The words ‘smile’ and ‘weight loss’ typically don’t go hand in hand when we are trying to lose weight. Let’s face it, diet, self-care, and wellness can be a challenge, no, it is a challenge. Then when you realize you need to help your child lose weight…oh brother. It’s okay, I get it. Why not make it fun? Seriously, this IS possible! I’ve got three ways to get your bodies (and minds) to feel and look better!
Child obesity affects 1 in 5 children in the US. This means that children who are overweight now will likely be overweight when they are adults. This excess weight can not only increase the risk for them getting type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, but their mental health and self-esteem may be altered. Also, being overweight can get to be very expensive! Not just in food and clothes, but with medical bills. We all want our children to live a life full of opportunity and blessing. To give your child a head start in life start with them knowing how to take care of themselves. This is so super important, because without their health, what do they have?
The problem with child weight loss
One of the biggest issues with weight loss is that children don’t understand health all that well. They are either going to watch you or other influences to get their knowledge. Since you are their biggest influence, you can help them make the right choices and for them to have fun while doing it.
When to start?
There is no better time than right now to get started on helping your child lose weight. “But I was going to wait until New Years’?” WHY? This is what gets us in trouble, procrastination. If you wait, you’re just going to make it harder on everyone. Go about this with a gradual approach. Help your kids make the right choices with their time and dinner plates now.
3 Fun & Simple Ways to Help Your Child Lose Weight
Let them see you.
One way to make diet, self-care, and wellness fun is for your kids to see you doing it with a smile on your face, in fact, this is probably the most effective way to teach your kiddos that taking care of yourself is actually a good thing. If they see you doing it, they’re likely going to start doing it too! Remember kids see and hear EVERYTHING!
Do it with them.
Another way to help your child lose weight and make it fun is for you to do it with them. Come on, during the COVID pandemic there had been a lot of couch sitting. As we know, when it comes to the couch, the snacks come too; which eventually leads to a fully loaded butt or gut for that matter. Make a family promise to each other that together we can be healthier and slimmer! Then brainstorm together how you’re going to make this happen. This is also great because you’ll have each other to hold accountable. This approach can not only teach your kids about exercise and cooking but about love for themselves.
Make it a game.
Why not make it a game? I have a free download for you! Making anything a game for a child is way more fun than being Mr. Serious. I personally enjoy the game of Bingo. Just anticipating seeing the full line of tiddlywinks in a complete row is motivating! With my new game, Bingo Bites you win not by chance, but by choice! There are three versions: Bingo Bites Junior, Bingo Bites for 4 – 8-year-olds, and Bingo Bites for 9 -13-year-olds. These games focus on choices which, all-in-all, make a difference in their weight loss.
Bingo Bites Junior comes with three cards: one card for diet, one for self-care, and one for wellness. Each card has colorful pictures and, of course, a free space! These are to be used on a daily basis until your kid gets into a habit of making the right choices in eating, grooming, and giving themselves some love. Honestly, any age can benefit from Bingo Bites Junior.
Bingo Bites for 4 – 8 is more complex than Bingo Bites Junior. This is one big card that covers a lot of ground! Instead of choosing what card to do, use this card to cover all territory. Bingo Bites covers all the food groups, water, exercise, manners, outside time, and reading. If you’re looking for a little help to motivate your kids, use a bingo marker they like; for instance, candy, coins, or tiddlywinks with a prize (like a soda or playing time on Xbox). BINGO!
The Bingo Bites for 9 -14 is the same except for the quantity of food and manners.
To download Bingo Bites Junior or Bingo Bites for specific ages simply go here! Remember, your first step in getting your family healthy is to take the first step. Download today! Did I mention is was FREE?! Yep. It’s free!
One last thing! I know rewards are super important for a child. Typically we reward with food. I get it, I do it too! All I’m saying is to change it up once in a while. By changing up the prize from a donut to a game of Connect 4 with mom or more gaming time, it helps the child appreciate each prize a little bit more. Plus they’ll understand that a donut isn’t an everyday food.
Holiday eating here we come! What is your approach to Holiday eating? Do you go in with an attitude of “It’s the Holiday’s I’m diving in!” or are you, “It’s the Holiday’s, time to deprive myself if I want to keep my figure.” Let me help you enjoy holiday eating without the deprivation or gorge. Learn my three essential tactics to eliminate the haunt of guilt and to enjoy all your holiday foods.
Is this your holiday eating?
You’re at a holiday party, you made a promise with yourself that you were NOT going to eat very much. You said, “I will not eat the spinach dip; it’s too high in calories.” But after a couple of drinks and peer pressure…come-on, you know peer pressure still exists out of high school…temptation wins. However! You’re not headed for the spinach dip; instead, you are headfirst in the hot chicky dip. Before you know it you’re laying on your bed, bloated, asking yourself what just happened?
Friend, you were just deceived by hot chicky dip and you let the opponent kick a field goal. To make holiday eating work for you without depriving yourself of holiday goodness and traditions…not to mention less aggressive New Year Resolutions…you must have a strategy!
Holiday eating a game?
Think of holiday eating as a game. When preparing for any sporting event, yes I just called holiday eating a sporting event, there are a few things serious athletes do to strengthen their game.
1 – They must study their opponent, learn its schemes and beat it at its own game.
2 – They condition for the game. You can’t just run a marathon without training. If you did, you’d burn out a lot faster and have cramping, even injury.
3 – They have a plan, a strategy, to lead them to victory!
My food shame.
I remember one Christmas where I constantly ate. Seriously! I grazed all day long, so much so, my Uncle said to me, “You’re still eating?” I looked at him as if I got busted with my hand in the cookie jar. Yep, it’s been almost 30 years since then and that comment apparently scarred me.
At the time of this event, I was overweight and stuffing my emotions, not a good time in my life. “If I just have one more handful of Chex Mix…the kind with peanuts and M&M’s…that should complete my feast.” Ha ha ha! I crack myself up like that’s going to happen. The tricky thing about holiday parties is that there is food lying around everywhere! Not just celery sticks and fruit kabobs, but hot chicky pip, Chex Mix, cookies, buckeyes, peanut brittle, and cocktail weenies! Temptation constantly surrounds our senses. What are we to do?
Tactic #1: Study your opponent.
Your opponent in holiday eating isn’t the spread of delicious dishes. It’s your mind! Your opponent is how you think about food and how that thinking trumps your holiday goals. It’s that space between choice and outcome. Do you want to go into the holidays the same size you come out of it? Do you want to lose weight, gain weight, or just don’t give a rip about your weight? If you don’t care, okay. But if you do care, you will win at this game and feel great physically and mentally!
You have a couple of advantages right from the start. The first is that you know your habits. You know what happens when you have a cocktail in your hand or when you get around certain people. Pay attention to what your other hand is doing…reaching for the 7-layer bars?
The second advantage is that you know your weaknesses. When you walk into the kitchen and see the spinach dip, you know you’ll submit. Hence, spinach dip is your weakness. However, the trick is to weigh your choice. You know that spinach dip has cream cheese in it, a high-calorie ingredient; so you tell yourself you’re going to avoid the spinach dip tonight. So, what are you going to replace it with? You decide to choose the hot chicky dip, after all, you heard spicy foods help you lose weight. So you went to town on it. But wait! Unbeknown to you, hot chicky dip has cream cheese in it too. You just ate 10 times more the calories eating hot chicky dip to fill the void of the spinach dip…you gained nothing but weight in that choice.
With this tactic, you must know yourself, understand your triggers, and be prepared. Research healthy dips or other appetizers in advance of going to a holiday party. If any dip looks creamy or white in color it likely has cream cheese or sour cream in it.
Tactic #2: Train for the game.
No, no, no. I know what you’re thinking. You are not going to train like those completive eaters do. This kind of training involves self-control and understanding what treats are good choices for your particular goal. I’m assuming you want to make smart choices that aren’t going to make you gain weight.
With that said, do not deprive yourself! The more you deprive, the more you will eat something else to fill that hankering. I talked about this in tactic #1. Make a promise to yourself that you will not overindulge. I didn’t say ‘no have any’, I said to not eat more than you should.
To answer that first question, my tip is to put a limit to only having three cracker-fulls of spinach dip. And to eat them SLOW! Enjoy the flavors, just don’t stuff it down. This tip is for those high-calorie apps. Limit the number you have then walk away.
Let me answer the second question for you. Is it worth have two? Five? Ten? NO! It’s not worth eating more. Save those extra calories for another glass of wine or some hot chicky dip. Think portion control.
For the third question, “How are you going to feel after you eat it?” That’s an easy question to answer if you have dietary restrictions. Are you going to feel guilty, defeated, or depressed? What about gassy, bloated, or rumbled with cramps? Again, if you were to ask me, it’s not worth any of those.
Tactic #3: Have a plan.
You’ve probably heard that eating protein and drinking water before you go to a party helps you to not overeat at the gathering. Well, it’s true! Have a bottle of water while you’re getting dolled up. And before you head out the door roll up a few slices of turkey or eat some grilled chicken. Stick to protein. No carbs. You’ll get plenty of those at the party.
Holiday eating goodness.
Okay, that does it for going to a holiday party, but what if you don’t do parties and you just want to get through the holidays feeling great and staying healthy? Good question. This approach starts at least two weeks beforehand. If you can get more weeks under your belt it would be better.
To go with the ‘feeling great and staying healthy’ path, my #1 tip is to create a meal plan and to stick to it. Know ahead of time what you’re going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And know what to snack on. Have those healthy snacks in the house so you don’t panic and eat anything you can find. I created a meal plan for you to get ideas off of. You can download it here.
You’ll notice my meal plan isn’t filled with carbs, or dairy products, yet alone sugar. It’s simple, filled with nutrients, and clean. This will help clean out body of toxins and put your cravings in check. And always drink lots of water.
Holiday eating doesn’t need to be a curse or a five-pound tradition. With understanding yourself, using portion control, and having a plan you’ll experience a guilt-free holiday season that will catapult you into a fantastic start of the New Year!
Omega. Or should I say ‘Oh-me-ga’ on the omegas? There is a lot of hype about these fatty acids and it can be overwhelming. Healthy oils for our bodies can be tricky to figure out. Let me make it simple for you with this quick go-to-guide. As an added bonus, I’ll tell you about the best-saturated fat that benefits our bodies! Huh?
To supplement, or not to supplement? You might not need to. There
are 3 major oils in the omega family: omega-3, 6, and 9. All are unique and
serve a different purpose. I’m here to simplify the explanation of them all.
First and foremost, Omega-3 cannot be produced in the human body, which means you need to get these from your diet. This fatty acid gets a lot of attention and it should! It’s good for producing good HDL cholesterol, which is good for your heart. This omega can reduce symptoms of depression, help with mental disorders, can prevent and manage autoimmune diseases, and can also help with weight management. Did you hear that? Fat can help you lose weight. Omega-3s are good for your liver and they’re anti-inflammatory. This oil can prevent dementia and improve memory. Not only that, but it betters bone mineral density and, get this, it can help reduce symptoms of asthma. Wow, powerful oil, no wonder it gets so much attention. The two highest sources of Omega-3s are fish oil and flaxseed (vegan) oil. Some other sources include:
Atlantic Mackerel: 6,982 milligrams in 1 cup cooked (174 percent DV)
Salmon Fish Oil: 4,767 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (119 percent DV)
With the olive oil craze, it is a source of all the omegas. My favorite, hands-down olive oil is California Ranch Olive Oil. It’s 100% olive oil. It has a great taste for salads, dipping…my mouth is watering…and cooking. Click on the picture below for more details.
You don’t hear much about Omega-6, because if you get too much it could backfire. And according to this article, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the diet should be 4:1, but in the Western diet the ratio is much higher, 10:1 and 50:1! Ouch. They are still essential with producing energy and if taken correctly this fatty acid helps with treating the symptoms of chronic disease like rheumatoid arthritis and breast cancer (in conjunction with another drug). On top of that, it can also reduce body fat, once again, a fat to reduce fat. The top two sources of Omega-6s are Evening Primrose Oil and Safflower oil.
Nitty Gritty on Omega-6
I personally supplement evening primrose oil to help with my hormones. A word of caution, you don’t need to supplement with omega-6. Remember too much could increase inflammation. Keep in mind that other sources of omega-6s are soybeans, corn, and sunflower oils. Note these sources are usually treated with chemicals in the field before processing…which some chemicals leach into our food…hence digestive disorders and disease. If possible, consume organic.
These fatty acids are a bit different. They can be produced by the body. Some studies indicated they could help reduce inflammation and assist with insulin sensitivity. Yes, you shouldn’t have to supplement Omega-9’s because our bodies do a good job of taking care of them. The top three sources include macadamia nut oil, hazelnut oil, and olive oil. Avocado oil is also a source.
First off, I’m not a doctor, nor am I trying to be. I share information I have either experienced myself or are extremely interested in, and then I keep things simple and give it to you a nutshell. Please consult your physician before jumping into new things.
So what do we do with all this information? Out of all of the Omegas, Omega-3 is the most important. If you eat enough seafood and healthy fats, like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts & seeds, eggs, grass-fed organic beef, and dark chocolate, you should be good to go. I obviously didn’t go into the difference between monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, or saturated fats; if you want more of a ‘science’ explanation there is a great article here.
Bonus! Don’t miss this one.
There is an amazing fatty acid that is 90% saturated fat, but the highest in content of lauric acid, which in a twisted way can help improve the level of lipids traveling through the blood. That means it is likely it will reduce the risk of heart disease! That sounds pretty technical, but I wanted to share this with you because I eat this every day.
What I’m talking about is Coconut Oil. There are so many benefits to coconut oil, you will be blown away, in fact, there are so many benefits it can be a bit overwhelming. To keep it simple I’ll list the top 15 in a minute. But get this, some studies show that it may reduce belly fat and dampen our appetites…hello…more weight loss from fat! Word of CAUTION: too much of a good thing can backfire. Don’t consume more than 2 TBSP a day. If you have too much it can cause diarrhea.
What kind to get?
Coconut oil is a staple in our family. I no longer use butter on my toast, pancakes, or in my baking. Not to mention fish frying. We just had gluten-free fried walleye last night and fried it in coconut oil (recipe is at the bottom). And of course, we used our cast iron pans. Seriously, cast iron is a must. It’s the healthiest chemical-free pan, and it’s super easy to clean. The walleye was absolutely amazing!
Keep in mind when cooking with coconut oil you won’t taste the coconut. It’s a clean oil with a high flash point. When buying coconut oil get the Virgin, Unrefined. A little coconut oil can go a long way, just don’t overdo it. Ready for the powerful impact this stuff can do?
Coconut Oil Benefits – Top 15
1. It helps prevent heart disease and high blood pressure.
2. It can help treat Alzheimer’s.
3. It BE good for the ole liver.
4. Reduces Inflammation and Arthritis
5. It’s an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral! Works well on cuts and skin issues.
6. Improves energy
7. It helps the gut heal by destroying bad bacteria and that nasty Candida (yeast overgrowth).
8. Prevents Osteoporosis by helping to increase the
absorption of calcium and magnesium.
9. It’s Anti-aging. Now we’re talkin’!
10. It helps balance hormones naturally. Now we’re really talkin’!
11. Thickens hair and helps with dandruff. It’s a natural
12. It helps improve sleep when consumed every day.
13. It can help with environmental allergies if you rub the inside of your nose with it.
14. Speeds up the healing of sunburn.
15. It’s an amazing oil to make homemade popcorn with. Just sub coconut oil in place of your other oil. Yum!
We get our coconut oil from Costco because we go through quite a bit. If you don’t have a Costco Membership, no problem! You can get it on Amazon. I highly recommend this product, especially if you use a lot. If you don’t use a whole lot, get a smaller container at the store.
Coconut Oil Shelf-life
Coconut oil can go bad, here’s an article from David at KitchenAmbiton.com about what to look for in rancid oil. All in all, keep your diet simple and powerful with clean fresh food. Oil does a body good. Don’t be afraid of it, just choose wisely. Now here’s the walleye recipe I promised!
Tired, bloated, or do you have indigestion after you eat? Let me fill you in on a little secret, it probably has something to do with food combining. Our stomach is known for acid. Stomach acid, along with the help of enzymes, helps break down food. Not only that but it actually helps support the body in absorbing protein and vitamin B-12, which we only get from protein (meat). In this post, you’ll find tips on how to feel better and get more bang for your nutrition buck! How to reduce stomach acid, how to increase stomach acid, how to test which one you have, and why food combining has a lot to do with stomach acid will be covered too. I keep things simple and to the point. Plus! You can download my free easy to understand food combining chart!
Let’s jump into the stomach.
If you have high levels of stomach acid you’re probably experiencing one of these symptoms: acid reflux, burping, or you may even feel nauseated. If you have too little stomach acid you may feel bloated, experience diarrhea or constipation, have food intolerances, osteoporosis, leaky gut, malnutrition, and heartburn. It’s kind of confusing, eh?
If you have either too high or too low of stomach acid it puts stress on the digestive system which can lead to further problems down the road, for instance, if you have heartburn (GERDS) and don’t pay attention to it, it can cause permanent damage to the esophagus and upping your chances of precancerous cells. If the stomach acid is too low and left untreated it can lead to hair loss, GI infections, anemia, lupus, allergies, chronic autoimmune disorders, and thyroid issues to name a few. Yikes!
How do you know if you have high or low stomach acid?
First off, I’m not a doctor, nor am I trying to be. I share information I have either experienced myself or are extremely interested in. I keep things simple and give you the nutshell version of what I’ve learned. *Consult your physician before jumping into new things.*
There are a number of things you can do to figure this out:
1) You could visit your doctor and have them order a test. Most likely it will be a CBC (complete blood count) and CMP (comprehensive metabolic panel). From the test they’ll look at a variety of factors, some include iron and phosphorous levels.
2) The other test is the Heidelberg Stomach Acid Test, this test requires fasting for 12 hours and swallow a tiny electronic capsule. You will need to drink a baking soda solution and then the capsule will record how long it takes your stomach to restore normal acidity levels. Cool!
3) If you don’t like doctors or want to spend the extra cash, there is a simple at-home test is called the Baking Soda Acid Test. The accuracy of this test is not 100%, so it’s best to do this test regularly to get a better idea of where you are on stomach acid.
Here’s how to do it: Mix ¼ tsp of baking soda in four ounces of water. In the morning before you eat or drink anything else, drink the concoction. Next, start your timer on your phone and time how long it takes to burp. If it takes more than five minutes or you experience no burp at all, it’s a sign of low stomach acid.
Tips on how to reduce gastric juice:
1) Understand what food combinations cause high acidity. See my chart on freebies.
2) Eat smaller meals. Overeating can put pressure on the esophageal sphincter, which causes it to open and leak acid into your esophagus.
3) Try a low-carb diet. When our system can’t digest carbs well, we get gassy and bloated, which then leads to GERD. Numerous studies support this idea. Looking into amylase, a digestive enzyme that helps breakdown carbs may significantly help you when you can’t say no.
4) Limit the guilty pleasures of caffeine and alcohol. The alcohol relaxes the esophageal sphincter and the caffeine weakens the sphincter. They basically have the same effects on the sphincter. Try decaf coffee instead, that’s what I do and my body has adjusted well after the caffeine withdrawal ended.
5) Chew gum. This helps increase saliva production and helps clear the esophagus of stomach acid. It helps with symptoms but doesn’t solve the root cause. No wonder my son loves gum!
6) Cut back on carbonated drinks and citrus juice. Again both of these kinds of beverages weaken the esophageal sphincter.
7) Mint is a no-go. Mint chocolate-chip ice-cream should take a backseat if you experience symptoms. This refreshing herb is so relaxing that it too relaxes the sphincter. Peppermint tea, peppermint chocolate or candies, and peppermint-flavored gum have the potential to fire back, literally up your esophagus.
Some other tips to help alleviate
symptoms are not eating too close to bed-time, elevating your head while
sleeping, and to avoid laying on your RIGHT side. These tactics help calm the
acid and keep that pesky sphincter closed!
4 little ways to increase low stomach acid at home
1) I wouldn’t hit the meat & potatoes to fix your low stomach acid, instead, take a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar that includes the Mother. This is an easy way to help your stomach acid get ready to work before a meal. Mix one tablespoon of the vinegar in water and drink before a meal.
2) Like honey? Try Manuka Honey. This honey comes from New Zealand and has amazing antimicrobial properties. It helps with IBS, indigestion, stomach ulcer prevention, oral health, and like most honey, helps with wound healing and sore throats. Get more details on Manuka Honey here.
3) Chew. “Chew, chew, chew.” When we’re hungry, we tend to eat fast and take big bites! It’s like a welcome mat for a stuck burp. Chew every bite so it turns into mush. There is no need to eat your food fast. Simply use a smaller fork to help with bite-size.
4)Digestive enzymes also do the trick. Unfortunately, the first time I tried these they gave me diarrhea. They can actually cause constipation in some people too. But don’t let this discourage you. Digestive enzymes play an important role in vitamin and nutrient absorption. As you age or if you have a digestive disorder, or have pancreas issues, your enzymes deplete and lead to uncomfortable symptoms. For instance, one sign is a change in bowels and/or seeing undigested food in your stool. Yes, you should look at your poop! So before I completely gave up on digestive enzymes, I gave them another try. This time I played with the dose. Instead of a whole pill before a meal, I only took a pinch and it worked a lot better. After your body gets used to them you can move forward from there.
What are digestive enzymes?
In a nutshell, there are three main types of digestive enzymes: proteases, lipases, and amylases. Here is a list of the enzymes and what they do. Helpful Hint: Pancreatic enzyme names usually end in “-in” (like trypsin or pepsin), while other digestive enzymes usually end in “-ase” or “-ose” (like lactose, sucrose, fructose).
The trick for making digestive enzymes work for you is to first determine if you are a candidate for supplementation. Know your body, pay attention to how it reacts after you eat. Are you burping, bloated, having to run the bathroom, heartburn, stinky gas and a lot of it, or cramping?
The next step is to determine what kind of enzyme you need. Asking your doctor, a nutritionist, or a functional medicine doc for their recommendations is the way to go. Just note the FDA does not regulate digestive enzymes, so everyone will have their own opinion, but you know your body best. You want clear ingredients from a reputable manufacturer.
Third, you’ll have to experiment to find the right dose. Remember this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. I’m not a doctor. Seek advice from a qualified health provider before trying something new. This post is to help you investigate how to help heal your body and ask the right questions to your healthcare provider.
A little info on EOE (Eosinophilic Esophagitis)
On a side note, my son has EOE, Eosinophilic Esophagitis. I seriously have a hard time saying this word. Essentially it’s an inflammation of the esophagus caused by a food allergy which can cause food to get stuck in the esophagus…believe me, I have stories. This is an annoying disease that if not treated, can turn your esophagus into something like bamboo, which will then need to be stretched with a medical balloon! We’ve had numerous scopes to find the trigger food and it’s only done by food elimination. Yep. There is not a test to check for allergies related to the esophagus because EOE has a delayed response to the trigger. This means a blood test or scratch test will be inaccurate…we did those anyway…hence, the only way to check if there is a reaction is to biopsy the food tube. This is a long process, so in the meantime, we’re constantly telling him to chew.
Food Combining 101
Back to Food Combining. Yes combining food makes a difference with stomach acid. Food combining gives you a little bit of control. When certain foods are put together they can either wreak havoc on your stomach or they can give you energy. For instance, the classic steak n potato with melted butter, well it’s going to spoil in your stomach. You will most likely have bloating, stinky ‘wind’, and indigestion. This combo could also contribute to weight gain. And the melon salad with grilled chicken, well that’s going to do the same thing. This is not to confuse you, it’s just the opposite. Keeping a diet with a few simple rules will reap benefits in the short and long term. I made a simple, easy to understand food combining chart to help regulate your stomach acid. In my kitchen, I tape it to the inside of one of my cupboards. Don’t forget to head to Freebies to download yours today. All in all, remember to eat fruit alone on an empty stomach and only eat proteins with non-starchy vegetables. We’ve covered A LOT of information. Keep this post handy to reference for a quick guide.
With COVID-19 penetrating our bodies, seasonal allergies clogging our sinuses, and the normal colds circulating in our environment, keeping our lungs happy can be stressful. Our lungs give us energy and life. When we’re breathing well, our minds are clear, our sleeping is solid, and we don’t really think about breathing. Learn seven ways to help your lungs.
The Corona virus attacks our lungs. It takes a completely healthy human being and preys off our breathing source. I understand this virus reacts differently in everyone depending on age and underlying conditions. We tend to think it’s out of our control. But we can be in control of how we are preparing our bodies for viruses or seasonal allergies.
7 Lung Builders
Simply walking every day is a great exercise for your lungs. Nothing is better than to exercise the lungs. If you start walking try increasing the speed or distance every once in a while to give your lungs a workout. A slow jog will also do the trick. Aim for at least 20 minutes. Try breathing in your nose and out your mouth.
Breathe clean air
We can clean our air. During allergy season it’s not a bad idea to try an air purifier. Here is an economical air purifier option.
**I’m not a doctor, nor am I trying to be. I share the information I have either experienced myself or are extremely interested in, and then I keep things simple and give you the nutshell version. This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician before jumping into new things. This article is for information purposes only.**
Humidify while we sleep. I have slept with a humidifier since
I was a kid. It helped my dry nose. A morning bloody nose is usually what I had
for breakfast at least twice a week when I was a kid. There were three causes
to this: dry winter air, seasonal allergies, and me picking my nose. Yet, I didn’t
pick my nose that often because I didn’t want a bloody nose! My fix was a humidifier.
A humidifier keeps nasal passageways moist. Meaning with viruses, when the surface is moist it has a harder time sticking and penetrating through our body. Similar to a sore throat regime; keep the throat moist to flush out the virus. Here’s my humidifier. I absolutely love it!
Drink lots of water. Keep things slippery in your body. Remember that viruses like to stick to things. Don’t give them an opportunity. Get a good water filter.
No smoking, please
Steer clear of smoking. I know you know not to smoke. There
is no proof that smoking is good for your lungs. It may feel good for a little
bit, but it’s not worth the long term effects it’s going to cause you. I’m
talking about cigarettes, vaping, marijuana, and cloves. I understand that pipe
(as in tobacco) and cigar smoking is slightly different…they don’t inhale the
smoke, but those sinful pleasures have problems of their own.
Roll up the car windows
Roll up the windows on diesel. Some people love the smell, others despise
it. If you’re behind a truck or diesel driven vehicle your nose will tell you, especially
if they don’t have Def
in the line. Short-term exposure to diesel can cause people to feel dizzy, get
a headache, or have irritation in the eye, nose, and throat. Long term exposure
can result in cardiovascular and respiratory disease including lung cancer.
Eat for your lungs
Eat lung-healthy foods. Foods for
your lungs? For healthy lungs you’re going to want to eat:
Bananas. These rich in potassium fruits help the lungs contract and expand, hence preventing breathing problems.
Leafy Greens. These delicious yet scary looking plants are packed with vital nutrients to support the lungs. Studies show that consuming these leaves could be linked to a lower risk of COPD, adult asthma, and lung cancer. Choose kale, spinach, and arugula. Salad here we come!
Garlic and Ginger. These antibacterial powerhouses have the ability to lower the risk of developing lung cancer (garlic) and decrease lung damage (ginger).
Salmon. This omega-3 fatty acid is a great lung cleansing food. This fights inflammation and increases blood flow. Here’s a post all about omega oils.
Turmeric. Of course turmeric. This is one of the best foods for your lungs. It’s filled with curcumin, this is what makes it a bright color. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that help with asthma, COPD, and lung injury. This is a great one I recommend. Turmeric.
Put some muscle in your lungs
Our motivation for strong well-being may come by fear, like what our countries are pressing with the spread of Corona virus, or our motivation is for good health before we’re forced to change. Either way, take these tips and help your body get ready to fight off viruses, improve allergy symptoms, or get healthier.
To keep our immune system functioning at top speed during ‘sick season’ there are a few things we can do to ward off illness and increase health. I’ve got 14 simple yet powerful ways you won’t want to miss in preventing sickness.
When I got more conscience about germs.
Back in 2001, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. This meant my immune system was whacked, confused, or bored, I don’t know. My immune system was attacking healthy organs. I literally had a war going on inside me. It was me versus me. When something like this happens in our bodies steroid treatment is usually the first line of treatment. It surely has its side effects, but it’s what helped me get things back in balance. After a good eleven years with an amazing gastroenterologist and an adjustment to my diet, the war ended.
However, during this time on steroids, my immune system was compromised. Steroids suppress the immune system, meaning they make your body more prone to getting sick. Not to mention it takes twice as long as normal to get better from colds, flu, and viruses. So while on this treatment I had to be careful not to get sick, because if I did…and I would …it take me forever to get over a simple cold.
Since 2011 I
have been steroid-free. However, immune systems can get pretty touchy with
other factors like hormones or dormant genes, so I’m always on alert.
Germaphobe, not so.
Please know I am not a full-blown germaphobic. Yes, I pay attention to my surroundings and am aware of the little buggers, but I also know it’s important to develop our immune systems by offering hospitality to our bug friends. Throughout life, I have learned a lot about germs and how to care for myself, and I certainly want to pass this knowledge onto you. Whether you’re on steroid treatment or just want to remain healthy during outbreaks, keep these things in mind in caring for yourself and your family.
**First off, I’m not a doctor, nor am I trying to be. I share information I have either experienced myself or are extremely interested in, and then I keep things simple and give you the nutshell version. This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician before jumping into new things. This article is for information purposes only.**
14 Ways to Stay Healthy and Boost Immune System
I read an article about longevity. And the number one action we can take to live longer is to move our bodies. Exercising keeps the blood flowing and pumping. It keeps us young and helps the joints loosen up and work like they’re supposed to. It’s also good for regularity, which is key to rid of toxins. Aim for at least 20 minutes, 30 minutes is ideal. Try breathing in your nose and out your mouth.
2. Use a humidifier.
In the winter months, my humidifier is my best friend. I LOVE my humidifier. A humidifier keeps nasal passageways moist. Meaning with viruses, when a surface is moist it has a harder time sticking and penetrating through our body. Keep things slippery. Sleep with a humidifier and drink a lot of water. The noise of the humidifier will rock you to sleep as well. Here’s my happy little humidifier.
3. Drink lots of water.
Remember, keep things slippery in your body. Viruses like to stick to things. They like dryness. Don’t give them a foothold. Because our drinking water out of the faucets and plastic bottles is somewhat questionable, it’s more cost-effective and valuable to our health to install a water filter on the kitchen sink. My family uses this kind of water filter. If you can’t do this with your sink, get one of the water filter pitchers.
4. Wash your hands.
This is common sense, but many of us forget to wash our hands with soap! Ever since my son was a toddler I have drilled into him to wash his hands every time we walk in the house. Now I don’t have to ask him to wash his hands because he automatically does it!
There are a lot of opinions on hand-sanitizer. I get it. But if you have a compromised immune system, my opinion is to use it. Put a squirt or a spray on your patty cakes. Especially so if you’re in a place where you just shook someone’s hand who is clearly sick, use hand-sanitizer when they’re not looking.
The hand wipes (not the cleaning wipes) come in handy in traveling situations or times when a bathroom is not available. Similar to hand-sanitizer they clean up most germs but wipes also get the dirt off. When we’re on a road trip, I use wipes to wash our hands before biting into our burgers. Or when I hop on a plane, I always wipe down the armrests and table in my airplane seat. Simply look at the surfaces you’re touching and wipe.
7. Fingers off your face.
This is one of the main causes of sickness. Picking our noses without thinking, rubbing our eyes, putting our pen up to our lips, and picking our teeth can be a welcome mat for germs. To keep our digits from messing with our face it’s best to train yourself to not touch your face. Simply make it a game to see how long you can go without touching your face. If you have an itch, use your arm, tissue, or sleeve.
8. Eat immune-boosting foods
Here are some simple foods that fight back with power.
Broccoli. This green veggie is packed with vitamins A, C, and E. It has amazing antioxidants and is full of fiber.
Bone Broth. Bone what? This is broth from boiling chicken bones or beef bones for long periods of time. The collagen and amino acids is cooked out of the bones. And it’s these hidden gems that help repair the gut lining and reduce inflammation. Not to mention help our joints.
Garlic and Ginger. These antibacterial powerhouses have the ability to be like a hand wipe but for inside our bodies. The list of benefits is way too long to list here. These yum-yums also boost up our lung health.
Vitamin C Foods: citrus fruits, kiwi, bell peppers, oranges, strawberries, pineapple, tomatoes, spinach. I don’t think you need an explanation of vitamin C. Just know your body doesn’t accumulate it, so you’ll need to consume every day.
Vitamin E. This vitamin is equally important as vitamin C. It is a fat-soluble vitamin which means it needs to have fat to absorb properly. Sources of vitamin E include: almonds, avocado, butternut squash, and wheat germ.
Yogurt. Bust into the probiotics. For yogurt to be effective choose Greek PLAIN yogurt. If there is sugar added to the yogurt it defeats it purpose. I know there are delicious flavors out there, but save those as a dessert, not for your daily probiotic. Use berries or honey to flavor your yogurt.
Turmeric. It’s filled with curcumin, this is what makes it a bright color. Turmeric has massive amounts of anti-inflammatory properties that help with all sorts of inflammation. It’s like a superfood. Check it out here.
Zinc. This micro-mineral is essential for a healthy immune system, although it is touchy. If you have too much you could get sick, and if you have too little you can get sick. It’s best to get your zinc through foods. High sources of zinc are found in chicken, chickpeas, clams, crab, eggs, grass-fed beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds, and plain yogurt.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep to recharge your body. It’s when we’re sleeping our body does the most of the healing. Have a bedtime routine. And get your room ready for slumber. Things you’ll want to consider are room temperature, the number of blankets, humidifier, pillow comfort, and sound machine. These are my must-do’s for sleepy time.
10. Clean your home.
I’m not just talking about vacuuming, I’m referring to wiping things down with disinfectant wipes or sprays. You’ll want to do countertops, kitchen cupboard knobs, faucet handle, refrigerator/freezer door handles, microwave handle, stove and oven knobs, all door handles, and more. I have a checklist for you to download right here: Disinfecting Checklist. You can also find it in Freebies along with some other amazing tips.
This is such a touchy subject. Again everyone has their own opinion of vaccines, so I’ll leave this one up to you.
12. Steer clear of smoking and limit alcohol.
I know these are fun things to indulge in but if you’re serious about becoming stronger and healthier, these can’t be ignored. Pay attention to how much you’re using and consuming. Remember less is more.
In high contagious situations, a facemask can help protect you. The surgical grade is the best. However, we need to save those for hospitals. You can make your own mask at home. I’ve done a lot of research on this and wanted to share with you my favorite pattern and what materials I use. Here is the pattern on YouTube. And here is a great article on what type of fabric is the most effective. It’s very surprising!
14. Cover hands
You know that door handle in public restrooms? After you wash your hands, keep the paper towel you dried your hands with and use that to open the door. No paper towel? Use your sleeve.
In conclusion with our immune system
Out of all these 14 suggestions in keeping and staying healthy during sick-season, there is one that is super important: keep your fingers off your face. I know that sounds ‘toddler-ish’ but it really is the most important factor. Use common sense too. Drinking from someone else’s drink or using the same spoon for a taste is not a good idea. Neither is kissing a sick person. Use the brain to protect the body, and the body will then protect your happiness. Stay healthy, be mindful, and teach your family how to protect themselves.