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Practicing the Art of Detox, Relaxation and Healing

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Health and Wellness Blog

An ongoing series of informative entries

Sugar Addiction - How excess sugar harms your body

Janurary, 3 2020

Sugar is everywhere we look. Thing is most packaged foods hide sugar as an ingredient, so we don’t notice that we are consuming more sugar in our diet than we need. Take for instance fruit yogurt which many people think is a nutritious breakfast. Fruit yogurt can contain 19 grams of added sugar in a single serving. But how much are 19 grams?

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are :

Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons).

Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).

So women who start the day with a cup of fruit yogurt containing 19 grams of sugar have already eaten over half of their daily intake.

This is only in the first hour of the day!

A can of coke consists of 33 grams of sugar. If someone had a cup of blueberry yogurt for breakfast and a can of coke for lunch….. they have already surpassed the maximum daily intake before noon.

Now let’s talk about what this sugar does in the body when it breaks down.

What is sugar?

Sugar is a combination of two molecules:

Glucose and Fructose

Glucose is “plant” sugar. Plants and make glucose from photosynthesis to store as energy. Every cell in our body can metabolize glucose. If we don’t get it from a food source then our body makes it. A wonderful process called Gluconeogenesis!. Sounds cool right? I won’t bore you with this process though (Phew!).

Fructose is “fruit” sugar. Found in fruits and many plants as well and can only be metabolized in the liver. The liver then stores this converted energy and if full will turn the fructose into fat. If this overabundance of fat cannot be shipped out of the liver you have a greater chance of creating Fatty Liver Disease.

According to the American Liver Foundation, this disease can form with as little as 5% to 10% of the liver’s weight in fat. This disease can cause fatigue, weakness, jaundice, swelling of the legs and abdomen, mental confusion and other nasty symptoms.

Insulin and insulin resistance

We have all heard of diabetics taking insulin but what is insulin?

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas to signal the cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. Our body monitors what we digest, what our cells demand and releases insulin in the right amount to help regulate blood sugar.

The more sugar you eat, the more insulin your body produces to send the signal to your muscle and fat cells to remove and use glucose from the blood. When your cells get enough glucose for energy from the excess sugar, they essentially block the insulin signal. The body then produces more insulin and tries again. The pancreas will continue to create insulin until it cannot anymore which in turn causes the blood glucose levels to rise. This is known as Insulin Resistance which is the first step to type 2 diabetes.

Insulin resistance comes long before type 2 diabetes occurs. You can prevent future harm by getting regular checkups at your primary care physician to check your glucose levels and vitals.

Other symptoms that can come along with type 2 diabetes are arteriosclerosis or known as atherosclerosis. This is thickening and hardening of your artery walls which can lead to strokes or heart attacks. Skin lesions and skin tags can also develop. Problems with menstruation in women known as polycystic ovary syndrome can develop causing women to grow mustaches, sideburns and mid-chest hair. I’m quite sure no woman wants to resemble David Hasselhoff.

This information is not given to scare you but to inform you so you can make your own choice when you step into the grocery store.

Now that I have ruined the sweet joy we all like to indulge in, here are some sugar alternatives.

Monk fruit sweetener- this is a zero-calorie sweetener made from a sub-tropical melon in southern china. It is not processed with toxic chemicals. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar which allows you to use much less and still get the same taste.

Here is what we use in our home Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener.

Stevia extract- this is also a zero-calorie sweetener derived from the Stevia Rebaudiana plant which is native to Central and South America. Stevia extract is about 40 times sweeter than sucrose. It is mixed with other ingredients when sold as a powder. You will have to check the label of the manufacturer to see what it is combined with. The main ingredient in Truvia is sugar alcohol called erythritol, which has no calories since our body cannot metabolize it. I prefer the monk fruit since it is in its natural state when turned into granules.

I want to emphasize that I recommend using these alternative sweeteners in moderation. These can still raise insulin levels in high quantities.

The more we moderate our intake of sweet food the less we will crave sweets. Eating whole fruits is a good way to satisfy our sugar craving since it has fiber to help us digest and metabolize properly.

If you are addicted to sugar, these sweeteners will help you lower your sugar intake and lower your cravings over time. The more you can get your sugar from natural sources the better. We have to lower your craving first so you will be less likely to eat something “bad” for you in a moment of temptation. If we limit our sugar intake, we can stay far away from type 2 diabetes and these health limiting symptoms.

There are simple habits that we can develop in our lifestyle that will make it easier to live a healthier, more vibrant and energetic life. I know you want to live fully each and every day and share your passion and purpose.

At Enrich Your Health we can help you develop these habits and dive into our psychology to understand what we do and don’t do when it comes to making choices about our health and wellness. We will work with you one on one to tailor a program to your specific needs and help you reach your health goal.

You CAN have a more productive life to get things done and still have the energy to give to your friends and loved ones. Give us a call and get a free consultation so we can help you be a high performer everyday!

Now continue to be the amazing person you are and always

enrich your mind, enrich your body and enrich your health.

Author - Michael Coles

Conscious Living

December, 30 2019

Conscious Living is so important when making shifts in our bodies and energy bodies. Conscious Living is when we truly make a choice, to the best of our ability, in alignment with your desires, hopes, and dreams. If we haven't clarified lately which direction we'd like to go in, maybe it is a good time to start to peel back the layers of possibilities, habits already in place, and start to make choices based on things that truly resonate with our spirit.

I love the word resonance because it is a very nontangible but highly understood concept. It pulls us into this idea of alignment, balance, and enjoyment together in a way we can step out of our daily routine and look at the bigger picture, the energy behind our actions and intentions.

To clarify our habits and behaviors, to modify them to resonate, calls for a reorganization. When that happens things can get messy! We oftentimes need to pull everything out of the closet first and put back only what is serving us. When I do my chanting sometimes the sounds coming out of my body can be abrasive, but inevitably after some time, my voice, my body, my vibration falls into resonance.

The point here is that when we are searching for peace within our bodies, flexibility, breath, and joy, sometimes things can get a little messy before they get better. Ease into the chaotic shifts and know that the Mountain Peak is just ahead. Often times when I am teaching someone how to stretch I explain the arcs of sensation that come intensely and then subside. Don't be afraid of a little bit of sensation, a little bit of messy, it's part of the process of letting go and stepping into our New Bodies.

Using our beautiful ability to tune our vibration, to visualize how we would like to feel, is our great power and birthright. Use your power of imagination to feel your goals, to see your dreams. Be patient and be kind to yourself and your journey, and your joyful, flexible spirit and body will blossom like a flower.

As the New Year approaches, may we all be reminded of the beauty that lies underneath all of our efforts and striving, the beauty of letting go and going inward. We will now be embarking on a long journey through Winter and Spring into the secret places of our hearts, bodies spirits and souls. A beautiful journey inward.

If we are quiet, if we surrender and allow the subtle ques of the body and spirit to become a path, we will be able to find a resonance in our daily, weekly and monthly habits that truly resonate with bodies and spirit. Ask yourself the right questions, and give yourself the honor and space that you deserve.

Nonduality and nonjudgment in practice are watching the thoughts, experiences, and things in your life pass without attaching your attention to the label of these things. Like a leaf falling to the ground, we become the infinite wind the leaf dances through. The abilities we have, the status we hold, the restrictions and the pain, they can just be. Our true nature is beyond the story that surrounds us, beyond the emotions that fill us. We can begin to rest in the bliss of non-attachment and simply be, in peace.

When we continue to allow the thoughts to pass in non-attachment, the stillness that lies within reveals it's true beauty and brilliance. It is a death of some kind, completely letting go. The search for an Infinite Wisdom is inherent, the idea that something isn't quite right the way things are. These are signs that your beautiful suffering is ready to allow the Infinite Source within to begin to heal. It can supply us with a renewable, sustainable state of bliss.

Our energetic feeding on each other, the Earth, the race to the top, is not sustainable. It inevitably will end in exhaustion and sickness. When as a human race we learn to find our strength from within, this will mirror into the consciousness at large and express itself in sustainable energy for the world. Acknowledge the Source within by letting go of the world around you and by going in. Let go of the projection and go to the one doing the projecting.

If you want to see our evolution moving into peace, it MUST start within.

Begin with small steps every day.

Massage for those Suffering from Arthritis

December 28, 2019

To begin this blog post I think we should discuss what arthritis is. First, arthritis is not a single disease. The word arthritis refers to several different conditions that are all related to joint pain or joint disease. The most common symptoms include stiffness, swelling, inflammation, loss of range of motion, and pain.

Is there a cure for arthritis? According to the rheumatologist, in this link here, Scott J. Zashin, MD,

"There are many different types of arthritis. When someone speaks about a 'cure' for arthritis, you must take into account the type of arthritis. For example, there are several types of arthritis caused by infection, including Lyme disease and bacterial arthritis. Both can be cured by antibiotics. Arthritis due to a virus, such as Parvovirus, is a self-limited condition (i.e., runs its course without treatment). Gout is a type of arthritis that can be put into remission by lowering the uric acid enough so that gout crystals do not precipitate in the joints and cause inflammation. Lowering uric acid can be done by avoiding foods high in purines or by medication, such as allopurinol. While symptoms may never return, this is not a true cure because if the patient goes off their diet or stops taking medication, arthritis returns."

So, how can you effectively manage arthritis? Many arthritis patients are prescribed medications that can help with the pain. But, often these medications come with heavy side effects and patients are looking to find other natural remedies to help soothe the body. There are many different home remedies that you can try including:

-menthol creams, a study performed by Imaginetix showed an increase in pain management when arthritis creams had an addition of menthol.

-capsaicin cream, a study performed in Germany indicated that after three weeks of usage of a cream containing capsaicin there was a 50% reduction in patients' pain.

-Anti-inflammatory diets, there is no set diet for arthritis patients although the simple method is to eat more fruits and vegetables and refrain from eating processed foods or foods containing simple carbohydrates.

-Including anti-inflammatory spices in the diet such as turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, garlic, cayenne, ginger, cloves, and saffron.

-Glucosamine, "is a naturally occurring amino sugar in the body that plays a vital role in keeping cartilage and other body tissues healthy."

-low impact exercise (water aerobics), low impact exercise can result in weight loss which is very important in maintaining the health of joints. Water aerobics is especially helpful because the water buoyancy results in less impact on the joints.

The last thing I would like to touch on is a massage for arthritis. According to Arthritis.org, "Research has shown that massage can lower the body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol, and boost production of serotonin, which, in turn, can improve mood. Additionally, massage can lower the production of the neurotransmitter substance P, often linked to pain, and improve sleep as a result."

In addition to the above information, massage is known to help with increasing flexibility as well as soothing sore and painful joints and muscles. In addition to the physical pain management benefits, there are also psychological benefits. Many people who suffer from arthritis also suffer from anxiety. The intensity of this disease can lead the sufferer to always worry about when their symptoms will flair as well as yearning for a day when the pain will subside.

Bardos works with many patients who suffer from arthritis. If you are suffering and would like to add massage to your regimen please contact us and we will find a massage program that works best for you!

Give Your Skin a Healthy Boost with Broccoli!

December 27, 2019

A new year, even a new decade is upon us! This means, fresh vegetables from farm to table! I will discuss many vegetables and their benefits this season but today I want to start with a small green vegetable that is loaded with vitamins, Broccoli!

Broccoli is a great way to keep your skin looking healthy, especially for the upcoming summer season.

Packing a punch with Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is the head-honcho in this nutrition fiesta, providing 149% of the daily value. (Daily values are based on recommendations for key nutrients consumed on a 2,000-calorie diet. Calorie count consumed differs in each individual per day, so use this as a reference whether you consume more or less than 2,000 calories) By eating about a half a cup of raw broccoli, you will have an army of vitamin C to fight off free-radicals that cause skin damage and other negative consequences.

Free radicals... what are those?

Here's how it works, First let us understand what "free radicals" are. Free radicals are any atom or molecule that is unpaired with an electron in an outer shell. These radical molecules come from the byproduct of turning food into energy, from the food that you eat and the air that you breathe. The sunlight’s rays on the skin and eyes generate some as well. There are many sources of free radicals on this planet, which our body fights, every day. Antioxidants help us minimize free radical activity in our bodies. We can find healthy and tasty ways to get antioxidants from fruits and vegetables to help our body fight these nasty molecules.

Since free radicals are down an electron, they are on the hunt to steal one from any substance that will allow it. When the molecule is left with a missing electron, its structure and function are altered. (I.e. free radicals damage can alter the sequence on a strand of DNA. It can increase the chance of “bad cholesterol” getting trapped in an artery wall, or change what enters and leaves a cell membrane.)

Want to protect your beautiful looking skin?

Vitamin C Limits the damage induced by ultraviolet (UV) light exposure.

All UV light is not bad. Our body needs sunlight to form vitamin D, which is created to strengthen bone structure, but limiting exposure is necessary to reduce the number of free radicals from UV light.

The anti-oxidant property of vitamin C protects the skin cells from UV damage by donating electrons when free radicals steal them. Like Superman flying in and returning your prized possessions that were stolen. Vitamin C returns the function and structure of the cells back to their rightful owner.

What is the best way to get my Vitamin C?

Vitamins are best when eaten naturally if possible. On average, the adult body absorbs approximately 70%-90% or 30 to 180mg of vitamin C. When taking supplements, be aware of how the vitamins are bound when the pill or capsule was made. When dietary supplements

are made with synthetic materials, the body cannot recognize the foreign matter easily. Your system will flush these foreign materials out of the body along with most of the vitamins.

This doesn't do you much good. On the other hand, choosing supplements that have natural binders (usually plant-based) that the body can recognize gives more of the vitamin the chance to be absorbed and you most of the benefit. (Look for "whole food" or "plant-based" vitamins on the label)

Using over the counter vitamins like “one a day” and “Centrum” only have a documented 5-10% absorption rate. These synthetic vitamins can cause digestive discomfort and your wasting your money! You can get whole food vitamins at your local Whole Foods, Rebecca’s natural foods, or any local natural food store that sells supplements. These supplements are made from real plants and vegetables, not synthetic copies of molecules in a lab. Check out a bottle yourself and compare the difference. The more information we know about what we consume, the more we can make healthy choices for a healthy lifestyle.

Now go and be well and enjoy some Broccoli. I like mine with Hummus! 

Healthifying Your Holiday Favorites

December 20, 2019

Desserts are a much-loved part of the holidays. Mothers often spend weeks in the kitchen baking cookies of all sorts to be enjoyed throughout the season. There's no reason to get rid of such a wonderful tradition but we can change it to make it healthier! We're going to make a list of common desserts and give you the resources to make a healthier version! Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are so many ways to tweak chocolate chip cookies! One way is to use dates instead of traditional sugar options. Dates are full of fiber which helps ensure that the sugars are released slowly. You can also use things like coconut sugar and maple sugar as they are low glycemic and will not cause a spike in blood sugar. The type of flour that you use can also be changed. Some of the recipes below don't even include a traditional flour- the cookies pictured below use a mixture of dates and walnuts! Almond flour, rice flour, and coconut flour are also really wonderful alternatives.

Gluten-Free, Date Sweetened Chocolate Chip Cookies

<https://food52.com/recipes/30982-date-sweetened-chocolate-chip-cookies" target="_blank"> 

Walnut and Date Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pecan Pie

It's all about that gooey center with pecan pie! Luckily substituting dates for sugar doesn't affect the gooeyness of this treat. And, like with all of these desserts, there are lots of alternative flour blends to incorporate and use in the pie crust.

Date Sweetened Pecan PieDate Sweetened Gluten-Free Pecan Pie

Hot Chocolate

Who doesn't love to cozy up to a warm fire with a big mug of hot chocolate?! There is so much nostalgia attached to this beverage and also so much sugar. We LOVE to make plant-based beverages with cacao and dates. There are so many different ways to make this beverage, so tailor it to your needs.

At Bardos, we typically go with a smoothie approach. We mix 1/2c of raw walnuts with 1c of water and add in 1-2tsp cacao, 1tblsp coconut butter, 2-3 dates, 1/4tsp Himalayan pink salt, and a dash of vanilla. This recipe will give you a boost in protein, fiber, and fats makings this indulgent drink also really wonderful for you.

Here are a list of other delicious alternatives to try as well!!

Chocolate peanut butter hot chocolate 

Indigo Herbals Adaptogenic Hot Chocolate

Ginger Cookies

Ginger is such a wonderful thing- it is amazing for the digestive system and tastes so good! Using molasses and dates as sweetener helps these cookies stay soft and chewy!

 Ginger cookies with molasses and dates 

 Ginger cookies with coconut sugar and dates

Chakra Overview

December 18, 2019

The Chakras are the centers in our body through which energy flows. Learning about chakras is important because a blockage in one chakra can lead to a blockage in all other chakras. These blockages manifest in different ways that we will discuss below. There are seven main chakras although some believe that each of these seven chakras connects to smaller chakras found elsewhere in the body for a total of 114 chakras. This blog post will touch on each of the main seven chakras and provide information on what a blockage may mean.

The lower three chakras, root, sacral, and solar plexus are mainly concerned with the physical body and survival. The heart chakra is found in between these survival mode chakras and the upper three chakras which are related to self-liberation. The heart chakra is then a mixture of survival and enlightenment.

Root Chakra

If Dominant: food and sleep are large factors in your life

If in Excess: greedy, domineering, aggressive, egotistical

Physical Problems Related to Imbalance: constipation, overweight, arthritis, hemorrhoids, depression, tension in the spine, anemia

This chakra located at the base of the spine is all about survival and grounding. Some exercises that can connect you with this chakra include stomping your feet on the ground (grounding) and yoga postures such as bridge and wheel. If this chakra is not balanced one can become fearful of the outside world and find themselves binge eating to survive. It is related to one's connection to Earth and is concerned with birthplace, culture, and foundation.

Sacral Chakra

If Dominant: Pleasure seeker, the physical world is extremely enjoyable

If in Excess: manipulative, self-serving, aggressive, overly ambitious, and emotionally unstable

Physical Problems Related to Imbalance: chronic low back pain, sexual dysfunction, low libido, bladder and kidney problems

This chakra is often referred to as the sexual center but it is much more than that. The sacral chakra also helps us with empathy and feeling how others feel. In addition to one's sexual flow, the sacral chakra also relates to the emotional flow. The sacral chakra also deals with detoxification and cleansing of the body. When this chakra is balanced one is in tune with one's own feelings, empathetic, kind, creative, and concerned with the welfare of others.

Solar Plexus Chakra

If Dominant: A doer, someone who can get many things done

If in Excess: overworking, demanding, judgemental, perfectionist

Physical Problems Related to Imbalance: gall stones, diabetes, pancreatitis, adrenal dysfunction

This chakra relates to how we deal with other people and one's level of confidence. It is also connected to the physical strength of the body as it is located in the abdominal area. Mastering this chakra can help eliminate bias and prejudice. Those who have a balanced solar plexus chakra will be cheerful, outgoing, expressive, and relaxed in a group.

Heart Chakra

If Dominant: Someone who is very creative and lives intensely

If in Excess: possessive, moody, critical, melodramatic, martyr

Physical Problems Related to Imbalance: high blood pressure, allergies, lung disease, breast cancer, stroke, upper back and shoulder tension

The heart chakra is the bridge between the survival/physical body chakras and the spiritual/metal chakras. This chakra is especially important in regard to one's ability to empathize, forgive, understand, and give unconditional love. The heart chakra deals with love in all different forms: self-love, love for others, familial love, romantic love, and love for all. If this chakra is balanced one is friendly, outgoing, community-driven, nonbiased, and nurturing.

Throat Charka

If Dominant: A powerful person with no limits

If in Excess: arrogant, dogmatic, addictive, overly talkative, self-righteous

Physical Problems Related to Imbalance: sore throat, stiff neck, thyroid problems, hearing problems, cold/flu

The throat chakra is where your soul communicates with the mind. This chakra is also related to the ability to communicate and self express.

Third Eye Chakra

If Dominant: Intellectually enlightened, at peace

If in Excess: egomaniacal, proud, manipulative, religiously dogmatic, authoritarian

Physical Problems Related to Imbalance: headaches, blindness, blurred vision, nightmares, schizophrenia

The third eye chakra is related to intuition. It is also related to our ability to focus and see the big picture rather than focusing on small details.

Crown Chakra

If Dominant: Living in a state of ecstasy, enlightened

If in Excess: psychosis, depression, manic depression, frustration, destructive, migraines, and headaches

Physical Problems Related to Imbalance: sensitivity to light and sound, depression, psychosis, confusion

The crown chakra is related to enlightenment and transcendence. It is all about the ability to be fully connected to oneself and the world around on a spiritual level. 

Mastering Emotions for Success

December, 14 2019

Master your emotions to go for what you want this year!

Our emotions can sometimes be chaotic like wading in the ocean in a storm. Fear can take over and dictate our decisions which can take us further away from our goals and dreams.

Mastering our emotions can be the sail that moves us forward toward our greatest aspirations.

Your inner being wants to have loving and joyful emotions, but we can become bombarded with fearful thoughts and a sense of loss that our subconscious mind plays on repeat.

This fear can start in the morning with the shock value of the news. When you hear about death, terrorism, politics and someone’s negative perspective of the economy this can influence your own perspective that the world is a negative and unforgiving place. Your subconscious brain records this information and can revert to fear when confronted with conflict or major decisions. When in fear we may freeze and do nothing, run away from the problem or get angry and reach your emotional “red line” far too quickly.

Emotions either drive us forward by taking appropriate action or hold us back from lack of action.

Can you think of a time when you let fear or anger take the reins and the outcome was not for your highest good?

I categorize emotions into 2 boxes: The 1st is the Box of Fear and the 2nd is the Box of Love.

These boxes are deep in your mind and you reach into them daily just as you reach into your closet to choose what clothes to wear. You want to look and feel good. Not for the world but for yourself.

The Box of Fear

When you reach into the box of fear you may pull out guilt, anger, frustration or disappointment.

Fearful emotions hold us back from what we want. If you are wanting to start exercising, you may have negative thoughts running through your head and decide to distract these thoughts by watching television on the couch instead of looking for the easiest way to get in your exercise. We may cover up our emotions with food, alcohol or drugs. We also may suppress our emotions because we do not want to deal with them or confront them. This causes chronic stress, frustration, and resentment which can bite us back later and cause us to stay in an underlying state of fear. These negative emotions can lead us down a dark hole. When you are in this state, you make poor choices or avoid making choices altogether.

The Box of Love

When you reach into the box of love, you pull out happiness, confidence, gratitude, joy, and enthusiasm.

What are some more loving emotions that you want to have in your life?

Loving emotions drive us to take action. Self-love gives us the confidence to join that fitness class or go to the pool to swim laps. We love ourselves enough to choose more nourishing foods that will make us feel and look good. We love ourselves enough to find outlets to release stress in a positive way. Love helps us be creative, find ways to grow and become healthier. Love keeps us open to receive support and ask for help when needed.

You have the choice of which box to choose from. The more intentional you are when choosing the easier it becomes to love yourself and see positive in others and the world. Ask yourself “who do I want to be today?” Do I want to choose fear and feel helpless or cynical? Do I want to put it off for another day? Or do I want to step out into the world standing tall and confident knowing who I am and what I stand for? Do I want to take action to move forward one more step toward my goal or find the courage within me to have that conversation that needs to happen? Do I want to feel empowered today?

Will you choose the box of fear of the box of LOVE tomorrow and the next day... and the next?

If you have a health goal that you want to reach and are unsure where to start, let’s have a conversation about it. To reach any goal we need to get organized to create the new habits we want that will move us toward our goal. Let’s talk if you're tired of yo-yo-ing with your diet, suffering from brain fog, or just don’t feel healthy and vibrant in your body and are ready for a change. I give free consultations and work to empower you to overcome your health challenges in a positive and easy way.

Give us a call so we can have the conversation that is going to start you on the path to success.

The 411 on H20!

Decemeber 9, 2019

The amount of water varies in the human body. It ranges from 50-75%. The average adult male is about 60% water and the average adult woman is about 55%.

We know from science class that water is made up of 2 Hydrogen and 1 oxygen. Hydrogen is the lightest element and it's widely spread on the planet and the universe. Hydrogen binds to many other elements, mainly carbon and nitrogen which make up your DNA, proteins, sugars, and fats.

Oxygen is vital to transfer energy stored food throughout the muscles and organs. A process called cellular respiration (energy made from glucose) occurs to give cells energy to move and maintain vital functions of our body.

What happens when we don't have water ?!

Our body must balance the amount of water we lose with the amount gained from food and beverages. If we lack water our body's function declines. We need water to carry nutrients to the cells and carry waste away from the cells. Water helps regulate body temperature by absorbing heat and eliminating heat through perspiration.

We also need water to digest food and to lubricate our joints.

Our stomach lining is 98% water and contains bicarbonate (helps buffer the acidic levels in your stomach) and should be thick to prevent stomach lining damage. Inadequate water intake thins this lining causing damage and increasing the probability of getting gastric ulcers.

As we get older we dread getting arthritis-like some of our parents or grandparents. Did you know that the cartilage in our joints consists of approximately 80% water! Cartilage allows our joints to glide smoothly during movement. As long as we keep them lubricated, we lessen the chance of arthritic damage. When we don't drink enough water, our joints have less lubrication causing a greater amount of friction. This degeneration leads to arthritis.

Lack of water can lead to high blood pressure. We need water to keep our capillaries open and keep blood flowing easily. The smaller our capillaries close the harder our body tries to push the blood through. In turn, restricting blood flow to the kidneys. The kidneys react by constricting veins and arteries causing blood pressure to rise even higher.

Water also helps flush lactic acid and impurities out of our muscles. When we drink pop or eat processed foods. Our body has to work harder to flush out the artificial chemicals and dies that are packed into these foods. Less water in our muscles means less filtration causing a collection of debris in our muscles. This causes irritation to the muscles. When we exercise, the lactic acid builds and creates even more sediment in the muscle tissue.

So how much water should I drink daily?

There are many variables that need to be considered. I.e. your weight, height, age, the activity level of that day, the temperature outdoors or indoors, etc...

I'm going to share with you an average recommendation of water consumption to make it easier.

So, who measures in ounces? Unless your a Chef or work in a science lab you probably don't.

Here is a breakdown in glasses.

The average household glass size is about a pint or 16oz.

The average adult female should drink about 6 glasses of water a day. Not hard right? especially on a warm day.

The average adult male should drink about 8 glasses of water a day. Little harder but doable.

With all this said I hope you will consider these negative health effects and try harder to drink more water daily. We all want to live longer and be healthier. What an easy way to stay healthy. H20 is the way to go!  

Tired Of Neck Pain?

December 7, 2019

Tired of your neck pain? Here’s how to get rid of it.

If you are suffering from nagging neck pain and don’t know what to do about it then you're in the right place. Taking Tylenol to kill the pain may work short term but eventually the pain returns. Let me explain what contributes to neck pain and then we can talk about how to relieve the pain and prevent the pain from coming back.

Imagine a tall, neat stack of Jenga pieces. Each section is evenly stacked on top of one another. If you push the top of the tower so that it leans farther than the bottom stacks, the tower falls and the pieces collapse. Gravity is pulling the pieces down. When they are stacked on top of each other, the center of gravity is in the center and has less force to collapse the tower.

Now think of the Jenga tower as your spine, each level is a vertebra with your skull stacked on top. Your skull is approximately 12 pounds. When you lean forward over your center of gravity you put stress on your spine. However, we have muscles and connective tissue to support our spine like tent ropes support the circus tent from collapsing. The farther forward your head leans, the more these muscles tense to support your head.

We lean forward most of our day looking down at our cell phones, computers, reading, etc.

Every inch our head is forward is an additional 10 pounds of pressure on the spine. The vertebra in your neck compresses and restricts blood flow, nerve impulses and restrict elimination of waste causing pain and discomfort.

If your skull is 12 pounds and each inch forward is an additional 10 pounds of pressure on the neck, then at 2 inches forward your head weighs 32 pounds. At 3 inches your head weighs 42 pounds. If you held a 42-pound weight in front of you for 3,4,5 hours your arm is going to hurt and want to drop the weight. Except for your muscles that support your neck cannot release your head when they get tired.

This restriction can cause a throbbing headache because its “kinking the hose” of blood flow to your head which increases the blood pressure in your vessels. Dehydration and a buildup of metabolic waste can cause pain receptors to activate from the limited blood flow.

All in all, this can be uncomfortable and even debilitating if you get migraines.

But how do we fix it?!

Correct the structure and relieve the compression of the muscles and connective tissues. This means having better posture. This “un-kinks the hose” and allows proper flow that is needed to eliminate waste, bring water and nutrients where they are needed. The less stress on the head, spine, and muscles means less pain, headaches, pinched nerves, tension, etc.

Myofascial Release, stretching, trigger point therapy, and cupping are some of the treatments that we can do to release compression and re-align the spine and shoulders into a more stacked position.

Next, we strengthen muscles that are weak to help support our neck, shoulders, and spine. There are exercises that I recommend helping support better posture and are easy to do.

I want to empower you to understand your body and know tools to relax, strengthen and re-engage your nervous system to prevent pain and discomfort in the future. The better your body can move the less chance of pain and injury.

Finally, we work on a plan to create new postural habits that are long-lasting, helping you feel better, move better and think better.

Come in and learn about your body and how Functional Movement Therapy can help to eliminate your neck pain for good! 

7 Tactics to help you stick with your health goals

December 6, 2019

At the end of every year, we sit and reflect on what we accomplished and what we look forward to accomplishing in the new year. Health is a popular topic when it comes to making new years resolutions. Gyms will be flooded with new members that are determined to drop some unwanted weight, get information on a new diet plan, or prepare early for that bikini body that we wanted last summer. Whatever the health goal, rarely do you see that same person in the gym, still motivated by April 1st.

What is it that halts our motivation? Why don't we stick to a health plan or exercise routine?

There are many reasons why we give up or postpone our health growth but It all starts in the mind. We decide if it is important enough and then create a plan to reach our goals. What puts a fire under you to drive you toward getting healthier? Seeing your grand-kids graduate college? Playing with your children in the park without being winded? Controlling your diabetes so you can keep your leg that you cherish standing on? Find your WHY and make a plan to complete your goal!

The more we develop a plan and put it on paper, review it and put it into practice, the more likely it will turn into a habit. Habits are autonomic, the same as your heart beating. You don't think about your heart beating, it just beats. If you create healthy habits like going to the gym Monday, Wednesday, Friday or eating one portion of vegetables, your body will crave exercise and vegetables. You will learn to enjoy it!

7 tactics to help you create a game plan to meet your health goal one-by-one.

1. Start with a small goal.

Get specific on your small goal. The vaguer we are with what we want, the more overwhelmed we can get and quit before we even start.

2. What small action steps will it take to reach your goal.

The less steps involved to complete your goal, the greater the chances you will stick to it.

Smalls goals with small action steps may look like this:

1. Waking up each morning and walking for 15 minutes in the yard or neighborhood. (If it's too cold out do push-ups or crunches indoors for 15 minutes for example or simply stretching) We want to keep the time consistent to train your nervous system to anticipate exercise.

2. Adding 2 cups of vegetables a day to your meals. You can choose how to divide it up. This small amount is not overwhelming and can be easily increased over time. Your palate for vegetables will change over time and you will start to crave them. The flavors will start to pop in your mouth and you won't need to smother them in dressing.

Make a list of these small goals and do one a month. We feel a sense of accomplishment each time we successfully reach this tiny goal each day. This feeling of accomplishment makes us feel good, motivated, keeping us on our journey toward who we want to become. Slowly adding on goals is key to maintaining momentum toward a healthier lifestyle.

3. List out your WHY'S and post them where you can see them every day.

Sit for a moment and ask yourself this WHY question again and write the answers down in big letters on a piece of paper. Next, I want you to write in bold, how you envision yourself when you have created the body and health that you desire. Example: "I see myself in a 32 waist Armani suit. I am fit and healthy. I quit smoking and I am walking the 10 blocks to work instead of taking a cab." The more specific you can imagine your outcome, the easier it will be to take yourself to that place of joy. Joy will give you motivation.

Post this paper on your bathroom mirror, bedroom wall, work desk, etc. A space where you visit frequently and can be reminded of your motivation to continue your journey toward health and who we want to become. Hence the word "journey", this implies that you will have disappointments, struggles with yourself and times where you are stressed and want to give in to unhealthy habits. We all go through this, we fail and we get back up. Seeing your list of WHY's will help you stand strong again when you have setbacks. It will remind you of who you want to be and drive you toward that desire.

4. Track your progress of each goal.

Since the goals are small, tracking them is a breeze. Maybe you mark a check on each calendar day that you have walked 15 minutes or completed your indoor exercise routine. Maybe you portion out the vegetables in baggies for each day of the week. Whatever your strategy, find one that works for you.

5. Think ahead for a busy life.

This involves pre-planning, setting ourselves up for success. Ex. leaving your exercise clothes and sneakers near the bed. Once you wake up you can easily get dressed to take a walk rather than spending time looking for your clothes which you can make an excuse not to workout.

We can have a perfect plan for today and then life smacks us in the face. If we have a contingency plan, we can anticipate most things that come up unexpectedly. If you have to travel and still want to eat healthily, what can you do to bring healthy food with you on the road? If you want to hit the gym but there is a blizzard what can you do in your home with your body weight to get in a workout? The more we anticipate the unexpected, we can keep our momentum toward success.

6. Reward your self often.

If you eat vegetables each night, leave a small piece of dark chocolate on the table. Once you have finished your meal, enjoy the chocolate. Your brain will say "I eat vegetables, I get pleasure from chocolate". This sets a positive environment when meeting a health goal vs dread of doing something you are not accustomed to doing.

7. Find your SPIRIT TEAM.

Who around you can cheer you on and help motivate you to success? People in your home may make it difficult to stick to your health goals if they are not on the same journey as you. Find friends, colleagues, people on health blogs or social media pages that have the same health interests. Having support behind you is critical for staying motivated and getting out of your own head.

I hope these tactics have given you some clarity on how to plan for a healthier you.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by all of these tips and don't know where to start, I can help take some of that pressure off of you. I help organize healthy habits into the daily life of busy people, by reprogramming your nervous system to kick "bad" habits that are preventing you from living in the body that you desire and living the vibrant life that you want most. Together we can go step by step on how you can transform your body and health into the person that you want to be. Join me for a free 45-minute chat to see how I can serve you best and help you feel confident that you are on the right path to wellness and change.

Call us to book a phone call or to meet for a consultation.

Front desk: (804) 672-3489

My direct line is (804) 380-1316

Michael Coles (Healthy Lifestyle Coaching)

Smoking Cessation

December 4, 2019

 I have quit smoking so many times and the most important thing is that you feel safe enough to quit and have peace of mind (all the right elements without all the triggers) and the endurance (you will only have to endure really 3 days of suffering).

Getting the nicotine out of the body through detox, FIR Sauna, intermittent fasting, Niacin, MediCupping are all really great.  You want the residue out of the body to lower your cravings.

During my sessions, I typically work with finding a deeper breath.  Smoking creates scar tissue around the lungs and diaphragm, causing shallow breathing.  We want to do breathing exercises and massage to break through this scar tissue and expand the lung capacity.

After that, in order to stay smoke-free, you need to keep yourself away from triggers.  Drinking, other people that smoke, and any toxic people or behavior that may lead to anxiety and smoking.  Think of smoking as your friendly reminder that you are not in the right place or state of mind and something needs to be addressed.  Once you've identified your triggers and removed yourself from them in the way you feel appropriate, it will be very simple to stay smoke-free.

Have accountability friends.  Have friends, family, and people in your life that influence you to stay smoke-free.  This may mean making new friends and establishing new environments. If it's situational, planning so these situations have an alternate plan is imperative.  I have found meditation to be an amazing tool for learning to think before I act and also to create feel good chemicals in my body when I need them.

I also get monthly energy work sessions to ensure I am not picking-up any energy from others that may lead to a relapse as well as continuing my self-mastery.  When we are channels for light and truth it is much harder for these negative energies to have anything to stick to.

If you'd like some Energy Work and/or Hypnotherapy, MediCupping, FIR Sauna Therapy or general counseling on the subject please let me know.  I'd be happy to consult with you in person and get you set-up with the perfect plan.

Thanks for reaching out!  I'm so happy to hear you have the desire and are moving into a better place.  Just remember never to give up no matter how many times you're knocked down!  Each failure is just a learning experience for the next go-round!

I know you'll do great and succeed when the time is right.  Live and feel as though you have already attained this state of peace and liberation and it will surely come to you.

Jamie