Healthy Habits

No matter where you are with your health at this moment, you can take steps to improve your health and happiness. Just one or two small changes or steps can put you on the right path.  For successful, sustainable change to occur, these healthy steps and changes are meant to become habits, therefore becoming a part of your lifestyle. As a Certified Health Coach, I am dedicated to helping you reach your health and wellness goals. We can work together, finding tools and ways to reach health goals that will work for you.

Sound like work?  Do you want to increase your energy, have clearer skin, clearer thinking, balanced moods,better digestion, enhanced immune system, and reduced stress in your life?  These are just some of the common hurdles in American today.  Most of us could use a “make-over” in one or more of these areas.  Did you know that your digestive system plays a crucial role in protecting your immunity, handling stress and your every- day-happy factor?

Due to the standard American Diet, people are experiencing so many digestive complaints.  Think about it, you must know at least several people who have some sort of digestive distress, maybe even yourself.  I have first hand experience becoming ill from ingesting foods that were wrong for me.  There was a time in my life where I thought my consumption of processed foods, fake sugar (extremely acidic), too much white flour and sugar products was not really unhealthy.  I did love vegetables, and consumed more than others in my circles.   My downfall was not of the sweet sugary variety, but more of the rich, buttery, cheesy foods.  Somehow, these types of foods were foods I could crave.  Fettuccine Alfredo was one of my most favorite foods. Did you say cheese?  I loved cheese!  My comfort foods, most likely consisted of the creamy, smooth variety.  I wasn’t as drawn to the sweets…or so I thought.  What I didn’t realize was these foods produced the same sugar rush, delectable deserts or a piece of candy can in someone else.  We all pick our poisons, right?  As it turned out, I “craved” what wasn’t working for me.  Cheese was not my friend! But oh, how I did not want to part ways with such an old close friend.  I loved anything cheesy! I ate cheese at almost every meal and  longed for the next meal I could enjoy its satiating, creamy goodness.

It wasn’t until about about 8 years ago,  a nutritionist friend of mine, told me that dairy was not my friend.  My cravings for it were probably directly related to my allergic response to the food.  I was determined to feel better, so I was diligent about removing it from my diet to see if it would help.  Some amazing changes occurred rather quickly for me.  Within several days I had more energy, my hormones and moods were more balanced. No more mid-afternoon slump.  Aches and pains upon rising in the morning disappeared. No more dealing with upset stomach, bloat, diarrhea or constipation.  It wasn’t until months later I realized the dull headaches I used to experience on a frequent basis, had disappeared.  Wow, what a difference, and it was much easier than I thought it would be.  The increased energy and balance helped reduced my cravings and I found foods like avocado to satiate me without the cheese.  This experience opened my eyes to how profoundly the foods we select impact our health and well-being!

Did you know even organic, no-hormones-added milk, can contain a lot of hormones,  which occur naturally through the mother cow?  The hormones we consume through mama moo-er’s milk, can disrupt our personal hormone activity, and throw our hormones  out of whack.  Did you know,  in the pasteurization process the good bacteria, which would help your body actually digest the milk, is killed?  This makes it hard for many to digest dairy without distress.  There are some people who can tolerate dairy (blood type B’s are supposed to digest it better).  But keep in mind, consuming dairy can cause digestive and allergic response reactions for many.  I am one of them.  The point is, I did not get to a healthier state by eating a special diet or following a certain meal plan, but rather, I crowded out the foods not working for me.  Avocado became a great substitute for my cheese cravings.  At first, I searched for yummy tasting, dairy-free alternatives.  After awhile, I began to question the ingredients in these products and have gravitated towards better choices.  This gravitation occurred over several years.  Do I sometimes cheat myself and eat something with dairy…yes…but now I recognize how my body doesn’t perform at it’s best when I do. Surprisingly, as well, I don’t really miss it much.  Crazy, years ago, I would have never believed I would be happy not eating dairy products.

The most important first step you can take for your health is, “Be Present”!  Be conscious of what food and drink you take in and how your body feels afterward, immediately following the meal and again several hours later.  If you have a lot of gas or bloating, anxiety or are just ready for a nap following a meal, take note, that something you are eating or drinking is not agreeing with your unique system . Everyone of us has a different overall chemistry, what is good for me, mentally and physically, may not be good for you.  Pay attention to your inner guidance, this requires pulling yourself back into the moment. Breathe!

Tools to choose to boost your health:

1.  FIND WAYS TO DE-STRESS and help our bodies deal with stress in a less damaging way. Our American diet and lifestyle promotes bodily stress.  Breathing exercises are one of the quick useful tools to bring your body back into balance within a few quick minutes. You will feel the tension flow from your muscles, and how cool is it to be able to experience having that control over your body!  Here is one I like to use.

  • Empty as much air from your lungs as you can through your mouth
  • Breathe in air through your nose to the count of 4 filling your lungs as full as possible
  • Hold it for a count of 7  
  • Blow air out slowly and completely through your mouth to a count of eight  
  • Repeat 2 more times  
  • Then take several minutes remaining in this relaxed state. Concentrate on your breathing, a 6 count helps if your mind tends to wander.  This can debunk the fight or flight adrenaline response to stress.

2. EAT MORE ORGANIC VEGGIES,( promote local farming in your area whenever possible) and avoiding the GMO produce.   Most Americans eat only 12 different foods, constantly rotating them in their diet.  Choose a rainbow of colors when selecting your produce, this helping ensure you are getting all of your nutrients.  Variety is key.

3.  CHOOSE TO EAT SMALLER PORTIONS of animal meat, substituting for other plant based protein sources that work well with your body. Very difficult on the digestive system to filter all that animal fat we consume.  Everyone is different on their needs based on bio-individuality.

4.  BUY ORGANIC, FREE-RANGE, grass fed, not grain fed meat.  Why?  For starters, the correlations to anti-depressant medication prescribed to Americans is in direct line with the timing when they began feeding the farm animals grain instead of grass.  The grass fed animals have 50-70% more tryptophan than grain fed animals.  Our bodies convert the tryptophan into serotonin, which is very important for a balanced brain chemistry. Grass fed animals contain more omega 3’s than grain-fed animals. So, eating a grain fed animal will contribute to intake of more omega 6’s.  The average American diet contains a 20-1 ratio of Omega 6’s to omega 3’s. For healthy levels, we should strive to consume a 3-1 ratio of omega 6’s to omega 3’s.  On a much deeper level, choose grass-fed, free-range animals for the consciousness of our environment and the moral ethics of our treatment of animals.

5.  KICK Off YOUR SHOES, or at least be wearing leather soled shoes to be able to connect electrically with earth.  Take a walk in nature, the beach is the best place if you are fortunate enough to have easy access.  Walking barefoot in the sand is literally grounding, as well as soaking your toes in the ocean.  But if grassy areas are available, this will work also.  Think the benefits of walking in nature are limited to only mental de-stressing and calorie-burning?   Our sense of well-being, in part, is created through the ground’s electrical energy entering and flowing through our body.  Historically, we as humans slept on the ground, walked barefoot, but in our modern lifestyle there are many things that block this natural energy, having the potential of disrupting a natural biological  need, protecting us from inflammation and pain.  In a book called “Earthing”, Stephen Sinatra, MD ( a well-known integrative cardiologist), Clint Ober (discovered health benefits of connecting with the earth)  and Martin Zucker, the author of the article I am posting, explain more in detail the science behind Earthing.  Here is a link for more information about how earthing protects your health

http://townsendletter.com/May2010/earthing0510.html

or go to Amazon has the book, or kindle edition.

http://www.amazon.com/Earthing-Most-Important-Health-Discovery/dp/1591202833/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369940876&sr=1-1&keywords=earthing+by+ober.+sinatra.+and+zucker

http://townsendletter.com/May2010/earthing0510.html

5.  BREATHE!  And yes this is sort of connecting to number 1. Start becoming more aware of the effect stress has on your breathing.  I have noticed for myself, if I stop and become connected, I can see how I have been shallow breathing.  For me, I stop, push all the air out of my lungs through the mouth,  take a deep breath in and blow all of the air out.  Repeat several times if necessary to bring your body back into a relaxed state, followed by one – two minutes concentrating on breathing deep and normally. Our cells need to be oxygenated to protect us from disease and illness.    Take time throughout your day to check how you are breathing.  I have found many people once made aware of their own breathing patterns throughout the day, can now utilize tools that help bring their stress and anxiety levels down.

Did you know our lifestyle choices have a direct impact on the levels of oxygen reaching our cells?  Exercise would be an obvious lifestyle choice that would be beneficial, but did you know the foods you eat can also provide oxygen to your cells?  And does it surprise you, we need this oxygenation process to be able to convert our food into energy?   According to Dr. Suneil Jain a diet rich in raw vegetables, fruits and sprouted seeds and nuts, pumps oxygen into the cells.  Hydrogen and oxygen make up water and these foods are high in water.  Cooking kills the oxygen in these foods, therefore eating these foods in their raw state is more beneficial.

Chlorophyll from green vegetables help deliver oxygen from your blood to your cells.  Whole grains and legumes may work in your diet to help in this transport.  Some may have a harder time digesting some of these healthy foods, this is where your connection to your body is the path to clues for healthy and unhealthy choices for you.Beans, artichokes fish, cheese, eggs, chocolate,m nuts, and sunflower seeds can boost oxygen levels.  Yes, I did say chocolate!  The raw version, from what chocolate was processed from is called Cacao (pronounced Ca cow).  This is one of the highest nutritional source for antioxidants, besides containing other live enzymes minerals.  There are recipes on the web using raw cacao in recipes, so you can control the sweeteners used and have a healthy alternative to processed sugar laden products.  But there will be more posts about this amazing super-food in the future.  This leads to the next healthy thing you can choose to do for yourself.

6.  MOVEMENT  And yes, I am trying to sneak exercise in, disguised as movement.  Because, maybe, you need to look at exercise from a different perspective.  Over the years I have enjoyed weight lifting, aerobic classes, bike rides, hikes and I have a strong love/hate relationship with Bikram Yoga Practice.  But maybe you are not so excited to engage in exercise.  For this reason, you can look at “movement” as your form of exercise.  Why not turn up the music and dance around your house; it will also lift your spirits and if you find joy in this type of movement, you will enjoy doing it for a longer period of time, getting your circulation revved, your oxygen levels up and put a smile on your face and in your heart.  Maybe you have trouble squeezing in the time for exercise, I encourage you to download some of the free exercise apps available on the internet.  Many of them have 5-15 minute routines that can give you that energy boost you might need throughout the day. If time and follow through are an issue, think of ways throughout your day to breath deeply and aid your body’s detoxification process. Can you take the stairs, park farther away,or walk briskly?  What do you like to do?  If there is a sport, a dance class you thought might be fun, even getting out in your garden is healthy and a form of exercise.

HYDRATION – Many factors effect just how much water is healthy for you to drink.  As a normal rule of thumb multiply body weight times 2/3.  So if you were 120 lbs, you would come up with 80 ounces of water, per day.  Best to drink portions throughout the day than all at once.  We need hydration for every important function in our body.  Our climate, amount of exercise and sweating, supplements and medications, and our own bio-individual chemical make-up, all may alter our hydration needs. When we are hydrated we have more energy, clearer thinking and a better sense of well being.  We cannot survive long without water, therefore, it is worth consideration incorporating it into your healthy lifestyle.  Did you know, some of your cravings are merely a sign that your body needs hydration?

But which water is best for you?  So much information is provided on the subject, and can be contradictory and cause confusion.

Much of the public has bought into the idea that bottled water is better than the water that comes from their tap, cut this is not always the case. A huge percentage of bottled water comes from filtering the cities tap water.  So, a better alternative is to install a water filtering system to use for all your cooking, cleaning and drinking needs.

A strong environmental problem is the waste from plastic water bottles. Not only do they not disintegrate, but they leach toxins and chemicals into the ground water and our food supply. Whenever possible, use glass or stainless steel containers, and refill.

Many different opinions as to which water is best; my first choice would be spring water, but we all don’t have access to fresh spring water, especially here in the Las Vegas desert.  Which ever you choose…stay hydrated!

http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/07/22-facts-plastic-pollution-10-things-can-do-about-it/

 

Ready to start taking steps to improve your health and fulfillment in life?  Choose one or two healthy steps to apply each week and enjoy the ride.

Hope you enjoyed the healthy tips.  If you find yourself needing a guide on the side, in your journey towards a healthier and happier lifestyle, call to schedule your introductory health coaching session.  For success requires someone to provide a safe environment for accountability, support and guidance.  Schedule an introductory session with me so we can see if we will work well together.  Every plan is uniquely designed with your particular goals in mind.  WE decide together what will work for your individual goals.  This program emphasizes  creating healthy habits that last a lifetime, not following a regimented diet, or exercise plan.    Call me to schedule and jump-start your energy, weight-loss, and stress-management goals today. For a limited time my Introductory 50 minute Jump-Start session is $40, and is applied toward one of my programs upon sign up!  Look forward to working with you soon!

Denise Wilson

Healthy Habit Rescue

702-526-2114