Resolutions That are Easy to Keep

goal-setting

Every year at this time we all go to that place where we are trying to power through resolutions made just three short weeks ago.  However, when me make resolutions that are too big, they quickly fade away because we tend to get overwhelmed and just quit.  As an alternative, check out a few easy to keep resolutions:

  1. Drink more water:  Chances are, you don’t drink enough and increasing your H2o intake will bring measurable results.  The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults drink eight, 8 oz glasses of water.  As a result, you could experience some weight loss, cleaner skin, reduced appetite and natural detox.  If you’re like me, too much of a good thing can be monotonous so try adding some lemon juice, lemon oil or metabolic blend oil to your water for a little flavor.
  2. Exercise more:  Instead of giving yourself real specific fitness goals, instead, try to just exercise more.  If you typically exercise twice per week, try going three times.  Or, just plan more exercise into your daily routine more walking, using stairs instead of an elevator, more hiking, more biking.
  3. Eat less sugar:  The results are obvious….reduced sugar intake can result in weight loss, increased energy, less inflammation and increased emotional wellness.  Instead of quitting cold turkey, try general reduction first and aim to cut sugar intake in half.  Try sugar substitutes like natural sweeteners like agave and stevia.
  4. Eat more fruits and vegetables:  Eating more leafy, fresh foods in the form of fruits and vegetables can increase your metabolism, help you shed some extra pounds, aid in digestion and give you increased energy.  Again, this can be an gradual increase of fresh foods by pairing just one fresh fruit or vegetable with each meal.  Also, fruits make a great substitute for sugary dessert foods.
  5. Eat whole grains:  White bread is a staple of the American diet, however, there is very little nutritional value to eating white, refined grain bread products (including pasta).  Decreasing white bread intake is easy if you find a good whole grain substitute to replace the white bread with. Eating more bread aids with digestion efficiency, increases energy and reduces cholesterol levels.
  6. Be consistent:  Don’t give up and as an aerobics instructor always tells me… “don’t stop moving.”  Do something everyday to keep yourself on track and don’t get discouraged if you miss a day or two, just pick yourself back up and keep going.

Remember, you can take small, incremental steps daily to reach these goals and be successful.  Plan ahead and be ready to do something everyday toward accomplishing your goals.  Live happy, live well!  Happy 2017! 

Creating a Culture of Health and Fitness at Home

veggiejuice

Raising all boys, there always something going on in our home.  Aside from some time spent in front of the tv playing video games, we don’t spend a lot of time sitting around.  Between school activities, hanging out with friend and participating on various sports teams ranging from lacrosse, soccer, track, basketball, skateboarding, snow skiing and water skiing, we consider ourselves to be an active family.  However, as I look at what’s stored in our refrigerator and the types of food and beverages my kids consume, I realize I haven’t done my best to instill an appreciation for healthy eating.  So, this year, I have decided to set a better example and take some proactive steps to create a culture of health in our home, including:

  1. Limiting tv and video game time.
  2. Setting an expectation to participate in year round (seasonal) team or individual sports.
  3. Store only healthy foods and beverages in the fridge.
  4. Create and follow thru on my own consistent fitness routine.
  5. Prepare and eat healthy, delicious meals – less fast food.
  6. Participate in active family recreation including hiking, biking, rock climbing, canoeing/kayaking, skiing, waterskiing.
  7. Set a good eating and lifestyle example – cut out bad eating habits like sugar, soda pop and unhealthy snacking.
  8. Initiate discussions about what it takes to stay in shape and healthy and explain the benefits of eating healthy, helping create understanding of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
  9. Exercise and train as a family.  Help family members hit individual fitness goals by having everyone rally and train together.
  10. Give family members ownership in meal preparation.  Less forcing to eat only what I think is healthy, listen more to what healthy foods they like to eat.
  11. Support good health and treat illness using natural remedies.
  12. Keep it real – eliminate all artificial ingredients from our diet.

wills soccer team

While we still have a ways to go, these are just a few things that I’ve noticed have been effective in helping my kids recognize and appreciate a healthy lifestyle.  I notice when we’re more active we experience less emotional dysfunction and we generally all get along better.  This is not an easy process and it doesn’t happen overnight but I am committed to consistency and I’m not going to give up.

My objective is for my sons to leave home as adults with good, healthy habits, that include clean eating and regular exercise.

 

Creating Healthy Habits to Beat Stress

EXERCISE

Stress is a big part of life.  As adults we seem to have to deal with it everyday.  Since it is such a big part of life, it makes sense to develop healthy habits that can protect you from its harmful effects. Here are 10 positive healthy habits you may want to develop.

  1. Talk with family and friends.

    A good friendship is great medicine. Spending time talking as well as listening can be an excellent way to process thoughts and feelings.  Call or email friends and family to share your feelings, hopes and joys and be sure to listen to them.

  2. Engage in daily physical activity.

    Regular physical activity can relieve mental and physical tension. Studies show that physically active adults have lower risk of depression and loss of mental functioning.  Physical activity can be a great source of pleasure, too. Try walking, swimming, biking or dancing every day.

  3. Embrace the things you are able to change.

    While we may not be able to do some of the things we once enjoyed, we are never too old to learn a new skill, work toward a goal, or love and help others.  As I’ve gotten older, my joints are wearing down and I have been forced to find a different form of physical activity besides running.

  4. Remember to laugh.

    Laughter makes us feel good. Don’t be afraid to laugh out loud at a joke, a funny movie or a comic strip, even when we’re alone.

  5. Give up the bad habits.

    Too much alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine or soda pop can increase blood pressure. If you smoke, decide to quit now. If you do drink alcohol, do so in moderation and be sure to eliminate soda pop asap.

  6. Slow down.

    Try to “pace” instead of “race.” Plan ahead and allow enough time to get the most important things done without having to rush.  Spread things out, if it doesn’t get done today, there’s always tomorrow.

  7. Get enough sleep.

    Try to get six to eight hours of sleep each night. If you can’t sleep, take steps to help reduce stress and depression. Physical activity also may improve the quality of sleep and life in general.

  8. Get organized.

    Use “to do” lists to help you focus on your most important tasks. Approach big tasks one step at a time. For example, start by organizing just one part of your life — your car, desk, kitchen, closet, cupboard or drawer.

  9. Practice giving back.

    Volunteer your time or spend time helping out a friend. Helping others helps you.  Contribute regularly to a legit charity.

  10. Worry less.

    The world won’t end if your grass isn’t mowed or your kitchen isn’t cleaned. You may need to do these things, but right now might not be the right time.

There are essential oils that you can use to help deal with the affects of stress.  Bathing in a lavender bath, diffusing lemon or other citris blends are great ways to help alleviate stess!

5 Ways to Be Healthy this Winter

flu

Since my family has started to use essential oils we are healthier and days kids stay home from school has dramatically decreased.  This has been due to a proactive approach we take, especially in the winter to stay healthy.  Following are a few tips to try:

1 – Frequent hand washing using the Protective Blend hand soap.  This is a habit that’s easy to get into when you use this fragrant soap.  It is filled with certified pure essential oils so not only does it smell good, but it’s also cleans and gets rid of the bad stuff. There’s also a some DIY hand wash using the essential oils that you can carry in your bag or backpack.

2 – The daily supplement pack we sell is what’s made all the difference for our family.  Taking these supplements daily increases your stamina and energy and boosts you immune system.  Because the supplements works on a cellular level, there is so much that’s happening to help repair damage cells and that will leave you less vulnerable.

3 – Decrease your sugar intake.  That may mean to ditch your 3:00 chocolate fix.  This is the hardest thing for me to do but doing this not only helps you to feel better, it helps to enhance the effects of using the special dietary supplements.

4 – Increase intake of clean foods.  This means eating more raw veggies, fruits and wholesome grains.  Eat less from any kind of packing and shop from the perimeter of the grocery store

5 –  Stay warm.  Some people say that catching cold doesn’t lead to catching a cold.  My experience is different.  When I allow myself to get chilled it usually end up getting sick.

6 – Increase oxygen to your bloodstream……yes, this means exercising, daily!

While these things may seem like common sense, I realized how if I’m not paying attention, bad things happen.  The use of essential oils can really help increase your effectiveness of supporting good health.

Diet Alternative: Emotions and Food Cravings

As I’m learning more about the emotional roots behind all of our health problems, it got me to thinking that there must be emotions at the root of our cravings.  As I researched, I learned the validity of this idea.  Here is what I found…..basically, there are three primary emotions behind our cravings for food.  1) anger:  this is manifest in the cravings for salt.  As we hold onto our anger we tend to subconsciously crave ways to release anger without having to yell at our spouse or our kids which also plays into our cravings for all things crunchy.  Combine the salt and the crunch and you have potato chips, nuts and other crunchy snacks.  So next time you have a hankering to down an entire bag of chips, stop yourself and think of the emotion behind it…..it’s likely anger.

potato chips

2) If you are going through a difficult time and maybe you are missing someone significant in your life whom you lost to death or divorce, you will likely be reaching for a plate of home baked goodness, perhaps a plate of cookies, a cake or cupcakes.    As you begin to consume these sugar filled caloric treats, consider the emotion behind it is a need to comfort yourself.

chocolate chip cookies

Finally, there is a craving we have to help us overcome loneliness.  This is manifest in our desire for 3) all foods soft and gooey.  This often comes in the form of foods packed with high carbs like pasta smothered in cheese sauce.  Next time we have that craving for a plate of macaroni and cheese, consider the source and ask yourself, “am I lonely?”  Also consider that often we can feel lonely even when we are surrounded by family and friends.

mac n cheese

As you successfully identify the emotion behind the craving, next consider alternatives to satisfying the depleted emotions that may be in the form of other, more wholesome foods or a session of self care including meditation or exercise that will help to satisfy the unmet emotional need which will naturally dissipate the craving for unhealthy food.  Of course, it’s not always easy to tie our cravings for food to our emotional deficiencies and then quickly finding a more healthy alternative; however, I believe that consciousness is half the battle and knowing where these cravings are coming from sure helps to move forward in healthy, more productive ways.

As we effectively identify the emotions behind our cravings, there is always an essential oil that can be used to support our emotional health and lend to an alternative way to temper our eating habits.  For instance, some essential oils use to overcome feelings of  loneliness include marjarom, Cedarwood, Frankincense and Myrrh.  For anger, consider using Thyme, Geranium, Ylang Ylang, and Spikenard.  Some great comfort oils include the Clary Sage, Juniper Berry, Cedarwood, Jasmine and Rose.

 

Managing Your Personal Energy During the Holidays

holiday stress

The holidays are so stressful!  There is so much going on and the expectations we hold for each other can be back breaking.  There is so much that needs to be done in the next few weeks to prepare for the big day.

Following are some suggestions to manage your energy to get through the month in a healthy and happy way:

  • Write your story of how the holiday will unfold, use phrases like “stress free”, “restful”, “exhilarating”, “best holiday every.”  Audibally repeat this story as you are busy preparing – it will happen the way you write it.
  • Get plenty of rest – plan and delegate so that you are NOT doing “all nighters.”
  • Fit in self care – don’t stop exercising becaue you’re too busy.
  • Manage your food intake to minimize the amount of sugar you are eating.   Too much sugar will lead to a crash.  When you crash, you lose you momentum.  You know the saying…..”When momma’s not happy…..”
  • Don’t be afraid to say no to something.  If you are overprogrammed, don’t hesitate to eliminate something, maybe this year isn’t the year for Christmas cards.
  • Use essential oils to calm and balance yourself, specifically the Grounding Blend and the Calming Blend.
  • Most of all, remember the reason for the season, carry that spirit through the month and beyond.
During a recent team meeting, one of our Wellness Consultants, Melissa Mitchell, did an amazing presentation on using oils for emotional wellness.  With her permission, the powerpoint to this is here for your review.  ESSENTIAL OILS with emotions. Please take a minute and read it and use your essential oils to help support you when you feel the stress and anxiety that comes with the season.    Thanks Melissa!

Eliminating Toxins from Your Home

all natural

You exercise regularly, you eat healthy and done other things to clean your personal environment in your home including ditching BPA bottles, thowing out the Drano and stop using pesticides to kill spiders.  But, unknowingly, you may still be exposing your self to serious levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCS).  Research shows the EDSs can hijack hormonal systems in your brain and thyroid, putting you at risk for diabetes, unexplained weight gain, asthma and cancer.  A study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, links exposure to EDCs called phthalates – found in beauty products, processed foods and plastics – to a 13 percent lower testosterone level in men ages 40 to 60.

According to Heather Patisaul, a biology professor at North Carolina State University specializing in EDCs, “we’re swimming in a soup of nealry 90,000 chemicals, most of which have not been tested for endocrine disruption or safety.  It is not something to panic over but simple lifesyle changes can cut exposure and reduce risks,”  using these simple strategies:

  1. Ditch Chemical Cleaners:  Most detergents and household cleaners are full of EDCs, which you inhale and absorb through your skin.  “Cleaning products are not required to list ingredients,’ says Caroline Cox of the Center for Environmental health, “so even if they’re marketed as ‘green’ or ‘natural,’ you don’t really know what’s in them.”  Choose products that carry the EPA’s Design for the Environment seal, which Cox says certifies that products are safe.
  2. Store food in metal or glass:  One major sourch of phthalates is plastic food-storage containers and plastic wraps.  “the longer plastic is in contact with food, the more likely EDCs are to migrate,” says Rolf Haden, director of the Center for Environmental Security at Arizona State University.  Microwaving makes the phthalates leech even more quickly.  Put your leftovers in glass or ceramic and pack lunches in stainless steel versus plastic bags.
  3. Use old-fashioned soap:  For your sink and shower, you want plain bar soap.  Antibacterial soaps and body washes often contain either triclosan, which mimics a thyroid hormone and can affect your metabolism, or triclocarban, which may interfere with testosterone, Haden says.  “Besides posing a health risk there’s zero proof synthetics clean any better than regular soap.”
  4. Limit packaged foods:  Anything mass produced and wrapped is suspect of containing high levels of phthalates.  It’s impossible to avoid packaged food entirely, so as much as you can “eat fresh foods that have undergone as little porcessing as possible,” says Joh Meeker, an EDC researcher and dean at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
  5. Upgrade your couch:  Furniture with foam is often treated with brominated flame retardants and one common type, called PBDEs, can impair thyroid function and brain development, says Gina Solomon, Deputy Secretary for Science and Health at the California Environmental Protection Agency.  Replace the foam lining in your mattress or couch cushions with fire retardant-free foam, or buy a new model and double-check the brand via the watchdog website http://www.greenscienceepolicy.org.
  6. Avoid synthetic fragrance:  Air fresheners, candles, hand lotion, if it’s scented, you can bet it contains EDCs.  “Phthalates are wonderful carries of fragrance,” Patisaul says.  “That ‘new car’ smell? That comes from phthalates releasing into the air.”  Eliminate all scented home and body products and look for brands that specifically say they’re phthalate-free, or that use natural, plant-based oils.

These are a few of many inexpensive and simple ways you can be detoxing your house today.  Take some time and look for ways to improve your living environment.  Besides, you don’t know what might be killing you.

Source:  Men’s Journal, November 2014

conscious lifestyle

Dr. Oz talks Herb Based Healthcare Mainstream

herbs

This is an amazing segment that recently aired on the Today show.  Dr. Oz talked about the compounds used to support health found in herbs and of course anyone with knowledge of essential oils knows the value of supporting our health using natural compounds.  I am passionate about this subject and have experienced, first hand, the value of treating your health with these “gifts from the earth.”  Dr. Hill, the chief medical officer at the essential oil companies states:  “essential oils themselves are not smart, but our bodies are smart and know how to respond to natural compounds.

http://www.today.com/health/herbal-medicine-goes-mainstream-breaking-it-down-dr-oz-1D79574377

There are so many valuable uses for essential oils, there’s immune support, decreasing toxic load as well as creating emotional balance.  Fortifying these aspects of our health are vital to our longevity and overall quality of life.  Tap into the power of essential oils today!

Diet Soda Study

cola beverage

This was a fascinating feature on NBC Nightly News tonight that I wanted to share.

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/diet-fitness/diet-drinks-linked-heart-disease-death-n66476

Over time, we are learning more and more about the health implications of consuming soda pop.  This study specifically addresses the consumption of diet soda pop and its effect on middle aged women.

I love a good Diet Coke from time to time and there are days when I partake.  However, more and more, as I’m reading and researching these important studies, I am quickly losing my appetite for these synthetic substances.

As an alternative to soda pop, I have a growning appreciation for water with Certified Pure (CP) citrus essential oils like lemon, lime or grapefruit.  One drop of essential oil in 8 oz of cold, filtered water is a healthy alternative to diet sodas and I notice that it curbs the craving for pop.  Now I just need to get my kids on board with it.