Monday, December 5, 2011

Optimal Winter Wellness

I have a confession. I have been sick. Recently. In fact, the whole thing just wrapped up on Thursday. I’m a health coach; I’m not supposed to get sick. How embarrassing.  I was so hoping to get through the winter without getting sick. Bummer. How did this happen? Here’s how. The way it happens to everybody!

Before I left for Oregon to visit family for the holiday I had some deadlines so I was stressed and worked extra hours, not getting enough rest. Then, while I was there, instead of eating the nutrient-dense food that I am used to, I ate more meat and carbs than I usually do. On Thanksgiving, because the hors de oeuvres were so good, I was already full by the time the dinner was served, so, even though I took tiny portions, I overate.

Add to that a long walk on the cold windy beach with no hat on Friday and – bang – I woke up on Saturday with a cold.


I do know how to stay well during flu season, and I got into action to make myself better the second I got home. I’m feeling great now and my cold only lasted FIVE DAYS!

Here are the three most important things I did – that you can easily do, also - that fixed my cold FAST. And, the best part is, done consistently, these things will keep you well ALL WINTER. . .

I got right back to eating nutrient-dense food.
Vegetables and fruit that are all the colors of the rainbow, with a focus on dark green, keep you well. There are now studies that prove it. I eat at least four or five servings of vegetables each day. I eat primarily onions, carrots, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, lettuce and kale. Because of my level of busi-ness, I keep it simple, except on Sundays when I take time to cook, but that's a different blog post. 

Preparing food doesn’t have to be complicated. You, too, can keep it simple if you like.

Here’s an easy recipe:
1 or 2 carrots
1 onion
6 or 8 mushrooms
1 small head of broccoli
- all organic if possible –
1 container of no-chicken chicken broth

Put ¾ of the container of broth in a pan, cut up the veggies. Throw it all in the broth except the broccoli. Let it boil for 15 or 20 minutes. While it’s boiling, eat the broccoli as a snack.

Voila! 3 large portions of soup in less than 30 minutes! Eat as much as you like. Eat the rest the next day.

I took a natural remedy that WORKS.
When I got home I immediately took a tablespoon of elderberry syrup. Scientists are now studying the stuff and preliminary studies show that elderberry concentrate enhances the body’s defense against viral infections, particularly influenza. It also helps shorten the duration of symptoms once you are already ill. It does this by inhibiting the adhesion of the invading virus to cell receptors, which keeps it from replicating, which lessens both the length and intensity of the illness. Plus elderberry syrup is high in antioxidants. 

I rested and took good care of myself.
I also made sure that I got an extra hour of rest each night until I was better. Our bodies work hard all day to keep us well and when we have a virus, they have to work even harder. An hour or two of extra rest, and I do mean sleep, helps us recover from illness faster.

Each evening before bed I took a warm bath. I am a big fan of warm baths. They just make me feel better no matter what. I usually use some sort of calming or relaxing aromatherapy oil. Just laying back in the warm water, breathing the moist air and allowing my body to totally relax feel so good - a boost for both my body and sprit. 

So there you have it! The three things I did to get better fast. You can do them, too. Take good care of yourself this winter. I don’t have time to be super-sick and I’m sure you don’t either!

Happy Winter!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving. May the holiday leave you feeling healthy, loved and energized!
I love this time of year. Even though I like the long days of summer best, I do appreciate the seasonal shift, the way the light looks different and even the shorter days. Makes me want to curl up in a blanket on the coach and read a good mindless work of fiction. And, even though that's not going to happen this year, I still have a lot to be thankful for.

I'm so grateful to have my career as a health coach. The training I received from the
Institute for Integrative Nutrition has allowed me to improve my eating, see the connection between what I eat and how I feel, and to also examine the Primary Nutrition in my life: my relationships, exercise, spirituality and career and to see how improvements in those areas increase my overall health. What a fascinating journey. As I continue to peel away the "layers of the onion" of my health and wellness, I'll keep you informed.

I'm also thankful for my family and friends. My children, now grown, are a constant source of joy and my grandson (yes, I'm a Grandma) is just a blast! My significant other provides a continuous supply of encouragement, not to mention graphic design assistance and errand running. I am also blessed with a large group of supportive, fun and inspirational friends, both near and far. Support and inspiration is just a phone call or coffee date away. Life is good.
And, I am grateful for you. I appreciate that you take the time to read, or at least skim, the newsletters that I send, attend my teleclasses, cleanse with my cleanse groups and trust in me as your health and wellness advisor and coach. It means the world to me to serve others by helping them meet and exceed their health and wellness goals. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my soul purpose each day.

I hope that you will take a few minutes, or maybe even an hour (!), to sit and reflect on the things and people in your life that you are grateful for this Thanksgiving.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Getting Your Vitamin L

February, the “month of love,” is here.  It’s the time every year we are reminded to recognize and celebrate the love in our lives. We mark our calendar and give flowers, chocolates and cards. 
We’ve made Valentine’s Day the big day, however we need to give and receive love all the time, not just on that one particular day. At Integrative Nutrition, we feel passionately about the importance of healthy relationships. We like to call this Vitamin L (the ‘L’ stands for love!). Getting a daily dose of Vitamin L is essential to living happier, healthier lives.  Vitamin L comes in many forms and isn’t just about romantic love between two people. It can be love for ourselves, or a particular practice of self-care. Vitamin L can come in the shape of  our partners, our pets, our kids or parents.  Love is food for the soul and heart; it nourishes body, mind, and spirit for optimal wellbeing.
How do you get your Vitamin L? To celebrate the month of love and all of the different ways love can exist in our lives, we are having a fun contest.  It’s easy, just show us how you get your daily dose of Vitamin L by submitting a picture. You could win a gift certificate to SoLove Self-Care.  Help us inspire others to get a daily dose of Vitamin L!
Find our more about the Vitamin L Contest here.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

11 Healthy Ideas for 2011

Happy New Year!

For the new year, I want to share with you a list of simple ways to improve your health. Try the one that seems like a good idea, or try them all. Sometimes the smallest changes make the difference between feeling good and feeling great!

1. Drink more water.
Simple and heathful. Drink two or three extra glasses of water early in the day. Filtered is best. The human body is about 60% water in adult males and 55% in adult females (thanks, Wikipedia). More fresh water will increase your energy and help your body function better.

2. Take a walk.
We were made to move. Walk to work, to the store or just around the block a couple times. Park farther from work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk with co-workers at lunch. Walk with friends. Take a walk for entertainment. Look around. It's fun!

3. Eat a new green vegetable.
There are lots to choose from. Try a new one. You might fall in love. Fresh spinach, kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, beat greens, chard, cabbage, etc. There are lots to try and recipes are easy to find - go green!

4. Shop at a farmers' market.
A great way to support your local economy, make some farmer friends and improve your health at the same time. High quality fresh food has everything your body needs.

5. Care for yourself.
Try a new self-care idea. Snuggle with a water bottle. Give yourself a hot towel scrub. Try a tongue scraper. Enjoy a warm relaxing bath with essential oils that smell good to you. Invigorate at the end of your shower with a cool rinse (this is not as chilling as it sounds). Take a belly-dance class. Sing!

6. Make simple food.
Home-cooked simple food is great for our bodies. Brown rice and veggies really only takes 15 minutes of pre-time. 10 for veggie washing and chopping, 5 to get the rice started and finished. Just set the timer. No need to stand in the kitchen while the rice cooks. Season with your favorite seasonings. A good resource: Simple Food for Busy Families. Buy it locally - this link is just so you can see the cover.

7. Step into the sun.
Warm sun on the skin creates vitamin D. Vitamin D protects against osteoporosis, heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer. Just 15 minutes on your bare arms and face each day in the summer or 2000 IUs of a high-quality supplement in the winter is all you need. Sunlight also helps protect against depression, insomnia  and helps regulate the immune system.

8. Try a super-food.
Cacao or Raw Chocolate - highest anti-oxidant food on the planet, known as the "bliss chemical", Goji Berries - This superfood contains 18 kinds of amino acids, including all 8 essential amino acids, Spirulina - the world's highest source of complete protein (65%), Raw Honey - rich in minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, and enzymes, Sea Vegetables - the most common is nori (the green sushi wrapper) seaweeds benefit the entire body, and are especially excellent for the thyroid, immune system, adrenals, and hormone function.

9. Sit quietly.
At the beginning or ending of the day, sit and concentrate on your breathing. Let you mind be empty. Relax. Connect with yourself. Don't do. Just be. For 5 minutes or 30 minutes. After all, we are human "be"ings, right? If you want to try something a little more formal, here are some choices.

10. Eat colorful food.
Beets, carrots, yams, kale, berries. Colorful food is nutrient dense and good for you. Raw or cooked, it's your best bang for the buck. Enjoy some!

11. Sleep better and longer.
Sleep is important. The body mends itself while you rest. Darken your sleeping space, or try a sleeping mask. Move the clock radio across the room and away from your head. Drink water early in the day so you don't have to wake up to pee. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon. Avoid alcohol just prior to bed time. Don't eat anything within three hours of bed time. Keep stimulation to a minimum for an hour before you plan to sleep. Take a warm bath before bed, or warm your toes with a hot water bottle. Go to bed early enough that you don't need to use an alarm to wake on time. Rest well.

Here's to YOUR health and happiness!