5 Ways To Adapt A Healthy Life-Style

With the New Year underway, many people are looking to make a change to their diet. That’s not surprising, as the obesity epidemic is on the rise and many individuals have health concerns.

healthy life style

Unfortunately, for many of us this is easier said than done. Many people may start out strong and have good intentions, but over time become frustrated with their weight and go back to old eating patterns. If you are one of these people, you might be eating the wrong foods. Many people eat too many processed foods and sugary snacks, which can cause weight gain and make you sick. Instead of looking for a quick fix or fad diet to try, what is really needed is a life-style change, including improving your eating habits. In this blog, I wanted to share 5 ways you can adapt a healthy life-style.

5 Ways To Adapt A Healthy Life-style

  1. Eat More Whole Foods—
    Whole Foods -vegetables
    We all need to get back to the basics of eating. Our ancestors ate from the land and for sustenance. They also ate what was available to them including fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and meat. Fast-forward and you can easily see how times have changed. Many people today live on fast-food and processed foods, which don’t provide the nutrients your body needs. Although processed foods may contain some nutrients your body needs, they definitely don’t contain the same amount, or the quality provided by whole foods. Many processed foods also contain artificial ingredients, chemicals and preservatives that are hard on your body. Fortunately, we can all make better choices, to adapt a healthy life-style. One of the best things you can do is to eat more vegetables. Vegetables provide vital nutrients your body needs and craves and you can’t get from other sources. Try adding more vegetables to your meals including: breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also munch on them for a healthy snack. Another way to increase your nutrient intake is to add fruit to your diet. Many fruits contain healthful vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Strive for 1 to 2 servings per day. You can also make more home-cooked meals to add other whole foods in your diet. Look for recipes that include plenty of vegetables, whole grains, spices or meat.
  2. Have a Strong Connection To Your Community—
    community
    It’s a proven fact that having a strong connection to a community can help enrich your life. Many people choose to live in a certain area because of the surroundings, proximity to work, schools, parks or the beautiful scenery. No matter the reason you choose to live in a particular region, why not get out and enjoy it with others in your community? Many cities have walking or biking trails. Maybe you can take a walk with a neighbor? Better yet—allow your walk to be an opportunity to get to know someone you see on the trails. There are many ways to befriend others. Many cities provide community events and get-together’s, which are a great way to foster connections. You can also join a local group or volunteer your time at a food shelf, non-profit organization, school or church to meet others. There are many possibilities.
  3. Strong Relationships—
    relationships_family
    Relationships play a big part in our day to day lives and can have a tremendous impact on our outlook and demeanor. That is why it is important to make sure you have enough significant relationships in your life. Healthy relationships with family, friends, co-workers and neighbors can help you feel grounded and connected. In addition, they can make you feel needed and loved, which is important for well-being. When people don’t have enough relationships in their life, they can feel lost and alone. In fact, in my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To eating And Living, I talk about how feelings of emptiness can arise, as well as  physical symptoms in the body, when there aren’t enough connections to others. Some ways you can establish strong relationships in your life include: joining a church group, bowling league, health club, tennis team, or golf team. You can also make it a priority to get together with family members, if they live close by. Whether you meet for coffee, dinner or just hang out to catch up, family time is important and can be invaluable for your health.
  4. Move More—
    exercise_healthy life style
    Your body was meant to move. Unfortunately, our society today has become more sedentary than past generations. Many people have desk jobs and sit in front of a computer all day. Additionally, many people live fast-paced lives and don’t seem to have the energy when they get home from work to exercise and would rather be a couch potato. Exercise and activity however, are just what your body needs to feel balanced and alive.The good news is there are plenty of ways to stay active. Why not go on a walk, run, or a bike ride after work? If you like working out, you can head to a gym in your community or find one close by work. Many gyms have free weights, exercise bands, and a variety of equipment to help rev up your body. Many gyms provide group classes for yoga, kick boxing, cycling, zumba and more. If those activities don’t interest you, find some other activity that does. It may be as simple as looking back at your childhood to find something you like. Perhaps you enjoyed playing basketball as kid? Why not take up the sport again? Maybe you liked to swing at the park or climb the monkey bars? Most likely you can find a park near by to give it a try again. You can also try jumping rope, hula hooping, or hop scotch. There are many possibilities to get moving and bring some childhood joy back to life.
  5. Purposeful Work
    Purposeful work
    We spend a big part of our day and our lives working. That is why it is important to find something that you like to do. Many people get a lot of satisfaction from working. Some people specifically look for careers to express their passions and use their God-given skills, which can provide tremendous fulfillment.  If you have a job however, that is not as fulfilling as you like, why not look for something outside of work, such as hobby or volunteering for fulfillment? True joy and contentment come from living our passions and being connected to others.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

“20 Habits For a Healthier, Happier Life.” Blue Zones, 6 Feb. 2018, bluezones.com/2018/01/20-habits-healthier-happier-life/.

Beef Up Your Iron To Relieve Chronic Tiredness…

While everyone gets run down from time to time, being tired all of the time is not normal and could be a sign that something is wrong. Many people these days live fast-paced lives, eat the wrong types of food and are busy with work, family and other commitments, which can contribute to stress and fatigue.  If you are a person however, who suffers from constant sleepiness, irritability and gets fatigued easily, you may be iron deficient or suffer from iron deficiency anemia. If you are concerned, schedule a visit with your doctor, as other symptoms may develop, left untreated. Most likely your doctor will run some blood tests to check your hemoglobin and blood count. An iron binding test, which checks your iron saturation level and ferritin level (iron stores in your body) may be also be done. If your doctor determines you are iron deficient, you may need to beef up your iron intake to relieve your chronic tiredness.

Tired all the time

What is iron and why does your body need it?
Iron is an essential micro-nutrient your body needs to produce hemoglobin, which is needed to carry oxygen throughout your body and to individual cells. Our bodies do not produce iron on its own, but rather absorb it through the foods we eat. Our main sources of iron come from plants and animals, although some food products are fortified with iron.¹

What is Iron Deficiency Anemia?
If your doctor determines you have iron deficiency anemia, you may need more than over the counter iron supplements and possibly further testing, depending on the cause.

Iron deficiency anemia can develop when there is an insufficient amount of iron in the body. The condition develops when your blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells and can result from numerous causes including: an inadequate amount iron in the diet, iron absorption issues or blood loss in the body from an ulcer, polyp, cancer or some other illness. It can also be caused by heavy periods in women. If your body does not ingest and absorb enough iron, a multitude of symptoms can occur including: sleepiness, fatigue, moodiness, memory problems, hair loss, anxiety, depression and others.²

tired

Who is at risk?
Iron deficiency anemia affects more people than other health condition and is a world-wide problem. Developing nations are especially at risk. In some areas, almost half of the population is affected. In the United States, it is a common problem for both women and children. In fact, 700,000 toddlers and 7.8 million women suffer with an iron deficiency in the U.S. alone. Pregnant women, the elderly and children are often at risk. Iron deficiency anemia is a common problem for menstruating women, as well. Those experiencing heavy periods during perimenopause are often affected by the condition too. In addition, a small percentage (2 %) of men are also affected with iron deficiency anemia.³

children

Treatments

Iron Supplements
If you are iron deficient or diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, your doctor will most likely prescribe iron supplements, which can help build your iron levels back up to a normal range. There are a many brands of iron available to choose from. Most over the counter supplements contain approximately 25 mg. of iron, although some brands may contain more. Make sure you check with your doctor for proper dosage requirements, as it is individual and based on your iron testing levels and diagnosis. Iron supplements should be taken with vitamin C to help alleviate stomach upset and aid in absorption.

Iron comes in a variety of forms including: tablets, capsules, and liquid. You may have to play around a bit to find the form and brand that works best for you. I found a vegetable-based iron capsule to work best for myself, when I needed to re-build my iron stores, after trying several brands. Some people may prefer a timed-release option, as it delivers a steady amount of iron to your body throughout the day. Again, it is personal preference and everyone is different. Feel free to shop around and try different brands and formulations.

Iron-Rich Diet
While taking an iron supplement should help build iron in your body, eating an iron-rich diet is also important for your journey back to health. Thankfully, there are many ways to beef up your iron. Ironically, one of the best food choices you can make to build iron is beef. That’s because beef contains heme iron, which is found in animals and typically attached to proteins, called heme proteins. Heme iron is the best source of iron for people who a iron deficient. Some other good sources of heme iron include: chicken, turkey, ham, veal, shrimp, lamb, salmon, mussels and clams.

If you are not a meat-eater, don’t worry, there are plenty of other non-heme iron options. Non-heme iron is found in vegetables, grains and some processed foods. You can also find non-heme iron in fruit, nuts and seeds. Some good sources of non-heme iron include foods such as strawberries, spinach, kale, beans, broccoli, noodles, oatmeal, molasses, rice, potatoes, bread, cereal and more.4

If you are buying processed food, make sure you read the food labels to determine the iron content, as well as other the ingredients.  Make sure you try and avoid those products where sugar, fat and hydrogenated oil are at top of the list of ingredients. A diet rich in whole foods is the best source of nutrients for body. When possible, look for products with 5 ingredients or less.  Some examples include: raisins, apricots, bagged salads, black beans, bagged spinach and nuts.

Iron Infusions
Although many people can restore their health with diet and iron supplements alone, some individuals may require other treatments. Depending on the cause and the severity of the deficiency, some individuals may require iron infusions to boost their iron levels more rapidly. Supplementation and eating an iron-rich diet however, may be prescribed after an infusion and monitoring.

Recovery

Although iron deficiency anemia can be stressful and a challenge to deal with at times, it is treatable. Keep in mind that it does take time to re-build iron, so be patient and allow your body time to recover. If you are diligent with your iron supplements and follow an iron-rich diet plan, your body will naturally heal. Keeping a positive outlook and mind-set is also beneficial.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

P.S. If you would like to learn more about iron deficiency anemia, as well as how to eat healthier and live a healthy life-style, you may want to check out my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living. It is available on Amazon. You can grab a FREE Chapter here.

Source:

¹“What Is Iron?” Idi, www.irondisorders.org/what-is-iron.

² Mayo Clinic Staff Print. “Iron Deficiency Anemia.” Overview – Iron Deficiency Anemia – Mayo Clinic. N.p., 11 Nov. 2016. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.

³Wpadmin. “22 Shocking Iron Deficiency Anemia Statistics.” HRFnd. N.p., 23 Dec. 2014. Web. 01 Feb. 2017.

4“Iron We Consume.” Idi, www.irondisorders.org/iron-we-consume/.

Get Creative And Move More In The New Year!

It’s hard to believe we are already into another New Year.

New Year

Time to get going on those resolutions and goals. Many people have a variety of objectives they want to achieve, including eating better and exercising more and the New Year is a great time to take charge of your health. It is also a good opportunity to get creative and vow to move more in the New Year to create a healthier life-style.

walking and exercise

Movement is something we all can work on. Our ancestors were constantly on the move. That’s because movement was a requirement to function and live. To get around, they had to walk. In addition, our ancestors had to use their bodies to hunt and gather food. They also had to labor to achieve simple things we all take for granted. Our society today has changed tremendously since pre-historic times. While technology and industry have brought us many advancements and innovations, it also has caused us to become much more sedentary, making us vulnerable to illness and disease. Our bodies were meant to move and not sit for hours on end. Unfortunately, non-movement has become the norm for many people.

Author, Katy Bowman, in her book, Move Your DNA Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement, compares “our current state of non-movement to being like a zoo animal in a caged environment. Specifically, she gives an example of an orca whale kept in captivity. If you didn’t know, whales in captivity tend to have a collapsed dorsal fin, which rarely happens in the ocean where they move and swim freely in their own natural environment.”¹ We too, have abnormalities and various issues created by not living, as were designed to live (walking, standing, running and moving about all day long). Sure—many people try and incorporate exercise in their day, but for optimal wellness and healthcare, we need to move more throughout the entire day. In fact, Joan Vernikos, in her book, Designed to Move, tells us we should, “STAND UP at least once every 30 minutes for better health.”² That may sound easy, but many people sit for hours at a time, without getting up, which is extremely hard on the body.

standing outside

Movement And Exercise—What’s The Difference?

We all need to make a conscious effort to get up and move more. In my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I mention that taking care of your body includes not only eating the right foods, but also activity and exercise. There are a variety of ways to add exercise and physical activity to your life. Many people try to incorporate some sort of exercise in their day, such as walking, biking, playing tennis or yoga to stay fit. While this is good, exercise is different than moving and not enough, according to some experts. In fact, “we can be active and sedentary. If we workout in the morning and then go to work and sit in front of a computer the rest of the day, our body suffers.”³ To prevent stiffness, joint pain, cramping and other ailments, you need to use your body more. While movement includes exercise, it goes beyond exercising alone. Movement is action and can take many forms including: standing, stretching, raking, pulling weeds and more.

Movement vs. Exercise

Ways To Move More

There many ways you can move more in a day. Do a little brain-storming and get creative and curious about it. See how many different ways you can come up with to move more throughout your day. Following are a few ideas to help get you started.

  • Do some stretches at your desk, while typing or in between projects
  • Take frequent water breaks
  • Get up from your desk and walk around the office or building
  • Do more multi-tasking (e.g. Do a little dancing and singing, while you prepare dinner.)
  • Do some stretches, while reading or browsing Facebook, or some other social media
  • Break your walking routine up. (e.g. Take 2 shorter walks in a day, or 3 if you can fit one in at lunch-time.)
  • Go to a playground and swing or climb some monkey bars
  • Pick up the house daily. (e.g. sweep, dust, or vacuum a room)

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹“Search | Optimize with Brian Johnson.” Optimize – Your Potential. Actualized., www.optimize.me/search/Move+your+DNA/philosophers-notes.

²“Designed to Move | Optimize with Brian Johnson.” Optimize – Your Potential. Actualized., www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/designed-to-move-joan-vernikos/.

³“Search | Optimize with Brian Johnson.” Optimize – Your Potential. Actualized., www.optimize.me/search/Move+your+DNA/philosophers-notes.

4Bowman, Katy. Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health through Natural Movement. Propriometrics Press, 2017.