Monday, October 21, 2013

A Happy, Healthy Halloween

Enjoying healthy holidays--- 

*peaceful music playing*  
I have a dream that we can all have a happy, healthy halloween 
that will lead us into happy, healthy holidays!

Junk food, junk food, everywhere . . .
photo by ymmed, stock.xchng
What is it about his time of year that makes people over-indulge on junk food? I think the biggest problem is that it is EVERYWHERE!  So what to do about it?  One plan might be to allow yourself your favorite candy twice a week, or other limited amount and then make the decision not to indulge other times. Another plan might be to require yourself to eat something with protein first when you have a craving or temptation.  You won't be as tempted to overeat if you are satisfied earlier.

photo by cliodna, stock.xchng
Or how about drink some water before you indulge? Your stomach will be more full to start with and sometimes you are just thirsty, so you may satisfy yourself.

My favorite suggestion to avoid halloween or holiday overeating is from my daughter. "Go hide in a cave far, far away."

After we had a good laugh about that one, she had a more practical suggestion, "Make healthy food in a festive way so it's fun to eat the healthy stuff too."  Great idea.  Half the battle is having the right stuff easily accessible. So, cut up those veges and fruit to make them the easy go-to food.
photo by lightbulbf, stock.xchng

Why am I eating?
What about when your blood sugar gets low and you are hungry or tired?  That is one of the times when I tend to crave junk food. Try to recognize why we want to eat.  If we are truly hungry, then healthy food should satisfy us.  If we are craving food for other reasons, even the junk food won't placate our yearnings.  Keeping a journal of our feelings may help us figure out why we eat.  Are we lonely or sad?  Are we anxious or stressed out? Allow yourself to feel those feelings.  That is healthier than trying to drown them in halloween candy!

 photo by GretheB, stock.xchng

The other issue is the the cold weather setting in.  Eating and digesting food actually produces heat.  Do you just need a jacket or a quick nap?  Do we seek those warm baked goods that smell up the house with blissful memories of our childhood?  Are we cold, thirsty, or just homesick?  We eat for many different reasons.  Realizing why you are eating is half the battle.  Once realized, you can make an informed choice of what or if you should eat.

Does your health decline in the autumn and winter months?
photo by iwanbeijes, stock.xchng
There are other reasons our health might be declining this time of year. We can think about why and make a plan to make it not happen.

Maybe we are starting to be less active than in those playful summer months. Have you made that commitment to get the exercise you need at least 3-5 times each week?  I know it is more of a struggle for me to get going when I'm cold.  Swimming doesn't sound so great when it is 30 degrees outside!

It helps me to remember that I always feel better when I'm done exercising and I have made the commitment to exercise.  Like Elaine Dalton said, "I can do hard things" and "In the strength of the Lord, I can do things."  We show our body and spirit who is boss when we show the discipline to be active even if in the moment "we don't feel like it."

photo by alexbruda, stock.xchng
Did you ever feel like you needed to eat to be polite? That isn't healthy either. With all the holiday events coming up, parties, festivals, whatever, remember you are the ultimate controller of what you eat. Don't give that power to someone that thinks you "should" eat. Eat because you are hungry.  Eating to enjoy food is the way the Lord made it, when used in moderation.

Plan on having a healthy autumn and winter this year!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ideas for those sleepless nights

Here are some great ideas for when sleep eludes you . . . preventative but also for when it strikes at 3 a.m., like me right now :-0

*Play some relaxing music.

*Take a warm bath.

*Do relaxing things an hour before bedtime to get your mind ready to take a break.

*Visualize that happy, peaceful spot you would love to go visit.  Really get into it.  What does it feel like? Smell like?

(That is Grand Marias, Michigan, by the way)

*Get a massage.

*Do guided relaxation. Download an app for that or look on google. You could try this one:  or record your own voice or that of a loved one guiding you.  Here are some ideas of what you might say.

*Start at one end of your body and concentrate on relaxing each muscle.  Tighten it, then release.

*Visualize yourself sinking into pillows.

*None of this is working?  Go ahead and get out of bed and do something for a little while.  It does not help you sleep to worry about not sleeping.

*Drink warm milk or camomille tea (chamomile is calming. Pick a tea with no caffeine, obviously.)

*Take deep breaths.  With each breath, breathe in peace and breath out tension and worry.

*Pray. Really tell God what is going on in your life and listen for his peace speaking to your heart.

*Pray to get God's perspective on what is going on in your life. We don't understand it all, so give it back to the Lord if you need to do that.  He does understand it all.
Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

*Let it go. Whatever it is you are worrying about. Here is one of my favorite scriptures about that:
Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God. (see also Psalm 46:10)

*Let go of worry about not getting enough sleep. Once in awhile insomnia is no big deal. Is it habitual? Talk to your doctor about it. It may be a sign of a bigger problem.

*Avoid naps, don't sleep in and get exercise or physical activity during the day.

*Lay off chocolate for awhile.  Tough one, I know. 

*Watch Mormon Messages or Bible Videos. When we are touched by the Spirit, peace and sleep may come easier. That is, unless God is trying to get your attention. Then go and see what the Lord has to say. Answer like Samuel as recorded in the Old Testament, 

"Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth."              Samuel 3:1-19

Then sleep, because God needs you to get up and get to work :-)

I hope this helps!  Happy dreamland to you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Great job for all who have done goals this year!

This is the end of the Fitness Group scheduled time (Oct- May, 2010-2011).  So sad!  We had our celebration party Friday night at the cabin.  So fun!  We went on a boat ride, talked a lot and played Nertz and Pit.  It got crazy!  It was great to get away and make new friends and spend time with everyone.

Sorry for all who couldn't make it that wanted to!  We missed many of our friends who I know have been working hard on improving their health this year that had scheduling difficulties and were not able to come.

Would you like to do this again next year?  I had fun doing it, and I think it would be fun.  Any suggestions for making it better?  What would you like to learn?  What motivates you?

I will be posting pictures from the overnight soon.  Thanks for going!

A special thanks to Celeste and Judy for their hospitality at their cabins.  We appreciate you!

Signing off----


Monday, May 16, 2011

Vitamin C, are you getting enough?
Vitamin C is necessary for a healthy body.  Our body can only store a limited amount so we need to consume vitamin C on a regular basis.  Some great natural sources of vitamin C include broccoli, brussel sprouts, papaya, strawberries, oranges, kale, lemons, cauliflower, garlic, grapefruit, and spinach.

Some say megadoses (eating many times the recommended amount) of vitamin C helps to shorten the duration of the common cold.  This is not true. Moderately increasing your vitamin C levels when you have a cold may help to slightly reduce a cold's duration.  Drinking orange juice does help by increasing your fluid intake, and a little extra vitamin C may help.

Chronic low blood levels of vitamin C have been linked with the development of  atherosclerosis, or thickening of artery walls by cholesterol that may lead to heart problems.

One Canadian study found that low levels of vitamin C were linked to higher waist circumference, body mass index, and blood pressure.

One problem with increasing vitamin C consumption is one of the most common methods to do this involves drinking more juice and therefore getting possibly unneeded extra calories.  Whole foods will provide the vitamin C we need when we know which ones have high levels of the vitamin. (see beginning paragraph for ideas.)

Make sure and get your vitamin C today!