8 Things to Do to Help Minimize Your Seasonal Allergy Symptoms and Get to the Underlying Cause

Sneezing, itchy watery eyes, runny nose… clearly your immune system is not happy about something in the environmet.

But things like trees, grass, ragweed, dust or pet dander are not harmful to us. So what’s the fuss? If EVERYONE was experience the same symptoms, we could assume it was the environment causing the reaction. But since seasonal allergies don’t strike everyone, let’s look at why you may be reacting. (more…)

Detox State of Mind

For most people, the word “Detox” doesn’t exactly sound like a good time. But what if I told you that it can be? What if I told you that not only could you end up liking your detox but that it could change your life so much that you’d want to to do it again? Let me share with you what worked for me.

 Step One: Fix Your Focus 

Detoxing is all about letting go and getting rid of what’s not working.  But all too fast, our brains associate letting go with deprivation. What do you mean I can’t have _______ (fill in the blank for said-vice here)? Instead of thinking about what is being taken away from you, FOCUS on what you are bringing into your body and life through nourishing foods and behaviors. Your body is the one beautiful thing that is specific to you so own it with love.

 Step Two: Find Your Why

I love to dance (okay, that’s an understatement). Last year, I was honored to participate in a project featuring movement and restriction with four talented young women – half my age! And just like that, BAM! I had my powerful WHY. Declaring that I would like to feel less sluggish and blah could have been my goal, but it wasn’t inspiring. But this performance – my heart and head were all in. I wanted to feel a confidence in my body and an abundance of energy to take me through rehearsals and performances.

This year, my WHY will focus on reconnecting to my food intake and increasing my mind/body’s awareness of the benefits. I’m going for optimized health because I have no tolerance of any health symptoms with the super-noticeable differences I experienced when I reintroduced certain foods last year. An example…post nasal drip following eating wheat. Since last year, I have greatly reduced my intake of wheat, sugar and dairy, and have felt great! I can’t wait to see what else I learn this year.

So, find your WHY and let it lead your detox journey. Be definitive. Go beyond the basics of weight loss and increased energy. Once you connect to your WHY, let it be your guide and your motivator to keep you on track. Create visuals or written reminders of what you’re up to that you can place in frequently viewed areas like your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator door, or on your car dashboard. These gentle messages of inspiration will help to keep you connected to your WHY.

Step Three: Hydrate

Hydrating during your detox is key to minimizing some of the side-effects of the detox that can make you feel tired and run down. This can be different for everyone. I was more inclined to feeling hangry, experiencing brain fog and feeling more fatigued. I wanted to change this, so I drank more tea and infused water. This helped make me feel full and curbed my cravings for certain foods.

I like simple, so I made it simple. Hot water infused with lemon and ginger were a comfort beverage for me in the morning.  Adding spices such as cayenne, cinnamon or cloves to herbal tea had a calming, soothing effect for me.  This made for a great daily beverage or an evening after-supper libation. Room temperature water with a variety of lemon, lime, blueberries, raspberries, cucumber and mint were refreshing and revitalizing throughout the day.  I encourage you to experiment (this is the fun part!) with this. You are sure to find one that suits you.

Step Four: Pamper

Pamper and reward yourself. That’s right; detoxing can be hard – especially if you have not experienced one before! In some cases, it can be a complete lifestyle change. At the end of each week (heck, every two days if you want), treat yourself to a luxurious bath, spa or massage. Sounds expensive? It doesn’t have to be. Make your own body scrub or create your own detox bath with what you already have on hand in your kitchen. Use sugar or sea salt with a base oil (olive oil or coconut oil) and add a few drops of essential oils…WA-LAH! Instant body scrub!

Unfortunately, I do not own a bath tub…yet. I have grandiose ideas of turning our unused milk house into a sauna and the bulk milk tank into a hot tub, but we are just in the fantasy ideas stage right now. Instead, I have decided to do hot/cold shower therapy in lieu of a spa bath. I started hydrotherapy by making the water comfortably hot for a few minutes. Then I would adjust the flow of cold water until it was almost intolerably cold. I would then go back to hot water once more and finish with cold. When I first started this, I was thinking that it was insane. After doing it twice a week, I found I could tolerate going from as hot as I could stand it to as cold as I could stand it. My body adjusted and was no longer shocked at the fluctuations in temperature. It was invigorating, calming and energizing all at the same time.

If showers and scrubs are not your thing, pick a reward that works for you. Take an evening stroll in nature, go to a movie that you’ve wanted to see (with your own healthy snacks!), order that mouth-watering salad from your favorite restaurant or buy those luxurious wool socks you’ve been coveting. Whatever it is, let it be a supportive assist to your WHY and motivate you to keep going and stay the course.

Step Five:  Partner Up

Find someone to do the detox with you. Having a partner to share in the pains and gains as you go through a detox will provide you with accountability and the extra motivation/support you may need along the way.

Regardless, if you have someone to do it with or not, your detox will be a success if YOU make it so. Watch your front, because we got your back. We are just a phone call away should you want to discuss how you are feeling, have questions regarding food and drink intake, or just want to touch base.

FOCUS. FIND. HYDRATE. PAMPER. PARTNER.

Use these as tools to ensure a more successful detox. Good luck on your detox journey! If you are of the sharing sort, I would love to hear about your experience.

Take care, well wishes ~

Barbara

HealTHY Mind, HealTHY Body, HealTHY Spirit

Guest Blog by Barbara A. Luepke

HealTHY Mind, HealTHY Body, HealTHY Spirit

With these thoughts, I have gravitated toward asking myself: what practices can I put into place to nourish each of them?  Yes, PRACTICE.  Practice is the process you create and maintain to obtain a positive result.

For Mind: I believe clearing the clutter (in mind and surroundings), being present and in the moment, remaining focused, flexible and productive, building resilience, and fostering positivity daily have huge impacts on not only your own life, but those around you.

For Body: I think of many things, such as: what can I sustain, consistently, to keep my body in its best shape?  Exercise is one form, adequate sleep is another, but I also think of the products I am using on my body and what I am supplying my body on the inside.  Being forever mindful of all of these has helped me to choose, with intention, things that have proven to be effective toward my goal of a healthy, mobile meat skeleton.  J

For Spirit: I find an attitude of gratitude, being forgiving, being open to new experiences and opportunities, being joyful, laughing and meditating are of great impact on connecting with a higher power.  The genuine energy of each of these increases your awareness and assists you in connecting on a deeper level, spiritually.

Now that I have shared a little background on my thoughts of a healthy Mind, Body and Spirit, come peruse the hand picked and hand made organic products I have chosen to benefit yours – including bath and body specialties, teas, culinary oils and seasonings.

Dark chocolate, deskercises, dance, daily tea and new experiences are just some of what is on my 2017 list, what is on yours?

Wishing you all a healthy and joyful new year ~

Barbara A. Luepke

Immune Boosters for the “Cold Season”

leaves-fall-colors-rainbowIt’s hard to ignore the signs of fall with a leaves changing here and there, Halloween decorations in the stores, and aisles of back-to-school supplies at Wal-Mart. Along with the cooler temps, high school football games, and the crunch of leaves under your feet, the fall brings one more thing with it…illness. It’s not necessarily that there are more germs in the fall, but our habits change and so do our immune systems. We typically spend more time indoors, kids are back in school amongst their friends, and holiday gatherings commence. With these changes to our lifestyles, our immune systems take a little bit of a hit. Let’s talk about how and what to do about it. (more…)

Changing Your Mind About Living Well: My Thoughts on Sustainable Lifestyle Changes

woman-jogger-jogging-sport

Last month, the media covered the story of Biggest Loser contest winners and their weight gain over the years after the show ended. Before I read the story, I was hopeful.

For once, I wanted to see the media cover what I’ve felt in my heart to be true for years after working with clients on their own wellness journeys.  I wanted the story to share that making long-term, sustainable change occurs not just with diet and exercise alone. But instead, the story talked about a lower metabolic rate that was contributed to by their weight-loss. What a letdown. Number one, a lower metabolic rate after weight loss is not new news. And number two, the “answer” was disappointing in that it lacked any true insight and illustrates the essence of why our health is failing here in the US and abroad. We’re not focusing on what really makes a difference.

The key for anyone taking on any sort of long-term health plan is the need to train your brain for healthier thinking about yourself and your life.

I tell all of my new clients that the work that we do is only based on roughly 10% food and nutrition education and the other 90% focuses on thoughts and habits. Information on healthy eating, albeit not all of it good, is free. Go online. Go to the library. Everywhere you turn, someone has a plan for you to live a healthier life.

Lack of information is not the problem. Even if you get overwhelmed by the barrage of information and have a case of “analysis paralysis,” the basics have not (and most likely will never) change. Eat more vegetables and fruits, stick with lean and clean proteins, know your good fats, and if you chose grains, make them whole. Oh yeah – and move more.

So if it’s not a lack of information, what is it? (more…)