Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Using Food As Medicine

Quite some time ago now I learned the saying, "Let thy food be thy medicine." Before I started on my journey I would have had no idea what they were talking about. Educating myself about nutrition and how to eat properly I now know first had that this is truth. There are foods that nourish the body so that it can naturally heal and repair itself and then there are foods that are toxic and harmful to our bodies. My experience has shown me that if I stay away from the "bad" for me foods and eat as many "beneficial" foods as I can each day my body performs at an optimal level. For example, I am rarely sick if at all while others around me are constantly complaining of colds and ailments. Cuts and bruises heal quickly. There is no evidence of dis-ease in my body. Sure I have aches and pains, I'm 44, however I feel more youthful today than I did in my 30's when I was extremely full of toxins. I'm not on any medications. None. I have been eating according to the Blood Type Diet by Dr. D'Adamo for a few years now which really simplifies my menu selections. No guess work involved in what is good or bad for me to eat. People from other countries have been eating according to their types for years instinctively. Here in the good ole US however we have a taste for the variety as a melting pot society. Eating what is good for another ethnicity may not be good for our ethnicity. I'm also interested in looking more into an alkaline diet and what that would look like for me. I've included the links to both for your own research and what might work for you. Eat well, live well.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Mindful Eating

It's been awhile since my last post. Been busy working on my mental/emotional health these days. Which by the way can be the most important. If your head and heart are not in the right place then your attempts to have physical health may not be optimal either. Emotional eating can be a real problem for a lot of people. What frame of mind you're in while ingesting the food can also make a difference. If you're stressed out, even if you're eating prime Organic foods, your body will not be nourished the same as if you were at peace. How do you eat? Do you give thanks for the food you receive? Do you shove the food down your throat? Do you chew thoroughly? Do you eat a small portion or stuff yourself? Have you ever tried being mindful while you eat. Giving thanks, taking your time, savoring the flavors, chewing thoroughly and focusing on taking in the nutrition your body needs from the meal. Try it and see the difference.

Often times food can be used like a drug. In fact all processed foods are a drug containing MSG in one form or another. MSG or "flavoring" as they often call it is used to keep you coming back for more. Like in the movie "Super Size Me" shows, they give you a temporary high and then as they wear off you feel depressed until you get your next fix. Just like any other street drug. I kid you not. It's evil. Not for anyone's best interest except the corporations that profit off your misery. It's worse when you're in a vulnerable emotional state and eating to fill whatever void is in your life. Or your seeking pleasure from your food in some way. Before you know it, you've stopped eating "real food" and are consuming nothing but junk. Then you feel even worse because you've gained some weight or you feel sick all the time from lack of nutrition. Trust me, I've been there. It is hard to overcome a unhealthy relationship to food, however, it is possible if it is what you really want. I know first hand. Does any of this sound familiar? Maybe it's time to start on your journey towards better health.

As I write today, possibly pregnant, I am mindfully eating with every meal. I am now able to listen to what my body is telling me it needs for optimal nutrition every day. All of the good food will give this life inside a good start in the world. Am I perfect? No, I still have a rare craving for the fast food options out there. They are not as powerful as they once were and more often than not I can make a healthy alternative instead. It's been a process for me. It will be for you too I imagine. Are you ready to regain your health and vitality?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Women and Body Image

As a woman in today's society it is hard to love the body we were given. Television, movies and magazines have really skewed our views. Media is what we look to in order to find out what is in, right? Especially as women. What to wear, how to look, how thin to be, etc. What is thought of as beautiful has really changed over the years. In the early 1900's curvacious hourglass figures were what was hot. Camille Clifford, Louise Brooks, Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe to name a few. As time went on the models continued to get thinner and thinner. All the while the society was getting bigger and bigger. As of today however, I'm starting to see a rise of women who are getting fit and I'm hoping the new "in" body of the future will be strong, defined and healthy. Don't get me wrong I see beauty in all shapes and sizes but I would rather our future children aspire to be fit and not thin.

As a young girl I was always picking apart my appearance and wishing I looked different. Didn't want fine thin straight hair, blonde eyebrows or light eyelashes. Wished my eyes were green instead of blue. Would have loved to be darker skinned instead of so fair. You get the picture. As a woman, I am sure you can relate. Things did not improve much as the years went by either. As a teen I wanted a bigger chest, rounder butt and a thin waist. You know, the hourglass figure everyone dreams of. I would nearly starve myself at times and picked up smoking as a way to curb my appetite. I didn't take it to the extreme of anorexia or bulimia like a lot of girls out there but I definitely had a really poor body image and wasn't all that healthy because of it.

A chemical imbalance in my late 20's, due to an overuse of harmful substances, massive stress and tons of past traumas put me in the hospital and on lots of medications. After 6 years of steady weight gain and lack of exercise I was at the height of my self loathing. I tried slim fast diets with no luck. I really didn't know how to eat healthy, had a bad relationship with food and didn't know how to cook either. With lots of encouragement from a special guy in my life I was shown a new way to look at food and how it fuels the body. Now, I no longer strive to be thin like the models on TV, I want to be fit like the women on my workout DVD's. How about you, how is your self image?

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Carb Time Change Experiment

There is a lot of talk out there about when to eat carbs (such as grains, beans, etc). Some say only during the first part of the day. Some say anytime you want. Some try to avoid most all together. When I say carbs I mean all three types (starches, sugars, fiber). I have yet to figure out what works best for me. For quite awhile since coming back to California we had been having carbs with our meals throughout the day and late in the evening. I was working out harder than I had before with much more intense cardio included and still had not seen the results I had been working toward.  My fiance' recommended a change in our daily menus. A long time ago we purchased some exercise equipment by Gold's Gym that came with a little booklet of diet suggestions for building more muscle. It suggests making every meal count (including snacks) and having 6 meals a day. From 7am-7pm. The first 3 meals are protein & carbs and the last 3 are protein & veggie.

Hmm. Why not? Let's give it a try! I had cut out dairy and sugar (recommended by my herbalist) again recently, why not make a few more adjustments? So we figured it all out and started right away. The first few nights my stomach was not happy with me in the evening and I had to go to bed hungry with cravings for things like popcorn and chips. It was kind of miserable. But after the third day my body started to adjust. The hardest part was getting my water in during the day. I had been used to drinking most of my water in the morning but eating the first meal so early I didn't have much time to do that. It also meant exercising with out fasting. I am starting to see a little difference in my weight (less bloating) already even without the intense workouts I had been doing. I'm hoping that as I build back up my workouts the muscles will start to respond to the added protein I'm getting in. Will let you know the results after a couple of months of experimenting. Any thoughts on carbs and what has worked for you?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Listen to Your Body

 This summer I finished a workout program called Power 90. It really upped my cardio level. I suck at cardio. Was around cigarette smoke since birth and smoked myself for over 20 yrs before quitting so needless to say my lungs are not great. Anyways, I enjoyed the workout and wanted to push myself to the next level. I decided to give Insanity a try. For those of you that don't know, it's a 6 day a week cardio marathon for two months. Yikes, right?

 Last month I started Insanity with the fit test and actually did pretty good. It gave me the motivation to continue to try the program. The first week was intense. I was afraid I wasn't going to make it through the week. But I pushed everyday and it did get a bit easier over time. I completed 3 weeks of Insanity and was seeing a huge difference in my body. A lot less jiggle in places that I had been working on for months. I was pretty happy about it. Although I did miss weight training. Not bad at 42. Then something happened.

 It was probably a combination of a lot of different things, but anyways I ended up in a depression that was pretty bad. I lost all energy and motivation to workout. I tried one day and barely made it though a light workout. Gave up again for another week. It was tough. Exercise is my outlet and usually the way I keep positive and full of energy, to not have that ability was really disappointing. As I came out of the fog I finally pushed myself to workout, wasn't ready for insanity so for the next few days I just did fat burner express from the power 90 program which is still cardio.

 This last week, I decided to try to alternate cardio and weight training with a combination of videos to work myself up to Insanity speed. I also decided to change up my diet as far as what I eat for each meal, my fiancee also wanted to change when we eat each meal. Following a suggested guide by Golds Gym. Having each meal count and include protein. Three carb and protein meals followed by three veggie and protein meals. My cardio is still weak but I feel a bit physically stronger. I may add Insanity into next weeks lineup a couple times a week. We'll see.

  The main thing is to listen to your body. No matter what program or workout regimen your doing. If you have an injury, or like me, have lost your energy and strength, stop and take a look at what your body might need. A rest, change in routine or diet. One thing that I have learned along the way is to be flexible and go with the flow. I'm not competing in any competitions, nor do I get paid to do or complete any programs. It is all for me and how I want to look and feel. One thing I know is that I will not give up my goals.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Detox Your Body

One important aspect of bettering your health, especially when you begin as toxic as I was, is to detox. I have been gently doing that for years now with green smoothies, lots of clean non-chlorinated water and regular exercise.

Green smoothies are made in the blender and I have them daily an hour before dinner. The chlorophyll helps your cells detox and the fiber will help clean your colon. I add lemon to the smoothie as a natural preservative (keeps for almost a week in the fridge) as well as to help ward off cancer. I also add Vitamin C powder and Spirulina for added health benefits. It's an easy way to add veggies to your day as well. The key ingredients I use are kale, celery, parsley, cilantro, carrots, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, and water (supplements above).

Most people are highly dehydrated and slow down their bodies ability to function properly all together. Each person is supposed to drink a minimum of half their body weight in ounces of water each day. Drinking plenty of water also allows you to detox naturally through your bowels. Try drinking 30 ounces of water or more upon rising and for the first couple of hours of the day to get things moving along.

Working up a good sweat lets you detox through your skin.  Make sure you wash this sweat off your body as soon as you can to keep pores from getting clogged and causing blemishes. Just imagine what is coming out of your skin if you are constantly taking in harmful toxins. Yuck.
Lately, I have been introduced to hydrotherapy (colonic). While taking herbs for healing and detoxifying the body it was recommended that hydrotherapy would be beneficial as well. I had no idea that even though I had been regular for quite some time now on my healthier lifestyle that I still may have lots of build up in my colon. Well after two treatments the evidence spoke for itself. My stomach was noticeably smaller. Wow. Amazing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Beauty Inside and Out

Being healthy radiates to the outside. It's no joke. You just have a glow about you. Your nails are clearer, your hair breaks off less and has less split ends and your complexion is amazing. I've gone from over 200 lbs, toxic and using tons of harmful beauty products daily to a fit size 8, healthy and use nothing but gentle (organic when possible) beauty products. I look at pictures and am amazed at the transformation to this day. Your skin absorbs the chemicals you put on ladies, whether it be hair dye, make up or nail polish. You can look your best and be good to your body too.

I've found some products that I have used for quite some time now that I swear by. No I'm not paid by any to advertise, I just thought you might like to try them. One is Tate's miracle shampoo and conditioner (I order online by the gallon) they have many different uses and they work wonderful. My hair has never looked so healthy or grown so well in my life. I don't dye it or bleach it anymore either. The make up I use is 100% pure. I buy mine at Lazy Acres but you can find them online too. I use the tinted moisturizer, pot rouge (for cheeks and eyes), mascara and gloss and I'm good to go anywhere. My skin and lashes feel great! As far as polish goes, I don't need any these days. My nails are so clear it looks like I have a french manicure all the time. When I want to make them look really great I buffer them. Sharing some beauty secrets I've found. Hope you will find ways to let go of the harmful chemicals you might still be using.