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Healthy Idleness is not laziness.

While staying in one day, nursing a cold, and getting caught up on my reading, I found myself watching the few  pairs of squirrels who live in my yard.  They’re quite comical, looking for nuts to crack, and often getting into tiffs on the branch outside my kitchen window.  You might say I was doing nothing.
     This is something I have allowed myself to do, or not do as I’ve gotten older. Thankfully, unstructured time stimulates what neuroscientists call the “default-mode network” in the brain, where creativity and problem-solving happen.  _ Heather Rogers, “The Upside of Downtime” Experience Life Magazine.  
 
Idleness  stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which brings a host of healthful outcomes, including a reduced heart rate, good digestion, and better moods, says the article.
 I truly agree.
Some argue that our society is on the whole “addicted to busyness” – always seeking to get it done, or seeking to stay in constant connectedness to the latest gadget or app.  I find that many of my customers are consumed with being, doing, having everything all to the edge, no margin or time for the necessities in life.  Studies vary on the average checks to their phones by smartphone users of  85-150 times a day.  Social Media accounts for 15-40 of those checks.  This equates to 1/3 of a normal day of waking hours.  Busyness at work, employees are limited to very strict break times that barely allow for a bathroom break or time to eat.

For those of you with activity goals, here are some simple strategies for you: Put away your phone. Try some type of repetitive activity that allows your mind to wander like going for a walk, running, mowing the lawn, weeding, cleaning or doing the dishes.  Keep the tv, phone, radio off and just let your mind wander, and wait for the creative juices to begin flowing, and of course move your body. 

Give inflammation the boot!

If you are dealing with allergies, irritability, and aches and pains like me, it may be a time for a recharge.  Stress, sugar, food sensitivities and environmental factors can cause inflammation which can wreak of havoc on most of the normal operations of our body systems, affecting your energy, mood, and cravings.  Let’s look at some option for reducing inflammation.

  1. Eat more plant-based, whole, nutrient-dense foods.
    Focus on what you can do to fuel your muscles, brain, cells with good nutrients and avoid refined sugar and flour, processed junk, animal products, etc. by adding a variety of plant-based whole foods to your diet. These foods will flood your body with the vitamins, minerals, cancer-fighting phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber it needs to recover from chronic inflammation.
  1. Focus on gut health.
    Your gut holds approximately 60-70 percent of your immune system, so it stands to reason that it would be a great place to reduce chronic inflammation. And if your gut is out of balance, you can only imagine that your immune system is out too. Try natural probiotics like natural unsweetened yogurt everyday, or a good probiotic supplement. Click here.
  2. Identify and address food sensitivities and chronic (or hidden) infections.
    You could be fighting a losing battle if you’re ignoring potential food sensitivities and/or infections. If your body is working to cope and fight these challenges everyday, you can bet that you’re feeding the fire of inflammation on a regular basis.

Gluten, soy, dairy, eggs and yeast are common problem foods that might be distracting your immune system every time you sit down for a meal. These allergies can be identified with a blood test. Or try eliminating them one at a time.  While following the elimination approach, you remove all common allergens from your diet and then slowly reintroduce them, one by one. Consider trying a cleanse too.

  1. Relax and Rest. Most doctors recommend seven to eight hours of sleep per night. If you’re cutting corners in the snooze department, you’re cheating your immune system, which means it needs to kick into high gear in an effort to keep you well.

Lack of sleep and unrealistic expectations on what your body can handle, keep stress hormones elevated. Unfortunately, when you’re stressed out all the time, you’re also producing more of the hormone cortisol—which keeps inflammation on high. You deserve to take a break from stress even if its for 10 minutes a day.  I focus rather on the big picture – create margin, cut back on some things, and spend more time with God and the people that you truly care for. 

Plant based diets

Studies on blue zones, areas where people live to over 100 years old, found that  all of them eat a rich array of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are packed with disease-fighting nutrients. In this category we include beans as the cornerstone of most centenarian diets is beans.  Favorites include fava, black, soy and lentils as they are rich in fiber and protein. Phytochemicals and nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, including a variety of colors, support a healthy body.farmers market2010

Meats can still be on the menu but consider them as a side or ingredient, and choose the leanest, finest meat you can afford. If you are grilling, minimize charing as this creates bad free radicals that wreak havoc on our bodies cells.  Limit portions to the size of a deck of cards and try eating no more than twice a week. This is consistent with the USDA’s MyPlate recommendations to make fruits, vegetables and grains the majority of your intake.

If you find it hard to avoid meat, trying eliminating it for just one day, and focus rather on salads, stews, and combining beans with nuts or grains for a heartier meal.  Eating nuts—a handful a day – provides essential fats, and can give you an extra 2-3 years of life expectancy!

If you are looking at a better quality of life, and a longer more exuberant life, I’d follow these people’s example!

Support your body’s immunity

Allergy relief and immunity

Even though we cannot do much about our body’s response to specific allergens, we can support our overall health which impacts how we feel and recover from these attacks.  Good healthy whole foods, fresh water, a good night’s sleep and maintaining  stress factors in life are the best ways we can keep a healthy body.  Yet, here is just a few of my recommendations from Advocare’s product line to supplement your nutrition.  Additionally, I can help you find solutions to fill in the gaps of what you may be  missing in your daily nutrition.  Just give me a call.

MNS (Metabolic Nutrition System): “Nutritionist in a Box” ; includes over 50 vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to “fill in your nutritional gaps”, increase energy, support weight management, and provide appetite control.*

HERBAL CLEANSE: “Oil Change for Your Body”; a 10 day system to cleanse, detoxify, and rejuvenate your body*.

ImmunoGuard™  Provides support for a healthy immune system*.

SPARK:  Enhances mental energy and focus with over 20 vitamins, minerals and nutrients* Sugar-free.

For more descriptions and other options visit my website:  advocare.com/11068151

 

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

Connect to a healthy tribe

IMG_0609Whether you call it commradiere, team work, or group motivation, its all the same thing, we succeed in living a healthy lifestyle when we surround ourselves with others who want to make healthy choices a part of life.  According to the Blue Zones project, finding the right tribe can add years to your life than just about anything else.  Over the next few months, Ill share habits of the world’s longest lived people. These people were either born into or  purposefully choose to create social circles that support healthy behaviors. Related research shows that certain behaviors are contagious, so you attract and stimulate strong social circles by  proactively surrounding yourself with the right tribe: people who share your desire to do activities that strengthen your body and fuel your brain, individuals that challenge you to learn and grow intellectually, creatively and spiritually, and people who share the behaviors that you want to be a part of your healthy life. If this is not your family or closest connections, begin by building one at a time, and your right tribe will grow.

Visualize

Visualization leads to Actualization
Includes Excerpt from fitness coach, Joy Jones
Visualization, done right, can be extremely powerful in achieving any goal. As you think about your goals for the New Year, take into consideration the following…Using your imagination and concentrating on your desire, see yourself already in possession of your goal. Picture yourself with the healthy and fit body you desire, and literally feel what it is like to have it. You cannot achieve anything in your “outer world” until you first see it in your “inner world.”

Here’s what a I challenge you to do:  if you have goal to reach you, first, make sure its realistic.  Then you begin to form in your mind what you are doing, what you are wearing, how you are living, who you are spending your time with, what you are saying, what are you eating, etc.

Creative Visualization is distinguished from normal daydreaming in that Creative Visualization is done in the first person and the present tense – as if the visualized scene were unfolding all around you; whereas normal daydreaming is done in the third person and the future tense. Using affirmations that begin with “I am so happy and grateful now that…” is an excellent way to begin programming your subconscious mind to move towards your goal.

Visualize to Actualize
Remember, all things are created twice – first in the imagination and then second in the physical world. Study this excerpt from Napoleon Hill’s famous book, Think & Grow Rich:

Read also Romans 12:2
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Tips for Success

  1. Create an affirmation statement and visualize yourself with your goal achieved       • Put your affirmation statement in places you’ll see it often like your bathroom mirror, car and desk. Put it on a card and keep it in your pocket at all times
  2. Spend some time in Prayer, seeking strength and insight from God.-our bodies are the only vehicle we have to fulfill our purpose in this life.  We only have 1,
  3. Create a Vision Board – cut out pictures of your goal (i.e., fit bodies, athletes, etc.) and make a collage that you can view often. Get emotionally involved when you look at it.

There are no can’ts in this scenario.  You rise above the failures of your past, and create a new future.  With His strength, you can do anything.

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

There are hundreds of options online for this protein hearty, comforting breakfast option. Quinoa is naturally loaded with protein and fiber.  One cup of cooked quinoa brings about 8 grams of protein.  Add nuts or yogurt to increase the protein content.  Here’s a simple version you can make with common ingredients found in your cupboard.

Food Healthy Quinoa Pumpkin Bowl

This Sept. 21, 2015, photo shows ingredients for quinoa pumpkin breakfast bowl in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

1 cup  quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 cup fruit or berries,  or medium sized fruit like apple or banana cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a small saucepan, cover the quinoa with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Lightly fluff the quinoa with a fork and cover it again.

In a medium skillet, toast almonds, stirring a few times, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the quinoa, maple syrup, oil,

cinnamon and stir well until heated through.  Top each portion of quinoa with fruit and almonds