National Safety Month 2015

National Safety CouncilThis website is chalk full of free resources for organizations to support National Safety Month in June, even if you’re a tiny company:

“I absolutely love the materials provided for National Safety Month. I’m a department of one and my time is very limited. Using your free resources is like having a personal assistant during the month of June when it comes to celebrating NSM. Thanks for all that you do!”  

Marcy Gonzalez, Human Resources Manager, CCL Tube, Los Angeles, CA

Nat’l Senior Health & Fitness Day 2015

Nat'l Seniors Health & Fitness Day 2015Keep up the fun & momentum after your Memorial Day Weekend and celebrate with seniors around the country for National Senior Health & Fitness Day! While these ‘national observances’ show up only once annually on your calendar, they’re meant to create awareness and promote healthy change.  This website is full of good information on how to develop healthy lifestyles for the seniors in your life (and it wouldn’t hurt if you jumped on the bandwagon with them!). A few little changes can go a long way to living a healthy, vibrant life. 

April 6 – 12 is National Public Health Week

CaptureThe U.S. doesn’t have the top health care system – we have a great “sick care” system. We have great doctors, state-of-the-art hospitals and we’re leaders in advanced procedures and pharmaceuticals. But studies consistently show that despite spending twice as much, we trail other countries in life expectancy and almost all other measures of good health. This holds true across all ages and income levels. So what is missing?  We need a stronger public health system that supports healthy communities and moves us toward preventing illness, disease and injury.

Healthiest Nation 2030 has all sorts of resources and ideas to help promote National Public Health Week, but you don’t have to stop there.  Implement some of these activities at home or work and do your part to get healthy and help others do the same.

National Men’s Health Week – June 9 – 15!

Hey guys, June 9th – 15th is National Men’s Health Week.  It is time to ‘man up’ and take your health more seriously. Why wait until the diagnosis forces you to make positive changes to negative habits? No time like the present, during Men’s Health Week and pre-Father’s Day. Take the necessary steps to reduce the risks of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, colon cancer and prostate cancer by paying closer attention to what goes on your plate and into your mouth. And if you need to lose weight, even shedding a few pounds can improve laboratory values and cut medical and insurance costs.  To find out more, visit http://www.menshealthnetwork.org.

4 Steps to Beating Sugar Addiction vs. Cold Turkey

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In my last entry Is Willpower the Problem, or Is It Something Else? I identified sugar as a highly addictive substance, more addictive than cocaine. That’s significant when you consider the effects on your mind and body. So many people are identifying the symptoms of a sugar imbalance in themselves, known as Candida. Candida can present in so many ways – brain fog, sluggish immune system, fungal infections, skin problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis, and learning disorders; just to name a few.

This brings up the question – now that I know how bad it is, what do I do to eliminate it from my diet? So many go for the all or nothing approach; banning anything that contains sugar from their diet including fruit. This is an approach that tends to be recommended often, but it may not be the best approach for you.

Consider this, if you feed your body and brain a toxic substance every day for ten, twenty, or more years, your body may actually depend on it to function. If a person that has consumed alcohol heavily over many years just stops drinking one day, they may experience seizures and other violent physical symptoms. Yes, the alcohol is not good for them, and yes they should discontinue its use; however, suddenly stopping something your body has been receiving for many years can send it into shock. The same is true for sugar. Most people are addicted to sugar; it’s what most food companies have intended so you will buy their products. After many years of enjoying store bought cereals, spaghetti sauces, and even many brands of peanut butter your body is used to a daily dose of sugar that has accumulated into that imbalance called Candida. When you suddenly stop consuming sugar, the Candida monster inside your gut gets hungry and travels through your system looking for sources of sugar. This can create a systemic condition, and you really start experiencing unpleasant side effects such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and high cholesterol.

Every person’s body and background are different so their needs will vary, but some general ideas to assist you in cleansing your system and breaking the sugar habit are:

1. Cleanse

There are many good quality supplements that target Candida. Usually, someone in your health food store can help you locate these. As with any supplement, strive for food based so your body absorbs it more readily. A good probiotic will help your gut flora in its quest for balance. Another option is clay. Many are finding that a glass of Bentonite Clay daily will help cleanse the body of candida and its die off toxins. It is best paired with a good quality fiber supplement, and of course lots of water.

In addition, we put together a kit to cleanse the body from the inside out, and the outside in. It’s the Kalusion Candida Kit, which contains a Sugar Buster Tea to balance the blood sugar, cleanse the liver, and quiet the cravings, Bentonite Clay, and Control body oil to absorb Candida healing moisture into your body.

2. Ditch the liquid sugar

Begin eliminating sugar from your life with your drinks. Soft drinks and juices contain enormous amounts of sugar that many just don’t think about as they sip back. A 12 oz can of soda contains 39 grams of sugar. Yikes! I know the diet soda option may sound like a good alternative, but artificial sweeteners are actually even worse for you, so avoid starting a nastier habit when giving up sugar. Instead opt for water, seltzer with natural flavors, unsweetened iced tea, or fruit infused water.

3. No thank you to processed foods

With 80% of processed foods containing added sugar, it’s just a good idea to avoid them all together. Opt for real foods such as the vegetables in the produce section, or the meats in the meat department. Not to be confused with packaged lunch meats, hot dogs, and sausages. If you are buying packaged foods; always read the ingredients. Strive for foods that contain 5 ingredients or less, and make sure you know what they are, and that sugar is not one of them. Also, just because the package says organic it does not mean sugar free. Other foods to be wary of are low-fat, non-fat, and gluten-free. They often have extra sugar added.

4. Enjoy the process

Have fun creating new recipes, and enjoying new tastes. You are creating a new lifestyle, and a new you. As you reduce sugar from your diet, you can taste the natural sweetness in fruits, nuts, and sweet vegetables. It’s like an awakening of the palate. Enjoy these foods again for the first time.

As with all things worth achieving, this won’t happen overnight. It’s a journey that will lead you to new places, until next thing you know you are feeling fantastic, and looking great. That’s a worthwhile trip!

kaluwa pic 2013Kaluwa  is “the Dancing Health Coach”.  She has graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a BA in Human Biology, and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition  as a Certified Holistic Health Coach recognized by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.  She is also a  Certified Group Fitness Instructor, and a Dance Instructor. Kaluwa enjoys healthy living, and “walks the talk”. Her family shares the passion and enjoys activities together such as growing herbs and vegetables, cooking, walking, rollerblading, dance, martial arts, meditation, yoga, and learning and playing at every opportunity.

Your Skin Eats Too

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Your skin is your largest organ.  That means even if you’re eating real foods and a pure diet, if you’re applying chemically laden creams and cosmetics you are still introducing toxins into your system.  Everything you apply on your body is absorbed inside your body.  An experiment I have been told about is to rub garlic on the bottom of your feet, and see how long it takes to taste the garlic.  This is how long it takes to absorb into your body, which is usually somewhere between 20-40 minutes.  Isn’t that fascinating!

Daily exposure to toxins has been linked to many health issues including weight gain, cancers, thyroid disorders, learning and behavior problems, and mental health problems.  We know that beauty comes with a price, but these are too costly for me.

Shopping for products that work, and don’t contain chemicals is no easy task.  Even many of the products that claim to be all natural have undesirable ingredients hidden in their list.  For this reason, I have started making my own products.  Now I not only know what’s going into my products, I’m also saving some money. I can’t recommend this enough, but realize that many people don’t have the time or interest for this.  So what can you do?  Try shopping small, local businesses, farmer’s markets, or even Etsy for homemade products.  Also, health food stores and vitamin shops tend to have products without the harsh chemicals.

My biggest advice is just start becoming as aware of the things you apply to your body as the things you put into your body.

kaluwa pic 2013Kaluwa  is “the Dancing Health Coach”.  She has graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a BA in Human Biology, and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition  as a Certified Holistic Health Coach recognized by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.  She is also a  Certified Group Fitness Instructor, and a Dance Instructor. Kaluwa enjoys healthy living, and “walks the talk”. Her family shares the passion and enjoys activities together such as growing herbs and vegetables, cooking, walking, rollerblading, dance, martial arts, meditation, yoga, and learning and playing at every opportunity.

Nutrition for Exercise Performance and Refueling

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How do we make the most out of our exercise sessions?  With proper nutrition of course!

The body must be properly fueled with “real foods” in order for the body to function at its peak.

If you are thinking, “Well, I don’t eat healthy but I can still lift weights and run 2 miles”; think of what you could do if you did eat properly, and how much better you would feel doing it!  Our bodies need proper vitamins, minerals and amino acids to produce energy.  Each and every cell in your body needs this (yes, this is true!). We obtain these important nutrients from eating lean proteins such as lean animal meats or vegetarian sources such as beans, along with a variety of colored vegetables, fruits and healthy fats inclusive of olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed & avocado.

It is suggested to eat proper portion combinations of a lean protein with non-starchy veggies, such as spinach, arugula, bell peppers, cucumbers, etc., along with healthy fat ANYTIME of day except for after your workout.

AFTER your workout it is suggested to eat equal portions of lean protein and veggies (possibly a little fruit too) with 1 serving (size of a clenched fist) of a starchy carbohydrate, such as potato, sweet potato, brown rice or sprouted grain.  Having the starchy carbohydrate after exercise will help refuel your body for optimal performance at your next workout session.

So, there you go!  In a nutshell:

  • Perform both aerobic and anaerobic activities (see my article on “Endurance or Strength Training” which is best for tips and ideas) for a well balanced lifestyle with optimal health gains
  • Anytime prior to exercise: Eat a portion of lean protein (size of palm), variety of non-starchy veggies (up to size of 2 clenched fists), and healthy fat (size of your thumb) at all meals during the day
  • Post Exercise within 2-3 hrs: Eat a portion of lean protein (size of palm) non-starchy veggies and fruit (up to 2 clenched fists combined), and add a portion of starchy veggies (size of clenched fist) within 2 hrs after your workout
  • And of course, don’t forget to drink your water!

Now get to it, and enjoy! Your body will thank you for it, I promise.

Tracie Hammond

Tracie Hammond has a B.S. degree from the University of Southern Maine. She is a certified nutritional consultant from the Global College of Natural Medicine, a certified personal trainer, and she holds many other fitness and nutrition certifications. Tracie uses the integrated approach to wellness, combining nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction techniques.  Tracie empowers her clients by coaching them to set realistic goals, identifying their strengths and obstacles, and setting weekly strategies to overcome these obstacles.