Posts

Simple Tips to Keep Your Gut Happy This Holiday Season

Well, the holiday season is already in full swing even though for many of us it feels very different with the pandemic also in full swing.
 
Though this holiday may look and feel very different than in years past, there’s bound to be celebrations of some kind going on. This usually involves a feast or two and the hustle and bustle of holiday traditions.  That’s why I want to talk to you about how to keep your gut healthy throughout the holidays; because a healthy gut is a happy gut!
 
Your gut is home to countless microbes that are continually doing hard work for you to keep your physical, mental, and emotional health up. But without your help, your gut can’t be at its best.  Putting into practice the tips below will help your gut keep up the good work and allow you to not only enjoy your holiday season more, but allow you to feel good in your skin and step into 2021 feeling great!


 

1. Indulge yourself while taking care of yourself.

 A great way to do this is to upgrade your recipes by swapping out processed, harmful ingredients for higher quality and healthier ones (i.e. swap sugar with one of the countless healthier and delicious options like monk fruit, erythritol, allulose, stevia, xylitol or hybrids such as Lakanto, Pure Cane, Swerve, etc; swap wheat flour or high glycemic flours with coconut, almond, flax, hazelnut, or cassava flours; swap vegetable oil or margarine with avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, ghee or butter).
You can also incorporate gut-helping foods into your feasts. For example, you can add a good amount of dietary fiber to your dishes because they are good for gut microbes. Other prebiotic foods include asparagus, carrots, Brussels sprouts, sunchokes, onions, garlic, and nuts.
It can also be great to try new recipes so that you can add more gut-friendly ingredients on your dishes.
 

2. Slow down on alcohol.

If there ever was a holiday people wanted to numb out with alcohol, this is it. But do you really want to add a hangover, extra pounds, and gut inflammation to this extremely difficult year? No thanks! Skip the alcohol or drink small quantities of better quality alcohol like organic wine, gluten-free beer, hard cider, kombucha, etc. Mixed drinks that add a lot of extra sugar make it harder to drink in moderation and add a lot of extra work on your liver (which disrupts your hormones, sleep, mood, waistline, blood sugar, blood pressure…the list goes on and on).
 

3. Maintain a normal sleep routine.

Losing some zzz’s lessens the number of your gut microbes. It doesn’t totally mean that you should avoid evening celebrations, but it’s a great idea to opt for earlier celebrations and dinners whenever possible and keep your later nights to a minimum. 
 

4. Increase your level of serotonin.

This is perhaps the busiest time of the year for most of us–which can definitely be a source of stress. When your stress level increases, your colonic bacteria suffers. On the other hand, when your gut microbes are healthy and balanced, they can help you build resilience against stressful situations. A primary reason for this is because most of your serotonin (aka your happy brain chemical) is made in your gut! You can support your mood and serotonin levels in the following ways: exercise (especially aerobic exercise), getting plenty of sleep, getting outside in the light or getting bright light in the morning/day (if you don’t have much sun this time of year, consider a light box), and eat plenty of protein and nutrient dense carbohydrates (veggies, fruits rather than breads and sweets).
 
I’m sure that by choosing healthier options this holiday season, your gut will thank you, and in the end, it’s you who will benefit from it.
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

How to Recover from Burnout

Burnout is something all too many of us have experienced…especially during 2020. Burnout is caused by prolonged exposure to stress. It’s an all consuming exhasution: physical, mental and emotional.
As the pandemic continues, tensions over human rights and politics grow, we try to adapt our work, school and other elements of life to a remote/virtual format… so many of us are experiencing exhaustion caused by the “new normal”.

 


In line with this, today I would love to share some insights and solutions from this great book by doctors Emily and Amelia Nagoski called Burnout.
 

What causes Burnout

Quoting from Emily in her interview with Brene Brown on Brene’s podcast Unlocking Us, she said “Emotions have a beginning, a middle, and an end. A lot of us are taught to believe that if we fix the problem that caused the stress or the emotion, then we will have dealt with the emotion itself. It turns out, no, there is a disconnect…”
 
It turns out, we need to complete the cycle of our emotions. As they describe, we need to keep going through the tunnel and not getting stuck in the middle of it–that’s when burnout happens. Our digestive systems, hormonal system, cardiovascular systems, nervous systems…really ALL systems take a toll when stressful feelings don’t get processed.

 
Preventing and Recovering from Burnout

The great news? You don’t have to wait for the stressor–the thing that was causing you stress–to go away before you complete your stress cycle. You can use some easy and free methods to help yourself complete the stress cycle so that you don’t get stuck in the harmful phases of it. I love the tools they share in their book and recommend you check it out. I’ll share several that I already knew about and use daily–they absolutely work.
 
1) Physical activity.
 
Walking, running, dancing–It can be any movement, but by moving your body around, it allows you to process those stress chemicals and boost your feel-good chemicals which results in helping you move through the stress cycle.
 
2) Breathing
 
This is a cornerstone in any emotional self-regulation strategy like HeartMath. When you turn your attention to your breath and you make your breath slower and deeper, it’s like hitting reset on your stress cycle.
 
Breathing is the simplest and gentlest way to calm down your emotions and the nervous system. Just breathe, feel the air entering your body as you breathe in and feel it when you breathe out.
 
3) Laughter
 
Laughter (like really great belly laughter, not fake laughing) will move you through the stress cycle.
 
Doctors Emily and Amelia also mention the following tips:
 
1) Positive social interaction.
 
The stress response happens to deal with a threat to the body (real or imagined), so in order to complete the stress response, your body must feel safe. Positively connecting with another person, making you feel comfortable and safe, tells your body that it’s okay now–it’s safe now to end the stress cycle.
 
 2) Affection
 
Did you know that just a 20-second hug has the power to improve your mood and normalize your blood pressure and heart rate? The cuddle hormone oxytocin is released by the body when hugging or snuggling up. Pets are great for this too if you happen to live alone.
 
3) Crying
 
Newsflash: It’s okay to cry! In fact, the physical aspect of crying, not the emotional part, is a powerful way to complete the stress cycle and shift energy. To do this, you can focus on crying itself rather than the painful thoughts and feelings.
 
4) Creative Expression
 
Creating something is one of the best ways you can transform your emotions–your energy–into something. You can paint, crochet, build, or create anything. It’s a way for you to put your emotions in a “safe place outside of yourself.”
 
I hope that these tips will help you manage your stress and prevent you from experiencing burnout.
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

How to protect your cells & boost immunity!

Glutathione is your body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier of cells. This means glutathione prevents damage to your cells brought by free radicals (unstable molecules that damage healthy cells). Glutathione also boosts your immune system.  Having the right amount of glutathione helps protect you from disease and infection.
 
Luckily, your body actually produces its own glutathione supply. Your cells produce glutathione from protein building blocks, namely cysteine, glutamine, and glycine.


 
Every cell of your body has glutathione, but it is much more concentrated in the liver because this is where most of the detoxification process occurs.
 
Unfortunately, your glutathione supply can be depleted by poor diet, pollution, toxins from the products we use, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections, and radiation.
 
If you are prone to infections or anemia and feel sluggish and tired, chances are you have low glutathione levels. 

So how do we amp up glutathione in our body?

 Here are some tips:

  • Get enough sleep – Oftentimes we ignore getting enough sleep but it always backfires on your health. Lack of sleep leads to oxidative stress (cell aging and damage), hormonal imbalance and depleted glutathione levels.
  • Exercise regularly – Exercise is no surprise tip as we have been talking about its health benefits countless times, but a combination of cardio and circuit weight training has been proven effective to increase the body’s glutathione levels. Find that “Goldilock’s spot” for you when it comes to working out so that you aren’t overdoing it and causing fatigue.
  • Use milk thistle oil – Milk thistle is an herb that has been known as a natural remedy for problems in the liver. There are other food and food supplements that can be taken to increase glutathione levels but milk thistle stands out. According to The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, milk thistle is able to increase glutathione levels in the liver up to 35%! The higher the glutathione in the liver is, the greater the ability of the liver to detoxify your body!
  • Unfortunately, though, the body has a hard time absorbing milk thistle supplements. Alternatively, you can eat the plant itself, use it for tea, or take milk thistle oil.
  • Eat foods that boost glutathione production – So in addition to milk thistle, you can add to your diet foods that are high in selenium, sulfur, vitamin C, vitamin E, and alpha-lipoic acid. Eggs and dairy, especially whey protein, and spices like turmeric are also great.

 It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

Lifestyle Changes to Prevent and Reverse Memory Loss

Last week’s newsletter explored diet and lifestyle risk factors for Alzheimer’s and how your diet can impact your brain. Check it out here in case you missed it
Your food and lifestyle choices determine if you are at high risk for developing memory loss or not. Today, I want to give you tips on how to create a lifestyle your brain will love as well as foods that nourish your brain (and also ones that are harmful).


Exercise

We all need physical movement to be healthy, especially if your work entails a lot of sitting down. Exercise is also an important therapeutic strategy to reduce risk for dementia.
 
Aerobic exercise uses oxygen to meet the metabolic demand of the body as the cells convert more glucose into fuel or energy. The heart then pumps blood faster to meet the oxygen demand and to eliminate the carbon dioxide, as a byproduct of metabolism. This is why aerobic exercise is also referred to as cardio. Examples include walking, jogging, cycling, running, dancing, and swimming.
Take a moment to evaluate your lifestyle. From 1 to 10, where 1 is sedentary and 10 is active, where are you?
Depending on your answer, look for opportunities where you can improve. For example, squeeze in a 10-minute walk every day. It’s a lot better than nothing! Current recommendations are 150 minutes of walking weekly or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise. Start where you can. Any amount is better than none.

Sleep Well

Poor sleep is a risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Want to maintain brain health even when you age? Aim for at least 8 hours of quality sleep every time you hit the sheets at night.
 
If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain cannot form pathways for new learning and memories. You might notice that when you lack sleep, it’s harder for you to concentrate and respond quickly.
Consider sleep to be as vital as food and water.

Manage Stress Effectively

Everybody deals with stress, but the way you manage it is a game changer. Stress management techniques such as imagery, yoga, deep breathing, friend time, exercise, and my favorite HeartMath are all helpful. Why I love HeartMath tools for managing my stress so much is because you can do them anywhere and anytime (and that is a great thing because stress can hit us anywhere and anytime…the sooner you can address it, the better!). One super easy HeartMath tool is called Heart-Focused Breathing and all you need to do is to focus your attention on your heart and imagine your breath flowing in and out of your heart or chest area. Make your breath a little slower and deeper than usual.
Doesn’t that feel great?!
Here are 10 other simple tips to help manage and reduce your stress levels.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Certain foods can badly affect your brain. The 7 Worst Foods for Your Brain are:

  • Sugary drinks and food – This causes brain inflammation and memory impairment.
  • Refined carbs – This refers to sugars and highly processed grains like white flour; it also causes insulin resistance.
  • Foods high in trans-fats – These are chemically modified unsaturated fats that have a negative effect on the brain. You don’t need to worry about the trans-fats that are naturally occurring in small amounts in some foods like dairy. Our concern is the artificial trans-fats in shortening, margarine, frosting, microwavable popcorn, frozen foods, and so on.
  • Highly processed foods – Avoid these because they usually are high in sugar, added fats, and salt.
  • Aspartame – An artificial sweetener! Definitely a no-no! Phenylalanine, one of aspartame’s components crosses the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and disrupts neurotransmitter production.
  • Alcohol – Drinking a glass of wine here and there may be fine, but excessive alcohol consumption is not healthy. Binge drinking and drinking to the point of slurred speech is particularly damaging to your brain.
  • Fish high in mercury – Though fish is a good source of protein and healthy fats, you must be aware that fish is highly susceptible to accumulating mercury, most especially predatory fish such as shark and swordfish. Mercury is neurotoxic and can permanently damage the brain.

Instead focus on eating foods that make your brain function optimally. Make sure you get enough healthy fats like omega 3 fats from fatty fish (like salmon and sardines), coconut oil, extra-virgin coconut oil, avocados, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
 
It is also good if you can supplement your diet with high quality multivitamins and other food supplements for brain function, such as probiotics, since good gut health is crucial in brain function as well.
 
These are simple lifestyle changes that can create a big impact in your life, especially during your senior years. Won’t you love the elderly version of you who is still able to think clearly and enjoy all the good memories you’re creating?
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health, so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully. I hope that today’s suggestions are helpful to you.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
 
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca