Health: It’s Always Time for Spring Cleaning

Typically we begin spring cleaning our homes in March or April, before Easter and Passover. The weather is beginning to be nice and we can at least occasionally open the windows and let the fresh, clean spring air in as we scrub and polish our homes.

As much as I dislike housecleaning (and anyone who knows me knows it is far from something I enjoy doing), the feeling of refreshing I get after thoroughly cleaning my house is definitely worth the effort.

The “house” you live in, and I’m not talking about the brick and wood house now, I am talking about your physical body that houses your spirit and soul – that house needs periodic deep cleansing to function optimally too.

That is usually referred to as a detox or cleanse and many people are either turned off by those terms or afraid of them. I consider regular, periodic detoxing to be an important aspect of staying healthy. And don’t think because it’s now summer that it’s too late. I like to do a detox at the beginning of every new season! Besides you don’t just spring clean your house and then never clean it the rest of the year!

It’s important to realize and understand that YOU decide the quality of your life.  Here is an important truth: You will only feel as good as the nutrients you put in your body and are able to absorb and utilize fully.

We live in a toxic world! Besides air and water pollution, we have a severely compromised food supply, we are bombarded with EMFs, toxic drugs and personal care products, as well as toxic thoughts, feelings, relationships and beliefs! We are bombarded on every side with toxicity. It makes sense that periodically, intentionally detoxing would free our bodies, minds and spirits to release what hinders them from absorbing true nutrition.

Giving your body what it needs, will help you become more productive, look better, have more energy and feel wonderful. And it doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult. In fact it shouldn’t be. There are several different ways you can go about it.

You know I am a huge proponent of “baby steps” – small, simple, gradual, incremental, convenient steps towards better health.  You can effectively do a simple, easy beginner 5-day detox just by increasing your water intake, having a cup of warm water with lemon juice first thing and focusing your meals on lots of non-starchy, leafy greens and other veggies and extra fiber which can come from a serving of beans.

Detox is the first step of my Today’s the Day plan because a congested liver will make losing weight much more difficult if not impossible! In fact the first 2 weeks are “detox weeks” and are essentially what I described above with some supplements you may choose to include.

I like to take one day every week (usually Monday) and do a modified fast to cleanse my physical body and also to retain control over my appetite and habits. It’s my way of showing my body who’s the boss. It’s a great way to start the week feeling clean, energized and in control. I try and include spirit and soul detox as well since we are thinking-feeling spirit beings and as I mentioned, thoughts, relationships, beliefs and emotions carry toxicity that also needs to be addressed.

Another easy way to include these simple detox principles is to do my 14-Day Diet Reboot. You get everything you need – menus, recipes, shopping list and links to resources. It’s a painless way to see if changing your diet is something you really can do.

Clients who’ve done the Reboot have not only gone on to then do the Today’s the Day Plan and lose a considerable amount of weight, but have learned, easily, how to clean up their diet and after 2 weeks found it easy to continue this way of eating. Think of it as a “detox” on training wheels!

Gently detoxing ourselves and changing our habits gradually is the best way to achieve the vibrant health we all want.

What keeps you from regularly detoxing?

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Posted in Detox, Detoxification, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Soul Health, Spiritual Health, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Nutrition: Read This if You Still Drink Coke

Sodas like Coke are definitely not healthy. They’re loaded with high fructose corn syrup which is an especially strong driver of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. It is an especially dangerous sweetener because unlike glucose and other forms of sugar, it is the only one directly metabolized by the liver and which is almost immediately converted to fat.

Add to that it has phosphoric acid (all sodas do) which breaks down bone tissue! And if you were thinking drinking sugar-free Coke is the answer – think again. Those artificial sweeteners have their own laundry list of very dangerous side effects.

I found this infographic about what happens to your body one hour after drinking a can of coke absolutely alarming – especially since so many children drink soda! I believe it speaks for itself and says more than I could about why you should avoid these types of beverages.

How does this make you feel about drinking Coke?

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Posted in Children's Health, Diabetes, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Nutrition: One More Reason to Go Gluten Free

If I asked you to name one of the most benign, safe over-the-counter type drugs, most of you would name one of the anti-inflammatory NSAID drugs like ibuprofen. Many people use these drugs weekly for minor aches and managing chronic pain. And of course, since we don’t need a prescription, we figure they’re harmless. Right?

But aside from the fact that taking too many can cause an ulcer, these drugs are not quite as harmless as we would believe.

What we are just learning now is that ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs can be a contributing factor to gluten sensitivity. And even if you are one of the very few who are not gluten sensitive, taking these drugs could lead to these gut issues down the road.

You may have gluten sensitivity and not be aware of it.  As I detail in my Baby Steps Guide to Going Gluten Free, Dr. Alessio Fassano states: “Gluten sensitivity affects six to seven times more people than celiac disease.” According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, as many as 18 million Americans may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

So if you use these drugs regularly, you need to be aware of this potential danger. I’ve said many times before that when you have a headache or backache it is not an indication of an Advil, Aleve or Motrin deficiency! These drugs essentially mask the problem. They don’t address the root cause. The bottom line is that anyone regularly using these drugs will experience an increase in intestinal permeability – leaky gut.

In case you aren’t sure why you should care about whether you have leaky gut, let me explain a bit. The cells that line your intestines allow nutrients in and out. There are very small spaces between them. It creates a very effective filter. This allows nutrients to be absorbed and provides protection. So picture a very fine mesh strainer or the screens on your windows with tiny, uniform openings that let air in and keep bugs out.

Zonulin, an intestinal molecule that is increased by the gliadin in wheat, causes those spaces to widen allowing larger molecules to get into the bloodstream. This can cause inflammation and other problems. I explain in much more detail in my Baby Steps Guide to Going Gluten Free.

For me the bottom line is that these over-the-counter drugs are definitely not harmless and even worse, all they do is mask and manage pain without ever addressing the cause of the pain, leading to overuse over time.

Recent research shows how impactful your gut is to every aspect of your overall health – brain health, skin, digestive, joints, heart! So why take something for relief in the moment that may cause bigger problems down the line?

Do you use NSAID drugs regularly or often? Have you noticed an increase in symptoms you may not have attributed to them?

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!

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Posted in Brain health, Digestive Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Healthy and Healthy for You are Two Different Things

If you go on ten different health or weight loss websites, you are likely to find ten different approaches to achieving your goal. One may stress that going vegetarian or vegan is the best diet. Someone else may recommend an all raw foods diet. One expert will tell you to eliminate all carbs while another will be just as adamant that healthy whole grains are absolutely necessary for health. And on and on it goes!

There are nuggets of wisdom in each of these but I honestly believe there are just a couple of basic principles that would apply to everyone and then it becomes a matter of choosing what works best with your unique chemistry, regardless of what any expert tells you. It can be as simple as paying attention to how your body responds to the foods you are eating and making the necessary adjustments.

If you are gaining weight, experiencing digestive issues like bloating or constipation, experiencing low energy levels, hormonal fluctuations, aches and pains or any other health issue, perhaps you need to listen more carefully to your body!

I mentioned that I believe there are only a couple of basic principles that apply to everyone and form the foundation of healthy nutrition. Here are my foundational four:

1.Eat the best quality, whole, real, one-ingredient foods you can afford.

2. Avoid processed foods as much as possible. (Those that come in a package and have ingredients. Real foods are ingredients.)

3. Don’t eliminate any macronutrient – you need clean protein, healthy fats and non-starchy carbs (vegetables). Quality is the critical factor – choosing the highest quality and best form of each.

4. Keep a food log so you can track what is working for you and what isn’t.

This is why I call my Today’s the Day Plan a blueprint. There are no hard and fast rules and it’s not a diet – it’s a plan we personalize to fit your needs. I had one gentleman who needed to drastically lower his triglycerides and in the process of doing that he lost 20 lbs. Another lady was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and in the process of normalizing her glucose levels, she lost 30 lbs. and counting! All on this plan, personalized to their needs.

Weight loss can be a pleasant side effect of eating the right foods for your body.

There is no one diet that is right for every person. Our bodies change with time and even though a diet worked well for you in your 20’s and 30’s, you may find you need to make adjustments in your 40’s and beyond. That is natural and normal. We are not static beings, we are always changing and adapting so why shouldn’t our nutrition?

Do you feel you are choosing the foods that work best for your unique chemistry?

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, Fitness, Heart Health, Nutrition, Weight loss, Women's Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Healthy Living: Be Crabby and Embrace Change

Digital StillCamera

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?

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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