Happy Cells are Hydrated Cells

Water serves vital roles in maintaining our health. Our blood is comprised largely of water and serves as a transport system that delivers nutrients to our cells and organs while removing waste through urine, perspiration and breath. Many chemical reactions that occur within our bodies also depend on water. Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are broken down through hydrolysis reactions into smaller, more usable components such as amino acids and fatty acids.

Water is also vital in helping to maintain our body temperature. It enables the body to release heat when ambient temperature is higher than body temperature. The formation of sweat and the subsequent evaporation of water from the skin surface cools the body very efficiently.

But what if our water demands are exceeding the amount of water that we are taking in? When we lose just a mere 1 to 2 percent loss of body weight from water, we jeopardize our performance and ability to cool the body. This taxes our system as our hearts pumps harder, circulation slows and muscles fatigue more quickly. What if that loss creeps up to 3 to 4 percent? Now you’re in the danger zone for heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and cramping.

Staying ahead of dehydration is key. Here are some tips to make sure your water levels are optimized. (more…)

Exercise: The Real Fountain of Youth

Aging. It’s something that we all aspire to do well.

For most of us, we consider aging to be a passive thing; it just happens. But the good news is that there is another way. You can be actively involved in the process and positively impact the outcome.

After all, aging is a process. It’s an action. And just like other actions in our lives, if we practice them and learn new skills to improve how we do them, we can get better at doing them over time.

So, let’s talk about what aging is first. You’ve heard it said before that age is just a number. And in many ways, that’s true. We all know those people that look and perform 20 years younger than they are (and we also know their counterparts). More important than your age are the changes in these 10 biomarkers (the numbers that matter): (more…)

Healthy Living is a Marathon – Not a Sprint

Declaring what you want is not quite the same as training for what you want.

If a client were to enter my office and ask for help with proper training and nutrition for a marathon, the first thing I would want to know is their current level of running and training – otherwise known as their starting point. If they had never run before, and the race was in a few months, we may have to discuss the feasibility of their plan.

This is no different than when a client comes into my office with a goal to start eating and living healthfully but no plan. Is it possible to suddenly make these lifestyle changes? Yes! But that ability is reserved for a select few people that I’ve worked with. Most need time and space to incorporate new ways of living and eating that complement their current life structure.

  • Focus on adding small things in before taking big things out. What healthy additions can you make in your life daily? More water? More fruit or veggies? How about lean protein? A quick walk? A few deep breaths throughout the day? How about a few stretches at your desk? A moment of reflection on gratitude? Listening to your favorite pick-me song? All of these are examples of adding things in without taking ANYTHING out.
  • Keep your starting goals realistic. Just as I wouldn’t recommend that a couch potato go out and run 5 miles tomorrow, I’m also not going to recommend walking 3 miles a day, 5 days a week. Why? Because I would be setting that person up for failure (and potentially contributing to injury at the same time). When we create goals that are lofty or ambitious, while yes it would be awesome if they were met, often they lead to feelings of failure because they were too big. Start small, succeed, and create a new goal.
  • Allow for mistakes and the unanticipated. But don’t give up. Setbacks and upsets are going to happen. But when they do, don’t stay discouraged for too long. Reflect on what happened and see if there is a learning opportunity or takeaway so that you’re better prepared for next time. Allow space to give yourself grace. Learning anything new takes time and healthful living is a set of acquired skills requiring patience.

So, what are some things that you can do to train for being healthy?

Start off with creating a good goal that moves you and inspires you to act. All too often, I hear, “I want to lose weight.” Commendable, yes. Inspiring, no. How would losing weight change your life? What could you do that you can’t do now? This is where inspiring goals come in. If you need help in this department, I love goals and words and can help you create something awesome.

Come up with a plan. A legit, pen to paper kind of plan. Write down the things that you want to do to be healthy. Thinking and pondering about these things is not enough. Having things down on paper holds you more accountable.

Start small. Let’s say that you’ve identified ten new things that you want to do. Make your bed every day, meditate or pray in the morning, eat a healthy breakfast, go for walk or run, pack a lunch for work, drink less coffee, skip the candy bowl at work, not yell at your kids, eat a family dinner, not snack after dinner, go to bed at a reasonable time, not watch TV before bed, read more books, take a bath, not have a glass of wine… Okay, that’s more than ten. My point is, if these are all things that you want to do that you’re currently not doing, doing ALL of these ALL of the time may be a bit overwhelming. Pick a few that seem reasonable. But maybe instead of walking EVERY day, you manage to do it three times a week. Didn’t pack a lunch for work? Did you get a salad instead? High-five! Celebrate the small victories. Over time, things get easier to do.

Remember, healthful living is a matter of making lots of good choices every day. Be kind to yourself, acknowledge your wins, and don’t give up!

Fun Food Made Simple

Whenever I walk by Barbie’s desk at lunchtime, I never know what I may find.

Barbie does a great job of bringing a healthy light lunch and snack to work. What I love is that she keeps it simple yet innovative with a focus on flavor. Check out the gallery of the the different foods she brings for inspiration!

 

 

It’s Not Just What You Eat That Matters: Why Mindful Eating is Important

I used to eat 5 pieces of pizza in one sitting.

Okay six.

My favorite would be to eat all the cheese and toppings off with a fork and then sprinkle the sauce-covered crust with grated parmesan cheese (or Frank’s Red Hot). Bonus!

Pizza was not the only thing that I could eat a lot of. I’ve had a history of loving seconds and thirds.

When I think about how I used to eat and how I used to feel, as you probably suspect, they were related. (more…)