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

The Day I Took A Technology Break

I remember the day well, Tuesday, January 26th. The day I logged off all social media sites. Why did I decide to log off? I was exhausted. 

I was smack in the middle (day 5 of 10) of my fourth round of antibiotics in four months. To say I was exhausted doesn’t actually convey the extent of my illness. I mean, this was beyond the typical levels of exhausted brought about by a life that involves too much coffee, not enough sleep and chasing small children. This was more than racing to meet deadlines, draft programs and get the holiday cheer wrapped and under the tree. This was a bona fide sick, and no matter what I did, I wasn’t getting any better. 

Yes, I know that might sound overly dramatic. Still, as I sat watching my child’s dance class I contemplated every angle of planning necessary for a childfree weekend on a secluded beach. 

The lynchpin of my fantasy: the elusive lack of any and all cell phone service. 

The notion of being ‘unreachable’ filled me with a blissful and giddy glee. Just meditation, barefoot walks on warm sand, uninterrupted, leisurely time with the love of my life and perhaps an exotic cocktail or two. Quickly (and sadly) I realized the beach weekend was a bust. However,  I also realized what I was truly longing for: the coveted ‘unreachable’ status. That was something I could do.  Yes, it was something I would do.

I was instantly at peace with the decision to unplug. I moved quickly and decisively – choosing a day with an already light schedule. Just a month before I had published my one word manifesto of 2016: Me! In the last days of 2015 I embraced the search for the word I would claim as a beacon for the New Year.  Me with a deliberately capitalized M – the Me of my higher, enlightened Self. I had pledged to practice radical self-care, to heal my body and spirit, exiting the antibiotic roller coaster once and for all. 

What could be more in line with beacon of Me? Unplugging Me was the first expression of radical self-care of 2016 and it went without a hitch. In a dark hour of illness I unplugged leaving this note on my social media pages: 

“They say everything will work better if you unplug it for a while. I’m unplugging Me for the next 24 hours. All sessions will commence as planned. Please call with any questions or to book an appointment.” 

On January 26th I embraced my first act of radical, unapologetic self-care. In the process I enjoyed a hot cup of coffee while it was still hot. Seems my coffee grew cold while I was scrolling through feeds and re-tweeting the profound wisdom of fellow coaches. No one complained, no clients balked, and I came back refreshed, invigorated and engaged.  

The lack of excess static was refreshing, so refreshing this unplugged day has become my monthly retreat and gift of self care to myself.


Jennifer Bellber is a Certified Professional Life Coach & Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. She's a wife, mother of a toddler, sometimes blogger, photographer for fun and charitable causes, slow runner and weight lifting enthusiast who reduced her physical self by 120 pounds a few years ago. 

Jennifer's passion is helping overwhelmed parents figure out who they want to be when their kids grow up, ditch the Mommy Guilt (or Daddy Guilt as the case may be) and live a connected, empowered, wickedly amazing sexy life of their own design.

To learn more about Jennifer, visit: www.jenniferbellber.com

Source: www.jenniferbellber.com

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.

 

5 Tips For Menopause

Menopause at 47, 51 or 60 is no reason to accept someone else’s idea of what your limitations are.  We can all be destined to have vibrant health before, during and after menopause and banish years of discomfort and hormone imbalances.  In fact now is the time to discover the best in yourself, including your power to finally deal with some core issues that can lead  to weight gain, depression, brain fog, hot flashes and insomnia. 

1-Listen to a thyroid that has been overloaded with toxins for years. Thyroid issues may be highly aggravated by the onset of menopause.  In fact Menopause &  Thyroid Symptoms may look alike. These are, Exhaustion, Brain Fog, Depression, Lethargy, Changes in Energy, Hair Loss, Changes in Skin Color and Hair Texture, Change in Libido, Insomnia, and Anxiety. 

2- The Digestive, adrenal, inflammation connection.  Leaky Gut could be implicated as a primary contributor to  food allergies, migraines and RA.  There may be toxins in our system which may add to a broader pattern of inflammation which often shows up during Menopause.  Many women have been sensitive to certain foods for decades but only realize it after they lose estrogen’s soothing effect on the digestive tract.   

“Most allergies involve an inflammatory process.  As the adrenal function decreases, allergies worsen.  As the adrenal glands heal, allergies are markedly reduced.” http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?topic=488.15 

3- Sugar is an endocrine disruptor and robs the body of nutrients, testosterone, B 12 and Calcium.  Sugar can increase insomnia, mood swings and body fat, cause inflammation and high cholesterol levels in the body.  Hypoglycemia increases menopausal symptoms and mood swings.  Sugar also reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood and thus increasing the impact that toxins can create in the body.   The body will find a way to get rid of toxins and this typically results in the body saying “Too many toxins…must sweat these out through the largest organ, “The Skin.” (hot flashes) 

4- Commonalities to Menopause are Cravings, Inflammation, Emotions and Hormonal Imbalances.  Did you know many symptoms of Candida overgrowth such as weight gain,  muscle fatigue and early menopause can be caused by hormonal imbalances?  Candida can also be a causative factor to cravings.  In Menopause, the links between hormonal balance, toxicity, inflammation and body fat aren’t the only factors that block weight loss. Unresolved emotional issues can often be the root cause of unhealthy eating habits.

Hormones are tremendously powerful in coordinating the actions of our organs and glands and affecting our quality of life!  Low estrogen levels can cause depression, headaches, migraines, and blood sugar irregularities.  Migraines explained.  http://eepurl.com/ZH-cz 

Progesterone is derived from cholesterol.  Cholesterol levels can change with menopause.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10916282  “Without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel which can be dangerous.  Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended.  It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.” (Dr. Dwight Lundell)

5- A clogged lymph system can cause headaches.  When our lymph is clogged our body looks for alternative ways to get rid of the trash.  Plan B is making mucous out of it.  Lots of mucous in the morning can be a symptom of a problem.  By gently promoting the movement of lymph with dry brushing, the body detoxifies and decongests. http://www.wisegeekhealth.com/what-is-the-function-of-the-lymphatic-system.htm

With stress, inflammation and hormone changes sometimes we forget to take a moment to breathe.

Here are some tips: 

A- Deep breathing is one of the best ways to move lymph fluid through your body.  Our lymph system is a pressure system that runs best on physical activity and movement.  Our lymph can become blocked when we are feeling stuck or unable to express ourself.” http://www.womentowomen.com/detoxification/the-lymph-system-and-your-health-2/ 

B- Stress can negatively affect the adrenal glands and increase inflammation.  Begin an exercise program.  Exercise improves mood, prevents dementia and balances hormones.

 C- Remember to Hydrate Your Body, and avoid mucus forming foods such as sugar, gluten, rBGH dairy and processed foods..

Follow thru with lifestyle changes and get the support you need, feel better and see results.

To optimize Your Health Go To:  http://lp.bitesizepieces.netTuneupandTuneintoyourHormones.html

Copyright2014@ConnieRogers


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

Source: www.bitesizepieces.net

Myths & Misinformation: What Depletes Calcium

There are two types of calcium found in nature (organic and inorganic). The human body can only recognize and utilize one type of calcium: organic calcium. This bio-available type of calcium found in fruits and vegetables. The physical characteristic of organic calcium is the only available form that the body needs and uses.

“Organic calcium is found within the body in the matrix, spongy living core of the bones. Animal and dairy products contain inorganic calcium, which is not recognized, nor utilized by the body.” Dr. Stanley Kaplan, MD has found that organic calcium losses were elevated markedly in individuals for 3-4 hours after a meal rich in calcium from dairy and high protein.”

"The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a long term study observing a diet consisting of 75 grams of protein per day, along with 1,400 mg. of calcium. It was discovered that a greater amount of calcium was lost through urine than was being absorbed into the body, creating a negative calcium balance. This study confirmed what many health specialists suspected. Protein consumption has the greatest impact on calcium depletion of the bones, even greater than the level of calcium intake through diet."

"A Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group speaking on dietary animal protein intake, suggest an increase in vegetable protein intake and a decrease in animal protein intake may decrease bone loss and the risk of hip fracture."

In the book “The Milk Imperative” the author shows how dairy milk feeds nanobacteria, thus causing many serious diseases. Commenting on the book Dr. Amy Lanou (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, USA) said: “There is a compelling argument that today’s pasteurized milk, in all its guises, has virtually no redeeming features at all, and serves only to cause disease and poor health. By simply switching from dairy to non-dairy milk we will make a dramatic and long-lasting improvement to our health.”

“In Greece the average milk consumption doubled from 1961 to 1977 (and was even higher in 1985), and during the period 1977 - 1985 the age adjusted osteoporosis incidence almost doubled too. In Hong Kong in 1989 twice as much dairy products were consumed as in 1966 and osteoporosis incidence tripled in the same period. Now their milk consumption level is almost “European”, and so is osteoporosis incidence.” 

“Independent medical studies, those not funded by the Dairy Council, have concluded that excessive calcium found in the body (in the blood stream ) will not be recognized.  Instead, this inorganic calcium from animal sources are removed from the blood and collected in the kidneys.  This can lead to the development of kidney stones.  The body requires calcium for life and daily bodily repair.  Since there is no usable calcium available the brain instructs the bone matrix to release organic calcium into the blood stream.  The net result is a loss of calcium from the bone matrix.  This loss causes a weakening of the bone resulting in osteoporosis according to Dr. John McDougall, M.D.”

“Dr. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., professor of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, has studied nutritional bio-chemistry for forty years. He is the director of the China- Oxford Cornell Study, which is the largest study of diet and disease in medical history, and supports the necessity of organic calcium intake. He agrees that calcium intake should be from fruit and dark green leafy vegetable sources. The absorption of organic calcium takes place readily from the blood in its vital role of carrying out the metabolic processes in the body.”

What other habits can deplete calcium?

* lack of exercise can decrease calcium absorption

* antacids deplete calcium

* caffeine in its many forms, including chocolate

* stressed adrenals deplete calcium

* soda & diet soda depletes calcium

* medications deplete the body of essential calcium absorption such as antibiotics and antidepressants

* magnesium deficiency can result in low levels of calcium

Footnotes:

Dr. Stanley Kaplan, MD - http://www.notmilk.com/kradjian.html

Hip fracture with milk -  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11124760

Chemicals in every glass of milk http://www.naturalnews.com/033075_milk_chemical_contamination.html


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

Source: www.bitesizepieces.net

A Hot Topic: Acid Reflux

People with acid reflux find comfort sleeping in a favorite chair, sometimes never returning to their bed.

Acid reflux is often just one of many digestive symptoms that can result from poor digestion, food intolerances, chronic stress, gut infections, and other factors.  Up to 15 million people have a condition called acid reflux or GERD.  GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter, a kind of trap door into the stomach, doesn't close properly. Stomach contents leak back into the esophagus, causing the burning sensation called heartburn. Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered GERD and can eventually lead to more serious health problems.

Despite what the commercials say, GERD is not caused by too much stomach acid.  It's caused by acid in the wrong place -- our esophagus.

Digestion is a metabolic issue and so is acid reflux:

One study of 155 healthy people who had used antacids for long periods of time found that 47% suffered some erosion of the esophagus. Regular antacid use also impairs the stomach’s ability to digest protein. Finally, without the right amount of stomach acidity, “friendly” bacteria that contribute to digestion die, leaving you at risk for low-level microbial infections that can lead to chronic indigestion.

{"Upset Stomach? The Right PH," Family Health, Taste for Life magazine, Nov. 2000}

Should we take a pill?

Heartburn remedies are among the biggest selling drugs of all time. But you should think long and hard before you pop that Pepcid.

Stomach acid is required for good digestion. Poor digestion produces heartburn. Your health is riding on your body's ability to absorb nutrients.  People with heart-burn take antacids.  Antacids reduce stomach acid. Oh no-more heartburn!  

“Paradoxically, 90 percent of people who experience heartburn, don't have enough acid.” ( Dr. Jonny Bowden)

What About Side Effects?

“If you are taking Proton-pump-inhibitor drugs like Prilosec, Nexium, Tagamet, etc. these can reduce the acidity of the stomach, but in so doing create a more favorable environment for bad bacteria such as H. Pylori.”  Our gut needs good bacteria for good health. They go hand and hand.

Nearly every disease originating in the human body is due to or accompanied by the excessive formation of different kinds of acids in the system, the most important of which are uric, carbonic, sulphuric, phosphoric and oxalic acids. (Nature Cure by Henry Lindlahr, MD)

Unfortunately, medications for GERD may increase the risk of certain cancers and change our delicate pH balance. These are serious health concerns, and it's pretty clear that in this case, the "cure" of acid-blocking drugs are worse than the "disease" of GERD.  "Blocking stomach acid, also increases our risk of developing small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.” (taken from Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski.)

Antacids can result in issues in other areas:

1- Vitamin B-12 deficiency may be caused by the acid-suppressing drugs that people are taking (Previcet and Prilosec)

2 - A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that chronic use of acid-blocking drugs leads to an increase in the development of osteoporosis and increase in hip fracture because blocking acid prevents the absorption of calcium and other minerals necessary for bone health. (Yang, Y., Lewis, J.D., Epstein, S., and David Metz. 2006. Long-term proton pump inhibitor therapy and risk of hip fracture. JAMA. 296(24): 2947-2953.)

Antacids interfere with the absorption of copper:

http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/high-copper-foods.php#13XVQRfPMfm8W1vl.99

Copper is an essential mineral required by the body for bone and connective tissue production, and for coding specific enzymes that range in function from eliminating free radicals to producing melanin.  A deficiency in copper can lead to osteoporosis, joint pain, and lowered immunity.

You can't assimilate nutrients until they have been adequately broken down by digestion:

Antacids neutralize the acids in our stomach, making it difficult to break down foods into small enough particles to be absorbed. Once partially digested foods leave our stomach, our body treats this partially digested food, as foreign. The resulting immune response can result in food insensitivities and fatigue.  Added to this is the upset of the balance of friendly bacteria needed for a healthy immune system.  {taken from "Digestion Problems," Women's Health Letter, Nan Fuchs, PhD, Feb. 2002}

Neurological side effects:

1 - Taking certain types of medication to deal with heartburn and excess stomach acid may increase the risk of cognitive impairment in the elderly, according to a report in the August issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society. The drugs in question, called histamine-2 receptor antagonists or H2As, include popular medicines such as Zantac and Pepcid.

2 - Antacids taken to fight indigestion actually diminish the enzymes needed to digest foods and nutrients critical to proper brain function.

{taken from: Journal of Natural Healing Breakthroughs, “Health Alert,” Dr. Bruce West}

 Antacids merely mask symptoms instead of handling the real problem:

Gurkipal Singh of Stanford University reported that people taking antacids and H2-blockers suffered more than twice as many serious gastrointestinal complications than those given placebos.

What could make normal stomach digestive fluids flow up where they don't belong?  One is overeating.  One can be from eating an abundance of pesticides and chemicals in our food. One can be food combining.  Another can be eating a big meal before bed. “Late night eating can trigger GERD”. (taken from Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski.)


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

Source: www.bitesizepieces.net

The Magic Of The Mind

Can our mind heal our body?

Recent research has verified that mental and emotional conditions can affect the state of the physical body, and that the body mind connection, is very much true. Every emotion we feel can cause psychological and physical changes in the body which can keep us sick & stuck. Most times we just don’t know how to let go.  Emotions have been shown to be linked to obesity and cancer, which begs the question:  Who’s in charge of your mind?

 “There is an ever growing body of evidence pointing to the role of the mind and its healing power in the treatment of stress, pain, mental, emotional and physical illness. (1)  Mind/body approaches, such as guided imagery and mindfulness meditation are becoming more widespread as the scientific studies mount, indicating that mind-body techniques, may not only improve the quality of life for those facing a health concern or serious illness, but can actually promote physical healing and whole person wellness of body, mind, heart and spirit.  Keeping a healthy spirit and mind will aid in maintaining a healthy body and vice versa. A healthy, grounded spirit and soul also helps to improve our confidence levels and helps to boost self esteem and positive thoughts.”

Just like exercise builds muscle, becoming conscience builds mind muscle. Remember what happens to the body also happens to the mind and even to the spirit and vice versa. If you are eating for health but harbor on unhealthy thoughts, you are not healthy. 

Solutions: 

What can you do? Implement changes until the mind/body are on the same page-do it until it becomes a lifestyle. When you change how you look at things the things you look at change.

When you change how you be with things the things you be with change.

A number of studies at UCLA and at Harvard, (2) show that there are structural changes in the very parts of the brain, for people who do practice mindfulness meditation.  There are structural changes in the same mind / body circuit, that we need to implement, in order  to support our empathic communication with other people.  That's probably why there are so many studies that show that empathy is significantly increased in those who practice mindfulness.

Which part of our mind runs our life?   “Most people hardly use the conscious mind.  They run their day-to-day existence from programs stored in their subconscious mind.” (3)  “What programs will that subconscious mind run? The answer is the exact programs that were downloaded into the subconscious mind.” These subconscious programs are at the core of our perception of the world around us. They anchor our belief systems, our perception of right and wrong, our spirit and our soul.  These deeply stored programs, are what guide us and play out our journey, throughout out entire life, unless we go into the subconscious mind and rewrite the program. Yes, we can rewrite the program!

“By making a conscious decision, our conscious mind can rewrite any of our subconscious programs.”  We can even go back and change our genetic activity. “The conscious mind is unique because it can change an entire history of perceptions in order to engage in different behaviors and life styles. The new sciences of epi-genetics and quantum mechanics recognize the important role of the invisible fields in controlling life, which includes the thoughts and energies that contribute to our reality. “This new awareness gives each of us the ability, and the power, to change our old worldview.

We now know that we can actually control our genes, and as a result, we control our lives. Our thoughts are real and tangible. They influence our physiology. If we choose to be around sickness or depression we will become what is our environment. 

Solution:

Change our environment and belief system, and we can change our life.  Beliefs can change our thoughts and change our DNA. This is extremely powerful, and isn’t it fascinating that our mind has the ability to look at itself, from the outside in?

How is energy impaired when the mind is broken?

1-The mind is an energetic field.

The mind influences the immune system, digestive and endocrine system. When we have an abundance of stress in our lives we also have a diminished functioning immune system. 

An abundance of stress reduces blood flow to the gut leaving it unable to repair itself. As a result, our metabolism is impaired. This leads to a lack of energy in our cells.  With less energy, we stop exercising.  That in turn stresses the lymphatic system leaving it congested and lethargic. Stress can make our mind & body sick. 

Solution:

Don’t sweat the small stuff. One of the most efficient ways to defuse stress while it's happening, is to use positive emotion.  A thought is a physical energy. Sending information to the body saying “I am better” is sending information to the body to correct itself.

2- Alzheimer’s: 

“We need to take action to eliminate toxins through understanding the underlying causes of cellular breakdown in the brain.  Free radicals from toxins, lead to oxidative stress.  With cell death we see more people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  Mitochondria are extremely sensitive to the insults of  inflammation and toxic damage.”(4) 

Alzheimer’s is all about toxins and loss of energy. In fact it may soon be called Diabetes Type 3. Pesticides, alcohol, gluten and sugar are toxins we ingest from foods along with mercury from fish, dental fillings and contact lens solution.  Yes, that stuff people use to clean their lenses and more get in the way of our brain and gut function.  Added to that mix, we work in a toxic environment and are consuming inflammatory foods, causing thyroid and hormonal imbalances.  In their book, Dangerous Grains, (5) James Braly, MD, and Ron Hoggan, MA point out that undiagnosed sensitivity to gluten in wheat, and other proteins in grains:

“Is the root cause of many cancers, autoimmune diseases, neurological  diseases, osteoporosis,  attention deficit disorders, learning disorders psychiatric and other brain disorders.”

I’ve seen first hand elderly people with gallons of ice cream, rBGH milk, bread and soda in their refrigerator, with no visible signs of fruits, vegetables and other whole foods.  Today 50% of 85 year olds have Alzheimer’s, resulting in a 60 billion a year business!  However Alzheimer’s doesn’t begin at age 85, it can go undetected for more than 50 years.

Solution: Most brain inflammation can be prevented. It’s easy in this fast paced world, to be toxic, stressed and depressed. Life is not what happens to us, but rather how we handle what is happening. Become mindful, as stress, toxins and a poor diet, are counter productive to brain, gut, and our overall wellness.

Can fast food logos affect our mind?

It turns out that just looking at fast-food-company logos may be enough to affect our attitude and judgment.

A recent study reported in the March 2010 issue of Psychological Science (6) found that, compared with a control group that spent time viewing unrelated shapes of similar size and the logos of inexpensive chain restaurants, people who spent time examining fast-food logos were more likely to exhibit impatience and haste in executing subsequent tasks, and less likely to defer gratification.

The results suggest that our exposure to, and associations with, fast food may carry over into other areas of our lives and consumer behaviors in surprising, unconscious ways.

In a study of 57 people, University of Toronto researchers (7) found that the fast-food participants were, in later exercises, significantly more likely to prefer items characterized as timesaving. They were also more apt to race through reading assignments, even when presented with no time limit, and to accept smaller sums of money right away rather than wait and receive larger sums of money later.  This can affect our judgement in all business decisions.

Conclusion:

Take a look at your life today. How do you feed your mind & body?  Do you have Negative Nellie self talk or listen to negative news before bed?  Do you live on alcohol, caffeine, sugar, trans fats, flour products and gluten? Do you have emotional wellness or do you suffer from anxiety, lack of intimacy, stress, Gerd, inflammation and brain fog?  All these are a lack of mind/ body health. 

If you intend to be mindful, eat healthy, improve digestion and hormonal imbalances and feel fantastic, I am here.  Our conscious mind is capable of making the decision to stop old habits, and focus on creating new positive habits.  With time, these new habits become new established programs in our subconscious.  We are capable of changing our path, our results and reinventing our very being.

Make a plan to succeed by getting the support you need today! As a Certified Integrated Health Coach for 12 years, Connie Rogers specializes in helping people make healthy changes and achieve results that last a lifetime. Expert in toxins that can disrupt our skin, metabolic and endocrine health.www.bitesizepieces.net

Footnotes:

1-Dr. Paul Epstein- http://www.drpaulepstein.com

2-studies http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361002/ see also http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004979/

3- Bruce Lipton book-The wisdom of your cells

4-  Mark Hyman book -The Ultra Mind Solution 

5- James Braly, MD, and Ron Hoggan  book-“Dangerous Grains” 

6- fast food on the brain- http://www2.rotman.utoronto.ca/facbios/file/Zhong%20and%20DeVoe,%202010.pdf see also http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/03/19/0956797610366090.full

7- higher later dollar amounts- http://www.pendletonpsych.com/whats-new/fast-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

Hair Loss In Women Doesn't Always Have To Be Permanent

Over the years women, have confided in me about those special times they would donate their locks for cancer patients, and then years later they themselves were feeling less then comfortable about their own thinning hair.  Is there a certain age where everything droops, puckers or falls out, they ask?   

Hair loss is a conversation that not too many of us talk about, unless you’re in the hair business or whisper concerns to your best friend.

I hear women say with a panic tone:  “In two months it will be the beginning of summer vacation and OMG…  my hair is falling out.  Why is this happening to me…?  ” 

Well the reason “Why” is a good question. 

Many well known factors include smoking, radiation, chemotherapy and aging.  But what if you don’t fit into any of those categories? 

If you knew some habits could contribute to hair loss would you make some changes?  

Hair loss Reasons and Tips to follow

  • Low levels of Vitamin B, and Thyroid disruption.  Do you live on sugar or are you addicted to wheat/gluten? These can rob you of Vitamin B’s. (7)
  • Hormones can play a significant role in the health and quality of the hair. For ladies, quick hair loss could result from a lack of many nutrients.  Low iron levels are known to be a causative factor for hair loss. (1)
  • A trauma that triggered an unhealthy and sudden weight loss can cause hair loss.  This can also be an eating disorder.  (6)
  • What  OTC’s and other medications do you take daily?   Do you have Depression? (2)
  • Abundance of unnecessary supplements.  Do you supplement instead of eating real whole foods?  Overdoing vitamin A-containing supplements or medications can trigger hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
  • Stress-Do you live on a diet of stress?  Chronic stress must be addressed and the adrenal gland must be fed to maintain the health of the body, including the health of the hair and scalp. (3)
  • Do you dye your hair or use toxic hair products?    Over the years these can cause endocrine disruption, thinning and hair loss.  It helps to read labels.  If you can’t pronounce it don’t use it.
  • Sugar- Thinning can be related to the changes in the hormone testosterone.  Sugar and alcohol can deplete testosterone levels. An abundance of sugar and processed foods will also lead to a lack of minerals. 
  • Insomnia-What keeps you awake? Sleep is another “must haves” to help fight hair loss.  A sleep deprived body produces more stress hormones and hair loss.
  • Leaky gut-Poor digestion and utilization of protein can cause hair loss.
  • Oxidative Stress and free radical damage.  Avoid hours in the sun with an “unprotected scalp”. (8)
  • Candida can be linked to dermatitis or atopic dermatitis which can sometimes cause hair loss. (4) 

Healthy hair is a sign of overall good health, so it would make sense that we would want to keep it. Healthy hair thrives on real whole foods/real nutrient rich foods.

So How can we feed our hair? 

Some choices are Spinach, bananas, Brazil nuts for selenium and oysters for zinc. 

To achieve a more balanced healthy lifestyle and improve the health of your hair and scalp, ditch the chips, sugar and processed crap and shop on the outer aisles of the grocery store, or your favorite farmers market, where you'll find fresh organic fruits & veggies. 

With sense of peacefulness and calm, a scalp massage can increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage in the head, both of which purportedly stimulate hair follicles in the scalp and keep it healthy.(5) 

Tips:

*Remember to remove toxic chemical laden shampoos and conditioners that can cause hair loss and replace with organic products.

*Ditch the refined sugar, sweets, wheat and processed foods.

*Develop good sleeping habits. Make an intention to get to bed at the same time every night.

*Address Candida and Leaky Gut issues.

* Add Exercise to your day- this helps to release stress.

*Eat more fruits, and green vegetables for depression and healthy hair.

Footnotes:

1- Shrivastava, SB.  (2009).  Diffuse hair loss in an adult female: approach to the diagnosis and management.  Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol, 75(1):20-7

2- (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0003730/)

3- Hair loss has been improved by hypnosis, with one of the biggest effects being help with underlying stress and anxiety [Source: Willemsen] see also Stress (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15304082)

4- (http://candidaquestions.probacto.com/3330/is-candida-connected-to-eczema-or-atopic-dermatitis)

5- [source: Osborn].  http://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/index.php/article_id/885/Indian-Head-Massage

6- Crash diets, major surgery and hair loss (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0003730/)

7- Gluten and Hair loss-To date, there have been 100′s of symptoms, syndromes, and diseases linked to gluten exposure for those with gluten sensitivity.  One of these little known diseases is alopecia areata (autoimmune hair loss). Source: Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 1999 Dec;45(4):283-5.

Gluten Can Cause Nutritional Hair Loss as Well…Aside from causing autoimmune hair loss, gluten can cause malnutrition leading to nutritional forms of alopecia.  One of the primary side effects of gluten is damage to the intestinal lining.  This damage can lead to malabsorption of vitamins and minerals

8- Extrinsic factors include smoking, ultraviolet radiation and nutrition and Oxidative stress (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929555/) see also http://link.springer.com/article/10.1134%2FS2079057013010086

_________________________________________________

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

Stuff

I left home with 3 suitcases and $1000 to my name. Now 45 years later I’m looking at stuff.  We all seem to like “stuff”.  It’s a fact-we are creatures that accumulate stuff!  We buy big houses to put all our stuff into.  And if that doesn’t work, we pay extra to have our stuff in storage units. We work long hours at a job where we cannot see or enjoy our stuff.  The weekend comes and we collapse in bed, ignoring our stuff. 

We tend to hold onto it, carrying that one box of precious stuff as we move from location to location. We purchase stuff, AKA collector’s items, old cars, junk jewelry, antiques, china, Lladro and more, that we don’t have space for anymore.  Maybe these hold memories of our younger days or they remind us of our childhood, our children or loved ones that have passed away.  To part with these seems impossible.

There is a saying that goes, “You have to get rid of the old to make way for the new.” or “If you are feeling stuck in your life, ditch the stuff and do some “Spring Cleaning”. 

To make way for this new “Spring Clearing” with every step we need to take a long hard look at the things that no longer serve us, things that drain us instead of giving us energy, and things that keep us from moving forward. We may also need to leave those toxic friendships behind.  Saying goodbye to old clutter and toxic friends may not be an easy task but it can prove beneficial for bringing in the new.  In the “Spring Season” we welcome new energy, new growth and new beginnings. 

If you need a little gentle nudge to toss stuff, consider these:

  1. First sit back - see if there’s stuff taking over your life.  Cleaning out the clutter is “done in layers”.  In a moment of mindfulness, you may be able to expand your comfort zone and look at what you really need and enjoy in your life and look at what you can remove that’s no longer working. Ask yourself- “Do I allow stuff to identify who I am?”
  2.   If you live alone, make the decision to surround yourself with what makes you happy, what you enjoy most and down size the rest.  If you have an office at home make it uniquely yours and remove the clutter.  Removing clutter opens new doors to opportunities.
  3. Our bodies accumulate toxic residues -that may also need to be cleaned out.  And “Spring” can be the perfect time with the warmer weather it brings.  Try juicing at home, for 5 days. Juicing can give your digestive system a rest.  You may also experience improved immune function.
  4. If you have a ton of skin care products, look at the expiration dates. The epidermis constantly rebuilds itself.  Nothing worse than old skin care products going on your brand new skin! (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0005206/)

We can experience many emotions when we clear the clutter, such as depression-helplessness-survival and fear. Include “Self Care” in your day- this can mean a hug, a walk, a home cooked meal or having a meaningful conversation with a loved one.  Honor your health and embrace change.

Hire a health coach for any growth area you need to work on.  Connie Rogers is a Certified Integrated Holistic Health Coach.  For more health tips I invite you to visit www.bitesizepieces.net and https://www.facebook.com/ReverseageWellnessSpa