Tips for Strengthening Self-Esteem

Tips for Strengthening Self-Esteem

Some Good Advice

Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand brake on.” — Maxwell Maltz
When we’re born we come into the world with only two fears – that of loud noises and that of falling. All the rest are learned along the way. Some of those fears break down our self-confidence but the good news is that there are ways to work on building great self-esteem and confidence that, if practiced diligently, will reap great results.

Visualize yourself as you want to be.
“What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” — Napoleon Hill
Visualization is the technique of seeing an image of yourself that you are proud of, in your own mind. When you struggle with low self-confidence, you have a poor perception of yourself that is often inaccurate. Practice visualizing a fantastic version of yourself, achieving your goals.

Affirm yourself.
“Affirmations are a powerful tool to deliberately install desired beliefs about yourself.” — Nikki Carnevale
We tend to behave in accordance with our own self-image. The trick to making lasting change is to change how you view yourself.
Affirmations are positive and uplifting statements that you say to yourself. These are normally more effective if said out loud so that you can hear yourself say it. We tend to believe whatever we tell ourselves constantly. For example, if you hate your own physical appearance, practice saying something that you appreciate or like about yourself when you next look in the mirror.
To get your brain to accept your positive statements more quickly, phrase your affirmations as questions such as, “Why am I so good at my craft?” instead of “I am so good at my craft.” Our brains are biologically wired to seek answers to questions, without analyzing whether the question is valid or not.

Do one thing that scares you every day.
“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”–T. Harv Eker
The best way to overcome fear is to face it head-on. By doing something that scares you every day and gaining confidence from every experience, you will see your self-confidence soar. So get out of your comfort zone and face your fears!

Question your inner critic.
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” — Louise L. Hay
Some of the harshest comments that we get come from ourselves, via the “voice of the inner critic.” If you struggle with low self-confidence, there is a possibility that your inner critic has become overactive and inaccurate.

Strategies such as cognitive behavioral therapy help you to question your inner critic, and look for evidence to support or deny the things that your inner critic is saying to you. For example, if you think that you are a failure, ask yourself, “What evidence is there to support the thought that I am a failure?” and “What evidence is there that doesn’t support the thought that I am a failure?”

Find opportunities to congratulate, compliment and reward yourself, even for the smallest successes. As Mark Twain said, “[A] man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

Help someone else.
Helping someone else often enables us to forget about ourselves and to feel grateful for what we have. It also feels good when you are able to make a difference for someone else.
Instead of focusing on your own weaknesses, volunteer to mentor, assist or teach another, and you’ll see your self-confidence grow automatically in the process.

Care for yourself.
“Self-care is never a selfish act –it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” — Parker Palmer
Self-confidence depends on a combination of good physical health, emotional health and social health. It is hard to feel good about yourself if you hate your physique or constantly have low energy.
Make time to cultivate great exercise, nutrition and sleep habits. Dress the way you want to feel; remember the saying “clothes make the person.” Build your self-confidence by making the effort to look after your own needs.

Create personal boundaries.
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”— Harvey Fierstein
Learn to say no. Teach others to respect your personal boundaries. If necessary, take classes on how to be more assertive and learn to ask for what you want. The more control and say that you have over your own life, the greater will be your self-confidence.

Shift to an equality mentality.
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” — Marilyn Monroe
People with low self-confidence see others as better or more deserving than themselves. Instead of carrying this perception, see yourself as being equal to everyone. They are no better or more deserving than you. Make a mental shift to an equality mentality and you will automatically see an improvement in your self-confidence.

Adapted from an article by Chris W. Dunn in Entrepreneur online magazine

Expectations

I Didn’t Expect THAT To Happen!

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about EXPECTATIONS:
In the case of uncertainty, expectation is what is considered the most likely to happen. An expectation, which is a belieft that is centered on the future, may or may not be realistic. A less advantageous result gives rise to the emotion of disappointment. If something happens that is not at all expected, it is a surprise.

What Did You Expect?

You embarked upon 2019 with certain thoughts in mind … things you wanted to see happen for you when it comes to your health, wellness, and life. We all look at a new year as another opportunity to start fresh and get the job done right this time. Now that we’re into the second month of 2019, maybe you’d like to revisit the things you want to see for this year and determine what is realistic and what could be reshaped into something that could work for you.

You see, when you have expectations that are unrealistic, whether your own or those of others in your life, when they’re not met you will likely find yourself disappointed. How many of you remember hearing someone of importance to you tell you they’re disappointed in you? Why? Because they had an expectation and you failed to meet it. Or, maybe you’ve had great expectations for yourself and didn’t achieve what you wanted to achieve within the timeframe you’d allotted. How did you feel about yourself?

Expectations Can Lead to Disappointment

When we’re disappointed in ourselves or someone else, our speech changes. It becomes more negative and discouraging. A person who lives with the emotion of disappointment on a regular basis soon finds their sense of themselves begins to wither and change.

This is readily seen in children who are reminded by a parent or teacher with high expectations that the child has missed the mark, one more time. Adults who are constantly under fire to meet expectations, like children, develop performance anxiety. This, unfortunately, isn’t the end of the road though.

Constant Disappointment Can Lead to Poor Self-Esteem

Constant disappointment can, over time, lead to poor self-esteem. Do you struggle with feelings of low self-worth, poor self-image, lack of self-esteem, and no self-love or respect? I encourage you to check out your expectations of yourself and what you’ve allowed to be placed on you from others. Are they healthy expectations? Are they realistic?

You’re probably asking if all expectations lead one down a dark and disappointing path. The answer, of course, is NO. Not all expectations end poorly. There are some really healthy expectations you can create for yourself that will support success and a sense of accomplishment and value in your life.

Setting Good Expectations for Yourself

Many years ago I heard someone say, “You don’t have a right to expect that from me.” I couldn’t tell you now what “that” was, but those words have stayed with me until this day. It’s an interesting concept to ponder.

Here are some thoughts to help you with setting realistic and healthy expectations for yourself.

Are you asking for too much too soon?
Are the expectations clear for you? Can you articulate them clearly for yourself?
Do you know where you need expectations?
Are you putting pressure on someone to perform according to your rules?

When embarking upon a fitness program or making changes nutritionally, do you expect to wake up one morning soon after you begin with the body you dreamed of when you were much younger? Don’t laugh. Many people do. Is it realistic to expect that? Your sensible mind would laugh and say, Of course not. But …

What do you expect?

veg basket

The Glory of the Lowly Root

If you’ve been hanging around this newsletter for any time at all, you know I often advise people to “eat with the seasons” in order to get the most health benefits and flavor from their food.  With winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, we get to enjoy root vegetables … and there’s a huge variety of nutrient-rich roots out there to explore.

Unfortunately, this category of vegetables often gets whittled down to just potatoes, onions and carrots – but there are so many root vegetables with much to offer in terms of vitamins, minerals, and great taste.

Root veggies include tubers, corms, and rhizomes – strange words for a class of root veggies that includes potatoes and yams, water chestnut, turmeric and ginger.  Then there are bulbs … think onions, garlic, fennel, shallots and Jerusalem artichokes.  “True” roots include those that we automatically think of such as carrots, parsnips, beets, radishes, jicama, turnips and sweet potato.

What makes these vegetables truly unique is that root veggies evolved to store nutrients for the plants themselves, so they offer us a true powerhouse of energy, minerals, vitamins and more.

3 Healthy Reasons to Eat More Root Veggies

  1. Dietary fiber. Because root veggies tend to be rich in complex carbs, including dietary fiber, they promote glucose stability and improved digestive health.  Fiber is definitely one of those nutrients we could all use more of!
  2. Resistant starch. This type of complex carb doesn’t easily break down in the gut. It arrives intact in the colon and ferments there, feeding gut bacteria and producing beneficial short-chain fatty acids.
  3. Vitamins and minerals. Here’s where the list gets very impressive. Due to the close contact with the soil, root veggies are particularly rich in minerals like potassium, zinc, copper, phosphorus and magnesium.  However, mineral content is contingent upon the type of soil they’re grown in – another reason why organic is better.  Also, the high mineral content makes root crops alkalizing foods.  As for vitamins, many roots are loaded with vitamins A, C, and B6 and those with edible greens like beets and radishes are also a great source of vitamin K.

But what about carbs?

Limiting your carb intake because of concerns about weight gain or insulin resistance? You may be trying to avoid “starchy” root vegetables like potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips.

But “low carb” doesn’t mean no carb. If you’re “not eating carbs” it is better to focus on cutting out simple sugars like sucrose and fructose. Both are readily absorbed in the gut, unlike the resistant starch present in many of the root veggies we’re talking about.

Get all the health benefits of root crops

Many root veggies also have antioxidant properties. Some, like onions, ginger, beets and turmeric, have known anti-inflammatory capabilities.

A few, like garlic, contain natural antibacterial qualities that can help limit bacterial overgrowth in the gut. Radishes have long been known to have a mild hypoglycemic effect in diabetes. Ginger and turmeric both have widely been researched for their anti-inflammatory properties.

TV

My Challenge For You – 2019

We’re already half-way through January but I want to issue a challenge for 2019, and here it is:

Implement one of the following changes into your life and see what a difference it makes to the quality of life you have.  I’m thinking your life will be better for it.

Get Rid of Your TV

I can hear you laughing, but trust me on this, okay?  We don’t have a television in our home, although we occasionally watch Netflix on the computer, but it isn’t a nightly routine.  I refuse to have a television in my living room.  Here are some of the benefits:

You don’t have to arrange your furniture around the TV and your “feng shui” will be quieter and more pleasant, allowing for a flow of conversation and peace.  It stimulates human interaction instead of everyone sitting side-by-side staring at a screen.  It also makes for a happier environment …

There have been a few studies done over the years that indicate that unhappy people watch more TV, and in turn yield no positive gain.  I’ve included a link here for you to check out:

New Research. Does Watching TV Make Us Unhappy?

While watching TV doesn’t actively make you unhappy, it causes you to go emotionally stagnant, which is probably worse.  So, give it a try … even if it’s only for a month.  You can always go back to it if you feel that TV made you feel happier.

Go to Bed Before 9

Sleep is KEY! Even if you have too much to get finished before bed, getting there by 9:00 will affect you in the following ways:

You’ll wake up feeling fresh… energized… and ready to tackle the day! This way you can get everything you need to get done actually accomplished.  I realize and appreciate that sometimes you just want to stay awake until whatever hour it happens to be just to get things done, or to hang out because you’re just not tired yet.  But…

That just feeds back into a negative loop of less sleep… less energy… less productivity… and more anxiety!

So, why be in bed by 9?  Several reasons, the first of which being that you likely won’t go directly to sleep at the stroke of 9, you’ll need some time to wind down a bit.  If you’re in bed by 9 you’ll have, at the very least, 7.5 hours of sleep, which is optimal for anyone (and that’s if you wake up at 4:30 am).  You could use this time to your advantage to help you get a powerful jump start on your day.

Try going to bed by 9 and you’ll see how much better you feel and how much more you’ll get done because of it!

Stretch at Night

Try making it a habit to stretch at night after you’ve gotten things done and before you head to bed.  You’ll be amazed at what a few minutes of stretching can do for your body and your state of mind.  Not only does it help get the kinks of the day out, it helps to keep you limber, loose, and calm.  Besides that, you’ll save money on massages and chiropractic appointments.

Don’t know what to do?  Check out some easy and pleasant stretches for before bed by searching Google for Before Bed Stretches.  There are a number of routines ranging in time from five minutes to half an hour.  Choose a series that works best for you and s-t-r-e-t-c-h out.  Your body will thank you and you’ll sleep better.

Hire a Coach

I have a client who discovered fitness last year as a result of our work together and has determined to become their fittest possible.  This client has gone on to become a super-swimmer, will be running a 5K in a few weeks and works out faithfully with weights in the gym five days a week.  How?  By hiring coaches to get to the next level.  (btw, this person still works with me, too).

Is it worth the investment?  I think they’d yell out a resounding YES.  We all need support and accountability and that’s what coaches provide.

Please give one of these challenges a try and you will definitely see the difference it makes to your life.

Contact me with your questions about nutrition and diet; exercise and movement; personal growth and life issues.  I’m here for you and remember that often, simply talking out your issues goes a long way to making the life changes you’re hungry to have.

Let’s Talk. 

Exercises for good posture

Helpful exercises to correct posture

We all know exercise is an important component to our daily health. The following exercises were developed by Dr. David Jockers, DC, MS, CSCS to help combat poor posture and to help restore health and proper posture.

Perform each of the following exercises twice a day for one minute. In 30 to 90 days you will notice improved posture and all its benefits.

a. The Eagle: To do this exercise, imagine opening your arms just like an eagle spreads its wings. Stretching your arms overhead will open the lungs and boost oxygen intake. The boost in oxygen stimulates tissue regeneration and increases blood flow.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart
  2. Start with arms lowered and adjacent to sides
  3. Simultaneously lift both arms above your head
  4. Pause for a moment
  5. Lower arms back down to sides in a slow and controlled movement
  6. Repeat for 1 minute

b. The Hummingbird: This is a great exercise to remove the slouch from poor posture and to realign the head with the spine. The hummingbird strengthens the muscles between the shoulder blades, improves muscle fibers around the thoracic spinal column, opens pectoral muscles, and lifts the rib cage.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Lift arms so that they are parallel to the floor
  2. Bend elbows and facepalms forward to form a 90-degree angle between the bicep and forearm
  3. Rotate arms backward in a circular movement while squeezing shoulder blades together
  4. Repeat for 1 minute

c. The Trap Opener: The trapezius muscles stabilize the shoulder blades providing support for head and neck movement. Habitual forward head posture pulls and weakens the shoulder blades which consequently also relocates the ribcage. This exercise will release stress from the trapezius muscles and dispose of the so-called “monkey” on your back.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Relax your shoulders
  2. Drop your chin towards your chest
  3. Roll head slightly to the right side
  4. Use your right hand to massage trapezius muscles on the upper left side of the back
  5. Repeat exercise for opposite side
  6. Perform for 1 minute

d. The Butterfly: The butterfly is a great exercise to correct forward head posture.
Performing this exercise regularly targets muscles in the neck and shoulders that cause chronic neck pain.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Focus on lifting chest toward the ceiling
  2. Bring your hands back against your head so that thumbs point down. *Optional: If reduced flexibility hinders your ability to lift arms and hands behind head, perform exercise standing flat against a wall. You can also align back of head against a seat.
  3. Use about 10% of strength to push head backward while keeping head straight
  4. Hold for approximately 10 seconds
  5. Relax and repeat for 1 minute

e. The Chin Tuck: A contrasting exercise to the butterfly is the chin tuck. This exercise balances the opposite core muscles in the neck by strengthening the deep neck flexors. Performing the chin tuck helps balance your head and neck, reducing the occurrence of forward head shift.

Instructions for Exercise

  1. Focus on lifting chest toward the ceiling
  2. Maintain head position with ears over the neck
  3. Place 1 hand on your forehead
  4. Gently push forward with about 10% of strength (muscles in neck should contract and head should appear immobile)
  5. Relax and repeat for 1 minute
balance

Standing Tall: The Importance of Good Posture

Did your mother or teacher have to constantly tell you to stand tall or sit up straight? Well, as it turns out, their advice was right on the money. Posture is how your body is positioned when you are sitting, standing, or lying down. This article will discuss why good posture is important, the health consequences of poor posture, and steps you can take to improve posture.

All of us admire those with good posture, it is an attractive feature and those with good posture give a sense of command and control. Unfortunately, very few people are committed to practicing daily rituals to improve their posture. This postural neglect can have serious consequences on our overall health.

Why is Good Posture Important?

Posture is the window into your spine. Your spine has a powerful relationship with your brain, spinal cord, and overall organ function. The curve in the spine is there to provide support and balance to the musculoskeletal system. This natural curve is essential for preventing deformation to bones, joints, muscles, and tendons.
Correct posture reinforces the natural curve of the spine and not only influences how you look but helps you breathe, improves concentration, supports vital organ function, and stimulates overall well-being. Correct posture protects against disc degeneration that can lead to inflammatory conditions and disease. It is also critical for protecting the central nervous system.

What Is Subluxation?

In our modern society, we daily repeat activities that create stress on the supporting spinal column. Slouching, crossing legs, Smartphone use, and incorrect ergonomic practices at home, school, and work cause poor posture.

These daily activities lead to the abnormal curvature of the spine and abnormal stress on the nervous system, which is known as subluxation, or partial dislocation. Subluxation interferes with nerve impulses and can manifest in numerous physical symptoms.

Examples of physical symptoms from subluxation include:

  1. Neuropathy, a disease or disorder, generally degenerative, that affects the nervous system
  2. Back pain or neck pain
  3. Chronic pain common in the hips, joints, lower back, pelvis, and knees
  4. Irritation of a specific area such as arm pain
  5. Weakened immune system
  6. Organ dysfunction
  7. Inability to move or exercise normally
  8. Dizziness and loss of balance
  9. Loss of bladder or bowel control
  10. Autoimmune conditions
  11. Fatigue
  12. Headaches and migraines

The spine is susceptible to numerous traumas, including birth, regular physical activities from exercise and sports, as well as accidental injury from car accidents and falls. Depending on the type of injury and which nerve pathways of the spine become disrupted, spinal subluxations can increase the risk for weakened immunity and lowered quality of life.

Loss of the spine’s natural curve inhibits normal physiological and nervous system functions. The ability to protect the brain stem and support the communication of nerve impulses throughout the body becomes suppressed.
In addition, physical limitations of the body marked by poor posture accelerate the aging process and increase inflammation. This is a result of the body’s inability to manage stress and tissue trauma appropriately.

Forward Head Posture

Probably the most noticeable and common postural issue is forward head posture. It is an exaggeration of the natural curve of the neck. The natural curve, or arc, helps protect the brain stem and the spinal canal, where the spinal cord and nerves that travel to every region of the body are housed.

As the arc reduces it becomes unstable and results in a forward head posture. Causes of forward head posture include:

  1. Looking down while typing or reading (which has become excessive with the use of smartphones)
  2. Sitting improperly with shoulders rounded and back hunched
  3. Driving with your head more than 2 inches away from the head rest
  4. Carrying a backpack or heavy purse over one shoulder

Forward head posture causes major stress on the musculoskeletal system. It can lead to many health issues. For every inch your head extends forward, your neck must support an additional 10 pounds (nearly 5kg) of weight, and depending on the severity of the forward head posture, it can add up to 30 pounds (about 14kg) of additional weight on the spinal discs, ligaments, and tendons. This results in a cascade of injury to internal organs, like the lungs (which affects breathing), and affects blood flow and oxygenating the blood.

3 Ways to Improve Your Posture by Correcting & Preventing Sublaxation and Forward Head Posture

#1: Chiropractic Care – Chiropractic adjustments can help compensate for postural abnormalities leading to an improvement in the health of the spine and the whole body. Research found that chiropractic adjustments and rehabilitation exercises lead to the correction of forward head posture and cervical lordosis and restored pulmonary function.

#2: Lifestyle Practices – The first step to achieving good posture is being aware of your postural habits. Once you are aware of your poor postural habits, you can replace these habits with new healthy postural habits.

Four suggested lifestyle practices to reinforce good posture include:

  1. Make sure the top of your computer screen is level with your eyes, about two feet away from your face
  2. Carry a backpack squarely over both shoulders to balance the weight distribution
  3. When carrying a purse or duffle bag, carry it diagonally across the torso
  4. Have ample lower back support while sitting or lying for prolonged periods

#3: Exercises – Daily practice of posture correcting exercises will help create new postural habits.

How much is too much?

How much is too much?

How many times have you taken a bite of a food and said, “I’m so bad – this is so bad for me”?
News Flash: there’s no such thing as a good or bad food. No food is morally good or morally bad. If you have a food labeled as bad, then eating it makes you a bad person. What do you do to bad people? You punish them.

So, here’s the question: Are you punishing yourself because you’re “bad” for eating something that “is bad”. Can you begin to see food as neutral? Can you see the error in thinking?

What we need to realize is that it isn’t the food, it’s the quality and the dose. The true value of food is less about what food you’re eating and more about the quality and how much of it you eat.

Quality is everything. If you’re going to eat a slice of pizza, eat the best one you can find (or make it yourself using a vegetable crust rather than white flour).

Choose the highest quality version of the foods you’re going to eat anyway. When you elevate the quality of your food, you elevate your metabolism.

Quantity … ah, now there’s the rub. How much is enough? How much is too much? Do you know when you’ve had enough, or do you eat until your pants are so tight you can’t to breathe? Do you know when you’re hungry, or do you eat because the clock says it is noon?

Here’s the challenge:
Write a list of some foods that you can eat in moderation, but if you over-indulge it’s a problem.

You see – you do know what they are; now, all that is necessary for you to do is respect your body enough to allow quality food in, in moderation, and know when and where to draw the line. Having trouble completing this challenge? Hit the button and make an appointment because that’s one of the things I’m good at – helping you figure it all out.

bread-breakfast-coffee

What Am I Supposed to Eat?

Often, when I’m out at an event and happen to bump into someone who knows I’m a health and nutrition professional, usually the first thing that happens (after “Hi”) is either an apology for eating what they’re eating, or a question … WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO EAT? IS THIS OKAY?

As we all know, there’s a glut of information available on diets – most of it very confusing. It seems there’s a new incarnation of an old idea every year with all kinds of voices crying, “Eat vegan!”; “Eat like a caveman!”; “Eat soy!”; “Don’t eat soy!”; “Count calories!”; “Don’t count calories!” You get the picture. The fact of the matter is that all diet theories – and there are at least 100 of them – are simply shifting the balance, the source, or the timing of macronutrients. They change the ratio of how many carbs to fats to proteins are measured. High carb/low carb; high protein/low protein; high fat/low fat – these ratios are the balance of macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates. We need to look at the basic macronutrients and a little bit of science to make sense of it all.

There are six main nutrients needed for energy, maintenance of tissues and regulation of bodily processes. Those are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water, vitamins and minerals. The “macro” nutrients are fats, proteins and carbohydrates and for the sake of basic nutrition science, we’ll stick with these.

The Mighty Macronutrients – Carbohydrates

Macronutrients provide your body with energy, which is measured in calories.  We’ll start with carbohydrates.

Carbs are organic compounds that contain single, double, or multiple sugar units.  Our bodies look to carbs for quick energy because carbs are a very powerful, fast-acting, energy source.  There are three kinds of carbohydrates: complex, simple and fiber.

  • Simple carbs have a simple chemical structure and they’re broken down and metabolized very quickly by the digestive system – they’re also usually sweet. Think fruit for a healthy example and bread, cookies and chips for the “other” kind.
  • Complex carbs take more time to break down and digest; they’re savory or starchy – like potatoes, squash or lentils.
  • Fiber can’t be broken down. It’s the intestinal scrub brush.  There’s no caloric value in fiber, but without it the gut can be in serious difficulty.  That’s why it’s so important to eat some of your fruit and vegetables raw or only slightly cooked.

The Power of Protein

Proteins are large, complex molecules that are critical in the body at a cellular level and are needed for structure, function and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.  They are made up of amino acids, of which there are 21 different types that can be combined to create a protein.

  • Proteins are used to produce new tissues for growth and repair and they regulate and maintain body functions.
  • They define what an organism is, what it looks like and how it behaves.
  • Enzymes, used for digestion, protection and immunity are made of proteins.
  • Proteins are used as a source of energy when carbohydrates aren’t available, usually as a last resort.
  • Proteins are found in meats, poultry, fish, cheese, milk, nuts and legumes.

Many people have had great success with weight loss using high protein diets, such as Atkins and the Paleo diet.  And, while these types of diets can be very effective, they’re not necessarily the right fit for everyone.  It’s important to honor your body and your own individual metabolism; we’re all different and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all diet.  Our metabolisms are all different.  What works for one may not work as well for another.

Some people handle animal protein quite well, others can’t manage it at all.  Knowing the type of protein that works best for you is important to your dietary health and success.

Fats are a big subject and I addressed it in my blog in August.

That’s where understanding nutrition theory comes in and, that’s where I come in.  In the meantime, you’re welcome to eat whatever you want to eat.  I am not the “eating police”.  However, if you really want to know what to eat and if what you’re eating is doing you good, then we need to meet and spend some time together.  I’m always happy to do that!  Just click on the button and make an appointment.

 

Alcohol - Empty Calories

Empty Calories – What is Your Food Filled With?

I was chatting with my daughter today and she expressed, once again, her dismay that so few people seem to consider how nutrient deficient their food choices can be. She likened a small croissant at more than 400 calories to a bowl of blueberries containing the same number of calories. If you haven’t seen the comparison 125 blueberries or 1-1/4 cups is worth 100 calories. Times that by four and that’s a lot of blueberries!

In terms of nutrition for us humans, the term “empty calories” applies to foods and beverages composed primarily or solely of sugar, fats or oils (the unhealthy variety widely and generously used by food manufacturers), or alcohol-containing drinks. For example, carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices; cakes, cookies, pastries, donuts; processed meats and processed cheeses are all sources of empty calories. All of these provide food energy but little or no other nutrition in the way of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber or essential fatty acids.

A very small amount of empty calories is okay, but most people eat far more than is healthy since the proportion of nutrients relative to energy content is way out of balance.

Here’s a thought … when the urge for something sweet strikes again, why not try a juicy peach or half a banana? You’ll at least be getting some nutrition that will help your body as opposed to taking in something that could be causing you harm.

 

 

Catch Some Pure Vitamin D from the Sun

Catch Some Pure Vitamin D from the Sun

Summertime is the best time to get the necessary amounts of vitamin D; the Sunshine Vitamin.  Did you know that most people in the northern hemisphere are vitamin D deficient?  It’s true.  Yet, this can be easily remedied, especially in the summertime, by going out into the sun and allowing your largest organ, your skin, to absorb those delicious rays.

Vitamin D helps to boost your mood, immunity and energy.  Even though you can get small amounts of vitamin D from your food (and of course there are supplements), the best way is direct sunlight exposure.

Although sunscreen is important, it can interfere with the absorption of vitamin D.  15-20 minutes of unprotected time in the sun is sufficient to give you a good dose of this vitally important vitamin.

What About Sunscreen?

After taking your 15 minutes of vitamin D, be sure to practice safe sun habits and apply sunscreen.  Just  be sure you’re lathering up with sunscreen that’s free of PABA, OMC, 4MBC, Benzophene-3 or Homosalate, which have been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer.  Hats are a great option for added protection.

Now go get your vitamin D.