This is the first blog in a series on wellness. Upcoming entries will focus on: diet, fitness, emotions, and your home environment. You are encouraged to assess behaviors related to each area and decide if there are any you’d like to change. Or, are there new practices you’d like to start?
What is wellness? The definition is, the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as a result of a deliberate effort. Or, an approach to health care that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases.
First and most important, KNOW YOUR BODY. In order to promote wellness you must be aware of your current state of health. Where you are starting from?
Make a list of:
Review your list and pick...
Stress is a natural occurrence. It’s impossible to eliminate, but an overabundance can reek havoc on your physical and emotional health. Developing a natural way to relieve stress and manage it, as much as possible, is key to reaching and maintaining overall wellness.
Determine what causes you stress. Is it work, family gatherings and obligations, shopping for the “right” gift, travel, work, or etc? Spend some time analyzing the things that make you feel anxious. Consider writing them down and reflecting on them.
STRESS INDUCED ACTIVITIES
What self sabotaging activities do you engage in when you’re feeling stressed out? Do you engage in any of the following, or some other activity: eating, drinking, yelling, binge watching the Hallmark channel, shopping, or sleeping? Bring awareness to how you react to stress and how it affects you.
WAYS TO ALLEVIATE STRESS
There are a variety of actions you can take to handle unwanted...
Many people love to burn candles, especially during months when temperatures are cooler. They make your house smell nice and create a cozy atmosphere. Candles may smell nice, but very often the scents are made from synthetic chemicals that are typically labeled as “fragrance”.
Candles actually reduce the quality of the air. Phthalates are often found in scented candles and have been linked to allergic reactions and asthma related problems. Paraffin, found in many candle bases, is a petroleum byproduct when burned, these candles release carcinogenic chemicals into the air. Imported candles may have lead or lead cores in the wick, which is released into the air. Many soy candles are a combination of soy and paraffin, so unless clearly labeled as 100% soy, stay clear of them.
So, is there a safer alternative? Yes, diffusing essential oils. However, make sure you purchase oils from a reputable company. Essential oils are not...
I just finished the book Eat to Beat Disease, The new science of how your body can heal itself. It is written by William W. Li, MD. I was introduced to Dr. Li when I took the Plant Based Nutrition Certificate Program through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at eCornell. In the course, he talked about angiogenesis, which I had never heard of, and the ways it can affect one's health.
Eat to Beat Disease approaches food differently than the other books I have read. Instead of recommending foods to avoid and eliminate from your diet, Dr. Li shares foods that should be consumed to help keep the body healthy or return it to health.
In the book, he introduces and explains in detail the body’s 5 natural defense systems. They are Angiogenesis, Regeneration, Microbiome, DNA Protection and Immunity. Dr. Li sites numerous studies that have been done, throughout the world, to support his ideas on how the human body is equipped to fight disease. Dr. Li...
I've been harvesting beets from the garden for the past several weeks. They are a great source of nitric oxide which helps open up your arteries to allow for more blood flow. Thus, beets help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Have better workouts. Beets provide energy and stamina. Consume them two to three hours before exercising. They increase oxygen uptake and promote better circulation due to the nitrates they contain.
Beets are rich in the antioxidant betacyanin, which gives them their beautiful red color, that protects against cancer cell growth.
Two ways I like to cook beets are boiling and roasting. To boil beets: cut off the tops, place in a saucepan, cover with water and boil until tender when pricked with a fork. To roast: wrap them in aluminum foil, place in a 375º oven and roast until tender when pricked with a fork. In each case remove skins when they are cool enough to handle.
They are great sliced on a...
There are 3 ways to use essential oils:
Eating a whole foods plant-based diet is one of the healthiest choices you can make. If you aren’t ready to take that leap do your best to consume as many foods as possible in their natural form. More and more studies are linking processed foods to health issues including an increased risk of disease and mortality.
Americans are consuming more and more processed foods such as packaged snacks, soft drinks, ready-made meals, and sugary cereals, which contain added flavors, colors, sweeteners, emulsifiers, and other non-food ingredients.
Eating these foods can lead to an increase in the rate of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. On the flip side, higher consumption of unprocessed or minimally processed foods is associated with lower risks of all reported disease.
Consumption of processed foods, more than four servings daily, was associated with an increase in mortality. People who consume the most processed foods tend to eat fewer...
Preparing meals can take a lot of time. Most likely you don’t have time in your weekly schedule to make healthy meals nor do you want to use the time you do have in this manner. I don’t blame you!
If you don’t want to invest time every day preparing meals, batch cooking is a great solution. It’s just like it sounds, cooking in large batches. You cook or prep a bunch of food at once and use it throughout the week.
There are a variety of ways you can approach batch cooking. I will share a few but feel free to expand on my ideas and implement what works best for you.
Do you meditate? Have you ever tried? I have at various times over the years. Finally, about two months ago, I gave it another try and have been much more successful this time. If you don’t currently meditate I highly recommend you start.
Meditation can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. It can help you remain calm throughout the day. Your body and mind will be revitalized and refreshed during this time of deep relaxation. Meditation may also be useful in relieving stress and anxiety.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the emotional benefits of meditation can include:
When it comes to your physical health, meditating on a regular basis can result in the following benefits:
When you hear the word exercise what comes to mind? Is it things like running, riding bike, walking, hiking, swimming, spin class, tai chi, yoga, or weight training? Those are some of the most traditional methods of exercise. I’m going to suggest that any activity that gets your heart rate up and burns calories can be considered exercise.
Sometimes it can be a challenge to get your workout in. It is recommended that adults get 30 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity 5 times a week or 90 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. On those days, or weeks, when you can’t seem to find the time to exercise, I urge you to get creative!
Think about activities you perform that could be considered exercise. You can burn calories by climbing stairs, grocery shopping, house cleaning, mowing the lawn, gardening, engaging in active play with children, painting, and etc.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is the key. If you don’t have time to get a workout in, try to be...