Health: Being the Salt of the Earth

Earlier this month I did several posts about how salt impacts physical health. I find it fascinating that what we’ve been told for years about salt being bad for you, causing high blood pressure, heart disease, making you thirsty and dehydrated are now being proven to be false!

As with all things, I believe quality is the key issue. For example, choosing the cleanest, high quality foods. Eating CAFO beef and grass-fed and finished beef are two very different things and will have dramatically different effects on your health. As I said in the previous posts, the quality of the salt you use is definitely very important.

I was thinking about the posts on salt and its health benefits. It made me think of the verse in Matthew where Jesus calls us the “salt of the earth.” I wanted to look at the parallels and find them quite powerful.

We know that sodium chloride (salt) is the only trace mineral found in every cell of the body and that life is not possible without it. It is critical for fluid and electrolyte balance. Salt was once considered so valuable it was used as currency! Roman soldiers were paid in salt. You’ve probably heard someone say a person is “worth their salt” and that comes from this meaning.

Salt adds flavor (not just “saltiness” to food if it is unprocessed) to our food. Each of us is created to add “flavor” to our world, to season our relationships, circumstances and conversations in our own unique way. We are to enhance everything and everyone we come in contact with and act as life-preserving agents! Our unique life experiences become our testimony to share with others and add our particular flavor to our relationships. The most important way I do this is by sharing the love of God to everyone I come in contact with.

Offering a smile, a kind word, encouragement, support and sharing someone’s sadness are all beautiful ways to be salt in the world.

Salt was and is still used as a cleansing agent for wounds. When someone has dental work done or has a sore throat, rinsing or gargling with salt water is still one of the best ways to kill germs and reduce infection. I think about being able to be a purifier in certain situations and conversations. If people are getting angry or negative, I can add my “salt” and attempt to turn the direction of the conversation.

Scripture also tells us that our speech is to be “gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Too much of anything is not good for you! Without water we will die, but drink too much too quickly and the same thing can happen! Too much salt in a dish and rather than be flavorful, it’s just salty and inedible. Knowing when to speak and when to be quiet and what to say and how to say it is another way we can be salt in the earth.

I don’t know about you but I enjoy thinking about these types of analogies for how we can be a positive influence in the world we live in. It’s an undervalued aspect of our purpose for being here. When you feel you have little to offer in a situation, try remembering that you are the salt of the earth and that’s more than you realize.

Are you the salt of the earth in your sphere of influence?

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

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Food: Your Secret Weapon for Health

*This article first appeared in the No-Nonsense Nutrition Report which you can subscribe to for free right here.

Let’s begin with why and how food is the secret, yet underappreciated, weapon for a truly healthy life. Properly nourishing ourselves is the foundation of health and that’s true from conception to death!

This is why my favorite recipes and all my coaching programs revolve around creating your own healthy, unique fuel blend!

Let’s face it, eating is non-negotiable. We all have to eat each day to survive. So it makes sense that understanding how to eat properly is truly one of the most powerful tools available to help you take control of your health. Many chronic diseases can be prevented and often reversed simply due to the many health-giving properties of whole foods.

Whole Foods

That’s an important point I don’t want to just gloss over. When I talk about “whole foods” I am talking about real, fresh, unprocessed, properly raised and/or grown, clean, one-ingredient foods that are actually food! Not “food-like products.”

Learning how to put them together to create a unique fuel blend that works best with our specific makeup is the next step. Some people do best on all veggies, others need animal foods, and still others need to include some healthy carbs. We are each a one of a kind masterpiece and what works for me may not necessarily work for you. That’s why anytime I work with a client we personalize the plan to their specific needs.

Of course with the contaminated food supply we must navigate, knowing how to choose the cleanest, healthiest foods is critical. It is one of the things I try to share in the newsletters and in these blog posts.

If you look back over some of the newsletters from 2016 you will see numerous foods that are helpful for all sorts of conditions from lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes prevention and reversal, weight loss, healthy vision, strong bones, beautiful skin and more! 

Here’s how I see it: God created these foods for us to nourish ourselves. We have to eat each day, so choosing the best quality foods and creating the specific fuel blend that works best for our unique makeup is the easiest, tastiest and best way to create a foundation of vibrant health. 

NO-NONSENSE NUTRITION NUGGET: “No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.” Maimonides 

Don’t eat anything your great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. There are a great many food-like items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn’t recognize as food…stay away from these.” Michael Pollan 

Today, more than 95% of all chronic disease is caused by food choice, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiencies and lack of physical exercise.” Mike Adams 

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, Heart Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health and Fitness: How to Boost Energy and Stay Fit at Any Age

You have probably heard of or read about HIIT, high intensity interval training, and how you can get excellent fitness benefits in a fraction of the time of conventional aerobic exercise. For most of us, who find spending hours in the gym impossible, it’s a wonderful option. But it has even more profound benefits than just improving fitness, helping with weight loss and saving time! Some of those include greater fat loss than regular exercise, improved cardiovascular health by increasing VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen you can take in while exercising) and reducing insulin resistance.

I recommend trying HIIT and including it in your exercise regimen in Today’s the Day.

One of the primary contributors to virtually all chronic degenerative disease, like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s is mitochondrial dysfunction, which research suggests half of people under the age of 40 have! So what are mitochondria and why is this so important to health?

According to Live Science, “mitochondria are specialized structures unique to the cells of animals, plants and fungi. They serve as batteries, powering various functions of the cell and the organism as a whole.

We each have over 1 quadrillion mitochondria, which comprise about 10% of our total body mass. They are responsible for production of energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The more mitochondria you have and the healthier they are, the more energy your body can generate and the lower your risk of chronic disease.

Studies also show HIIT is very effective for boosting mitochondria and improving their function, particularly in older people. This article details a 12-week Mayo Clinic study of 72 sedentary people aged either 30 or younger or 64 and over. The results showed that those engaging in HIIT not only had improved muscle mass, strength and endurance, biological aging was also positively impacted, particularly in the older participants.

You can perform HIIT at any age and still reap major benefits, and quickly. The older you are the lower your maximum heart rate will be, and the more gradually you will want to increase your repetitions. You can still get benefits from working out at a slightly lower intensity; you simply increase the time you work out to make up for it. Always use wisdom and listen to your body.

Have you tried HIIT? If not, would you consider making it part of your exercise routine?

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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Health: Could Too Much Coffee Be Causing this Deficiency?

Did you know that the average person in the United States consumes just over 300 mg of caffeine per day (the amount of caffeine in just over three cups of coffee)?

When people talk about whether to drink coffee or not, usually the thing they focus on is the caffeine. If you are sensitive to caffeine as I am, you should definitely limit the amount and make sure you have it early enough that it doesn’t hinder your ability to sleep.

That happened to me. My husband was given several boxes of raspberry tea years ago. Without carefully reading the package, and just assuming it was herbal tea, I made a cup after dinner. It was delicious! So delicious in fact, I had a second cup. And then found myself unable to sleep or shut my brain down for 2 days! Literally. I went back and realized it was black tea with raspberry flavor. Live and learn.

Drinking a high quality coffee in moderation, does have health benefits, if you like it. But here is something you may not be aware of. Caffeine in coffee increases excretion of sodium and chloride (aka salt) both through sweat and urine. Here’s why this could be a bigger problem than just having too much caffeine.

We’ve been told forever it seems that salt is bad for us and we have to limit it. We’ve been told salt is bad for the heart. We are learning now that the opposite seems to be true. Numerous studies have, overall, refuted the salt-heart disease connection. In fact, studies found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death. In fact, salt restriction actually increased the risk of death in those with heart failure.

Salt is an essential nutrient required for blood pressure regulation, transporting nutrients into and out of your cells, maintaining hydration and brain-muscle communication. Salt is actually a nutritional superstar, provided you consume the right kind, and maintain a proper salt-to-potassium ratio. But all salts are not equal, in terms of their impact on your health. Processed, white (table) salt is known to raise blood pressure, while natural unprocessed salt (like Himalayan Crystal and Celtic sea) is not only healing, but in fact essential for many biological functions.

So, if you eat all processed, packaged foods, then you probably do get way too much sodium. And I am all for eliminating processed foods as well as replacing processed, white table salt with natural, unprocessed salt that provides all the trace minerals your body needs, not just sodium. Of course, balancing that out with plenty of potassium-rich veggies is the other part of that equation.

However, you can also become sodium depleted, especially if you limit intake of salt or you drink too many caffeinated beverages!

So let’s put this into perspective: According to one study, 90 mg of caffeine (the amount of caffeine found in one cup of coffee) caused 437 mg of extra sodium loss. When study participants consumed the caffeine equivalent of about four cups of coffee (360 mg of caffeine) there was around a 1,200 mg additional loss of sodium. Keep in mind, the original limit on sodium intake set back in 1977 was only 1,200 mg per day. No one ever mentioned that we could lose that much sodium by consuming just four cups of coffee, which many people routinely do!

Maybe you’re wondering what the big deal is if you become sodium depleted. Well, you can experience dehydration, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, and cognitive impairment. One of the foundational principles of all my coaching is to drink one-half your body weight in ounces of water daily and to include ¼ teaspoon of natural, unprocessed salt for every 32 oz. It helps the water to properly hydrate your cells and every client I’ve ever worked with who balked at this, ended up telling me how much more energy they had after including the salt.

Even if you are consuming the upper recommended limit of sodium intake which is 2,300 mg per day or one teaspoon of salt, you could still become sodium depleted through the additional salt loss in your sweat as well as urine if you consume a lot of caffeine and particularly if you exercise or do work outside in the heat.

Most Americans consume caffeine every day so most of us are probably at risk of salt deficit.

Do you think you may be at risk of salt deficit?

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

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Weight Loss: Another Reason for Adding Salt to Your Water

One of the important principles in the Today’s the Day Plan is to drink one-half your body weight in ounces of water and to include ¼ teaspoon of natural, unprocessed salt, like Celtic or Himalayan Crystal, for every 32 oz.

As we all know, staying properly hydrated is critical for overall health. Although we think of our body as flesh, blood and bone, approximately 70% of our body is water! You need water to properly digest and metabolize the food you eat. Interestingly, when you are dehydrated, you are unable to effectively process emotions as well. I think we can agree water is critical. But why do I recommend including a specific amount of salt?

According to Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D., (Dr. B) an internationally renowned researcher, author and advocate of the natural healing power of water, this is the most effective amount of salt to water ratio. As I explain in Today’s the Day, natural, unprocessed salt has all the minerals that your blood naturally contains and that your body craves. It helps balance electrolytes, keeps your system alkalized, keeps blood thinner and therefore helps to lower blood pressure naturally. Also, according to Dr. B, if we drink too much water and don’t take in enough salt for our water intake, the body will release histamine, which means allergy symptoms!

As if that wasn’t enough to convince you, particularly if weight loss is a goal, there are even more reasons not to shy away from salt. This fascinating article relates studies conducted on Russian cosmonauts which showed that eating more salt made them less thirsty but somehow hungrier. Before you protest, urine tests revealed they were producing higher amounts of glucocorticoid hormones, which affect your metabolism, causing increased fat and muscle breakdown.

These broken-down muscle proteins are converted into urea, which helps your body excrete waste via urine as well as helping your body retain water. So a newly found side effect of higher salt intake is freeing up water for your body to use. This process uses more energy which is why it increased hunger.

Subsequent animal research found that mice burned more calories when they consumed more salt, requiring 25% more food just to maintain their weight. So one exciting implication of this finding is that salt may be involved in weight loss.

Two words of caution, however. First, when you do use salt, make sure it’s unrefined and minimally processed as I mentioned at the beginning. The one I use daily is Himalayan pink salt, rich in naturally-occurring trace minerals needed for healthy bones, fluid balance and overall health, as well as sodium and chloride, which are essential for life because your body cannot make these elements on its own. Keep in mind, processed table salt (and salt in most processed foods) is 97% sodium chloride and chemicals. Natural, unprocessed salt is 84% sodium chloride and 16% essential trace minerals your body needs. Quality is always most important and salt is no exception.

And second, if you’re eating a lot of processed foods and very few, high potassium, fresh vegetables, your sodium-to-potassium balance is virtually guaranteed to be reversed. When this ratio is imbalanced, it can lead to high blood pressure as well as be a contributing factor to a number of other serious health problems.

Does it surprise you that salt can be a secret weapon for weight loss?

**I am offering a limited time special on 3 of my most popular coaching plans in honor of what would’ve been my mom’s 99th birthday today! Ends 7/5 at midnight and only 20 spots available. Click here to learn more!**

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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How Creativity Improves Health

Drawing or painting; doing arts and crafts; cross-stitch or needlepoint; dancing; singing; playing an instrument – do these activities have any impact on your health? You bet they do! Probably more than you even realize.

Maybe, like me, you have never considered yourself “artistic” because a young 3-year old can draw better pictures than you can or your singing would most definitely qualify as noise, not music. But I am happy to tell you that there are many more avenues for expressing your artistic nature than you may have considered and how good you are has little bearing on its benefits to your health. I don’t know about you but that’s good news to me!

If like me you do not play any musical instrument, cannot sing well and love to dance but definitely wouldn’t win on Dancing with the Stars, it’s encouraging to know that even just listening to music or looking at artwork has healing benefits. Music has the power to positively influence inflammatory cytokines and cortisol, reduce stress, and bypass the conscious mind, thereby providing health benefits for stress-related illnesses.

According to cognitive neuroscientist, Dr. Caroline Leaf, in her excellent book, Who Switched off My Brain, “Research shows around 87% of illnesses can be attributed to our thought life and approximately 13% to diet, genetics and environment. Studies conclusively link more chronic diseases (also known as lifestyle diseases) to an epidemic of toxic emotions in our culture.”

Another study found that listening to music during childbirth reduced the level of postpartum anxiety and pain, as well as the rate of early postpartum depression.

Dr. Assad Meymandi writes: “Since ancient times, music has been recognized for its therapeutic value. Greek physicians used flutes, lyres, and zithers to heal their patients. They used vibration to aid in digestion, treat mental disturbance, and induce sleep. Aristotle, in his famous book De Anima, wrote that flute music could arouse strong emotions and purify the soul. Ancient Egyptians describe musical incantations for healing the sick.”

The healing frequencies used by David in the Bible to soothe King Saul have been rediscovered and combined with beautiful, healing music I love playing as I work in my home. They’re called Wholetones and I encourage you to check them out for yourself. My point is, this is not new information. We’ve just forgotten it and thankfully are rediscovering the power of music and frequencies for health.

If you wonder how creativity, whether it is coloring in a coloring book, cooking, baking cookies, creating new recipes, decorating a cake, writing in your journal or writing a poem, story or blog post, singing in the shower or the car (my favorite place!), arranging flowers, planting your garden or just appreciating nature or someone else’s music or artwork can benefit you, let me explain.

Stimulating the relaxation response, which happens to be the opposite of the stress response, is equated with improved health. Creativity facilitates deep relaxation. Studies showed people felt more relaxation or had reduced stress after creating or enjoying art.

If you read through the list of possibilities I shared above, you will realize that as beings created in God’s image, we all have creative ability! We tend to look at creativity from to narrow a perspective. At least I did.  So don’t worry about being a master at it. Choose something that exercises your personal creativity, brings you joy and allows you to use your imagination as it calms and relaxes you and you will be tapping into the healing power of creativity.

What is your favorite creative outlet?

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, Digestive Health, Emotional Health, Heart Health, Overall Health and Wholeness, Soul Health, Spiritual Health | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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?

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