Live Your Best Life

 

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New Years is a time of reflection, goal planning and reinvigorating our commitments to live the best life possible. If we renew our focus on our health, wellness and social networks, we can increase our energy to pursue the things we believe are important. Here are a few tips that will help you to rest and recover from all the fun and indulgences of the past few days. These will get you back on track and ready to take on the year ahead with revitalized energy.

  1. Start the year with exercise or planned activity. 

After the abundance of delicious foods and drinks over the past weeks you might feel like it’s time to curl up and take a long winter’s nap. Resist, please. Motion is energy! You don’t have to go out hard, start with gentle exercise like a yoga class, a walk around the block, or some light stretching all will get your blood flowing, and help your digestive system process the indulgences. Walking by yourself provides opportunity to reflect, meditate and organize your thoughts. Walking with a neighbour, colleague or friend, builds vital social networks.  For some ideas about how to move more in your daily life – park farther away from the grocery store door, turn music on and take a few dance steps as you move about the house….

Allison’s Tip: Exercise stimulates the natural contractions of the intestinal muscles and helps to move waste products out of your system.  Good elimination helps to reduce bloating and makes you feel lighter. Remember to drink lots of water to help your body flush out waste and restore your energy.

Your Plan: How will you get back in motion?________________________________ Take a few minutes to jot down your back in motion activities.  

2. Gentle exercise is revitalizing and restorative
You might be wondering why gentle vs vigorous exercise. A good heart-pumping workout can be great, but after a busy time when energy levels are low, slowing down helps the body recharge. Some of us love to push our bodies, but we don’t want to push right into adrenal fatigue or exhaustion. Honoring the body, like you’ve honored the festivities, will get you back on track and ready to live your best life.

Allison’s Tip: If you have been relaxing without heart raising exercise for more than a week or feel tired, exercise for no more than 20 mins at a time until you build back up to a level where you can sustain the exercise and feel invigorated and refreshed.  

Your Plan: What gentle exercise will you do today? _________________________________________

3. Timing is everything
You’ll want to give yourself an hour after eating before you start touching your toes and exercising. This first hour is dedicated to digestion. Exercising too soon after eating slows down the digestive process and can lead to bloating, hiccups, gas, nausea and constipation says Dr. Daniel Vigil, health sciences associate clinical professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Allison’s Tip: One hour after eating, decide if you want an invigorating walk, a cosy waltz in the living room with your partner or grandchild, or some time to reflect on your good fortune as you walk in the crisp air. Try to exercise for at least 20 mins at least once a day. 

Your Plan: What do you feel like doing for 20 mins that will raise your heart rate today? ____________________

4. Share your restorative tips: Share your tips in the comments below.

If you would like to kick off 2016 with an assessment by Allison click here.

I hope you have a fantastic New Years and use these tips to welcome in a restorative post party weekend that will up your energy and help you live your best life in 2016.

Share your restorative tips below, I love to engage and share the love.

Here’s to your best 2016!!!!

Allison

Chicken Bone Broth

chicken bone brothWhen joint pain, foggy brain, resistant weight loss, bloating, dry hair, wrinkles, and brittle nails get you down.  Try this natural energy and health-boosting bone broth.

As a person with autoimmunity and a leaky gut (listen from 0.34 sec to learn what autoimmunity and leaky gut are), bone broth is part of my day.  I get it into the families diet any way I can.

Commercial stocks contain preservatives that don’t support your health.   Bone broth is easy to make, is loaded with nutrients, tastes amazing and will make your home will smell divine.

The secret ingredient is chicken feet. Chicken feet have a high collagen and gelatin content. Both are critical to looking and feeling great.

As we age, the body produces less collagen which leads to sagging skin, wrinkles and achy joints.  Boosting the amount of collagen in our diet is one way to keep our skin looking good, and keeping our joints mobile and pain-free. Gelatin is a protein-packed superfood that builds strong, beautiful hair and nails. 

2:28 if you aren’t feeling fantastic, sleeping great, if you’ve had diarrhea or constipation issues this broth will help.

Here’s the recipe

  • organic chicken feet
  • backs and necks of organic chicken
  • 4 organic carrots
  • 4 celery stalks
  • one onion
  • garlic 5 cloves
  • 3 tbsps (75 ml) apple cider vinegar

Fill stock pot and place on burner on high.  Bring to a boil, skim off any brown gunk and turn it low heat and let it go for 36 hours.  Check periodically to ensure top up the water level.

Prep time 7 minutes.

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I buy my bones from an organic supplier which is a great savings.  TK farms deliver once a month to Calgary.

You’ll want to get organic soy free bones for your stocks.  These provide the greatest health benefits and don’t add nasty toxins to your diet.  You are what you eat as well as what you absorb, so eat quality and work on healing your gut.

Hugs Allison

Shoot me your questions in the comments or e-mail me by clicking contact in the top bar.

FYI here is my TK order so you can see the costs of the goods.

 Final Order Summary:
The following is the FINAL TOTAL for your order.

Product Qty Price Subtotal
Soy-Free Free Range Chicken Backs and Necks 6 $7.85 $47.10
Soy-Free Free Range Chicken Feet 6 $4.00 $24.00
Soy-Free Free Range Chicken Breasts – 675 grams 0 $18.65 $0.00
Beef Bratwurst Sausages 5 $9.00 $45.00
Beef Marrow Joint/Knuckle Soup Bones – 1.10 kgs 1 $6.35 $6.35
Beef Marrow Soup Bones – 350 grams 1 $3.65 $3.65
Soy-Free Free Range Chicken Breasts – 625 grams

Spare Tire the Rite of Passage to Middle Age: Lose it to Up Your Energy

fat bellySpare tire alert!! Reaching middle age, I see the slow insidious creep of waistline expansion amongst my friends and counterparts. It almost seems like the spare tire is a rite of passage to moving into your 50’s. You don’t have to look far to see that this is applicable to the wider population too, and it’s time to get a handle on it.

When I see people with a spare tire or two, I don’t blame them or think they are lazy. Quite the contrary. It infuriates me. It’s not their fault, ok yes we all choose what goes into our mouths but advertising is abounding with subliminal messages to entice money out of our pockets and crap into our mouths.

These messages are unethical and misleading. For example, a magazine add shows people laughing and having fun while eating and drinking any number of highly processed foods. They do this because if they advertised, “Get your spare tire here,” or “Buy our highly processed chemicalized convenience foods and we’ll guarantee you’ll become sick, fat, anxious and miserable,” their profit margins would suck.

You would be better off, but they don’t care about your health.

To the rescue, the local health food store is only too happy to oblige your health seeking efforts. If you’ve spent anytime here, you’ll know they house packaged processed food that you can spend wads of money on. FYI, gluten free prepackaged cookies or bread products aren’t going to give you the life, health or body you want.

And let’s face it, convenience is convenient, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

Let’s get to the root of the problem.

Highly processed, packaged and fast food is toxic and will make you sick, fat and miserable in proportion to the amount you eat. Think McDonalds and the famous supersize me film. You’re not going to eat fast food or processed food all day every day, but if you are eating food out of a package or can, you are indeed eating processed food, maybe even everyday.

I propose an alternative, one that you can keep tucked away at the front of your mind, that if you choose to live by will reduce your disease and your waistline. What, no spare tire…can we really be middle aged and have a waist?

If you’re ready to say goodbye to this middle age rite of passage, I offer you this formula/strategy to live by.

Formula for a Healthy – Balanced Diet – Waistline and Life

↓Fast and packaged food ↑ Real food*** = ↑Energy, ↑Health ↑Moods

*** fruits, vegetables, legumes, organic grass fed beef, lamb, pork, free range chicken, nuts and seeds and healthy fat

Why this formula works

Our bodies have a limited number of responses to an infinite number of assaults. When we reduce our exposure to chemicals and toxins, ie highly processed, packaged and fast foods, we help our digestive system do its job. Which is to digest and assimilate.

With healthy food choices, your diet has a high ratio of real foods to processed foods.  This optimizes your bodies ability to digest more efficiently and that’s a good thing for your energy and your overall health.

We aren’t what we eat, we are what we can digest and we can’t digest processed crap.  In fact, it depletes our bodies of nutrients

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m not saying NEVER, unless of course you’re perfect and NEVER is a word you can live with.  Personally, I’m far from perfect. I have my vices, chips, and I love them. I don’t want to live with NEVER words, except when I have to because of disease, i.e. Celiac disease.

It’s a matter of quantity and frequency versus perfectionism.  

You have a choice. I hope you’ll carry this formula with you and incorporate it into your daily life. When you cut down or reduce your intake of processed and packaged foods and replace them with real food, you’ll have more energy, you’ll feel amazing and you’ll watch your spare tire deflate and drift away forever.

What will you choose?

Leave a comment to share your trials and tribulations when trying to eat a healthy balanced diet.

Kiss your tire bye-bye,

Love Allison,

Image courtesy of stockimages at freedigitalphotos.net

Quell Second Brain Retaliation To Up Your Energy

good-bye VictorArgh, My husband left and I’m experiencing second brain retaliation.   In case you’re wondering, the second brain is your gut “inside your belly”.

The gut is the control center for our mood.  Did you know both your gut health and your mood are influenced by what you eat and drink?  I believe our diets might even trump our real brain when it comes to managing our emotions.

Let me explain.

For years, the medical world has been trying to figure out what causes our moods to change. Specifically, what causes stress, anxiety, and the occasional bout of mild depression. These states are common, and yes, even the most stable person can feel down or agitated, trust me I speak from personal experience.  Did I hear you breath a sigh of relief?  Ah it’s good to be normal.  Anyway….

Mood and these feelings can be linked to low serotonin levels.   Serotonin is a chemical that works like a neurotransmitter, and is long believed to affect mood. Basically, when you are producing adequate levels of serotonin you feel good, better, happier.

95% of serotonin is produced in the gut.  That’s right, our gut does a whole lot more than simply digest food.  Our gut health, amongst other things, impacts on our mood.

Junk in = crap mood.

You probably already knew that from experience.  Here’s how this played out in my 9 year old recently.  I took Valen to the Keg for dinner, yes spoilt little girl.  She ordered a berry smoothie, not my berry smoothie, with our appetizer and literally 10 minutes after gulping it down, before our meal even arrived, she was laying on the couch saying mom I’m tired, I’d like to go home.  “Say what!!!” was my response.

Back to gut retaliation and how to increase energy 

During Vic’s holiday I took the liberty of enjoying a few things that are usually off my plate, cheese was top of the list and yes, cheese wrecks havoc on my digestive system and my mood.  For me the effects aren’t  immediate, they kick in till around 60-72 hours after eating the cheese.  Hence, by the time I put him on the plane I was feeling rather down.

It’s normal it be down when saying see-ay-later to a loved one, but this was more.  This was compounded by the lack of serotonin being produced in my gut as a result of eating crap food.  What is your crap food, the food that causes you to feel blah????

Cleaning up getting balance back

Our gut consists of bacteria and as with ourselves the more balanced it is the more balanced our mood. Funny that a healthy lifestyle includes a balanced gut microbial (bacteria). The gut and brain work together, so if one is out of balance so to with the other be.

Balance the Gut Bacteria

The best way to restore healthy gut bacteria and serotonin production is to eat healthy bacteria producing foods, such a probiotics that balance the gut bacteria.  Great foods are those that are fermented like Kiefer, if you can handle dairy, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, and cultured products like yogurt.  These are natural sources of probiotics, and provide good gut balancing bacteria.  Sorry, cheese, though cultured, doesn’t qualify as a food that creates healthy gut bacteria.  But that’s a whole other discussion.

How would I know if my gut bacteria is healthy?

Tell tale symptoms of an unhealthy gut include gas, bloating, nausea, sugar cravings, mood issues and more.  Did you know your gut could be the root of your sugar cravings?

What happens when the gut micro biome is balanced

Keeping a healthy gut in check will help you to:

  • Digest food properly,
  • Absorb vital nutrients,
  • Maintain a healthy state of mind aka your mood
  • Minimize the sugar cravings.
  • Feel better in general and have more energy

With Vic away, I’m back to my regular diet and eating Kimchi, my new favorite fermented food, at each meal.  Making small changes like adding 1 tablespoon of fermented foods at each meal will help you balance your gut and reduce or prevent 2nd brain retaliation.  

Fermented foods are available in the cold section of your grocer or health food store.  These are foods to rush out an try.

I’d love to hear your comments on fermented probiotics.  Leave a comment to let me know your favorite one or share a recipe so we can all save money and make your own.

Here’s to you, your healthy gut, happy moods and energy to boot.

If you have questions or comments leave them below, or click here to discuss off-line..

Hugs, Allison

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Up Your Energy: Improve Your Elimination for Better Digestion

 

Fiber helps with elimination

Fiber helps with elimination

How is your digestion? What a strange question, but if you’re scratching your head wondering 1) how to answer or 2)what digestion has to do with your energy levels, then keep reading.

Digestion and elimination are great indicators of your health status.

What is good digestive health?

This is a BIG topic!  Let’s start in the bathroom with elimination – not Terminator elimination – I’m a big fan of Arnold’s movies- rather the kind that carries undigested food and toxins out of your body.

Terminology first – the lovely light brown log that exits your bottom and dives into the toilet is affectionately called poo, poop, stool, feces or other colorful names. Whatever you choose to call it, elimination is an important bodily function.

That poop says a lot about your digestive health. It tells you:

  • The transit time – how quickly food moves through the digestive track from eating to flush
  • How effectively your digestive enzymes are working
  • How effectively you digest and absorb fat
  • How your liver is functioning
  • …and more!

This is important stuff. So, how is your poop?

Do you have:

  • 1-3 bowel movements a day, or minimum 3 times a week?
  • Stools that dive into the water? – no splash
  • Stools that break apart when you flush?
  • Stools that slip out without straining?
  • Stools that don’t stink, no foul odor? – if you have to turn on the fan, light a match or spray chemicals …it’s not a good sign.
  • Absence of pain, bloating or discomfort?

Yes to all? Congrats, you get a high five!! You have healthy elimination and healthy digestion.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to call you out, but if you didn’t get a high five, it’s time to do some exploration, visit your doctor and/or touch base with your friendly nutritionist – me – to explore the root cause of your digestive issue.

Great energy, health and mental clarity stem from a healthy digestive system.

If you aren’t ready to talk to anyone about your elimination issues, here are a few things you can do at home.

4 Actions to Improve Your Elimination

These are simple lifestyle choices that will help you improve your elimination, make you feel better, increase your energy and improve your digestion.

Can you improve your elimination and digestive health?

Absolutely!

In the 11-day Energy Reboot, I’ll show you how.

Take the actions you’ll feel better and that’s a great thing.

Sending you light, love and happy digestion.

Love Allison xo

 

Share this with your friends or family to help inform others of the  the link between digestive health and energy.