Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Comfort Outside of Food

Comfort comes in many forms and for each of us comfort means something very different from the next.

We all seek comfort. We look for it in our family members, our friends, sometimes strangers, nowadays we can reach out and find it through social media, we seek it from our pets, some look for it in cleaning, shopping, going to the gym, finding distraction in a movie; we also look to food for comfort and some look for it in a glass of wine, a bottle of beer or other alcohol. I’m sure there are hundreds more ways people look for and sometimes find comfort.

Along with looking for comforting situations comes the reason we seek it. Those reasons are endless and among them is stress, sadness, boredom, depression and loneliness.

Too often many comforts lead to less than healthy choices. We crave certain foods when we seek comfort. Particular textures and tastes have much to do with how we are feeling. Common cravings are sweets, carbs, junk foods and alcohol. Giving in to these cravings leads us into a downward spiral often leaving us feeling worse.

If you find yourself seeking comfort on a regular basis and turning to foods or activities that you know deep down isn’t doing your body of lifestyle any good, take a step back and make a decision to finally take care of YOU. Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is important for a healthy, happy and long life.

As a holistic health coach, I’ve helped people overcome their overwhelming desire to give in to self-sabotaging choices for seeking comfort. Is seeking unhealthy “comfort foods” getting you down? Let’s talk!

Life

Be the Light in Someone’s Life

As I drift through the days the way we all do, I look for ways to inspire others. I live to help others find happiness and peace. I used to think it was my jog to make others happy but after many years of thinking that way and feeling I had failed somehow, I came to understand that other people’s happiness is not up to me, it’s up to them. 

We are all responsible for the way we think and the happiness we choose. Sometimes life throws us curve balls and interferes with our best thought plans and we feel depressed or angry and out of control. That’s because we are out of control. I’ve heard and read many times that man may plan his course but God plans his steps. (Prov. 16:9) If you don’t think so, just look at plans you made that didn’t work out and think of how in the end, many of those changes were for the better.

We can set intentions and make plans and follow through as closely as we possibly can but if they don’t work out they way you expected, don’t be angry; instead, see with an open mind and look for the good that can come of the new circumstance. There is a reason for everything and you can accept that better when you believe that there are other ways to get to your destination.

Inspiration for others comes in many shapes, sizes, intentions and emotions. Be open to what can be, be aware of what is and be thankful for what never was. Everything will be as it should be. Everything changes in the blink of an eye. Be calm, be love, be open and be true. 

Life

Shoe Style!

Shoes! We either love shoes or hate them or if you’re like me, your feelings about shoes fall somewhere between love and hate.

Sure, I love a nice pair of shoes but I have learned that in my shoes, comfort comes first. I learned long ago, while working in the salon, the importance of a good pair of comfortable shoes. If your shoes aren’t comfortable and balanced well for your body and foot type, you can end up with sore legs, back and feet and possible long-term leg, back and foot issues.

When was the last time you were actually fitted by a shoe salesperson instead of on your own quick pick at the local shoe store or sports shop? Yes, there are still educated shoe and foot people available to help you find your perfect fit for your personal style and there are so many options out there. Even if you don’t purchase anything the first time, at least you’ll have a better idea of what is good for you personally.

Treat yourself to a good pair of shoes or sneakers, your feet, legs and back will thank you!

“Failure is only achieved when you don’t try. Success is the result of every small step you take toward leaving worn out behaviors behind.”

Dawn Silva – Initiate Wellness
Life

Anxiety – Why We Get It & Tips to Let Go of It

Anxiety hits every one of us from time to time. There are many levels of anxiety and many causes of it. Anxiety or anxiousness can be happy and caused by excitement to do something, go somewhere, to meet someone and a number of other good things we look forward to. Other anxieties can be negatively caused by PTSD, the environment, illness, confrontation, stress about school, work, money, relationships, trauma, loss, side effects of medications or other substances and more. Whichever your anxiety, it’s a good idea to learn to handle it and/or get professional help.

Sometimes, you can make yourself physically sick if you’re overly-anxious. This is caused by your body releasing stress hormones. Different parts of the body release different hormones which help the organs to run efficiently and in stressful situations, those organs become ‘stressed’ causing us to feel stomach aches, diarrhea, headache, fatigue…etc.

Positive anxiousness is easier to manage and likely will come to an end soon; such as when you arrive to your destination, meet that person and any other happy moments that bring that anxious twinge of excitement.

When negative anxiety hits you and you feel out of control, it’s important to take steps to relieve it especially before the sick-feeling symptoms begin. Steps to try before anxiety hits hard include:

  • Slow down, breathe deeply and take inventory of what is real and what is just negative thoughts or negative self-talk. Remind yourself that XXX hasn’t actually happened and it might not even happen. This is a way of dealing with what is real and what is or isn’t possible; it’s better to deal with what is real that very moment.
  • Another way to calm anxious feelings is to determine if the issue is in your control or out of your control; if it’s out of your control, follow the steps in the first scenario described above. If it is in your control, take a deep breath in and exhale slowly then decide what your next step will be and then the second step after that until the issue is resolved. Remember, don’t hold tightly to what you cannot control, trust the process.
  • Take a time-out session, meditate, just sit quietly letting your thoughts come and go without overthinking them, listen to soothing music, drink warm tea, go for a walk – short or long walks help a lot! Any form of exercise helps release stress.
  • Surround yourself with positive and happy people, laugh often, talk with a friend (even if it’s not about what is stressing you).
  • Journal it – writing your thoughts, worries, wishes and feelings helps to release them privately
  • Try to have a positive attitude. Learn to ‘let go’ of negative thinking.
  • Eat healthy! The foods you choose to eat help your body run either efficiently or sluggish and ill. Choose whole, natural foods rather than pre-packaged, processed, sugary, salty, chemically treated (for shelf-life) foods.
  • Work with a therapist, counselor or coach depending on your level of anxiety and your personal needs.

Anxiety doesn’t have to be a way of life for you. You can learn how to adopt healthy behaviors and habits to let go of negative anxieties and to handle them in the future. Anxiety is normal from time to time but it should not be a regular visitor in your daily life. Now, take a deep breath in….let it go.

“Failure is only achieved when you don’t try. Success is the result of every small step you take toward leaving your worn out behaviors behind.”

Dawn Silva-Initiate Wellness
Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Swell! Food Causes of Inflammation

Oftentimes people relate inflammation to a sore tooth, a cut or other injury or joints but inflammation is present in a large majority of U.S. citizens. Why is this so? It’s true and due to the endless choices of fast foods and junk foods that are made up of too much sugar, refined flour, refined oils, and other ingredients that are used for flavor, freshness and longer shelf life. Think about this; have you ever bought food when you didn’t plan on it or grab a snack because it was available even when you weren’t hungry? I think we all have – and often we have made a choice we otherwise wouldn’t have, again, solely because it was there. The extreme availability of food around us truly hurts us.

How many symptoms of inflammation do you have? Do you have any:

  • Pain/stiffness in your joints and/or muscles?
  • Feeling bloated or gassy?
  • Feel tired or fatigued easily or often?
  • Have brain fog?
  • Mood swings?
  • Sleeplessness?
  • Cramping/constipation/diarrhea?
  • Allergies, seasonal and to certain foods such as dairy and/or wheat?
  • Asthma?
  • Skin problems, rosacea, eczema, flushing, rashes?
  • High Blood Pressure?
  • High Blood Sugar?

If you have even one of these symptoms on a regular basis, you could have body inflammation. After you eat do you feel light and energized or heavy, tired and too full? By eating the right foods, you can feel satisfied, energized and awake – which will help you digest to absorb nutrients and digest to eliminate toxins that can cause inflammation.

A quick list of foods to avoid includes:

  • Omega 6 foods – polyunsaturated oils such as safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, peanut oil and soybean oil.
  • Trans fats and hydrogenated oils.
  • Refined foods including sugar, flour and refined oils
  • Simple carbohydrate foods – cookies, cake, chips, donuts, ice cream, soda, sweetened iced tea and Kool-Ade mixes and other snack foods and junk foods.
  • Fried foods
  • Red meat and processed meat such as hot dogs, deli meat, sausages

Limit or eliminate gluten foods such as refined bread, pretzels, pasta, wheat, crackers, some whole grains (bulgur, barley, rye, seitan, couscous, farina, graham, spelt, durum, kamut).

If you don’t choose to cut these foods out completely, if you’re not quite ready to give them up, at least try to limit them and note the personal changes doing so makes. Leaving not-so-good foods out of your daily diet isn’t as hard as it sounds. When you increase better food choices into your daily meals, you forget about the inflammatory foods, especially when you feel the positive changes that eating better makes.

What you should eat more of are the following foods:

  • Lots of vegetables – green, red, yellow, purple, white, orange
  • Fruit-up to 3/day – be careful not to eat too many each day as it will raise blood sugar which will feed inflammation
  • Berries
  • Spices & herbs like turmeric, garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, cilantro, ginger, green tea, freshly ground black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, chili powder
  • Wild caught fish like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, shellfish and a good quality fish oil supplement. Vegan sources of Omega 3’s include flax oil and algae sources, search “Algan Sources”.
  • Nuts, seeds, walnuts and ground flax seed are highest sources of omega 3’s for this category and are high in fiber and protein.
  • Olive oil dressings – opt to make your own dressings with oil, vinegar and your favorite herbs and spices.

Pain from inflammation isn’t always because of age, activity, work, injuries and the like; pain can be caused by chronic inflammation in your body. The foods you choose to eat on a regular basis can hurt you or help you. Take control of your eating habits and reap the benefits of healthier eating. Not only can you have less pain and bloating, you will likely lose some weight as well and most of us wouldn’t mind dropping a few pounds of useless waste.

“Failure is only achieved when you don’t try. Success is the result of every small step you take toward leaving those worn out behaviors behind.”

Dawn Silva – Initiate Wellness
Unplugged

Worn Our Behaviors

Do you get in your own way? Do you make excuses for not meeting your own expectations? These repeated habits are worn out behaviors that don’t bring you closer to your achievements. Think of something that you mentally plan to do upon rising each new day but find at the end of the day that you didn’t end up doing.

Failure is only achieved when you don’t try. Success is the result of every small step you take toward leaving those worn out behaviors behind.

Keep the reminder of worn out behaviors close by and focus on eventually leaving them behind for good; for more successful behaviors.

“Failure is only achieved when you don’t try. Success is the result of every small step you take toward leaving those worn out behaviors behind.”

Dawn Silva – Initiate Wellness
Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Potassium Benefits & Daily Requirements

Potassium is a mineral that is important in the body to support cells, tissues and organs; it’s also an important electrolyte that helps conduct electricity in the body. Potassium is necessary for the heart to function. It also is key to smooth muscle contraction, skeletal and normal digestive and muscular function.

Potassium balance in the body depends on the amount of sodium and magnesium in the blood. Too little potassium results in nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation, feeling weak or tired, muscle cramping, acne and other skin issues, kidney stones, vibration in the ears, thirst, depression, confusion, tingling and numbness in arms, legs, feet and abnormal heart rhythm. Heart medications and diuretics can cause low potassium levels. Too much salts in the diet due to the average American diet can cause low potassium levels.

The benefits of having a healthy potassium balance include having a healthy metabolism, lowers high blood pressure, supports heart health, proper digestion, healthy kidneys, bone health and the nervous system. It also prevents muscle spasm and pain.

The recommended amount of potassium per day ranges from 400 mg-5100 mg per day based on age, gender and while pregnant. A general goal to strive for is 4500 mg per day. You can get all the potassium you need from the foods you eat based on a diet high in vegetables and fruit. Just 3 servings per day every day will help you keep your potassium level in balance. Foods that are high in potassium include avocados, carrots, bananas, bran, peanut butter, peas and beans, tomatoes, wheat germ, baked and sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli and other greens, mushrooms, summer squash, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, lentils, pistachios, yogurt, celery, cantaloupe, chicken, salmon, cod and flounder. Keep in mind that cooking foods, especially boiling, can reduce the amount of potassium remaining them.

By making sure you get enough potassium, calcium, magnesium, and natural sodium every single day, you can feel assured you’re helping your body function at its best. Getting your vitamins, minerals and electrolytes through food is far more absorbable than supplements but if you aren’t eating quite right yet, supplements can still help a little.

If you want more information on the best supplements, email me here.