Mindfulness; Lifestyle Changes: Finding the Lighter Side

I am trying to find the lighter side of the past two days of forced shut down. I have just been dealing with a bout of vertigo for the past few days. Today and I am better, but not totally out of the woods. ( I had this about 7 years ago). My head was all a jumble and my body was fine- except I needed a bit of assistance from the walls and furniture to get to where I was going. It takes a lot for the brain to keep the body upright!! It is exhausting. It was a total shutdown and forced STOP!. Did I get the Christmas things down? no. Did I put the gardens to bed? no. Did I go to the two planned parties? no. Was I frustrated? yes. I did laugh thinking that the body has a way of taking care of itself. Maybe it was a time to notice that I have not totally put my feet back steadily on the ground since my whirlwind trip to SEAsia. I traveled by plane, train, bus, boat, tuk tuk, elephant and a water buffalo cart, time to just walk about my own yard. Don’t wait until your body says to stop, take a moment now and be mindful about your needs and what is important. Enjoy the season and do it in a mindful way- I think you will find it more enjoyable.

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Be Well,

      Mary

Nutrition:Lifestyle Change: Tape Measure or Scale?

Waist or Weight Measurements?

Ever wonder how one of your friends can weigh more than you but are two sizes smaller? What about the person who works out all the time and eats well but is in the obese category of the BMI index (body mass index)? It is called body composition. When you have an optimal body composition, one that is a favorable ratio between leaner tissues, like muscle, and less fat mass, you are healthier. You are able to eat more because muscle is active tissue that needs fuel,fat does not. Your clothes fit better and your inches will decrease. Muscle weighs more than fat, and it is much more dense. Would you rather have a smaller waist and weigh more, or weigh less and have a thicker waist? I think I know your answer.

Muscle is a biologically active tissue that needs a far greater amount of caloric fuel to maintain itself, compared to body fat. Muscle burns calories. So maintaining your muscle through the foods you eat as well as exercising will promote a more efficient metabolism to burn more calories each day.

Muscle also helps us to heal. It is a major source of protein for important recovery functions such as wound healing, white blood cell production and antibody production. If your body composition is low in lean body muscle your system is already depleted and the body has less to draw on in case of illness.

Muscle mass and strength are the top two indicators of healthy aging. The most powerful way to manage the aging process and restore vitality is to improve your lean tissue –to –fat ratio by adding more muscle to your body.

There are some of us who are considered ‘skinny fat’. This term is related to those people who are not overweight, but may have too little muscle and too much fat. This condition is called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia can raise the risk of chronic diseases and accelerate aging in the same manner that gaining extra visible weight from fat can. Most people with this condition may experience lack of strength, reduced endurance ,achiness and generally reduced quality of life.

The message here may be to ditch the scale and pick up the tape measure. When eating whole foods, in the right combinations and amounts, along with total body exercise you will avoid losing muscle and up your metabolism. If you do not know what your body fat mass vs. lean body mass is, inquire at your local gym or contact me for a BIA.  ( BioImpedance Analysis). It will tell you what is going inside your body regarding your health. Reducing your waist even an inch will help reduce inflammation and improve your path to healthier aging. Your age and gender are important factors in calculating your lean to fat mass numbers.  You are looking to be less than a 35″ waist for women and less than a 40″ waist for men.  Central obesity is considered to be an indicator for many lifestyle diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

If you are looking to make some changes, do it with a plan and a realistic goal.  If you need support along the way, contact me for a complimentary consult.

In good health,

  Mary

Nutrition News: Try a Natural Way to Reduce Inflammation

Looking for a natural way to reduce inflammation?

Tumeric/Curcumin is a member of the ginger family. It is a staple in Ayurvedic medicine and Indian cooking. It has a pungent smell and it is that distinctive deep earthy yellow hue. Tumeric’s active ingredient is curcumin, and preliminary research suggests that it may help reduce inflammation and cell damage, manage joint and muscle pain, improve digestive disorders (like dyspepsia and ulcerative colitis) decrease symptoms of depression and lower blood sugar and systolic blood pressure. That is a lot of good, from such a humble plant.

For anyone looking to take this ‘herb’, you can buy tumeric in it’s original form. It looks very much like fresh ginger, but a bit smaller in size. Many people do not indulge in Indian cooking and some people are not accustomed to the taste of tumeric. To get optimal amounts to help with the symptoms mentioned above, you would need to ingest a fair amount on a consistent basis. The alternative is to take a good quality supplement. One of my favorites is TheracurminHP by Integrative Therapeutics. (This can be purchased via Emerson Ecologics on my home page store www.yourchoice4wellness.com , follow prompts to register). There are other very good supplements and they are worth a try, if you would like further information, contact me.   Like all natural supplements, it may take a couple of weeks to start to notice the results, the rewards are subtle but sustaining. Taking natural supplements greatly reduces the side effects of over the counter medicines and prescriptions, which sometimes can cause more harm than good.

In the meantime, evaluate your food intake.  Too many  processed foods along with a sluggish lifestyle can also encourage inflammation.  If you have concerns, set up a complimentary phone consult.

In Good Health,

Mary

Nutrition News: Protein powders – which one?

I am often asked about why type of protein powders are the best to use for smoothies.  There are a few different one’s to consider, and more and more are being introduced to the nutrition scene.  While we still prefer getting protein from real food, there are times to look at these as powders as ‘tools’ to keep you focused and provide a convenient way to obtain a healthier option. Here are some of the top protein sources for smoothies, and baked goods. Keep in mind that many protein powders are just that- protein, no carbohydrates or fats. In order to have a balanced meal or snack you will need to add to the mix – a liquid, fruits, veggies, nut butter, flax seed, avocado or other foods of choice.  Keep it simple – avoid too many fruits or fruit juices, add celery, cucumber or spinach for a nutritional punch without adding in a lot of sugars and calories.

Soy – soy protein isolate,, soy protein powder, hydrolyzed soy protein – from soybeans.

This is a powerful plant protein and research has shown that it increases muscle mass and improves strength during and after exercise. Soy contains naturally occurring isoflavones which are antioxidants which can help reduce muscle damage during and after exercise.

Choose non-GMO sources and beware of soy sensitivities which may cause gas or digestive upset

Bonus:  helps muscles and boosts iron

Whey- whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, hydrolyzed whey protein- from cow’s milk.

Whey protein is composed mostly of an amino acid call leucine, which is the most potent for building muscle. It is also a good choice for whittling your waistline .  Many people tend to decrease inches and pounds using a whey protein drink rather than a carbohydrate shake- over a consistent use over at least 6 months .

Bonus: helps muscles, calcium boost, slims you down.

Pea– pea protein powder, pea protein isolate- from yellow peas.

Unlike soy and whey, pea protein is free of common allergens. This plant protein is high in the amino acid arginine, a precursor to creatine, which delivers energy to muscles. Some research suggests that it may have more appetite curbing power than whey protein.

Bonus: helps muscles, iron boost, keeps you satiated.

Rice– brown, white or whole grain rice isolate- from rice.

Rice protein is hypoallergenic.  This makes it easier to digest and will not irritate the stomach. Individuals who suffer from IBS, food allergies, or who are lactose intolerant find it difficult to digest meat, dairy and other sources of protein.  Rice is a good alternative.

Bonus:  helps muscles, good for vegans or vegetarians, easy to digest.

Some products I recommend  from Metagenics are: UltraMeal Rice, Soy or Whey, UltraMeal Daily ( pea and rice).  These are considered balance ‘medical foods’, they also contain carbohydrates and fats for a complete meal or snack. (you can find a link to Metagenics on my home page of my website www.yourchoice4wellness.com)

The Institute of Medicine recommends about 46 grams of protein a day for women and 56 grams of protein for men.  One tablespoon of protein powder is about 4 grams. I suggest no more that one shake a day.  Enjoy your other meals and snacks in real food form.

If you are interested in changing your lifestyle to incorporate healthy eating habits along with balanced activity and stress management, contact me for a complimentary phone consult to discus your goals.

Be Well,

Mary

 

 

 

Just for Women: How to Ease Your Menopause Experience

Join me at this amazing talk click here for more information and to sign up!

Whether you are peri-menopausal- menopausal or post-menopausal, you will gain insight and information to assist you in embracing ‘the change’.  It can be a challenging time but can be managed effectively with solid information and a holistic approach.

BE PREPARED WITH RESOURCES AND INFO FOR MENOPAUSE WHETHER YOU ARE IN IT OR NOT!

Hope to see you there!  Sept. 15th  10-11:30 AM

Be Well, Mary

Nutrition News: The MIND diet.

Have you heard of the MIND diet? It’a a way of eating that protects you from the risk of Alzheimers. What I like about it is that it is a combination of the #1 healthiest way of eating, the Dash Diet and the #3 leading plan,the Mediterranean Diet. The MIND diet stands for Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. In a recent study, those who followed the MIND diet showed a 53% reduction for the risk of Alzheimers. Even if you ‘cheated’ once in a while, you can still rack up rewards for prevention. Some of the concepts are pretty simple.

  1. Leafy greens– eat 2 of more servings a day and you will develop a level of brain function equivalent to that of people five years younger. Leafy greens have more vitamin E than other veggies.  Add some EVOO and it helps in the absorption of the fat soluble vitamin.
  2. Berries– blueberries and strawberries are the star players.  The anti-aging effects may be attributed to anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that help protect the neurons in regions of the brain associated to learning and memory.  Have at least 2 servings a week to delay cognitive aging by 2.5 years! Easy enough!!
  3. Fish – no surprise here! Even once a week can help lower the risk of Alzheimers.  A recent study also showed that eating fish 1x a week (not fried) increased the gray matter of your brain.
  4. Wine- studies have found that drinking 1.5 glasses of red wine per day experienced the least amount of memory loss and cognitive delay. It is also good for your heart. So pour and enjoy.

Here are the top 10 foods included in the MIND diet.

Daily– whole grains (not processed), leafy greens, other veggies, glass of wine.

Most Days- nuts(almonds, walnuts), olive oil, legumes, blueberries/strawberries,poultry, fish.

Limit– butter, fastfood and fried food, full fat cheese, red meat, pastries and sweets.

Ask yourself what you are already doing. Where is one area you can improve upon? For support and a plan, contact me.

Be Well, Be Better,

Mary

Nutrition news: Love your liver!

We don’t think of our liver very often, but it essential to keep this organ in top shape for a variety of health reasons.  It is a very hard worker and we cannot live without it.  Take a moment to see what you can do to protect and help your liver.

http://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/ss/slideshow-surprising-liver-damage

 

Be Well,

Mary

Time to improve your health through a few changes in you lifestyle?  Call for a complimentary wellness consult.  978 283 0591  or email at wellbychoice@comcast.net

Nutrition News: New! UltraMeal Daily

Looking to support your active lifestyle?  Start your day or kick the afternoon slump with this delicious pea and rice protein daily support shake.  It is filled with Phytonutrients and essential vitamins for a complete meal or snack.  Add your favorite beverage, fruit or veggie to suit your needs.  This is a perfect solution to get more hydration and energy for the warmer summer months. Lower in calories and high in nutrition. Try it now with a 15% savings.**

UltraMeal® Daily Support

Mixed Berry Flavor with Other Natural Flavors

Nutrition News: Juicing or Smoothies??

Often I am asked about ‘which is better, to juice or to have a smoothie ?’ Both have their place and their benefits. The best part about both is that they enhance your intake of fruits and veggies, something most Americans need to do. The trend often comes down to what machine you would buy- juicer or blender.

 

Juicing leaves behind the pulp of the fruit or vegetable. What that means is that you are throwing away the fiber of the plant and many nutrients, therefore, you lose most of the benefits of the whole fruit and vegetable. We as Americans eat around 10 grams of fiber a day, the RDA is around 25 grams a day. Unless you use the pulp in soups or stews, it is wasted. The other consideration is the amount of sugar you may be consuming. If you were juicing vegetables the sugar content is relatively low. If you are juicing fruits, then the concentration of sugars can be high, which if not balanced properly, could spike blood sugars. Juicing allows for quick hydration, easy digestion and many nutrients. Once a day with low glycemic (low sugar) fruit or vegetables is fine.

 

Smoothies incorporate most of the plant. You would not want the seeds of many fruits or the peels of oranges, bananas etc., but you would get the whole food from the vegetable or the fruit. This allows you to ingest the fiber, pith, vitamins, phytochemicals and antioxidants. If you add a protein such as plain yogurt, nut butter, protein powder or a product like UltraMeal– you have a complete and nutrient dense meal. You will experience regulated blood sugar with no highs or lows in energy. Beware, adding sweetened yogurts, frozen yogurts, sorbets or sugared frozen fruits can add on unnecessary calories. Unfortunately, many bottled smoothies or store made smoothies are high in sugars that can decrease the overall nutritional value.

 

One of my favorite morning smoothie in my Vitamix*.

 

Water

Slice of fresh ginger

Celery stalk

Cucumber

Handful of greens ( kale, spinach, collards, romaine lettuce, parsley)

Berries or fruit (berries, cherries, kiwi, apple, pear- all lower in sugar)

Avacado (sometimes- ¼)

UltraMeal** Whey vanilla

YUM!!

 

*I use a Vitamix because it really breaks down foods into a nice smooth liquid. It is powerful, and works well with ice, too. I burned out two high end blenders because it takes a lot of power to break down greens and vegetables.

 

There are so many ways to make a smoothie- the trick is to use low glycemic (low sugar) plants. One a day is enough. Chew the rest of your food- enjoy the flavors and the goodness.

 

** There are many UltraMeal Medical foods. If you have a medical condition such as elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, inflammation, digestive issues or trying to decrease fat mass, contact me so that I may guide you to the product that would best suit your needs. You may order the product via my website www.yourchoice4wellness.com.

 

Be Well,

Mary

 

 

 

Mindfulness: What Does It Mean To Feel Good

Dear Friends,

I received this newsletter from a colleague and felt the need to share.  Her words are to the point, perfect.  Self care, self love, self acceptance does not mean being selfish.  It means acceptance of yourself at all levels, which allows you to be more genuine with others in your life. I hope you find this fulfilling.

What Does It Mean To Feel Good?
 
by Dr. Kate Siner
 
We hear the words “feel good” all the time. We even say them to ourselves. “ I just want to feel good” “I just want to feel better.” Or, maybe we say, “I just want to be happy.” One way or another we are saying the same thing. But, what is this “better” that we are reaching for? 

Overtime, I have come to realize that self-love is the key to “feeling good.” Self-love is based in self-acceptance and results in self-care. If you want to feel good, you must first be willing to accept every part of yourself, then love yourself including the parts that you do not like so much.  As a result you learn to care deeply for your self on every level. 

Self-Acceptance: Self-acceptance means being able to be on your own side regardless of where you find yourself emotionally, mentally, or even physically. For example, if you find yourself criticizing yourself, being negative about your progress, or saying the way that you are doing things is wrong, you are not on your own side. 

Self-Love: Self-love means that you are willing to maintain a loving state of being towards yourself at all times. For example, even if you do not like the way that you are acting or you did not get the results that you want you still know that you have value and are worthy of deep unconditional love. 

Self Care: Self-care is your ability to put self-love and self-acceptance into practice. Self-care is any and every act that affirms and honors the completeness of who you are. It is not about doing something that is supposed to be healthy as much as it is caring for yourself in the most basic and intrinsic ways. 

These three key ingredients create a level of health, fulfillment and ultimately success that is exceptional. They are dependent on each other and moving forward in one area propels you forward in another. 

Here are some steps you can take to create more of these primary components of fulfillment in your life. 

1.    Find the benefits of supposedly problematic parts of yourself. Every part of us has a purpose and value. Sometimes, we might wish that we did not get angry or feel hurt in a certain situation but if we learn to listen to why we are upset or acting the way that we are, we can start to see how that part has been beneficial even if we are ready to let it go moving forward.? 

2.    Practice loving others even if you do not like their behavior or beliefs. Loving someone does not mean tolerating bad behavior or having no boundaries. Loving someone includes boundaries and even getting upset when someone has wronged you. You do not need to let go of love if someone’s behavior conflicts with your beliefs about what is right and what is wrong. ? 

3.    Love yourself like you love others. There are some people like your children or your partner that you love despite their flaws. Pay attention to how and why you are able to do that and then apply those principles to yourself. ?
 
4.    Do what feels really good.  You might say, “If I always did what felt good, I would be fat, get nothing done, or some other association with indulgence. However, indulgence and feeling good are not always the same thing! Pay attention to how you to feel to learn what really makes your feel good and do more of it.
Take a moment to let the words settle in.  Make a choice on how you would like to pay attention to create some time to focus on the various aspects of your life.
Happy Spring!  Be Well,
                                             Mary
If you would like to take the next step in creating a balanced lifestyle, contact me for a complimentary session to discuss your goals.