Can’t Meditate? Here are 9 Other Ways to Break Free From Stress

Meditation it’s the secret sauce to take your wellness to the next level. You know, the status of the elite gurus. It’s the “end all, be all” for the health of your entire mind-body-spirit. It’s the absolute must do that’s the only path to beating the infamous health buster called “stress.”

Hold up! Don’t get me wrong; practicing meditation is an outstanding method to optimizing your health and overall well-being. Meditation is great for relieving and dealing with stress, and all of the issues, including weight gain, that come along with it. But it’s not the only way to get there.

The whole purpose of meditating is to calm the mind and emotions and relax our physical body too. And there is always more than one way to get there.

So, let’s talk about some of the other things you can try if meditation is not exactly your thing.

Journaling

Spending some time every day writing out your thoughts can help to relieve stress. You can use journaling to list the things you’re grateful for, this is known as gratitude journaling. You can use it as a brain dump to get all of your thoughts and ideas out of your head to soothe your mind. You can use bullet journaling if you like to make lists. The ways to journal is endless, you can pick one that suits you.

Reading

It’s one thing to read to learn something that you have to learn, or to advance your knowledge. You know you can also read for pure pleasure. Getting caught up in a story so it takes us away for even a small amount of time can be so relaxing. (more…)

What to Eat for Healthy Skin

There are so many things that can go wrong with the skin: dryness, redness, blemishes, etc.

There are many creams and cosmetics to put on top of your skin. But there are also lots of things you can do to nurture and nourish your skin to better health from the inside. Healthy skin is a reflection of internal health.

How better to do this than with food?

Your skin needs many nutrients: water, essential fats, vitamins, and amino acids. Here are five foods (and drinks and lifestyle tips) I highly recommend if your goal is healthier-looking skin. As a bonus, I have included a short list of some key foods to consider avoiding.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Skin Food #1 – Water

No doubt hydration is key for healthy-looking skin! Water and other hydrating fluids are great to help your skin stay moist and supple. And for a bit of an extra anti-inflammatory hydrating boost, try boosting your water with anti-inflammatory green tea (sugar-free if possible). (more…)

Protein – How Much is Enough?

Protein is not just for great skin, hair, and nails; it’s critical for health. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to repair damage, digest food, fight infections, build muscle and bone, create hormones, and even think and have good moods. Higher protein diets can help fight high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Not to mention protein’s great benefits for metabolism boosting, satiety (feeling full after a meal), and weight management.

Protein is important, and this is a given.

There are a few factors to consider when calculating how much protein we need. I’ll go through those calculations with you and then list the amount of protein in some common foods.

How much protein is enough?

There isn’t a real rule that applies equally to everyone. There are a few factors to consider when figuring out how much protein you need.

Start with the minimum recommendation of 0.36 g/lb. (0.8 g/kg) per day. So, for a 150 lb. (68 kg) healthy non-athlete adult, this is about 55 g protein per day.

Mind you, this is a minimum to prevent protein deficiency. It’s not optimal for good repair, digestion, immune function, muscle/bone building, hormones, thinking, and great moods. It’s not enough for athletes, seniors or those recovering from an injury, either. If you fall into one of these camps, you may need to increase the minimum protein intake. Aim closer to 0.6 g/lb. (1.3 g/kg) per day.

Athletes need more protein for energy and muscle mass. Seniors need more to help ward off muscle and bone loss that’s common in old age. And injured people need more for recovery and healing. (more…)

Exercise: The True Health Benefits

Exercise. It can improve your health on all levels. We’re not just talking about being fitter and stronger. We’re talking about overall health and longevity.

Regular exercise improves your heart health, brain health, muscle and bone health, diabetes, and arthritis. Beyond those, it also reduces stress, boosts moods, increases your energy, and can improve your sleep.

Convinced yet?

The benefits of exercise come from improving blood flow, and reducing inflammation and blood sugar levels. They come from moving your muscles (including your heart muscle) and pulling on your bones.

You don’t need to go overboard on exercise to get these amazing health results. As little as 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days/week is enough.

And you don’t have to do a particular kind of exercise. All four types of exercise have health benefits. They are:

  • Endurance (brisk walking, jogging, yard work, dancing, aerobics, cycling, swimming)
  • Strength (climbing stairs, carrying groceries, lifting weights, using a resistance band or your body weight, Pilates)
  • Balance (standing on one-foot, Tai Chi)
  • Flexibility (stretching, yoga)

Don’t forget, all exercise counts, even if it’s not doing a sport or in a gym. Weekend hikes, walking to the store and doing household chores also count towards your weekly exercise goal.

Let me take a minute to prove to you how healthy exercise really is. Here are a few key points. (more…)

What is the Satiety Index?

Have you ever noticed that some foods keep you feeling full longer? And others give you the munchies an hour later? That can make the advice to “stop eating when you feel full” a bit tricky if you’re picking foods that aren’t filling. What the heck is up with that?

It’s called satiety. It’s the feeling of fullness, of being satisfied and satiated. It’s is the opposite of hunger and appetite.

The satiety index is a rating of foods that have been tested for the satiating effect (fullness) in a 240-calorie portion size. The scale scores foods based on whether people feel extremely hungry, hungry, semi-hungry, no feeling, semi-satisfied, satisfied, or extremely satisfied. Yep all that. Similar to the glycemic index, the response to white bread was set to be 100. Foods that are more filling have numbers higher than 100 and foods that are less filling have numbers lower than 100.

High satiety index food characteristics

There are common characteristics of highly satiating foods.

  • Foods that are more filling tend to have more protein. Protein is considered to be more filling than either carbohydrates or fats.
  • They also tend to have more fiber. Because fiber is not digested, it provides bulk. This bulk tends to help you feel full longer because it slows down emptying of the stomach and digestion time.
  • Highly satiating foods tend to have more volume for the same amount of calories; this means they tend to take up more space with water or air.
  • They tend to have less fat.
  • They are also generally whole and less processed.

If you think about the feeling of fullness, it makes you not want to eat at that moment. It wards off the feeling of hunger. Eating more foods that have a higher satiety index are more filling, and therefore can help you to eat less overall.

This is one strategy to use if you feel hungry all the time, or if you’re trying to lose weight. (more…)

Which Foods Can Help With Blood Pressure?

Guess how many people have high blood pressure?

A BILLION!

It’s said to be the “#1 risk factor for death and disability in the world.”

If you have high blood pressure, it’s best that you are monitored by your healthcare professional. And if you’re on medication for high blood pressure never change that without speaking with a medical professional.

Today, we’ll talk about what exactly blood pressure is, and which foods and lifestyle factors can help with it.

What is high blood pressure?

It’s something your doctor commonly checks. You can even do it yourself in many pharmacies, or purchase at-home blood pressure monitors. There is an inflatable tube placed around your arm that gets blown up and tight. It measures how hard your blood is pushing against the walls of your blood vessels.

If your vessels are stiff, the pressure increases. It’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly because for many people there are no symptoms as it slowly creeps higher and higher.

This measurement is important because elevated high blood pressure for too long can cause serious damage. In extreme cases, it can result in blindness, kidney damage, stroke, or even a heart attack.

Here are a few of the foods and drinks that can help with blood pressure. (more…)