Household Dust Weight Loss Connection

Anyone who knows me knows housecleaning is my least favorite thing to do. I have two wonderful sister in laws who are immaculate housekeepers, but I guess I missed that gene. I have no problem cooking and baking up a storm, but I have to discipline myself to clean.

That being said, I just read research that makes me want to definitely step up my cleaning game. This new research says chemicals in household dust may promote fat cell growth! Yes, you read that right. Their research showed that “two-thirds of dust extracts they studied from homes in North Carolina were able to promote fat cell development and half promote precursor fat cell proliferation.”

Why is dust such a problem? It is composed of the accumulation of dead skin cells, dirt we track in from the outdoors, residue from furniture, cleaning products, cookware, as well as endocrine disrupting chemicals from plastics, the linings of food cans, toys and detergents.

This study from last year found house dust to be one of the most common sources of chemicals known as obesogens, which, interfere with how our bodies store and process fat, so this info isn’t really anything new. What is different in the more recent study is that it found even extremely low concentrations of these chemicals in dust might spur fat cell growth.

So what to do? Well besides dusting more often, wet dusting as opposed to dry dusting, which can spread those particles back into the air where you can inhale them, using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, using natural personal care and cleaning products and taking shoes off when you enter the house will all help reduce toxic load in your home. And maybe help you more easily maintain a healthy weight!

How often do you dust? Does it surprise you that household dust could impact weight gain?

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

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Posted in Detoxification, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Nutrition: A Novel Coffee Boost

Drinking coffee is known to boost alertness, well-being and concentration, along with improving mood and reducing depression. It is linked to numerous brain and health benefits including:

Reduced risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s

Decreased risk of colorectal, colon, endometrial and prostate cancers

In people 60 years and older, drinking two or more cups of coffee a day was associated with a lower risk of impaired agility in women and in those with obesity.

Here in the US, there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks on just about every street and it isn’t unusual to see people holding a coffee cup as they navigate streets and stores. There was a truly fascinating study done on whether it is possible to get that feeling of energy and productivity without actually drinking any coffee.

It turns out that you can get a productivity boost just by thinking about a cup of your favorite coffee. Interestingly both coffee and tea not only have physiological effects on your body, they also have psychological effects as well.

Many people’s brains may be primed toward arousal at the very thought of coffee, especially in our culture, where coffee dominates over tea. In the study, after being exposed to cues, such as images of coffee, the participants perceived time as shorter and thought in more concrete, precise terms, which suggests a more alert state of mind.

Even the smell of freshly brewed coffee is powerful! Another study of university students had some taking algebra tests in a computer lab with a coffee-like scent and others with no scent. Those in the coffee-scented room performed better on analytical reasoning tasks. So maybe even keeping a bag of coffee beans on hand for a quick sniff could be a caffeine free way to stimulate a mental boost.

If you avoid coffee because you avoid caffeine, even just thinking about it or smelling it could give you the productivity and energy boost without the caffeine.

Do you rely on coffee for energy and focus?

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, Fitness, Heart Health | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Health: How Does Prayer Impact It

As a Christian I know and believe prayer is powerful. When I pray, I am communing directly with my Creator and I know Him as the Healer. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, I would like to share some scientific evidence regarding the healing power of prayer for your consideration.

You may be aware of the mind-body connection. Our thoughts and beliefs have a great impact on our physical health. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs or religious practice, studies have shown that attending church services regularly, even as infrequently as once a month, can make a difference in longevity and mortality. Regular religious service attendance was found to have the same impact on health as moderate physical exercise.

Centenarians who live in the blue zones report that their spirituality keeps them going every day by giving them a purpose for their lives. Some studies have shown that for older adults, maintaining a regular spiritual practice can act as a natural buffer against chronic stress, reducing the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, strokes and other common age-related conditions.

A study of 34,000 Seventh Day Adventists over a period of 12 years found that those who went to church services frequently were 15-25% less likely to die at any age.

A Duke study of a group of 4,000 people over age 64 found that those who prayed regularly had significantly lower blood pressure than those who prayed intermittently. At Dartmouth Medical Center, one of the best predictors of survival among 232 heart patients was the degree to which they drew comfort from prayer. In studies at several medical centers, prayer had been shown to speed recovery from depression, stroke, hip surgery, rheumatoid arthritis, heart attacks, bypass surgery, and alcoholism.

There’s lots of talk about the benefits of mindfulness. Well, prayer, is the original mindfulness meditation! The words you speak and the thoughts you think release hormones and chemicals that powerfully affect your physical health. Our beliefs have great power, including healing power. I don’t believe it is an exaggeration to say words are the most powerful things in the universe. A recent news story is a powerful reminder of the power of healing prayer.

Scientists measured the relationship between prayer and spiritual health and found both private and public prayer predicted better levels of spiritual health. Prayer has statistically significant positive effects on overall health. We are three-part beings after all: we are spirit beings, who have a soul (mind, will, emotions) and we live in a physical body. To think each aspect of your being doesn’t affect the others is ridiculous.

All too often we complicate prayer and make it this mystical practice only very few are proficient at. This isn’t true at all. Prayer for me is direct, honest, 2 way communication with God. It is sharing my worries, concerns, questions and joys with Someone I trust and then listening. I share one more powerful story of healing prayer and leave it to you to decide.

What has your experience with prayer been?

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

 

Posted in Emotional Health, Overall Health and Wholeness, Soul Health, Spiritual Health | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Nutrition: Are Eggs Really Bad for You

I have been telling clients for years not to avoid eggs, even if they are trying to balance cholesterol levels. In fact, I usually recommend they eat them daily in that case! Recently, yet another (flawed) JAMA egg study was publicized across all media warning that the cholesterol in eggs is associated with a higher risk of heart disease and early death. Well which is it?? Are they good or bad for heart health?

According to that study of 30,000 U.S. adults, for each extra half-egg eaten per day, the risk of cardiovascular disease increased 6%, and risk of early death went up 8%. At first glance those numbers can be frightening. However, as with all things, you have to look beyond that first glance to get to the truth. As far as cardiovascular risk goes, those are pretty small numbers when you compare them to smoking, which increases your risk by 200 to 400%, or taking the birth control pill, increasing risk of heart attack by 50 to 80% in some cases. Researchers claim eggs cause cardiovascular disease by raising your cholesterol, but higher egg intake was actually related to lower LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol. So what are we supposed to believe?

Well let’s look just a little more closely at the study itself. It is what is called an observational study. That means researchers observe and examine the eating habits and health outcomes of a population over time, in this case 17 years. The problem with this type of study is two-fold and it all links to a lack of accuracy: people tend to only accurately recall about 50% of what they eat; and even if the data is accurate, there are other factors that make it difficult, if not impossible to identify how one food is affecting health. For example, is the person also eating bread with every meal? That will skew the results.

Also, the questionnaire used to compile these findings was completed at only one point in time over the course of that 17-year study. Their conclusions were based solely on that.

In my opinion we should focus on real risk factors rather than demonizing a truly nutritious food. Other, well designed studies have proven just the opposite.

So, it all goes back to my basics. Choose the highest quality, one-ingredient foods you can find and afford, in a form as close to how God created them, and that agree with your particular metabolic makeup. I, for one, am not avoiding eggs. Cholesterol is a vital substance. Even if you don’t eat it, your body is created to produce it.  A pasture raised, organic egg may just be the perfect food, providing a complete source of essential and nonessential amino acids, healthy fatty acids as well as vitamins and minerals essential for promoting a well-functioning immune system.

My advice when you hear or read these types of study results is first take a deep breath and relax, then dig a bit deeper and find out how the study was done and if you should really make any changes based on it.

What do you think about these types of sensational headlines that demonize a particular food?

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 Heart Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Weight Loss: Why Hire a Health Coach

Have you ever gone to your doctor, knowing you need to lose weight, only to have him or her say, just eat less and exercise more? Or perhaps they told you to start tracking your calories and keep them under a certain number. Those are very generic recommendations and depending on why you are overweight to begin with they may or may not even work. One of the very first weight loss clients I ever worked with completed her food logs and questionnaire and my first comment was that she wasn’t eating enough! In some instances, that can stall weight loss and in her case it was.

One size never fits all, which is why there is no one perfect diet for everyone! Even a recent study confirms that generic weight loss advice not only doesn’t work, but patients tend to lose less weight! The study revealed that patients who received more explicit advice lost an average of 7 pounds more than the generic advice group.

Telling someone to just “clean up your diet” or “eat healthier” is also way too generic. What do either of those things actually mean? So when I work with someone doing my Today is Still the Day 7 Week plan it all begins with a phone consultation, food logs and a detailed questionnaire. Unless I understand where you are when we begin, I can’t personalize the plan to fit your specific needs. And that is the critical piece of the puzzle most generic diets overlook. As I mention in the preface to Today is Still the Day, “any diet will cause you to lose weight, temporarily.” Making lasting changes that improve your overall health is key. And generic recommendations will never address that.

Please don’t think I am criticizing doctors for not giving patients more specific recommendations. I am, however, suggesting that also working with a health coach who is able to focus on you specifically and tailor a plan to address your needs and fit your lifestyle will make all the difference.

I shared my daughter’s personal experience in a recent newsletter and Cindy’s story in a past newsletter, and they both very clearly illustrates exactly why a health coach can turn things around when you are doing all you know to do and are still stuck. Sometimes being overweight is a symptom of another problem, not the problem itself.

Would you consider investing in yourself by working with a health coach? Can you see how it may just shed light on the true issue?

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, Weight loss, Women's Issues | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Nutrition: Don’t Fall for This

I’ve done blog posts (here and here) and newsletters before on the dangers of artificial sweeteners and healthier, natural alternatives. What I wanted to alert you to here is a new line of artificial sweeteners fortified with vitamins and minerals under the Equal Plus brand.

We are told a single packet provides 10% of the daily recommended value of the added vitamins and minerals so they’re marketed as a “good source” of those nutrients. Simply adding vitamins to dangerous artificial sweeteners in no way makes them a healthy food or source of nutrients!

They still raise your risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and related health conditions, destroy gut microbiota, cause glucose intolerance and interact with sweet-taste receptors throughout your digestive system that play a role in glucose absorption and trigger insulin secretion.

I’ve cautioned against making the mistake of thinking artificially sweetened products are a healthy weight loss option as the opposite is true. Now I want to strongly urge you to avoid this new product thinking it’s an easy way to boost vitamin intake. The negatives definitely do not outweigh the positives. For instance this one with vitamin C and zinc says it helps support a healthy immune system. Partially true. Vitamin C and zinc will definitely do that, but not in tandem with a dangerous artificial sweetener that decimates your gut microbiome, where most of your immune system lives.

I am definitely someone who loves to get the most bang from my nutritional buck. I put close to a dozen ingredients into my protein smoothies making them a nutritional powerhouse and even make my morning tea as nutritionally dense as possible. But this is not a good way to increase vitamin intake.

Please avoid these fortified artificial sweeteners at all costs.

My interview on Blissful Living airs today! You can listen on any of the following websites: 

iHeartRadio: ihr.fm/2LJNeBX

Webtalk Radio: bit.ly/2JF7dRA

Stitcher: https://bit.ly/2Uiue2d  

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2SNQEH5

I would love to hear your comments after you listen!

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, Cancer, Diabetes, Digestive Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Your Healthy Attitude Affects Nutrition

Eating clean, healthy foods and exercising are part of the puzzle. A new study reveals a positive attitude and mindset could be the missing piece. In this study of over 1,000 people, they refer to a positive outlook as a promotion focus. These positive participants focused on pursuing and engaging in healthy behaviors.

The study found these people were more likely to have good nutritional habits than those with a slightly more negative outlook, what they termed a “prevention focus”. People with a prevention focus were described as those who were more concerned about avoiding unhealthy behaviors. So essentially the difference is between focusing on the positive or the negative.

According to the research, consciously choosing to focus on the beneficial things you can do for your health like having a green smoothie in the morning and meal prepping on the weekend, as opposed to focusing on the things you should avoid, like sugar, junk food and carbs, could result in healthier habits over time.

And in order to make any nutritional changes that will actually benefit you long-term, you have to be in it for the long haul. The changes need to be ones you can sustain over time. This is true if you are trying to lose weight or just clean up your diet and eat better.

There is a very strong correlation between emotional health and physical health so working to improve your mindset and attitude and make them more positive will benefit you mentally and emotionally as well as physically. Meditation has proven to be one of the most effective ways to improve in this area. Even simply reflecting deeply on what is most important to you and why can help you shift your mindset and make healthier changes.

Would you say you have a promotion focus or a prevention focus? How is that working for you as far as making 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, Overall Health and Wholeness, Soul Health, Spiritual Health | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments