October 21, 2017
Getting Healthy (Starting Over)
March 09, 2015 10:03AM


At different points in our lives, it seems that circumstances take over and life spins out of control.

This can happen through the loss of a job, illness or death. Each instance is fraught with its own challenges, one of the most prominent being sleep.

After losing a job, it's normal to worry - how are you going to pay the bills, keep a roof over your head or afford to eat. With illness there can be aches, pains, extraordinary symptoms and worry. And, following a death, your senses, memories and emotions are ignited, leaving your entire body feeling raw and exposed. Each of these instances can keep you from experiencing restful, restorative sleep.

Sleep deprivation can cause irritability, lapses/losses in memory, impaired judgment, attention deficit, depression, aching muscles, headaches, increased blood pressure and hallucinations. Lack of sleep can also increase your risk for obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.

When sleep seems elusive, there are several holistic options that can help you. Exercise, Teas and Massage can aid in relaxing the body and mind to usher you into dreamland.

Once you get a good night's sleep, those circumstances that were spinning out of control, look differently, giving you space to breathe and think more clearly. When that happens, you are able to conquer anything and get back on track.

Uninterrupted sleep allows the body to repair and build muscle, consolidate memory, release hormones that regulate body functions, lower blood pressure and boost the immune system. All of which set the stage for a healthier, happier YOU!
Getting Healthy (Part 4 - Fiber)
May 01, 2012 12:05PM


We’ve all heard it… Eat more fiber. But, why is it so important?

Here’s the skinny…

A diet that includes high fiber components helps:

(1) You feel full, so you eat less
(2) To normalize your bowel function
(3) To slow sugar and fat absorption
(4) To lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol
(5) Reduces the risk of developing heart disease or diabetes

It’s all great stuff, right? So, how much fiber do you need in a day? According to the Mayo Clinic, Women should have 21-25 grams of fiber daily, and Men should have 30-38 grams of fiber daily.

That doesn’t sound too difficult, so I rush out to the grocery and start reading labels, and what do I find? Most of the packaged foods out there contain 1 gram of dietary fiber or less per serving, now that’s a bummer; because, I certainly can’t eat more than one serving without going over my fat and calorie allotments. Then, I look at foods known for their high fiber content, and I find that there are 2 kinds of fiber – soluble and insoluble.

I just figured out that fiber is good and now there are 2 types. So, what’s the difference? By their names you can tell that one dissolves while the other does not, but which is better? What’s more important? And, why don’t all food labels include a listing for both soluble and insoluble fiber?

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber is dissolvable and forms a gel like substance which slows the absorption of sugars and fats. But, how does it work?

Think of a Jell-O mold with fruit suspended within it. The soluble fiber gel travels slowly through the digestive system trapping nutrients within, like the Jell-O mold. The gel protects the nutrients from digestive enzymes which in turn allows for slower absorption.

The slower absorption keeps the blood sugar level more even, reducing the occurrence of extreme spikes (highs or lows). Without the spikes in blood sugar the body is able to maintain sensitivity to the presence of insulin and puts less strain on the pancreas.

But, wait… there’s more… The gel traps bile and bile traps fats. Once the fats are trapped they are able to pass through the digestive tract rather than being absorbed and finding homes in your arterial pathways.

Soluble fiber also makes stool softer and easier to pass, meaning less constipation and fewer hemorrhoids.

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber provides bulk and speed up the passage of food and waste through your digestive system, and since it is not dissolvable in water they pass through relatively unchanged.


With proper hydration, fiber helps keep you feeling full, maintains an even blood sugar level, reduces the absorption of fat and keeps everything moving along. Whereby reducing your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.


For more information, check out:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fiber/NU00033

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fiber-foods/NU00582

http://www.konjacfoods.com/fiber.htm
Self Care for the Cold and Flu Season
February 11, 2012 8:02PM


It happens to the best of us. One morning you wake up, your head feels like a thousand pounds, you’re unable to keep your eyes open, you may even feel as though you have been hit by truck. There’s no stopping this freight train, you are one of the fortunate who have come down with a cold or the flu.

You may be thinking to yourself that fortunate is not the correct word to use there, but it is most certainly good fortune. While you may be uncomfortable for a time, feeling as though you are suffering through the symptoms, your body is busy, doing exactly what it was designed for, taking care of itself.

The human body is an amazing machine – the blood pathways (arteries and veins) are like a super highway for antibodies (a type of white blood cell). These antibodies are your personal recon specialists targeting antigens (bacteria, virus and other organisms causing illness). The antibodies move through the blood stream and capture the antigens to keep them from interacting with other cells in the body. Once captured, the antigens may be eaten or destroyed by warrior cells (phagocytic or T-cells, other types of white blood cells). Through the aid of the antigens, the body is able to learn, adapt and grow its personal arsenal, as a means to protect and heal during future invasions.

So, being sick is a good thing, but what about the annoying symptoms, those that linger for days/weeks… It seems that the oldest remedies are as effective as OTC medications (over-the-counter), without the nasty side effects, e.g. bleeding of mucus membranes, elevated blood pressure, and liver damage to name a few.


Stuffy Nose/Sinus Pressure/Headache

Try a saline rinse, canned saline or a Neti pot can be found at any drugstore. Both hydrate the sinus cavities to loosen mucus, allowing for a more productive evacuation, apart from that it is a matter of personal preference.

When choosing a canned saline (like Simply Saline), look for one that only contains saline, many also contain a drying agent, which can dry and crack the membranes causing bleeding. Canned saline is usually a better choice for those with a deviated septum.

When choosing the Neti pot, it is VERY IMPORTANT to mix your saline packets with distilled water (16 packets for each gallon) and to clean your Neti pot regularly. Additionally, if you find that the saline seems to go down your throat, tip your head down a little further and breathe through your mouth. If you are severally congested, you may receive better results making quick rotations between nostrils and blowing in between. Do NOT close one nostril when blowing, as this may cause an excess of pressure that could perforate the ear drum.


Sore Throat/Coughing/Congestion

Since cold/flu virus thrive in dry environments, try a cool mist humidifier. If you can’t afford one, simmer a large pot of water on the stove - adding a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the water can also aid in opening the sinus.

A long hot shower is also helpful in loosening congestion, since the warm moisture thins mucus.

Saline is not only good for the sinuses but can calm a sore and scratchy throat as well. Mix ¼ to ½ a teaspoon of salt into 8oz. of warm water and gargle for temporary relief.

It’s important to remain hydrated – water, juice, herbal tea with honey and lemon, clear broths. Avoid drinks that dehydrate – coffee, caffeinated teas/sodas and alcohol.

Vitamin C and Zinc can help boost the immune system. Try Emergen-C vitamin drink packets, particularly the Immune Defense, Ruby Lemon flavored.


Simple Plan to Thrive in the Cold/Flu Season

Rest, Drink Plenty of Fluids and for those annoying symptoms, try one of the drug free options above.
Getting Healthy (Part 3 - Breathing)
November 10, 2011 1:11PM


Have you ever had a truly stressful day, and at the end of it, find yourself taking a deep breath and exhaling into a heavy sigh? It’s a natural reaction, that sigh is cleansing you of toxicity.

Wouldn’t it be great to experience the relief you get from a cleansing breath all day long?

Believe me when I say this, breathing is not as easy as it sounds. Breathing properly, like everything else, takes practice.

So, what do I mean by ‘properly’? Breathing properly fully extends the abdomen at the diaphragm which allows for greater oxygenation of the blood, while relieving the body from tension. It is the greatest weapon to have in your arsenal.

Practicing can be done anywhere. Wherever you are, close your eyes, take a slow, deep breath in through your nostrils, feel the air fill your head, moving into your lungs, push your stomach out to fully extend the diaphragm allowing the lungs to completely fill, then exhale just as slowly. Repeat for 10 breaths.

If you find that various thoughts plague your progress, acknowledge the thoughts, then tell yourself that you will deal with them momentarily, and return to your breathing.

After the very first breath, you may notice that you feel lighter, less troubled, your mind quieter. With continued practice, you will find that you are less reactive to troubling and stressful situations - less tense and more at ease.

As with everything else, this practice requires a little time, but as I said it can be done anywhere… your morning shower, at a traffic light, waiting in queue at the grocery, before you exit the car to go inside the house. Wherever you choose, it won’t be a bad decision.

Go ahead, take a moment, BREATHE!
Getting Healthy (Part 2 - Exercise)
October 24, 2011 11:10AM


Exercise

I’m hearing it now… ‘I don’t have the time to accomplish the things that I want to do already, how am I going to have time to exercise too? I’m already exhausted.’

It’s no different than changing your diet. Know your habits. Then make one small change, and practice it. Start with 5 minutes… Give YOURSELF 5 minutes. You’re definitely worth 5 minutes. Then build from there.

You don’t have to make drastic changes, like booking time with a trainer or signing up for a long contract at gym to begin to get healthy. All you have to do, is show yourself the same care and attention that you would anyone/thing else.

Park your car farther away from your office or the grocery store front door.

Walk your dog around the block, rather than opening the back door for them.

Take the stairs, in lieu of the elevator or escalator.

Walk a handwritten message to your coworker instead of sending an email.

While watching television, get down on the floor and do some stretching or simple exercises like crunches, push-ups or leg lifts.

Each small addition of exercise adds up – exercise is energizing. Eventually, you will want to give yourself more time.

You may sign up for a class – dancing, yoga, pilates, cycling, kickboxing or zumba. Whatever it is, make it something fun, something that you enjoy; because, if you enjoy it, then you will look forward to attending, and it won’t feel like a chore.

Before you know it, you will find that you enjoy life more. You will have a more positive outlook, and good things will find their way to you.