Tweak #3 – Eating with intention

One easy tweak we can make in everyday life are our food choices and habits.  While our bodies adapt to our everyday choices, there are certain foods and food combinations that will boost our energy and digestions and ultimately our health!

Although there is a lot of information on this topic, I will keep this short so it can be an easy tweak!

  1. Keep starches and proteins separate.  A starch is a complex carbohydrate made up of small chain sugar molecules.  These foods are beans, pastas, peas, corn, rice and grains.  Proteins are composed of amino acids and are the building blocks of our bodies.  These foods are beef, tofu, dairy, fish, eggs, pork, beans etc. (yes, beans are both carbs and protein).  To keep it simple, eat Starch meals with veggies and protein meals with veggies, but try not to combine.  
  2. Eat fruit alone.  This means do not slice banana on your cereal or mix fruit with milk in your smoothies.
  3. Chew your food well and slow down while you eat. This aids in better digestion.
  4. Eat your raw food first (salad before cooked meal)
  5. Sip water during meals but consume most of your hydration between meals

Remember 70% of our immune system is in our gut.  All of these tips directly relate to digestion and gut health and keeping our immune system strong and ready to fight for our body!

Happy eating!

Tweak #4 – Eliminating Toxins in your home

Everyday we are bombarded with so many toxins.  Once we step outside our home it’s near impossible to avoid the 200,000 of ways we are affected. We can however make a few tweaks inside our home, which pay huge dividends.

The list of do’s and don’t are endless, but here are a few do’s to get you started:

  1. Keep two different plant types in your home
  2. Invest in a quality air purification system  (REME unit and Molecule)
  3. Place porcelain air diffusers in bedrooms and kitchen
  4. Replace old sheets, pillows and mattresses with organic
  5. Toss the toxic cleaning supplies and replace with natural, eco-friendly cleaning products

tweak #2

6 toxic foods to avoid:

For most of us, three times a day we are making the decision of what to eat.  But food is not only meant to keep us alive, it is intended to nourish our body.  We know that fruits and vegetables with phytonutrients and antioxidants are essential and healthy, but what are some of the toxic foods we should avoid as much as possible.

foods to avoid:

  1. genetically modified foods (GMO) – this means it has been injected with some sort of growth hormone or other substance to make it bigger or grow faster.
  2. non-organic foods – they have most likely been sprayed with herbicides and pesticides that you are now ingesting
  3. white flour
  4. table salt
  5. MSG – monosodium glutamate
  6. microwaved foods

Aim to eat as much live food as possible vs. dead, processed food. What a blessing we have so much choice!

Tweak #1 – Soak your rice!

Ideally you would soak your rice overnight each time before cooking it. Let’s be honest though, most of us don’t even know what we are cooking for dinner until that morning or a few hours before.

As soon as you know you are cooking rice for dinner, measure the amount you want to make (I cook 3 cups of rice for my family of 6), pour into a mixing bowl, fill with filtered water and let soak. Usually my rice soaks 3-4 hours, but sometimes all I get in is 30 minutes. Any amount is helpful and you’ll even taste the difference.

Rice has many health benefits: b vitamins, Folate (folic acid – which helps your body form new cells), iron and magnesium to name a few. It’s a great source of fiber. In addition, it’s gluten free, low in calories and contains no trans fat or cholesterol.

The kicker though is soaking it first and here is why:

  1. Rice has tricky hard to digest proteins and soaking it makes them easier to digest
  2. Soaking it neutralizes the phytic acid, which is a small molecule found in rice. Phytic acid prevents the absorption of the healthy nutrients so you want to neutralize this for maximum absorption of the good stuff!
  3. All rice has a certain amount of arsenic in it and to some extent it can be washed off. Note: try to buy organic rice grown in California, India or Pakistan

One last note: brown rice is healthier than white rice. Brown rice has all three parts of the grain kernel, whereas in white rice, two of the three parts have been removed.

Happy cooking!

Getting to the root of Connection

“Connection is the one thing that gives people meaning,”, says New York Times best selling author Brene Brown, “It’s the one thing everyone is driven by.”

But what if you don’t feel connected. What if you are uncomfortable letting people really get to know you. Shining a light on this might just set you free.

Shame is the answer. Shame keeps people disconnected because shame says there is something wrong with me and if someone gets to know me too well they might uncover it. If they uncover all that is wrong with me I will be unworthy of a relationship with them. It looks at the things culture values and says I am not that and i fear you’ll figure it out if you get to know me too well. It keeps us alone and imprisoned.

Dr. Brown found that those who walk out of shame have one thing in common. Vulnerability! Vulnerability breaks the power of shame. Vulnerability says I love you before you say you love me.

You are able to be vulnerable when you understand and feel a deep sense of love for yourself. A deep sense that you ARE worthy.

Dr. Brown also discovered that those who were vulnerable were also courageous. The latin word for cour means heart. Being courageous with others is telling the story of who you are with your whole heart.

The last quality those who came out of shame shared was authentic. Being able to let go of who you should be for who you really are.

God created us all exactly how he wanted us to be. We are not created perfect, but flawed intentionally. It is in our brokenness that we need God most. This is when we seek him.

When we understand God’s story and how much he loves us, we are free to love ourselves the same way. In this freedom, we become courageous, vulnerable and authentic.

What exactly is an electrolyte?

We all know that when we partake in any event that causes us to sweat we loose minerals and need to replenish them. The same conversation happens when we get sick and throw up or have diarrhea. We have been told to consume certain drinks etc. to make this happen. But what exactly are we replenishing?

Our bodies need to be replenished with electrolytes. So, the next question is, “what is an electrolyte?”

Simply stated electrolytes are minerals or chemical compounds that create electrically charged ions when dissolved in fluids. They keep our tissue, cells and fluids communicating with the rest of our body and are essential for our bodies to function. Many bodily functions depend on electrolytes such as muscle contractions and nerve impulse transmissions. In addition electrolytes affect the acidity of your blood (PH).

The electrolytes in the human body are:

  • sodium.
  • potassium.
  • calcium.
  • bicarbonate.
  • magnesium.
  • chloride.
  • phosphate.

Reasons to replenish with electrolyte supplements:

  • young children who are sick and loose fluids
  • athletes who are sweating for longer than an hour
  • adults who may not consumer enough water
  • patients recovering from chemotherapy treatment

Antibiotics Are Not Always the Answer

I can’t stop thinking about my daughter’s experience last week with an ear ache!

After two days of a dull pain that would not go away, I called our pediatrician so he could look inside her ear with his otoscope and hopefully diagnose the issue. As we expected he announced it was ear infection and told us we should get her on a 15 day antibiotic so that nothing more serious would happen, like a popped eardrum! Yikes!!! Of course we didn’t want THAT to happen so we took the prescription to the pharmacy, she took her first dose and was back in school that afternoon.

Now, I realize there is a time and place for antibiotics, but I also know they are given out and prescribed like a healthy vitamin meant to boost your immune system. It just didn’t feel right giving my daughter an antibiotic, knowing it was not only killing the “bad guys”, but the “good guys” also.

I emailed my favorite functional medicine doctor and asked her opinion. She replied with an article from CNN which says that according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, antibiotics do little to speed recovery and in fact raises the risks of some side effects. She told me to called a chiropractor and gave me a couple of recommendations. Hmmm, interesting but I’ll give it a try.

I called and got her an appointment that afternoon. The chiropractor explained that the dry air or some other little thing had probably caused a little fluid to back up and the drainage wasn’t working properly. He said the tube that drains the fluid in her ear is like the tiny red straw they serve at bars in your cocktail! Wow, now that is a tiny pathway!

In less than 10 minutes and a few adjustments later he said that’s it! It’s draining now and she should feel better in less than 24 hours. He said she may hear a cracking like noise and may feel the drainage coming up! “Yuck!”, we both said.

Sure enough less than 24 hours later Avery walked upstairs and announced that she had good news! The pain was gone and she felt better. Now two days later the ear infection is completely gone!

I am so thankful that we treated it this way and even more thankful she did not need to take a round of antibiotics. I can’t help but think about all the moms who have a child with an ear ache and think their only option is an antibiotic.

There are many amazing doctors out there. I am thankful for them. Most of them are just not trained to treat ailments by allowing the body to heal itself. They are trained to treat with medicine.

It’s interesting to note that the CDC now has a list of over 18 bacteria that are antibiotics resistant. This happens from over use of antibiotics and is a scary issue. The number keeps growing.

Following the Nudge

The book of Ruth is such a great example of how God blesses us when we partner with him, listen to his still small voice and follow his “nudge”.

Ruth has lost her husband and find herself in a place in life when she has a really big choice to make.  Does she follow Naomi, her mother-in-law, back to Judah, to a strange far away land or does she stay in Moab where she is comfortable and her surroundings are familiar.  Gosh, how many times in life are we faced with  huge life changing decisions like these?

Ruth ponders this decision and decides to go with Naomi.  She even goes so far as to say, “Where you go, I go and Where you die, I die”! Wow! very powerful statements and  quite frankly a very powerful commitment on her part.  Ruth stands firm in her decision and is clearly convinced this is the way she should go.  In the end she meets her prince charming and soulmate, Boaz.  A wonderful man who marries her and literally sweeps her off her feet.

Ruth clearly felt the Holy Spirit leading her and in the end was truly blessed.  She dared to go outside her comfort zone, dared to get off “her mat” and make a move.

There are so many mysteries about God and heaven while we are here on earth.  One day we hope to find out so many answers, but for now on earth one thing we do have is testimony.

When I was in my mid twenties, I found myself single, yet yearning to find my one true love, my soulmate.  On a trip home to Florida, I shared this with my mom and we went and prayed with her dear friend and bible study leader, Jackie.  Jackie sat across from me at lunch and held my hands as she prayed the most beautiful prayer.  In the end she asked the Lord to show me my Boaz.

I returned to Atlanta where I was working.  I was in a routine, working at my dream job in journalism and very content.  Shortly after my return though, I started to feel “the nudge”.  At the time I did not connect this to God working in my life, but as I look back I can see he was there working the whole time.  I have no doubt in my mind that he heard my cry and Jackie’s prayer loud and clear.

I stood on the second floor of Phipps Plaza in Atlanta and announced to my friend Gail that I was moving to Dallas, TX..  Now, I had hardly been to Dallas.  I had driven through one time on a long cross country road trip, but I had hardly spent time there.

But, I knew that I knew that I knew I was supposed to move to Dallas,  It was all of a sudden this crystal clear feeling or “nudge” I felt.

Long story short, I gave my 2 week notice to CNN Interactive and loaded up my black lab Marley and off we went o Dallas.  I moved in with my good friend Erin and her new husband and eventually found a job and a new apartment and started my new life in Dallas.

Two and a half years later I met my Boaz, my one true love.  I was walking in from dinner with my friend Laura and walked literally right into him as he was leaving his apartment.  You see, he lived two doors down from the condo I had just moved into one month earlier.  The condo that I knew the first time I laid eyes on it I was supposed to move into.

One and a half years later we were married.

It was in the surrender.  The surrender of letting go and letting God that God was able to move in my life.  To lead me to my Boaz, my love.