Health Tip #70

Health Tip 70

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Health Tip #38

health-tip-38

Contrary to popular belief, most of us with digestive issues, including heart burn and GERD, are suffering from too little stomach acid, rather than too much.  Many factors can contribute to having too little stomach acid including: eating too quickly and under stress, a diet too high in processed carbs and sugars which upsets the gut’s microbial balance and eating foods that we are sensitive to, such as gluten, which can cause an inflammatory response.  Some medications also reduce our natural stomach acid.

Besides removing the factors that cause reduced stomach acid,  one thing that we can do to improve digestion is to add in a hydrochloric acid (HCl) and digestive enzyme supplement.  We can test how much HCl supplement we need by adding one HCl capsule each meal time.  By increasing the number of capsules by one, each meal time, we can take note of any reactions we feel.  When a slight burning sensation is felt in the upper gastric area, we know our supplementation is having an effect and it’s time to cut back.  At this point, we reduce the dosage to that which we were taking prior to the burning sensation.

The HCl acid supplement we choose should also include digestive enzymes, particularly pepsin.  If the stomach acid is low, it will not be producing enough protein digesting enzymes either.

A caveat to this advice comes from  Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac as he warns:

Note: HCL should never be taken (and this test should not be performed) by anyone who is also using any kind of anti-inflammatory medication such as corticosteroids (e.g. predisone), aspirin, Indocin, ibuprofen (e.g. Motrin, Advil, etc.) or other NSAIDS. These drugs can damage the GI lining that supplementary HCL might aggravate, increasing the risk of gastric bleeding or ulcer.

Health Tip #29

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Just take a bath

This is going to be a simple post.  Just take the time to have a hot bath once a week.  Soak for 15-20 minutes and relax.  A hot bath can make you sleep better, ease muscle tension and improve circulation.  Throw in some Epsom salts and essential oils to improve the therapeutic affects.

Epsom salts for magnesium

Epsom salt baths help us detox and replenish magnesium stores.  The magnesium will easily be absorbed through the skin.  Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in our bodies and many of us don’t get enough.  We need it for normal muscle function including  the heart muscle (normal cardiac activity).   Other than Epsom salt baths, the best way to get magnesium is from a dietary source, by eating fresh vegetables, particularly leafy greens, grown in healthy, mineral rich soils.  Magnesium and calcium need to be balanced 1:1 in our bodies.  Too much calcium has been associated with heart attack, stroke and sudden death.  For strong bones, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D and Vitamin K2 all have to be present.  This is why it’s best to get our calcium from food sources over supplements.  Nature has a way of keeping nutrients in balance.

Taking a hot bath is an easy way to a long list of health benefits.  So go take a hot bath!

Health Tip #22

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We Need Our Sleep

Sleep is not merely a waste of productive time.  Sleep is a necessary part of your overall health.  We need 8 hours of sleep each night for optimal health.  Lack of proper sleep can lead to a decline in mental and physical health including:  reduced cognitive function, memory loss, weight gain, obesity, depression, headaches, anxiety, accidents, diabetes, decreased immune function, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and lack of emotional control.  A lack of sleep also exacerbates chronic illnesses already present.

While we sleep, our body goes into a detox, repair and mental and immunological integration faze.  Without sleep we miss out on all of these processes.

Sleep For Better Brain Health

Sleep makes you smarter.  While we sleep, and as we dream, our brain sews together (integrates) the pieces of our experiences into memories, discovers the rules for our lives and fosters insight.  Studies have shown that students performed better on problem solving and memory and recall tests when given a chance to sleep on it.   Our brain strategizes and figures out answers to our problems and possible paths of action and the meaning of our lives while we sleep.  A lack of this process can lead to lack of mental health including depression.

Lights Out

In order to get good sleep we need complete darkness.  Light at night disrupts our anti-cancer, melatonin production.  It is for this reason that shift work is listed as a possible carcinogen.  Blue light emitted from fluorescent and LED lights are not healthy for us during the night.  Using blue-light blockers on technology, blue light blocker glasses and incandescent lights at night will help with this.

Stay In Sync With The Sun

Ideally to synchronize our biological clocks, we should be rising with the sun, being exposed to natural sunlight during the day and darkness at night.  Spending daylight hours outdoors will help with this, especially at high noon, so taking a walk on our lunch break is a great idea.  Not only that, but spending time outdoors in nature also helps with good quality sleep.

Winding Down

Shutting off all electronics and stopping work 1 or 2 hours before bed can help with a good nights sleep.  Doing activities that help you to relax and wind down will also help you sleep.  Have a hot bath, listen to relaxation recordings, read something uplifting or write in your gratitude journal and have a good nights sleep.

2017 Health Tips Introduction

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Hello and welcome to my 2017 Health Tips, a tip a day for better health in 2017!

Many of the tips you’ll find in this collection are ones you have probably heard before.  It often takes us hearing something several times and presented in different ways before we are ready to take action on the information we’ve heard.  Think of this collection as gentle, daily reminders to do the best for yourself that you can in 2017.  I am hoping to present the information to you in very easy and do-able steps.    We will start out with the most basic tips and gradually increase in complexity as the year goes on.  We will even spiral back on some of the tips we’ve mentioned earlier, adding depth each time around.

Some of the tips will resonate with you and some won’t.  Don’t worry about the ones that don’t.  Do what works for you and leave the rest.  Guilt free!

What I am hoping most to impress upon you is the need to just relax and enjoy the steps you are taking toward better health.  You absolutely cannot stress yourself into better health.

I want to start out the new year with really just getting back to basics because if you’ve got the basics you’re well on your way to a healthier you.  Things like just remembering to eat real food, drink pure water, focus on the good, let go of what hasn’t been so good,  take time to just breathe, get good sleep, and don’t take it all too seriously.

Remember through this process to praise yourself often for all the good things you do to care for yourself.  The fact that you’re reading this right now means you are making positive steps toward better self-care.

Consistency is the key.  Aristotle is quoted as saying, “…we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act but a habit.”  Choose just one, two or eventually a handful of tips to integrate into your lifestyle and do those things with consistency.

I wish you all the best on your health journey in 2017!

Maureen

Click here for the first of my health tips for 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health Tip #8

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We hear the word stress thrown out there so often that it has kind of become meaningless.

What is the big deal about stress anyway?  The big deal about stress is that  it is the underlying factor in every disease you can think of.  We all have a weak link in our chain and under stress, that’s where the chain is going to break.  That’s where we are going to see ill health show up.  Stress can turn on disease promoting genes that might have otherwise remained switched off.  That’s a pretty big deal.

So what is stress anyway?  Stress is wanting reality to be different than it is.  Stress is fear  and lack of trust in our future. Stress is perceiving our situation in a negative way.

Stress can make us crave sugar and processed carbs to sooth our emotions and as a quick source of fuel for our muscles so we can  fight or take flight.  Stress raises our blood pressure.  Stress shuts down our digestive system making it hard for us to extract nutrients from our food and can lead to irritable bowl syndrome and other digestive disorders.

So what can we do about it?  Relax.  Find a few moments each day to unplug and slow down.  Activities that help us to relax and de-stress are ones that encourage deep, rhythmic breathing.  Deep breathing sends the message to your body that you are safe.  Some of these activities include meditation, guided meditation or visualization work, yoga, and tai chi.  Writing in a gratitude journal also affords us that little break to slow down and switch gears.  I enjoy little reminders throughout the day to stop and take a conscious, deep, cleansing breath.  I sign up for positive reminders that remind me stop, relax and refocus.  I also have a mindfulness chime app on my phone that I can set to go off periodically throughout the day as a reminder to take that much needed breath.  And finally as pictured above, one of my favorite ways to relax and de-stress is to take a walk in nature…And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul!