Resilience is Misunderstood
What do you think of when you think of resilience? My first impression was always a person that was tough,…
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What do you think of when you think of resilience? My first impression was always a person that was tough,…
If we could survive on intentions and desire alone, everyone would feel & look exactly like they wish. However, there…
I have a love-hate relationship with the grocery store. Especially since I don’t have a single source for all of…
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What do you think of when you think of resilience? My first impression was always a person that was tough, could handle anything, bold, stoic, and always comes out winning. What I learned of this idea is that it is overly simplistic and doesn’t capture the true complexity of what makes a person resilient.
Don’t get me wrong – resilience is a HUGE aspect of getting through life. It is a quality that all of us must utilize to truly learn and grow from pain and experience. But, resilience alone will not lead to true healing.
Let me explain.
The definition of resilience as it is listed in Merriam Webster Dictionary explains it as:
: the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change
I am a big fan of “fake it ’til you make it”. In fact, I spent most of my early adult years living a purely compartmental life. If it did not suit me to address a feeling or emotion, I could easily set it aside and place it in one of my boxes for future reference. If…I ever got around to cleaning out my boxes.
Below are three things that can help you to take your resilience to another level so you get the outcome you are looking for in the first place!
Do that. Stay in that day. Try not to project ahead and begin predicting outcomes. Your brain cannot tell the difference between imagined tragedy and real. Whichever one it may be, try not to put your body and mind through it twice by imagining what is coming next.
For example: Two brothers. Same father. One is a successful, abundantly happy family & career man. The other is in an abusive relationship, abuses alcohol and drugs, and resents everything in his life. Same upbringing. One went one way, the other goes the opposite. You have a choice.
We tend to get to a point where our threshold for stress tolerance is so high that we fail to recognize the ensuing damage it is causing to our physiology & health.
HONORING our pain, our stress, our body in times of trouble is the missing link. You have to validate yourself that you have every reason to fall apart. It’s how you get back up that matters.
In some circumstances – you SHOULD feel stressed and if you don’t, then ask yourself why not?
Today’s society expects people to power through. Deal with it.
And it’s life. So guess what? IT.GOES.ON.
When all of those boxes you have built up begin to overflow, there is no more room for storage of emotions, of sadness, of stories we told ourselves as children. You have to clear out the compartments to make room for more resilience!
Regardless of how much we think we can hide from pain, guilt, tears, anger – it will resurface. Putting on the happy face is clever, courageous, and even admirable. It’s when you pull off that mask, express your true pain and let it melt away with the tears that need to flow it out and away from your body, that is when the magic of healing happens.
When your soul genuinely becomes light & begins to take it’s old shape again. That is true resilience.
If we could survive on intentions and desire alone, everyone would feel & look exactly like they wish. However, there are factors that create success that go far beyond simply wanting it.
* Good intentions are very different from being INTENTIONAL *
Travel, daily routine, life’s stressors, life’s celebrations, and the weather are all examples of external factors that impact our ability to be intentional.
For example, if you are on vacation and intend to eat well and exercise while you are on the road, how do you establish a plan to make it happen? You could research the hotel gym, local restaurants, locate the nearest grocery stores, bring your healthy snacks, and stock up on water.
Or you could just pack some gym clothes & hope that you fit in a workout.
* Create inner stability organically *
So much of our inconsistency and instability comes from when we are relying on external factors instead of building a foundation from within ourselves. Going to the gym with a friend is fun, but what if the friend cancels? What if you have a tough day at work and you are just too stressed to make it to the gym? Maybe the new summer schedule is throwing you off. These are external factors that we are all exposed to. Our intentions have to be fulfilled from our internal discipline.
* Stop treating your body like a rental car or a hotel room *
When you rent a car, you don’t go out and get it waxed before you turn it in. Do you leave your hotel room spick and span? It’s the only body you have. Own it, wax it, maintain it, take care of it. I was taught when you borrow something; you give it back better than you found it. Strive to leave your space better than when you got here.
Practice being somebody who does what you intend to do. Work to be your best, regardless of the ever-changing variables that surround you.
WE WILL NOT JUST DRIFT IN TO OPTIMAL HEALTH.
I have a love-hate relationship with the grocery store. Especially since I don’t have a single source for all of my weekly goods. Between Whole Foods, my local grocery store, the meat market and the Farmer’s Market, I am all over the place. I typically have staples at each place so I don’t often hit them all in one weekend.
I will say, since my new found love of Purium products, I am saving time, gas, and money on my grocery bill! But, that is for another blog post.
1) Plan your list! Don’t go in any store without a list. I keep a pen and paper in my kitchen and jot down things I may run low on throughout the week. I also use my trusty “ECHO” to keep lists of “to dos”. Of course, the chances I have the list with me when it’s convenient to hit the store is slim, so I either take a picture of the list or I input it in my phone. The Echo keeps my list in an app on my phone so it’s always handy.
Start your list BEFORE you are completely out. E.g. 3 eggs left? It goes on the list.
Keep track of toiletries on the same list.
Sort through the list and assign which products are bought from where. Can they wait until your monthly run or is it something that needs to be picked up for convenience?
2) Keep a running “staples” list. For example, I only pick up the same handful of items from Whole Foods. I buy the same things each month at the meat market. I don’t often stray from my staples.
3) Stay on the outside perimeter of the store. Think about it, around the perimeter, you have your produce, your meat and eggs, & refrigerated goods. When you start diving into the aisles, your cart will get mixed with processed things in boxes and by the time you get to check out, your bill is double your budget.
Stick to your list!
You may have items on your list that require dipping into aisles. Spices, nut butters, oils or cleaning supplies. You should know that ahead of time, and go straight to the list items.
If you must go in the lanes – READ LABELS!
Learning to read labels and know your ingredients is so valuable. It’s tedious and time consuming at first, but once you know what you are looking for, you can ditch stuff pretty quickly.
Watch for misleading signs in the produce section. Whole Foods often has more conventional produce than they have organic!
4) Take advantage of specialty stores & local markets. Not only are they often more affordable, the food is sourced diligently. We have a local “Delaware Chicken Farms” market. It has been around since the 60’s. The chicken farm is right behind their little shop. Pasture raised, organic everything, wild sourced fish, they know the local farmer where they source their eggs (they don’t use their chickens for eggs). I go here once a month and walk out with more meat and seafood at a third of the cost of Whole Foods.
5) This may be the best “rule” of all – do not go to the grocery store hungry. Have you ever noticed when you are hungry, you go nuts at the store? In fact, it’s just the opposite when you are full. I literally just went to the store full and made great choices on some tempting items that I would have absolutely rationalized – had I been hungry.
Unless you want to invest double the money or bring food into your house that you would normally not stock, have a nice meal before you hit the store.
In summary, your grocery shopping shouldn’t be a half day event. Keep it simple, efficient, organized and cost effective. At the end of the day, you are simply going to pick up fuel for your vessel. Focus on the quality of the fuel, don’t overfill the tank, and burn through some of it before you stop and fill up again!
Who even thinks about their own health when someone dear is dying? Well, probably no one.
When my Mom passed away, I woke up at the crack of dawn after a horrible night’s sleep to go to my workout studio for my 5 a.m. class. I did this day after day. When I wasn’t at the studio, I was running with my dogs outside. Some days, I’d do both. It was the only way I could get through my day. My running would energize me. It was my stress “relief”, but I didn’t realize the stress it was putting on my body.
I was struggling at the peak of POTS – Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. In order to get my blood flowing, I HAD to move. With my excessive tears and my inability to rehydrate as quickly as I was losing fluid, I was feeling symptoms more than usual. It prompted me to exercise more and be even more fearful of eating the wrong foods.
It was my sister who worried about me now. I didn’t want her to stress about my health like Mom did. I’ll never forget the first time I was in the hospital getting rehydrated after a POTS flare up. I didn’t tell my sister until after the fact. There’s something about being in the emergency room by yourself that is hauntingly lonely.
It might seem like exercise and a rigid diet was an attempt at taking care of myself. In fact, it wasn’t what my body needed at all. My mom had cancer. She’d been diagnosed, treated, and then passed within a period of 9 months. It was a horribly stressful time.
The past 4 years without Mom was a challenge. Initial grieving, getting used to a new “normal”, and dealing with the loss of my “person” each day. Then there was making sure Dad was ok. He was absolutely lost and so were we. We all had to pull together.
Dad’s health had been progressively declining, but with his amazing caretaker and his insistence that he was “good”, we took for granted he would be around for a long time. So when he suddenly took a turn for the worse, we found ourselves experiencing the deja vu of the dreaded days of hospice. The experience of spending the last hours with a loved one is indescribable. It was dramatically different with Mom than it was with Dad, while at the same time, eerily similar. Do not try to imagine if you haven’t experienced it.
While the pain of losing my Dad is too raw to get into at this moment, I reflect on how I dealt with Mom’s passing and how it affected my health. A few critical differences:
While I certainly wasn’t consistent and loyal to my routine, I did whatever I could in the midst of the most stressful hours to keep my body from going into shut down. The idea of getting sick and run down was not in the cards.
As the dust begins to settle and the world continues to go round, I am grateful that I have learned lessons from the sadness and trauma of losing my Mom and my Dad. Finding gratitude in these awful times is the only way for me to pull myself out of the deep sadness. Honoring my sadness, my exhaustion, my shock, and spending quality time with my brother and sister and friends is what the doctor ordered.
The locks on my life’s compartments are just a bit looser now. You have to empty some of the compartments in order to place new valuables in the safe. And sometimes it is just better to have some empty space for when you may need it.
People are always asking what they should do to feel better, to not get sick, to be in less pain, to lose weight, etc. and the answer is simple. There is not ONE thing you should do. It’s never ONE thing. It’s a compilation of things. It’s what you do as a whole that makes up your wellness. Stress management, SLEEP, what you feed your body and mind, how you move your body, it ALL matters.
The OTHER benefits of coconut oil…
We have heard it’s good for skin, oil pulling, cooking, recipes, you name it. BUT, have you heard about the benefits for fat burning, hormone balancing and energy boosting?
About 80% of Coconut oil is made up of MCT or medium chain triglycerides. 95% of fat in our normal diet comes from long chain triglycerides.
In my battles with insulin resistance, number one caught my eye and kept my attention!
1) Coconut oil helps to regulate or normalize blood sugar. You cannot burn fat when blood sugar and insulin are high. Coconut oil helps to normalize blood sugar by raising your bodies responsiveness to insulin.
2) Improves thyroid function by helping to regulate body temperature.
3) Fat in MCT oils contain less calories than other oils. MCT’s raise you’re metabolism because they are going straight to liver for fuel. The thermogenic effect is 3x’s greater over next 6 hours than with long chain triglycerides. It’s like the “HIIT of food”.
4) Helps to improve your cholesterol profile in 2 Ways:
Raise HDL and lowers overall cholesterol.
This is due to the lauric acid in MCT’s.
5) Energy – immediate improvement when adding coconut oil to nutrition.
6) Improves health of hair and skin.
7) Immunity – coconut oil is an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
8) Satiety – coconut oil is so energy dense, you will feel full for longer. It’s about the type of fat, not just the fat component of a meal.
Look for Organic Virgin or extra virgin & cold pressed.
Coconut oil cures
Coconut oil Miracle
Podcast source: http://primalpotential.com/benefits-of-coconut-oil/
We are entering into our fourth month of 2017 and the dust has started to settle. Has everyone stuck to those goals they set up on January 1st?
One of the new buzz words I keep seeing is mindfulness.
Mindfulness applies to many aspects of life. Being present, meditation, looking out for others, etc.
I have noticed since my work has gone from a corporate office to a home based standing desk immediately next to my kitchen, my mindfulness around eating has dramatically changed.
When you are in an office and you are avoiding a challenging project, you can simply walk down the hall and distract yourself with a friendly conversation with a co-worker. At home, not so much.
Suddenly, if I added up all of the hours that I spend in the kitchen, I would find I am spending WAY too much time on preparing, cooking, and picking at food.
What is mindful eating anyways? Well, it can be many things. Let’s start with what it’s NOT:
-Eating while doing other activities (talking, texting, watching TV, working on your computer, driving)
-Eating while standing up
-An eating marathon (when you continuously eat for hours)
-Eating for the sake of eating, even when your body is fully fueled
Most of us are busy throughout the day and probably can’t remember what we had for breakfast, let alone savoring the flavor of our meal by feeling it in our mouth, chewing conscientiously, appreciating the texture, and enjoying each bite.
When we chew our food, it is an “introduction” of that food to our cells. It allows the body to begin to break down what will soon become part of us.
Four key things you can do to be more mindful when eating include:
Mindful eating can be a challenge. Start by picking one or two of the tips above.
You may not only find your tummy will thank you, but you might lose a few pounds in the process!
It sounds so strange to say, but I love fibrous foods.
Not just the obvious ones, or at least the ones that people assume have great fiber. I don’t recognize I’m eating it most of the time, but getting over 30 gram a day is my minimum goal. Eating a substantial amount of vegetables a day makes it easy for me to get my daily intake.
It is estimated that less than 5% of Americans get the daily fiber as recommended.
High fiber foods help:
Guard against Cancer
Helps support a healthy digestive tract
Keep an eye out for “faux” fibers. These are the foods that are obviously packaged or processed, but have an extreme amount of fiber. It’s always better to eat fresh foods, rich in nutrients.
While there are huge lists and fiber content charts, I was surprised by some of the foods I would not have associated with good fiber. The list below gives visibility to some lesser known fiber foods. They are not just high in fiber, but high in essential nutrients.
Avocado – 10.5g/cup sliced
Asian pears – 9.9g/medium
Raspberries – 8g/cup
Coconut – 7.28/cup
Figs – 14.6g/1 cup dried
Artichokes – 10.3g/medium
Split Peas – 16.3 g/cup – cooked
Okra – 8.2g/cup
Acorn Squash – 9g/cup baked
Brussel sprouts – 7.6g/cup
Broccoli – 5.1g/ cup
Notice, you don’t see processed grains as the best source as many people might believe.
There are many ways to get fiber into your diet besides indulging on a huge raw salad daily. Sneak some chia seeds or flax into a smoothie. Greens go nicely into a smoothie, as well. Soups can be made of pureed vegetables, roasted vegetables, or you can simply add the puree to make a sauce!
I heard this term for the first time during a podcast on travel tips. I have since seen it pop up in books, other readings, and I thought, this calls for some research!
The theory of grounding is that our bodies are meant to come into contact with the earth (a”grounding” force) on a regular basis (I flashback to walking around barefoot at the dirtiest possible horse farm, knee deep in mud). Positive electrons in the form of free radicals can build up in our bodies & direct contact with the ground balances this out as it is a negative grounding charge.
Our bodies and cells have an electrical energy. In today’s world of electronics and cell phones and wireless, many of us have a high amount of positive electrons built up in our bodies.
Back in the day, people used to regularly “touch the earth”. Recently, we live indoors, have exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), and we wear rubber shoes.
The practice of earthing, according to the book “Earthing”, involves coupling your body to the Earth’s surface energy by walking, sitting, or sleeping outside in direct contact with the earth.
According to research (and an overwelming amount of positive reviews and testimonials on Amazon.com), Earthing can be beneficial in:
* reducing inflammation
* reducing chronic pain
* improving sleep
* increasing energy
* lowering stress & promoting calmness by reducing stress hormones
* normalizing biological rhythms including circadian rhythm
*improving blood pressure and blood flow
*relieving muscle tension & headache
* lessens menstrual & female hormone symptoms
* speeds healing
* can eliminate jet lag
* protecting body from EMF’s
* shortens recovery time from injury or athletic activity
* reducing or eliminating snoring
* helping support adrenal health
Who uses it?
Reportedly professional and Olympic athletes have used earthing methods to speed recovery and increase sleep quality.
Thermal images show significant effects of the impact of “Earthing” on inflammation. Side by side images before and after 30 minutes of earthing were vastly improved.
The easiest and cheapest way of earthing is to walk outside barefoot. You must be barefoot and in contact with rock, dirt or water. E.g. Beach and ocean are possibly the best place since sand and salt water are extremely conductive. Salt water is also very high in magnesium.
So, since most of us are not lucky enough to walk a beach every morning, there are options of earthing sheets and mats.
What’s the harm in trying when all we need are some bare feet and to walk out of our doors?
People ask me all the time about gluten and what the hype is really all about. Gluten is a term used for the proteins found in wheat. Gluten helps them hold their shape, acting like a glue.
Wheat is not simply “wheat” as you may think of it. Wheat includes:
Wheat, or some variation of wheat, is found in many foods that you may not expect. Below are some examples:
Studies show that gluten is a major cause of autoimmune disease, digestive & gut health issues, mood disorders, weight issues & many more disruptive disorders.
Gluten is known for it’s connection to celiac’s disease. Celiac’s require strict avoidance of all gluten. But, it is not safe to assume if you do not have celiac’s disease, you are not at risk for the negative effects associated with gluten. There are also other proteins present in wheat that can be harmful to people. The inflammation caused by gluten, or other wheat proteins, in the gut can cause a cascading effect on one’s immunity, as a result of the impaired gut lining.
So what’s the deal with gluten & what does it mean to you? The deal is that it has become a “fad” in the eyes of the food industry. When something becomes a trigger word, or a marketing opportunity, the food companies are all over it. They use it as their next big chance to sell to the consumer a bunch of health claims that support eliminating this new villain that is gluten.
In that process, they replace the gluten, or wheat substance, with a bunch of other junk and fake ingredients. Commonly, various glue like substances typically identified as “gum” of some sort on the label to give the product it’s shape. So now you have processed sugary trash that is now gluten free trash.
Gluten free foods are filled with other stuff like sugar, preservatives, coloring, additives, processed oils and other substances to increase shelf life and to make it stick. So eating gluten free bread and gluten free cake is still eating bread and cake. In actuality, it can be even worse because the highly processed gluten free flours can often cause an even higher sugar spike in the body.
The more claims on a label of the product being healthy, the more likely it is bad for you. Now you start to see things on the shelves that are naturally gluten free, but putting it on the label attracts the consumer.
The food companies have created oodles of fake food substances that trick our bodies and brains to feel hungry. Don’t wait another 30 years to find out “gluten free” processed foods were actually bad for you. It took that long for us to see the outcome of the “fat free” and “low fat” diet fad. Where are we as a result? In the middle of an obesity and diabetes epidemic!
Unfortunately, people take these recommendations to remove gluten from their diets as a free pass to buy into the health claims of the junk food. They think gluten free = healthy. This is simply not the case.
What it means to be gluten free in a nutshell is to eliminate anything with wheat flour, but not replace it with other flours. Eating a whole grain like rice or quinoa is different from eating a highly refined & processed rice flour or quinoa flour. These flours act like sugar in the body. Stick to the whole grain!
When you eat real food, avoiding gluten is not as difficult as it may seem. Naturally gluten free foods include:
As a consumer, it is important that we understand – what you see is not always what you get. You HAVE to be educated on labels, if you are going to be eating foods with labels now and then.
Finally, cooking is a necessity in life. Cooking at home and avoiding the constant need for convenience is going to bring you back to knowing what’s in your food. You’ll ultimately save money on quality food today. Otherwise, you’ll spend it later on healthcare.
Gluten free may be considered a “fad”, but it is a very real problematic food choice. Getting rid of gluten from your diet will improve digestion and likely prevent future gut issues. The brilliant side effect is you will lose weight, IF you are choosing whole, real foods.