Teach Your Kids the Basic Tenets of Optimal Health

Here are some suggestions from Dr Mercola that I highly support.  This is great for parents who are struggling to find the right nutritional balance in their children’s lives.

Teach Your Kids the Basic Tenets of Optimal Health

Leading a common-sense, healthy lifestyle is your best bet to achieve a healthy body and mind. And while conventional medical science may flip-flop back and forth in its recommendations, there are certain basic tenets of optimal health (and healthy weight) that do not change:

  1. Proper food choices: For a comprehensive guide, see my free optimized nutrition plan. Generally speaking though, you’ll want to focus your diet on whole, ideally organic, unprocessed or minimally processed foods. For the best nutrition and health benefits, you will want to eat a good portion of your food raw.
  2. Avoid sugar, and fructose in particular. All forms of sugar have toxic effects when consumed in excess, and drive multiple disease processes in your body, not the least of which is insulin resistance, a major cause of chronic disease and accelerated aging.
I believe the two primary keys for successful weight management are severely restricting carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, and grains) in your diet, and increasing healthy fat consumption. This will optimize insulin and leptin levels, which is key for maintaining a healthy weight and optimal health. Sources of healthy fats include:

Olives and olive oil

Coconuts and coconut oil

Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk

Raw nuts, particularly macadamia

Organic pastured egg yolks

Avocados

Grass-fed meats

Palm oil

Unheated organic nut oils

 

  1. Regular exercise: Even if you’re eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, and you need to be exercising effectively, which means including high-intensity activities into your rotation. High-intensity interval-type training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. HGH also helps boost weight loss.
  2. So along with core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and stretching, I highly recommend that two to three times a week you do Peak Fitness exercises, which raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a 90-second recovery period.
  3. Stress reduction: You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional component of your health and longevity, as your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease — from heart disease and depression, to arthritis and cancer. Meditation, prayer, social support and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium. I also strongly believe in using simple tools such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to address deeper, oftentimes hidden, emotional problems. (I would add that yoga fits in this category too.)
  4. Drink plenty of clean pure water.
  5. Maintain a healthy gut: About 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, and research is stacking up showing that probiotics—beneficial bacteria—affect your health in a myriad of ways; it can even influence your ability to lose weight. A healthy diet is the ideal way to maintain a healthy gut, and regularly consuming traditionally fermented foods is the easiest, most cost effective way to ensure optimal gut flora.
  6. Optimize your vitamin D levels: Research has shown that increasing your vitamin D levels can reduce your risk of death from ALL causes. Sun exposure is the best way to optimize your vitamin D levels as your body has built-in “fail-safe” mechanisms that prevent detrimental side effects from occurring. For more information on how to safely and effectively optimize your vitamin D levels, please see my previous article, How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help You Optimize Your Health.
  7. If you opt for oral vitamin D supplements, make sure you use D3, not prescription D2, as the latter may do more harm than good. Also, if you take supplemental vitamin D, you’re creating an increased demand for K2—not K1 that is typically in vegetables as it will not work synergize with vitamin D. Vitamin K2 deficiency is actually what produces the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, which includes inappropriate calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries. Together, vitamin D and K2 help strengthen your bones and improve your heart health.
  8. Avoid as many chemicals, toxins, and pollutants as possible: This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.
  9. Get plenty of high quality sleep: Regularly catching only a few hours of sleep can hinder metabolism and hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of aging and the early stages of diabetes. Chronic sleep loss may speed the onset or increase the severity of age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and memory loss.

 

Advertisements

7 Ways to Add Mindful Activities into Daily Life with Children

Here are seven practices that you can do with young children, to help bring mindfulness into your home.

  1. Just before leaving for school in the morning, stand together and take three mindful breaths.
  2. When your child comes home from school, give him or her a piece of fruit and ask them to pretend they are from another planet and have never seen this piece of fruit before. Ask them to describe their experience using all five senses. What does it look like? Smell like? Feel like? Taste like? Does it make a sound when they bite it?
  3. Take three mindful breaths as a family before eating and try to begin the meal mindfully.
  4. Go for a walk with your child and pay attention to what you both notice around you, what you see, hear, smell and touch. Share some of the things that you’re noticing.
  5. Tell your child you are going to ring a bell or a singing bowl. Ask them to listen carefully to the sound of the bell and raise their hands when they can no longer hear it.
  6. Have your child lie down on a mat on the floor, or on their bed, and place their favorite stuffed animal on their belly. Have them rock the stuffed animal to sleep with the movement of their belly as they breathe in and out. This is how they can begin to pay attention to their breathing.
  7. Before bed, share something that you are grateful for that happened that day – something that enriched your life. Small things are best! Have your child do the same.

These suggestions come from an article published online.  Click here to see the original source of Wildmind – a Buddhist publication.

Mindfulness – NOW!

Image

September is rapidly approaching.  I am already envisioning a very busy fall coordinating my children’s school activities, after school activities and my work schedule.  It is a good thing that I know some tools of mindfulness and yoga to keep myself focused and in a happy mood.  This cartoon above comes from the Boston Globe.  To me it is a reminder to stay in the present – NOW.

This is a great challenge in today’s fast paced world.  Technology like smart phones, ipads and texting accelerate our communication and create a lot of distraction for us and our children.

Mindfulness and Yoga are two tools that allow me to take a few breath, settle my mind and stay focused with the task at hand.

The next time you or your children find yourselves spinning into chaos.  Try slowly breathing in for 5 seconds and slowly breathing out for 5 seconds several times – Take Five.

“We are what we eat.” “Food as medicine.”

Have you ever heard these sayings?

Beginning on Monday I will be offering my services as a health coach.  I will be working with clients, like moms and families, who wish to make changes to their lifestyles to feel healthier, have more energy, and lead happy and fulfilling lives.

To get started sign up for a free initial health consultation for Monday between 3 and 8 pm at Cohasset Yoga Center. Call (781) 383-3141 to schedule your 20 minute session.  This could be the beginning of something big.

 

Tips for being balanced, healthy and happy

Here is a suggestion for children from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.  I find it a good reminder about the simple things in life.

Being healthy is about more than just eating good food. These tips will help you to be balanced, healthy and happy.

  • Be generous.
  • Be grateful for everything and everyone.
  • Focus on what is good in your life.
  • Hum or sing a happy song every day.
  • Laugh often.
  • Treat yourself to doing things that you enjoy daily.
  • Keep your bedroom clean and organized.
  • Spend time outside.
  • Spend less time watching TV.
  • Chew your food well.
  • Say thank you.
  • Be positive.

April Vacation Camp

header

EXPRESS YOURSELF THOUGH ARTS & YOGA!

Grades K-2, 3-5 / Tues-Fri, 9am-12pm in Norwell, MA at Skills for Living

A thoughtful, holistic experience for elementary students! Participants will learn about themselves and others through creative and expressive experiences. Guided programs in art and music therapy, and children’s yoga will be rounded out by spontaneous play, thematic stories, and healthy snacks. Pre-registration required.

Meg Durkin, MS RCYT Yoga Instructor
Susan Evans, MA, ATR-BC, Art Therapist
Kari  O’Briant, MT-BC, Music Therapist

Fee: $250. Limited to 18 students
REGISTER NOW