DO IT FOR YOU!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Here we are, embarking on another new year full of opportunities for adventure.

ADVENTURE

Adventure, like life, is different for everyone. One person’s adventure could be to finish high school and move on to a new adventure in college. Another person’s adventure could be to run a marathon. Another person’s adventure could be to start a new business. Yet another person’s adventure could be to make it through chemotherapy and into remission. Each of these adventures has a “big” goal in the end but in order to be truly successful you have to meet “little” goals along the way. You can’t finish high school if you don’t focus on mastering each individual class along the way. In addition to mastering these classes you have to meet the goal of discerning what it is you want to do in college and now meet the goals or prerequisites the college has to enter a specific program. There is also the requirement of money to go to college; maybe a job will help you meet this requirement, looking into loans or scholarships, then meeting the requirements for these things. My point here is that each “big” goal can be broken down into steps to achieve “little” goals along the way.

UNIQUE & THE SAME

Every person is different with unique goals in life. One thing remains true across all of these different adventures and goals. In order to succeed you have to put yourself first! You have to be your own number one priority. Some people feel that putting yourself first is in some way selfish. That was something I had to “unlearn.”  Being of service to others is beautiful and can be as rewarding for you as it is for the person you are helping. BUT, if you don’t make your own self your number one priority, then you won’t have enough left TO be of service to others.

PUT YOU FIRST

This concept is so simple, yet is easily pushed aside when life gets busy. Whether pushed aside for children, a spouse or significant other, parents/family, work, friends, etc, you can’t truly be of service to anyone else unless you care for yourself first.

Having children is a prime example of when this often happens. Whether you are taking care of a new little baby, a toddler, an adolescent or a teenager, they all need love, nurturing, guidance and support. These acts in and of themselves are necessary and bring joy to you and to the child. However, if you lose sight of keeping yourself as a priority, this becomes a daunting chore at times. 

NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS

We are at the beginning of a new year and this is when many new year resolutions are made. I personally think this concept is beautiful; a time to examine your life and discern what needs and wants take priority in your life. The problem for many is that these resolutions are sometimes made without a realistic plan and without kindness and caring at the core. This may lead to “failed” resolutions and a sense of failure overall. 

LOVE, KINDNESS, RESPECT

We should treat ourselves with at least as much love, kindness and respect as we show other people in our lives. We tend to get frustrated with ourselves for so many things in life: weight loss, exercise, an injury that occurs from overtraining, or a business prospect that doesn’t play out the way we had hoped. Imagine these things happened to your best friend, spouse or child. If they came to you with their frustration you would most likely listen and offer support, guidance and encouragement. We can, and should, allow ourselves the same love and care.

Consider making a commitment to YOU this year with kindness and compassion at the forefront of any goals you may want to achieve. Take time for self care! 

BODY

Change your perspective on exercise & movement. It is a great feeling when you get that endorphin release from a great workout, but not everyday has to be a strenuous workout to be great or to achieve your goal. Consider making a “little” goal to move your body EVERY DAY! This may be a walk around the block or another day with the sun shining on your face, you feel motivated to walk farther. Or one day it is a walk with a friend and you feel like you could walk forever, just enjoying their company. From there you can always make your plan for incorporating yoga or weight training or running or any other type of exercise that you enjoy. This creates a habit over time for you to simply move your body EVERY DAY! Carving out that time, whether it ends up being 10 minutes or 2 hours, creates a space in your day dedicated to you and your body. Meeting these “little” goals makes it possible for you to achieve the “bigger” goal of weight loss or a race of some sort.

MIND

Another great daily goal is setting aside time to create or to learn. This, again, can be just 10-15 minutes every day to read or doodle or write or paint or even to clean up a flower bed in your yard. You are worth that 10-15 minutes everyday and often once you get started, you will find that you want to “gift” yourself even more time. This habit can be helpful to achieve your larger goals of finishing a book, or writing a book, completing a course or finishing any type of project you can imagine.

SPIRIT

The third area that is vital for overall well being is giving yourself time for spiritual self care. Exercise seems to be one of the most popular goals for setting this time of year, but nurturing your spirit is equally as important. Give yourself time to meditate, pray, journal, write morning pages or anything else that allows you to go inside yourself. You are definitely worth claiming that 10-15 minutes each day for you to just be with you. You will be amazed at how meeting these “little” goals will positively impact your entire life and your overall wellbeing.

NURTURING WITH NUTRIENTS – PERSPECTIVE WITH KINDNESS

Of course nurturing your body with life giving nutrients is so important to provide you with energy to devote to the care of you. Making huge dietary changes can be rewarding and exciting, but sometimes adding a simple change each week, or every 2 weeks,  can be more sustainable. 

This is a great area to change your perspective on what you are putting in your body. Commit to focusing on putting only healthy nutritious food into your body. If you are tempted to put something in your body that you know is not healthy, examine the “why.” Is this food bringing you comfort? Is there another way you can comfort yourself without using that particular food? If you do decide to eat the comfort food anyway, acknowledge that you are not consuming it for its nutritious value but for comfort or for escape. Allow yourself to feel the comfort it provides and write it down in a journal. This can be very helpful in uncovering other ways you can nurture and comfort yourself. These eating habits could have been instilled from childhood or maybe something you incorporated knowingly or unknowingly later in life. You can look back at these journal entries every week or every month and see if you notice a pattern; it may allow you to take a deeper look at how you can self soothe and love yourself in other ways; going for a quick walk, calling a friend, sitting or lying in meditation, letting yourself feel the emotion that is coming up and cry or laugh or let it out in some way, rather than soothing the feeling with food. This can be a learning experience rather than a reason to be frustrated and upset with yourself.

For example, week one you decide to cut out gluten and focus on all of the other delicious food you are able to enjoy. Week 2 you cut out dairy and explore recipes that are new and exciting and teach you new ways to prepare food for yourself and your family. Week 3 you make a commitment to cut out sugar, and so on. When done with love and compassion at the core, this can be a wonderful way to instill lifelong changes to your diet without focusing on the deprivation. Maybe there is a time that you find yourself wanting a particular food, maybe it is to have some french fries when you are out for dinner with a friend. You could choose to order a salad or sauteed vegetables instead, knowing this is a healthier choice, or you could choose to order the fries on occasion, knowing they are not nourishing your body. Notice if they make you truly happy and if they cause any immediate or delayed effects on your body. If they make you happy, then enjoy them knowing they are bringing you happiness and comfort in the moment. They are not nurturing your body but perhaps they are nurturing your spirit. Let go of any guilt. If the guilt persists, explore why this is the case. Next time you have that choice you may just choose differently.

CHOOSE YOU

Choose you! Make yourself your number one priority this year; nurture your body, mind and spirit and enjoy everything life has to offer you.

Happy New Year!!!


DETOX STEP 2 – Liver Support

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO IMPROVE YOUR LIVER HEALTH?

Becoming aware of what is helpful and what is harmful is the first step. Taking actionable steps to implement these findings is the key to wellness.

YOUR DETOX SYSTEMS

  • Liver & Gallbladder
  • Gastrointestinal – Stomach, Intestines, Colon
  • Urinary – Kidneys, Bladder, Urethra
  • Skin – Sweat & Sebaceous Glands
  • Respiratory – Lungs, Throat, Sinuses, Mouth, Nose
  • Lymphatic – Channels & Nodes

CONDITIONS THAT MAY BE PRECIPITATED BY TOXINS

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Skin Rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Thyroid Issues
  • Prostate Issues
  • Fertility Issues
  • Auto Immune Conditions
  • Fibrocystic Breasts &/or Ovaries
  • Environmental Sensitivities
  • Constipation &/or Diarrhea
  • Bad Breath

THE LIVER – YOUR BODY’S FILTRATION SYSTEM

Think of your liver as being similar to a furnace filter. If not properly cared for, a furnace filter will get clogged. If you don’t provide a clean filter for the furnace it will not function efficiently and this could potentially cause damage to the furnace itself. The same is true of your liver. If detoxification is not supported and if you are taking in medications or other toxins that can impair the function of your liver, your body will not operate efficiently and could potentially be damaged.

  • Lack of detoxification supporting nutrition leads to malfunctioning systems in the body as toxins build up, this places an unwanted burden on the liver.
  • Good nutrition can prevent a lot of hardship, sickness and sadness
  • Your liver has two detoxification pathways: Phase I and II. These pathways are interrelated and both need to be supported for the liver to function efficiently.
  • The liver has many functions in the body: metabolizing the products of digestion from the stomach, processing and helping to rid the body of toxins, storing iron, providing essential energy producing substances, maintaining hormonal balance, regulating blood clotting, producing bile and producing cholesterol and other fats needed by the body.
  • If the liver malfunctions, toxins and hormones accumulate in the body causing inflammatory and neurological disease.
  • You can support your liver by limiting the toxic load you are taking in from your environment and by supporting its function through your dietary intake of nourishing organic nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals.
  • Evaluate your cleaning supplies, cosmetics, lotions, tampons, plastics, soaps, detergents, and new carpet, flooring & furniture (off-gassing).
  • Compounds in the following foods have been found to support the liver detox process:
    • Cruciferous Vegetables
    • Green Leafy Vegetables
    • Garlic
    • Onion
    • Cardamom
    • Turmeric
  • There are many things that can inhibit your liver’s function
    • Medications
      • Antihistamines (Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl, Allegra)
      • Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax)
      • H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Zantac)
      • Antifungals
      • Antibiotics
    • Deficiencies in Vitamins & Minerals
      • Vitamin B2
      • Vitamin B3
      • Copper
      • Magnesium
      • Zinc
    • Grapefruit Juice
    • Age, decreased blood flow to the liver
    • Lack of Physical Activity
    • Poor Nutrition

IMPORTANT: Support and Balance Both Phases of Liver Detoxification. If Phase II is slower than Phase I, then the toxins processed by Phase I are in a state that can cause more harm in the body. This imbalance can occur in two ways: over burdening the Phase I process and under nourishing the Phase II process.

PHASE I (TRANSFORMATION) – Start the Job: Lessen the Burden Phase I of liver detox is burdened by the over exposure to environmental toxins: from the air we breathe, the water we drink, the contaminants and pesticides in the food we eat, and all other toxins we introduce through topical products, cleaning supplies and medications, both over-the-counter and prescription. All of these add to the burden on the liver. This excessive burden can impair the liver’s ability to properly metabolize the toxins and the liver will produce a dangerously high level of free radicals that must be further metabolized by Phase II to protect against oxidative cell damage.

Phase II (CONJUGATION) – Finish the Job: Bind the Toxins Phase II of liver detoxification has a huge job to conjugate and eliminate the bio-transformed substances from Phase I. If the Phase II process is impaired, due to a lack of micronutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals, it is not capable of keeping up with the toxic load it is given from the Phase I process. These substances are potentially more toxic now that they have been transformed. If the water soluble toxic substances are not effectively eliminated from the body, they are now more dangerous because they can attach to cells in the body other than fat cells, where they are typically stored.

LIVER DETOXIFICATION IS ESSENTIAL FOR HEALTH If the liver malfunctions, toxins and hormones accumulate in the body causing inflammatory and neurological disease.

Supporting your liver function is just one great reason to eat organic and to incorporate juice fasting into your dietary plan.

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Limit toxins taken into or put onto your body
  • Support your liver with organic vegetables, garlic, onion, cardamom & turmeric
  • Incorporate juice fasting into your dietary plan.

It may not be realistic for you to eat 100% organic or to completely eliminate all environmental toxins but your health is definitely worth making the effort.


DETOX STEP 1 – Am I healthy?

I was joking with a patient the other day, when asked about health and nutrition. She was asking for advice but maintaining that she always eats healthy. It came to me in a flash that we all believe that we eat healthy. Why would we purposely do anything to harm our body? I shared with her, that so did I, ever since I can remember having the freedom to choose my own food in 7th grade.

My “healthy” diet was Diet Coke for breakfast and a slice of pizza at the local pizza place for lunch. Of course, I had a mom who packed me a lunch everyday (THANKFULLY!!) that contained fruits and vegetables. But when left to my own choosing it was Diet Coke and Pizza. I lost almost 20 pounds from 6th Grade to 8th Grade. Retrospectively, I was going thru puberty and my hormones and my growth shed the extra pounds naturally, as it often does for teenage girls; but I attributed this to my new “healthy” diet.

This continued into High School where pizza was exchanged for McDonald’s or Hardee’s and still the Diet Coke remained a staple. No one was teaching us about nutrition; well, except for the one week unit in health class that reminded us to eat mostly grains and to add some fruits and vegetables for good measure. This is where I added in Ramen noodles with canned peas or corn for a “well rounded” meal.

Once I graduated and went off to college, I really had a handle on healthy eating. I followed the latest food “guidelines”. Any of you who experienced the 90’s as a young adult know what I am talking about: avoid fat at all costs, eat carbs, eat less and exercise more. I thankfully still enjoyed fruits and vegetables because this is what I was raised on (when my mom was in charged of feeding me). I followed this to the letter: pasta, canned corn, canned beans, meat of any kind on occasion (when I felt the need) and don’t forget the Snack Well Cookies – no fat and only 100 calories. Diet Coke still prevailed and now that I was “grown up”, add a splash of booze when needed! I ran and worked out all the time!! By my last year in school, I was down to an “acceptable” weight, after gaining the obligatory 15 pounds at the beginning of college. Again, thanks to my “healthy” lifestyle.

Out into the real world I went! A job, an apartment, a car, a new stereo and money I hadn’t had in college. Now I could go out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This started to catch up to me and I naturally migrated back to cooking and adding in more whole food (thankfully) but still unconsciously.

It wasn’t until I was planning to get pregnant with my first child that I really started researching healthy eating. Not for me necessarily, but to give my baby the best start possible in life. I quit coffee cold turkey (what a miserable couple of weeks of headaches and nausea), I gave up Diet Coke and switched to the occasional “Real” Coke. I added more fruits and vegetables at every meal and started taking a multivitamin. This is were my journey really started, with my concern for the health of my daughters at the forefront and eventually for my own health.

Again, in retrospect, I am amazed that I emerged from that experience unaffected, or so I thought! It was just a few extra pounds, a little fatigue, and sprinkled with a bit (or a lot) of postpartum depression.

Then, over time, the real effects started to show up. The fatigue got worse; I didn’t have the energy to exercise so the weight remained a bit elevated. Then the sluggish thyroid turned into Hashimoto’s and finally the rheumatoid arthritis was revealed!!

I no longer focus on why this happened, other than to move me toward a healthier place. There is a whole world of epigenetics to explore. In a nutshell, this is looking at what external factors trigger modification of your gene expression. I just began to focus on what external factors I could control to modify this again.

The point of this story is that we need to reflect on what we believe to be healthy and what we could do to improve upon this. We are only able to welcome change if we first change our mindset. Once we allow this paradigm shift, change will begin.

The good news is that our bodies are amazingly designed to detoxify and excrete toxins.

“Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live.” 
― Jim Rohn. 

The bad news is that our bodies are not equipped to handle the sheer volume of modern environmental and other toxins we are exposed to today; and some of us are less equipped than others.

We have so many toxin exposures every single day!

COMMON TOXINS: Food toxins, air pollutants, water pollutants: pesticide residue, pharmaceuticals residue, hormone disruptors, nitrates from fertilizers, heavy metals (mercury from fish), GMOs from factory farmed animals, PCBs, dioxin from paper products and tampons, pesticides on non-organic produce, cleaning supplies, cosmetics and grooming products, plastics, detergents and soaps, carpet.

We should incorporate detox regularly, not just ONE AND DONE.

I have started looking at it like cleaning my house. I like to keep up on the mess and the laundry to prevent it from building up, but every month or two I need to do a cleanse and clean up and clear out the things that are cluttering up and interfering with my space. Sometimes this gets away from me and it will be 6 months or a year before I address some of these things. This is a direct parallel to our bodies. We will do ourselves a wonderful service by cleaning up our diet and eliminating as many toxins as possible, but we still need to neutralize and clear out the toxins that have gotten in. The program 66 Day Health Mastery Program has been my best tool ever for cleaning up my diet and clearing out the toxins.

Questions to Ponder:

  • Where am I at today?
  • What can I do right now?
  • Will I allow myself to be paralyzed by fear?
  • Will I allow this to empower me to seek solutions?

Where do I start?

  • Food is always a good place to start
  • Choosing organic when possible and especially when necessary
  • The EWG (Environmental Working Group) is a fantastic group that makes this process a little easier!
  • The Clean Fifteen & The Dirty Dozen