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Getting the Most from What You Eat

Nutrients are essential for life.

The right combination of nutrients is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a magic pill.

Every aspect of your health depends upon nutrients, and the best way to get these nutrients is from the food that you eat. Each and every day, you have the power of choice. By providing your body with healthy, nutrient-dense foods, you take control of your own physical and mental health, and seize control of your long-term health destiny.

If you eat what most people are eating, you’ll face health challenges sooner or later.

The right amount and combination of nutrients is incredibly powerful, keeping your body strong from day to day and year to year. This increases your resistance to infections and diseases, while also increasing your ability to recover more easily from illness and injury.

And you’ll look, feel, and function better when consuming foods loaded with nutrients!

Each and every function of your body requires a whole host of nutrients to run properly. When these nutrients are lacking or missing, your bodily functions will be less than optimal and sometimes completely dysfunctional.

Nutrients are often broken down into 2 main categories, macro and micro. The macro nutrients are:

• Carbohydrates
• Proteins
• Fats

The micro nutrients are:

• Vitamins
• Minerals

There are also phytochemicals, co-enzymes and a whole host of other co-factors that work with nutrients to maximize delivery, absorption and utilization of nutrients within your body.

It’s highly likely that there are nutrients and categories of essential components in food that we haven’t even come to discover or understand yet, as we only began to identify nutrients in the early 1900’s.

You need greater quantities of the macro nutrients (fats, carbohydrates & proteins) than micro nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.), but each category is imperative.

Even a small deficiency in vitamins and minerals can compromise the optimal performance of a whole host of functions in your body.

We tend to think that nutritional deficiencies only exist when food is scarce. But much of the food in our current system is lacking or devoid of the nutrients that were once found in those items. So you can have plenty to eat and still be nutrient deficient. There are many complex reasons why this is true.

You must first understand where nutrients come from. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats come from the different foods you eat. Many foods provide a combination of two or more of these macro nutrients.

• Meats, eggs, nuts and dairy products provide both protein and fats
• Vegetables and fruits are mainly carbohydrates, but some have proteins and fats in various amounts
• Grains and seeds may contain all three macro nutrients, especially if they are whole and unprocessed

The micro nutrient category of vitamins and minerals is more complex. These nutrients come from the soil. Plants grown in healthy soil take up a variety of nutrients from the soil and transform them into forms of nutrients that your body can easily absorb and utilize. Animals that eat plants grown on healthy, nutrient-dense soil create the same thing: nutrient-dense foods perfectly suited for human needs.

If you tried to eat the soil, the nutrients would not be in a form that your body can use.

Our modern commercial, large-scale farming techniques do not cultivate soil health and nutrient diversity. Some of the offenders are:

• Growing the same crops on the same plots of land year after year
• Applying synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides on those crops
• Failing to replenish the soil with nutrients via crop rotation, cover crops and other organic matter

Fewer nutrients in the soil means less nutrients for the plants grown and the animals raised there. And that translates into fewer nutrients in our food supply.

Processing or shipping further depletes nutrients. Many nutrients are destroyed during processing. And the amount of nutrients declines over time, so that by the time most food becomes available to the average consumer, it is often severely lacking in overall nutritional value. Studies show that our current food supply has significantly less nutrients than the same crops grown years ago.

Commercial agricultural feed operations, or CAFO’s, are another significant contributor to the decrease of nutrients in our food supply. Cows, chickens and pigs are fed things they shouldn’t eat, which translates to inferior nutrition in the animal products we consume. On the flip side, animals that are raised properly provide nutrient-dense options highly suitable for human consumption.

To further complicate matters, the nutritional needs of our bodies have increased over the years. Pollutants in our environment and chronic stressors increase our need for nutrients, while fewer nutrients are available to us now, even when we are choosing healthy foods.

What can you do? Choosing as much organic food as possible is a good place to start. Studies show that organically grown and raised foods contain greater quantities of nutrients than the same conventionally grown options. And there are many risky ingredients that are not allowed in certified organic products. So, you get less of what you don’t need and more of what you do need.

Quick & Easy Steps towards the Best Version of You!

Quick & Easy Steps towards the Best Version of You!

You have big goals and dreams, and an ever-growing bucket list of exciting things to see and do. You feel called to serve others and make the world a better place. But in order to continually fine tune your unique gifts and talents, you need to feel amazing as often as possible!

You only have one body and it’s the only physical container you have to support you on this wild, crazy journey we call life.

And yet, our society has little emphasis on attending to our health, especially with the attention and respect it deserves.

Most of us were raised to push our bodies to the max and see stress, poor eating and lack of sleep as a test to pass with high marks.

Your body will do its best to handle such behavior and minimize the damage it causes. But it can never produce the vitality you need to accomplish the life of your dreams under these conditions.

You may be getting by fine, without realizing you could feel SO much better.

You’ve spent countless hours in a classroom, and perhaps thousands of dollars on advanced education to get where you are. You’ve invested tons of time creating a career and lifestyle well-suited to your skills and passions.

As with all things you give your attention to, enhancing your knowledge and creating a healthier lifestyle allows you to play a bigger game in all aspects of your life!

What you eat is a huge piece of a healthy lifestyle!

Sadly, much of the food in our current commercial food supply is loaded with ingredients that can sabotage your health. Many of these items are hidden and can’t be found on labels.

Health degradation often happens so slowly that you don’t even realize what you’re doing to your own body. And so many people are suffering with health issues that we think this is normal, but it’s not the way our bodies are designed to operate!

Our food supply is loaded with offenders like:

• Processed sugar that creates cravings & addictions, and makes you spacey & sleepy, without you even realizing it
• Unhealthy fats that cause inflammation & interfere with proper brain & nervous system function
• Colors, flavors, preservatives & a long list of additives & ingredients that tax your already overworked detoxification pathways
• Pesticides & other chemicals that disrupt your hormones & gut health
• Antibiotics that destroy the healthy microbes your body desperately needs for gut, immune, mental & emotional health
• Synthetic hormones that disrupt your delicate hormonal rhythms, which are essential for looking good, feeling great & keeping your body in healing & detoxification mode
• And so much more!

Our food is also declining in overall nutrient content, due to modern farming and processing techniques.

We have far less of the nutrients we need to make all of the complicated functions of our bodies run optimally. And a whole host of things that assault our bodies, undermine our health and interfere with our ability to be truly, vibrantly healthy.

You can take control, but it’s not as easy as it should be.

Everything you’ve worked so hard to create is at risk if you aren’t giving your health the attention it deserves.

I spent more than 2 decades struggling with significant health challenges, and I’m dedicated to helping you avoid the misery I experienced.

I want it to be as easy as possible for you to make better choices, with easy steps you can implement right away.

Your health is your most valuable asset, and the one thing you cannot live without.

You deserve to feel amazing, and I hope you’ll take advantage of my FREE report, 3 Ways to Enhance Your Mood, Energy & Focus To Get More Done.

You can access it here.

Along with the free report, you’ll receive some short emails to break down the steps even more. My intention is to support you so that can quickly implement some powerful choices that can quickly upgrade your health and abilities.

You can’t live the life you dream of and deserve, or contribute your unique gifts, talents and passions to the world, when you don’t feel well. You are the only one who can care for your magnificent body with the attention and respect it requires and deserves.

Even if you think you are doing fine, I bet you can feel even better!

You’ve accomplished amazing things, and it’s time to take the next step on your journey.

“Believe in the best … have a goal for the best, never be satisfied with less than your best, try your best, and in the long run things will turn out for the best”  ~Henry Ford

Another Legal Victory for the People!

Another Legal Victory for the People!

Last month, a jury unanimously found Roundup responsible for Edwin Hardeman’s cancer and awarded him $80 million, “75 million in punitive damages for its negligence in failing to warn of the cancer risks of its herbicides despite years of published scientific data highlighting the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate-based herbicides”.1 This is the second case that has been won against Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, due to cancer connected to use of their product.

Jeffrey Smith, the founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology and a GMO expert, was in the courtroom and provided some interesting details on this case. He referred to the judge as hostile and described how he dismissed any evidence about the conduct of Monsanto and only allowed the scientific facts to be presented.

Exposure to chemicals in weed killer, Roundup, increases the risk of some cancers by more than 40 percent, according to a University of Washington study.2 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma seems to be the most common, which can present such symptoms as:

  • Swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpits, neck or groin
  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties, coughing and chest pain
  • Pain or swelling in the abdomen
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of weight
  • Night sweats3

We know from the first trial in the fall of 2018, that Monsanto has been lying about the risks of Roundup and hiding them from the public. They intentionally manipulated data to show a different story and have colluded with anyone who could help them continue their mission of suppressing the truth and allowing the widespread use of Roundup.

Not surprisingly, Bayer, which now owns Monsanto, said it would appeal the ruling. A few days after the trial ended, they put up a huge ad in The Wall Street Journal, as part of the millions of dollars spent spewing the same misinformation that has been keeping the public in the dark about the risks of Roundup and glyphosate-based products.

Another trial, the third so far, has begun. This one involves a husband and wife. And there are another 9,000 pending cases yet to be tried, with more filings happening every day. This is historical and definitely something to be excited about and grateful for!

But a powerful company like Bayer/Monsanto won’t be put in its place quickly. We must protect ourselves by putting in the time and effort to educate ourselves and make choices that are more influential than they seem. Companies track consumer spending and create products that meet consumer demand. After all, profit is what matters most to them.

Choosing organic is essential, as Roundup is not allowed in organic food production. Sadly, Roundup is so pervasive in the environment that you may still get some exposure. But it will be a lot less than the levels found in non-organic food, shown by a recent study shared by the Environmental Working Group.

The tides are turning, albeit slowly, but any shift that supports health is a great win for all of us.

 

 

 

 

1, April 2019, https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/after-beating-monsanto-lawyers-call-cancer-warnings-roundup?utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_campaign=OB+619&utm_content=OB+619

2, April 2019, https://responsibletechnology.org/new-study-weed-killer-roundup-increases-risk-of-cancer-by-40-percent/

3, April 2019, https://symptomstreatment.org/non-hodgkins-lymphoma-survival-rate/

Are You Spending Money on What Matters?

If you have the ability to choose proper food without reallocating your budget, that’s great. But if you’re buying cheap food to spend money elsewhere, that needs to change. There’s no point in trying to sugar coat the delivery of that message. It can be a hard reality to face when so much cheap food is available, and there are so many other expenses to cover. But spending money on high quality food is non-negotiable.

If you don’t spend the money now, you will pay for it later with poor health and medical expenses. In fact, investing in high quality food on a regular basis can not only save your health, but also save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Investing in your health now can help you avoid the cost of medical facilities for issues that are often preventable and costly to treat.

“If you are diagnosed with cancer, you have two battles ahead of you: to get well and to stay solvent.” ~Bankrate.com

Cancer is only one example, but it’s a very common one. Clearly the cost of care will vary according to your unique challenge, treatment choices, where you live and what type of insurance you have. But how much can any one person truly afford to pay when faced with bills in the hundreds of thousands of dollars? Given that most people will also lose their ability to earn an income when confronted with a significant health crisis, the consideration is nothing short of terrifying!

In my home, our biggest monthly expenditure is almost always for food, depending on how many family members are home. This varies greatly from week to week and month to month, depending on what my kids are up to. But regardless of how many mouths are being fed, having food at the top of our budget aligns perfectly with my number one priority of health.

Housing and transportation are secondary expenses for us. And while that means that our house is on the small side and could benefit from some updating, it is an inviting, cozy, functional home filled with love.

You CAN align your spending with your true priorities. It may take time, but it will be worth it! I know, I’ve been there and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself, and for my family. Don’t let anyone else decide your priorities for you. Your health is an investment that is worth every moment and penny spent and will serve you all the days of your life.

 

Is Your Health Vision Big Enough?

     I find our societal views of what it means to be healthy, to be too simplistic. These views overlook many essential aspects of health and limit our idea of what is possible. It’s difficult for me to even express how inadequate our idea of healing is.

     When I first began my own healing journey, after making a commitment to find my way back to health in December of 2000, I focused primarily on my physical health. The quality of my sleep was abysmal, due to physical pain and severe muscle spasms, so I invested in a new mattress. I increased my physical activity, experimented with various types of bodywork (massage, chiropractic, myofascial release, etc.), and began a supplementation regimen to calm my muscles, soothe my digestive system and address my anxiety.

As I began to improve, I was further inspired to look at what I was eating and what types of chemicals I was exposing myself to in my personal care products. That morphed into considering how my home and work environments were either supporting or hindering my ability to heal and achieve wellness. I switched to non-toxic cleaning products, as well as paints, floor finishes, etc., for our home improvement projects. I changed light bulbs, bedding and made our home into a soothing, calming, healthy space, little by little.

     Addressing my mental, emotional and spiritual health came much later. I just didn’t understand in those early years of healing, how critical this aspect of my health was. Since then, I’ve worked on reprogramming my unconscious beliefs to allow my thoughts to be more positive, which is a huge improvement over immediately imagining the worst-case scenario. I’ve released old emotional traumas and have been able to see how the behavioral patterns created by those experiences shaped my life, often in ways that were not ideal. Breaking those vicious cycles has been SO freeing and has expanded my ability to experience health in ways I could never have imagined. Addressing these areas of my life is now an integral part of constantly maintaining and expanding my health.

If you’ve ever played or watched someone play a video game, what you see at the beginning of the game is only a snapshot of everything that will take place as it progresses. I’m referring to older video games and am not sure this applies to newer games, but games like Super Mario had different levels. Each level was a different series of obstacles that required different tactics in order to progress to the next level, often increasing in difficulty with each level.

     Healing and achieving true health are similar. My first level was dealing with physical pain, daily digestive discomfort and anxiety. Addressing those issues allowed me to move on to the next level, where I had to change my daily choices to move on to the next level of healing. Throughout my journey, integrating multiple facets of healing kept me in constant forward motion, revealing new aspects that needed my attention for the momentum to continue.

When I started out, I didn’t know that I had all these issues to sort through. That only became clear as I kept making improvements and advancing my health. And I had no idea that I could achieve what I have with my health by being open to learning that my mental, emotional and spiritual health would dramatically impact my physical health.

     I don’t know how many levels I’ve moved through, or how many levels remain ahead. I’m not sure there is a cap on what I can achieve. I do know that I am constantly expanding my health, my happiness, my satisfaction with my life, and my concept of what is possible, by staying in the game.

I invite you to deeply consider your health, how it’s connected to every aspect of your life and what you might be overlooking. You may be limiting the possibilities of what you can achieve by playing small and overlooking areas that could bring you to the next level. There could be magic, satisfaction and joy just ahead that you may not even have dared to dream could be yours.

Life moves fast and it’s easy to be swept into the chaos and stress of the American lifestyle. But you deserve better. And you are the only one who can choose a different path and continue taking steps to find the magic behind each bend in the road.

I still have obstacles to overcome, some that I have no idea how to address. But I know that the answers will come as long as I stay open to receiving guidance and taking action when something feels right for me.

I know that you are capable of great things and that there is a part of you that longs for more. Most of us were taught to suppress our dreams, to be “realistic” and “responsible” instead, but those who dare to dream are the ones who move us all forward.

It’s time to progress to the next level of the game, unleash the dreamer within, and develop the health you need to make those dreams possible.

A New Look!

A New Look!

I launched Design Your Healthy Life in late 2015. As soon as my first website was up and running, I knew I would quickly outgrow it. In all honesty, I was never completely happy with it. But you have to start somewhere!

You’re likely aware that I spent more than two decades of my life struggling with poor health. I’ve been committed to my health since 2000, and I’ve been able to create a level of wellness and vitality that I didn’t even know was possible at the beginning of my journey.

I’m able to live my life fully now, with purpose and passion, and that’s exactly what YOU deserve too!

So many people are struggling with health challenges and diseases. And the greatest tragedy of all is that many of these issues are preventable. We create them with our unhealthy lifestyles, and not by choice, but because we often don’t know better or we aren’t aware of the full risks of our choices. And to top it off, many people who think they’re making healthy choices are still at risk from what they don’t know they don’t know!

My mission is to change the way you take care of yourself, to reveal all the areas that need your attention, and provide you with amazing support so that you can create a comprehensively holistic and healthy lifestyle. When you prioritize wellness and give your body the attention it deserves, your health will soar. And so will your aspirations and abilities, allowing you to live the life of your dreams!

It’s so easy to get swept along with the day to day busyness and craziness of the world we live in. You must be intentional, educated, and choose wisely to create a different path of wellness and vitality.

The new look of Design Your Healthy Life is more aligned with my passion and mission. My new logo has a softer, more gentle color scheme, which is a better representation of the importance of being kind to ourselves. We have only one body and we are the only ones who can care for it properly. The addition of the mandala represents the search for completeness and self-unity, our journey through life, and our connection to the universe. And the shimmery colors are a reminder that light is everywhere, offering a constant source of beauty and personal power. And the website has been fully updated as well. When you have a moment, have a look around!

Given the seriousness of poor health, a new look seems trivial in comparison. I have so much more than that to share with you! I’ve been hard at work for months now, redesigning my services. As soon as those are ready, you’ll be the first to know.

For now, know that I am always here for you and encourage you to reach out anytime you need something. If I can’t help you, I often know who or what can. When I first started on my journey, it was a very lonely path. A guide or friend traveling the same path would have been a godsend. It would be an honor for me to be that person for you.