Changes I have made, yet to be made and current goals toward stress relief: A one year progress report!
Welcome! This is the written recording of my journey to an overall healthier lifestyle. I will provide you lists of references and books that have helped me to get where I am today. You can see my grand victories, my funny adventures and my silly mistakes. I am one year into my transformation and have made many of all of those. From accomplishments, funny stories and silly mistakes. The theme of my journey is progress not perfection. I am not expecting perfection from myself. I am striving for overall progress; slow and easy continuous progress.
These are the changes I have made to date:
1. Cut out pork & red meats
2. 75% raw
3. No processed foods
4. No processed sugars
5. No gluten
6. No caffeine
7. No soda
After a while I noticed other things that I was doing that are also unhealthy. My hair color, nail polish, deodorant, clothing fabrics, body lotions, face creams all became noticeable. I am a holistic health coach so I am very aware of the things in my environment that I should stay away from. I will go into further detail with a blog on those things at a later date. I am currently working on the things that I just listed. Vanity is preventing immediate changes in everything. I am working toward it though.
1. I switched my deodorant to an enzyme deodorant however; I am not impressed. Especially during the hot summer in a silk dress. So, if anyone has deodorant suggestions I would love to hear them. I am also looking into making my own deodorant (as long as it’s effective!)
2. I have given up chemical-filled hair colors. There are still hair colors available for use.
3. I love breathable polyester for workouts. I should reevaluate that. I have a natural tendency toward “real” fabrics like cotton, wool, linen and silk. I love the new hemp products that are available.
4. I love EO’s (essential oils) and am currently taking a course to help me understand the MANY valuable uses of EO’s and how to make products myself.
5. I try to stay away from all chemical cleaners. (LOL to be honest that is not a struggle for me.) But I am learning how to make healthy, great smelling cleaning products with EO’s! I do not dry clean.
6. I have learned quite a bit about how herbs can be used to prevent illness, keep our colds/flus from getting as bad as they would without them, and they don’t have any of the negative consequences that some OTC medicines do. I’ve made some great cough syrups, ginger candies and herbal lip balm. And I’m looking forward to having a whole medicine cabinet full of these great, homemade items!
I have my hands full with the food changes and stress relief. I am going to commit to making gradual changes to the list of 6 above. I will make more of a committed effort next year. I believe that it is a mistake to take on more than what we can reasonably handle. Again it is important to be realistic with ourselves and practice slow growth and betterment. One to thing things at a time.
Now that a healthy lifestyle is comfortable and natural, my main goal is to eliminate stress. I will continue to add one new recipe a week to my cache and learn from all my new sources. My main focus will be to relieve stress with the following:
1. Pinpoint the things that cause stress in my life by daily journaling and then going back and highlighting anything stressful in my day.
2. Continuing daily exercise of 30-60 minutes of cardio and 45 minutes 3 times weekly strength training.
3. Praying and spending a minimum of 30 minutes daily quietly with God.
4. Practicing Reiki and other stress reducing activities. (I am signed up for 10 yoga sessions; we will see how that goes.)
5. 30 minutes minimum daily learning, reading and growing spiritually.
6. Very limited political news.
7. Very limited television.
8. 1/2 hour daily reading and talking extra time with my loved ones.
9. 2 nights of dancing a week with my fiance.
10. Nightly walk after dinner.
11. Community contribution and involvement through my volunteer work with animals and veterans.
12. Steps to reduce stress in my business by eliminating stressful associations and relying more on trusted and reliable people.
13. Eliminating superfluous household items, furniture and people in my life.
I know that I have a lot on my list. Who would have ever thought that eliminating stress in our lives would have so many opportunities!
-written by Karen Davis
Is this you?
It’s 4pm, and you’re already yawning and feeling exhausted. Put that double espresso and candy bar down – they aren’t going to get you through!!
Who hasn’t experienced that drained feeling halfway through the afternoon, when making it through the day seems impossible? According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly half of us report an afternoon slump where energy and concentration are challenged. One of the most common reasons for afternoon fatigue is fluctuating blood sugar levels. If too much sugar is released into the body at once, by either waiting too long to eat between meals or high carbohydrate or fatty foods, too much insulin is released to balance the sugar levels. This causes your blood sugar levels to rise and fall rapidly, leading to a quick burst of energy followed by a deep crash. And therein lays the afternoon energy slump… yawn!!!
Enter SNACKS. So, why are they such an important part of your day? Snacks are those 150-200 calories that will save you!! They bridge the gap between meals and stop that rumbling stomach when lunch and dinner are hours away. They keep your blood sugar stable and your hunger in check so that you are not grabbing a candy bar from the nearest vending machine or gorging everything in sight at your next meal. Snacks will fuel your AM workout if there is no time for a proper meal and will replenish your glycogen stores after you have finished that run and strength session. Snacks are also a great way to get in extra whole foods to ensure that you are getting in the correct nutrients for the day.
It’s important to pick the right snack at the right time, to keep energy levels up and bridge the gap properly. A snack made up of a complex carb, a healthy fat, and clean protein will increase your energy levels for a longer period of time.
So, back to that 4pm slump. It’s the time of day when another cup of coffee or quick sugary snack seems like the perfect way to carry you to the end of the day. Hold that thought! With this snack list in hand, and a little planning, you can easily push through and run to the finish line. Don’t let that 4pm slump take control of you; you have the power to take control of it! Below is a list of my top ten snacks to beat that slump, so arm yourself with the ingredients and knowledge that you have the power to keep your hunger and energy in check all day!
TEN TOP SNACKS TO PREVENT THE AFTERNOON SLUMP
- A handful of raw unsalted nuts/homemade trail mix – the protein, fiber, and fat is a perfect snack combination
- 2 cups of mixed raw veggie sticks and 2 tbsp of your favorite dip – hummus, tahini, pesto, etc.
- Hardboiled egg, ¼ avocado, and tomato on a piece of sprouted Ezekiel toast or ½ an Ezekiel muffin
- ½ cup organic Greek yogurt (or a lactose-free option) with 1 tbsp nut butter, cinnamon, and ½ apple, sliced, OR Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp mixed nuts, seeds, and berries
- Green juice – cucumber, kale, spinach, parsley, celery, lemon ginger, and coconut oil
- Smoothie – unsweetened almond milk, ½ banana, 1 tbsp almond butter, protein powder, vanilla, cinnamon, hemp seeds, maca powder/cacao powder, and ice
- 1 apple, sliced, with 1 tbsp nut butter
- Popcorn with little sea salt and olive oil and a handful of nuts/seeds
- Chopped fruit salad with fresh mint and some almonds
- Nori seaweed, canned salmon/tuna, avocado, spinach, and cucumber wrap
Your Wellness Warrior