Thursday, December 13, 2018

5 Natural Solutions for Getting a Good Night's Sleep

In the equation for healthy living the recommendations usually include eating a healthy balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, exercise and getting a good night's sleep. These are general guidelines and what they mean can vary though from person to person. For example, every person needs a different amount of sleep, so what is a sufficient amount of sleep for one person may not be enough for another. You might even need different amounts of sleep on different nights depending on what's going on in your life. The quality of your sleep is also an important factor. Your quality of sleep determines how refreshed you feel when you wake up in the morning, and how much energy you have during the day.

The best way to determine how much sleep you need is to listen to your body. Pick a time when you don't have to be up at a certain time and experiment with waking up naturally instead of setting an alarm clock. See what time you wake up and how many hours you slept. Check in with how you feel with that amount of sleep, then adjust accordingly.

Sleep Deprivation and Insomnia
But what about for those who have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep. According to a study published in "USA Today" only 26% of Americans claim to get a good nights sleep only a few days a month and 24% of those surveyed claim to get a good nights sleep only a few days a week. Many sources report that Americans are sleep-deprived and lacking in daily energy. Most of those Americans reach for coffee in the morning and energy drinks in the afternoon. That of course leads to the energy crash that happens in the late afternoon or evening.

Natural Solutions To Help With Sleep
Here are some natural solutions that can help if you have insomnia or other sleep problems:

1. Train for Bedtime
Start training your body as to when it is time to sleep and when it is time to get up. Pick the same time each day to awaken and avoid naps during the day. Establish a nighttime routine that cues your body to get ready for sleep. Begin dimming the lights at least an hour before bedtime, put away all work and conflict situations. If you have things you are worried about, make a list and put it away in your calendar or day planner to deal with the next day. Instead engage in something calming such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, imagery, listening to soothing music, or taking a relaxing bath.

2. Herbs
There are herbs that can help some people with sleep problems. Valerian root and chamomile are two of these. Try incorporating slowly sipping a cup of Chamomile tea into your routine of relaxing before bedtime.

3. Exercise
Regular exercise can help with sleep problems. Do not include this in your bedtime routine however as it can also act as a stimulant. Exercise should be done at least 3 hours prior to your bedtime routine. Yoga and Tai Chi are good practices that have been found to be helpful with sleep problems.

4. Watch What You Eat
Eating a late meal or heavy snack before going to bed can activate your digestive system and keep you from being able to go to sleep. On the other hand, going to bed hungry can also prevent sleep. A light bedtime snack of complex carbohydrate or dairy foods like cereal and milk can be OK for some people.

5. Algae and Probiotics
Adding some probiotics and Super Blue Green Algae to your nightly regimen can really help you recharge while you sleep. 1-2 capsules before bed of algae with the cell wall removed, which is the core of the algae without the cell wall, relaxes the brain and allows you to get a peaceful night's rest. Adding 2-4 capsules of bifidus to your evening regimen can help ensure a restful sleep so you wake rested and confident. While digestive enzymes certainly help us digest our food, on a metaphysical level, they can also help us digest and "work through" the knotty problems of the day. If you're facing a difficult situation or problem and need some solutions, take 2-4 enzymes before bed. Chances are that you will awaken with the needed solution!



If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Natural Solutions for Weight Control During the Holidays

One of the many things we look forward to at the holidays is all the great holiday foods, but for the most part these traditional food treats don't fall into the healthy eating category. Between family dinners, holiday parties, community potlucks and grabbing fast food while traveling, there is lots of extra food around. Besides most of these holiday treats containing lots of sugar, fats and simple carbs, we also tend to overeat at holiday time. It's no wonder many of us enter the new year a few pounds heavier. And overeating can leave us miserable at the time too with heartburn, stomach cramping, diarrhea or constipation, and feeling heavy and bloated. Overeating puts pressure on the esophageal sphincter which is the muscle that is supposed to keep your food in the digestive areas, but when stuffed, food and acid are able to come back up resulting in heartburn or reflux. Just eating too much also puts added stress on the whole digestive system slowing it down causing constipation or stomach pain. Then of course there are all the added calories that if not burned off lead to weight gain which in itself can lead to digestive problems and pains. According to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor of nutrition and gastrointestinal physiology, Kelly A. Tappenden, PhD, RD, some foods in particular such as chocolate, coffee, alcohol, mints, and acidic foods are likely to cause acid reflux. Do any of these sound like holiday favorites that you overindulge in? I can think of a great many holiday treats containing these types of foods and with staying up late with family and late night travel, I know coffee is on my list of overindulgences at holiday time.

Part of the problem with holiday eating is that many of the foods are processed, canned and thoroughly cooked which means they don't have any enzymes working for you. These types of foods can lead to weight gain more readily than healthy foods and raw foods. Tufts University School of Medicine reported research findings that overweight people show a deficiency in the enzyme that digests fat, lipase. It's not only the foods themselves and how they are prepared that contribute to the weight gain we experience, but the stress of the holidays can also lead to overeating. When we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol which increases appetite and can lead to cravings for these less than healthy foods that are around in abundance at the holidays.

Natural Solutions to Holiday Overeating
Kelly A. Tappenden, PhD, RD, Russell Cohen, MD, and other experts advise planning ahead for the holidays and consciously planning to monitor the eating you do. You don't have to completely deprive yourself of holiday treats, but you also don't have to eat everything in sight. Just be aware of how much you indulge and be choosy about what and how much you will eat. Know in advance which parties or dinners you will be attending or what meals you will be eating out while traveling. For traveling it works well to pack some healthy snacks for the road or shop at an organic grocery type store to pick up pre-made meals instead of always eating out at restaurants. For parties and dinners, decide ahead of time how many treats you will allow yourself and stick to that plan. If you are really looking forward to your mom's homemade pie, then maybe you will skip on the mashed potatoes. Also look for veggies and healthier foods being served amongst all the holiday treats and opt for those when you can. Just exercising some moderation with smaller servings or a bite of several things rather than large scoops of each can help you from putting on too much excess weight and not leave you feeling miserable with digestive complaints after the meal. Some other tips to consider for holiday eating include:

Slow It Down – According to John Clarke, MD, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, eating slowly can help you avoid the discomforts to your digestive system and it can help keep you from overeating. Your system works better when not stuffed, so spreading out what enters the stomach at one time keeps your digestive system working better and acts as an appetite suppressant. Slow your meal down by taking your time in choosing what dishes you will indulge in, taking the time to chew and savor the taste, and spend some time visiting with others in between bites.

Go Easy on the Alcohol – What you drink during the holidays can be as important as what you eat, so consider it in your planning. Alcohol, soda, and coffee can all cause digestive problems, irritate the stomach and lead to heartburn. Drinking too much alcohol can also affect you mentally and lead you to make poorer choices in selecting foods to eat. Limit your alcohol consumption and be sure to drink plenty of water during the holidays as water will help keep your intestines moving well. If you do end up splurging too much and find yourself with diarrhea, then water is especially important to be drinking to rehydrate yourself.

Avoid Being a Couch Potato – The holidays are typically a time that we not only get off our normal exercise routines, but then we overeat and stretch out on the couch, sit in front of the TV, or go take a nap. If you can't keep up your regular exercise, then look for ways to get extra movement in. Walk in place while standing in line, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or just do a few jumping jacks when you get up in the morning. And get moving especially after eating a big meal. Get the family to go for a walk with you, walk around the house or neighborhood looking at decorations, or just take the family dog out walking. The main thing is to get your body moving to avoid stomach pain and heartburn from taking over.

Deal with Stress – That walk around the block can also help you deal with the extra stress the holidays tend to bring on and that can cause us to overeat. Stress also can contribute to digestive problems as cited in a study in 2010 that reported stress to be a factor in gastrointestinal disorder symptoms being worse. Russell Cohen, MD, professor of medicine at the Pritzker School of Medicine, advises knowing what conditions tend to stress you out and avoiding them. For example, if crowds are a stressor for you, then avoid going shopping on Black Friday or Christmas Eve, opting for online sales or Cyber Monday shopping instead. Make sure you plan time to get enough sleep too as lack of sleep can contribute to stress. Working in short periods of meditation or silent sitting and deep breathing can also help you in dealing with stress.

Eat Your Algae – Don't forget if you are traveling to pack your algae and digestive enzymes and eat them during the holidays. AFA bluegreen algae has amino acids that activate enzymes as well as minerals, vitamins and lots of great nutrition to offset the holiday foods you will be indulging in. The cholorophyll it contains helps nourish cells and support intestinal functions which means digestive support and reduced food cravings, the extra fiber it contains helps with toxic waste elimination and helps keep fat from being absorbed, a variety of branched-chain amino acids including leucine help metabolize fat, and the amino acids phenylalanine, arginine, and tyrosine help control appetite and reduce food cravings. Instead of having to carry around several bottles of algae, probiotics and enzymes when traveling, go for these convenient daily packets that will make it easy to get all this nutritional and digestive support without the hassle.

Doing some pre-planning for your holidays can help you have a more stress-free and enjoyable time. So take some time to not only plan out what you need to do to get ready for the holidays, but to make a plan for your holiday eating. Take control of your holiday eating by deciding in advance how much and what type of indulging you are comfortable with and that won't leave you regretting it later. Holidays should be something to look forward to; not dread thinking about weight gain. Just remember some of these holiday eating tips and commit to following the ones that are a fit for you.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.


Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/diarrhea-10/winter-holidays
http://www.empowher.com/indigestion/content/digestive-problems-during-holidays
http://www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health-pictures/holiday-season-digestive-culprits.aspx
Abrams, Karl J., Algae to the Rescue!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Getting Great Sleep During the Holidays

So many fun things to do around the holidays that sometimes getting enough sleep is a problem. And on top of that the holidays do bring on extra stress. Missing sleep and being stressed both can not only leave you grumpy and not so fun to be around, but can also add to weight gain. With all the extra eating at the holidays, who needs even more weight gain? Not me! You can get the sleep you need and control your stress with natural solutions so that you can enjoy all the holiday fun and those around you will be able to enjoy being around you.

Celebrate
Interacting and having fun with others is actually one way of dealing with stress. Less stress means easier to fall asleep at night. What better time to be able to engage with others than at the holidays. Women in particular, according to Shelly Taylor, PhD, a UCLA researcher, with good relationships with friends and their children tend to sleep better. Social engagements during the holidays can actually increase oxytocin levels that block stress chemicals.

Move It
Associate professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Dr. Kalyanakrishnan Ramakrishnan, reports that exercise is as beneficial to sleep as drugs taken for insomnia. University of Arizona studies corroborate this, reporting women walking even just 6 blocks a day had better sleep. This is due to exercise lowering the levels of stress hormones your body produces. Just by adding in physical movement to your day you can get to sleep quicker and increase your amount of sleep by as much as 42 minutes. Be sure to stop exercise within about 3 hours of going to bed though so your body has time to wind down and relax. Even if your holiday activities keep you from your normal exercise routine, find substitutions that you can do. Get friends and family to go for a walk with you, have a snowball fight, walk around a mall looking at decorations if the weather is bad; anything that gets your body moving will count.

Bedtime Snack
If you are already doing a lot of eating around the holidays you may not be hungry before bed, but just having a glass of milk with the amino acid tryptophan can help you get to sleep faster. Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, DO, MS, Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Cleveland Clinic, recommends something light before bed if you are hungry like fruit or granola with your glass of milk. Cheese and crackers make another good bedtime snack. There are other foods that are definitely not conducive to sleep that you should avoid like those with lots of sugar, processed carbohydrates, or with caffeine. You'll also find it easier to get to sleep and that you will have better sleep by stopping all eating about 2 hours before bedtime. If you eat a lot just before bed, your body is putting a lot of energy into digestion and not getting the down time it needs to rejuvenate. Be sure to go easy on the alcohol too at your celebrations. Alcohol may make you go to sleep faster but it interferes with your REM sleep so you don't get as good a quality of sleep.

Control Your Schedule and Domain
It's tempting to want to stay up late during the holidays attending parties or just visiting with family you maybe don't see very often, but keeping as close to possible to your regular bedtime will help you get the rest you need to keep up with all the holiday fun. Make your bedroom your domain that no one else (of course with the exception of your significant other) is allowed into. Take control of your schedule and your domain by making sure both help you get the sleep your body needs to refresh itself. When you start feeling tired, don't push yourself to stay up just because everyone else is. Instead excuse yourself and go to bed. There's always more time to visit tomorrow. If you feel there is a special event you don't want to miss that will keep you up late, then plan for it with a nap earlier in the afternoon. In addition to controlling your schedule to make sure you have enough sleep time, take control of your bedroom environment making it conducive to better sleep. For example, before going to bed for the night, start dimming the lights as this will help your body produce melatonin which is the hormone responsible for regulating your circadian rhythm that is responsible for the cycle of sleeping and waking the body goes through. Making the room as dark as possible, using low watt light bulbs, avoiding the TV or computer which give off light much like daylight, turning off outside Christmas lights, and any other light sources right before bed can help you get better sleep.

Supplement Your Sleep
Taking one or two capsules of AFA bluegreen algae, especially the form with the cell wall removed, can support relaxation in the brain and allow you to get a peaceful night's rest. Adding some probiotics to this such as two to four capsules of bifidus can help with digestive symptoms that may interfere with sleep and lead to more restful sleep as this type of bacteria aid in producing the calming and soothing B-vitamins that can help you relax and wind down at night. Taking digestive enzymes throughout the day, at meals and in between, can help your body digest all the extra foods you may indulge in at the holidays. This extra digestive support leaves your body free to take a break when it's time to sleep instead of having to keep going and expending energy on digestion. And if you are traveling or just attending a lot of holiday events away from home, you'll find these packets of AFA, probiotics, and enzymes are easy to slip in your purse or wallet to take with you.

You can still have fun at the holidays without wearing yourself to a frazzle. Make sure you take time to enjoy your holidays, but take good care of yourself too by making sure you get good quality sleep. Lower stress and better sleep sounds like a great holiday gift to give yourself.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.

Sources:
http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/sleep/6-ways-to-sleep-better-during-the-holidays#S7IE26LTriy2dVwP.97
http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2014/11/7-ways-to-get-better-sleep-during-the-holidays/
http://www.alaskasleep.com/blog/sleep-tips-for-the-holidays

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Healthy Living for Improved Immunity

For improved immunity there are healthy living steps you can take. No one likes being sick and keeping our immune systems healthy is something we can do to prevent or cut down on the amount of sick days we have to endure. The immune system is our defense system so working towards improved immunity is a big step in the direction to healthy living.

Improved Immunity From the Outside
Many people don't think of skin as part of the immune system, but it is actually our first line of defense in protecting the body from pathogens and protecting against the damaging effects of free radicals. Having healthy skin is a two part process. What you put on the inside of your body and what you put on the outside both contribute. For the inside, a healthy diet, plenty of fresh water, and sufficient exercise are important. For the outside, protection from sun damage by wearing a hat and long sleeves when outside in the sun, using a good sunscreen and nourishing the skin are all important. When looking for a skin lotion, consider not just what is in it, but also what is not in it. I like this lotion that is full of food-grade nutrients my skin craves, like vitamin E, organic blue-green algae, and wholesome oils, all of which work together to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, encourage skin cell renewal, stimulate the skin's immune system, and help protect against the effects of free radicals. Besides what it does have in it, it also does not have things that I don't want on my skin such as parabens, synthetics, and petrochemicals. This lotion has the added bonus of WGP Beta Glucan which is a powerful immunomodulator.

Improved Immunity From the Inside
Antioxidants –
Adding foods with antioxidants to your diet can give you a boost towards improved immunity. Antioxidants fight off free radicals that can damage healthy body cells. Since our bodies do not produce enough antioxidants naturally to deal sufficiently with free radicals we can get more of the antioxidant vitamins, minerals and enzymes we need through foods and dietary supplements. Foods that are high in antioxidants are bright colored vegetables and fruits like dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli and spinach, oranges, berries, red peppers, papayas, carrots, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.

Go To Bed -
Americans in particular are notorious for not getting enough good quality sleep each night. This is another source that negatively affects the immune system. A study done at the University of Chicago reported men getting only 4 hours of sleep a night producing much less antibodies than those getting seven and a half to eight and a half hours. Making sure you get the proper amount of uninterrupted sleep every night is another way to work towards improved immunity.

Bluegreen Algae -
Nutrients that support immune function include Vitamin A, beta-carotene, zinc, iron, B-vitamins, amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids and nucleotides. An easy way to get all of these is by eating microalgae. Studies of school children report a significant decrease in sick days resulting in an increase in school attendance for participants that ate AFA blue-green algae. The carotenoids in AFA blue-green algae have also been shown to enhance immune function by giving protection to the thymus gland and antioxidant protection to white blood cells and other immune cells. Animal studies have found that those fed algae were the least likely to contract disease. (Jeffrey Bruno, Edible Microalgae)

For improved immunity, I like to include a supplement that combines pure ubiquinol, reishi and oyster mushrooms, polyphenols from olives, and bluegreen alage to my diet. This supplement was designed to activate cellular energy making it a support for a healthy cardiovascular system as well as improved immunity. Reishi mushrooms have been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properites. It is also high in beta glucans, polysaccharides and triterpenoid compounds as well as being rich in proteins, enzymes, and minerals. Oyster mushrooms are not only rich in protein, but high in B vitamins and lovastatin which helps balance blood cholesterol levels. Ubiquinol is an active antioxidant form of coenzyme Q10 that supports cardiovascular, nervous system and immune system health. Adding all these ingredients in with bluegreen alage gives me a powerful tool for improved immunity.

Avoid Chronic Stress -
There has been quite a bit of research done on how stress negatively affects healthy living in many ways. In regards to the immune system, stress can affect the cells such as macrophages and T cells that protect us against the foreign invaders that make us sick. Marc Schoen, PhD, an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine, suggests that for improved immunity instead of going from high stress to a collapse state, it is better to let the body slide into relaxation at a slower pace. So for example, when coming off a high stress period include some exercise or some activities that require concentration. It is always a good idea for healthy living to find ways that work for you that are stress reducers. Many people think of yoga, meditation or relaxing in a bath with candles when they think of stress reducers. If that works for you then great, but if not consider other ways such as sports, hobbies, or some form of exercise.

Make Time for Friends-
Research has shown that healthy living is also linked to our relationships and activities with other people. Those who have relationships with other people at home, work, socially or are involved in community activities with others live longer and don't get sick as often. Laughter is often a component when we are involved in activities with other people and laugher has been shown to support immune cell function and be a stress reducer. Attitude may have some relationship to this as well since research has also shown that people who are more optimistic are less inclined to be stressed and have healthier immune systems than their more pessimistic counterparts. It is harder to get down in the dumps when surrounded by positive people, when staying active and involved with others and when having a good time, so making time in your busy schedule to go out with friends and for socializing is another step on the path to healthy living. If you start feeling guilty about being out having a good time when you feel you should be finishing a work project, just remember that it can actually be a step towards improved immunity which means you won't be taking sick time out later that will interfere with work.

In today's environments with lots of pollution, exposure to toxins, fast paced lives with stress, less than optimal food sources and lack of sleep, it takes work for healthy living and for improved immunity. The bottom line is start enjoying life more and you will stay healthier. Eat good food, support your diet with supplementation that gives you good nutrients, lighten up, have some fun and get enough sleep and you will find healthy living isn't all that hard to accomplish.


If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.


Sources:
http://www.oprah.com/health/Dont-Let-Stress-Make-You-Sick-Stress-and-Immunity
http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/top-10-worst-habits-your-immune-system
http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/foods-boost-immunity-mushrooms

Jeffrey Bruno, Edible Microalgae

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Recharge While You Sleep

We are all so pressed for time these days, that it can be difficult to recharge your energy. One of the best ways to increase your level of energy is to recharge while you sleep. The quality of your sleep determines how refreshed you feel when you wake up in the morning, and how much energy you have during the day. Adding some probiotics and bluegreen algae to your nightly regimen can really help you recharge while you sleep:

Bluegreen Algae with the cellwall removed:
This form of algae, which is core of the algae without the cell wall, relaxes the brain and allows you to get a peaceful night's rest. Take 1-2 capsules before bed.

Bifidus:
Bifidus is an important part of early childhood development, and strongly affects our self-esteem, confidence and sense of wholeness. Adding 2-4 bifidus capsules to your evening regimen can help you wake rested, confident and ready to charge into your day!

Enzymes:
While digestive enzymes certainly help us digest our food, on a metaphysical level, they can also help us digest and "work through" the knotty problems of the day. If you're facing a difficult situation or problem and need some solutions, take 2-4 enzymes before bed. Chances are that you will awaken with the needed solution!

As always, you can order all of these algae products online.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Holiday Pre-Season Anti-Stress Guide

Just when you think you have all the stress you can endure through work, family, maintaining a home, community and social engagements, here come the holidays! While this can be a joyous time it also can add extra stress. Are you ready with an anti-stress plan for all the extra stress the holidays bring? The additional travel, shopping, overeating, tension of guests and weather changes that come with the holiday season can bring on lots of harmful stress. Stress can negatively affect the digestive system, immune system, cardiovascular system, adrenal function, cause headaches, weight gain, depression, reduced libido, diarrhea, affect memory and just plain wear us out to the point that energy levels are low. According to Michael Smith, ND, of the Carolinas Natural Health Center in North Carolina, most of us don't even know how stressed out we are. The American Psychological Association reported in the 2009 Stress in America study that 24% of adults have a high level of tension which was a 42% increase over the year before. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 18.1% of adults deal with some type of anxiety disorder. That's a lot of people dealing with stress and anxiety and often holiday time just piles on more.

How Stress Works
When we are physically, mentally or emotionally stressed, the brain signals the adrenal glands to release hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. This isn't entirely bad if you just need that kick in the pants to meet a deadline and then everything returns to normal. But when chronically stressed, the body stays in this mode and that's when health problems can start. In addition, cortisol can harm the friendly bacteria in our intestines that are part of the immune system's arsenal for fighting off bacteria and viruses that can make us sick and that help with digestion.

The best way of dealing with stress in the holidays is to get an anti-stress plan together before the holidays hit. Here are some of the ways we found experts recommend of how to deal with stress.

Laugh and Smile
Smiling and laughing are both good ways of dealing with stress. Even if you don't feel like you have anything to smile about, using your smile muscles helps decrease stress responses your body makes and can help with lowering your heart rate. When you laugh you send more oxygen to organs and increase your blood flow which reduces stress and lowers stress hormones. Make sure this holiday season you take the time to watch a comedy, read a funny book or just get together with friends or family that make you laugh and smile. Even if it means you don't quite get all your holiday hustle and bustle errands done, you'll be giving yourself the gift of health.

Take a Breather
When really feeling stressed take a whiff of lavender or rosemary. Studies have shown that these aromas can lower cortisol production and cause us to relax. If you are on painkillers or anti-anxiety medicines, check with your doctor before using lavender as it can have an effect on them. If you live in an area where you still have grass through the winter, go out and smell some fresh cut grass and that will help stop stress hormones from releasing. Just deep breathing itself is relaxing for that matter as it increases oxygen levels in the bloodstream. Some experts recommend doing sessions of conscious deep breathing, making sure you breathe in a way that expands the abdomen and breathing out slowly. Doing this for ten minutes can really help your body relax, be more energized, lower blood pressure and boost your immune system. If you don't have ten minutes, then just do it as often throughout the day as you can.

Relaxation Can Be Music to the Ears
Studies have also shown that music can aid relaxation and help in dealing with stress. One study reported an increased reduction of cortisol for participants listening to Latin choral music over those listening to a rippling water recording. It turns out that there is a difference in how music affects the mood according to what type of music is used. For example, another study showed improvement in mood for participants listening to Mozart, but did not get similar results from other instrumental music pieces and worse results when listening to music from the "Schindler's List" soundtrack. If the music you are listening to makes you happy and adds to your smiling, then there is probably benefit to it. With the holidays, this could be carols and other spiritual tradition music pieces. If you aren't sure what to listen to, then try singing yourself. Whether you are a great singer or not, singing has been reported to boost mood and help in managing stress. It's also a good way to incorporate deep breathing into your day and can boost the immune system.

Sweat Off That Tension
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, decreases adrenaline levels, increases oxygen to the lungs, boosts metabolism and digestive function, helps make new brain neurons and increases dopamine and serotonin production with are hormones that regulate mood and give us a lift. Whether you do an intense workout or just go for a long walk, exercise is a great anti-stress tool. If you can do your exercise outdoors then you get an extra benefit in boosting mood. If you are really stressed, a 30 minute workout can do wonders, but if you don't have that kind of time, do what you can and look for ways to incorporate exercise into your day. You might park farther away from the door at work or a store so you have to walk further or walk in place while folding laundry or cleaning or include family dance time in your holiday activities.

Nutrition Tips
You probably know that eating fast food, junk food, sugary foods and simple carb filled foods are not good for you. In times of stress your body is subjected to oxidative damage from the stress and then these types of foods add even more. The problem is that the holiday season is often filled with just these types of foods. Don't beat yourself up about indulging in some of these foods over the holidays as there is research that show eating some high-calorie comfort type foods can help reduce stress responses as they act as a kind of natural reward. Just be sure you don't overdo eating these types of foods and then make sure you get lots of fresh fruits and veggies for antioxidant protection from free radicals to fight off the oxidative damage they cause, foods with omega-3 fatty acids like olive oil, salmon and walnuts to help boost mood, and drink green tea for the antioxidants and to relax. Foods with magnesium, B vitamins, cholorphyll and lean protein also help the body in dealing with stress. That means incorporate foods such as leafy greens, halibut, oysters, nuts, seeds, whole grains, white meat poultry, sprouts and bluegreen algae into your holiday meals.

Clean Up
Studies also show that being unorganized and dealing with a cluttered home or work space can add to anxiety and stress. Before the holidays get here start working on cleaning out drawers, cabinets, closets, your desk and other workspaces. Make lists ahead of time for those extra holiday chores you need to get done and schedule them in on your calendar spreading the tasks out over time so you don't end up with a big hectic rush the day before. Find your holiday decorations or dishes and get them cleaned up and organized ahead of time. You can get the whole family into the holiday spirit by dividing up some of these chores among other family members and don't think you have to do it all. It may be that it is time to let go of some of the traditional activities you are used to doing to save your sanity and your health. As life moves forward, so must we. If you are stressing out about cramming everything into a short period of time, re-think and re-prioritize your activities and go with the ones that are most important to you and your family.

Anti-Stress Supplements
Nutritional supplements can also be helpful during the holiday season to help in dealing with stress. Fish oil supplements can help get your omega-3 fatty acids in for reducing cortisol levels and thus reducing stress. Vitamin C and B-complex vitamins through whole foods supplements are also good supplements for an anti-stress plan. Probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus can help support the digestive system that may have to be working overtime during the holidays and support the friendly bacteria in your system. Those friendly bacteria also help produce the B-12 vitamins that help keep you calm and happy. A good digestive enzyme supplement will also help counteract the damage of sugary, fatty foods and overeating by helping with digestion, and fighting off gas, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn and bloating. Then there is of course bluegreen algae to get the chlorophyll and magnesium as well as lots of healthy nutrients to help your body in dealing with stress. Just to make it easier during the holiday season, get all these in convenient packets you can carry with you easily when traveling or just running around getting your errands done or while at the gym. Another algae supplement that can help get you through the holidays and through a stressful active life in particular is this supplement with a combination of organic wild bluegreen algae, eleuthero, Ginkgo biloba, Lion's Mane, bee pollen, wheatgrass juice, and noni that was created for those with a demanding, high-stakes lifestyle, where heightened focus and mental clarity is a critical factor. Ubiquinol is an active antioxidant form of coenzyme Q10 which is important for stress relief and improved daily energy and is good for the heart. Heart nourishment is important to joy, which is after all what the holiday season is all about, right? You'll find it in this supplement that also has reishi and oyster mushrooms, polyphenols from olives, and AFA bluegreen algae. Reishi mushrooms are high in beta glucans, polysaccharides and triterpenoid compounds as well as being rich in proteins, enzymes, and minerals. Oyster mushrooms are not only rich in protein, but high in B vitamins and lovastatin which helps balance blood cholesterol levels.

We hope you have a wonderful, relaxing holiday season this year whatever traditions you celebrate. Get a jump on holiday stress now by using some of these tips for dealing with stress and make this the healthiest holiday you've ever had.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.



Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/balance/ss/stop-stress-now?ecd=wnl_wmh_091914_tod_11am&ctr=wnl-wmh-091914-tod-11am_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d
http://www.webmd.com/balance/rm-quiz-moods?ecd=wnl_menC_090314_tempC&ctr=wnl-men-090314-tempC_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d
http://www.webmd.com/balance/ss/slideshow-stress?ecd=wnl_men_061814&ctr=wnl-men-061814_ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d
http://www.naturalsolutionsmag.com/handling-stress/stress-ruining-your-health

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

"When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude."
– G.K. Chesterton

This quote by G.K. Chesterton is so appropriate as we celebrate Thanksgiving and think of all we have to be thankful for and show gratitude for. In fact, being thankful, showing gratitude and facing life with a positive attitude creates more of the same in our lives. Whether you call it Law of Attraction, the level of your being attracts the level of your life, what goes around comes around, you reap what you sow, or like attracts like it all boils down to the thoughts, emotions, actions, and energies that you put out affect what you bring to or create in your life. If you are surrounded by negative people, negative circumstances, and just plain negativity in general, maybe it's time to check your positivity barometer. What types of thoughts are you thinking, what are your predominant emotions, what messages do you say or think about yourself, and how do you treat others? If you are creating negative energy in your life, this is the perfect time to start turning all that around. Get yourself a gratitude list started and find things you can add to it daily. In case you're having a hard time beginning, take a look at some of the ways we found from various sources that you could start using to get you in the positive space for giving thanks and to create more positive things to be thankful for in your own life. These lists are just to get your creative juices flowing with some examples, then you can add to these lists or create your own.

Giving Thanks: Small Wonders to Be Thankful For
1. Cuddly warm socks or your favorite old shirt to kick around the house in.

2. The unconditional love or adoration of a pet.

3. Modern appliances that make our lives easier.

4. A beautiful sunset.

5. The smell of baking cookies or bread.

6. Freshly washed sheets on the bed.

7. Being able to make a gratitude list and having the freedom to put anything you want on it.

8. Taking a walk, breathing in fresh air and the fact that you can do both these.

9. Your favorite book, music or TV show on a rainy day.

10. Getting a letter or card in the mail from a friend.

Giving Thanks: Expressing Gratitude
1. Pay special attention to the food you are eating at a meal and use all your senses to enjoy it and be thankful for it.

2. For every text you get today on your phone send out a silent blessing of gratitude that you have this technology that allows you to stay connected to others you care about so easily.

3. Show your gratitude for the beauty you find in nature by creating a table centerpiece or some artwork using items you find outside – pebbles, flower buds, leaves, twigs, etc...

4. Send a card to a service worker to thank them for the job they do. Could be your local firefighters, police, sanitation worker, or military personnel.

5. I love what my friend whose son died at age 12 does every year to express gratitude for the time she had him in her life. Every year on his birthday and Christmas she goes to the toy store, picks out what she would have bought for him and sticks the amount of cash it costs under the box. In her mind she can just see some other little boy or girl wanting that toy that maybe mom or dad can't afford and finding the money right there to pay for it and make that small dream come true for them.

6. Take a few minutes each day this week to just sit in silence and reflect on the people and circumstances in your life that you have to be thankful for. Send this energy out to the Universe.

7. Take the time to write a note to an employer about an employee at a restaurant or store who was especially attentive or helpful to you.

8. As you are walking around a store, the mall, or park or wherever you walk, really look at the people you pass, smile at them, and think of one nice thing you notice about them. You don't have to say it out loud, just think it in your head. Nice hair, love your shoes, what a graceful way of walking she has, how natural that guy is with his child, etc...

9. Write up a gratitude list with all you have to be thankful for – big and small. You might even pass it around the table at Thanksgiving dinner and let your loved ones add their own gratitudes to it.

10. Here's a harder one. Write a thank you note to someone who has caused you frustration or even anger. Look for the lesson behind why this person entered your life and what there could be to learn from the situation. You don't actually have to send the letter if that makes you uncomfortable. The point is to find the good in difficult situations and the lessons adversity can bring us.

Giving Thanks: Spreading Positivity
1. Silently bless a stranger as you walk by them. You might also do a Pay It Forward action for them. It could be something as simple as opening a door for them, holding the elevator, or putting some coins in a parking meter that has just expired.

2. Help undernourished children, adults and animals around the world by making a GIVE donation.

3. Invite someone that you think might be alone at Thanksgiving to share your Thanksgiving meal. Think about if an elderly neighbor has lost a spouse and has grown children that live far away, or a co-worker who doesn't have family near.

4. Do some volunteer work in something that interests you or that you are grateful for. If you love reading, volunteer at the library, if you are thankful for the doctors and nurses that took care of you or a loved one volunteer at the hospital. If you just don't have time for regular volunteer work, volunteer for single events like a pet adoption day, a soup kitchen, or a kid's event. If you don't even have time for that, make some Christmas toy bags or toiletry bags to give to charity or just pluck a card off one of your local Toy Drive trees and fulfill a child's Christmas dreams.

5. Write your own prayer or blessing of thanks to share at dinner on Thanksgiving. You can get really creative and do it in verse or rhyme or have a chorus that everyone can join in on like a chant.

6. Make decorations to brighten up your home for whatever you celebrate – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, the Fall season, Winter Solstice, ... Be creative and place your intention on positive thoughts and the joy you experience making and displaying your creations.

7. Visit a nursing home to share a special talent you have with the elders. If you are musical play and sing for them, if not, offer to lead some games or storytelling. Check with the recreation director and discuss what talents you have to offer to brighten an elder's day.

8. Make a goal of complimenting 5 people today. It could be people you know or might be strangers you encounter. Just pick 5 people throughout the day to say something nice about them to them.

9. Burn a copy of a song to a cd that you find great pleasure in or that moves you and send it to a friend.

10. Do a small act of kindness for a neighbor. For example, my mother walks her dog up and down her street each morning. She picks up each neighbor's newspaper off the sidewalk and places it on their porch. She has done this every day for years and many people probably think the paper is put there by the delivery person, but I know the truth and it makes my mom feel good to do this small act and makes her feel she is doing something nice to show appreciation for her neighborhood and her neighbors.

I hope you have a peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving Day. I hope that no matter what your life circumstances are, you find many things to be thankful for, find ways to express them and put that positive energy out into the world. Remember the more positive you put out the more positive that will return to you.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.


Sources:
http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/thanksgiving-ideas/g2925/things-youre-thankful-for/
http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/practices/features/view/16274/27-ways-to-practice-brthanks-giving
http://womanitely.com/creative-ways-give-thanks-thanksgiving/