Stress

Tuesday, 18 December 2018 19:22

How to Make Your Holiday Season as Stress-Free as Can Be

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The holiday season brings a great deal of joy and warmth along with it.  There's something extra special about this time of year -- but it doesn't come without fault.  A great deal of added stress is seemingly dumped on our plates, and it can be hard to catch our breath.  The pressure of finding gifts, rushing around in the hustle and bustle to visit everyone, having people visit you, getting to see relatives you miss and even having to deal with those that aren't always a joy to be around. 
 
This season really can be enjoyable and heart-warming, even with the stress involved.  Walking into this time of year with a great mindset and some helpful reminders gets me through every year... and I'd love to share my tips on how I do this with you.
For a stress-free holiday season, I try to...
 
Remember perfect doesn’t really exist
Your cookies turned out like blobs. Your lights aren’t lighting up. Your kids just made a mess of your clean house moments before the guests are arriving. Surrender your vision of what perfect is and just let it go. The only thing the people in your life care about is being with you. 
 
Don’t feel bad about saying “no.”
You can’t do it all. There’s no reason you need to go to every party and event from now through New Year’s. Decide which ones are most important to attend and politely decline the others. Spreading yourself too thin isn’t good for anyone, and it makes the time fly by faster, also. You'll enjoy the holiday months better if they don't whiz by in a blink.
 
Stay away from crash diets
We’ve talked about reasonable ways to handle healthy eating during the holidays before. Please don’t decide to starve yourself to compensate for the extra calories you had or are going to have at that holiday party. If you do slip up, forgive yourself and make a point to be more mindful. Don’t punish yourself for any mistakes. Just move forward with better decisions, no punishment involved.
 
Know that asking for help is okay
Let me repeat: you can’t do it all. Let family and friends help out when they offer. They can bring a dish, grab something from the store on their way, or help with the dishes. If you have to go to someone’s party and don’t have the time to make something, grab something pre-made from the store. There comes a time when we all need help and learning how to accept it will be incredibly beneficial for your sanity.
 
Fit in time for yourself
Women, in particular, spend less than 30 minutes a day on themselves. Go for a run, get a limited-edition special-roasted coffee at the corner café and sit there in peace, read a book, take a bath, or make time with your best friend to just have one-on-one time without your kids tagging along. You’ll feel full again, which renews your mind and spirit like nothing else. We can't give from an empty cup, as the saying goes.
 
Remember, the holidays are about joy. Find yours within, and you’ll be able to spread more of it around.  What makes you feel most joyful?   
Friday, 23 November 2018 22:24

Healthy Alternatives for Natural Energy that Aren't Caffeine

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7 Ways to Boost Energy Without Caffeine
 
Do you faithfully begin your day with a cup of coffee?  Statistics say over 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide each day, so chances are, you're a coffee drinker.  Sometimes it feels like the only way to add some pep in your step is to fill up your mug with some fresh coffee, doesn't it? 
 
A cup of coffee isn't a bad thing, but having an arsenal of ways to boost your energy without caffeine is beneficial, so here are some ways to do just that... 
Monday, 15 October 2018 17:35

5 Ways Gratitude Affects Your Health

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 This Impacts Your Health More Than You Know
 
When we think about our health, we think in terms of what we're eating, what we're drinking, how much we're exercising -- but we rarely think about our health being related to what we think about.  
Sunday, 07 May 2017 20:17

Best Foods to Fight Stress

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Mood and food are intimately related as certain flavours and aromas trigger memories of special occasions and feelings of contentment. All emotions including stress and anxiety trigger chemical responses in our body as hormone levels fluctuate and the sympathetic “fight or flight” system kicks in.

With each meal, we have the opportunity to counteract or subdue the stress response with the foods we choose. Here are a few top picks for stress-busting foods:

Seeds and nuts. Don't let their high calorie count deter you. Seeds and nuts contain valuable B vitamins and a hefty dose of magnesium to help you make calming neurotransmitters like serotonin. Magnesium along with calcium is also useful for relaxing tense muscles. Sprinkle some sunflower or pumpkin seeds onto your salad or nosh on a few almonds or walnuts before a long meeting. Just remember to keep portions small as a little goes a long way.

100% whole grains. Women, in particular, are notorious for reaching for high-carbohydrate foods in times of turmoil. This craving may be the body's way of asking for more fuel in preparation for a “fight”. Carbs also boost leaves of feel-good serotonin. Choose whole grains like brown rice, 100% whole wheat bread or pasta for sustained fuel. For extra nutritional value, try ancient whole grains like quinoa, spelt, kamut and amaranth which are higher in protein and antioxidants.

Fresh fruit. Speaking of antioxidants, boost your vitamin C intake with oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, kiwis and cantaloupe. Prolonged stress depletes levels of vitamin C as the body's defenses against free radicals get worn down. At the beginning of a stressful week, make a big fruit salad with seasonal berries, melon balls and grapes to have ready for snacking or packing. Vitamin C from whole foods give you the added benefit of fibre that you don't get from juice or supplements.

70% cocoa chocolate. Stressful times call for a little indulgence so make your special treat count towards correcting the biochemical imbalances created by stress. Dark chocolate has been making headlines for helping with blood pressure reduction however researchers are also finding that this healthful food contains natural anti-depressants like phenylethylalamine. Like seeds and nuts, a little goes a long way so keep your indulgence to no more than 40 grams (1.4 ounces) per day.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015 19:04

How Stress Can Affect Your Weight

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A More Amazing You:  Health Strategy- Reduce Stress 

I realize this is not always an easy thing to do.  Most of us are juggling way too much and going through the day at warp speed, trying to get more and more accomplished.  By having a high stress level, not only is it harmful to your health, it’s harmful to your waistline as well. When you are constantly under stress, hormone levels, like cortisol and insulin are elevated.  The elevation of these 2 hormones can sabotage your weight loss efforts and actually cause weight gain.  

‘Feeling stressed can create a wide variety of physiological changes, such as impairing digestion, excretion of valuable nutrients, decreasing beneficial gut flora populations, decreasing your metabolism, and raising triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin, and cortisol levels.’  – Mercola.com

So, while you may think you can “handle it” as far as your stress level goes, we aren’t meant to be under constant stress and it takes its toll. If you are doing everything right as far as diet and exercise, but you’re under stress every day, you’re not going to see or feel the results you want. 

What are some ways you can reduce your stress level? 

Is there something you can start with this week? 

Friday, 22 May 2015 11:45

Energy Boosting Foods

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To get and remain healthy, we need to make it a priority, for good health is a way of life that must be chosen.  Start by getting up and exercising for twenty minutes per day.  I always encourage my clients to give me ten, and by then you are usually hooked.  Start by walking and adding interval training to your walk.  For instance, walk for one minute and then pick up the pace and walk briskly for one minute, alternating about 5-8 times and then continuing with a cool down period.  If you are already exercising, I encourage you to DIAL UP the intensity!  
 
If you can chat, text or read while exercising, then PICK UP THE PACE! Make every minute count and you will see the changes! 
 
 
Following are some energy boosting ideas....
 
10 Steps to Increased Energy
 
Green Drinks– are extra energy food supplements containing energizing amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and proteins from sprouted grains. These drinks are powerful, and uplifting to keep you feeling energized all day.
 
Protein shakes or Smoothies for breakfast– balance blood sugar levels and regulate energy all day long.
 
Fresh vegetable juice, such as a combination of carrot, parsley, cilantro, celery, beet, ginger and a dash of lemon juice.
 
Get adequate sleep and rest– Be sure to take time for YOU.
 
Protein with every meal and snack to keep blood sugar levels from fluctuating.
 
Water is critical to maintaining an anabolic drive and produce optimal energy.  Drink eight to ten eight-ounce glasses each day.
 
Colourful salads and vegetables.  Raw foods aid in digestion because raw foods contain digestive enzymes, and the most colourful the food is, the higher it is in nutrients.
 
Essential Fatty Acids– especially Omega 3 is important for maintaining a good mood, and for good cognitive ability.
 
Never skip meals and don’t go too long without eating.
 
Acid forming foods like meat, alcohol, dairy, and sugar slow the metabolism and invite illness.  Balance is important.  Choose 25% acidic foods and 75% alkaline foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains.