Friday, January 27, 2017

Pump It Up

Well, if you haven't noticed, it's Winter...sort of, anyway.  Winter can be a great time of reflection, slowing down, and rebuilding before the higher energy Spring & Summer come back around.  It can also be a time of stagnation and sluggishness.  Many people are deeply impacted by the lack of sunlight and having to constantly brace against colder temperatures.  The struggle is very real!

One thing we have to be very mindful of is keeping ourselves moving somehow.  For me, after the holidays come and go, I can get a little depressed and literally just want to sit around, doing stuff on my computer.  That's bad for many reasons, but mostly because it means I am more sedentary and I am getting more EMFs and artificial light on my eyes from too much screen-time (more to come about all of this soon).

I have been helping people through a lot of "stagnant" conditions lately...numbness and tingling in extremities, constipation, and ovarian cysts, to name a few.  Something that most of the conditions I am seeing right now have in common is LACK OF CIRCULATION!  The cold, the sitting around, it's a vicious cycle for things to get backed up, just like traffic at rush hour.  And that sets the perfect stage for problems to develop.

Today I urge you to learn more about your lymphatic system!  Some of you might be saying, "Huh...what?!"  Hopefully by now we have learned a lot about our bodies and the various organs and systems, but poor little lymphatics usually get left out.  We know that our blood has a pump (our hearts) but our lymphatic fluid relies solely on us to pump it around.  This is VERY important, because our lymphatics are our "garbage disposals."  If we leave them to their own devices they back-up and start to stink everything up.  As always, your gut is a major player in all of this as well...can you say "IMMUNE SYSTEM?!"  This is a big reason why so many more people get sick this time of year.

I want to share one of the absolute best, most helpful articles I have found on the topic, "The Secret to Staying Healthy: Get The Lymphatic System Moving!"  It explains the basics of the lymphatic system and beyond, AND it gives you many ideas to get your lymph moving.  If you are going to alert people to a concern, then providing solutions is an absolute must in my eyes!  Some of my favorite things to do are dry brushing (here is the brush I use), rebounding, yoga/deep breathing, saunas/hot baths, and massage, which are all discussed in the article.  I would like to specifically add one of my loves...dancing!

The good news is that it doesn't have to be strenuous.  Since a big "pumper" of our lymph is our big toes you can take a gentle walk, go up and down some stairs, do some toe-raises, or even sit and manually massage/bend/pump your big toes.  You can even manage some of these moves while standing in line at the store, under your desk at work, or even while sick in bed.  Do what you can!  As someone who has managed a chronic health challenge I know that exercise is not always possible.  I completely understand the fine line between moving your body and overexertion.  Saving energy for healing is very important, too!

If you are interested in learning even more, you can also check out this great mindbodygreen article, "9 Ways To Reset Lymph Flow And Decrease Bloating."

So put on some good music, and get moving...and keep yourself warm (heat packs are my best friend...especially on the abdomen and neck/shoulders)!  Your lymphatic system is counting on you!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cooking Up A Storm

Hi everyone!  Happy New Year!  I fully intended to keep posting between Christmas and New Years...and beyond...but family-time and "life" was my priority instead, and this took a backseat.  I'm good with that!  Still, I have missed posting and the awesome comments, interactions, and feedback from all of you wonderful people.

I have some great news to share.  As I have been trying to figure out how I am going to channel my passion and help more people I applied to become a certified "Functional Medicine Coach," and I was accepted into the program.  I start February 1st, and will be back in "school" for a year.  I have some other good stuff in the works around becoming certified in Mind-Body Medicine as well.  I am beyond excited and look forward to sharing the journey with you.

I knew I had to get back to blogging when within the same week I had two totally unrelated people in my life (one a high school friend, and the other a newer friend) ask me the same question..."What kind of cookware do you use?"

In my attempt to keep blogging "doable" for me, especially now that I will have homework, I will do my best to keep these posts shorter, pointing you to the resources that will help you learn more.  To find out more about the toxins lurking in your cookware, this article by Dr. Axe (one of my fave docs) is a great starting place.  You might be surprised, or even overwhelmed, by the information, but once you know better you can do better.  From this point, forward is all that matters.

As far as what I have in my kitchen, though it may not be the most perfect thing out there, I use ceramic coated cook/bakeware.  I can't say for sure what the healthiest brand is.  I think this is a space that could really use a lot more attention, but for now we will just choose as best we can.  The most important thing is knowing what to stay away from (teflon, etc.)  I was happy to see Dr. Mercola adding his efforts, but I can't say for sure what his products are like, because I have never used them.  Lots of other countries are putting safer products out there, but they are harder to get for the time being.

For baking/cookie sheets I have the "Orgreenic" Ceramic Jelly Roll Pans, but there is some debate over if the material/product actually lives up to its name (this happens a lot, so don't just believe in a product that has "Organic" in its name) - and they are no longer available, so hmmmmm?  I am still looking for a good replacement.  A good idea is to use parchment paper or a silicone sheet over the surface for extra protection.  My favorite parchment, and additional kitchen products (like the sandwich/snack bags we use), comes from "If You Care."  For pots and pans I have the "WearEver Pure Living" ceramic sets.  I purchased them from Amazon.

Other brands I would consider:
- xtrema

*Don't forget to pick up some great silicone cooking spoons, etc. to use in your ceramic pots & pans! You definitely don't want to use metal or anything harsh, and also in an effort to preserve your cookware stack them with a cloth in-between (I like to use old dishcloths/towels).

Of course glass is usually a safe way to go (check lead levels), and some people love cast iron.  Some articles claim that stainless steel is a good option, but a lot of times it has ingredients in it like nickel, which many are sensitive to.  If you have heavy metal toxicity/burden, then you want to avoid such products.  You can find this out through Functional Medicine/Naturopathic testing.  Way before I ever had such testing I knew I couldn't tolerate nickel, or lots of metals, because my skin would blister, ooze, and turn green from jewelry made from those materials.  That's a big reason I use bamboo cutlery much of the time, because every time you eat you could be exposing yourself to something that doesn't agree with your system, and that is an added burden your body does't need.  Listen to your body's messages!

I hope this article points you in some helpful directions to green up your kitchen and keep yourself and your loved ones as healthy as possible!