HOT is Healthy: Benefits of Red Chili

Red chili pepper

“I’ve got this thing for spicy stuff. Now, if you give me hot chocolate with chili pepper, a book and a bubble bath, I’m a happy girl.”

Shiloh Walker

 

When it comes to health, there’s plenty of evidence that red chili is one of the world’s healthiest super foods.  Adding chili to a dish does a lot more than enliven taste buds, this one food is packed with Vitamin, A, B, C and E, and minerals like molybdenum, manganese, folate, potassium, thiamin, and copper.  Did you know that red chilies actually contain 7 times the Vitamin C than do oranges? That’s crazy, right!  But how do all those vitamins and minerals act in your body to protect against disease and promote longer life?

 

Red chili as a regular part of your clean diet helps:

  • weight loss
  • weight management
  • lower cholesterol
  • repair cell damage caused by free radicals
  • healthy metabolism
  • detoxification
  • clearing the lungs and sinuses
  • pain relief
  • improved mood
  • potential to reduce colon cancer
  • lower risk of heart attack and stroke
  • lower risk of asthma and wheezing
  • potential to lessen peripheral nerve damage in diabetics

Here’s how chili’s DNA works in your body:

1  Anti-Oxidant cell repair

  • Vitamins C and A as beta-carotenoids destroy free radicals and cholesterol that, left unchecked, cause damage to blood vessels and peripheral nerves.
  • Folate, Viatmin B-6 and B-12 help control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, a key factor in keeping “bad” cholesterol levels low.
  • Destruction of free radicals guards against arteriosclerosis and damage to nerve endings.
  • Destruction of cholesterol – waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body – that clog blood vessels and lead to heart attack and stroke.
  • Improves heart health, and protects against diabetic nerve pain.
  • Vitamin C, beta-carotene and folic acid found in chili reduces the risk of colon cancer.

 

2  Detoxification and Digestive Aid

  • Molybdenum in chili act as a catalyst for enzymes that help breakdown amino acids
  • Helps remove toxins from the body
  • Assists in the breakdown of food
  • Folate in chili also plays an important role in digestion, and is often depleted in folk with celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

 

3  Weight Loss, Blood Sugar and Diabetes Control

  • Capsaicin in chilis increases your metabolism, can make you sweat, and ultimately assist in weight loss
  • Manganese found in chili plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation.
  • Increasing metabolism generally, and carbohydrate metabolism specifically, helps regulate blood sugar.
  • Blood sugar regulation is key in protecting against insulin resistance, the key factor in avoiding diabetes.

 

4  Brain Function, Mental and Emotional Balance

  • Folate (Vitamin B-9) plays a key role in DNA and RNA production, as well as cell division.  Folic acid is one of the key vitamins that is depleted with too much alcohol consumption or addiction.
  • Some studies show that 15 to 38% of people with depression have low folate levels in their bodies, and those with very low levels tend to be the most depressed.  But it’s unclear whether adding folate as a supplement alone helps improve depression outright.
  • Capsaicin intake releases an endorphin which has an associated pleasurable sensation.

 

5  Pain Relief

  • Capsaisin in chili first stimulates, then numbs or decreases pain signals in nerves
  • A cascade of triggers are unleashed in the body that ultimately inactivate pain specific neurons

 

6  Pain Relief

  • Capsaicin in chili first stimulates, then numbs or decreases pain signals in nerves
  • A cascade of triggers are unleashed in the body that ultimately inactivate pain specific neurons

 

Bottom line: the health benefits of red chili are too many to ignore.  If you fear red chili is too hot to the tongue, why not try it in combinations that provide you with just the right “bite”, like in a cup of 100% dutch cocoa and plant-based sweetener.  You can always look for capsaicin as a supplement, but fresh and whole foods provide you with the freshest, most active form of these nutrients.

Get HOT and Get GOING!

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Holiday Stress: 7 Tips for Surviving Difficult Family Members for Happier Holidays

So Uncle Bob is coming for the Holidays. Only he gives you the creeps and makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. What do you do?

One of the most common causes of stress during the holidays is….you guessed it….interaction with extended family members. You know, people you might be able to avoid the rest of the year, but now…..well, you don’t feel you can and keep up with family obligations.

Before I get into tips for dealing with difficult people, let’s deal with the bottom line; take stress seriously like it’s a toxin that can kill you.  Why? Because it can, and does, shorten your life.  Eating clean can lesson the blow of stress in the body, but not eliminate it.  There are different processes at play when it comes to dealing with stress.  But it’s just as important to pay attention to stress, how you deal with it, and how you diminish it, as it is to eat clean for health.

Now, here are some guidelines I recommend to my clients when the holidays roll around:

 

  1. Take your overall health into account first.

If your life has been overwhelming lately, and you are the kind of person who feels more balanced with less social stimuli, give yourself permission to take a break from tradition.  Don’t go.  Do something else altogether.  Go on a mini vacation. Head to Vegas or a Spa.  Binge watch Netflix.  Or spend the whole day on a hike with your dogs.  Why not? Tradition is important.  But sometimes the needs of the 1 outweigh the needs of the many.

Sometimes this is not possible, or would cause even more discomfort for you in the long run.  In that case, make sure you use the other techniques below to give your

On the other hand……if your extended family is a great source of strength for you, see if you can extend your time with them.

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Brain Food with Benefits: L-Carnitine Keeps You Young, Strong, and Clear Thinking

One supplement that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, but has both anti-aging and neurological benefits is L-Carnitine.  It’s found naturally in a wide variety of vegetables and animal-proteins; full list below.  In combination with Vitamin C and Omega-3 fatty acids, L-Carnitine plays a critical role in maintaining energy, blood flow, muscle strength and brain development. So if you want to stay looking young and lower your risk for delusional thinking as you age…..make sure you get some L-Carnitine EVERY DAY!

L-Carnitine is an amino acid (building block of protein) that is made up of Lysine and Methionine. It helps carry healthy fats into cells to be used to create energy at the cellular level; this increases athletic performance for body builders, and everyone else.  It’s that key role it plays in transporting fats into the cells that makes L-Carnitine crucial for muscle development, weight loss, brain and skin health.

Here are some of L-Carnitine’s health benefits:

  • Helps retain oil in the skin, useful as a cream
  • Improves fat metabolism, which helps reduce metabolic syndrome and:
    • Weight loss
    • Prevention of diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and atherosclerosis
  • Prevents plaque build-up in blood vessels in the brain
  • Central Nervous System protection
  • Increases muscle
    • strength
    • performance
    • recovery

 

Which foods contain L-Carnitine?

Meats like lean beef (filet mignon), free range chicken breast,  and hand line caught cod are a good source of carnitine, but so are these plants – though in much lower levels:

 

  • nuts – like almonds **
  • seeds – like pumpkin, sunflower and sesame **
  • artichokes **
  • asparagus *
  • broccoli *
  • Brussels sprouts **
  • collard greens **
  • garlic **
  • mustard greens **
  • okra **
  • parsley *
  • kale *
  • apricots **
  • bananas **
  • bee pollen **
  • brewer’s yeast *
  • buckwheat **-minimally
  • corn – NR
  • oatmeal – NR
  • rice bran – NR
  • rye – NR

 

*3s Paleo Detox recommended

*3s Paleo Maintenance recommended

NR- Not Recommended as a regular source

I don’t recommend grains or corn as part of 3S Paleo plans due to the high impact of glyphosates and other chemicals used to increase grain yield; these are extremely harmful to people and other living things, and have recently been shown to increase levels of non-alcoholic fatty liver1. But no worries, there are so many sources of L-Carnitine that you can easily avoid those that are not recommended as part of a 3S Paleo approach.

 

L-Carnitine Supplements

L-Carnitine can be purchased and taken as an individual natural supplement, but is also included in some reputable multi-vitamin supplement products.  Stand alone supplements range in price today from $7.99 to $17.99 online.  If you take L-Carnitine as part of a multi-vitamin, just make sure that no forms of sugar or secondary sugars (like beet sugar) are included; including beet sugar is one step away from including sugar in processed foods….it’s there to give you a cheap high and hook you on the product.  I say, avoid that and buy something straight.

 

For an L-Carnitine focused meal try Grilled Asparagus and Filet Mignon

 

References:

  1. Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide Robin Mesnage, George Renney, Gilles-Eric Séralini, Malcolm Ward, Michael N. Antoniou

Sci Rep. 2017; 7: 39328. Published online 2017 Jan 9. doi: 10.1038/srep39328

PMCID: PMC5220358

 

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Symptoms I’m Returning for the Holidays

It’s the Holiday Season….that time of year that often guarantees an extra layer of fluff. So….I decided it’s time to COME CLEAN and DETOX.

Thanksgiving for me capped off a year of excitement, housing and rebuilding life amusements. A lot of travel, constantly changing “home” environments, and building a new business/life has brought many cool moments, but also a lot of PTSD triggering chronic stress; less than optimal for chronic HEALTH.

I set the start date to Eat Clean and Reduce Stress for last Saturday, and have already lost 3.5 lbs. Now on Day 3, I’ve been experiencing expected highs and lows, a bit of a headache, and a little energy loss, but am SOOOO HAPPY to be on track.

I’d rather have those temporary cleanse symptoms than the dis-ease symptoms that were creeping back into my life.

I know where these symptoms come from, and how to address them naturally. So I took the bull by the horns, jumped on, and am riding back to the stable with confidence that optimal health is waiting for me at my destination.

Stability is an important factor to clean eating. That’s why I’ve taken immediate steps to calm life circumstances as part of my cleanse. I was traveling between Las Vegas and Santa Clarita, then San Diego and Santa Clarita, now Palmdale and Santa Clarita. I’ve created a work schedule that is challenging, but workable. And, I’ve reworked my daily stress reduction plan (critical if, like me, you have PTSD or other mental health challenges that color your life-reactivity).

I’ll drop 25 – 30 pounds in no time; likely about 2 to 3 months. I know how to do that. Life will start to calm and re-stabilize. I know how to do that. Eating clean AND stress reduction IS what works.

No one gets through life without challenges. We all get off track a bit now and then. The key is to keep it real, and make the right adjustments to get back to a good positive direction.

Let me know if you want to join me. I’d love the company.

Use this link: Detox Sign Up

 

 

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Holiday Travel Guide for Clean Eating

gordes-france

Gordes, France

I get way too much happiness from good food.

~Elizabeth Olsen

Nutritional integrity can be as easy to lose as your luggage when you head off on an adventure.  But there are things you can do to stay the course whether you’re traveling for a nearby picnic or around the world.  Why not plan ahead and come back without your body feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation? Here are a few tips to plan, pack, and put into action:

Pack Your Snacks

You can’t always guarantee that you can find clean, unprocessed snacks in airports or anywhere else.  But you can leave a little space in your luggage to bring what you need along with you.  Many people can’t eat any of the snacks offered by major airlines; things like pretzels, cheese crackers, etc. are all processed, and many are allergic to the peanut fall-back position.  So bring your own.

Here are a few samples of foods that travel well during a travel day that you can bring in your carry on:

  • apples
  • baby carrots
  • sliced cucumbers, celery, and bell peppers
  • hummus for dipping
  • dried fruit and nuts
  • Ginger CocoNUT Balls   click for recipe

Homemade raw vegan sweets in coconut shavings in ceramic plate on old wooden table overhead view

Forage for Good Fuel

You never know what you’re going to find as you travel, but you can usually find a few standbys in most airports, and most communities you travel to.  Always look for whole foods to eat, and wash your food as thoroughly as possible (using bottled water and small amount of vinegar or straight veg wash if outside the US or Europe.

There are usually a few clean or cleaner options in many airports.  Let’s face it, Starbucks is everywhere. If you go for coffee, make it black without adding anything and choose a Protein Bistro Box; 1 hard boiled egg, grapes, apple slices, a couple of cheese slices and a whole grain and raisin bread.  Pass on the cheese and bread if you’re Paleo or Vegan.  Works in a pinch if you forgot snacks.  Otherwise, bananas and apples are more frequently being offered at many in airport cafes.  Just know that they are a lot pricier than the ones you might bring from home, and are wrapped in plastic.

A great way to get to know a culture is to visit the local farmer’s market or fresh grocer.  Try what the locals enjoy.  Travel outside your self for a more authentic experience.  Again, do wash your foods wells with vinegar or a veg wash you bring before consuming.  That just a smart thing to do.

Use Google, Travel Adviser, or Open Table to find local stores and restaurants that meet your needs.  Put this technology to good use for your health!

 

Rent a Kitchen

These days it’s easier to find a place to stay with a Kitchen included.  Using AirBnB, I’ve had more control over the good food I consume while staying in some amazing locations.  And the people I’ve met this way have been pretty amazing too!  Not your style? Search for hotels or chains that offer kitchenettes.  Or, bring your own small set of bowls and utensils and stage a kitchen area on a coffee table or desk in your hotel room.  Where there’s a will there’s a way.

 

More Veggies Please

I always encourage my clients to eat at least 50% veggies, and as much of that as green and cruciferous as possible.  This can be very challenging if you’re eating at some restaurants, and is another reason to scope out where the local farmers sell their wares.  But DO ask for extra veggies, opting for less proteins, sugars and processed foods.  You’ll be doing your health a huge favor and you’ll travel with more energy.

 

Have Bottle, Refill!!

Make sure you’re well hydrated with clean, purified water.  Water treatment has been an increasing issue here and there around the world; sometimes even in the U.S.  So avoid tap water, and opt for bottled water on a temporary basis until you can ensure the water you’re drinking is purified.  Best if you get water bottled in glass.

 

Indulgence vs Enjoyment

You’re traveling. You’re on vacation. You’re out of your element. You’re busy on business. You’re visiting relatives.  These are all reasons we get into odd nutrition patterns on the road.  This makes those snacks you bring yourself CRITICALLY important.  A little indulgence is no big deal, but if you’re eating sugar and drinking alcohol daily there will be a waistline and detox issue to deal with once you’re back.  It’s your choice.  Look at eating consciously and make it your choice one way or another.

Breakfast in Strasbourg, France would put any Diabetic into a coma.
Breakfast in Strasbourg, France would put any Diabetic into a coma.

 

Use Your Knowledge

You don’t have to lose your mind unless you choose to do so on vacation.  If you aren’t sure you know enough about how to eat clean and improve your nutrition, don’t worry that you’re the only one (you’re not) and don’t be shy.  Contact me.  I’ll help personalize a plan for you and help you revamp how to cook and eat clean.

Use your nutritional smarts to order well when going to restaurants, and choose wisely the rest of the time.  Remember to:

  • Ask servers how vegetables are prepared. Do they use Olive Oil?
  • Opt for dressing on the side, and request olive oil and lemon, or olive oil and apple cider vinegar only. Balsamic vinegars are full of sugar just as most house dressings are, and red wine vinegar is processed too.
  • Get the simple grilled animal protein instead of pastas, meats and foods that are cooked or slathered in tasty, yet sugar enhanced sauces (even the savory ones usually are).
  • Order a big green salad without the candied pecans, croutons, etc. Insist on eating whole, unprocessed foods.
The Port in Marseilles. This was a choice on National Day in 2015.
The Port in Marseilles. This was a choice on National Day in 2015.

Eating clean is a choice.  Life is a bowl of cherries.  But you have to choose whether those cherries are whole, or maraschino.  Right?

salad with fresh fruits and berries

candy-in-the-airport-lounge-france

 

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5 Things You Can Do About Stress TODAY!

Words Stress Free with Pink Roses on a Rustic Wooden Background.

“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.”
– Viggo Mortensen

Stress is a part of life. It comes in all sizes, shapes and forms. Similar in effect to low-quality foods, small doses of stress every day contributes to chronic disease; a big dose can be lethal. Learning simple pathways for identifying and managing stress daily not only decreases your risk factors for chronic disease, but increases your resilience when disaster strikes.

Whether stress is temporary and acute, or prolonged and chronic, it pays to invest in regular stress management BEFORE serious health consequences that can and do shorten life take hold; higher blood sugar, plaque build-up in arteries, and chronic tissue inflammation for instance. These consequences put you higher risk for diabetes, heart attack, stroke, weakened immune, and everything else from Alzheimer’s to allergies. 

A word of caution: people develop patterns and habitual means of dealing with stress in early childhood that can become hardened and difficult to unravel. If you are experiencing significant, chronic stress, panic, anxiety, depression or the like, seek help that matches your need.  And if the first person you work with doesn’t work for you, try again. You’re stronger than you know.  Contact me as a place to start.  If I can help, I will.  Otherwise, I can help you understand where to where to look for assistance or refer you for help.

Here’s a list to set you on your path to bring balance back. 

Admit Your Stress Exists

Consciously identify when and how you become stressed. Stress a sign of frustration that a perceived need or desire is not being met.

Feeling overwhelmed is NOT weakness.  Take a hard look at what your actual needs and desires are; health, more sleep, less or more interaction with people, a job that supports you in both, a healthier relationship, a safe place that mom or dad can live supported.  Even if you don’t yet have a vision for how the stress will dissipate, this is a first step toward diminishing it. Rather than deny stress exists, admit and embrace it.

Learn to Act Instead of React

Observe, respond, let go.  Sounds simple. Yet, this is where a lot of folks get stuck in emotion, react quickly, regret what’s been said/done, and hang on to negative emotion.  This adds to stress instead of diminishing it.

The key is to develop the ability to find balance between the comfortable and uncomfortable by actively letting go of whatever emotion arises (positive, neutral or negative).  Learning to observe what is occurring this way takes practice.  Practice this in a quiet space, eyes open or closed, allowing any emotions that arise to come and go without holding on to them in mind.  This is a critical tool in allowing emotion to go, instead of sticking around until ruminating on the “problem” becomes excessive worry, chronic stress, anxiety, or depression.

I’m not suggesting that emotions should be shunned or ignored. Any denied emotion can become more entrenched in the bodymind. But allowing emotion to be there, coming and going without become concerned about those emotions, allows peace, calm and balance to return more quickly.

This, along with Community Resilience Model (a form of psychophysical, body-connected resilience building model developed by the Trauma Resilience Institute), and a couple of great coaches, proved to be the best tools I’ve found to alleviate my own PTSD issues.  I’ve walked through stress, I can help you.

Make a Plan

A Plan is a form of positive action.  Though it can feel overwhelming in the beginning if you’re unfamiliar with what you’re planning, push through. You can do it.

Start by writing about everything that is causing you stress.  Put everything that comes to mind down on paper; stream of consciousness style. Don’t stop writing until you feel you’ve gotten everything out.  Then walk away for a while; about 10-15 minutes.  When you return, organize and prioritize your thoughts, making steps to achieve each. More on this here . . .

The process of organizing your thoughts and putting them down on paper gives your plan a higher chance of succeeding.

 

Enhance Coping Skills and Resilience – Make Regular Deposits in your You Bank.

This part of your stress reduction plan requires a simultaneous two-pronged approach, but both prongs represent investments in you and your resilience.  Actively work on your coping skills; practical tools that enhance your ability to walk through stressful situations.  And, add regular self-care to your hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual routine.

The combination of enhancing your copies skills while engaging in more self-care is like saving pennies for a rainy day.  But more than that, it helps your brain to function optimally.  More on this . . .

Stress Free Zone Next Exit, Creative Highway Sign

Seek Help from Experienced Stress Management Coaches and Professionals.

Sometimes acting instead of reacting, or taking time to give to oneself can be real alien territory. This is where an experienced coach can come in and help you develop new positive habits in these areas to maintain balance long term.  It’s much better to seek help BEFORE you’re in crisis.  But if that’s where you are, seek help NOW.  Get to know yourself, your signs, your triggers, and dedicate yourself to living as stress free as possible.  Why not?  Though life includes stress naturally, there’s no law that requires you to ADD to your daily stress.

My practice specializes in helping people develop new healthy habits to reduce stress supported by clean nutrition.  What you eat can have a tremendous impact on your resilience and ability to think effectively through difficult situations.  I have seen personally how a clean food foundation supports stress reduction, and vice versa.  Contact me today to Find You and Your Happiness Within.

 

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Holiday Survival Tips: How to Get Through Food Coma Season Relatively Clean

It’s impossible to lose or maintain weight during a busy holiday season, right?

Wrong!

But it may take some real clarity and dedication to simple eating and being between your scheduled holiday food comas.  Yes, reduce stress and eat simply.  Why? Long term stress pushes your blood sugar higher, compounding what already results from heavier holiday meals and increased sugar consumption.

Here are a few tips to help you get through the holidays clean and stress-less.

 

Small Changes Lead to Big Transformations

Try any of these suggestions.  Take note of changes in sensations, appearance, or life signs in the bodymind. Let me know how it goes for you.

Replace one Low Quality Food for something better

  • Unsweetened Almond Milk instead of Processed Cows
  • Cows milk is highly processed, containing anti-biotics and other toxins along with sugars and fats.
  • Fresh, clean whole vegetables instead of boxed, frozen, highly sauced Vegetables are way more nutrient dense fresh from the garden. The further away they get from the farm, and the more manipulated they are (frozen, etc) the more they lose the vitamins and minerals you need from then.
  • If you eat animal proteins, have higher quality sources and cook them at home; higher quality means cage-free, pastured, grass fed, and well treated. I makes a difference.
  • Ancient grains (Amaranth or Quinoa – which are seeds, and not GMO) or Nut flours instead of wheat, corn, rye, or other traditional grains. This will eliminate any potential gluten concerns from these food sources, along with excess body inflammation generally.
  • If you drink caffeine, work toward just 1 cup in the morning and stick to black coffee or tea without sugar, milk or cream
  • Try making the healthy Warm Cinnamon Apple recipe with plant-based sweetener instead of a sugary dessert
  • Use straight plant-based sweeteners like Stevia or SweetyHi (available online only). If you only eliminated added sugars, you’d do your bodymind a world of good.
  • Drink whole food smoothies that use plant-based sweeteners, this instead of sugar-loaded sports drinks, sodas, sweetened water, or the like.
  • Use Extra-Virgin, Cold Pressed Coconut, Olive or Avocado oils for cooking. Be mindful that some products advertised as Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) are now falsely advertised as such, containing high levels of corn oil. Just get the best quality source you can and check into the company that’s producing it.

Eat Clean and/or adopt healthier habits, Around Holiday events

  • Shop “on the outside” of the store for whole foods only as often as possible throughout the season.  I provide a personalized Grocery List of whole foods to the folks I work with one-on-one.  But if you stick to whole fruits, vegetables and well-sourced animal proteins (if you eat them), you’ll go a really long way to improving your health.
  • Eat Clean or Plant-Based for 2, 3 or more days a week around holiday eating.
  • Adopt a Mono-Diet (eat apples all day) the day after a Big Splurge.
  • Commit to achieving Great Sleep Read More
  • Pick one self-soothing, stress reducing activity you can do for yourself quickly and meaningfully on a daily basis. Reducing stress in small amounts is like making regular deposits in a savings account; it pays great dividends.

 

Eliminate or set clear boundaries around one Low Quality Food for the Season

  • Grains & Bread
  • Processed Dairy and things made from processed dairy
  • Alcohol
  • Activities, Places and Things that you do, but that increase stress. Feel confident in yourself enough to set a boundary for yourself that allows you the freedom to choose not to be around toxic environments or people in favor of more peaceful options.
  • Fast foods
  • Sugar in all its forms. I’ve documented over 100.  (Request the list when you sign up for my newsletter)
  • Unhealthy oils; all vegetable oils.

Why stress yourself out more than necessary over the holiday season.  Holidays, at their best, should be about lifted spirits, rest, enjoyment, and good life.  So why not do something to enhance your health within so you can enjoy more holidays the rest of your long life ahead!

 

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Sleep

Sleep is an early indicator of Health or Dis-Ease

You need it for Energy, Weight loss and Mental Focus. Quality as well as Quantity matter for balanced wellness.

Early Wellness or Warning

Life offers up reasons for occasional sleep loss or sleep excess; some positive, some not. When sleep loss or excess is chronic, your body is letting you know that something is out of balance that requires immediate attention. A SAD (Standard American Diet) full of processed foods and stress pushes sugar levels up, and not enough sleep impacts hormones controlling appetite, mood, sexual function, and mental focus.

When You Don’t Get Enough

Sleep loss is a symptom of high sugar consumption and stress, but chronic sleep loss also adds to elevated sugar levels – creating a vicious cycle.  Chronic sleep loss disrupts your endocrine system and hormone function. Hormones are messengers that control organ and cell functions throughout the body. When sleep is regularly poor, every part of your body pays a price; immune, mood/depression/irritability, fatigued focus, high blood pressure, reduced sexual function, weakened muscles. Over time, this dynamic increases risk of heart attack, diabetes, stroke, and every sugar-stress related disease.

Habits that Impact Sleep

Eating a clean, whole food diet positively impacts your ability to sleep. This act alone goes a lot way to improving hormone function, lowering stress, and setting you up for sleep success.  Paying REGULAR attention to self-care in short intervals every day PLAYS A KEY ROLE. Minimal daily exercise, 10-20 min walk, helps increase the hormone serotonin to boost mood and promote sleep.

Routines that Promote Sleep

Routine and discipline help when it comes to sleep.  Make brain resting instead of brain activating pre-sleep choices; turn off electronics (phone/tv) 1-1/2 hour before sleep, take a bath, meditate, listen to natural sounds (music), drink sleepy time or chamomile tea  at night but avoid drinking fluids close to bedtime, make sure your bed/bedding suits you, and use your natural clock as much as possible.

When Help is Needed

Several natural remedies are available that are non-addictive and, if taken as suggested, tend to pass through the body without side effects. I can help you identify some good choices. I urge my clients to stay away from pharmaceuticals whenever possible as the opposite is usually true of them. If you’re taking prescription sleeping pills though, don’t stop cold turkey.  Work with your physician to help diminish, then straighten out your diet, then reassess.  You may find out you don’t need any help after that.

Here’s a List of 14 Things You Can Do To Get the Deep Sleep You Deserve

  1. Clean, healthy, whole food diet free of processed sugars, added hormones and anti-biotics.
  2. Drink lots of water during the day to keep my system flushed and well hydrated.
  3. Cultivate and maintain a positive attitude.
  4. Regular brain breaks to improve efficient thinking while reducing stress load; about 15 minutes of every hour for optimum performance. Do everything you need to do to reduce stress often, and if necessary with coaching support or professional help.
  5. Eat at least 50% plant-based diet to keep your endocrine system at top performance.
  6. Turn off all electronics 1-1/2 to 2 hours before bedtime. And don’t keep your cell phone next to your bed if you don’t have to.
  7. Drink calming herbal teas at night (Chamomile/SleepyTime), but don’t drink too much in the way of liquids right before bed.
  8. Best not to eat large meals generally. This is especially important to avoid right before bed.
  9. Listen to soothing, quiet music; natural sounds, meditative wind chimes, thunder storms, the ocean.
  10. Take a hot bath with Epson Salts, Lavender bath salts or other pleasing fragrance.
  11. Try Lavendar Oil: Rub 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your cupped palms, then inhale to draw the scent well into your bodymind. Rub some on the feet, temples, wrists to promote calm.
  12. Make sure your bed and bedding suits your needs. Investing in a good bed and bedding is one of your best long-term health expenditures.
  13. Try to sleep and awake naturally, using your natural rhythms rather than an alarm.
  14. Get help to switch to a natural sleep aid instead of pharmaceuticals. I like to use NightKap, available online.  Or work to gradually eliminate prescription pills, clean your diet, follow all of the suggestions above, and reassess your need.
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Northridge : Project Takes Aim at Violence, Injustice

From a distance, it was a curious sight: 250 colorful T-shirts strung between tree trunks and light fixtures on the campus of Cal State Northridge on Wednesday. Up close, however, a stark, sobering message emerged from slogans written on the clothing.

“I’m sorry your Daddy killed you,” read a shirt dedicated to a 15-month-old girl. “My boyfriend’s father raped me, but my heart remains intact,” read another.

Known as the Clothesline Project, the 5-year-old program was on display to mark a monthlong campaign throughout the San Fernando Valley to raise awareness about injustice and violence.

“We’re encouraging people to understand what is at the root of racism, sexism and classism,” said Jean Y. Morrison of the National Organization for Women’s Valley chapter, “and that’s bigotry.”

Freshman Iris Gomez said she was encouraged that many of the T-shirt messages written by victims of rape, battery and molestation were hopeful. “It really gets to you,” she said. “You can feel the pain the person’s going through.”

The monthlong campaign for unity was created in the wake of the O.J. Simpson double murder trial as a way to bring together groups fighting various forms of violence and discrimination under a common umbrella, Morrison said.

“Bigotry is the root from which all of these other isms flow,” she said.

For the next six weeks, NOW will hold candlelight vigils each Wednesday evening at sites in Panorama City, Glendale, Woodland Hills and Arleta, concluding Jan. 10 with a rally and march back at CSUN.

Joe R. Hicks, executive director of the Multicultural Collaborative of Los Angeles, said that campaign organizers hope to bridge the gap between groups fighting racism and sexism, a gulf revealed in reactions to the Simpson trial.

“The two struggles are clearly interwoven,” he said.

 

Posted in Los Angeles Times
Article Link: http://articles.latimes.com/1995-12-07/local/me-11374_1_clothesline-project

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