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Frightening Statistics About the American Diet:

Statistic:

  • Processed foods make up close 70% of the American diet.

This is pretty tough to argue since the numbers are so glaring.  We must face the fact that we in the US are in the habit of eating processed foods.  This has been a sad fact since the 1920’s and it has only gotten worse over the years. If you are not alarmed by this…I wonder what it will take to alarm you!

Statistic:

  • 10% of all disposable income is spent on fast food.

This statistic should be disturbing enough, but if not…1 in 4 Americans indulge in fast food every day!

Ponder on these 2 statistics for a while.  Ponder what single change you could make today that would bring you to a healthier place.  It doesn’t have to be big or exciting, just one thing that will start the process of movement toward better nutrition and therefore better health!

9-25-18

 

Weight Management can be Key to Cardiovascular Health

http://www.onlinejacc.org/content/70/12/1429    

This is a nice summary of a study that was recently published by The Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

7-6-18

 

Urination…Part of the Detox Process

Did you know that urination can be part of the detoxification process of your body?  Human urine can range from acidic (4.6 ph) to alkaline (8.0 ph) and the ph effects how many toxins you are able to eliminate. Urine alkalization for example increases the ability to eliminate herbicides.  Also in a medical setting, under care, if there has been an overdose of toxins bringing the ph of the urine to at least 7.5 will help the elimination of the toxins.  Clinical studies have found that fruits and vegetables increase urine ph, as do plant based dietary supplements, so keep that in mind when making your food choices. An adequate intake of water helps to maintain healthy kidney function which also promotes the excretion of toxins.

6-21-18

Toxin Exposure and the Metabolic Removal

This is a wonderful article on toxins and the effects on your body. It explains how we are being bombarded with toxins and how our body’s try to detox from them.

https://www.wholisticmatters.com/Articles/2018/Toxin-Exposure-and-the-Metabolic-Removal

5-16-18

What Makes an “Energy Drink” an Energy Drink?

Did you know that “Energy Drinks” are in a different category than regular carbonated soft drinks? Can you believe they are actually considered supplements because they contain caffeine from “natural sources” like taurine and guarana? They also contain a lot of sugar, but I suppose they see that as a natural ingredient as well?

The amount of caffeine allowed in our carbonated soft drinks has been limited to 71 milligrams per 12 ounces.  The Food and Drug administration has been doing this since the 1980’s.  However, food and beverages like coffee and tea which have naturally occurring caffeine have no limit on the amount of caffeine they can contain.

You can understand now why the “Energy Drinks” are considered to be different.  They are not required to list how much caffeine is in their products either. Typically energy drinks contain more, and sometimes much more, caffeine than other carbonated beverages.  Let’s look at Pepsi for example.  One 12 ounce can of Pepsi contains about 38-39 milligrams of caffeine.  One 16 ounce can of Rock Star has 160 milligrams of caffeine.  I did some research on this and found that “Energy Drinks” range from about 80 milligrams of caffeine to 300 milligrams.  But if you are unaware and think caffeine can’t hurt you, you can get some coffee drinks that go as high as 800 to 1000 mg of caffeine.  Not that this is healthy, but many people drink 4 cups of coffee a day, but remember that is throughout the day, not in one serving and that is regular coffee!

Many people believe that their “energy” comes from the caffeine.  Actually, the energizing feeling also comes from the sugar. The combining of the sugar and caffeine can really make your body respond!

Sugar whether it is listed as glucose, sucrose or sugar gives those drinks their sweet taste and also makes your brain respond.  In the short term you feel alert and possibly able to focus, have a happy feeling and feel you have better physical performance.  But that is not so in the long term.  It just becomes a vicious cycle.

If you want real energy, eat real food (food from the earth), get enough sleep every night, decrease your stress and make sure your hormones are well balanced.

4-25-18

 

A Simple Act of Kindness

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which can turn a life around.

Leo Buscaglia

4-11-18

 

You Have to be a Caterpillar 

Why is it that people are not awed by caterpillars?  They are tremendously under-rated!  You don’t often see them on cards, shirts, tattooed on people’s body parts or made into jewelry.  What is it that puts them in the shadow? Well, the butterfly of course!  Butterflies are seen everywhere!  Not only do you see them on cards, shirts, tattoos and jewelry, but also in pictures, logos, fabric, books, magazines, and magnets.  They are seen on almost anything imaginable.  People love butterflies especially this time of year, because of their obvious connection to transformation which truly is awesomely amazing.

But, what does that say for us?  Doesn’t it say that we only want to focus on the end result, not the work it took to get there? Doesn’t it say that we would prefer to look at the possibility rather than what we need to accomplish to get where we would like to be or where we are meant to be?

The caterpillar is a creature that inherently knows it is not finished yet.  That there is more to it’s being than meets the eye.  A caterpillar must live in faith in order go into the chrysalis and I can only imagine the caterpillar has no idea what is in store for it.

Have you ever heard of a caterpillar refusing to go into the chrysalis state?  I haven’t.  They enter without question, fearlessly and never look back. They follow their life purpose and do it without the slightest misgiving. There is no rebellion, no fear, no second guessing, no temper tantrum or other show of refusal to follow the path they were meant to follow. It must inherently know it is bound for greatness, but even if it doesn’t know, it surrenders to the transformation without question.

So what can we learn from the caterpillar?  Can we learn to approach our own transformation in the same way? Can we find the strength, fortitude and determination to walk to path of the unknown? When our lives get difficult, can we take that giant leap of faith into the abyss without hesitation and negativity dragging us down?  Can we remember that we too are born to be magnificent?  Each one of us is a caterpillar.  Each of us enters those times in our lives where we must surrender in order to transform into the beauty and wonder of who we are and what we were meant to become. Each of us has to be a caterpillar before being a butterfly!

3-29-18

 

What is Mindfulness About?

According to https://www.mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness/ mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

When you practice mindfulness there are many things to be gained from it.  Among them is better focus, improved stress management, enhanced communication, increased empathy, and you are better able to regulate your emotions. So how do we practice mindfulness?

There are a number of things we can do to be more mindful:

  • Meditate – This does not have to be a long drawn out practice. It can be as short as a one minute meditation on a break at work.
  • Yoga – This is an ancient spiritual practice that incorporates body positions, breath control and meditation.
  • Tai Chi – Another ancient practice that may be easier for those who are no longer as flexible as they used to be. It is from the Chinese tradition that is known more for it’s peaceful properties than its martial art defense techniques.
  • Qi Gong – Again out of the Chinese tradition is this system of gentle exercise that promotes healing through body postures, controlled breathing and meditation.
  • Pilates – This system is a more modern version and utilizes controlled movements and breathing. It strengthens the core and improves the participant’s flexibility.
  • Breath Work: This technique utilizes the breath to induce relaxation.
  • The Mindful Life Stress Reduction Session – These sessions are given to you. That alone makes them different from all the others. The sessions activates your body’s own Qi or energy system through a gentle touch technique and also taps into the power of your own breath to take you into a meditative state of higher consciousness faster and helps you to move forward more quickly in your life.

No matter which practice you decide to utilize, there is something to be gained.  Studies have been done to verify the benefits of these practices.  Some of those studies were done right here in Madison, WI at the university. These practices can lower heart rate; improve circulation, decrease anxiety and increase feelings of wellbeing. Take the time to investigate all these mindful practices and then consider adding one or more into your life.

3-5-18

 

Seasonal Stresses and Building Your Body’s Defenses

Depending on weather factors and regional climate, seasonal stresses that occur in spring can rises as early as February. Mild temperatures are an example of this and can lead to early production of pollen from the plant kingdom.

Seasonal stresses can make your life challenging at best and at worse, make you feel miserable! So what are seasonal stressors? They are things that we breathe, touch or eat, but usually are substances floating around in the air, such as, dander, pollen and dust.  Specialized cells in the immune system naturally release histamine when coming into contact with these stressors.

When histamines kick in other systems are affected as well. It affects the respiratory system, the immune system, as well as organs like the liver and adrenals. In the respiratory system, histamines cause constriction in the bronchial tubes.  I don’t have to tell you that that would affect normal breathing.  The immune system gets stressed and doesn’t function at its best.  In the liver, histamines reduce its ability to remove toxins and the adrenals are just taxed because they have to send out cortisol to regulate the histamine levels.

Histamines may cause the body response that we feel and see, but they are not the root cause of the body’s response. The body must have a strong defense system in order to keep the histamine response at normal levels. The bottom line is that when you have seasonal stressors it is a sign to you to strengthen your defense system.

2-21-18

 

Interesting Article…Maybe History is Repeating Itself

Here is a very interesting article that anyone facilitating or utilizing alternative wellness techniques should read.  Many years ago Homeopathic schools were forced to shut down and remedies went underground.  How sad that this may again be a step toward losing the ability for people to use alternatives. Talk about history repeating itself! There comes a time when people must rise up.  Each person can make a difference! Decide for yourself!

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/01/30/homeopathic-products-now-illegal.aspx?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=facebookmercola_nonlead2&utm_campaign=20180130_homeopathic-products-now-illegal

1-31-18

 

The Importance of Vitamin D

Winter is in full swing and here in Wisconsin and we have been in the deep freeze for the last couple of weeks. We have all been bundling up to stay warm. In cold weather unfortunately, our bodies are not able to create vitamin D like those who live in warmer climates because it is the energy from the sun on bare skin that enables us to produce vitamin D. This vitamin helps keep bones healthy by increasing intestinal absorption of calcium. Calcium is a mineral that is essential for bone growth. It may also help stop bones from becoming, brittle and malformed. Researchers are now discovering that the health of the prostate, heart, blood vessels, muscles and endocrine glands may be due in part to vitamin D.

Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with ailments such as asthma in children, cognitive impairment in seniors and cardiovascular issues. Low levels of vitamin D do not cause disease, however, it does affect the cellular process which can result in body systems not functioning to their highest capacity.

For those of us who live in areas of the country where winter comes every year, maintaining adequate vitamin D from food sources is not easy. There are few foods that that contain vitamin D. Fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel are among the few, along with cod liver oil with lesser amounts found in beef liver, egg whites and cheese. In the winter you may want to consider utilizing a combination of foods, supplements and sun exposure to reach sufficient levels of vitamin D there by keeping your bones and body functioning well!

1-9-18

 

Healthy Blood Sugar

Well the holidays are over and if you are like the majority of American’s, you probably over indulged in sweets during the yuletide. All those yummy delectable treats have a significant impact on your blood sugar. You may not realize it, but simple carbohydrates which are quick and easy for our body’s to use as energy often lead to a faster rise in in blood sugar and insulin secretion from our pancreas. This can create quick energy, but it can also cause sleep disturbances and the dreaded sugar cravings! These cravings of course make it much more difficult to stick to a healthy diet and weight.

Eating the right types of foods is an important part of maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. Protein intake is a very important part of maintaining that blood sugar level. If yours spikes up then drops way down, protein can help regulate that. Choosing to eat protein 5-6 times a day can really help level off those spikes and dips primarily because proteins are digested more slowly, but still provide the energy your body wants as fuel. Other foods such as high fiber grains also result in a more gradual rise in blood sugar because they are absorbed more slowly. Even some fruits like apples which have natural sugars take longer to digest than refined sugars, so would be a far better choice. Probably part of the reason people used to eat things like fruitcake, and dried fruit soup as their sweets around the holidays.

Now we may never go back to some of those old traditions, but bear in mind the impact those things had on blood sugar. Let’s make 2018 a year of healthy choices without eliminating all the fun!

1-3-18

 

Holiday Wish:

Like the beloved Christmas tree, may we be hardy enough to withstand all the seasons in life, stay pointed toward the heavens and keep our arms open to all who need love and shelter. May we all see ourselves in beauty, as we were meant to be seen. May we be the bringers of the light into a world that has forgotten how brightly we could shine if we put all our lights together and may we always remember that we must stay plugged into the source!

12-20-17

 

Love Doesn’t Have a Size or Weight Limit

I read a statement by Lexi Reed and I must say I couldn’t agree with her more!  ” He never saw me as my size, asked me to change, or made me feel as anything other than beautiful. He treated me the same way at 485lbs that he does at 182lbs. Love doesn’t have a size or weight limit. He saw the person I was on the inside and supported me while I made that person on the side match my outside. Surround yourself with those who lift you higher and see the greatness in you even when you dont see it yourself!” If you feel ready to take that first step, let us support you in your vision of who you are!

12-11-17

 

Metabolism and Weight Loss:

This is an interesting article written about metabolism.  Check it out and see what you think.

https://www.everydayhealth.com/weight/fewer-calories-stalls-metabolism.aspx

12-10-17

 

Abundance and Perception:

Abundance can be a huge concern at this time of the year. Let’s consider our perception and what that might mean in our lives in relation to abundance. When our bank account is down to a low level, if you are like me, you begin to get anxious about abundance. This can lead to thoughts of being broke or I don’t have enough, etc. Those types of thoughts create more of the same.  Try changing up your thinking by saying something like this: “I have everything I need in this day.  I have shelter, I have food on my table, clothes to wear and my family is healthy. I am strong and I am just fine!  I am grateful for all that I have. These types of thoughts will decrease your fear around lack and will bring you closer to abundance. It is a similar concept to looking at a glass as half empty or half full.  It is only perception.

11-29-17

 

Recipe For Fermented Food/Drink:

Fermented foods have so many positive effects on our health, not the least of which is helping to restore normal gut flora. Now you can replace gut flora in other ways, but it usually costs more money to purchase probiotics, or to purchase fermented food or drinks.  Here is a simple recipe that is delicious and utilizes the part of the pineapple most people throw away!

Recipe: Tepache (A Fermented Pineapple Drink)

1 6 pint glass jar

1 Pineapple rind

Filtered water to cover rind

1 Cinnamon stick

½ cup maple syrup

Combine ingredients in the glass jar (I use a sun-tea style glass jar). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature to ferment and get fizzy (usually several days). Place in smaller containers with lids and place in refrigerator. They can stay in refrigerator for a few weeks. Drink and enjoy!

10-30-17

 

What a Gift!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our October Community event last evening! We went over the last 4 Gifts of the Spirit and took a look at a higher view of the way they have been made manifest in each of our lives.  It was fun and yet quite profound at the same time.  There was also a plethora of good food to be shared by all!!  Lots of autumn abundance for us to enjoy!

For those of you who missed last night’s event, I would encourage you to consider how you might gain from being with like-minded people. I don’t think that this gift is valued enough today!  A very wise young lady recently told me that she believes you can grow exponentially by engaging with like-minded individuals. That is what I call a real gift!!!!

10-23-17

 

October’s Focus: Digestion – What You Can Do? Part 2

How many of you often have gas or indigestion shortly after eating? Are you one of the many people who experience stomach “bloating” or occasional loose stools? Then you may benefit from digestive and GI support that includes a healthy diet as well as nutritional and herbal supplements. You can also benefit from committing to a healthier lifestyle.*

Plan to Eat Well

  • Advanced meal planning can ensure that you eat a balanced, nutrient-rich diet.
  • Perhaps you could try a supplement shake made with whole food ingredients.
  • Consider looking up healthier recipes.

Sleep is Essential

  • The health of our digestion, as well as, the types of food we choose to eat in the evening are often factors that are overlooked but extremely important in the quality and depth of our sleep. While we may know better than to consume stimulants like coffee or caffeinated tea; there are other more subtle foods that can affect our sleep as well, such as garlic, certain spices, overly fatty foods and chocolate, among others.
  • Skip the midnight snack because digestion requires a great deal of energy. If your body is still working hard to digest your food and bedtime rolls around, sleep is often compromised. Try to avoid heavy foods in the evening. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself at least 2 hours between eating and lying down.
  • Go to bed 10 or 15 minutes earlier every week until you are getting about 7 hours of sleep a night. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults ages 18-60 sleep at least seven hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being.
  • Stress can play a significant role in a good night sleep, as well as, poor digestive and GI health. Try doing something relaxing before bed, such as drinking some variety of calming/ bedtime tea, or take a relaxing bath. Maybe reading is relaxing to you, if so, you could read a few pages before shutting the lights off.

Exercising

  • As you know when you exercise blood flow improves throughout the body. Even though we usually think of blood flow in terms of our body’s cardiovascular system, blood flow also improves throughout your digestive system as well. When you keep your body moving with regular exercise, you keep your digestive tract moving too. A consistent exercise routine may help you avoid a sluggish digestive system and could also help you avoid constipation in addition to any accompanying gas, bloating and cramps.

Support Healthy Digestion with Supplements

  • A well-functioning digestive and gastrointestinal (GI) tract is important to overall health and well-being.
  • Schedule an appointment with your health care professional.
  • Support your healthy digestion with recommended nutritional and herbal supplements.

10-20-17

October’s Focus: Digestion – What You Can Do? Part 1

Did you know that the day you were born and what transpired in your birth affected your gut flora? One of the first big factors is whether or not you were delivered in the usual manner or if your mother had a cesarean section. If your mother had to have a C-section then chances are you did not receive the gut flora you were meant to receive via the natural birthing process. Yes, as messy as that is, it is one of the biggest ways our mothers give us the friendly bacteria that reside in our gut (thank your mother if you have healthy digestion). Over the years there are many factors that affect the composition of our gut flora and digestion as well, such as diet, age, antibiotics (including the ones given to you or your mother at birth), and some anti-inflammatory drugs.

Because a well-functioning digestive and gastrointestinal (GI) tract is important to overall health and well-being here a few tips on Healthy Life Style Changes. Starting these changes now could have you feeling better faster:

Stay Positive

  • Write down your goals and things you are grateful for. Remember that this effort is important for you and your gut health.
  • Positive thinking, happiness and laughing creates 50% more antibodies within you. Your gut is your first line of defense in your immune system. It is much more important than people realize!

Stay Hydrated

  • Drink plenty of water to help your body flush waste and improve your overall digestive health.
  • A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink at least 80 ounces of water per day.

We will talk more about the Gut and Digestion next time…

10-9-17

Take a look at this powerful video!  If this woman can transform, so can you!  Sometimes we all need a little help to move forward.  Take that first step. We can help!

9-27-17

 

 

Training with Standard Process:

Stacey and I had the incredible experience of doing some training with Standard Process last week. The training was held at The Abby on beautiful Lake Geneva.

It was amazing! We toured the farm on which they grow 80% of the plants used in their products. I have never seen such an immaculate farm with rich soil and lush vegetation.

We toured the plant as well and it was fascinating the way they go from plant to product and then ship to the customer.

There were also speakers of course helping us to gain a greater understanding of what makes Standard Process so special (which becomes very obvious when you see it)! Their knowledge of nutrition as well as their product is second to none. And the number of people that have been helped with all kinds of health issues would boggle the mind! I am so grateful that Stacey and I will be offering products of this quality to our clients.

Standard Process believes that health begins with good nutrition. They say “Eat it or Take it” meaning get your nutrition from your food or take it in a whole food source supplement. That is not just a philosophy that they talk about. It is something they believe so strongly that they served us outstanding food while we were there as well. Check out this meal!

Beauty, bounty, blessings are a few words to describe our training with Standard Process!

9-18-17

 

 

Can We Boost Our Brain Function? Part 2:

Once again I am talking about boosting brain function with nutrition. So here are 3 more suggestions for stopping that dreaded brain fog.

  1. Fats, like many things in life, can be good or bad. Fats have been villainized for decades, but the science is clear: certain fats are definitely good for you. You’ve likely heard about Omega-3 fatty acids being good for you. They are found in salmon and other fatty fish, nuts, and seeds. Omegas 3’s are essential for healthy brain function; they make up a total of 8% of our brain’s volume. One landmark study found, “Omega-3s have been shown to possess antidepressant and neuroprotective properties. [We] found that aging humans who consumed more omega-3s had increased gray matter brain volume and that most new tissue development was observed in the part of the brain associated with happiness.” Saturated fats can have immense health benefits, if you consume the right kind. Coconut oil, for example, is perfect for high-heat cooking, gives quick energy, has actually been shown to help people lose weight, and carries the added anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal benefits of lauric acid. The only fats should be avoided in a normal, healthy diet are trans fats and highly-processed oils/butters.
  2. Consider that you may have food sensitivities. Figuring out food sensitivities is not always easy primarily because your body does not generally immediately react; however, if you have an anaphylactic or immediate potentially life threatening reaction of course you would have to seek medical help right away. Most of the time, however, it takes quite a while for your body to react. It can take an hour or sometimes even days to react. That is what makes it so difficult to figure out. By the time the reaction occurs, you aren’t even considering what you ate that long ago. Many people react to things like grain, soy, dairy, peanuts, corn and sugar. The reactions range from brain fog to headaches, decreased energy and joint pain to name a few. I speak from experience when I say if you cut these things out of your diet you feel a whole lot better!!!!
  3. Look for foods that naturally contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Our bodies don’t really know how to efficiently process vitamins and minerals, etc. that have been added back into something after all the nutritional properties have been essentially stripped from it. Let me give you an example. Spinach contains iron naturally. If functioning properly your body can easily assimilate the iron from the spinach so that the brain can utilize it for cognition and clarity. Your body also uses the antioxidants in the spinach to fight toxins, free-radicals, and aging effects. The antioxidants may also help to improve memory and balance mood.

Here’s a short list of brain superfoods, along with what makes them so great:

Dark leafy greens (fiber, iron, antioxidants, minerals)

Blueberries (antioxidants, low glycemic index, vitamins)

Avocado (vitamin E, antioxidants, beneficial fats)

Nuts (antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamin E, fiber)

Raw cacao (flavinols, antioxidants, fiber, serotonin boost)

Salmon, wild-caught (beneficial fats, iron, anti-inflammatory)

Tomatoes (lycopene and other antioxidants, vitamins)

Garlic (antioxidants, anti-bacterial properties, lowers cholesterol)

Oatmeal (fiber, iron, vitamins)

Beans (regulate blood sugar, fiber, minerals, and protein)

Seeds (protein, beneficial fat, antioxidants, magnesium)

Freshly brewed green tea, 1-2 cups/day (catechin antioxidants, minimal caffeine)

As a nutritional consultant, I applaud you for all the ways you’re looking to keep your brain happy, healthy, and strong. So, eat up, buttercup! Your body and your brain will be grateful for it.

9-14-17

 

Can We Boost Our Brain Function? Part 1:

How many times have you wondered if there was something you could do to increase your brain power? I know I have thought about that before. As a nutritional Consultant I am always looking for nutritional habits that can keep your brain strong!

Yes, there are many reasons to feel like you are having an “off” day. Stress, lack of sleep, and hormone imbalances are some of the things that can cause this feeling. One of the biggest offenders, however, is something that most people don’t think to look at first…what you are eating and/or drinking many times can be the reason for brain fog.

So how can you improve your nutritional habits in order to keep your brain functioning optimally? Here are 2 of 5 tips (the rest will be given next time):

  1. Carbohydrate consumption at the start of the day is something that your body and brain both enjoy! The building blocks of your energy are your carbohydrates. Some would have us believe, our body doesn’t need these to function. But, the brain in particular needs complex, and nutrient dense carbohydrates along with protein and good fats. Examples of complex carbohydrates are oatmeal, whole grain bread, sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc. Nutrient dense carbs are fruits and vegetables. This type of breakfast can fuel your body and brain for hours.
  2. Sugar is a huge culprit for lowering brain function. It goes by many names, so don’t just look for sugar. The label may read — glucose, sucrose, HFCF, maltodextrin, syrups, alcohol, fructose, to name a few. Decreasing your sugar intake is generally a healthy thing to do, but did you know that it is easier said than done for a reason? Sugar is more addictive than cocaine, eight times more addictive to be exact. It can also cause high insulin levels and inflammation. It can decrease memory, your ability to learn and is linked to depression. Just the thought of the damage it can cause is depressing enough.

Stay tuned and next time I will give you 3 more ways you can nutritionally improve your brain function!

9-6-17

 

Focus on Men’s Health: Part 3

This week I will wrap up our focus on men’s health. We have been targeting specific areas of health then suggesting specific nutrients for men’s diets.  This week we are going to call out the heart and the brain.

Let’s begin with supporting brain health. Guys, let’s face it, if you begin losing your brain capabilities, it could make you feel old and scared!  Eating foods that help maintain healthy brain cells, as well as, decreasing inflammation that can be damaging should make you feel better about the aging process. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to brain health and may improve memory.  Fatty fish like salmon, sardines and tuna of course are loaded with Omega 3’s.  But there are other sources as well.  Walnuts are a great choice and they are even shaped like a brain to remind us that they help us in that regard.  Blueberries, whole grains and avocados are also good choices.

Supporting heart health is also important in the aging process. According to the American Heart Association, a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, moderate amounts of low fat dairy products and fish are good for your heart. Fat has been framed as the enemy of the cardiovascular system for decades. The reality is that certain fats are definitely our friends, while others are not. Monounsaturated fats like olive oil for example are considered healthier than saturated fats and trans- fats. Although even some saturated fats can be good for you.  Coconut oil is an example of a saturated fat that has many health benefits.  It carries anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties of lauric acid. The fats you really need to avoid in a normal, healthy diet are trans- fats and highly-processed oils/butters. Watch your labels.  Food manufactures are beginning to change labeling because the public no longer wants to consume products with trans-fat.  The words “interesterified”, “shortening”, and “margarine” and “hydrogenated oil” are all alternative names for the dreaded trans-fat.

I hope this has eased the mind of some of you men who are concerned about aging. You see there are preventative measures that can be taken to keep you strong, vital and independent!

8-21-17

 

Focus on Men’s Health: Part 2

Last time we talked about men’s fears in aging which include physical weakness, loss of vitality ad dependence on others. Well, attention all men! There are certain foods that you can consume that have more nutrients that target your specific areas that could use support. When you add these foods to your nutritional plan it will strengthen you and help to fight off those feelings of growing old.

Let’s begin with how to maintain your muscle. According to The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) Nutrition Working Group, Vitamin D and proteins are 2 very important nutrients in maintaining muscle mass. Eggs naturally provide both protein and vitamin D, but that is not all!  They also contain vitamins A, B2, B12 and selenium.  Other great sources of protein besides red meat include poultry, seafood beans and pork. Note: Turkey, even though most people think of eating it only at Thanksgiving, has virtually the same amount of fat in the dark meat as in the white meat which makes it an excellent choice. Turkey white meat has about 6 percent fat and it’s dark meat has about 7 percent.  Chicken on the other hand has 14% fat in it’s dark meat and 6 percent in it’s white meat.

Now let’s change the subject to men’s energy and vitality. As men age there could be some changes in their hormones just like women. Their testosterone levels may stay consistent or may slowly decrease.  The decline in this hormone may cause differences in physical abilities.  Zinc is a mineral that supports and promotes testosterone.  It also helps to enhance performance.  In addition to zinc, beets, bananas, berries, pineapples and Brazil nuts promote energy and vitality.

Next time I will suggest more foods that will help men stay way from making their fears a reality!

8-14-17

 

Focus on Men’s Health: Part 1

Attention all you meat and potatoes guys! Do you want to live a healthier life? You may want to consider slowly changing over to adding more nutrient rich foods into your diet. Why you might ask? Well, in order to maintain your strength and energy in later year’s foods containing vitamins and minerals are essential. What does that mean to you? It means more fruits and veggies in your diet.

Now before you totally stop reading, give this a chance! What are men’s biggest fears in aging? There are actually 3 fears:

  • Losing their physical strength
  • Loss of vitality
  • Dependence on others

So in order to ease these fears, men need a plan. Adding specific foods into your diet could be just the plan you need to target these specific areas of health. Adding in these specific foods can make us continue to feel vital and strong. Next time I will give you 2 suggestions for continuing to feel great, and the week after I will share 2 more!

8-2-17

 

Why Should We Drink Water Part 4: Add Some Flavor

If plain water is too bland for you, it’s easy to create infused water with fresh ingredients. How does strawberry kiwi mint water sound? Want to try refreshing lemon lavender? Basil cucumber can also hit the spot. Have fun and create your own flavor concoctions with some of these ingredients:

  • Sweet fruits like kiwis, watermelons, strawberries, or melons
  • Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, or oranges
  • Veggies like cucumbers, jalapenos, or celery
  • Herbs like basil, mint, or rosemary

Wash your ingredients (organic if possible). Cut them into chunks or slices as needed, and place those in a pitcher (preferably glass), Mason jar, or even your water bottle before filling the container with water. Place the container in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight to steep. The result is fragrant, flavor-infused water with no added calories, sugar, or artificial flavors or colors.

If you do not drink the infused water within 24 hours, strain the liquid to remove the added ingredients and keep up to three days. Enjoy!

7-24-17

Why Should We Drink Water Part 3: Watch for Signs of Dehydration

What do American’s usually do when they feel tired? Yes, they reach for that cup of coffee or caffeine filled carbonated beverage.  But are you aware that your fatigue might be a sign that your body is dehydrated?  Proving that is easy assuming you get a good night’s rest…Just drink a large glass of water the next time you feel tired and see what happens.  If you suddenly feel refreshed you will know you were dehydrated.

According to John Hopkins Medicine Health Library the most common symptoms of dehydration are:

  • Thirst
  • Less-frequent urination
  • Dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Dry mouth and mucous membranes
  • Increased heart rate and breathing

Note; however, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Another study linked dehydration with mood changes, increased perception of task difficulty, decreased ability to concentrate, and headache.

No doubt, staying hydrated is important for our health and well-being, so grab the water while enjoying summers abundance of fun filled activities.

6-26-17

Why Should We Drink Water Part 2: Know How Much Water is Right For You!

There are many rules of thumb out there for the “right” about of water to drink. Honestly, there is no “one size fits all” for water either. The amount can vary depending on the climate you live in, your physical activity, as well as other factors. You should really ask a qualified healthcare professional to be certain what is right for you.  With that being said, the method our center uses to find out how much water you require daily is to divide your body weight by 2. That will give you a pretty good idea of the number of ounces of water you should consider drinking in a day.  For example if you weigh 100 pounds you would want to drink about 50 ounces of water a day. That would be about six, 8 ounce glasses of water.

There are many schools of thought on what fluids can count as water consumption. Things like herbal teas, broth and watermelon can be counted in your water total.  Believe it or not, watermelon has such a high water content that it can easily be counted as water consumption. Watermelon is 92% water! If you are thinking of counting sport drinks, my suggestion is to dilute them with water to offset the high sugar content.  An alcoholic beverage is a dehydrator; therefore, it must not be counted as water intake. Even though coffee and soda are no longer considered dehydrators, I personally would not count them in my water intake. They are fluids for sure, but I feel they just muddy up your body with sugar and caffeine.

Perhaps we all should take the time to start keeping track of the amount of water each of us consumes in a day. Smart phones and marked water bottles and cups make this task pretty easy today.  You may be surprised at how little water you actually drink.  If that is the case, you might want to reconsider your choices.

6-7-17

 

Why Should We Drink Water This Summer and Always?

With the warmer weather upon us, everyone should be thinking HYDRATION. Most people are aware that about 2/3 of the human body is water, so it is imperative that we maintain that for a multitude of reasons; some of which I am certain most people are unaware of. Here are some of the things that water does for the human body which can be verified at  http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/multimedia/functions-of-water-in-the-body/img-20005799 :

  • Water helps us get rid of dangerous toxins that our body’s are exposed to through our food, the air we breathe and chemicals within our environment. For example, haircare products, lotions, perfumes, colognes and air fresheners, etc.
  • Water acts as a cushion for your joints.
  • It is a key factor in your body’s ability to regulate body temperature.
  • Water helps to moisten your eyes, mouth, nose and mucous membranes.
  • It helps to prevent constipation.
  • Nutrients and oxygen are carried to the cells with the help of water.
  • Minerals are dissolved and made accessible to the body with the help of water.
  • Water also flushes waste products from the liver and kidneys so they function properly and are not as burdened.
  • It also protects the body’s organs and tissues

6-2-17

 

Are You At Risk For Low Bone Density?

Did you know that our bones are made of living, growing tissue? Old bone is replaced each day with new bone. As we age, however, we may lose more bone than we gain. This is why we begin to think about bone density and osteoporosis. And don’t just think this is a woman’s concern; it is not. Men should be just as aware and informed as women. I will say that women are usually more affected then men, but again, information is key to bone health.

Women are more affected then men in part because they generally have smaller bones then men. It is also because of the decrease in estrogen production that women experience as a result of menopause.

One of the first things to look at is nutrition. Nutrition also plays a large role in bone health. Diets rich in Vitamin D and calcium are key. Foods that include these nutrients are: nuts, green leafy vegetables, fish, dairy and dairy alternatives. Remember people are not eating the way they used to when our parents were young. For example, we aren’t getting homemade bone broth anymore. We purchase packaged broth that is no longer made from bones as it used to be. Bone broth is one of the things that can help our bone health.

Next let’s look at exercise, which also aids in creating strong bones. Weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercise helps to build and maintain bone health. Weight bearing exercises make people move against gravity. Examples of these would be hiking, stair climbing and jumping rope. Muscle strengthening exercises require resistance against gravity. Weight lifting and lifting your body are examples of this. It sounds difficult, but it can be as simple as lifting a can of beans up and down with both arms.

So start with any of these things. Any small thing you do is an improvement over what is going on with you now, so choose one thing and change it. Now celebrate that change!!!!! Later, make another small change, and again celebrate that!!!!! You are on your way!

5-22-17

 

Is Weight Loss Easy?

I for one am so tired of hearing “experts” saying that losing weight is as quick and easy as changing your mind or eating more salad, exercising more, taking a pill or portion control. Come on people, who are you trying to kid? If weight loss was that easy, everyone would lose weight!

I believe that weight loss is more complex than any single idea. People in general are complex beings as well as unique ones. Yes we have many more similarities than differences, but we are all unique, so why would we believe that one thing can fix weight for everyone. I think we are smarter than that, and I think that there are many things that affect people’s weight. If you are going to talk weight loss to people you have to talk about more than diet, exercise, will power, and changing your mind. At The Mindful Life Center we talk about a variety of things that could influence weight which makes us unique! We assist you in getting to the root cause. So think twice when you hear others saying how easy it is!

5-10-17

 

We energize our brains during our Higher Brain Living(R) sessions.  Why would it be good for children and teens as well?

A healthy prefrontal cortex helps kids make better choices.

Have you ever seen a toddler or a teen melt down?

Like pretty much everything, this all comes back to the brain and what it needs to take things in, process, and decide on the best course of action. And as with all of us, the more tools we have, the better chance we have of thinking and acting from a place of personal power and peace.

Whether youre a parent, a cool aunt or uncle, or someone whos involved in the lives of your friends’ kids, here are four reasons why the children and teens in your life need to energize and exercise their prefrontal cortices as much as we adults do: 

Because a healthy Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) helps kids to see things clearly, plan ahead, and learn which risks are worth taking. A well-documented study from 2011 out of Temple University, which appeared in the journal Child Development, showed the relationship between the PFC and impulse control and what an essential part of healthy development this is. It seems that the ability to solve increasingly complex problems has less to do with intelligence and more to do with the ability to stop, look at the pieces, and plan ahead. This skill was clearly more present in adults than in adolescents. The PFC, because it is the newest part of the brain, is actually the last to develop fully. The limbic system is all about emotion and reaction and is part of our ancient brain. Its one of the first areas to develop. So, basically teenagers have a limbic system going at full throttle while the PFC, which is responsible for things like risk assessment, executive function, and decision making, is still running to catching up. (You can read in-depth about this amazing process here.) Add in the presence of peer pressure, and the limbic system activity increases while PFC activity actually decreases. So when you find yourself looking at your kid and wondering, What the heck was she thinking?! — chances are, she wasnt making that choice from the prefrontal cortex.

4-30-17

 

Zero Calories

Are there really any foods with zero calories? Water, but that is a fluid not a food.  As far as actual food goes, there is no such thing as zero calories.  Granted, there are certain fruits and vegetables that have few calories that would be good snacking choices, but yes, they have calories. Asparagus is one of the vegetables that people view that way.  Indeed they have few calories, 20 to be exact in a half cup, unless you start adding butter, sauce or other such flavorings; then there are a lot more!  Asparagus also has detoxifying properties which is why your urine might smell bad or strong after eating it.  It also contains roughage which is good for our digestive system. So there are many reasons to eat it.  Just understand that you are still consuming calories.  Here is an interesting article by Krisha McCoy that I read on this subject: http://www.everydayhealth.com/weight/zero-calorie-food-myths.aspx  

4-26-17

Love

Today I was looking for some information in the book “Tuning the Human Bio-field” by Eileen Day McKusick. I didn’t find what I was looking for, but my guess is that I found what I needed…So this is a quote from the book. “I have learned that the most powerful thing in the universe is right under your nose…and it’s your mouth. By our words we create our lives. What kind of stories are you telling yourself and others about who you are? Healing is being willing to detach from your stories, to be willing to go into neutral and be open to other possibilities, to allow yourself to simply rest in the essence of the universe, which is simply, love.

4-10-17

 

More on Portion Distortion

Is portion Control the only factor in weight gain? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!! Is it a contributing factor? Yes! Is it something that people need to be MINDFUL of? Yes! It is because we have what has been termed as “Portion Distortion” in this country. We as Americans don’t even know what a “normal” portion is any more. Portion is really not even the correct word. Serving size is the correct term because it is measurable. Portion size is not. But who wants to go around measuring their food anyway? NOBODY!!!!! Such a dilemma we have created! Here is an interesting study done by Penn State University’s College of Health and Human Development on portions:  http://www.psu.edu/ur/2002/portionsize.html

 

Portion Distortion

There are those who would propose that we, the American public, can’t keep the fork out of our mouths.  I would say that is HARSH!  Our society has contributed in assisting Americans in over-eating.  According to The Center for Disease Control, a typical fast-food burger weighed just 3.9 ounces in the 1950’s.  Now, that same burger weighs 12 ounces.  That is 3 times larger.  An average order of fries has grown from 2.4 ounces to 6.7 ounces and soft drinks are even worse.  Today, people think nothing of drinking 32 -42 ounce sodas.  These drinks are astronomically larger than the 7 ounce thirst quenchers people got in the 1950’s. Maybe we should all take a few moments to digest the facts!

 

What Are The Positives of Adding Different Foods to Your Diet?

Trying new foods is really a simple thing to do in the scheme of life and it can be fun! Just imagine all the yummy foods that could be awaiting you. Did you know that every time you eat something new that is good for you, that you are embracing greater nutrition for your body? If you are eating a new food other than dairy, or meat, then you are gaining natural phytochemicals from the plants themselves which help to improve your body’s immune system. It also adds to the nutrition your body receives. Expanding your variety of foods encourages new recipes and can turn into more home cooked meals. Eating at home improves nutrition as well. Who knows shopping, making food together, and discovering new textures and flavors may turn into a weekly family night or date night. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Look at this article if you are interested in some research on this subject.
http://www.yogajournal.com/food-diet/daring-diet-leads-weight-loss/

Providing services to Madison, Monona, Middleton, Fitchburg, Verona, Sun Prairie, Salem, Muskego all of Dane, Walworth, Waukesha and Kenosha County and south central Wisconsin. Providing services such as Weight Loss, Massage, Stress Release, Diet, Exercise, habitual pattern release, weight tracking, massage, mindfulness, nutrition, behavior patterns, nutritional testing, ionic foot bath, Chakra Balancing and Chakra Chelation