It’s 3:00 PM in the afternoon and I look down at my water bottle. The day is almost done and I’ve only drank half the my minimal of what is needed to be hydrated. Unfortunately, coffee doesn’t count. Why on earth would I add hydration count to my endless daily check-list? From brain function, gut function, adrenal function- hydration is the everything in biological function.
What about what you drink? There are drinks you need to limit or completely avoid. Sugary drinks such as juices and sodas needs to be limited. This goes for caffeine and alcohol too. It is thought that caffeine intake can cause dehydration, a quick run through studies on coffee. Mild coffee drinking is fine and not known to impact hydration ability. Sugar and too much sodium are the top dehydrators you can drink.
What Should You Drink?
Non synthetic dye or natural drink
Water with fruit and vegetables
Your food life is two fold on hydration. Drinking is the primary way to obtain and maintain hydration. However, eating certain whole foods (not cooked or lightly cooked) contains significant portions of water in them.
What Can You Eat to Boost Hydration?
All of these contain at least 90% of water and tons of nutrition. Food relationship multitasking at its best.
Broccoli and squash contain more water when cooked.
Sports drinks are known to help with hydration and keeping hydration in short periods. They should only be consumed when significant water loss is involved or recommended by doctor. The main reason are electrolytes. In a simplistic term, electrolytes are salts in the form of minerals that help with hydration and cleanse your bodily systems. The electrolytes you need are sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, chloride, calcium, phosphates. You can eat these easily all the time.
Foods Rich in Electrolytes
Dairy- yogurt/ kefir particularly
Fish- especially salmon
Nuts- especially almonds and walnuts
Dark greens- notably kale, broccoli, edamame, bok choy, spinach, chard
Baked goods with baking soda
Fruids: Bananas, water melons,
Each of these foods offer it’s unique contribution. A rotation/combination of each offers the best impact in your food relationship. I am going to grab more of my lemon & lime water. Gotta catch up!
Recently, I was in a beginners workshop with Daisy Lee concerning the practice Qi Gong. Side trail, I love learning new things. As she was going through the benefits of Qi Gong, two concepts struck out at me. One is the need for physical activity, for all areas of health. The second hit the hardest: the need for rest and restful practices. As this topic sat in my queue of “what to say that has impact,” it came down to an understanding. It’s unlocking the balance of removing rust and creating healing.
The first key you hold in your hand is permission to discover true rest.
We need rest practices as our bodies crave time and habits to heal from our daily living or more. Make sleep top priority. Without the proper amount and quality sleep, workouts can only go so far in your well of self. Ah there are the “but”, “but”,”but”- I still have lingering ones too. Sleep is the supporting step to other habits. If getting sleep is challenging: diet, changing routines, supplements/medications, medical conditions (including mental) are all areas to seek professional help. Put work, phones, and whatever down to chip away at those non sleep walls. Naps are a beautiful thing when those gaps needs to be filled. Nature sounds, white noise, binaural beats, or (my fav) water could help. Play around with that. Speak with a certified aromatherapist about oils that encourage sleep or rest. Lavender is incredible, but there is so much more out there. Rest needs to be added on to a sleep practice. Rest is putting our bodies into practice of stillness, getting present minded, and discovering a refreshed spirit. Alone or with others. Read, get creative, pamper, mini show binge, play board games, or what ever you decide. Set work and tasks aside, daily, to play intentionally.
Other keys you hold are all about you
Almost every health and wellness publication I see is some ripped human being with a running practice and weight routine. They work for it and it works for them. However, that healthy lifestyle isn’t for everyone. These people to know something we all need: to be active and some type of strengthening is hugely beneficial. The key for your individual exercise routine that works for you is considering your taste, daily living, and abilities. If you move a lot during the day, then a not as strenuous activity may be best consistently. Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Qong, simple stretches, or a slow walk. These can also work with chronic illness, sleep deprivation, or any situation where your health may be compromised. Unstructured activities count too. Dancing, cleaning, or some hobbies are active enough for that need of activity. When those happen, consider your exercised fulfilled for the day. If you have moderate or almost no movement then something more activity could be needed. Watch for restraints of illness or injury. Lack of sleep counts as illness or injury. Running, kick boxing, dancing are a few more active ideas. Strenuously active and mildly active exercises are not an “either or.” There isn’t a magic number for when each should be done. They can be combined and different seasons of life call for more active or slow. Listen to your body. Exercise should create energy eventually, if not at first. Over time, you may need to tweak your choices. Embrace what works for you.
The last key is your ability to keep balance
Not enough activity and too much activity are as equally damaging to your over all health. To maintain best health means balance. Listen to you. It may mean effort for creating new physical routines while saying no to other opportunities. It might mean a “no thank you” to run but support that person while enjoying your own exercise community. When you don’t engage is exercise at all contributes to diminished health and lower mental function. When you tip that balance and work out too much, the same exact results can occur. Allow yourself to pay attention to you and realize when yes is appropriate and no is appropriate. It’s okay to recognize and voice what is not for you or what is for you. Seek help with a coach, doctor, or other professional if you are struggling to recognize the best physical activity you need.
We have our basics down: rest and get moving. You have knowledge of where to go inside you. Listen to discover the right person, community, or more that will partner with you. Encourage the well in you.
Take two steps into the health and wellness world, you will find terms like “detox” and “cleanse.” Personally, these terms were not even on my radar until my daughter saw a Gastroenterologist. By this point I had a preschooler with digestive issues, tons of trial and error diet changes, and little results. Try cleansing every two weeks he said. Sounds easy, until you have to pump so much juice and laxative in your preschooler until it becomes criminal. I truly wish I knew then what I have grasped of now. Life is easier and brighter with a few simple, healthier tweaks.
Coming to Terms with Terms
First of all there is a difference between the two with a common goal. A cleanse is an intentional effort using medicine (sythentic or natural) or food to remove harming substances from your digestional tract. A detox is a variety of processes, from activity to food to behavior changes, to rid anywhere in the body of toxins. Each term has been used for another and I truly do not believe its the end of the world if you do. The point is understanding you accumulate toxins and they need to be exorcised.
It’s More than a Physical Relationship
Cleansing or detoxing your body is central to your “whole self” health. The understanding that your are cleansing more than your body is essential. What cleans out your gut and adrenal system goes to your head, literally. Having toxic thoughts, behaviors, and relationships show up physically in your body. One impacts the other and cleanses in both areas need to happen.
It’s Not A Sometimes Thing
Whether is food, an experience, illness, or just plain bad day- on some level, your body has to flush out daily. Often its unintentional in what we pick up, may be not even all that bad and seems small. Yet, it accumulates and will show up in us sooner or later. Daily head and physical junk removal in important. Bigger cleanses may be required on top of the daily, especially after vacations, special events, or a big life event. Know that daily you need this habit and listening yourself when its time to do this bigger stuff.
It Doesn’t Need to Be a Harsh or Difficult Process
We will hit on the overview of how to cleanse, but it’s important to know that punishing your body or mind is never necessary. The cleansing or detoxing processing can be uncomfortable and challenge our preconceived bodily and mental limitations. It promotes healing and growth in working through those cleanses. However, personally, I find it more harm than good to pick up a cleansing process that causes more than an uncomfortable state. With a few exceptions, it shouldn’t cause pain. Mental cleanses are the hardest in my personal opinion and can border, if not be emotionally painful in the removal process. However, the healing afterwards is astounding.
What Needs to Go & Ways to Do It
Drink it. Lots of water. You can throw in lemon and/or ginger, cinnamon in your water to boost toxin removal. Green or herbal teas (dandelion) are powerful ways to cleanse and detox. Berries and green veggies are great food relationship cleansers. While you are addressing your food relationship, eat and take fiber. Fiber is a daily cleanse choice we all need to have. Add garlic and tumeric to your food. Both of these flavor additions are excellent in cleanse and anti inflammatory agents as well. Drink water, up your fiber content, and pick a few of these small changes in your daily routine. It will have a major impact, particularly as you keep it up over time.
What you need less of is junk. You can cleanse and detox all day long but it’s going to be stunted in it’s power if you are eating a lot of process foods. I am all for splurges and aim to be transparent in my food relationship vices. However, they are short leased and for good reason. Drive thru avoidance with a rare encounter and sugar detox are necessary. The ingredients are addictive and harmful in a daily relationship. We eat at home a lot and the more whole the food is purchased the better. When buying a box, frozen, or bag ingredient- I look for ingredients I know and can pronounce. There is nothing wrong with semi homemade.
You need some form of physical activity daily to promote bodily cleanse. Walk, run, yoga, zumba, weights, kick boxing, tai chi- It doesn’t matter what you do or what combos you choice during your week. Discover what you need or like and then do it.
As what we do physically affects our physical and mental state, it goes the other way around. In the mental realm it can get sticky as we work to bust stigmas and explore options that are not as familiar. Meditation, journaling, coloring, creative processes, mantras/affirmations, sound therapy, Reiki, EFT tapping, Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong are a few ways to incorporate a daily habit or occasional boost to cleanse the mind. It doesn’t need to be just one and variety is best. This does help in the daily mental flush but may not be enough if there is deep hurt. A counselor, therapist, spiritual healer, natural healer, or combination may be necessary to address toxic experiences, behavior, and more. You have the power to heal and there are those who wish to help you accomplish that.
Just in writing this post I picked up stress as I struggle to focus with the million times I was interrupted by my son. Having that EFT tapping and breathing practice got me through. Connecting with my kids is great, but mommy has boundaries and limitations. Mental health is a personal responsibility that invites incredible opportunities for connections. Most daily activities have alone options as well as “come join me” or ” I’ll join you” options. I love joining various yoga communities, do EFT tap with my kids, and my hubby and I enjoy creative processes. Alone time is precious too with my meditation and spiritual/natural healing practices. It wasn’t that long ago I joined a group in sugar detox from the holidays and looking at switching up my food relationship for concentrated liver detox. All this to say, this girl practices what she preach. And bust it once a month or so for some Doritos. That and cookies truly are my delicious vice. Take those steps, yes even baby steps, and start with a cleanse/detox habit or two to maximize your whole self health.
I am a sensory nut. I need to see, smell, taste, and touch. Then, I birthed two sensory seeking, sensory repulsed people. When we love a taste, it’s on until we absolutely hate it. Except tacos. Never touch our blankets. Tag are out. If it’s too loud, forget it. What is that smell??!!! May I touch that? I probably should’ve asked before touching it. We are seekers of a sensory buzz.
Finding the warm fuzzies is a fairly universal desire for us human beings. Most often we do it unconsciously, being categorized as preference or like. Some of us are more aware of sensory issues by living with exceptional needs. We are looking for the balance of avoidance versus those warm sensory fuzzies. But what if your awareness in positive sensory behavior could enhance your daily wellness? From mental acuity to de-stress plus possible weight help, social bonding, and more- our sensory endeavors have potential benefits for everyone.
Before we submerge our senses we need to precede with caution. If therapy or medical care is a part of your life or someone in your care, then these may help as “in addition too.” However, ask your professional first.
For your eyes seek bright or soft colors, which one depends on what you need
Most of us have a favorite color and there may be reasons as to why, it’s color psychology. Companies use the study colors to know how to entice your consumer brain. For the purpose here, it’s a tool that may help engage your brain and mental well being. In the general sense, bright/warm colors stimulate your brain. If you feel sluggish, pick one bright color you like and wear it. If you love it, paint a room with it. Or, less commitment option is to paint a piece of furniture. On the other end, if your are stressed, over stimulated, etc then aim for wearing, obtaining, painting with cool/soft/pastel colors. Even a light pink can soothe and brighten. Work towards an array in your closet and mix them up in your living space, different days or hours call for different colors.
Seek soft, weighted, warm, or cool to touch
Feeling sore or stressed? Find warmth in a blanket; in my case, multiple blankets. Texture is important so go with that “gut feeling.” If you tend to heat easily then go light and soft. Personally, it’s fleece. Light compression can be calming. A heavier, but not necessarily warmer blanket may be of benefit. A quilt can have some weight or as I discovered recently in a Yin Yoga class, that a tightly woven blanket (“Mexican Blanket,” “Yoga Blanket”) has a fair amount of weight. There are weighted blankets that can be pricey and a professional would be the one to tell you what weight ratio you need. A quilt or woven blanket have some weight but not enough to require a consultation for most people. Another inexpensive option to calm is simply taking a bath. Water is therapeutic. Hot water with the door locked and kids on the other side is life altering. On the other end, being active in cool water can help workout those nerves and add to positive stimulation. It’s a great option for joint problems and children with lots of energy.
When you need to hear it
If your auditory sense is seeking those chills there are a few simple options. To calm the nerves, slower (classical, jazz, etc), sound of nature, white noise are ear massage options. Listening to a guided meditation can be an option too. If heavy or dull is the feeling then go upbeat. Then add dancing or something similar too it. Movement and music are a powerful combo. Another way to uplift is finding or recording affirmations that are meaningful to you. It repeats to become a memory. You may replay that “track” later when it’s not available but needed.
From a “pick me up” to chill out, sensory seeking can go a long way to help. Look for part two in the near future. Subscribe for your convenience. We still need to address our olfactory sense and of course, food! Check that out in Seeking the Warm Fuzzies Part Two
From intolerances to “this could be an ER visit,” we are that allergy family. We hit all of them. Restaurants require research. Dinners are a cultivated art of allergy free. We meticulously plan for BBQs and get togethers. Halloween is a search and find of labels and parental taxes. We gotta get something out of preparing for the festivities, right? Fortunately for the food allergy challenged, there are easy options.
First things first. Know your candy. Know what your favorites are to negotiate taxes and know how to practice candy safety. This means check packaging (sealed?), reading all labels (known allergies on it?), and if you’re not sure, trash it.
Look for safe candies (free from top 8 allergies): DOTS, Ring Pop, Dum Dums, Skittles, Smarties, Starburst, and Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. Yes brand matters in this case.
Get in the project! Food Allergy Research & Education has an amaze Teal Pumpkin Project The site contains a map across the United States of homes with Top 8 Allergy friendly candies or non candy items. We are on that map!!
There are great kid friendly activities
Print outs for your home are on this site!
Stores like Target and Michaels are carrying Teal Pumpkin items for purchase.
Offer allergy friendly candies that do not contain the top 8 allergies or have a prize option: Stickers, rings, slime, pencils, any party favor.
I am finding multipack prize options at a reasonable cost at Target and Walmart.
Below are the Top 8 Common Allergies for your in the know. Food allergy challenged or not, awareness for the sake of safety in important. Please consider going teal in the festivities. This act of kindness will treat you in the future.
A lot comes through my media and email with shockers like “number one killer” or ” this could kill you.” Yes death is a reality and even a fear. Matter of the heart are serious and, seriously, when your heart is cared for, it does much to amplify the quality of your life. What if we shift our focus to finding habits to enhance our heart health?
A lot of the following suggestions of physical habits are general preventative measures or maintenance. Everyone is different and a sit down with your doctor, nutritionist, health coach, etc for individual guidance is important. Especially if you are seeking treatment for heart or blood conditions. According to American Heart Association, the best heart diet is one full of fruit, veggies, whole grains (think ancient), lean meat, low fat dairy, and nuts. Across the board, for most this is a great guideline for any one. What any heart and food relationship needs restraints in are limited: saturated fat, red meat, sodium, sweets, and sugar sweetened beverages. Kick trans fat to the curb. Period. Why these guidelines? Fiber and Omegas found in many veggies, whole grains, and lean meats are important for gut thus heart function. Too much processed foods, sugar, fats can damage your gut, build up in blood vessels, then affect your heart. Your food relationship is your daily healer. Physical activity is important and looks different for everyone. The important thing is to find something you enjoy. There are lighter ends like Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Yin/Restorative Yoga to walking, Hatha Yoga, Pilates, biking, zumba, Refit, and more. If you want to run, run. If you want to box, box. If you like the gym and it holds you accountable, then make time for it. Take a class. Find an app or youtube at home. Find what you like and take limitations into account. I am rarely in the mood for the gym. Yoga in its many forms is my thing and other than an relished and occasional class due to time constraints, my practice is at home.
What you do for your physical health impacts your mental well being. Your mental care habits affect your body and heart. It’s a never ending circle to represent the whole you. There isn’t solid study evidence to date on the link of mental to heart health. Yet. However, many professionals support this link as found on heart.org. Prolonged stress effects many things from gut to brain to your heart. Since stress is a natural part of life and many times can’t be avoided, you need stress busters.
Ways to bust
physical activity (two for one!)
time with loved ones
coloring/ creative activity
play dough (its for adults too)
water feature or sounds
Essential oils: peppermint and lavender
Practice or journal gratitude
Self care: baths, massage, reiki, spa day, nails
Find your limitations and stick with them. Yes is potent. No is potent. Listen to yourself to know when to use what and when.
This isn’t a pick one and done list. And you have the freedom to rotate, pick a few, or pick many. Your inner voice and preferences are powerful. Listen to them and begin building those stress busting habits. Your food relationship, activity level, and mental care are essential for your heart health.
Your heart matters
I am not affiliated with above link to the American Heart Association. Their website is wonderful, check it out at Heart.org
Spicy foods and I have had a long time love affair in our food relationship. It seems that now we are at least on a separation if not headed for limited contact relationship. Our relationship literally burns my heart, among other things. Heart burn, acid reflux, and bile reflux are serious conditions that do more than irritate. Due to high acid production, it can erode your digestive system from mouth to intestines. It can be painful and may even cause esophageal spasms. Not being able to use your esophagus sucks at the very least and scary at times. To find balance in your food relationship, you need pH balance- acid vs alkaline. This doesn’t mean acidic food are bad all together, many have amazing nutritional value and for some people, acidity is needed. For us fiery, acidic bellies- we need to tone it down and tailor our relationship.
It’s starts with “we’re on a break.” For some time or all the time or on a limited basis you need to quit these foods: caffeine, citrus fruits, cocoa beans (coffee/chocolate), tomatoes, spicy, hot temps, high fats, processed, fried foods. A relationship with a medical professional may help you decide what that relationship will look like. These foods are either high in acid or cause more stomach acid production. If you are extra sensitive then avoiding most fruits, gluten, dairy, and onions may be of benefit.
So now what do I eat? I truly did have a spicy food addiction. In treating and making new relationship routines I have become a humongous fan of oats. I like oats before, but it’s a whole new love now. Oats are excellent for regulating blood sugar among many things but for the sake of stomach acid- it absorbs acid and helps regulate the guts. Every morning I have oatmeal with raw honey and sliced bananas. Every. Freaking. Morning. Raw honey, it HAS to be raw, has amazing healing properties and bananas are on the helpful with the acid list. Ginger in tea or added to a meal is another pH balancing friend. Probiotics like yogurt, kefir, and kombucha will tip the pH scale in your favor. And veggies. Veggies are alkaline which is the yin to acid’s yang so to speak, especially those greens and carrots. Avocados, herbal teas, nuts, seeds, tofu, amaranth, and legumes are other alkaline options for daily contacts in your food relationship.
Love red sauces. Me too! What do I do with tomato based sauces to combat acidity? Carrots. These handy veggies in a puree aid in leveling out tomato’s acidity. Cooking time is important too. It need to be limited and I do not cook my sauces over thirty minutes. More cook time, more acid. Spices and herbs can contribute to raising the pH level. An example is enchilada sauce. I either eliminate the chili powder completely or reduce it, the up the cumin by half more. This can be applied to any enchilada sauce recipe or pin you see. Below I have included how I make my carrot puree plus a recipe for a reduced acid pasta sauce. The carrot thing really does work.
2 carrots peeled and diced in 1 cup of water. Cook until soft and blend or food processor until smooth. You can double to make extra to store or freeze for later use.
Reduced Acid Pasta Sauce
2 ( 29 oz) can of Tomato Sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup of carrot puree
2 bay leaves (cue 90’s kid in school lunchroom memories)
2 tablespoons basil
1 tablespoon oregano
Cooking: measure it, dump it, stir it, and cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes.
You can cook longer if you can stand higher acidity. TBH- I love longer cooked sauces; however, they are not loving me back at the moment. Care for your gut as it cares for the rest of you.