Browse Month: February 2016

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Drink your vegetables!

We can all remember mom shouting “eat your vegetables” as we grudgingly forced down that cold broccoli that even Fido wouldn’t eat.  I think back to our poor dog and it’s no wonder he lived so long!  Lots and lots of vegetables over the course of my childhood were slipped under the table when my mom was looking the other way.  Sadly, man’s best friend, no matter how much love and good nutrition you give him, doesn’t live forever.  Thankfully I have learned to love vegetables!  I can’t say I am the biggest fan of brussels sprouts, but for the most part I now actually enjoy my veggies.  For those still less than enthusiastic (or without a willing pet) here’s the good news;  vegetables taste even better when you drink them!

And, we get a great deal more nutrition from a glass of fresh vegetable juice than from a serving of vegetables.   It’s just not as simple to get all of the necessary nutrients, phytonutrients and vitamins in cooked vegetables as it once was . The nutrient depleted soil we grow our vegetables in today requires us to eat more for the equivalent nutrition that our grandparents realized from the vegetables grown in their gardens.  Even more, the heat from cooking the vegetables kills the enzymes present in them.  By juicing raw vegetables we don’t destroy these valuable enzymes.  So getting in those 6-8 servings a day is much easier.  In a single glass of juice, we can get the same amount of nutrition that would require us to eat several servings of fruits and vegetables.

For those just getting started, the first step is naturally finding the right juicer.  Juicers can range from just over $30 to $2000.  While you don’t need to run out and spend a couple of grand, you do want to shy away from the cheaper models because they break easily, are very noisy and don’t produce good juice.  I personally own the  Champion Juicer , have for many years and highly recommend it.  The  Omega NC800 , also highly rated and a great performer, is what many colleagues of mine own and can’t boast enough about.

Next, make sure to choose fresh produce, and always get organic whenever possible.  Rinse well, and juice away.  Be creative!  The more variety you can squeeze in the better.  You’ll be amazed at how yummy they all taste when combined together.

Be sure to check in with us in the days ahead.  Healthy Habitude will be offering not only recipes, but also informational webinars, videos, juice fasts and group cleanses.  In the meantime, your juicer will come with a recipe book to get you started.  For those more eager to dive in, there are some great books available on Amazon.  One of the top selling books on juicing is The Juicing Bible . Aside from a number of great juice recipes, this book will help guide those with specific health concerns and is an excellent reference book to have as part of your library.

 

 

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Eat your medicine

The use of diet to treat illness is not a new notion.    “Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food”.  The father of medicine said this in the 4th century B.C.!  But Hippocrates was not the first to use food and plants to treat disease.  Medicine Men or Shamans in Prehistoric times used herbs and minerals for healing.  The first recorded dietary advice, was carved into a Babylonian stone tablet in 2500. In the 6th century B.C. China’s Ho the physician prescribed diets for disease.  And even in the Bible’s Book of Daniel we can find reference to an experiment in diet and health.  It makes one wonder why nutrition is considered “alternative” medicine; it can hardly be considered “new age” .

Fast forward to today:  One in Five Americans claim to be taking at least five prescription drugs in a given month, and nearly half of all Americans are currently taking one or more medications.  The trend to attempt to resolve all aches and pains with a pill, without any recommendation or consideration of preventative or lifestyle and dietary suggestions has become the basis of mainstream medicine.  I can remember being asked if I was on any medications at an office visit with my doctor; now it is more like how many with a double take when I proudly say “none”.  Thankfully, I have found a supportive doctor who has accepted after years of refusal that I am not going to ever fill the prescriptions he prescribes.  We have come to an understanding, and now he does all that he can to suggest a more natural remedy for me.  But the resistance of western medicine to accept alternative therapies as anything but pseudo-medicine is still sadly the norm and we have some way to go before that changes.  Still, a shift in attitude and in practice is happening one patient, and one doctor at a time.  While you may still find your doctor reaching for his prescription pad before suggesting an herb or food, you may find a more open mind regarding the relationship between diet and good health.

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It’s all about Balance

 

If you’re like most of us, juggling work, relationships, children, exercise and the many daily activities of living is easier said than done.  Trying to squeeze a vacation or even just some fun-time into an already hectic schedule is getting more and more difficult as our lives become more demanding.  Life in the fast lane seems to never slow down long enough to stop and smell the roses.  We work hard so we can afford the things in life we enjoy, but because we are so busy working, we many times skip the most important part of the process….the enjoying!  How many times have we had to give up that vacation in order to work?  Just how high a priority is that annual vacation anyway?

If time isn’t the problem, money most certainly is.  A recent survey found that the number one factor preventing Americans from taking that all important time out was expense.  More often than not, the travel budget is the first thing to go out the window when an unexpected bill comes up.  Sure, the house payment, insurance, food, utilities, the car payment ….all these take priority and the responsible thing is to put them first, right?

Not necessarily!  Where do “we” fit in priority-wise?  Researchers say that vacations rank among the most effective of de-stressing strategies, and stress gets top billing for the cause of many otherwise preventable illnesses.  For our health, relationships, family, and even our sanity we need to take a break from our hectic lives.  It doesn’t mean we need to travel across the globe, but we should find a way to fit a vacation in every year, even if only a low-cost, no-frill getaway.  Some of my favorite vacations were my family camping trips we took as kids.  It’s not the distance, or even the length of the holiday; even a long weekend will recharge your batteries.  And let’s not forget how important it is to re-kindle the romance after ten years of marriage!

Next time you sit down and work the budget, make sure to allocate a set amount into the “fun-fund” and,  just as if it were for the mortgage, the amount is set in stone and cannot be taken away from.  By the end of the year, without having to touch a credit card,  you can take a much needed, and well earned vacation.

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There are 7 days in a week. “Someday” is not one of them.

 

 

This is YOUR YEAR!  The year you finally make it happen! Land that perfect job… reach your target weight…take that trip of a lifetime.  Whatever it is that you feel will add to your happiness, the time to ask for it is now.  Not next year, not five years from now, but now.  We have all heard people say, “Time is precious, Life waits for no-one, No time like the present” and they’re right!  We all have the opportunity to change anything we are not 100% happy with in our lives.  It is up to us, not some outside source, to bring us happiness.  If you are unhappy at work, start looking for another job.  If you have always wanted to travel the world, put it out there.  Even if it seems impossible right now, make it your goal to change whatever it is in your life that you want to change.

The “how” is not so important; for now, just focus on the “what”.  Most say to be specific in your goals.  True, we should know exactly what it is we are asking for in our lives.  But, how it will come to be is something that is still an unknown.  We can find a million reasons why this will never happen or that can’t be.  The possibilities are limitless and opportunities have not yet been revealed.  It makes sense that we should remain open to all of them, even if we cannot even begin to imagine what they may be at this point in time. Just believe that somehow, someway, it WILL happen!

Get yourself a nice journal, put it near your bed and write in it every night before you go to sleep.  Make sure to include the things already in your life that make you happy, and add what it is that you would like to change to make it even better!

It is truly amazing to witness the power of intention at work in our lives.  Nonsense you say?  Try it!  It really does work.  I have found journals from many many years ago and like a checklist, one by one, all those “someday dreams” I had jotted down are now realities today.   If you want it bad enough, and it will serve you, it will come to fruition.  And while we can’t always control the timing, when we ask for it, it will come our way.

Think of all the things you have achieved in your life up to this point.  At one time, all these things in your life today were just ideas, goals, desires.  Things you wanted someday.  And you made every one of them real.  Draw on those successes.  Remind yourself of how they came to be; some you probably worked very hard for; you wanted it so bad and nothing could stand in your way.  Then there are those that just seemed to come easy…those you can look back at in wonder and awe at how they just seemed to appear like magic!  You never in your wildest of imaginations could have conjured up the series of events that took place to get you there.  But you got there just the same.  Draw on those experiences if you need a reminder.  And never forget to be grateful for what you already have.