Stress Management 101

We all have stress…I mean it’s normal, right?!  Yes, absolutely.  So when does stress become harmful  and what can you do to reduce stress’ harmful effects on your mental and physical health?  Read on to answer those questions.

With the recent election, the campaigning prior to the election, and the reactions of Americans since the election, there has been a lot of stress felt across our country.  I don’t know about you, but just reading my FB feed has become stressful and occasionally traumatic.  In addition, we’re all beginning to plan for the upcoming holiday events, thinking about having family members together who don’t always get along, and how to discuss politics around the family table.  Needless to say, we are surrounded by stress and stressful events.

Did you know there are actually two kinds of stress?  There is good stress (eustress) and bad stress (distress).  Good stress helps us focus, proves a sense of urgency, and can help us complete tasks more efficiently.  Distress, on the other hand, causes a host of physical and mental symptoms that can actually keep us from doing our best work and living our best lives.

There is another differentiating factor to stress, too: acute versus chronic stress.  Acute stress is felt when someone is approaching a deadline.  It lasts for a finite amount of time and for a specific reason.  Chronic stress is a heightened amount of stress for a prolonged amount of time.  It’s as though your daily “bar” or threshold for stress is at a higher level than before and it begins to seem like your new normal.

What are some examples of events or interactions that cause stress?

  • discontent at work
  • fear of termination/loss of a job
  • relationship or family trouble
  • illness or death of a loved one
  • planning events (weddings, anniversaries, birthday parties)
  • getting married, divorce, separation
  • moving
  • financial obligations
  • traumatic events
  • family get-togethers
  • having a baby
  • TV, news media, social media

Many of us believe that a little stress is normal, and that it might even help us perform better.  The problem is that we say we can handle a little stress to finish a project, or to finish planning an event, but then one project leads to another and then another and soon our stress level is increased indefinitely.

So what does stress actually do to us, anyway? How would I know if I’m experiencing the effects of stress?  If you are experiencing any of the following, you’re likely experiencing stress at a moderate to high level.  (If these symptoms are prolonged or intense you may need to seek medical assessment and treatment.)

  • headaches
  • chest pain
  • high blood pressure
  • fatigue or trouble sleeping
  • upset stomach & digestive issues
  • anger or irritability
  • sadness or depression
  • overeating, over drinking
  • anxiety
  • weight gain or loss
  • skin conditions
  • nail biting, leg bouncing
  • loneliness/isolation
  • having a negative perspective on most life events

For women, some effects of stress are even more pronounced.

  • Women are 10 times more likely than men to develop eating disorders due to stress
  • stomach issues
  • skin reactions
  • sleep deprivation
  • difficulty concentrating
  • heart disease/heart attacks
  • cancer/breast cancer
  • lowered immune response

So what can you do to help prevent, treat, or combat your high stress levels?  There are many things you can do.  Below is a diverse list of activities, but it’s far from exhaustive.

  • watch a comedy movie or attend a comedy show
  • play with a pet
  • get a manicure or pedicure
  • get a massage
  • read a book for pleasure
  • savor coffee or hot tea
  • journal your stress, emotional responses
  • journal about your hopes and dreams
  • practice a deep relaxation exercise
  • add breathing techniques into your day
  • move your body
    • 10 minute movements throughout the day
    • standing from your office chair every hour
    • walking around the office or around the block
  • meditation
  • yoga
  • stretching
  • improve your diet
    • eat quality protein, veggies, Omega-3 fatty acids, ginger
  • get enough sleep
  • socialize–spend face-to-face time with friends
  • dance
  • avoid drama
  • take a bath
  • take a walk
  • reduce screen time (TV, computer, phone, tablet, video games)
  • Avoid stressors (such as the news, scary movies, social media negativity)
  • express your feelings to trusted friends, family members, or colleagues
  • laugh
  • put things into perspective
  • connect with nature
  • slow down, live in the present moment
  • use your five senses–notice smells, what colors do you see, notice how something feels in your fingers, what do you hear, how does something taste
    • actually take time to intentionally feel the lotion you’re putting on your hands
    • notice the warmth of the blanket you’re napping under
    • notice the color in the leaves of the trees
    • smell the dinner your partner is cooking
    • see the food you ordered at a restaurant before taking a picture of it for social media
  • spend time doing things you enjoy (hobbies, athletics, museums, etc.)
  • learn to say “no” without feeling guilty
  • light a candle
  • reduce your caffeine intake
  • take time to relax
  • use your vacation time
  • cook or bake
  • practice gratitude: what are you thankful for, experience the gratitude, share gratitude with others

Perhaps most important is that we reflect on our current situation and STOP EXCUSING our level of stress thinking “let me just get through this one __________ (project, dinner, event, etc.)” because what inevitably happens is that one project or deadline leads into the next and the next.  We MUST prioritize our health, wellness, and sanity by prioritizing our stress management.  We can do this by creating a daily or weekly routine for self-care.

What could you be doing on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis to care for yourself? 

Some ideas for each time frame are below. (Many of the things listed below could occur more often than I’m suggesting here–there is no limit to your self-care routine!)

Annually: take a vacation, use your sick time, attend a conference, take a class
Quarterly: review the goals you’ve achieved, go to the movies, attend a theater production
Monthly: date nights, coffee with a friend, massage, send a card to someone
Weekly: religious event, counseling appointment, yoga, manicure, dance, sing
Daily: breathing technique, take a walk, journal your gratitude, walk your dog, love

While it’s true we all have stress in our lives, what we don’t all have is an intentional practice for managing our stress.  If you would like to create a self-care routine, or if you have a vision for your life that you would like to clarify or achieve, please email me at Nikki@GroundedVisionCoaching.com.  I offer free discovery coaching sessions and I’d love to see how I can serve you and if we would be a good fit to work together.

Dr. Nikki Tobias
Certified Life & Career Coach
Grounded Vision Coaching & Consulting

Nikki@GroundedVisionCoaching.com
(717)515-0820

What Is Weighing You Down?

Weight loss can be as simple as “Exercise more and eat less”! That can work but short term only. The weight that is lost in this way will almost always come back because we have not gone to the root of the problem. We have not figured out what is weighing us down.

Many of us are carrying emotional baggage from past hurt, from abusive/unhappy relationships, not being able to pursue our passion, lack of love, being lonely, past guilt or shame (which is a big one). When we have not healed these emotional issues it becomes hard to “move”.

What can we do to help heal ourselves and in turn be able to get up and “move”?

1. Forgive others and forgive yourself

2. Keep communication open in our relationships and pay attention to what is not working

3. Always spend some time in doing what makes us happy i.e pursuing a hobby, a sport, spending time with friends

4. Seek professional help i.e coaching/ counseling if it seems like it will help

5. Taking lots of deep breaths, laughing out loud and loving ourselves and our loved ones more!!!


Kalpana is a certified Life Coach (ICF) and a certified Eating Psychology Coach from The Institute For The Psychology Of Eating. Her main goal in her coaching practice is to help people to love themselves "now" as opposed to waiting to do that only when they "get there." She has a true passion for helping people cultivate unconditional love for themselves, and helping people to form healthy relationships with food.

 

Icing

Who eats the icing first? 

We find the most delicious cupcake with the best vanilla icing imaginable. We dive into the icing first, ignoring the cake.  Is this you?

This can be used as a metaphor of life. We all love to look good, get our hair dyed, nails done, a little facial improvement with Botox, the latest lipstick color, or a much needed tummy tuck after all those babies. We even go in for that magic diet pill that we hope will finally be the answer, after dozens of diet pills that didn’t work before.

The question is, are we ignoring the real foundation to health, as we focus on the icing, oblivious of the ingredients in the cake? 

Is it all consuming looking at the outside appearance that we ignore what’s going on inside?  Are we forgetting to feed our body with real whole foods?  Does this even come to mind when we look in the mirror? 

There are many reasons we tend to put on weight such as:  Daily lifestyle habits, inflammatory foods, stress, and being estrogen dominant to name a few. Endocrine disruptors can be found in hair dyes, lipstick, nail polish, diet pills and more.  Accumulation of processed foods, sugar, alcohol and toxins may be slowing our capacity to metabolize estrogen.  In fact, the ineffective way we metabolize estrogen can directly sabotage weight loss. 

“ Diet and Lifestyle have a tremendous effect upon your entire neuroendocrine system.”(1)

There are some foods we consume daily that can be sabotaging our health and our weight.  Many diets are based on low fat, no fat, chemicals, colors and dyes, which can disrupt our endocrine system, weaken our immune systems and result in our biochemistry being out of balance. We may even add a mix to that process with more disruptors such as hydrogenated and vegetable oils, HFCS, nitrates, sulfites, and aspartame.  Continuing with fast, easy, now and convenient, we consume flour, sugar and caffeine.  Unfortunately these all lack nutritional value and all contribute to hormone imbalances, stress, weight gain and auto immune disorders. These types of foods alter and destroy the balance of the endocrine system and metabolic function.

Are you feeling bloated? Can’t zip those new pants?

Here are some foods that can cause Visceral Fat:(Abdominal fat, is a type of body fat that exists in the abdomen and surrounds the internal organs.)

Wheat/gluten

2% milk-more fat, sugar & calorie count (increases belly fat)

Soda..diet & regular

Pasta

Muffins

Cupcakes

Croissants

Cheese/dairy

Pizza

Refined Salt

Trans-fats/ fried foods

Alcohol

Potato Chips

Refined Sugar/Candy

Store bought Smoothies

Bottled Salad Dressings

Processed Meats

Junk/Processed Foods

*If you want to tame your cravings, it’s important to note -processed foods pull nutrients from our system leaving us craving for more.

Some Foods that Help Decrease Belly Fat:

Cruciferous vegetables are proven to help fight both stomach fat and xenoestrogens.

So here’s where I became excited about eating this specific class of vegetables.  Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower are the most useful in helping you burn belly fat. They contain phytonutrients to counter the influence of exogenous estrogen.

Cruciferous vegetables are high in vitamin C and fiber, low in calories and a low energy density which means you can eat large portions without gaining weight. This is a very important factor in weight loss, especially when it comes to eliminating those last couple of stubborn inches.

Statistics say we gain an average of 5 pounds a year.  Simple math:  10 years can put us 50 pounds heavier, wondering how that happened.  What is your 20 year plan?

 Footnotes:

 (1)-Dixie Mills, MD. What is Estrogen Dominance, http://www.womentowomen.com/menopause/estrogendominance.aspx

 Connie Rogers is a Certified Integrated Holistic Health Coach, specializing in toxins that can disrupt our skin, metabolic and endocrine health.  www.bitesizepieces.net

Make Food Your Friend

Take a few minutes to conjure up in your mind the image of two women.  One thing they have in common is that they both love to eat.  The first woman loves the food she’s known all her life – Big Macs with the side of fries and the extra-large Diet Coke, of course.  It might be Wendy’s another day, Kentucky Fried Chicken the day after that.  More often than not, she grabs her food in a bag handed to her through a drive through window, and will have finished the meal before she gets home.  She doesn’t cook – she’s usually too hungry when it’s mealtime to take the time to cook, and anyway, the food tastes better soaked in lard and fried in grease.  She may socialize with comfort food, fried chicken and potato salad at a church social, followed by apple pie that is likely to be bought at the grocery store, where they’ve been sitting prettily on the shelf thanks to the preservatives used to keep them looking good.  This woman’s approach to food, the food she loves, is almost frantic.  She loves it so much, she just can’t wait to eat it.  During the day, she may curb her hunger between meals with a Snickers bar or maybe even a “healthy” granola bar or serving of sugary yogurt.  She can’t go to bed without a helping of Ben and Jerry’s – that stuff is to DIE for.  She eats it as if she would die without it, and the fact is, she’s dying because of it.

Can you picture her?  She may be skinny, but more than likely she’s overweight.  For sure her skin isn’t as clear and bright as it could be.  She isn’t grounded.  Food rules her life, and she loves this food.  But it doesn’t love her back.  She suffers from many issues including digestion, stress, hormone, sleep, hair, skin, and mood.

Picture the second woman.  She loves her food, too.  But she loves it in a wholly different way.  She strolls through the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning.  She takes her time inspecting and admiring the fruits and vegetables in the produce bins.  She loads her basket with carefully chosen greens, artichokes, carrots, onions, organic peppers and sweet potatoes.  She adds fresh strawberries, kiwi, melons, and apples.  She might choose an organic chicken and some duck eggs from the same farmer.  She talks to the farmers, asks about their crops and harvests.   Whatever she can’t find she picks up the local grocery store – a little quinoa, spices, olive oil, beans and a bottle of organic red wine.  Perhaps she even has her own garden, where she grows her own eggplant, tomatoes and bib lettuce.  When she gets home she takes her time cooking an organic veggie chili. She cuts the onions, peppers, sweet potatoes and carrots, puts them in the crockpot with the beans adding some tomatoes, kale and spices.  The house fill with the aroma.  She uses her mothers favorite recipe to bake her artichokes.  She makes a salad and pours some wine.  Her company arrives to a meal they’ll all share and savor together.

I’m sure you can picture this second woman, too.  A healthy glow to her skin, a genuine smile.  A peace and serenity about her.  She’s not frantic. She’s not sick.  She’s at peace with herself, and with her food.  The two go hand in hand.

Now – who loves food more?  I mean, truly loves it?  Respects it?  Honors it?  And enjoys it in a peaceful, dignified, grounded way?

The first woman claims she loves food, but the food is her enemy.  It controls her, and if she wanted to “diet,” to lose weight or otherwise get control of herself, she would easily see food as an obstacle to her goals.  Right now, food is something she is panicked about, desperate for, and grabs when she feels she is empty and needs to fill herself up – very much like a dysfunctional relationship, in fact!  If she wanted to change her habits, food would be something she’d have to manage, deprive herself of, conquer and defeat.  It would be a constant struggle, because of her mindset.

The second woman already sees food as her friend, and she doesn’t seem deprived at all – does she?  She takes her time, appreciates the food – the way it looks, feels, smells.  She cooks it carefully, and serves it in the midst of joy and happiness.  She makes it with love.  And the best part?  The food she loves DOES love her back!  She’s healthy and happy, and the food fuels her.  When she eats, she spends more time thinking about what she’s putting in her body so she can live and thrive, not what she’s depriving herself of.

Food – real, whole, nourishing food – is your friend.  Thinking of  your food that way is important for health.  So go to your favorite farmers market and  discover the foods you love, and they will love you back.

Know your food-Because Real Food Changes Everything!

Connie Rogers is a Certified Integrated Holistic Health Coach and Wellness Writer. www.bitesizepieces.net

Expert in toxins that can disrupt our metabolic and endocrine health.

Smart & Natural

Ever wonder how huge Corporations convince us toxic products are really good for us?  They use words like “Natural” or “Smart Drinks or Foods” when reality is, truly smart people, see right through their expensive ad campaigns.  We see through their bright colors and cute jingles and are quite aware, these must be related to the same companies that convinced us that cigarettes and DDT, were good for us.

Here’s a great example of a product, that paid their packaging team to entice consumers with well crafted words.

“Is it really SMART to let yourself fall in love with a snack?  OF COURSE IT IS! ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S SMARTFOOD™. “You know you want it.  You know where to get it.  Now go out there and be SMART about it.”   And their slogan:  “Smartfood Popcorn - Sign of an INTELLIGENT Life.”  It only took two seconds to glance at the nutrition fact label to see that this is really not smart to eat.

  Let’s read this ad for Velveeta ™ Advertising Campaign “When creamy is what you crave.”

  What does a naked woman have to do with our decision to buy cheese?

Or how about “Betcha can’t eat one.”  Frito-Lay ™ is permitted to make all kinds of claims about its fat laden/ fried products, claiming that Lay’s potato chips are now “heart healthy.”

Do you sit on the sofa, watch TV and regret eating a whole bag?  You have been programed.

Moving on we seem to desire sliming ourselves fast.  Find the Slim-Fast® “Strawberries N Cream” product.  You won’t find “strawberries” or “cream” on the label.  Sure sounds delicious, but after years and years of research, chemists have discovered how to satisfy our taste buds, with chemicals.

Special K® “What will you gain when you lose.” and "Satisfy your sweet tooth.”  Before we buy into a million dollar ad campaign, maybe we should do some due diligence first!  Sugar, sugar and more sugar, artificial flavors, toxic vegetable oils, GMO’s and chemicals.   Sugar toxicity ends up in the circulatory, endocrine, immune and lymphatic systems.  Sugar is a poison to our metabolic system.

Vegetable oils are found in practically every processed food, from salad dressing to mayo to conventional nuts and seeds. These oils are some of the most harmful substances we can put into our body.

And then we have diet foods. Diet-artificially sweetened soft drinks have been associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Is Dove ™ appealing to your body image?  The people at Dove have exploited a void in the marketplace. By introducing so-called women with “real” bodies, they distinguished themselves from their competitors. The down side: Whatever toxins we put on the skin, will go trough the skin, be absorbed into the blood, to be filtered in the liver.

If we as women became content with our appearance – accepting our body size, (including breast and thigh size) wrinkles, gray hair, entire industries would collapse. 

What ever happened to Truth in Advertising? 

If these products put the words:  poison, toxic, chemically processed, Genetically Modified, on the labels would you buy them?  Some ingredients have been shown to increase heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and more.

Searching for the “Wake Up Button”?  It’s time to make Smart Choices with a rock solid resolve to become totally awake about how choices we make today, will impact our lives in our future. It’s Spring Cleaning time.  Time to think about eliminating and discarding these “toxic waste products” from our pantry.

There are hundreds of products that need our attention.  For blogging purposes, I offer you a handful to begin with.   Connie Rogers founder of Bitesizepieces.net

Footnotes:

 www.sott.net/article/216727-The-Addictive-Opioids-in-Wheat-and-Dairy-Foods

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2008.284/abstract;jsessionid=08CFC090C1C9CFE4AB7F969832B81A17.f01t02

http://theillusionists.org/2013/04/the-problem-with-dove/


Connie Rogers is an Expert in toxins that can disrupt our skin, metabolic and endocrine health. Lifestyle Educator, Reiki Master, 37 years Certified Cosmetologist/Esthetician, Certified Integrated Holistic Health Coach, Accredited through American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Published Author, Wellness Writer, Owner Reverseage Wellness Essential Oils

Connect Linkedin: Connie Rogers

https://www.facebook.com/ReverseageWellnessSpa

www.bitesizepieces.net

Looking Into The Eyes Of An Apple

“Living in the sixties we all set out to change the world as we knew it.”

How do you identify your roll in life, when your life has taken a U turn? As John Lennon said “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans”

Most of us have seen many friends and family pass away from cancer.  I have.  At the moment they retire or come down with an illness you may hear them say things such as, I’m not working any more, I’m taking time off, I’m resigning or I have to concentrate on my health now.  How many times have you heard this, and then they go off to die.

Why do we wait so long, to hear that we’re about to die, to make the decision to begin to live?

On October 5, 2011,  “Apple announced that Steve Jobs has passed away,” and for many, the world came to a long empty silence, as they had lost a powerful guiding light in their lives.  A visionary, who had changed their world.  The question in their minds:  would the team he left behind, have the ability to carry the torch, with the same breakthroughs and innovations to continue into the future?

The journey begins, and a most fascinating story it is:  Once upon a time, we were all small children, exploring, discovering, growing with each new experience.  Our dreams at night were dynamic, colorful, vibrant and some, their dreams began to drive them during their waking hours.  We see these people as visionaries, leaders, innovators, working their way to the top of every field.  The Beatles changed the music industry.  Steve Jobs changed the computer industry and gave us smart phones, iPads and more.

Maybe you know someone who’s one of these unique visionaries.  Maybe it’s you!  As a health coach, I ask one simple question:  Which is more important:  Your health or your wealth?  If we become what we focus on, and our entire focus is driven by our job, our vision, our career path, then we are missing a huge element to our long-term success.  We are, to put it quite simply:  Out of balance!

History is filled with brilliant visionaries, who died way too young.  George Harrison died at 58 years old.  That means at 29, he was middle aged.

All the money in the world has not been able to save brilliant people from the grips of degenerative diseases.  Sure, none of us get out alive, but let’s make sure that we can enjoy a vibrant life while we are here.   Cancer is a metabolic disease and can take hold anywhere in our body many years before you hear those words, “you have cancer.”  We don’t catch cancer, we create it.  Our digestive system, liver, blood sugar levels and hormones plays a direct part in pancreatic cancer.  Pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the most common type of pancreatic cancer, strikes about 40,000 Americans per year.  However, it most often goes undiagnosed. http://www.siteman.wustl.edu/ContentPage.aspx?id=3890 See also http://carcin.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/12/11/carcin.bgt480.abstract

Steve Jobs was diagnosed in 2003, but could have had cancer many years before his diagnoses.  Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tumor of the pancreas caused by changes in DNA.  DNA is responsible for cell production, the instruction codes of our cells.  When DNA is damaged, pancreatic tissue cells become unhealthy, begin to grow uncontrollably, and can develop into malignant tumors. http://www.puristat.com/pancreas/pancreaticcancer.aspx

This story is too familiar with many that have succumbed to this disease. Most of our loved ones have battled with depression, eating or anxiety disorders, which many refer to as “their demons.”  Sugar, anti depressants, endocrine disruptors, sleepless nights can all play a big role in how the body balances hormones, internal gut health and cancer cells.  I had a friend that actually ate dried fruit every day of his life until he was given 2 weeks to live from having pancreatic cancer.  He  passed at 39 years old.  I had another that was living on store bought bottled fruit juices all day long while at work because she didn’t want to take time out to prepare a meal.  My sister had depression, mood swings and medications to handle her anxiety, way before being diagnosed with cancer.  She has passed.

Metabolic disorders such as diabetes and pancreatitis can begin with diet, stress and internal toxic related issues.  We stress our bodies to work longer hours and demand ourselves to be faster and quicker then our team members.  We consistently run on sugar and caffeine just trying to keep up. 

The dance of emotions: The liver plays a roll in how one controls one’s emotions ( includes temper or mood swings.)  When running optimally the liver removes toxins with little effort.  But when our liver is toxic and hot, we can have severe mood swings.  Have you seen road rage on TV lately?  What do you think can cause this?  Is it possible that many people are out of control because they are toxic? 

Steve was said “to be like a haunted house by his early girlfriend ~ Chrisann Brennan, having many mood swings.”   I could only speculate that sugar and caffeine may have played a roll in Steve’s diet over his lifetime.

Mr Jobs admitted to suffering bouts of depression and divulged he took LSD which is a drug broken down by the liver and has been shown to increase blood pressure.  High blood pressure can negatively effect liver health.  However, there are many pieces to this puzzle that we call cancer.

Endocrine Disruption: Cancer types that have been well documented in literature to be related with environmental exposure to toxins include the reproductive system, breast, lung, kidney, pancreas, and brain. There is a significant correlation between exposure to xenoestrogens and increased, gender-related, cancer risk.  http://www.ehjournal.net/content/11/S1/S8

1-Sugar is an endocrine disruptor.  In addition to hyperinsulinemia, the increased blood glucose and free fatty acids in diabetes may also promote the growth of pancreatic cancer.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7638764?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn

2-Research published in the November 2007 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which concluded there was “evidence for a greater pancreatic cancer risk with a high intake of fruit and juices.

3- Grains and soy can be considered disruptors and can feed cancer. https://www.bulletproofexec.com/steve-jobs-dr-dean-ornish-and-vegetarian-cancer/

4-There is known pancreatic cancer risk and environmental toxins from  PCB’s and dioxins- http://www.foxriverwatch.com/pancreatic_cancer_pcbs_1.html

5-Dry cleaning and paint removals are disruptors- http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/153/9/841.full

6-Gingivitis or periodontal disease-Helicobacter pylori infection /gut bacteria can be linked to cancer.

Whether or not you are at risk for developing pancreatic cancer, cleansing your body of wastes and toxins is vital for optimal health, which is directly linked to metabolic and endocrine health.

Consider the fact that petroleum products, ranging from fertilizers to deodorants, are one of the most prevalent toxins in our environment. Chemicals in, on and around us act as xenoestrogens (synthetic estrogen), blocking liver function, and interfering with hormone functioning.  “These toxins work to weaken the neuroendocrine system – where certain pancreatic cancers develop – wreaking havoc on the glands that secrete hormones into our bloodstream.”

According to news reports, back in 2004 Jobs underwent successful surgery for a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor.  These tumors produce excess hormones. (Hormone Disruption) (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/05/steve-jobs-health-timeline_n_997313.html)

 Fortune magazine publishes a controversial piece claiming that Jobs masked his cancer battle for nine full months before informing anyone outside of the most intimate of inner circles.  A Buddhist and vegetarian, Jobs reportedly "considered not having surgery at all," upon receiving his diagnosis, according to the piece.

August 2011: Jobs announces his resignation  "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know.  Unfortunately, that day has come."

Looking within:  Even today there is misinformation promoted by pictures of food pyramids, focused on calcium content, protein requirements to the paleo diet.  Jumping to grab the latest fad, we lose sight of true health.

Some say they are eating vegetarian but remain faithful to their daily toxic cheese and french fry habit loaded with carcinogens, morphine, sugar and trans fats.   Vegans all come together with the object of health as a commonality but in really is it so?  Have you seen vegans eat tons of sugar?

How can we obtain true health while still ingesting chemicals.  When we look at how GMO’s have poisoned our food supply, do we still buy conventional?   When we look how far we’ve come knowing that toxins cause cancer do we think ourselves immune, thinking that it can never happen to us?   When we have the flu or arthritis do we run to the nearest doctors for the fastest relief?  If we do all these, then are we ready to accept the diagnosis?

Advertisements are intentionally deceptive.  Do we believe in happy pills, sleeping pills and getting your life back into control pills?   Are we active members of the twilight zone giving up our sub-conscience to our TV’s as we chow down on a bag of potato chips?  It is never just one thing that we expose ourselves to.  As a spa owner for almost 4 decades, I know which ingredients can be toxic endocrine disruptors.   Whether TV promotes a cream or lotion to look 20 years younger-do we see it as something we want to ingest?   Did the chemical lab of that product sell you on a sham story, that it was going to make you more beautiful and desirable?   Did he research those toxins and disclose your cancer risk?   Are you dying to look good?

Some people promote everything is good in moderation. However I believe-since when is a toxic poison in moderation good for us?

In the 60‘s we were going to change the world.  Have we made those necessary bite size steps or do we still practice behavior that can cut our life in half?

Steve Jobs was building a business, with his stress, his demons and ill health, but  where is he today?  He tried to practice mindfulness with Buddhism at the same time denying he had a daughter.

Cancer is our body’s way of saying we can’t take the insults any more.

Our toxic beliefs live inside us, we call these our demons.  Knowing how to truly nourish ourselves in mind, body and spirit is truly the key to living a strong, vibrant life. 

Steve you will be missed.  I wish I could have been your Health Coach.

Connie Rogers is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, specializing in toxins that can disrupt your Metabolic and Endocrine Health. Founder and owner of BiteSizePieces.net

If we take a U turn toward our vision, do we forget our health along the way?  The answer in most cases has been yes. Being laser focused on a huge long-term goal, building a business, some entrepreneurial venture, or what ever your dream might be, make sure you never lose focus on you.

 

Are We Addicted Or Conditioned?

As parents I know we all want the best for our children.  However lately I have seen more children under the age of 13 showing off their visceral fat and poor posture.  They look depressed and seem to lack social skills.  Is this the new and accepted condition/addiction?

Most children in the US are overfed and undernourished.  Obviously, since the brain is the driving force within our bodies, it only logically follows that children who aren’t nourishing their bodies also aren’t nourishing their brains. I have seen first hand how kids come into the classroom with donuts and soda.  They can not learn on these non- food like substances.  Countless studies and anecdotal observations confirm a clear link between the quality of food kids eat and their academic performance.  In other words, a diet of whole foods such as broccoli and peaches will likely get you better test scores than one of soda and Twinkies. And be honest – which foods do you see more often in the lunchroom? Obese children are at an automatic disadvantage in schools.

There is also plenty of evidence linking improved academic performance to physical activity.  Those adults who have a regular exercise routine ‘routinely’ report a greater sense of productivity in their work.  Again, it only makes sense that the same would translate to our kids.  Children that spend more  time outdoors instead of stagnant time on the TV Big Box  or computers feel better about themselves and their brains and their bodies get more oxygen. Want to get those test scores up?  Pay attention to what your kids eat, and how often they get the chance to move!

Obese children will live shorter lives than their parents.  The New England Journal of Medicine reported that if the childhood obesity trends continue, this will be the first generation of children that lives shorter lives than their parents. Why are we so concerned about test scores and ignoring our students life expectancy?  Why do we think it’s more important that they score a good grade on an end of year test than that they have clean arteries, fully functioning organs, and a body that won’t betray them?  Why do we find it OK to give them a fried corn dog or fried mac & cheese?  If we already know that heart disease and type-2 diabetes shorten a person’s lifespan, why aren’t we springing into action as a nation when we realize that more and more children under the age of 10 are afflicted with these ‘adult’ conditions?  There are undeniable health risks involved with smoking, for instance.  And we’ve made great strides in combatting that deadly habit.  But our Standard American Diet is just as deadly, if not more so.  We won’t let our children smoke, but we’ll let them drink soda all day long.  I see two year olds drinking an entire can!  A regular 16 ounce can of Coke has 194 calories and a whopping 54 grams of sugar, sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Causing High Triglycerides.  Not an ounce of nutrition in the can.  Think for a minute about what that does to our kids bodies, and it’s not hard to conclude they won’t live longer than us. 

Hardly any of our children eat healthy.  Various studies and reports conclude that only 2% of children in the United States eat a diet along the guidelines given by the USDA. If this is the case, it can be safely assumed that the number of children who eat according to the more nutritionally sound ‘Eat Right America’ food pyramid (which focuses on whole vegetables and fruits, not grains, as the most important foundation of a healthy diet) is statistically too small to even calculate.  Which means that so few American children eat nutrient dense foods every day, we can’t even group enough of them together for a percentage point.  This is a staggering number – or rather, lack thereof.   Most of our kids don’t eat vegetables every day, hardly any fiber, never mind the recommended several servings.

Are we going to fix this deficit with supplements?  I think not.

Fast food is on the rise.  It’s cheap, seems convenient, and to taste buds that don’t know the joys of eating whole, nourishing foods, it tastes great.  But it not only lacks the necessary nutrients for growth and proper development, it actually contains an overload of ingredients that, over time, are deadly –  trans-fats in fried foods, MSG in can soups which excite brain cells to death, white flour is glue in the intestines, processed meats, sugar, dextrose, maltodextrin, high fructose corn syrup, dirty sodium – all slow poisons served in HUGH portions.  In April 2012, The World Cancer Research Fund  has just completed a detailed review of more than 7,000 clinical studies covering links between diet and cancer.  Its conclusion is rocking the health world with startling bluntness.  Processed meats are too dangerous for human consumption.  Morgan Spurlock’s famous documentary “Super-Size Me” really drives home the truth of what these unhealthy food products can do to a body that’s already grown.  It’s frightening to think what it does to children.  “If you are having a “Big Mac attack,” stop and visualize what one cup of Crisco with MSG chemicals would look like spread around your thighs and brain!”  It’s become a dangerous staple of the Standard American Diet (SAD).

Diabetes is proliferating among our children, and half of all diabetic children are overweight.  Remember when Type-2 Diabetes was called ‘adult onset diabetes’?  Well, we can’t call it that anymore, because kids get it now, too. Why?  Because of the junk they eat.  According to The American Diabetes Association, the number of children diagnosed with type-2 diabetes DOUBLED between the years of 2005 and 2008.  If this doesn’t get our attention, I don’t know what will.

Connie is a Certified Health & Wellness Coach specializing in Metabolic & Endocrine health @ BiteSizePieces.net

What Makes True Weight Loss Different from Weight Watchers. You are not fat - You are toxic!

Beyond specific nutrients and individual needs, getting your nutrients from real foods - whole foods - nutritious foods - is really the only way to go for long-term health, controlling weight and obtaining quality of life.  Or is it?  Some books I have explored are about overweight or obese individuals starving for whole foods and good nutrition.  My findings are- that this is only part of the journey. 

Most people get frustrated with dieting after a few weeks.  Several theories say “that to lose weight you need to increase your activity and eat less”.  Theoretical equations sound so easy, don’t they?  But if losing weight really were this simple, why does the collective girth of the United States continue to grow?  The reason is that the old concept of:  calories in, calories out, doesn’t work any more. 

There is another side to this puzzle.  It’s called:  Chemicalsare keeping us fat. 

Things we do on a daily basis, without thinking, “known as daily habits,” can contribute to weight gain.  There are many symptoms that can be external signs of internal distress such as:  visceral fat, obesity, frequent exhaustion, a foggy brain and mood swings.  Add in to the mix medications, menopause, stress, Candida and endocrine disruptors, it’s easy to see why our weight loss efforts can be sabotaged. 

Our bodies are not separate parts designed to work by themselves.  Our organs, systems, glands, nerves and tissues are designed to work in harmony.  Frequent antibiotic use or choosing foods with antibiotics can wreak havoc on our hormonal balance, causing inflammation and increasing our bottom line. (fat)   Antibiotics can be found in meat and dairy. ("Antibiotic use in animals is out of hand," said Dr. Gail Hansen, a veterinarian and senior officer for the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, a project aimed at phasing out overuse of antibiotics in food production.”)

Many medications taken by mouth can effect the endocrine system.  Sometimes a quick fix for a headache is to take Tylenol and get back to our fast-paced life but is that the best solution?  Tylenol has been recalled over 16 times. Amounts of acetaminophen as low as 3 to 4 grams in a single dose or 4 to 6 grams over 24 hours have been reported to cause severe liver injury in some people.  Tylenol is an endocrine disruptor.  (http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/05/12/humrep.det112.full)see also (http://www.medicinenet.com/tylenol_liver_damage/page4.htm)

Did you know that dehydration can easily lead to a headache?  Your brain, gut and liver will thank you when you increase your daily water intake, at lease 10 glasses a day.  And drinking water is one of the best things you can do for weight loss.

Endocrine disruptors that are keeping us fat:

There is now strong evidence that our bodies mistake certain man-made chemicals for naturally occurring hormones that regulate the production and storage of fat cells.

“Evidence has been steadily accumulating that certain hormone-mimicking pollutants, ubiquitous in the food chain, have two previously unsuspected effects.  They act on genes in the developing fetus and newborn to turn more precursor cells into fat cells, which stay with you for life.  And they may alter the metabolic rate, so that the body hoards calories rather than burning them…”  (Taken from Retha Newbold of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.)

One leading cause of obesity that often gets lost in this ongoing discussion is how the abundance of toxic chemicals in our air, food, water, and even those lurking in your kitchen and bathroom cabinets are making us fat.  Research by the Mercer University School of Medicine found a higher prevalence of obesity in the participants with high urinary concentrations of a pesticide known as 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP).  It’s important to note that 2,5-DCP is one of the most widely used pesticides on the globe. 

An endocrine disruptor called:  “Obesogens" are a quickly expanding class of chemicals that directly and indirectly cause weight gain thru the metabolic, digestive and endocrine systems. They have the ability to alter fat cell development, alter metabolism, and promote fat retention. These are in plastics, food packaging, pesticides and cosmetics.

Smell those Phthalates:  a solvent or fragrance used in pharmaceutical coatings and personal care products.  This is an endocrine disruptor and can be found in:  shampoos, candles, lotions, air fresheners, laundry detergents and dryer sheets.  Using these products can interrupt our ability to loose weight.  

Because phthalates are synthetic estrogens they can mimic natural estrogen in the body.  These toxins get absorbed into the largest organ of our body, our skin.  When our skin is toxic our liver is toxic, and when the liver can no longer process toxins from our body, our system stores the toxins in fat cells!

Besides weight gain, endocrine disruptors can lead us down the path of serious consequences such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. “There’s increasing interest in a number of environmental factors that might predispose to type 2 diabetes and inflammation throughout the body” (http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=14-P13-00002&segmentID=5)

Mercury is also an endocrine disruptor. It can be found in dental fillings, paint, antiseptics, disinfectants, diuretics, fluorescent bulbs and more.  Diabetes, from mercury toxicity, has hundreds of symptoms; it masquerades under many different medical aliases, and its symptoms are treated by many different specialists. (http://fl.biology.usgs.gov/posters/Ecotoxicology/Mercury_in_Bass/mercury_in_bass.html)

It should be noted that research now shows diabetes to be a metabolic disease, with our genetics only being 3%.

Depressed, Stressed & Fat:

Did you know that some prescription medications have the side effect of weight gain?  This is extremely common with anti-depressive drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft and more.  People on these, can be struggling with drug induced weight gain and will be quite frustrated with years of trying to lose that weight.  These are obesogens at work!

Depression and stress can keep us fat.  In The US the expectation of a "quick fix" is what becomes "normal."  You take a pill, you should feel better.  If you don't feel better, it must not be working, take another.  How we eat and handle stress affects our daily life, in the areas of hormonal & digestive balance, sleep patterns, skin health and weight loss.  Stress can be caused by toxic foods, toxic chemicals and toxic emotions.

Stress causes elevated cortisol levels.  Digestion is disrupted under stress and high cortisol levels holds on to fat storage in our abdominal region.  High stress levels are also noted to increase our cravings for sugar.  (http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/stresscortisol.html

 

Your brain, cravings and science:

Do you believe in science?   Then consider this:  There is science behind the ingredients in junk foods that can make us crave more food and keep us fat. 

Lack of sleep can make you fat:  Lack of sleep can cause weight gain.  Sleep is a restorative process.  The endocrine system increases secretion of certain hormones during sleep. Caffeine interrupts sleep.  De-stressing in fact means eliminating caffeine.  When you don't get enough sleep, you increase your chances of weight gain.  Caffeine is an endocrine disruptor.

Irritation leads to mutation: 

Your body holds onto weight when you have an acid pH.  Ladies this is may be important to you.  What causes your body to become acidic are lifestyle risks that are being promoted through the media.  We've been brainwashed into believing that a lot of advertised foods are actually health promoting, such as non-fat or low- fat. 

Does fat cause fat?  Good fats are essential for our health.  Bad fats are not.  That’s pretty simple.  However, some things that can be very misleading are companies that promote their fat.  I have found deceptive and confusing mis-information for you to review.

Heres’s one that states:  “Types of potentially helpful dietary fat are foods made up mostly of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, safflower oil, peanut oil and corn oil.”  

These oils above are some of the most chemically altered foods in our diets, some even are GMO, yet they get promoted as healthy.  “Vegetable oils are found in practically every processed food, from salad dressing to mayonnaise to conventional nuts and seeds.  These oils are some of the most harmful substances you can put into your body.”  (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/healthy-oils/#axzz2r4VcXIJK)

 

What’s in your gut?

Is your toxic body inhibiting your weight loss?  Healthy gut bacteria is an important factor for weight loss.  Almost every person has gut issues and benefits significantly from improvements in their gut and digestive function.  What chemicals are you eating?  (http://www.kisswebpage.com/toxinsandweight/)

The highest dietary sources of PCBs and dioxins are in beef, chicken and pork (34%), dairy products (30%).  These are endocrine disruptors.  Chronic intake of farmed fatty fish contributes, rather than prevents, to insulin resistance and obesity and that these negative effects are, in part, mediated by the presence of POPs in fatty fish.  Eating farmed fish can be toxic and increase your chances for a fatty liver.

Sugar equals fat:

Sugar is an endocrine disruptor.  Consuming high levels of sugar, on a regular basis, chronically raises insulin levels in the blood, which selectively deposits energy from foods into fat cells.  Excess sugar eventually affects every organ in the body.

Initially, sugar is stored in the liver.  Since the liver's capacity is limited, a daily intake of refined sugar (above the amount of natural sugars found in whole foods) soon makes the liver expand.  When the liver is filled to its maximum capacity, the excess glycogen is returned to the blood in the form of fatty acids. These are taken to every part of the body and stored in the most inactive areas:  the belly, the buttocks, the breasts and the thighs. 

What YOU can do?

Being aware of how our body functions, acts and reacts to toxins in the world around us, makes us realize that if we are a fat society, we are really carrying around pounds and pounds of extra toxins.

Eating with intelligence is always recommended.  If you choose a detox, remember this is only part of the puzzle. Your detox must include elimination of all endocrine disruptors.  If not you will be missing a very important step.

Your body can loose weight naturally when given the chance with the necessary information and support you deserve from me, your health coach.

Conclusion:

Looking deeper at our relationship with our toxic environment maybe considered weird.  Being sad, out of control and toxic somehow found it’s way to being the norm.  Some of us may choose life in the fast lane and don’t schedule time to relax and eat or address what can be eating us.  We may feel the need to have control over pleasure or control our pain with drugs or alcohol.  We blindly trust agencies hired to protect us from toxins. Unfortunately how we disregard the integrity of our food system is a goal in this country, with our agriculture dependent on pollution, chemicals, pesticides and antibiotics, ignoring true health.

As a Certified Integrated Health Coach, I specialize in toxins that can disrupt your metabolic and endocrine health.  I can teach you how to balance your hormones, remove chemicals and lose weight effortlessly.  Like others that have joined my program, you can experience weight loss for life and never struggle again.


Connie Rogers is an Expert in toxins that can disrupt our skin, metabolic and endocrine health. Lifestyle Educator, Reiki Master, 37 years Certified Cosmetologist/Esthetician, Certified Integrated Holistic Health Coach, Accredited through American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Published Author, Wellness Writer, Owner Reverseage Wellness Essential Oils

Connect Linkedin: Connie Rogers

https://www.facebook.com/ReverseageWellnessSpa

www.bitesizepieces.net

How to Turn Your New Year’s Resolution into a Routine

New Year after New Year, millions of people pledge to lose weight, stop smoking, exercise five times a week and eat out less, but have you ever wondered how many of them actually follow through and turn these resolutions into routines?

Unfortunately, the answer is not many. This is because simply making the resolution and wanting to follow through isn’t enough. Here’s why: In order to achieve sustainable health and wellness, you must change your behaviors. And in order to change your behaviors, you must gain awareness and understanding of the different stages of change.

Too often people make lofty goals without a solid understanding of the stages of change, thus setting them up for failure. By understanding each stage, you can prepare yourself for the challenges ahead and recognize them as necessary steps to effecting the change you desire.

The Stages of Change

Stage #1: Pre-Contemplation: In this stage you have no intention of changing within the next six months. You may not be aware that a problem exists, you may be in denial, or you may be unwilling to change. In addition, you may be feeling hopeless in this stage after your last failed attempt to change your behavior.

Stage #2: Contemplation: At this point you have recognized that you desire change, but you alternate between reasons to change and reasons to keep things as they are. For example, you acknowledge that you need to lose weight but you rationalize that exercise will take time away from your kids, and you really don’t want to miss out on them growing up.

Stage #3: Preparation: Once you have realized that the advantages of change outweigh the disadvantages, you make a mental commitment to take action in the near, foreseeable future.

Stage #4: Action: The action stage begins when you have successfully altered your behavior for a minimum of one day and a maximum of six months, and are continuously working toward success.

Stage #5: Maintenance: You have been engaged in your new behavior for more than six months and are evaluating the gains attained during the previous stages. For example, you have been working out for eight months and are noticing that you have more energy, your clothes fit looser and you’re in a better mood.

When thinking about creating change in your life, assess what stage you are currently in and where you want to be. Perhaps you’ve been in the contemplation stage for months now, going back and forth between eating healthier, which requires more work, and keeping things as they are, which is far easier to manage. Assess whether you’re happy in the contemplation stage, or want to move forward in the process.

Wondering the best way to get started? Focus on one change at a time. Write down the change you’d like to make, and identify the trigger and replacement habit. Your trigger is what prompts you to engage in your current habit. For example, stress may trigger your cravings for Oreo cookies and other junk foods. In this case, you need to identify a replacement habit. What could you do, other than eat junk food, when you’re feeling stressed? Maybe you could go for a walk, meditate or practice relaxation techniques. For the next thirty days, focus on your replacement habit when your trigger occurs, and don’t forget to reward yourself for small victories!

Can We Co-Exist With Dieting?

We live in a society where dieting has become the norm. It’s now a billion dollar industry and yet diets still fail 95% of the time. Would you board a plane if you knew it only landed 5% of the time? Why is dieting any different? The issue is that we are often set up to crash. Weight loss companies need repeat customers in order to thrive and unfortunately, we suffer as a result. The body is manipulated into losing weight in ways impossible to maintain. Food is no longer food but a number (calories, points), or an emotion (good, bad). Being on a diet becomes a difficult, fearful and unpleasant way of life, which often leads to reverse effects such as overeating and self-blame. You start to think you didn’t try hard enough or something is wrong with you. Now, the mind is reversed to thinking that the only way to happiness again is by being thin. And who’s there with open arms, ready to help tackle the weight battle again, only this time for real?? The industry of course! The vicious cycle is back on.

I’m not trying to negate that the diet industry is completely out to get you. There are definitely some good, solid programs that can help you succeed, however often there is one piece missing. We forget to talk to the one person who knows you better than anyone. Yourself.

Diet and exercise programs can be impersonal. We put all of our trust into someone else’s ideas and rules. They can make you feel like you got yourself into this situation and so continuing to entrust in yourself would be a bad idea. But by ignoring your intuition, we weaken our innate ability to feel hunger and fullness as well as our natural relationship with food to be used as fuel. We also never explore why we developed such issues with food in the first place.

If you feel you that maybe you would like to shift to a more manageable way at a healthy non-diet lifestyle, here are some ideas for the week to get you started.

Start slow. It takes time for your body to adjust and figure out what works best. We cannot plant a seed and then expect it to grow into something grand and beautiful within a day. We must nurture it and be patient. Remember that not every day will be perfect and that is okay. Explore what went wrong and try again, without any pressure or judgments.

Use positive reinforcement. Attitude is a major super hero when comes to attacking pesky pounds! It comes down to believing in yourself and that you deserve to be happy – starting TODAY! Not only will it help you lose weight, but maintain it as well. When a person becomes so invested in the idea that looking a certain way will bring contentment, they very often find that they still are unhappy even after they achieve their goal. This can ultimately lead to self-sabotage and weight gain. By starting to embrace the mindset that you are worth it, you can connect to your inner happiness and use that to guide you even further on your journey.

Befriend yourself. Next time you are looking in the mirror or before you go to bed, give yourself a compliment. It doesn’t have to be about your body if that makes you uncomfortable. Start small. You can note the awesome way you accessorized your outfit or how you paid all your bills on time this month. We are often quick to remind ourselves of the things we are doing wrong, however the positive details should not go unnoticed either. By doing this, you can develop a better sense of self appreciation while building your confidence. And who doesn’t want that??

Remember that is possible to co-exist with food. It just takes a bit of enthusiasm and persistence and soon enough you’ll be on your way to creating the body you want without the agony.

 

 Danielle Mercurio

Danielle Mercurio

Danielle Mercurio is a personal life coach and founder of New You City Coaching. She is a passionate about helping city dwellers find balance amongst the chaos, as well as implementing simple and quick solutions to finding inner confidence and outer hotness.