Health and Wellness: Go Beyond the Surface

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Hello and welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays!

I trust that your day is going well and if it is not, I want you to trust that it WILL get better.  Don’t allow your emotions or joy to be sucked away because of something someone said, did or did not do.

Look beyond that moment into your point of happiness within yourself and flood your mind with it and hold onto that. Life is just too short to hold on to the negative so free yourself from it.

Stay close as I prepare to venture beyond the surface. That is, beyond our aches, pains, weight loss goals, eating habits, among other things we wish we could physically change about ourselves.  Many of us have been told over the years that in order to live healthier and happier lives that we need to do certain things such as drink more water, exercise, don’t eat too much of this or eat more of that and so on.

I must admit that I have been one of those people who would have said some of those very things. In my own journey to improve my health I have learnt more than I honestly expected.  So don’t get me wrong, we should pay attention to what we put into our bodies.  The fact is, our actions have a direct impact on our health and overall well-being.

However, what we often miss or rather overlook, is the not so obvious things inside of us that also affect our health and overall well-being.  Many times our desire to become ‘healthy’ and ultimately improve our outward appearance tends to shift the focus away from some very important and real issues that we need to address inside of ourselves.

These underlying issues are often buried within us hiding among the physical issues that also plague us some known and unknown.   Some of these issues may include: anger, sadness, resentment, hatred, bitterness, regret, stress, and so much more.  Most of which often go unresolved, unchecked, dismissed or archived because we don’t want to deal with them or don’t have the time.

These emotions and unresolved issues within us cause more harm than drinking a sugar beverage or eating a piece of fried chicken in my humble opinion.  If we don’t address and actively treat with these issues we would be slowly killing ourselves no matter how many fruits, vegetables, smoothies or high fibre foods we eat.

So today, I’m asking God to help us with these unresolved issues within us that we’ve either avoided, neglected or ignored hoping that they would just go away. We all know that ignoring them does not make the pain and hurt go away.  It merely numbs us temporarily.  Let’s instead choose to go after a resolution that is more permanent as we ask God to heal our heart and create in us a new spirit.  Allow God to free us from the memories, limits and pain that have eaten away at us for so long.

Heavenly Father, as I come before today, I want to thank You for another opportunity to be a blessing in someone’s life.  I ask Oh Lord that every person reading and hearing this message that may have health and wellness issues beyond what the eyes can see be blessed and the healing process initiated in their life.

I ask for your intervention, your grace, your healing and mercy in our individual situations today.  Create within us a clean hearts Oh Lord and help us free ourselves from those shackles on our hearts and souls so that we can experience true health and wellness in our lives today and everyday.  In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

 

 

Health and Wellness Fridays – 2018 with a Difference

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Welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays!  

To start the New Year off right I must first thank God for blessing me to see another year.  Thank you Heavenly Father for already equipping me with the strength, patience, wisdom, understanding, knowledge and discipline needed to be successful in all that I’ve set out to do and may it all be pleasing to you.  In Jesus name I pray and give thanks. Amen!  🙂

Today, I would like to set the tone for the next few months as it relates to improving my health and overall well-being.  It is my hope that you will find these points useful as you chart your own course towards a healthier and happier you.

Here are some points that I have decided to pay special attention to as I put 2018 into perspective especially as it relates to the way forward for my overall health and wellness and ultimately my life.

Health and wellness is a process and therefore that means through our actions and decisions – we are living this conscious choice daily. 

How do I go about doing that?

  1. Understanding that being a healthier me starts from within and looks at not only how I treat and care for my body but my mind and spirit as well.  It is a holistic approach to living that I never truly understood or appreciated until now.
  2. Health and wellness does not speak to only what’s going on inside of me but in my environment as well.  It includes the people in my life and all the other factors that directly and indirectly have an impact on my well-being.
  3. Taking responsibility for what I’m doing and not doing to make my life better.
  4. Taking immediate action towards improving the areas I’m weak in or struggle with.
  5. Recognizing that I am human and therefore I will not execute every single day without errors, weaknesses or setbacks and that’s okay.
  6. Not giving up on myself or my desire to become a healthier and happier me. 🙂
  7. Accepting and believing that I am truly worth it.

 

Why would 2018 be any different from any other year?

  1. In God I’ll put my trust and faith and call on Him when I feel weak and praise His name when I feel strong. This point is first for reason.  Start each day by talking and praying to God.  He will give you the strength to do the impossible.
  2. I AM worth the sacrifice, time, effort, love, joy and happiness that this year can bring.  If I open up myself to receive and go after it.
  3. I AM worth the temporary discomfort that changing and breaking old habits would bring.
  4. I understand that MY betterment WILL only come if I work towards it.
  5. I AM mentally preparing my mind, body and spirit to DO the work that only I can do.
  6. I know that I am NOT the only person in the world struggling with something.
  7. It IS my time to get up and do MORE to improve my own life.
  8. My success has always been mine for the taking!

Whatever we desire for our health and overall well-being for 2018 and beyond WE must be prepared to make some changes and some of that change MUST start within us.  If, we are to be successful in achieving our goals for better and happier lives we must do the work that is needed at our very CORE.  There is no escaping it.

For it is our fears, self-doubt, negativity, skepticism, laziness and sometimes our willingness to just settle right where we are that has kept us exactly where we are.  2018 will be different because WE WILL make it different. One day and one step at a time.

Thank you for making this blog one of your stops in this journey called life.

Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

Health and Wellness Fridays – Create a Happier and Healthier US

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Welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays!  Today I’m keeping it really simple.  With the upcoming closure of one chapter of our lives to hopefully start another I thought it fitting to write something a little different.

This Health and Wellness Fridays segment was created out of a desire to be a healthier and happier me while sharing the knowledge and information gathered with others in the process.  “Knowledge is power”.  However, what we choose to do with that knowledge is where the real power comes from.

This segment has brought me so much joy and knowledge.  I know from the feedback that I get that it is also appreciated by so many of you and I am truly grateful that you take time to read it.

As we move closer to 2018, I have big plans for my life as do so many of you.   The thing is guys, if we don’t start taking better care of ourselves that is, mental health, physical health and emotional health – how good would any of our plans, hopes and dreams be to us or our families?

Make a proactive decision today starting in 2017 to DO RIGHT by YOURSELF!  Start with small changes or improvements but START.

I don’t have all the answers.  I don’t live a life free from challenges and obstacles.  I’m like many of you, wanting and desiring better but sometimes we let our comfort get in the way – making taking ACTION seem like a lot of work.  Aren’t we worth that investment of effort, time and money?  I believe we ARE worth it and it is time we do more about it.

We don’t need to be anybody’s vision of perfect. We just need to develop and foster within ourselves a passion and love for self that drives us to want and actively pursue a better, stronger and healthier version of ourselves.

From today onward, NO LONGER will we allow self-doubt, fear, negative people, negative thinking, lack of finances and excuses to hold us back from improving various aspects of our health and ultimately our lives.  It’s time to get creative and resourceful to think and work ourselves into a better way of living. 🙂

Make that decision with me today to seriously go after that better and healthier life that we deserve and I have no doubt that happiness will follow.

I wish us all good health, happiness, prosperity and clarity of mind and spirit.

Best wishes to you and your families today, tomorrow and for the New Year 2018. 🙂

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Health and Wellness Fridays – Inflammation (Symptoms, Causes and Treatment)

Welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays! I hope your day has been filled with joy and laughter. May God continue to watch over you and your families not only providing for you but blessing each of you with good health, understanding and time to make things right.  I ask this for myself and my family also. Amen! 🙂

Today ladies and gentlemen we’re going to look at the painful topic known as inflammation.

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What is inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s way of defending itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria; as well as healing itself after injury.  Without inflammation, wounds would fester and infections could become deadly.  However, although necessary inflammation can also be problematic as Chronic inflammation can eventually cause several diseases and conditions.

Symptoms of inflammation include:
  • joint pain
  • redness
  • swelling
  • warmth or heat
  • joint stiffness
  • loss of joint function or immobility
Causes of inflammation

Inflammation can be caused by any number of physical reactions triggered by the immune system in response to a physical injury or an infection.  It should be noted however, that although an infection can cause inflammation, inflammation is not necessarily a sign of an infection.

Types of inflammation

There are two types of inflammation acute and chronic.

An acute inflammation is one that starts rapidly and becomes severe in a short space of time. The symptoms are usually only present for a few days but can persist for a few weeks in some cases.

Chronic inflammation on the other hand, refers to long-term inflammation and can last for several months and even years.  This maybe the result of failure to correct whatever was causing an acute inflammation; an autoimmune disorder or exposure to a low-level irritant, such as an industrial chemical over a long period of time.  Chronic inflammation has been linked to some cancers, heart disease, depression, arthritis, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Some possible treatments for inflammation include:

Although inflammation is part of the healing process for many the pain that is sometimes associated with it can be unbearable and often have to medication for relief. Some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs commonly used to treat inflammation include: naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin.

Paracetamol or Tylenol can reduce pain without affecting the inflammation. They may be ideal for those persons wishing to treat just the pain while allowing the healing factor of the inflammation to run its course.

Corticosteroids, such as cortisol, are a class of steroid hormones that prevent a number of mechanisms involved in inflammation.

Creams and ointments may be prescribed for inflammation of the skin, eyes, lungs, bowels, and nose.

In some instances, rest, exercise, physical therapy or surgery may be required.

Most of the medicinal treatments have negative side effects if taken over a long period of time.  It is these possible side effects that have forced some people to look for more natural remedies to treat their symptoms geared around their diet.

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Some anti-inflammatory foods include:

  1. Green Leaf Vegetables such as Spinach, Kale and more
  2. Beets
  3. Celery
  4. Broccoli
  5. Tomatoes
  6. Fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, oranges and cherries
  7. Fatty fish such as Salmon, Mackerel, Tuna and Sardines
  8. Nuts such as Walnuts and Almond
  9. Coconut oil and Olive oil
  10. Chia Seeds
  11. Ginger
  12. Turmeric

 

Some foods that can make inflammation worse include:

  1. Fried foods
  2. Soda and other sugar sweetened beverages
  3. Red meat
  4. Processed meats
  5. Refined Carbs
  6. Lard
  7. Margarine

At the end of the day, inflammation has its role in the body and that is to defend and repair.  However, we need to monitor the pains we are getting and treat with them accordingly because ignoring them can lead to more serious conditions later on.

There are many options out there for treating inflammation so talk to your doctor and seek guidance as to which one maybe best for you.

The good news is, simple alterations to our diet can also help us fight some of the side effects of inflammation.

Thank you for stopping by.  Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

 

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Health and Wellness Fridays- The Bitter Sweet Side of Sugar

Welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays!  I trust that you have conquered your week and that today was like the icing on the cake whereby things just got better. 🙂

Please accept my apologies for not posting last week.  Today,  we’re going to be looking at sugar.

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“Sugar” is that special ingredient added to many of our beverages and baked goods that just makes them taste better or rather should I say sweeter. 🙂  Unfortunately, sugar has attained a negative reputation over the years as more and more knowledge about the side effects of overindulging in its consumption come to the forefront.

However, not all sugar is bad for us and this is where the acquisition and understanding of information is so important.

Did you know?

There are two main classifications of sugars: added or refined sugars and natural sugars.

Added or refined sugars include: refined white sugar (sucrose), brown sugar, honey and syrups that are added to food. These added sugars are called simple carbohydrates and they provide little nutritional value and can cause spikes in blood glucose levels.  This is the sugar that most people advise that we reduce consumption of or abstain from.

Natural sugars on the other hand, are sugars that occur naturally in fruits and milk. These sugars are called complex carbohydrates and they provide nutrition and help regulate blood sugar.

So you see, not all sugars are bad for us but we need to know what to look out for.

Types of Sugars

Although sugar can be classified into two main groups, it can be further broken down into three categories: white sugars, brown sugars and liquid sugar.  Within each of these categories are even more sugars, some of which I only learned about during the course of my research to be honest.  Let’s take a closer look.

Some white sugars include:

  • Bakers Special Sugar
  • Castor/Caster Sugar
  • Confectioners or Powdered Sugar
  • Coarse Sugar
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Sanding Sugar
  • Superfine, Ultra Fine, or Bar Sugar

 

Some brown sugars include:

  • Brown sugar (light and dark)
  • Demerara Sugar
  • Muscovado or Barbados Sugar
  • Turbinado Sugar

Liquid sugar or (sucrose) is basically white granulated sugar that is dissolved in water before it is used.

Invert Sugar – is the sugar we get from splitting sucrose into its two component sugars (glucose and fructose).  Fructose is sweeter than either glucose or sucrose. Invert sugar is therefore sweeter than white sugar.

Some benefits or the ‘sweet side’ of sugar as it relates to the body include:

  • Energy booster – glucose is the body’s primary source of fuel, and it comes from the breakdown of sugar.
  • Help us store energy – After glucose is converted into energy for immediate use, the body will store some of the glucose as an energy reserve for later.
  • Instantly improve our mood – sugar activates the pleasure center of our brain and causes a rush of dopamine. This will produce an immediate, euphoric feeling.
  • Natural Sugar Sources Come With Added Nutrients – dairy products, fruits and veggies all provide natural sugars in addition to fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and hydration. You can indulge in all the natural sweets you want without creating unhealthy insulin spikes.
  • Skin health – Sugar’s glycolic acid can be very helpful in maintaining the health and look of your skin. Using it can help elimination blemishes and restoring the balance in the skin’s oils.

 

Some of the negatives or the ‘bitter side’ of indulging in too much refined sugars include:

  • Weight gain that could lead to obesity.
  • Spike of blood sugar that can lead to diabetes.
  • Leave you feeling overly energized or hyperactive
  • Increase cholesterol levels that can ultimately lead to heart disease.
  • Create insulin resistance
  • Addictive
  • Create a resistance to the hormone called Leptin
  • Cause dental cavities

 

After reading the above my hope is that you’ve gained a better understanding and appreciation for the bitter-sweet of sugar.  Refined sugars bring that quick fix we’re sometimes looking or craving for but too much of it can be harmful.  Natural sugars are healthier for us that’s a fact but they aren’t ideal for every situation or occasion. This is where using our moderation and discretion comes in.

So dear friends, weigh the pros and cons of what you’re eating and strive to improve the areas of your eating habits that can be harmful to your health.

In life there are a few things we just have no control over but we do have some control over how sweet we want our lives to be.

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Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend.

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Health and Wellness Fridays – Top Cancer Fighting Foods

Welcome back dear friends to Health and Wellness Fridays! May your day be filled with joy and peace and as we move into the weekend may this follow you also.

Today, we going to look at everyday foods that have been identified as cancer fighting foods but before we get into that let’s start with the basics.

What is cancer?

Cancer is not a single disease.  In fact, cancer is the term used to classify a group of more than 100 diseases all of which are characterized by their uncontrolled abnormal growth of cells.   Cancer can start anywhere in the body.  When it starts cells grow out of control as malignant cells multiply forming tumors in organs and tissues.  This makes it hard for the body to work the way it should.

What causes cancer?

Cancer is a genetic disease. When the genetic material of a cell aka ‘the DNA’ is damaged, mutations can arise and this can potentially disrupt normal cell growth and division. 

An accumulation of these mutations can turn normal cells into precancerous cells, which sometimes multiply and evolve into cancer cells. Cancer is a result of the accumulation of these cells.  Cancer development is a process and it takes time to develop and is not something that just happens overnight.

How is cancer treated?

Some treatments of cancer include but are not limited to the following:

  • Surgery – the procedure in which a surgeon removes cancer from your body.
  • Radiation – uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
  • Chemotherapy – uses drugs to kill cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy– a type of treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer.
  • Hormone Therapy– a treatment that slows or stops the growth of breast and prostate cancers that use hormones to grow.
  • Stem Cell Transplant– are procedures that restore blood-forming stem cells in cancer patients who have had theirs destroyed by very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
  • Precision Medicine– helps doctors select treatments that are most likely to help patients based on a genetic understanding of their disease.
  • Targeted Therapy – is a treatment that targets the changes in cancer cells that help them grow, divide, and spread.

Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way let’s look at some foods that have been reported to help in the fight against cancer.  I’ve heard and read many stories of persons who have made simple changes to their diet and have had remarkable results.

Eat, Nutrition, Food, Healthy, Vegetables, Detox

Let’s take a look at some of the popular foods:

  • Broccoli
  • Berries – (e.g. strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, goji berries)
  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Beans and peas
  • Leafy Green Vegetables (e.g. spinach, lettuce, patchoi
  • Cruciferous Vegetables – (e.g. cabbage, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts)
  • Brightly Orange – Coloured Foods – (e.g. carrots, sweet potato, squash and citrus fruits)
  • Unrefined oils- (e.g. coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, flax oil and cod)
  • Nuts- (e.g. walnuts, brazil nuts and almonds)
  • Seeds – (e.g. chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds)
  • Probiotic foods – (e.g. kimchi, sauerkraut, coconut kefir, kombucha or natto)
  • Wild-Caught Fish
  • Mushrooms
  • Whole grains
  • Ginger
  • Beetroot
  • Grapes
  • Green Tea
  • Pomegranate
  • Dark chocolate
  • Turmeric
  • Increase your intake of alkaline water

Our first course of action to reduce our risks for cancer is to improve our diet.  “One day at a time” is my motto but we have to start sooner rather than later.  So we need to pay closer attention to what we’re putting into our bodies if we want to get the maximum use of them.

Have a wonderful weekend.  Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

 

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Health and Wellness Fridays – Honesty

Hello and welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays!  Today, I would like to take a look at honesty.  I’m sure you’re probably wondering what honesty has to do with health and wellness but as we take a closer look you’ll see how we sometimes underestimate how much of a role honesty plays especially as it relates to our health and wellness.

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Being honest with ourselves about how we feel, what hurts, what does not feel right and  what we really need to do to make the necessary changes in our lives can help us live better, healthier and sometimes longer lives.  Too often we downplay our medical issues, disregard reoccurring symptoms and try to convince ourselves that a quick visit to the pharmacy or pharmacist would be the end of it.

If we’re going to be honest with ourselves, we might hear stories like:

“I love food but sometimes I don’t make good food choices.”

“I lack the will power to say “NO” to my cravings.”

“I might need some help to get my health and life where I need to be.”

“I know what I have to do to live a healthier life but I find it difficult to just commit to the process.”

“I’m scared of going to the doctor because I think I have a pretty good idea what’s wrong and I don’t want to have him confirm it so I’ll deal with it myself.”

“I’m scared of the possibility of receiving bad news.”

“I don’t like or trust doctors so I don’t go if I don’t have to.”

“I have better things to do with my money.”

“I don’t want people judging me.”

“I don’t feel comfortable going to public spaces to work out because I feel like everyone is looking at me.”

I can tell you, that as long as we keep making excuses to continue doing the wrong things we would not get the change we want.  The honest reason for this I believe is we don’t want the change bad enough probably because it’s hard to see ourselves beyond who we are today.

We need to not only change the conversation we are having with ourselves but control it. However, most important of all, is to stop lying to ourselves, stop making excuses and stop being bystanders in our own lives.

Honesty starts with US.  What stories are you telling yourself that are preventing you from reaching where you’re meant to be physically or mentally?

Thank you for stopping by. Have a good night and a wonderful weekend.  🙂