Self-control is easier when your mind and body is busy…

I was deep into my work and didn’t think about food until my stomach growled ‘feed me’. Hunger felt good. We, too often, eat for several reasons from it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner time-even though we ate a big snack 10 minutes ago or because we’re meeting friends and that always involves food; a restaurant or at someone’s home, because we’re bored, watching TV, and many more self-justifying excuses.

I skipped breakfast, bad practice, because I was running a little close for work so decided I’d eat after my first client. Immediately after the client, I began more work, putting food off again until the growling began. I made a sandwich of ham and loaded it with spinach. That was my lunch which held me surprisingly until dinner. Remember, my mind was preoccupied with work all day and it was a welcomed relief.

Three-thirty p.m. came around and I knew I needed to make a dinner plan. I rummaged through the refrigerator, reached for organic stewing beef I had, browned it in a large Dutch oven, added a dark locally brewed beer and some Italian herbs and simmered it for a few hours. It smelled delicious and warming. About 1/2 hour before serving I added potato chunks, carrots, celery, onion, 6 cloves of garlic, and simmered until the potatoes and carrots were tender; I tossed in a half bag of peas, warmed them and we enjoyed a warming, healthy hearty meal. The beef was fall apart tender and the entire meal was fast and simple to put together; I could continue working while it simmered gently.

As each day comes to a close with food choices under control and satisfaction with my food choices, I can look forward to tomorrow with a positive outlook. I look forward to inspiring you to follow your dreams, your goals and intentions and find great success in your self-satisfaction too!

Connect with me via email at Dawn.InitiateWellness@gmail.com

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Support Your Thyroid Naturally

Your thyroid’s function is to control how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive the body is to its other hormones.

Your thyroid might be challenged if you’ve been feeling tired, anxious or jittery/fidgety, depressed, in a brain fog, low sex drive, increased or decreased appetite, dry skin, low or excessive sweating, bowel issues, irregular cycles, brittle nails with ridges, pain or numbness in arms, legs, feet and hands, heart flutters, taste/smell is gone, feeling cold or hot, too sleepy/can’t sleep, thinning hair, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight gain and/or trouble losing despite exercise and diet control; this is a long but general list and if you feel these symptoms are moderate to severe, your best option is to see your doctor.

Some causes of thyroid dysfunction are from chlorine, fluoride and bromine. Chlorine and fluoride is in much of our drinking water unless you drink well water. Bromine comes from flours used in breads, breakfast foods, cakes & pastries, batter for fried foods and the like – especially processed foods. Too much soy foods can also suppress the thyroid gland function.

Here are a few simple ways to keep your thyroid functioning on a healthy level by using foods and lifestyle improvements. Iodine is an important mineral for thyroid function and should be consumed through whole foods that are iodine rich as consuming too much iodine (through the use of supplements) can be dangerous.

Some simple ways to balance your thyroid function include:

  • Eating an alkaline based diet – Alkaline Foods Chart click and download/print for shopping list reference
  • Regular exercise
  • Increasing chlorophyll through leafy green vegetables and supplements
  • Eat pears and apples regularly
  • Zinc and selenium rich foods, Brazil nuts have both, and/or through supplements
  • Coconut oil – 1 teaspoon daily – use organic, cold-pressed
  • Fish, (except bottom feeders such as shellfish, crabs, lobster, shrimp & krill)

Foods to eliminate include:

  • Fluoride & chlorine
  • All processed foods – artificial coloring and flavorings, preservatives, white flour, white sugar, hydrogenated oils, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), and canola oil

These are some basic steps you can take to help your thyroid function at its best. Again, if you feel symptoms are bad enough, see your doctor to get your thyroid tested.

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Diet & Disease

Diet is whatever you eat, it’s not something that you go on and go off of, it’s not cheating, it’s not depriving, diet is food. The foods you choose to eat can help keep you healthy or make you sick. Not all food causes disease and not all food stops disease. Food choices play a large role in your overall health. Food fuels our cells, it either helps to generate healthy cells to feed the body or degenerate cells to harm the body. The general health of your body depends on the way you choose to eat.

Disease is illness within your body that causes your body to lack ease. Dis-ease can range from a mild cough or cold to a full-blown illness in which your body needs treatment in order to fight off whatever is attacking it. The foods we eat and the environment we live in can greatly increase the negative effects of disease or greatly improve our body’s ability to fight disease.

It’s not that cut and dry but the basics are that if we eat well and live a clean life, we can expect better overall health than if we simply ate and breathed without care and quality.

The foods we choose to eat, when choices are healthy, whole foods, will help regenerate healthy, strong cells which in turn will help us fight off simple cold and flu symptoms and help us stay stronger during major illness. Foods that contain chemical additives and preservatives clog up our cells, gunk up our blood and intestinal tract and weaken our immune system among many other things. When our body is fed a chemical wild-storm, it cannot fight intrusion as easily as it was made to do. We become sluggish, stressed, moody, our sleep is interrupted, our digestion is off, and we have cravings that we can’t seem to satisfy. All this and more is your body begging for nutrition. We are an overfed, under-nourished nation; all because of our food choices.

Eating to nourish isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Eating whole natural foods without the addition of processed, boxed, frozen and canned convenience foods is fast and easy and a whole lot more beneficial. Start slowly by ditching one item a week or a month – replace that item with one (or more) healthy food choices. Baby-step your way to limiting take-out, candy/junk food binges, and unhealthy lunches and over-sized portions.

When you learn how to eat healthy and to fuel your cells properly, you don’t ever have to diet. You don’t have to deprive yourself of self-indulgences, you won’t feel guilty or cheating. Balance is key.

Learn what true whole foods are, learn what works best for your body instead of the latest diet trend and learn why you have cravings and how to combat them.

Here’s to your happy, healthy year ahead! Contact me if you would like help getting yourself on track and into a new healthy relationship with food and good eating and living habits. Dawn@initiatewellness.com

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Food for Health Not Habit or Pleasure

Our health is all we have and our diet is one of the few things we can have complete control over most of the time. Once we neglect our body through diet we become dependent on dietary restrictions and it’s no longer up to us.

One important thing we can learn from our parents and grandparents is their health history. We can take their illnesses or disease and apply it to our own lives and fight back. If there is heart disease we should never take it lightly; we should take care of our own heart that much more, if there’s diabetes we should be concerned with our own blood sugar balance and so on. I’m not suggesting that we are doomed and destined to fall prey to our relative’s poor health; but take care of your one and only body right now.

  • Eat fresh fruits and fresh vegetables daily and try to eat what is in season.
  • Eat whole grains on a daily basis as they are heart healthy, digestive track healthy, filling and fat burning. Whole grains consist of more than whole grain bread and cereal. True whole grains are far more nutritious and beneficial to you than those breads and a cereal so adding more is necessary. A few popular whole grains are oatmeal, bulgur wheat, barley, brown rice, and quinoa. A meal that includes a small portion of one whole grain, half a plate of steamed or raw mixed vegetables and a 4-ounce portion of lean meat or beans is a complete meal as the grains offer a significant amount of protein as well as fiber. A meal like this will keep you full and help burn away fat cells which will lead to weight loss, less joint pain, less inflammation and a healthy heart.
  • Drink plenty of water every day. Remember, half your body weight in ounces is a rule of thumb [i.e. 150 lbs. needs 75 ounces of water], or as close to that as possible.

It’s okay to eat for pleasure once in a while like during a celebration or on vacation, just don’t live to eat – eat to live!


Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Cleansing Foods: Eat More of Them

There’s a large list of foods that clean out your system, from your internal organs to your cells and digestive track to your skin and they can even clear your head leaving you feeling renewed and thinking clearer.

Eating whole, natural foods, specifically fruit, vegetables and whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, millet, barley, oats, and more on a daily basis will keep your body running like a well oiled machine.

Too often we eat foods that are processed and either come from a can, a box or the freezer. Eating these types of foods more often than eating whole foods will leave you feeling weighed down, sluggish, tired, hungry, and craving other foods; sometimes we can’t get those cravings under control. We gain weight and lose sleep. Our internal organs work extra hard trying to process and digest the dozens of chemicals we ingest when we eat processed foods that contain preservatives and other unnecessary ingredients. We end up in a vicious cycle of hunger, craving, weight issues, fogginess, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, feeling tired and sometimes depression and/or stress.

Real food can make a huge difference in your life. You don’t have to feel like your body is falling apart; you shouldn’t have to feel that way. Maybe you eat convenience foods because you don’t have time or energy to cook but cooking whole foods takes the same amount of time as it would take you to heat something in the oven or stove top or to order take-out. By eating whole foods you can save money and fuel your body with proper nutrients; fiber, protein, vitamins & minerals.

Next time you go shopping, spend the most time in the produce section and stock up on a large portion of vegetables for each day/night of the week. Stock up on carrot sticks, celery sticks and other easy to grab and go vegetables for snacking on. At dinner time make your vegetable your main course and your whole grains and/or meat just a small side portion. Preparing veggies is simple and quick when you steam them, stir-fry them or roast them in the oven.
Stock up on fruit so that you will have at least 1-2 pieces every day. All fruit has sugar, each type varies in amount so limit your fruit to 1-3 per day; Bananas have a lot of sugar so keep them to a minimum of 1-4 times per week but of course not all in one day.

When you begin to transition away from take-out and pre-packaged foods and more into whole foods you will feel your cells being fueled, you’ll notice your skin begin to glow, you’ll eventually reduce your cravings for sweets, and snack foods and as a bonus you might even crave more veggies.

Your intestines will clean out the sludge, your liver will function better, your lungs will feel lighter and clearer, your stomach will be less bloated, and your blood pressure and sugar levels will improve. Your body will thank you and you will feel energized and renewed.