Health: Sweat and Tears Communicate Emotions

We all know our blood is the life of our body. It is kept within specific levels and having healthy blood is critical to overall health. But do you just consider sweat and tears to be just random fluids leaving your body for different reasons? You may be surprised to know just how unique and specific they are to you personally.

There are three different types of tears your body produces: basal tears which protect and lubricate your eyes, reflex tears released in response to irritants like dust, onions, smoke or wind and emotional tears. While all three are a combination of salt water, oils, antibodies, and enzymes they each look very different when examined under a microscope.

The ability to cry and produce tears play a role in helping you identify your own feelings. Dr. William Frey discovered that reflex tears are 98% water, whereas emotional tears also contain stress hormones which get excreted from the body through crying. After studying the composition of tears, Dr. Frey found that emotional tears release these hormones and other toxins which accumulate during stress. Additional studies also suggest that crying stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer and “feel-good” hormones.” Humans are the only creatures known to shed emotional tears. Shedding tears is actually a safe and effective way to deal with stress and sadness.

But what about sweating? While it’s definitely an avenue of detoxification and a means of regulating body temperature, your sweat can also communicate emotions. Maybe you’ve seen the deodorant commercial of the girl trying to dry her armpits on a hand dryer in a rest room with the take away being that stress sweat smells different from other sweat. Well it seems that is true.

Emotionally-induced sweating communicates what you are feeling and research reveals that the scent in sweat will tell you how others are feeling. Psychologists collected sweat samples from 10 men in an experiment as they watched videos designed to evoke feelings of fear or disgust. Thirty-six women were then asked whether they could detect any emotional cues hidden in the sweat samples. The researchers found when women were exposed to fear-derived sweat samples, their own facial expressions suggested fear and when they were exposed to disgust-based sweat samples, their faces mirrored that emotion as well.

So, far from just being a smelly fluid, sweat seems to be to be a rather effective means of transmitting an emotional state from one person to another. It highlights just how fearfully and wonderfully we are created, right down to our tears and sweat!

Have you ever been able to “smell” fear or disgust on someone?

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Fitness: Picking up the Pace Improves Health

I enjoy a leisurely walk around my neighborhood or on one of our local trails as much as anyone, but recent research indicates that walking at an average pace was associated with a 20% risk reduction for all-cause mortality compared with walking at a slow pace. Walking at a brisk or fast pace reduced the risk by 24%. Similar risk reduction carried over to cardiovascular health.  According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, exercise like brisk walking can help reduce the risk of breast cancer among women of all ages.

The researchers adjusted for factors such as total amount and intensity of all physical activity, age, sex and body mass index and found that sex and body mass index did not appear to influence outcomes. However, walking at an average or fast pace was associated with a significantly reduced risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease.

It seems something as simple as speeding up your walking pace could extend your life. We’ve been told to focus on how many steps we are logging a day, but perhaps our focus should be on how fast, not the number of steps.

What’s even more exciting is that these research results were even more pronounced in people 60 and over. Walking is a form of exercise that is available to almost everyone, whether you walk on a treadmill at home or in a gym or out on the street or on trails.

Even if you can’t do other forms of “exercise” most people can get active by walking, even if it is just around the house as my 89 year old dad used to do just to get the blood flowing. This is why it is my suggested way to get moving in my Today’s the Day plan.

There may be times or situations when there isn’t time to walk longer or there isn’t a safe place for a long walk, but you can always pick up the pace and know that you are improving your quality and length of life.

Would you be willing to just pick up the pace during your walks knowing it can lengthen your life?

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 Fitness, Heart Health, Intentional Exertion/Exercise, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Nutrition: 5 Ways to Eat More Mindfully

How you eat is just as important as what you eat. Michal Pollan says: “We forget that, historically, people have eaten for a great many reasons other than biological necessity. Food is also about pleasure, about community, about family and spirituality, about our relationship to the natural world, and about expressing our identity. As long as humans have been taking meals together, eating has been as much about culture as it has been about biology.”

You may be familiar with the term “mindfulness.” Well it definitely applies to eating your meals. The more attention you pay to how you eat your meals, the more you increase their ability to truly nourish you, physically as well as emotionally, and it enhances your enjoyment of your meals.

There are numerous aspects to consider in improving how you eat, including:

Atmosphere. Even if you are just having a cup of bone broth for lunch, it makes a difference in how it nourishes your body if you put it in a beautiful cup and sit down at the table to sip it slowly, enjoying the aroma and flavor. I recommend you always set a place and sit down to eat rather than standing at the counter or eating in the car. A calm, peaceful and relaxed atmosphere sets the stage for good digestion.

Distractions. Eating mindfully means focusing fully on the task at hand, which is enjoying your meal. Don’t read, watch TV, or use technology while eating. 28% of American employees don’t take a break for lunch, while 39% break for lunch but choose to stay at their desks and 2 out 3 people eat dinner in front of the television. According to results of 24 studies, people who eat distracted by laptop or TV were more likely to over-eat at mealtime and much more likely to have a bigger meal or snack subsequently. Not being “present” or “mindful” when you eat can negatively impact your waistline and your health!

Speed at which you eat. The faster you eat, the less time there is for your stomach to send signals of satiety to your brain, and the greater the chance that you’ll keep eating even when you’ve already met your caloric needs. In fact a large study found those who eat the fastest are 42% more likely to be obese than people who eat more slowly. Chewing each bite thoroughly goes along with this. It will not only slow you down but help you digest your food more completely. It also may be helpful to take a few slow, deep breaths before you begin your meal and then again several times during the meal.

Pay attention to emotions like gratitude, love, sadness, anger, stress, or happiness. Often if you are stressed, angry or sad and sometimes even happy, you eat for comfort rather than from true hunger. Being aware of your emotional state can help you avoid overeating and bingeing. If you eat when stressed or angry, digestion can shut down because your central nervous system shuts down blood flow, affects the contractions of your digestive muscles, and decreases secretions needed for digestion.

Timing. Research shows people who eat within two hours of going to sleep and snack frequently are at greater risk for obesity. Every time you eat, you spike your insulin levels, which prevents fat burning and encourages fat storage. Frequent snacking between meals creates insulin resistance so I strongly suggest cutting out snacking and just eating properly structured meals as well as closing down the kitchen by 7 pm or at least 2 hours before your bedtime.

Bringing just a little bit of attention to how you eat can make a big difference. The way you eat can powerfully enhance the healthy factors inherent in the good food you choose for even greater benefit.

Are you a mindful or a mindless eater? How can you make some healthy changes?

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, Soul Health, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Healthy Living: Choosing Normal over New?

We all get stuck in a rut every now and then. As for me, I am definitely a creature of habit. If I happen to make a meal that I especially enjoy, I can have it 5 days a week indefinitely. I don’t get bored with it. I have worked with other people who get bored very easily and have to switch things up constantly. When you are working on losing weight often it makes things so much easier to automate and just come up with 2 or three menus and cycle through them until you make some progress. Neither is wrong. It depends on how you are made. And we are all unique and different.

That’s not what I am referring to in this post. Often we are stuck in a habit that is no longer serving us. Many times it takes getting sick or injured for us to realize we better make some changes. Now I realize change is not easy and it is especially difficult for some of us, myself included. Some people love change and others dig their heels in and refuse to move out of their comfort zone.

I see this quite often as it relates to health and nutrition. Even when something is clearly not working for you, and you know it, familiarity usually wins. Even if it is painful – as in you are overweight, or in pain, or have no energy – there is a comfort about it. People in advertising use this truth all the time: they know people express undue liking for things merely because they’re familiar with them. It is referred to as the “familiarity breeds liking” effect.

Comfort zone isn’t all that comfortable at all – it’s just familiar! It feels safe and “normal.” Staying in that place, that comfort zone, can create a lot of collateral damage and unnecessary pain. So I don’t call that space a “comfort zone” I call it the default zone. It is what we know, feel safe with because it is familiar and so we just stay in it because the unknown, the new, is too scary!

But is it really? We have to break out of our patterns and embrace change, which may cause us some discomfort. However, we need to realize that we may already be quite uncomfortable in the situation we are in. Just because we are used to something, doesn’t mean it is the best situation for us.

This is true in relationships, in changing your diet, starting an exercise plan, beginning a new job – it all begins with an unknown. The only way it becomes familiar and our new normal is to push through the awkwardness in the beginning. You may have to get used to new foods. Change your meal times. Stop visiting those old friends (like chips and donuts and candy) and make some new ones (like kale, salmon and apples)!

I want to encourage you today not to stay stuck in “normal” and step out into “new”. You may like it so much better and you’ll never know until you take that step. The choice is yours. And you never have to do it alone. Help is one click away.

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.         

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Weight Loss: It’s An Inside Job

Guns don’t kill people any more than forks make them fat.”

I saw the above quotation recently and it really got me thinking. I read years ago about several overweight teenagers who sued McDonald’s for making them obese because they were addicted to the fast food.

Is it any more ridiculous to sue the company that made your silverware because you use their forks, knives and spoons to eat and you are overweight?

Listen, I talk about the importance of choosing real food and eliminating fast and packaged, processed junk food all the time. So I am the first one to stress how important what you put in your body is. But we have forgotten about personal responsibility. Somewhere along the way we have become a nation of finger-pointers!

It goes without saying that fast food restaurants should not heavily market to young children and it’s also true that the more you eat that food the more you crave it. It is made to be addictive. But parents are also responsible for limiting their children’s exposure to that junk and teaching them why. Just as important as choosing clean, fresh, whole foods that nourish your body instead of simply filling (and expanding) your belly is to educate yourself and develop discipline, taking responsibility for your choices.

Unless you make a conscious decision to choose real food and avoid junk as much as possible you can certainly become addicted to processed foods and many people do! While what you put into your body matters greatly, much of what really impacts your choices the most is what is already inside you: your thoughts, beliefs and feelings.

You can exercise and diet like crazy, lose a ton of weight and if you don’t address what is going on inside, you are essentially ensuring you gain it all back again and then some. Your spirit and soul are every bit as critical as your muscles and diet and yet often are completely overlooked. You may have grown up believing because your whole family is overweight that’s just the way it is and you have no choice in the matter. That will definitely influence the choices you make.

There is more to weight loss than simply adjusting your diet and exercising. You may be carrying around mental, emotional or spiritual “weight” that is preventing you from experiencing weight loss success you so desire. Weight loss, like most life changes, is an inside job.

Perhaps take some time to think about what you believe and if you need help with this, contact me and let’s talk.

Are you taking responsibility for your choices or just blaming your lack of success on external factors?

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, Soul Health, Spiritual Health, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Health: Maybe You Should Lose the Label

For me the foundation of health is nutrition. Whether you are trying to lose weight, normalize blood sugar or cholesterol, improve a pain problem or increase energy, it all begins with the fuel you choose to put into your body.

There are two issues that will affect how your chosen fuel affects your health: your personal metabolism and the quality of the fuel. We are all metabolically unique and so what works beautifully for me at this stage in my life may not work well for you. One size doesn’t fit all – ever! What worked for me at 20 and 40 doesn’t work for me now. And that’s ok. We are not only metabolically unique but our needs change periodically as well.

We have to be willing to adjust and make changes. I was essentially a vegetarian for the most part in my 20’s and 30’s until I started gaining weight in my early 40’s and just didn’t feel and look my best. So I researched and made some changes which actually resulted in my Today’s the Day (and soon to be released, updated Today is Still the Day) healthy weight loss plan.

I think we tend to get too stuck on labels. People can become almost vicious in “defending” their label, whether that particular way of eating is working for them or not! I find in some cases it is adhered to with almost religious fervor. That’s all well and good if it is working for you.

How do you know if it is working for you? Simple – ask yourself: Do you look and feel your best? And be sure you answer honestly.

If you don’t, maybe it is time to try another way? Even just temporarily. Remember, this is just creating healthy meals to nourish yourself for optimal health. It is not written in stone. You don’t have to eliminate meat (or start eating it ) for the rest of your life. Our bodies go through different seasons and what seems to be working now may not in 5 years. So you may need to make another change or as a friend of mine says – pivot! Staying flexible and open and paying attention to your body will pay incredible dividends in the long run. And making a change doesn’t mean you “failed” with whatever you were doing before. It just means it was time to change.

Here’s the bottom line as I see it: Listen to your body. Pay attention to the signs and cues it clearly gives you. Stay open to change and be flexible and willing to pivot. The only non-negotiable for me is the quality of the food I eat.

Is what you are doing working well for you or is it time to make a change?

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.

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My Birthday Message of Gratitude

Today is my birthday and for me a very significant one. Today I am the same age my mother was when she passed away.

It was shocking 36 years ago that my mother was gone, and very suddenly. What got her to that point happened over much of her life to that point. It was a culmination of her habits, choices, thoughts and beliefs. But she was only in the hospital for 3 weeks, so even though looking back it really wasn’t surprising, it was a shock.

I hadn’t even met my husband at that point and now looking back I am so sad for all she missed out on experiencing. She wasn’t there when I wore her wedding dress and married my husband. She never got to meet and enjoy her three amazing grandchildren. This especially touches me since I became a grandmother for the first time in 2016. I enjoyed raising my own babies and I am having a ball with my brilliant little grandson. So it’s especially heartbreaking for me to know she missed out on this incredible blessing.

Most of us grow up almost idolizing our parents and wanting to be just like them. As a young child I thought my mother was the most beautiful, amazing woman I could ever imagine and I wanted to be just like her. As I grew up I realized she was not taking very good care of herself. Unfortunately, in my very early 20’s I slipped into some of her very unhealthy and destructive habits.

Only by God’s grace did I have a very clear wake up call and turn my life around. Thankfully I have been blessed to have a very rich and satisfying life and I expect that to continue for many, many more years.

I knew my mother died way too young but now as I am that very same age, I realize just how young it really was and how much living she missed out on. As I honor my mom today, I thank God for giving me such a clear warning; I am thankful I listened and made a quality decision to live my life differently and I appreciate the opportunity to have been married for 35 years to a wonderful man and to have raised my three children. I love being able to enjoy them as adults now as much as I did when they were babies and small children. Maybe even more! And I adore my little grandson and all the other granchildren I hope to enjoy in the coming years.

As I look back from my vantage point today I can say your choices do matter – maybe more than you realize. I heard someone say his doctor asked him a very pointed question: if you could only have one car for your entire life, wouldn’t you take good care of it? The answer, of course, is yes! Well, we only get one vehicle to navigate through this life. It makes all the difference in the world how you care for it.

I wish everyone who takes the time to read this blog health, peace, joy and a long satisfying life.

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 Cancer, Emotional Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Women's Issues | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments