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Boost Your Immune System to Avoid the Flu

The flu season is upon us – and in full force!

A strong immune system is one of the best tools to have in defending yourself against the flu or any illness. These 4 tips will help you in supporting your body against getting sick. The great thing too is if you do happen to get sick, this will help you bounce back much quicker!

1) Stay hydrated with water. Our body is about 70% water. So we need to make sure we are drinking water all day, every day. I recommend starting your day with water. Drinking 64oz of water a day a great guideline to ensure you stay hydrated and your body can function at an optimal level.

2) Keep Sugar Out! Sugar not only causes inflammation in our body, which can lead to many different kinds of illness and autoimmune conditions but it actually inhibits our immune system, which then makes it more difficult to fight off any germs, colds, flu, that we encounter. Get your sweet on through your life…you don’t need to ingest it! 

3) Fill up with lots of veggies, especially the green ones. Vegetables, especially the dark leafy greens are filled with vitamins, minearls, phytonutrients and antioxidants that help you to stay well, have energy and keep you at optimal health. And as a bonus, help your body fight off the flu and colds. So pile them high!

4) Sleep is where it’s at! Getting 7-8 hours of sleep is not only important for ongoing good health but enables your body to be strong, refreshed and able to function, especially important for boosting your immune system. If you already have a compromised immune system (i.e. an autoimmune condition), you may need even more sleep like 9-10 hours. Get some zzzzz’s.

 

 

Alopecia Areata: Nutrition is Critical in Healing

For over 36 years, I’ve been told there is no cure for alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes a person to lose their hair. Like anyone with a chronic condition, I’ve always found that frustrating to hear.

I’ve had alopecia areata since I was 8 years old, so I know the many challenges one faces with a chronic condition, especially living in a world that judges us by our appearance.

Symptoms of alopecia areata can range from small patches on the scalp to complete hair loss all over the body. I’ve known the pain and heartache of having a needle injected into my scalp and to have the non-treated area grow back first. I’ve endured the many years of being told by doctors, “we’re getting closer to an answer and a cure.”

I’ve experienced the fear and the fragile hope of not wanting to lose all of my hair. Despite living most of my life in various stages of hair loss (and for the last 11 years, no hair at all), I’ve always believed that somehow I’d figure out what my own body needed to re-grow my hair and more importantly to heal my body.

Several years ago I took my passion for food and health to a new level and became a certified holistic health coach. I was taught by some of the best functional medicine doctors in the world. I began to see the powerful connection between the direct, and sometimes immediate, impact of food and the incredible ability of our bodies to heal themselves.

This newfound knowledge also began to shed some light on the impact  my own diet and lifestyle has had on my health, including having alopecia areata, a digestive disorder (leaky gut syndrome) and hypothyroid.
It is very possible to heal, even life long conditions. I now know that to be true. For the last several years I’ve made many changes in my diet. I am beyond thrilled that after making those numerous changes – my hair is coming back (and I’ve healed my digestion and my thyroid is almost back to normal).
After 11 years of absolutely no hair growth, the hair on my head, my legs, my armpits and even my eyebrows are growing!
Having any autoimmune disease is a sign that our immune system is damaged and is in need of healing. While losing hair, thankfully, isn’t fatal, it is a sign of a much deeper issue going on inside our body.
This is true for not only alopecia areata but all other autoimmune diseases as well (MS, Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, celiac disease, and many others). The common trait found in all autoimmune diseases is internal inflammation, and food has the ability to support the body’s natural healing system.
We can reduce the inflammation and support our body functioning at its optimum level of health, simply by changing our diet. There are certain foods that are naturally anti-inflammatory and other foods that exacerbate the inflammation. Our body can use its natural healing abilities to begin repairing the damage when we remove the triggers and fill up with nutrient dense, whole natural foods.
In addition to nutrition and a nurturing lifestyle being vitally important in healing any autoimmune disease, our attitude and outlook on life is also a critical piece to healing our body. Minimizing negative self-talk, believing that healing is possible and filling ones life with positive thoughts and actions can provide a path of vitality, longevity and great health.

Sometimes the 1st step is the hardest

I don’t know about you but I have had many years in which I’ve jumped into January with renewed energy and feeling like I can take on the world. I set up all kinds of new practices and structures and plans, only to discover that taking on many new changes as one time can be a little overwhelming. Ultimately rather than setting myself up to win, I’ve set myself up for disappointment.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is creating goals, intentions and having plans definitely empowers and excites me. But, instead of taking on ‘the world’  I’ve learned that incorporating 1 or 2 new habits, slowly, and easily bringing them into my life, as a new way of life is so much more sustainable and fun.

Here are a few easy steps you can take to having your new habits become an easy new approach to your life.

STEPS TO TAKE

1) Make a list of 3-5 areas of your health and life that you want to which you want to bring new focus and attention. YES, write it down!

2) Identify 1-2 that are the top priority right now.

3) Begin thinking about the various ways you can incorporate that new habit.
For example, if you have a commitment to drinking more water, you can begin carrying a water bottle with you every where you go (keep it in your purse or in your car or in your back pack) and set an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink. Keep the water bottle near your bed so you can start your day by drinking water. Begin choosing water in place of sodas, juices and other drinks as a way to truly hydrate.

4) Share your new habit with as many people as you can and ask for their support to help you make this change.

5) Give yourself some time to fully incorporate the change. Keep your focus and attention on the changes you want to make but know that you don’t need to seek perfection.

6) Have fun with it! The more fun you have in setting yourself up for the changes, the more success you’ll have in sustaining it.

The power to choose is in your hands!

 

3 easy ways to release holiday bloat

Still feeling a little over stuffed and dragging? Wishing you still had a few more days of vacation?

There are 3 easy steps you can take to release that bloat, reduce your craving for more sugary treats and feel more energized. Even if you do just 1 of these, you’ll begin to feel a whole lot better!

1. Drink water.  After enjoying rich delicious holiday foods, sweet drinks or alcohol, your body becomes dehydrated. Since the human body is about 70% water, its critical for us to stay hydrated. Drinking water first thing in the morning and continuing to drink it throughout the day, will ensure your body is flushing the system of toxins (releasing that bloat), restoring balance and fluids needed for optimal functioning of your body and enhancing your energy. Ideally 48-64oz a day.

2. Eat Greens. If you’re feeling over ‘sugared’ and just can’t seem to shake that craving, eating green veggies (especially those dark leafy greens – kale, rainbow chard, spinach, romaine are just a few options), will enable your body to become more alkaline and balanced. Eating a green salad, a green juice of fresh veggies or even a green apple will help your body to detoxify, release the sugar, balance out your blood sugar and help you to reduce the craving for more sweets.

3. Get Movin’.  Our body is meant to move. Moving on a regular basis is essential for ongoing great health and vitality, especially after a few weeks of holiday endulgence. Even if you’ve never been one to exercise, getting up and going for a 20 minute walk will help to limber up your body and enable you to start releasing the toxins that have built of from the rich foods from the holidays. Start out easy, enjoy moving, take in Mother Nature and gift yourself the gift of moving your body.

A New Phase

Hello Wellness Partners!

I’m so excited to be launching the new web site, creating a new phase for Your Wellness Partner and giving away prizes, including free health coaching sessions, in celebration of the launch.

It is such an honor to support people in altering the path of their lives and guide them as they experience a whole new level of  wellness and vitality. The quality of life and the shifts in overall health that Your Wellness Partner clients experience is incredibly inspiring!

So I hope you’ll continue to be with me on this journey, whether you’re working with me one-on-one, participating in one of my group programs or following along through Facebook, Twitter or my monthly newsletter. Healing, vitality and great health is available to anyone who chooses that path.

I look forward to having you along for the journey!