Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Keep Those Bugs At Bay

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With school back in session and cooler weather around the corner, you can expect to see more cold and flu viruses showing up; maybe even coming to your home.  I found a fun way to keep those nasty bugs away and please my family (particularly my kids) as well.

A blend of wild orange clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary oils is a natural immune booster.  The combination of oils strengthens the body’s immune system and helps ward off viruses.

So here’s how I keep my home germ-free and my family free from colds and flu bugs.  We eat POPCORN!

onguard popcorn

Immune Support Popcorn

1 cup of un-popped popcorn kernels

1/8 to 1/4 cup of butter

1/8 to 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup

4-5 drops of immune booster blend

2 drops of cinnamon

While popcorn is popping (preferably in a air popper), melt the butter and then add the syrup and oils. Pour the butter mixture over the popcorn, then shake some salt and ground cinnamon powder over the mixture, adding nuts as an option. Serve.

This is a great way for your family to ingest some of the oil so they get even more illness prevention protection!

Here’s another option.

Chex Mix Immune Support Popcorn

4 cups Chex cereal
4 cups popped popcorn
1/2 cup nuts ( I like almonds)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
10 drops Immune support oil blend
8 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil.

Mix together the cereal, popcorn and nuts.  Add the essential oil to the melted butter. Pour butter mixture over the popcorn mix. Mix the cinnamon and sugar. Pour over the popcorn mix. Stir together. Microwave for 1 minute and stir again.  

You need to serve it immediately as it gets a little soggy if it sits.

strawberrypopcorn

Strawberry Chocolate Popcorn

1 large bowl full of organic popcorn- popped

1/2-1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4-1/2 cup real maple syrup

8 drops wild orange essential oil/p>

4 drops immune support oil blend

1 cup of organic freeze dried strawberries, ground to a powder

1 cup unsweetened coconut

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 cup chia seeds

sea salt to taste

Pop the popcorn and pour into a large bowl. Heat the coconut oil and blend in the maple syrup until combined. Add the essential oils. Set aside. Mix dry ingredients together and pour coconut oil mixture over the top and stir. Season with salt to taste.

Enjoy!!

Chinese Anyone?

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One of my favorite summer meals is lettuce wraps. Not only can you keep them healthy, but they are delicious and great cold or hot.

Here’s one of my family’s favorites.

 

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Five-Spice Turkey and Lettuce Wraps

Based on a popular Chinese dish, these fun wraps also make appealing appetizers for entertaining. Make it a meal: Serve with chile-garlic sauce and rice vinegar for extra zip; toss diced mango and strawberries with lime juice for a quick dessert.

Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup(s) water
    • 1/2 cup(s) long cooking brown rice
    • 2 teaspoon(s) sesame oil
    • 1 pound(s) 93%-lean ground turkey
    • 1 tablespoon(s) minced fresh ginger
    • 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
    • 1 cup(s) water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
    • 1/2 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth
    • 2 tablespoon(s) hoisin sauce
    • 1 drop ginger essential oil, clove essential oil, cinnamon essential oil, black pepper essential oil, and fennel essential oil OR 1 tsp five-spice powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) sea salt
    • 2 head(s) Boston lettuce, leaves separated
    • 1/2 cup(s) chopped fresh cilantro, basil, mint and chives

1 small red cabbage, shredded

Directions

1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rice; reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and ginger; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, bell pepper, water chestnuts, broth, hoisin sauce, oils and salt; cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

3. To serve, spoon portions of the turkey mixture into lettuce leaves, top with herbs and cabbage and roll into wraps.

More Isn’t Necessarily Better

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If your goal is to lose weight and maintain optimal health and fitness, the quality of your exercise and diet regimen matters more than the quantity, says Skidmore College exercise scientist Paul Arciero.

And he has the results to prove it.

In a paper published by The Journal of Applied Physiology, Arciero and several colleagues report the clear benefits of a multi-dimensional exercise regimen that includes resistance exercise, interval sprint exercise, stretching (including yoga or pilates), and endurance exercise. Add moderate amounts of protein regularly throughout your day, and you’ll be well on your way toward decreasing total and abdominal fat, increasing lean body mass, and achieving optimal levels for blood pressure, blood glucose, and insulin.

Dividing his subjects randomly into three groups, Arciero conducted a 16-week trial in which all subjects consumed the same amount of whey protein — 60 grams daily — but exercised differently. One group was sedentary, another was called on to perform intense resistance training four times per week, and the third followed a multidimensional regimen that included resistance exercise, interval sprint exercise, stretching led by a yoga instructor, and endurance exercise.

When the trial ended, Arciero found that those who had followed the multidimensional regimen showed the greatest health improvements, including the greatest reductions in body weight, total and abdominal fat mass, waist circumference, and blood glucose. In addition, this group experienced the greatest increase in percentage of lean body mass.

Interestingly, all groups showed improvements, even those who maintained a sedentary lifestyle during the period and simply ate the assigned daily regimen of 60 grams of whey protein. That finding supports an earlier study by Arciero’s team that found increasing the amount of protein in one’s diet to as much as 35 percent will tend to decrease total and abdominal fat.

More independent research that supports the Take Shape For Life/Medifast program I coach for. That’s why I am such a strong proponent.

Labels L I E !

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A study performed last week shows that soda consumers may be getting a much higher dose of the harmful sugar fructose than they have been led to believe, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed the chemical composition of 34 popular beverages, finding that beverages and juices made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew and Sprite, all contain 50 percent more fructose than glucose, a blend that calls into question claims that sugar and HFCS are essentially the same.

The research also shows that the ingredients on some product labels do not represent their fructose content. For example, Goran’s team found that the label on Pepsi Throwback indicates it is made with real sugar (sucrose) yet the analysis demonstrated that it contains more than 50 percent fructose. Sierra Mist, Gatorade and Mexican Coca-Cola also have higher concentrations of fructose than implied by their label. This suggests that these beverages might contain HFCS, which is not disclosed on their labels.

What does this mean for the consumer?

Higher sugar contents means:
More calories consumed
Greater spike in blood sugar levels after consumption
Increased danger of liver, heart, and cardiovascular disease

Psychological Barriers to Action – and How to Deal with Them

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Let’s face it; weight loss and keeping it off is hard. We’ve all heard the statistics about weight regain and the grim numbers about the obesity epidemic we’re facing in this country. But what really makes it so difficult to lose weight and then maintain? Well, let’s first take a look at what we know. What we know to be true is that those individuals who do adhere to their weight loss and maintenance regimens achieve and sustain weight loss; pretty simple, right? If you stick to the plan, it works! However, many people struggle to do this. Now, the problem can present itself as being about lack of knowledge or lack of motivation or a lack of willpower but what it really comes down to is non-adherence to the plan; i.e. simply not sticking to it.

Now, if setting goals and trying hard to achieve them were enough to ensure success, the task of achieving Optimal Health would be a lot easier. Unfortunately, when it comes to making positive life changes many people will encounter psychological barriers to sticking to the plan. The most common are summarized, most appropriately, by the acronym FEAR:

F = Fusion with Unhelpful Thoughts. This basically means that we’re so caught up in our thoughts that we aren’t even aware that we’re thinking and then those thoughts dictate our behavior. It’s like we’re being pushed around by our thoughts or allowing our thoughts to tell us what to do. When a person sets out to make a change, it’s normal for their mind to generate “unhelpful” thoughts like: I’m too busy, I can’t do it, I’ll fail, It’s too hard, and so on which can prevent them from moving forward. It’s a common misconception that our thoughts control our behaviors. They certainly influence our behaviors but ultimately we have a choice. However, when we get all entangled, caught up, or carried off by these thoughts they dominate our attention and we can’t focus on what is truly important to us. Becoming ‘fused’ with unhelpful thoughts throws us off-track.

E = Excessive Goals. If a person’s goals exceed their resources, they’ll either give up or fail. Necessary resources could include a person’s skills, ability, social support, time, money, and physical health. Setting goals that are too difficult or impossible will only result in frustration and abandonment of their weight loss and maintenance plans.

A = Avoidance of Discomfort. The practice of new way of eating and living can be difficult and tedious for some; and the pursuit of goals that pull us out of the “comfort zone” almost always generates significant anxiety. This discomfort is inevitable when it comes to lifestyle changes. So, if we are unwilling to make room for that discomfort, then we will not take action.

R = Remoteness from Values. If a person loses touch with their values that underlie their goals – if it doesn’t seem meaningful or important to them – then they will lose motivation. Values can provide a deep motivation that helps to sustain the practice of new skills, or the pursuit of challenging goals, even when it’s difficult, tedious or anxiety-provoking. The practice of using Structural Tension Charts can be a big help to realize and set goals with Primary and Secondary Choices and action steps to follow. This is found in the first few chapters in “Dr. A’s Habits of Health” as well as “Discover Your Optimal health” and the Workbook.

So, how do we address these barriers? Well, the antidote to FEAR is DARE:

D = Defusion from Unhelpful Thoughts. The mind is a reason-giving machine, and as soon as we think about doing something that pulls us out of our comfort zone, it cranks out all the reasons why we can’t do it, shouldn’t do it, or shouldn’t have to do it. And if we wait until the day when our mind stops reason-giving before we do the things that really matter in life… we’ll never get started. So, if fusion with reason-giving is a major barrier to action, then naturally we target it with defusion. This means separating or distancing ourselves from unhelpful thoughts, letting them come and go instead of being caught up in them. In other words, defusion means looking at thoughts, rather than from thoughts; noticing thoughts rather than being caught up in thoughts; and letting thoughts come and go rather than holding on to them. One of the simplest ways of separating from thoughts is to write them down. This helps a person to take a step back and see the thoughts for what they are: a string of words. Nothing more, nothing less.

A = Acceptance of Discomfort. This means making room for painful thoughts and feelings, not because they like them or want them, but so they can do what matters. So, we can ask ourselves “Am I willing to feel some discomfort, in order to do what matters most to me?” If a person is unwilling to make room for the inevitable discomfort, they may need to clarify and connect with their values or set easier goals. Both of which we will discuss next.

R = Realistic Goals. If a person’s goals exceed their resources then they need to create a new goal to acquire those resources if possible, or accept the limitations of their reality and change their goal to adapt in the best way possible. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. So, if a goal seems to big, make it smaller. If walking for 30 minutes is too much, cut it back to ten. If doing it daily is unrealistic, do it every other day. Ask yourself: “On a scale from zero to ten, where ten is ‘I’ll definitely do this no matter what’ and zero is ‘There is absolutely no change I’ll ever do this’ – then how likely are you to actually do this?” If you score less than seven, best change the goal to something smaller and easier.

E = Embracing Values. If a person is lacking motivation, then they need to reflect on why they’re doing this. What’s important and meaningful about this action? Does it truly matter? If so, why? Ask yourself: “Is this really important to me? Which of my values underlie this action? How would doing this make a positive difference in my life and the lives of others?” If we can link our new behaviors to something personally meaningful, we’re far more likely to do it!

So, there you go. Those are the most common psychological barriers to someone taking action to change their lifestyle and the most effective ways to target and overcome those barriers.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Nick Frye, Behavioral Therapist

 

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Relationships: How Do I Get These?

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Stressors are anything that threaten or adversely affect your health. These may include issues at work, poor eating habits, anything that allows negative or potentially hazardous substances into your body. These stressors can be internal or external in nature and sadly, many of them can’t be avoided. We do have lives to live and jobs to work, after all.
However, do not be discouraged (another bad stressor that will adversely affect your overall health). While you can’t avoid stressors, there are ways to combat them. Below are some Rx for various stressors (this is by no means a complete list):

Body

Migraines, recurring illnesses, lowered immune systems, rashes, headaches, aches and pains, sluggishness, poor sleep patterns, etc.

1. Avoid foods with preservatives, dyes, and basically any type of unnatural sugar or processing.

2. Avoid carrying around excess weight. There are some great weight loss programs out there.  While I have found great success with Take Shape For Life (and coach for other TSFL clients), find a program that works best for you.

3. Avoid seemingly healthy foods that are modified (GMO). There’s been a lot of debate over GMO lately but the truth of the matter is natural and unaltered is always best (that includes dehydrated which is easily returned to it’s natural state with the addition of water).

4. Avoid over the counter and prescription remedies as often as possible.  Most ailments were treated effectively LONG before science stepped in and began creating drugs.  Look for natural remedies such as essential oils, vitamins, minerals, fresh foods and herbs, or techniques such as massage to combat most ailments. These natural remedies are non-invasive, non-addictive, and work with the body to help it heal itself.

5. Exercise properly and safely. Over exercising is just as harmful and not exercising at all.

Mind

Stress, anger, depression, anxiety, etc.

1. Learn to quiet your mind and refocus. Mediation is a great tool as is learning the art of relaxation and release. A healthy regime allows for a period of quiet or mediation each day.

2. Exercise is as good for the mind as it is for the body.  It releases those happy endorphins which aid in healing and have an uplifting and calming affect on our minds.

3. Learn to prioritize. People who work off of lists are naturally healthier than those who do not. Why? Because they are less stressed and changes do not throw them. They have learned to prioritize so they always have a plan of execution.

4. Learn to say NO. Those who take on too much often find that they can’t do anything effectively.

5. Find coping mechanisms. Take time out, use essential oils to help clear your mind or calm you down in stressful situations, step away from highly volatile or stressful events until you are relaxed and better able to address the concern.

Relationships

Marriage, lovers, work, children, parents, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.

1. Avoid relationships where you are giving 100% all the time and the other person is doing all the taking.

2. Cultivate relationships based on mutual respect and trust and avoid those that offer only distrust, selfishness, and criticism.

3. Make God or a Higher Power your first priority. Doing so will help you see the best in others.

4. Remove people who are toxic or only bring drama into your life.  It is less likely that you will be able to lift them up and more likely that they will bring you down to their level.

5. Communicate.  I can’t stress this enough.  The key to every great relationship, be it romantic, work or other, is the ability to communicate effectively and listen even better.

What can $20 Buy You?

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What if it could buy you better health? Or a body you aren’t ashamed to take to the beach? Or just a body that feels better?  Interested? Join our $20 Summer Weight Loss Challenge where, if you participate, YOU WILL WIN cash and prizes and you’ll get healthy.