New Year’s Resolutions or NOT!


As the New Year approaches each year, I struggle with New Year’s resolutions. I know, the New Year has already started; I am still coming to terms with all the resolution business. Normally, making a list of resolutions is just not my thing. In the past, I would dutifully write my list and TRY to keep them. According to statistics, most people don’t keep them past the first month is not the first week. That was me! So out went the resolutions. But I still always feel that tug I should make some kind of commitment for the year.

So this year I decided to do something different. My epiphany — it doesn’t have to be a list of ‘things’ that I want to accomplish for the entire year! A list that usually gets lost in the shuffle of papers after a few days. I need something that I can say to myself each day to remind myself of the things I want to do. If I have a beginning phrase, something that I could type up (hang up on my desk, mirror, and refrigerator etc. so I will see everyday) then I could add my own ending each day. For example, if the beginning statement was, “Go for…” I could add my own ending. Go for a walk. Go for lunch. Go for a massage. You get the idea?

Next I would need to come up with something that would stimulate a significant ending. “Go for” was not very stimulating or motivating. It had to be something that would get the creative juice flowing to try something new and step out of my comfort zone on a regular basis. Additionally this phrase needed to be the call to action for a daily reminder that there were things I wanted to accomplish each day.

I could try the Nike motto, “Just Do It”. But that’s been over done. What about, “Today is the day you will…..”? or “Make time”? or “….Make it so”? Then I found this little sign on the internet.

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DON’T MAKE A RESOLUTION MAKE YOURSELF

Perfect! My phrase would be….. “MAKE YOURSELF”

This will give me the push I need to make myself better AND make myself take action.

So, I am feeling pretty good about my newly discovered method of starting the year. What do prefer? Resolutions? To Do lists? Neither? Or maybe that perfect catch phrase!

I’ll keep you posted on how all this works out!

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Where Have You Been?!

children-541955__180Where Have You Been?!

Ok, I know, I haven’t posted anything since July, 2014! That’s huge! Actually pretty sad and so unprofessional, I know…BUT…I have a really good reason. As you can probably see by the topics of my posts, I am interested, okay obsessed with nutrition. Yes, you can roll your eyes, my family usually does at this point. With all the information out there about diets, nutrition, what’s healthy and what’s not, it all seemed so confusing and overwhelming to decipher. It felt like I needed to always dig deeper, a good thing, but also know more and get to the root of the information. The only way I knew to get everything I needed in one place was to go back to school (AGAIN). So I enrolled in the Nutritional Therapy Association’s program to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and get my certification in Nutritional Therapy.
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And there you have it, the reason I haven’t been posting. There were a few postings here and there but it was tough to keep up. I was studying, mid terms, final, (you get the idea). Best part, now I can bring you all the latest and best information about nutrition and health. It’s amazing how much I learned and how much more I still need to learn. But suffice it to say, I am back and ready to give you all the important information you need to get healthy. Plus, now I can actually feel confident that I can help others with health issues!

So stay tuned for more articles and information that will help you live a longer and healthier life!
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Beauty Tips For Healthy Summer Skin

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As the sun shines ever so brightly during the summer, we all want to get out and soak up some of those rays. But, the sun can be harsh on tender skin.

Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of the body? It happens to reside on the outside of the body, protecting other organs within. The skin allows oxygen and other nutrients to be absorbed while preventing harmful substances from entering. It also excretes waste products that are harmful to the body.

The skin also acts like a crystal ball. It mirrors the health of the inside of our bodies. When something is out of whack there, the skin will show the world and you.

So, how can you keep your skin looking great – especially during the summer months when you want to show it off? Here are a few beauty secrets anyone can utilize.

* Drink water – Water is important for the body. Many of our cells are composed of water. Without it, the body cannot function. Each day, we lose water through sweat, respiration and urination. It must be replenished. Remember, when you feel thirsty, you are already in the process of becoming dehydrated. Here is a tip to make sure you drink enough water each day. Divide your weight in half – that number in ounces is the amount of water you should drink each day. EX.- Body weight is 150 divided by 2 = 75. You should drink 75 oz of water a day.

* Remove dead skin cells – This is often done through exfoliation. Using a sugar scrub once a week can remove excess dead skin cells from the body and the face. Exfoliation also prevents pores from being clogged, resulting in pimples. You can also dry brush your skin with a good natural bristled brush.

* Make good food choices –  In the summer, everyone wants to go light. Choose raw salads foods that are not fried. Eat smaller meals more often instead of three heavier ones. Choose fresh fruit and veggies over refined sugars and foods. Eating a lot of unhealthy fat can lead to an acne problem with the skin.

* Wear a hat – When you are out in the sun, wearing a hat protects the sensitive skin of your face from not only the sun but also from wind damage.

* Wear sunscreen – Even if you are gardening, sunscreen is important. Without a layer of protection between you and the sun, the harmful UV rays are allowed to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and damage them. You can go out for some sun without sunscreen for about 15 minutes a day but make sure if you are out at the beach, lake or exposed to the sun for long periods you use a safe, non-chemical sunscreen.

* Moisturize – The heat can dry out your skin. After a long day outside, bathe and then moisturize your skin so that it can stay supple even while you sleep. Here is a list of chemical safe moisturizers.

Is your skin ready for the summer sun? In order to keep it looking good, protect it first.

 

Aches and Pain After A Workout

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Have you started to exercise or changed your exercise routine? If so, you may have noticed that you feel some discomfort the first few weeks into your routine. It is not uncommon to feel aches. But if you do, here are some ways to alleviate them.

Before we get to the normal aches and pains of a workout we need to make one point clear.  Have you heard the saying ‘No pain, no gain?’ That is not always the best advice. If you ever feel pain after a workout, something is wrong. Start by investigating the pain. It could be a cramp, strain or sprain. When an exercise movement causes pain, the first thing to do is to stop what you are doing.

Aches are another story and can be caused by muscle soreness. If you wake the next day and you are sore in the muscles that were used in your previous workout, the body is responding to being used in a new way. But, even so you don’t have to suffer through the aches.

Alleviating the Pain

Here are some ways that you can get past the pain. We will start by discussing the R.I.C.E. method.

* Rest: If you feel discomfort or pain in your muscles or joints during or when performing activities after your workout, give your body a rest. It could be that you are just new to the routines, but also overuse of a muscle can lead to a weakness. If you are weight training, leave at least 48 hours between each muscle group to allow for muscle repair. Poor form can also be a cause of strain.

* Ice: Using ice packs on an area of soreness or injury can provide short-term relief from pain. Try a fifteen-minute treatment. Then move your limb around and see how you feel.

* Compression: This also alleviates some pain and can reduce swelling that is putting pressure on vital tissues in the area. For a sprain or strain, try using a compression bandage like an ACE to keep fluid from accumulating in the area from inflammation. Keep the bandage snug but not too tight to cut off the blood supply to the area.

* Elevation: Another way to reduce or eliminate swelling is to elevate the hurt area. If it is a limb, use pillows or a stool. Try to raise the injury or ache above the level of the heart for best results.

Other than R.I.C.E. there are other ways to help aches and pains.

* Sit in a bath of warm water. This can help with swelling and also take the pressure off of the area from the buoyancy.

* Massage: Loosening the muscles can stretch out any kinks that are leading to pain. It may take a deep tissue massage which can be slightly uncomfortable at first.

* Stretch: Gentle stretching can keep muscles supple when exercising. A good warm stretch can avoid some injuries. Try a warm up and a cool down after every exercise session.

These are just a few ways to bounce back from the aches and pains of exercise.

What do you do to help alleviate soreness or aches after a workout?

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Inflammation afflicts millions of people each day and it’s a natural response to an infection or an injury.  Your body knows how to handle most inflammatory responses naturally.  Chronic inflammation, however, is your body’s response to a disease such as arthritis, diabetes or heart disease to name a few.  Many people will automatically reach for Aspirin or Tylenol for relief.  At times, your physician may prescribe a steroid or NSAID (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such a Naproxen.   But what do these anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, NSAIDS and steroids do to our bodies?

When there is an injury, inflammation is a normal response of our body. There is often pain and swelling associated with the injury. These normal inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses of our body are assisted by prostaglandins that are an end product of essential fatty acids; fats from our diet. Prostaglandins are either pro-inflammatory (PG2) or anti-inflammatory (PG1 & PG3). All three forms are necessary for maintaining our body’s homeostasis, as well as, repairing and healing our body.

Here’s an example: You are out running and you sprain your ankle.  You immediately feel and the pain and see your ankle swelling.  This is Prostaglandin 2 (PG2) at work. PG2 functions by converting an essential fatty acid called arachadonic acid, found in organ and red meats, dairy, shellfish, and coconut oil into PG2. Prostaglandin 2 begins the healing process at the site of the injury.

When aspirin, NSAIDS and steroids are prescribed for the pain and inflammation, these items will block the production of arachadonic acid and thereby stop the body from producing PG2. This can cause the healing process to stop or even delay the normal healing process. In addition, the continued use of aspirin, NSAIDS and steroids can cause other health issues such as stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, heart, and kidney problems.

Diet plays an important role in maintaining our body’s proper function. Many times people are eating the wrong types of food filled with sugar, processed and packaged foods and fats such a hydrogenated oils.   Changing your diet to include more Omega 3 fats such as those found in salmon and other seafoods, as well as, saturated fat from coconut oil and mono-saturated fatty acids such as olive, avocado, almond, and walnut oils.  If there is an issue with constant inflammation, beginning with a diet that balances the amount of essential fatty acids, the Omega fats, and eating whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds will begin to heal the body and put it back into homeostasis. This can eventually assist in reducing the inflammation and your overall health will benefit as well.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started;

1.  Eat more Omega 3 fatty acids by choosing grass fed and finished beef/lamb, pasture-raised eggs and poultry.

2.  Eat whole nutritional organic foods like fruits and veggies either raw or slightly steamed.

3.  Consume less than 25mg/day of sugar.  Sugar causes inflammation by raising blood sugar levels.  By eating less sugar you can eliminate inflammation

4.  Drink more water.  You should be drinking 60 or more ounces of water per day.  Figure out how much water you need by taking your weight and dividing it by two.  That is the number of ounces of water you should be drinking.  EX.  You weigh 150lbs divided by 2 = 75.  75 oz of water per day.  Coffee, tea and soda do not count toward your water intake.

5.  Spice up your foods.  Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, rosemary and organo are several herbs and spices that have been shown to reduce inflammation.

5. MOVE!  Get out and walk!

Let your body heal itself!

 

 

ALL NATURAL EGG DYES

Since I’m such a geek about chemicals and finding natural solutions, this was an exciting discovery. For those of you who remember the days of dying eggs with the PAAS kit, here’s a great alternative to those artificial egg dyes. Using spices from your own spice rack and other items you may have around your kitchen, you can now have dye free eggs. No more artificial ingredients and chemicals.

Add the ingredients to boiling water and let it simmer until you see the color you desire. Since this isn’t an exact science, you may need to add more ingredients to the water or add more water as needed. Let the dye cool. Strain the ingredients, if you need to, and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the dye. The longer you soak the eggs, the darker the color. Have fun!

Yellow/Gold: Boil 3 Tablespoons of cumin or turmeric
Yellow: Steep 2 to 3 green tea or chamomile tea bags in hot water.
Orange: Boil paprika
Red: Boil red onion skins or red beets
Lavender: Steep hibiscus tea bags in hot water.
Blue: Boil 4 cups of chopped red cabbage
Rusty Brown: Boil chili powder
Brown: Boil old coffee grounds or use old coffee as a dye
Light brown: Boil dill seeds or just buy some brown eggs!

There you have it! Experiment to see what colors you can mix together!

5 ways to change for better health

 

 

With spring in the air this is a good time for re-evaluating the things you are doing right, and the things you want to do better. Every year when you take stock of how things are going in your life, make sure to look at how you’re doing with your health. By making five small changes you can make a big difference in your overall health. These changes are not difficult to make—just take the first steps, and soon they will become a habit.

 

1. Drink more water. Now, don’t equate water with just any kind of fluid—coffee and soft drinks don’t count as water intake. (Sorry!) We’re actually talking about pure, filtered water. Your body needs at about 64 ounces a day. Most people think they probably get around that much, but here’s the way you find out for sure: Keep a tally. Just jot down every time you are drinking water, and how much you are consuming. You probably aren’t getting enough. Reach for water before that can of Coke. You’ll feel better and your body will thank you!

 

2. Limit caffeine. When you drink a lot of caffeine, your body can’t stay hydrated enough. Coffee is a diuretic that causes you to lose fluids in your body. Try to lower your intake of coffee over a few months to only one or two cups of coffee a day. And that’s a normal cup of coffee, not a gigantic one! You may want to try switching to tea. The amount of caffeine in a cup of tea is less than half what is in a cup of coffee.

 

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Eating more fruits and veggies is something that we think we are doing (like with our water intake), until we start making a note of what we are actually eating. Once you start recording and looking at what you eat, you will probably find that you could do a lot better. When you are intentional about getting enough servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, you won’t have the usual cravings for processed carbohydrates. Plus, eating what is fresh, on sale, and in season gives you a variety of foods and the nutrients your body needs. Go for the most colorful choices when selecting your fruits and vegetables. Eat a rainbow!

 

4. Incorporate more healthy fats. You can enjoy healthy fats, and there are several to choose from. Stay away from unhealthy fats like fried foods and greasy chips, and other trans fats. Cook your food in grass fed butter or coconut oil. You can enjoy almonds, walnuts, black and green olives, avocados, and even dark chocolate! These healthy foods will fill you up longer and keep you from craving sweets.

 

5. Eat less grains. You may want to consider completely removing processed and bleached grains from your diet. Sorry but that morning doughnut is probably making you tired by 10 am and achy for the rest of the day! Whole grains: oats and whole grain flours retain all the nutrients of the wheat berries. Soaked and sprouted grains are best but if you are short on time, buy bread that is whole grain with seeds. You may want to forego a sandwich for lunch every now and then. When you fill up on healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates you may not even miss the grains.

 

As you move toward healthier changes, take notice of how your body feels. Just by making a few small changes, you can be improve your health and start to feel the difference!