As a holistic fitness professional, I cannot emphasize enough why people should adopt a detox-based diet for optimal health. The word diet is overused in modern society but rather it is important to incorporate foods that help the body detox and eliminate toxins.
Many of our everyday fruits, vegetables and herbs aide in this process along with filling the body with necessary vitamins, nutrients and electrolytes to aide in overall wellbeing.
The body primarily detoxes through the fecal waste, urine, perspiration and respiration. The body cannot hold or contain toxins for too long, which is why we eliminate waste. Diseases like Crohn's is deadly because if perforations develop in the intestine, bile and waste leaks into the blood stream, which overloads the body with toxins that can lead to traumatic issues.
Your health is NOT a joke.
We've become SO disconnected to our body, mind and spirit that we have become irrational in understanding how human physiology works. In a spiritual sense, we've disconnected from the sacredness that says, "your body is a temple."
We need to understand that what you consume will drastically help or hinder your health in the long term. Millions of people around the world suffer from heavy metal poisoning because everything in modern society has either been laced with chemicals (example: pesticides) or from Environmental pollution.
If you are ready to improve your health, and want to make a "radical" change....all you need to do is to start incorporating more fruits, vegetables and herbs in your diet to help rid and cleanse the body of its waste and toxic overload.
This is probably one of the most important pieces of produce to consume on a continuous basis. The liver goes through a variety of phases to detox toxins.
Beets contain phytonutrients called betalains that support the stage 2 detoxification process of the liver. Consuming beets increases glutathione, which is used for almost every cell in the body to remove toxins.
Beets are also important for expecting mothers since its high amount of the B vitamin folate is known to reduce the risk of birth defects and the traces of folic acid help develop the growing fetus.
Beets thin the bile making it easier to transport it to the intestinal tract and colon. This is also made possible because of its high fiber content.
Check out some of my beet recipes below!
Kale is another powerful vegetable that is packed full of fiber and nutrients. Kale is alkaline that neutralizes that blood, and kale’s phytonutrients, such as kaempferol and quercetin neutralizes inflammation. Kale contains high amounts of Vitamin C, which benefits immune health, and contains chlorophyll and sulforaphane that are two powerful cancer-fighting agents.
Check out my favorite kale recipes below!
Parsley contains many of the essential nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C and K and minerals iron and potassium. As a natural diuretic, parsley eliminates excess fluid without ridding of potassium. It also contains chlorophyll, which improves detoxification and supports weight loss. The folate and Vitamin C contents also aides in immune function, which is no surprise as to why parsley is used to flavor soups!
Check out some of my recipes that contain parsley!
This is one of the most powerful food and herb on the planet. This tiny little root herb is one of the greatest anti-cancer foods. Turmeric is loaded with nutrients such as dietary fiber, protein, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc, with vitamins C, E and K.
Studies have shown that turmeric aides in the liver detoxification and can prevent liver disease. Some studies showed that turmeric provided therapeutic potential for treating nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Something as small and powerful as this root has been linked to reversing liver damage caused by alcohol and other ingested toxins.
Check out some of my turmeric recipes below!
Broccoli is another powerful detox vegetable, similar to kale. Along with turmeric its been known as one of the best anti-cancer foods as well as helps the body detox the liver.
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which fights off infectious cells in the body. Three of the most powerful nutrients include glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin, which neutralize and eliminate unwanted contaminant.
Since the body detoxes in a two step process, broccoli is a food that provides nutrients that work in both stages. The glucosinolates aide in phase one, and the sulforaphane contents aide in the second phase. Broccoli contains more vitamin A + C than a single orange.
Check out my favorite broccoli recipes below!
Eating and fruit, vegetable, root or herb will help the body naturally detox. These five are known for its powerful effect not only in cleansing the liver, but aiding in disease prevention. Your body and immune system is powerful, and it becomes more powerful with a cleaner and healthier diet.
The battle versus chemicals, GMO's and artificial preservatives have been in a "war" for several decades. Some people advocate for it, others don't. Much research has been proven over time to show that glyphosate have caused much damage to human health and sadly, much of the public doesnt realize how detrimental it's been to our health.
What is Glyphosate?
Glyphosate, a synthetic herbicide patented in 1974 by the Monsanto Company and is the active ingredient in Roundup-branded herbicides, and the herbicide used with “Roundup Ready” genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Bayer now owns Roundup and since its initiation more than 19 million pounds of Roundup has been sprayed by farmers, landscapers, gardeners across the world, with twenty-percent of that share sprayed within the United States.
According to theUS Right to Know website, "Herbicide tolerance is the most prevalent GMO trait engineered into food crops, with some 90% of corn and 94% of soybeans in the U.S. engineered to tolerate herbicides, according to USDA data. A 2017 study found that Americans’ exposure to glyphosate increased approximately 500 percent since Roundup Ready GMO crops were introduced in the U.S in 1996."
Now According to the Popular Science website, after a litany of studies and many lawsuits, Roundup has been proven it's main ingredient is carcinogenic and supposedly by 2023 the Bayer formula will change its formula.
Why Should I Be Concerned?
The world, but specifically America has been indoctrinated by so much marketing and a junk-food culture, there is a sense of ignorance or naivety in understanding how chemicals hurt the body.
Most think that because the market has approved such items, that it must be okay, or healthy or good to consume. Many
And yet anyone who questions these things made by modern are deemed "pseudoscience" freaks, when given that the planet has grown, healed and evolved through its own natural intelligence throughout the last several thousands of years.
As someone who's lived in Australia (twice), India and Germany, these countries had more strict food regulations or bans on certain chemicals. They also didn't suffer from as many health epidemics like America. Now that the world is becoming more Americanized, health issues / epidemics is becoming more "normal."
Numerous health reports and studies have shown how glyphosate has affected human health as well as environment issues like how glyphosate affects honey bee hives and it's sensory input.
In the 2019 study, "Effects of the Herbicide Glyphosate (GLY) on Honey Bee Sensory and Cognitive Abilities: Individual Impairments with Implications for the Hive, states, "GLY negatively affects associative learning processes of foragers, cognitive and sensory abilities of young hive bees and promotes delays in brood development. An integrated approach that considers behavior, physiology, and development allows not only to determine the effects of this agrochemical on this eusocial insect from an experimental perspective, but also to infer putative effects in disturbed environments where it is omnipresent.
The study cites 85 references, some of which also state that glyphosate affects the micro biome of the bees.
Medical Doctor, Dr. Zach Bush, has stated that glyphosate is the cause of leaky gut and gut micro biome issues. His research shows leaky gut caused by glyphosate. Every person tested in his clinic tested positive for glyphosate in their urine. The blood brain barrier also becomes leaky when exposed to glyphosate residue. Throughout his research and time of creating chemotherapy he found a different path into medicine and a connection between the changes in the micro biome and cancer.
In an interview with Salon.com, the author asks, "What do you know that this chemical does to the human body?"
Dr Bush replied, "The first thing it does is act as an antibiotic in the soil and in our gut, and so this molecule is taken up into our food. So, it's not something you can wash off. It's actually in the flesh of the tomato, corn, soybean, whatever it hits. And so, it's integrated in that water structure, and as it hits your gut microbiome [it] acts as an antibiotic to kill the microbial diversity in your intestines. We now know [this] is the beginning of chronic disease, many chronic diseases are now being mapped back to injuries in the microbiome. And so, as we wipe out the bacteria and fungi with this broad spectrum antibiotic in our food, we are killing the health of our animals, the livestock we consume, beef, poultry, pork, and everything else. So, we're making those animals sick.
As humans, we're seeing the same pattern. This epidemic of chronic disease has emerged from this collapse of the microbiome. The glyphosate antibiotic holds our whole gut and vascular lining together. Those are called tight junctions, and the tight junction Velcros are responsible for creating intelligent barriers. Your gut membrane is the largest barrier to the outside world: it covers two tennis courts in surface area and is the thickness of half of the width of a human hair. So, it's this tiny microscopic cellophane-like covering that separates the outside world from your human biology. What glyphosate and Roundup does is perforate that membrane by destroying those tight junctions and creating something — that's now been called "leaky gut" in the public — in the medical literature it's called gut permeability — it increases gut permeability.
And so, that injury starts to activate the immune system, and we become reactive to our foods. So, we develop allergies of all sorts, pollen allergies and environmental allergies, but also all the food allergies that have become so prevalent in our children today. And so, we lose the barrier system, and so at that point, not only have you become chronically inflamed, you're also literally losing self-identity."
According to the US Right to Know website on their fact sheet published August 5, 2021, they clearly bullet point additional information regarding glyphosate and bees.
The US Right to Know website also links, "In March 2017, the federal court judge unsealed some internal Monsanto documents that raised new questions about Monsanto’s influence on the EPA process and about the research regulators rely on. The documents suggest that Monsanto’s long-standing claims about the safety of glyphosate and Roundup do not necessarily rely on sound science as the company asserts, but on efforts to manipulate the science."
More Research About Microbiome Disruption
According to the US Right to Know website on their fact sheet published August 5, 2021, they clearly bullet point additional information regarding studies that support how glyphosate has disrupted gut micro biome.
Glyphosate is an issue, especially since it is found in so many genetically-engineered foods. The latest craze is the almost-real-but0fake meats that have been found to have traces of glyphosate. Mom's Across America tested the newly fake meats finding, "Thelevels of glyphosate detected in the Impossible burger by Health Research Institute Laboratories were 11 X higher than the Beyond Meat Burger. The total result (glyphosate and its break down AMPA) was 11.3 ppb. Moms Across America also tested the Beyond Meat Burger and the results were 1 ppb."
So if you excrete what you consume, what exactly is our bodily waste of glyphosate doing to the ocean, sea life and the environment?
Do you have a concern for glyphosate?
Glutathione is referred to as the body's master antioxidant. Glutathione (GSH) is found in every cell of the human body and contains three amino acids: cysteine, glycine and glutamate built from the elements of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur linked together. The liver contains the highest concentration of glutathione, which helps the body detox unwanted waste. In fact, the liver produces GSH naturally.
Glutathione (GSH) is essential to the body's natural defense system. Glutathione decreases with age as well as viruses, bacteria, radiation, specific medications and heavy metal toxicity reduces glutathione. Long term reduction of GSH leads to a lower immune function and reduces the liver's ability to detoxify the body. Glutathione's role is to counteract free radicals and oxidative stress which leads to the aging, damage to the DNA which leads to disease. Chronic inflammation can contribute to oxidative stress and deplete glutathione supply (1.).
Luckily, there are foods grown from nature that fuels us with glutathione naturally. The best part is that some of these "super" foods are packed with so many nutrients they are considered some of the best foods in the world not only to aide in a healthy lifestyle, but to prevent cancer and other diseases.
The absorption rate of glutathione in the digestive tract varies for each food, as the digestive tract needs to break down the food into amino acids; however, consuming higher rates of produce and dark leafy greens have been linked to an overall healthy lifestyle because of GSH and other vitamins and nutrients that are in the foods. Processing and cooking vegetables can reduce GSH levels, but this should not stop anyone from consuming these foods. Those who are desperate to increase levels can find sublingual or supplements to help as the digestive rate differs.
Balance is required - not an excess! EVERYTHING ROOTS TO HARMONY. With each section I have linked recipes to support consuming more glutathione-based foods. You can also visit the Mind Body Soul Food Recipe index for more whole-food based recipes.
Cruciferous Vegetables - Broccoli, Kale, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Bok Choy, Broccoli Sprouts, Brussel Sprouts
Well isn't that a long list? Cruciferous vegetables contain a compound named, sulforaphane, which are found in cruciferous vegetables and studies have shown sulforaphane increases and restores blood and cellular glutathione levels (2, 3).
Allium - Garlic, Onion, Shallots
Some medical doctors claim that sulfur-rich foods like Allium vegetables are rich in sulfer-containing compounds that increases GSH production. Sulfur is a chemical element found in many amino acids, which includes those needed to increase and synthesize GSH. Sulfur is found naturally in many plant and protein foods.
Cruciferous vegetables are also named sulfur-rich foods. Asparagus is an excellent sulfur-rich food.
Herbs - Rosemary + Turmeric
The 2019 A Review of Dietary (Phyto)Nutrients for Glutathione Support (4) states, "While there is a lack in human clinical trial data, there are several animal studies which would indicate that certain herbs and roots, such as rosemary [144,145,146], turmeric/curcumin , milk thistle , and Gingko biloba , may influence glutathione levels. Rosemary extract in the diet of female rats at concentrations of 0.25% to 1.0% by weight resulted in a 3.5- to 4.5-fold increase in hepatic GST. An increase was seen when injected intraperitoneally but to a lesser extent . In an animal study, a turmeric extract and curcumin were shown to increase hepatic glutathione content ."
Vitamin C Foods - Citrus Fruits, Melons, Berries, Peppers, Broccoli, Potatoes, Broccoli Microgreens
One of the biggest scams during COVID was that natural health advocates were quacks for telling people with COVID to increase Vitamin C levels. Although it was peer-reviewed in Asia, the American health system saw Vitamin C as a threat, which is the very basic vitamin to help colds.
Vitamin C is a power antioxidant and increases GSH within red and white blood cells. Some research has shown that Vitamin C attacks free radical first, thereby preserving GSH. Vitamin C helps reprocess glutathione by converting oxidized glutathione back to its active form (5). In the study noted below, adults took 500–1,000 mg of vitamin C daily for 13 weeks, leading to an 18% increase of glutathione in white blood cells (5).
Microgreens are known for its powerful nutrient density; however, many claim broccoli micro greens are the best of all, packed with Vitamin A,B, C, E, K.
Vitamin C is often found in many freshly-made juices. "For those for whom eating fruits and vegetables is challenging, drinking juice derived from these foods may provide another healthful option, although some health professionals might be concerned with their simple sugar content. Generally, clinical studies would suggest that drinking fruit and/or vegetable juices confer health benefits, such as improving antioxidant status [136,137,138,139]. (4)."
Eating a glutathione-supported diet could involve the inclusion of these foods daily, especially the green foods, asparagus, avocado, cucumber, green beans, and spinach (4).
Protein-rich foods have known to also be helpful with GSH levels. The three amino acids associated with GSH are not considered essential because the the body naturally produces it. However, cysteine and glycine are VERY necessary to consume especially when the body is over-stressed, injured or ill because the body because it needs more of these amino acids to fight off toxins or heal/repair from injury.
Other research has shown the the reduction of alcohol, getting enough sleep, and increasing physical activity helps glutathione levels. Glutathione depletion occurs from many factors, such as aging, a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Whole grains have all three amino acids and plant-based sources like sunflower seeds and lentils (cysteine), tempeh and organic tofu (glycine) and Kombu (glutamic acid) (6). Walnuts have been noted to have higher amounts of GSH.
Glutathione as well as the other nutrients and vitamins in all of these foods is another reason to switch to a healthier diet because of its immune function boosting capabilities.
Modern society is well, not healthy. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually - we have been long ill and dis-eased for sometime.
Society is the most advanced it's ever been, but still fail to be well on multiple levels of life.
Humans are born innocent, and as we age we get indoctrinated by various limited self-beliefs and propaganda that keeps us stuck in negative cycles.
If we are what we eat, than we really are what we think. If we think of ourselves and the world in such a negative, or scarce, way, we will not only view life from the "glass half empty," approach, but we limit reaching our greatest potential.
Modern society has given us an opportunity to heal and self-grow; however, we can't become overly self-absorbed where we become narcissistic in nature. Our bodies, mind and spirit is like a battery. What we think and project, often times we attract. This does not mean that chronically negative people will never have good life experiences...in fact, I've known many negative people to have positive experiences as a life lesson to advance, or graduate them, out of this limiting belief. It is the rational mind that works in overdrive to keep us in this cycle.
Here are five limited self-beliefs to say goodbye to in this modern age.
"I am not worthy."
Many people today have been indoctrinated with many bad beliefs, and this belief is one of the main misbeliefs pounded into our modern brain.
Much of our negative behaviors and childhood traumas often make us realize we are not worthy of many things. Are you worthy of a loving partner? Are you worthy of a job that doesn't abuse its employees? Are you worthy of feeling good? Are you worthy enough to lose weight? Do you believe you are worthy of achieving great things?
Much of this belief roots to having hope and faith that something better is out there for you.
You have to believe this deep down in your core. I've known many women who believe that there are no good men out there, and that all men are bad, and that good love doesn't happen to them. Well guess what. They continuously get into relationships that do not best serve them with abusive or negative partners.
There is something out there for everyone. And there is someone out there for everyone.
"I am a victim...."
There are very few people or souls who live on this planet and go through life without trauma or a major life changing event.
In some ways, we are all victims of some terrible event. Some trauma is harder to overcome like rape, murder or physical abuse. However, most trauma is resolvable with the proper healing techniques.
The victimhood mindset keeps people in a loop, and often in modern society with social media people often seek praise constantly for their trauma. For some it reduces the capacity to have empathy for others who experience pain and suffering because the victimhood mentality is constantly focused on themselves. Scientific American goes more in-depth with this mindset, but when understanding the victim-mindset it can become very ego-centric and self-concerning to the point where people cannot ascend because of rumination of the past as well as the need to constantly seek praise or attention of their hurt.
One way to break this is to gain perspective that throughout human history, we've all been victims of something or someone's poor behavior.
"Nothing Good Happens to Me."
If your mind is a battery, do you want to positively or negatively charge it?
if you think nothing good happens to you, expect to have nothing but annoyances and troubling situations from getting a flat tire, to countless failed relationships. Life is not easy, but you have to believe that you are worthy and that good things can happen to and for you, while maintaining a realistic mindset.
Scarcity mindset about the World
When I was stuck in a scarcity mindset, I often believed many things. One of those beliefs included that the world was over populated and there was a lack of resources.
After listening to a Christian pastor's video, we mentioned how God wants us to have the best life and that resources always finds a way. After changing my mindset, I realized and began to attract things that I formally thought was not possible.
Are there too many sellers on Etsy? No. There is a market for everything. The scarce mindset would say it's not possible, it can't happen to me.
Does America have a lack of food? Not really when looking at the obesity rates. America doesn't have a mass food scarcity problem, it has a lack-of-nutrient problem.
Extreme Blinded Illusions About People
America is an extreme country. I don't know why it is, but we either go in one direction or the other. Many other countries have a more balanced mindset, which Americans can learn from.
Many wounded people often live in a mindset that people are out to get them, people are evil and manipulators where are the other end of the spectrum includes the rosy-eyed spiritualist who only sees the good in everyone and that every person should be trusted.
Balance is needed to have a healthy dose of skepticism, while not being overly paranoid or overly trusting thinking that no one has a dark side. Projections are dangerous, especially online, but it takes time to get to know people.
All or nothing mindsets rarely help people grow and ascend. Balance the head and the heart when making decisions about people.
What limiting belief do you want to say goodbye to?
We live in a society that craves change. We want everyone to change, often to our perspective to how we view life. However, the deep reality is that we are the only ones who can change ourselves.
Often times when seeking change, most relate to the softer voices in life rather than the harsh, "pull yourself up by your boot straps," approach. However, I do think a mix of both energies are necessary to light the fire to ignite change.
Change is an opportunity to grow, and ascend from tough to better situations. The path to change isn't always easy, but know the journey is one worth taking.
So if you are seeking a change, here are some powerful questions to ponder upon to inspire change or awakening in your life.
Am I sick and tired of being sick and tired? Or am I "sick" of my current situation?
What situation in your life are you sick and tired of dealing with? Is it poor health? Is it constantly being broke? Is it chronic negative thinking?
Whatever it is, bringing awareness to the situation is the first step making a change. Once you bring awareness, you are conscious or cognizant on the situation or problem.
Once you have the awareness, what was the "a-ha" moment that made you realize you needed a change?
One of my former morbidly obese clients said his "a-ha" moment occurred when he took a flight and couldn't fit into the seat. That was his moment that he realized he needed to change his life as he couldn't do many things before of his weight.
What situations or life event led me to this point?
Most people have a trigger event, unresolved trauma, childhood trauma or a string of chaotic events that led them to a certain situation or down a path of self-destruction.
Common causes include: death of a spouse / family member, abuse from a parent / spouse, divorce, loss of finances (job or bankruptcy), bad breakup, or hitting rock bottom.
In the event of becoming morbidly obese, this change did not happen overnight. It took years of overeating to get that person to the point of becoming 350-500lbs. Most morbidly obese people I worked with used food to cope with their emotions to make themselves feel better.
What is your deepest "why?"
As a personal trainer for 15 years, I've noticed that there are various surface level responses to change, and then there are deeper ones that hit the core of our emotional body.
Discovering your deepest why, is like peeling back the onion layers.
One example I see in fitness is that people want to lose weight. Okay, so why? Many will respond with "to look better," and after each response I keep asking, "why?" Many people on the surface want to look or feel better, but deep down there is something inside of them such as they want to be able to play with their children. Or have energy to participate in their kids life (like playing baseball) instead of having the passive experience of just being on the sidelines.
What is stopping me from achieving these goals? Or are there any barriers to my success?
These questions bring awareness to potential challenges or barriers that may hinder growth or our goals.
I suggest writing down 5-10 potential challenges. Do you work long or erratic work hours? Are you a busy parent? Do you self-sabotage your situations because of unresolved trauma?
Many people are eager to change, but don't realize it is a journey. They want to automatically jump from Point A to Point B. They fail to realize that living our daily life may cause barricades or stepping stones that may make life go up and down.
Change isn't linear and sometimes the road blocks pushes the pause button in our path to growth, but know that this moment is temporary.
What am I willing to let go of to make space for change?
Many people want to keep the same habits and try some program or teaching, expecting the same results.
As an example, people want to lose weight, so they decide to exercise and expect to be thin while continuing to eat fast food and drink lots of alcohol. Many people don't realize that its an entire lifestyle change. They don't want to let go of the same habits or addictions that will take them down.
However, in order for something new to begin, the old ways must be let go, removed or decreased to make space for something new.
What did I try in the past? What worked and what didn't?
Many people have tried "life altering" programs, but unfortunately did not see any results or change. Many mass marketed programs offer false-hope or unrealistic results in a short amount of time. Sadly, most of like doesn't work like this.
Nature doesn't plant a seed and then in 7 days a flower blossoms. Good things that grow take time.
I recommend not being discouraged from past efforts, but rather sit and reflect on what worked and what didn't. This time around one can adopt a better or a different game plan to navigate towards success.
Who is my support system?
We all need support. That is why community is so powerful and friends and family are so valuable. They are our cheerleaders to encourage us through difficult times.
We cannot be codependent upon people and shouldn't overburden individuals as that is where professional help is necessary to navigate the deeper parts of our change.
So ask yourself, "Who is part of my support system?" Friends, family, co-workers, church/community groups, neighbors, coaches, trainers, psychologists, doctors, nutritionists - somewhere out there, there is at least one support network for everyone.
YOU CAN DO IT! YOU CAN GROW! YOU CAN HEAL! YOU CAN LIVE A BETTER LIFE!
Many people may not realize that walking is healing, or at least has powerful healing capabilities to aide us through difficult times. When analyzing the human body from a spiritual lens, our anatomy is interconnected with pressure points that lay in our hands and feet.
The hands and feet are two of the most important parts of our body. The feet move us forward and the hands are the parts of our anatomy that give and receive.
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” ~Nietzsche
In Chinese medicine and reflexology, the feet contain many pressure points that link directly to our glands and major organs. When compressed, these help us with various ailments that we suffer from. Walking, especially on cobblestone, puts pressure into these points to activate those areas of the body.
From another holistic perspective, many claim the chakras are also located in our feet. These areas tap into the chakras located along the spine and activate the same energy centers when triggered. Like the other chakras, these can also be "open or closed" to receiving energy or be out of balance at times.
Walking is overall a low-impact form of exercise that ignites a meditation in motion type of experience.
Walking Stimulates Oxygen + Blood Flow + Our Qi
Like any exercise, walking stimulates the body through the movement of oxygen and blood flowing throughout the circulatory system. When this happens, we secrete different hormones that make us feel better and elevates our mood.
In Chinese medicine, the flow of energy is called Qi. Walking moves the "Qi" that is stuck or built up in the body. Moderate exercise in general can balance hormones without overtraining.
Walking Helps Us Move Forward
Walking, specifically on a journey like the Camino de Santiago, moves us in a forward direction toward a destination. But it is the journey that pushes our boundaries and allows us to move past barriers in life.
The symbolism here is that we move forward and leave all the "junk" behind us. The journey doesn't know whether there will be hills, uneven terrain or bad weather, but through that journey we are pushed to overcome whatever obstacle comes our way.
When overcoming issues on the walk, it is symbolic to being able to overcome issues in everyday life.
Walking Grounds Us
The feet are our foundation of the kinetic chain. Walking grounds us to the planet, especially if walking barefoot in the grass. Similar to the concept of "earthing," basically our feet (and its energy centers) absorb energy from the earth to help us stay grounded and in balance.
It's like being a battery and the earth recharges ourselves.
Walking is "Yoking" our Mind, Body, Spirit
Like yoga, or any other form of exercise, walking, specifically in nature, unites the mind, body and spirit.
Especially when walking in nature, most people feel connected to God or their source energy.
When surrounded by unity, walking ignites deep thoughts while meandering on the trail. It also connects the body to be aware to the breath and notice the physical presence of the body (even if there is pain). When the hormones secrete, most people feel alive and vibrant.
I recommend reading some of these following links regarding how walking elevates mood and promotes optimal brain health and physical wellbeing.
Has walking healed you? I hope whatever journey you are in life, walking can help you move past barriers and be one with yourself and your spirit.
Mindset is everything. Psychologists say that the "link is what you think," which gives precedence to how the mind affects our bodies and wellbeing in a positive or negative way.
We all go through ebbs and flows in life. Some time periods are good and flow with ease, where others are difficult and feel like one can't see the light of day. Whatever you're going through, just know that it is important to process the emotions, but not get stuck in a negative mindset.
Here are various mindset tips to help you navigate through difficult times.
Every Experience is Temporary
All time periods are temporary and those feelings and emotions will eventually diminish with time, healing and life experience. Even now during Coronavirus, this time period will end and things will go back to the life we know (hopefully).
Whatever negative or difficult cycle you are in, just know that this too shall pass. If trying for something better, know that life eventually works out in the right timing, and that persistence leads us to a better place.
Difficult Times are For Your Higher Good
Difficult times are not easy. Whether you've lost a job, had a bad dating experience or grieving a death, just know that every experience is for your greatest good.
Every person, situation or event that happens to you is there to make you grow, heal, purge wounds or make you reflect. Most people see hard times as something that is happening TO them, not FOR them. Some opportunities in life are also tests to see if you'll go back to old ways, or walk forward and away from the difficult people, job or situations that bring you down.
At the time none of it makes sense, but our souls are here to grow. We are put through difficult times in order for our souls to learn, grow and evolve. There is a lesson in everything, and for some going through hardship, the lesson is to learn gratitude, humility or appreciation for the things you once had.
Know You'll Have a Great Life
During tough times it is important to stay positive. Part of manifestation is knowing what was stated above, and that no matter what is happening around you in the world, you'll have a great life if you stay focused.
Blocking out social media and hardcore opinions is not easy. It is important to be aware, but not get sucked down the rabbit hole of negativity. Aim that arrow of focus to the things that serve you the most, which maybe healing, refocusing business pursuits, or getting your finances back in order.
So much of our lives we waste watching television or arguing on social media, that we are no longer focused or productive on the things that serve you in life, or can help you get to the next step.
Focus on Your Circle of Influence + Concern
A Circle of Concern encompasses the wide range of concerns we have, such as our health, our children, problems at work, the amount of government borrowing, or the threat of war. A Circle of Influence encompasses those concerns that we can do something about.
You cannot control other people, but you can control your thoughts, actions and behaviors. For those in activism, they can get lost in a world of negativity because they want to police everyone's opinions, or actions, but know that the awareness you raise helps, but there is a boundary to what you can control.
Focus on the positivity that your work or awareness does for the community. It is important not to get lost in the complex webs of the circle of influence or control especially during difficult times.
We have been bred to want to change the world, but only a select few souls will actually do that. The point is don't lose control of what you can't control. This will make difficult times a bit easier by having the awareness of what you can control, or what you let influence or control you.
Find Gratitude in What You Have
When going through a difficult time, it is easy to focus on all the things that are going wrong in your life. This is a time to practice gratitude and give light to the good or positive things or people in your life.
Write a list of what is going well. Did someone buy your coffee? Are your parents supportive of you? Do you have a reliable car? Do you have a pet that loves you unconditionally?
One of the most important parts of success is knowing how to recognize the negative, but not allow the mind to ruminate. One must recognize the negative, but also focus on the positive.
In summation, life is a series of peaks and valleys. Life is like the stock market. We are on a trajectory in life but go through highs and lows. When we are realistic in life, and understand that life is not always positive we can better mentally set ourselves up to navigate hard times by knowing it's a temporary experience that won't get the best of us.
How do you mentally navigate hard times?
Most people do not understand how the human anatomy functions, and the important role that the nervous system plays in our wellbeing.
According to the NCBI, "The nervous system is made up of all the nerve cells in your body. It is through the nervous system that we communicate with the outside world and, at the same time, many mechanisms inside our body are controlled. The nervous system takes in information through our senses, processes the information and triggers reactions, such as making your muscles move or causing you to feel pain. For example, if you touch a hot plate, you reflexively pull back your hand and your nerves simultaneously send pain signals to your brain. Metabolic processes are also controlled by the nervous system."
The nervous system contains nerve cells that are called neurons, and fire to do a certain task when a "message" is communicated through the nervous system.
In exercise science, we learned that "neurons that fire together, wire together," and that healthy and unhealthy habits are learned, but also retrainable through retraining the neurons.
There are two parts of the nervous system, which includes the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the Peripheral nervous system (that connects the CNS to all other areas in the body).
Under the division of the PNS is the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the somatic nervous system.
What we will discuss today are the parts of the nervous system that is under the ANS, which include the parasympathetic nervous system, PNS, (rest and digest phase) and the sympathetic nervous system, SNS (fight or flight).
The ANS is responsible for involuntary body functions such as blood flow, heart beat, digestion and breathing. Thus, it controls parts of the body that are not under voluntary control.
The PNS & the SNS are opposites and perform two different functions. One gets you ready for rest and digestion where the other stimulates the body to respond to stress.
Parasympathetic Nervous System
This part of the nervous system aides the body in normal functions and conserve physical resources. When activated, most of the blood flow goes to the visceral organs and allows the body to function at normal levels or homeostasis.
When we sleep, meditate or do yoga, we are activating the PNS.
Sympathetic Nervous System
The SNS is opposite where it activates the body to expend energy and respond to external threats and fears. Approximately 85% of the blood flow moves away from the visceral organs to the working muscles of the body and the limbs. When triggered, heart rate and breathing increases, sweat secretion activates and the pupils dilate.
In reality, we need both parts of the nervous system to function properly. The SNS can save your life if responding to an immediate dangerous situation. And we need the PNS to keep us rested and restored so that you can function in daily life. Both areas of the nervous system encounter biochemical reactions that release certain types of hormones depending on the (lack of) stress or demand on the body.
However, there are ramifications of being in "fight of flight" for long periods of time.
And Why is This Knowledge Important?
It is important to note that the body and the brain receives a biological signal and trigger from physical, emotional, mental or psychological stress. What is important is that the body and brain receives a signal, but cannot tell or discern if that threat is physical or emotional. It is just a biological response, so the brain has no clue the trigger, it just knows its response.
The brain sends warning signals through the central nervous system. The adrenal glands begin producing hormones (adrenalin and noradrenalin) which are recreated into the body. This causes the heart to beat faster and breathing to become more rapid. Muscles tense and pupils dilate.
So whether you're watching a scary movie, or escaping danger, it is important to know that today, we are under chronic stress response.
If you think about society right now, look at all the stress we respond to in our daily life. Traffic, fighting opinions on social media, horror or action-packed movies, news and media reactions, political disagreements, we are constantly triggered by emotional chaos, fear and stress. On top, things like exercise, which is healthy for the body, is also stress and demand on the body.
WE NEED TO SLOW DOWN!
What are the Consequences of Chronic SNS Activation?
Physiologically, this is what people need to understand about the consequences of too much stress on the body. YOU BASICALLY "BURN" OUT OR SECRETE NUTRIENTS THROUGH YOUR URINE.
When under chronic stress, the nutrient calcium doesn't go to it's function, but rather gets secreted through the urine. When cortisone releases, it leads to a dip in calcium absorption and spikes excretion.
Long term nutrient release leads to additional health issues. And when this happens things go south mentally, physically and emotionally. When stressed long term with certain hormones constantly secreting, we crave more comfort food to emotionally fulfill our mental and emotional state. Most of this food lacks nutrients so its a vicious cycle that never ends. The two main hormones released when in the SNS is cortisol and adrenalin (epinephrine).
According to the Stress and Eating Behavior research study posted it states, "Uncontrollable stress changes eating patterns and the salience and consumption of hyperpalatable foods; over time, this could lead to changes in allostatic load and trigger neurobiological adaptations that promote increasingly compulsively behavior. This association may be mediated by alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and other appetite-related hormones and hypothalamic neuropeptides. At a neurocircuitry level, chronic stress may affect the mesolimbic dopaminergic system and other brain regions involved in stress/motivation circuits. Together, these may synergistically potentiate reward sensitivity, food preference, and the wanting and seeking of hyperpalatable foods, as well as induce metabolic changes that promote weight and body fat mass. Individual differences in susceptibility to obesity and types of stressors may further moderate this process."
Chronic SNS activation will eventually put wear and tear on the body. This can lead to injuries, disease, malnutrition, lack of sleep and impaired judgment. Stress is the main reason for SNS and in today's society, we are bombarded with too much stress, especially now emotional chaos.
We don't feel good about ourselves when under chronic stress. We feel good about ourselves when in homeostasis and living in harmony with the body and mind.
Do you have thoughts to share on the PNS & SNS? If so, please share them in the comments below!
The Blue Zone is not a new concept. It's been around for years and a National Geographic writer discovered there are "Blue Zones" or communities in the world where longevity and quality of life exists, which led to him writing an article on, "The Secrets of a Long Life."
In my opinion, life is about quality, not quantity. Although many people desire to live a long life. They should want a long, healthy life. A long life in pain and suffering is not enjoyable, and thats where wellness comes into play.
Most people have heard the same old wellness tips over and over again, but ironically Blue Zones is proof that a life surrounded by various realms of wellness works! The author talked about nine lessons in his book that included:
Through his observations of Blue Zones throughout the world he recognized commonalities amongst the communities, which included:
It doesn't take much to adopt some of these qualities into your life. In fact, rearranging or preparing your "Blue Zone" space in your home is nothing new. It almost follows some aspects Feng Shui that promotes rearranging the home to have positive energy flow.
In my opinion, Blue Zones reiterate that the NATURAL ways of living trumps the ARTIFICIAL or engineered ways of eating, living and thinking.
So how do you do it? It's really easy and these tips are available for every - body.
Bring Nature into the Home or Build a Sanctuary
Plants have energy that is deep and wise. It doesn't take much effort to "dressage" a window sill or end table with plants, succulents or a vase of flowers. We are calm in nature and can find our indoor spaces filled with positive energy through the simple glory of flowers and plants.
Some people prefer to build a sanctuary with plants or other aesthetically pleasing home decors like candles, end tables chocked full of old books or antiques. Whatever you find pleasing, bring it into your home. This helps reduce stress and enhances the down shifting atmosphere in your space.
This space can be used for creative pursuits, to reduce stress, to connect to God, do a yoga class, or just to read a good book. Whatever you find pleasurable bring a little peace, love and Om, to your home.
For those who live in a house and have access to a yard, now is the time to build a garden! Gardens are part of blue zone communities and raised bed gardens are perfect for city homes. Not only are you getting in touch with the earth, but you'll have healthy produce to eat too!
Reduce Tech Use
I understand this is my judgment, but so far humans have not done well living in a life of hyper connectivity of social media and technology use. It is natural for us to feel or want something natural, whether that'd be a walk in the park or a coffee with friends.
I am not sure how much positive benefit Alexa has done for us, but it is important to reduce your access or usage of technology. One way to "Blue Zone" your bedroom is by removing the television. Between staring at a phone screen and a tv, the artificial light hinders our circadian rhythm, which is our sleep-wake cycle.
It is possible for us to retrain our brains to sleep naturally versus having to take sleeping meds all the time. And that first step is to reduce artificial light filtering into our eyes before bed.
Cook More Plant-Based Meals
Most people right now during COVID 19 are cooking from home. Instead of the easy-bake pizza or the bag of pop chips, reinvent your meals by simply adding more produce to them. Once this becomes easy or pallatable, trying cooking plant-based meals to incorporate more "Blue Zone" worthy recipes through the consumption of legumes, and plants.
Need inspiration? Check out my dairy-free recipe archive.
Or try these immune-boosting recipes that use up your pantry items!
Find Your Tribe
In today's world, it is easy to find social things to do, but difficult to make solid friends. The world is changing and so are people. However, support systems are necessary for emotional wellbeing. Most people don't need tons of friends, but maybe a good, solid one or two.
In lockdown, it is difficult to meet people in real person., but luckily online groups and zoom meet ups are still happening. So, you can meet people while in the comfort of your home. It is not easy to pop onto a new group during this digital time, but why not take a leap of faith and try it?
If there is one thing we've learned about COVID 19 it is that we are social creatures who crave interactions.
It will certainly get you out of your comfort zone.
Inspire Your Mind
Blue Zones are basically the old, natural way of living pre technology. I believe the natural ways of living are engrained in our DNA. Try to something weekly or daily that inspires your mind.
Maybe it's music you love, or reading quotes, or maybe listening to an inspirational talk on YouTube. Whatever it is, spend 2-3 minutes distressing your mind and body. For me, during tough times I began reading quotes to retrain my brain, and there are tons of quotes you can rummage on my Sunspiraiton page.
Whether you want to read quotes, or create a vision board, inspire yourself with optimal encouragement daily, or when you can.
Blue Zones are known for moving naturally. This is not via a scheduled, or regimen fitness workout, but by moving like walking or biking for commuting, planting a garden, or cleaning the house / sweeping sidewalks. In general, they are less sedentary.
Right now during COVID 19, being stuck inside still allows you to move with access to hundreds of free virtual fitness classes that are online. But, you can still move by cleaning (ahem, spring cleaning)NEAT or Non exercise thermogenesis activity. This includes anything like vacuuming, scrubbing, mowing the lawn etc. - really anything where you are upright and moving.
Sit less, move more. This doesn't mean lifting weights or doing 3 fitness classes per day. But NEAT allows us to organize our space while staying active outside of normal fitness routines.
Blue Zones are about bringing optimal wellbeing concepts into your home, and life.
Is your space Blue Zone worthy? If so, let us know what you do, or how your space is arranged to give other readers tips and ideas! Stay healthy! Let's Connect!
Welcome to the start of my wellness week. As the season of rebirth transitions closer to spring, I wanted to dedicate one week of wellness tips to better help readers initiate positive change in the life.
Change is the one thing that is constant in life. And now we've seen life drastically change over the last several weeks. This blog is dedicated to planting the seeds into your brain on how to change ones life.
Most people have a laundry list of things they want to change, but it all starts with one step, and that first step is sometimes the smallest change. Big results come from the accumulation of small amounts of change overtime. And here are 3 easy ways to make a change in your life.
Prioritize: Make a List
So many people are seeking change. Whether they want to lose one hundred pounds, not be broke anymore, or not end up like their parents, there are many layers and factors that go into the world of personal growth and development.
Like anything in life, change is a journey, and sometimes not an easy one. So many people desire so many changes that they try to change several things at once, but end up quitting because they are frustrated and not seeing fast results.
The false promises of today are simple white lies to get people hooked into programs, systems and cycles. Make a list of what you want to change.
Sure, it may be to eat healthier and lose weight, but underneath those macrocycles are micro-goals. Do you need to actually stop skipping lunch? Do you need to exercise? Do you need to drink more water and less caffeine? Do you want to live in a cleaner household?
Write a list of the many things you want to improve.
After you write a list, you can prioritize what is most important. What is something simple and easy that you can do today? Drinking more water is a way easier goal to reach right now than becoming a vegan overnight.
People who have chronic issues, drama or chaos in their life are unorganized in one or more aspects of life. For some people organizing their house is actually the first, necessary step.
Because the inner and outer world are usually a mirror reflection of eachother. Not always, but usually. When the space is clear, the mind can think more clearly. This is an old yoga philosophy that has stuck around for centuries. Have you ever felt better after a spring clean or declutter? It is because there is something refreshing and renewing about that "clean sweep."
For those who are alcoholics, there life is messy with relationships not only with themselves, but with others. One way to get organized is to remove yourself from people who no longer serve you. Getting organized is not easy, but necessary.
Take Action & Make a Plan
Do you need to go to counseling? Do you need to talk to a pastor? Or maybe you need to hire a health coach or personal trainer? Do you need to invite God into your life?
Most people can't walk forward in their path of change alone. Most need a support system, and friends or family to encourage them during this time. Support systems are huge and remind us of how or why we are on this journey.
Getting from point A to B will not be a straight trajectory, but it is a path. For those who believe in God, know that God may throw some trials and tribulations your way to see if you'll revert to old patterns or grow into new ones. Pressure and challenge is necessary to grow. It is how a diamond forms.
As a coach and trainer since 2006, my services have expanded through mobile devices. If interested in personal coaching or training, please use the contact form below to send me a message. Mention this blog for discounted sessions, and if affected by COVID 19 and lost work, please mention that too!
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com