Tag Archives: prepare for health

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!

 

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Are You Dehydrated?

7 Dec
Are You Dehydrated?

Are You Dehydrated?

Water is essential to health and it makes sense when you consider that our bodies are more than 60% water. Just the daily processes of breathing and elimination cause us to lose about 60 ounces of our body fluids each day, so replenishing is necessary. Many of us develop the ability to ignore our signaling for water, which can cost us. When we don’t have enough water, we get reminders from our body – but we think of them as annoying symptoms. Digestive issues, dry skin, headaches, constipation, and difficulty focusing are some of the hints we get, and if we don’t rehydrate, our organs are forced to scale back and make due with the supply of resources they get. Long-term, this can really strain the system and cause serious health issues.

There’s debate about the quantity of water we need to drink. It seems reasonable to start at a minimum of 60 ounces to replenish what we’ve lost, and increase when active or feeling thirsty. Our body weight plays a part too; the more we weigh, the more water we have, lose, and need to replenish. The latest research suggests half your body weight in ounces of water should be consumed each day. Believe it or not, there are limits to stay within so you avoid the uncommon effects of water toxicity. You don’t want to drink too much, too quickly or exceed about 100 ounces per day (see my previous post, “Healthy Hydration” for more details).

Of course, there’s the other critical question – What’s the best quality water to drink? Unfortunately, the most accessible resource to most of us – tap water, is not ideal. It typically contains contaminants and chemicals that distract the body (at best) and can even accumulate in the body and cause sickness or disease. So the short answer is, distilled or quality filtered water is much preferred over tap water. The longer, more detailed discussion will be posted soon. Please let us know what works well for you!

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!

Do We Really Need Probiotics?

5 Sep

One of the many products I’ve tried over the years is probiotics. Powders, capsules and liquids – for adults, for kids – even for my pets.  I really believe that probiotics are important for all of us. The signs that a person (or pet) could benefit from probiotics are when they experience digestive issues, intestinal challenges, frequent illnesses, fatigue, acne – if the diet includes fast foods or sugary treats, or if antibiotics have been taken. By taking probiotics, we’re replenishing the good bacteria that get destroyed over time. That good bacteria is responsible for killing the bad bacteria that invade our systems – preventing all the symptoms we want so desperately to avoid.

Which varieties are right for you? It’s really up to personal preference, current health, and dietary needs, but after trying several, I love the liquid – specifically Pro-Belly-Otics. I was researching the best options for myself and my three children when I came across www.RealFoodRealLife.tv. Not only does the site have wonderful information, they offer a full line of products that support health. Since I started taking their liquid probiotics I’ve noticed an improvement in my immune function, my digestion, and even my skin looks clearer. Even better news is – my 4-year-old asks for his probiotic every morning!

Here’s to good health!