Monday, December 27, 2010

Exercise - the natural mood lifter!

After months of telling ourselves we really needed to start incorporating consistent exercise back into our lives (after the whirlwind of having 4 children in less than 5 years), my husband and I finally did it this fall! We were both into exercise when we were single and really enjoyed it and couldn't believe we had let it fall out of our lives for so long. My goals for exercising included gaining strength and toning, (let's face it - after having 4 babies and losing almost 100 lbs, there is a lot of toning to be done :-) but I also knew that it would do wonders for my emotional health as well. It is now 3 months later and I have found that, yes, it is wonderful and beneficial to start to feel physically stronger and more toned. But an even bigger value for me has been the emotional health benefit. Now, if I go more than 2 days without exercising I literally start to spiral downward mood-wise. It's almost as if the light starts to dim a bit. So if you're feeling down, along with changing your diet, exercise is a super important component to help you gain back your mental/emotional energy and vitality.

Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, suggests that there are other areas, besides food, that need to be in place for optimal physical and emotional health. He calls them primary and secondary foods. Secondary food is the literal food that we eat. But then there are 4 primary foods. They are relationships, spirituality, exercise, and career. One's diet might be the picture of health, but they might not be experiencing optimal health if one of their primary foods is off-balance or lacking. As a health counselor, I will help people explore their diets, but also as important, we will explore these other areas that may need strengthening in order to achieve the desired outcome.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Attention All Moms!

If you knew that you didn't have to dread another winter full of sick children, how would that make you feel? Does that prospect excite you? Being a mother of four young children, myself, I know how hard it is to have a sick child, or sick children. And then if the sicknesses just recur all season...well, I imagine that would be super tough. I can understand why mothers dread the winter season!

The great news is that there
is a solution! And sharing this solution with families is one of my top priorities as I enter the world of holistic health counseling. It's DIET. Simple but true. (For info on preventing illness beyond diet, see the link I shared in the last post.) If you are willing to change your family's diet, you will drastically improve everyone's immune system functioning. You will find that even when sicknesses pop up, they are much more manageable. My children do get sick a couple of times a season with different ailments. But it never lasts very long and is never very severe. And I don't find myself dreading the winter sickness era like I hear many people do. I desire more than anything to help you not dread the wintertime cold/flu season either!

I know that changing diet can be tough in our society. But it can be done. And that is why I am here. To give you the support that you need to make those changes. It has taken my family years of small changes to get to where we are now. And we're far from perfect. But we've persisted and improved as time has gone on. We have seen the amazing benefits of eating fresh, wholesome foods and leaving ingredients such as sugar out, which is a major culprit to lower immune system functioning.

So if you're wondering where to start, start by choosing one small thing that you can do. Maybe it is to offer fruit FOR snacks instead of fruit snacks. Maybe it is to find a green smoothie recipe that your children will love. Maybe it is just to plan menus so you don't find yourself jetting off to McDonald's for lack of time. (If your children want french fries, cut up a potato and throw some sea salt on and bake. Voila. A much healthier alternative than fast food fries.) But whatever the goal, make one and follow through, and you will be well on your way to becoming more healthful! If you'd like to make yourself accountable, make a comment and let me know what your goal was and the progress you have made. I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Natural cold prevention and cures

Since we're in the heat of cold and flu season, I thought I'd share the following article about simple and natural ways to help prevent or cure the common cold. Dr. Mercola is a great source for alternative medicine news and advice...