well the oils worked for my family and friends – and how much money they saved us in doctor visits and other medicines, I started talking with my clients about them. I teach people about brain health, and one of the last things I want is for my clients to be undermining their health with chemicals. A lot of times they don’t even realize they’re doing it, so having a natural alternative that’s convenient is a must in my opinion. Now, we offer classes on the use of essential oils, how to make personal care and household products with natural ingredients, and how to create an all-natural first aid kit. Essential oils have been an amazing health resource for us; if you don’t already use them, I encourage you to try!

Have any questions? Feel free to ask!

Listen to Your Body

3 Dec

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We live in a time when things are fast and furious, with little time to manage our health. It may seem more efficient to pop a pill or ignore the symptoms and just keep rollin’, but in the long run, that’s a dangerous strategy.

It’s a lot like ignoring the fire alarm or even worse – removing the battery from the smoke detector because the siren is irritating. It’s SUPPOSED to be irritating! Symptoms are the body’s way of alerting you to a problem. We need to listen and ask ourselves, Are we:

Lacking something?

or

Overdoing something?

This is when you really have to listen closely to your body. You’ve recognized the symptom, now you need to determine the trigger. Where’s the fire? And – what started it? There are key areas that are common sources of trouble; paying attention to the time, intensity and frequency of symptoms can help identify the source of the problem. If you need help, there are health practitioners like me who can assist. Often – if you track your symptoms for a few weeks, you can identify the problem.

Then, you make changes. Keep in mind, healthy changes are good, but extreme changes can shake you up at first. Take it slow, especially if you’ve been dealing with multiple symptoms or even just one for a long time. Also – results don’t happen overnight, unless you’re really lucky! Give it some time to really start feeling consistent improvement.

Please don’t put off until tomorrow, the care your body needs today!