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.

Life

Let Go, Slow Down, Reach Out

Plan for tomorrow but don’t lose today. Learn from yesterday but don’t lose today. We are so often caught up in our schedules that we forget to breathe in and be in today. If your days are full of have to be there or have to do this and you feel frazzled by things that happened or even didn’t happen yesterday, you miss what is happening right now.

Past experiences can hurt us but they also teach us. If you’re continuously on a slow simmer about what did happen or what might happen, you don’t see what is happening. If someone caused you harm in the past, it doesn’t affect them if you’re holding on to anger, fear, hurt and self-doubt; it only affects you, today – don’t miss out on your life.

At the same token, don’t be so busy planning or dreaming about tomorrow that you miss what is today because one day you’ll look back and find that so many years have passed in a whoosh. I talk to so many folks who don’t take a moment to just breathe and be in today. I realize that it is the norm for this day and age of hurry up. For many, myself included, we expect immediate gratification and if we don’t get it, we feel irritated, depressed, hurt or angry.

Make it a point, a plan, to step back each day and decompress. Take time to be in the moment and feel what the day has brought you. Take a moment to reach out to a friend or relative that you haven’t talked to instead of waiting for them to call you – you might make their day. Take time to appreciate what is instead of filling the moment with what was or what might be. Be here now, for yourself, for a friend, for a relative.

Breathe in the very moment. Exhale the anxiety and stress.

If you would like to have your very own personal coach to guide you away from habits you wish to swap for new and good habits, reach out to me and let’s get started!

Initiate Wellness
Life

Pocketful of Wishes

white oxeye daisy in person s pocketWhen was the last time you tried something new? I’m not talking about a new food or new movie or even a new diet or exercise routine. When was the last time you did something that you have always wanted to do? What is something you’d love to try but you just keep putting it off for when the time is right? Yeah, me neither.

While you go through the motions of doing what needs to be done, doing what’s expected of you and meeting everyone else’s needs, your needs and desires are pushed further and further into the pockets of time. The thing is, the time is now; now is what you have.

Think of something you have wanted to do that isn’t related to a particular diet or way of eating nor be it related to exercising ‘xyz’ days a week. Remember that one or two things you thought about so long ago, or maybe not so long ago, that you have been saying when I’m done what I have to do daily right now, I want to try this other thing out? Write it down! Make it your goal. Decide on a date and time you want to have it done by and focus your effort and daily doings on reaching that destination one day at a time. Maybe it will take a week, a month, a year or several years to be in a place that you have completely reached that dream thing; that’s perfectly okay, as long as you’re working toward something for yourself.

Life is never guaranteed from day-to-day and it never waits until you’re ready so be ready now. Be the person who can say, “I did it, I wanted to do this for so long and I did”.

I agree that it’s not easy for many of us to think of ourselves but it is an important part of growth, self-nurturing and stress relief. As I often say, self-care is not selfish. When you meet your personal goals, you can help others with a much more grateful heart and mind and a freer sense of being there for others.

Start today, think about your next big goal, write it down, find a photo of it and always keep it in the front of your mind – at the top of your pocketful of wishes.

 

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Organic: What is it? How do we know if it’s organic? Why choose organic?

What does organic mean? 20181113_133128.jpg

Organic means that a food/crop has been grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers (think ChemLawn). Organic has not been processed using industrial solvents, chemical ripening, and without additives. Organic has not been genetically modified (GMO) and in organic meat no growth hormones or antibiotics have been used.

(GMO: a laboratory process that forces genes of unrelated species to into each other causing unintended changes which create possible differences in the food’s nutritional values, toxic and allergic effects, lower crop yields and unforeseen harm to the environment. GMO’s are pesticide/herbicide tolerant causing an increase in the amount of these used, leads to poisoning & killing birds and insects that help pollinate natural foods, have toxins, cause illness)

Why Choose Organic?

Chemicals enter the body through eating conventionally grown foods and these chemicals have been known to cause loss of brain function/development, cancers, respiratory issues and disease, thyroid disease and dysfunction, autoimmune disease, and behavioral disorders, but not limited to this list. If you’ve been feeling sluggish, slow, tired, lethargic, low-energy and such, your body could be overloaded with these chemical toxins’ one way to clean them out is to do a cleanse and to switch to an organic diet. Not all organic is necessarily healthy for you such as junk foods, salad dressings, cookies, crackers, candy etc. since it’s still “junk” food. So choose wisely.

How can you tell if something is organic?

Most organic foods are labeled “Organic”, but if they’re not you can find out by a few ways; at a farm stand or farmer’s market you can ask, if they don’t give a straight answer there’s a good chance it’s not organic. To find organic in a supermarket look for the number labels on produce and sometimes meat: if it begins with a “4” followed by 3 other numbers it has been conventionally grown with chemical pesticides and herbicides, if it begins with an “8” followed by 4 extra numbers, it has been genetically modified and grown with pesticide and herbicides, and if it begins with the number “9” followed by 4 numbers, it is organic.

Even organic crops can get contamination through pollution, overspray, and other environmental factors. It’s always good to know where your food comes from and you should always wash it at home before ingesting it, even if it says it has been triple washed at the farm/factory.

Washing your produce whether organic or not is important. You can wash easily by soaking the produce in a bowl of cold water with white vinegar; 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water, soak for 20 minutes, rinse and dry well.

Choose to be pure inside and out. You truly are what you eat and you are what ‘they’ eat in terms of meat. Increase your vegetable, fruit and berry intake and limit [or omit] your animal foods for overall good health.

Life

Getting to the Good Part

goodstuffSometimes I find myself wishing the week(s) away just to get to the good part of my life. By doing this, I’m in fact wishing my life away; and if I do that, there will be no so-called good part.

Every week brings some sort of discomfort for every one of us. We think about an appointment, or a meeting, a conference, inventory or evaluation at work, a family thing, a delivery, a chore of some kind, whatever your thing to do is; the list is endless and we look forward to it being over and done with.

When we wish for the dreaded parts to be over and wait for the good stuff, we are robbing ourselves of time, joy and being in the moment from our lives. What if the good part is now? What if we are missing out on the good stuff because our focus is on the dreaded chores of life itself?

It’s up to us individually to determine what needs our energy and attention. It’s up to us to set guidelines and boundaries for ourselves and how others treat us. It’s up to me, and you, to make the good stuff happen now. Life is unpredictable and for too many, life is short.

Take time to reflect on how you use your time. Take time to notice how you treat each day, each week and each difficult circumstance and try to turn it into a good experience, a positive life lesson.

Don’t wish time away to get to the good stuff; good stuff on earth is not promised and the good stuff could be happening right now; it’s all in how you view it.

Be positive, be happy and be free from dread.

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Corn Syrup & High Fructose Corn Syrup; What’s the Difference?

cornsyruppostSomeone recently presented me with this question and as a food and lifestyle coach, it’s my job to find answers to everyday questions and share the information with you so you can make healthy choices in your journey.

Corn syrup is made by extracting from the corn starch from yellow corn plant and made into glucose by breaking it down with enzymes (amylase).

High Fructose Corn Syrup is also made by extracting the corn starch from the plant but it is put through more processes adding three additional enzymes separately to turn it from glucose to fructose then additional glucose is added to turn it into high fructose which changes the molecular arrangement. HFCS also contains mercury in toxic levels due to the chlor-alkali products used in the processing. This process makes more sugar for less money; at the expense of our health. HFCS and corn syrup alike has NO nutritional value, it requires more energy by your body to be absorbed and it depletes your ‘energy fuel’ source in your gut that keeps your intestinal lining healthy and intact. This depletion causes holes in the lining and leaks gut bacteria which causes full body inflammation and a wide array of diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s & obesity.

What about corn sugar? Farmers are trying to have the words “corn sugar” registered for use in place of high fructose corn syrup so beware of so-called healthier options for HFCS, corn syrup and sugar. All sugar is harmful when used in higher amounts than necessary. Natural sugars such as those in fruit and vegetables are healthy sugars for fuel when eaten in its natural form and in moderation.