Stepping Out for Stress Relief

Are you struggling to cope with the stress of your daily life?

Are you suffering from the pressure of mental strain and anxiety, or feeling overwhelmed?

You’re not alone.

Most Americans feel some sort of daily stress in their lives, while even more may be suffering from health issues caused by stress and not even realize it!

Stress can affect your health by causing changes in your body or altering your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Ignoring symptoms of stress can also lead to serious health problems, as stress is linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Walk and Relieve Stress

Do you recognize any of these common symptoms of stress?

How Stress Affects the Body and Mind: (more…)

Got Magnesium? Top Foods to Add to Your Diet NOW to avoid Deficiency

Magnesium is a key player in human metabolism, participating in over 300 enzymatic reactions throughout every single organ in the body. It is a necessary component of your teeth and bones, and helps to regulate levels of calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, and vitamin D.

Magnesium is also involved in the activity and transmission of neurotransmitters and muscle relaxation. With all of these important functions, you would think that obtaining enough magnesium would be on the top of our list of dietary priorities – but most people in the U.S. likely do not get enough magnesium in their diets!

Food Sources of Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency is especially prevalent in the elderly, and is associated with metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, as well as heart disease and osteoporosis. It doesn’t help that it is difficult for your doctor to actually assess your magnesium status, since most of the magnesium in your body is located inside of cells or within the bone.

The measure of serum magnesium concentration in your blood does not usually reflect the actual total levels of magnesium in the body or in specific tissues.

How can adding magnesium to my diet help me?

10 Reasons to Eat More Avocados

Avocados, which are sometimes also called butter fruit or alligator pears, are a popular stone fruit that grows in warm climates, and is often a feature of Mexican and South American cuisine.

10 Reasons to Eat More Avocados

We all know that eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables is one of the best decisions you can make for long-term health benefits, and adding avocados into the mix can give you an added boost because they are one of the few fruits out there that contain healthy fats! (more…)

8 Ways to Keep Our THYROID Happy

MP900399287The thyroid is a very important organ in our bodies. It is a butterfly shaped gland positioned at the front of our neck, just below the center. Here, it regulates our metabolism by releasing hormones. When the thyroid operates at a less than optimal state, we can experience symptoms such as tiredness, weight gain, headaches, constipation and muscle tightness.

Two of the currently most common thyroid disorders are hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid that produces excess hormones and hypothyroidism, which is an under-active thyroid that produces abnormally low amounts of hormones. Each condition can present it’s own set of difficulties in maintaining a healthy weight, general health and overall vitality.

Here are some simple steps to improve or optimize thyroid function: (more…)

3 Steps to a Healthy Gut

Gut health?  What is this microbiome?  Your microbiome is what can help or hurt your weight loss efforts, boost or bust your immune system, or can make digesting your lunch a pleasant or painful experience.  Humans host trillions of tiny bacteria, viruses, fungi and other thriving microbes all over our bodies.  You’ll find these on your skin, inside your mouth, and mostly in your large intestine.

Yes this is a good thing!

Healthy Gut

Our bodies need thriving colonies of these good bacteria to reach our optimal health.  We know that a healthy gut, also called your microbiome, can influence much more than just digestion. It greatly affects the immune system, autoimmunity, obesity, allergies, asthma and even anxiety, depression and moods (1,2).  In fact, 80% of your immune system is in your gut, so let’s make sure our gut health is up to par!

How can I improve my gut health and microbiome? (more…)

Reflexology is Much More Than Just a Foot Massage

Most know reflexology as just a form of a relaxing foot massage. However, the applied technique of reflexology has an unlimited amount of health benefits that go far beyond a day at the spa.

Reflexology is the method of stimulating predefined pressure points on the feet that correspond to organs in the body. By pressing and massaging these points, energy begins to flow freely into the organs, easing discomfort and allowing the body to utilize its natural energy system to promote healing.

One of the most well known benefits of using reflexology is that it promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety, which is a great place to start when looking at mind and body health. There has even been scientific research using EEGs, a test that tracks and records electrical activity in the brain, which showed evidence in alpha and theta waves slowing to a more relaxed state during a treatment which lead to a decrease in blood pressure and overall symptoms of stress and anxiety. (more…)

5 Keys to a Healthier and Happier 2016!

As we start the new year, we often set our new year’s resolutions with complicated goals and hopes that this year will be the year we focus on our health. What if I told you that improved health can come from 5 easy, uncomplicated steps….some of which we’ve heard before. Although we may not realize the true benefits, these steps are some of the keys to better health! No gym equipment or special shoes required.

  1. Breathe! We often live hurried lives and the first thing to hurry is our breath. Slow it down. Take a few breaks throughout the day to check-in with your breath. Are you breathing so fast that the air can’t even make it down to fully fill your lungs? Or, are you holding your breath when you are feeling stressed without even noticing it? Try taking a deep breath that fully fills you. Let your lower abdomen expand as it fills with fresh breath and then pause for a count of 2 before letting your breath out through your nose. If it helps, place your hands below your belly button to feel your lower abdomen expanding as you breathe in and flattening as you exhale. Deep breathing can switch on our parasympathetic nervous system. This in turn, elicits a relaxation response in our bodies which is when our bodies go into healing and repair mode. Practice so that it becomes your norm. This is how we were born breathing but without knowing switch to chest breathing which actually strains your muscles and can cause shoulder and neck pain from overusing smaller accessory muscles. Go back to the baby days. Breathing deeply, using your belly instead of your chest. Start now!
  2. Drink more Water. Most people are walking around in a dehydrated state. One of the easiest ways to meet your daily water intake is to start the morning with a few glasses of water. During the night, we tend to become dehydrated so waking and replenishing our fluids is vital. Consider drinking half of your body weight in ounces. If you exercise, sweat, drink caffeine, take certain medications or breast-feed, you may need to increase to more than half of your body weight in ounces. Try filtered water like Reverse Osmosis for clean water without toxins or chemicals.
  3. Get enough Sleep. “Yeah, yeah” I  hear you saying…. but it’s true! Getting enough sleep is directly linked to a healthier body and mind. When we sleep our body restores and our cells become rejuvenated, our mind reboots and clears out the junk. Better sleep not only helps your energy levels but can help your mood as well as your weight. Aim for at least 8 hrs a night and note how you feel. Some need more than 8 hrs, particularly children.
  4. Laugh and Connect. Research shows a direct link between laughter and the increase of happy hormones in our bodies. Want to feel happier and healthier, find ways to connect with others and better yet…find ways to connect with others and laugh with them! Ha!
  5. Eat whole foods. Don’t have time to cook. No problem. Chop up some veggies and have a salad. Wash and peel some fruit. I’m not saying that we should omit some cooked meals, I’m just saying that the old excuse that we need to go drive-thru because we don’t have food and are in a rush won’t cut it anymore! Pack or buy a salad, grab some nuts, veggies or fruit and bring along for those moments of hunger. Consider using your slow-cooker to make healthy meals without having to stand by the stove-top all day. Plan and cook a few meals on Sunday or whatever day you can spare extra time and pack those foods for the week. Use organic whenever possible. Reduce the use of anything that comes in a box or has a label. Like I tell my boys, “If it grows on the soil or a tree it’s probably great!”

Of course, I can think of a few more keys that would be great additions to a healthier and happier year…like exercising (using gym equipment or special shoes 😉 ) but start with these 5 keys for now and after these are a habit, let’s add on some more. To your happiest & best health!