Meditation: Getting started and creating your space

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Written by Dana Goodfellow, RMT, D.Ac. Owner – Quinte Mind & Body

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

“What you think, you become.” – Buddha.

Truer words were never spoken when it comes to meditation.

Our mind is the most powerful entity in our body and has the ability to affect every aspect, right down to the cellular level. This is why we feel physical tension when we are under mental stress. This can reside many different ways in our bodies, such as tension in our necks and shoulders, headaches, upset stomachs, irritable bowels, etc. Our mental stress can also affect our actions and reactions through our daily life. It can cloud our minds and decision making and therefore produce negative outcomes. It is important to control these outcomes and manage how we think and feel. If our minds are practicing positive and relaxing meditations, our physical body will follow suit.

Meditation can be beneficial to the body in many ways. It can help with sleeping, releasing the stress of the day, help you stay focused and productive, and have an overall healthy awareness of your mind and body, to name a few. Starting meditation is easier than you may think. All it takes is the ‘want’ to do it and making time in your day for it. As you practice it more, it will become easier. Your mind will develop with the meditation practice and you will see differences in your life as you continue.

Living in our health conscious society today, we often make time to work on our physical health. We go to the gym on a regular basis, we get outside and become active when we can, and we are aware of eating healthy and making conscious choices when it comes to food. We know the impacts and benefits to eating local and organic foods, and we are even now more aware of possible intolerances in our bodies. However, we don’t seem to make the same amount of effort when it comes to our mental health. We can set aside an hour for the gym and block out our Tuesday nights for our sports team we belong to, but we can’t imagine sitting still for 10 minutes to create a clear mental space. Now that we understand that our mind controls our physical body, doesn’t it make sense to take care of our mind to the same extent, if not more?

So, if you’re ready to experience the mind-body connection with mediation, here are my top five tips on creating the best mediation space to get you started.

Tip #1: Make sure your meditation space is quiet. You don’t want to be distracted by anything. This doesn’t just mean other people; if you are going to hear traffic noise, dogs barking, phones ringing, or anything that will take your attention away, meditation will be a harder task. If you live in a busy household, try using something that creates white noise such as a fan, heater, or sound machine to drown it out.

Tip #2: You want your meditation space to be calming to you as well. It doesn’t matter where you meditate, as long as it is somewhere you enjoy. It can be a designated area in your home, in a room you love to be in, cozy in your favourite chair, or on your back deck in the sun. It can even be somewhere you go; maybe it’s down by the water, on a beach, or a local park. Just make sure it’s completely relaxing and calming to you. Try out different spaces and see what works well.

Tip #3: While finding this space, keep ‘mental clutter’ in mind. If a space is cluttered to you or messy, this is going to affect how you feel in the space. This will in turn create a non-relaxing space and could distract you.

Tip #4: Comfort is important with meditating. You don’t want to be fidgeting. Make sure you have pillows or proper support for your meditation time. I enjoy sitting on a meditation pillow that is more firm and high, or simply using a fluffy throw pillow is fine too.

Tip #5: Lighting in your meditation space is important. Lighting can affect our moods, so keep the lighting soft and dim for a relaxing meditation, or try sunlight for an uplifting effect.

Once you have your mind clear of clutter, and have a calming, comfortable, properly lit space, you’re ready for a great meditating experience! Now that you’re ready with your space, check out danagoodfellow.ca for your guided meditations to get you started. These are beginner friendly and easy to follow, plus, you’ll receive more tips and tools for you to use during your practice. Start today to become a ‘better you’, remember, ‘what you think, you become’.

Happy meditating!

Dana can be reached at quintemindandbody.com


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How to Engineer a Perfect Night’s Sleep

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Written by Carolyn Coffin

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Imagine a drug that could help you burn fat, boost immunity, regulate blood glucose, end sugar cravings, brighten your mood, think

clearly, and prevent chronic disease.

That drug exists. It’s called a good night’s sleep.

If sleep were made into pill form and marketed to us, we’d realize that it improves all markers of health, finances, happiness, and relationships ... without side effects. No doubt, it would fly off the shelves regardless of cost. So why aren’t we addicted to this drug?

Over the past two hundred years – first with the industrial revolution and then with the invention of the light bulb – time became money. Some speculate that our quest to become more productive has caused us to become blind to the fact that we can’t work around the clock. When our natural circadian rhythms – which used to be governed by the rising and setting of the sun – are disrupted by artificial light and digital stimulation after dark, it comes at a cost.

The stats don’t lie:

Forty percent of Canadians suffer from some form of sleep disorder, and sleep deprivation is estimated to cost $21.4 billion a year due to decreased productivity in our country alone. When combined with other developed economies like the United States, Japan, and the U.K., the losses skyrocket to a whopping $680 billion per year.

Perhaps the most troubling part is that we don’t believe we are suffering from lack of sleep because we “feel fine,” which is why it’s said to be a silent killer. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are simple steps you can take right now to sleep more soundly tonight.

Five Tips to Engineer a Perfect Night’s Sleep
1. Catch some rays in the days – Get outdoors in the morning sunlight for about 15 minutes (e.g. walk, bike, yard work) to anchor your circadian rhythm and let your body know it’s daytime.

2. Give yourself a tech curfew – Blue light from screens interferes with our body’s natural production of melatonin, the sleepy hormone. This can lead to the familiar “tired but wired” feeling that makes it so difficult to wind down. Consider setting a tech curfew about 2 hrs before bed. If a screen curfew is not an option, consider installing Flux (justgetflux.com) on your computer, a free software program to pull the hormone disrupting blue light out of your screens.

3. Set a bedtime alarm – We usually set an alarm to wake up, so why not use one to get to bed? Program your phone to go off about half an hour before you want to fall asleep to remind you to start the bedtime process. For example, if you normally wake up at 6:30a.m. and you want eight hours of shut-eye, set your bedtime alarm for 10 p.m. for a 10:30 p.m. lights out. It’s also important to have relatively consistent bed and wake times.

4. Mellow out in the evenings – Trade in the screens for reading, socializing, or enjoying an evening stroll. A cup of herbal tea is also a great pre-sleep ritual.

5. Create a sleep sanctuary – Sleep in a quiet, tidy, cool (16 to 20 degrees Celsius), dark room. Remove all electronics, including computers and televisions, as well as work materials and excess clutter. Consider adding a houseplant, which naturally purifies the air by removing toxins.

Bottom line: Do whatever you can do to live in closer alignment with your natural circadian rhythm each day and you will find yourself sleeping like a baby again.

Carolyn can be reached at eatrealfoodacademy.com


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Stress Management: The secret to keeping it all together

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Written by Dr. Michelle Durkin, ND

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’.” – Eckhart Tolle.

If someone asked me how I was doing over the last three months, I could easily have said “stressed”.

I have taken on a couple of major projects that probably should not have been attempted at the same time; I have had two significant staff changes; and I trained for the CN Tower Climb. Add to that family commitments, full-time work hours, and running my own business and it’s easy to see how my plate got too full too fast.

So what’s my secret to keeping it all together?

Here are three important keys to stress management that I not only practice, but also preach to my patients:

1. Eat my veggies – I imagine how I would feel mentally and physically if I was not eating a proper diet. I can imagine this because I see it in my patients every day. Ensuring half of my plate contains veggies is always my focus and then I build the rest of my meal around that. If I can’t get veggies in at breakfast, I aim to at least have some protein and good fat – like a smoothie with protein powder and avocado, and stay away from high-carb, grain-based things like cereal, toast, pancakes or bagels.

2. Yin yoga – I have switched from doing hot yoga to this slower, gentler version to reduce my cortisol levels by 50 percent each time I practice. Right now, I do twice a week: once a week at a yoga studio, and once a week at home using a YouTube video I found online.

3. Chunking – This involves breaking the projects I have to complete into smaller, more doable steps. I always feel myself getting overwhelmed when I look at all the things I need to get done all at once. Once I break it down into smaller steps, it becomes much more manageable and I’m more productive if I can focus on one step at a time. The other benefit of breaking it down into smaller chunks it that I can decide which of those steps I can delegate to someone else. In recent weeks, this meant hiring a student to come into the office three days a week to do data entry that otherwise would cost me hours of time. The quote I was reminded of before I made the decision to hire was this, “If you can spend money to solve the problem, you don’t have a problem.”

Now I would love to hear from you! What is your stress-busting secret? Leave a comment on my blog and sign up for my newsletter, Doctor as Teacher Tuesday. You will receive articles, recipes, and clinical pearls that I only share in email right to your inbox!


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The Fourth Trimester Why is it Important?

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Written by Dr. Michelle Durkin, ND

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

I see so many moms in the clinic who have specific health complaints that they attribute to “since having kids”. Whether it’s fatigue, weight

gain, back pain or insomnia, many patients feel like their body hasn’t been the same since before pregnancy.

The other common pattern that I see is the compounding effect that multiple pregnancies have on the body. This can be especially problematic if the pregnancies are closer together and the body hasn’t been given a chance to return to homeostasis in between.

This is why the fourth trimester, aka postpartum care and recovery, is so important. As a society, we need to start adopting the mindset of “it’s easier to stay out of trouble than to get out of trouble” when it comes to mommy’s health.

Chinese medicine believes the loss of blood and dramatic transformation of a woman’s body during the gestational and birthing process results in a state of deficiency that requires replenishment. If left untreated, it may potentially give rise to a number of long-term health problems. During the fourth trimester, a woman’s condition is very vulnerable and much emphasis is placed on rest, recovery and ensuring the diet is rich and nutritious to help strengthen the qi and blood that are deficient at this time.

So, if you plan on having your first baby, or whether you are planning to have your last, here are some simple recommendations from ancient Chinese medicine to help you have a healthy fourth trimester that will pay dividends for your health in the future:

1. The fourth trimester begins immediately following childbirth, not on your schedule. It starts with a month of postnatal confinement or “sitting the month”. This basically means spending the month mostly in bed with your baby.

2. Cold and drafts are to be avoided. The body must be kept warm. This involves avoiding contact with anything cold, for example, cold environments, cold food, air conditioning, sponge bathing instead of showering, wrapping/ binding the abdomen to keep it warm, keeping your head covered, and wearing socks and clothes at all times.

3. Foods consumed should be nutritious, warm, and assist recovery of qi and blood. This includes things like soups, animal meats especially lamb (very warm), eggs, warm veggies, and whole grains like wild rice and quinoa. Avoid junk food, greasy food, raw food, sweets and salt. Warming herbs like turmeric, ginger, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, coriander and basil are encouraged. An ancient Chinese saying is to “eat a chicken a day.” The idea behind it is to eat the nutritional equivalent of a chicken a day.

4. Activity in general should be minimized if not avoided completely. The body must be well rested with as little energy as possible exerted. This means no visitors (too stimulating for mommy and baby), no work (that means housework too), no television or digital devices, stay in bed, no sex, and no exercise for at least the first month. You should focus only on sleeping, eating and feeding your baby. When feeling stronger, mom can make time for moderate activity such a walking, in order to help restore the circulation of qi and blood. Heavy lifting and physical strain should be avoided for the first four months in order to allow the pelvic tissues to completely heal and renew.


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The Miracles of Mullein

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Written by Tamara Segal, Registered Herbalist

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

If you asked me which herbal remedy I would choose to have with me on a desert island, I’d consider choosing mullein. Mullein (Verbascum thaspus) is a wild plant found growing abundantly around our region and in many other parts of the world as well (thus it could also arguably be found growing on our hypothetical desert island). Mullein is a healing herb in numerous aspects.

Often found on dry, rocky or disturbed soil, mullein’s large fuzzy green leaves and tall flowering stalk are hard to miss. It has a two-year lifespan. In the first year, a young basal rosette of leaves grow close to the ground. The leaves can grow up to 25 centimetres long and over 10 centimetres wide. In the second, year, a flowering stalk will grow, and if left undisturbed, can reach over six feet tall. Yellow buds and flowers bloom out of the fuzzy, elongated flower head throughout the summer months.

The flowers can be harvested and infused in olive oil (or other kinds of oil), in a clear glass jar in the sunlight for about a month. The oil can then be strained and stored in a cool, dark place. It can be rubbed onto achy, inflamed joints and tight muscles to relieve pain and inflammation. A cotton swab or cloth dipped into the same oil can be safely placed in the ear for about 15 to 20 minutes daily to help clear, and ease the symptoms of an ear infection.

Mullein leaf can also be infused in oil to make a healing skin salve for cuts, swellings, rashes, burns and bruises. It has a remarkable ability to restore damaged tissue and encourage healthy cell growth. The leaves have been successfully used as a poultice on broken bones to help support repair, and proper structural alignment.

The leaves, either fresh or dried, can be made into a tea by steeping in hot water (about 1 to 2 teaspoons of broken up leaf per cup) for 10 to 20 minutes. Mullein is notably helpful in moving lymphatic fluid, draining clogged lymph nodes and various types of cysts. A cloth dipped in the tea can be placed on the lymph nodes or cysts for about 20 minutes daily, until they clear. The tea can then be drunk for additional support.

Mullein is one of the first herbs I think of when choosing ingredients for a cough remedy. It is a reliable expectorant that also soothes and heals irritated membranes of the respiratory passage while fighting off infection and reducing inflammation. It works well in most types of coughs and lung infections, and can be very helpful for asthmatics too.

Some people prefer to strain mullein tea through a coffee filter. The reason is that the tiny hairs that give the leaves their fuzzy texture are fine enough to make it through a regular strainer or tea ball, and for some people they can tickle the throat a bit. A coffee filter or thick tea bag strains these out nicely.

When giving plant identification walks and workshops, I often expound on mullein’s benefits. I feel confident in sharing its safe, effective restorative capabilities. Also it is easily identified, and there’s enough of it to be found for its gifts to be shared far and wide. Here’s to the many miracles of mullein! With gratitude!

Tamara Segal is a Registered Herbalist and wild foods enthusiast. She teaches classes and gives plant identification walks and workshops in the Quinte area. She also runs an herbal clinic called Hawthorn Herbals at her farm in Prince Edward County. Tamara can be reached at hawthornherbals.com


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The Hormone Boost Kitchen to Boost Your Fat Loss: Part Three

Written by Natasha Turner, ND

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Having stocked cupboards ready with the items you’ll use most often
will make cooking easier. Plus, you won’t be tempted to veer from your plan and get easy, premade food.

I’ve also got a few kitchen tips that have made a difference in my life, and I’m excited for them to help you.

Staple Stock Items and Tips for your Hormone Boost Kitchen

• Replace iodized table salt with Celtic sea salt. This natural option provides trace minerals that are beneficial for your thyroid, adrenal glands, body hydration, energy and overall wellness. It is available for purchase on my website if you can’t find it at your local health food store.

• Stock your kitchen with a high- quality organic extra-virgin olive oil (contained in a dark bottle) and an organic coconut oil. These are also available in spray form at most health food stores— the perfect means for lightly glazing pans with just the right amount of oil.

• Buy low-sodium bouillon cubes, stocks and canned tomatoes. I also am a huge fan of fajita spice packs – President’s Choice is a healthy choice, and organic gravy mix from Simply Organic is great to have on hand for my Carb Craving Shepherd’s Pie. Also, tomato paste adds a great umami flavour or richness to food that you’re trying to keep low in calories and fat. Tomatoes, particularly tomato paste, are bursting with cancer-fighting lycopene. Use it to add an extra layer of flavour to curries and stir- fries.

• Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream. It is lower in fat and higher in protein.

• You can enhance the flavour and depth of your meals without adding extra salt, using the acidity of vinegar (apple cider or balsamic) or lemon. An added benefit: vinegars also reduce the glycemic impact of your meals.

• When slicing avocados, use a sharp knife to split them in half and remove the pit. Then, keeping the skin intact, cut it into slices. This creates perfect sections, which can then be easily removed from the peel with a spoon, for use in salads and other dishes, or placed on a cookie sheet for freezing. Once the slices are frozen solid, transfer them to a sealed container or freezer bag.

• Maintain the crispness of fresh herbs by washing, rolling in dampened paper towels and placing in resealable bags before storing in your fridge. Some fresh herbs can be washed and stored in your freezer to extend their shelf life for up to one month. Once frozen, they can easily be defrosted and chopped before they hit the pan.

• Beans – Cannellini and lentils are your best protein packed options for soups, salads and dips. Not only are they inexpensive, they’re also a great source of fibre. (One cup, for example, contains a whopping 15 grams of protein and 12 grams of fibre.)

• Frozen shrimp: Four large shrimp are only 30 calories and contain pure protein and virtually no fat. Shrimp also offer up a hefty dose of iodine. Buy them peeled and deveined so they can be easily defrosted and incorporated into last-minute weeknight meals. I love these because they are so versatile; they can be served hot or cold, in shrimp scampi, shrimp tacos, shrimp salad, etc. Plus, along with this, I love Barberian Steak Spice – to pan fry the shrimps to top salad or over zucchini pasta with tomatoes/ balsamic reduction.

• Mustard: This condiment is packed with the immune-boosting mineral selenium and turmeric, a spice (that gives it its yellow pigment) with cancer-fighting properties. Keep a couple different varieties in your refrigerator, including Dijon, for salad dressings, sauces, marinades, and in a coating for breading chicken and pork. Grain mustard is another favourite as a spread on sandwiches.

• Ground chicken and turkey: buying a lean ground turkey or chicken breast saves on saturated fat compared to ground beef. Stash in your freezer and thaw when ready to eat. It’s one meat that cooks in a zip and can be used in stir-fries, meat sauces, tacos, enchiladas, stuffed peppers, or rice bowls.

• Toasted Seeds: Specifically black sesame, white sesame and raw pumpkin seeds. I keep these mixed in a bowl in my fridge to toss into salads, delicious mixed with ricotta cheese or even as a fast mouthful when hungry!


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The Hormone Boost Kitchen to Boost Your Fat Loss: Part Two

Written by Natasha Turner, ND

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Being organized and ahead of schedule in the kitchen is essential to making a diet update work. Eating and living healthy should be enjoyable, and with a little preparation plus the “TurnTash Method”, you should be able to eliminate the many things that make it feel like an obstacle.

Below, I go over the essentials for your kitchen that will make preparing Hormone Boost-friendly foods more streamlined. I also like to recommend that as you put your delicious meals together, you try to keep your working area as clean and organized as you can. Staying mindful during this process will not only give you (or a loved one) less clean-up afterwards, but you will also feel more connection with what you are eating and be respectful of the effort you put in to prepare it. Plus, less clutter always equals less stress!

The Kitchen Tools You Must Have

  • Invest in a set of sharp chef knives. As surprising as it sounds, sharp knives are safer than dull ones since they are less likely to slip during use. And trust me: ready access to these essential tools will serve up simple satisfaction with every chop and slice. Already have a set, but they’re dull? Check out this Gordon Ramsay video on how to sharpen your knives at home. It’s easy!

  • Get an immersion blender. This handy gadget will make puréed dips, cauliflower mash and soups a breeze—and it will save you dishes too since your blending action can happen in the same pots used for cooking. (Below I tell you which one I like best.)

  • Add a bench scraper to your utensil drawer. While it sounds like a tool you would need in a carpenter’s kit, it’s considered by many foodies and cooks to be a kitchen essential. It is simply a rectangular piece of metal with a handle across the full width of one edge. It just might be the kitchen tool you never knew you needed—at least until you discover how useful it is. Use your scraper to transfer chopped ingredients from a cutting board with one steady swipe or crush garlic before peeling without the risk of cutting yourself.

  • Become reacquainted with a retro kitchen staple—the Mason jar. These traditional glass bottles are perfect for storing soups and sauces and for making the on- the-go salad recipes included in my book.

  • Rely on stainless steel and glass bowls. These are fundamental in any kitchen. I have them in many sizes (mini ones for holding spices and large ones for prep work). They last a lifetime! It’s an added bonus if you can find a set with lids, as they allow for easy fridge storage of dishes like salads or for marinating meats. They don’t have to be expensive, but if the set comes with plastic lids, make sure they are BPA-free.

  • Search for a spiralizer. Want to cut your carb intake or free yourself from the belly bloat of heavy pasta dishes? A spiralizer is your secret weapon for making virtually carb-free zucchini pasta and offers creative ways to increase your veggie intake (think cucumber, carrots and beets) in salads. There are several variations available from the simple to the more advanced. Different blades give you different “noodles” and keep you excited about carb-free indulgences.

  • Pick up a meat thermometer. A good meat thermometer ensures that roast chicken, beef and other meats are cooked through.

  • Consider devoting one cupboard or drawer solely to the storage of your dry spices. Small glass jars are a perfect way to go—they’re easy to label and arrange, and readily available at your local dollar store. Once you have your storage options in place, many spices can then be purchased in bulk. No space inside a drawer or cupboard? An organized spice rack can be a nice aesthetic addition to your kitchen’s décor – check out these ideas on Pinterest.


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The Hormone Boost Kitchen to Boost Your Fat Loss: Part One

Written by Natasha Turner, ND

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Healthy habits aren’t all about your body. I fully woke up to the link between environment and well- being two years ago, when my husband and I downsized from our house to a condo. Amid the chaos of half-unpacked boxes, I realized just how important an uncluttered and organized living space is. Our habits suffered because groceries were sparse, pots were MIA, dishes were still packed and our supplements were out of sight. We tripped into bed at night over piles of clothes and folded linens. And during the day, we felt worn out from the constant mental chatter of our to- do lists, and because we were simply unsettled.

In The Hormone Boost, I wrote about the “TurnTash Method”—my silly spin on the popular KonMari Method, which offers a way to declutter your life and bring joy. Embracing this level of organization will make more time for you, and enable you to live The Hormone Boost lifestyle. Consider the following benefits:

• You will be more successful and lose more weight. Organization heightens your ability to be mindful about what you put into your body. My own experience tells me that success begins with thoughts or ideas, takes shape with planning, organization and preparation, and comes to fruition with motivation and commitment to follow through.

• You will make Hormone Boost– friendly food choices. Incredibly, a study from Psychological Science (December 2012) found that people who worked in a neat space for 10 minutes were twice as likely to choose an apple over a chocolate bar than those who worked in a messy office for the same amount of time. Clutter at work or home is stressful for the brain, which makes you more likely to resort (consciously or unconsciously) to coping mechanisms such as choosing comfort foods or overeating. Plus, kitchen decluttering, “detoxing” of hormone disruptors and organization of foods and meals (i.e., stocking up on nutritious foods, preparing protein-rich meal-on-the-go options and smoothies, prepping fruits and vegetables) will only help to ensure that you make Hormone Boost eating your reality.

Convinced now? I certainly hope so. It’s obvious that paying attention to your surroundings pays off big time. Various chemicals and hormone disruptors are lurking in your environment and they can interfere with your boost. Therefore, our first step is to get rid of those nasty things, and the logical place to start is—no surprise—the kitchen.

The Kitchen Boost

When it comes to starting any new personal health regimen, the kitchen is surely target number one. So many bad habits are formed—and fed— in this important spot in your home. It’s vital that you spend a bit of time in the kitchen, making sure there’s nothing standing in the way of your success.

Let’s start with a list of foods you should never eat; in fact, I recommend that you remove them from your kitchen immediately to prevent further hormonal disruption.

• Products containing artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, etc.)

• Products containing high- fructose corn syrup

• Vegetable oil, shortening, margarine, cottonseed oil; anything containing partially hydrogenated oils and products containing trans fats

• Processed and packaged foods that contain lots of preservatives, loads of sodium and few nutrients (e.g., prepared pasta or rice side dishes)

Once you’ve got a handle on your cupboards and fridge, the next step of your kitchen boost is to get rid of your plastic food storage containers and replace them with glass.

In part two, we explore the essential tools any Hormone Boost-ready kitchen must have. By being proactive and prepared you’ll ensure success and minimize frustration.


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What Is She So Happy About?

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Written by Alexandria Barker

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Are you feeling happy today? If not, why not? Are you postponing your reward of happiness until you’ve met some specific criteria?

Perhaps you think you won’t deserve to be until you lose 10 pounds, land your dream job, meet your soul mate, or retire?

These are all very nice things, but if they’re your reasons for not being happy now, they aren’t serving you. The reason you want any of these things is you believe you’ll be happier when you do. So why not just choose to be happy now, for no particular reason?

The opportunities are endless. Happiness is waiting for you around every corner, every moment of the day. It’s in letting someone off the hook when you have every reason to be mad at them. It’s in focusing on a loved one’s strengths when their weakness is screaming louder. It’s in going for a calming nature walk instead of sitting stewing.

It’s in remembering that you, and you alone, are responsible for the thoughts you think, ergo the feelings you experience.

You can set yourself up for happiness by reflecting on the best moments of the day as you go to sleep. When you wake up, decide you’re happy before even getting out of bed, and keep that momentum going by expressing gratitude for your life, your loved ones, the blue sky, anything you can think of.

Being happy is not just about you. Yes, it generates endorphins that contribute to your overall wellbeing, but it goes further than that. Moods are contagious. Happy people increase happiness and decrease stress levels of others just by being around them. They’re more popular because people like to be around happy people!

Happy people look younger, live longer, and have fewer aches and pains. Over 30 studies show they get sick less often after being exposed to cold and flu germs, because they have more immune-boosting blood cells. When they do get sick, they rebound much quicker. Instead of whining about their illness, they treat it as a blessing – time to rest and rejuvenate.

Habitual happiness reduces the risk of developing diabetes or cancer, and is good for the heart! It lowers heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol. As seniors, happy people have 77 percent lower risk of heart disease.

By intentionally focusing on the positive, happy people downplay issues that stress out ‘normal’ less cheerful folk. They handle problems more effectively, with less stress. Stress ages you inside and out, so that’s a pretty big plus! They are naturally more creative problem solvers, as being happy expands your thinking and lets you think outside the box, finding creative solutions to problems.

Happiness is a habit of thought, a mental muscle that responds quickly to your efforts, paving the way for synchronicities and serendipities, keeping life an exciting adventure where you know with conviction that life is good and getting better, and something wonderful is just around the corner.

Alexandria Barker, AKA the Yoga-Nana, is a happy life coach, Infinite Possibilities Trainer and Independent Arbonne consultant. Connect with her at AlexandriaBarker.com


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The Human Connection to Music

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Written by Sharon Harrison

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Most of us are not musicians by trade and we are not musically inclined or trained. We do not possess the talent to master

an instrument, nor do we have the perfect vocal cords to call ourselves professional singers. Many of us do enjoy listening to music, whether it’s at a live concert for a favourite band, enjoying Mozart`s Piano Concerto No.23 in A major, or listening to the local radio station blasting out hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
— Aldous Huxley

What does music mean to us? Woven through our everyday lives, it plays a central role in our mental health and is very much a part of us and is often taken for granted. What effect does it have on us and what role does it really play? Music in its many forms is part of what makes us human, but could we survive without it and how difficult would it be to function without the dulcet tones of a familiar tune to soothe or entertain us? Why do we need music in our lives? Does the type of music on our playlist tell us much about our personality or our mood for example? Can we determine someone’s character just because they prefer hard rock over jazz or rap?

How do we connect to music, or put another way, what is the role of music and its interconnectedness to us? Understood by many no matter the country of origin, music is the ultimate universal language. Music brings people together. While it is most often associated with pleasure or happy situations, it can be linked with difficult, sad or melancholic times. Music can be many things to many people and can make us feel and express different things, triggering different emotions, stimulating varying responses, especially on a deeply personal level. Music can be whatever you want it to be. Music can also be a distraction. It can make us feel good or feel better, sending messages of positivity, uplifting our spirits. Music can heal us in ways we may not immediately realize or appreciate. It can get you motivated, change your mood or even help you concentrate.

Music is known to relax us; it can bring joy, trigger a memory or it may comfort or calm us. It can make our hearts soar, get our toes tapping or reduce us to tears. Music can be unpredictable. It can even give us goose bumps. Hearing a familiar tune can make us spontaneously burst into song, sometimes at the top of our lungs. Others may hum along a little more discretely. But music can also be repetitious, irritating or unpleasant and not always to our liking.

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche

Music can be unsettling. It can also drive us a little crazy sometimes: remember how a tune gets into your head and no matter what you do, it stays there for days running over and over in your mind? Some people aren’t affected by earworms, others are plagued by them. But how does a tune find its way into our mind refusing to leave?

Some people connect with the words of a song where the lyrics can send a profound message. Others are attracted to the tempo or the rhythm. It is one of the reasons many companies use catchy tunes when making commercials. The tune grabs for our attention long before the product does, reeling us in, and before we know it, we are paying attention to what is being offered. People listen to music while they are driving, exercising or showering; others need it to be able to fall asleep, many wake-up to it. We sing hymns at church, play pop music at parties, and sing the national anthem at hockey games. For some, it is more about the instrument than the voice where the strings of a guitar are preferred over the sound of piano keys or the twang of a harp. Some may enjoy the pure singing voice of a soprano while others will appreciate the skill of a talented drummer. Musical tastes vary enormously and are as individual and unique as each of us which explains why some prefer Bieber over Beethoven or Vivaldi over the Village People.

But imagine a world without music. Imagine not hearing a favourite rock song again, or not being able to smooch to a romantic tune or listen to a soft ballad from a cherished music box. Imagine not be able to whistle along to a catchy tune as you wash the dishes. If music was eliminated from our lives, what impact would it have and would we notice its absence? Is the existence of music really so important?

We do know music is good for us and studies have found music has many health benefits. It makes you smarter, happier and more productive. A tune will get your heart pumping and it stimulates the brain in extraordinary ways. Listening to music activates many different areas of the brain, changing our brain chemistry, and if it’s a tune we really like, the brain will release dopamine, the feel good chemical. Next time you find yourself in need of some easy listening, think about its whole effect on the mind, body and soul.


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Publisher's Letter - Summer 2017

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now magazine, Healthy Living Now Summer 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Summer 2017, Publisher's Letter, Lori Mitchell, Publisher Lori Mitchell, Healthy Living Now Publisher, Healthy Living Now Magazine Publisher, Healthy Living Now Publisher Lori Mitchell, Healthy Living Now Magazine Publisher Lori Mitchell

How have you been feeling lately?

In our society, it’s very common for us to habitually push through fatigue. Just have an extra cup of coffee, eat something sugary to give us a temporary kick, rather than slowing down or resting. After all, getting things done is more important...at least that’s what some of us tend to think. Even though your body is tired and begging you to slow down, are you afraid of what will happen if you do? If you’re not even able to manage all your responsibilities going full speed - wouldn’t it be disastrous, and ultimately even more stressful, to take a significant break? We won’t die of embarrassment if we speak up. Ask for help. Would your friend who needs you to look after her kids find another friend to help? Would someone else pick up the groceries for you, or take your kids to their basketball game? In April, my Dad passed after a long battle with his health. Our family was accustomed to Dad’s trips to ICU and emergency. He was a fighter, and determined to stay with us. The last few days at the hospital were heart wrenching and incredibly difficult. The grieving process began – but life doesn’t stop with young children. Lunches had to be made, laundry done, meals prepared, practices and games attended, homework completed. In May, I set a schedule to reconnect with progress of this issue, but I was feeling very tired and lethargic. On the heels of producing the Healthy Living EXPO, I chalked it up to exhaustion.

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Summer 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Summer 2017, Healthy Living Now cover, Healthy Living Now Magazine cover, Healthy Living Now Summer 2017 cover, Healthy Living Now magazine Summer 2017 cover

I made the decision the following day to take a drive to the County for a walk with Bell, my girl. I felt guilty - as busy people often do anytime we respond to our body’s signals to slow down. Like most of us, I frequently feel more comfortable “doing” than “being”. After some time embracing the sights and silence at West Lake, I felt deep emotion and grief. I slowed down long enough to allow snapshots of the past few years to surface, something which clearly my mind and heart needed to process. We really shouldn’t be concerned about what we’ll miss out on by slowing down. Rather, we should worry about what might we miss out on by continually pushing, pushing, pushing. We need to stop long enough for our bodies, hearts and minds to tell us what they are longing to communicate. It’s usually far more important than any item on the eternal to-do list. What might your life and body long to tell you, if you’d only stop long enough to listen?

 

LORI MITCHELL, PUBLISHER, EDITOR

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Summer 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Summer 2017, Healthy Living Now logo, Healthy Living Now Magazine logo
This issue is dedicated to the memory of Doug Mitchell :
husband, father, grandfather, lover of all things Scottish, comedian at heart and one who never, ever stopped.

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