Your Heart and Dental Health

February is heart health month. Many of us are aware that heart disease  is the number 1 killer of both men and women in the U.S claiming around 610,000 lives each year (Center for Disease Control).  Did you know that research has found a link between this deadly disease and the health of your gums?  Periodontitis , the swelling, bleeding, receding gums caused by some species of bacteria in our mouths, may raise the risk of a number or serious health conditions. That list includes stroke, respiratory illness, and cardiovascular disease.  Infection and inflammation in the mouth may also worsen adult onset (type 2) diabetes or cause premature birth.

For the first time in my life, I recently needed the expert advise from a periodontist.  I had an unfortunate situation with an implant and crown.  It caused me undue inflammation and pain.  I was referred to a periodontist who educated me about implants and how the gums and teeth react to this type of procedure.  Implants don’t work like regular teeth and therefore you need to do a bit more manual cleaning around the gums since they can hold more bacteria.  I learned more about different types of floss, picks and mouth washes that I ever knew existed.  I realized this was bigger than just alleviating the pain.  It was about keeping bacteria at bay.  I am now more than religious about flossing with a specific type of floss or pick  and to avoid certain foods that can get trapped.

A recent Scientific America Custom Media **journal discussed how inflammation around the gums triggers our immune system that fights bacterial invaders in the gum tissue.  The problem is that these bacterial microbes can slip into the bloodstream, settling into the arteries around the heart or may be inhaled into the lungs, causing pneumonia.  There is research that continues to explore the association between periodontal disease, inflammation and various medical conditions.

An awareness around the epidemic of poor dental health is now being sparked. The notion that the  mouth is not separate from the body and oral health is vital to general health and welfare is on the forefront of dental and nursing schools. Dental disease is not just limited to adults, but worldwide to babies and children.  How can you become proactive with your own healthcare and that or your family?

Start with prevention:

  • Brush teeth a minimum of 2 times a day for 2 minutes
  • floss at least once a day ( use a floss with a bit of texture)
  •  annual checkups are very important
  • decrease sugars, candy and  soda,
  • drink water to rinse out the mouth
  • don’t smoke
  •  eat real foods and chew chew chew- apples, celery, carrots

Not only will you have healthy gums and clean teeth  you will also have a beautiful smile and a healthier heart.

 

Happy Health Month,

Be Well,

   Mary

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do Telomeres Have To Do With Your Health

I have had a lot of people ask me about telomeres.  In the past few years it has been discussed a lot because of it’s importance on aging.  There was a very good article from The Wall Street Journal that summed up information about telomeres. Telomeres are stretches of DNA at the end of our chromosomes that protect them from damage, like little protective caps.  In time, the telomeres wear away each time the cells would divide.  This becomes a problem when the telomeres become too short and the chromosomes can then fuse together and malfunction, causing the cells to die, which contribute to disease.

thinking-smiley-clipart
What is unclear: are short telomeres a sign of cellular age or do short telomeres cause advanced aging? Telomere shortening is determined by a few things; heredity, environment and lifestyle. The article suggests that exercising, maintaining a healthy diet and weight and not smoking, controlling inflammation ( heart disease, arthritis, gut problems, diabetes, obesity and more) can slow the rate of telomere shortening.  There is an enzyme that can add more length to telomeres called  telomerase, but it is mostly found in sperm, egg and stem cells and cancerous tumors.  There is also no evidence that telomerase supplements help.

It is difficult to measure telomere length to tell you how long you may live. Some experts say that the telomeres have to be extremely short before they contribute to disease. I do work with a company that offers a Telomere length test.  I generally do not recommend this  since there isn’t much to compare it with, unless you repeat it at various intervals, were your telomeres long or short to begin with?   yet, all information and education about your make up is of importance. The bottom line is the same for staying healthy and avoiding age related diseases- exercise, eat healthy real food, control inflammation by eating well and staying hydrated, and living a balanced life with socialization, recreation and relaxation.

Be Well,

Mary

Soon to comeWellavate – a dispensary where you can order high quality nutraceuticals, personal care products, family needs, homeopathic remedies, pet care and essential oils all in one place, and it will be easy! It is up an running- look for more information and specials soon.

Weight Loss and Mindfulness: Why Did You Buy and Eat That?

When discussing goals with my clients clients, none of them want to be overweight or face chronic diseases because of their food or lifestyle choices.  It is very difficult for most people to avoid eating too much given the bombardment of advertisement and marketing strategies placed before them in supermarkets and at restaurants. It goes beyond willpower. Education,planning  and being vigilant about being aware can help more than you think.

Most peopFrazzledle are overwhelmed with all that has to be done on a day to day basis and are not mindful of the choices they are making, especially when shopping.  It is difficult to be on top of your game when you are tired, stressed and have ti
me demands.  Most supermarkets take advantage of our ‘decision fatigue’ through strategic placements of various ‘food’ choices.  Ever wonder why candies,chips and non-foods are at the cash register? Or the healthier choices are on the higher or lower shelves? The stores rely on your impulse buying of items that are at eye level or  posting  blasting signs about ‘limited quantity’ or  ‘special today’.  You end up buying more, resulting in consuming more items you probably didn’t need (or want) in the first place.  Studies have also found that changing the shapes and variety of foods increases our desire to buy them.  Think about pasta shapes, mini- chocolate chip cookies, different shaped crackers, chips or novelty ice creams.  The variety offered often tempt you to try them.  In actuality it is the same food, but the different variety makes us think it is something new and attracts us to it, therefore eating more. We need variety to keep our food interesting and help us get proper nutritional needs. Different vegetables and fruits are suggested to help us avoid monotony as well nourishing out body.  However, five different shapes, brands or seasonings of potato chips – are still potato chips. Focus on variety of your real foods, fruits, vegetable and grains.

When entering a grocery store, it is a known fact that you never go in hungry.  Make a list on paper, your smartphone or send yourself a message ahead of time. If you saw a recipe you wanted to try, take a picture of it so you have the ingredients you may need to get.  Don’t get sucked in to the ‘comfort foods’ we know sabotage our efforts to take better care of ourselves.  Skip the fast foods unless it is the salad bar, some roasted turkey or chicken, pre-grilled wild salmon or the fresh roasted veggies. Try roasted parsnips or carrots, instead of potatoes.  Farro is a delicious whole grain with a nutty taste that works well in most recipes, substitute it for rice or pasta. Grill peaches or plums and serve them with chicken for a taste treat. These are fast and easy.Go for frozen fresh fruit bars, or low fat frozen yogurt instead of the chocolate chip, caramel swirl full fat ice-cream. I just found some almond milk ice-cream, I was thrilled to see an alternative for those who are sensitive to milk.  However,it was loaded with chocolate peanut butter chunks and salted caramel- so much for the health benefits.

If you are looking to ‘do your body good’, spend the money on foods that will serve and nourish your body well. Treat ‘treats as treat’, eat real food.  There is no mystery. Don’t be lured in to buying foods that are gimmicks or pull at your weaknesses.  Try and be smart, leave with more unpackaged foods than packaged and I can almost guarantee you will have mo9re money left in your wallet too! If it isn’t in your food pantry- you aren’t going to be tempted to eat it. When do you stop eating something? …..when it is all gone.

In Great Health!,

  Mary

 


 

For further support or guidance around sound nutritional habits and choices, call me for a complimentary

 

 

Lifestyle Changes: Healthy Aging, It’s Never Too Early To Start

Create a Balance Lifestyle

Create a Balance     Lifestyle

Recently I attended a Healthy Aging conference presented by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.  I am really excited and hopeful with this movement that finally there may be some true integration with holistic approaches for improved lifestyle. Recognition for the benefits of exercise, nutrition, stress management and happiness in one’s life are seriously important.  Lifestyle is finally being recognized as a major player in how we age; are you going to age gracefully with your best quality of life or are you going to give into the rigors of medications and a compromised living and dependence on others.  Advocation for yourself and taking charge of what you can do for yourself, is critical. Some of the most prescribed medications are for high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and stress/anxiety. Start thinking about how you may change this if you are on them, or you have been told you may need to go on them.  Statins can cause liver problems and muscle weakness over time.  Learn how to wean off of them if you can by changing your lifestyle behaviors*, the same is true about high blood pressure medications. If you are pre-diabetic, take action to change your blood sugar levels and A1C levels to avoid metformin or other blood sugar regulation drugs.  Many of these drugs don’t fix the problem, they mask the underlying reasons.  They help you manage it.  The most useful prescription would be to address the cause for the need for a drug and learn how to make changes.  I know it is not good for the pharmaceutical companies- but it is good for you!

(*never go off medications without your doctors’ guidance)

Integrating information with your healthcare medical provider, a nutritionist, a personal trainer or exercise class along with some MBSR(Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) classes and you will be on top of your game.  I have assisted countless of clients to make small changes to avoid certain medications or get off of them.  There are other options.  Many times we are not aware of our options that can help prevent disease through lifestyle changes or how being on medications may resolve or possibly cause different concerns.. Ask questions as well as ask for alternative approaches.

What other components were presented about Aging well?  Here are the top Healthy Behaviors for many people living in their 90’s with minor disabilities and disease:

  • Attitude- optimism and positivity play a big part
  • Genetics- what have you inherited?
  • Exercise- 150 minutes a week
  • Interests- learn a new language, music, hobbies, art, games
  • Get rid of smoking and excessive drinking
  • Sleep ( 6-7 hours a night)
  • BMI – 24 of less
  • 5-6+ fruits and veggies a day

There are studies of many centurians who are thriving. Would you want to be one of them?

To find out more about what you can do to improve your lifestyle and healthy aging- give me a call.

Be Well,

     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.**

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Mixed Berry Flavor with Other Natural Flavors

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.

Holistic Lifestyle Course Reminder: Mindful-Awareness for Eating & Living Healthy

Hi Everyone – this is just a reminder that the Mindful -Awareness for Eating and Living Healthy starts one week from today.  Hope to see you there.

I have heard from so many people that they want to feel better and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.  Now is your chance.  This is not a diet or a quick fix. You will learn to be in charge of your choices with food, activity and stress management by becoming aware and mindful of your behaviors.  Many of us live automatically and do things that we later regret, or wish you had done differently.  We will get to all those other little voices that help or hinder us in our desire for healthier living.

Yes, I know it is holiday time with a lot of temptations and stress. That is why this is a perfect time to commit to giving yourself 75 minutes a week for 4 weeks.  Easy. Just click on image below for more information.  See you there.,

Be Well,

Mary

 

harbor_yoga_wbc

Nutrition News: Peaches-Eat up!

We can get peaches anytime of the year, but when they are really in season there is nothing better. The old folklore of peaches stems back thousands of years to native China, signifying luck, abundance and protection. It has appeared in religious rite, literature and paintings as well. How can we resist them?

Did you know there are two types of peaches of these ‘stone fruit’? One is called clingstone (flesh clings to the seed) and freestone ( where the flesh easily breaks away from the flesh of the fruit). It ia a beautiful fruit with shades of pink, reds, yellows and white, with a fuzz that makes them unique. They are lean on calories (aprox. 68) and full of nutrients. They have dietary fiber, protective antioxidant vitamin C and vitamin A for healthy vision.

Some recent findings are showing that all stone fruit (cherries, apricots, plums and nectarines) have a bioactive compound that may help fight metabolic syndrome. ( Metabolic syndrome is a term used to address a group of symptoms that could lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.) It appears that peaches (and stone fruit) contain antocyanins and quercitin that help fight metabolic syndrom, and peaches show some promise against fighting breast cancer. Plums and peaches contain high levels of phenolicacids which is responsible for the death of cancer cells. (study 2010 Jounal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry)

The bottom line- eat up! Enjoy right off the tree, grilled, in salads or a smoothie or on top of a salad. Any way you consume them will be mouth watering delicious as well as good for you.

Enjoy and Be Well,

Mary

(Source: Environmental:Nutrition Aug. 2013)

Heart to Heart

Heart to Heart!

February is heart healthy month. Take a moment not only to assess how much you give love, but how much you get love. Take another moment to track what you are doing to ‘feed’ love to your heart. It is a powerful muscular organ. It loves to be pampered with fresh greens, healthy oils, fiber, fish oils, fresh air, lots of focused activity and rest. The heart is an amazing machine. Honor it and treat it with the respect it deserves- it is what keeps you going every day. The average heart beats aprox. 60-70 beats per minute. Multiply this by 60, then by 24. A heart that beats 70 beats per minute will beat 100,800 beats PER DAY- try multiplying this by how many days you have been living! That is quite a remarkable accomplishment in my book.
Take time to be heart centered give back to yourself – in mind, body and spirit.
Be Well, Mary