The Need for Exercise

“Do you go to a grocery store for milk, bread and vegetables instead of milking your cow, grinding your grain and tending your garden?” This is just one of example of our modern conveniences that Stormie Omartian points out in her book Greater Health God’s Way. Modern conveniences have replaced many activities that would require us to move more. (I’m not going to comment here on why you should still milk your own cow or find someone who does – if you still drink cow’s milk. Perhaps I’ll link to another article later. Let’s talk about the importance of exercise.)

Exercise Improves Circulation.

Your body requires movement. One very important process that depends on the movement of your body is circulation. In a nutshell, circulation helps your blood flow while it carries nutrients to important organs and remove toxic wastes to be eliminated. A few signs and symptoms of impaired circulation are:

  • Numbness in extremities
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pains (due to reduced blood flow to the heart)
  • Brain Fog (inability to think sharply or stay focused)

Benefits of improving circulation can be:

  • Increased energy (due to increased oxygen levels)
  • Increased metabolism (speeds up the body processes that maintain life)
  • Better heart functioning
  • A focused mind and clearer thinking
  • Feel and look healthier

Exercise for weight loss?

Yes, we all know that we can burn extra calories while exercising. But, let’s not make that the focus. If you focus on burning calories, you may give up if you don’t see the scale moving down or burn yourself out by doing too much exercise. Instead, our focus should be to exercise for health benefits as a whole. And as we become healthier, our bodies will tend to “go” towards our ideal weight without feeling as if we had to work so hard to get there. When I say “work hard” I mean physically exerting our bodies to the point where we are doing more harm than good.  In the beginning you may feel that you are “working hard” to implement exercise within your new lifestyle. Yet, this is normal when implementing any new change. I want to encourage you to be excited about the change and the changes ahead for how adding exercise to your routine is going to reap rewards.

Exercise relieves tension and stress.

Exercising naturally releases endorphins which are  “feel-good” hormones. These endorphins can lift your spirit and relieve depression. As you more regularly practice exercise you will gain energy that will allow you to do more activities that you enjoy and even better handle the regular ins-and-outs of daily living. In addition to the endorphins, your body is detoxifying while you exercise through the various pathways that it has in order to do so. Getting rid of toxic chemicals and built up lactic acid will eliminate anxiety and help you to feel calmer too.

Exercise can also provide these additional benefits:

  • More endurance
  • Helps prevent constipation
  • Improve digestion
  • More muscles and more strength
  • Increase flexibility and balance
  • Cut cravings for junk food
  • Detoxification (through sweat and increased lymph circulation)
  • Improve attitude
  • Better sleep and relaxation

Ways to Exercise

Walking on a stationary treadmill or riding a stationary bike is not my idea of fun. Actually, I’m one to try to implement exercise into my daily life that will allow me to get some chores accomplished at the same time. For example, I have a manual push lawn mower (avoids gasoline fumes and strengthens my muscles).

Yet, if not accomplishing a chore, then I rather enjoy exercise! When you find an activity that is fun, then it’s more likely that you will keep doing it. Agree? And even some of these can be just as relaxing as they are fun and enjoyable.

Here are some exercises that can be easy to implement.

  • Walking – alone or with a friend or family member
  • Dancing – by yourself or with a partner or in a class setting
  • House Cleaning – such as cleaning floors, doing laundry or anything that requires reaching, bending and/or squatting
  • Gardening and lawn care – which regularly requires raking, digging, pulling weeds, bending

And more formal forms of exercise that can be just as enjoyable:

Bicycling for exercise
  • Bicycling
  • Swimming
  • Jogging/running
  • Aerobics
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Lifting weights

NOTE: Stretching your muscles is automatic through most activities involved with exercising and it will help improve circulation. So don’t leave stretching out of your daily activities.

Let me know what types of exercises you enjoy. Send me a message if I have forgotten to list one of your favorites. Thanks.

Grounding – More Food from the Earth

The Earth Sustains Life

 

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read the affiliate disclosure.

“The earth was chttps://wellnessmama.com/affiliate-disclosure/reated to sustain life.” – I hope to affirm this for you on a deeper level. Because not only does the earth provide soil for us to grow healthy foods which we can eat, but it provides antioxidants in another surprising way – which you may not yet be aware of… even though most of us have already experienced this phenomenon.

On one of my regular Monday night YouTube Live Chats with Dr. Baxter Montgomery the discussion was “Ways to Protect Yourself from EMF and Wi-Fi”(see link #1 below). I was quite interested in the subject already. I had purchased an EMF meter to test how much EMF Radiation was being emitted in certain areas of our home. Also, now, there is current “talk” about the 5G towers and possible ill-health effects they can cause by exposing us to even greater amounts of EMF Radiation…all amid the COVID-19 health crisis. (Whew! We definitely need a break.)

Back to the Monday night YouTube Live Chat: at 45 minutes and 26 seconds the presenter mentions that one way to protect ourselves from EMF Radiation is by going outside and walking barefoot on the earth. This suggestion was only discussed for 41 seconds, but it caught my attention because he also mentions the phrase “working in the soil”. This phrase evoked my memory of about 7 years ago when I was spending a great amount of time outdoors in our garden with my bare hands in the dirt. (It was somewhat of a raised garden so it did not have many earthworms, for those of you who know how terrified I am of worms and am least likely to touch dirt with my bare hands. But I did it for the entire season which I gardened which was from February until the next frost – so about November.)

During the 7 years that followed, I would often find myself pondering about what was different about that year. It was 2013 actually. I had photos that were constant reminders of how healthier I felt and how more relaxed I was in 2013. 

What could be so good about the year I gardened? My guesses were that I was:

  • getting certain microbes from being outdoors by handling dirt with my hands, and
  • by eating the fresh produce of our garden I was getting extra nutrients

All of these things are positive outcomes of gardening, without a doubt. I knew at the time was that it was an enjoyable experience. But what I was not aware of is that I was being grounded by touching the earth with my hands. 

How about you? Do you garden or do landscaping work? Or perhaps you appreciate walking along the beach while barefoot or being barefoot in the cool green grass? Apparently, there are so many reasons to enjoy these activities and I think most of all is the process of being grounded.

Antioxidants for Detoxification

You have probably heard of an indoor outlet being grounded.

“…the grounding system in a residential wiring system serves a ‘backup’ pathway that provides an alternate route for electrical current to follow back to ‘ground’ in the case of a problem in the wiring system.”  (see link #2 below)

We will refer back to indoor grounded outlets later.

But, just like indoor outlets we can be grounded too. The terms used for this process is called “Grounding” or “Earthing”. We can experience grounding/earthing while walking barefoot on the earth’s natural surfaces such as grass, dirt, rocks and sand.

ANTIOXIDANTS – Grounding/Earthing “allows our bodies to soak up negatively charged ions from the earth.

These ions [from the earth] neutralize the positively charge ions [free radicals] that we accumulate from EMFs.” – Ways to Protect Yourself form EMF and Wi-Fi

Why You Should Practice Grounding/Earthing

We’ve all heard that we need to eat antioxidant rich foods to clean up free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are caused by the consumption of poor foods (such as those containing chemicals and pesticides), air pollution, EMFs, medications, overdoing exercises that deplete oxygen intake and many more causes. Yet, antioxidants are molecules that donate an electron to free radicals – without forming or becoming free radicals in the process! When we are being grounded, we take in antioxidants, negative ions from the earth, that bond with free radicals, positive ions.

Grounding/Earthing can provide you with extra antioxidants to improve your health. Here are a few of the most common benefits of grounding that you may experience:

  • Better Sleep
  • Pain/Inflammation Reduction
  • Look and feel more vibrant
  • Stress relief
  • Speeds healing and recovery
  • Calms your nervous system
  • Increases blood flow

For a list of A to Z of Testimonials by Condition from the Earthing Institute, see link #5 below.

My Personal Experience with Grounding/Earthing

The very next day after viewing that YouTube video about EMFs and grounding I decided to start walking barefoot in a small garden area of my backyard. Before this, I would often go outside to feel the warmth of the sun and to hopefully soak in some Vitamin D, but I always would wear shoes outdoors. I walked outdoors barefoot for three days in a row but because we have been battling ants in our lawn I was being bitten each day and just the day before publishing this article I stepped into an ant mound! Yet, to my amazement, the ant bites never itched and they didn’t even produce the usual itchy bump which usually lasts for a few days. This was strange. The only explanation I could guess at was that because I was grounded I didn’t have my usual inflammatory response.

After day three I started more research. I was curious about how the protection from EMFs really worked so I searched online for more YouTube videos. I found someone who explained how to measure how much voltage my body was conducting using a device called a Multimeter.

Here is a Multimeter Test video which I made especially for you.

After conducting the tests and actually being able to see that the voltage I was conducting would drop as a result of placing my bare feet on the earth, I knew I wanted to ground (practice earthing) as much as I possibly could.

Grounding/Earthing Indoors Is Possible Too

Remember the indoor “grounded” outlets that I mentioned above? Well, they are very useful if you wish to be grounded indoors. You can connect tools that are specifically made for the purpose of grounding indoors if you have grounded outlets in your home, office, or any indoor location. The original inventor is Clint Ober and his products are sold under the “Earthing” brand at Earthing.com.

Earthing universal mat
The mats plug into the grounding port of a grounded receptacle. Use of a special tester checks for proper “earth” grounding.
Shop Earthing.com
(Affiliate Link)

I discovered these tools existed after watching “The Earthing Movie” (see link #3 below). The movie is available for free on YouTube.

By using the indoor tools you can increase the amount of time you are able to be grounded. I’ve been using products that “ground” me while I sleep and while I’m working at my desk. I chose the “Earthing” brand because I like the fact that these products are non-toxic.

The main benefits I’ve noticed are:

  • More relaxed
  • Better, refreshing sleep
  • Less menstrual cramping (after just one month of grounding, it’s a female thing)
  • A persistent pain that I’d had in my shoulder for many months has subsided (At my last visit with the chiropractor he didn’t find the usual knots he would point out at every monthly visit). Perhaps, this is less stress and less inflammation? Whatever the cause, the effect is that the pain is gone!

We (Modern Societies) Have Lost Our Connection to the Earth

“Physical contact with the ground was an ordinary way of life in past times. People walked barefoot or used animal hides (leather) for footwear or bedding.” – The Earthing Institute (see link #4 below) With more and more modern day inventions we are becoming more removed from our connection to the Earth. By the early 1900s, rubber soled shoes were increasing tremendously in popularity and by the 1960s almost all shoe designs were available with rubber soles, especially athletic footwear. This was definitely a point in time when we became more disconnected from the earth (more than we ever had been before) and with this we can definitely see that there has been a rise in sickness and disease. (Additionally, do not forget, that our modern society has also implemented poor practices of growing and packaging foods which contain pesticides and are also highly laden with toxic chemicals. Most foods these days are also lower in nutrients due to the way they are processed and refined. Read my Real Food Guide if you need help navigating the food system.)

I know I’ve presented you with much information here. Yet, I hope this information has been eye-opening for you and has provided you with an additional tool you can use to boost your health. For me, this has been such a great gift of knowledge from which most of us have become disconnected. Don’t forget to watch “The Earthing Movie”.

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Until next time, remember:

“It’s all about the real food you eat starting with the ground beneath your feet.” — Shonda

Links:

  1. Ways to Protect Yourself form EMF and Wi-Fi” by Monday night YouTube Live Chats with Dr. Baxter Montgomery
  2. Definition of a grounding system
  3. The Earthing Movie [The movie features Clint Ober, who is the pioneer of indoor electrical grounding.]
  4. History of Earthing at The Earthing Institute
  5. Here is an A to Z list of Benefits and Testimonials by Condition from The Earthing Institute
  6. Multimeter test video

UPDATE: It’s been two months and I’m thoroughly enjoying the “indoor” earthing products that I’ve mentioned in this article. We used to be connected to the earth almost 24/7. These products can help you stay more connected.

Remember, The Earth is foundational for natural health.(Affiliate Link)

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read the affiliate disclosure.

Drinking Tea for Health Benefits

I have to admit that I mostly drink tea when I’m looking to warm up on a cold winter’s night. So, yes, I mostly drink hot tea. Yet, tea can be enjoyed in a variety of ways and, likewise, there are so many varieties of tea. But most notably, we should be drinking tea for health reasons and its many benefits.

Black tea is what many of us are most familiar with. Some of us drink this tea when out at restaurants and some of us who make it at home using tea bags. In the South, like here in Houston, it’s know as sweet tea. Actually, though I’ve lived here my entire life, I didn’t become familiar with the term sweet tea until just a few years back. (In the community I grew up, sweet tea was replaced by Kool-aid, but that’s an aside, another topic for another day.)

Then there is green tea. Green tea originated in China. Today many westerners have adopted this tea into their diets specifically for its health benefits.  Green tea and black tea are both derived from the same plant, yet black tea is more oxidized. See article links below which explain the benefits of green and black tea and how tea is processed. 

But, today we will talk about other types of teas.

Roots, spices and plant teas for health benefits:

Roots, spices and plant leaves can be used to create tea also. Usually this is accomplished by heating/boiling water and allowing the substances to be infused into the water. The longer the infusion time, the stronger the tea. Similarly, a stronger tea can be made by using more of the root, spice or leaves.

On a recent podcast titled, “Immunity Series – Drinking Teas”, Patryce (my co-host) shared a few of her favorite teas and how they benefit our immune systems. Here are her findings.

Benefits of Drinking Teas

Burdock Root Tea

  • Heals the liver
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves hair health
  • Aids in healing of stomach disorders

Ginger Root Tea

  • Eases morning sicknesses
  • Eases period pains
  • Protects against cancer, heart disease and type-two diabetes

Rooibos (Red Bush)Tea

  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Aids in bone health
  • Improves digestive health

Peppermint Tea

  • Increases your energy
  • Increases brain oxygen levels
  • Enchances breathing functions
  • Relaxes muscles; even bronchial muscles
  • Eases indigestion

Hibiscus

  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Bosts good HDL levels
  • Lowers bad LDL levels
  • Protects the liver
  • Anti-bacterial properties

Important Note: Only certain hibiscus plants can be used to make hibiscus tea. The flowers of H. sabdariffa and H. acetosella are commonly used when brewing hibiscus tea. (Source)

Tea Plants – More Information

Even though our focus in this article, and during our recent podcast, was on other types of teas other than the common tea plant, I’d like to point out that there are benefits to drinking these teas also.

“Tea, a popular beverage made from leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis, has been shown to reduce body weight, alleviate metabolic syndrome, and prevent diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in animal models and humans. Such beneficial effects have generally been observed in most human studies when the level of tea consumption was 3 to 4 cups (600–900 mg tea catechins) or more per day. Green tea is more effective than black tea.” – An abstract from PMC – US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

(More about tea processing at Wikipedia.)

Related Podcast:

Visit the  Immunity – Drinking Teas podcast by clicking on this link.

What’s bottled juice all about?

bottles of juice

Store-bought juices vs. fresh raw juices.

“Store-bought” juices are those which most of us are familiar with and are marketed to us under big brand names. The majority of these also contain added sugars. Even though some are refrigerated, they have still been processed in a way that destroys the natural enzymes that were at once inherent in the juice. But, did you know that even some juices which are usually marketed as fresh pressed (1) on the store shelves also no longer contain their natural enzymes? Yet, there are “fresh pressed” juices that if not pasteurized have undergone a treatment called “High Pressure Processing (HPP)”.

HPP is a processing step that extends shelf life and kills at least 99.999% of the microorganisms in juice.

How can you know the difference?

Fresh juices that are raw and have not been HPP processed (or pasteurized) are still in their natural, raw state (with living enzymes) and they must have an FDA required label if stored on a shelf. The FDA labeling currently reads as such:

“WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and therefore may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.” https://www.fda.gov/food/buy-store-serve-safe-food/what-you-need-know-about-juice-safety

Fresh raw juice cannot just sit on a shelf because it has a “due date”. It will sour or ferment when past due. If you are purchasing from a reputable company, they have taken all precautions to properly clean the produce (fruits and vegetables) prior to bottling it for sale. Their reputation is on the line and the health department will know of their failures. For this reason, you are most likely to get fresh raw juices from juice bars where the juice has either been made fresh that day or made to order.

I prefer, and recommend fresh raw juices.

Fresh raw juices are truly a delight. Due to the higher price of purchasing fresh raw juices , I prefer to make juice in my own home using a juicing machine. This way I can be sure that the juices I’m drinking still have all the living enzymes intact – which lends to added energy for our family when we drink them this way. The live enzymes in fresh raw juices also aid in digestion especially when consumed with meals.

If you must purchase pasteurized juices, please make sure that these bottled juices do not contain added sugar. Because without the live enzymes, our bodies process these juices in a different way that raises your insulin levels.

Bottled juices that can be purchased:

  • Trader Joes’ Carrot Juice – HPP treated. I don’t think they have any fresh, raw juices in the store.
  • Whole Food’s Market – Most sell both. Raw fresh juices from their fresh juice counters and also in the produce section on the shelf which are most likely HPP. Just remember to check labeling.
  • Central Market – I assume they have both, I’ve definitely found fresh raw juices in the produce section.
  • Juice Bars – check labeling and ask the company questions.

(1) How are fresh pressed juices made? First the produce is ground up into pulp, then the juice is slowly extracted by pressing the pulp under thousands of pounds of pressure. Most home juicers are either centrifugal or slow-masticating. Click here for more information about the different types of juicers.

Podcast Episode 2 – What is real food and what are real drinks?

real food and drinks on a chopping board

Have you ever thought about food as being “real” or “not real”?

In this episode Shonda and Patryce discuss the many aspects of what real food and real drinks are. How to identify real foods from the grocery store. We also discuss some suggestions on how you might begin to make small, incremental steps to benefit your health journey and we share our health journeys with you. Let’s get empowered together to make real food choices that can benefit us all. We invite you to listen and share your perspectives with us too.  Send us a recorded message.

Listen right here:

Related blog article: Eat Real Food and Do Not Focus On a Specific Diet

In this episode we mentioned juicing often and that we would have a link to bottled options that you might consider purchasing. Please see “What’s bottled juice all about?” for more insight.

As an added treat, here is a link to a real food, rocky road ice cream recipe for your enjoyment.

Download the Real Food Guidebook:

Healthy Eating with Real Food Guidebook

Healthy eating with real food

Intro with music (00:10): Hi, and hello, welcome to the real food and drinks lifestyle podcast. We're building a community to talk about nutrition, lifestyle choices, and just feeling better. This is Shonda, and this is Patryce. Let's just be real. [inaudible] Here's our disclaimer. We do not professionally practice in any of the various subjects that we discuss. We are only sharing our personal experiences with you to a healthier lifestyle. Please do your own research before taking part in any of these practices.

Shonda (00:55): So what do you want to talk about today?

Patryce (00:58): Let's talk about what is real food and what are real drinks, right.

Shonda (01:05): I think that's a good place to start.

Patryce (01:08): It's interesting how there are so many different perspectives on that opinions. What have you, um, maybe one day we can actually share some of those, but today. What, what, what do you, what do you think real food and real drinks are Shonda?

Shonda (01:26): Well, and the reason why I started blogging about it was that I was having a lot of issues with, uh, brain fog was my main thing. And so, um, I wanted to find a way to detox my body and just get into a healthy state because I had gone through a process called chelation and after the process was over, that therapy was over. ...I felt so much better. And the purpose of the therapy is to detox your body. So I wanted to learn how to detox my own body myself without the chelation process that I had gone through. I wanted to do it in a more natural way. So the idea came we're eating all these foods that have added chemicals and things that our bodies do not need, and that our bodies have to process our bodies, have to detox these chemicals and added things out of our body in order to, um, keep functioning well.

Shonda (02:33): So my goal was to limit the amount of toxins that I was eating in my food. So that's when I started saying, Hey, if I just eat real food. So my definition of real food is mostly staying away from packaged foods and, and trying to eat more, let's say out of the produce section of the grocery store. So a banana is a banana and nothing's been added to it. I try to eat as much organic produce as I can to in order to avoid, um, added, uh, pesticides and things like that. But I think when we think about real food, staying in the produce section is a really good start for creating food and drinks using those products. What do you think?

Patryce (03:27): I agree, uh, staying on the outer perimeter, starting mainly and concentrating in the produce section for your fresh vegetables, your fresh fruits is ideal. And, um, not to say that there aren't things within the inner part of the store you won't get to, but we would focus mainly on those things on the outer perimeter, in the produce section, um, for healthier eating. I totally agree. And for me, um, I think I just got to a point of wanting to eat foods like those that my grandparents raised us on or exposed us to. I mean, my grandfather had a corner garden, literally a garden that took up the corner of the street and collard greens, all these fresh vegetables. Yeah, very nice. And then my mother, well, and I just have relatives that had farms as well, but for me, just having remembered that as a child and not getting, not going out to eat much. That was a treat to eat out.

Patryce (04:35): Most of your meals were prepared and not from a box ...that they picked some of the vegetables and they may have had a protein. And there was not as many processed ingredients, even cornbread was made from all the ingredients itself, not from the box. And then when I got older, I remember straying away from that. And I think looking back mainly because of convenience, and then I remember working at McDonald's and Wendy's, these are fast food restaurants in high school. And just my own personal experience was not a pleasant one with the food that was being, I say, processed there. Um, you know, it seemed like almost instant food. And I started thinking, this is not real and everything microwave and everything out of a container. And, and then the back in the day, thankfully, they don't use the styrofoam now, but everything was then layed in a styrofoam container.

Patryce (05:33): And I just, you know, you start smelling those things when you worked there. And it was a turnoff for me to be honest. So that was in high school. I still ate a lot of that food, honestly. But then when I got into college, I attended a health fair. I met someone who was a raw foodist enthusiast. And, um, I think that really helped me begin a journey of inquiring about what are healthier food choices. And then lastly, when I became, you know, I was married and then we were expecting our first child. I worked for a company that traveled a lot, but they, I was afforded a wonderful, uh, expense account. So I was able to eat anywhere and they were paying for it. So I would eat at the whole food equivalent where I was working. And that really opened my eyes to so many different ways to eat more well, whole foods, real food, um, not completely at that time plant based, but more of a plant based diet.

Patryce (06:36): And then realizing that it made me feel better. And I felt it was so important at the time being pregnant to be feeding my child good food too. So I think that began my journey about, um, what real food is and realizing it's not always about convenient. It has to be intentional. But once it becomes intentional over time, it becomes a habit. And then you also start... For me... I realized all that food I had started to consume in high school and thought was okay. It became not even a taste tasty to me anymore because I do think you can retrain your taste buds.

Shonda (07:17): Right? Wow.

Patryce (07:19): That's pretty much how my journey started.

Shonda (07:22): I was just listening to that. And there's just so much wisdom in that you are not only feeding you, but you were feeding your child. You know, I mean, that's a great thing to consider... To know that what you're eating is going to be fed to your child. It's not just some byproduct and little chemicals and vitamins, but it's real food, you know, real, whatever you consume, your child is consuming. So that's so good. I had a total opposite experience growing up. Okay. So I grew up mostly in I, what I would call... Spent most of my time in what they call now, food deserts. You know what I remember going to the grocery store a lot with my grandmother. I don't remember produce departments. All I remember are the frozen food sections and the meat sections and like deli meat cheese, and it was American cheese.

Shonda (08:27): Okay. We're not going to go there, but you know, I don't even, I don't even remember if we, I don't, I mean, I can visualize all these other aisles in the grocery store, but I cannot visualize the produce department at all. I mean, at the most as a child, what I remember having as produce in my refrigerator would be cucumbers, grapes, plums, maybe an Apple, oranges or whatever, but there was not many vegetables at all. There were more fruits, you know, a vegetable, a vegetable salad would be lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. That was probably as far as it went. And I mean, I'm like, now, what I, the way I prepare my salads, it's like, wow, what I was missing out on as a child, the, the amazing salads that I missed out on. Um, so I'm making up for them now, does,

Patryce (09:33): I know you are Shonda,

Shonda (09:36): I love making salads.

Shonda (09:38): But so that's just, you know, totally opposite upbringing, you know? And then, I mean, I had to discover these things on my own, you know, as I grew up and I had friends that would introduce me to other foods to eat. I grew up on fast food. I mean...

Patryce (09:55): So many people do.

Shonda (09:56): Yeah. I grew up on fast food and sandwiches and cereal. So, you know, no wonder...

Patryce (10:03): I had my share of those.

Shonda (10:03): No wonder why I experienced what I did, but I'm so thankful to be where I am now to know better, to have gained knowledge. And, um, so that's what I'm hoping to share with everyone. And you were talking about how your taste buds can change. It's it's really like you're, you know, and I'm, I'm not a doctor, but I've heard many doctors say it's all about your microbiome changing. You know, it's like your gut, that changes. And so as you feed it better, it wants better. It's going to crave the foods that it needs to build a better body. It's going to want natural sugar. It's going to enjoy fruits and things like that more than sugar. And that's just been my experience and also could have something to do with the way my brain is wired. Now. It's like, no, I spent all that time eating the wrong food, feeling bad, it's time to live life and feel better. So I'm on the other side.

Patryce (11:05): That is awesome. And I love how you brought about microbiomes. I don't know as much as you, and that sounds like something we could explore another time, even further our education and understanding of it as well as our audience. But, um, and I guess the reason I brought up the taste buds is that I'm a person who honestly, I ate because it tastes good.

Shonda (11:29): Right.

New Speaker (11:29): And I ate more than I needed too many times because it just tasted good. Okay. Those spaghetti and meatball dinners or spaghetti dinners,

Shonda (11:38): I love some spaghetti.

Patryce (11:40): Oh my goodness. As a kid and back then, I actually ate cheese in high school. I mean, high school was probably the worst time for me eating wise, but you know, I, I could not resist a good real cheese sandwich and I looked back and I'm like two and three grilled cheese sandwiches and then spaghetti, what are two helpings with those? Not so good for you noodles, but that's because it all tasted good. And back then I was doing some cross country training doing athletics. So you are hungry. But if only I knew that it would be just as fulfilling to eat some other foods that were better for me. Um, wow. I would have had a jumpstart, but it is what it is. You know, we all are on a journey and I'm still on the journey.

Shonda (12:27): Yeah. We're all still on our journey for sure. But I could never eat for the taste, buds because I felt so bad after eating. I mean, I would just drop all energy. So I didn't even have the opportunity to enjoy the food. And I'm, I'm speaking more on the sugar line, cause that really would like knock me out and just mess up my brain. And you know, I want to be in control of my brain. So, you know, if I ate sugar, I would just be wiped out tired and couldn't do anything else. So, because I wanted to do something else that just never was a satisfying thing for me, you know, to eat sugar and I've never been able to enjoy sugar. Like everyone else enjoy, Oh, you know, I could see someone eating cake or pie, whatever. Oh like, Oh, this is so delicious. This is just so good. It's just like, okay, never experienced that because I know what's coming next. You know,

Patryce (13:24): That is so interesting that you brought that up because I wonder how many other people have maybe a negative reaction to what they're eating, but for whatever reason, they're not acknowledging it. They're not aware of it because now that you brought that up, I know from a young age donuts, like kids love donuts in the morning, right. Sometimes, you know, it's a treat. Someone brings you a doughnut. You get to eat in the morning. I never could because similarly to you, I just, well, for me, I just got dizzy. If I had a donut and I haven't had real food before it would go straight to my head and I'd feel dizzy and yucky. And I just didn't like that feeling. But, and so for me, I just, I could eat sugar, but I could not eat it first thing in the morning since a young child.

Patryce (14:13): So I just abstain from that. But then I realized when I got older, I used to like ice cream all lot. And there's certain brands are way good to me. But anyway, that's another story. I would indulge in a whole pint in that day and it tastes so good. But you know, I realized every day I would do that the next morning, my nose would be stuffy. And I feel like I have cotton mouth. And I just began to, I look back now and many years I just did that and I just chalked it up to, Oh, that's just how I'm going to feel. It even became my new normal, but until I started to slow down and then I, I got more information and then I started experiencing how it feels not to feel that way. Then I too, like you would abstain. And even to this day, I don't eat regular ice cream.

Patryce (15:08): I don't really eat ice cream... Once in a while. I'll indulge in a vegan ice cream. If there's a parlor ice cream parlor that has an extra good one, but I don't bring it into the house. I don't eat it. I don't, I don't desire it or crave it anymore. But I think I finally took the time to listen to my body. And that's something I've really admired about you Shonda is that I feel that you learned that earlier on. Well, maybe because you had, but you not only listened, but you actually modified your behavior as a result. So it's one thing to hear it, but then to take positive actions, that's what I've really admired about you.

Shonda (15:49): Well, thank you. Thank you so much. I don't know if we should reserve this for another podcast and probably should, but I'm just going to share this when my kids were small, I could not eat food during the day because I would not have energy to do anything with them. And I was I'd say, less active as a parent that I would have liked to be because I didn't have it together in this food area, at the time and, and I just craved more energy, but I didn't have it when they were younger. So, you know, these are just some, some reasons and things that spurred me on, like, I've got to solve this one day. I'll have grandchildren and I'll have energy for them.

Patryce (16:34): Amen. Amen. And wow, thank you for sharing that Shonda, because I'm wonder how many people out there listening on some level can can identify with something you're saying,

Shonda (16:47): Wow. Yeah.

Patryce (16:49): And maybe they can, you know.

Shonda (16:50): Yeah.

Patryce (16:51): If anyone out there you can always contact us. Number one. But mainly we want you guys to know everyone out there, anything we're touching on it's to let you know that there is hope. There is hope.

Shonda (17:04): There is definitely hope. And so someone can approach this in a number of ways. We may have someone who likes to cook. Um, and I'm one of those people. I do enjoy cooking, especially when I have time. And so I went, I, I approached this as, wow. I get to, I get to create in the kitchen. I get to, to make something else. I get to learn how to make something else and make a food that's good for me taste good. You know, when I have time, I do focus on that, but then there are some who do not cook and we need to come up with some solutions for them too. And that would be more like what I do on a normal basis is I don't have time to cook. And I'm more like a snacking person throughout the day. I may just grab a little Cole slaw I have in the, in the fridge that I mixed up really quick and easy. And then like, just pair it with the, you know, maybe some beans and some quinoa, I love quinoa. Some people do some people don't or just brown rice. And we're talking about whole grain brown rice. We're talking about whole grains. The goal of a real food is to try and eat less processed. And whole grains means not processed.

Patryce (18:29): So glad you brought up that we have different people. Every once in a different season of life. And there may be that person, like you said, who loves being in the kitchen and it's like, wow, I get to create like you described. But then there's the other person. Who's a working single mother. And she is just busy. Even if she wanted to be in the kitchen for a few hours, she doesn't have the time. So we want to be able to, uh, lend hope to all the audience members because we understand that everyone is that in different seasons of life, but there's a solution for all of us to do better. Even for that working parent, who's super busy. There, there may be more prep work, you know, prep time. You might do it that way, but there's always something you can do to, to make it a better meal for you or more real food or a healthier meal.

Shonda (19:25): Right. And you know, I think, you know, it's not like one day you eat this way and one day you eat the new way. It's, it's, it's about making progressive steps. For me, the first step was problems eating wheat. So I had to remove wheat and that, that was a level that's like, Oh, I feel better. And, and then I removed a dairy and um, these, these things helped me. Although, you know, I mean, these are real foods. I mean, you can make a real whole grain, um, wheat bread, but it's very possible, but it's just me knowing what did not work for me. But we are talking about if you're going to eat bread, uh, we recommend something like the Ezekiel breads, you know, a sprouted grain bread, or that you really are going to need to learn how to bake your own bread, to get a real in quotes bread.

Shonda (20:21): I think everyone should just start making steps, start reading those packages. You don't want high fructose corn syrup. And you'll see like in many of the tomato, well, ketchup now it says across the front, no high fructose corn syrup. And that is something that you do not want in your food. It's not real, it's not natural and removing it will help your body and help the process of healing in your body. And there are tons of lists like that. Um, I don't know where we were, can probably post this somewhere for, to share with you. So yeah, definitely. I know we need to upload this to the real food and drinks website because, um, there are a few documents there now, but we can start getting more specific in the subjects that we're talking about. So we'll make sure to do that for our listeners.

Patryce (21:20): That sounds like a great idea. And I love how you touched on reading labels. I don't know if we have time to go and we could maybe do a whole podcast, but it is yes. It's the beginning step because I have two kids in college, a freshmen and a sophomore. And my freshmen said that, you know, mom, you know, I went to the grocery store a couple of times with friends and, and I started reading labels out of the habit of doing it with you. And there were things that I still, I didn't want to buy anymore because like you pointed out reading labels is empowering. And one simple thing we can start with, like you said, Shonda, no high fructose syrup, any corn syrup, any of those, those things and anything with it, -O-S-E or things that you and I don't know what they are right away.

Shonda (22:13): If we can buy it and bring it home and put it in our kitchen, we don't need it.

Patryce (22:19): Exactly. Because some of those labels to be honest, have a lot of chemicals. And so if you wouldn't go to the store and buy the chemicals, why would you feel it's just okay to eat the chemicals in the food, just because it's out there and offered to us. So I think reading labels is the first step and empowering yourself.

Shonda (22:43): That is such a good word. I mean, to be empowered. Because lack of control or let's say when we feel like we are out of control, okay, that takes a toll on us. We want to be in control. We want to go after this idea of we know what we can do, where we can actually make a difference in, in feeling better. So that's empowering, that's, I'm in control and no one can take that away from me.

Patryce (23:13): That is so true. So I liked that. Yes. Empowering is a good word. When it comes to how we choose to eat. Can't let it go without saying another thing to notice on these labels, because the red dyes just any dye. You want to try to avoid that too. And, and that's something where my kids were in track for years and they had two coaches, their whole career, but one of them was very much about not only they do on the track, but their whole being in school and their health, their wellbeing, um, as a whole. And that's one thing he would say to these kids, even though you might drink Powerade or Gatorade, he'd say, try to go for the clearer ones. Don't go for the red dye. That is not probably the, that's not the best for you. And I know my daughter actually had reactions. She had some of all things, a birthday cake, she went to a party and it had red coloring on it for decoration, her lips swelled up. They became swollen.

Shonda (24:21): Wow. Yeah, that was the first thing that we took out too that over that I took out of their foods and I would warn them about it, you know, at school. And I did things like, uh, one of mine had an allergy to ice cream and we actually found out it was the added ingredient carrageenan, which, um, that was 14 years ago when I discovered that or more. And now we do see it on labels, no carrageenan now, but back then I had to either make her ice cream or I had to really go and search for special ice cream that did not include carrageenan that did not include the color yellow, that did not include all these things in order for her to enjoy, you know, being at school. And she, as a child, even as a child, she recognized the difference. You know, she recognized that she didn't have this negative effect, uh, after eating what everyone else was eating, the ice cream that she just, you know, she wanted to feel better too. So it was okay to bring her own ice cream, to enjoy with her friends. It was still ice cream. So, um, that was part of our life when they were younger.

Patryce (25:39): I remember that. I remember a couple of times we visited and we, we were able to benefit from that because we got some of that yummy, that delicious, homemade ice cream you would make at times. And, uh, yeah. Do you remember, and now that you mention it, we have another friend whose daughter, there only certain brands of the main line of ice creams that they can eat as well. It may be because of that same ingredient.

Shonda (26:07): Yeah. You know what I think we should do. We should do a podcast on milk and dairy. So we can go into details because there are lot more things that we can discuss other than we're able to put in our intro to real food and drinks right now.

Patryce (26:26): That's true. So I think that's definitely a must, put that on the future podcasts list. Awesome. But you know what, we've talked a lot about real food, but let's not leave out and real drinks and people might wonder, well, what is that? I may drink is a drink. Well, actually not all drinks are created equal. Would you say they are?

Shonda (26:49): No? I mean, well, just like we were talking about the Gatorades and the Powerades with their colors and things, uh, there are many other options to choose and you know, like in the summer, and then my, I think most of my 21 year old enjoys this, when I do this, I have this picture with a filter and we can just stuff it with fruits and it flavors the water. And sometimes we drop uh steveia in there or honey or something, just a light sweetness. I mean, not much in those, those same. Yeah. They drink a Powerade and Gatorade the say for electrolytes, well, the same thing happens when we just soaked the fruit in the water. Fruit is full of electrolytes. So eating the fruit or drinking, you know, part of this essence has the same effect. And so that's a light drink. And even to go further, I don't think I would have been able to successfully get through what I got through years past without juicing fruits and vegetables. So that's my passion because vegetable juice, I mean, once you drink it, it's within ...all those nutrients or within your body in like 15 minutes, it's really uplifting. It's really energizing. And I, we'll go, we'll have to do another podcast on that too. And I guess the last one would be uh smoothies. What's your experience with smoothies?

Patryce (28:30): Yeah. Well, my kids love him. I have my experiences that they're awesome. And uh, you know, people have different preferences and of course, people want some fruit in the smoothie, nothing wrong with that, but you don't want to make all your smoothies only with fruit. It's great to expand what you're putting in your smoothies. For example, you might have your bananas and maybe some blueberries, but also putting that kale and spinach in it is yummy. And then also instead of just ice or water, um, a lot of times the kids will put either almond milk or whatever nondairy milk. But I knew when they ran a lot, speaking of hydration and electrolyte potassium, they used a lot of coconut water. Coconut water is an awesome drink as well. I know a lot of people, we can't forget the fact that water is key too. We need to all drink good water and ample water to keep ourselves hydrated. But I know that can be a challenge for some people for different reasons. They may just not drink enough or they don't like the taste of water. So ...

Shonda (29:42): You can add lemon to water.

Patryce (29:44): True. You can add lemon and they're always telling you get those sports drinks in them. Okay. Well, there's a reason why you need to do that, but it can be the water. It can be water with lemon or infused with other fruits and it could be coconut water. All those things

Patryce (30:02): Would be great because you want to keep yourself hydrated and like, and like you said, Shonda juuicing is awesome, but I am one of those people. And then we can talk about that later for, for some of us I'm speaking for my own personal experience, juicing, I did not take to it as well as you did. I have to be honest.

Shonda (30:24): You probably didn't need it as much as I did.

Patryce (30:28): Well, I also found it labor intensive.

Shonda (30:32): Right.

Patryce (30:34): And I wasn't sure of the cost, but we can talk about things in more detail. I'd love to hear, you know, we could do another podcast about juicing, but I do know there are people out there. Um, similarly to me, where there'll be like, well, I don't have time to juice. Because it does take time. And then you're wondering how much it costs. So ideally I think making juice, and even if it's, I don't know how many ounces you make a day, but maybe realizing that you're not going to have to need 16 ounces of juice per person. Right.

Shonda (31:10): Exactly. Yeah.

Patryce (31:12): Yeah. It's not the same need as when you go to the store and you grab the bottle. So when you juice, and those are things that you could probably guide us in a lot better,

Shonda (31:21): I look forward to it.

Patryce (31:23): Yeah. And there are options for those who are very busy and you still want the benefits, but you can't do it exclusively yourself. I have to put in my plug for the Trader Joe's carrot juice. That's just one option to help you maybe start towards juicing. If you're not able to do it, you may not have a juicer right now, or you don't have that time. There's still ways to start benefiting from juice.

Shonda (31:53): Yeah, definitely. And so we'll have to post some of the products that, you know, or those we would still consider real food and, and, uh, something that we can do if we can't do our at home, um, processes of creating these drinks. So definitely. Yeah. So just remember to read those labels and make sure that they include fresh food in those drinks. That's key.

Shonda (32:24): So there we have it, what our ideas are, for real food and drinks. Uh, if you'd like to share with us. There's a link on anchor where you can send us your recordings, and we'd like to hear from you.

Patryce (32:40): That would be awesome... To hear from as many of you that we can... So that we, as a community can learn and grow together.

Patryce (32:50): Until next time. Remember be real.

Shonds (32:55): Let's be real. Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoyed today's podcast. Remember you can catch show notes and additional details at realfoodanddrinks.com under the podcast menu. Also subscribe to our podcast if you aren't already a member of our community. And if listening through anchor, please send us a message of topics you would like to hear us have conversations about until next time. Let's just be real.

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De-stress, Dealing with Stress (Covid-19 Pandemic)

Stress Is Everywhere

We all have a lot of stress these days, especially here in the U.S. where daily life is so busy for the most of us anyway. Whether it is the daily routine of our jobs which likely includes a long commute before and after work or perhaps for a stay-at-home parent who after getting the kids off to school has plenty of chores to keep themselves busy. Some of us work from home (or home school our children) which makes it even more difficult to separate tasks and find relief from our daily stresses. But this should not be the case. We all need a break from our tasks so that we can de-stress.

At the writing of this article, we are 4 months into the Covid-19 pandemic. In some way or another, this event has added stress to just about everyone’s life. So what are our solutions? Because we are individuals, we all have individual ways of experiencing the happenings of what this pandemic has brought to us. Likewise, we all need to find our own individual way of dealing with the stress that we are experiencing.

Dealing With Stress

To help you get started right away, here are simple five ways you can de-stress:

  1. Give your brain a time-out. This can be accomplished in many ways. It depends on where you are and how much time you have. Yet, just taking 5 minutes to relax and allow your mind to rest will work wonders and likely boost your energy levels. I find that thinking about something that I enjoy works the best during this time. Spending time in prayer and focusing on what you are thankful for is a great way to move your attention away from thoughts that may be causing stress. It also is a great way to begin a time-out nap if you can take more time to fit a nap in.
  2. Go for a walk. This option provides many benefits. Not only does it provide exercise and help with circulation, but you can also implement the give your brain a time-out strategy (as noted above). Also, a walk outdoors will give you an extra dose of fresh air and Vitamin D which helps you to produce those feel good hormones.
  3. Play with your children and/or pets. All of us could use more playtime. Remember what it was like to be a kid and feel free? We can implement that same feeling in our brains by playing with our children and/or pets. Neither are likely to turn you down on the offer to play and it will definitely benefit both parties.
  4. Talk with a friend. Friends bring us delight. Make sure the friend you call is one you normally have conversations with that are enjoyable and encouraging. Yet, if a friend is not available at the moment you want to de-stress, another alternative could be to write out your thoughts and ideas (as talking with a friend) to get them out of your head for now. Or better yet, write a letter to a good friend to let him or her know you are thinking of them and allow you both and opportunity to share and connect.
  5. Do something you enjoy. Some ideas are read a book, play an instrument, play a sport. An artist might draw, paint, or create something new. If you enjoy cooking, prepare a meal. Watch a comedy or read comedy. Laughter is a stress reliever undoubtedly. Like to dance? Then definitely dance. You get the idea. Switch gears to something that you can enjoy doing.

Compound your De-stressing Efforts

And guess what? You can combined these de-stressing activities. Many of these de-stressing activities can easily be merged which will likely give you a greater, compounded effect. For instance, while you walk you can pray and empty your mind.  Or you might walk with (or play a game or a sport) with a friend, your child, or even a pet.

Additional Stress Relievers

What else should you do while de-stressing?

  1. Avoid your phone and the TV. The phone and the television may be interjecting messages that are causing us more stress than we recognize. You can use your de-stress time to re-organize your thoughts and think about helpful ways to deal with the thoughts and opinions of others that may be causing stress for you.
  2. Drink fresh spring or Artesian water. Dehydration can make us feel tired and cause unnecessary stress on our bodies. Not drinking enough water restricts our body from carrying out its normal functions. Be sure to hydrate well. (Click here to read how to choose a good water source.) Fruits and vegetables also provide hydration, so have them as snacks while you are relaxing.
  3. Stretch your muscles. Okay, we know than fitness gurus say this over and over. Yet, many times I like to look at nature to see what I can see. And in this case, when I look at my 4 dogs, I see that they all stretch themselves when getting up from a stationary position. This is a practice that I too have had to purposefully do – and I can feel its de-stressing effects with every move. So, do not forget to stretch often and you can even practice stretching while doing other activities or try a yoga class to learn some good stretching positions.

The Importance of Dealing with Stress

Why is de-stressing important? Most of us can recognized when we are stressed. Some of us feel overwhelmed by simple daily tasks. We may experience a lack of energy. We may even experience pain or even anger/frustration. These are all signs that we are over stressed. Therefore, when we have any of these symptoms, it should be a sure signal to us that we need to de-stress. Scientists have studied this phenomenon and they all agree that stress weakens our immune system. Therefore, the most important reason to de-stress is to boost your immune system.

Currently, due to Covid-19, our immune systems are taking a big hit due to lifestyle changes, added fears and simply living in a state of a new normal or perhaps even a state of the unknown. Yes, it is true that Covid-19 has added stress on top of stress for most. Yet, many of us even have extra time on our hands. So, I encourage you to fill in some of that extra time with these 5 ways to de-stress.

You can experience a healthier outlook. The above list of “5 ways to de-stress” will help to boost your immune system, by giving the body a break from stress. Do them as often as you can. Make them a part of your healthy lifestyle. You will not regret it as you begin to see and experience a healthier outlook on your life that is being de-stressed.

Related Podcast:

Podcast Episode 1 – Covid-19 and Stress

Related Lifestyle Articles:

Sunlight and Infrared Sauna Therapy

Water

Most city tap water contains a chemical called chloramine. It’s replacing the regular use of chlorine in most cities. I called my city in 2016 and, yes, discovered they are using chloramine.

Chloramine contains both chlorine and ammonia.

Unless properly filtered, we are drinking it from city tap water and bathing in it!

Chloramine cannot be filtered using a basic charcoal filter.

Think of Water as a Nutrient

Water serves a number of essential functions to keep us all going (as posted by USGS)

  • A vital nutrient to the life of every cell, acts first as a building material.
  • It regulates our internal body temperature by sweating and respiration
  • The carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream;
  • It assists in flushing waste mainly through urination
  • acts as a shock absorber for brain, spinal cord, and fetus
  • forms saliva
  • lubricates joints

Considering this list of how water functions in the human body, I’d say that it’s an important nutrient for sure. And, surely you want to get the cleanest source possible to help the body function at its best.

What About Tap Water and Bottled Water Labeled Purified (Drinking or Filtered)?

Purified water, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is “produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis or other suitable processes” and also may be called “demineralized water, deionized water, distilled water or reverse osmosis water.”

It’s highly likely that even if you drink bottled water labeled “Purified” water (also labeled “drinking” and “filtered”)…you are still drinking chloramine. All water with these labels are most likely to just be city tap water that has gone through some type of filtration system. And, the filtration process that is used usually doesn’t remove chloramine. Chloramine cannot be removed through reverse osmosis* and regular carbon filtration processes. If you choose to buy “drinking”, “filtered” or “purified” water, I recommend contacting the bottled water company to see if there are any water quality reports available. You can also contact the city for which the source is listed to view the city’s water quality reports. (NOTE: In many instances, the city water quality reports are a few years behind and many city water agencies allow some amounts of contaminants.) Looking at the tables available at the EPA’s website, they test for over 200 contaminants, so chloramine isn’t your only worry (just perhaps the latest that’s been added to this overwhelming list)! Many of these contaminants are from the insecticides and pharmaceutical drugs!

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are both responsible for the safety of drinking water. EPA regulates public drinking water (tap water), while FDA regulates bottled drinking water. 

Better Bottled Water Choices?

Spring water, “derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth at an identified location, may be collected at the spring or through a bore hole, tapping the underground formation that feeds the spring,” according to FDA guidelines.

While reviewing documentation that was sent to me by one popular bottled water company, I noticed that they treat their spring water with chlorine during shipment from the source and then filter it out prior to bottling. This doesn’t seem like a good idea to me, so it’s not one of my choices either. In addition, the pH of that same water is 5.6 which is too low. (Water should be at minimum a bit above 7 pH and you regularly do not want to go much higher than 9 pH.)

Therefore, one choice you can make for a better drinking water is to choose spring water that has not been treated using chlorine or one that has not been treated by reverse osmosis (which is excellent at filtration, but it also removes good minerals from the water)

Choose spring water that is pure and perhaps has only undergone the following processes: “filtered with carbon, carbon block, or a sand filter, ozonating water or passing water by an ultraviolet light.” (Ultraviolet light can eliminate chloramine.)

Artesian water is water produced from an artesian well. To be an artesian well the water in the aquifer (a subsurface rock unit that holds and transmits water) must be under enough pressure to force it up the well to a level that is higher than the top of the aquifer. Artesian water is mostly rain water that has seeped underground and is naturally filtered by the earth’s rock formations.

My favorite artesian drinking water is Evamor. Yes, I know it’s quite expensive, but so are doctor visits and hospitals. I enjoy this water because of its high alkalinity due to the naturally occurring mineral content. It’s not treated by reverse osmosis! Evamor water is bottled right at the source and it taste great!

Be Aware of Many Alkaline Water Claims: Don’t be fooled by water just because it claims to be alkaline. Many water companies that use the label “Alkaline” water are companies whose source is a city tap water that is treated using reverse osmosis* and then minerals are added to the water to increase its pH (alkalinity).

Remember, water is an important nutrient. It’s a liquid “food” and just like our goal is to eat REAL FOOD, likewise, we should want to drink REAL and “unprocessed” water too.

RECOMMENDED Bottled Natural Artesian and Spring Waters (that I found at my local grocery store):

*Additional Notes/Comments:

Berkey has an article about removing chlorine and chloramine from water.

Reverse osmosis is probably not a good source of drinking water…especially for long term. It DOES NOT hydrate the cells of our bodies well and it NO LONGER CONTAINS the necessary minerals that our cells require. In fact, it is void of all minerals and, as a result, has a lower pH than is ideal. Yes, it can remove bacteria and even viruses (if the systems are well-maintained), but we should not depend on it for daily drinking water.

To find out what’s in your water, you should have an independent company test it. These companies usually provide whole house water filtration services and/or water delivery services.

I know many may be concerned about drinking water from plastic bottles. If this is your concern, but you want Artesian or Spring water, you will need to find a water service that can deliver in glass bottles. Yet, if youwant to filter your city tap water, I recommend something similar to a Berkey filtration system. (Or perhaps just use these types of filtration systems to filter plastic bottled Artesian or Spring water…which would be my personal choice.)

I do not receive compensation for referring you to any of these waters or websites, I just think they are the best choices and the websites provide some valuable information that can benefit us all. Please read the links, they include some really interesting facts about things such as cholesterol, skin and stomach problems and other various health issues that can be linked to drinking (and bathing) water.

Read more about Artesian Water and Artesian Wells (USGS)

EPA Water Regulations

Bottled Water Standards

Related Podcast:

Podcast Episode 4 – Immunity – Water (Drinking and Bathing)

Sunlight and Infrared Sauna Therapies

Sunlight and Saunas! I’m all about these. I prefer light/heat therapy because they are most enjoyable for me. They provide relaxation for the nervous system and when my nervous system is relaxed, my digestive system is at ease too. Sunlight undoubtedly has a wonderful effect on our immune system.

SUNLIGHT IS MEDICINE and CONTAINS LIFE-GIVING NUTRIENTS

“When you spend time in the fresh air and sunlight, your body drinks in their life-giving elements” – Stormie Omaritian, Greather Health God’s Way. I couldn’t have worded this sentiment in any better way.

Benefits of the sun:

  • Vitamin D
  • Calming, yet Energizing at the same time
  • Refreshes/relaxes the mind
  • Gives life to fresh fruits and vegetables (and then we eat their nutrients )
  • Assists in detoxification

Ways to get more sun in your life. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Ride with my car’s sunroof/windows open (even if I have to run the A/C at the same time)
  • Take a walk/bike ride through your neighborhood (even better through a park with lots of trees)
  • Open the windows and blinds inside your home to allow fresh air and sunlight inside
  • Step outside often to take breaks from inside chores and the computer
  • Have meals outside away from electronic devices

We should be enjoying the sun and air that God has created for us. He knows what’s best for us and it’s almost as if we have forgotten how to live properly. Note: Of course we don’t want to stay in the sun until we are sunburned. But we can enjoy healthy doses without this damaging effect.

INFRARED SAUNA THERAPY for DETOXIFICATION and HEALING

All objects in the universe emit some level of infrared light, but two of the most obvious sources are the sun and fire.  Therefore, when we get sunlight we are also getting the benefits of infrared light and more. But, if you cannot get sunlight or you wish to intensify the benefits of infrared light. Infrared sauna therapy makes this happen. I enjoy both the sun and infrared saunas to attain the best benefits.

Sauna heat therapy is good, but infrared sauna therapy has some added benefits.

All saunas:

  • Balance the autonomic nervous system
  • Induces sweating along with relaxation
  • Increases circulation
  • Relaxes muscles and enhances flexibility
  • Hastens the death of weaker cells (such as cancer, bacteria, viruses, parasites)

Additional benefits of infrared saunas:

  • Deep tissue healing
  • Increased enzyme activity (required for digestion and healing)
  • Ability to direct heat energy to specific parts of the body
  • Color therapy
  • Ease of use

What first caught my attention about infrared sauna therapy is it’s ability to inhibit the sympathetic nervous system (the one that is activated when we are anxious) and enhance the parasympathetic nervous system (the one activated when we are in a relaxed state). It’s the parasympathetic nervous system that is required for healing. So if we remain in our anxious states, we inhibit healing.

These lists of benefits, by no means, are exhaustive. Additionally, I cannot explain the feeling  and degree of healing that has occurred in my body as a result of adding infrared sauna therapy to my lifestyle.

I want to encourage you to make some healthy lifestyle changes toward getting more sunlight and infrared saunas into your life to activate healing in your body.

Wondering how to get started? 

  1.  Watch this YouTube Video to see my infrared sauna setup
  2.  Read this grounding/earthing article  about more life-giving elements of outdoors
  3. Greater Health God’s Way” by Stormie Omartian (affiliate link)
  4.  “Sauna Therapy – for Detoxification and Healing” by Dr. Lawrence Wilson (affiliate link)

Sleep is VERY important

Have you ever considered that the amount of sleep you get can affect your health and your weight?

Let’s face it, when we’re tired we tend to make fewer healthy choices throughout the day, and we reach for the quick-fix energy boost we need, often in the form of sugar-filled options and processed snacks. When we’re tired, we also tend to skip the workout we had planned for the day. For many people, this is an ongoing cycle that’s tough to break.

Adequate sleep sets the stage for everything else. I found this quote online. It seeks to explain the concept of getting enough sleep using science.

“When it comes to body weight, it may be that if you snooze, you lose. Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours.
Recent research has focused on the link between sleep and the peptides that regulate appetite. “Ghrelin stimulates hunger and leptin signals satiety to the brain and suppresses appetite. Shortened sleep time is associated with decreases in leptin and elevations in ghrelin.
Not only does sleep loss appear to stimulate appetite. It also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. Ongoing studies are considering whether adequate sleep should be a standard part of weight loss programs” – WebMD

But, as I’m sure you already know and have experienced…you feel great when you get good, adequate sleep and almost miserable when you do not! (No science explanation needed.) But think further, not only is it affecting how you feel, but what’s actually going on inside of your body. Your body simply functions better when you get the sleep that you need.

Sleep can also affect your immune function, aging process, memory, learning, and metabolism. Yes, adequate sleep is a big deal! I know that the days I haven’t had enough sleep that my digestive system is sluggish. And I’m sure your experience is something similar…something is just OFF when you lack sleep. If you have been in a habitual pattern of not getting enough sleep then try to experience something new and refreshing by making a change. You won’t regret it.

To get more sleep, set a goal of what time you need to be in bed each night to get the 7-9 hours you need. Try it this week and see if you notice a difference with your energy level and your eating habits. When I get adequate sleep, I just want to sing and jump for joy in the mornings. (Really, my family looks at me strange when I behave this way, but I just cannot help it because it feels so GOOD!) When is the last time you gave yourself the gift of sleep?

Make a commitment right now by writing this goal down on your TO DO list and read it throughout the day.

Write this down: “I’m committing to getting _______ hours of sleep each night this week.“  (Did you write down your commitment? Really? Go ahead. Do it. Okay. That’s good.)

Guess what prompted me to write this article? I wrote it following one night that I stayed up to work on “things” that I felt were important. I believe I only had 3 hours of sleep that night? Did I pay for it the next day? Yes I did.

So, add something good to your lifestyle: add more sleep. Your body will thank you for doing so.

Much health to you.

Nutrition Made Simple

Eat real food and good nutrition just happens naturally. Do you agree? That good nutrition can be that simple? Or are you feeling overwhelmed? Well, I’m here to tell you that it can be “made simple”. That’s why I chose Nutrition Made Simple as the name for my wellness coaching business. (Note: As of October 2018, I’m no longer practicing as a wellness coach.)

Every where you read (look), there are articles (and news stories) telling you how to eat properly. Or, to try this diet or perhaps you should skip this list of foods. I’m here to tell you that it can be a simple subject. I admit that at one time (actually for quite a long time) I too was one trying all the diets to see which one fit me best. I researched the properties of food to no end. It was exhausting! I was frustrated. Perhaps this has been your experience too.

Well I’ve made it past all those difficulties. So, don’t worry. It can become simple for you too.

Listen to this: The only reason that nutrition has become such a difficult subject is that foods have been (and continue to be) introduced that don’t qualify as real foods.

Here is a sample list of foods that don’t qualify as real foods:

  • Margarine and hydrogenated oils
  • Boxed cereals, chips, pastries (loaded with preservatives, sugar and unhealthy oils)
  • Soft drinks and soda (contain addictive preservatives and chemicals)
  • Microwave “ready to eat” meals (such as pizza and even many “diet” offerings)
  • Cured meat products (with added preservatives)
  • Packaged breads, biscuits (with added dough conditioners, extra gluten, preservatives, unnatural yeasts)

(Sorry that I’m one of those people giving you another list. But stick with me, soon you won’t have to refer to any lists or any food or calorie counting charts.)

I could have added more to the list, but I don’t want to lose you. In no way am I suggesting that you cannot eat these foods. This decision must be your own of course. It’s just that there are better choices. Yes, much better choices!

Eating Real Food is a Simple Nutrition Plan

Because, when we eat real foods we don’t have to think about nutrition. Good nutrition just happens naturally.

Nutrition Made Simple Logo

You are going to have to trust me on this one (and stick around for future articles). When we eat natural “real” foods our bodies will guide us as to what we should eat and we can even throw away the calorie counting and food rules for good.

There is only one simple rule. The only rule you should strive to follow is to eat real foods as close to their natural state as possible. (This will be defined for you later…or simply check out the recipes on this website for ideas.)

What about cravings? Most of our cravings are unnatural and are highly encouraged by the foods that we choose to eat. It’s the chemicals, flavor enhancers, etc. in unnatural foods that drive our appetite. They make us desire more fat or more salt or more sugar or more chemicals. Remember that famous slogan: “Bet you can’t eat just one”? (Mike drop.)

More so, these unnatural foods are are out of balance. They simply don’t contain the nutrients (protein, vitamins, minerals) and fiber we need. As a result, we become out of balance: our appetites don’t get satisfied and our bodies don’t receive the needed nutrients.

Here is the good news. We can train our bodies to crave natural “real” foods. How do we do this? By eating real foods and avoiding those that are unnatural. It’s just that simple.

When we eat a diet full of whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables we will feel satiated. These foods are full of fiber which will guide us to know when we have had enough. Eating this way is low in calories, but high in fiber – which means you can easily get your “fill” of nutrients while keeping your calorie intake lower than eating the Standard American Diet. Yes, you might still crave the “other” foods, but if you think you are still hungry after a meal…just eat more of the real foods!

Eating more fiber to fill up your stomach will satisfy those cravings and they will soon dissipate. This is the truth and it’s truth worth savoring! I hope you learn to savor real foods and enjoy them to the fullest!

Here are some simple, natural “real” foods you can focus on to get you started:

  • Smoothies
  • Fresh pressed juices
  • Salads (make as colorful as you can, avoiding heavy oils that just add calories)
  • Whole cooked grains (brown rice, barley, oats, quinoa, millet)
  • Soups (full of vegetables and legumes/beans)
  • Fresh fruit
  • Nuts, seeds (Limit to 1-2 TBS/day)
  • Lightly steamed/baked vegetables – yes, even baked potatoes, but don’t load them with butter/cream…instead, try adding vegetables and spices as toppings

So, is it time for you to make a change?

Try a simple meal plan this week:

  • For breakfast eat cooked whole grain cereal such as oats.
  • At lunch have a large salad, loaded with leafy greens, colorful vegetables, nuts/seeds and a cooked grain to make it a meal.
  • Snack on fruit in between meals if you are hungry.
  • For dinner, I’m going to suggest more VEGETABLES. Cooked with a whole grain or baked potatoes. Beans and rice with a side salad.

Because I don’t eat meat or dairy. I get asked, “What about protein?”

Did you notice I didn’t include meat in the simple meal plan? My purpose is to encourage you to eat all the other food groups! (If you eat meat, then I’m sure you don’t need any encouragement – other than…I think it’s very important to choose wisely.) I’ve tried many “diets” and it just so happens that I feel best when I don’t eat meat. I haven’t eaten meat since July 2017, but what I remember the most is that I would eat the meat and be done. I would be satisfied and skip all the vegetables and other foods I should have been eating. We miss out of many nutrients when we skip fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, legumes  and whole grains.

Here is another nugget of truth: You can get all the protein and fat you need also by eating this way (without meat) and get a load of other important nutrients. So, for the purposes of these posts and recipes, they will all be WFPB (Whole Foods and Plant-Based).

Let me know if this is the beginning of a new lifestyle change for you. Yes, I call it a lifestyle change instead of using the word “diet” because we all know that diets don’t work. They are just too complicated! So stick around and I will prove to you that nutrition can become a simple thing.

I want to help you create a new lifestyle. Perhaps you are in need of healing from certain symptoms, want to lose weight, have more energy or even just continue to improve on your current path of health and wellness. I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter so that you won’t miss any posts or recipes.


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