cooking, family, habits, healthy eating, healthy living, lifestyle, stress less, yoga

Just Chill

Stress Management: 8 Stress Relievers for Health and Wellness

Stress is something we all face, many of us face different types of stress on a daily basis and it is well known that stress can have adverse effects on our health.

Managing stress is a great way to ensure that you maintain your health throughout your life time and there are many different ways you can learn to manage stress.

Stress Relievers

  1. Exercise

One of the best ways to manage your stress is to ensure that your body is getting enough exercise. Exercise has been proven to help maintain mental fitness along with physical fitness. Studies have shown that exercise is very effective in improving concentration, helps the body release natural pain killers and helps to ad in more restful sleep. All it takes is five minutes of aerobic exercise to help stimulate the mind and the body producing anti-anxiety effects.  

  1. Meditation

Meditation is another great way to manage stress in your life. One of the great things about meditation is that it is absolutely free! Meditation can actually reverse your stress response which will help to shield you from the effects of chronic stress. Meditation also helps you clear your mind from the things that are causing you stress.

  1. Journaling

Journaling is also and effective stress management tool, because it will help you to clarify your thoughts and feelings. Many people have found that through journaling they are able to come up with a solution to their problems just by seeing it on paper.

  1. Dealing With Mental Stress

One of the reasons mental stress occurs is when the mind is overly focused or concentrated on one thing, this is something typically seen at work. It is important to step away in order to restore balance and clarity and do an activity that does not require any mental concentration.

This can be a walk around the block, getting out in nature also helps quite a bit, being somewhere without noise, distractions and anything that entails the mind having to focus on something so that you can just “be.”

This is often referred to as “gelling” in slang terms and it can really do wonders to clear and refresh the mind.

 

  1. Deep Breathing

Deep breathing exercises work great to help people with stress management. It has been proven that when a person focuses on deep slow breathing they are able to trigger a state of relaxation and their body temperature actually raises. Deep breathing exercises are great because they can be used at any time during the day. You don’t have to worry about having somewhere to exercise or having your journal handy you can simply take a few moments and focus on your breathing.

  1. Music

Many people have also found that listening to music can help to reduce stress. Some prefer angry hard rock while others find that listening to soft classical music helps them to relax. One of the best things about using music to reduce stress is that you can listen to music while you go about your life and you don’t have to set a specific time aside for this type of therapy.

  1. Well Balanced Diet

Finally and probably the most important thing you can do to manage the stress that you face is to eat a well-balanced diet. Avoiding foods that contain caffeine or other stimulants is very important.

These stimulants actually cause the body to be less equipped to handle normal stress. But there are many food that you can add to your diet to help you reduce and manage your stress.

Best Foods To Reduce Stress

  • Walnuts
  • Turkey
  • Spinach
  • Salmon
  • Avocados
  • All green vegetables have all been proven to help the body function properly when dealing with stress.
  • It is also important to ensure you are drinking enough water!
  1. Get Away

If at all possible get completely away from the sources of stress. If it’s work, take a break or a short vacation. If it is the kids and the house, then get a sitter and have a spa day or “me day” where you do things you enjoy.

Choose an activity that allows you to unwind, and if that means turning off your phone and tablet and just watching movies all day, then feel free.

Bottom Line

In today’s world, stress cannot be avoided. We deal with it every day from many different sources but the good news is there are things that we can do in order to help us manage the stress we face so that it does not take a toll on our bodies.

If stress is left unchecked it can lead to many different health problems such as chronic anxiety, heart attack, high blood pressure, and depression.

Simply by following the tips that I have given you, you will be able to manage your stress and reduce the chances that it will cause you future health problems.

 

Yours in good health,

Elle

cooking, family, habits, healthy eating, healthy living, lifestyle, Vegetables

Survive & Thrive ~ A Healthier, Happier, YOU!

There are many things that impact your health, some positive and some negative. It’s up to you to do all that you can to avoid the unhealthy ones. Of course, it won’t always easy. Obstacles sometimes get in the way. But, by learning more about the following five factors, which positively impact your health, you’ll be well on your way to better health. The factors covered in this report are quality nutrition, hydration, detoxification, oxygenation and alkalization. Hopefully, you’re already familiar with a few.

Quality Nutrition

Everyone needs to be concerned about quality nutrition, regardless of where they feel they stand health-wise. There are so many benefits to proper nutrition that it’s somewhat difficult to know where to begin. Here are some of them for your consideration.

Increased Productivity

Recent data indicates that eating foods that are unhealthy for you actually puts you at a higher risk of productivity loss. Some studies put that number as high as 66 percent. All the more reason to think of healthy food as fuel for your brain, don’t you think?

Fewer Wrinkles

Foods that contain a high water content help to moisturize your skin. They also contain antioxidants, which help to reduce the likelihood of cell damage and keeps your skin younger looking for a longer period of time. Go one step further and include foods like salmon, on the menu. Salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acids that are also beneficial to your skin.

Saves Money

By sticking to a healthy diet, you generally have fewer medical bills. In addition, you’ll probably eat less, which means you’ll save money on groceries. This is especially true if you’re one to eat a lot of sugary treats and/or fast food meals.

Less Cravings

It probably won’t happen immediately, but eating healthier is a great way to reduce cravings. Lean proteins and complex carbohydrates do an excellent job of stabilizing your blood sugar. This helps to alleviate a rapid drop in blood sugar, which causes a craving.

Healthier Smile

The calcium in milk and other dairy products helps to strengthen your teeth. Yogurt is known to contain microorganisms that are helpful in fighting the bacteria that causes bad breath. Research indicates that Omega-3, found in fish, may even reduce the chances of gum disease.
Longer Life

Although nothing is guaranteed 100 percent, quality nutrition goes a long way in helping you to live longer. Several studies indicate the possibility of low-meat, vegetarian or diets high in nut consumption very well adding years to your life.

Happier Disposition

The next time you feel a bit gloomy, why not take a minute out of your day to eat a banana or a couple of pieces of dark chocolate? The average-sized banana contains 10 mg of dopamine. Dark chocolate is packed to the brim with polyphenol. Both of these substances are known to give your mood a boost when you need it the most.

An added benefit to all of these things is the fact that learning to eat healthier automatically makes you more knowledgeable about nutrition. So, not only are you helping yourself, you’re helping your family as well. What could be better than that?

Hydration

Staying hydrated is extremely important for overall health. What many people don’t realize is that drinking plenty of fluids is also necessary for optimal heart health. This is especially true in warm weather.

Every single cell in your body needs water. So do your tissues and organs. The body requires water to lubricate joints, maintain proper temperature and remove waste products.

Keeping your body hydrated helps your heart pump blood through your blood vessels. It also helps muscles work more efficiently. In other words, when you drink the proper amount of water or other fluids your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.

Water Is Best

Water is the best thing to drink, when it comes to staying hydrated… especially when you’re exercising. If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy the taste of water alone, try eating fruits and vegetables that have a high water content. These include, but are not limited to:

  • cucumbers
  • iceberg lettuce
  • celery
  • radishes
  • tomatoes
  • green peppers
  • watermelon
  • citrus fruits
  • strawberries
  • cantaloupe

As you can see, you have plenty of healthy choices. For additional options, doing a quick search engine search will bring up many other suggestions.

Sports drinks are recommended in very hot weather. However, if you’re trying to steer clear of added sugar and extra calories, you might want to think twice. Any sugary drink, such as soda or fruit juice, tends to be harder on your stomach. And, anything with caffeine in it actually causes you to lose fluid, which obviously defeats the purpose.

How Much is Too Much?

You’ve probably heard or read somewhere that you need to drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day. While many people still believe this to be true, some physicians will tell you that it depends on things like climate, the type of clothes you wear and whether or not you’re exercising.

Never let the fact that you feel thirsty be an indication that you’re getting dehydrated. If you’re thirsty, you’ve ALREADY reached that point. If you perspire more than average, you need to drink more fluids. If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, you need to drink more fluids. If you’re elderly or pregnant, you need to drink more fluids.

Believe it or not sometimes when you feel hungry, you actually might be thirsty instead. If you’ve eaten within the last two hours, try this trick. Drink a glass of water and wait approximately 10 minutes. If after that time, you no longer feel hungry, you’ll know you were dealing with dehydration.

One of the best ways to monitor your hydration level is to keep track of the color of your urine. If it’s pale or clear it means you’re properly hydrated. If it’s dark, you need to drink more liquids.

Don’t ever take dehydration lightly. Not only can it lead to painful issues such as headaches and swollen feet, it can also lead to life-threatening conditions like heat stroke.

Detoxification

If you’re feeling sluggish and lacking energy, it may be time to consider body detoxification. Detoxification, or detox, is the process of cleansing the blood by removing impurities in the liver, where toxins are naturally processed. This allows the body to process and removes toxins more efficiently, which leads to improved health and a better quality of life.

Should You Detox?

 It is recommended that everyone detox at least once every year. A detox program can help alleviate symptoms that are otherwise unexplainable, such as fatigue, skin irritation, allergic reactions or even bags under the eye. Even if you don’t feel like anything is amiss, detoxing helps to cleanse the whole body and leaves you feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

Cleansing Your Diet

 There are many different detox recipes and programs to choose from, all focused on cleansing the body and eliminating toxins. One very popular and tasty way to include cleansing foods into your diet is detoxifying juices and smoothies.

Replacing one meal a day with a detox smoothie goes a long way toward getting rid of toxins and maintaining your metabolism. Stay away from pre-packaged shakes or other chemically enhanced products – the best ingredients to use are all-natural fruits and vegetables. Popular options include:

  • raspberries
  • blueberries
  • oranges
  • apples
  • spinach
  • kale
  • bananas
  • tomatoes
  • carrots

Any natural fruits or vegetables will do, especially those rich in fiber or vitamin C. With so many healthy foods and flavors to choose from, you can concoct a smoothie that suits your taste and is an excellent addition to your diet at the same time.

Fasting

 Taking a break from eating gives our digestive system a chance to rest and rejuvenate. This means it will be more efficient when it’s time for it to work again. In order to give your digestive system a break, replace your meals with juices or smoothies for a day or two of fasting. This will be easiest if you do it on a day off, so that you can rest and avoid situations that might otherwise tempt you to eat. This detoxifying method may not be much fun during the actual fast, but it will be worth it afterwards when you feel energetic and refreshed.

Stay Away from Toxins

 Toxins that we take in either through food or our environment get in the way of our body’s healing processes. Stay away from refined sugars, saturated fats, coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol. Also, try to use natural alternatives to both cleaning and personal care products, to avoid exposure to minor levels of toxins.

Oxygenation

Oxygenation is the process of oxygen molecules making their way into all tissues of the body. Oxygen is not only necessary for breathing, it also plays an important role in every metabolic process, which occurs in the body. Another term for oxidization is “medical oxygen saturation.”

How Oxygen is Used

Our bodies use oxygen for a number of different processes. When we breathe, the oxygen in the air that we inhale is diffused into our bloodstream. This oxygen-rich blood makes its way through our bodies and find places where oxygen is needed. Oxygen molecules in our body combine with certain enzymes to help out with many of our body’s processes. A waste product of these processes is carbon dioxide, which is transported back to the lungs.

Restoring Oxygen Balance

There are several easy things you can do to help restore your oxygen balance. This includes:

  • drinking an adequate amount of water
  • adhering to an alkaline diet
  • exercising daily
  • breathing properly

Without the proper amount of water, all body functions are diminished. Filtered water is the best choice, because of its smaller groups of water molecules, which provide better overall hydration on a cellular level.

Adhering to an alkaline diet is explained in more detail below. In a nutshell, it refers to eating more plant-based foods such as kale and spinach and eating less processed and animal-based foods. Along with the diet, it’s helpful to take an iron supplement. Women need at least 18 mg, daily. Men require no less than 8 mg per day.

The type of exercise you choose is completely up to you. Walking, biking and hiking are particularly good choices to help oxygenate your body. In fact, in this case, it’s actually more beneficial to walk for 15 minutes a day, as opposed to working out at the gym for two full hours.

Yes, there is a proper way to breathe. Whenever possible, avoid breathing from the chest. It’s much better to breathe slowly from your diaphragm and through your nose. Twelve breaths per minute are usually adequate.

Oxygen and Detoxification

A major factor in our health is how efficiently our bodies make use of nutrients on the cellular level. Another factor is how effectively waste and toxins are removed. Our body has several ways of getting rid of cellular waste. Much of it is dissolved into water and leaves the body through urine and sweat. But, some of this waste can only be neutralized by oxygen molecules, in a process called oxidation. Because our bodies need oxygen to process waste, avoiding environmental toxins and maintaining proper oxygen balance leaves us feeling great and could even help prevent disease.

Alkalization

Alkalizing your body is another wonderful way to stay healthy. Simply put, alkalization is shifting your body’s pH to the proper level. In the event the thought of this makes you nervous, there’s no need to worry. It’s actually much easier than it sounds. The end goal is to have a body which is more alkaline than acidic.

Optimal pH Level

When your body is highly acidic, it tries to balance itself out by getting nutrients from your cells and bones. That’s bad. The optimal pH level, to strive for, is just a little over 7. Once this number is reached, it greatly reduces the possibility of disease and cellular damage.

When your body reaches this level, it’s generally easy to maintain, as long as you know how to do so. The process involves replacing the acid you eat and drink with foods that alkalize.

Increased Health Benefits

There are many benefits to an alkaline diet. Statistics indicate that if your diet consists of at least 70 percent of alkaline foods, you’ll improve your quality of life substantially. Health benefits include an increase in energy, a more restful sleep, a slower aging process, a clearer mind and increase protection against certain kinds of cancer. That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Foods to Avoid

There are several foods and beverages to avoid on an alkaline diet. The top five categories include:

  • processed sugar
  • meat
  • dairy products
  • coffee
  • soda

Cutting down or eliminating these foods not only helps to balance your pH level, it makes you healthier overall.

Foods to Enjoy

There are many types of foods that are great for increasing your alkaline level. You don’t have to partake in a boring diet in order to get healthier. Think about incorporating some of the following items into your meal plan. It’s probably simpler than you think!

  • leafy greens
  • Chia seeds
  • almonds
  • beets
  • bananas
  • garlic
  • figs
  • lemons
  • melon
  • tomatoes
  • and broccoli

Consequences of an Unbalanced pH Level

When your pH level is out of whack, it has the potential of affecting your health in many ways. Excess acid is stored in fat cells. The reason for this is that the fat neutralizes the acid. There is good news, however. Once you reach a pH level of 7, it’s entirely possible to lose as much as a pound of fat per day.

Your arteries are affected by pH levels, as well. Why? When your body is highly acidic, it automatically produces cholesterol to protect the arteries. High cholesterol can lead to heart attacks. The upside to this is, just like the excess fat cells, the extra cholesterol will disappear once your body is properly alkalized.

Believe it or not, there’s also a possibility that you’ll shrink, if your pH level remains off balance for long periods of time. This occurs when calcium begins to dissipate from your bones due to the acid.

Once your body begins to balance out and become more alkaline, you may experience something that is often referred to as “alkalize and energize.” This simply means that you’ll start to automatically feel more energized and ready to take on the world. Congratulations!

Taking Things Slow

When it comes to information about these five factors, which positively impact your health, this is just the tip of the iceberg. However, it gives you a great starting point. What you do with the information is, of course, up to you.

If you feel overwhelmed, as many individuals do, tackle one area at a time. You’re not going to feel transformed overnight. Obviously, it’s going to take some time. But, with patience and due diligence, you’ll start feeling much healthier before you know it.

 

At that point, all of your hard work will be more than worth it!

Hugs, Elle

family, healthy living, lifestyle, Uncategorized

Ahhhh Choooo~ Cold & Flu

“Cold and Flu” season is here, and it seems that everywhere
you go you run into someone sneezing!

How can you boost your immunity so you can stay healthy this Winter? 

Getting sick is not only uncomfortable, but it also impacts your productivity, your energy level and even your relationship (have you ever got snappy because you have a sore throat or a headache?) If you have kids, I am sure you can relate how hard it is not to get sick from those little slimy hands – they are like petri dish on legs! 

Do you know that on average, school-age kids in America experience eight to ten colds a year? 

{according to The Children’s Hospital Guide to Your Child’s Health and Development}

Let’s say you have two children, and the average cold lasts for 10 days, and each of the two parents get half of their colds. So you have (8+8+4+4) x 10=240 days of someone possibly being sick in your household – that’s is more than half the year!!

Luckily, there are some easy ways to strengthen your immune system by adding
some common yet nutritious foods to your diet. They have high immunity boosting
nutrients (e.g. vitamins A, B, and C, zinc), anti-viral and/or antibacterial
properties:

1. Yogurt (ideally plain yogurt as added sugar can suppress immunity) –
probiotics help strengthen immune system.
2. Pumpkin seeds – high in zinc and omega-3, both essential for a healthy
immune system.
3. Cold water fish – good source of protein and omega-3.
4. Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially carrots, beets, sweet potatoes,
tomatoes – they are rich in beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.
5. Ground seeds, lentils, beans and whole grains – good source of B vitamins
and protein.
6. Ginger – has anti-viral properties.
7. Garlic – has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
8. Honey (raw) –has anti-viral properties.
9. Green tea –has anti-viral properties.
10. Mushrooms (maitake, reishi, shiitake) – elevate flu-fighting agents.

Bonus tips: avoid sugar and alcohol, both of which can weaken your immune
system.

Yours in good health xo, Elle