One of the questions I get asked a lot is do you work out? I have to admit I love that because it makes me feel good that people notice. Then come all the questions about what kind of workouts I do. When I mention strength training most people think they don't need to do that...that they need to do cardio in order to lose weight. They couldn’t be more wrong and here is why!
Strength training builds muscle and increases your metabolism but did you know that it does much more for you as far as your health goes?
* Weights improve immunity - Immune strength depends on the availability of the amino acid glutamine. Your muscles have to supply the glutamine to your immune system in order for it to work. Therefore the more muscle you have the more abundant the glutamine supply, and the better your immune system works and helps fight free radicals!
* Weights develop strong bones - By stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
* Weights combat Diabetes - New studies published between 1995 and 2000 show that weight training has an unexpected benefit - it improves glucose tolerance in patients with Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes.
* Weights help protect your joints and your back - More muscle power means you put less strain on joints and connective tissue when lifting or exerting.
* Weights raise testosterone - Did you know that strength training is one of the best exercises to raise testosterone levels in men and women! With strength training the levels of both testosterone and growth hormone rise dramatically. This is the youth hormone!
* Keeps you young - Since loss of strength and muscle mass are the prime causes of most age-related diseases a lifelong strength training program is one of the best insurance policies for a better quality of life for both men and women.
* Avoid muscle loss - Beginning at age 20, adults lose about one-half pound of muscle each year partially due to decreased activity levels. Strength training can help to slow down or reverse this muscle loss.
* Healthy for your heart - Strong muscles can perform better with less oxygen meaning the heart doesn't have to pump hard when you are active...this is also good for your blood pressure.
* Reduce body fat - Muscle tissue burns as much as 15 times more calories per day than does fat tissue...even at rest!
* Improve your sense of well-being - Strength training can boost your self confidence, improve your body image and reduce the risk of depression...gotta love that!
There are several options to pick from when doing strength training exercises, you can use resistance tubing, free weights, weight machines or your own body weight. Mix it up and see what works best for you.
Beachbody offers a lot of choices when it comes to this so check it out! Best part is you can do it at home on your own time.
Hope that helps you to understand how important it is to incorporate strength training into your workouts!
Essential oils are becoming my ultimate stress hack recommendation!
.Here’s the deal...Stress can make us exhausted 😩 and it creates a host of other unwanted symptoms if not dealt with!
.The best way to overcome stress is by protecting your energy. Spending time in relaxation or meditation and deep breathing each day can help to lower your stress levels. By focusing on your own self-care you will get your mind and body back in balance 💗.
.When we 👃 inhale an essential oil, it immediately enters our body affecting our system more quickly than any over-the-counter digestible remedies. I am all about anything holistic!
.I also pair the oils with crystals during these stressful times. The crystals I love are amethyst, black tourmaline, rose quarts and clear quartz during stressful times.
💫Stress Relief Blend💫
.12 drops Lavender Essential Oil
9 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
9 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil
Add essential oils to a10ml rollerball. Top off with Fractionated Coconut 🥥 Oil. (if you don’t have a rollerball, you can mix this in a jar and use it that way.
.Roll the blend over your pulse points, palms, heart and temples. To experience instant relief from stressful moments-roll the blend over your palm and take 3-5 deep breaths so that the aroma goes straight to the limbic brain and calms down the amygdala.
This keeps coming up and I have to share this! Let’s talk vegetable oils. In case you didn’t know- vegetable oils are bad. Bad for your health and bad for the environment. First- these do not come from vegetables! These are oils that have been extracted from various seeds. The most common include rapeseed (canola oil), soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower, and peanut. Unlike coconut oil or olive oil that can be extracted by pressing, these oils have to be extracted in very unnatural ways.
Cholesterol and saturated fat are essential to good health. Even now, despite the fact that heart disease, cancer and diabetes rise at an alarming rate while butter consumption is down, vegetable oil consumption is at an all time high. People are still believing the hype and buying this non-healthy food like product.
I have to share this just so you can see how these oils are made!
Step 1: Find some “canola seeds.” Oh wait, they don’t exist. Canola oil is actually made from a hybrid version of the rapeseed… most likely genetically modified and heavily treated with pesticides. (never a good thing)
Step 2: Heat the rapeseeds at unnaturally high temperatures so that they oxidize and are rancid before you ever buy them.
Step 3: Process with a petroleum solvent to extract the oils.
Step 4: Heat some more and add some acid to remove any nasty wax solids that formed during the first processing.
Step 5: Treat the oil with more chemicals to improve the color.
Step 6: Deodorize the oil to mask the horrific smell from the chemical processing.
Sounds like something you want to put in your body? And the sad truth is, this oil is in so many things like processed foods (cookies, crackers, breads,salad dressings etc) and can wreak havoc on your health.
Along with the continued myth about saturated fats and cholesterol, these oils are promoted as healthy because they contain monounsaturated fats and Omega 3 fatty acids. And that’s what advertisers focus on to draw you into the fake health claims. But it definitely doesn’t paint the whole picture..
Vegetable oils are bad because they contain very high levels of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). But did you know that the fat content of the human body is about 97% saturated and monounsaturated fat? Our body needs fat for rebuilding cells and hormone production.
These fats are highly unstable, they oxidize easily. Oxidized fats cause tons of inflammation and mutation in cells. This is liked to all sorts of health issues from heart disease, cancer, endometriosis, PCOS, gut issues etc..
Most vegetable oils come from genetically modified sources and that is never a good thing. So...what is safe to use? Traditional oils should be cold-pressed. Organic when possible (especially when dealing with animal fats as the fat is where toxins/pesticides are stored). Do the best you can, and try not to get overwhelmed. Being aware is the best tool you can have!
Here are the healthy oils:
Coconut oil, Grass-fed butter, Extra Virgin Olive oil, Avocado oil
Here are some oils to be used sparingly:
Walnut oil, Flaxseed oil, Macadamia nut oil
So to refrain here is a list of oils to avoid!
Canola oil, Corn oil, Soybean oil, "Vegetable"oil, Peanut oil, Sunflower oil, Safflower oil, Cottonseed oil, Grapeseed oil, Margarine, Shortening and any fake butter substitutes
The other issue is eating out….just be aware that most restaurants use vegetable oils because they are cheaper and don’t have any flavor. Something most people don’t notice is that they do have issues with these oils but because they are in so many foods, its become “normal” to feel that way. Once you remove them from your diet, i guarantee you will feel better
Something in common I am seeing with my health coaching clients is they all tend to have high cortisol levels = high stressors both internally and externally. Most people know about the external stressors, traffic, financial, work, relationship…these are easy to see. But it is the internal stressors that go undetected. These are environmental toxins, food intolerances, medications, emotions, scented candles/air fresheners, EMF’s, blue light and the list goes on!
When we are in this stressed state its activating our sympathetic nervous system which is part of the autonomic nervous system. Commonly known as the flight or fight system.😜 The other part is the parasympathetic nervous system which works to relax and slow down the body’s response to stress.(rest and digest)😌
Here is something to help get you back to that parasympathetic state! Its super easy and all you do is put your legs up the wall! Thats it! I usually do this for 5-10 min daily. You can focus on your breathing as you do this.
This pose also reduces edema, promotes circulation, it releases lower back tension and it’s super calming.🙏
Todays post was inspired by all the questions I keep getting regarding gut health and how to heal the gut. After going through my Functional Diagnostic Nutrition program and learning about health in a whole new way I learned how important it is to test not guess when it comes to health issues. In FDN we run functional lab work to get to the root cause of health issues. It may not be what you think and almost always it leads us back to the gut. Did you know that 70-80% of our immune system is found in the gut? I would have never guessed that. When I ran labs on myself for part of the course I discovered that all my labs pointed to gut issues. When I went in to doing the labs I was pretty confident- cocky to be exact that my labs were going to be really good because I ate clean, exercised and didn’t have many health complaints, I had no problem sleeping, my weight was ideal, yes I was tired but figured it was from working too much well that is not what my labs said! I was in shock...stage 3 adrenal dysfunction...aka metabolic chaos! I was shocked!
As I quickly learned stress plays such a huge part in all of this and when I am talking stress I am talking about the external stressors -the kind we all know about and worry about- financial, work, life and I had a lot of that going on! Also the internal stressors that we may not be aware of such as toxins (environmental, cleaners, cosmetics, lotions, candles to name a few), parasites, bacteria, medications, food sensitivities and so much more. All of this leads/points to a leaky gut! Just because you may not have “gut” issues (bloating, constipation etc) doesn’t mean anything- it can show up as skin issues, fatigue, brain fog, ADD/ADHD, poor memory, irritability, depression, anxiety, diabetes, sinus infections, allergies and so much more. Some people don’t believe in ADD, ADHD and fibromyalgia but they are real. They are not a “true” diagnosis, they are a symptom of something else causing these issues. All point back to gut health!
I would say about 80% of the population has leaky gut. Leaky gut is when the tight junctions in the gut villi that control what passes through become loose and allow food particles to cross that barrier and get into the bloodstream. This is what causes the body to start building antibodies against itself- hence all the autoimmune diseases we are seeing and did you know that almost all of autoimmune diseases respond amazingly when you heal the gut and remove the inflammation!
This is great news but the not so great news is that most people are not willing to give up their foods, lifestyle etc, they are afraid they will be deprived and would rather take a pill which saddens me. In reality you have to think that this did not happen overnight, this is a direct result of eating the wrong foods, poor lifestyle choices, chronic stressors and over time the body just can’t keep up and starts to break down. I have found that the majority of my clients have tried everything else before coming to me because they were not willing to make the changes they need to make to heal themselves, they either were not aware of it or just didn’t know where to start. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, you can take baby steps.
Here are some steps you can take now to start healing your gut and restoring it.
Ever notice that when you use traditional cleaning products your hands get super dry and your chest feels heavy and wheezy? Maybe even headaches after? For me, I stopped using those a long time ago due to the awful smells and my go to was vinegar and water, although that doesn’t smell the greatest either😝 Not only do these products smell bad, they are full of harmful chemicals that wreck havoc on the body from hormone dysfunction to gut issues.
Here are some examples of toxic cleaners to avoid!
1. Air fresheners- The fragrances (even those marked unscented) can trigger asthma and allergies.
2. Cleaning products with artificial fragrances- The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that one-third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic, yet because the formulas used for these fragrances are trade secrets companies aren’t required to disclose the ingredients used.
4. Antibacterial products- The ingredients used to kill bacteria in these soaps can can encourage the development of drug-resistant superbugs.
5. Corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners- These are the most acutely dangerous cleaning products on the market. The ingredients in these cleaners can cause severe burns on the skin and eyes, or if ingested to the throat and esophagus.
After learning about all of this I am so glad I stopped using traditional cleaners. Today I tried something new. I made my own cleaner with vinegar, water, Onguard and Lemon essential oils from Doterra. So easy! My place smells amazing and feels super clean! I highly recommend trying this. 👍
For the longest time I have been resisting essential oils because a lot of them can be toxic for cats. They lack an enzyme in their liver to break them down, I took this to the extreme and pushed them away completely for years, until now…they just kept coming up for me and it was always this same company! I took that as a sign!🙂
Current situation another free lab test😀 I am participating in another lab study on neurotransmitters- I get to do these from time to time because I use this lab as part of my Functional Diagnostic Nutrition training. I love this work (FDN) because it gets to the root cause of the health issues instead of just throwing supplements and medications at something, you actually know what supplements and things you need to do to HEAL it instead of masking the symptoms and I love that you can do these labs at home and mail them back to the lab. Easy peasy! I think the hardest part for me was not having coffee ☕️ for a day before or my protein shakes and avocados!
My interest in this is the brain gut connection and how your gut can influence how you feel! it all starts with GABA and Serotonin. Did you know that 90% of serotonin is found int he gut? When the levels are off this can cause either constipation or diarrhea. ...
So what are neurotransmitters? They are chemical messangers between nerve cells and other cells in the body. They can affect a wide variety of physical and psychological functions including heart rate, sleep, appetite, mood and fear.
There are 6 types:
Amino Acids- GABA, glutamate
Monoamines- epinephrine, norepinephrine, histamine, dopamine, serotonin
Gasotransmitters- Nitric oxide, carbon monoxide
Its quite complex as you can see! When they are not working right a lot can go wrong. The play a huge role in neural communication, influencing everything from involuntary movements o learning and mood. They can also be affected by medications.