Category: Healthy Living

Simple Strategies To Boost Your Health

Simple Strategies To Boost Your Health

We all want to be healthy, but that means an entire lifestyle overhaul, right? Actually, no. You don’t have to hit the gym seven days each week or switch to nothing but tofu and kale to take control of your health from your head to your toes. There are a few simple strategies that you can employ each day that will help you be your best. Here are five.

Go outside.

There are a ridiculous number of reasons to go outside. Not only does time in nature help reduce stress, but being in the fresh air can also have a positive impact on your immune system. Further, being in the sunshine helps your body produce vitamin D, which is a vital nutrient. If you’ve never been one to commune with nature, start with taking a class from Outdoor Fitness Brevard offers one-hour guided fitness classes throughout locations in Brevard and Transylvania County.

Upgrade your employment.

Stress is sadly common in every workplace and America. If you find that your job leaves a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach (or you simply think you were meant for more), it’s time to make a change. But, if you can’t just up and quit, you have two options: go back to school online or start your own business.

If you choose the school route, consider earning a degree in an in-demand field, such as health administration or information technology. There are plenty of fully accredited schools that offer classes online, often at a more affordable rate than a brick-and-mortar location. If entrepreneurship is more your forte, make sure that you are motivated, dedicated, and organized, and then start small. Either option will allow you to continue working to provide for your family while also working toward your future.

Add more fruits and veggies to your plate.

Produce is an important part of your diet. Statistically, only about 10% of us actually eat enough of the fruits and vegetables we need each day. It’s time to change that for yourself. Make a conscious effort to replace some of the processed food you eat – macaroni and cheese, fruit snacks, white bread – with peppers, tomatoes, oranges, avocados, spinach, and other foods in a variety of colors. By changing things up a bit, you’ll enjoy eating fewer calories while giving your body a healthy variety of vitamins and minerals.

Drink mocktails.

Even if you’re a social drinker, alcohol can damage your mind and body. According to Mountainside Addiction Treatment Center, drinking can increase your chances of being hurt in an accident, it can damage your sleep quality, and can leave you feeling anxious and sad. This doesn’t mean you have to give up happy hour, but consider switching to a mocktail so that you can be a part of the festivities without giving yourself a headache the next morning.

Clear your calendar.

Speaking of mornings, do you find yourself begrudgingly getting out of bed each day? If so, there’s a good chance you’re probably not getting enough sleep. Overextending yourself for work, family, or social obligations can leave you worn out and ready to crash.

Make a point to clear your daily calendar so that you can get enough sleep each day. While this might mean saying no, leaving work before you’re actually done, or not finishing the laundry, you owe it to yourself to reclaim some of your time. In addition to getting enough sleep, retaking your own hours means you can focus on something for you, such as a hobby or time with your spouse or partner.

While adding healthy activities to each day does require some lifestyle changes, you can still enjoy all of the things you love, just with better health and more energy. Start by making a conscious decision to live your best life. All it takes is one smart choice to get you started, and you may soon find that one healthy decision will lead to a lifetime of wellness.

Written by Jennifer McGregor

How To Stay Healthy This Holiday

How To Stay Healthy This Holiday

How To Stay Healthy During The Holidays

  1. Celebrate Only for One Day – Enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas! It’s okay to indulge a little on these two days but not for the whole season. Did you know you can cripple your immune system for up to 5 hours after eating sugar! Glucose, fructose and sucrose all significantly decrease the bodies ability to respond to invading microbes.
  2. Stay Active – The lymphatic system, the system that gets rid of our waste is dependent on muscular contractions because it doesn’t have a pump. In order to keep the immune system working well we need to move. Even if it’s just walking around the house.
  3. Take Time for Yourself – Whether it’s taking a 1 min deep breathing break during your day, going to sleep early or just daydreaming for 5 mins. We need to set breaks into our day to keep our minds healthy. 
  4. Have a Healthy Mindset – This season cannot be an all or nothing effort. Expect the unexpected and have a plan to keep you accountable.
7 Ways To Reduce Stress

7 Ways To Reduce Stress

It’s been shown pretty clearly that as daylight decreass, starting in fall, people will have more feelings of deprssion and anxiety. If there are feelings of depression and anxiety they will report stress.” Dr. Elinre McCance-Katz Psychiatrist and chief Medical officer at HHS.

7 Ways To Reduce Stress

1. Exercise – At least 10 mins per day

2. Practice Deep Breathing –  Take 2-5 mins per day

3. Eat Stress Reducing Foods – Almonds, Oatmeal, Turkey, Greens, Oranges, Blueberries, Avocado, Salmon

4. Laugh – Look up jokes on the internet or just pretend to laugh. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.

5. Be Grateful – Make a list of things you are grateful for.

6. Meditate – Take a few minutes to think of positive and healing thoughts.

7. Light a Candle or Diffuse Essential Oil – Scents that work well to help fight stress: Lavender, Rose, Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Orange Blossom

5 Habits For a Healthier You

5 Habits For a Healthier You

1. Mindful Self Talk – How do you view yourself? Positive self talk can boost your confidence, eliminate stress and help improve performance.

2. 5 Color Meals – Make half your plate fruits or veggies.

3. Breathe – Dedicate 1 – 5 minutes per day to deep breathing to relax, detox and refresh the mind.

4. Move for 10 –  Only 10 minutes of exercise a day has been shown to enhance immune function, boost endorphins and improve general fitness.

5. Have Enjoyment Everyday – Do something that makes you smile everyday. Watch something that makes you laugh, take a fitness class, call a friend, play a game, dance, ect.

Are you an emotional eater?

Are you an emotional eater?

Do you eat when you are not hungry?
Do you eat when you are bored?
Do you eat when anxious or stressed?
Do you have sudden hunger that needs to be satisfied instantly?
Do you binge eat?
Do you reward yourself with food?
Do you feel powerless or out of control around food?

If you answer yes to any of these questions you could be an emotional eater.

Why does it occur?Food is pleasurable – When we eat palatable food high in sugar and fats, opioids (narcotics) are released; opioids are substances that target the brain’s reward center. Opioids affect the brain by attaching to receptors and once attached, the brain sends signals to ease pain and stress and to calm down. Other well-known opioids include codeine, hydrocodon and methadone. The feeling these substances cause keep you coming back for more.

Identify your triggers

Childhood habits
Social influences

Potential ways to avoid eating

Depression – Call Someone, Look at photos or Listen to up-beat music

Anxiety – Dance, Take a walk, Tap acupressure points, Rest one hand on your forehead and other on the back of your neck

Exhaustion – Drink tea, Take a bath, Wrap up in blanket

Boredom – Read, Watch TV, Go Outdoors, Make a bucket list

Stress – Scream, Exercise, Meditate, Find things that give you a release

Childhood habits – Reflect on memories, Remove yourself from familiar situations

Social Influences – Activity with friends, Keep a food log and note your mood

Mindful Eating

Develop awareness of your eating habits and pause before engaging in old behaviors. Become mindful and learn how to stay in control of your emotions.

1. Eat before you are “starving” – when you are very hungry most times you do not care what you eat

2. Start with a small portion – use smaller plates

3. Appreciate your food – strip away all distractions, immerse in your food experience, and show appreciation before you dig in

4. Take it all in – use all your senses when dining: smell the aromas, feel the textures on your tongue, notice the colors, taste the spices and hear the sound it makes when you chew

5. Take small bites and eat slowly – it’s easier to taste food when your mouth isn’t full

Emotional eating is powerful and an undeniable way to reduce pain, yet it can also be detrimental to your health. Through commitment, patience and strength, it is possible to break the cycle!

Amanda Chalifour

Drinking more water is not the answer for keeping you well hydrated

Drinking more water is not the answer for keeping you well hydrated

Now that it’s summer and most of us are sweating more, learning to properly hydrate is important. Re-hydrating with water doesn’t replenish the electrolytes lost in sweat, and drinking too much water can lead to hyponatremia, another form of water intoxication; this is when sodium levels in the body become too diluted.

Signs you’re drinking too much water
* If your urine is clear (should be straw color)
* Constantly going to the bathroom
* Swelling or discoloration in your hands, lips or feet

Hyponatremia (low sodium) Symptoms
* Dizziness
* Fatigue
* Thirst
* Nausea
* Headache
* Cramping

Low Electrolyte Symptoms
* Fatigue
* Weakness
* Twitching
* Muscle spasm

Dehydration Symptoms
* Fatigue
* Thirst
* Muscle cramps
* Headache
* Nausea
* Dark Urine
* Dry Mouth, Eyes, Skin

How do cells hydrate?

Water is absorbed into cells via electrolytes such as sodium. Traces of sodium in the bloodstream enter the cell and carry water molecules with it.

If we do not have the proper amount of electrolytes in the body our cells won’t get enough water.

What is an electrolyte?
Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Sodium. Not only do electrolytes help hydrate the body, it uses them to conduct electricity as well. Electrolytes become ions in solution and conduct electricity. The human body uses these ions for muscle contractions and transmission of nerve impulses.

Electrolyte Sources
* Electrolyte powder (I recommend Celtic Sea Salt Electrolyte powder)
* Coconut water
* Sport drinks (contain very high in sugar and food colorings)
* Athletes can use mineral supplements (CAL-AMO, Trace Minerals and B12)
* Make your own electrolyte solution

Electrolyte Solution Recipe
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups filtered water or raw coconut water
2 tbsp organic honey or maple syrup
1/8 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt or Celtic Sea Salt (table salt does not contain vital trace minerals)

Work hard and sweat on!

Amanda Chalifour

3 Everyday Items that could be toxic

3 Everyday Items that could be toxic

3 Possible Toxic Everyday Items
The term toxic is defined as a poisonous material capable of causing injury or death. Now these items are not going to cause a sudden death but over time they could cause damage to the detoxification organs. These organs are the skin, respiratory system, immune system, intestines, liver, and kidneys. Limiting toxic exposure can benefit the whole body.

1. Tap Water – many prescription drugs have been found in the nation’s water supply. The drugs enter the water supply simply by people taking pills, their body absorbs some of it, but the rest is excreted out and flushed down the toilet.

What’s worst is the EPA says there are no sewage treatment systems specifically engineered to remove pharmaceuticals.

* How to limit exposure *
* Home filtration system
* Reverse Osmosis
* Distill water with Filter

What about bottled water? Don’t count on it, many are bottled from the tap.

More Info:
APNews –

Baseline of Health Foundation –

2. Plastics – Most plastics leach hormone – like chemicals. A study at the University of Texas gathered 450 plastic items from local stores and found that 70 percent of the items released chemicals that acted like estrogen and that was before exposed to real life conditions.

What about BPA Free? A team concentrated on BPA- free baby bottles and water bottles reported that all of them released chemicals having estrogenic activity.

Impact of high levels of estrogen in the body:

In Females
– Weight gain
– Menstrual Problems
– Fatigue
– Feeling depressed or anxious

In Males
– Enlarged Breasts
– Infertility
– Loss of muscle mass
– Depression

* How to Limit Exposure*
* Use glass food containers
* Use real silverware and dishes instead of plastic
* Use glass or stainless steel water bottle
* Buy toys that are made from wood

More Info:

Hormone Network :

3. Food Colorings – Most common are Blue #1 #2 ,Yellow #5, #6, Red #40

Blue #1 Banned in Norway, Finland and France.
Yellow #5 Banned in Norway and Austria.

Studies have shown a connection with dyes and ADHD and Cancer.

* How to Limit Exposure*
* Read food labels
* Use natural food coloring instead
* Read all labels because these dyes are found in a variety of other products like lotions and cosmetics

More Info:
ABC News :

PubMed Health :

Do not let this information frighten you but encourage you to make healthier choices.

Peace To You,

Amanda Chalifour