Top 3 Easy Goals to Set for 2018 (or start right now!)

goals

If it’s a New Year’s resolution or just want to start making better healthy choices for your body and brain, setting goals can be the difference between success or not. One thing to remember is that no matter how many times you don’t meet your goal, there is a lesson in each of these times and DON’T STOP TRYING. YOU WILL GET THERE!!

Here are a couple goals to set for yourself and your family for 2018 (or now!!)

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  1. Get on the organic train

The top complaint I hear is how expensive it is and although some items may be a tiny more pricey, you cannot put a price tag on your health.

Organic is not what it used to be and sometimes you may even see the organic choices being sold at a lower price. Check out organic bananas next time you’re in the store.

Even if the price tag is a bit higher, the quality of food and the health benefits  dramatically outweigh the extra cents here and there.

Keep in mind, every time you purchase organic foods, you are casting your vote and the more people who choose these foods, the variety will start to go up and the prices will start to go down.

I’m not only talking about food though, I’m talking about the products we use and allow our families to use. If you read the ingredients in most of the bathroom products we use every day, it may be shocking. Remember that skin is our largest organ and absorbs around 60% of everything we put on it. One of the worst chemicals that is added in many of our cosmetics and body products would be: Parabens

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What are Parabens- these are used as a preservative in many cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, body washes and even added to things we ingest. You might be shocked that you could potentially eat these cancer causing chemicals but it’s actually more harmful for the parabens to be absorbed through your skin. This allows the chemical to bypass the metabolic process and enter the blood stream and body organs intact. Methylparaben, butylparaben, and propylparaben are some of the most common parabens but there are many more but they all generally contain the name paraben. AVOID THESE PRODUCTS!!

Some companies recommend: Dr. Bronner’s, Alba, Green Beaver, Educated Beards, The Best Deodorant in the World.. just to name a few.

educated beards logobestdeodorantgreenbeaver

  1. Recognize the value of exercising

    This is not only for shedding pounds but is also super important in keeping our bodies moving and living a long full life. Exercising allows our bodies to eliminate the toxic build up from our everyday lives and will allow your body to keep moving as you start to age. I’m talking how long you will be able to walk upright without use of a cane or walker. (Trust me future you will thank you). This does not have to be a vigorous 20K run or doing crossfit 8 times a week. Look at what works for you, always keeping injuries and time a big part of your consideration when trying to find activities that work for you.

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    Try Yoga, Swimming and Walking. Yoga has so many health benefits for you physically and mentally, swimming can be done by almost anyone regardless of current physical endurance and walking is amazing!! These exercises benefit your heart and work both the upper and lower body but are very gently on your joints. There are no excuses. I promise you, you will never regret adding exercise to your life, even if it’s just adding a couple yoga classes a week or a few 20 min walks.

  2. Make quality time a priority

We all live these lives of constant stress (even if we don’t know it). We are glued to our phones and have become majorly addicted to the endorphin release that happens when we see that someone liked our post, or started following us on Instagram. There is an epidemic happening and of course we can’t completely ignore technology, we have to recognize that it has its place but at home during dinner with our families is not where it belongs.

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Start by setting BOUNDARIES- No phone or electronics at the table, turn the tv off and connect with your family or even yourself. Try to be in the moment. Using mindfulness techniques can really help you fully be in the moment. Limit your TV exposure, instead play a board game or go for a walk. Remember playing eye spy with your parents? I do!! And I loved those things! I still cherish those moments with my mom and so will your children.

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Time goes fast and I’ve never heard anyone say they wish they hadn’t spent so much time with their family and children but almost everyone says “Life is short”, “It goes so fast”. So take the time while you have it. You’ll never live this day again in your life.

 

 

Live longer, healthier and happier

Alicia

Water – How much should you drink daily?

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Water: How much should you drink every day?

Water is essential to good health, yet needs vary by individual. These guidelines can help ensure you get enough for your body.

How much water should you drink each day? It’s a simple question with no easy answers. Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years, but in truth, your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.

Although no single formula fits everyone, knowing more about your body’s need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.

Our Bodies necessity for water

Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.

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Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. Think of a plant that desperately needs water, all wrinkled, discoloured and falling over as opposed to a healthy hydrated plant vibrant and full of colour.

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How much water do you need?

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.

Isn’t it 8 glasses a day?

Everyone has heard the advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” Although the “8 by 8” rule isn’t supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it’s easy to remember. Just keep in mind that the rule should be reworded as: “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day,” because all fluids count toward the daily total.

Somethings that might affect your requirements

You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, the climate you live in, your health status, and if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.

  • Exercissweat cryinge. If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 1.5 to 2.5 cups (400 to 600 milliliters) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. How much additional fluid you need depends on how much you sweat during exercise, and the duration and type of exercise.
  • Intense exercise. During long bouts of intense exercise, it’s best to use a sports drink that contains sodium, as this will help replace sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia, which can be life-threatening. Also, continue to replace fluids after you’re finished exercising.
  • Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime. Further, altitudes greater than 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, which use up more of your fluid reserves.beach
  • Illnesses or health conditions. When you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses additional fluids. In these cases, you should drink more water. In some cases, your doctor may recommend oral re hydration solutions, such as a sports drink. Because of the aspartame and other chemicals generally found in sports drinks, i recommend a more natural electrolyte supplement like ultima or vega.
  •  You may also need increased fluid intake if you develop certain conditions, including bladder infections or urinary tract stones. On the other hand, some conditions, such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases, may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake.
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.3 liters) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters ) of fluids a day.
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Beyond the tap: Other sources of water

You don’t need to rely only on what you drink to meet your fluid needs. What you eat also provides a significant portion of your fluid needs. On average, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are 90 percent or more water by weight.

In addition, beverages such as milk and juice are composed mostly of water. Even beer, wine and caffeinated beverages — such as coffee, tea or soda — can contribute, but these should not be a major portion of your daily total fluid intake. Water is still your best bet because it’s calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available.

Staying safely hydrated

Generally, if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow — and measures about 6.3 cups (1.5 liters) or more a day if you were to keep track — your fluid intake is probably adequate. If you’re concerned about your fluid intake or have health issues, check with your doctor or a registered dietitian. He or she can help you determine the amount of water that’s right for you.

To ward off dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. It’s also a good idea to:

  • Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal
  • Drink water before, during and after exercise

Although uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water, the electrolyte (mineral) content of the blood is diluted, resulting in low sodium levels in the blood, a condition called hyponatremia. Endurance athletes, such as marathon runners who drink large amounts of water, are at higher risk of hyponatremia. In general, though, drinking too much water is rare in healthy adults who eat an average diet.

Live longer, healthier and happier

Alicia

6 Ways to Start Losing Weight Now!

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Society as a whole has become so focused on the appearance of a persons physical being or “meat suit” as I like to call it and has gotten away from what truly matters. A persons heart and soul, this is what truly make a human beautiful.

With that said…these…ahem… “meat suits” are what carry our beautiful heart and souls around in this world and help us to stay here for as long as possible soo.. here are a few ways to get healthier and shed some of those extra pounds.

 

  1. Put the junk food down- I know, I know easier said then done but make small obtainable goals. If you’re a junk-aholic then take it day by day. Any improvement is a step in the right direction. For example if you eat a chocolate bar every day. Make your goal to not eat one today. Maybe you start by having one every second day, then have one every third then once a week on “cheat day“.  If you eat out every day for lunch, start packing a lunch on Wednesdays, then Mondays and Wednesdays, then you will start to add days as you get used to it. I promise it will get better and you will start to feel better.Assorted Junk Food
  2. Drink Green tea- Green tea is filled with antioxidants that help destroy free radicals and has been shown to have powerful medicinal qualities. If caffeine is an issue for you then choose a decaffeinated green tea, just keep in mind the process of removing the caffeine also removes about half the antioxidants. Teas can also be counted towards your daily water intake, which is also very important for weight loss and overall health.greeen tea
  3. Get mentally healthy- We all know when we are stressed we tend to go towards comfort foods rather then the healthy options. Why do we choose these sugar filled, high fatty foods? Stress releases a hormone called cortisol or frequently known as “the stress hormone”, when you have increased levels of the hormone it can cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods. If you think this could be a part of your weight struggle or gain then talk to someone, start practicing yoga or meditation. You can find great guided meditations on youtube.meditation1
  4. Move your body- Go to yoga, the gym, throw your head phones in and go for a walk outside or on your treadmill. One way I’ve found to help couch potatoes get up and find movement is to have a compromise. Bring your treadmill in the living room and save your favorite show for the 30-60 minutes you are walking. ONLY allow yourself to watch your show when you are walking on your treadmill. You will be surprised to find out how simply making a deal like that with yourself will get you up and moving, plus I guarantee the time fly by!!!exercise
  5. Don’t allow yourself to get too hungry- Keep healthy snacks like raw nuts, apples or coconut chips in your briefcase or purse. When that super hunger urge hits you, it’s often really hard to wait to make or find healthy options. Another good idea is to make sure you are eating smaller portions more often. This will help to avoid the sudden crash of energy and the need to have food immediately. One last thing is to make sure you never, ever skip meals.hangry
  6. Show how much money it actually costs to eat out- Every time you make a better choice for foods or eating at home, put away the amount you would have spent on fast food or the stop at the convenience store. If you’re a junkaholic or even a part time offender, you will notice how fast this money adds up and since this money would have been spent, use it for something you normally wouldn’t spend money on.

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If you are struggling with your weight, there are many, many options out there for you. Don’t give up and don’t judge yourself when you slip up. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing is working then it could be an issue with one of your glands or a deficiency in an important vitamin or mineral that keeps your body working efficiently. I have a special this month on nutritional assessments that would help to determine any of these things and if you mention this article i’ll take an additional $10 off.  See my October monthly specials or contact me to book an appointment.

Live longer, healthier and happier

Alicia

 

Your First yoga class

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Here you are, you’ve found a studio that you would like to try, signed up for their special of the month or intro month and now you’re home getting ready to venture out for your very first yoga class.

You find yourself staring in the mirror in your brand new yoga pants and shirt that you’ve purchased especially for this day, you’re dissecting every part of your body and attempting to convince yourself not go to this class.

You tell yourself that you’re not flexible enough to do yoga or you start to imagine that all the other students in the class will be 6 Foot tall models, with 0% body fat, who live a gluten free, vegan lifestyle, who never get mad, never swear and can levitate without even trying. You tell yourself you’re too busy, or picture yourself falling over in class.

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NONE OF THIS IS TRUE….

If you’re not flexible, that’s OK, yoga will actually help improve your flexibility and strength in a safe and gentle way.

I’ve been practicing yoga for a very long time and I’m 5 feet tall, have body fat (and that’s ok), I do try to eat gluten free but I eat meat and I love salt and vinegar chips. I’m a human just like you. All Yogis are human just like you. I get mad sometimes, I cry sometimes and I certainly cannot levitate (although that would be pretty cool).

The busier you are the more you need yoga in your life and if you fall over no one will even notice and if they do, they don’t care. There is no ego in the yoga room. Everyone is there for different reasons and no one is there to judge or compare themselves to you or anyone else in the room.

easy pose

Let’s talk about what to actually expect and extra tips you may want to know to make you feel more prepared about your first class.

Items to bring:

  1. Yoga mat- although no big deal if you don’t have one, most studios have them for rent- usually around $2.
  2. Water bottle
  3. For hot yoga bring a yoga mat towel and if you’re thinking WTF is that, then just bring a beach towel or rent a yoga mat towel at the studio.
  4. Towel if you want to shower after, some people shower at the studio and some go home to shower.
  5. Change for parking ( so you can’t do two loops on the street and decide you can’t find parking but you tried so you’re going to reward yourself by going for ice cream instead).

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Here are some more realistic things to expect during your first yoga class: 

  1. When you arrive, go to the main desk and say your name if you’ve already purchased a class pass, an intro month or one of the monthly specials. If you haven’t ask the kind person behind the desk to help you pick which option is best for you and your schedule. Don’t be afraid, you’ll be surprised at how super friendly everyone is. Mention any injuries you might have.
  2. They will show you or tell you where the change rooms are.
    • Leave all your stuff in the change room (including socks in case you were wondering). Take your mat, water and towel if necessary, items like keys and phones only distract you and the others in the room. Your items will be safe.
  3. Fill your water and make your way to the yoga studio.
    • Most studios observe silence meaning once you walk through the doors no more talking.
    • Some people will be laying on there backs on the mat looking like their dead, don’t worry they are not. This is called Savassana or Corpse pose. A lot of people will just relax in this pose until the teacher comes in. You may see some people doing a workout quietly on their mat, or sitting with their eyes closed just chilling out. DO WHAT YOU WANT. Doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, as long as you’re not being loud then do what you want.
    • One thing to avoid is whipping your mat open and letting it fall to the floor, this is super loud. Gently roll your mat out and place your towel on it. You’ll understand better when it happens.

      You’ve maybe decided to do the looking like your dead pose and lay down. Now you wait……………HOLD ON! ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU HEAR SOMETHING…… WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT NOISE…..

That noise is Ujjayi or yoga breathe. This breathe is found by inhaling in through the nose and exhaling out through the nose. There is a slight restriction at the back of your throat that allows your breathe to become audible.

Try this little exercise to find this breathing style.

Take the palm of your hand in front of your mouth. Picture the palm of your hand as being a mirror, Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Fog up the mirror. Do this a couple times and notice how it feels in your throat and how it sounds. Now, try it with your mouth closed and exhales coming out of your nose but keep that same feeling or sound in your throat. Keep practising and eventually it will become second nature when you start your yoga practice.

Why Ujjayi breathe?

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Ujjayi breathe is the ancient yogic breathing and has been used for thousands of years to enhance yoga practices.

Ujjayi has a balancing influence on the entire cardiorespiratory system, releases feelings of irritation and frustration, and helps calm the mind and body. With Ujjayi, there are so many benefits, providing good value for a simple practice. Here are a few benefits you may enjoy as a result of practicing the Ujjayi breath:

  • Increases the amount of oxygen in the blood
  • Builds internal body heat
  • Relieves tension
  • Encourages free flow of prana
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Helps yoga practitioner to maintain a rhythm while they practice
  • Builds energy
  • Detoxifies mind and body
  • Increases feelings of presence, self-awareness, and meditative qualities

Ujjayi breathe is something to practice towards and not expect to master the breathing technique on your first try or first yoga class.

Once the teacher comes in, they will guide you through a series of poses and depending on which type of yoga you’ve chosen it may be very gentle (like a yin) or vigourous like a flow class. I suggest starting with a gentle version of yoga (yin or moksha) and working your way up to a flow class.

There it is. You know what to expect. You’re ready!!!

Yoga is my favorite thing to do. It’s my passion and I’d like to share it with anyone who would like to try. I wrote this article to encourage people to get out and try it. I promise and know forsure that you will get something out of it. However, if after reading this, you’re still not convinced then try a couple private one on one sessions to get some understanding and knowledge of the poses to expect. When booking quote “first yoga class” to receive $25 off your first private class.

Namaste

namaste