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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give a Hug- Get a Hug! ‘Tis the Season

The holiday season is in full swing, remember to take some time to care for yourself. The hustle and bustle can sometimes be stressful and it isn’t uncommon to feel a little down. I have found myself a few times on the brink of tears, and I don’t know why. When this happens, I don’t question the emotion but rather embrace it and use it as a reminder to take a breath and do something for me. Here are a few simple acts that may just help you enjoy the holiday, family and friends all the more, as well as giving a little gift to yourself.

  1. Hug a loved one! Your furry pet counts! Scientists have found that hugging releases oxytocin, the ‘feel good’ hormone, while it also decreases levels of cortisol – the stress hormone. Hug –hug- hug away.
  2. Take a restorative yoga class to help relax your muscles and reduce blood sugar levels.
  3. Don’t stress about your workout – 30minutes of supermarket shopping can burn between 100-150 calories!, not to mention calories burned with housecleaning.
  4. Take a power nap. Try one of the many YouTube guided mediations for 10-15 minutes. This way, you won’t over sleep and you will have a boost in energy for a couple hours.
  5. Drink water- with all the extra holiday ‘cheer’, we often forget to drink water ( seltzer counts) in between libations. It will restore your energy as well as help with keeping headaches away.
  6. Watch a 30-minute sitcom comedy and laugh! You will release tension and restore your energy.
  7. Breath!! When you start to feel frazzled try to move yourself away from the situation for a moment (bathroom break??)- then STOP- take 3 long deep breaths and tell yourself – ‘All Is Good- Let it Go”

Most of all – be mindful of the moment and be grateful for the love of the season.

hug_day

Sending lots of HUGS and well wishes to you and yours for a festive holiday and healthy 2017!

                                        Cheers!   Mary

 

**In January look for special discounts in my new Wellevate dispensary; along with other programs and services to help you achieve your best health and lifestyle.

 

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.

Nutrition: Snacking Your Way Through the Day

Snacks are not only okay, they are an opportunity to obtain more nutrients into your diet throughout the day. They can be a wiStock_000015487653XSmallise move when you make conscious and planned decisions.  Snacks give you energy when you need it and help to keep your blood sugars level.  In doing this you avoid slumps and fatigue associated with low blood sugar.  Snacks keep you satisfied, mentally and physically, as long as you pick foods that will serve you well. Snacks can help with emotional cravings.  Try to notice if you snack because you are stressed, tired, angry or bored.  If you can identify your emotion you may tend to choose a healthier snack rather than snacks with empty calories.

When snacking try to eat as many ‘real’ foods as possible.  Having an apple with some almonds may not sound as exciting as a doughnut, but you will be rewarded with more energy and satiety (thanks to chewing and fiber).  Some other good suggestions for snacks:

  • yogurt with fresh fruit, granola or chopped nuts
  • raw veggies and hummus, try a red pepper or lemon variety for a little change
  • whole grain crackers and cottage cheese
  • flavored pumpkin or sunflower seeds and raisins
  • whole grain crackers and a ‘mini’ cheese
  • crunchy chick peas or edamame
  • there are many great snack bars- look for 8-12 grams of protein, low sugar and high fiber, under 200 calories

These are just some of the options you can try to get more vitamins and minerals as well as protein and fiber into your diet. Have a treat once in a while- but a snack is meant to be helpful, not hurtful. Treat a treat as a treat- like on a friday afternoon after a long workweek, you will enjoy it more since you really deserve it. Keep in mind, you could lose, or gain up to 20 pounds in a year just by avoiding, or using,  the vending machine!

If you could use  some guidance in optimizing your eating plan, contact me for a complimentary talk.

Be Well,

       Mary

wellbychoice@comcast.net


 

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

 

 

Wellness Coaching: Self Acceptance

As an Am I Hungry Facilitator, I want to share this piece from founder, Michelle May. So Simple, but so true.  We can use this in so many aspects of our lives, beyond dieting.  We are almost always our worse enemies.

 

Self-Acceptance Step 1: Become Aware

By Michelle May, M.D.

“My yoga teacher said, “Whatever you practice, you get good at. If your habit is to compare, judge, and criticize yourself, then you’ll get better and better at it. You will strengthen your habit.”

That really resonated with me. I had subjected myself to 25 years of yo-yo dieting fueled by rejection of my Self.

Wishing I were somehow different and focusing on numbers like calories and pounds only distracted me from living my life fully. Unfortunately, many of us have been convinced that this is the only way, and that we somehow deserve a life focused on what we eat and what we look like instead of living our lives. We waste a tremendous amount of energy beating ourselves up—energy that could otherwise be poured into building relationships, accomplishing other meaningful goals, or simply enjoying life.

I am so over that.

Along my personal and professional journey, I’ve learned that self-acceptance breeds self-care. While it may seem counterintuitive, I also discovered that self-acceptance is the starting line for change. Now I choose to practice loving my Self gently, compassionately, mindfully, and persistently.”

 

Drop me line with your thoughts or awakenings.  If this sounds like you, maybe a little intervention would help.  Pick one small thing that you beat yourself up about and become aware, and how can you stop the vicious cycle that may be driving  you down. With you new found energy do something extraordinary- for you!

 

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: 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

 

 

 

Holistic Nutrition: Address Anxiety Naturally

If any of you are from the Northeast, you can attest to the fact that Mother Nature has packed us a wallop! It has been hard in so many ways.  The cold, the snow, the physical demands of shoveling, the ice and fear of injury, isolation, disruptive routines, loss of work, loss of money – need I say more?  There have been some times that I just didn’t know what day it was or where I was supposed to be IF I could get there.  Needless to say, this causes a lot of worry and fear, enticing us to call our doctor for some prescribed drug to help us cope.  Before you do that, try going natural first. It is easier on your system with no side effects and is not addictive.

Here are a few ‘chill pill’  plants that can be taken as teas or supplements to help you deal with your anxiety.  A growing number of studies are showing the following to be promising options.

L-theanine – This is an amino acid that is found in black, green and white tea, which helps promote alpha brain waves linked with relaxation, boosts levels of brain calming dopamine and may help lower blood pressure.  100-250 mg is the typical dosage range recommended for anxiety. (Journal of Nutrition 2012)

Lemon Balm – This plant has long been known for its calming properties.  There is now a supplement of lemon balm extract sold under the name Cyracos. Lemon balm boosts the levels of the brain chemical GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) which promotes relaxation.  Taken in the morning and at night, a 300mg dose of Cyracos  reduced the signs of anxiety,18%, and insomnia,42% in adults with mild to moderate anxiety disorders.(Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism 2011)

Kava– This plant is the most researched herbal remedy for anxiety.  Supplements of standardized kava extracts (50-400mg daily) significantly alleviated anxiety compared to a placebo. In rare cases, kava can harm the liver.  This is likely due to poor quality have or other risk factors such as high alcohol use. (Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 2013)

In all cases , you should consult your doctor before using these products especially if you are pregnant, breast feeding or have other health conditions or taking medications. 

Lifestyle can always assist in regulating anxiety.  Regular exercise, whole foods and stress management or meditation support calming the nerves.

Alcohol, caffeine, nicotine actually promotes anxiety.  At first these may seem to appear to help with the anxiety, but over time and withdrawal, actually increases anxiety levels.

So take a moment, sit back, take a deep breath,look out a window and find the beauty in all that white stuff outside, and sip your tea, it all works wonders.

 

Be Well,

Mary

 

To get in touch with incorporating a healthy lifestyle to improve your health and wellbeing, call for a complimentary introduction session.