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10 Things You Can Do To Increase Your Energy And Stay Healthy In 2014

The new year is an open book. Anything is possible. Would you like to have more energy? Would you like to find balance in your life? Here is a great list that addresses 10 different areas of our lives. Check it out, take notes, and let’s make 2010 the best it can be!

1. (Nutrition) Skip The Soda, Drink Water Instead – Re-hydrate your body every day with water, not sugary sodas, for optimal energy, focus and weight loss.

2. (Exercise) Pump Iron – Resistance training increases muscular strength, endurance, and it helps to reduce body fat by increasing the metabolism. Other benefits include increase in bone mineral density and lean body mass.

3. (Money) Pay Yourself First -Designate a certain percentage (5% – 20%) of your income to be set aside each month. Commit yourself to a saving plan; compound interest grows quickly over the years. For example, saving $10 a day at 15% interest = 1 million dollars in 25 years.

What’s the deal with Gluten?

Gluten. Gluten-free. Gluten-intolerance. We’ve been hearing about Gluten more and more, but what does all this really mean? Today’s guest blogger, Jolene Park, founded Healthy Discoveries in 2001, and with a passion for health, Jolene inspires her audiences to create balance in all areas of their lives. She promotes individual responsibility and believes in the power of information to provide options for choosing healthy lifestyles.  We asked her to share some information about Gluten-Intolerance. Check it out!

(Stock photo provided by maqarts.)

One in seven Americans is estimated to be gluten-Intolerant. People who are gluten-intolerant experience symptoms as a result of consuming gluten, and symptoms disappear when gluten is removed from the diet; however, they do not have full-blown celiac disease.

Gluten- Intolerance Symptoms:

  • Abdomen – recurring intestinal problems such as:  diarrhea, constipation, gas, acid reflux, cramping, stomach pain, stomach upset, bloating, problematic stools.
  • Headache – headaches, migraines, brain fog
  • Skin – Itchy skin, rashes or blisters, eczema, mouth sores
  • Circulatory/Blood – Anemia, malabsorption
  • Skeleton and Muscles – Osteoporosis, osteopenia, bone/joint pain, muscle cramps, enamel problems, stunted growth in children
  • Reproduction – Infertility, irregular menstruation, recurrent miscarriage
  • Energy – Chronic unexplained fatigue, weight loss, irritability
  • Mental/Neurological – Behavioral issues, depression, psychiatric problems
  • Autoimmune System – Diabetes, thyroid disease
  • Nervous System – Fibromyalgia
  • Cancer – Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer in the small intestine

Where is Gluten Found?

  • Anything that uses wheat flour – Breads, pasta, cereal, pizza crust, pancakes, waffles, pastries.
  • Virtually any packaged, processed or prepared food has the potential for containing gluten.

What Should You Do If You Think You or Your Child is Gluten Intolerant?

Schedule an appointment with your physician or pediatrician to discuss testing, diagnosis and gluten-free diet options. Statistics show that people go from doctor to doctor with vague, “it must be all in my head” type symptoms for an average of eleven years before realizing gluten may be the culprit.

Which Whole Grains Can You Eat?

  • Quinoa
  • Teff
  • Rice (brown & white)
  • Amaranth
  • Sorghum
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat
  • Potato and Tapioca Flours for baking

Gluten-Free Companies – Many companies are making gluten-free products a few of the more popular companies are listed below.  Grocery stores also make note of which aisles and shelves have gluten free products.

  • Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods – cornbread mix, biscuit & baking mix, gluten-free all purpose baking flours
  • Pamela’s Products – gluten-free all purpose baking flours, pancake, baking mixes
  • Namaste – bread, cakes, cookies, brownies, muffins, pizza crust and pancake mix
  • Eden Foods- buckwheat flour and noodles
  • Tinkyada Pasta- pasta
  • Arrowhead Mills- baking flour,
  • Lunberg Family Farms – rice and pasta
  • Barbara Bakery- cookies, cereal
  • Nature’s Path- cereal
  • Larabar- nutrition/energy bars featuring dried fruits and nuts
  • Amy’s Kitchen- frozen meals, soups
  • Van’s International- frozen waffles
  • Health Valley- cereals, graham crackers

Some Local Gluten-Free Restaurants

  • Blue-Bonnet
  • Zengo
  • Steuben’s
  • Root Down
  • Melting Pot
  • Le Central
  • Duo
  • City O City
  • Beau Jo’s Pizza

Some Gluten-Free Chain Restaurants

  • PF Chang’s
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Maggiano’s
  • Bone Fish
  • Kona Grill

Snack Ideas For A Gluten-Free Child

  • Peanut, almond, cashew butter on apples or celery
  • Any fruit with low-fat string cheese
  • Larabars
  • Air popped popcorn
  • Snack size applesauce

Beat the Holiday Stress

Guest Blogger Jolene Park founded Healthy Discoveries in 2001, and with a passion for health, Jolene inspires her audiences to create balance in all areas of their lives. She promotes individual responsibility and believes in the power of information to provide options for choosing healthy lifestyles.  (Stock photo provided by gabrielbu.)

One of my most requested corporate workshops is my Stressed Out Solutions Class.  Here are some of my favorite Healthy Discoveries to help reduce your stress – especially holiday stress.

1. Rescue Remedy – Drop a couple drops under your tongue or in a glass of water. Rescue Remedy is recommended when feeling stressed, impatient, tense or pressured. Rescue Remedy can also be given to children and pets. Rescue Remedy is part of the Bach Flower essences, which are extracts from flowers and used to balance emotions. They can be purchased in any health food store.

2. Nostalgic Smells – Specific smells trigger vivid memories and nostalgic feelings – and if the memories they evoke are pleasant ones, they’ll lower your stress level and improve your mood. I like to put cinnamon and cloves in a pan of water and let them simmer on the stove. It infuses the kitchen and house with a lovely soothing smell. I also like to put a couple drops of lavender oil in bath water for a relaxing soak in the tub.

3. Music – There is a strong connection between music and mood. Music can affect physiological functions such as respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure. Music, especially classical music, has also been shown to lower amounts of the hormone cortisol, which becomes elevated under stress and to increase the release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” hormones. Personally I like to listen to spa radio on and this song always dissolves my stress and helps to put things into perspective.

4. De-clutter – According to Jayme Barrett, author of Feng Shui Your Life, “Clutter creates a feeling of pandemonium as you find yourself running in twenty different directions simultaneously.” Feeling out of control in your environment seeps into your everyday life. Clutter pulls your energy down. Ask yourself these questions to help clear clutter:

  • Do I love it?
  • Do I use it?
  • Do I need it?
  • Does it evoke a positive feeling and make me smile?

5. Go for a Walk – Exercise can be a great stress reliever in itself, as it helps you blow off steam and releases endorphins. Taking a walk when stressed provides the bonus of getting you out of the stressful situation and providing some perspective so you can return in a new frame of mind.

6. Gratitude Journal – Write down five things you are grateful for at the end of every day. Notice all the blessings in your life. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude keeps you in the present moment and soothes your soul.

7. Breathe! – Take 10 slow breaths, inhale and exhale deeply and completely.

8. Keep Good Company – Don’t underestimate the power of human contact and friendship. Cultivate healthy relationships and surround yourself with positive people they can definitely help buffer and decrease your stress.

9. Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin B12, Magnesium and Vitamin C (the anti-stress nutrients) – B12 can be found in egg yolks and meat. Green vegetables such as spinach contain high amounts of Magnesium. Broccoli, bell peppers, kale, cauliflower, strawberries and lemons have good sources of Vitamin C. Consider taking a high quality multi-vitamin, mineral complex during times of stress as well.

Those are a few of my favorite stress-busters, what are some of yours?