Over the next 4 weeks i'm going to do a weekly blog on the four cornerstones of health. Those are
1- Positive Mental Attitude
2- Living a Healthy Lifestyle (exercise, sleep and health habits)
3- Following a Health Promoting Diet
So, today I start with the first topic, a positive mental attitude. Go ahead grab a cup of tea, get cozy and take some notes. Hopefully by the end of this you'll be smiling at everyone around you and loving your life to the fullest.
Did You Know?
The thoughts and emotions we experience during our day to day lives directly effect our overall health. Studies have recently shown those who live by a pessimistic attitude are more prone to disease, depression and decline in memory and brain function while aging.
We're going to chat about how our attitude effects our immune system and how it can help us or hinder us as we try to live life to the fullest.
Brain,Emotions & Immune System.
Every Part of your brain is connected to your immune system. That could be via nervous tissue connection or chemical messengers and hormones. Every thought, emotion and feeling we have sends a message to the immune system that either helps it or impairs it. Positive feelings (joy, happiness, love, contentment) boost the immune system, while emotions like sadness, depression and negativity suppress it.
Attitude & Self Actualization
A huge part of health is the realization of how great you are meant to be. Understanding your potential, your talents and your destiny is a huge component to overall health and well being. Below is an image of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. The needs of the lower levels must be met before the next level is achieved.Our goal is to be mindful about taking care of all of these needs throughout our life. When we decide to start a health journey the most important thing I can suggest it to focus on the whole picture. Fitness is only one aspect of it. There are multiple things we should be working on while trying to become our best selves. Remember, this is an everlasting journey.
How To Create A Positive Mental Attitude.
1. Become an optimist. Find the positive in every situation.
2.Become aware of self-talk. When negative self talk comes up politely tell it to get the heck out of your head and replace it with positive things like how great you really are.
3.Ask Better questions. Instead of asking things like "why me?" "Why do bad things always happen to me?" Start asking things like "what makes me happy?" "What do I enjoy most about life right now?".
4. Let positive affirmations flow through your day. I AM ENOUGH. I AM WORTHY. YES I CAN.
5. Set goals that are positive, attainable and specific. Instead of saying I need to lose 20 pounds say I'm going to find an activity I enjoy and get my body moving 5 days a week.
6. Practice positive visualization. Envision how you want your life, wellness and health to be. How does it feel?
7. Laugh, a lot. Laugh at yourself, laugh with friends, laugh at situations. Find reasons to laugh so hard your core hurts!
Let me know what things you plan to try out and how they work for you.
The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine- Third Edition
Michael T Murray, N.D & Joseph Pizzorno, N.D
This recipe is so fun, easy, tasty and refreshing. The Healthy Grocery Girl posted it on her website on Friday http://www.healthygrocerygirl.com and I knew I had to try it out for Easter. I love bringing healthier alternatives to family gatherings (especially when they are delicious!) I urge you to give this simple recipe a try, you will love it!
4 Cups Honey Nut Cheerios
4 Tbs Organic Cane Sugar
6 Tbs Organic Coconut Oil
1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk
1/3 Cup Organic Cane Sugar
2/3 Cup Arrowroot Powder or Corn Starch
1 Tbs Lemon Juice
1 Pinch Sea Salt
1.In a food processor, process all crust ingredients
2. Press firmly in a greased pie dish
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
4. Let sit and cool to room temperature
1. Let canned coconut milk simmer on stovetop
2. Slowly add in additional ingredients
3. Place in bowl and let sit in fridge for 10-15 minutes
4. After filling thickens, pour over crust and set back in fridge for 30 minutes
1. Top with fresh fruit and enjoy!
Preparing and having a plan is the best way to make sure you're getting nutritious meals while saving time and money. I thought it might be helpful to share what our weekly prep looks like and what a typical day looks like for me. Please remember that there isn't one way that fits all. This is a way that works really well for me and my husband and might be helpful for you too!
First things first,
My husband and I are in the process of paying back student loans so we are on a budget. We budget everything out for the month. Each week we have $110 (in cash so we can't go over) to spend on food. Eating organic, fresh food is a priority for both of us. Fridays are grocery shopping days for us so before we go I take some time to make a list. I choose 7 meals that sound good for the week and write out which ingredients we need. I don't always plan which meal we will have each day but I try to plan for an easier meal or a crock pot meal if I know we're both working late. From there I usually plan which snacks we want to have. I usually make a big batch of something to last for the week. These could be power balls, granola bars or muffins. The staples we always make sure we have in our home are:
Sundays are usually the days where we take some time in the morning to prep together. My husband makes the pasta, rice and potatoes. I'll prepare the granola bars and a big salad to have in the fridge. We also clean the house, start the laundry and I'll go over my calendar and plan for the following week. All of this takes less than 2 hours. I would say it's closer to 1 hour. It makes our week so much easier, I couldn't imagine not doing it. Sunday's are usually our day to go explore and do something together. We grab a coffee (yes we budget that in too) and drive, explore and brainstorm about life together. I don't do tupperwares for each meal when I plan my sundays out. Each day I want something different! So in the morning we usually go through the fridge and make what we want to eat with the bulk foods we have prepared.
My typical day is pretty normal and consistent. I don't count calories or macronutrients. My body is so much on a schedule I just listen to it when it's hungry.
6:00am- Wake up and eat breakfast. I wish I could be a green smoothie and piece of fruit type of person when I wake up, but, I need coffee and my toast. I've been having this breakfast everyday for years and It's my favorite meal of the day.
1 cup organic french pressed coffee with almond milk
1-2 slices of toast with natural peanut butter (sometimes I'll add in a banana or honey)
9:30am- Veggies and Hummus with Mary's Gone Crackers- or green smoothie- or power ball
11:30/12:00- Lunches vary for me. Sometimes I crave a salad, sometimes I make avocado toast. A lot of the time I will just throw a bowl of goodies together like beans, rice, veggies and hot sauce.
2:30/3:00pm-Veggies and Hummus with Mary's Gone Crackers- or green smoothie- or power ball
7:00/7:30pm- Dinner varies every night. I usually don't get home from the studio until about 7:00 or 7:30 so it's typically a later meal. Some of our normal dinners on the schedule are pizza, tacos, power bowls, a date night and some sort of crock pot meals. All dinners are homemade and made with a healthy twist.
9:00/10:00pm- Bedtime. I usually sip on some tea or have a piece of dark chocolate if i'm craving something.
Let me know if you have any questions,
Mindfulness. It's something that I've been practicing since I started the recovery process for my eating disorder. It was a new concept to me and to be completely honest, a huge struggle for me! It's still something that I have to work at on a daily basis (just like most things in life) but once I began to get the hang of it, it was powerful.
So, what exactly is mindfulness? It's living in the moment. It's being aware of your thoughts and feelings in the now. It's calmly acknowledging and accessing your current state of being and ultimately, just being. To me it means trusting in the universe, higher power, God or whatever it is that you believe in and enjoying the ride. Now, I know this is hard to do, we have goals to reach, we have five year plans to accomplish, we have businesses to grow for goodness sake! (That's typically my default thought process when I forget to be mindful). When we think about all the things we need to accomplish, all of the things that we need to do, it takes away from our current joy, am I right?
How often have we sat at the dinner table (or on our couch) worrying about work, family issues, chores or whatever other issues we have, only to realize we ate our entire meal without even tasting it. How often have we gone on a family vacation and we were so stressed about being on time, the kids and directions that we forgot all about actually enjoying our trip?
To be completely honest, the whole reason why I decided to blog about this today is because i'm guilty of doing this exact thing. A couple days ago I was in deep conversation about my business. How do I make it grow? How do I make morning classes fill up? When do you think we will need to move to a bigger location? I need to get an additional degree. What should we plan for in the next five years? I don't know about you guys but just typing all of that is exhausting. Somewhere in the hustle of trying to be better, I forgot to be happy. I forgot that at the age of 23 me and my husband opened up a successful business. I forgot that I was able to quit my other 3 jobs after 6 months and be at the studio full time. I forgot that I get to be surrounded by amazing, powerful women who have turned into friends. I forgot that me and my husband are kicking butt at this life thing and it's okay to enjoy where we are in this moment instead of always worrying about the future.
To me, mindfulness is much more than being present. It requires a lot of faith and a lot of trust. We can push and plan all we want but sometimes we just need to have a little faith, and be mindful about what happening.
So whether it's with your food, your work, your family or any other stresses you have, I urge you to work towards being mindful. Check in with your current feelings, thoughts and ideas. Embrace them, nourish them and enjoy them!
Why does Mindful Matter?
Mindfulness helps us in multiple ways. Not only does it help us enjoy life in the moment but it also help us get in tune with our thoughts and feelings. It helps us become aware of our intuition which helps us make decisions that line up with our values and core beliefs.
Where do I start?
1. Daily reflections. Grab a journal and begin to take some time throughout your day to write. Write about how you're feeling emotionally and physically. Write about your gratitude's and what things are currently happening.
2. Make meal time special. Sit down with your food and turn off the t.v and any other devices. Think about how the food tastes, your hunger levels and how you feel.
3. Full body check in. Get comfy for 5 minutes or so and just breathe. Check in with your feet all the way to the tip of your head. How does your body feel?
4. Get outdoors. There was this great quote I read the other day "nature does not hurry, yet everything is still accomplished". I thought that is absolutely beautiful. Get outside and enjoy nature. Watch the birds, sip on some tea and enjoy the beauty of it all.
5. Stay accountable. Tell a friend or spouse about your plan to be mindful. Check in with each other to see how you are doing and what you could do differently.
I'd love to hear any tips you have about being mindful in the comments below!
These are some yummy cookies I decided to make last night, so yummy, the husband had two and asked how many more he was allowed to have ;) These are great with a glass of almond milk. Hope you guys enjoy them as much as we did!
Ingredients Serves 10-12 cookies:
What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling dates back to over 3,000 years ago. It was an ancient technique used to pull out toxins in the body, not only making for better oral health but also reducing inflammation and all over well being in the body. It's a simple technique and one that I try to do on a daily basis or at least a few times a week. It is best to do first thing in the morning, but anytime of the day will benefit you.
Step 1 -Take 1-2 tbs of virgin organic cold pressed coconut oil.
Step 2 - Add 1-2 drops of peppermint and/or spearmint essential oil (optional) and mix it together.
Step 3 - Swish it in your mouth for 5-20 minutes (the longer the better). I typically do mine while getting ready in the morning or while taking a shower.
Step 4 - Spit oil out. Be sure to do this in the trash or outside. Coconut oil can clog drains.
Step 5 - Brush, floss and rinse your mouth out.
I went on a mission today to our local health food store to see what I could find to nourish my body a bit more. I've been surrounded by sickies and today my throat and head started to hurt just the tiniest bit. So off I went to see what I could do about it.
It is amazing how our bodies are able to fight off sickness, disease and all sorts of toxins if we choose to take care of ourselves. Before I get into the goodies I found, I want to chat with you just a bit about my immune boosting tips and tricks.
1.Get enough sleep.
We hear this all the time but the truth of it is lack of sleep suppresses the immune system. Our immune system is very complex but to make this short and simple, when we lose sleep our T-cells go down and inflammatory cytokines go up.
Shoot for at least 8 hours and a consistent bed time.
Staying hydrated is key to staying healthy. A healthy consumption of liquids will help the body flush out toxins, help produce lymph and keep the cells healthy and happy. Aim to drink about 64 oz of water a day. Keep in mind that caffeinated drinks and exercise will dehydrate you so add in a few more cups a day if you're an avid (hopefully organic) coffee drinker. ;)
My name is Hanna Kuyper and my mission for iamwell comes directly from my past experiences. Read more