October- A Month of Awareness & Choice – Thermography

option - Thermography

My favorite month…

October, is the time of year where the leaves dance in the autumn sunlight in an array of beautiful colors.  As a child, fall was my favorite time of the year, and still is!  It was a time to visit all the fall festivals, craft shows, having fun jumping in the leaf piles and of course, Halloween.  Today, 35 years later, the month of October takes on a completely different meaning for a lot of people, especially women.  October is now “Breast Cancer Awareness” month and for good reason.   Breast Cancer will be the diagnosis for many women and men in 2016 according to the Susan G. Komen website.  We should be aware but I also think that we need to have a choice!  I found a choice in Thermography.  Today I will share with you information about this option we have.

My Dilemma 

I know it is important to stay on top of my breast health.  But I am not at peace with mammography as the choice in which for me to be tested with.   I read many articles on some of the issues with mammography.  Before you get all preachy at me about choosing not to have a mammogram, read further to see my concerns.  I am not against having awareness.   But, I am more concerned with how a test is done and how it can affect my body.

What is a Mammogram?

First of all let’s talk about what a mammogram is and the procedure itself.  As many of you can attest, the process itself is not fun. But did you know that it can actually be a cause of harm?  As a 20 something young adult I remember women talking about getting a mammogram and how they would dread it.  I would listen to them explain the process.  Hearing them talk certainly didn’t make the idea of getting one for myself very inviting!

At the time I was very small breasted and I couldn’t imagine how they would even have enough tissue to work with!  In my late 20’s, I decided to have breast augmentation. I have to admit that the idea of the combination of a mammogram and an implant sounded to me like a rupture waiting to happen!  My concern is valid and affects more than just someone like me that has had an augmentation.

The mammogram process puts the breast in between two plates and squeezes the breast flat in order to read the tissue. Now no wonder women feel so uncomfortable!  So what about the breast tissue….can this process have a damaging affect?  Studies show that if there is cancerous tissue in the breast,  the mammogram can possibly cause the tumor/tissue to burst and can cause the cancer cells to spread instead of remaining in that area. (Click HERE to read more.) That alone caused me to have concern about the mammogram process.  Another concern I have is the exposure to ionizing radiation.

 

Here is a quote from an Dr Mercola article:

Mammograms use ionizing radiation at a relatively high dose, which can contribute to the mutations that can lead to breast cancer. You can get as much radiation from one mammogram as you would from 1,000 chest X-rays. Mammography also compresses your breasts tightly, which can lead to a dangerous spread of cancerous cells, should they exist. Dr. Samuel Epstein, one of the world’s top cancer experts, has stated:

“The premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, each 1 rad exposure increasing breast cancer risk by about 1 percent, with a cumulative 10 percent increased risk for each breast over a decade’s screening.”

Click HERE to read the full article

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Recommendations

In reading this information, I had to think about the recommendations for women to have mammograms on a regular basis beginning as early as age 40.  (Even this is not totally agreed upon by various cancer groups, read this article from the Mayo Clinic.)  But if I did chose to begin this routine screening at age 40 til later in life, how much would I be increasing my chance of cancer just from the exposure to ionized radiation?  It is something to consider.

Early Detection

Ok so we hear it over and over again about “early detection” for breast cancer and this is the main reason that mammograms are recommended.  So you can imagine my disappointment when I watched a medical documentary about breast cancer and the doctor saying that by the time a mammogram can even detect a breast cancer tumor or mass, the cancer will have been developing in the breast tissue for 5 to 8 years!  I have to say that to me that doesn’t really sound like “early detection” .

Thermography for breast exams

Picture from www.info.nihadc.com

Thermography

Excitement filled me when I read an article about Thermography and how it is being used to detect breast cancer.  It works so differently than a mammogram!  First of all it is totally non-invasive. No smashing of the breast!  Second, no ionizing radiation!   It is best option to use to detect cancer early….just exactly what we are really looking for, right?  Here is a great article to help you learn more about Thermography for breast cancer detection.

I encourage you to find out if there is a doctor that provides Thermography in your local or surrounding areas.  I will throw caution to you that Thermography may not be covered by your insurance. It is considered my many plans to be experimental.  The cost can range from $175-$250, hence it will be an out-of-pocket expense for you but for me it is still worth it.  I cannot put a price on peace of mind.

Choice

Now even though this article is about Thermography for breast exams it is really to let you know you have a CHOICE.   Ultrasound is also an effective and safe way to examine the breast for cancer tumors. If you do not have the option of Thermography, this may be an option for you.

I finally feel like I have a choice, and I hope you do as well!  The quest for awareness for me is now a path that I feel I can go down without cause for concern.  I hope that you have found this information to be helpful and hope-filled!

Until next week, Stay Healthy!

Tips for Prevention of Aging Skin – Defy Your Age

Age gracefully, naturally

One of the things that is noticed by women by the time they reach the age of 40 is the way their skin is changing.

I know for me, mine has become more dry and the fine lines and wrinkles are appearing more as each year flies by.  Some of this change is due to the change in our hormones.  Other items effect the change we see as well, like our nutrition, water intake, and the skin care we use.

So what are some ways we can combat aging skin?

As with a lot of things that I have written about before, nutrition plays a huge part in this, as well as in your overall health.  You are what you eat and that includes your skin.  As many of you may already know, your skin is your largest organ.  But what you may not know is that the skin/body care you use on your skin does not get filtered by your liver prior to going into your bloodstream, like the foods you ingest.

How to Help Your Skin age grracefully

So taking great care as to what you put on your body is very important.  Many skincare products use chemicals that contain carcinogens that are very unhealthy for us. Be sure to read the labels of your products and understand that whatever you use is not getting filtered properly and could be causing more harm than good.

Have you ever thought about the soaps you use or the products used on your face?  When you get done washing your face is it tight and dry?  You may be helping your skin age prematurely just by using chemical laden products.  Here are some products I have found to have natural ingredients and are very healthy and provide moisture for the skin:

Anne Marie Gianni

The Spa Dr. by Dr. Trevor Cates

What foods can help hydrate you??

We have all heard that we should minimize our sun exposure, use sunblock, and not smoke.  So we will skip these (hint:  I really didn’t skip them! 😉 )  How about staying hydrated?  Yes, we have all probably heard of this one as well but I would like to focus on a different take on this.

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We know that drinking water is so important to the overall function of our bodies and how good it is for our skin but have we ever stopped and thought about other ways we can get water into our diet besides drinking a glass of water?  How about the foods we eat??  Here are some foods that are healthy and provide you another source for water consumption:

  • Cucumber – water content 96.7%
  • Iceberg Lettuce – water content 95.6%
  • Celery – water content 95.4%
  • Radishes – water content 95.3%
  • Tomatoes – water content 94.5%
  • Green pepper – water content 93.9%
  • Cauliflower -water content  92.1%
  • Watermelon – water content 91.5%
  • Spinach – water content 91.4%
  • Star Fruit – water content 91.4%
  • Strawberries – water content 91%
  • Broccoli – water content 90.7%
  • Grapefruit – water content 90.5%
  • Baby carrots – water content 90.4%
  • Cantaloupe – water content 90.2%

Now, take a good look at this list and if you are not already eating many of these foods on a daily basis, then begin now!  These are not only amazing for your nutrition but for your skin as well!

So leave me a message below and let me know which foods listed above are some of your favorites.  (Mine are strawberries, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, and green pepper!!)

Also, have you found all-natural skincare products that you would like to share with others?  I can’t wait to see what products you know about!!

Have a great week and stay healthy!!

How to get your kids to eat healthy, fun for them, less stress for you!

Childhood Nutrtion How to Get your Kids to Eat Healthy the Fun Way

It can be a challenge to make sure your children get proper nutrition.  

You could be like me when my children were young and just simply not realize that I didn’t know what I didn’t know!  The two subjects, “children” & “nutrition”, each on their own can be a lot to juggle. The two together are down right overwhelming!

The sweet potato fiasco….

She sat at the table for what seemed like an eternity…..but she was only around 7 years of age, so five minutes of idle time is an eternity.  The food on her plate was already cold and her mother had finished cleaning up all the dishes from dinner.  All she would do was sit there… looking at that weird smelling potato thingy on her plate.  She was told that she could not leave the table until she ate it.  Would her mother would change her mind??

Health Ranger Chlorella

The Challenge

As parents, it can be challenging to make sure our kids are eating healthy.

Insuring that they are getting in a variety of foods with excellent nutrition in them is a massive undertaking.  I have to admit that I failed terribly in this area when raising my kids and wish I realized the importance of childhood nutrition when they were young.

Yes, I knew that they needed veggies and fruit.  I also knew that they didn’t need junk food but there is so much more to nutrition than that.  

Here is what I didn’t know:  that variety in their food was important, what the affect of simple carbs and an overabundance of such carbs would be to my kids, that their the exposure to foods (or lack of) at a very young age would set the stage for their future health.

Childhood Nutrition…..it begins with education

Recently I read an interesting article about parents and their influence on kids and their eating habits.  It talked about childhood obesity and I found this comment to be of interest:  “Genes define the propensity to become overweight, and diet and physical activity can determine to what extent that propensity becomes a reality.”  You can read the entire article HERE.

There are many excellent takeaways from that article that talks about childhood nutrition….these are some that I liked most:

  • Start at a young age – the article mentioned that you could introduce them to a greater variety of foods after 6 months of age.  Now, I do remember introducing my firstborn to rice cereal at 6 months of age.  I wish now, I would have been brave enough to make homemade baby food.  There is so much more now that I know!  It would have been great to have known this information THEN!
  • Restriction vs Pressure vs Rewarding – In reading that section of the article, I reflected back on my youth and then on how I did things with my own children.  Never did I think of Rewarding!  I did however know about pressure and eating…..it didn’t work for me or my kids!  Try making it fun and remember to be a good model of healthy behaviors.
  • Repetition – This article mentions that kids will need several exposures to foods before kids will have an acceptable liking of them.  So, just because your child shrugs their nose at the stuff you are wanting them to try out, doesn’t mean that you should give up.  Maybe try preparing it a different way or marry up that food with something that they will eat and make it a fun experience for them.

Tips on How to make eating Healthy fun for kids

Here are some ideas to help get your children more likely to try and eat healthy foods:

You can create a garden with their help.  Start from seeds and let them help plant, water, pick the weeds out of the garden and pick the veggies when the are ready to be picked.  Let them make name stakes and put them where the plants will come up.   Let them help every step of the way allowing them to feel the ownership of it.

Let them help prepare the food.  Make this a fun activity and let them sample along the way .  Isn’t that one of the things we LOVE about being the cook….all the sampling! 😉  Make foods that are prepared with kids in mind.  Maybe make shapes or faces with green beans and carrot sticks…let your and their imagination go wild.

***What I love about both of the ideas above is that you are not only helping them get use to healthy variety of foods but you are teaching them that hard work can be fun.  I think I failed at making these types of activities fun.  They were never fun for me as a kid, so I never knew it could be different for my kids.  You can make gardening, cleaning, cooking, prep for the table and many other “chore” like activities fun and at the same time teach your kids work ethic and responsibility!

How “repeat tasting” and the “one taste” game can helpEach time you prepare a food they don’t really like, be sure to have them try at least one bite.  I would try to incorporate that item into your food routine more often, so they will have to try it out more frequently.  More exposure to that food will help them develop a taste for it.   Playing the One taste game can make it more fun and less stressful for everyone as well.  Say something like “it’s time for our One Taste Game….let’s see if your taste buds will like it!”

 

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Rewards for Healthy Choices – I have never met a child that did not like to be rewarded for doing something right.  This can also apply to making healthy food choices.  Make a food chart and put the foods that they have the most difficulty wanting to eat on there.  Each time they eat that food, reward them with a sticker and praise them for the healthy choice they made.

Did she ever eat that Sweet Potato?

The little girl at the beginning of this post was me!  When I was young, I hated sweet potatoes!  Neither was I one of those kids that would try new things.  That was definitely not a fun exercise and one that I loathed!  Still to this day remember that evening, sitting at the table trying to eat that stinkin’ sweet potato!  You know what I do not remember??  If I ever did eat it or if my mom finally relented and let me get up without eating it!  But, I am happy to report that I now eat sweet potatoes! 😉  I like them with just a dash of cinnamon and nothing else.  (I always was a plain Jane kinda girl!)

I hope you read some ideas today that will help you with your children and their nutrition.  My goal is to help educate as many people as I can to obtain better knowledge of nutrition and their health…one person at a time!  Did you enjoy the content of this post?  Be sure to use the social icons below and share with your family and friends!

Until next time, Stay Healthy!

The Pantry Overhaul…the beginning steps to a healthier YOU!

The Pantry Overhaul - the beginning steps to a healthier you

She opened the door to her pantry, took a look at everything.  She then shut the door, turned around and walked away…..

In today’s society, we are as a whole more unhealthy than ever!  Even with all the health advancements and “medicines” that the medical community has come up with.  I am a firm believer that if we change what is in our pantry and replace our current items with whole foods and foods that help our bodies operate the way they were created to, we would be a whole lot healthier!

Change can be overwhelming!

Sometimes changing our overall diet doesn’t happen because the process can be an overwhelming.  The thought of taking out the bad things that are lingering in our pantry and finding the right products to replace them is just more than we want to take on.

So today we are going to take a peek into a few items that should make their way into your pantry in order to replace some of the bad stuff.  The health reasons alone should get you motivated to find them and start using them in your everyday cooking.

The Pantry Overhaul 5 Items you Should keep in stock

 

Let’s start with basic staple items that are commonly found in paleo recipes.

  1. Tamari – a replacement option for soy sauce that is wheat free.  It does contain soy but it is a much better alternative to the highly processed versions of soy sauce you typically will see.

2. Ginger – This root can be added to recipes, teas and more.  Great anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to help in aiding digestion.  It is best to find fresh, organic ginger root. Ginger root

3. Turmeric – Also has amazing anti-inflammatory properties!  Studies have shown that it can help ward off cancer and the common cold.  Check out this recipe using Tumeric!

4. Natural Salt – Although I personally LOVE pink Himalayan salt (you can read more about the benefits HERE) there are a couple other healthy options to replace table salt.  You can support your local community by purchasing local sea salt and rock salt as well.

5. Ghee – Wanting to lower your intake of lactose?  Ghee is a clarified butter and is a great option for you!   Clarification removes the milk sugars from butter which in turn lower the lactose levels.

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Simple Changes

Today we touched on just a few staple items that should find their way in to your ongoing diet.  When tackling a project as big as overhauling your pantry, which really means you are overhauling your eating habits, take it slow.  Research for yourself the amazing options that nature has to provide for us.  Find foods that will help you in your overall health.

You don’t have to be like the lady I described at the beginning of this post!  That sense of overwhelm can be avoided.  Tasty, healthy options are available that will help you stay healthy and happy!  

Did you enjoy the content in today’s post?  Be sure to use the social media icons below to share with friends and family.

Until next week, stay healthy!!

10 Benefits of a Food Diary

I remember when I was a child having a diary.  

It was filled with silly things mostly, considering I was about 8 years old but it reflected a lot about me at that time.   A food diary does the same thing….it reflects a lot about you and your habits.

“I don’t eat too much and I go walking 2 miles a day!  Isn’t that enough?”  Have you thought this to yourself?  Honestly, if you have never really written down everything for a period of time, then how do you really know?   I mean throughout the course of a day, we can forget things, right?

Keeping a food diary may be just what you need….

to help you overcome some poor habits that you may or may not even realize you have. Now before you begin giving yourself excuses for why you can not keep a food diary, let us talk about the benefits to you and your future health.

  • Point out poor eating patterns 
  • Identify emotional eating habits
  • Highlight poor food choices
  • Show where improvements can be made
  • Make you aware of your dietary habits
  • Where excess calories are being consumed
  • Help you decide what dietary changes you will need to made
  • Determine if your diet is balanced
  • Learn how to cope when you have emotional triggers 
  • Give you the breakthrough you need to finally have success in your eating

10 benefits of a food diarySo many ways to keep a food diary!

Mobile Apps

There are many ways to keep a food diary.  You can opt for the way I did my diary when I was a kid, simply a notebook or opt to use today’s technology either with an app or an online website.  Many of you have heard of the app MyFitnessPal.  It is a great way to log the food you are eating and will help you track your daily calorie consumption.  The ease and mobility for when you are out and about is one of the most convenient things about an app. I think the one draw back for me is there is no place to track your triggers.

I believe that tracking how you feel or what events are happening when you eat certain foods will help show you your triggers.  Many people are emotional eaters.  They live to eat and the stress of life can trigger eating binges or eating certain kinds of foods.

Online options

Another option is online diaries like My Food Diary (www.myfooddiary.com)  You can track your food, exercise and you body stats.  It has an online community to help give support as well.  Once again, it does not provide a way to log food triggers.

The old-fashioned way

Now, you may be like me, the pencil and paper type. 😉  There is just something about the handwritten word, right?  I feel more involved in what I am writing and to me, it feels more private.  The topic of our eating habits can make you feel a little exposed, so keeping your food log in your quite, safe place may be just what you need.

This option will allow you to write down how you are feeling that day, what events are happening.  This information could be just what you need to see.  It will reveal emotional patterns and triggers.

Pinterest Printables

Now, maybe you would like to have pretty paper that has it all ready for you to fill out.  Printables are a great option for this.  I found a bunch on Pinterest and here is a link to one that I really liked.  It has a note section that is perfect for writing down how you felt or what events happened that day. These are great, just print them off and fill them out!

Now keep in mind that keeping a food diary is not something you have to do for a long period of time.  To be exact, you probably only need to keep up with it for a week or two.  Just long enough for you to see what food and drinks you consume regularly.  To log your exercise habits.  Take note of what your emotional triggers may be.

Once you have this information, you will have a better idea of what changes you will need to make.

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Until next time, stay healthy!!

5 Reasons You Should Rethink Your Love of Sugar

Have you ever heard the comment “You are as sweet as sugar!”?

It may just be a southern phrase but I have heard it since I was a kid!  I guess the phrase “You are as sweet as strawberries” just doesn’t roll off the tongue with ease like the other statement does.  But, nevertheless, we have a great opinion of sugar in our society or maybe just a great addiction to it.

I say the word ‘addiction’ with confidence because in most nutrition programs or diets, you will find a massive decrease in the amount of refined sugar intake and a massive amount of people that end up quitting.  Studies have proven that sugar is toxic and is as addictive as cocaine.  I have to say that I believe that statement to be true.

5 Reasons you should rethink your love for sugar

One of the things that I changed when I made my lifestyle change almost 3 years ago, was a massive decrease in the amount of refined sugar I was taking in on a daily basis.  I have to admit that at first it was a bummer.  Things didn’t taste the same but I toughed it out and now eating sweets is actually not even appealing to me.  One bite of something that I use to love is plenty now.

The Transition

So how was I able to make it through that transition of detoxing my life of so much sugar?  I have to say that I had to re-think about what it was costing me long term. How was it affecting me to consume sugar in large amounts on a daily basis?  Was sugar affecting or going to effect my health down the road.  Did sugar play any part in unbalanced hormone levels?

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Research says….

This is what I found through my research on this subject.  I hope that, like me, this information will be a wake up call for you and make the transition to a healthy lifestyle easier.

  1. Sugar and its nutritional value…..You may think that since sugar is yummy when added to foods that it must add some sort of nutritional value but alas, it holds absolutely ZERO nutritional value.  But what it does, and so very well I might add, is make foods that we probably would not enjoy without it, taste good to us.  I might also mention that it adds lots of unwanted calories too.
  2. Poor Cardiovascular health…..Studies showed that people with high sugar intakes had much lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol), as well as high triglycerides. Also, the chronic inflammation caused by increased cortisol has been linked to cancer, heart disease, and other conditions.
  3. Poor Cognitive health……The Mayo Clinic did a study and found that people over the age of 70 who ate lots of sugar dramatically increased their risk for cognitive impairment.  Also, a UCLA study showed that higher glucose levels are linked to dementia.
  4. Sugar suppresses the immune system….did you know that sugar can suppress the immune system for hours after consumption?
  5. Sugar can be a leading factor to inflammation throughout the body.

Some will choose to not change

For some people, the thought of dramatically decreasing their sugar intake seems like the impossible.  Maybe they should re-think sugar.  Is it their friend or foe?  Is it really worth the poor health down the road?  Sadly, even this little bit of health info is not enough for many people to change their eating habits.

I do know that there are people out there who, like me, are searching for answers.  They are searching for ways to improve their overall health.  They are looking at their life in the “big picture” and realize that they need to make some changes to have good health for the long haul.

Everyone is different

What helped me was going onto a nutritional program that was based on organic whey protein shakes. As I learned more about whole foods, juicing, and herbs, I changed my eating habits again.  I have to say that for me, the idea a going from the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) to whole foods would have been difficult to stick with.

The nutrition program was an excellent bridge between high sugar/processed foods and whole foods. That program helped me to significantly lower my sugar intake and at the same time insured that I was getting the nutrition that my body so desperately needed to function at its best.  Keep in mind that what will work for me, may indeed not work for you.  Just like our finger prints, we are each individual.

Nature had it right FIRST!

I am amazed at the amount of food out there that is naturally sweet.  We have so many fruits, and vegetables available to us that can fill our sweet tooth and not wreck our health. Now I use sugar to fuel me but I watch the amounts and sources in which I get my sugar from.

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Have an amazing week and stay healthy!!

9 Tips To Getting a Better You…Through Better Sleep

If you have heard it once, you have heard it said a thousand times…..

Get a good 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night.  We all know this and yet somehow it still isn’t that important to us.  I mean, we can just catch up on our sleep later, right?   Wrong.

How does not sleeping enough effect the body?  Oh, let me count the ways!!  When I began my research for this post, I thought I had it all figured out.  Boy, I really had no idea that not getting proper sleep could effect so much!

Why sleep is so importantLet’s start with…..ahhh, hormones and weight gain

Did you know that sleep deprivation can mess up the daily fluctuation of appetite hormones?  Hungry all the time?  Maybe your lack of proper sleep is contributing to this issue.

Did you know that there was a study done suggesting that children that did not get proper rest were 89% more likely to become obese and adults were 55% more likely to be obese. Click HERE to read the results from that study.

People that lack enough rest, tend to eat more calories.  

The body produces MORE of the hormone that stimulates appetite, Ghrelin.  The body also will produce LESS of the hormone, Leptin, which is a hormone that suppresses appetite.

Getting proper sleep can maximize athletic performance.  Want your workouts to really count??  Get your rest!!  Things such as speed, endurance, grip strength, reaction time, overall physical well-being are all affected.

Health Ranger Chlorella

Lack of sleep can lead you into a greater risk for heart attack and stroke.  

At least 15 different studies have been done on the connection between poor sleep and heart disease and stroke.  Each point to an individual having a greater risk for each of these. Click HERE to read one of these studies findings.

Greater risk for diabetes – It affects how your body produces glucose.  The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School reports that a study showed a healthy group of people who had reduced their sleep from eight to four hours per night processed glucose more slowly.

Sleep helps to control mood.

Don’t you find yourself to be more irritable and moody when you have not had enough rest??  Did you know that long term sleep deprivation can lead to other problems that are worse than just being moody?  Problems like, anxiety and depression.

Sleep Helps to repair the body.  

This is one that I find to be fascinating!  The body produces extra protein molecules while you are sleeping that will help strengthen your ability to fight off infection and keep you healthy.  These molecules also help your body at a cellular level when you are stressed.  They will help you to fight off infection and illnesses. #fearfullyandwonderfullymade #psalm139:14

Did you know that there is a link between long-term poor sleep and inflammation of the digestive tract?  Issues such as IBS, and colon cancer can be linked.  Click HERE to read this study and its findings.

Improved memory from ample sleep.  Boy, I need a lot of sleep then! hahaha! My memory has always been bad, even as a child.  Which leads me to some interesting facts on sleep and children….

Did you know that children who do not get proper amount of sleep, which is considerably more hours than an adult, can have developmental problems, trouble learning in school, behavioral issues (ADD, ADHD) and grumpy parents (of course, from their lack of sleep from being up late with their children) 🙂

People that are trying to get their extra weight off, often put a lot of value in workout out.  Now, don’t get me wrong, exercise is important BUT sleep is actually even more important.  I have heard this ratio 80% nutrition, 12% sleep and 8% exercise = one healthy body!

Here are some tips to help you get better sleep:

Have a routine… go the bed and get up the same time everyday.  This will help set your body’s internal clock.  Don’t go to bed so early that you toss and turn but yet early enough that your body will wake up naturally and well rested.

Try not to sleep in on the weekends or on days that you are not going to work.  Remember, that you want to help your body set and keep its internal clock, so stick with a routine.

Control your exposure to light.  

This can apply to daytime hours or evenings hours.  Did you know that the light generated from an LED screen, such as our cell phones, computers or TV’s can make our brain think that it is daytime and actually keep us more alert?  

Going to bed with the TV on or within the last 2 hours before bed, exposing your eyes to LED type lighting, can actually make it even more difficult for you to go to sleep.

Try reading a book before bedtime.  It works for me every time.  Most of the time I fall asleep holding the book! (when I say read a book, I mean a real book, not a Kindle or something like that.)

Get your exercise!  I know I sound like a broken record, but it is so important!  Lack of exercise effects more than just the scale!

Stay away from caffeine.  Did you know that the effects of caffeine can last 10 to 12 hours after you have ingested it??  Wow!

Avoid Alcohol – I think this is an easy one but for some it may not.  Alcohol can interfere with your sleep cycle, so it is not recommended…so cut out those nightcaps!

Avoid drinking too much liquid in the evening.  Now this one hits me square in the eyes.  I am really bad about drinking a lot of water in the evenings.  So, I guess I may need to cut back some. 🙁

Manage your mind and relax.  

Clear your head!  I have went to bed many times and my thoughts were running through like a freight train!  I have it rough on nights like that!  There is a relaxation technique that I have tried before that really does help and in a future post, I will talk more about that technique.  

Keep your room, cool, dark and comfy!  I don’t know about you, but I struggle to sleep when my room is stuffy or hot.  So, keep your room a little on the cool side and you will rest much better.

Never underestimate the power of a good nights sleep!  

It really does “do a body good”!!  I hope that this post helps you truly understand more about how your body works and how you can better take care of it.  Have a wonderful night’s sleep!!!

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Until next, stay healthy!!

7 Ways to Manage Stress in Your Life

I can still remember the day very vividly in my mind.

The day that I had my first, and only panic attack.  I had arrived to work with no major issues or problems going on.  I worked until my first break and then sat down at break and ate some yogurt and strawberries.

I went to the restroom and then began walking back to my work area.  On the way to my work area I suddenly felt this very strange feeling come over me and I started having difficulty breathing.  Dizzy and afraid…I thought I was going to vomit.

7 ways to manage stress

I was so afraid to say anything to anyone because I had never had this happen prior to this occasion and honestly, I didn’t know how to explain how I felt.  It was so very foreign to me and it scared me to feel so helpless.

A co-worker could tell something was not right as I asked to sit down in his chair.

My symptoms were getting worse and now speaking to anyone at all was out of the question.  He was aware of this and called over management.  By this time, several people were hovering around me and they called paramedics to come and check me out.

I was taken to the nearby health clinic and all the usual vitals were looked at.  At this point, things were so hazy that I really don’t remember a whole lot, just that my father-in-law did stop by to take me home.  I did have enough of mind to know to call him.

So what was my diagnosis??  A stress-induced panic attack.

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Some stats to consider:

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.

Now, there is no way to completely eliminate stress from your life, to be exact, stress is a part of life.  It actually can be helpful to the body in keeping us alert but excess amounts can be detrimental to our overall health, so it should be managed.

My suggestions

Stay positive.

I know you may not put much into this but it has been scientifically proven that the mind is powerful, the power of your thought life is more than most really understand.

Exercise

It is amazing how a good 20 – 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise can help clear the brain and release stress from the body.  I hear so many people say that they do not have time and I am telling you – MAKE TIME!

Don’t overload your life.

If you are a “Yes” kind of person, then I suggest you begin to be a “No” kind of person more often.  Over committing your life is just going to cause you undo stress that doesn’t need to be there in the first place.  Only commit to things that you KNOW you will have time for.   Over-committing when you really don’t have time is an automatic stress-inducer.

Make time for things you enjoy.

It is not a bad thing to schedule time for things in your life that you enjoy!  Do you like to garden? Then make time for it!  Like to sew? Make time for it!  What you naturally enjoy doing, will be a stress-reducer for your body.

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Get plenty of quality sleep

People really do underestimate the importance of quality rest.  It is amazing all the things that the body is doing while you are resting.  Things that need to be completed to prepare your body for the next day.  If you are not getting good rest, I would look into the reasons why.  Stress? Poor nutrition?  The list can be lengthy but you owe it to yourself to figure it out and fix the problem.

Learn to relax

Take time for meditation, reading of scripture, prayer time – each of these can help you in relaxing and comforting you.  Never underestimate the power of prayer in your life!

Stay away from alcohol and/or drugs

Alcohol is a depressant, so if you are having any issues with stress, you will just be compounding these with the intake of alcohol.  Check out this article from webmd on > alcohol and depression for more insights on the subject.

So you may be wondering what I did to help me after having my bout with a panic attack?

Well, I knew right off the bat that a huge portion of my problem was my job situation.  My birthday was coming up so I decided that my birthday gift to myself was to quit that job.  The day of my birthday I did just that!  It was an awesome birthday! 😉

Now I can understand if you cannot completely take out the things in your life that are causing you stress, like I did.  That is why learning to manage your life in a much more efficient and beneficial way will be a game changer for you.  Take out what you can, like in suggestion # 3 and the apply the rest of my suggestions in any way that you can.

Also, here is one last suggestion  – Learn to let go!  You cannot possibly control everything in life (which was a big problem for me), so learn to let it go.  Letting these things fester can only cause you more harm.  Learning to let things go is actually quite FREEING!!

Hope that you have found some nuggets that you can take away from this blog post and apply to your life.  I would love to hear from you, so please leave me feedback in the comment section below.   Have you experienced stress-induced panic attack?  How did you overcome it?  Leave your post below, I would love to hear from you!

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Until next week, stay healthy!!