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Essential Components of a Healthy Life that You May be Neglecting

Essential Components of a Healthy Life that You May be Neglecting

If you’re anything like me, you have a mile long to-do list and are always plugging away at keeping all the various aspects of your life afloat. 

Hopefully self-care is on that list, preferably at the top! Nothing else will go the way it should/could when you’re not taking care of your own needs. 

I believe that scheduling time to be without a list and letting rest, fun and “unplugging” be your only agenda, must be part of your plan to have a truly satisfying, deeply fulfilling life. 

When it’s cold out, I am honestly at a loss for how to do that well, other than reading and watching Netflix at night before bed. 

But when the warm weather hits and the sun comes out, I have no trouble dreaming up a multitude of ways to step out of my normal routine and schedule more of this vital, replenishing time for myself.  

My oldest son has been away the last 3+ months. Before he left, we planned some family time to celebrate his return and have high quality time together. Fortunately, the weather cooperated and we headed to western MA for a day of fun at Jiminy Peak, riding the mountain coaster and alpine slide to our hearts’ content. We finished the day at our favorite Japanese hibachi restaurant. 

Being outside for hours on a warm, sunny day, connecting with my family, being distraction-free, doing something fun, and eating tasty food provided a ton of nourishment for my body, mind, heart and soul! 

If you’re not already doing so, I can’t encourage you enough to dream up ways to reconnect with fun activities that light you up. And you get bonus points if it’s something you can do outside! 

I’d love to hear what lights you up, makes you feel like a kid, laugh like crazy – the things that you look forward to when you’re having a crazy week and know you need a break. Let me know in the comments below! 

And if you can’t think of anything, it’s time to do some serious daydreaming and experimentation to reconnect with that part of yourself. 

The serious parts of life are important. And the fun parts are a vital component of a life well lived. Don’t let another day pass by without planning something fun, something that fuels your soul and fills you up, even if it won’t happen for weeks or months down the road. 

Life moves fast and you deserve the best!

Your Time in the Sun is Vital: How to Find Safe Sunscreen & Maximize your Vitamin D Production

Your Time in the Sun is Vital: How to Find Safe Sunscreen & Maximize your Vitamin D Production

We’ve been taught to believe that the sun is going to create cancer and kill us, and that sunscreen will protect us. But sunscreen can be loaded with toxins, and anything that you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body. Toxins interfere with proper bodily functions and build up over time, so the more exposure to toxins you have, the more likely you are to develop problems.

Sun exposure is vital for making the type of vitamin D that your body can store, and sunscreen blocks your body’s ability to make it. A fear of the sun, and living indoors more often than not, has created widespread vitamin D deficiency. This is cheating us of adequate levels of a nutrient that is essential to every function of our bodies.

While supplementing is helpful and important, it cannot replace the vitamin D production that you get from the sun. Supplementation should be in addition to sun exposure, which is why it’s called a supplement and not a replacement.

Given the sun’s role in creating adequate levels of vitamin D, I can’t encourage you enough to get some sun exposure without sunscreen. But do it in a safe way that avoids burning, and use a non-toxic sunscreen for times when you’ll be out in the sun longer.

The Guide to Healthy Sunscreens, published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) every spring, is a great resource to help you find a safe sunscreen. It’s something I always rely on, and their 2019 guide has just been released. I check my previous favorites against the guide every year and then order accordingly. I tend to purchase sunscreen online to access the wider variety of options available.

Vacations are often when my family needs sunscreen the most. We’re typically going to be outside a lot, and in a warmer environment than usual. We always plan for some sun exposure without sunscreen, which often means at the beginning or end of the day, or waiting a bit to apply sunscreen. And we always have plenty of non-toxic sunscreen on hand so we can use it as much and as often as needed to prevent sunburn.

Another Victory: Why these Historic Wins against Roundup won’t Protect You

A jury has concluded for the third time in nine months that exposure to Roundup can cause Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

The most recent trial involved a married couple, Alberta and Alva Pilliod, who had used Roundup from the 1970’s until a few years ago. Both developed Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Alva was diagnosed in 2011 and his cancer spread from his bones to his pelvis and spine. Alberta was diagnosed with a subset of this lymphoma in her brain in 2015.

According to the Organic Consumer’s Association, “Monsanto’s parent company, Bayer, was ordered to pay the plaintiffs $2 billion ($1 billion each) in punitive and compensatory damages, and another $55 million in past and future medical bills.”1

“In ordering punitive damages, the jury had to find that Monsanto engaged in conduct with malice, oppression or fraud committed by one or more officers, directors or managing agents of Monsanto who were acting on behalf of the company.”2

And now the number of pending lawsuits filed has risen to 13,000!

All of these pending cases allegedly say that Roundup has caused their Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and that Monsanto and its parent company Bayer have hidden the risks and intentionally deceived the public.

I had hoped that after three victories for the people and LOTS of money exiting the company coffers of Monsanto and Bayer that they would at least begin to do things differently. But they’ve continued to advertise just the opposite of what these court cases are proving.

And our government continues to back them, refusing to acknowledge the harm being done and allowing these products to stay on their list of safe to use products.

This breaks my heart and I wonder what it will take to start seeing positive change in our use of Roundup, both from consumer and industry perspectives.

I was in Home Depot the other day and a display of Roundup was in the very front of the store. I couldn’t help but wonder how many people would buy it if they saw a warning sign with it, exposing the truth about what it can do to their health.

And I often wonder what different choices we would make at the grocery store if labels clearly showcased where Roundup shows up in our food supply, and how it interferes with our health, including, but not limited to its potential to cause cancer.

Many non-organic crops like wheat and oats are sprayed with Roundup just before they’re harvested. This desiccates or wilts the plants, making them easier to harvest. But the Roundup saturates all parts of the plants, including the edible parts.

Most Americans unknowingly eat Roundup every day, some with every meal!

The Environmental Working Group recently released independent study results for some common breakfast choices and found glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) in 43 of the 45 non-organic samples.

Sadly, even five of the organic samples tested positive for glyphosate, but at lower levels. While glyphosate spraying is not allowed in organic food production, the rates of Roundup spraying have increased tremendously since 1996. It’s now pervasive in our environment and showing up even in places where it’s not being actively used.

Organic is still a better choice to reduce your exposure (and for SO many other reasons), but I am praying for a day when the spraying will stop and the ground is allowed to recover.

I am still holding onto hope that the tides are finally turning with these historic court cases and that a safer, healthier future awaits all of us.

 

 1,2 May 2019, https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/monsanto-ordered-pay-2-billion-cancer-victims?utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_campaign=OB+624&utm_content=OB+624

How to Choose the Foods that Work for your Unique Needs

How to Choose the Foods that Work for your Unique Needs

There are so many names given to different methods of eating that it can make your head spin!

Any dietary plan that emphasizes real food is worth thinking about and exploring. But you may find, as I did, that your body’s preferences do not fit neatly into any of the latest suggestions or recommended plans such as keto, paleo, grain free, etc. I learned this the hard way and hope I can save you from a similar fate.

Not every healthy option will be the best option for your unique needs.

The most recent food fads that I’ve seen hit the market have one thing in common that gives me great hope – they all talk about quality of food! Any food that is raised naturally, without chemicals, and in the best interests of that animal or plant is worth your consideration and experimentation.

Taste buds were once a powerful tool to help us navigate the world around us and recognize what was edible and what was potentially dangerous. But in this day and age, our taste buds are easily hijacked by products that have been intentionally manipulated to create cravings and addictions, tricking us into eating things that taste good but lack the nutritional value our bodies need.

Real food tastes good on its own and doesn’t need to be manipulated for you to perceive that it’s yummy and healthy for you!

Removing manipulated and processed foods from your diet resets your taste buds so you can once again rely on them to help you choose healthy foods.

There should also be a deeper, inner knowing that is subtler and more challenging to explain. When I eat food that is healthy for me, I can feel my body responding positively to it. Sometimes, if I am fatigued or feeling drained, I can feel the energy coming back to my body. It often feels like my brain is turning itself on again.

Your body has powerful, inner messages it is always sending you. Connecting with these inner messages will enhance your ability to crave and choose healthy foods.

Never underestimate the power of your own body and how you feel!

Many people are very disconnected from their bodies and think they feel fine. But when they start taking care of themselves and moving towards eating properly, they notice powerful shifts in how they sleep, think and feel from day to day.

 

How to Get the Most from your Daily Food Choices

How to Get the Most from your Daily Food Choices

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.

Healthy food

 

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