The 411 on H2O
Do you pull your own strings and sabotage your desires?
My wife and I visited the Wright brothers memorial during our honeymoon to the outer banks, South Carolina. There was a kite festival taking place on the grounds where their first flight was achieved and recorded for history. As we were learning how to fly different types of kites and how to control them in the wind, I was reminded of an ongoing struggle that we as human beings experience.
As I was throwing a small triangular fighter kite into the air, it flipping and spinning in the wind, the instructor instructed me to pull on the string whenever the kite spins in the direction that I wanted it to travel. Each correct pull with the flow of the wind, my plan ascended higher into stronger wind. Flipping and spinning even harder now, causing me to focus and concentrate on the direction I wish it to travel.
The quicker it spins the more I pull the string toward me, foreboding that I will lose control and the kite will come crashing down. The more I pull on the string to maintain control, the faster the kite descends, causing me to pull even faster and stronger. It crashes to the ground and I have to start all over again.
I throw it back up, maintain flight for a few moments, panic, tug on the string again and the kites come crashing down to my feet. Back to where I started from. It took me several attempts to control and steer this kite in the direction that I desired. Only to realize that when it spins faster, and I relax and focus, the kite will eventually turn in the direction that I want to go. All I have to do is give the kite a slight pull to nudge it in the direction I want it to travel and the wind takes it the rest of the way.
Does this sound familiar in your life? Starting a job, a diet, a meaningful task that you have the good intentions to complete with flying colors, yet panic when the going gets tough, crash and burn and have to start from the beginning again.
You are capable of greatness. You must believe in yourself and know that you are human. That life is a learning experience.
Think of yourself as the kite. It falls to the ground, picked back up and thrown back up to ride the wind into the sky. This kite does not swim and it does not walk or run. No matter where the kite is thrown, it is meant to fly and so are you. Embrace your greatness and fly!
I honor you for being present on this journey called life. Keep putting one step forward, believe in yourself each new day, lean in and enjoy the moments that life brings.
7 Tactics to help you stick with your health goals
Sugar Addiction - How excess sugar harms your body
Sugar is everywhere we look. Thing is most packaged foods hide sugar as an ingredient, so we don’t notice that we are consuming more sugar in our diet than we need. Take for instance fruit yogurt which many people think is a nutritious breakfast. Fruit yogurt can contain 19 grams of added sugar in a single serving. But how much is 19 grams?
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are :
Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons).
Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).
So women who start the day with a cup of fruit yogurt containing 19 grams of sugar have already eaten over half of their daily intake.
This is only in the first hour of the day!
A can of coke consists of 33 grams of sugar. If someone had a cup of blueberry yogurt for breakfast and a can of coke for lunch….. they have already surpassed the maximum daily intake before noon.
Now let’s talk about what this sugar does in the body when it breaks down.
What is sugar?
Sugar is a combination of two molecules:
Glucose and Fructose
Glucose is “plant” sugar. Plants and make glucose from photosynthesis to store as energy. Every cell in our body can metabolize glucose. If we don’t get it from a food source then our body makes it. A wonderful process called Gluconeogenesis!. Sounds cool right? I won’t bore you with this process though (Phew!).
Fructose is “fruit” sugar. Found in fruits and many plants as well and can only be metabolized in the liver. The liver then stores this converted energy and if full will turn the fructose into fat. If this overabundance of fat cannot be shipped out of the liver you have a greater chance of creating Fatty Liver Disease.
According to the American Liver Foundation, this disease can form with as little as 5% to 10% of the liver’s weight in fat. This disease can cause fatigue, weakness, jaundice, swelling of the legs and abdomen, mental confusion and other nasty symptoms.
Insulin and insulin resistance
We have all heard of diabetics taking insulin but what is insulin?
Insulin is hormone made by the pancreas to signal the cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. Our body monitors what we digest, what our cells demand and releases insulin in the right amount to help regulate blood sugar.
The more sugar you eat, the more insulin your body produces to send the signal to your muscle and fat cells to remove and use glucose from the blood. When your cells get enough glucose for energy from the excess sugar, they essentially block the insulin signal. The body then produces more insulin and tries again. The pancreas will continue to create insulin until it cannot anymore which in turn causes the blood glucose levels to rise. This is known as Insulin Resistance which is the first step to type 2 diabetes.
Insulin resistance comes long before type 2 diabetes occurs. You can prevent future harm by getting regular checkups at your primary care physician to check your glucose levels and vitals.
Other symptoms that can come along with type 2 diabetes is arteriosclerosis or known as atherosclerosis. This is thickening and hardening of your artery walls which can lead to strokes or heart attacks. Skin lesions and skin tags can also develop. Problems with menstruation in women known as polycystic ovary syndrome can develop causing women to grow moustaches, sideburns and mid-chest hair. I’m quite sure no woman wants to resemble David Hasselhoff.
This information is not given to scare you but to inform you so you can make your own choice when you step into the grocery store.
Now that I have ruined the sweet joy we all like to indulge in, here are some sugar alternatives.
Monk fruit sweetener- this is a zero calorie sweetener made from a sub-tropical melon in southern china. It is not processed with toxic chemicals. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar which allows you to use much less and still get the same taste.
Here is what we use in our home Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener.
Stevia extract- this is also a zero calorie sweetener derived from the Stevia Rebaudiana plant which is native to Central and South America. Stevia extract is about 40 times sweeter than sucrose. It is mixed with other ingredients when sold as a powder. You will have to check the label of the manufacturer to see what it is combined with. The main ingredient in Truvia is a sugar alcohol called erythritol, which has no calories since our body cannot metabolize it. I prefer the monk fruit since it is in its natural state when turned into granules.
I want to emphasize that I recommend using these alternative sweeteners in moderation. These can still raise insulin levels in high quantities.
The more we moderate our intake of sweet food the less we will crave sweet. Eating whole fruits is a good way to satisfy our sugar craving since it has fiber to help us digest and metabolize properly.
If you are addicted to sugar, these sweeteners will help you lower your sugar intake and lower your cravings over time. The more you can get your sugar from natural sources the better. We have to lower your craving first so you will be less likely to eat something “bad” for you in a moment of temptation. If we limit our sugar intake, we can stay far away from type 2 diabetes and these health limiting symptoms.
There are simple habits that we can develop in our lifestyle that will make it easier to live a healthier, more vibrant and energetic life. I know you want to live fully each and everyday and share your passion and purpose.
At Enrich Your Health we can help you develop these habits and dive into our psychology to understand what we do and don’t do when it comes to making choices about our health and wellness. We will work with you one on one to tailor a program to your specific needs and help you reach your health goal.
You CAN have a more productive life to get things done and still have energy to give to your friends and loved ones. Give us a call and get a free consultation so we can help you be a high performer everyday!
Now continue to be the amazing person you are and always
enrich your mind, enrich your body and enrich your health.
Author - Michael Coles
The Benefit of Castor Oil on Our Muscles
Castor oil is an amazing natural oil that has many holistic uses. You may have heard your grandmother say to drink Castor oil if you have a backed up GI tract. Today we mostly use castor oil to induce labor, for muscle cramps or hyper-tonic muscles. Castor oil is thankfully used externally for these purposes.
So what exactly is Castor oil?
Castor oil comes from the beans of a perennial flowering plant called Ricinus Comminus. The beans are pressed into an oil. Castor oil is a triglyceride of fatty acids. Approximately 90% of its fatty acid content is made up of ricinoleic acid. Ricinoelic acid has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Ricinoleic acid can also be effective in preventing the growth of viruses, bacteria, yeasts and molds.
There are many helpful uses for castor oil but the main benefit that I want to discuss is the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Many of us have achy, tense or sore hands from time to time. This pain can be attributed to long periods of gripping tightly, typically from holding a racket, golf club, long periods of typing, jobs that require large amounts of hand dexterity etc. These forces and activities of overuse aggravate the muscles and tendons in your hand, wrist and forearm creating inflammation and tension.
We use our hands everyday so finding time to rest them for more than the time we sleep is hard to come by. The muscles and tendons need to let nutrients and blood flow freely to help the healing process. When we receive trauma to our muscles, they tense and tighten inhibiting adequate flow of these essential nutrients. Also prohibiting the lymphatic flow which removes waste trough the circulatory system.
Castor oil is known to have a significant increase in the production of lymphocytes (disease-fighting cells of the immune system). With the anti-inflammatory properties to relieve muscle swelling, in addition to the increased lymphatic flow, pain and tension is greatly reduced, giving adequate relief as well as starting the healing process.
By rubbing a dime size amount on the hands before bed can greatly help relieve and prevent pain and tension.
Author - Michael Coles
Why Do I Feel Sore After Strenuous Exercise?
We all know that exercising can leave our muscles feeling sore and stiff. The question is WHY? Why do my muscles feel achy and sore to the touch. How come I am stiff in the morning getting out of bed?
Here is why:
Muscles need energy
Our body produces energy to sustain extended periods of muscle exertion. Our body needs oxygen to perform this process which is called aerobic respiration.
This process is done by converting glucose (sugar) into pyruvate (an organic acid that supplies energy to living cells). This is done when aerobic activity is present. Over the course of exercise, lactate or lactic acid is produced from pyruvate. In short, this chemical compound helps maintain energy production throughout the length of activity in which lactate concentration rises.
Imagine a camera inside of a beer cask that is in the fermentation stage. Initially it is just water, yeast and hops (or whatever else you throw in), then the carbohydrates and the yeast introduced begins to turn into alcohol. The longer it sits the more sediment builds and the cloudier it becomes. Then it is filtered out and we have a delicious brew.
But what if it wasn't filtered? This process applies to our muscles as well. If this sediment builds up in our muscles and is not removed, our muscles react accordingly. We get sore and stiff! Lactic acid is exactly that... an acid, it irritates the muscle fibers as well as putting the body through strenuous activity causing them to swell and stiffen.
Here is another analogy.... Imagine now that you are at your sink about to do the dishes. You have a sponge in one hand and a plate in the other covered in spaghetti sauce, but before you get the sponge wet you start to clean the plate. You will notice that the spaghetti sauce just smears around the plate, the sponge doesn't soak up the sauce and it just a bigger mess. This obviously is not cleaning the plate. Now, rinse the sponge under the running faucet and allow the clean and fresh water to saturate the dry sponge and flush out all the sauce and impurities it is holding. This analogy also applies to your muscles. Lactic acid build-up, impurities from chemicals, artificial dyes, and sediment settle in your muscles and need to be flushed out.
Here's how you can reduce the amount of impurities in your body to reduce muscle soreness and increase athletic performance:
Drink adequate amounts of water
We need water to flush out the muscles as does the sponge for cleaning. We need water for proper organ function and to clean the blood as well. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even when not exercising.
You work diligently and may forget to drink water. Here is a way to help you stay hydrated at work.
Health Hack: Find a aesthetically pleasing bottle. Fill it with tap water and sit it on your desk in a in eyes view. When you look at it and your body is thirsty it will trigger you to think about drinking. Have another bottle with filtered water handy or get up and go to the water cooler. Taking a many small sips throughout the day can help give the body the hydration it needs to keep you functioning well.
The water we drink needs help flushing the muscles. Stretching contracts and elongates the muscle fibers to help excrete metabolic waste and pull in water, blood and needed nutrients for tissue repair. Stretching also helps keeps our joints and skeletal system healthy. Creating space between the joints allows the cartilage and bursa to stay healthy by allowing blood and bursa fluid to enter the joint space. This allows your joints to move freely without pain. The tighter your joints are, the less movement you have and you increase the risk of muscle injury.
Foam rolling is a great addition to your stretching routine. All you need is 5 minutes of rolling before exercise to stimulate blood flow and prepare the nervous system and 5 minutes after exercise to help stimulate waste elimination. Imaging pulling an inflated balloon on both ends away from each other. Then visualize someone compressing the balloon from the top and bottom. If this balloon was porous the air would start to seep out. Foam rolling compresses your congested muscle fibers and helps to excrete metabolic waste.
Call and ask about my personalized foam rolling class to show you how to use the foam roller properly for your best recovery.
Regular Sports Massage, Thai or Shiatsu
Getting Sports Massage sessions regularly:
- Re-balances postural misalignment that contributes to hip, knee and foot pain.
- Improves waste elimination to minimize muscle soreness
- Improves joint health
- Increases flexibility
- Facilitates faster tissue healing
- Increases athletic performance.