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.
Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Being Fully Balanced

20170921_104141Nutrition is an important key to physical and emotional health. When our body is deficient in phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals we become physically and emotionally unbalanced. By eating whole foods including 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, 2-3 servings of whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat, 8-10 full glasses of water daily , and lean proteins like beans and meats we can begin to heal the body.

Physical activity and exercise every day is also an important part of healing and maintaining a healthy body and mind. Proper nutrition is equally important. Discover the foods that are best for your personal history and body type and begin taking care of you on a deeper level.

“We need to be proactive about how we want our lives to be.” You keep hoping for your life to be different, it’s necessary for you to take the steps needed to make it different; no one else can do that for you, only you can. You can seek guidance so that you will know what direction to head but only you can take the steps into your desired direction.

Happiness, emotional health and personal fulfillment will never find you, you need to find it. You have to want it bad enough to get it and it goes beyond hoping, it takes personal action.

Keep an open, positive mind and remember it’s up to you to take action to change what you don’t like in your life.

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Food, Mood and Attitude

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Too often our food consumption is based solely on our mood and/or attitude. We might have good intentions of eating well all the time or this week or just for today – taking it one day at a time but then something happens that alters our mood and changes our attitude and we slip.

I eat healthy 99% of the time and I set good intentions every day but I, like everyone else, don’t always follow through. We slip up because we get frustrated with someone or something at home or work, or even by a complete stranger, a bad commute and many other positive attitude corrupters.

Slipping up on your intentions to eat healthy or exercise has no limits; it will occur in ways that might seem healthy but aren’t such as you choose healthy food options but your portion sizes are over the top like eating the entire pan of stir-fry or the whole bunch of bananas, (okay, that might be a far stretch, who can eat that many bananas?!) but you get the idea.

We let our moods be affected by things not going our way or by letting someone else’s frustrations become ours too. When we do slip up, our mood gets worse and we develop an attitude; it become a vicious cycle that leaves us whirling out of control.

What’s the difference between mood and attitude? Your mood is your state of feeling, your emotional tone or frame of mind. Your attitude is your manner, tendency, orientation or disposition. I like to refer to our attitude as our disposition because it’s a strong descriptive; ‘dis’ = absence of, position – usual or proper place leaving us with absence of our usual position or proper place.

Have you ever found yourself in either a bad mood or a sullen mood and when it comes time to eat or exercise you listen to that negative self-talk telling you that it’s okay to have this food or more food or skip exercise today as though it were positive? Do you find yourself justifying your actions by assigning excuses due to a bad day? If so, it’s time to take control, change your mood and attitude yourself; don’t let others do it for you.

When we’re fully committed to something that we truly want we don’t let anyone sway our decision, we stand tall and follow through, Let that same attitude carry you through your personal wellness journey as well. Don’t let go of your self-control, we all have it; we just don’t use it enough; when you do use it you will find yourself on the good-mood road to success.

Set your intentions, stick with them no matter who or what tries to derail you, remind yourself of why you set them in the first place, always stand tall in your intentions, desires and beliefs.

 

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Healthy Blood – Strong Body – Strong Heart

Your entire body is built and supported by your blood; your tissues, organs, cells and every other tiny piece of you. Healthy blood of course leads to a healthy body.
Your blood needs oxygen, iron and other minerals and vitamins especially including a complex of B vitamins.

You can oxygenate your blood simply by breathing fully and slowly and by taking time each day to fit in a deep breathing exercise and by being physically active. Daily exercise such as a brisk walk of at least 20 minutes per day will help.

The best way to “feed” your blood the vitamins and minerals it needs is primarily through food and secondary would be supplements.

Increase your consumption of iron rich beans and legumes (peas, peanuts, and lentils); these also have lots of blood cleansing fiber that helps filter your blood.
Eating plenty of fresh greens daily helps build your hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells which carries oxygen.
Spices, specifically cinnamon and cayenne speeds purification, lowers blood pressure and helps with blood sugar balance.
Dandelion root cleans your liver which in turn will filter your blood more efficiently. You can drink it as a tea and find dandelion root tea in most health food stores and some grocery stores.

Make your body more alkaline: [the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) is high in acid forming foods] by decreasing your consumption of sugar, soda, meat and processed foods and increasing fruit and vegetables such as lemon, limes & grapefruit, avocado, coconut, seeds, nuts beans and quinoa and other similar whole grains you can bring better acid-alkaline balance to your blood.

Quit smoking. Smoking pollutes your blood which increases your risk of illness and disease, from the common everyday illnesses to more serious illness such as cancer, lung diseases and heart disease by weakening your immune system.

Live life to the fullest and begin by having healthy blood, a strong body and a healthy heart!

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Reduce Your Stress

Every one of us encounters stressful situations from time to time. Stress will always be a part of life but you don’t have to let it take over your well-being and sanity. Stress often is the result of how we interpret a situation. How we handle stress that comes our way is the key to managing and dealing with it.

There are a few different types of stress including internal, external, social, environmental and emotional stress.

Internal stress can be brought on by us individually by not planning well, having a negative attitude, setting unrealistic deadlines and even imagining worst-case scenarios.

External stressors include things that both are and are not in our control such as issues at work, traffic situations, family situations, death/illness/injury and even happy occasions such as weddings and similar events.

The demands of daily living also play a big role in our day to day stress levels.
Types and reasons for stress are not limited to the examples above but the following are trusted ways to manage most types of stress including those not listed.

Managing stress is important for our overall health and well-being. Stress can affect our thinking, our sleep, our diet, our blood-pressure, digestion, muscle and joint pain and more.

Stress-Less Tips

Give yourself permission to relax either for a period every day or a day every week to a weekend every month; there is no wrong way if it works for you personally.

  • Eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Food can either fuel our thinking or “fog” our thinking.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity releases endorphins; a feel good, feel positive hormone. Something as simple as a 15-30 minute walk can make a difference.
  • Sleep enough – Sleep reboots the brain, aim for 7-8 hours per night.
  • Get organized and plan well. Set realistic goals, accept your limitations and ask for help when needed.
  • Find balance between work and your personal life.
  • Keep a good social circle, stay in touch with friends and family members you support and who support you.
  • Stay positive. See the lesson in each circumstance; view them as opportunities rather than disasters.
  • Practice deep breathing, daily meditation and relaxation; 5-10 minutes each day can help in big ways by slowing your mind and body down allowing you to process your thoughts and let them go.
  • And finally, and importantly, don’t rely on alcohol and drugs to relax you or to reduce tension. Get professional help of a doctor, therapist, or health coach if you feel overwhelmed or hopeless.

Stress is normal – staying stressed is not. Take steps to reduce your stress. Contact me if you’d like to work on releasing yourself from stress learn how to live a less stressed life.

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Help Your Body Heal During and After Illness & Stress (and in-between!)

Stressful moments in our lives are inevitable from time to time. Surgery and illness are also likely to occur. Stress, illness and surgery can bring on symptoms that interrupt our body’s ability to heal quickly or fully but you can take steps to help the healing process.

Food, emotional support, mental focus, and of course rest can help you recover. By eating a proper diet of whole foods that are high in vitamins and minerals on a regular basis can help your cope and recover from illness and stress and eating a proper diet before surgery can help the body heal better as well. Emotional support on a regular basis can help you handle stressful situations as they arise and mental focus will help you keep your thoughts reasonable and positive. Supportive therapies can range anywhere from a nutritional & lifestyle coach to a clinical psychologist depending on each persons needs and desires for support. These therapies can teach you how to stay mentally focused and how to rest properly; a nutritional/lifestyle coach can help with proper nutrition too.

Some important practices to incorporate into your life for better health and healing are attained through foods – proper nutrition. When we eat whole, fresh, low fat, low-salt foods and avoid chemical additives and preservatives on daily basis as a lifestyle habit, our body stays healthier and can fight infection and recover more fully when it is compromised. Processed and fatty foods are difficult for the body to digest especially after illness or surgery.

Practicing stress-relieving activities and practices help us to handle and recover from stressful situations including daily stresses and illness/surgery quickly as well.

Yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, massage and talk therapy are helpful in physical and emotional recovery. They stimulate circulation which feed your blood cells.
Eat a diet richest in whole fruit, berries and vegetables; especially darker colored & leafy vegetables.
Include foods rich in vitamins C and A to help build the immune system that fights infection.
Green Tea contains anti-carcinogenic properties which stimulate immune cells and may protect against bacterial infections.
Lemon balm added to salads or made into a tea is a relaxant to help you rest and boosts your immune system. Lemon balm is easy to grow and will come up in your garden every year.
Be positive. Staying positive benefits you more than others. A positive outlook helps you focus on the good instead of being swallowed up by the bad. Be surrounded by feel good situations instead of situations that make you feel bad.
Flush your body with plenty of water daily. Lemon juice and/or raw apple cider vinegar added to water both help to detoxify your organs and your blood.

When you learn what foods serve you best on a daily basis and eliminate the foods that harm you, you will find that illness and stress are less common to you and when surgery is necessary, you will most likely heal faster with ease. Take care of your body and your body will take care of you!

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Eat Foods that Boost Your Mood

2015-03-20 16.28.32It’s so much easier to stray from your diet than to stay with your diet. While I hesitate and strongly dislike using the word diet, the way we eat no matter how healthy or how poorly is truly our diet.

The individual nutrients in the food you eat have a direct impact on your moods. When you eat fresh whole foods in a balanced way you have a better chance of keeping your mood in balance. Fast foods, frozen processed foods and simple carbohydrate foods lack necessary nutrients which can lead to mood swings. Eating healthy whole foods isn’t only for weight control, healthy eating impacts and improves the entire body.

Mood boosting foods to increase include:

  1. Get enough of the vitamin B12 through good quality, preferably organic beef, fish, poultry, beans and low-fat dairy
  2. Phytonutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables. Farmers markets and farm stands are in season, take advantage while you can
  3. Selenium – it acts as an antioxidant, keeping your blood clean from oxidative stress which gets into your cells on a daily basis; by keeping your cells as clean and clear as possible you can help protect yourself from many diseases as well as keeping your mood in balance. Lack of selenium can lead to anxiety, irritability, hostility and depression. An increase in selenium will normalize your mood, not elevate it. Some high selenium foods include lean pork, beef, poultry, tuna, oysters, crab, sardine, other fish, beans and legumes, nuts, seeds, & low-fat dairy.
  4. Omega-3 fatty acids; eat fish 2 times weekly and take a fish oil supplement. For information on the right fish oil to take read my article Fish Oil, Liquid Gold?
  5. 1000-2000 I.U. Vitamin D daily from sun, supplements and salmon, tuna, mackerel, low-fat cheese, egg yolks, fortified milk & orange juice
  6. 1 ounce dark chocolate daily – 60% cacao or higher

Foods to decrease:

  1. Fatty foods and saturated fats
  2. Processed foods- have high chemical content which interferes with proper nutrient absorption
  3. Alcohol-this ‘feel good’ drink is actually a depressant
  4. Caffeine-this gives you an energy burst that spirals into fatigue leading to mood swings

Next time you feel yourself in an ‘off’ mood that you cannot quite explain, take a moment to look at what you’ve been eating. If you’ve strayed from healthy whole foods; fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains, your moods can be in a swing.

You can find a few helpful tips on food-mood here: http://capone.mtsu.edu/studskl/food.html