Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Winter Woes, Water and Vitamin D

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Water

Most of us drink plenty of water during the warmer months; or so I assume everyone does. If you don’t, I urge you to work on making water your new best friend; that and sunshine.

In the winter months, we tend to drink more hot drinks like coffee, hot chocolate and tea, and often alcoholic drinks to ‘warm the blood flow’ – all of which are dehydrating. Tea is probably the least harmful especially if you’re drinking herbal teas and a few cups of plain green tea without sweeteners every day. Why drink water in the winter? Your body is made of 70% water! It needs clean, fresh water every day to filter toxins out of your blood and flush them away. When you don’t drink enough, your body will hold on to whatever water it has to store no matter how clean or ‘dirty’. Dehydration leads to water-weight gain. The more you drink, the more you flush out.

Water can also help alleviate the following symptoms:                                                          

  • Depression
  • Heartburn
  • Chest/ heart pain
  • Abdominal/digestive/reflux pains
  • Lower back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Migraine headaches
  • Colitis pain
  • Fibromyalgia pains
  • Morning sickness during pregnancy
  • Bulimia
  • Obesity
  • Cholesterol plaque
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Strokes
  • MS, MD and Parkinson’s disease

Many of us take medications on a daily basis to make life bearable when we simply could benefit more from water. In return we often get side effects from the medications such as organs becoming toxic and our dependency on the drug.

Infuse your water overnight with lemon juice, citrus fruits, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cucumber, melon, mint, lavender, chamomile (tea), cinnamon & apple slices for mild to bold flavoring.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6543766  

Vitamin D

We get most of our vitamin D from sunshine but in the winter months even if we’re outside a lot, we don’t get enough due to long pants, winter coats, hats and gloves. Healthy levels of vitamin D are responsible for helping the body utilize calcium properly which in turn alleviates overactive neurological reflexes, hand and foot spasms, and cramps and spasms of the vocal box.

Healthy levels of vitamin D also:

  • Supports and regulates the immune system
  • Supports brain function
  • Maintain a healthy body weight and aids in weight loss
  • Headache support – lessens frequency and severity
  • Asthma – lessens the frequency and severity of attacks
  • Rheumatoid arthritis in women
  • Protects against radiation damage
  • Can lessen depression
  • Protection from cancers – a recent study showed a deficiency in vitamin D among cancer patients no matter how good or bad their diet was.
  • Supports heart – lower D levels may increase risk of heart attack

Women with arthritis and diabetes are more susceptible to lower vitamin D levels all year but especially during winter months.

Natural ways to get enough vitamin D:

  • Fortified foods – milk, cheese, cereals, bread
  • Natural ways – egg yolk, some mushrooms, salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod liver oil
  • Supplements – prescribed OTC supplements daily 2000-5000 i.u. daily as well as a good quality fish oil capsule daily.

Drink your water, eat the right foods and take a daily vitamin D supplement for optimal winter and year round health.

 

 

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

New Year & Throughout the Year Recharge

A few times throughout the year you might find yourself worn down, out of energy, physically & mentally drained; January is most often one of those times due to the hustle/bustle of the holidays. When you find yourself in need of a recharge the following tips can help boost your energy and alertness.

  • Get enough sleep. Go to bed just one half hour earlier than usual, it can make a big difference after a week or two.
  • Drink enough water. Often in the colder/cooler weather we forget to drink plain, clean and delicious water. Your body is about 75% water – drinking more water helps flush toxins out that can make you feel sluggish.
  • Eat enough veggies and fruit. An ultimate amount of fruit and veggies is 8-13 servings a day but a large majority of us don’t even get 3-5 servings a day so shoot for at least 3/day. A serving can be estimated by using your hand, a half cup is a cupped palm-full, aim for one half to one full cup per serving.
  • Choose beans, nuts and fish for your protein instead of meat a few times a week. They have low to no fat, lots of fiber and iron.
  • Supplement your daily intake with a good quality fish oil, learn how to choose the right fish oil HERE and Supplement with 1000-5000mg of vitamin D daily. If you have not been tested recently and are not sure how much to start with, my suggestion is 2000mg/day – but knowing your blood panels for certain can help your health in many ways, so if you have not had a physical and blood work lately, don’t forget to make an appointment with your PCP.

It’s important and necessary to take time for yourself every so often so that you can catch your breath, recharge your energy and mind and to just exhale stress. Make scheduled appointments with yourself throught the year to do what you need/want to do – it helps you keep a healthy mindset and it can put you back on track with your personal goals.

In order to take care of others you must first take careof yourself.

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Setting Goals

20150313_084209As each new year settles in, many of us have set goals for ourselves for the coming year. It’s common habit to follow through for the first few months but often by April, we have forgotten our plan. Why does this happen? There are a few likely reasons that we let go of our resolutions. We might lose interest in our goals, our goals are set too high, we get busy, we didn’t plan well, we are overwhelmed, we slipped so we gave up, or even worse, we lose faith in ourselves. Whatever reason you might have personally, probably has happened more than once.

Resolutions and goal setting around weight loss is one of the most popular subjects followed by eating better, working out, and tidying up. Important goals to achieve that aren’t always in the forefront is emotional relief and personal care. Taking care of yourself includes mind, body and spirit.

A few quick guidelines to goal setting include:

  • 1 – Make your goal(s) reasonable, don’t over-burden yourself with too many goals at one time
  • 2 – If you slip up, don’t give up – never use the word cheat it’s a negative word and you need positive encouragement
  • 3 – Set a time when you will work on your goal each day or week depending on your personal goal
  • 4 – Be held accountable and learn what works for your particular body-type and schedule.

When you set goals, it’s important to plan properly, make sure your goals are reasonable, and figure out why you can’t seem to stay on task. Getting guidance from a certified wellness coach is an important step in setting and reaching your personal goals. Learning the proper steps and what works for you specifically, will ensure lifelong success.

 

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Cold Hands & Feet

Do you often have cold hands and feet when the rest of your body is warm? Does it keep you from feeling comfortable or from falling asleep easily? I have a few tips that just might help you out!

There is a wide range of causes for cold hands and feet including underlying diseases such as Raynaud’s Disease, lupus, diabetes, anemia, artery damage, carpal tunnel, beta blockers, OTC cold medicines, birth control pills, caffeine and smoking.  Additional factors are gender, age, cold climates, family history and anxiety. Cold hand and feet is more common in women due to estrogen fluctuations.

Low B-12, niacin, iron and underactive thyroid can play a role as well. Age related ongoing shooting pain is a red flag; you should see your doctor to make sure you do not have clogged arteries which could lead to serious complications and illness.

If you don’t suspect a disease and have been to your doctor regularly, you can try some of the following suggestions.

  • If you smoke, stop! There are more benefits to quitting. Smoking constricts your blood vessels making your limbs colder, smoking also causes lung diseases and heart disease.
  • Limit caffeine if you drink a lot of it. Remember it’s not only in coffee and tea, you can find it in sports drinks, soda, and energy drinks. Caffeine also has a ten-hour half-life – meaning 10 hours after you have consumed 100mg. of caffeine, 50mg. is still in your system; can’t sleep? This could be why.
  • Make sure socks and jewelry is not tight.
  • Control stress. Breathe, meditate and take time out. (See article below for guidance)
  • Exercise and movement helps to get your blood flowing, warming your extremities.
  • Layer up! May be obvious, but make sure you’re dressed for comfort not just fashion. A warm torso will help warm your hands and feet since the blood doesn’t have to stay in your core to keep your organs warm and safe.
  • Nutrition for cold hands and feet include the following:
  • Eat spicier! Black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cumin, chili peppers and chili powder, garlic, cloves, fennel seeds are all warming spices, chai tea and other herbal spiced teas help too.
  • Take fish oil supplements. Not sure which one? Read this article (link)
  • Iron rich foods include spinach, kale, broccoli, prunes, figs, raisins, yams, squash, unions, leeks, garlic, scallions, parsley, parsnips, quinoa, walnuts, sunflower seeds, spelt and oats.
  • Evening primrose oil and borage oil might help too.

Give these suggestions a try. If you smoke or drink a lot of caffeine and are not ready to quit ‘cold turkey’ it’s okay, just try to limit it; take each step a day at a time. There’s not failure in trying no matter how many times you start over.

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Taking Time to Breathe

Having been exposed to poor breathing issues both personally and secondary to family members since childhood, I’ve come to appreciate the art of breathing more than ever. As a young child I was hospitalized for 21 days with pneumonia and my lungs haven’t been the same since. My younger brother has suffered from severe asthma since infancy and as an adult I was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma. Illness can affect the nature of your lungs greatly.

Smoking. Those who smoke never want to hear the words, “you should quit” and most often they already know they should but as I’ve been told many times over, quitting isn’t easy. I’ve never smoked so I cannot and will not judge; I will only urge and offer my best support.

Most recently I’ve experienced close up the effects that a long term smoker is suffering; this makes me want to be able to wave a wand over those I know and love who smoke causing them to quit cold-turkey without cravings or urges to ever smoke again. In order to help you imagine what I saw/see and experienced this person dealing with, name & character withheld for privacy reasons, I’ll mention that this person has been in and out of the hospital often for the past year and a half, they suffer from severe COPD and without going into details, they are suffering greatly. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a combination of chronic bronchial infections and emphysema. COPD affects your breathing through the breakdown of lung tissue and as it advances it causes breakdown of the capillaries in the lungs. Oxygen going to the heart decreases causing the body to make more red blood cells that the heart has to pump at a higher rate which often leads to heart conditions and failure.

If your resolution for the year or the month or even for the day is to quit smoking, take it seriously. Do anything you can that will help you quit and learn and practice ways to increase and deepen your every breath. Even if you don’t smoke begin a practice as well. Meditation and yoga practices are great ways to learn to breathe.

When you learn to breathe fully and practice doing it on a daily basis you can experience, less fatigue, less fogginess, you’ll feel less tired and less depressed. Proper breathing helps you center yourself, detoxify your body and become one with your thoughts. Breathing affects every aspect of your life because life is breath; it sounds crazy maybe but we need to remember to just breathe.

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Stay Active Despite the Cold of Winter

Staying active & happy during the cold, dark winter months is a challenge for some of us. If you’re not an outdoor winter sports kind of person, the winter can seem long and depressing. Personally, I’m not and I know I’m not alone so what can we do to help us through the colder, darker days of winter?

Of course we all want to stay in shape and especially in control during the holidays with their parties and food, food, food! So let’s check out a few things you can plan for a happy winter season.

Stay in shape:

Bundle up and walk outside, down your street, at a park, in the city – just be safe on snow lined sidewalks and streets.

Window shop! Drive to your local mall and walk laps. It will lift your spirits just being around other people that are not co-workers or your kids! Everyone needs time to breathe and be.

Dance. Keep your radio playing upbeat music with friendly DJ’s that help you feel a little more connected with the outside world. Get up and dance when your favorite upbeat song is played; at work? Take a bathroom break and dance your way down the hall!

Set Goals. Make a list of projects that you’d like to get done and work on them. Clean closets, organize storage space, organize the garage, organize kid’s toys, declutter your closets from clothes you haven’t worn, your kitchen from tools, pans, dishes etc. that you don’t use, clean out your pantry.

Ward off the blues:

Don’t eat lunch alone, in your office or at home. Invite a friend over once a week and eat with co-worker instead of at your desk at work. Break the feeling of being isolated.

Plan a getaway. Even if you can’t get away for a week, plan an overnight or a full day trip to somewhere you love being or somewhere you’ve wanted to visit. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing a change of pace and scenery can be!

Plan monthly outings with friends. Have a “girl’s day out” or a “guy’s day away”. Stay connected to those who feed your spirit and make you feel alive and well!

 

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Dry Skin, Eczema, Psoriasis Routine

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I make my own soap and sell it at a local shop. Being in the hair, skin & nails industry as well as the whole food health industry, I’ve become a fan of natural ingredients rather than chemicals. I was going through some information on making goat’s milk soap and such and I have learned this!

Goat’s milk benefits:
Alpha hydroxy acids-help remove dead skin cells
Vitamin A and more – but A repairs damaged skin tissue, reduces lines, controls acne and offers some psoriasis relief!
Cream – helps boost moisture quality
Minerals – esp. Selenium which helps prevent skin damage

Honey Benefits:
A natural anti-bacterial
Moisturizing, soothing and is a probiotic

Oatmeal benefits:
Anti-inflammatory
reduces itching
exfoliates gently
lipids & proteins that naturally moisturize
anti-oxidants,
helps heal psoriasis

You can buy goat’s milk from someone who has goats, from the grocery store or in dry powder form to make a mixture to use on your hair and skin.

My suggestion for hair alone is:

  • 1 cup goat’s milk (if using dried, mix 1-2 ounces with 8 ounces water)
  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats ground in coffee or spice grinder until powdery
  • 1/4- 1/3 cup honey

Mix well and work onto scalp after hair is washed. Leave on for 30-60 minutes, preferably wrapped in plastic and a towel to keep heat and moisture inside.
Do this at least 2 times a week.

For skin, you can use the same mixture amounts and apply if you’re able to stand it under a robe for at least 30 minutes. Or you can increase the amounts and soak in the tub; if you choose the tub, don’t forget to add some peaceful music and low lighting to make it a calming spa-like treat.

I’m going to experiment and try to make a natural bar of soap with goat’s milk, oatmeal and honey. I will post an update when it’s ready in case you would like to purchase some.

*As always, if in doubt about using or eating something that you’re not sure about, seek advice first. What works for one person doesn’t always work for the next.