Healthy Living: Be Crabby and Embrace Change

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I was reading a beautiful Holy Land Moments devotional recently and the writer used the way a crab grows to make a spiritual point. As I read the devotional it spoke volumes to me about why some people have such a difficult time changing negative habits.

The difference between crabs, humans and most other animals is that while most of us grow in a uniform manner, crabs, because of their hard outer shells cannot. I look at my adorable little grandson and marvel at how he’s grown in these last 6 months. He’s grown taller, heavier, and his arms and legs have grown.

This isn’t true of crabs. Because of their hard outer shell, they stop growing once they reach a certain size. So in order to grow they essentially have to leave the old behind as they shed their outer shell, in order to grow a new, larger, better one.

That really highlighted something to me. Crabs know that in order to grow they have to leave what no longer fits them behind!

Talk about an aha moment! This absolutely relates to how we tend to resist change – even for the better. I’ve heard it said the only one who welcomes change is a wet baby and I think that is true. Change doesn’t come easily for most of us because even if we are not happy with where we are, there is comfort in the familiar. In letting go of the old, ineffective way of doing something, we have to be willing to embrace the new and unknown. And that is hard and frightening, even when it leads to what we are ultimately working toward.

We fear the unknown and tend to just settle for the status quo because it is comfortable. That is true whether you are trying to lose weight, lower blood sugar, cholesterol or just make better food choices. One of the ways to make change less frightening and easier is having someone support you and walk with you through those changes, until they become familiar and you have made them your new normal.

That is what I offer in my coaching plans. Instead of continuing to do what is not working and what you may even know is bad for you simply because you feel making the changes you desire is too hard, why not get some help, support, encouragement and accountability along the way? Who knows once you shed that old, hard shell, you may find a new, improved version of yourself!

What is stopping you from letting yourself grow?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.         

Posted in Emotional Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Soul Health, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Nutrition: “Egg-cellent” Eggs

Eggs are an almost perfect food! An egg’s shell color doesn’t indicate the quality or nutritional value of an egg, but rather the breed of the hen that laid it. Hens with white feathers tend to lay white eggs and hens with red feathers tend to lay brown eggs.

Why it’s Healthy:

Whole eggs are a nearly perfect food – among the most nutritious foods you can eat.

One large boiled egg provides:

77 calories

6 grams of protein

5 grams of healthy fats

187 mg. cholesterol

62 mg of sodium

63 mg potassium

100 mg. choline

6% of the RDA of vitamin A

5% of the RDA of folate 7% of the RDA of vitamin B5

9% of the RDA of vitamin B12

15% of the RDA of vitamin B2

9% of the RDA of phosphorus

22% of the RDA of selenium

They also provide a good amount of vitamins D, E, K, B6, calcium and zinc as well as omega 3 fats. In fact egg yolks are one of the few foods that are a naturally good vitamin D source. They are high in quality animal protein and contain all the essential amino acids that humans need.

Note that eggs do not contain fiber. So while they are an excellent, nutritious food – be sure that the rest of your diet provides adequate fiber, which is very important to overall health.

Benefits & Specific Conditions:

Heart Healthy: People who have higher levels of HDL cholesterol (aka “good” cholesterol) usually have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and various health problems. In one study, 2 eggs per day for 6 weeks increased HDL levels by 10%. Egg consumption appears to change the pattern of LDL particles from small, dense LDL (bad) to large, fluffy LDL, which is linked to a reduced heart disease risk. Its high choline content has also been associated with decreased heart disease risk.

Protects vision: The large amounts of both Lutein and Zeaxanthin as well as vitamin A in egg yolks is very protective of vision and effective in reducing the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Reducing Triglycerides: Omega 3 fats reduce dangerous triglyceride levels and eggs from free range hens or omega 3 enriched eggs have been shown to be a very effective way to reduce triglycerides in the blood.

Weight Loss: The high protein content in eggs makes them very satisfying and help reduce overall caloric intake. Protein boosts metabolism so this is a perfect weight loss food. They are very versatile and can be eaten at any meal in a variety of ways and a hardboiled egg or two make a nutritious, portable weight loss snack or meal on the go.

Breast cancer preventive: Research from the University of North Carolina found that choline from egg yolks can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 24%.

Brain health and pregnancy: The choline content is important in the brain development of the fetus and newborn as well as in memory function even into old age.

Secrets and Tips:

Because we have been told for years to limit or avoid eggs, particularly the yolks, because they’ll raise cholesterol, here is what a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences has to say about the subject (and I wholeheartedly agree):

Since we cannot possibly eat enough cholesterol to use for our bodies’ daily functions, our bodies make their own. When we eat more foods rich in this compound, our bodies make less.

If we deprive ourselves of foods high in cholesterol — such as eggs, butter, and liver — our body revs up its cholesterol synthesis. The end result is that, for most of us, eating foods high in cholesterol has very little impact on our blood cholesterol levels.

In seventy percent of the population, foods rich in cholesterol such as eggs cause only a subtle increase in cholesterol levels or none at all. In the other thirty percent, these foods do cause a rise in blood cholesterol levels.

Despite this, research has never established any clear relationship between the consumption of dietary cholesterol and the risk for heart disease … Raising cholesterol levels is not necessarily a bad thing either.”

In fact, a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, proves that even in carriers of the ApoE4 gene, making them highly susceptible to heart disease, egg and cholesterol intake was not associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease.

It’s important to choose eggs from a high-quality source.

If you’re purchasing your eggs from a supermarket, be aware that labels can be very deceptive. You can find the terms cage-free, free-range, pastured, pasture-raised, organic, omega-3 and omega-3 enriched on egg cartons.

Free-range, cage free or “pastured” organic eggs are far superior when it comes to nutrient content, while conventionally raised eggs are far more likely to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria such as salmonella.

An egg is considered organic if the chicken was only fed organic food, which means it will not have accumulated high levels of pesticides from the grains (mostly GMO corn) fed to typical chickens.

Ideally, the chicken should have access to the outdoors where it can consume its natural diet. Organic standards for eggs do require outdoor access for hens, but the exact standards for outdoor access are not well defined. For example, no minimal amount of days spent outdoors or time per day spent outdoors is specified. Organic standards require strict feeding with certified organic feed, but legal use of the organic label does not require any fixed amount of feed to be obtained from a pasture setting.

You can tell your eggs are free range or pastured by the color of the egg yolk. Foraged hens produce eggs with bright orange yolks.

You can generally use the cloudiness of the egg white to help confirm freshness, with cloudy whites indicating fresh eggs.

Always store eggs in the refrigerator. When refrigerating eggs, do not wash them as this can remove their protective coating. Keep them in their original carton or in a covered container so that they do not absorb odors or lose any moisture. Make sure to store them with their pointed end facing downward to help to prevent the air chamber and the yolk from being displaced.

Recipes and Products:

This originally appeared in my weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report! To finish reading click this link and scroll to “ Egg-cellent Eggs” and sign up to be the first to get this exclusive content delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning – Free!

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.         

Posted in Brain health, Heart Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nutrition: Food Flexibility

When you hit upon a way of eating that seems to be working for you, you tend to want to continue that indefinitely. Come on admit it – we all do this. Maybe you became a vegetarian and then lost those last stubborn pounds. Or you chose a low carb or ketogenic diet and experienced not only effortless weight loss but got your blood sugar back to normal range and lost the brain fog. It doesn’t matter what the change was, if it worked, our tendency is to continue doing it this way – forever. Unfortunately, that usually backfires very quickly.

But that is not how our bodies or life itself works. Everything is cyclical! We have the seasons that change, we have night and day, the phases of the moon. Our lives begin in infancy usually fed on breast milk or formula; then we are introduced to solids. We move through the stages of being a baby, toddler, young child, tween, teen, young adult, adult and senior and in each stage our bodies and needs (nutritional and otherwise) change accordingly.

You would think it was absolutely ridiculous for someone to say that since eating pureed foods nourished you perfectly as a baby, it should be your preferred diet throughout life.

But we tend to label ourselves and then get stuck in a pattern that doesn’t necessarily provide all we need in a new stage of life. We forget that every one of the 50-75 trillion cells in these amazing bodies is renewed and replaced periodically. Each type of cell has its own life span. For instance your taste buds are replaced every 10-14 days which is why I say in Today’s the Day that you can retrain them with the first 2 weeks of clean eating!  I’ve read that our allergies, sensitivities and tastes change about every 7 years. That makes sense to me as well.

Our ancestors did not have all the conveniences (and hindrances to health!) we have today and so their diet patterns went through periods of feast and famine. This is what our bodies were created to do.

Dave Asprey who wrote The Bullet Proof Diet says it well:

“It’s almost like doing interval training. You don’t have to be in one state forever. In fact, your body doesn’t like to be in one state forever. That’s why we sleep and we wake up. We have all these different activities, why should you always be in one metabolic state?”

So my first point is that we have to be nutritionally flexible and willing to make changes when our bodies indicate it’s time.

For instance, most of my early life I was definitely closer to vegetarian than anything else. I loved, craved and functioned very well on vegetables and grains. I easily maintained a healthy weight and felt wonderful. In my early 40’s I began gaining weight even though nothing else changed. I also found myself craving more animal protein. So I actually eliminated the grains and starchy carbs most of the time and focused on clean protein and veggies and the Today’s the Day program was born. I got back to my healthy weight easily and have maintained it for over 20 years.

I still tweak my meals from time to time as I learn something new or find something I hadn’t thought about including. This scripture really spoke volume to me when I made that change I mentioned above:

Psalms 103:5 Amp.: “Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]!”

While you may choose to be a vegetarian or vegan for philosophical reasons (animal cruelty, etc.) I believe you still need to be open to what your body may be asking for if you want to be truly healthy. Pay attention to how your meals make you feel. Are you satisfied or constantly looking for a snack because lunch or dinner just didn’t satisfy you? Do you feel off balance? Your hormones depend on the proper vitamins and nutrients at each stage of your life. Are you always tired? Having digestive problems?

Just as you don’t need to eat exactly the same number of calories each day, you can vary the composition of your meals to include different foods. I like to take one day (I use Sundays) when I do not take my daily supplements but I do eat some grains or starchy carbs in my meals. I enjoy the variety and I believe my body responds better when I surprise it from time to time! God instituted feast days throughout the year and so I think having a feast day each week or two is a great idea.

The only area of nutrition that is non-negotiable for me is food quality. If you’re a vegetarian because you believe it is healthier but eat produce that is genetically modified or full of pesticides, you are definitely not going to end up with the level of health you desire or expect.

So, consider loosening up any hard and fast “rules” you may have about nutrition and what you can or should eat. So here’s my takeaway concerning nutrition:

Be stubborn about your health goals but flexible about your methods of achieving them.

How do you feel about being “nutritionally flexible?”

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.         

 

Posted in Digestive Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Weight Loss: Are You Sacrificing Health to Get Slim?

It is that time of year! The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and it’s time to break out the tank tops and shorts. But are you ready? This is typically the time when people start looking for that “miracle” diet to follow that will have them swimsuit ready in a month or two.

I hate to burst your bubble and far be it for me to be the destroyer of dreams, but in this case, there is no miracle pill, exercise or diet. I’ve said before and in my Today’s the Day book, that you can try any one of the thousands of diets out there and you will most likely lose some weight – temporarily. Most are too extreme to continue long-term so people lose weight initially, can’t stay with the program and so go right back to what they were doing that got them overweight in the first place and end up heavier than before. That’s definitely got to be the definition of insanity!

You may be familiar with some of the most popular and constantly advertised diet plans but do you realize exactly what you’re putting in your body? This excellent article by the Food Babe breaks down each of the most popular and well-known and shows you clearly why they are not very good choices at all.

While I would be the last person to tell you getting to a healthy weight isn’t a good enough goal, I believe the reason to do that is to be truly healthy. If you drop 50 pounds, look great in a swimsuit but feel lousy, have no energy, experience mysterious rashes and joint pain – what’s the point?

It’s smarter and better to change your relationship with food and restructure your meals with high quality, real foods that will not only help you achieve your weight loss goals, but nourish your body down to the cellular level. When you do that you have energy, look wonderful and feel like the best version of yourself! Isn’t that the real goal?

So how do you do this? It’s a lot less difficult and complicated than you think. But you have to be willing to make some changes. You don’t have to make them all at once, but by taking baby steps you will change how you look at food and begin making truly healthy choices you can stick with. That’s what I help people do in the Today’s the Day coaching plan.

And just some of the “collateral benefits” for clients have been normalizing blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels! Now that’s what I call a true miracle.

Does your diet provide collateral benefits or collateral damage!

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.         

Posted in Detoxification, Diabetes, Digestive Health, Heart Health, Nutrition, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Health: Being Proactive Can Save Your Life

If you needed to have repairs or upgrades done in your home chances are you shop around. You call two or three different people and compare the service they offer with the price and choose what works best for you. When we needed to get the outside of our windows washed I had 3 different people come and tell me what they would do, how they would do it and what they would charge and then made my decision. We don’t think twice about this.

However when it comes to our health, especially if we are in a health crisis, we tend to just do whatever the doctor recommends without question. Turns out that isn’t always the wisest course of action. Now don’t misunderstand. You chose a doctor and of course you need his recommendations. But that doesn’t mean you totally disconnect and forget it is your body and ultimately your responsibility for taking care of it.

Several years ago I found myself in a crazy health crisis (you can read about it here). I had very little choice about some of those decisions. I had to trust that surgery was the best option and it was definitely the right choice. I wouldn’t be here today writing this post if I hadn’t. However, I still asked questions during my recovery and was not shy about asking them to make changes.

After coming out of ICU I developed sepsis which is a very serious condition that can be deadly. When the nurse came in to change out the antibiotic I asked which one. When she said Levaquin it sent off all kinds of red flags. You can read why in this previous post. I politely but firmly refused it and asked that another antibiotic, not in that family of drugs, be used instead. While the doctor wasn’t thrilled, he chose a different one and it worked just fine.

I share all that to say that due to an over-burdened healthcare system, medical errors and misdiagnoses kill an estimated 500,000 American annually and 100,000 Americans die each year from prescription drugs. While a prescription is sometimes necessary, we still need to be proactive and let our health care provider know if it is something we do not want to take and why.

Some doctors, like the one I had, will honor your request in a respectful way. Others, like a periodontist I was going to, will not. He wanted to give me an implant to replace a back tooth. I told him I didn’t want to do that. He asked me if I had a “good reason” for that decision! I explained I don’t want metal in my body and it is too expensive. He became very belligerent and nasty and berated me saying I didn’t know what I was talking about, that the metal used doesn’t cause any problems, etc. Finally I told him just the fact that I don’t want this is a good enough reason and that was the last time I saw him.

This article give 8 good questions to ask a health care provider when you are given a diagnosis. And this article has 7 excellent questions to ask about any prescription before you fill it.

It can be uncomfortable to raise these questions, particularly if the doctor becomes offended. But you have to push past that. After all, your health and your body are your responsibility.

How do you feel about being proactive about your health care?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

Posted in Overall Health and Wholeness | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Health: Cheap vs Expensive What You Value is the Determining Factor

I think you would have to agree that our medical system in this country is profit driven. Just watch some commercials telling you all the benefits of some new drug, and then listen closely to the absolutely scary side effects, the list of which is much longer than the benefits!

There’s a definite bias toward expensive pharmaceuticals or surgical solutions and it’s understandable to a point. Physicians are rewarded for making those choices. I heard about a doctor who told his staff about using a specific supplement for heart health but still prescribed dangerous drugs and interventions for his patients and would not give them that option to consider. Hopefully he is the exception in that case!

This doesn’t only influence doctors by any means. Our entire culture, to some extent, has been influenced by the idea that cheap is worthless and expensive is superior. I’m sure you’ve heard it said, “You get what you pay for.” A business coach told me that I needed to raise the prices of my coaching plans because people would assume they aren’t as good as those that are more expensive.

So from that perspective it’s no wonder that “cheap” solutions don’t get much publicity just as in mainstream media the positive, uplifting stories are always overshadowed and drowned out by the negative and sensational.

So it comes as no surprise that free solutions get pretty much no publicity. And that is a shame. Think about three “free” solutions that most people overlook that can be life changing. Drinking adequate water, breathing deeply and walking! Hydration affects pretty much every aspect of your health and intentionally paying attention to your breathing and slowing it down periodically can make a huge difference in how you feel – physically and emotionally.  Walking whether it’s around the house or around your block is as effective a form of exercise as any and it costs nothing!  And none of them costs a dime.

I think we have to redefine those words for ourselves to make the best possible choices. “Cheap” carries the stigma of being sub-standard or of poor quality. One person may consider spending $50 on a nutritional supplement “cheap” and another might see it as very expensive. It depends on your priorities and finances. If you see value in it, your assessment of the price changes.

Expensive – well there’s the same thing with this term. Spending $15 dollars to get a grass fed steak as opposed to $5.00 for one on sale from CAFO raised cattle might seem expensive to one person. But is it really when considered in the entire scheme of things?

I prefer to look at these options as “affordable and cost effective.” For example I have intentionally priced my coaching plans and programs to be what I consider quite affordable for just about anyone. However, I still have people saying they “can’t afford” to work with me although they would like to. Yet those same people spend hundreds of dollars on the newest phone, video games or designer shoes without blinking an eye.

I honestly think that comes down to a matter of priorities more than how much money something actually costs. If you don’t value yourself and your health enough to invest in making improvements, no matter what the price is, in your mind it will be too expensive.

Regardless of your situation, I think it’s safe to say making simple, affordable changes to nutrition and supplementation is much more cost effective in the long run than dealing with a chronic, debilitating disease or condition. Medications, hospital stays, surgeries and doctor visits are much more expensive. You can fill a prescription for a drug with a laundry list of negative side effects for $5 with a prescription plan, but a natural supplement that could help you with no negative side effects might cost $25. You determine which is truly cheap or expensive to you.

We each have the choice to invest in our health now, or pay the price later.

The price we will pay for something tells how much we value it. How much do you value your health?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

Posted in Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Supplements | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Happy Easter

As we approach the beautiful holidays of Easter and Passover this week, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for reading my posts and for your comments and encouragement. They mean more to me than you know.

I wish you and your family every blessing as we begin these joyous celebrations. In the spirit of Easter and Passover I share this little thought someone sent me in an email:

Jesus died over 2,000 years ago.

No one has ever referred to Him as the “late” Jesus,

not even those who don’t believe; nowhere in history.

Nowhere has He ever been referred to in the past tense.

Because He is The Living God!

May He smile on you and your family today.

If you or someone you know is working on a side hustle – trying to build a side business while working your regular job, in this recent article on Sidepreneur Magazine, I share some important Advice on Being a Healthy Sidepreneur.

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