If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health. – Hippocrates
If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health. – Hippocrates
Sufficient sleep, exercise, healthy food, friendship, and peace of mind are necessities, not luxuries. – Mark Halperin
Long-term stress can be quite dangerous. Not only does it cause significant mental and emotional distress, but it can also have some severe effects on your physical health, as well. Cortisol is the hormone released when we are under any type of stress, whether it’s acute or long-term.
However, when we are stressed for an extended period of time, the adrenal glands that are responsible for producing cortisol eventually cannot keep up. This is known as adrenal fatigue, which can leave you feeling extraordinarily exhausted and unwell.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to heal your adrenal fatigue and reverse the effects of long-term stress.
Get some Much-Needed Rest
When we feel as though our to-do list is endless and we are notably stressed, the last thing we prioritize is rest. However, if you’re feeling burnt out, your body is probably begging you for some rest and recovery. When we get enough rest (and sleep!), our body can switch from the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which is our stress response system, to the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which allows our body to recover.
Focus on your Breathing
The PNS and SNS are both parts of our autonomic nervous system, meaning that we don’t have much or any control over these functions. However, our breathing is one thing we can control, even though we don’t have to consciously think about it to do it. When we are feeling stressed or anxious, our breathing often becomes shallow and rapid, signaling to our body that we are stressed. This, in turn, releases more cortisol. Spend at least a few minutes each day to focus on your breathing and take slow, deep breaths. This will signal to your body that there is no danger, and your body will slowly begin to recover from the effects of long-term stress.
This is a given— the most effective way to reverse the effects of stress is to de-stress. Take time to enjoy your life. Do things that make you laugh, spend time with people that make you happy, read books that have been on your list for ages. Doing something you enjoy is crucial to your overall wellbeing. Even if you’re going through a tough time, there can always be moments of joy and laughter that can help you to de-stress and feel good. As the famous quote goes, “laughter is the best medicine.”
Practice Yoga or Meditation
Other extremely effective ways to reduce your stress levels are yoga or meditation. First, this practice greatly focuses on deep breathing
techniques, which, as we have already discussed, are extremely important for shifting your body into the PNS state. Meditating can also shift your mindset and help you focus on things you are grateful for instead of all the stressful and bad things going on in your life. You can also create a gratitude journal and take time daily to reflect on the positive things. This simple shift in mindset can be enough to change the way you react to everyday stressors completely.
Stress is remarkably damaging to our mental and physical health. Even though we know how serious it is, most of us can’t seem to find an effective way to get rid of it (or at least reduce it). Here are six all-natural, healthy, and highly effective ways to reduce chronic stress in your life.
You’ve probably heard this one before, but exercise is a marvelous stress reliever. Exercising releases endorphins, which are natural compounds in your body that reduce stress and pain. You don’t have to do strenuous or intense workouts to experience this benefit. Try to be physically active every day, whether it is a brisk walk in the sunshine, swimming, or weightlifting at the gym. You might be surprised at how good it makes you feel.
2. Natural Adaptogen Supplements
Adaptogen supplements are natural herbs that help your body adapt to stressors in your environment. A common adaptogen is Ashwagandha. Although the stress response might feel as though it’s limited to your mind, your entire body responds to stress. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, you might have difficulty focusing, and you start breathing rapidly. Adaptogens help calm the nervous system down and are completely natural.
3. Schedule in “Me-time”
Although life can get overwhelmingly busy, don’t forget about yourself. Scheduling in “me time” is equally as important as that business meeting or lunch with friends. Take time at least once a week (or as often as your schedule allows) to relax and do things that calm you down. Read a book, have a bath, meditate, or watch a funny movie, and don’t cancel on yourself!
4. Get Enough Good-quality Sleep
I can’t stress how important getting enough sleep is for your overall wellbeing. Getting enough quality sleep is proven to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress significantly. You probably know how irritated, frustrated, and upset you can get when you feel exhausted and haven’t slept enough. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
5. Eat Healthy, Whole Foods
The foods you eat can have a tremendous impact on your stress levels— both positive and negative. If you eat processed, sugary junk foods, you will notice that your feelings of stress will only get worse. A diet full of real, nutrient-dense, whole foods can counteract the damaging effects of stress on your body and can help you feel significantly better. Healthy fats (especially omega-3 fatty acids) found in salmon, avocado, nuts, and seeds can help regulate levels of cortisol, your stress hormone.
6. Calming Essential Oils
Essential oils are powerful and natural remedies for numerous health problems, from indigestion to stress. Lavender essential oil is well-known for its calming properties. You can put this oil in an aromatherapy diffuser or apply it topically to help you relieve stress and sleep better. Rose oil is also a powerful calming oil that can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. However, be careful as essential oils are very potent, and you don’t want to use too much.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the title of “Health Coach” but do you know what you can actually benefit from hiring a Health Coach? Health Coaches are becoming so popular that big companies are hiring them to keep their members and employees on track with their health, but you could even have a private health coach of your own to help you reach your goals.
So, what can a Health Coach do for you?
They keep you on track
A Health Coach realizes lofty goals often don’t go far. Health coaches help you focus on small daily goals that will get you to achieve your overall goal of better health and wellness, step by step at a time in a way that makes improving your life easy, completely manageable and even fun.
Change your diet without making you eat things you don’t like
Maybe you went into your mission of better health strong but after a while, got sick of the things you were eating. We all lose that inspiration at times, but a health coach has all kinds of delicious ideas for eating clean without sacrificing on taste. They can help you find the right things to eat for you as an individual, which you can’t find on Pinterest!
They show you how to handle triggers that cause you to overeat
If your problem is that you tend to choose food to comfort your feelings, a health coach can be life-changing. They will teach you how to handle that stress and keep you from turning to food for comfort rather than for nourishment.
They’re a good influence when everyone else isn’t
A health coach can be that inspiration that keeps you level-headed when you’re making choices about food. Plus, they can show you ways to enjoy healthier versions of those things you love, so you don’t have to go without. They can teach you how to navigate summer bbqs and holiday gatherings without guilt.
They teach you self-care
When is the last time you put yourself first? If you have to sit and really think about it, a health coach is for you. You can’t fill up everyone’s cup if you’re empty yourself. Your health is so important, and by taking this time for your wellness inside and out, you will be the best version of yourself.
Health coaches focus on every area of wellness
It’s not just about losing weight or getting in shape. Health coaches help you with mental health too. Anxiety and stress can tear at us from inside, and your health coach can steer you in the right direction to take healthy control of these areas too.
You deserve happiness and good health, and a way to achieve both is to get a health coach in your corner. You’ll find that making the goals you set for your wellness is easier to reach when you’ve got someone cheering for you!
“Is a gym membership worth it or can I make it work at home?”
Depending on how much space you have, home may be a perfect option. You don’t have to be self-conscious in a room full of people working out, and without the commute, it’s much easier to fit into your schedule. There are loads of free and affordable apps, workout videos and YouTube stations to get your workout in at home.
If you go the gym route, there are some definite benefits. Most gyms offer a coach or at least someone who can guide you through the machines and routines. Also, all of the equipment is a huge perk. Most gyms have every option under the sun so that it is easy to work out every part of your body. The only hard part with this is that everyone else is doing the same, so crowds and unsanitary equipment can be a downfall at times.
When it comes down to it, it is all about your preferences and comfort zones. Consider which you’d take the most advantage of and go with that.
Do you prefer working out at home or in the gym?
Besides the flu, colds make their rounds during the colder months when these microorganisms flourish, so it’s up to you to be vigilant and protect yourself. Thankfully, there are natural ways you can help boost your immunity and lessen your chances of getting sick this winter.
How many times during the winter months do you usually get sick? Let me know in the comments below, and let me know any natural tricks you use to combat illnesses.
Here are a few of my favorite ways
Use probiotic power
With all we now know about the gut biome, eating foods with probiotics is the best way to help keep your immunity strong. Kombucha, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut are just a few probiotic foods to help you out. Make sure you’re always eating plenty of fiber too to help that gut bacteria thrive. If you’d prefer a probiotic supplement instead, there are loads of wonderful ones to choose from to make sure you’re getting your daily probiotic needs.
Unfortunately, this time of year is also when all those holiday goodies are lurking about. Balance it out by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidant-rich foods are immune boosters that will keep your system fighting all season long. Another warming winter food that will make your soups healthier is bone broth which you can sneak into your
family’s diet without them ever knowing.
The more vitamins you have in your foods this season, particularly vitamin C, the more immunity you’ll have. However, zinc is often forgotten for the powerhouse that it is. Zinc can help stop a cold’s cells from replicating and is a powerful tool to have in your wellness arsenal this season and beyond. You can eat more zinc in spinach, nuts, beans, and pumpkin seeds. There are also zinc supplements you can take daily, or when you’re feeling a cold coming on.
Balance activity and sleep
When the germs are swirling around, be sure you’re getting enough exercise as well as getting enough sleep. Compromising on either one can jeopardize your immunity. With the days shorter and quite frigid, getting in bed earlier isn’t a hard thing to do!
Sanitize with lavender oil
Soap and warm water are always best for cleaning your hands, but when you’re nowhere near a sink, try lavender oil. It smells great, keeps away germs naturally, and keeps your hands soft and supple even in the frigid winter weather.
Keep it clean
We know hands should be clean and kept from our eyes, nose, and mouth, but don’t forget about those things you use every day that can be contaminated with ease. Your phone, keyboard, desk, and door handles are prime examples. Want one that isn’t full of chemicals? Add purified water and distilled vinegar to a spray bottle in equal parts, and then add a few drops of tea tree oil. Spray
There are too many fun events you won’t want to miss over these winter months, and there’s no time to spend being sick in bed. Use these natural immunity boosters to live life to the fullest during cold and flu season!
Thanksgiving is a busy time for social gatherings and big meals around the table with friends and family. This typically means the holiday revolves around (delicious!) food and not much activity.
There are some fun ways to make your Thanksgiving a little more active, and here are a few favorite family-friendly activities that will keep you all off the sofa.
1. Get your game on
Thanksgiving television is a big thing for families, congregating around the TV to watch the football game or the Thanksgiving Day Parade. If you must watch that big game on TV, get a game going of your own in the yard first. Gather the family and shoot some hoops, toss the football, or throw the frisbee. Anything you choose will be fun and get the blood pumping – so it’s a win-win!
2. Take part in a turkey trot
Take a look on your community page for your city, and you’re bound to see a turkey trot. These are free running and walking events held during the Thanksgiving weekend. Gather the whole family for a day full of active fun. If you live in a more remote setting, you can host your own turkey trot. Why not involve your neighbors and your community by organizing one yourself?
3. Family walk time
Before dessert gets served, get everyone up to go for a walk. A lot of people put up Christmas lights during Thanksgiving weekend, and as the sun goes down, you might just be in for a beautiful treat as you walk around with your family. You could also have everyone find their favorite colorful, fallen leaf to take home and make a craft with. Let that be your new tradition. Then head back and enjoy your slice of pie!
4. Shop it off
Let’s not forget about Thanksgiving’s most popular activity, Black Friday. You don’t even need to exercise your credit card but all that walking around is good for the family. Try parking farther away to get more walking in and just enjoy the sights and sounds. It’s about spending time together actively, and Black Friday makes for a fun way to do it while getting that holiday shopping done.
Once you get back from any of these activities, you’ll feel great about your active day with loved ones. What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?
Summer is behind us and Fall is officially here. We tend to have slower days this season, which is welcomed after a busy summer. More leisurely days can lead to falling off track with your healthy habits, but not if you stay mindful of the goals you’ve been working on all summer long.
Here are a few of my simple & favorite tweaks to stay on track during this slower season-
Spice up your life
A few dashes of your favorite spicy toppings can do wonders for your metabolism. Eat more hot peppers or even sprinkle red pepper flakes from your spice rack onto your foods to help boost your metabolism almost effortlessly. Add it to soups, stir-fry, pasta, or even your salad too.
Skip the diets
The best thing you can do is actually eat more of the right food. Fiber-rich fruits and veggies can be gobbled down until you feel that satisfied feeling with no guilt involved. Make smart choices when you’re eating, and you’ll be fueling your body with the right stuff and balancing a healthy metabolism.
Power up with protein
Protein powers and maintains lean muscle. You don’t need to be a meat-eater though to get all the protein you need. Plant-based proteins are an ideal solution to helping your muscles maintain and burn off fat in a healthy way.
If you have a job that requires a lot of sitting, make sure you get up and move around at least once every hour. If possible, get a standing desk that adjusts so you can work standing up or sitting down, or a DeskCycle that you can use while you’re sitting.
If money is a factor in your grocery budget, you can choose organic when it comes to things like strawberries, apples, celery, peaches, spinach, other greens, and potatoes. These have the highest pesticide levels. Things you peel like bananas, avocados, or grapefruit, for example, are generally fine if they’re non-organic.
Little things like these are all healthy and smart ways to make your body work harder for you without you working harder, which is a great advantage to have in the fall! Enjoy the slower season and see how your body responds.
Even when you think you’re doing everything “right” — you could still be doing something that’s sabotaging your goals. With the slew of “diets” out there that leave us entirely confused, it can be hard to discern what the correct steps to take are to actually reach your health goals. I totally get it, it’s a difficult road to be on.
Start by taking an honest look at your habits, and digging a little deeper with these 5 reasons your scale might not be budging.
1. You’re not sleeping enough
We’ve said it before, and we’ll repeat it: you need sleep! If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more prone to feeling hungry when you’re not and more likely to choose fattier options instead of more healthy ones when it’s time to eat. Even worse, lack of sleep affects how much cortisol your body produces which can contribute to weight fluctuations.
2. You have zero chill
Your stress level directly correlates with weight gain. Just like not getting enough sleep, it produces more cortisol which will keep the scale from going down like you’re hoping for. You’ve got to learn to manage your stress by using relaxation techniques. Try meditating or take 5 at your desk and do some simple yoga poses. Developing a good habit for handling stress will take some time to make it stick, but you’ll find once you manage stress, the scale will be tipping in your favor.
3. You’re eating more than you should
Are you portioning out your food? A substantial portion of the population overeats and an alarming number don’t even realize the portions they’re eating are considered “overeating” sized portions. What’s more, even if you’re using something healthy like olive oil, it has 120 calories per tablespoon which really adds up if you just dump it into your skillet or pour heavy onto your salad. Measure things out, and you’ll be getting just the right balance.
4. You’re not challenging your body
But I’m exercising, you might protest. Indeed, getting moving and being active is a crucial part of losing weight. However, you’ve got to challenge your body. You can’t expect to keep blasting off fat if you’re doing the same workout every single day. Switch things up, and you’ll see results. Don’t be afraid of lifting weights either. Building up your muscles helps you burn off more, even when you’re at rest!
5. You overindulge on the weekend
Be mindful of your indulgences and don’t skip your workout on the weekend either, or at the very least, plan an activity that keeps you moving. There’s no reason you can’t have a good time but balance is the best way to prevent your weekend from wrecking your weight loss.
Be honest…are you guilty of these things? It’s not too late to make a change. Work on these areas now and you’ll be in much better shape even during the hectic holidays coming up in winter!