Author Archive for Monika

Is Your Food Safe?

It’s an issue of food safety with warm weather, staying at home more and perhaps having more food delivery the issue of food safety is a real one. I personally have had to deal with this recently. My husband, for reasons of convenience and necessity, relies on Meals on Wheels. He receives these meals daily, they are pureed and in accordance with his renal dietary restrictions.  Lately, the drivers have been leaving food on the porch rather than placing the food in the clearly marked and cooler on the steps. Their disregard for proper food handling, unfortunately, has caused my husband to become sick a couple of times.. 

If food sits outside in temperature above 75 degrees for 5-10 minutes it can seriously compromise the food quality and safety, especially during summer months. One Meals on Wheels driver refused to touch the cooler due to COVID. Absurd! I was livid and contacted their area president to voice my concerns. He assured me that everything in their power will be done to rectify this situation. including having drivers use gloves, sanitizers and disinfecting wipes – which naturally should have been part of their protocol in the first place. 

Due to this personal experience I felt it would be a good topic for today’s article.

Now food safety may seem like a boring topic but if your food isn’t safe it can be dangerous and even deadly.  To help make sure you don’t become I’d like to share a few tips with you.

Here are 5 Simple Tips to keep your food safe during this very unusual summer:

    1. Use coolers and ice – Make sure your cooler is big enough to store everything. Of course, there are fewer trips to the beach due to COVID, but even with back yard BBQ need be safe so store everything properly.
    2. Refrigerate immediately – don’t let food lie out on the counter if you plan to have extra food for left overs. Refrigerate right away – today’s fridges are able to handle extremes in temperature so don’t worry that the food is still hot.
    3. Use sanitizers, gloves and hand washing when handling food that was delivered to your door. Keep yourself safe when touching any packages, food or otherwise.
    4. If delivered food is in any way questionable discard immediately. Don’t take a chance by convincing yourself “well maybe its ok”. It’s bad for you and if you have a compromised individual at home it could be exponentially harmful to them and may even put them in the hospital – something you want to avoid completely during this pandemic
    5. Proteins are more of an issue – veggies and fruits, of course, are less susceptible to being problematic when left outside after all that’s where they came from. If you have a salad with some fish in it or egg salad, for example they can easily become tainted in the heat. When it comes to proteins meat, fish, eggs, cheese, etc. Refrigerate 1st and quickly. 

 

Please stay well this summer and keep your food safe, nutritious and refreshing.

Are You Digesting That?

 

Digestion is not the same as metabolism. You may think good metabolism means you don’t gain weight. Well maybe, if your body is breaking down the food you consume effectively. If that’s the case and you are making good food choices then you should be able to maintain a stable and good weight.

Digestion is how your body breaks down food in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and then eliminates the food waste through the intestines.

Metabolism is how your body digests or breaks down what it ingests and effectively uses the nutrients for energy and functioning of your body.

You must digest your food before you can metabolize it. 

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “you are what you eat or what you digest”? 

And maybe you’ve even heard: It’s often not what you’re eating but rather what’s eating you, as I mentioned in my book Skinny Jeans Lifestyle.  

I’ll take it a little further here, you are not only digesting your food but also your thoughts and emotions every day. In the ancient Indian form of medicine called Ayurveda it is believed that your digestion is everything

You will not be well if your digestion is impaired.  

There are several way to ensure this first off make sure you eat in a restful state. Avoid standing, reading, watching TV, having a heated conversation but rather be present, pay attention and simply enjoy your meal. 

In ancient cultures eating food was considered a sacred activity. There was an inherent respect for the food you were eating. 

Here are a 7 Quick Tips you can improve your digestion today:

  1. Eat when you’re calm
  2. Eat at regular times
  3. Eat diverse foods – colors, textures, etc.
  4. Eat slowly
  5. Make sure its hunger you have and not thirst
  6. Eat early in the day – dinner eaten between 4-6 
  7. Sit and eat in a relaxed environment not on the run

Slow down and enjoy nature’s bounty!

How To Care For Another and Yourself

I won’t say caring for another while trying to take care of yourself is an easy task but it can be done. Our first priority is often focused on the other person especially if they are ill, elderly or very young. I have had to deal with taking care of my ill spouse for five years now. He is not elderly but he has needed more and more care as the years go by. As he becomes more compromised, with comorbidities, we require more outside help. Finding the right care aides is no easy task but it can be done and they are a tremendous help. Places where I’ve been able to find great care aides are nursing schools, referrals, skilled nursing facilities, and of course agencies as well. 

So let’s dive in a little bit more into caring for yourself while caring for another. 

Here are my five tips:

Tip #1Having help is a must (as mentioned above). If even just for an hour or two during the day so you can get your bearings and have some rest or take a walk. Even if you don’t hire help try to enroll your community or your neighbors. Ask for help. Taking care of another is a difficult job and it often takes a village – so ask for help. It’s really quite remarkable, and moving, just how many people are willing to help out. Others may be able to help with shopping or staying with your loved one for a period of time. They may also be able to help if an emergency arises such as a fall occurs. Of course if it’s serious call 911 immediately.  However, if it’s simply a “soft” fall, as I call it, you can also call 911 and ask for a “lift assist”. The fire department will come immediately and assist your loved one back into their chair, wheelchair or bed. There are plenty of resources available, know that you do not have to do this all by yourself.

Tip #2:Get support call a friend or a family member. Laugh with them, share stories and engage. Take some time to be with others and share in their lives, Welcome the joy of having healing and meaningful conversations. Sometimes wisdom and support can come from people and places you never expected. There are certain community organizations with eager volunteers who are willing to help and do whatever is needed. I remember volunteers from one of our local organizations used to take my husband to his dialysis appointments 3 times a week. Everyone benefited, I received help by not having to transport my husband, the volunteers felt fulfilled helping and my husband had additional companionship and has since developed special relationships with these caring individuals. Their presence in your life makes you feel like you’re not alone. And certainly your church or places of faith can also provide essential support for you as well. 

Tip #3You need and deserve care as well. If you’re dealing with an elderly parent or a disabled partner it can be a grueling experience where you often feel there is no reprieve. Know that you deserve to take time for you. Do not ever feel guilty again about this. You need care and time to recharge your batteries mentally, physically, and emotionally. If you don’t rest or take time off you’re more susceptible to injury, fatigue, or illness yourself. Unfortunately, you may sometimes wonder where you disappeared to as more often than not the focus seems to be on the other person and on their needs. You have needs, too and those needs are just as important. Avoid any impulse to disregard, deny or delay your wants and wishes, if you do you may find yourself feeling resentment and then subsequently feeling guilty about the resentment and so on. You get the picture. Acknowledge your needs and wants – they are real and valid. You may want to explore this further with a therapist or counselor. Just know that you matter – remember this.

Tip #4Eat well. No matter what make sure you eat well. Make a nutritious salad for yourself chocked full of greens, red onions, tomatoes, radishes, etc. whatever you enjoy. Bake a piece of salmon with grilled asparagus and yams. Avoid snacking and eating a lot of sugary, fatty and/or salty foods – these will only deplete you, create cravings and make you even more fatigued than you already are. Make your meal time and your meals a special occasion. If you’re not able to share your meal time with the loved one you’re caring for perhaps schedule your meals together so at least there is some feeling of togetherness separate from your caregiving role. Make your mealtime a priority. Remember even though what you eat – a nutritionally dense diet – is important, how you eat is just as important. Making your dining atmosphere harmonious and peaceful will serve you both and will also enhance better digestion.

Tip #5Get your sleep. I cannot overemphasize how vital this is. I speak and write about Vitamin S (sleep) continuously.  Do not forfeit your sleep while taking care of another person. If you don’t sleep or get the rest you need you will be of little value to the person who’s receiving your care or to yourself. You cannot afford to miss out on solid, deep sleep. Again you need to recharge your batteries daily if you want to function the following day. And if your caregiving lasts for more than a few weeks you will need the continued energy that a good night’s sleep brings in order to sustain yourself and keep you strong and healthy long term. If you feel too stressed due to your caregiving role try magnesium or melatonin at bedtime. You could also try some of the various calming teas available in the marketplace, however for some it may create an increase need to go to the bathroom during the night therefore interrupting your sleep not improving it. You could try downloading an app for REM sleep or listening to relaxing music. Experiment and do whatever works so you can find those regenerating Zzzzz. 

I hope these tips give you a better idea of how important it is for you to take care of yourself in any and every situation you are facing in your life. Remember the saying: when in an airplane remember to give yourself the oxygen mask first because if you’re not healthy and strong it’s very difficult for you to help anybody else. 

Stay strong, stay healthy, and remember your oxygen.

Watch Out For These 7 Mistakes


1) Eating too fast. This one can creep up on you. I grew up in a very large household so eating fast was a sure way to get your fair share as well as make room at the table. But you need to slow down. Slowing down aides your digestion by breaking down the food you just consumed properly, converting it into energy and everything the body need to function. It’s also a great way to avoid overeating.

2) Eating too late. This is a problem for many people. If you eat too late your food will just sit there and not be digested effectively. Lying down right after eating, or worse trying to go to sleep after a meal, compromises the body’s ability to break down food adequately. Since you are not using the food you ate for energy much of the calories are stored as fat stores especially if you do this on a regular basis. Eating late also causes poor sleep patterns often causing you to wake up groggy and sluggish. Try and eat your evening meals and/or snack at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.  

3) Eating too much.  It’s an epidemic. Eating too much, too often and having large portions can be detrimental to your health. If you’re cooking at home, portion out your food in the kitchen. Try not to put the bowls and food platters on the table – you’ll be less tempted to overload your plate if you do. If you wish to manage your portions even more efficiently – you can weigh out your food with a small kitchen scale.

4) Eating too little.  Eating insufficient amounts of food can also be a problem. If you’re fasting for too long your body will start storing fat versus burning fat or carbohydrates as a fuel source. Eat at regular intervals throughout the day. Avoid spacing out your eating times for too long a period as that may wreak havoc with your insulin and blood sugar balance. Intermittent fasting can be a good strategy. I usually recommend a five day Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) every month. This will allow your body to have a rest as well as provide enough good nutrition without depleting your body which a pure fast can do. A fasting mimicking diet assists in recharging your body by enhancing metabolism benefiting your entire system.

5) Eating when stressed. This is a biggie as well. Eating when you’re stressed means you’re not tasting the food and you’re not really honoring the process of nourishing yourself. You need to make eating a meal into a sacred experience. If you are stressed you may be eating on the run or eating too much of the wrong things. Your cortisol and adrenal hormones become activated and often interfere with digestion. Wait until you’re calmer allowing yourself to appreciate your food and your whole nourishing experience that much more.

6) Eating out of boredom. Even though it’s not exactly stress eating it’s similar to it in that you end up  eating many of the wrong foods, you’re snacking more and possibly over eating. Find other activities that interest you and soon you’ll find food is the furthest thing from your mind. You’ll be getting filled up in other ways. Exercise, a good conversation, a good book, going to the beach are all good examples of enjoyable activities.

7) Eating for entertainment. Food is meant to nourish you and give you the nutrients you need to function it’s not intended to be an entertainment experience. Not to say that food cannot be interesting, tasty, delicious and an experience that all your senses can be involved in. Involving all your senses is exactly how eating should be. You should be totally connected to the food you’re eating and, again, make it a sacred experience. However when you’re looking for fun and excitement in your food and in your daily eating habits you’re not really tasting the food. So slow down, taste and enjoy.

Discover How to Change your Bad Habits Part II

 

  • The brain wants everything to be efficient and automated
  • The brain doesn’t want to have to go through a difficult mental process every time it decides to do something.
  • The brain always asks “how fast can we do this?”
  • Our routine needs to be dismantled to create a new habit
  • You can’t just get rid of an old habit and be done with it. There’s a void that the brain wants to fill immediately with a replacement

Consider the Habit Loop 
– the 4 Elements of a Behavior
  1. Cue – time of day you do a particular habit. This environmental cue reminds the brain that this habit you are trying to change is what you will automatically go towards. However, at this point there exists an opportunity to ask yourself – what can I choose instead?
  2. Craving – is the discontent this cue creates. It’s a feeling or emotion of “I want to relieve this discontent or discomfort”. The brain has a craving it wants to alleviate. So instead of the pleasure of that chocolate cake how about creating the feel good chemicals like endorphins when exercising or oxytocin when connecting with others.
  3. Response – You  first get a cue, then you have a craving. Next your brain feels unsettled, so it chooses a particular action. You (your brain) may initially choose something not satisfying your craving so you choose something else to build the right brain response.
  4. Reward – once your craving is adequately met you feel a sense of satisfaction. You have now been able to relieve the stress you were feeling in your craving state. The result is that the craving is gone and your discontent is gone.

Creating a New Habit
  • Re-create new cues and tell your brain that it’s OK to change
  • You can make changes with small steps – 10 minute workouts or a small dietary change
  • By starting small you can in fact make a big difference
  • When you decide to start making changes you may need help – a coach or support group
  • You need to practice over and over again
  • Change + reward = habit

Celebrate your Small Wins

Here’s an example of a substitution for a Craving
  • You crave chocolate so you find an alternative. Maybe melt chocolate and dip some fruit into it – kind of like a fondue. Or have a chocolate protein shake in the morning. Know that you are actually craving the flavor of the chocolate and not actually chocolate.
  • With this fruit example we used above you will get the added benefit of healthy fiber, pectin, and bio-flavonoids and with the protein shake you will have additional protein and other valuable nutrients

Make it Small
  • Unfortunately, our culture works against us – the message is you should want fast, bigger and better i.e. – Biggest Loser, extreme sports
  • Small wins will sustain you day in and day out
  • Want a doughnut eat a handful of almonds instead. Or modify have 1 doughnut once per week or every 2 weeks  rather than daily or freeze them for future or give them away. Eventually the craving will go away.
  • Frequency of making a that one small change will soon develop into a habit further down the road

Drama Sells
  • Lose 50 lbs. in 4 weeks
  • Overnight results don’t last
  • You want something to work longterm
  • 5 pound sustained weight loss is better than the yo-yo cycle of gaining and losing and gaining again
  • Build a foundation of small wins

All or Nothing Mindset
  • Gain and cycle often makes you feel like a failure
  • Stopping consistent weight gain is something to focus on every day
  • During a crisis it’s the perfect time to incorporate a small and slow step strategy
  • Change evolves it doesn’t happen all of a sudden
  • Ask yourself did your past experience of using an all or nothing approach work for you
  • So often when a new diet or exercise program is started within 2 or 3 weeks most people quit
  • Change One Thing at a Time whether its exercising for three days per week or adding a salad to your day, or getting to bed an hour earlier, shutting off your computer two hours before bedtime, or eating dinner earlier. All you have to do is just Pick One.


True Change Evolves It Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Create a New Cue
  • How can I start craving this new habit?
  • How can I make my new habit attractive?
  • Get one new behavior under your belt by sticking with it and then go onto the next one
  • Making one change at a time builds your confidence
  • Incorporate small and doable steps
  • Connect your new habit with something meaningful
  • Get to the root of why you want to make the change in the first place – more energy, save money, less stress, be more clear-headed, reduce heart attack risk etc.
  • Small actions build confidence and motivation

Don’t Beat Yourself up if:
  • You’re not getting as quick results you had hoped for but you’re moving in the right direction
  • You’re not being perfect
  • You feel like quitting
  • No need to judge yourself just decide to hang in there no matter what

Good luck on your road to making the changes that will enhance your life today.

Discover How to Change Your Bad Habits Part I

Discover How to Change your Bad Habits

Do you suffer from any of these 10 most popular bad habits?

1)     Missing meals

2)     Snacking

3)     Getting hooked on sugar

4)     Eating too late at night

5)     Drinking enough water

6)     Not taking or forgetting to take your supplements

7)     Not getting enough sleep and going to bed too late

8)     No time to fit on exercise

9)     Can’t find the time to distress with meditation or yoga or something else that helps

10)    Saying yes to too many things or the “Putting Too Much on Your Plate Syndrome”


How to Change Bad Habits – 5 Steps


1)     Acknowledge the bad habit in the first place. Admit it’s a bad habit instead of believing it’s just the way it is. Don’t let it remain an unconscious behavior.

2)     Deciding to take action once you’ve admitted your habit of omission or inclusion i.e.: Plunking yourself in front of your computer for hours and realizing that you haven’t eaten dinner. Time can be a black hole – set a timer.

3)     Get an accountability partner. It’s tough to change habits on your own. Having a partner will help. A buddy system is extremely effective – keeps you on track and you get the support you need. Even just texting each other with the word DONE helps.

4)     Stick to it. Don’t give up too soon. Before a habit gets integrated you make get too comfortable and start taking your new found habit for granted. Soon it may slip away before you’re aware of that happening. Then you might be ridden with guilt. It’s difficult psychologically to muster up the resolve to start again. The solution is – just don’t quit. Get back in the saddle as soon as you can.

5)     Be open to suggestions. Don’t be stuck with only one way of doing things – try a new way. Try making it a game to see how doing things differently might be better. For example – (a) tough getting to bed at a good time? Try making your bedroom more luxurious and relaxing by buying a few new throw pillows – it’s simple and effective or (b) Want to drink more water? Buy a colorful water bottle. This is an easy and inexpensive habit-altering step you can take.

Immune Health 101


I have been receiving so many requests for information regarding immune health and stress management. To help you, I thought I would send you a few quick tips you could add to your day right away.
 
 
Here are 4 Quick Tips for Immune Health:
 
Sleep
Poor sleep is linked to heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity and will certainly have an effect an your immune system’s ability to function well.
 

  • Excellent supplements for sleep are magnesium and melatonin
  • Zero computer, phone or TV usage one to two hours before bedtime. However, if you wish you could try using blue blocking amber tinted glasses to help shut out the  blue light emitted from your computer, phone and TV screens. You can also choose blue blocking lenses which you can easily put over your prescription glasses. A good brand is Elements Active. It’s the blue light that will disturb your sleep cycle.
  • Choose a comfortable and cool sleeping area.
  • Try not to have any work in your bedroom i.e. books papers files etc. Make it your personal sanctuary
  • Try using blackout blinds in your bedroom as well – they are ideal for preventing any light from coming through the window. The darker your room the better for sleep.
  • Try not to drink water or other liquids like tea too close to bedtime – it may cause you to wake in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom thereby disturbing your sleep cycle.
  • Try to have a regular sleep time and wake time.

 
Supplements
 
            Vitamin D

  • Sunshine is the best source of Vitamin D, of course. Try to get at least 10 minutes of direct sunlight in the morning.
  • Supplement with the recommended dosage of 5000 I U’s per day. Some recommend only 500 I.U, per day – I think that’s insufficient as most people tend to be deficient in vitamin D.
  • Choose Vitamin D3. 
  • Foods high in vitamin D are: fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, halibut, and tuna, Beef liver and egg yolks are also good sources. Foods fortified with vitamin D such as dairy, some orange juice and soy may also be good sources.

 
            Zinc

  • Supplement with zinc picolinate,
  • Rich food sources of zinc are: meat, shellfish, legumes, nuts and seeds, dairy, eggs.

 
Hydrotherapy and Sauna

  • Alternating hot and cold showers was proven effective during the Spanish flu. Run hot water for 3 to 5 minutes, cold for 30 to 60 seconds, try alternating three times. Do not use this method if you are diabetic. Many who have diabetes also suffer from a condition called neuropathy causing an inability to feel the sensation of hot or cold. This condition caused by nerve damage usually affects extremities primarily feet. Diabetics must be careful as this technique may burn their skin.
  • Saunas are an excellent source of detoxification, relaxation and will help with circulation

 
Stress management:
All of the following have a calming and immune enhancing effect

  • Prayer
  • Restorative Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Connecting with loved ones by phone or Zoom
  • Also, sleep ***

 
Wishing you safety, health and strength.
Many Blessings,
Monika 

How to Stay Grounded During This Trying Time

Here are some tips on how to ground yourself at this very challenging time:

1) Journaling. I get to anchor my thoughts and anxieties when I journal. So as to not have my thoughts all over the place, causing further wear and exhaustion, I write it all down. This helps me focus on what’s important even only for an hour or a day. Now it doesn’t need to be an actual journal, it could also simply be a scratch pad – somewhere you could write things down. It has been proven that the act of physically writing things with your hand can have a deeper and more therapeutic effect than simply composing on your computer, iPhone, etc. There appears to be “a brain/hand connection’ if you will, that connects you physically to what you write. In fact, I first wrote the draft of this article in my journal and then transferred it onto my computer. I use my journal for everything – I call it “My Book of Life”. I get to figure out problems, be creative, rant, and even write poetry in it. Yup, it’s all in there. But that’s my way – find your own way of getting things out of your head and onto, preferably, paper.

2) Talking/Chatting. Talk to those who really know you. If you have good relationships with your family, and certainly with your friends too, talking with them in times of need is very nurturing. I’m fortunate to have a close knit family – we can easily talk, connect, laugh and even worry together. Even though they all live in Canada – the phone has always been a bridge for us. And, of course, talking with really good friends provides a great deal of comfort and relief no matter what is going on in my life.

3) Pets. Not sure how I would have survived the past five years caring for my husband if it wasn’t for the daily comfort of my little Mitzy, who I often call my “Comfort Cat”. Brian, our other cat, sadly passed away in 2016 – he was so loving as well. They are sweet and loving little companions for sure – keep them near.

4) Sleep. Perhaps not necessarily grounding in and of itself, however, I find it if I don’t get the best sleep possible – the next day I am unfocused and unproductive. I call this the magic and necessity of sleep or “Vitamin S”. Not only is sleep so important for overall health but also for your immune health – which we need to strengthen now more than ever. Turn off your computers and TVs by 10 or 11 PM and get some sleep.

5) Meditate. Meditate if you can. I’ve had the fortune of learning transcendental meditation some 35 years ago and I’ve been practicing it daily since then. Don’t get me wrong; some days I do miss out but I would say I’m able practice my mediation consistently at least 95% of the time. It’s a must for me. If meditation is difficult for you just slowing down your mind for 10 minutes once or twice a day can do wonders. By slowing down the raciness and even fears in your head it can actually improve your stress response, improve brain function and balance your blood pressure. You can also try deep breathing – close your eyes and slowly count to 6 as you inhale then another 6 as you exhale – slowly. Do this for about 5-10 minutes. Miraculously you’ll feel calmer. Of course, listening to relaxing music will also do the trick. If the phone rings or you hear a text coming in ignore it – you can attend to it when you’re done. Even during this crisis you need to give yourself a break.

6) Sunshine. Let the sunshine warm your body. If you are able to go outside – away from others – and just sit in the sun for 5 to 10 minutes that would certainly be good medicine for you. Getting vitamin D, which sunshine provides, onto your skin will increase your immune system considerably. Try and do this practice early in the morning. I know it’s still winter for many so if you can try and do this. Exercise is OK but hanging out outside for no reason is not OK.

I hope these tips will calm and center you a bit more. This is a time to slow down, for sure, we really don’t have any choice in the matter. Perhaps this is one of the best gifts coming out of this pandemic. We do need to slow down and really assess our lives and discover what’s important and what’s not. 

Getting to the essentials of what matters IS What Matters. 

Thinking of you and sending many, many blessings, 

Monika

   

P.S. Social Distancing doesn’t mean not connecting online, by phone, facetime, skype etc. Stay tuned in.

Wear Gloves for Health


All this news of my family’s health, the constant diligent care of my husband, and the barrage of news has, at times, left me feeling rather scattered and ungrounded. I thought of how I could manage these feelings and then share some solutions with you.I’ve been wearing gloves for five years now while taking care of my ailing husband. I have gradually had to increase the number of times I have had to wear those gloves. And now it’s imperative I wear them for both his and my safety. I have to “glove” myself as well as provide supplies for my husband’s health aides. Gloves are what we should all be wearing right now especially if you need to venture out.
 
Yesterday I went to the grocery store wearing my knitted winter gloves. I actually had to hunt for them because, understandably,  I hardly ever wear gloves here in Southern California. It’s only when I travel in the winter to Canada to visit my family that I use them at all. While in the store, I told a couple of my local Trader Joe’s employees that “it’s for my husband’s protection” and they of course understood immediately reliquishing any judgement. 
 
However, for those I encountered who I didn’t provide an explanation I sensed that they thought it was odd..I suspect they were thinking that I was over the top with panic, hysteria or something like that.
 
My husband is at high risk for contracting this virus. I realized this fact last week shortly after I had been celebrating my Birthday with friends. It hit me that I could not be out in the world as much as I thought I could because of my husband’s compromised medical condition. I realized I had to become extra cautious. 
 
I urge you all to take extra precaution  at this time even if you personally do not have someone around you that is highly compromised. Someone you come in contact with might be connected to someone who is highly compromised and so on and so on.
 
I recommend you wear gloves (not surgical gloves) regardless of what anyone else thinks. This virus is passed on and spread mostly through touching services – as you all know. When you get home wash your gloves after you’ve unloaded your groceries and then wash your hands immediately before you touch anything.
 
Gloves are more important than masks. Both would be great to have but there are very few masks available at this time. Whatever surgical gloves and masks that are available right now should be reserved for the medical professionals who are dealing with potential life and death situations. I’ve even seen videos where hospital staff are actually making masks out of craft materials because of this massive supply shortage.
 
So to manage during this time here are my recommendations:

  1. Wear gloves – your winter glovesSave the surgical gloves for medical and health professionals working hard in hospitals, care centers and, in my case, my home.
  2. Wash your hands as if your life depends on it. Seriously it’s that important. This virus is mostly spread on surfaces and hands touching those surfaces. I don’t normally recommended being obsessive – but now is the time to be just that.
  3. Get plenty of sleep. Rest as much as possible. You are under a great deal of stress right now – it’s crucial to recharge and revitalize yourself.
  4. Avoid being glued to the television or internet all day long. Take a break – listen to music, meditate, watch some stand-up comedy, etc.
  5. Go out for a walk – move your body. Remember to keep your distance from others when you’re out exercising.
  6. Avoid sugar and sugary foods. Sugar will deplete your immune system. Eat fresh whole fruits, vegetables, quality protein and good fats. Especially now – you need to maintain your strength and nourish your immune system.
  7. Connect with friends and family by phone or online. There’s nothing like the human voice or a loved one’s words to give you comfort, hope and a feeling of connectedness.
  8. Take additional supplements.
For your immune system take:
 

Vitamin C – 6,000 to 10,000 mgs. per day

Oil of oregano – 60 mgs. per day

To help with your stress take: 

Magnesium – 500 – 1000 mgs. per day 

B complex – as directed
 
And finally, I wish you safety, health and much rest during this trying time. And please stay home for the time being.
 

Are You an Expert at Gaining Weight?

I know, I know it’s absolutely something you do not want to be an expert in – right? But unfortunately, you may feel like you are. Whatever you do – you try this you try that – lose some weight gain it back and on and on… Sound familiar?

Here are my 3 tips to help make you more of a health expert and not a weight gain one – sound good?  OK – here it goes.

Your 3 Tips to Help Make You Your Own Health & Vitality Expert:

1.  Go Inside & Ask.  Do I want to be light or full? Do I want my clothes to fit or do I want that bowl of ice cream after dinner? Do I want a relaxing evening at home or choose to prove to my spouse that I’m right about something and end up arguing? Do I really need to watch YouTube videos until midnight or would listening to a meditation audio while I drift off to sleep at 11:00 p.m. be better for me?

You see, you are making choices constantly and making one that helps you attain a state of overall wellbeing is, of course, the best. However, the best choice may not always be the favorite choice. So try to go inside and take the time to process your thoughts and feelings first before making a possible impulsive or unhealthy choice.

2.  How Much Is Enough: You may wonder why controlling your portion size is so important. Well, it’s not just about the amount you’re consuming but also it’s about creating some discipline.  You see, when you begin to take good care of yourself, you start making eating the right food and the right amount a priority. Having discipline is a good thing and it can be synonymous with doing a loving thing for yourself. Discipline DOES NOT always mean limitation.

When you overeat you are usually compensating for an unusual or uncomfortable emotional state you are experiencing. Whether happy or sad on some level it can be difficult to accept how you are actually feeling in the present moment. Giving yourself a plan of action in the beginning of your day is helpful in keeping you in line and in-tune with how much food your body really needs. In my Skinny Jeans Weight Loss Program ™ I recommend weighing your food initially to help you discover the ideal amount of food for best weight loss results. Over the years I have heard many of clients admitting how surprised they were to find just how much in excess they were actually consuming. Their portion sizes were larger than their bodies actually needed to function optimally. Everyone has a portion size that’s best for them. These can vary depending on your exercise/activity level but generally women require approximately 1500-2000 calories/day and men approximately 1800-2400 calories/day.

3.  Dieting Shouldn’t Be Your Job: I’ve mentioned this several times in past blogs where I have warned you not only to avoid becoming obsessed with dieting but also to learn to reframe the entire concept of dieting. A  Diet actually means what you consume on a daily basis. If you are constantly dieting you are not learning how to eat for long term wellness. Taking your excess weight off in a healthy yet efficient way requires a system that supports fat burning and muscle maintenance and results in that sought after reduction on your bathroom scale.

Once you get to that “magic number” you must focus on doing everything you can to maintain that number or at least within a 3 lb. range.

For example, if you’ve lost 30 lbs. and your weight is now 150 –  try keeping your weight between 150-153. Once it starts going higher than the 3 lbs. you will need to go back to your original weight system/plan to get the extra weight off. The longer you wait to take this important step the more likely it is that you’ll gain even more weight and perhaps – wait for it -gain ALL the weight back – and I know you don’t want that to happen. You’ve worked hard to lose the weight so find the best way to maintain it. Pay attention to your weight fluctuations over time. Stop the uphill climb  before it gets out of hand. The more you follow this advice the less you will need to constantly be on a diet and the more freedom you’ll feel in this area of your life.

You are now becoming your own health expert – Congratulations