Category Archives: Nutrition

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How To Prevent Conference Fatigue:  How to stay grounded at your next conference, workshop, or long training.

conference-nametagLong days in chilly hotel rooms where you mingle with strangers (or friends), breathe in air conditioning, and stand for hours on end can be a mix of excitement and fatigue. You often leave these situations sick, tired, hoarse, overwhelmed, giddy, and just feeling a bit all over the place. Your feet often hurt, your digestion system out of whack, and even though you may be buzzing with new ideas, your whole body and mind are often just plain tired.

Here’s how to get through every conference taking with you the positive, but leaving behind the draining feeling, the sore feet, and (hopefully) the post-conference colds!

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When many hear the word “inflammation,” they think of something acute, such as a blow to the knee, which causes pain, redness and swelling. Acute inflammation, in small amounts, can be good because it protects and heals the body by drawing blood to the site and sending in those disease fighters, white blood cells.

Chronic inflammation is insidious and potentially much more harmful.  It can last for several years or months, and is being more and more identified as the cause of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and autoimmune disorders.

Chronic inflammation starts out, as what many think of, innocently enough– often in the mouth.  It gets ugly very quickly.

We’ve all heard of gingivitis, right? It’s common but if you think it’s not a big deal, think again. It’s gum inflammation, with bacteria.  Research reveals that mouth bacteria can enter the heart and lead to heart disease, clogged arteries, stroke and bacterial endocarditis. (Ever wonder why dentists make some take antibiotics before teeth cleaning?)

Let untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease, where the bone and gums actually separate from the teeth to form pockets. Those pockets become infected and produce even more bacteria.

You should also know that some chronic inflammatory diseases, such as continual UTIs or cystitis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), some types of inflammatory bowel disorders, or even hepatitis, can increase risk factors for cancer.

STAY GROUNDED

Grounding, sometimes referred to as Earthing, is one big way to fight inflammation. The Earth is a powerful energy source and it contains electrons.  When we connect by walking barefoot or wearing a grounding shoe, we absorb those electrons which, in turn, fight those rogue cells, free radicals.

Without a regular connection to the Earth, people can develop call an electron deficiency, leading to imbalances and potentially to significant health problems.

 

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1. Feed your body, mind and spirit, literally.  There’s no doubt that some foods are a lot more powerful than others, and that includes vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds; some spices like turmeric and cinnamon; and herbs, such as parsley and garlic.

2. Manage stress.  Stress is inevitable and if you don’t learn to manage it, your body will be flooded with those “fight or flight” hormones, cortisol and adrenaline.  If you’re a stress case you’ll probably toss and turn all night…and speaking of which…

3. Get enough sleep.  A few years back, the Archives of Internal Medicine conducted a small, contained study.  They gave 153 people the rhino (common cold) virus by nose and those who got less than 7 hours were 300 percent more susceptible to getting a cold.

4. Limit alcohol intake.  Although some studies reveal that moderate alcohol intake can actually aid the immune system, alcohol overall has detrimental effect on health, including the brain and cardio system.

5. Exercise can enhance your mood, by releasing endorphins which can make you feel better and reduce stress. It also controls weight and promotes better sleep. Exercise fights fatigue by carrying oxygen and nutrients to the cells.  It also helps detoxify the body, by eliminating toxins, accumulated wastes and poisons.

6. Practice gratitude. Robert Emmons’s book, Thanks!  reveals that those who practice gratitude regularly are 25 percent happier, because you become more optimistic and that makes you healthier and happier, boosting your personal and professional life.  It raises your vibration and makes you feel even more connected, leading to clearer thinking and more decisive action.

7. Get enough rest and recreation.  Go out in the sunshine, play with the kids, pets or your friends. No, it’s not selfish!  If you don’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of others?

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The holidays are long gone, but we’re still smack in the depth of winter, complete with low sun, bare trees, short days, freezing temperatures, snowfall after snowfall, and colds, flu and sinus infections—all while we’re officially back to our busy, hectic live

Stay grounded by:

  • Exercising:  Swimming, aerobic dance, yoga, winter sports, and weight lifting boost energy levels and flood bodies with those natural feel-good substances, endorphins.
  • Getting light therapy.  Ever Heard of Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD)? SAD occurs when people don’t get enough sunlight, and that leads to sleeping more, overeating, depression and low energy. Combat it with special fluorescent lights sold in health food—and some hardware– stores.
  • Capture energy from foods and plants.  Many foods, like greens, grow toward the sun, giving plants energy to grow, so YOU can also absorb that energy by eating them.
  • Practicing self-care: Whether it’s a warm bubble bath, playing with the kids or pets, reading a good book, meditating or just sitting by the fire, be sure to take a little “me time.”
  • Raising your vibration.  Let yourself have a small treat, like a cookie or piece of candy. When you constantly deprive yourself and live in that place of “I should,” you’re actually lowering your vibration, which leads to more overeating, over sleeping, low energy and depression.

Yoga, meditating, clearing your chakras and keeping fresh flowers and plants around will also do it.

  • Eating grounding foods.  Anything that grows underground, like carrots, parsnips, beets and more, keep us warm and grounded.  Beets, are also great liver detoxifiers, especially helpful if you’re feeling tired and in need of lightening up.
  • Keeping your thermostat set at 68 to 72 degrees.  When it’s too hot, our skin, eyes and nasal passages dry out, we get headaches and our sleep gets disrupted.

 

babycakesnycYou don’t need sugar, butter and goo to satisfy your sweet tooth. Just ask anyone who’s ever eaten anything from Babycakes, a certified vegan, Kosher and pareve bakery that offers all-natural, sugar free, dairy/soy free, and (mostly) gluten free donuts, brownies, cookies, cupcakes and other heavenly pastries.

They say things are often born out of necessity and that was certainly the case with Babycakes. When Founder Erin McKenna discovered she had food allergies, but couldn’t find a vegan bakery to satisfy her sweet tooth, she decided to make her own treats. That was in 2005 and, soon, the first Babycakes location was born in New York City.  Los Angeles and Orlando stores—all with online shipping of course—followed.

“White sugar will never be found in our bakery,” writes founder Erin McKenna on her website, “nor will we ever use toxic chemical sweeteners,” so she often uses Agave Nectar, a natural, low-glycemic sweetener made from the cactus.

Other ingredients might include unrefined evaporated cane juice, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil (which has been shown to have many health benefits), rice flour, a garbanzo/fava bean mix, potato starch, arrow root, etc.

Sometimes spelt, a distant of wheat, is used. Spelt has kind of a nutty taste, and it’s often preferred by health enthusiasts, because it has 15-20% more proteins, is higher in complex carbohydrates, is rich in magnesium, is lower in overall carbohydrates, has not been genetically altered, and contains enzymes that assist in glucose and insulin secretion.

Everything is baked, never fried, and that includes the donuts. In fact, in 2010, the Babycakes baked donut won the coveted “Best of New York” in New York Magazine in 2010.  Other media includes: Inc. Magazine (with a cover photo of Erin McKenna and Celebrity Chef and co-founder of the Gramercy Tavern Tom Colicchio), the New York Daily News, NY Post, Gourmet, InStyle, and Parade, and New York. 

We found this on one of our favorite sites, MINDBODYGREEN.COM and thought it would be perfect for our “Family Wellness” week!

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Kale is one of the best greens around, and it’s a good idea to get your kids used to it right away; in fact, kale chips is one of the best snacks around. You can either buy it in package form or make your own by brushing a little olive oil and sea salt on kale pieces and baking them for about 5 minutes.)

Kale contains vitamins K, A and C, as well as calcium, iron, and antioxidants.  It has anti-inflammatory properties, aids cardiovascular support and is a good natural detox food.

For the recipe and to learn more, get to the MindBodyGreen.Com site and click here.

 

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Using food as a reward can ultimately teach your kid some pretty bad habits.  Instead of learning lifestyle and stress management techniques, which they’ll definitely need as adults, they’ll just turn to food to comfort themselves. And let’s face it—almost every day we need to navigate difficult people and situations, and you want them to become happy, healthy and successful grown-ups.

Also keep in mind that if you only bribe your child to eat healthfully—“if you eat your broccoli you can have ice cream after”– it may actually do the opposite of what you want to achieve. They’ll never be encouraged to develop a taste for vegetables or fruit, so they might go for the sugary items first and just bypass the healthy.

 

Here are some suggestions from us on alternative ways to reward your child:

  • Give them some positive reinforcement.  They really want reassurance, love and attention—a hug, high-five, cute note—even a positive statement works.
  • Spend some time with them outdoors.  A family hike, a walk with the dog, a bike ride, etc. will help give kids a positive association with exercise.
  • Help them explore and validate their feelings. Remember, they have their frustrations and tough days, too. Don’t judge, just let them talk it out—and that talking just might lead to a solution.  What a valuable lesson for adulthood!
  • Teach your kids about healthy nutrition.  When they’re stressed, they need nutrients more than ever—not sugar and fat, which can only make the problem worse.
  • Let them get involved with food preparation.  No knives or sharp objects please!  However, this is a place where you all can bond, and it will develop a natural curiosity about food—so keep it healthy!
  • Read with them:  It creates a love for reading and stimulates the imagination.
  • Create a sense of community:  Maybe let them invite some friends over for little celebrations.  It will teach them the importance of connection!

 

Welcome to this week’s theme from pluggz:  Wellness as a family affair!

Ever wonder why you gained some weight when your diet didn’t change in the slightest?  That’s because you absorbed the energy from someone else, whether that person was stressed, depressed, sad, happy, etc.

You know, you can even pick it up in a shopping mall, just by being around other shoppers.

AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHY WELLNESS SHOULD BE A FAMILY AFFAIR

pluggz wellness family   It’s often said, “You don’t learn it from strangers.”

Family members exert a powerful influence over each other, and it often goes without notice even when it’s obvious, such as an overweight and inactive kid or a child who picks up a parent’s smoking habit or a tendency toward reckless driving. And all parents, men and women, have experienced the weight gain that comes with having a baby, with regular feedings and encouraging the child to eat.

And it’s a time-honored tradition—but a not-so-healthy one—to use food as a punishment or reward for the child!

So whatever you’re feeling or doing, chances are your kids will, too—and that goes for the pets, too, especially now that they are more and more seen as part of the family; they have many of the same lifestyle-based diseases as us, and their obesity rates have gone through the roof By the way, one veterinarian once said that if someone comes in with an overweight animal, the first thing he does is look at the owner!  Kind of says it all, doesn’t it?

Fun foods, staying active, playing outside, healthy snacks and more—these are all things that will help  increase fitness, decrease obesity-related health problems and keep every healthy in mind, body and spirit.

 

 

And you don’t usually learn that from strangers, either—and we are, after all, raising the next generation of adults.