WELLNESS--We are all superheroes. I know it sounds silly and cliché but it’s true. Most of us just don’t realize it. Okay, so maybe we can’t fly, send laser beams with our eyes, or scale a wall, but we do have immense powers beyond our own belief.
In my book LIVE LOOK FEEL I talk about dusting off your superhero costume and taking charge of your own life. I discuss ways in which we can find more self-empowerment, confidence, and strength for the important journey ahead.
We ALL have special powers and gifts to offer the world but the problem is that many of us are tired. We are stressed out, overworked, and pre-occupied with the day-to-day routine and we have lost our way. Because of this, we have also lost the energy we need to move ahead and conquer life the way we had once intended.
Some of us may be very clear as to our life’s mission and we feel an undeniable drive to succeed, make an impact, and leave a legacy. Other people on the other hand, are just beginning to sense their deeper purpose in this lifetime.
Regardless of where you are, if you’re feeling that you have a larger life to live, know that this is intuition speaking to you. Know that this is the voice of truth.
If you lack direction or you are just burned out because of poor diet, lifestyle choices, and stress, try taking these steps to get you back on track, providing you with the kryptonite you need to become the superhero you were meant to be:
- Detox - Often a diet high in processed foods, drugs, alcohol, and sugar can numb us. We lose sight of what it’s like to thrive. Doing a gentle body detox can help us remember what it’s like to feel great, lose junk food cravings, sleep deep, and remain energized throughout the day. Consider trying a short cleanse or detox to reset your body and metabolism similar to the 10-day transformation that I provide for my clients. Afterwards, bring in more organic produce, clean water, and superfoods and fuel your body the way nature intended.
- Go Inward - If our minds are busy then we are sure to miss the synchronistic messages that the Universe is sending to us. By going inward, meditating, creating a quiet morning practice, journaling and reading uplifting material each day, we make room for miracles amidst the clutter. Put yourself first, make this practice a priority, and watch what happens.
- Get Creative - When we were kids we’d pretend that we could fly, or do magical things. Our inner child and our creativity are closely related to each other. Do something that brings you joy such as playing an instrument, painting, walking barefoot in nature, singing karaoke, gardening, or playing a board game with friends. We are taking things way too seriously and we’re missing the boat. Life is meant to be fun and when we begin tapping in to our inner creativity and our childlike nature, we rediscover important aspects of ourselves and we become more balanced, happy, and unstoppable.
In the comic books and movies superheroes save the day and sometimes, the earth. Each of us has such a mission. We were born with unique talents, gifts, and inspirational ideas that can truly change the world. If we clean up our body, mind, and spirit, and get tuned in to why we are here, there will never be a more important assignment than that.
* Always consult with your physician before beginning any cleanse or detox program especially if you have pre-existing health conditions.
(Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com. He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!)
WELLNESS--The busy badge is an award that I for one can do without. In today’s day and age people are seemingly in competition with each other as to who is busier. Ask anyone how he or she is doing and most surely you will hear “I’m so busy.” What people don’t realize is that being busy all the time may be doing more damage than good. Here’s why.
- When we are too busy we can’t be present to what we are doing. As we run from one task to another or one app to the next, it is challenging to focus our minds and attention on what it is that we are doing in the moment. Unfortunately, this busy mindset often carries over into our relationships and before we know it, we are either not making plans at all with our friends and family or we are spending short little snippets of time with them that hardly add up to meaningful relationships. Being present to what we are doing no matter what it is an important component to a healthy life.
- Being too busy often leads to multi-tasking which has been proven to be a futile and unsuccessful endeavor. Each time we get new information the brain is rewarded. At face value this seems like a good thing, but the problem begins when we switch from app to app or text to email too often. For example if one is checking their email and they hear a text alert and grab their phone to check. While our brains feel rewarded by new information, we can only process one thought at a time, and the constant switching of subjects eventually starts to train the brain to lose focus.
- When we are so busy running around accomplishing things we forget the most important subject of all which is ourselves! Getting caught up in facebook and instagram in addition to our texts and emails and then piling on work and errands makes it very easy to take our own self-care for granted. Studies show that people who spend more time on social media tend to be more depressed if looking at facebook brings up feelings of envy. Coupling those feelings of depression along with the time spent on social media leaves little time for-self care and self-love.
- Finally, being overly busy often causes a stress response in the body triggering a cascade of stress hormones and negative impacts on the body and mind. The heart, mind and body need rest, and without it, stress hormone levels stay elevated causing inflammation and over time possible heart problems and even cancer. Taking time each day to sit somewhere quiet and just breath is crucial to ones well being.
Lets all give up the busy badge. When I hear people complaining of being too busy I use that to remind myself to slow down and take some time to gather my thoughts and feelings so I can finish my day with greater awareness and focus. Instead of letting our brains run us all over the place, let’s take one step and one task at a time in order to bring the best to every situation and every person we come into contact with.
WELLNESS--This week I was asked to participate in an online panel for a youthful aging summit that took place in Paris. The company running the event was gathering marketing strategies for a health company who is putting out a new product dealing with cellular regeneration.
As somebody who is passionate about aging youthfully and committed to the fact that aging does not have to equal decline, I jumped on board!
Are we all going to die? Yes. Do we have to suffer, fall apart, and lose our amazing bodies and minds along the way? No. In fact, many experts on aging believe that we can live well over 120 years old and do so healthfully. The problem lies in many of our day-to-day choices that are largely within our control. In fact, it is believed that our longevity is mainly based upon lifestyle choices.
Eating an organic and non-GMO diet, exercise, stress reduction, and spiritual and emotional health account for up to 75% of our overall longevity with genetics playing approximately 25%. This is exciting news for those of us who are passionate about taking charge and improving our odds.
What does the future on aging hold? What breakthroughs are ahead? Here are just a few of the most exciting topics being researched:
Telomeres - The caps on our DNA strands are known as telomeres. As we age, they get shorter and shorter until they disappear leaving our cells and DNA unprotected to eventually die. Antioxidant supplements, exercise, yoga, and meditation are just a few lifestyle changes that have been shown to lengthen our telomeres. We can affect the longevity of our cells by choosing vitamin-packed foods and supplements along with daily exercise.
Non-Invasive Procedures - If we decide to look more youthful on the journey, we are also in luck. We don’t need to age like our grandparents thanks to the latest in cosmetic procedures such as Botox and Hyaluronic facial fillers. There are also more lasers on the market than ever before that effectively tone and tighten the skin along with radio frequency and ultrasound technology to help us turn back the clock.
Hormones - Hormones are the spark plugs for our body. As we age and due to the chemicals and toxins in both our personal care products and foods, many people experience hormone imbalances. We are seeing an increase in estrogen in both men and women and a decrease in testosterone to name just a few. Thyroid issues are also more common than ever. Anti-aging clinics are popping up everywhere offering age management solutions. When we can take natural and bio-identical hormones to balance our key hormones, we are able to turn back the clock on aging and look and feel better! These changes can be felt very quickly.
Superfoods - We are now realizing more than ever, the power of nature. We’re going back to basics. Foods like mushrooms, spirulina, chlorella, aloe vera, dandelion, berries, and cruciferous vegetables may hold the secret to longevity and vitality into our later years. By consuming concentrated forms of these superfoods, we are literally flooding our cells with goodness often offsetting the toxins, chemicals, and free radicals that can attack our cells. Consuming less animal products in general and more plant-based foods is not just a trend, it is a way of life that will improve our odds.
Kayakalpa - Kayakalpa yoga is said to help people to live longer and become stronger and healthier. The word Kayakalpa means immortalizing the body. Yoga in general has been linked to the lowering of disease and increasing of chi or life force. Many people who practice yoga regularly have felt improvements in many bodily systems and functions like boosting memory, reproductive issues, increasing immunity, and a reduction of reliance on certain medications, including those of chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma and blood pressure.
It is becoming more clear that what we do day-to-day and the choices we make in regards to our emotional, spiritual, and physical health will in fact, impact the course of our life.
We live in exciting times! If you are interested in improving your health and wellness and of increasing your odds of living longer, there are numerous breakthroughs that are proving to be quite inspirational. The future continues to look very bright indeed.
As a youthful aging and wellness coach, I for one, am very optimistic about what the future on aging holds for all of us. There has never been a better time to be alive.
(Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com. He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!)
WELLNESS--When I was growing up in Canada my mom would snip our Aloe Vera plant and place the gel onto my cuts and burns. I felt an immediate cooling sensation and we had great results with a speedy wound recovery.
WELLNESS--If you suffer from stress and anxiety, odds are someone in your life has mentioned meditation as a way to cope with it. Psychiatrists often recommend this therapy, and for good reason — research based on 19,000 meditation studies found mindful meditation can in fact ease psychological stress.
WELLNESS--I can’t say for sure if the Law of Attraction works 100% of the time. I have certainly read a lot about Quantum Physics along with numerous books outlining the powerful art of allowing things into our life. Sometimes I believe in it more than others.
WELLNESS--Anyone who has experienced food poisoning knows just how unpleasant it can be. The
CDC estimates that 76 million food poisoning or food borne illnesses occur a year in the US alone. The most common types of food poisoning are E. Coli, Campylobacter, Shigella, Salmonella, and Listeria.
WELLNESS--Isn’t nature amazing? Within plants, fruits, vegetables, herbs, fungus, and grasses, we have numerous solutions for improved health and wellness. With a little research we can discover secrets to ongoing vitality, youth, and increased longevity.
One of nature’s awesome gifts is tart cherry. Although this fruit is not normally a part of our daily diets, tart cherry holds amazing anti-aging benefits for better health and a more restful sleep.
Tart cherry contains natural occurring melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone normally made by the pineal gland in the brain and helps to control your sleep and wake cycles. As a wellness coach, I often recommend melatonin supplements to my clients who have issues either falling asleep or remaining asleep. Often stress, hormonal imbalance, chemicals, toxins, long distance travel, and an unhealthy lifestyle can cause our melatonin to become lowered, which directly interferes with our sleep.
I recently started to use tart cherry juice before bed after reading of its incredible health effects. I have noticed that it works just as well as melatonin supplementation along with many other benefits too.
Tart cherry has an ORAC value of 12,800. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity and refers to the potency and antioxidant levels in food. Blueberries for example have an ORAC level of only 2,400. Tart cherries are known to be one of the most potent antioxidant fruits on earth and may offer strong protection to our cells from free radical damage. Free radicals are like scavengers that cause our healthy cells to die off leaving room for potential negative effects such as an overgrowth of cancer cells.
A couple of these antioxidants are quercetin and anthocyanins. Both have demonstrated marked ability to reduce cancer cell proliferation and to inhibit tumor formation in numerous studies. Quercetin has also been shown to reduce bad cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and to lower the risk of type 2 Diabetes.
Tart cherry juice when mixed with water is an enjoyable beverage and has been shown to reduce overall inflammation within the body, which is ideal for those who suffer from stiff joints and muscles and for those with osteoarthritis.
Why not try something different? Pick up organic tart cherry juice today and replace other juices in your home with this unique drink. Make tart cherry juice a part of your daily routine and begin to reap its many health benefits.
(Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com. He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!)
WELLNESS--It seems that the healthier we get, the less we crave foods that aren’t good for us. We normally desire those foods which we eat the most. Sugar for example, if consumed regularly seems to perpetuate a constant craving for more sugar.
That being said, no matter where you stand with your health and eating habits, sometimes WE WANT CAKE! And that is totally fine. As a wellness coach, I teach my clients to enjoy the odd splurge with their primary focus being on eating smarter and healthier the majority of the time.
If you do crave sweets there are a few options instead of sugar. Sugar has been linked with increased inflammation within the body, depression, Diabetes and a lowered immune system. Raw honey, stevia, and organic maple syrup are a few good alternatives but my new Go-to SUPERSTAR of sweeteners is MONK FRUIT.
Over a thousand years ago in remote mountain highlands of Asia, a group of Buddhist monks called the Luohan achieved enlightenment through meditation, prayer and pure living. On the slopes of a primeval forest, the monks discovered and cultivated a rare fruit prized for its sweetness. This sacred fruit was named Monk Fruit, or Luohan Guo, after its devoted caretakers and was used in elixirs to increase chi, or life energy.
Monk Fruit was used for centuries in eastern traditional herbalism to increase chi and well-being, earning it the nickname “The Immortals’ Fruit.”
Monk Fruit is a delicious, all-natural, zero calorie, zero glycemic sweetener with the sumptuous rich taste of sugar. It can be replaced for sugar in equal amounts in all recipes and baking.
I am quite surprised that the whole world is not using Monk Fruit sweetener because of its likeness to sugar and its numerous health benefits. I am confident that in time, everyone will be consuming it.
My favorite Monk Fruit manufacturer is called Lakanto. They produce the highest quality products that I have seen, along with Monk Fruit sweetened chocolate bars and maple syrup. Their sugar alternative comes in original and golden, which can be likened to white and brown sugar.
The next time you’re craving a sweet snack, a substitution for your favorite cookie or crumble recipe, or sugar for your tea, use Lakanto’s Monk Fruit sweetener and enjoy no more guilt and no more sugar blues.
*Enjoy my complimentary 20% discount at www.Lakanto.com and enter JBL20 at checkout.
(Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com. He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!)
WELLNESS--I have always been a coffee drinker. I love the dark, rich taste and the smell of my morning java. I do my best not to drink caffeine in the afternoon however and searched out an alternative years ago.
I personally am not fond of light, herbal teas and prefer something with a similar robust flavor to coffee and a dark color. Being a wellness coach, I also look for options that will offer me health benefits as well. Enter Rooibos.
The Rooibos bush is originally from South Africa and the word actually means “red bush” and is one of the richest antioxidant filled teas around, being high in Vitamin C and polyphenols yet it’s naturally caffeine free. It is also rich in minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, and calcium.
Here are the Top 7 Reasons to drink Rooibos tea regularly:
The powerful polyphenol and Vitamin C content in Rooibos tea has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, which give the immune system an extra boost especially during cold and flu season.
Some research has shown that Rooibos may help with hypertension by gently lowering the blood pressure with regular consumption.
Aids the Respiratory System
Rooibos tea has shown positive effects as a bronchodilator and seems to offer some relief to those who suffer from respiratory challenges such as Asthma.
Bone & Teeth Support
Because of the high mineral content in Rooibos, it may support healthy bones and teeth and may slow osteoporosis with regular use.
Rooibos tea is rich in antispasmodic agents that activate potassium within the body and therefore may help to ease stomach cramps, and abdominal pain along with aiding proper digestion especially if consumed 30 minutes before a meal.
Improves the Skin
Rooibos has anti-inflammatory effects, which will help the skin to look smoother and less puffy with regular consumption. It is also an ingredient in many facial chemical peels because of its high content of naturally occurring alpha-hydroxy acid.
Rooibos is rich in Aspalathin, which is a rare yet potent antioxidant that may help to balance blood sugar along with supporting proper insulin production.
So the next time you’re searching for a rich, dark, and satisfying decaffeinated beverage, pick up some Rooibos tea and feel free to add organic milk or coconut cream and monk fruit sweetener, stevia, or raw honey for a delicious and health-promoting beverage.
WELLNESS--We are well into spring which is a great time to do a gentle cleanse by eliminating sugar from the diet for 14 days. When we eat sugar there are certain bacteria, often referred to as mycotoxins, that thrive on and feed off of sugar. When we take a break from sugar, part of the reason it is so difficult for the first week or so is because the bacteria that was feeding off the sugar is dying off. This die-off period can be difficult and symptoms may include food cravings, headaches, irritability, lightheadedness and depression. The first 3 to 5 days tend to be the most difficult, and then symptoms tend to start to subside. The cravings themselves may be the longest standing symptom taking from a few weeks to a few months to fully disappear.
There are a few tricks that may help you get through that beginning phase. Be sure to have lots of wholesome, healthy, and satisfying foods to replace the sugar. Studies show that protein and fat deficiency can both contribute to sugar cravings. Before you embark, make a list of as many healthy foods and snacks that you love and be sure to fill your house up with vegetables, lean meats or poultry if you eat those, and lots of purified water. Ensuring that we don’t get hungry or low blood sugar is an important component to giving up the white stuff.
Good fat is also very helpful both for the sugar detox and for our health in general. When we consume enough fat, there is a compound that causes a signal in our brain telling us we are full. If the diet is too light in fat, we run the risk of the brain thinking we are still hungry or worse, starving. This can cause the sugar cravings can kick in more intensely as the body is dealing with sugar detoxification cravings and hunger together. It is important when we are doing a sugar detox to have a specific and healthy food plan. This usually requires a little more planning and more time in the kitchen.
Another motivator to say goodbye to the sweet tooth is that fact that water binds to sugar, and too much sugar equals too much water and weight gain. One upside those first few days of cutting the sugar is all the extra water weight that goes. This is a normal process, but it’s one we don’t want to put our body through all the time. Yoyo’ing from sugar to sugar free back and forth repeatedly can be tough on our organs and difficult emotionally and mentally. Each time someone repeats that cycle, it becomes more difficult than the previous time.
Many people think that if they only eat natural sugar they are acting healthfully, and while there is some truth to that, the cascade of bodily effects happens regardless of what type of sugar we eat. It is healthier to eat local honey compared to high fructose corn syrup in a can of soda, but the reality is when we eat sugar no matter what kind there is a spike in the blood sugar which commands the body to release insulin causing the cells to take up the sugar and store it as fat. Worse than that is the effects of sugar on the organs and the very real potential of the sugar aiding in the growth of cancer and the onset of dementia.
A 14 day sugar cleanse may be just what the doctor ordered. If you have people living with you, be sure to try to get them on board with the cleanse or at the very least ask them to support you during the 14 days. If your housemates are still bringing in sugary snacks and drinks while you are going through the detox process, it may make it very difficult to succeed in your goals.
Be sure to keep healthy snacks on hand in case you do end up feeling light headed while out and about, and always have your meals planned out at least 1 day in advance. Letting yourself get very hungry while you are detoxing off of sugar is not a good idea as hunger will increase your chances of binging on sugar. Usually when the 14 days are over you will feel less inclined to go back to your sugary ways.
WELLNESS--It seems that many people struggle with their weight. Everybody wants to feel comfortable in his or her own skin and we all want to project a positive image to the world that makes us feel confident. While feeling overweight isn’t the core issue of our lack of self-acceptance, it certainly is a contributing factor. Being overweight has other potential negative health effects too such as long-term disease and obesity.
For these reasons and more, I’ve paired up with an amazing superfoods company to run a regular 10-Day transformational detox and cleanse. The majority of participants have experienced weight loss of somewhere between 5-20 lbs. in 10 days in a very healthy way. But more importantly, people have seen a reduction in unhealthy cravings, an increase in energy, more restorative sleep, improved skin, and just an overall healthier feeling. Not bad for 10 days huh?
As I mention to my clients and in my book LIVE LOOK FEEL, it is always a good idea to give our bodies a break, even for the most fit and healthy people. This is where a short-term detox and cleanse comes in. Often our bodies can become sluggish, overworked, and under-nourished due to numerous factors from a lack of nutritionally dense food, poor digestion, or stress.
Depending upon the type of cleanse, a detoxification assists our body in not only eliminating toxins and buildup in our systems but also brings in important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, and works to alkaline our body and off-set some of the excess acidity. A detox also prompts us to become aware of our addictive patterns with food and it teaches us the importance of giving our body a rest from constant digesting, especially when it comes to meat protein and processed foods.
The 10-Day Transformation includes only the highest quality organic, raw, vegan, and non-GMO superfoods that I have ever seen. And I have seen a lot! But regardless of which products you use to detox whether it be supplements, food, or juice, make sure that you’re using top quality ingredients and that it has been approved by your doctor especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or if you’re on medication.
Losing weight is just the beginning when it comes to detoxing. It’s what goes on inside on a cellular level that is most important. Often we can’t see those changes but we can certainly feel them! Expect an increase in vibrancy, energy, and an overall feeling of wellbeing.
Keep in mind that if you’re deciding to stop caffeine or other drugs during your cleanse, some withdrawal can be expected for the first few days. Make a commitment to yourself to stick with it no matter what, drink lots of water, and remind yourself that your body deserves a vacation just as much as you do!
- If you’d like to find out more about my group 10-Day Transformation or if you’d like to join in, feel free to email me with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
It can be downright confusing trying to navigate through the world of supplements. There is literally a pill, potion, or powder for everything! Each herb, vitamin, mineral, and superfood is sold as a way to increase your vitality and improve your health. But which ones are effective and are they necessary?
There are certainly contradictory studies out there, some in support of supplements while others negate them. From my perspective, they are necessary and vital.
In today’s world we don’t eat a varied enough diet and our soils are depleted and so while eating a balanced diet is the best way to boost your health, it’s not always possible to get everything that we need in food alone. This is why I believe in supplementation.
When buying supplements research ones that are from organic, non-GMO sources. Also look for vitamins that are derived from whole foods whenever possible. While some drugstore brands are okay, often it pays to invest in a quality product that has a good reputation from a company with a strong track record.
While each person’s health profile is unique and so too are their vitamin requirements, there are certain supplements that I recommend to almost everyone in my wellness coaching practice.
Here is a list of some of the vitamins, minerals, herbs, and superfoods that I suggest to people who are seeking to turn back the clock, increase their vitality, and for those interested in improving the odds of living a longer life:
Multivitamin with Minerals - I liken a multivitamin to an insurance policy. We take it just in case. It’s difficult to know where we are lacking in terms of vitamins and minerals and it is rare that blood tests will give us a full breakdown. Therefore taking a potent multivitamin with minerals from whole food sources is a great option. Ensure that your multivitamin has adequate Vitamin D3 levels, approximately 5,000 IU per day and a significant level of antioxidants.
Probiotic - Our gut is our second brain. Everything that occurs in our body including our brain function, digestion, and immunity begins in our stomach. Therefore, taking a probiotic supplement daily is a great way to build up the vital stomach flora, which acts to strengthen our overall system. Look for one with numerous strains of probiotic and at least 30 billion live cultures.
Krill Oil/Omega Oils - Many of us receive an abundance of Omega 6 oils from food but less Omega 3 fatty acids. We require a balance of both in order to support proper brain and heart health and to reduce overall inflammation in the body. Krill oil in particular contains a high level of Omega 3 oils and Astaxanthin, which works to reduce sunspots and provides an extra layer of sun protection. Krill oil is found to be the most potent and absorbable version of these healthy Omega 3 oils. For vegetarians or vegans, consume flax, hemp, or walnut oil daily.
Turmeric/Curcumin - One of the most researched herbs for anti-aging is Turmeric. There is a long list of benefits from daily consumption of it’s active ingredient Curcumin including a possible lowering of Alzheimer’s risk, a reduction in joint inflammation, and increased immunity. This potent spice can be taken in powder or supplement form and for the most protection 3-4 grams per day is recommended.
Oil of Oregano - This powerful herb works to boost immunity especially during cold and flu season. People with asthma, allergies, sinusitis, and bronchitis have noticed impressive results using oil of Oregano. 3-5 drops under your tongue followed by some water provides maximum antioxidant and antifungal protection.
Raw Greens Superfood - It’s a challenge to eat enough fruits and vegetables throughout our day which is why a raw, greens superfood powder is an amazing alternate. One scoop normally provides anywhere from 15-40 servings of fresh fruit and vegetable extracts along with numerous other immune-supporting vitamins, minerals, herbs, phytonutrients, prebiotics, probiotics, and fiber.
Green Tea - Green Tea is known for it’s powerful anti-cancer benefits. The potent Polyphenols and Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) in Green Tea make it an ideal antioxidant, which fights free radicals in our body. Green Tea is also a thermogenic meaning that it can help to speed up the metabolism leading to increased fat burning effects.
Mushroom Medley - Mushrooms contain powerful compounds known to boost immunity. For those interested in extra cell protection, consider taking a powder or supplement containing Cordyceps, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Maitake and other medicinal mushrooms.
Ashwaganda - Ashwaganda is part of the adaptogen herb family. It works to boost overall energy and vitality, increase libido, lower the overall stress responses within the body, and helps many people to get a deeper and more restful sleep.
*Always consult with your physician before starting any supplement regimen as some may interfere with current medications or pre-existing health conditions.
WELLNESS-Living a healthy and balanced life can feel overwhelming at times. Where do we begin? What aspects are the most important? With so many issues in our environment can really we make a difference in our lives and the lives of those around us?
What we do on a day-to-day basis does in fact make an impact on a grand scale. When we care for our family, and ourselves and we make incremental and consistent positive changes towards living a healthier life, we in turn affect the entire world.
Beginning at home is the most important place to start. Here are some immediate yet simple changes that you can make in order to protect your family from harmful toxins and chemicals along with creating a healthier body and home:
Water - Our skin is our largest organ and everything that we put onto our skin absorbs deep into our system including our bath and shower water. Find a water filtration system that will block toxic chemicals and one that provides clean, purified water for your shower. Remember that we breathe steam from our shower too, which can be equally harmful. Along with your bath, purchase a home purifying system or portable water filter for your drinking water and use a non-BPA plastic or stainless steel bottle for your water storage.
Personal Care Products - Learn to read labels and research companies that are creating chemical free, non-GMO, and organic skin and hair care. Dispose of products that contain Parabens, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulphate, Formaldehyde, synthetic fragrance, and other potentially harmful ingredients. For a full list of what to avoid, see my book LIVE LOOK FEEL.
Organic - Our fruit and vegetable supply is being highly affected by decreased soil nutrients, pesticides, and other environmental chemicals. Buying organic is your best option to protect your family from consuming an overload of toxins. To learn which fruits and vegetables are worse than others, see my WEBSITE under the Wellness section for a full list of the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen.
Cleaning Products - One of the best ways to clear your home of toxins is to replace all chemical cleaners with natural, environmentally safe ones. There are plenty of quality and effective products on the market. You can also learn quick and easy recipes online to create your own. By doing this you are reducing the amount of chemical waste that goes directly back into our environment and your body.
Air - The air we breathe in our homes often contains irritants, allergens, and chemicals. We normally don’t notice the particles that we’re breathing in but over time, they can negatively affect our health. Research a quality HEPA air filter that will help to clean your home’s air, creating a healthier environment for you and your family.
Re-Use/Recycle - Become more conscious of tossing away plastic containers. If using plastic, re-use them or better yet, switch to environmentally safe food storage containers made of glass. Avoid plastic and foil wrap whenever possible. Make sure to keep a recycling bin under your sink and teach your kids the importance of reducing waste made of materials that NEVER biodegrade and will only pile up in our garbage sites, oceans, and lakes.
Biodegradable - Today more than ever companies are striving towards creating biodegradable packaging. Learn more about the recycle symbols online and look for products that are packaged in biodegradable boxes and containers. Many are created from natural sources that will eventually dissolve into the earth leaving absolutely no toxic residue.
(Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com. He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!) –cw
WELLNESS - It’s that time of year again when cold and flu germs seem to run rampant. There are theories as to why the cold and flu virus is worse during the winter months and the main one is because the virus prefers cold, dry temperatures. Also, we tend to get less Vitamin D during this time, which may lower our immune defense even further. We also spend excessive time indoors with windows closed and that may just feed the virus even more.
There are certainly many debates as to whether or not the flu shot is a good option, and I personally have not had a flu shot in over 25 years. But wherever you stand, there are numerous natural remedies which work well to help you remain healthy and to give that potential cold and flu the boot!
Here are some tried and true remedies:
Oil of Oregano - This is one herb that you don’t hear enough about but in my opinion is probably the most potent antibiotic in nature. This stuff works! Oregano has powerful antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which have been shown to boost the immune system and fight bacteria, parasites, and fungus. Oregano oil contains over 50 active compounds with immune-boosting and germ-fighting properties, along with antioxidants such as Vitamin A and C, and minerals. During cold and flu season, use 3-5 drops of oil of oregano under the tongue once or twice per day followed by water to reduce your chance of getting an infection. It can also be used throughout the year whenever you feel a scratchy throat, cough, or other signs of an illness. It works especially well for those who have asthma, bronchitis, or other chronic chest infections.
Echinacea - This is probably the most popular of all cold-fighting herbs yet less effective than oregano in my opinion. Research shows that it increases the number of white blood cells, which in turn, fights infection. Although studies don’t show dramatic healing results, it certainly won’t hurt to add this to your cold and flu-fighting arsenal. Using Echinacea drops in room temperature water or juice is best and purchasing an organic version is always suggested. If you have allergies to daisies, ragweed, or marigolds, you may also be allergic to the Echinacea flower so proceed carefully.
Astragalus - Numerous Chinese studies have shown that astragalus has potent immune and chi-boosting effects and works well during cold season to reduce the number of colds caught and to lessen their duration. Like Echinacea, astragalus can increase the white blood count and help to ward off infection. It is even more potent when used with a Ginseng product. It may also help to increase your energy during the winter months by supporting the adrenal glands. You can boil dried astragalus root to make a soup or tea, or take a capsule, powder, or tincture.
Mushrooms - I have written about the powerful immune-boosting effects of mushrooms before and this is the perfect time to reference them again. Look for a powder or supplement containing a blend of ancient, healing mushrooms. Maitake, turkey tail, and cordyceps are just a few that contain awesome disease-fighting properties and will work during cold and flu season to give you that extra boost you’ll need to get you through free of illness.
Zinc - The mineral zinc also increases your production of white blood cells and assists them in fighting infection more effectively. Zinc helps your immune system to release antibodies that may protect you during cold and flu season. Look for a chelated zinc supplement, which may be ideal to take all year but definitely during the fall and winter months. Zinc lozenges may also boost your immunity and help to alleviate sore throats.
Garlic - While I am not a fan of eating raw garlic and it may not agree with everybody, some version of garlic is a good idea if you want to boost your immunity during cold and flu season. For those who don’t like the taste of garlic, consider taking a kyolic garlic supplement, which is aged garlic that is free of the pungent garlic odor. The immune-boosting effects of allicin, which is a component of garlic, can work wonders on strengthening your system and many people have sworn by its powerful support during the winter months.
Along with these plants and herbs, make sure to get plenty of rest and exercise, and take time to de-stress with meditation and yoga. Also be sure to carve out creative time for yourself. Drink plenty of fluids, and work on releasing negative thoughts, fears, and emotions on your own or with a therapist or coach. Lastly, make sure to supplement with extra Vitamin C and D to further boost your system and to give those cold and flu germs the boot!
* Always consult with your physician before taking any of the products listed above as some herbs, plants, and supplements may interfere with your current medications.
WELLNESS--If you’re like the majority of Americans, you most likely gain weight during the holidays. Not everybody packs on the pounds during this time but it certainly isn’t uncommon for your weight to increase or for your favorite pair of jeans to feel just a bit tighter. Many people also notice less energy and vitality during this time mainly due to overindulging.
Too much celebrating and not enough discipline can definitely take its toll. While I am ALL for having a good time, especially during the holidays, there are some things to be more conscious of in order to lessen the negative effects of the season and to feel “merry and bright.”
- Refrain - I am certainly not here to lecture and trust me, I allow myself plenty of indulgences during the holidays. But this year why not pay closer attention to how much you’re eating and more importantly, why? Often we gorge ourselves without much thought because that is just what we do this time of year. We are bombarded with awesome desserts and goodies that we don’t normally see and so we feel somehow obliged to get our fill before they’re no longer around. Prior to taking that next bite of Nanaimo bar, buttery shortbread or Christmas cake, take a breath. Ask yourself do I really want this? Am I truly craving more? If the answer is yes then by all means, ENJOY! If you answer no, put it down. It’s really simple. Most of us tend to eat out of habit and not with our intuitive senses. By becoming more conscious, you’ll find yourself eating less and in turn, feeling better.
- Re-Hydrate - Most of us will drink more alcohol during the holidays but one of the best ways to slow things down is to make a decision to sip a soda or water between alcoholic beverages. This simple rule will give your system a break, fight dehydration, and will work on cleansing some of the alcohol from your system. You will probably also become aware that you don’t desire as much alcohol as you may have in the past. Also, try drinking more slowly and take time to thoroughly enjoy each sip.
- Routine - A lot of people tend to neglect their exercise routine during the holidays. This is actually the worst time of year to do that. Our bodies desperately need physical activity to offset holiday stress and to assist our bodies in detoxing from the extra sugar and alcohol. It’s okay to workout less and socialize more but don’t skip it completely or it will be that much harder to get back into it in the New Year.
- Rest - Because most of us are consuming more sugar and alcohol it’s vital that we get more rest. The holidays are meant for you to relax and take a break from routine. So although you’ll still be doing regular workouts, make sure to allow extra naptime as well, and give yourself permission to fully rest. The stress of the holidays can cause our cortisol to rise and in turn, may cause weight gain. Naps are similar to meditation in a way that they allow our body and mind to shut off leaving us feeling more centered.
- Re-Ignite - The end of the year offers you a wonderful opportunity to go inward and contemplate your next steps. A new year always represents fresh new dreams, ideas, and goals that we would like to accomplish in the next 12 months. When we overdo our eating, drinking, and stress levels, we diminish this amazing time to look deeper and to re-ignite our spirits. After a year of running around and busyness, you owe it to yourself to use the holidays for greater good and to ensure that the year ahead is your BEST YEAR EVER!
(Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach living in Los Angeles. http://www.jaybradleylifestyle.com. He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!)
WELLNESS--Everyone wants to get in shape, but what if you’re one of those people that is totally out of shape and hasn’t worked out in months or even years? There is hope. We all get off track, and quite frankly, some people are just not as physically inclined as others. Even since childhood there are those of us that never felt especially excited about gym class in school or any other physical activity. No matter how many times certain people try to get excited about working out, they simply can’t.
The good news is you don’t have to love to work out in order to get into better shape. While exercise in some form does need to be a part of your life, it doesn’t need to take center stage. With all the new apps and gizmos available to us these days, strategizing exercise and diet in a well planned thought out way can help to bring up our fitness and wellness levels without cutting into our quality of life. It’s time to make technology your ally.
Activity trackers like FitBit, Under Armor, Apple watch, are just a few of the many activity trackers available to help us track our calories and the amount of exercise we get. While most doctors and fitness experts still suggest a consistent 15 minutes or more of brisk cardio, sometimes we need to start with less. Simply having this tracker tell you how many steps you take each day can be plenty of motivation to up that number even by a small margin each day until you reach the desired amount of 10,000 steps.
Using apps like MyFitnessPal, Loseit! or a number of other calorie counting apps, we are able to count the amount of calories we consume on a daily basis as well. While it may sound tedious, these apps make it simple. In the beginning there is some data entry required, but most of us don’t stray that much day to day from what we eat, so within a few days the majority of the entries are repeats and therefore already in the system. For packaged foods, the apps generally access a barcode scanner so one simply has to scan the package and then enter how many servings were consumed.
I find that with my patients, simply getting them to track their caloric intake each day will usually shift what and how much they are eating. Approaching it as simply an experiment can be helpful. You can go into it telling yourself you will only enter what you eat in order to see how many calories and what you are eating each day. It is OK not to have any plans to make changes to your diet; simply enter what you eat so that you can get a clear picture of your daily intake and needs. More often than not, these people end up eating less and making healthier choices simply by becoming aware of the calorie intake.
If you’re not a fitness person and if you don’t enjoy sweating, there is hope! Start by adding an activity tracker and an app to count calories. Simply track your steps and your calories. Think of it as a fun experiment and see what happens from there!
WELLNESS--Chronic pain affects 100 million Americans each year which is more than diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined. Very often that pain is low back pain.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that weakness and tightness go hand in hand. Common sense would have us think that along with weakness comes loose flexible muscles, but the opposite is true. The muscles get weak from lack of movement and exercise leading to tight muscles that end up pulling the vertebrae’s out of alignment and causing low back pain. There are other reasons the low back can be painful, and imaging is the best way to know what is causing the pain. There are three steps one can take in order to help alleviate and potentially heal low back pain.
Assess how serious the problem is and see a doctor and get some imaging done. In some cases a simple x-ray may be enough, but know that soft tissue problems don’t show up with x-ray alone. An MRI may be needed. I am a big fan of imaging because no matter how good health care providers may be, no one can see inside the body without the proper diagnostic tools.
If you see a surgeon for your testing he/she want to perform surgery on your back. While part of staying healthy requires combining western and eastern medicine, look at surgery as a last ditch attempt to get better after all other options have been exhausted. If the doctor wants to do surgery on you it is in your best interest to get a second and maybe even a third opinion before proceeding.
In addition to more opinions, it would also behoove you to do your research into other people that have had the same surgery performed and read about actual cases and actual outcomes. Be your own primary care provider by researching exhaustively before agreeing to go under the knife.
Assemble your team. For chronic pain you may need more than one healer to help you. Acupuncture and chiropractic are excellent adjuncts to your western medical visits. Many peoples insurance now covers both, but if not, there are student clinics for acupuncture schools that will help to bring the cost of treatment down. If you’re not sure about your coverage call the number on the back of your insurance card to see what kind of coverage you may have.
Regarding movement it’s important to learn how and what to do to specifically strengthen and add flexibility to the right areas of the body to support the low back while taking the pressure off. If cost for trainers or physical therapists is a limiting factor, finding a good group fitness class or yoga class and talk to an experienced teacher before you start class to get specific guidance on exercises or yoga poses specifically targeted to help alleviate your back pain. I’m not a fan of group classes for people actively in pain unless they talk to the teacher first to let them know your situation. It is possible to make yourself worse with improper movement.
Take action. Many of you have heard that sitting is the new smoking and while I’m not sure sitting is quite that dangerous, there is not doubt that stagnation and lack of movement contribute to low back pain and all other types of pain. Once you know the proper exercises that you need to do and which movements help you, it’s time to start to exercise. Finding a work out buddy that you can walk with or do your exercises with can be helpful for those of you that are less physically inclined. Movement and exercise is a crucial element to any pain reducing regimen and finding that balance of just enough movement without exacerbating the problem can be key.
Low back pain cuts deep into ones quality of life. With the right plan and the right team in place, there is no reason that low back pain or any other pain needs to dominate your life. Start taking steps today to alleviate your pain so you can get back to life!
WELLNESS--Too many times I hear older people or people that have always been out of shape say that it’s too late to get in shape. Some report that they have never been physically active and at this stage it’s too late to start. I’m here to tell you that is not the case. It’s never too late to start taking care of yourself by working out and eating healthy.
Among the reasons that exercise is so important are the reduction in stroke, heart attacks, and diabetes; but why else must we exercise? Newer research points to a region in the brain that is affected by cardio. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that controls verbal memory and learning. Cardio that gets the heart pumping and the body sweating is what is required to stimulate hippocampal growth.
Besides the brain boost, research indicates that people who work out regularly and do at least 2 hours total of cardio a week actually extend their lives by 3 to 7 years. The heart benefits and anti-cancer effects of cancer also speak for themselves. People who get their hearts pumping and the sweat flowing have a significant reduction in developing colon, and breast cancer.
Now that we have reviewed the known benefits of working out, let’s talk about why people resist doing cardio. For starters, everyones’ body is different. Some bodies take to physical activity more naturally than others. There are those people that have always worked out since a young age and it just comes naturally to them. Then we have the athletes of the world that are so passionate about a particular sport that they can’t imagine not doing it. These previously mentioned people are lucky that fitness comes with little effort.
You may be one of the groups of people that simply never had a regular exercise routine in your life, or you may be the type that used to do sports and without that group participation, fitness has fallen to the wayside. Many people can look back and remember a time when they participated in a group activity and therefore were in great shape. If this is you, then it may be necessary to join some type of fitness group. If socializing is more important than fitness, I suggest you blend the two together by doing group hikes, or fitness classes. Taking a dance class or purchasing a monthly pass to a yoga studio might do the trick. Some people simply do not want to work out alone.
The gym culture can be intimidating and it’s quite possible to get in shape without joining a gym. If you live somewhere warm all year round you can get on MeetUp.com and look for a group of people that are also getting in shape together. Could be a class taught in the park each week or simply a walking or hiking group. If those options are not around you can join other types of studios besides a gym. Most places offer yoga studios or Pilates or dance studios and these can be far less intimidating than a gym, and sometimes more social. Of course a walking buddy that you can find at work and do a brisk 30 minute walk each day during lunch is also a fun and free way to get the heart pumping!
Whatever you decide to do, the trick is to make it a habit. You want to break that 2 hours a week minimum with your cardio and ideally you will do that every week. Once it’s a habit your brain will love it and you will start to as well. Look at it as a time that you set aside that is for you. Self-care can be fun and rewarding and once you start to look and feel better, keeping it going will get even easier.
WELLNESS--Vitamin E is an antioxidant and right after vitamin C was one of the very first compounds to be turned into a supplement. It can only be found in food or supplements and is an important factor in protecting the body against pollutants, toxicity, eye disease, heart disease, and even neurological disorders. There are also studies showing that vitamin E can be helpful in keeping cancer at bay and that it can be beneficial in treating and preventing certain types of dementia.
It is a fat-soluble vitamin meaning it dissolves in fat and can be found naturally in meat, fruit, vegetables, wheat germ, and eggs. If you feel your diet isn’t including enough vitamin E, you can supplement. Studies show that 400 IU’s a day seems to be beneficial and safe. Anything over 400 IU’s and there is some evidence that with certain patients with a history of heart issues, there can be complications. Most people however will be fine with 400 IU’s a day. As always, it is best to discuss with your primary care provider before you start taking supplements. This goes double for people with serious pre-existing conditions or for people that are taking blood thinners.
When purchasing a vitamin E supplement it may seem confusing. The trick is to find a vitamin E complex that includes all 4 tocopherols and not just one or two. We especially don’t want to purchase products with dl-alpha-tocopherol. Not all supplements are created equally, so talk to your health and wellness providers before undergoing major changes to your diet and lifestyle. Health and wellness is a moving target, and even those of us with our fingers on the pulse of health are under constant pressure to keep up with research and the ever changing landscape of wellness.