Category Archives for Lifestyle

Spring Clean Your Health and Wellness

 

By Theresa Harding

When I was a growing up, we always did our spring house cleaning during “clean-up week” when we were out of school for spring break.  The idea to spring clean your health and wellness was never a goal. 

We would do extra cleaning around the house, such as clean windows, donate clothes and furniture, toys, etc.  I really enjoyed this time of year because it always seemed to be a family affair which included not only me and my siblings but also my parents. 

They would do the big jobs around the house and we assisted with their instruction.  However, spring cleaning should go far beyond just cleaning your home.  We should include some other things too!  So keep reading…

Spring cleaning is not about just cleaning your home or its surrounding. This article is specific to health and wellness and it refers to your diet and body workouts. Forget cleaning the entire house, and having everything arranged. However, you will notice that your home becomes more welcoming and comfortable after it is thoroughly cleaned during your spring house cleaning.

Similarly, when you spring clean your health and wellness you are left feeling good about your body while at the same time boosting your immune system.  You could also see this as a spring clean-up.

Spring Clean Your Diet

During this period, your diet is healthier and cleaner. The key objective is to boost your immune system. This not only keeps you healthy but also ensures that you look good. There is a key balance between your overall physique and your internal health.  It also includes incorporating a balanced diet in the right proportions.

Consider eliminating the following foods from your diet:

Alcohol. Alcohol can take a toll on your liver.  You need your liver to function optimally as intended to detoxify your system.  Because alcohol acts as a diuretic, it makes it harder for your body to remain hydrated.  My favorite drink is Kombucha Tea

I started drinking Kombucha Tea when I learned that I needed probiotics to help me end my struggle with sugar cravings and a suppressed immune system.   Additionally, I had to make some diet and lifestyle changes that really made all the difference in the world for my health.  

I have been able to get my husband to drink Kombucha Tea when he thought there was nothing in the world better than his soda drinks.  He loves the taste of it and that makes me happy to know that he’s getting the beneficial bacteria when he drinks them. 

We eliminated his consumption of 46 grams of sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup that’s in the sodas he was addicted to drinking daily.  Kombucha Tea only contains 2 to 4 gram of sugar per serving and the beneficial bacteria your body needs.   The trade-off is much healthier!   We started ordering them online because we’ve found it to be more cost-effective instead of buying them individually.

Added Sugars. Refined sugar already has its own long list of reasons why you should stay away from it.  Number one being that it is inflammatory.  Most processed foods, cereals, and snacks are loaded with refined sugar. 

 

Refined sugar increases your risk of obesity and heart problems. The American Heart Association recommends keeping added sugars under 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. This may sound like it can’t be done, but it can be avoided or eliminated. 

 

I did it myself when I thought it was impossible to live without my refined sugar.  I just substitute my sweetened foods with raw honey or coconut palm sugar.  There are other natural sweeteners like Stevia on the market that you could use in place of refined sugar, so don’t think it’s impossible.   

When I first learned how to make smoothies, my favorite Stevia flavor was the liquid Vanilla because I was still addicted to sugar and needed my smoothies to be sweet.  Now, I don’t add Stevia to my smoothies because my taste buds are used to the green taste.  It took some time to get to this point though it was a journey! 

 

Salt. One of the biggest misconceptions about salt is that we’re taught that salt should be avoided and that it causes Hypertension.  The truth of the matter is that it’s the table salt that causes health problems.  

 

Table salt has no mineral content that your body needs and thus can be taxing on your health.  The best salt is the Pink Himalayan Salt or the gray Celtic Sea Salt.  We use both in my household.  We just order ours online because we don’t always find it at our local grocery store when we need it. 

 

Americans eat an average of 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day. Cut 1,000 mg out every day and you could lower your risk of heart disease by up to 9 percent, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

How Do You Avoid Refined Grains?

Refined grains. White flour, white rice and the like are stripped of healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals. These grains also cause inflammation in the body and should be avoided. 

 

Many people are also sensitive to refined grains and eat them a lot not knowing that these grains actually cause them problems with weight loss and food cravings.  If you’re going to eat grains, check food labels carefully and look for foods that list whole grains as the first or second ingredient.

 

Some foods that say “whole grains” on the packaging usually won’t have whole grains in them or they’ll only contain very tiny amounts listed at the very end of the ingredients list, which tells you how much whole grains is really added into the food.  Some better options of grains are gluten-free or whole wheat.  Here are some gluten-free options to consider:

quinoa

millet

gluten-free oats

buckwheat

amaranth

teff

brown rice

Other whole grains that contain gluten are whole wheat, barley, rye, some oats, corn, rice, sorghum, and spelt.

Remove the Processed Foods

Processed foods. Sometimes it seems like there is a processed food for every whole food that exists in the supermarket.  Processed foods are convenient foods that give many people a reason NOT to cook from scratch. 

 

They also come with a long list of artificial, lab-made ingredients that cause food cravings and health problems.  Prepared foods with long lists of ingredients load you up with sugars, salts, and unhealthy trans fat. Pass them up and make room for more healthy, whole foods instead.

 

Seek to incorporate fresh foods that are in season. This will differ from one person to another depending on their location. Fresh foods have more nutrients and are more easily absorbed in the body. Also, incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, and don’t forget to consider a daily multivitamin to address any vitamin and mineral deficiencies when your diet alone is not enough. 

Setting Goals

During spring cleaning, you could set Smart Goals. In this, they should be specific and time-bound. However, it is recommended that you keep your goals simple and realistic.   This will prevent you from straining your body and denying it the necessary quantity of nutrients.

Motivate yourself and keep track of your actions. For example, in the event you have a spring clean-up session that will last three weeks, you can check your progress every week.  In the event you are right on track, you may choose to reward yourself.

This will keep you motivated as opposed to not checking at all until the session is over. After all, you may feel disappointed if, at the end of the session, you find out that you have not met your goals.  As you update yourself, you will also know where adjustments are required.

Spring Clean Your Fitness Routine

%Health and Wellness Tips%Terry Talks

Fitness Routine

Spring cleaning also involves body workouts. A balanced and healthy diet is not enough to help meet your goals. Included are body workouts that will help boost the functionality of your body. While many consider indoor exercises, it is recommended that you work with more intense exercises. In this, machinery such as a treadmill should be avoided as opposed to going outdoors.

The environment will also play an important role in helping your workout better.  There’s something about getting out in nature that really helps me connect with my workout.  The beauty of the trees, clouds, birds singing all help me really engage in my workout routine.  Even though I enjoy working out indoors, nothing compares to the beauty of nature, in my opinion. 

Play around with different intense workouts. You may choose to go solo or hire a trainer to guide you. Try even running workouts and try a change in the terrains you use. You can start slow with flat terrain and advance to rocky and hilly terrain.  

With the above guide, a spring clean-up will help you to stay healthy and boost your physique.  While it can be challenging, it is beneficial for everyone. You may choose to go solo or work in a group with those who have similar goals.

This should be a practice for every spring season to help you revive your workout routine and enjoy long-term benefits.   You could also consider doing this with your family the way we did when we only focused on spring house cleaning.

What about you?  How do you implement spring cleaning? 

Spring Clean your diet with my FREE “7-Day Clean Eating Challenge!”  A meal plan full of over 30 healthy recipes including snacks.

    Click Here to download your Free Meal Plan now!

 

Get Terry’s FREE Diet Makeover

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4 Steps to Natural Breast Care [A Step-By-Step Guide]

By Theresa Harding          This post contains affiliate links.

For every woman, the breasts are amazing organs. They can provide nutrition for babies and enhance your beauty. They are very intimately connected with the reproductive system and continuously change during the menstrual cycle.

There are many indications of problems occurring in the breast like the appearance of lumps, swelling even in the armpits, tenderness or soreness, flattening or any change in shape, size, and texture, discomfort or burning sensation, altered appearance of the nipples or the areolar area, discharge etc.

It is very important to know how these amazing organs work and how to naturally care for them and keep them functioning properly. These preventative self- care is critical in reducing our risk of developing breast cancer.

The best Natural Breast Care for Women are:

How to Take Care of Your Breasts

Massage is one of the most effective natural methods of breast care. A gentle lymphatic massage to your breasts should be practiced regularly.  Doing this massage will help bring movement to the fluids, fatty acids, and other nutrients, as well as wastes and toxins in and out of your breast tissues.  Since movement is important for breast health, your body depends on this frequently.

Four steps need to be regularly followed to help in bringing nutrients to the breast and flushing the toxins out. These four steps serve a specific purpose.

The first step is a motion that helps in the draining of the lymphatic system, the second and fourth are to assist the venous system and the third step is to help strengthen the ligaments.

  • For step 1, use slow gentle, strokes away from the nipple. 
  • Step 2, use a kneading motion gentle massage.
  • Step 3, gently twist the breast both in the clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
  • Step 4, apply gentle pressure and compression to move the fluids.
  • To be effective, this massage technique needs to be followed for a minimum of two times-a-week for 3 to 5 minutes, or 30 seconds several times a day.

Is Daily Bra Wearing Dangerous for Breast Health?

You must always provide support to your breasts by wearing a bra of the correct size. A sports bra should be used while participating in sports. In general, violent sports should be avoided. Swimming is a good activity for the health of your breasts. 

Also, it’s important to wear your bra for shorter periods of time in the day.  Studies have shown that women interviewed experienced higher levels of breast health than women who wore bras longer periods of time in the day.  Since bras are designed to prevent movement of the breast, this disrupts the normal lymphatic flow of breast tissue and temperature of the breasts. 

Constricting the breasts for long periods of time in the day is not the healthiest environment for breast care Breasts can flourish in slightly cooler temperatures than our average 98.6 F body temperature.  Research has also suggested that it’s best to wear wireless bras and bras without foam or thick padding for healthier breasts.

Moisturizing Cream

Use of suitable moisturizing cream can help you reduce wrinkles. Many experts’ advice to avoid sudden weight variations as it leads to sagging breasts. Always opt for gradual weight loss. If you are a nursing mother, you should feed your child in proper position.

Herbal Remedies

Now, I love my herbs.  I didn’t know herbs could be so healing!  Foods we didn’t know are herbs actually are.  Some foods like, cinnamon and turmeric are herbs and can be used medicinally.  I started using herbs medicinally in 2007 and I’ve gotten some really good benefits from them.

Certain herbs have various compounds that help in maintaining breast health and can be used as essential elements of natural breast care. Gingko Biloba helps in increasing the circulation to the entire body as well as the breasts. Hence, it can help reduce heaviness and swelling in the breasts.

Also, Agnus Castus helps to balance the hormonal levels of the body and thus promote breast health as the health of the breast is directly related to the hormonal levels. The application of Evening Primrose Oil can reduce the pain in the breast to a great extent and help in maintaining breast health.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

We all have a different ideal weight for our body.  Try to stay in a healthy range for YOU.  Obesity raises the risk of breast cancer, especially after menopause when breast cancer most often occurs.

What Foods are Good for Breast Health?

Changing our diet is the first thing I did for my family when we started on our healthy living journey.  I realized that if I wanted to see effective results in our health, I needed to change our diet and make better food choices. 

I want to encourage you to consider it too if you want long lasting health for you and your family.  Since we were combating some health challenges, it was easy to make the changes.  My ultimate goal at the beginning of our healthy living journey was to help my 12-year-old son eliminate high blood pressure and lose some weight.  

A healthy diet goes a long way in the promotion of breast health and is a very important part of natural Breast Care. A well-balanced diet is a key to good life and good health. Various nutrients available in a well-balanced diet are important in maintaining the body systems functioning properly. 

Include more raw fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants.  Especially the ones that include the 3 antioxidants that are good for breast health: lutein, lycopene, and carotenoids.

Those such foods are fresh berries, carrots, cherries, cranberries, spinach, squash, tomatoes, yams, and watermelon, collard greens, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, Brussel sprouts, and turnips.  These foods contain the nutrients that support the breasts.

It is best to choose organic when possible, as pesticides and herbicides are known to mimic estrogen, and can remain in the body fat when consumed.

Drink Less Alcohol

Sure, there’s a positive health buzz around booze, but a meta-analysis of 53 studies showed that women who drank more than three drinks a day had 1.5 times the risk of developing breast cancer as did non-drinkers. Try to keep it to one serving a day or less: 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

Practice Breast Self-Exams

We learn this habit early on at our first Pap Smear examination, so it’s a practice we should never stop doing.  In fact, we know many women have found lumps in their breasts from their own self-examination of their breasts. 

It’s a great habit to get into to examine your breasts on a regular basis.  Get to know your breasts If there any changes in your breast tissue, you will know.

Do You Practice Regular Breast Exams? 

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